Super Fund fears reinforced

Published: Tue 25 May 2010 05:32 PM
Super Fund fears reinforced
Today’s projection by Statistics New Zealand that the share of workers aged 65 and over is projected to grow from 12 percent in 2006 to 21 percent in 2061 shows the real dangers in National’s continued undermining of the Cullen Fund, says Labour Finance spokesperson David Cunliffe.
“With the workforce ageing, as well as an increasing number of Kiwis becoming eligible for Super and deciding to no longer keep working, it is vital that the Government safeguards the viability of the Cullen Fund,” David Cunliffe said.
“But that’s not happening. Mr English’s decision in last year’s budget to suspend contributions to the Super Fund was an incredibly silly and ill-advised investment decision.
“The so-called English folly is a major embarrassment for National. Since Budget 2009 the Super Fund has increased by $3.6 billion, and in the nine months to 31 March it gained $891 million more than Treasury forecast on its investment portfolio.
“Now that the Budget is out, the picture is even worse. Rather than restoring contributions when the Budget returns to surplus in 2016, National is stubbornly refusing to resume until at least 2019.
“Even that appears doubtful, as Super Fund pre-funding has been removed from the Budget’s table of fiscal risks as ‘no longer required’.
“Bill English had the opportunity to at least partly repair the damage he caused last year in Budget 2010, but he’s got his head well and truly buried in the sand now. He is threatening the future of super and refusing to deal honestly with the public.
“In 1996 there were five workers for every superannuitant. By 2051 we expect the ratio to have dropped to two workers for every superannuitant.
“The unnecessary decade of deferrals places the future of the Super scheme in considerable jeopardy. Kiwis trusted National not to undermine the Super scheme. That trust has been abused,” David Cunliffe said.
“Budget 2010 is a cynical budget in many respects. It is desperately short on vision for the future and on Kiwi values of fairness and justice. Nothing symbolises this more than National’s continued refusal to admit it has got it so badly wrong in relation to Super.”

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