Management at Lifetime Retirement Income believes that the retirement savings industry needs to lift its game if it wants to help prevent hardship among the elderly in future. Managing director, Ralph Stewart, goes as far as to accuse the industry of “immaturity” and even “financial illiteracy”.
He argues a lot of the industry problems stem from general solutions to savings questions, not bespoke programmes that meet the individual needs of elderly people. Stewart's comments came in the wake of a special research programme by Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission, which delved into the living conditions of elderly people by looking at six focus groups.
Those groups spanned gender, ethnicity and regions, and comprised three sets of people with total annual household income under $50,000 and three with income over $50,000. That income included pensions, wages and returns on investments.
The research found there was intense gratitude across all groups for regular payments of NZ Super, with people joking they would be “living on the streets” or “robbing a bank” without them.