How seniors could be the solution to Australia’s labor shortage
The Albanian government’s plan would allow people over the age of 66 and six months to work overtime and earn income without losing their pension rights.
Currently, senior citizens are limited to earning $490 a fortnight and for every dollar earned over that amount, a pensioner loses 50 cents of their fortnightly pension.
The plan will be debated at next month’s Jobs and Skills Summit in Canberra.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said on Thursday the summit will focus on agreement on greater participation and how Australia addresses crippling labor shortages.
“We have a national unemployment rate of around 3.5%, we have the challenges that lead to skills shortages and labor shortages,” Chalmers said.
“We want to hear people’s ideas.”
Chalmers, however, is cautious about what the plan would cost the government.
The plan was endorsed by Opposition Leader Peter Dutton.
National Seniors Australia backed the government’s plan and recommended that ’employment income be exempt from the income test for retirees with limited savings or assets’.
“This would help Australia address labor shortages and retain skilled and qualified staff while there is uncertainty over immigration,” the organization said.
“The exemption could be applied to the whole economy or, alternatively, it could be targeted at specific sectors, for example health and care for the elderly, tourism, agriculture and hospitality, and geographic areas, e.g. regional Australia where demand is high and labor supply low.”
A parliamentary inquiry examining the rise in the retired workforce is also expected to report next month.
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