Age Concern New Zealand

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Is 60 years old 'elderly'?

NZ Bus has been criticised for replacing discounts for 60 to 65-year-olds with SuperGold Card free travel (usually 65-and-over only).  Should 60 to 65 year-olds get discounts intended for senior citizens?


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

No. Free bus should be 65-and-up as in Superannuation. There would be many people younger than 60 who would feel disadvantaged by this. I know many Age Concerns are for 60 plus but that goes back to the days when superannuation started at 60. I presume that this bus company has this policy dating from that time. There should also be consistency of application of discounts. Will other bus companies be expected to follow suit? The issue of cost is to be considered. I would much rather see rural and semi rural areas getting some public transport than subsidise young 60 year olds!

Submitted by Cathy (not verified) on

60 is definitely not elederly! I don't believe the age for SuperGold discount cards should be lowered. Most 60-year olds are still active and mainly working. I think the intention of the SuperGold card was to support and acknowledge those on the superannuation. Leave it at 65 I say!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

60's are senior citizens. When does a senior citizen become a senior citizen?

It has nothing to do with the age of eligibility for National Superannuation - that is an economic/political issue. John Key has spoken of extending the age of eligibility, albeit his most regretted political statement.

At a certain age people are entitled to be respected as senior citizens, and traditionally this has been 60yrs of age. Government policy aside, private superannuation schemes recognised, and still recognise, age 60 as the time a retirement annuity would be payable.

There are many commercial discounts, including a number of other (not NZ Bus) public transport discounts which are available at age 60.

Life expectancy might have increased, but there has probably been a decrease in mobility capability amongst older people due to illnesses resulting from the more sedentary lifestyles of today - so transportation subsidies are particularly relevant. Modern drugs and surgical procedures are enabling longer life, but quality of life might still be impaired.

If for political/economic reasons the age of eligibility for superannuation is extended, then those with impaired health might end up on other income support, but they remain senior citizens and should be treated as such.

The decision of NZ Bus was harsh and unconscionable. That company should be lobbied to revise its decision. There should be political lobbying to make the SuperGold card available to senior citizens, ie those who are 60 years of age, irrespective of the age of entitlement to National Superannuation.

A significant percentage will not live to age 65, but should still be entitled to a period of respect as senior citizens within their lifetime.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

60 is definitely not elderly. It is an insult to call a person of that age elderly. I also resent being called elderly at 66!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

As a new 60 year old, I quite agree, many of us are still working and don't all need the free bus service. I would not use it for one, but on the other hand there are people who are less able than I and would, so maybe it should be based on need and income

Submitted by Zoran (not verified) on

I agree, it should co-incide with the superannuation age.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

womens health can take a downward turn when the ""change of life hits them"".many suffer sleepness nights.. depression.. lose of energy leaving one feeling washed out and so tired.. and many are propped up on pills to get through the day...impossible for many . to survive a 40hr working wk .
now.. if a women lives alone.due to marriage breakup or death of spouse... on a benefit..this causes more stress..because not enough weekly income..combined with change of life makes them feel downright misrable most of the time..

to survive one has to top up the benefit with partime work... only partime because many women are so tired around ages of late 50's. certainly ready for the pension at the age of 60... but alas... women have to wait a further five yrs.. to 65.if they survive that long ?....

now !! the government is talking increasing the age to 67?they say people are living longer better health ?maybe some are... but there are plenty i know late 50's early sixtys are ready for retirement now !!!because of general tiredness and health problems...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I know several including myself who are not eligible for superannuation but cannot work for medical reasons and the life they have is not exactlhy terrific. I am just suggesting that maybe not all 60 year olds are active and mainly working. I would prefer to work and get an income but it is not likely.

Submitted by Informant (not verified) on

OK. this debate I believe has a definite answer.

The latest research says that old age starts at 75 :)

So the Super should be for 75 and older and not for the Young-olds who are still either in employment or are working part time.