Healthy pen­sion­ers keen to stay in the work­force

Nelson Mail - - BUSINESS - ROB STOCK

Diana Crossan has no plans to stop work.

At age 68, the former Re­tire­ment Com­mis­sioner doesn’t need the money, but she has skills she wants to keep us­ing, and she has life mis­sions she wants to com­plete.

A sur­vey from BNZ shows Crossan’s at­ti­tude is far from un­usual.

The bank found 46 per cent of re­spon­dents wanted to keep work­ing past the of­fi­cial pen­sion age of 65, just like Crossan.

BNZ’s Fi­nan­cial Fu­tures re­search showed two-thirds of those keen to stay em­ployed were mo­ti­vated by the value and sat­is­fac­tion work of­fers.

‘‘I don’t re­ally plan to stop,’’ Crossan said. ‘‘I have changed the way I work. I went for a full­time job when I left the Re­tire­ment Com­mis­sion to run the Welling­ton Free Am­bu­lance, and I did that for 41⁄ years.’’

But she had now moved to work­ing part-time for ‘‘life­style’’ rea­sons.

Some of her ef­forts were paid, such as chair­ing Massey Univer­sity’s Fin-Ed Cen­tre Board.

Some of her work was char­i­ta­ble: ‘‘I wanted to put some of my time into things that have wor­ried me for many years.’’

A former pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer, Crossan firmly be­lieves New Zealand im­pris­ons too many people, and she is work­ing for sen­tenc­ing re­form.

Crossan is haunted by a mem­ory from early in her ca­reer of a young woman she tried to keep out of prison. The woman, con­victed of bur­glary, had been raped al­most daily by her fa­ther dur­ing her child­hood.

Though she did not need the money, Crossan said she would not work for noth­ing if there was pay­ment go­ing.

Paul Carter, BNZ’s di­rec­tor of re­tail and mar­ket­ing, said: ‘‘Many people are fit­ter and health­ier in their 60s and 70s than pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions and more are keen to keep work­ing for longer.’’

‘‘Work­ing longer opens up all kinds of op­por­tu­ni­ties for people, in­clud­ing chang­ing the way they view their fi­nances.’’

But 31 per cent of sur­vey re­spon­dents ad­mit­ted they would need to carry on work­ing past age 65 just to make ends meet, he said.

For­tu­nately, many did not see that as a hard­ship.

‘‘While we know it can be tough for those who have to keep work­ing to pay their bills, it’s great to hear that so many more people con­tinue be­cause of the pos­i­tives about work,’’ he said.

PHOTO: KEVIN STENT/STUFF

Diana Crossan has given up her full­time role at the Welling­ton Free Am­bu­lance, but she does not plan to re­tire, even though she does not need the money.

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