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Calls for superannuation age rise

Monday 11 Jun 2012 6:10 p.m.

By Political Editor Duncan Garner

They told him he had got it wrong over education - and he listened.

Now they are telling him again.

A 3 News poll shows two out of three voters want John Key to break a policy promise, and raise the age from which New Zealand superannuation payments can be claimed – from 65 to 66, or even 67.

The Prime Minister is refusing to have the debate - so the country is having it for him.

In a special 3 News Reid Research Poll of 1000 voters, 63% say yes push the age up to 66 or 67 from the year 2020 - or even earlier and just 37% say no don't do it.

But remember the Prime Minister has promised not to touch it.

“As I’ve said on numerous occasions I’d rather resign as Prime Minister,” John Key has said.

“I’m a man who keeps my word – I don’t change it lightly,” he says.

The cost of super is blowing out - it will cost $12 billion a year by 2016, the same as the entire education budget.

And the Retirement Commissioner is hoping the poll gives the Prime Minister a hurry-up.

“New Zealand is lagging behind on this one – people need time to make the adjustments we need this announced as soon as we can,” says Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan.

3 News also asked voters if Mr Key should abandon his promise not to change the rules:

  • 54% said yes
  • 38 said no
  • 8% did not know
  • And pressure is mounting in Parliament too - all Mr Key's coalition partners now want the issue looked at.

    John Banks says increase the age and Peter Dunne and Tariana Turia want the age at when you get super to become more flexible, but still the Prime Minister says it is not worth his attention.

    The poll also asked if Mr Key did signal change would that amount to a broken promise: a nudge over half said yes, and just under half said no.

    And after the teacher debacle Mr Key is hardly in the mood to test voters again, even if the majority say he is ignoring the obvious - that 65 is no longer sustainable.

    3 News

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