Retirement review welcome, says retirement watchdog

09 December 2010

New Zealand's Retirement Commissioner has been congratulated by the Retirement Policy and Research Centre at The University of Auckland Business School on recommendations this week to raise the age of entitlement.

Centre co-director Susan St John says raising the age of entitlement must be part of the national discussion, along with all other aspects of the design of New Zealand Superannuation. "New Zealand cannot keep its head in the sand," she says.

"The RPRC is particularly pleased to see the recommendations that strengthen the principle of universal individual entitlement."

Different rates depending on marital status are no longer appropriate, Dr St John says. Importantly, the review recommends an end to the current policy of "reducing the value of a person's New Zealand Superannuation if their partner receives a specific foreign pension that exceeds the value of New Zealand Superannuation."

This policy is egregious and has no place in the modern NZS framework, she says. It can be addressed immediately at little fiscal cost, and the RPRC urges the Government to act without delay.