What would encourage older Australians to work until 70?

What would encourage older Australians to work longer?

What would encourage older Australians to work until 70?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s backflip on raising the Age Pension age to 70 has been met with praise and criticism.

Economic experts believe Mr Morrison may be sacrificing Australia’s long-term fiscal future for short-term popularity gains among older voters nearing retirement.

“If you’re a government behind in the polls this is a standout thing to do,” said Deloitte Access Economics analyst Chris Richardson.

“It’s popular and it doesn’t cost you a cent for a very long time. But it’s poor policy. Every day we do nothing on this front is a day in which we put an increasing tax burden on a smaller slice of the population.”

In the latest Newspoll, the Coalition suffered its 40th straight loss. On a two-party preferred basis, Labor is now at 56 per cent to the Coalition’s 44 per cent, meaning the Government could expect to lose 21 seats if an election were held today.

However, with a rating of 42 per cent to Bill Shorten’s 36 per cent, Mr Morrison is the preferred prime minister. So, any favour he can curry from older voters nearing retirement will only help him to mitigate the looming election disaster he could face.

While many may believe that the consensus for Australians working until 70 years of age may be a resounding “no”, the results of the YourLifeChoices Friday Flash Poll say otherwise.

When asked what types of incentives would encourage them to work until 70:

  • 30 per cent said they would be prepared to work longer if they were given sizeable tax breaks
  • 12 per cent said making tax-free contributions to super from the age of 65 would keep them in the workforce longer
  • nine per cent said medical cost incentives, such as subsidised health cover would suffice
  • nine per cent also said that subsidised energy, rent and council rates would be enough.

All told, 60 per cent of those surveyed would be prepared to work until the age of 70 provided there were certain caveats in place, while just 30 per cent said they wouldn’t work until 70 under any circumstances.

The remaining 10 per cent had various opinions on the matter, some strong and some poignant …

The following are the opinions of YourLifeChoices members and not necessarily those of the writer or publisher. Some have been edited for style and grammar purposes.

“There are others who believe that working until 70 years of age is appropriate for some individuals. You nailed it here: ‘SOME’. I wouldn’t see boilermakers, bricklayers or concreters working at 70!” ~ Aussiefrog

“Once you reach the age of 65 and want to continue to work then pay zero income tax. That would have encouraged me to keep working if I was able.” ~ WideBayMike

“I retired at 60 (self-funded) and in my mid 70s would still work gratis doing something worthwhile and making a difference. Virtually all retirees have a whole load of experience and knowledge to contribute but are generally offered menial, routine mind-numbing jobs. Yet we have a skills shortage and need to import skills, even though we already have them? We have hundreds of thousands of kids leaving school unable to read, inarticulate without any life experience and directionless, which could potentially be a bigger drain on society than the aged due to crime, etc. We have councils, businesses and governments that seem unable to make basic sensible decisions and could use some common-sense advice. Loads of untapped mentoring capacity among the retired. Surely, if they are serious about exploiting our resources, state or federal governments could put together a scheme to better utilise these brains and experience?” ~ Cosmo

“My perception of working till 70 would be, Age Pension at 65 and the real opportunity to actually earn what I am permitted to earn, on top of the pension. This would involve the unions opening the door on half-day employment and businesses being able to employ me two, half days a week. This would allow me to afford running a car and visit relatives in another state. The over 60 period is a dreadful waste of life when people are supposed to enjoy sitting in a rocking chair all day.” ~ Charlie

“People should be encouraged to work for as long as they want … assuming they are capable physically and mentally. This enables personal superannuation to accumulate and last longer. That said, from age 65, senior citizens still working should be able to obtain a senior’s rebate on their tax return to offset council rates and utilities that retired people can claim. Also, the Government should waive stamp duty on senior citizens downsizing their home. Generally, the Australian Government and environment does little to transition ageing citizens from their working life to retirement.” ~ NeDaPa

“Rebate on tax up to the rate of their deferred pension? Sounds a good idea to me.” ~ TREBOR

“Worked full-time to age 77. Lucky to have an office job. Working this long enabled me to contribute to my superannuation much longer than I would have been able to. Also made life a lot easier as I no longer had a mortgage to pay. Would not be easy for people doing manual jobs when they get older, mainly because of health problems. Didn’t get any rate rebates until I retired. If you earn over a certain amount or more than a number of hours a week/fortnight you do not qualify for a lot of concessions either. Downside also was only having four weeks annual leave. But otherwise I enjoyed my job and was happy to work to 77. Would still be there if they would have let me work part time.” ~ Priscilla

“Bring back the Pensioner Bonus Scheme! No incentive to keep working now. So, the Government says you can earn $250 per fortnight without it affecting the pension? Well, if you do work, any wage, plus the pension, is taxed! So, you are slugged twice. Having just done it, not worth it, so chucked it in. Much better to do the occasional babysitting, or dog minding.” ~ sunnyOz

