Tauākī Aronga mō te Pūnaha Moniwhiwhi Ahungarua o Aotearoa Purpose Statement for New Zealand’s Retirement Income System

The following statement was formed by Retirement Commissioner Jane Wrightson in consultation with an Expert Advisory Group established to assist her to test and debate issues

The Purpose Statement was released in October 2020, and acknowledges the dual role of Government and the individual in preparing for their retirement. It will help the Retirement Commissioner serve New Zealanders and keep their retirement income needs front of mind when mooting or assessing any policy that might affect their standard of living in their later years.

A stable retirement income framework enables trust and confidence that older New Zealand residents can live with dignity and mana, participate in and contribute to society, and enjoy a high level of belonging and connection to their whānau, community and country. 

To help current and future retirees to achieve this, a sustainable retirement income framework’s purpose is twofold: 

  1. To provide NZ Superannuation to ensure an adequate standard of living for New Zealanders of eligible age. NZ Super is the Government’s primary contribution to financial security for the remainder of a person’s life. 
  2. To actively support New Zealanders to build and manage independent savings that contribute to their ability to maintain their own relative standard of living.

The retirement income system sits within the broader government provision of infrastructure also needed to enable older New Zealanders to live well, such as health care, housing, and transport.


Members of the Retirement Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group:

Dr Alison O’Connell, Independent Director and longevity policy analyst

Associate Professor Claire Matthews of Massey University and author of its Retirement Expenditure Guidelines

Dr Kay Saville-Smith of the Centre for Research, Evaluation and Social Assessment

Dr Malcolm Menzies, senior research analyst

Ngahiwi Tomoana, Chair of Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi and a specialist in hapū and iwi development

Dr Simon Chapple, Director of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University

Associate Professor Susan St John, Director of Auckland University’s Retirement Policy and Research Centre

Vui Mark Gosche, Chair of Counties Manukau District Health Board, Chair of Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities.