Thought leadership from key personnel at the RPRC.
Responsible investment: the new standard in KiwiSaver?
Two years ago, RPRC Associate Dr Matheson Russell wrote in PensionCommentary 2015-3: “The ‘default’ investment options offered by KiwiSaver schemes do not include ‘socially responsible investments’.” This PensionCommentary revisits Russell’s arguments for socially responsible options, and reports on the remarkable transformation of KiwiSaver schemes since then.
KiwiSaver: A world-class savings plan
The three yearly review of retirement incomes policies is underway. Each month starting May 2016 a different aspect is being examined by the Commission for Financial Capability. This commentary draws on an article written for the AARP journal in early 2016: How to save like a Kiwi Spring 2016.
KiwiSpend: How to spend like a kiwi
The three yearly review of retirement incomes policies is underway. Each month starting May 2016 a different aspect is being examined by the Commission for Financial capability. This commentary draws on RPRC thinking on decumulation, see, for example, St John, Dale & Ashton (2012) A new approach to funding the costs of New Zealand’s ageing population, New Zealand Population Review, Vol 38, 2012.
Default socially responsible investment for KiwiSaver – an alternative view (2015–4)
In PensionCommentary 2015-3, Matheson Russell argues that the default options of all KiwiSaver schemes should be required to use ‘socially responsible investments’ in their investment strategy. This PensionCommentary suggests that ‘socially responsible investing’ is not a robust concept. Further, all KiwiSaver schemes should be allowed to set their own default investment strategy.
Making responsible investment the new standard in KiwiSaver (2015-3),
KiwiSaver will have an increasing impact on New Zealanders’ financial wealth. The ‘default’ investment options offered by KiwiSaver schemes do not include ‘socially responsible investments’. Just as the government has regulated the investment strategy of the default option for the nine default schemes, perhaps the default options of all KiwiSaver schemes should be required to use ‘socially responsible investments’ in their investment strategy.
The coming debate on New Zealand Superannuation – the review process (2015-2)
New Zealand needs to debate all aspects of the design of New Zealand Superannuation but the government doesn’t want to talk about it. Realistically, nothing can happen politically until at least 2017 and possibly even as late as 2020. In the meantime, New Zealand should start gathering the data that will be needed for the debate, once that can start. We do not have anything like the information we need for a national, principles-based, research-led debate.
Re-designing New Zealand Superannuation (2015-1)
The net cost of New Zealand Superannuation will increase from 4.1% to 6.7% of GDP by 2060. Many say that's unaffordable but the expected cost of NZS is a second-order issue. The first priority is to decide on the shape of NZS for 2060, based on what we might want NZS to achieve in 2060. If the ‘ideal’ scheme is too expensive, only then does cost become an issue. New Zealand has never had the suggested principles-based, research-led debate on all the key design elements of NZS.
On recent proposals from Labour (2014-1)
This commentary examines the Labour Party’s just-announced KiwiSaver policies and notes with concern that political parties are either ignoring superannuation altogether, or coming up with policies that need consultation and analysis before announcement.
On older workers and some HR issues facing employers (2012-4)
NZ’s baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1966, have started reaching age 65. Increasingly, reaching the state pension age does not mean stopping work so there will be a growing difference between the present pension age and average retirement ages.
We all have to talk about New Zealand Superannuation (2012-3)
New Zealand Superannuation costs taxpayers, after-tax, about 3.7% of gross domestic product at present. With the expected doubling of the age 65+ population, that cost is expected to be a net 6.7% of GDP by 2050. (2012)
Investment performance: Publication of "gross" returns should be banned (2012-2)
Michael Chamberlain, actuary, and Michael Littlewood of the RPRC explain that the complexities of income tax and the structures now used by KiwiSaver providers make the unravelling of investment performance confusing. (2012)
KiwiSaver: Changing the default provider regime (2012-1)
This PensionCommentary looks at the lessons to date and suggests a major change to the way in which default enrolments happen after 2014. (2012)
Why does the Earthquake Commission have a fund? (2011-1)
This PensionCommentary examines the case for the existence of the EQC’s “Natural Disaster Fund”. It is the third in a series that looked first at the ACC and then at the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. (2011)
The rationale for pre-funding ACC (2009-2)
Susan St John suggests we need to learn from more than 35 years of ACC history, and reach multi-party agreement on the way forward with this efficient and durable social insurance scheme (18 November 2009).
Why does the Accident Compensation Commission have a fund? (2009-1)
Michael Littlewood argues that the Accident Compensation Corporation does not need to pre-fund its obligations and should move to a "pay as you go" basis (12 October 2009).
On the relative values of KiwiSaver incentives (2008-2)
The case for a more generous tax treatement of KiwiSaver.
Comparing the uncomparable (2008-2)
Michael Littlewood's commentary, published in the National Business Review.
Employers should take charge or KiwiSaver will increase their costs (2008-1)
Michael Littlewood's commentary, published in the New Zealand Herald.
Taxations: Investment vehicles-There is a better way
Taxation: Investment vehicles - there is a better way. Published: The Independent Financial Review - 11 April 2007
Tax changes: tax reform fails to meet original aim (2007-1)
Tax change - tax reform fails to meet original aim. Published: The Independent Financial Review - 4 April 200