Over 65s' Travel Insurance

Telecommunications engineer Kevin McGurk is about to turn 72, and he's still contributing to his KiwiSaver, and so is his employer.

Vodafone is one of the few companies providing matching contributions to workers' KiwiSaver schemes after they turn 65.

The law says they don't have to, saving a few dollars each week even if it seems to undervalue older workers compared to their younger colleagues.

Some employers are making contributions to the KiwiSaver accounts of employees aged 65 or over, despite not having to by law.
123RFSome employers are making contributions to the KiwiSaver accounts of employees aged 65 or over, despite not having to by law.

"We don't discriminate on age, so we wouldn't treat our Over 65 employees any differently to employees under 65," said Emily McConnell, human resources services manager at Vodafone.

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Joe Bishop from KiwiSaver provider Kiwi Wealth said few employers make matching contributions to KiwiSaver for employees over the age of 65, but as the workforce age, those that do can position themselves as "employers of choice".

Telecommunications engineer Kevin McGurk is about to turn 72, and he's still contributing to KiwiSaver.
SUPPLIEDTelecommunications engineer Kevin McGurk is about to turn 72, and he's still contributing to KiwiSaver.

"In much the same way that some employers offer staff certain perks and benefits – free or subsidised health insurance, for example – those that choose to continue making contributions to the KiwiSaver accounts of their staff after they turn 65 will be very appealing," Bishop said.

"It's likely older Kiwis, many of whom want to work beyond 65, will prefer employers that voluntarily make contributions as a policy."

Employers are not required to make the minimum 3 per cent employer contribution to their staff members' KiwiSaver accounts when they turn 65, he said.

McGurk's getting more than 3 per cent.

"We offer 4 per cent, which is slightly above the legislation. It's standard for all employees," said McConnell.

People can access their KiwiSaver accounts at any time once they are aged 65, and different people use the accounts in different ways; some to carry on saving, while not touching the money, some using is more like a savings account they access when they need, some drawing a regular income from it.

​McGurk continues to work because he loves it, though now only does four-day weeks, because he can, and to fund his love of travel.

"You go to work to support a lifestyle, but in my cases, it's a bonus because I enjoy the work," he said.

He gives the lie to myth that older workers are less able to keep up with change, or advances in technology, both of which he has seen a lot of during his career.

When he started work on telecoms in the early 1960s, data travelled up telegraph wires at 50 bits per second.

The systems he works on now moves data at 400 million million bits per second.

Keeping his skills current has meant McGurk has survived a great many company restructures.

With unemployment in New Zealand at a 10-year low and many sectors facing a shortage of qualified and experienced people, appealing to older staff makes good business sense, said Bishop.

SUPPLIED"It's likely older Kiwis, many of whom want to work beyond 65, will prefer employers that voluntarily make contributions as a policy," says Kiwi Wealth's Joe Bishop.

"Older KiwiSaver members who are still working can continue to build their retirement savings while employers can retain experienced staff and reduce costs associated with staff turnover."

Around a quarter of over 65s remain in work, including some like McGurk who work beyond 70.

"Some will be working because they don't feel they have the financial security to retire, while others will continue working because they want to. There's a societal shift happening and older people are a critical component of our national workforce and our economy," Bishop said.

"So it makes sense that employers who appeal to these older workers with additional staff benefits such as voluntary KiwiSaver contributions will retain good staff or have access to a larger number of experienced and capable workers."

Source : https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/110952647/employers-paying-kiwisaver-contributions-to-over-65s

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Employers paying KiwiSaver contributions to over 65s
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