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Monday, 27 September 1999
Page: 8962


Senator HERRON (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs) (8:02 PM) —Senator Evans asked a valid question, which I think should be responded to. The response is that age 65 was selected not because it is the retirement age of any particular group of people but because it is the age by which most Australians have retired. I read the other day that the median age for retirement is actually 55; so, beyond this age, few people have the opportunity to earn additional income to pay for higher premiums. Hence the decision to protect those aged 65 or more on 1 July 1999 from changes in premium arrangements. Selecting a lower cut-off age would weaken the financial effects of Lifetime Health Cover and lessen the downward pressure on premiums.

Amendment not agreed to.