Uniquely unfair for innocent Kiwis

Prime Minister Bill English must have a political death wish with his proposal to extend the New Zealand Superannuation age to 67 by 2037.  It's certainly the correct approach based on increased longevity and affordability but why raise the eligibility age issue in election year? Particularly when he concedes there is no prospect of passing legislation to implement it. ‘Daft' and ‘delusional' are words that spring to mind. Even although the Labour Party entitlement policy was also 67 years, they are back peddling furiously.

Let's now look at the position of immigrants to NZ – they should not qualify for NZ Superannuation until they have permanently resided in NZ for at least 20 years and then only on the basis of the proportionality factor. For example, a 40-year working life apportionment basis. The current position is particularly infuriating to more than 80,000 Kiwis who spent part of their working lives overseas, retired back to NZ yet cannot receive any NZ Superannuation payments because of the direct deduction policy applied to their personally contributed overseas pension programmes. Paradoxically, this does not apply to Kiwis still living overseas.

It is uniquely unfair and penalises innocent Kiwis. Let's rectify this anomaly immediately along with the immigrant entitlement fiasco.

R Paterson, Mount Maunganui.


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