Over at Policy Progress David Choat has written up a few observations on the future affordability of New Zealand Superannuation, based on presentations at the recent Retirement Income Policy and Intergenerational Equity Conference. Choat looks at various projections of the cost of the ‘retirement boom’ and some of the alternative options. He concludes by essentially arguing we have a choice: change our current entitlements or increase taxes to keep them as they are.
That conclusion highlights the folly of the arguments people like Don Brash have been putting forward. Brash argues that current Super entitlements are unaffordable. Fullstop. Brash and his contemporaries in National have spent years arguing that massive tax cuts are affordable and necessary. They’ve conveniently overlooked one of the biggest longterm implications – less money to pay for the baby boomer’s retirement!
I want to see New Zealand Superannuation remain as it is, a universal entitlement from the age of 65. But John Key’s promise to resign rather than cut it looks pretty hollow given his total lack of a plan for how to pay for it. In 10-15 years time when the crunch comes, Key will be off sunning himself in Hawaii while future generations work out how to plug the massive hole he and his crew have left us with.