Lifestyle

Working life stretched to limit

UNCONVINCED: Carol Lynn, Rhonda Hurst, Mailee Hurst and Kayleb Adams discuss the age pension and how it will impact them. Photo: JoJo Newby
UNCONVINCED: Carol Lynn, Rhonda Hurst, Mailee Hurst and Kayleb Adams discuss the age pension and how it will impact them. Photo: JoJo Newby

AT THIS rate, two-year-old Kayleb Adams could end up being 80 years old before he can claim the age pension.

The Federal Government has announced the eligibility age for the pension will be raised gradually to 67 years by 2023.

Kayleb's great-grandmother, Carol Lynn, started working when she was 13.

She is now 65 and is concerned that making people work for longer will reduce job opportunities for upcoming generations.

"There's so many 18-to- 30-year-olds who can't find work. They're never going to get any experience," Carol said.

Kayleb's mother, Mailee Hurst, is concerned at how further changes may impact her son's life.

"If they're bumping the pension age up to 67 now, I hate to think what it'll be by the time Kayleb is looking to retire," Mailee said.

Member for Page Kevin Hogan denied concerns that raising the age pension was a simplistic solution to a complex problem.

"With Australia's demographics rapidly changing and more people now entering the retirement of their lives, the government is examining how best to fund the aged pension on a sustainable basis," Mr Hogan said.

"Raising the pension age to 67, as the previous government has done, is just one part of the solution."

The raising of the pension age was previously announced by the former ALP government.

The change will only affect people born after June 1952.

The first shift upwards will occur in 2017, with the eligibility age to rise by six-month increments every two years until it reaches the age of 67 in 2023.

"I think it's too much for someone to work that long. It's too full-on," Mailee said.

Mr Hogan said his government had implemented plans to establish greater employment opportunities across the region.

"We have reaffirmed our election commitment to fund the Pacific Hwy at 80%.

"This multi-million dollar project will directly create about 4300 jobs and, as a rough guide, almost 13,000 indirect jobs in our backyard," he said.

When the age pension was introduced, a male retiring at age 65 spent, on average, 11 years in retirement.

At that time about half the male population reached retirement age.

Today more than 85% of the male population reaches retirement age, spending, on average, more than 19 years in retirement.

Eligibility

 2017 - 65.5 years old

 2019 - 66 years old

 2021 - 66.5 years old

 2023 - 67 years old

Topics:  kevin hogan, retirement age

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