“Absolutely nothing would have encouraged me to work any longer than I had to. As full-time carer for a partner with a terminal illness, I was astounded when a Centrelink employee suggested I should be able to manage some part-time work! My caring role was 24/7, especially the last few months. Yes, more income would be nice, but I prefer the relative peace of mind. Don’t have to dance to anyone’s tune.” ~ patti

“I’m 76 and still working. Although last year I cut back to about half time and I think I will go on for a few more years yet. Keeps my mind active and I enjoy meeting the people from all walks of life that I interact with on a daily basis. I think the Government should increase the retirement age to 70 within the next five years, but also increase the incentives for older persons to stay in the workforce.” ~ GFW

“What would keep me working till 70? Doing something I enjoy. Having friends around me. Being financially secure. Having time to travel where and when I wish. Keeping fit through exercise that is enjoyable. Oh wait, this only happened when I retired. I’m never going back to work.” ~ PerthSV

“The only job I would be prepared to do after 65 is writing reviews for TripAdvisor or other review sites as I travel the world on my pension.” ~ Billy’s bonkers


Tzuki seems to have hit the nail on the head when it comes to the real issue of older Australians working later in life:

“I would work until I am 70 IF SOMEONE ACTUALLY EMPLOYED ME. I was retrenched at 60 and no one wants to employ someone old enough to be their mother even though we are very capable of doing the job just as well as the younger ones! Three and a half years later still no job. I’ve just about given up after even going for care jobs and cleaning jobs.” ~ Tzuki

What would encourage you to work until the age of 70? What do you think of these ‘suggestions’? Do you share any of these opinions?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    Old Geezer
    10th Sep 2018
    The age at which you can get welfare (OAP) should have been increasing with life expectancy. It should now be well over 70.
    10th Sep 2018
    Many of my friends have passed away in their 60s. Many never lived to get a pension. The life expectancy is not longer for everyone. Increasing the age pension is about less Australians living to get it.
    10th Sep 2018
    Politics of envy.....
    10th Sep 2018
    Foolish nasty comment.
    10th Sep 2018
    @john ... as you would expect from a Lieberal stooge.
    10th Sep 2018
    There is always one foolish clown in a group. Change your name to "Opposite Lock" it's more befitting than "Old Fart".
    Karl Marx
    10th Sep 2018
    10th Sep 2018
    Has OG got nothing to do and all day to do it in ?? ;-)
    Old Geezer
    10th Sep 2018
    Beats reading women's mags while waiting for next appointment.
    Dave R
    10th Sep 2018
    The OAP age should be lower to open up jobs to young people. We have high youth unemployment in this country and jobs disappearing due to automation so old people should be pensioned off earlier so young people have an opportunity to get a job. I went on the OAP at 65 and I feel sorry for those now having to wait until 66 and soon 67.
    10th Sep 2018
    Interesting point DaveR made about retiring to create a position for a young person, even if it is at the end of a cascade of promotions. When I retired from my middle level management position I was replaced by a person who was promoted to my level and I know he was also replaced by a promotee, further back down the line I do not know what eventuated but I hope that eventually a young person got his/her first real job, with a career before them, because I retired. Better to have an older person to volunteer to be put out to pasture than have a frustrated young person unable to get a meaningful job and a career path, possibly start a family, buy a home, pay off their HECS debt etc because I had to stay on longer than I wished. Possibly a better solution in this day and age would be to actually lower the pension age say to 60. Tis better for a willing older person to be on Social Security than a disillusioned young person. That would really be an investment in the future.
    almost midnight
    10th Sep 2018
    I am fortunate to be in a profession where I can continue to work as many - or few- hours as I wish, so I will continue to work as long as I can. Keeps my brain active! I also swim regularly in a club( I call it swimming for the age challenged), play a couple musical instruments, and travel when possible! In all instances I get to mix with a wide range of ages where we meet with mutual interests - I believe that is the real secret of staying young. - As Lucille Ball said, 'laugh, eat slowly, and lie about your age"

