Labor slams change to pension age

New figures show the Government’s plan to increase the pension eligibility age to 70 will affect 375,000 Australians.

The Department of Social Service has released new data on the pension change, showing more than 375,000 Australians now in their late 50s and looking forward to retirement will have to work longer in the first four years of the change between 2025-29.

The unpopular budget repair measure to put the pension age up to 70 was announced in 2014 and remains on the federal Government’s books, despite its failure to pass parliament.

The Government is still clinging to the hope it can negotiate the bill’s passage through the parliament to save $3.6 billion in Age Pension payments.

Labor’s social services spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said the Government’s attempts to increase the pension eligibility age was grossly unfair.

“Malcolm Turnbull just doesn’t get it. He’s completely out of touch with ordinary Australians,” Ms Macklin said.

“He’s got no idea how hard it is for ordinary people to work until they’re 70.

“Mr Turnbull wants to give Australia the oldest pension age in the world. No other advanced country plans to increase their pension age to 70,” Ms Macklin said.

“Increasing the pension age to 70 is not only unfair, it will worsen inequality.

“In Australia, we know that this change to the pension age unfairly hurts Australians living in regional and remote Australia where life expectancy is lower. The median age at death for people living in remote Australia is 73.8 compared to 82.3 for Australians living in major cities.”

Research conducted by the Australian Centre for Financial Studies and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees found that up to 40 per cent of older Australians do not choose when they retire.

What do you think? Should the Government abandon its plans to lift the eligibility age for the pension?

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