What We Could Do With Our Superannuation Fund Today Instead of Squirrelling It Away

Our national superannuation fund will never completely cover annual superannuation payments. It will just provide a small top-up, eventually, maybe. The fund currently stands at $30.1 billion, but it could all disappear in a puff of smoke if there is another financial crash.

Our national superannuation fund invests in the petroleum industry, palm oil companies destroying rainforests, retirement homes that pay staff a pittance, and Israeli Banks that fund illegal settlement construction in Palestine, amongst other things. It pays its CEO over a million dollars a year. 85% of the money is invested offshore. Our super fund provides virtually no benefits for New Zealand.

There are a lot of better uses that $30 billion dollars could be put to right now. Building more state houses springs to mind. Not public/private partnerships that will require tenants to pay market rent, but genuine state-owned low-energy sustainable houses with affordable rents.

$30 billion could be used to help fund the transition to fossil-free energy. We could be the first country in the world to be 100% renewable energy.

$30 billion could be used to write off existing student debt and provide free tertiary education in the future.

$30 billion could be put towards equal pay for care and support workers.

National superannuation was intended to be funded out of government income each year – current taxpayers repaying previous taxpayers for their contributions to the common wealth. It will always be affordable if political parties are prepared to levy realistic taxes, particularly on the wealthy.

We don’t need a national super fund. We do need to deal with the housing crisis and reduce our carbon footprint, and we need to reduce inequality. If we don’t take care of these things now, national superannuation will be the least of our problems in the future.

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