Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has flagged changes to the age pension, including raising the minimum eligibility age to 100.
“Obviously we’ve got to have a sustainable welfare system,” said Mr Hockey, “and there is a serious question as to whether our current welfare system, which was designed in the 20th Century, is sustainable in the 21st Century.”
Although he admitted that increasing the Australian pension age by a third might seem drastic, Mr Hockey said that people were now living longer and longer.
“On Treasury projections, Australians will soon be immortal. When that happens, an age pension age of 100 will look pretty generous.”
The Treasurer added that the current Australian pension age of 67 for men and 65 for women “made no f#[email protected] sense at all”.
“No one applauds a cricketer for getting to 67. But making 100 is a real achievement. At the moment, Australians who turn 100 only get a letter from the Queen. Under the Coalition’s plan, these amazing people will now get a pension for life.”
Mr Hockey said that lifting the age pension age would not only encourage older Australians to work longer but to live longer.
“Too many Australians decide to quit the workforce in their mid to late sixties and live off the government until they die. By raising the pension age to 100, Australians will work as long as they are physically able. This is good for the economy, good for the tax base and good for the self-esteem of our elderly.”
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