Frydenberg says over-60s need to retrain to boost economy


These dumped plans included cuts to health and education spending as well as the proposal to lift the age pension access age to 70. The pension change was ultimately dropped by Scott Morrison soon after he became Prime Minister.

Treasury is currently working on the new intergenerational report which will have to take into account the absence of the ditched policies as well as substantial demographic changes since 2014.

Mr Frydenberg will say that in 2014-15 the number of working age Australians for every person over the age of 65 was 4.5 to 1. Over the next four decades this is expected to fall to 2.7 to 1.

This change will require a “range of policy responses” centre.

The Treasurer will note the proportion of people over 65 in the workforce, either with a job or looking for employment, had climbed to 14.6 per cent from 12.3 per cent over the past five years.

But it would have to grow even higher.

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“The participation rate for this cohort was less than 6 per cent 20 years ago,” he will say.

“However, with Australians in work currently undertaking 80 per cent of their training before the age of 21, this will have to change if we want to continue to see more Australians stay engaged in work for longer.”

There are already a record 610,000 people 65 or older with full or part time jobs, the fastest growing age group in the nation.

But they have run into issues finding work with a 39 per cent jump in the number of unemployed over 65s looking for full time work.

The access age for the pension, under a policy introduced by the Rudd government, is due to reach 67 by mid-2023.

Mr Frydenberg will note that since the first intergenerational report, released by Peter Costello in 2002, the number of people aged 65 or older has gone from 13 per cent of the population to more than 16 per cent.

“Our median age, now thirty-seven, has increased by two years since then and life expectancy has gone to 81 for males and 85 for females,” he will say.

“With the sixth-highest life expectancy in the world, we are seeing an increase of almost one year every four years.”

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