Should you receive NZ Super when you’re older?

Who gets what? Who pays?

Who gets what? Who pays?


KiwiSaver? The Government? Our taxes?The rich? The middle class? Our kids? Our grandkids? You?

These are sensitive questions, sparking hundreds of heated comments whenever we ask them online.

Right now everyone receives the same amount of Super, regardless of how well off they are - $411 for a single, $633 for a couple.

New Zealand is one of only four countries that have flat-rate universal superannuation, the others being Canada, Denmark and Russia.

It’s the biggest benefit in town, costing us $39 million a day.

In 20 years time the cost will triple to $120 million a day.

One quarter of the NZ government’s core operating expenditure goes on superannuation.

But how is it paid for? When we asked Kiwis this question, 41% thought it came out of a “separate fund”. They were wrong.

Super comes out of today’s taxes – the same taxes we need to fund education, health, law and order and everthing else the government pays for.

Many of today’s retirees say that because they have paid taxes all their life, they have “earned” their Super; it’s their “reward”.

So if the taxpayers of today are funding Super for today’s retirees, is it only fair that our children and grandchildren fund our Super later?

Or is that too big a burden to place on them, when the aged population is growing and the number of workers declining ...

By 2040, the ratio of workers to Superannuitants will drop from 4 to 1, to 2 to 1.

By 2060 the number of people aged 65+ will double.

Should the government take more taxes from the likes of health and education to pay the growing Super bill, or find another way to cover the cost: raise taxes? Borrow more?