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Super still needed if sea levels rise

Finance minister Michael Cullen answers question on super in Parliament on the day the New Zealand Superannuation bill passes its second reading.

Tuesday, July 24th 2001, 9:31PM

MARK PECK (Labour) to the Minister of Finance Michael Cullen:

Q: Has he received any reports on the future of New Zealand Superannuation; if so, what do they say?

A: I received a report that the National Party, like the Greens, would like the same arrangements we would like for entitlements, but do not like the way we propose to pay for them. I also note that Greens support in a recent poll has halved.

Q: What will happen as a result of this?

A: This will not stop the bill passing. But it does create some uncertainty for the public.

Q: Bill English (National): Can he confirm that funding cuts for the care of the frail elderly are the result of his plans?

A: No.

Q: Richard Prebble (ACT): Has he seen the report of the FEC, chaired by Mark Peck, that says that the government will be borrowing every penny of the money to be deposited in the pre-funding scheme? And is our opposition to this scheme the reason that ACT has gone up in its poll support?

A: He and his colleagues have promised to spend more than we intend to save in the super fund. The member has, I understand, argued that putting $1000 into an account at birth will generate an annuity at retirement. That said the most honest alternative to the proposals of this government has come from the ACT Party, and that is to raise the age of entitlement to 68 and to de-link payments to wage levels.

Q: Rod Donald (Green): Has he seen any reports on the cost of adapting to climate change? And how will his super savings plans impact on this?

A: Even if the sea-level rises, super will still be needed by retiring people.

« Super fund cripples elderly careAMP & Good Returns launch superannuation website »

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