Too often young Kiwis say there will be no NZ Super when they get to retirement age.
They have no need to worry, there is good news.
With some adjustments NZ Super will be around for younger generations.
But, only brave and visionary governments will bring that about.
Prime Ministers who refuse to confront issues are being unkind to all New Zealanders who, like it or not, will grow older.
Governments, like National, which stopped putting taxpayers’ money into the nest egg being built up to cushion the demand on NZ Super are looking after themselves and not future generations.
Contributions to this nest egg, the Superannuation Fund (the Cullen Fund), must be re-started. It’s a savings scheme that is growing through wise investments.
At the same time this country must stop being overly generous to all comers with Super payments.
New Zealand First says change the eligibility.
At present a person only needs live in New Zealand for 10 years to receive Super at 65 years. The number of people who have immigrated over 50 years of age in the past 15 years is well over 80,000.
Name a country Kiwis can go to and pick up a pension after living there 10 years.
That’s right. Impossible.
We want it raised to 25 years and we have a Bill awaiting introduction into Parliament to change the law.
Why are we so generous? It is totally unfair to Kiwis who have worked all their lives and paid taxes. They have paid their way. There is no requirement for a person who fits the 10-year entitlement to have worked or paid taxes, in other words they may not have contributed at all.
Why should we allow others to drain our pension fund, when we have paid taxes all our lives to sustain it?
At present, NZ Super from the point of view of cost only takes 3.8 per cent net of GDP, much less than similar pensions in other OECD nations.
New Zealand allows a high level of parent reunion compared with other countries.
Too often they are abandoned by their children who seek greener pastures in other countries. That leaves the NZ taxpayer to look after them.
NZ Super is also vulnerable to immigrants who are using New Zealand as a back door entry to Australia. They have a wonderful safety net for their retirement – return to New Zealand and get full NZ Super, despite the fact they have spent most of their time in Australia and have a compulsory super savings there.
All those that say our present super is unaffordable belie that statement by failing to confront the liberal access to it by people who have never contributed to our Super.
NZ Super will be available for today’s younger generations but it needs careful and courageous management and economic growth, which this country is capable of.
Winston Peters is leader of New Zealand First.