New Zealand’s policies encouraging older employees to keep working has led to a rise in the average retirement age.
More Employees in New Zealand Delay Retirement by Two Years: A Study Report

New Zealand’s policies encouraging older employees to keep working have led to a significant rise in the average retirement age. The elimination of a mandatory retirement age in New Zealand in 2000 has resulted in an increase in the number of years that employees are staying in paid work by 10%.


Survey Findings

A study by using OECD data has shown that New Zealand had the fourth-highest increase in the age when employees retire, making it the only non-European country to reach the top 10 list. While New Zealand’s government superannuation usually kicks in at 65, employees are delaying retirement, with the average age rising to 67 years in 2020, six years more than what was recorded in 2000.


Expert Opinion

The results of the survey were not a surprise to Michelle Reyers, Retirement Commission Policy Lead, who stated that they reflect a positive change to retirement policies that took place in New Zealand 24 years ago. She added, “New Zealand has a number of policies in place that encourage older people to continue in paid work that don’t exist in other countries. And this is giving people flexibility and choice to decide when they’re going to exit from paid work.”


New Zealand is unique within the OECD for having the largest group of employees working over the age of 65, culminating in a 25% workforce participation rate. Reyers shared, “There are a lot of things going on in the background that are encouraging ongoing participation in the workforce for older employees in New Zealand.” This includes government policies that encourage employers to improve workplace flexibility for older employees.



Reyers emphasized the importance of transitioning into retirement rather than stopping altogether. She stated, “And we know it’s really important to eliminate ageism, or age discrimination in the workforce, and it’s important for training and upskilling older employees to allow them to continue working if that’s what they choose to do.” The survey underscores the effectiveness of New Zealand’s policies in encouraging older employees to continue working, thereby delaying retirement.

Stay tuned, to for further updates on the evolving workplace paradigm. 


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