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MYOB survey says almost half of SME owners against raising retirement age

09 Mar 2017

Almost half of SME owners are against raising the retirement age to 67 and unsurprisingly there’s a generation split amongst the results.

Prime Minister Bill English announced pledges that, if elected, the National Government would raise the superannuation eligibility age of 67, two years later than the 65 it currently stands at.

According to the most recent MYOB Business Monitor Survey, conducted before the election pledge, 47% of the 1012 respondents were against raising the entitlement age; 37% supported it and 17% had no preference.

The age breakdown of those results is even more telling, with 49% ’Traditionalists’ aged 70+ in favour of raising the age, while 62% of ‘Gen Y’ aged 18-34 were against it.

50% of ’Gen Xers’ aged between 35-49 supported it, while 45% of ‘Baby Boomers’ aged between 50-69 supported it.

The majority of those who will be directly affected by the new restrictions will be those born in 1972 or later - the majority of Gen-X respondents.

MYOB says it has been following the retirement age feedback since 2013. Opposition has remained steady in the mid 40% range, averaging around 47%.

“Our survey reveals most small business owners are against raising the age of eligibility for superannuation. Many of them are in demanding roles that take their toll on body and mind, so it’s understandable they support the age staying as it is,” comments MYOB New Zealand General Manager Carolyn Luey.

“On the other hand, many businesspeople recognise that the country faces increasing costs of national superannuation at a time when the population is living longer. A lot of small business people are already planning on working into their late 60s and beyond,” she continues.

The survey also found that 5% of SME owners started their business before retirement age but wished to keep working. 16% said their business was to help fund a ‘semi-retirement’.

“This is a tricky issue for our politicians and whether the age is raised or not, we would like to see more support for people to help them develop their skills and keep them engaged in business ownership and the wider workforce as they grow older,” Luey concludes.

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