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Support for new savings scheme

The government's political allies (The Green and Progressive parties), plus the Retirement Commissioner, CTU and PSA all show their support for the Government's latest super move.

Wednesday, November 5th 2003, 9:53PM
Use these links to find out what people are saying about the Government's savings scheme for civil servants.

Super move, Mr Mallard!

The Green Party is congratulating the Government for taking the lead in providing employer-subsidised superannuation for public servants.

“The Greens have been pushing the government for several years to its money where its mouth is when it comes to encouraging people to save for their retirement," Green Co-leader Rod Donald said.

“Today’s announcement is one small step in the right direction but it’s still a long way from the level of support that used to be provided in the days of the Government Superannuation Fund.

“We can only hope that State Services Minister, Trevor Mallard will be able to persuade Finance Minister Michael Cullen to lift the level of subsidy above the miserly three per cent he’s currently offering.

“It’s also a shame that only those public servants earning more than $60,000 will get a six per cent tax incentive on the government subsidy, while middle and low income state employees will miss out.”

This is a press release from the Green Party

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Commissioner supports Govt’s workplace saving initiative
The Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan is supportive of the government’s superannuation savings scheme for state sector employees.

“As a major employer I'm very pleased to see the government taking a lead by providing their staff with access to a retirement savings scheme,” Crossan says.

"Workplace saving is one of the most effective ways to prepare for retirement, as savings are taken directly out of your pay before you have a chance to spend. Schemes where the employer makes a contribution are definitely worth serious consideration,” she says.

“For state sector employees entitled to join the scheme next year, this is very good news,” Crossan says. “In effect, the scheme is like a pay rise.”

“It’s easy to put long-term saving off. I encourage each person eligible for the scheme to consider this option as soon as possible.”

“It is very encouraging to see such a positive approach to workplace saving. Employers and unions working together like this for the benefit of employees could also be a good model for the private sector,” says the Retirement Commissioner.

“Most employees in the private sector do not have access to a scheme. I hope to see other employers taking the government’s lead and provide staff with access to retirement savings schemes,” says the Retirement Commissioner.

This is a press release from the Retirement Commissioner

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Private sector should follow government lead on retirement savings
“The Government’s lead on retirement savings should encourage employers in the private sector to make contributions to retirement savings for workers,” Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson says.

He said the Government’s announcement that it is introducing a new retirement savings scheme for core public service employees is good news for workers.

“The unions involved can take pride in re-establishing a superannuation scheme in the state sector,” he said.

The CTU has worked closely with unions in the public sector on retirement savings issues and was represented on the working party which developed the proposals for this new scheme.

Other recent changes to prospectus requirements and tax on employer contributions also are moving in the right direction, Ross Wilson said.

This is a press release from the CTU

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PSA welcomes new super scheme
The new public service retirement savings scheme announced by the Prime Minister and the Minister of State Services is great news and is a prime example of a partnership approach between unions, government, and employers at work, PSA national secretary Lynn Middleton says.

“The new scheme is the result of a collaborative effort between PSA, the CTU and other state sector unions, government officials and employers. PSA is delighted to have been instrumental in getting the scheme to this point as it means our members working in the public service now have a real chance at saving for their retirement.”

Lynn Middleton said the features of the scheme which PSA were particularly pleased about were:

  • It is based in the workplace – there is plenty of evidence that the workplace is the most effective place to base retirement savings schemes
  • There is an employer contribution – this is essential in ensuring a good take-up in a voluntary scheme; 1.5% less withholding tax in 2004 and another 1.5% less withholding tax in 2005
  • The government is making available new money to kick-start the savings programme
  • The scheme will be transferable and portable in recognition of the more flexible labour market that exists in the public service these days.
“PSA would like to acknowledge the positive approach taken by the Labour Government in progressing this issue. Retirement savings are essential for people to live comfortably once they retire. If they don’t have a bit extra apart from their pensions, it can be a struggle.”

Lynn Middleton said PSA’s long term aim was for public service employers to match up to 6 percent of their employees’ salaries so that a total of 12% of their gross salary is going into their retirement schemes.

This is a press release from the PSA

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Progressive step to enhance security in retirement
The coalition government's decision to encourage public sector employees to save more for their retirement through an employer-supported retirement savings scheme is "another progressive step to enhance peoples' financial security in retirement," Progressive Party leader, Jim Anderton, said today.

"It is important that the government, as an employer, sets a good example in rewarding those in the productive workforce to get into the habit of taking steps where they can to improve their financial security in retirement," Jim Anderton said.

New Zealand has run current account deficits in each and every year for over quarter of a century which means that New Zealand needs to both export more high quality goods and services and that New Zealanders need to save more than they have been if they can.

The Progressive Party is also committed to the government providing all people aged over 65 with government-funded universal superannuation and believes the government itself should save now to ensure this policy can be afforded into the future.

This contrasts with National, whose leader Don Brash has indicated he would like to raise the age of eligibility for New Zealand superannuation. National would also destroy the coalition government's new Superannuation Fund which is the Labour Progressive government's way of saving now to help pay for known government pension liabilities in future years and for a future generation of New Zealanders.

This is a press release from the Progressive Party

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« Government move supportedAMP welcomes state sector saving plan »

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