Health, Work, Caregiving and Retirement in the New Zealand Context

Monday, July 14, 2014: 10:45 AM
Room: Booth 40
Oral Presentation
Sally KEELING , Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, Christchurch, New Zealand
Fiona ALPASS , Psychology, Massey University, New Zealand
Several features of the New Zealand policy context provide an interesting comparative perspective on the relationships between caregiving, paid work and health status in the fifth wave survey of a national sample of participants aged over 55 years, drawn initially in 2006 from both the general and the Maori electoral roll. Relatively high workforce participation rates for those aged over 65 years, followed the final removal of mandatory retirement in 1999, and a universal national superannuation system has been retained alongside the development of a voluntary contributory fund, known as KiwiSaver (introduced in 2007).  Legislation which opened up the right for caregivers to request flexible working arrangements was reviewed five years later in 2013, with a recommendation that this right be available to any employee, irrespective of needs relating to family caregiving.

In this context of arguably mixed policy messages, survey data provided by the participants in the 2013 Independence, Contributions and Connections study will be presented.  As well as considering trends over the five waves from 2006, the 2013 survey offered a supplementary opportunity for caregivers to describe their caregiving roles, their sources of additional support, their views on workplace and caregiving interactions, and plans for the future.