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Winston Peters, Jacinda Ardern send mixed messages over KiwiSaver changes

The Prime Minister and her deputy are sending mixed signals over potential changes to KiwiSaver for those over the age of 65.

Once a person reaches retirement age, their employer no longer has to make contributions to their KiwiSaver fund, even if they keep working.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Seniors, Tracey Martin, were at a Grey Power conference yesterday to announce an injection of more than $8 million to revamp the SuperGold card website, a new app and in funding digital literacy training for seniors.

During the announcement Ms Martin stressed the importance of maintaining a workforce over the age of 65.

"We are going to increasingly need older people to stay in paid work if they want to. We can not have 1.2 million seniors dropping out of the workforce," she said.

At the conference, Horowhenua Grey Power president Terry Hemmingsen, who was called in to work after he had retired, asked why his employer - the Government - had scrapped its contributions to his fund.

"The day you turn 65, that 2 per cent employer contribution stops. With Government agencies, so being in education, I could keep paying in myself, and did. But I lost the 2 per cent. Now that's discriminatory on the basis of age, wouldn't you think?"

Mr Peters agreed it was not right and said Cabinet was looking into the matter.

"Why would we not keep on encouraging older people to keep on saving. So, it's a serious issue, we're looking at it right now," he said.

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern refused to confirm that at her weekly prime ministerial media conference.

She told reporters she would not speculate on potential changes and suggested Mr Peters was merely reiterating New Zealand First policy.

That was despite Mr Peters specifically saying: "The Government and the Cabinet is looking at that matter as we speak."

rnz.co.nz

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Source: 1 NEWS