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Not all sweet and easy for super bill

The government's New Zealand Superannuation bill looks as though it will have a tough time in the select committee process. Submissions on the bill close on February 7.

Thursday, January 18th 2001, 7:36AM

by Philip Macalister

Any feeling the Government's New Zealand Superannuation Bill was going to have an easy passage through the select committee process because it got cross party support at its introduction in Parliament are wrong.

ACT leader Richard Prebble showed in his self-billed "state of the nation" speech earlier this week that any support ACT has shown for the bill is superficial.

"The Cullen scheme is at least doing something," Prebble says, " but the devil is in the detail with superannuation. With Cullen's scheme, the whole of hell is in the detail."

He says ACT intends to take finance minister Michael Cullen up on his willingness to accept constructive amendments.

ACT is clearly going to push hard for individual accounts.

Likewise the Greens have talked about investing the fund ethically, yet they haven't articulated what they mean.

There are a number of different styles of ethical investing which range from the pure where you can't invest in stocks of companies which make things like alcohol, tobacco or munitions to "best of bred" a version which is normal investing with a green flavoured. Under this method a fund can invest in any sector (even the sin sectors) as long as the individual company is 'ethically' managed.

The other main concern is that the bill has been oversold to the public. That is many people see it as being the panacea to the super conundrum and they don't need to save.

NZ Super is often talked about as being generous at 65% of the net average weekly wage. But, as Investment Savings and Insurance Association chief executive Vance Arkinstall points out, that's 65% for a married couple, not each individual.

In reality the scheme will only provide a basic safety net. (The good news is that most of SuperTalk's readers know that. In the recent poll 95% of respondents said they did not believe that the Big Cullen Fund would provide them with sufficient Super when they retire).

Submissions on the NZ Super Bill close on February 7. To help you make a submission Good Returns has included a full copy of the bill on the site, plus Bills Digest, which is some explanatory notes from Parliament.

Also, you can download a copy of the How to Make A Submission booklet here.

The Finance and Expenditure select committee is made up of the following MPs: Max Bradford (N), Clayton Cosgrove (L), David Cunliffe (L), Rod Donald (G), Peter Dunne (deputy chairperson - United), Bill English (N), Rodney Hide (Act), Luamanuvao Winnie Laban (L), Mark Peck (chairperson - Labour), Winston Peters (NZF), John Tamihere (L), John Wright (Alliance), and Annabel Young (N).

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AIA - Back My Build 6.19 - - -
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