AIR continues fight for retiree security

Super drawdown rates, health insurance and finanical literacy in independent retiree sights

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Wayne Strandquist

Wayne Strandquist

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Association of Independent Retirees to make their case to the next government.

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Australia's financially independent retirees will be calling on the post-election government to look at a number of issues affecting this older demographic.

Association of Independent Retirees (AIR) president, Wayne Strandquist, told The Senior that members had not expected much in the recent budget or the election campaign, given the progress the Coalition government had already made on some of advocacy issues AIR had raised, including the abolition of the work test for superannuation contributions. However, he said, there were still a number of issues which affected the financial security of independently funded retirees which needed to be addressed.

Mr Strandquist said AIR would continue to lobby the Government of four major issues.

  • A permanent reduction in the minimum drawdown rate (the minimum a retiree can withdraw from their superannuation each year to qualify for tax concessions). The Government halved the draw down rate in March 2020 as a response to the pandemic, and further extended the reduction in March 2022 effective to June 30, 2023. The full rate for a retiree aged 65 - 74 is 5 per cent (currently 2.5 percent). The full rate for a retiree aged 95 and over is 14 per cent (currently 7 per cent). Mr Strandquist said many people were now living well into their 90s and under the drawdown rules often struggled to fund their retirement, aged care and health care needs. "After age 75, the percentages should not be as steep at they are," he said.
  • Health insurance rebates to go up at the same rate as premiums. Mr Strandquist said that premiums were going up higher than the CPI but rebates only went up at the CPI rate widening the gap and making it difficult for people to afford private health insurance.
  • More financial literacy education for people approaching retirement, including promotion of financial information systems such as the Government's Money Smart website.
  • Increasing the superannuation contribution limits for people over 50 - 55 who do not have $500,000 in their superannuation fund, to provide them with adequate superannuation in retirement, thus avoiding the need for the age pension.

Mr Strandquist said AIR had been encouraged by the Government's promise not to impose more taxes on superannuation.

"I don't think we've heard the same from the Opposition," he said.

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