Did you know that New Zealand has one of the highest labour force participation rates after the age of official retirement? NZ’s is noticeably larger than that of Australia.
Why? Because you don’t lose your pension if you carry on working in New Zealand and increasingly mature workers are finding they either want to carry on working beyond age 65 or they have to.
In an interesting paper entitled ‘A commentary on older workers and some HR issues facing employers’, Michael Littlewood, Co-director at the Retirement Policy and Research Centre, explains that “white collar workers are more likely to continue working past age 65, while those engaged in physical labour often struggle to keep working up to the state pension age.”
The Ministry of Social Development and the Office for Senior Citizens in ‘The Business of Ageing’ (2011) predicts that by 2031, the number of Kiwi’s aged 65 or over will exceed 1million, almost double today’s numbers.
By 2051, just 39 years away, the Ministry estimates the number of people working beyond age 65 will more than double to between 7-10% of the workforce. The money earned by this senior workforce is expected to increase ten-fold and the tax they pay, nine-fold. Unpaid voluntary work is expected to increase four-fold as is their spending on food and entertainment.