Why should we increase the retirement age?

March 27, 2017

The retirement age can seem like a really abstract concept while you are young. Sure, you might have grandparents who are retired, or near retiring – but the retirement age seems so far away when you are just starting out in life. That being said, just because something is a long way off doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think and talk about it.

The current age of retirement in New Zealand is 65. Recently we have announced that National’s intention is to progressively lift the age of eligibility for Superannuation from 65 to a new age of 67. You might find yourself wondering why?

The reality is that New Zealanders are healthier than ever before and as a result people are living and working longer. Our life expectancy has risen 12 years in the last 60 years and is expected to continue increasing by about 1.3 years every decade. This is great news as it means more Kiwis are able to spend more time with their families, get to know their grandchildren, and have a higher quality of life as they enter their old age. That being said, longer lives are driving up the cost of NZ Super.

At our current rate superannuation costs about 5% of our GDP, however, it was expected to rise to 8.4% by 2060. We have decided to make a sensible decision now to help us avoid having to make a difficult decision later. While we could have afforded this cost, we would have had to make trade-offs that could have restricted spending in areas like health, education, or transport.

We have tried to make sure the change will be implemented in a fair and balanced way. Yes, we are making a change that will benefit our young people, but it won’t be to the detriment of our elderly. Changes to Super won’t kick in for 20 years’ time. It would be unfair for us to announce to a 64 year old that “Sorry, you’ll need to work an extra two years” just as they were ready to retire. We are giving enough notice so that it won’t be a shock to anyone and people have time to plan for their futures.

This decision may not necessarily be the most popular, but I am convinced that it is the right move for you – our future generations. It is also fair for our elderly and our taxpayers.

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Todd Muller

About Todd Muller

Todd Muller is the MP for Bay of Plenty. He writes a weekly article for the Kiwi Kids News website.

Todd Muller was born in Te Aroha and raised in Te Puna. He attended Tauranga Boys College before earning his Masters Degree from Waikato University.

He is a former Waikato University Councillor, and sat on the Boards of Plant and Food Research and the Sustainable Business Council.

Todd is married to Michelle and is father to their three children, Aimee, Bradley, and Amelia.

Comments are closed.


I think we should raise the retirement age for th sake of saving money but there will be some exceptions like if the persons not healthy and that some rich people probably won't need any and just because you live longer it doesn't mean your necessarily healthy. But overall I think we should raise the age with some exceptions.


smart idea


This could become very unfair on New Zealand's senior citizens but if they healthy and are willing to continue to work this seems fine as long as the money goes to towards important things like education. If the money did go to education or health it would mean the seniors are working to support the future of NZ. Which many seniors would be proud to do.


i think we should be able to retire from the age of 63 or older as that would give the elderly a choice. say if you were to win the lotto, you could retire early, buy a boat, and live by the harbor, and die in peace


terrible idea because the people who are already retired then will be under the limit so bad idea


I think that we should raise it but not by far like it is or mabye like 1 year and do it like baby steps type thing


bad idea