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Raising age for NZ Super a 'no-brainer' - outgoing Retirement Commissioner


The age of eligibility for New Zealand's superannuation must rise, says outgoing Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell. 

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Diane Maxwell said the current age of 65 needs to go up.

"For all of us, for our children and our grandchildren, we need to do it."

On TVNZ1's Q+A, Ms Maxwell said changing the age of NZ Super should not be thought of as going up from 65 to 67, instead, "we need to think 50 to 70". 

"People get into their fifties in very different shape, physically and financially. We need to be investing in people in their fifties, raise the age of eligibility for Super.

"It’s not the retirement age. Forty-four per cent of people keep working past 65, so invest in people in their fifties, give them what they need for another however many years of work."

Ms Maxwell thought "we will get there in the end" on means testing for NZ Super. 

"Raising the age is a no-brainer. I think we should leave indexation alone, and I think we will get to means test."

However, barriers to raising the age included politicians "looking down the barrel of vulnerability" and needing the voter to "take some responsibility". 

"The Government gets caught up in today, voters get caught up in today."

"It takes a step of courage to say, 'This might not look pretty, let me explain it, let me explain why it matters'... for all of us, for our children and our grandchildren, we need to do it."

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Host Jack Tame questions Ms Maxwell over the bullying claims that she was finally cleared of, and if the retirement age needs to increase. Source: Q+A

Q+A is on TVNZ1 on Mondays at 9.30pm, and the episode is then available on TVNZ OnDemand and as a podcast in all the usual places.