COTA says retirement incomes require review

September 2, 2014 | Aged Care Management

Retirement incomes are essential for many elderly Australians, and a review is urgently needed according to a new report from Per Capita's Longevity and Positive Ageing project.

In the release, Per Capita calls for the government to undertake a comprehensive retirement incomes review, stating that Australia has one of the lowest pension rates in the OECD.

"The pensions and superannuation system has become skewed towards the interests of wealthier Australians and is funding short-term consumption rather than meeting long-term need," the Per Capita release said.

Chief Executive of the Council On The Ageing Australia (COTA) Australia Ian Yates explained that the current pension policies have only worsened due to changes in the May budget. In addition, he stated that the Per Capita report rejected the proposals to change pension indexation to solely CPI.

Over an extended period of time, this would result in a significant cut to the pension – something that would of course have resounding negative impact on elderly Australians, such as those under the care of an aged care provider.

Mr Yates explained the need to prepare for the ageing population, and how Per Capita was taken an appropriate course of action. He also outlined the recent COTA campaign, 'Hands Off the Pension', which began in August. This new effort is designed to promote dropping strong pension changes before a proper review can be carried out.

"This [Per Capita] report today confirms that expecting pensioners to carry the budget savings load is grossly unfair given the high superannuation tax concessions which are showered on wealthy Australians," he said.

"Older Australians know they are being asked not to carry their fair share, which they would willingly do, but to carry a far greater share than they should given their low incomes."

It's important that organisations such as COTA and Per Capita take the lead when it comes to preparing Australia for future challenges.