Make it easy but don’t make it complusory

A poll shows a majority of New Zealanders favour the reintroduction of a universal Kiwisaver scheme.

Almost three out of four New Zealanders agree now that it was a mistake to scrap the 1975 scheme, according to research that was commissioned by the Financial Services Council and run during December.

A Horizon Research Survey of 2107 respondents and matched to the adult population, asked whether all New Zealander employees should be required to belong to KiwiSaver and whether it was a mistake for New Zealand to abolish its compulsory super scheme in 1976.

“This was once an issue that bitterly divided New Zealanders, but there has been a huge turnaround and now supporters of all parties agree that cancelling the 1975 Superannuation Scheme was a mistake and that universal coverage by KiwiSaver is supported,” the chief executive of the Financial Services Council Mr Peter Neilson said. . .

The scheme that was scrapped in 1975 wasn’t  Kiwisaver.

Saving for retirement is in general benefits individuals and the economy.

It is good to encourage people to save for their own retirement and that it should be as easy as possible for them to do so.

I can see a problem in a few decades when there’s a huge divide between retirees who have the safety net of a Kiwisaver account to make retirement easier and those who don’t.

But I am very wary of making it compulsory.

Most people are capable of making their own judgement about what’s the best use of their own money and investing in their own business or paying off a mortgage might be better for them than a Kiwisaver account.

32 Responses to Make it easy but don’t make it complusory

  1. there are thousands who dont have either a business, a mortgage or a kiwisaver account. How are they encouraged to save?


  2. Sorry to put my nose in again, but Dave, it’s not the government’s role to ‘encourage people to save’: it’s thinking it is that we have people now who don’t understand this. And quite apart from compulsory Kiwisaver being repugnant, it is economically retrograde … there’s a lot of vested interest lobbying for compulsion, which ill serves us as a country. I posted on this early in the new year here:


  3. Mark, I never said it was the govts role to encourage people to save. Unlike you, I have an open mind on how kiwis should save, or be encouraged to do so, and so I merely raised the question.


  4. homepaddock says:

    The initial $1,000 when you open an account and money from government and employers when you contribute is strong encouragement.


  5. Dave, you posed the question ‘how should kiwis be encouraged to save’ … my answer was it’s not ‘our’ business to do that: left alone people will find it’s in their rational self-interest to do so. The important thing is getting our society back to a point where people are left alone who want to me.

    Regarding open mindedness, two answers: first I’m leaving it completely open as to how people save, that’s why I’m against compulsion, second, you can be so open minded you end up believing in nothing … that is precisely why statism has now ended freedom in the West (again) 😉


  6. People *are* left alone to save how they want to, should they wish to save. Yyou are not open minded- your mind is closed to compulsion. No run away and debate someone else.


  7. To be open minded about compulsion is a contradiction: denoting the sloppy thinking that has killed classical liberalism. And people aren’t left alone to save how they want to: the bulk of the money I could save, the top third of my income, is taken in tax.


  8. Andrei says:

    It is good to encourage people to save for their own retirement and that it should be as easy as possible for them to do so.

    I can see a problem in a few decades when there’s a huge divide between retirees who have the safety net of a Kiwisaver account to make retirement easier and those who don’t.

    All this is is a way to channel more money for the money men to play and take their slurps from as they move it about in the here and now while supplying diddly for the poor mugs whose money it is forty years from now.

    Reality check – if a substantial proportion of the population has million dollar bank accounts then a million dollars is not actually going to be able to actually buy very much.

    Sadly we live in an age with mediocre at best leadership who are busy squandering the wealth their vastly better predecessors built and investing what little we have left in crap while destroying and undermineing productivity with bullshit like the ETS and exporting real jobs making real things to China while celebrating themselves with big parties in $2 million dollar plastc wakas.


  9. robertguyton says:

    “To be open minded about compulsion is a contradiction:”

    What nonsense, Mark. Dave was right to say that by declaring that compulsion is off the table for you, you have exhibited a degree of closed-mindedness.
    Compulsion can be a component of “being open to how people save”. “People” may choose a compulsive system, knowing that their resolve might erode over time. It’s like choosing to ban one’self from a casino when you know you’re addictive and really want to stop. Personal choice to instigate a compulsive scheme.


  10. Andrei says:

    The initial $1,000 when you open an account

    To add context to by comment below – where does this $1000 come from?

    It is either created out of thin air by the Government or borrowed at interest. Either way it makes everyone elses dollars worth just a little less that they were before


  11. TraceyS says:

    Yes make it compulsory, but only for employees. That will encourage more people to become self-employed contractors and business owners in order to have more control over their own money that they have earned and have a right to do what they wish with after paying their tax. That would be good for NZ. Look at where most of the jobs are – in small businesses.

    And if the government has money to put into Kiwisaver for every employed person in the country, how about doing the equivalent for small business owners by giving tax breaks for being small and beautiful? (not to mention resilient, essential, innovative and flexible).


