Posts Tagged “mature age”

Posted by Adam Blanch on 16 September 2014   

The 2014 Federal Budget is mostly ‘stick’ and very little ‘carrot’ for older Australians. By reducing government support to older Australians, it will force many to work longer but offers few incentives to do so.

It’s not clear whether all the changes from the Federal Budget will make it through the Senate, but there are a few realities that older workers need to consider.

The major change is that the age pension will be both more difficult to obtain and of lower value. Income testing will be more stringent, with the income eligibility threshold being 35 per cent lower than it currently is. Superannuation will continue to be included in the ‘asset test’, but super draw downs will now be considered ‘income’ as well, making it harder to obtain a part pension.

Additionally, the age pension will now be indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rather than the average male wage. Council on the Ageing (COTA) estimates that this means a real world reduction of $80 per person per week on a full pension within 10 years.

Last but not least, the age at which a person is eligible for the pension will increase from 67 years of age at a rate of six months every two years until it hits 70 years of age in 2035. This translates to Australia having the highest age for the age pension in any OECD country.

COTA – the leading national advocate for seniors – came out strong in response to the Federal Budget stating that: “The more vulnerable and disadvantaged groups within the community are being asked to take a disproportionate share of the burden of adjustment, including the young and the old.”

There will also be an increase in the income threshold for the Seniors Healthcare Card. The Seniors Supplement was abolished as of 1 July, 2014 and a new co-payment for both doctor’s visits ($7) and medications (80 cents) will be introduced. As seniors are the demographic most in need of medical assistance, this will hit them the hardest.

The other major change is to superannuation. The concessional superannuation contribution cap (contributions that are made before tax deductions) that you are permitted increases from $25,000 to $35,000 by 2015 for those over 50 years of age. The non-concessional cap (voluntary contributions from post-tax incomes) goes up from $150,000 to $180,000. This means that you can voluntarily build your super faster. However, for incomes over $300,000, the tax rate on super contributions still jumps from 15 per cent to 30 per cent.

Overall, older people are being ‘encouraged’ to work longer and save more to support their retirement.

Judy Higgins, the general manager of the Older Workers job board, says that this means hard times ahead for some older Australians and women in particular.

“Older women reportedly have, on average, half the amount of super of males the same age,” she says.

“They earn less and are more likely to have significant gaps in employment due to childbirth, parenting or later in life caring duties.”

The only support program proposed in the Federal Budget is the introduction of the Restart programme, which offers employers up to $10,000 to employ an older worker. The payments are staged over two years and the person being employed must have been on benefits for more than six months.

The Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey says that this will help 32,000 older workers back into employment.

Yet Higgins disagrees.

“Previous incentive payments of these types have had little to no affect,” she says.

“We think the government has missed the mark with the Restart incentive, if the objective is to increase the number of older jobseekers being employed.”

This budget is about getting people to work longer and increase their own superannuation balances before retirement. Older workers in fulltime employment may be able to save more, but those who are not working and who do not have adequate super balances face a difficult future.

With falling support from government in managing the cost of living and healthcare, older workers will have to make up the difference from their earnings or superannuation, or start drawing against their assets earlier.

 

Source:  The Living Well Navigator

STEPHEN DRILL HERALD SUN SEPTEMBER 09, 2014

AUSTRALIA is not producing enough quality jobs to keep up with population increases and the problem is getting worse, a new report shows.

The OECD report released on Tuesday reveals unless economic growth rises the jobs market will be filled with low paying jobs.

“The current growth trajectory, if unchanged, will not create enough quality jobs — give rising to the risk that the jobs gap will remain substantial,” the report says.

“Underemployment and informal employment will rise and sluggish growth in wages and incomes will continue to place downward pressure on consumption, living standards and global aggregate demand.”

The report also reveals that the gap between the highest paid and lowest paid workers was also widening.

The warning comes as employment ministers from G20 countries are meeting in Melbourne this week to discuss the global employment outlook.

The group’s membership includes Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and South East Asian and South American countries.

Australian Employment Minister Eric Abetz, US secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Britain’s Minister of State for Employment Esther McVey, who are in Melbourne for the meeting, all argued economic growth must continue to rise.

Mr Abetz said he expected jobs growth in agriculture, mining, services and aged care sectors.

“Business as usual will continue to see that jobs gap, that is in nobody’s interest, economic or socially,” he said.

He said free trade agreements with South Korea and reducing red tape would create jobs.

Tom Perez, US secretary of labor, said higher economic growth would create jobs.

“It’s undeniable one of our challenges in the US and across the G20 is to pick up the pace of growth,” he said.

