20 May 2022

2022 BUDGET – Was the retired community, ignored or forgotten?

Are you receiving NZ Superannuation? 

If you are, then no, you are not one of the 2.1 million Kiwi’s getting the $350 cost of living supplement announced in the 2022 Budget. If you hold a Gold card the extension of the half priced public transport provision is meaningless.  


The cost-of-living supplement only applies to those earning less than $70k p.a. this includes the majority of the retired community; however, they are excluded as recipients of NZ Super they automatically receive Winter Energy Supplements. Effectively the Government’s 2022 budget has said to the retired community; 


  • We have increased NZ Super in 2022 by 5% to account for inflation  
  • You already receive the Winter Energy Supplement, so you are not entitled to the Cost of Living Income Supplement.  

This approach ignores the fact that that NZ Super is barely enough to meet basic living costs in retirement in any event. Simply seeking to maintain an underperforming status quo is deeply disappointing for retired New Zealand. 


Ralph Stewart, leading retirement income specialist in New Zealand, notes: 

Our retirees in New Zealand were struggling before the spike in the cost of living. NZ Super always offered a basic retirement income base.

The Massey's NZ Fin-Ed Centre (published July 2021) in 2020, notes provincial residents would meet just 66.9% of total income from NZ Super in 2020, down from 79.8% in 2016, urban residents would get 21.7% of income met by NZ Super, down from 22.9% four years ago. 

Ralph Stewart, Founder and Managing Director of Lifetime Asset Management.

Ralph Stewart, Founder and Managing Director of Lifetime Asset Management.

“Attempting to address the cost of living challenges for the ‘squeezed’ middle and ignoring the retirement sector is a serious oversight. The retirement community were challenged well before the advent of higher inflation, and have suffered the real impact of lower retirement incomes arising from the ultra-low interest rates of the last five years. 


The 2022 Budget ignores the retirement community and the challenges this group faces as an important part of middle New Zealand.” 


Trading of the Winter Energy supplement for the cost of the living supplement is wrong. The retired community should be entitled to the cost of living supplement just like everybody else struggling in middle New Zealand today.”  

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Written by:

Ralph Stewart

Ralph Stewart is the Founder and Managing Director of the Lifetime Asset Management, managers of the Lifetime Retirement Income Fund.

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