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Retirement age

There is no official retirement age in New Zealand, but there are some exceptions.

Many people stop working around the age of 65 — that’s when NZ Super and some other pension payments start.

If you think you’ve been forced to retire, you can take a personal grievance against your employer or get help from the Human Rights Commission.

Age discrimination at work

Jobs with a retirement age

There are a few jobs or employment situations where you may not be able to keep working after a specific age. They include:

  • jobs where being a particular age or in a particular age group is genuinely needed for you to do the job — for example, an actor who needs to be a certain age for a role
  • domestic employment in a private household, such as a cleaner or a gardener
  • occupations where the retirement age is written into law — for example, judges and coroners
  • some crew of ships and aircraft employed by foreign-owned companies that are operating in New Zealand.

Employment contracts before April 1992

You do not have to stop work at a specific age unless:

  • your current employment contract was signed before 1 April 1992
  • that contract specified your retirement age, and
  • you agreed with your employer in writing on or after 1 April 1992 to confirm or change your retirement age.

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