“We are debating how we stimulate consumption… transportation infrastructure investments which are very real issues. Those not only address critical infrastructure, they create good middle class jobs.”

He said cyber security was an emerging sector.

Ms McVey said youth unemployment was dropping in the UK and that schools needed to teach subjects that led to jobs, particularly in science.

She said the private sector had picked up 2 million jobs in Britain since 2010.

“We really needed to look at rebalancing the economy — jobs right across the board,” she said.

stephen.drill@news.com.au

Posted at 8:59am Monday 08 Sep, 2014 | By Merle Foster merle@thesun.co.nz

Removing the stigma surrounding employing older people and making businesses realise the ageing population’s enormous opportunity is the aim of a city forum this month.

Tauranga’s older residents and business people are encouraged to attend the Older Workforce Forum, hosted by Age Concern Tauranga and Chamber of Commerce.


Mitre 10 MEGA Tauranga team members Noel Meredith, 70, Dave Watson, 71, and Dave Semple, 74, with general manager Wayne Mansell. Photo: Tracy Hardy.

Age Concern fundraising manager Michael Vujnovich says the forum will discuss the ‘why, how and spin-offs’ of workforce generation change.

“We’re trying to raise people’s awareness of the issue of an ageing workforce but enable them to realise there is an enormous opportunity here.

“If we continue with our old, outdated model of what it means to be getting old we’ll continue to fail to address the issues that confront older people and fail to address opportunities they present to employers and society as a whole.”

Guest speakerElders Forum chair Max Lewis says “65 is the new 45”. He believes older workers have as many benefits as others, just different.

“We need to lift the perception of age as being a positive. We’ve got to stop this perceived bias. We have so many talented people, and they want to be working.”

“If you can get them working where their strengths are, they can be offering advice and knowledge to younger staff, you’re getting 30 years of knowledge and experience.”

Max also sees Tauranga as the pace-setter for the whole country.

Mega Mitre 10 Tauranga general manager Wayne Mansell knows the benefits of older workers and will talk about his company’s diversity-friendly policies in action.

“The reason we look at employing people a bit older is simply experience – they have the knowledge and they also have the integrity of the work ethic.

“We have a number of retiree plumber and builders who’ve worked in the building game in the past and are looking to continue to stay in the workforce – and we’re happy to oblige.”

Wayne says older staff are also more flexible.

“They’re willing part-time or full-time hours, extra days don’t have issues around working weekends.”

An open floor discussion with the speaker panel will finish the forum on Thursday, September 18 from 8.30am-2.30pm at Mt Club, Totara St, Mount Maunganui.

– See more at: http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/81916-forum-proving-older-workers-worth.html#sthash.i7Dgy7UT.dpuf

 The Drum, 2 Septembert 2014

Emily Millane, Research Fellow
The Drum Unleashed, 2 September 2014

Our retirement income system is now skewed so heavily towards the wealthy in our society that we’re not just at risk of going nowhere, we risk going backwards, writes Emily Millane.It’s always slightly unnerving when the airline you’re flying with says it needs to take some time to redistribute the weight on the aircraft before you take off. Visions of a plane dragging one wing along the runway with sparks flying everywhere tend to ensue.

The fact is, the distribution of an aircraft’s weight needs to be calibrated in such a way that the thing can get off the ground, and back onto it, safely. And so it is with our tax and transfer system.

Distribute it right and you’re off; get the distribution wrong and society is on a fast track to nowhere.

Per Capita’s recent report, The Entitlement of Age, argues that, together, increasing longevity and rising inequality are making Australia’s retirement income system unsustainable. The structure of the system, combined with the distribution of benefits, is skewed so heavily towards the wealthy in our society that we’re not just at risk of going nowhere, we risk going backwards.

Notwithstanding differences as a result of race, education and socio-economic status, on average Australians have very high life expectancies. Indigenous Australians are the notable exception to this average

Per Capita’s findings show that we are living longer than previously estimated, largely as a result of declining mortality rates. We need to plan for longer lives, and we need incomes to pay for them.

The current system will not deliver retirement security, even if Australians work until they are 70. Some Australians will move into older age well funded but women, the low-paid and those in insecure work will not.

Per Capita’s research, using four different scenarios, shows that a woman retiring in 2049 who has children and works a mix of full-time and part-time hours will have only 60 per cent of the superannuation balance of a man the same age as her, a deficit of $358,000.

The way in which superannuation is taxed compounds the income insecurity faced by vulnerable groups. The concessional rate of tax on superannuation income relative to ordinary income, known as “superannuation tax concessions”, favours those with higher incomes.

