The Press editorial:
The Labour Party yesterday announced that if it were to win the next election it would seek to change that. It would make KiwiSaver compulsory for all employees aged between 18 and 65. …
It is more likely that those who are not part of the scheme at this point are those who have decided, for good reasons of their own, not to participate in it. Some may, for instance, have decided it makes more sense for them to pay off debt – student loans, mortgages and the like – than to save through a super scheme. Others may not be able to afford to enter it. Forcing them to do so will require them either to borrow or forgo other spending. The spending is likely, at this point in their lives when they are younger, to be more valuable to them than a larger payout would be in old age.
Whatever the situation, it is their own choice not to enter a superannuation scheme. Compulsorily enrolling them is almost certainly going to make them worse off than if they were left to decide for themselves.
It’s patronising big government. Labour is telling people they are incompetent and can’t decide for themselves how best to save for their retirement.
Labour’s proposal is designed to increase what are said to be “chronically low savings rates”. Whether KiwiSaver does that is open to debate. It appears more likely it simply redirects saving rather than increasing it.
The evidence to date suggests exactly that.