Seniors want retirement at 75 | The Australian

28 Aug

If you think that headline means all seniors, you would be mistaken, but it is what many readers will understand from it…

Seniors want retirement at 75 is about a report from the advocacy group National Seniors Australia, which needs to be distinguished carefully from the Combined Pensioners & Superannuants Association of NSW Inc for example. The latter organisation recommends policy of this nature:

CPSA is calling for a supplement for those pensioners who are living on very low incomes.

1. A supplement paid to very low income pensioners to bring them to a modest standard of living. In light of a lack of budget standards conducted, CPSA uses the Westpac/ASFA budget standard of $18,900 for singles and $26,500 for couples.

2. Concessions, rebates and allowances be appropriately indexed, so that they cover the out of pocket expenses that they were initially designed to cover.

3. An appropriate budget standard be conducted to assess how much pensioners need to achieve a modest standard of living.

The former seems to be recommending, or at least justifying, a “work till you drop” approach. On the other hand, I do commend the idea that there should be a choice. I question the realism of moving the pensionable age to 75, for personal and experiential reasons I will go into in a moment.

The Australian reported:

THE nation’s peak seniors group has called on the Rudd Government to raise the retirement age to 75 and increase compulsory superannuation from 9 to 15 per cent, warning that the ageing of the population poses a greater threat to the economy than climate change.

National Seniors has delivered a far-reaching document with radical reform options that push for an increase in the official retirement age to 75 years and an immediate increase in the single age pension from 59 per cent to two-thirds of the couple rate to bring it in line with other OECD countries.

The group’s ageing blueprint “AdvantAGE Australia” was yesterday handed to Wayne Swan and all MPs will be sent the paper.

National Seniors chairman Everald Compton said the age that people become eligible for the age pension should be lifted gradually, potentially rising to 75 by 2020.  Mr Compton suggested that a new way to setting the pension should be established.  He argued that the Reserve Bank should declare annually the average wage and the Government legislate to peg the pension to a percentage of the figure.  The group wants the Government to remove upper age limits on superannuation and workers’ compensation.

“It’s not as sexy a subject as climate change so this subject gets shoved off into the corner, but its economic consequences are enormous and we’re calling on the Government and the Opposition to give the priority in a bipartisan way, which will enable Australia to avoid going bankrupt,” he said.

The Treasurer has confirmed that a review of the tax system, headed by Treasury secretary Ken Henry, will consider an increase in the rate of the age pension.

The report released yesterday said that by 2030, more than half the voting population of Australia would be over 50 years old…

See below for a copy of the report.

I am retired, effectively since before 65, though my pension commenced after that birthday. In all honesty, I could not, would not, take on a full secondary school teaching load any more. I doubt I could handle the pressure. I am sure my teaching would suffer and decline. That would be disappointing all round. Teaching is a tough game, whatever people out there may think, and it is essentially a game for younger people. The conditions, whether in public or private schools, are unrealistic. Teachers teach too many classes for starters; I am sure most teachers will know what I mean when I say that for maybe half of one’s teaching load one tends to operate on automatic pilot while focusing attention on part of one’s load, whether that be because they are up for the HSC, or because they raise special difficulties that require attention. Then there is a whole raft of extracurricular duties, most of them unpaid. Honestly, I stopped because I had reached the point where I did not have the stamina to go on. I am not alone. Some few are different, of course, but many do those last yards pretty much on automatic pilot — and this is not necessarily good for education.

Meanwhile, we have the obscene salaries and retirement benefits of many of our CEOs and other mandarinates. But that is another matter…

Seniors Australia: Advantage Australia 2008 PDF


2 responses to “Seniors want retirement at 75 | The Australian

  1. The Rabbit

    August 28, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    That’s a very good point about teaching half one’s load automatically.

  2. Neil

    August 28, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Even in 1999, Rabbit… 😉

%d bloggers like this: