Retirement Commission report recommends NZ Super age remains at 65

Winston Peters is toasting the Retirement Commission's report that pulls away from any changes to the NZ Superannuation, including raising the age of eligibility. 

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A new report recommends the retirement age be left alone. Source: 1 NEWS

The report released 19 recommendations, of that, one was to "value and ensure the ongoing provision of NZ Superannuation at its current settings". 

Interim Retirement Commissioner Peter Cordtz said focusing on raising the age of eligibility was not the best step to ensure its sustainability, or that it would achieve "the intended outcomes, or at least without putting significant costs elsewhere on the system".

"Instead of repeating the call from the last two reviews to lift the age of eligibility as the priority action resulting from this review, I instead recommend a more deliberate focus across the Government’s major pre-retirement policy areas as the priority near-term action by the Government."

On TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning, Mr Cordtz said that "while life expectancy is increasing for all groups, including Māori and Pacific, there's still a significant gap, so to rush to increase age of eligibility work before that gap has closed increases inequity for some". 

However, Mr Cordtz said that "tomorrow's retirees are going to be in poorer shape than today's". 

NZ First leader Winston Peter welcomed the report. 

"We’ve defended the old people in this country, the age and the amount, and the lack of surtax and means testing." 

"Now, we’ve got a Retirement Commissioner for the first time recognising that this is a stupid argument about the question of taking the age to an older period of people’s lives."

"Can we afford super? Of course we can, we’re running at half the rate that some countries are."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has maintained keeping the Super age at 65, her coalition agreement with NZ First specifying it is to be kept at that age. 

However, National believe the NZ Superannuation would eventually become unsustainable. 

Leader Simon Bridges is pledging to gradually raise the New Zealand Superannuation age from 65 to 67.

"We have a positive plan which is gradually over the long run to move it up to 67, it doesn't affect anyone born before 1972."

National’s finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith said in August the proposal is to ensure the long-term sustainability of superannuation scheme.

It is due, he added, to the increase in lifespans and, therefore, the increase in time a person is expected to be on superannuation.

In the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll, 68 per cent of respondents wanted the current eligibility age of 65 to remain the same, 18 per cent wanted it to rise and 12 per cent wanted it lowered. 

Former Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell previously said any alterations to the Superannuation age needed to be looked at in the age range between 50 and 70, instead of just raising it from 65 to 67. 

Ms Maxwell said means testing was another option but came with complications.

Other recommendations in today's report were to phase in employer KiwiSaver contributions for workers over 65 and to investigate removing the KiwiSaver First Home withdrawal rule where the person has to live in the house they are buying.

Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government would work through the recommendations and decide which ones would be beneficial to New Zealand, making an announcement on which will be adopted mid-2020.