Super changes fair but rushed, migrant groups say

7:13 am on 7 March 2017

Immigrant groups are backing the government's plan to double superannuation residency requirements, starting next year - but also think the policy is being rolled out too quickly.

no caption

Photo: 123rf

Under the proposed changes, immigrants will have to live in New Zealand for 20 years rather than ten before they qualify for Super.

Five of those years would have to come after the person turned 50.

Should National be re-elected, the law would come into force next year.

The age for New Zealand-born residents will also be raised, from 65 to 67, but this change is set to come into force gradually from 2037 to 2040.

New Zealand Indian Central Association president Bhiku Bhana said the one-year rollout for immigrants was too heavy handed, and could be delayed if the general superannuation age was raised earlier.

"The 20-year gap is a big jump from 2017 to 2037. I would've thought that would've been brought in sooner. If that was brought in, say, 2027, that would certainly ease the burden."

Auckland Chinese Community Centre chair Kai Luey said there would be a lot of affected Chinese families because many immigrants to New Zealand later brought their parents or grandparents across to reunite the family.

But, all in all, he said the move made sense.

"I think it's quite a fair rule," he said.

"It might directly affect some people but giving rewards to people who've been in the tax system for a long period of time as opposed to some who've only been in the tax system briefly, if at all ... it seems to be a very fair type of legislation to me."

Mr Luey said people needed to be responsible during their working years.

"Prudent people try to build for their retirement during their working life.

"[While] the universal superannuation scheme has been a great system for New Zealanders, the philosophy I feel is people should work hard during their working life to lay [money aside] for a comfortable retirement."

  • Cross-party problems for Bill's super switch
  • Farewell, beautiful if irrational super dream
  • Allies and rivals react to National's super age change
  • Govt to raise NZ Super age to 67 in 2040
  • Recap: Govt to raise pension age to 67