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Gareth Morgan doesn't want his Super as he turns 65, says NZ needs means-testing

Gareth Morgan says New Zealand superannuation should not be available to those with a certain level of wealth, as he himself turns 65 and qualifies for it.

Those within 12 weeks of their 65th birthday can apply to receive the benefit, which can be up to $20,290.40 for a single person living alone.

As he turns 65, Mr Morgan says he doesn't want his, and questions why taxpayers are paying for those who can easily afford to look after themselves.

"Half of the people who get Super don't need it," Mr Morgan told TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme.

"It's an argument in terms of using government spending where it should be used ... my mates just use it to go to Fiji."

"There's thousands of people like me ... these politicians have got to show some guts."

Mr Morgan said those who would hide their assets to obtain a pension could be dissuaded from doing so with "onerous" penalties.

Michael Littlewood says means testing in Australia is a very complicated system, which has unexpected effects on some aspects of retirement. Source: Breakfast

"Have a couple of examples and that will scare the hell out of them," he said.

Superannuation policy expert Michael Littlewood disagreed that New Zealand should rush through means testing for pensions, saying Australia had it and it was complicated.

"He makes it sound simple and 30 years ago I would have agreed with him," Mr Littlewood said of Mr Morgan's argument.

"You just have to look across the Tasman to see how means tests work."

Mr Littlewood said means testing had the effect of making Australians retire early, and work less during their retirement.

"Having those rules which the state imposes ... means Australians choose to work about two years less than New Zealanders," Mr Littlewood said.

He agreed that New Zealand has "never had a proper discussion about the size or shape of any aspect of New Zealand Super", but said any changes need to come from a "research-led debate".

Mr Morgan says the government should be means testing those claiming their state pension, so only those who need it get it. Source: Breakfast