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Thursday, 16 May 2013

SUPER PAYDAYS ARE UNFAIR NOT SUPER


Many superannuitants are living payday to payday, and finding it difficult to manage. But if they were paid weekly instead of fortnightly they would find it much easier. And they would be getting paid more for nine months of the year.

Household bills arrive monthly and must be paid by certain dates, especially when there are discount-dates, and supermarket specials are issued weekly. But because New Zealand Superannuation is paid fortnightly there is a constant mismatch between income and expenditure.

If superannuitants work out what your monthly average is by dividing your annual total by twelve, you find that with fortnightly payments you are being paid below that monthly average for nine months of the year, and above it for only three--and those three good months are always a long way apart. This year, for example, the above-average months, the good months, are January, July and December. So there's five-month stretch to endure where you are below your monthly average. That situation is unfair and unjust because it makes it more difficult to manage--all because because the government and its bureaucracy cannot be bothered taking real human-beings and real life into account.

If superannuitants were paid weekly instead of fortnightly they would have a better, more even income, and there would be twice as many months in which their income was higher than their monthly average. For example, someone being paid $700 a fortnight would be getting a monthly average of $1517, if you divide the total for the year by twelve, but the actual monthly payments are $1400 for nine months of the year and $2100 for three of them. In 2013 those high months are only January, July and December. Therefore in
February, March, April, May, June, August, September, October and November the payments are $117 below the average, so there are long below-average stretches. But if that same person was paid weekly, the monthly income for January, April, July, October and December would be $1750, and the other months would be $1400, so there would be more above-average months and they would be closer together.

It would be much easier for elderly people to manage. But the Minister for Old Guys, Ancient Monuments, Greyheads and Other Advanced Specimens of Humanity (Hon. Jo Goodhew) and the CEO for the Ministry of Social Development claim that it would cost a fortune to change from paying superannuation fortnightly to weekly. But a brain-damaged earthworm with flat batteries and a spade through its gizzard could work out that it wouldn't cost anything to tell the super computer program to run twice as often. It runs weekly for the dole, so there's no reason it cannot do it for super. Or are unemployed bods worthy of the best treatment but wrinkly bods aren't?

If you agree, and want to put pressure on the government to do the right thing by superannuitants, please sign the petition

( http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/new-zealand-government-pay-superannuitants
-weekly-not-fortnightly-to-make-budgeting-easier ... is the address to cut and paste if the link doesn't work for some reason)