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.
March 27 in history
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