Age Discrimination Adds Fuel to the Retirement Fire

Retirement and the pension have been the focal point of the federal budget ever since it was handed down by the Coalition last month.

Retirement and the pension have been the focal point of the federal budget ever since it was handed down by the Coalition last month.

Disgruntled soon-to-be retirees have voiced their concerns saying the rise in retirement age to 70 will backfire without trying to eliminate workforce discrimination against older people.

Members Alliance CEO David Domingo says it's now more important than ever to have a plan for retirement that doesn't depend on employers or the government.

"The budget has sent shockwaves throughout Australia, effecting both the young and old, and it comes as a wake-up call that retirement is something you should be taking into your own hands," says Mr Domingo.

"It's no secret that employers are unwilling to hire older people and unfortunately, the value of an older worker is remarkably undermined.

"The older generation possess the qualities that run a great business; they understand the worth of a dollar, they're punctual and enthusiastic and they have a lifetime of skill to offer - I say this because all too often we hear of Generation Y lacking the basic skills that make a valuable employee."

While certain industries and occupations support the older workforce, according to Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan, 1 in 10 businesses admit to having a cut off age averaging around 50.

This combined with the Coalition's decision to scrap the Mature Age Workers Tax Offset, which provided tax concessions of up to $500 for people over 55, has made it even harder for the older generation to find and secure employment.

Research from the Australian Human Rights commission shows one out of three unemployed people aged between 55 years and 64 years fell into the 'long-term unemployed' category in 2010-11.

Mr Domingo says soon-to-be retirees shouldn't let the government determine how they will spend their golden years.

"The government's blanket resolution of raising the retirement age to 70, when implemented, will increase the pressure on future retirees to build up assets to help protect their future standard of living," says Mr Domingo.

"They can guard themselves against potential changes by securing their financial future through strategic planning and investment.

"The last thing we want is people reaching 60, realising they won't be able to afford retirement and start to make irrational financial decisions that could see negative repercussions for years to come."

Members Alliance specialise in providing tailored financial programs, derived from an analysis of your current financial position and identification of your financial goals.

If you want to start planning for retirement, call 1300 365 731 to find out how they can help.