Fighting for a better deal for older Australians

Older Australians want strong and effective government, one that represents the interests of all Australians, and which makes prudent decisions after careful consideration and planning.

Older Australians are keen to continue their lifelong contribution to society. They best do so when there are clear and consistent rules and regulations around issues such as superannuation and retirement income, and adequate supports and safety nets, such as the Aged Pension.

National Seniors want all political parties and candidates to adopt policies that address:

Our Election Policies

Fix Pension Poverty

National Seniors has partnered with the Benevolent Society to fight for a fair go for people on the pension.

What’s needed:
• Establish an Independent Age Pension Tribunal
• Increase the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA)
• Provide a subsidy to connect to the NBN or another appropriate internet service
• Expand the provision of basic dental care for pensioners, including those in aged care.

Address Aged Care Deficiencies

The age care system is failing Australian families. Government must repair and boost aged care and safeguard the health, safety, dignity and wellbeing of Australia’s older people.

What’s needed:
• Triple the number of level 3 and 4 home care packages
• Require that all aged care providers publish staff-to-resident ratios
• Ensure all aged care staff in direct care roles have basic dementia training.

Increase Income In Retirement

National Seniors is fighting for policies that create a fairer and stronger retirement system for all older Australians.

What’s needed:
• Retain access to franking credits for self-funded retirees
• Reduce the asset test taper rate from $3.00 to $2.00
• Exempt up to $250,000 of home sale proceeds from the Age Pension means test.

Arrest Rising Health Costs

Spiralling out-of-pocket health care costs are the single biggest concern of older Australians.

What’s needed:
• Require all specialists to publish fees on a public register and ensure that all GPs make patients aware of choice when referring to a specialist.
• Limit private health insurance premium increases to no more than CPI until reforms take effect.

Protect Pensioners From Rising Energy Costs

Pensioners continue to be hit hard by escalating energy prices.

What’s needed:
• Reinstate indexation of the Energy Supplement.

Improve Centrelink

Excessive wait times for essential services such as Centrelink are unacceptable.

What’s needed:
• Cut Centrelink telephone waiting times for older Australians and reduce Age Pension processing times.

Enhance Elder Abuse Protections

No older person should suffer abuse.

What’s needed:
• Accelerate efforts to create nationally consistent Powers of Attorney legislation and a single national register for these documents.

These polices are an investment in the health, well-being and productivity of older people across our nation.

We want all parties and candidates to adopt and commit to these policies so that older Australians, their families and those who will one day become older Australians can enjoy an even better life.

These initiatives summarise our policies and between now and the election we will post more policy details and more information that keeps you up-to-date about this crucial election.

Read more about our campaigns below and find out how you can help out.

Current Campaigns

Pension poverty

Pension poverty

We are calling for an Independent Age Pension Tribunal to take the politics out of the pension and for increased financial assistance for older people to access the rental market, the NBN and dental care.

Health costs

Health costs

We are calling for spiralling out-of-pocket health care costs to be curtailed through greater transparency of specialist fees and by limiting increases to private health insurance premiums.

Aged care

Aged care

Swift action must be taken to fix the crisis in aged care: by tripling level 3 and 4 home care packages to eliminate the waiting list; mandating publication of staffing levels in residential care settings; and making dementia training mandatory for all people working in aged care.

Franking credits

Franking credits

We want to see a stronger retirement income system that encourages people to save and be self-reliant. We reject moves to strip franking credit refunds and we want those seeking government office to commit to reducing the asset test taper rate from $3.00 to $2.00. We also support a scheme to enable low-wealth downsizers to put excess home sale proceeds into superannuation without affecting their Age Pension.

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