Re­tire­ment in­come in the 19th cen­tury

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

There has been a lot of me­dia dis­cus­sion lately about re­tire­ment in­come, su­per­an­nu­a­tion el­i­gi­bil­ity etc.

To put it in per­spec­tive, think about the nu­mer­ous re­quire­ments for the first oldage pen­sion in New Zealand, in 1898.

A pen­sioner had to be aged at least 65, have been res­i­dent in New Zealand for 25 years, have not de­serted their hus­band/ wife or, ‘‘ with­out just cause’’, failed to pro­vide for the main­te­nance of a wife, or their chil­dren un­der the age of 14 years, not have dur­ing the pre­vi­ous 12 years been im­pris­oned for four months or on four sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions, or dur­ing the pre­vi­ous 25 years been sen­tenced to five years in prison ‘‘for any of­fence dis­hon­our­ing him in the pub­lic es­ti­ma­tion’’.

Another stip­u­la­tion re­quired ‘‘he [the pen­sioner] is of good moral char­ac­ter and has for five years been lead­ing a sober and rep­utable life’’.

The pen­sion was also means-tested.

Ac­cord­ing to the 1899 Year­book, ‘‘ the full pen­sion is £18 a year [$3189 now], payable in 12 monthly in­stal­ments.

‘‘ For each £ 1 of in­come above £34, also for each £15 of ac­cu­mu­lated prop­erty above £50, £1 is de­ducted from the amount of the pen­sion.’’

In other words, pen­sion­ers would re­ceive noth­ing if they earned more than £52 a year or owned prop­erty worth more than £270.

How would we moderns stand up to that kind of scru­tiny?

Mov­ing on, now that the lo­cal body elec­tions are over, I have a com­ment to make.

I have lived in Wai­tan­girua for more than 16 years, and this was the first time any can­di­date knocked on my door. What a re­fresh­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

I was de­lighted to see that can­di­date has been elected as a new mem­ber of Porirua City Coun­cil.

When you think about it, how do th­ese can­di­dates ex­pect us to vote for them if we have never laid eyes on them?

And now some com­ments on the ad­vent of Grey Power Elec­tric­ity.

Many of our mem­bers have found that they can ex­pect con­sid­er­able fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits from chang­ing to the new en­tity – some up to $ 60 a month.

It’s worth the ef­fort of in­ves­ti­gat­ing (0800 473 976).

Last month, we heard from Jen Bo­ryer of the Cap­i­tal & Coast Dis­trict Health Board.

She gave us an overview of the ac­tiv­i­ties and ser­vices at Kenepuru Hos­pi­tal and many of us were sur­prised at the range she cov­ered.

This month, we hold our last meet­ing for the year, so it is a so­cial event.

At­ten­dees are asked to bring a cou­ple of things: a small con­tri­bu­tion to the af­ter­noon tea (in the form of food), and any craft items they may have pro­duced – knit­ting, cro­chet, em­broi­dery, wood­work, greet­ing cards, and so on. (It would be nice to know how our mem­bers oc­cupy their spare time.)

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