Like many New Zealanders, I’ve always been hopeless at saving. So when Kiwisaver came along, I thought this was my big chance. A scheme where there was a decent employer contribution as an incentive, a Government contribution, and my money would be locked in until I retired.
So I searched around for an ethical Kiwisaver provider because I didn’t want my money invested in nuclear weapons, toxic chemicals and the likes, eventually found Asteron, and signed up. So I’m locked into Kiwisaver, and think I had a legitimate expectation, and the 800,000 New Zealanders who have signed up did, that the Kiwisaver rules and benefits wouldn’t change.
Yesterday the National party released its Kiwisaver policy, which guts the scheme to pay for the tax cuts they couldn’t otherwise afford.
The Government contribution (member tax credit) is also cut to 2 per cent. The employer contribution is cut to 2%. The employer tax credit is abolished, so it will be near impossible to persuade employers to contribute more than the minimum 2%.
And worst of all, National proposes to allow employers to pay employees who are in Kiwisaver less than those who are not – essentially meaning that at some stage in the future I could in effect be paying my own employer contribution if my employer decided to do this.
But despite all this, I can’t opt out and go and look for something better. National’s Kiwisaver plans are theft, pure and simple. They are stealing from people like me trying to save for our retirement to deliver tax “relief” to the wealthy for which they have no need.
Steve Pierson summed it up very well over at The Standard with his headline “Nats break into your piggy-bank”.