Should the accommodation supplement be increased for the elderly?

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 16 April 2019, 9:52AM
Research from the University of Otago shows there is a rising number of retiree renters. Photo / Getty Images.

An investment expert is warning against rushing to raise accommodation supplements for the elderly.

Research from the University of Otago shows there is a rising number of retiree renters - and it says those who don't own a home are left in a worse financial position.

However, Eriksen Global managing director, Jonathan Eriksen, told Mike Yardley NZ Super isn't based on the assumption that people over 65 are homeowners.

"That's not what it is based on at all, that is part of the premise though. When it was contemplated, the aim was that people would be able to save during their working life and retire with a debt-free home, but that trend has been reducing at least for the last 20 years. "

He said a longer life span is also causing issues for elderly retirees.

"The maximum rate of home ownership amongst retired people got to 75 per cent in the 70s. But in those days, people retired at 65 but most of them were dead by 75, but nowadays many should live to be over 85."

"Things are changing a lot and home ownership is just one of them."

He said calls to increase superannuation accommodation supplements are premature.

Eriksen said the housing market is in a volatile position at the moment - but it won't last.

"This is a temporary thing because it is a supply and demand thing. At some stage, not in the near future but in the next 10 years, interest rates will normalise."

He said making KiwiSaver compulsory could help the issue.

However, he said people are getting married later in life which means they are buying houses later in life.

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