Ageing workforce white paper highlights the need to act

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell said the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) valued being part of the group that today released a white paper on the ageing workforce, viewing it as a springboard for future work.

The white paper, called Act Now Age Later, was launched by the Minister for Seniors, Hon Tracey Martin, and called for a National Strategy on the Ageing Workforce and the development of a toolkit for employers and workers. The report was the result of a working group made up of government departments and agencies, including the CFFC, the Council of Trade Unions, recruitment companies and the Employers and Manufacturers Association.

Maxwell said New Zealand’s ageing workforce was part of a global trend that should be faced as an opportunity rather than a crisis.

“This is a predictable demographic change that we can’t afford to ignore,” said Maxwell. “Some of us will need to work past 65; many of us will want to, though we may want more flexibility,” says Maxwell. “If employers want the benefit of the experience of older workers, they need to start planning how they will attract and retain them.”

The white paper will enable the CFFC to progress its important work on the ageing workforce, one of the subject areas of its 2016 Review of Retirement Income Policy. In May this year, the CFFC revisited the issue in a survey of 500 companies, which confirmed there was widespread concern about the impact on business of the ageing workforce, yet a lag in the preparation of strategies or policies.

“The CFFC hears from thousands of New Zealanders who tell us they are seeking upskilling and retraining, and want a level playing field to enable them keep working,” says Maxwell.

“We need to be prepared, and that won’t happen without actively and intentionally addressing the issues facing our ageing workforce.”