Preventing working Australians from claiming the pension or accessing their superannuation till so much later in life isn't likely to win the Grattan Institute many friends.
Planning to retire in your sixties? Think again.
A bombshell report is calling on the Government to lift the retirement age to 70 for both men and women.More stories from Today Tonight
The Grattan institute’s Economic Reform Priorities Paper recommends a change which would impact every Australian. The think tank's chief executive John Daley says that we should all “work a little bit longer and therefore contribute to the economy for a little bit longer.”
As Daley sees it, “because they'll be living longer, they're going to need to work a little bit longer.
“The world has changed. When the retirement age was set in 1909 if you were 65 you expected to live about another ten years. In 1980 you were expected to live about another thirteen years. Today you expect to live about another twenty years and it’s increasing rapidly.
57-year-old driving Instructor Judy Plummer has been working since she was fifteen and is looking forward to life after work.
“I've been working for 42 years and I think enough is enough,” Plummer said.
“I’m aiming now towards working hard so that I have that choice. I can retire at 65, but knowing if it goes to 70 then that means really I’ve got to work another five years on top of that to get the benefits of a pension,” she said.
Chief executive of the National Seniors Michael O'Neil says the suggestion’s a bit rich when age discrimination is such a massive problem in the workplace.“Planning with one set of rules and then the rules change is really not a fair chop frankly,” O’Neill said.
“To lift it to 70, the retirement age, would be an absolute disaster. We've got a recommendation that's just out of touch.
“If you become unemployed at 55 today, you'll be out of work on average for 72 weeks. A person in their twenties would be out of work on average about 22 weeks. Let’s fix that and provide people with the level playing field.”
Previously the pension age was 65 for men and 53 for women. The Government's now amended that, so both sexes retire at the same age of 65.
But that's changing again and by 2023 the pension age will be 67.
The pension eligibility differs depending on where you live. In New Zealand it's 65. In the US it’s currently changing from 66 to 67 in stages. In the UK they're planning to increase the age to 68, but not until 2044.They retire nice and early in Sweden where the pension can be claimed from 61. But Greece takes the cake with many current retirees having left the workforce at just 58 – which has left the country in a whole lot of trouble.
According to Daley “there are consequences of having early retirement ages that a country can't afford, and we're seeing in Greece a situation in which the economy is in enormous trouble.”
The Grattan Institute claims upping the pension age to 70 by the year 2023, as well as not allowing Aussies to access their super until they're 70, could generate an extra $25 billion dollars a year for the Australian economy.
But Finance expert Dominic Alafaci believes it'll impact the battler. “It’s going to be unpopular, and in some cases detrimental to the superannuant who has been working for a long, long time, and wants to access to their hard savings – for example to pay off a mortgage. Imagine pushing it out from 60 to 70, and you are going to pay the banks another ten years’ of interest on your home loan. It does not make a lot of sense.”
Future retirees like Plummer aren't convinced either.
“If they keep putting the age up then I'm just going to keep working and I don't think that's fair. I want to be able to sit back and relax and enjoy life a little bit.”What do you think of the proposed retirement age?
This reporter is on Twitter at @tinekae
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