Sep 22, 2004

Howard considering making you wait longer for your superannuation


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 22 September 2004

The Howard Government is considering forcing Australians to wait longer before they can access their superannuation entitlements, according to a leaked Howard Government report.

This recommendation was contained in a report from a high level taskforce – The Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership – set up by Mr Howard and which his Government has been withholding from the public since May.

The report states:

“…we recommend that as a necessary consequence a review of the superannuation preservation age be undertaken.”

Increasing the preservation age beyond 60 – i.e. the age at which Australians can access their superannuation – is not about choice but forcing older workers to stay in the workforce longer.

But why should we be surprised the Howard Government is considering such a punitive policy option. Mr Howard’s only response to an ageing population has been a “work till you drop” agenda.

Mr Howard simply fails to understand that despite their desire to continuing working, many older Australians are being forced out of the labour market prematurely – a third of retirees cite job losses as the main reason for ceasing their last full time job.

Labor’s approach will give older Australians a genuine choice:

• Our commitment to cut the Superannuation Contribution Tax will help Australians build a greater retirement nest egg upon which to plan their retirement; and

• Through our $212 million Greater security, more opportunities for mature age Australians policy we will assist older workers keep their skills relevant to the needs of the modern labour market as well as help older jobseekers make a successful and speedy transition back into work.

While Mr Howard has a secret agenda, Labor has a positive plan for the future.