22 May 2012

No discussion on age of eligibility for superannuation

8:16 am on 22 May 2012

The Government is ruling out any discussions on raising the age of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation.

Labour says that being eligible for Government superannuation at 65 is unsustainable and the age should be raised to 67.

Party leader David Shearer wants cross-party talks on the matter.

But Prime Minister John Key, who said before last year's election he would resign before raising the pension age, says the status-quo is affordable.

In 2010, Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan recommended that the age of eligibility be raised to 67 over 13 years from 2020, to make superannuation sustainable.

She says many other countries, including Australia, have signalled they will raise the pension age, and she welcomes cross party discussions.

Mr Shearer says the Prime Minister has his head in the sand for not wanting to discuss raising the age of eligibility.

He told Morning Report that New Zealand will not be able to afford superannuation in 10 - 15 years if the status quo remains.

He said it is a problem which cannot be ignored and he is open to finding other ways to help pay for the scheme.