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Retirement

Stop punishing working older Australians: NSA

  • February 24 2020
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Retirement

Stop punishing working older Australians: NSA

By Grace Ormsby
February 24 2020

Australia’s pensioners should be allowed to work without being penalised for their decision, an advocacy group has flagged.

Old man working

Stop punishing working older Australians: NSA

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  • February 24 2020
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Australia’s pensioners should be allowed to work without being penalised for their decision, an advocacy group has flagged.

Old man working

In a submission for the current Retirement Income Review, National Seniors Australia (NSA) has called for a “simpler and more flexible” system to be put in place.

According to the organisation’s chief advocate, Ian Henschke, “There are too many perverse disincentives built into our retirement income system.”

He’s calling for the panel to consider foreign pension and retirement income systems.

“We should be looking at Canada and New Zealand, which both let pensioners work without penalising them by cutting their pension,” Mr Henschke offered.

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In those jurisdictions, “pensioners are simply taxed on their earnings instead of losing their pension after earning a certain amount”.

The government should recognize that income from working is in itself a pillar of the retirement income system, especially for individuals who have not accumulated adequate savings or superannuation, according to the National Seniors Association.

Ultimately, the group said that the retirement income system “should be encouraging Australians to be more self-sufficient in retirement”.

Instead, Mr Henschke flagged how “pension rules create sweet spots [that] discourage people from saving more out of fear of having their pension reduced or disappear”.

“The current assets test taper rate, which was unfairly increased in 2017, sees a couple with $400,000 potentially earning $1,000 a month more than a couple with $800,000 in savings,” he said.

The taper rate has previously been referred to as an “unfair retiree tax” that creates a disincentive to saving. 

nestegg recently revealed that retirees are now required to fork out 2.1 per cent more per year to attain a “comfortable” level of retirement

Stop punishing working older Australians: NSA
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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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