"TAKE HEART FROM TODD COMMENTS" MRS SHIPLEY SAYS

  • Jenny Shipley
State Services

"New Zealanders can take heart from the Todd Report," the Minister of State Services Jenny Shipley said today.

"Its clearest message was that there is no crisis."

At a public meeting in Wellington, Mrs Shipley referred to the Todd Report's conclusion that the current scheme can be afforded until the year 2015.

"The Todd Report confirms the future of NZ Superannuation is neither bleak nor unsustainable, as it has been painted by those promoting the proposed compulsory retirement savings scheme."

Mrs Shipley says that Statistics Department figures on the "dependency ratio" also confirm that the problem is not as large or as urgent as has been claimed.

"The figures show that the number of people who are dependent compared with the number of people in the workforce is no greater in the year 2040 than it was in 1961. While the number of dependent people aged over 65 does increase gradually through the first half of the next century, at the same time the number of dependent children (aged under 14) decreases. This means that overall the burden on taxpaying workers is not as great or as serious as has been portrayed.

"The Todd Report confirmed that NZ Super is flexible, low cost to run, sustainable for current retirees and able to be modified easily if or when the time comes that change is necessary.

"Claims made justifying the proposed compulsory retirement savings scheme have overstated both the statistics and the economic analysis. There is no need for New Zealanders to be frightened into supporting a compulsory scheme. There is no crisis," Mrs Shipley concluded.