Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance
18 December 2007 Media Statement
New Zealand well prepared for ageing population
Under the Labour-led government New Zealand has become one of the world’s best-prepared nations to meet the challenge of
an ageing population, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.
Welcoming the release of the Retirement Commissioner’s review of retirement policy, Dr Cullen said that any effort to
focus the attention of New Zealanders on our long-term challenges is one that the government welcomes.
“The Labour-led government believes that all New Zealanders deserve a good standard of living in retirement,” Dr Cullen
“That is why we reversed National’s cuts to superannuation rates, why we have committed ourselves to providing
superannuation at 65, why we have invested heavily in the Superannuation Fund to make that commitment sustainable, and
why we have introduced the hugely successful KiwiSaver scheme.
“The Commissioner is right to point out that fully funding superannuation and KiwiSaver well into the future will be a
challenge, but it is a challenge the Labour-led government believes we can meet. Standard and Poors has already called
New Zealand one of the best-prepared nations in the world to deal with the costs of an ageing population and we think we
can build on that position.
“We will respond fully to the Commissioner’s report early in 2008, but we are opposed to raising the age of
superannuation entitlement, cutting superannuation rates, or cutting KiwiSaver entitlements.
“I hope other parties will clarify their positions in the months ahead. We know that John Key personally supports
raising the age of superannuation entitlement and that Bill English has already hinted about wanting to cut
superannuation rates again.”