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New Zealand First Super scheme expensive risky and unfair

The New Zealand First Super scheme released today would go bankrupt almost immediately and leave retired New Zealanders destitute, Alliance leader Jim Anderton said.

Thursday, October 14th 1999, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

The New Zealand First Super scheme released today would go bankrupt almost immediately and leave retired New Zealanders destitute, Alliance leader Jim Anderton said.

'The scheme is expensive, risky and unfair. We have a good scheme now. New Zealand First's scheme is a threat to the security of retired New Zealanders because if it was adopted it wouldn't work, and the advocacy of it undermines New Zealand Super.

'NZ First has lined up with Act and National to oppose New Zealand Super.'Eight per cent of personal income over $5000 is nowhere near enough to fund retirement incomes at their present level. If they tried to pay out a pension at 67% of the average wage, the scheme would go bankrupt within days. That's before anyone takes seriously the idea that you would get your contribution back if you died.

'Either the scheme will pay out meagre pensions with massive income cuts for retired New Zealanders, or, if the scheme tries to pay out at 67% of the average wage, it will leave retired people with nothing because the scheme will be bankrupt.

'Even if the level of contribution was increased to sustain the scheme it would be unfair. High income earners would get a much higher pension than low income earners.

'Winston Peters' cranky ideas about Super were rejected by 92% of New Zealanders at the referendum in 1997. Now he is making it a bottom line in coalition negotiations, which would mean that even when 92% of New Zealanders opposed the scheme, it could not be stopped. That merely underlines the crucial importance of ensuring Mr Peters is nowhere near government after the next election.

'If Mr Peters dreamt up his last scheme on the back of an envelope he must have dreamt up this one on the back of a postage stamp,' Jim Anderton said.

« NZ First announces super policyAMP & Good Returns launch superannuation website »

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