Gov’s backdown on pension age “a big win”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday announced that the Government won’t proceed with its policy to raise the Age Pension access age to 70, in a move welcomed by key industry bodies as, according to the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), “a big win for older Australians”.

"We welcome the Coalition’s recognition that raising the Age Pension access age to 70 is flawed policy that is out of step with the reality for many older and potentially vulnerable Australians," AIST chief executive, Eva Scheerlinck, said.

Scheerlinck said that many Australians did not get to choose when they retired and increasing the Pension access age would unfairly impact them.

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“Ill-health, age discrimination, job type and caring demands all have a significant impact on when a person retires from paid work,” she said. “Raising the access age for the Age Pension to 70 would have been unfair and discriminatory to many older Australians who simply do not have the opportunity to continue in paid work.”

Industry Super Australia (ISA) similarly welcomed the policy backdown, with deputy chief executive, Matt Linden, saying that “Australians do not want to work until they drop”.

“Forcing manual workers, in particular, to stay at it until 70 would have been unreasonable.”

Linden said that he hoped the announcement could signal a willingness within government to also reconsider the extent of the 2107 pension asset test changes.

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