Pensioners better off in NZ: study

New Zealand’s older citizens are well looked after by the Government – in fact, better than in the world’s richest nations.

Only 2 per cent of New Zealand’s retirement-age population were classed as below the poverty line in a 2008 OECD study. Just 13 of the 30 countries had poverty rates of less than 10 per cent among older people.

The study of 30 OECD countries compared the income level of retirement-age New Zealanders to median disposable income levels.

However, several organisations who work with older people said the study does not reflect the financial reality of New Zealand’s retirees.

A transtasman comparison found Australia’s older population in far worse shape, with 27 per cent of over-65s below the poverty line.

Michael Littlewood, co-director of the University of Auckland Retirement Policy and Research Centre, said: “There are several possible explanations for New Zealand’s favourable international position but the most obvious difference between New Zealand and the other 29 OECD countries is the simple, generous New Zealand superannuation pension.”

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