Centrelink – here to help?

Remaining relevant after retirement is one of life’s greatest challenges and YOURLifeChoices subscriber, Frank thought Centrelink would be there to help.


I find it utterly amazing that after retirement the government is constantly urging retirees who are capable, or interested, to get back into the work force.

Here’s the rub… this happened to me the other day and I have

absolutely no doubt this has happened to you. It’s all rubbish. You enquire at Centrelink and they fob you off to an ’employment agency’ who, after a 20 minute interview can’t get you out the

door quick enough. It seems as with all government, or semi-government departments, it’s all in the too hard basket. So they send you back to Centrelink whose best advice is…”log on to the website and go for your life mate”.

Response provided by Hank Jongen, General Manager, Centrelink

Thank you for bringing Fred’s concerns to my attention.

Please assure Fred that Centrelink recognises and supports the value which mature workers, including seniors, can bring to the workplace. Centrelink has a non discriminatory recruitment policy which includes hiring people well past the previously recognised retirement age.

I must explain that while Centrelink is not an employment placement agency, Customer Service Centre staff are pleased to assist job seekers with the registration, assessment and referral to employment and employment-related services. I am surprised by Fred’s comments, as Centrelink staff did in fact assist him, by referring him appropriately.

If Fred wishes to make a complaint about the service he received at Job Services Australia, please direct him to this website: www.jobaccess.gov.au

I must also mention that Fred can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman if he thinks Centrelink has not provided him with an adequate service. The Ombudsman is independent of Centrelink and can be contacted on 1300 362 072.

I appreciate you taking the time to let me know Fred’s concerns and can assure him that Centrelink staff are very aware of the need for customer service.