"It's more about if I need a rest rather than going away to play. That's the option to talk about if needed - but at this stage it's not in my thinking at all."
McCaw emphasised his commitment to rugby and the enjoyment he gets from plying his trade in New Zealand have been the driving factors behind his decision.
"The black jersey is the most important thing to me," he said.
"Playing for the All Blacks is the ultimate, and I'm really enjoying the Crusaders. There's more money available overseas - but personally, it wouldn't bring the same challenge.
"For me it's all about the enjoyment of playing in New Zealand, for the Crusaders and All Blacks."
NZRU chief executive Steve Tew is delighted to have retained the world-class openside flanker - especially with star pivot Daniel Carter poised to sign a similar deal and given the flood of players who have left New Zealand since last year's World Cup.
"Richie's commitment to New Zealand rugby is hugely significant for everyone involved in rugby in New Zealand," he said.
"It shows how much the jersey means and that we can keep world-class players in New Zealand.
"Richie is recognised as the best openside flanker in the world, and his extension is a positive sign that we can create the right environment in New Zealand rugby for players of this calibre."