A different kind of pension: Where do you stand on this expert’s idea? 112



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As Christmas draws to a close, many pensioners will be considering how they can afford the year ahead. For Australians in their 80s and 90s, the pension is unlikely to cover medical costs and living expenses specifically related to ageing. Financial experts call this ‘the longevity risk’, and now they’re urging the government to introduce a new pension especially for elderly people, i.e. our future 20 years from now.

Richard Livingston, the founder of financial consultancy Eviser, believes an ‘elderly pension’ would help alleviate living costs for Australians aged around 90 years. Indeed, many pensioners could become eligible for this so-called elderly pension, especially as baby boomers age and life expectancies increase.

“Compared to budgeting for an average life expectancy, (reaching old-age) makes a massive difference to the amount you need to save, and the rate at which you spend your savings. Depending on your circumstances, covering the possibility of living past the century mark might double the amount of retirement savings you need in the first place”, Mr Livingstone explained in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Subsequently, Mr Livingstone is calling on the government to introduce another level of pension support. “We need a new ‘elderly pension’ to provide genuine and generous support for the growing cadre of Australians who will make it well past life expectancy – somewhere in the nineties and beyond”.

Mr Livingstone believes the specifics of an elderly pension could be negotiated at parliamentary level, but it should be more generous than the age pension, include standard healthcare, and have little or no means-testing. An elderly pension “should be immune as far as possible from the whims of future politicians”, he added.

“We can keep tinkering with the age pension we’ve got, solve nothing, continuously break promises and bamboozle those trying to do the right thing by being self-funded retirees, but there’s a better way”, Mr Livingstone concluded. “The way I see it, an elderly pension would give us a system where self-funded retirees can plan their saving and spending with a lot more certainty” .

Do you believe an elderly pension would help older generations, along with pensioners beginning their retirement planning? Do you believe there should be a two-tiered approach to pensions, based on age?



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  1. It may well help self funded retirees who need nursing care in their later years, however I don’t believe it would help the average pensioners, as it would be no different to what most pensioners have to get by on now, and it wouldn’t improve the living conditions for the average pensioners as many can’t afford to go to a decent nursing home to receive the care they require. Once again it sounds like the rich taking care of the rich.

    5 REPLY
  2. Well, if you ask me, the most critical part of preparing for retirement is just having a plan. Whether you use a spreadsheet or a tool like ontrajectory.com or some other website — you have to get everything out in front of you so you can make smarter decisions. Once you do that, then implementing your disciplined retirement strategy becomes critical.

  3. One problem I can see with that, is that many will not reach a ripe old age, in my opinion they would be better just to give a pension increase right across the board, but we know that is NOT going to happen. They need to invest in more aged care now, because every year they delay we will all be a year older

  4. won’t happen under this Government, we will all be very lucky if they don’t take money from us

    1 REPLY
    • In as much as we are in this financial mess ,due to the previous government .What makes you think they would be any better.?

  5. The whole superannuation process needs to be overhauled to ensure everybody contributes and taken out of the hands of insurance companies.

  6. You are kidding, right? The current government is trying to find (politically non suicidal) ways to take money away from and increase the starting age of OAP. There is no way they’re going to contribute more, particularly because increasing numbers are living longer.

    1 REPLY
    • ALP were the first to increase the OAP starting age and they supported the incease to 70, commencing in 2030. Do you think they will scrap that if they ever return to the Gov’t benches before then? I don’t think so. And yes, there is a major budget issue looming with the increase in welfare spending.

  7. Why don’t they leave the aged alone it’s not going to happen to them they all retire well and truly looked after I would like to see them live on an aged. Pension

  8. Look after the older Australians who provided the money and STOP ALL “foreign aid”! If it means withdrawing certain signatures from the United Nations, so be it. Look after Australians first. Listen to the Smith Family, over 200,000 Australian children in need every day, but our politicians still give millions of dollars to people in foreign lands. So wrong!

    6 REPLY
    • Australia is part of a global economy, so your proposal would be looked upon as very selfish, to say the least. All countries have their disadvantaged and there are other ways to combat the problem, besides alienating ourselves from the rest of the world. A fanciful and unrealistic idea.

    • I agree Paul Clark, foreign aid should only be considered to cover natural disasters, and be administered by us. Too much of our foreign aid is going into corrupt politicians pockets and not where it’s meant to go. Cut it back, and look after those in need at home!

    • Oh really? I don’t know of many western countries who don’t provide foreign aid. Charity-begins-at-home attitude does not apply in a global context, as it’s not about simply giving handouts. It’s much more complex than that ie. strategically and assisting re education opportunities and self sufficiency projects. “I want to be part of an Australia that values itself by how it contributes to the world, not by its ability to reproduce an anachronistic and parochial vision of itself.” (Joe Mckenzie) Australia is a rich western society that can afford it, despite what the right whingers want us to believe.

    • Its obvious Julie that you are financially comfortable. Good for you. But I tend to agree that we need put ourselves before other countries, regardless. The billions we’ve spent on Indonesia is an example. They’ve always got their hands out, yet we have a crisis here, they dont even send us a get well card, just like most of them.

  9. Too much medical care now for our elderly. Let them die in peace not hooked up to machines or kept alive with drugs.

  10. No because they will take it from people who are Seventy and over to cover it Don’t think for one minute that won’t happen they are making it so hard for people now you have to work on young persons super now as soon as they start earning when I started working they didn’t have super The biggest thing is to stop goverments changing policy when they get in super should not be able to be changed after it’s set up as long as it’s done properly

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