Retirement age rise to 70 by 2035, Joe Hockey announces

Treasurer Joe Hockey has announced that eligibility for the age pension will rise to 70. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Treasurer Joe Hockey has announced that eligibility for the age pension will rise to 70. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Australians born after 1965 will have to work until they are 70 before they are eligible for the age pension, Treasurer Joe Hockey has announced

Mr Hockey revealed on Friday that while anyone on the pension now would not be hit, the retirement age would continue to rise.

“Increasing the pension age to 70, we are intending for that to occur in 21 years time . . . that’s when you will be entitled to the pension, when you turn 70,’’ he told radio station 2GB.

“So anyone entitled the pension now certainly will not be affected.”

Mr Hockey will confirm the rise in a speech on Friday in Melbourne to the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Hockey said growing the economy would be a focus of the budget, while also signalling tougher work requirements for the unemployed - as flagged in the Commission of Audit.

"It is hugely important that we have long-term planning out of this budget and in having long-term planning we can address long-term issues,’’ he said.

“We are going to spend money for infrastructure to help drive the economy and we are going to focus on getting more Australians into work.”

The Audit Commission recommended that Australians aged 22-30 who are unemployed for more than a year be required to move to areas where there are more job opportunities.

The federal government has previously flagged that it is looking at raising the retirement age, with Mr Hockey stating last month it was an issue that needed to be addressed.

“It may be the case that my generation has to work for an extra three years … the fact is that now, as in the United Kingdom, it’s probably the case in Australia, one in every three children born today will live to 100,” he said at the time.

The retirement age is already scheduled to rise from 65 to 67 by 2023 under changes introduced by the former Labor government. The government's policy shift would ensure the age continues to slowly rise through until 2035.

The rise to 70 by 2035 is quicker than the shift suggested by the government's own Commission of Audit, released on Thursday, which recommended the rise be put in place by 2053.

The announcement also comes as Prime Minister Tony Abbott and state premiers and chief ministers meet in Canberrra on Friday to formally sign up to the federal government's proposed asset recycling package.

That package is designed to spur the states to sell their old assets and plough the money back into new infrastructure investment by providing states an extra 15 per cent of the sale value of their assets.

NSW Premier Mike Baird has already rejected the Audit Commission's proposed slow-down in the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme before the COAG meeting on Friday, but WA Premier Colin Barnett suggested it was an idea that had merit.


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