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Taranaki Daily News

Reaction in Letter to the Editor
Dear Editor,

In response to your article on Tuesday 6th April “Overseas pension earners out of luck”, in which Minister John Carter indicates New Zealand superannuation to be fair, this is a misleading statement by a Senior Minister. Overly generous may be, but only to those, who have made very little or no contribution to New Zealand in an economic or social way. The Minister uses the word equity.

But, under the 10 years residency clause a resident, who has been 10 years in New Zealand of which 5 years after the age of 50, is entitled to a full New Zealand super, totally disregarding the contributions of a person who has never left New Zealand.

Is this equity?

The Human Rights Commission, over a period of many years has received countless letters complaining about the grossly unfair Direct Deduction Policy and requested a study to be done at the Auckland University Business School; a forum was held on 24th February in Auckland, attended by many organizations and individuals who are affected, where their views were presented in discussion or in a report. At this most important forum politicians and newspaper reporters were not present.

The study is highly critical of the present situation regarding the Direct Deduction Policy, and recommends a different approach.

Over many years, the Multi-National Superannuation Council has had lengthy contacts with various Ministers in control of this policy. We presented to these Ministers the proposal “That a person with an overseas pension entitlement is allowed to keep that entitlement and will receive New Zealand super for the years the person has been present in New Zealand between the ages 20 to 65. If the combined sum is below the level of New Zealand super, this sum is then to be topped up under the residency clause to the level of New Zealand super”.

The proposal made by the Auckland University is very similar to what we proposed years ago and even our local Member of Parliament knows this.

However, Minister John Carter indicates in your article that we argue to be able to keep both pensions in full. Also, in Mr. John Carter’s last and final letter to our Council, he wrote “That he has viewed the many letters we wrote to many Ministers”, but he has failed to view and study our proposal, which we forwarded to the Hon Ruth Dyson and the Hon Minister P Bennett.

Instead of taking notice of our proposal and the reports, Minister John Carter doggedly follows an old socialistic doctrine, and leaves it to pension schemes from overseas to subsidize New Zealand’s antiquated and basic superannuation pension.

John B Albers. President Multi-National Superannuation Council