Cost of living crisis forces thousands of pensioners back to workforce

Article by Mikala Theocharous courtesy of 9 News.

Retired Australians are returning to the workforce as the cost of living crisis makes it harder for older people to live off the pension. 

Over 3700 retired teachers returned to New South Wales classrooms in the last 12 months, and thousands more are looking for jobs, with one in five pensioners wanting to work more.

However, older people risk losing their pension if they make over $11,800 of income a year, an amount advocacy groups say isn’t enough to live off of. 

“The vast majority of people who go back to work do so because they need the money,” the Chief Advocate at National Seniors Australia, Ian Henschke, said.

“We should take a leaf out of New Zealand’s book and simply let people on a pension work and pay income tax.

While most are returning to the workforce out of necessity, some are finding jobs to fill the time.

Margaret Peasley came out of retirement at 69 to help fill the shortage of school crossing supervisors.

“You can get lost as a retiree and it brings you back into the community, we have so many skills to offer,” she said.

“I think it’s great. I like being called a lollipop lady.”, some are finding jobs to fill the time.

According to employment website Seek, there are ample jobs available as hundreds of industries go through staff shortages.

“There are hundreds of thousands of jobs out there,” Stephen Tuffley from Seek told 9News. “Employers are looking for skills so your age shouldn’t be a disadvantage.”

Dozens of companies have already expressed interest in hiring older workers, including Virgin Australia, Bunnings and Australia Post.

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