The Retirement Commission’s political campaigning on the Super age undermines its aim of improving financial futures for New Zealanders.

It’s essential that young New Zealanders are given realistic expectations about the future of Super. Politicians across the spectrum have made unrealistic promises about leaving Super alone, knowing they won’t still be in power to deal with the consequences of rising costs.

Twenty-six per cent of the population is projected to be over 65 years old by 2060, compared to 16 per cent in 2020. And with New Zealanders living longer, we’re collecting Super for a longer period of time. Rising costs will present future politicians with a difficult choice between increasing the Super age, or cutting payments, or hiking taxes, or cutting other services.

Remember that under Phil Goff, Labour campaigned on raising the age. Then they reversed position. Meanwhile, National went the other way when Bill English overturned John Key’s promise to keep the age at 65.

And more recently, as if flip-flopping major parties wasn’t enough, the Retirement Commission has u-turned on its previous recommendation of a well-signalled increase to the Super age. These kinds of mixed messages do no favours for young Kiwis trying to plan and save for retirement.

The Retirement Commission has been acting like a taxpayer-funded campaign group, and it’s not even a consistent one.

This is the reason ACT has proposed reforming the Commission to transform it from a noisy lobby group into an organisation with real responsibility for issues facing Kiwis in retirement villages and those who choose to age at home.

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