Pensioners want to work longer without penalty
WITH the NSW Seniors Festival hitting top gear this week there's one matter the sector's chief advocate says is crying out for attention.
National Seniors spokesman Ian Henschke is lobbying for those older Australians fit and keen enough to still keep earning a crust to be allowed by the Federal Government to allow age pensioners to earn up to $10,000 a year without losing any of their benefits.
"Many are willing and able to work part time but a loss of pension income is a major disincentive,” he said.
"Under the existing work bonus system age pensioners can earn up to $250 a fortnight to a maximum of $6,500 a year without penalty.
"Raising the limit to $10,000 per annum would lift the amount to $385 fortnightly.”
With the single age pension including supplements set at $894.40 a fortnight, the increase means pensioners would be earning $540 more than the minimum wage a year, or an extra $21 a fortnight.
"This is hardly going to put them on easy street.
"Our research shows one in three age pensioners would continue in paid employment part time if the work bonus was increased to $10,000.
"Many older people do not have sufficient superannuation to produce adequate retirement income and it's imperative we create an environment in which those who want to continue working part time are able to do so.
"It provides a way for pensioners to help themselves and to make ends meet without having to rely further on government income support.”