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Save or sink

Savings crisis could be worse than power crisis

Monday, May 26th 2003, 10:50AM
Sovereign today challenged other financial services institutions, the Government and New Zealanders to wake up to a serious savings issue facing the nation.

“Our saving behaviour is spiralling towards a serious crisis despite New Zealanders’ belief in saving, the great work of the Retirement Commissioner in trying to alter attitudes towards saving and various other government initiatives,” says Vena Crawley, Head of Marketing, Sovereign.

“We have an ageing population who believes in saving but aren’t actually doing it, while a younger generation is emerging loaded with debt for the first time in New Zealand’s history. The younger generation, which is a smaller group, is faced with paying off debt early in their working life, saving for themselves and paying for a growing number of retiring New Zealanders.

“Recent industry research has consistently shown that New Zealanders are not saving, there is a growing number who believe the Government will provide an adequate retirement income and New Zealanders have no idea how much they need to save for their retirement.

“There is a great need to address this issue with the same tenacity we are addressing power savings, because it has the potential to have a long-term adverse effect on the economy and New Zealand. That’s why Sovereign is in full support of the Saving New Zealand project launched today by the Investment Savings and Insurance Association (ISI),” he says.

New Zealand has one of the lowest private savings rates of any OECD country. New Zealand’s savings as a percentage of GDP declined from 3.8% in 1996 to 1.1% in 2000.

“Coming up with a savings framework for New Zealand is only possible through partnership and buy-in from a wide cross section of New Zealand—it will not be achieved if it is only backed by one group or sector,” says Mr Crawley.

« What is Saving New Zealand?Plans to help Govt write savings policy »

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