Labour pledges to boost Superannuation Fund

The Labour Party has put solid figures on its plan to resume payments to the Superannuation Fund, pledging to immediately invest half a billion dollars if elected to power.

Andrew Little said Labour would immediately invest $500m into the Superannuation Fund.
Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

In 2009 the National-led government ceased payments to the Fund, which was set up to help pay for the growing numbers of retirees over coming decades.

It does not intend to resume contributions until 2020.

Labour has long said restarting payments would be one of its first priorities if it is elected to government.

In its first year, it would invest $500 million into the Fund, raising it steadily each year to $2.5 billion in 2021/22 financial year.

Labour finance spokesperson Grant Robertson said if payments had continued over the past eight years, at nearly $53b, instead of its current worth of $33b.

“We cannot afford if we want to keep paying Super out to people in a sustainable way, to not be contributing to the Super Fund.

“We can’t lump on to future generations the full cost of Super, we need to spread it out.”

Mr Robertson said National made the right decision to suspend contributions as New Zealand recovered from the Global Financial Crisis, but the government should have restarted the payments by now.

“Back then National said when once they got into surplus they would restart contributions. They then changed their position to be tagged to an arbitrary debt-ratio. We don’t believe that’s correct.

Labour finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

“We can see from the past performance of the fund that New Zealanders would be significantly better off had we been making contributions.”

New Zealand First said it would go a step further than Labour.

Leader Winston Peters said his party would put an initial $2b into the Fund as soon as it was in a position to do so, and that would be increased each year as a percentage of…

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