Should over-65s be allowed to go back to work with jobs galore available?

Article by Ash Brissett courtesy of Agedcare 101.

“We know that there are many people who are in their 60s who are receiving the pension, who are fit and active and want to work,”

Rebekah Sharkie

Walk along any row of shops, or go into a shopping centre, and there will be a sign or signs for “positions vacant”.

Unemployment is at a near 50-year low of 3.5 per cent. Yet only three per cent of Australia’s pensioners work, compared with 25 per cent in New Zealand, where they are not charged with penalties beyond income tax.

Rebekah Sharkie, the Federal Independent MP for Mayo near Adelaide since 2016, and Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart, believe over-65s should be able to work more without losing their benefits.

She wants an opt-in scheme that would either increase or remove the income-test threshold for pensioners with limited savings, and will now have the issue discussed at next month’s Skills Summit in Canberra ahead of the next the Federal Budget in October.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Andrew McKellar, who will be speaking at the Summit, has estimated that changes to increase the amount a pensioner could earn could attract at least 400,000 over-65s back into the workforce.

Why should over-65s be penalised for going back to work?