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Q+A: Diane Maxwell and Richard Wagstaff interviewed by Tame

CTU President Richard Wagstaff told Q+A he doesn’t accept alarmist warnings about the future of superannuation and believes the current scheme is affordable.

He says the debate over whether to change the eligibility for the pension should focus on the welfare of people:

“There’s a lot of people out there, particularly manual workers, particularly people who feel worn out, that are looking forward to getting to 65 - as it is that’s a bit of a reach. Moving the goal posts on them doesn’t feel good. They’ve paid taxes all their life. They’ve worked hard. They don’t have a nest egg to look after themselves, effectively privatising the care they want and the support. So we don’t feel this urgency. It feels like it’s been swept up into a disaster scenario. We don’t think it stacks up.”

“We’ve got people sitting around warm offices, around a laptop, designing a world that they don’t really live in. We need to think about the people who are out there, working hard, sweat and toil, and they just can’t survive.”

But former Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell says because New Zealanders are living longer, we have to make some hard decisions to ensure superannuation is sustainable.

"I don't want us to be in crisis before we acknowledge this change, this is a structural change in the population. Does it really have to be right up in front of us before we address it?”

Ms Maxwell agrees that some people will need to finish work earlier than others.

“So many people are working past 65, are healthier past 65 and living so much longer. So the question is, people need support at 65 - we know that – but what type of support are we talking about and should it be a pension? We are smart enough big enough and brave enough to work out a better plan for 65”

“We cannot wait until we reach crisis point”

Please find the full interview here.

Q+A, 9:30pm Mondays on TVNZ 1 and one hour later on TVNZ 1 + 1.
Streamed live at www.tvnz.co.nz
Thanks to the support from NZ On Air.
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