Most Kiwis don’t want NZ Super to change

June 15, 2023

According to a recent study* by the University of Otago on behalf of Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission, Kiwis are opposed to raising the pension age and means-testing NZ Super, but are open to increasing taxes to avoid burdening future generations. Here are some interesting findings.

People prefer universal pensions and unchanged retirement age

The goal of the survey was to identify any changes in attitudes towards retirement income policies between 2014 and 2022.

Interestingly, compared to 2014, people’s confidence about having a comfortable retirement was 15% lower. Nearly one in four respondents considered maintaining the pension eligibility age at 65 as the most crucial aspect of NZ Super (compared to almost a fifth of people in 2014). And for 61% of respondents, raising the pension eligibility age to 67 would be the worst policy option amongst the seven presented – showing increased unpopularity compared to the 2014 study.

What’s more, most respondents said they still preferred NZ Super to remain a universal pension, rather than become means-tested as in other countries. Plus, they opposed policies that would lead to significant tax increases for future generations, saying they would rather support higher current taxes.

Why these findings are important

Presenting the study, Retirement Commissioner Jane Wrightson highlighted that these findings support the key recommendations made in the 2022 Review of Retirement Income Policies – particularly when it comes to keeping the current retirement age.

“It’s once again been demonstrated just how critical the role of NZ Super plays to large numbers of New Zealanders, now and in the future,” said Wrightson, adding that 40% of people currently aged 65 and over have virtually no other income besides their Superannuation payments. To ensure positive retirement outcomes, Wrightson proposed investigating other support mechanisms.

Are you on track for retirement?

While NZ Super provides invaluable financial support, as data shows, it’s unfortunately not enough to cover most households’ spending needs. That’s why, depending on your needs and goals, it’s important to also consider other income sources – be that KiwiSaver or other investments.

Like to discuss your circumstances? Get in touch. We can help you understand where you’re at and get a plan in place to meet your long-term goals.

*Methodology: The study surveyed almost 1,300 people across various demographics, gauging preferences over seven aspects of retirement income policy, including NZ Super and savings-related aspects.

The information contained in this publication is intended for general guidance and information only. It has not been personally prepared for you. Therefore, you should not act on this information if you have not considered the appropriateness of this information to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. You should consult with us before making any investment decision. Historical market performance may not be indicative of future market performance.