500 signatures reached
To: The House of Representatives
KiwiSaver Parity Project
We propose a change to the KiwiSaver Act to reduce inequality in retirement savings.
We believe there is an urgent need for a Contribution Sharing Scheme to allow partners to share KiwiSaver contributions so that one is not financially disadvantaged by staying home with children or earning less.
Why is this important?
KiwiSaver is a crucial tool in saving for retirement and any flaws that create the potential for inequality must be addressed.
The voluntary Contribution Sharing Scheme would allow couples (whether married or de facto) to share KiwiSaver contributions to ensure that the person foregoing paid work to have and/or care for children, earning less due to family responsibilities, or earning less due to various pay gaps compared to their full-time working partner, is not financially disadvantaged in retirement.
This would benefit all families, which come in different shapes and sizes, and would particularly bring retirement parity to women who have lower KiwiSaver balances due to the gender pay gap and who typically are the ones who take time out of the workforce to have and care for children.
• The Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission has reported in 2022 the average KiwiSaver balance for women is 20 percent lower than for men(1).
• A one-year parental leave break is expected to cost the average KiwiSaver member $5,100 to an individual’s KiwiSaver balance based on a 35-year-old earning $80,000 per year. That can compound up to $16,000 by the time someone reaches the age of 65 and this will grow exponentially over the years taken off or working part-time to care for children(2).
• More often than not, women are paid less than men and those lower salaries translate through to lower KiwiSaver balances (Stats NZ reported the gender pay gap for the June 2022 quarter was 9.2%)(3).
I see the impacts of this issue in my own family situation. My wife’s KiwiSaver balance is less than 40 percent of my own, primarily because she has taken time out of the workforce to have and take care of our children. It is not fair that she be penalised when her taking time off work for maternity and childcare has been of great benefit to us both.
Introducing this Contribution Sharing Scheme is a relatively simple change that can make a massive difference to people’s lives. And this is not a world first: a similar type of scheme already exists in Australia and has been extremely successful.
Sign the petition to ask the Government to address this systemic flaw in the KiwiSaver system, and reduce inequality in retirement savings.
1. Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission (https://retirement.govt.nz/news/latest-news/new-data-reveals-for-the-first-time-largest-breakdown-of-kiwisaver-balances-across-all-ages-and-genders)
2. Based on a 35-year-old earning $80,000/ year contributing 3% of their salary investing in a growth fund up until they turn 65
3. Stats NZ - June 2022 quarter gender pay gap (https://stats.govt.nz/information-releases/labour-market-statistics-income-june-2022-quarter)