Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s release today of the Retirement Incomes Review today as the first step toward an objective public discussion on creating a more effective, fairer and sustainable retirement income system for older Australians.
The Federal Government has responded to repeated calls from COTA to release the Review’s Final Report before formulating its policy response, so that the community can objectively analyse the evidence, test the observations and findings of the Review against that evidence, and participate in what is a crucial debate for Australia.
COTA Australia Chief Executive Ian Yates hopes the Review’s Final Report will prove to be a strong evidence base on which to discuss and plan reforms.
“COTA has always maintained it was crucial to publish the Retirement Incomes Review Final Report to allow and enable informed public debate before any policy decisions were made, and I applaud the Federal Government for responding appropriately,” says Mr Yates.
“We welcome the confirmation that our retirement income system is doing well for most older Australians, but there are many who are slipping through the cracks. Many women and people in the private rental market are among those worst off in retirement.
“There has been some unfortunate politicisation of retirement incomes issues, particularly around the level of the Superannuation Guarantee. This Review provides a basis for a more evidenced based discussion of that and many other issues must put this to rest so policymakers can get on with the job of ensuring older Australians have a sustainable, just and accessible retirement income system for the future.
“It is vital to emphasise that this Review was not just about compulsory superannuation, which is only one, albeit very important, part of a total retirement income system, in which the adequacy of the age pension and other public policy supports, such as health and housing, for all vulnerable retirees is also of paramount importance.
On behalf of current and future older Australians, COTA Australia will be actively promoting discussion around issues such as:
- Ensuring the system encourages the use of retirement income and assets to optimise quality of life in retirement
- Increasing the equity in retirement income outcomes by redesigning tax incentives that the Review shows disproportionality favor higher income earners
- Making superannuation and the age pension work together better
- Improving the situation of retirees in the private rental market
- Increasing women’s retirement income
- Improving financial literacy about retirement income
- Increasing housing provision, security and utlisation
“We look forward to contributing to robust and rational testing of and discussion about the Review’s finding and observations and we will continue to advocate for a system where all Australians can have a dignified and fulfilling retirement.”