Retirement income

Many employers pocket super benefits, study shows

A new study has found that many employers are effectively pocketing some or all of the benefits of employees who salary sacrifice super contributions from lower incomes.

The analysis, undertaken by Industry Super Australia and Construction and Building Unions Superannuation (Cbus), showed an estimated 2.4 million Australians are not being paid their legal super entitlements.

Plan now for pension assets test changes

National Seniors is urging its members to check if they will be impacted by the Age Pension assets test which comes into force from 1 January 2017.

Media reports this week have said that affected pensioners will not be officially notified until Centrelink sends them a letter shortly before Christmas.

National Seniors Chief Executive Dagmar Parsons said some older people are very anxious and need help to understand how the changes will affect them, so they can consider their options.

Saving for retirement stresses workers

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.  

Seniors calling for higher super concessional cap

National Seniors has this week called on the Federal Government to retain the higher concessional contributions cap for those aged 50 and over to improve the adequacy of their retirement income.

Responding to the latest round of proposed legislative changes under the superannuation reform package, Chief Executive Dagmar Parsons said older workers should be allowed to make higher contributions.

Superannuation Reform Package Exposure Bills

National Seniors has restated concerns about the proposed objective of superannuation and calls on the Federal Government to undertake further work to develop an objective that will better shape future superannuation policy. 

Submission on Objective of Superannuation Discussion Paper

National Seniors recommends the legislated objective clearly state the purpose of superannuation as supplementing the Age Pension and other voluntary savings, with wording that includes ‘dignity in retirement’, ‘financial security’, ‘lifetime savings’ and ‘comfortable standard of living’.

Plans to tighten pension portability

A new rule proposed by the Coalition Government would reduce the amount of time pensioners can travel overseas before having their pension adjusted.

If passed into law, the change would come into force from 1 January 2017.

National Seniors Chief Executive Dagmar Parsons said the proposal to tighten Age Pension portability unfairly targets many older people who choose to take an extended overseas trip to visit their family and friends.

The Role of Financial Literacy & Financial Adviser Anxiety in Older Australians’ Advice Seeking

The future financial security of senior Australians will be influenced by the effectiveness of their financial plans. Key to ensuring this goal is the financial literacy of the individual, as well as their access to appropriate professional financial advice.

This National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre report, authored by Paul Gerrans from the University of Western Australia and Douglas A. Hershey from Oklahoma State University, examines these issues in detail and reveals some valuable findings. 

Welfare system shake-up must invest in older people

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.

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