Press call for retirement age to go up

The Press editorial:

The biggest shock from news the superannuation payout isn’t enough to support even a “no frills” lifestyle is that anyone is shocked at all.

It demonstrates a worrying gap between what taxpayers might expect their pension to be able to cover and the reality of what it can pay for.

At about $600 in the hand each week for a couple and $400 for a single person it’s no wonder there are elderly people living in cars and relying on food banks to get by.

After all, the living wage – that level of income being increasingly adopted by organisations as a reasonable payment on which people can live – is $700 a week. And you’d struggle to find people on that wage who are doing anything more than scraping by.

That’s a silly comparison. The living wage is a calculation about what a family with children need. To suggest it should also be used as a basis for retirement income is not sensible.

It is also worth noting that the OECD found NZ has the lowest rate of elderly poverty in the developed world at just 2%.

By 2030 there will be an estimated 1.1 million people retired in New Zealand and the spending on pensions has been calculated to reach $20 billion a year by then.

So you may have two million working age people paying $10,000 a year each in taxation just to fund NZ Super!

Hard decisions are coming for this country.

The retirement age will have to go up. No question. It may be politically untenable but a good government should see it as its responsibility to effectively communicate to voters when their heads are in the sand.

Sadly this Government has reversed the decision of the previous Government to increase the age to 67.

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