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Plea for cross-party consensus on super

Uncertainty has been injected again into the area of Retirement Savings and this could cost New Zealanders dearly, ASFONZ says.

Friday, December 3rd 1999, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

Politics, and therefore uncertainty, has been injected again into the area of Retirement Savings and this could cost New Zealanders dearly, according to David Stevens, Executive Director of the Association of Superannuation Funds of New Zealand (ASFONZ).

“Until New Zealand achieves stability and sustainability in the area of retirement savings the financial and emotional stress placed on New Zealanders is unacceptably high”, he says.

The Association has sent strong letters to Prime Minister – Elect, Rt. Hon Helen Clark and Deputy Prime Minister – Elect Hon. Jim Anderton urging a bipartisan political approach to develop a long-term strategy for Retirement Savings in New Zealand. This strategy must be an integrated one and not relate solely to New Zealand Superannuation. It must also encompass provision by the private sector, which includes employment-related superannuation, and the need to improve and generate voluntary savings. Employment-related superannuation schemes represent $10.5 billion in savings for retirement covering more than 282,000 individuals.

The letters were prompted by the new Government’s announcement that they had decided to disband the Super 2000 Taskforce.

“Disbanding the Super 2000 Taskforce half-way through the process negates the benefit of the research and work completed to-date and ignores the pleas of people concerned about the retirement security. The work the Super 2000 Taskforce is doing in raising the issues and informing the public can only lead to a more informed debate on Retirement Savings issues and a greater understanding by New Zealanders,” according to David Stevens.

“Without a sustainable and affordable long-term strategy people can’t plan for their retirement especially when the rules can be rewritten every electoral cycle. It’s important that the work of the Super 2000 Taskforce is completed and we urge Government to reconsider accordingly,” he said.

Recent research found that over 80% of New Zealanders clearly indicated that they want political consensus in the area of superannuation to give certainty to planning for retirement.

ASFONZ repeated an offer to work with Government and other political parties to develop a cross-party strategy in developing a long-term strategy for Retirement Saving for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

« Oh dear, Michael Cullen really believes he knows bestAMP & Good Returns launch superannuation website »

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