Increased life expectancy combined with recent changes to government policy (e.g. eligibility for the Age Pension increasing to age 67 by 2023) will require many people to work past the traditional retirement age of 65 to financially support themselves. Additionally, it is anticipated that Australia's ageing population will have a significant impact on the workforce participation rate; as the ageing population retire, labour shortages will emerge. Predicted labour shortages can be reduced by encouraging and supporting older workers to work for longer than they do now.
Mature age employment
The need to save for retirement is a key reason for financial stress in Australian workers.
New research by AMP for its 2016 Financial Wellness report shows that workers’ confidence in their finances has declined in the past two years, from 54 per cent of people confident in 2014, compared to 48 per cent in 2016.
AMP spokesperson Vicki Doyle said financial stress was common in the Australian workers with over 2.8 million employees, or one in four, under financial stress in 2016.
National Seniors says any reform of the welfare system needs to ensure that assistance for older people is maintained.
The federal government this week announced the first stage in a new Australian Priority Investment Approach to Welfare that uses new data to identify and target groups most at risk of long-term welfare dependency.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter said that for the first time, government had evidence of exactly what was happening to people in the welfare system, down to very small groups.
Harnessing the power of an older workforce could deliver gains of up to $78 billion for the Australian economy, a new report reveals.
According to the Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) report, if Australia’s employment rates for workers aged 55-plus were increased to those in Sweden (where 74% of those aged 55-64 are employed), Australia’s GDP could be around 4.7% higher.
The South Australian budget has maintained seniors’ concessions but added nothing new to help older people cope with ever increasing living costs.
National Seniors Policy Advisory Group chair for South Australia, Myrana Wahlqvist, welcomed the jobs focus of the budget handed down on Friday by Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis.
He said that up to $10,000 cash incentive would be available to businesses for each new full-time job created. The $109 million grant scheme is expected to generate 14,000 jobs over the next two years.
National Seniors has welcomed a project to help older South Australians find and keep jobs.
The state’s Minister for Ageing, Zoe Bettison, said the Mature Economy Business and Jobs Strategy will focus on new economic opportunities for mature age workers.
The strategy will be a joint initiative of Flinders University Business School and the Stuttgart-based Fraunhofer IAO, which specializes in manufacturing and business development.
More older Australians intend to work until they are at least 65, according to new data release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
In a survey conducted in 2014-15, 71 per cent of people aged 45 and over said they did not expect to retire until they reached 65 or over.
This was up from 66 per cent in 2012-13 and only 48 per cent in 2004-05.
ABS spokeswoman Jennifer Humphrys said the survey found nearly a quarter were intending to retire at 70, compared with a meagre eight per cent in 2004-05.
Change is inevitable, so plan for it. A survey of career planning among mature age Australians.
A free career advisory service helping mature workers plan for the next stage of their careers was launched this week.
The new pilot program, Skills Checkpoint Pilot, is targeted at mature workers aged 45 to 54 to help them take stock of their abilities and identify opportunities to gain new skills or employment.
The pilot will use selected Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) providers to deliver services to benefit around 2,000 employed people in certain states and territories.
Greater life expectancy and improved health come with increased expectations and pressures for older people to participate longer in the workforce. While there are diverse social and economic pressures to participate in work, National Seniors believes that all Australians should be able to participate in work if they wish to do so.