Age old pension problem

Pensioner Alan Richardson is vehemently opposed to the potential rise of the pension age to 70. Picture: ROB CAREW


A POTENTIAL rise of the pension age to 70 hinted at by the Federal Government last week has divided the opinion of seniors in Casey.
Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has previously said the pension age will have to rise, with 70 being the age considered by the Federal Government in the lead-up to its May Budget.
Changes to the indexation of pensions to curb the increasing cost of the payment are also being considered.
Berwick part pensioner Alan Richardson slammed the potential pension age increase as a “cycle of madness”, citing Australia’s struggling manufacturing industry.
“Why punish people because they’re living longer, why do that?” the 69-year-old said.
“I’m totally opposed to it (increasing the pension age).
“For younger people now, with the pool of work diminishing, all we’ll be doing is keeping some of those people out of work.
“It’s a cycle of madness and increasing the pension age will only worsen this cycle.
“We have to address the issue and get our manufacturing base back up and running.”
Fellow Berwick resident Bob Burns, 73, and also on a part pension, supported a change to the pension age, saying it was inevitable.
“The current age pension system can’t last into the future.
“When the aged pension was originally developed, the life expectancy of a male was 59 and you didn’t qualify until you were 65,” he said.
“But there’s no way that the current funding model can cope.”
Australians will have the oldest pensionable age in the world if it rose to 70, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development.
Labor introduced changes in 2009 that would already see the pension age rise from 65 to 67 between 2017 and 2023.
Mr Hockey, 48, said on Sunday that his generation would have to work for longer because there would be serious future budgetary stresses from an ageing population, but he stopped short last week of nominating a rise in the pension age to 70.
“It may be the case that my generation has to work an extra three years… ” Mr Hockey told the ABC.
“The fact is that now, as in the United Kingdom, it’s probably the case in Australia, one in every three children born today will live to 100.”