A win for the mature worker – but its just the beginning

National Seniors Australia welcomed the Coalition’s announcement to abolish the Superannuation Guarantee age limit but stressed it’s just the first step in tackling ageism.

National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill applauded today’s announcement by the Coalition to totally abolish the Superannuation Guarantee age limit from July 1, 2013 if elected to government.

Currently, the Superannuation Guarantee only applies to workers up to the age of 70. Under the Coalition’s plan, any worker, no matter their age, will be guaranteed to receive superannuation contributions from their employer.

“We now need the Labor Party to make the same commitment and I am calling on them to make that commitment now,” Mr O’Neill said.

“Anyone who chooses to work, no matter what their age, should be entitled to the same financial remuneration,” he said.

While the Coalition’s plan is applauded Mr O’Neill said this was just the beginning of tackling ageism.

“Ageism is discrimination and it is not confined to superannuation. It is being felt in workplaces where people aged 50 plus struggle to get work,” he said.

A recent report on the IT industry highlighted the plight of mature age workers over 45 who are perceived as past their use by date according to their managers.

“National Seniors research shows that once a mature age worker is unemployed he or she is likely to remain that way. The consequences of this discrimination will have far reaching affects, not just for the individual but for the broader community which will have to foot the bill for the growing numbers of mature aged Australians forced on to unemployment benefits and full pensions,” Mr O’Neill said.

With 45 percent of Australians over 50 years of age, ageism in the work place is a dangerous issue to ignore – it is a growing economic problem with the potential to have significant financial ramifications for Australia.

National Seniors Australia, representing 300,000 members aged 50 and over, is making ageism a key issue for the federal election campaign, Mr O’Neill said.

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