Government to ‘measure twice, cut once’ on appeal to access KiwiSaver early

Morning Talk 13/09/2018
Photo: Newshub.

A man with Down syndrome wants to access his KiwiSaver funds early so he can travel while he’s still in good health.

Tim Fairhall, 39, has made an appeal to Parliament to have access to the funds before he hits official retirement age.

It’s unfortunate that I can’t do anything within the law as it stands now.

He argues that Down syndrome makes him age faster than most people, so he may not live as long as other New Zealanders.

But his funds will likely be inaccessible for the remainder of 2018, with a review of retirement income policies to be expected by next year.

Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi told RadioLIVE that funds can only be released early for those with a terminal illness or who have a “serious financial hardship”.

“It’s unfortunate that I can’t do anything within the law as it stands now,” Mr Faafoi said.

However, Mr Fairhall’s case has highlighted an issue that the Commerce Minister will be looking into, for the sake of others who could be in the same situation.

“We’re hoping to show people we’re a compassionate Government but I think we need to make sure we measure twice and cut once.”

Mr Fairhall's mother enrolled him in KiwiSaver 10 years ago in anticipation for his retirement in his 40s, the NZ Herald reports. 

Listen to the full interview with Chris Faafoi above.

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