If the Government is successful in removing the Low Income Superannuation Contribution, people on low incomes will pay more on their superannuation contributions than they do on ordinary income.

More than 50 per cent of the superannuation tax concessions go to the wealthiest 20 per cent Australians. At the same time, Per Capita’s annual tax survey showed that 42 per cent of people on incomes of $200,000 and above consider that the best way to pay for longer lives is through further superannuation tax concessions.

As detailed by the ACTU recently, the IMF has found that Australia foregoes more through tax expenditures than all other advanced economies it analysed. The largest areas of expenditure are housing and superannuation tax concessions.

What does all of this tell us? It tells us that people on the highest incomes have come to see the beneficial tax treatment of their superannuation as an entitlement. It tells us that any effort to change the shape of tax on superannuation to make it fairer will require political courage. It also tells us that change is necessary.

The Government’s proposed alterations to the age pension, particularly in respect of indexation, will mean that it does not provide a safety net from poverty. It is those same groups that are disadvantaged by the superannuation system that will face further financial precariousness as a result of these changes – the women, the low-paid and those engaged in insecure work.

Australia’s spending on the age pension is going up; no one is arguing with that. However, as the Treasurer found out with his comments in respect of the fuel excise, it’s the proportion of income that matters. Australia spends about 3.5 per cent of its GDP on the age pension compared with an average spend by other wealthy counties of 7.8 per cent of GDP.

So what of it? What does it matter that some people will have overseas holidays and theatre shows to look forward to in later life, while others will sit at home watching daytime TV? Or that some people will see medical specialists while others will put off seeing the GP?

It matters because these questions go to the issue of human dignity. Australians are entitled to incomes sufficient for a dignified life.

More broadly, these questions go to the issue of what sort of society we understand Australia to be. Whether we are all on this journey together, or whether it is OK that there is an increasing distance between people in economy, and the class of people who haven’t seen the back of a plane in years.

Brent Peppercorn and his grandmother Linda Goldsmith, at right, who have been touring NSW with the Living Well Navigator meet Wollongong's Susan Barnett. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Brent Peppercorn and his grandmother Linda Goldsmith, at right, who have been touring NSW with the Living Well Navigator meet Wollongong’s Susan Barnett.

Almost half of NSW baby boomers have had to face age discrimination, according to an NRMA survey.

The survey was carried out as part of the research into a new website – Living Well Navigator – directed at the over 50s.

Forty per cent of the respondents said they have experienced age discrimination themselves or knew of someone who had.

In addition, 37 per cent of people over 50 have little confidence they would be treated fairly in a job interview.

Peter Khoury from the NRMA said this was concerning, especially given the federal government’s plan to push back the retirement age to 70.

Mr Khoury said businesses needed to adjust to the realities that come with the ageing baby boomer population.

“There’s a lot of debate about the working age being extended, which means a lot of Australian companies need to be prepared for the fact that their workforce is going to be older than it used to be,” Mr Khoury said.

With more than half of the NRMA’s membership over the age of 50, the Navigator site aims to provide support for those looking to get back into the workforce.

“The Living Well Navigator site assists older workers by providing information on how to get jobs and volunteering information as well as hosting a jobs board to connect older workers with age-friendly employers,” said NRMA local director Michael Tynan.

“The site aims to bust common myths and stereotypes on ageing. Those north of 50 have comprehensive knowledge, are highly skilled, active and make valuable contributions to our society.”

The website provides a wide range of information for the over-50s – including work, health, travel and supported and independent living.

Source:  Illawarra Mercury

Date :   September 2, 2014 
Phillip Thomson

Public Service Reporter at The Canberra Times.

The main union representing public servants says the Department of Human Services has removed a clause enshrining the employment of people from diverse backgrounds from its draft bargaining agreement.

The major department employing about 30,000 staff is being closely watched during negotiations because haggling over its future agreement, which was much further ahead than at many other Commonwealth employers, was expected to set at least part of the agenda across the federal bureaucracy.

The clause was one mechanism in the existing agreement to ensure the department enforced a separate plan, titled the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

The strategy has committed the department to employing more people with disabilities, mature age workers and staff from culturally and linguistically diverse background.

Its clearest goal was to make sure 5 per cent of its staff were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders by 2015, which would mean the department would have more than 1500 indigenous workers out of its 34,700-strong workforce in a little more than a year.

The department said it was on track to exceed the 5 per cent target

“As at July 2014, the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees in the department was 4 per cent, well above the Australian Public Service average of 2.3 per cent as at June 2013,” a department spokeswoman said. “We are also a major employer of people with disability.

