Older Australians are being enticed into work through a raft of pension sweeteners outlined in the federal budget.
Aged pensioners will be able to earn an extra $50 per fortnight without affecting their payments, as part of a suite of measures designed to give older Australians greater financial security.
“Just because you’re getting older does not mean you should have to surrender your dignity or your choices. We’re living longer. It’s a good thing,” Treasurer Scott Morrison said in his budget speech on Tuesday night.
“We want to preserve and increase the choices of older Australians.”
The pension work bonus will be expanded to allow self-employed retirees to earn up to $300 per fortnight without copping a whack to their pensions.
“The government is helping Australians to work for as long as they want, laying the foundations for a secure retirement,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.
More than $250 million over five years will go towards measures enhancing the standard of living of older Australians.
The various announcements are intended to complement funding for an extra 14,000 high-level home care packages so people can stay in their homes longer if they wish.
Up to $10,000 in wage subsidies will be provided to employers who take on staff aged over 50, with further incentives provided to upskill mature-aged workers.
The pensions loan scheme will be opened up to all older Australians, allowing couples to boost their retirement incomes by up to $17,800 without affecting their eligibility for benefits.
The scheme enables people to use the equity in their homes to increase their incomes.
However, not everyone is impressed.
National Seniors Australia chief advocate Ian Henschke said the pensions loan scheme would cut some people out.
“Sadly, there are 250,000 pensioners who rent, and they are the ones who are going to be suffering,” Henschke said.
Pension means-test rules will also be changed to boost an uptake of lifetime retirement income products, encouraging more retirees to manage the risk of outliving their savings.Do you have an idea for a story?
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