The debate over retirement age and superannuation just got interesting in New Zealand and in ways I certainly didn’t expect. Treasury increased the age of eligibility for the old age pension from 65 to 67 back in 2013 and now they want to scale it up every year to the age of 70, claiming that the burden is now too high for tax payers with average life expectancy in New Zealand for men and women combined now reaching 84 and almost 40% expected to reach 100.
A large percentage of seniors actually want to work and recent job sharing programs have proven very popular with many working 2-3 days a week. A survey recently established that not only did people want to keep working in order to maintain their lifestyles, but they enjoyed keeping their minds active and the social contact that comes with employment.
Many businesses have said that they value the experience and the work ethic of the baby boomers, even more so as there are less graduates coming out of New Zealand universities and it takes a number of years before they become financially productive to their companies.
On the other hand there is now a backlash from the new generation of young job seekers claiming that the grey generation is stealing their jobs and forcing them onto unemployment benefits, or to move to better paying jobs in the mines in Australia or the fracking operations in North America.