Retirees expect more assistance

An overwhelming majority of YourLifeChoices members believe the government is not doing enough to support retirees.

As the federal election draws closer, YLC members had a clear message for the Government: it must do more to support retirees.

YourLifeChoices asked members a range of questions in the recent Insights survey and we received nearly 8000 responses. The results on whether the government currently did enough to support retirees was emphatic, with 73 per cent stating the government did not do enough. Only 8.5 per cent thought that the government did do enough for retirees, while the remainder of respondents were unsure.

You would be forgiven for thinking that the Age Pension rate was the area of most concern for YLC members, but you would be wrong. While 59 per cent of respondents thought that increasing the Age Pension was an important step for the government to address retirement needs, the overriding area that people would like to see addressed came in the ability to work harder.

Just over 62 per cent of respondents said that they would like to earn more money without reducing their pension entitlements.

The next area where older Australians told us they would like to see additional support had little to do with their hip pocket, with 45 per cent explaining that they would like better access to Centrelink.

This response supports a story YourLifeChoices reported on last month where Centrelink officials said external contractors were giving out the wrong information to clients.

This led to simple problems taking weeks and multiple calls to resolve, with contractors mostly handing calls over to public servants to resolve problems.

One respondent had this suggestion to replace Centrelink: “Set up a separate organisation for retirees with the opposite approach to Centrelink, one that respects those who have contributed to the economy and community all their lives as they should not have to live in fear of a mean government agency as they age.”

Among some of the other suggestions made by YourLifeChoices members were:

  • a universal right to an age pension
  • increased access to seniors’ programs
  • private health insurance subsidies
  • lowering the pension eligibility age
  • a healthcare card for everyone aged 65 and over
  • increasing the voluntary pre-tax superannuation contributions limit
  • financial guidance for single women
  • increasing affordable housing.

What would you like the government to do to better support the needs of those in retirement?

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