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Jo Goodhew MP for Rangitata DIARY

Mon 27 March
Electorate work & School visit, Host Seniors Forum (Tim)
Tue 28 March
Electorate work (Tim) Parliamentary work (Wgtn)
Wed 29 March
Visit Northland Region
Thur 30 March
 Sth Island Fieldays (Kirwee)
Fri 31 March
Electorate work (Ash)
Mon 3 April
Electorate work & Host Seniors Forum (Ash)
Tue 4 – Thur 6 April
Caucus, Select Committee & House Duties (Wgtn)

Raising the age of Superannuation entitlement
Flagging changes to the age of entitlement for superannuation many years in advance is the right and responsible thing to do.
The Government policy is to progressively increase the age of eligibility for NZ Super to 67, starting in 20 years’ time. This will more fairly spread the costs and benefits of New Zealand Super between generations, ensure the scheme remains affordable into the future, and give people time to adjust. The age of eligibility for the Veteran’s Pension and the SuperGold Card will also increase.
Even after the change, someone retiring at age 67 in 2040 is likely to receive NZ Super for longer than someone who retires at age 65 today. That is because average life expectancy is increasing by about 1.3 years each decade. Over the past 60 years life expectancy has increased 12 years, including an increase of four years since 2001.
When the age was set at 65 in 2001, a retiree could expect to spend about a fifth of their life receiving NZ Super. That has since increased to around a quarter. Following the proposed change, those eligible for NZ Super at 67 in 2040 can still expect to receive it for a quarter of their life on average.
Announcing the change now will also mean that political parties can debate superannuation transparently in the lead-up to this year’s election.
We are committed to the universal nature of New Zealand Super with no means or asset testing. In addition, we remain committed to Super being indexed at 66 per cent of the average weekly wage. KiwiSaver will continue to be available to savers once they turn 65.
This Government has a strong track record of supporting older New Zealanders. Since 2008 weekly payments to superannuitants have increased by 35 per cent after tax while inflation has increased by 14 per cent.
The Government is also proposing to double the residency requirements for NZ Super so that applicants must have lived in New Zealand for 20 years, with five of those after the age of 50. People who are already citizens or residents will remain eligible under the existing rules. The change will apply to people arriving in New Zealand after the legislation is passed. 
The proposed changes to the age of eligibility and the residency requirements are estimated to save the Government in excess of 0.6 per cent of GDP or $4.0 billion annually once the changes are fully in place.
The changes will also bring New Zealand into line with other countries like Australia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany and the United States which are all moving to a retirement age of 67.
Many New Zealanders I come across in the course of my work as an MP are working well beyond 65 because they are fit, healthy and enjoying the opportunities and challenges that remaining in employment brings.
I really enjoy meeting constituents who tell me they choose to work beyond 65 because they enjoy the work and feel valued by those they work with. In my book, that’s a win-win for their savings and the businesses they are in.

Jo Goodhew MP for Rangitata
139 Stafford St, Timaru 7910 - 03-683-1386
75 Harrison Street, Ashburton - 03-308 7510
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Authorised by Jo Goodhew, 139 Stafford St, Timaru
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