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Man with Down syndrome appeals to MPs, wants early access to KiwiSaver to visit brother and best friend overseas

"I want to do more", Tim Fairhall, a 39-year-old man who has Down syndrome, told MPs as he appealed for access to his KiwiSaver funds before age 65. 

He spoke to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee about his goal to visit his brother and friend overseas while he was still in good health.

"I won't live as long as most people," Mr Fairhall said. "It doesn't matter how long you live, as long as you make the most of your life."

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Tim Fairhall had been working at Countdown for 14 years, and recently starred in a video made by the Retirement Commissioner's office to champion his case for early access to his KiwiSaver funds.

The money Mr Fairhall needs to travel with his mother is locked up in KiwiSaver until he turns 65, but Down syndrome means he is ageing faster than most.

He said his goal was to see his brother in Italy and his best friend in Canada.

"I have saved my money to do that.

"I have done lots of cool things in my life so far, and I want to do more."

His mother, Joan Fairhall, said her son and other people with Down syndrome had their savings "trapped" if it was invested with KiwiSaver.

"I want you do consider whether the current legislation is unfair and indeed discriminatory, whether it kidnaps and holds on to, and uses the savings of people in this category, but there is just no mechanism for them to get it out and use it fairly for themselves."

Tim Fairhall and his mum argue the rules as they stand discriminate against people like him. Source: 1 NEWS

She said previously, "If Tim survives till he's 65, and it's quite likely he will, he'll be a really old man then - the equivalent of about 90". 

For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6. 

Tim Fairhall wants to use his savings to travel while he is still in good health. Source: 1 NEWS


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