    10th Sep 2018
    Not really surprised - most people want to be 'part of the team' and 'do their bit' and many feel useless without something to occupy them. Agree that certain conditions should apply and people over 65 should have the option of working or not.... I'm 69 and would work.... but under the right conditions and in the right work.
    10th Sep 2018
    Bring back the Pensioner Bonus Scheme - then I will continue working. There is no incentive to work later on now - pension gets reduced, and are taxed. I worked on the land in my younger working years, then heavy manual work, and had every plan to work longer. But I noticed a clear decrease in my physical health and ability 2 years ago (at age 65). If I could have worked part time I would have, but with no incentive, chucked it in. Have no regrets.
    23rd Jan 2019
    You can earn a lot more before you are taxed. The rules are better now if you really look at it .... not every rule gets life worse for the pensioner.
    10th Sep 2018
    Encourage is the wrong word, allow the freedom to decide without making it a hoop jumping through issue. Many many maybe even most Aussies could do a bit of work or even stay in the workforce, longer, the question is strange to me, I'm retired I am not that strong physically anymore the work I did once I couldn't do now. But something else maybe , I have become udsed to not working, but you never know, the point is that for most of us we wind up balancing income and hoping itlasts until we're dead, in this wealthy natin of ours , where not all people a financial wizards This situation should never be , we should have the right to live our lives financially as well off as we were when we worked , that is a right, and we should also be allowed to stop work and live well, or keep going and live well.
    Our system and its penny pinching rules, impossible at times to follow, with so many rivers to jump across...no not small creeks , rivers! But it is a buggar working out weekly pay for you and your partner, wife, husband for the next 20 years you "think?"
    And a depressing thing that should be settled before we get to a retirement point then good hard working people can not have the hassle. Its opretty simple , but profiteering in our society and mis trust in our own people and our governments and their agendas will never make us that comfortable.
    old frt
    10th Sep 2018
    I don't know why people are so concerned, in 20 years there will be no OAP , if you don't have a self funded pension you keep working and no more people will be added to the OAP. The dole and OAP will be things of the past and replaced by food coupons at best . If a you don't think so check some European countries - the pension is based on what you contribute .In the mighty USA the dole only last for 6 months then tough titty.
    10th Sep 2018
    actually not correct as follows
    United States
    The normal retirement age for someone born later than 1960 is 67 years.
    United States citizens can choose to retire any time between 62 and their full retirement age (depending on their year of birth), however early retirement will decrease the benefit available.
    Full retirement benefit is $US1000 per month, equivalent to around $266 per week.
    10th Sep 2018
    Had a client who was a dentist in his late eightys. Would have liked to continue to work, but the building his surgery was in was sold and it would have been too expensive to set up another surgery elsewhere.
    Wow, what a man!
    A friend of my parents [probably back in the 1940s] retired from his job [can't remember what] but then graduated with his medical degree and set up a practice. Another 'wow'!
    10th Sep 2018
    You have lost me forever 'Old Geezer'.
    Am sick and tired of your stupid comments on all subjects so will no longer even glance at your text even if it actually contributes something sensible to the topic [which I doubt will ever occur].
    Am sure others will agree.
    11th Sep 2018
    Agree 100%
    11th Sep 2018
    Save our politicians euthanasia all pensioners at 65
    11th Sep 2018
    Geezer lives in a world of his own design . A stirrer to be taken as a joke lol. I bet you underneath the crap he spouts is a real nice guy oops sorry person , can’t discriminate can we.
    11th Sep 2018
    Do these people realise thatworking is the process of doing something usefull- not bludging -like many have done for most of their life. Real WORKERS enjoy what they are doing despite the age or difficulties. Life is a journey of Work play and rest in that order- not the reverse.
    11th Sep 2018
    Unless I had to, no way. Investment returns meant that I was paying 5 times the tax whilst working. It seems as though I was only working to pay the tax bill. Meanwhile my neighbours, either refugees or nationals, sit at home on generous benefits, watch TV all day, smoke, play with their expensive mobile phones, socialise
    and live off the taxpayer with absolutely no contribution to society.

    No thanks.
    11th Sep 2018
    Pension is not "welfare" - we have contributed through taxes all our working lives. How realistic is it to work until 70? who will employ someone that age? What would happen to all the community industries who rely on volunteer participation in order to survive? No way would I have worked until 70 - having full time care of my terminally ill partner for 5 years drained all my energy. And I did that for the grand sum of 23 cents per hour, 24/7. Let's get real folks
    11th Sep 2018
    I thought we did this one before. I am almost 70... I expect pension at 65 plus special casual work opportunities for pensioners, that will allow them to earn, the amount the current system says they are allowed to earn, without having their pension reduced.

    Any casual work opportunities for pensioners are jumped on, by school leavers wanting experience, employers wanting to pay junior wages, dole recipients looking for undeclared cash in hand opportunities.... For pensioners to be competitive they may need to have a separate or relaxed wages scale.
    27th Jan 2019
    Old Geezer. If that were to apply to us, the peasants, it should also apply to the 'master class" i.e. politicians. Pollies are a privileged lot, who have a fat pension x life n they do not need to meet the asset or income test, retire at a given age or worry about their home(s) as an asset. You know the old saying:" What's good x the gander
    Also, look at the French pension system, it's way better and they are even trying to improve it. If they can, why can't we?
    27th Jan 2019
    Old Geezer. If you are already over 60, try and get a new job.
    Why should we have to work until we dropped dead?
    Does your local MP gave to work till he turns 70 to get his pension?

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