Consumer protection

Power report a win for seniors

National Seniors Australia has urged the Federal Government to implement urgently key recommendations of the ACCC investigation into retail energy pricing.

The ACCC has said Australian households could save between $290 and $750 a year if the sweeping reforms are implemented.

National Seniors’ Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the ACCC report, released on Wednesday, 11 July, had revealed the widespread abuse of market power by larger energy companies, which had affected vulnerable older Australians badly.

Aldi is Australia's most trusted brand

German supermarket giant Aldi is now the most trusted brand in Australia, a new survey has shown.

Roy Morgan Research said the survey of 4,000 consumers showed Aldi’s Net Trust Score (NTS) put the supermarket chain ahead of Australian brands NRMA, Bendigo Bank and Qantas.

Aldi’s main supermarket rivals Woolworths and Coles were also rated highly but supermarkets as a category scored a minus NTS, falling behind other industries such as automotive, consumer product brands, travel, and technology.

Australians too scared to switch NBN providers

Connecting to the NBN is the perfect opportunity to consider switching telecommunications providers, but many Aussies prefer to stick to the one they know, a new survey has shown. 

Comparison website said 80 per cent of the 1,235 NBN users surveyed preferred to stay with their original provider when they connected to the NBN, with many not bothering to shop around for a better deal.

One size does not fit all in retirement risk

National Seniors is concerned a proposed ‘one size fits all’ approach towards helping retirees better manage their financial risks in retirement may not suit everyone.

National Seniors last year made a submission to the federal Treasury, commenting on the initial proposal to develop regulation for new Comprehensive Income Products for Retirement (CIPRs). It is proposed super funds offer these products to help retirees better manage risks such as outliving their super.

Online purchases from overseas now dearer

Online shopping from overseas stores is likely to become more expensive for Australian consumers after the introduction of 10 per cent GST on goods worth less than $1000 from 1 July.

New research by online comparison website research shows 73 per cent of Australians – equivalent to 14 million people – shop from overseas retailers, having made a purchase under $1,000 from an international store in the past two years.

Seniors' housing needs better planning

A new report shows people aged over 65 risk fewer and poorer housing options unless governments do a better job of planning to house them.

The Property Council of Australia commissioned The Retirement Living Planning Report Card which assessed states and territories on their performance in planning for seniors’ housing. Overall, South Australia was ranked first.

Public comment invited on new Retirement Living Code of Conduct

Now is your chance to have a say on the draft version of a new national Retirement Living Code of Conduct.

More than 3,000 Australian retirement communities are providing accommodation and services to almost 300,000 people aged 65 and over, helping to extend their independence, provide access to health care as well as new and vital social support networks.

Food labelling laws to start on 1 July

Australian consumers will have much greater certainty about the origins of the food they buy after the introduction of mandatory Country of Origin food labelling from 1 July.

Consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), said it would conduct market surveillance checks on 10,000 food products to ensure businesses were correctly displaying the new labels.

Help tackle elder financial abuse

National Seniors has joined a new concerted campaign to help stop elder financial abuse.

The campaign includes the Australian Banking Association, Council on the Ageing, the Older Persons Action Network and the Financial Services Union.

People are being urged to write to their state and territory Attorney-Generals to introduce three key changes to help better recognise, report and stamp out elder financial abuse.

The changes are:

•  Standardised power of attorney orders around Australia

•  Establish an online register of powers of attorney

Seniors big losers in power market

A new energy market report has reinforced the need for regulated power prices for older consumers unable to shop around for a better deal, according to National Seniors Australia.

National Seniors’ Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) report found higher prices combined with complex and confusing energy offers had driven consumer confidence to new lows.

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