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     5   Age pensions

Ms Sharkie, pursuant to notice, moved—That this House:

(1)        notes that the:

(a)        OECD:

(i)         calculates that the average old age dependency ratio in Australia was 25 in 2017, and is projected to increase to 41 by 2050;

(ii)       calculates that Australia’s expenditure on age pensions is currently 4 per cent of public spending, and is projected to be 4 per cent in 2050—this compares with 9 per cent and 10 per cent respectively for the OECD;

(iii)     stated that ‘The old age income poverty rate in Australia is high at 26% compared to 13% across the OECD in 2015’; and

(iv)      further stated that ‘While taking out lump sums create flexibility in retirement it can also increase the risk of falling into poverty in case retirees outlive their assets’; and

(b)        Benevolent Society:

(i)         released ‘The Adequacy of the Age Pension in Australia’ report in September 2016, concluding from its research that ‘The Aged Pension in Australia is inadequate’; and

(ii)       concluded that ‘Home ownership constitutes the single biggest factor contributing to financial hardship among pensioners. Age pensioners who are renting, in particular those who are single, are the worst off’; and

(2)        calls on the Government to:

(a)        establish an independent tribunal to assess the base rate of the pension and determine the best mechanism for annual review;

(b)        increase the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance to reduce the gap between aged pensioners who are home owners and those who are renters; and

(c)        establish a roundtable to review services provided to age pensioners.

Debate ensued.

Debate adjourned, and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for the next sitting.