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Tuesday, 10 September 1985
Page: 376

(Question No. 172)

Senator Maguire asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 27 March 1985:

(1) Following the introduction of the pension assets test, what would be the annual additional cost to the Budget if the age for eligibility for the male age pension was reduced from 65 to 60 years.

(2) Does the cost to the Budget in (1) above take into account numbers receiving Service Pensions.

Senator Grimes —The Minister for Social Sec- urity has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) It is not possible to estimate accurately the additional cost of extending eligibility for the age pension to males aged 60 to 64 years. Not only is there a lack of data on their income and assets distribution but it is also not possible to estimate what effect a lowering of the pensionable age would have on labour force participation rates.

(3) Nevertheless, if the income and assets distribution and the pension take up rate of males aged 60 to 64 were the same as those of males aged 65 to 69, the additional annual cost would be of the order of $550m.

(2) The figure in (1) represents the cost to the Budget over and above social security and service pension expenditure already incurred in respect of males aged 60 to 64.