Two more years of hard labour – Goff plan will encourage leftie MPs to hang on for longer

October 28, 2011

Alf can see an awful down side to Labour’s plan to raise the retirement age.

His concerns are additional to National’s position, that Labour’s retirement plan is a response to unaffordable promises, including across-the-board tax cuts, exempting fresh fruit and veges from GST, and resuming contributions to the Cullen superannuation fund which it says will leave a $16 billion hole in the books.

Labour leader Phil Goff is reported to be hoping he can outflank National on debt and the national savings debate.

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Blood test that can predict our longevity will be a powerful tool in shaping savings policy

September 5, 2011

Alf was alerted to a Spanish company’s announcement that it can help determine when people will die by using a blood sample, a US$700 test, and research that earned three American geneticists the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2009.

The tip-off came from a Freakonomics post which raises very important political issues.

For example, if governments obliged citizens to take such tests to find out how long each of us will live, they will have a powerful tool for dealing with the savings problem.

As happens in this country, pervasive under-saving among American households is a consequence of the fact we don’t know how long our savings need to last.

Save too much and you miss out on having fun when you’re alive. Save too little and you end up broke and reliant on the social safety net that taxpayers fund.

But let’s not jump the gun.

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SOS: save our savings from Cullen’s sorcery

June 22, 2009

The Kiwisaver scheme, proudly introduced by Michael Cullen when Clark and her coven were running the shop, was supposed to perform the alchemy of lifting the nation’s savings

Guess what?

Black magic. The savings habit has been shrunk.

The number of New Zealanders saving regularly has dropped in the past four years despite more than a quarter of adults joining KiwiSaver.

A Retirement Commission survey carried out in March and April has found that only 49 per cent of adults aged 18 and over are now saving regularly, down from 53 per cent in the commission’s first survey in 2005.
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Lifting standards in the finance sector

April 21, 2009

Another blow has been struck on behalf of investors who lost their savings over the last two or so years thanks to the bum advice of financial advisers.

It won’t recover their lost savings, but it will give them the satisfaction (a scant one, maybe) of knowing future investors will be better protected.

The Securities Commission yesterday announced the beginning of consultation on skills required for financial advisers.

All people interested in the competency of financial advisers are invited to make submissions on the skills advisers will be required to have under a new law.
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