In ‘‘Rethinking retirement’’ (Business, June 3) Shamubeel Eaqub proposes a hard Rexit from our pension system despite it being one of the best in the world. And as he lets fly with the hand grenades, he makes some highly challengeable statements.
For example, that New Zealand Superannuation is expensive. Actually, as a proportion of GDP, our state pension is one of the cheapest in the OECD.
Next, Eaqub argues that our approach to taxation unfairly penalises savers, while at the same time proposing that Super be means-tested. This would surely punish people who have saved extra for their retirement. Then there’s the old saw of making KiwiSaver compulsory, thereby forcing lowerpaid people to take a minimum 3 per cent cut in income. And watch out for compulsion and means testing going hand-in-hand, turning KiwiSaver into a giant confidence trick.
It is true that better targeting of assistance to superannuitants is likely to come through the accommodation supplement, and this will cost a lot. But our retirement income policies have evolved over many decades, and are what they are for good reasons. There are ways of improving their sustainability without simply blowing them up. Malcolm Menzies, Wellington