Wayne Swan and Christian Porter.
Wayne Swan and Christian Porter. News Corp Australia

Does it matter who makes changes to aged pension?

THE pension age is expected to increase to 70 by 2035. That's looking increasingly like a fact.

But the real argument seems to be whether it's Labor's idea or the LNPs.

Social services minister Christian Porter came out swinging this morning, arguing recent media reports that the LNP is to blame for the increase were erroneous.

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"Subject to legislation, we are proposing to progressively increase the age pension age over a much longer period than Labor did, from 67 to 70 years, over 10 years from 2025 to 2035," Mr Porter said today," Mr Porter said.

"This means no one born before 1 January 1966 would be affected by the change.

"These are sensible measures that reflect increases in life expectancy.

Mr Porter used former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan's announcement in May 2009 which said, "as part of the Government's Secure and Sustainable Pension Reform, in 2017 the qualifying age for the Age Pension will gradually increase from 65 to 67 by 2023", as the basis of his argument.

This would have meant that anyone born after January 1, 1957, will have an age pension age of 67.

The Coalition are now proposing to make the pension age older again, taking it up to age 70 by 2035.

"Our proposed changes to age pension have no impact on the preservation age at which people can access their superannuation, which is between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born," Mr Porter's statement adds.

"People who are unable to work at any age continue to be supported under our targeted welfare safety net.

"Newstart Allowance assists those who are unable to secure work, and the Disability Support Pension (paid at the same rate as age pension) is available to those who can not work and who have a disability."

So, here we have it. More of us will be aged over 65 by 2054-55. In fact, our Senior numbers will double to 8.9 million according to the Federal Government.

This increase in numbers will, the government tells us, place "enormous strain on the age pension system".

Moving the pension age up to 70 will force many more seniors to try to stay in the workforce or potentially to be living on the poverty line until they are old enough to receive the age pension, and even then, will the pension be enough to protect and support older Australians once they are over 70?

Dare I say it; are seniors seen as a burden on our government and neither the LNP or Labor know what to do about it? 

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