A mother and son seeking access to his KiwiSaver funds before his likely premature death took their fight to Parliament today.
Joan and Tim Fairhall today made a submission to a select committee considering changes to tax law.
Joan Fairhall, is trying to get KiwiSaver laws changed that are preventing Tim from accessing his money before the age of 65.
Tim has Down Syndrome which will lower his life expectancy, and he may not live until he is 65.
"I won't live as long as most people. It doesn't matter how long you live as long as you make the most of your life. I have done lots of cool things in my life so far and I want to do more," Tim told MPs on the finance and expenditure committee.
He has $8000 in his KiwiSaver account from his supermarket job of 15 years and dreams of visiting his brother and best friends who live overseas.
Joan Fairhall enrolled him in KiwiSaver 10 years ago, thinking she was helping him save for his retirement, which she says would be in his 40s.
"This is Tim's money, he earned it, he saved it. He saved it with a particular goal in mind. It's important that he has a goal to look forward to. Tim is very hung up on that," she said.
KiwiSaver has a number of opt-out clauses but Tim doesn't meet any of them. His KiwiSaver provider's hands are also tied, bound by legislation which Joan Fairhall says needs to be changed.
"I want you to consider whether the current legislation is unfair and indeed discriminatory, whether it kidnaps and holds on to and uses the savings of people in this category but there is just no mechanism for them to get it out and use it fairly for themselves," she told the select committee.
Committee member National MP David Carter said the pair had made a compelling case and the committee would talk to officials to see if a solution could be found.
"Rest assured, we've got your message loud and clear," he said.
The Fairhalls also met Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi today after earlier writing to him about their case.
Faafoi told reporters later it was possible legislation could be changed when Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell carried out a three-yearly review of retirement income policies next year.
"I think if you look at Tim and his mother and the case they made at the select committee today, it's not ideal for them.
"I think you've got to feel for them but at the moment the legislation doesn't allow enough flexibility for him to get that money."
Blair Vernon, managing director of AMP which is Tim's provider, earlier said there needed to be a mechanism for recourse in some situations that could be considered on a case-by-case basis.