THE plan to incrementally lift the pension age to 70 is a sensible measure reflecting increases in life expectancy, says Federal Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter.
The National Commission of Audit found that, without policy change, the cost to taxpayers of the age pension would rise from $39.5 billion in 2013-14, to $72.3 billion in 2023-24.
By 2054-55, the number of Australians aged over 65 will more than double to 8.9 million, representing about one-fifth of the expected total population, placing enormous strain on the age pension system.
"Clearly, sensible, measured reform is needed to ensure a sustainable age pension system that provides a safety net for those that require it," Mr Porter said.
"Labor increased the age pension age by two years over a period of six years. Subject to legislation, we are proposing to progressively increase the age pension age over a much longer period than Labor did, from 67 to 70 years, over 10 years from 2025 to 2035."
This means no one born before January 1 1966 would be affected by the change.
"These are sensible measures that reflect increases in life expectancy," Mr Porter said.
"People who are unable to work at any age continue to be supported under our targeted welfare safety net. Newstart Allowance assists those who are unable to secure work, and the Disability Support Pension is available to those who can not work and who have a disability."
Mr Porter said the Government's proposed changes to age pension had no impact on the preservation age at which people can access their superannuation, which is between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born.