Tuesday, August 27, 2013


The Government has released a discussion paper examining the concept of 'Flexi-Super'.    The paper was agreed as part of the Supply and Confidence Agreement between National and United Future following the 2011 election.    You can read it here.  

In simple terms it provides for choice.   People could elect to take a reduced pension at age 60 or alternatively, opt to defer taking the pension until age 70 when they would receive an increased amount.      Other commentators have suggested it might mean a 6% discount for every year it is taken early or a 10% increase for every year it is deferred.

I am of the view that paper deserves serious consideration.   It provides an alternative to the call to  raise the age of eligibility past 65 or might even be considered in conjunction with such a move. 

It certainly addresses the major concern that increasing the age of eligibility unfairly discriminates against our Maori and Pacifica communities, both of whom have a reduced life expectancy compared with European New Zealanders.   

The paper cautions that considerable work is still needed to flesh out the detail if it is to proceed.   Public submissions on the proposal close on 11 October and the Minister of Finance will report to Cabinet on the results of the consultation in November.

I commend the paper to you.


Adolf Fiinkensein said...

You are right except for one thing.

Maori and Pasifica discriminate against themselves and bring about their own reduced life expectancy by way of heavy smoking, unbalanced diet heavily weighted toward starch and fat, over indulgence in alcohol and, after age forty, a distinct lack of exercise.

Anyway, the black buggers who die young don't pay as much
tax in their life times as do the white buggers who live and work longer, so in the end it's quite fair really.

Noel said...

Hitler You're one of a kind aint you?

That early accessibility clause aint only useful for dem colours masa.

I was diagnosed with cancer at 59 then things went to custard and by 61 I had to give up work.

Wife's income prevented eligibility for any benefit but I would have welcomed early access to super to plug the income hole.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Smart arse Noel

You poor bastard. Two massive incomes but you were too lousy to buy a bit of trauma cover or term life with a terminal illness benefit?

Serves you bloody right.

BTW, the word 'ain't' has an apostrophe.

Noel said...

Like I said
You're on a kind.

The Veteran said...

Adolf ...... you may not be aware that Noel is a Vietnam veteran.

Feel free to disagree with him if you will but I think it would be wise if you were to avoid any crack that relates to his illness .... Agent Orange and all of that.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Thanks Vet. I will. However, the previous comment stands in its entirety. He could easily have bought cover when he was forty-five or fifty. Cover which would have paid out in full upon the diagnosis of ANY cancer and again if same happened to be deemed terminal.

Judge Holden said...

Vet just called you a wanker, Adolt. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, although being a wanker is the least of your problems.

The Veteran said...

Judge ... thank you very much for your 'considered' observation on the merits of the proposal.

But of course choice is a dirty word in the lexicon of the Left.

Judge Holden said...

It's not a horrible idea, but meh, it's not much of a choice. It's probably no cheaper than the current set of arrangements, and it would be difficult for most people to know what the best course of action for them is. Typically silly Dunne notion. Better than his other policy triumphs (the Families Commission and extending daylight savings excessively), but not by much.

The Veteran said...

Judge ... cheaper doesn't have to be the driver.

As for it being a difficult decision well, the answer surely is in an informed education programme designed to allow people to make a considered choice ... or are you saying that 'the great unwashed' (your words) are incapable of that.

I do agree that any decision is probably easier for those with the foresight and wit to take advantage of KiwiSaver. That is one of the few Labour Party initiatives that has my support for the simple reason that New Zealand Superannuation was never ever designed to provide anything more than a very basic income in retirement.

Judge Holden said...

"cheaper doesn't have to be the driver."

You're the one who said it was an alternative to raising the age. That's driven solely by cost.

"the answer surely is in an informed education programme designed to allow people to make a considered choice"

Only if it can tell individuals when they're going to die. That would be amazing.

"'the great unwashed' (your words)"

No they weren't.

"I do agree that any decision is probably easier for those with the foresight and wit to take advantage of KiwiSaver."

Nope. Although people probably should join Kiwisaver, even after Joyce and English gutted it in order to give tax cuts to the most well off.

The Veteran said...

Judge ... pretty shallow ... and, just for the record, I repeat that cheaper (raised by you) doesn't have to be the driver. Ever heard of CHOICE?

Clearly your negativity isn't shared by all of those who inhabit the dark side of politics - like your nice Mr Parker for instance.