As we look at who has lost out in this budget – mostly workers over 35 and women – it is worth looking at some of the pension changes the Coalition have made since coming to government seven years ago.
As of July 2021, you have to be 66.5 years old before you can get the pension. In 2023, you have to be 67.
So we are working later – and in reality, we will be working into our 70s. Which is fine if it is your choice. But if it’s not, and you will be relying on the pension to help supplement your income, if you can’t work, you have to wait longer for it.
But chances are, if you have lost your job in your 60s, it is going to be very, very difficult to be re-hired. The data plays that out. In this pandemic, young people have lost their job – but they also tend to work in industries like hospitality and tourism, which skews towards younger earners anyway. Those jobs will come back as restrictions lift – and now employers will get up to $200 a week to hire a worker they were going to hire anyway. (Think of the labour credit as a cheaper version of jobkeeper – jobkeeper ends in March next year and it looks like this is one way to keep the spirit of the program, without actually the spend.)
An older worker though, forced to work until their mid-60s before they are eligible for the pension, is going to have a much harder time getting a job. And there is no incentive to hire them.