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Australia – To raise the nation’s retirement age to 70

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey wants to raise the nation’s retirement age to 70, the highest in the world, to prevent an aging population from draining state coffers. Capture d’écran 2014-06-25 à 09.46.22

Miner Noel Chatterton laughs at the idea.“Good luck with that,” said the driller, who at 48 will be among the vanguard of workers who would be affected by the proposed change. “My hands are already about stuffed. The way my body is, I’ll be lucky to be able to work until I’m 60, let alone 70.”

The ratio of working-age Australians to those over 65 in the world’s 12th-largest economy is expected to decline to 3:1 by 2050 from 5:1 in 2010. In Japan it’s already below 3:1 and in Germany it’s close to that level, according to the International Labor Organization.

“While Australia is the first to raise the age to 70, it won’t be the last,” said Steve Shepherd of international employment agency Randstad Group in Melbourne. “The world will be watching this.”

Longevity Price

Australia’s 2.4 million state-retirement-age pensioners draw about A$40 billion a year, making it the largest government spending program. That’s forecast to rise 6.2 percent a year over the next decade, according to an independent review commissioned by Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The program provides the main source of income for 65 percent of retired Australians.

“We should celebrate the fact that Australians are living longer, but we must prepare for adjustments in our society,” Hockey said in his May 13 budget speech. Under his plan, Australians born in 1966 or after will have to work until they are 70, from 65 now, before they can draw their government retirement allowance.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Aging Australians Balk at World’s Oldest Retirement Age – Bloomberg.

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