AIST slams “ad hoc” age pension changes

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) is unhappy over the Federal Government's "ad hoc" decision on retirement income policy.

While it is pleased the changes will not affect people nearing retirement, the AIST is concerned the decision to increase the age pension eligibility age was taken without discussions with the Australian community about retirement goals.

AIST CEO Tom Garcia said decisions on retirement must consider factors including caring needs, health, aged care, home ownership and gender issues.

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"We acknowledge the need to ensure our system is sustainable in the long term, but this is not the way to implement such an important change," he said.

Many Australians may retire due to no other choice, with AIST and Australian Centre for Financial Studies research showing 40 per cent of Australians do not get to choose when they retire.

"A number of often unforeseen factors can lead to involuntary retirement — including age discrimination, job type, poor English proficiency and caring demands — it's not just limited to health," Garcia said.

"Ensuring the long term sustainability of the retirement system is important, but it is essential that meeting the needs of retirees is a priority for Government."

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