  12. But they may not choose a compulsive system for me (because then it doesn’t matter whether I’m open minded or not, I’m stuck with it). Any form of compulsion closes the mind, because it closes choices off, completely. It is repugnant. That was my point: the immorality of compulsion.


  13. robertguyton says:

    Self-chosen compulsion is not ‘repugnant’.
    You can choose to cancel your own credit card so that you aren’t able to weaken and spend.
    That’s not repugnant.
    That’s bold, responsible strategy.


  14. Andrei says:

    Um Robert you can choose to do something or you can choose not to do something, that is good and is called self determination

    Or somebody can make you do something or prevent you from doing something you would have otherwise done – that is compulsion when you are forced to follow the will of others and that is BAD that is slavery and serfdom. It is to be resisted at all costs


  15. Self chosen compulsion is therefore an individual’s choice: that’s not what we’re discussing here. Compulsory Kiwisaver as envisaged is something completely different. It’s choice taken away from me by an external other.

    Do you believe your freedom of choice includes being able to take away my freedom of choice? That’s what in arguing for compulsory Kiwisaver, which is that this thread’s about, you are arguing for. Now you justify that to me morally, because it’s morally repugnant, and I despair someone who has a vote can’t understand something so basic as this.

    To put in another way: where is your open mind to impose compulsion allowed to close my mind by taking my choices (rights) from me?

    This is now the non-initiation of force principle, without which there can be no free, and certainly no decent, society. This rampant statism has been the end of us.


  16. Oh, good on Andrei … we were posting at the same time 🙂


  17. robertguyton says:

    Andrei – you can’t choose to drive on the right, unless you are prepared to face the consequences (and the on-coming traffic). There are many pressures on the individual that act as compulsion, most of which are agreed-to by most people as a form of ‘greater-good’. People can and have to, hand over their day-to-day decision-making to elected agencies. If they didn’t, daily life would become exhausting as we each re-asses our views on a number of complex issues, (Should I fence my livestock off from the road, or not???)
    You Libertarians are so hung up on this compulsion thing. just relax and enjoy your slavery. In fact, I don’t support compulsion around Kiwisaver at all. I do support compulsory fencing of cows from highways though. makes travel at night so much more relaxing.


  18. Rules regarding which side of the road we drive are not a test of compulsion: those choosing to travel on the opposite side of the road are undertaking criminal behaviour as they are imposing ‘force’ on others that will lead to their death (and this death or injury is the only logical result from transgressing this).

    For same reason, yes you should fence off your livestock, otherwise rightly be liable for criminal prosecution if someone is harmed by hitting your stock.

    Compare this to, however, to the hoary old chestnut of wearing a cycle helmet, or not. That is an individual choice because not wearing a helmet is imposing no force on any other party. Personally, I think not wearing a helmet is stupid, and I would wear a helmet, my rational mind brings me that conclusion, however, unlike the above two instances, not wearing a helmet is not criminal behaviour, as no use of force is involved on others, and a free society must include the freedom to die stupidly if someone wishes to. Indeed, this is necessarily so for one man’s stupidity is another man’s worthwhile risk, and without risk taking, there is no innovation, creativity, et al.

    It’s relatively easy to get your head around the non-initiation of force (and fraud) principle once you start applying it (and it is the only real basis needed for the rule of law – as well as the ability to enforce contracts voluntarily entered).


  19. Andrei says:

    No Robert when I drive on the left I agree, for the common good, to follow the customs of New Zealand.

    When I have driven in the USA and in Russia. I drove on the right, according to the custom of those places and if I ever again drive in those lands I will do so again

    And by having the custom of the land enshrined in law where the welfare of others who may be harmed by those who willfully or otherwise flout the conventions of the majority is reasonable and sensible.

    However using compulsion and the law to make people “save” is actually using political muscle to favour the financial services industry, a vested interest and is an example of political corruption though it might not be seen that way


  20. And while I’m at it, the ‘greater good’, or the common good, has been the catch-cry of every tyrant throughout history. As soon as a society leaves out individualism as the basis for a society, as soon as it takes its eye off (only) protecting the rights of its smallest minority, the individual, then atrocity always enters as a possible consequence. Over the twentieth century, the butchering machine which the state became, ended up murdering hundreds of millions of individuals in pursuit of the supposed greater good, just as the road to every Gulag was paved with good intentions. As I wrote on here:

    Or, in other words, if I am forced by the state to be my brother’s keeper, my own noble benevolence, or natural love and affection overridden, then I must by definition be only my brother’s slave:


  21. robertguyton says:

    “Rules regarding which side of the road we drive are not a test of compulsion: those choosing to travel on the opposite side of the road are undertaking criminal behaviour as they are imposing ‘force’ on others that will lead to their death (and this death or injury is the only logical result from transgressing this).”

    Surely, Mark, it’s only criminal behaviour because it has been stipulated such by the same authorities who legislated the wearing of helmets by cyclists. There’s nothing inherently criminal about driving on the right – it’s done overseas. Once you accept that decision though, you’ve bought into the compulsion model (it could be that there are no rules at all for the road. Let the individual decide as they travel), you have to accept compulsion as part of the deal. Death and injury aren’t the only logical result of a no-road-rules regime. Humans adapt, as seen elsewhere where road rules are seemingly non-existent.
    I’m interested though, in where you draw the line, under your Libertarian ‘don’t endanger others’ principle. At what age can an individual assume that responsibility? Who decides that and on what basis (the age of rationality? When’s that? Is it always the same?) What about the insane, the stupid, those with addictive personalities, the sociopaths, the psychopaths, those from other cultures? The non- Libertarians? 🙂
    “That is an individual choice because not wearing a helmet is imposing no force on any other party.”
    What about peer-pressure? That’s “force”. If some youths don’t wear their helmets, others will be forced, through powerful peer pressure, to ride bare. What about advertisers, versed in convincing people to behave in certain ways. It’s all very wel to say athat a rational adult will choose for themselves but that is patently untrue. You can choose not to be fooled by a skilled pick-pocket, but he’ll easily take your wallet, watch and specs.
    I think your view on compulsion, force and choice is naive, with all due respect.
    That said, I don’t agree with compulsory wearing of helmets and a number of other laws/rules around what a person can and can’t do. Drug use, for example.


  22. Andrei says:

    Robert are you really that dense

    Road rules regarding which side of the road you drive on and respecting traffic lights and so forth benefit everyone by keeping the roads safe and the traffic flowing smoothly.

    Laws about making you wear a helmet when you ride your bike are petty tyrannies because when it comes down to it it doesn’t make me any safer if you wear a helmet than when you don’t. The only person it impacts is you and its none of my business whether you do or don’t and I don’t want it to be my business I’d prefer it was your choice.

    Alas our Government has got far too big for its boots in recent times and thinks it is the fount of all wisdom (its not, just the converse in fact) and has imposed all sorts of nonsense upon us and continues to do so.

    Soon we will need permission just to take a piss in a government approved receptical the way things are going


  23. robertguyton says:

    Yes, Andrei – National, they’re dictators and those who support them, craven.
    On what do you base your claim that New Zealand’s road-rules are superior to no rules at all?
    I think you’ve been hypnotized by the authorities. Enslaved by their ideologies. Road rules indeed. What about freedom of choice – freedom to choose our own system? Why do we have to follow the rules set by politicians from the past? Why can’t we have up-to-date rules, of our own choosing?


  24. Andrei says:

    You’re away with the fairies today Robert


  25. robertguyton says:

    Surely you could counter/answer my questions, one by one, Andrei and teach me a lesson I’d never forget!


  26. robertguyton says:

    I entirely agree with your last paragraph, Andrei. I can also see what you mean by those preceding it, but still would like you to try to answer my questions.
    In the first place, New Zealanders must have agreed, at a significant level, to abide by the proposals for our road rules. In other words, they agreed to accept compulsion. All compulsion therefore, contrary to what you said above, is not BAD.

    “that is compulsion when you are forced to follow the will of others and that is BAD that is slavery and serfdom.”

    Are we serfs because we consent to the road rules?


  27. TraceyS says:

    “Self-chosen compulsion is not ‘repugnant’.” No it’s not, but you have a strange idea of “self” in the context in which you have expressed it here Robert.


  28. robertguyton says:

    How so, Tracey?


  29. TraceyS says:

    Your comment; “Personal choice to instigate a compulsive scheme.” is mighty odd. Of course that is a fantasy as has already been pointed out with passion. Unless, that is, your self somehow extends beyond you to others whose personal choice is not to partake. It doesn’t.

    If you wish to make the scheme compulsory for yourself then go right ahead. All you need to do is to give the authority to someone else that you trust to act on your behalf. It is simply not necessary to override the choices of others in order to remove choice for oneself. And to do so while other options remain open would be extreme.

    Word of Tomorrow perhaps…..”dictator”:

    One holding complete autocratic control; one ruling absolutely and often oppressively.

    Are you one? Would you agree with compulsory other things such as vaccination of children? I think you would answer “no” to both questions.


  30. robertguyton says:

    Tracey – with due respect, you haven’t understood my proposal. That’s in part because the quote you used doesn’t account for the context. Here it is:
    “It’s like choosing to ban one’self from a casino when you know you’re addictive and really want to stop. Personal choice to instigate a compulsive scheme.”
    I’m not suggesting that the individual “override the choices of others in order to remove choice for” themselves. They would make a decision to have themselves barred from an activity they can’t resist. What’s confusing about that? It’s been done. Decisions made during times of greater rationality that cover those periods when rationality is overcome by stronger drives (greed, addictiveness etc) are what I’m describing.
    No one else’s choices get over-ridden.


  31. Roger says:

    Isn’t it odd that everytime an opposing view is taken you accuse the writer of not understanding what you wrote…..

    Luke 4:23 comes to mind


  32. robertguyton says:

    It is, Roger. Perhaps you’d like to apply your clear thinking to the two comments above, and judge whether I’m correct or mistaken. That’d settle it!


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