Fast Lane: Getting ready to work until I’m 70

Fast Lane: Getting ready to work until I’m 70

Thanks to Joe Hockey, I’m now going to be working until I’m 70. 

I first started working in a part-time job when I was at school as a 15-year-old, so that’s a whopping 55 years I’m going to be in the workforce.

I’m not asking for sympathy. After all, many of you will be in the same boat as me, unless you are the same age as our Treasurer of course.

Hockey made the announcement about the increase in Australia’s pension entitlement age in a speech in Melbourne to the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce last week. 

He said the pension age will rise to 70 by 2035 and he also said his first budget will carry an emphasis on participation, particularly encouraging business to keep older workers engaged ahead of legislation increasing the pension age.

This is really what we need to hear more about. A purely economic “solution” to Australia’s ageing population of increasing the pension age is only one part of the picture. 

It’s all well and good saying people should work until the age of 70. Are there actually jobs for them?

The Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan has warned too many Australian companies are “unwilling to hire people over 50”.

Ryan says one in 10 Australian businesses admit to having an age cut-off when recruiting new workers, with the average cut-off age being 50.

An age cut-off is illegal and the majority of small and medium size businesses are great at hiring staff of all ages as they appreciate the experience and maturity these staff bring to their business. 

What SMEs need is help in offering flexible workplaces for older workers. 

An economic solution like raising the pension age is pointless without providing the infrastructure and social support necessary for the fundamental economic and social change of us all working longer.

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