Apr 14, 2014

Pensions, superannuation and the Education of Joe

A debate on changes to the retirement age is welcome, but it's more complicated than it appears, according to Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer. And watch out for vested interests ...

“Joe’s discovered the Intergenerational Report,” a Labor figure said last week. Indeed. Suddenly retirement issues are front-of-mind for Hockey, something they very much weren’t when he sacked the Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing, chaired by Everald Compton, last year. As Compton (not exactly a raving lefty, given his long links with the Nationals) noted in Crikey, dumping the panel was primarily about obliterating any reminders of the treasurership of Wayne Swan.

But there’s one legacy of Swan’s that Hockey must be grateful for — Labor in 2009 decided the pension age would rise from 65 to 67, from 2017 through to 2023. In that period, the preservation age — at which you can access your superannuation — will also rise from 55 to 60.

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16 thoughts on “Pensions, superannuation and the Education of Joe

  1. Howard Lin

    people need be taken care of! if we get old? what do we have? some people don’t have money! they need their own money, for god sack!

  2. SusieQ

    If the government want us to work longer or not be so dependant on the aged pension, then there are several things that need doing – firstly, encourage people, where they can, to save more in their super and stop using our super savings and contributions as a stream of tax revenue.
    We also need some culture change to allow people to stay at work longer – there were incentives built into the tax system for over 55’s who continue to work, but Gillard got rid of these.

  3. Jimmy

    I know this might be revolutionary thinking but instead of trying to fix the budget entirely from the spending side why don’t we look at what can be done on the revenue side?
    Maybe fix the MRRT to raise a bit more money sooner?
    Maybe increase the medicare levy to help cover increasing medicare costs?
    Maybe tax high income earning super funds more as Labor had proposed?
    Maybe we could pay a little bit more income tax?
    Maybe we could raise money from reducing carbon emmissions instead of spending money to do very little?

  4. zut alors

    And while Australians 65+ are clinging to their jobs what’s happening to the youth workforce – will they be denied positions at the novice end of the chain while seniors clog the upper end?

    Here’s a question for Hockey: explain how New Zealand can afford to pay a pension to EVERY New Zealander over 65? They call it NZ Super (but it’s actually their retirement pension) which is not subject to an assets test, nor subject to an income test.

  5. Griffiths Karen

    love what you are saying Jimmy! Hockey is not being honest or committed or sincere or relevant or forward thinking or informed because he has no bloody idea. he travels to washington and thinks his bubbly ideology will gain traction because he is with important people. I have said it many times before and I will say it again, “hockey doesn’t understand economics!” Listen to the speeches he has given-take away slogans like; heavy lifting, sugar off the table, a mature discussion, living beyond our means, age of entitlement, let me make it crystal clear[? maybe abbott], you don’t reduce debt by increasing debt, we must grow the economy….etc. It is frightening that this is the message of the treasurer. Please, take away the slogans, and what is he saying. Where is the detail? Where is the ‘implied’ knowledge? Where is the big picture stuff?

  6. Jimmyhaz


    The refusal for this government to contemplate raising taxes should tell you all you need to know about their financial credential’s.

    They come from the US Republican school of thought, where fiscal responsibility and living within our means are just code-phrases for reverse redistribution of wealth.

  7. Ron E. Joggles

    Approaching 63 I need to work till 70 at least, having negligible super and a child in school, but who will employ me? Govt Depts could lead the way by genuinely embracing non-discriminatory employment practices, but they are among the worst offenders for selecting staff within a narrow demographic that their HR people feel comfortable with. How many 60+ blokes do you see working in Medicare offices, or Centrelink? Or any customer service or admin role in a Govt agency? SFA!

  8. Ron E. Joggles

    Access to loan finance is increasingly an issue for older workers, as so many jobs we do are low paid, casual, part-time or short-term contracts. Lenders don’t want to know, and say it’s because Govt has restricted their ability to lend to people whose circumstances fall outside strict guidelines, even when they’ve demonstrated their reliability. So the poor old buggers can’t borrow a few grand to buy another old car so they can keep driving to their crumby job!

  9. Griffiths Karen

    let me ask this Q of you again crikey – how long does it take to ‘achieve’ moderation? why the hold up?

  10. Bill

    I don’t doubt that people in jobs like Joe Hockey’s could carry on until they’re 70 and beyond but what about bricklayers, nurses, truck drivers, and anyone engaged in the kind of physical labour that often sees people worn out by 60?

    Oh sure, they can retrain, but they’re gutting training as well.

    This is what happens when policy is made by career politicians who really only understand real life in the abstract.

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