Government to shorten superannuation period by encouraging New Zealanders to live two years less long

English said he wasn’t suggesting people actively kill themselves, but perhaps “smoke” and “drink” more.

English said he wasn’t suggesting people actively kill themselves, but perhaps “smoke” and “drink” more.

In the latest of a steady flow of election year announcements, Prime Minister Bill English has confirmed today what had long been suspected; that his government will seek to shorten the superannuation period by two years, not by increasing the age, but by encouraging New Zealanders to die a little earlier.

In a post-cabinet press conference this afternoon, English asked those approaching retirement age to think “long and hard” about whether they really wanted to live out the final few years of their lives.

“From a fiscal point of view, this change makes sense,” he said. “So we’re asking New Zealanders to think – from a fiscal point of view – what really is the return on investment for living 2, maybe even 3, years longer? The Government thinks, in light of a need to expand the super base without incurring unsustainable cost, the answer is ‘not much’, frankly.”

English asked New Zealanders to think of their deceased relatives, and what the last two years of their lives were like.

“I think, generally speaking, they wouldn’t be the best two,” he said. “In fact, I think you’d say you wished they’d just hurried up and died two years earlier.”

The Prime Minister said he understood there were some “nuances” in determining when two years before one’s death would be, and promised the Government would set up a “helpful online resource” for calculating your likely natural date of death.

“We can then set you up with notifications, direct to your phone, to tell you when perhaps it’s best to call it a day.”

The Government would even propose an alternative to ending your own life, and if you felt you didn’t want to voluntarily depart from this world a little sooner, you could always leave the country and become an unsightly burden on another nation’s economy.

“Perhaps you don’t want to die,” said English. “We certainly respect that. We just ask that you go somewhere else and become their problem instead.”

“You’ve got lots of options,” he assured. “Well, two.”

Grand Elder and Retired Services Chiefton Winston Peters of the Graycloak has already come out strongly against the measure, saying the elderly are a boon to our economy, not a burden.

“Of course these career politicians who’ve never worked a day in their lives are going to prattle on about the elderly being some kind of a burden,” he said. “My retired constituents, every one of them, has contributed more to the economy than [the Prime Minister’s] ugly mug.”

Peters insisted the elderly had sharp minds, were focused, and that he’d go into the mine himself.