The number of Kiwis above the retirement age has increased by 24 per cent since the last census, showing action is needed to keep universal superannuation sustainable, says Labour Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“It is clear from the census figures released today that our population is ageing dramatically.
“Not only has the number of people in retirement age increased by almost a quarter, the median age of Kiwis is now 38 – two years older than it was seven years ago.
“This will have a huge impact on superannuation with costs already ballooning from $7.3 billion dollars to $10.2 billion dollars since 2008. We need to put a plan in place now to deal with this ballooning cost.
“Labour’s plan is to start steadily raising the retirement age to 67,starting by increasing the age of eligibility by two months per year from 2020. That’s a fair and reasonable way to ensure we can pay for our retirement and means that no one currently older than 58 will have to work beyond 65. We will also have an exception for those in labour-intensive jobs that can’t work after 65 and need super.
“Labour understands the importance of universal superannuation to people. That’s why we are committed to keeping it in a way that is fair across generations. If we don’t steadily raise the age, Treasury says we will have to lift GST to 17 per cent.
“Polls show that New Zealanders support our policy.
“John Key has to look at today’s census figures and realise that it is now time to put his own political interests aside and be responsible,” David Parker says.
3 December 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT