2021 Budget bid in relation to the petition on the cost of living adjustment for Government Scheme pre 1985 retirees.
From: An annuitant
Dear Government Superannuation Fund Authority,
The 2021 Budget included an item to implement the following petition from the Government Superannuitants Association presented on 3 July 2018.
"That the House of Representatives pass legislation amending the Government Superannuation Fund Act 1956 to ensure all Government Superannuation Fund and National Provident Fund annuitants are treated consistently with regard to the annual cost of living adjustments being based on 100% indexation of the Consumers Price Index, as was the objective of the Government Superannuation Fund Amendment Bill 2008."
The Finance and Expenditure Committee considered this petition in May 2019 and recommended:
"We find that the indexation formula included in the Government Superannuation Fund Amendment Act 2009, intended to achieve 100 percent indexation against the Consumers Price Index, appears to be a different formula to that used in previous iterations. We recommend to the Government that it take note of this finding and consider options for addressing the resultant lesser payments received by contributors and beneficiaries of the fund."
Consequently a bit was made to implement this recommendation in the 2021 Budget.
Could you please provide a copy of your responses to the Minister of Finance in relation to this bid?
From: Enquiries GSFA
We refer to your Official Information request below received by the Government Superannuation Fund Authority by email on 3 June 2021. Your request has been passed to the writer for response.
Before providing any information to you, we require evidence of your eligibility to submit a request under New Zealand's Official information Act so that we can confirm the Act applies.
Under the Act, only the following people or organisations are eligible to request information:
(a) a New Zealand citizen; or
(b) a permanent resident of New Zealand; or
(c) a person who is in New Zealand; or
(d) a body corporate which is incorporated in New Zealand; or
(e) a body corporate which is incorporated outside New Zealand but which has a place of business in New Zealand
Examples of satisfactory evidence of eligibility include a copy of your passport and/or proof of a NZ residential address.
Please email the writer if you need any other assistance at this stage. Any material delay in providing this information could result in an extension of the timeframe for processing your request.
Philippa Drury | General Manager, Schemes | Government Superannuation Fund Authority and Board of Trustees of the National Provident Fund
Address: Level 12, The Todd Building, 95 Customhouse Quay, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Phone: +64 211854276
Email: [email address]
From: An annuitant
Dear Enquiries GSFA,
On 9 June 2021 you advised that "we require evidence of your eligibility to submit a request under New Zealand's Official information Act so that we can confirm the Act applies. Under the Act, only the following people or organisations are eligible to request information:
(a) a New Zealand citizen;..." etc.
The Ombudsman in the Guide "The OIA for Ministers and Agencies" states:
Page 4: “Key principles and purposes of the OIA”
Principle of availability
The principle of availability underpins the whole of the OIA. The OIA explicitly states that:
The question whether any official information is to be made available … shall be determined, except where this Act otherwise expressly requires, in accordance with the purposes of this Act and the principle that the information shall be made available unless there is good reason for withholding it (emphasis added).
This principle should always be kept in mind when an agency is considering how best to respond to a request for official information.
This principle is further expanded to include:
Page 11: “Eligibility to request official information”
What if a requester is not eligible?
Even if a person is not eligible to make a request for official information under the OIA (for example a person who is overseas and not a New Zealand citizen or resident), they can still ask an agency for the information they are seeking.
While the agency is not required to respond in accordance with the requirements of the OIA, it should still deal with the request for information in an administratively reasonable manner. If the person has any concerns about the response that they receive, then they can complain to the Ombudsman under the OA.
I would therefore wish you to further consider my request on the above basis.