baby boomers

Touching the third rail of superannuation is a brave act by any government, but what about those other curly questions?

Good on you, Bill. I respect political courage. Too often in New Zealand, superannuation promises have been used to buy elections, beginning with Rob Muldoon back in 1975. He made the age of entitlement to universal super 60; it took years of pain and a raft of broken promises to get the age lifted to 65 (back where the old age pension began).

Bill English has made a brave call on super, but is it mere penance for years of bad calls, will New Zealanders face the facts and has he just started a new inter-generational war?

I was talking with a colleague today about Bill English's plan to raise the age of eligibilty for super from 65 to 67 – in 20 years. "What are you," he asked, and I knew immediately what he meant. "Gen X," I replied. "But just old enough to sneak out at 65". He said he'd get caught, I said my wife would too. Then it struck me: This conversation was meaningless.

Contributions to the Super Fund have been suspended since 2009, until the country is back in the black. But does the logic behind that decision make any sense at all?

Amongst Labour's ground-breaking announcement that it will campaign on raising the retirement age and introducing compulsory Super, another major decision got little attention.

The Opposition says it will also kick-start government contributions to the New Zealand Super Fund, which were suspended by National in 2009.

What the Retirement Income Policy and Intergenerational Equity conference told us about selfish generations, and raising the age of pension entitlement

I missed the conference's closing remarks, but here are a few of my own.

The swarm of locusts that is the baby-boomer generation starts retiring this year, so we can delay no longer. The warnings from Treasury are scarily stark. It's time to grasp the question of retirement

In America they talk of the third rail; an issue so charged that to touch it is certain death, politically. It can refer to a number of issues, but most commonly it 's used to describe social security.