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Minister hi-jacks summit

Finance Minister Michael Cullen has claimed ownership of the Investment Savings and Insurance Association's proposed savings summit.

Thursday, May 8th 2003, 10:59PM

by Philip Macalister

The Investment Savings and Insurance Association (ISI) says it’s time for the financial services industry to stop talking to itself about superannuation, and broaden the debate out to a wider community.

It is proposing that a Savings Summit be held later this year, which brings in other important stakeholders such as the unions and employers.

“At the moment we have too many people saying what is wrong and not enough effort directed to consensus and solutions,” ISI chief executive Vance Arkinstall says.

“The summit will not be driven by ISI. We are prepared to make an initial investment to the project. We are prepared to put in the effort and hard yards to bring together a partnership with a balance of views.”

Arkinstall says the format and issues debated at the summit will be agreed by partnership. He says the ISI is prepared to live with the outcomes, even if they don’t necessarily agree with them.

The idea has been well-received by groups approached, Arkinstall says. Plus it has the support of the Minister of Finance Michael Cullen.

In fact the minister told a recent superannuation and funds management conference that it was his idea.

“Later this year, I propose to hold a forum, in partnership with other interested parties, to discuss ways to revitalise employer-based schemes,” he said. “The objective is to coordinate efforts to help New Zealanders supplement the state pension with their own retirement savings through their workplace. Ideally, this group would develop a framework upon which to proceed in this area, and ensure broad contribution to any proposed initiatives.”

Arkinstall says the outcomes of the summit will also be useful for the Periodic Review Group (PRG), which he chairs.

The PRG is an independent group established by the government every six years to review New Zealand’s savings policies.

« Give workers a say over superDonald continues his attack on intl shares »

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