Financial advisers have encouraged people to believe that the Age Pension might at some stage cease to exist, according to Council on the Ageing (COTA) chief executive, Ian Yates.
Yates has told a hearing of the Senate Economic Committee review of the Government's legislation around the objective of superannuation that doubts about the future of the Age Pension had been an important factor in attitudes towards the importance of superannuation.
"….people feel that there is a basic threat to the pension's existence, something which, I might say, has been encouraged by many financial advisers over the last few decades — that is, they say you must do all sorts of things through them, because the pension will not exist," he said.
"I think that is highly unlikely, but we understand why people feel that threat," Yates said.
The COTA chief executive said that he believed the Government's proposed objective for superannuation as a supplement for the Age Pension, actually served to link the pension and super as part of a package.
"In fact, it assumes the continuation of the pension. I do not see it as a replacement for the pension," he said.
"Indeed, one of the issues is clearly that, if you did away with the pension and just had a super system, the actual cost to government might be more," Yates said.