Proposed super changes 'reasonable and not drastic' - Bill English

Winston Peters has rubbished the Māori Party's idea of dropping the retirement age for Māori and Pacific Islanders.

Those two groups generally have lower life expectancy than others, but Mr Peters says they should improve their "health" before asking for early retirement.

"You have to look at solutions to that - that is a better diet, a whole range of things, including better health," says Mr Peters.

His party New Zealand First has made it a bottom line for post-election negotiations that the age of eligibility for superannuation stays at 65.

That's always been its position, but Mr Peters has sought to underline it after Prime Minister Bill English hinted at the weekend changes could be on the way.

Speaking to The Nation on Saturday, Mr English said the change in leadership gave the Government "the opportunity for a bit of a reset" on its superannuation policy.

Previous leader John Key promised to resign from Parliament if he ever raised the age. Mr English said that was the right call, giving elderly Kiwis stability and certainty through the global financial crisis, but admits it's "just a matter of time" before something has to give.

"We're been paying the bills right now, we've been paying them right through the global financial crisis, alongside putting $18 billion into rebuilding Christchurch," he told The AM Show on Monday.

"You can afford anything if you're willing to make the trade-offs, and it's always a matter of what's fair."

Superannuation currently costs the country $30 million a day, according to Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell, and that'll blow out to $288 million a day by 2050.

As he did on The Nation, Mr English refused to say on The AM Show on Monday when the Government would reveal its "reasonable and not drastic" plans, except that it would be "pretty shortly".

"We want to be able to be quite clear with people what the Government's position is, and with the change of leadership we've taken that opportunity."

Labour advocated for raising the age to 67 at the 2014 election, but dropped the policy after the crushing defeat.

Former leader Phil Goff, also appearing on The AM Show, joked he wasn't about to miss out on his.

"I intend to take full advantage of my superannuation. I'm not going to go that quickly."

Immigrants' eligibility for superannuation is also a part of the Government's review. At present, they're eligible after 10 years resident in New Zealand. Ms Maxwell wants it increased to 25 years.

A married couple drawing on super costs the taxpayer $34,916.96 a year, regardless of their wealth or income.

Newshub.

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