Increasing Mature-Age Workforce Participation But Not Unfairly Increasing the Pension Eligibility Age
Andrew Scott, Professor at Deakin University will be at this year’s National Employment Solutions Conference this November, presenting “Increasing mature-age workforce participation but not unfairly increasing the pension eligibility age”.
This paper demonstrates that there is both a budgetary need ‘ and effective means available ‘ to achieve more returns into paid work, and better retention in paid work, of unemployed and underemployed mature-age workers in Australia. It calls for caution following the 1 July 2017 first instalment of the rise in the pension eligibility age in Australia to 67 years; for a slowing of the further rise in the pension eligibility age; and for abandonment of the current policy of raising the pension eligibility age to 70 years.
The focus instead needs to switch onto specific new policies to increase mature-age workforce participation in Australia towards the rates of the six leading nations of northern Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands and Sweden) through practical steps which government in Australia can now take.
There needs to be particular support for transitional skills retraining for workers in occupations which involve a high level of physical labour to move into new and different employment opportunities in middle age, building upon the proven, successful, concrete examples of ‘Flexicurity’ which already now operate in parts of Australia, as a result of the leadership actions of funds such as Incolink, CoInvest and Protect. Such support is necessary to prevent poverty and improve longevity when those workers do retire and will be affordable because of the extra national government revenue, which will flow from the resulting increase in workforce participation.
The looming prospect of an unsustainably high ‘dependency ratio’ in Australia, possibly changing from 4.5 to as few as 2.7 people in paid work supporting each aged Australian, can be alleviated by effective, timely and targeted investment spending on active labour market skills programs, which maintain more mature-age workers consistently in paid employment until they retire.
The National Employment SolutionsConference will motivate and inspire professionals with an extensive program of Keynotes, Concurrent Sessions, Case Studies, Workshops and Posters.
The Conference will be held at Mantra Legends on the Gold Coast from Thursday the 16th to Friday the 17th of November 2017. It will be a platform for policy makers, academics, employers, human resource managers, recruitment services, association and “not-for-profit” representatives.