Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lindsay Mitchell: Pension - What the UK and US save, NZ will pay for


The DomPost today reports on the Ministry of Social Development's push to get more retirees to claim pensions from their birth country to offset what New Zealand has to pay out. Fair enough. NZ has long held reciprocal pension arrangements with a number of countries.

But it raises another issue.

With many of those countries (particularly the United Kingdom, where so many NZ residents were born) lifting their retirement ages, what they save, NZ will have to pay out. Foreign-born new retirees will be eligible for NZ Super at 65 but there will be no immediate offsetting equivalent from their birth country.

Here's what is happening in the UK.

And this is what the US is doing.

It makes sense for NZ to broadly align itself with those countries is has social security arrangements with. This anomaly is yet another reason why John Key should have thought before pledging to hold the Super qualifying age down.

(Of course it would make more sense if people had their own individual pension plans but that's not the current debate. Raising the age of Super entitlement is.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Economically much more effective than following other countries in raising the entitlement age of our universal NZ Super, would be to amend our NZSF into a permanent institution of Personal Accounts (PAs), with contributions to them built into the taxation system.
With the NZSF at $20 billion at present and resumption of allocations to it at the original rate of $2billion a year,the PAs of all those reaching age 65 would cover more than 2 years of their NZ Super before long - and thus achieve a more constructive result than just putting up the NZ Super entitlement age by 2 years.