Suncorp supports removing age barriers

Age barriers should be removed to allow greater flexibility in transition to retirement, according to Suncorp Life chief executive Geoff Summerhayes.

He said the main barriers to older workers contributing to their retirement were the restriction of voluntary contributions to superannuation funds for workers over 65 and work tests for members aged over 65. 

Suncorp's submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission on age barriers to work argued for a holistic approach to supporting older workers entering, re-entering and remaining in the workforce.

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Summerhayes said the removal of age barriers across the board, a 'no disadvantage test' and financial caps or capacity-based assessments were necessary to allow greater flexibility in the transition to retirement.

"The key to mature age workforce participation is to recognise that the ideal retirement age varies for each individual," he said.

Suncorp pointed to the 2010 intergenerational report and the need to increase the workforce participation rate to boost national domestic product and reduce the burden on the age pension.

"The writing is on the wall that we must improve productivity if we are going to cope with an ageing population," Summerhayes said.

"I believe that as Australians continue to have an active lifestyle, the choice of retirement should be a personal one - and there are numerous national and personal benefits of supporting this choice."

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