“As at July 2014, 4.9 per cent employees of the department identified as having a disability.

“We are a leader in workplace diversity in the Australian Public Service, and so we should be as a large department providing vital services to the community.

“Any suggestion that this is not the case is absolutely without substance.”

The Community and Public Sector Union’s log of claims for all its negotiations affecting 160,000 federal public servants said the union wanted to include a paragraph committing to diversity as well as recruitment and retention strategies.

The department spokeswoman said the public service bargaining framework, handed down by the Abbott government to set the boundaries for the bureaucracy’s managerial representatives during negotiations, clearly stated enterprise agreements should not include terms dealing with matters more properly dealt with by legislation.

“The department’s workplace diversity and inclusion strategy is in line with the legislative requirements set out in the Public Service Act 1999,” the spokeswoman said.

“This strategy is available on the department’s website and intranet.

“It is ingrained in our mandatory training schedule.

“This strategy is our formal commitment to a workplace culture that builds respects, fosters inclusiveness, promotes diversity and embraces the unique skills and qualities of all our employees.”

Source:  Canberra Times

 

Date  August 26, 2014
Natasha Boddy

Canberra Times

Older workers who find themselves out of work are likely to remain unemployed much longer than younger Australians and superannuation balances among those in their pre-retirement years are unevenly distributed.

Marcia Keegan, an associate with Curtin University and SGS Economics and Planning, said generous tax concessions for mature-age workers topping up their superannuation do not benefit people who find themselves out of work or underemployed in the latter half of their working lives.

Dr Keegan will give a talk about the option for sustaining workforce participation to retirement age and reducing superannuation gaps, at a forum at the Australian National University on Wednesday.

“Things have been getting a lot better for mature-age workers, those aged between 45 and 64, over the last 20 years or so; they’ve got higher rates of employment, lower rates of disability, they’ve got lower rates of unemployment and also their superannuation balances are growing on average,” she said.

However, Dr Keegan, said it still took much longer for older job seekers to find work compared to their younger counterparts. About a quarter of those aged 45 to 64 remained unemployed for more than a year;  this was the case for only 15 per cent of people aged under 44.

This raised concerns about the impact of long-term unemployment on their the superannuation balances, she said.

Dr Keegan’s presentation will look at some of the difficulties facing older workers and discuss policy options that could increase employment for mature-age workers and boost the superannuation balances of those heading into retirement.

She said the government’s new Restart program should be “quite helpful” when it comes to encouraging the employment of older Australians. Under the program, employers will get subsidies of up to $10,000 for hiring mature-age job seekers.

“Older people have a greater risk of being long-term unemployed and they also run the risk of facing age discrimination in the workforce, so this will hopefully encourage some employers [to hire older workers],” she said.

Dr Keegan said changes that allowed older people to contribute extra to their superannuation could be quite helpful, but only to those who had employment.

“One of the things that was floated was getting rid of the low income superannuation contribution,” she said.

“Of all the ways the government can raise money from taxes, taking money from the retirement accounts of low income workers is probably not the first place you should be looking.”

Dr Keegan said moves to increase the pension age was a natural progression given life expectancies were increasing, “but that only helps if you’re able to work and able to find work”.

The Living to get the age pension and enjoy life in retirement: prospects and policy options forum will hear from several speakers discussing factors affecting the health and well-being of older Australians. It will also examine policy options that could address inequalities in retirement stemming from inequalities in earlier in life, particularly those associated with workforce participation and disability.

Richard Cumpston, director of Australian Projections, will also speak at the forum. He will discuss the topic of life expectancies, including the differences in people’s chances of dying,  such as how married people are much less likely to die than unmarried people.

Dr Cumpston also said educated people tended to have lower disease risks, and people in high-grade occupations, such as professionals or managers, tended to have better life expectancies.

 

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/older-job-seekers-remain-unemployed-for-longer-20140826-1079l3.html#ixzz3C3c81qFM

Some job applicants just always get it right. Here is why. You know… the type that gets it right from the moment the recruiter or hiring manager spots them for the first time. They simply get noticed.

I regularly remind my clients how important it is to get the basics right if you want to be considered as a suitable candidate. It doesn’t take much if you want to get noticed and, more importantly, be remembered for the right reasons.

Here are 13 tips that will make you stand out as a candidate so you can secure your next job.

13 Tips To Get Noticed

If you want to get your application to the top of the pile and fast forward to the front of the interview queue then get your highlighter and mark some or all of these tips so you can secure your next job opportunity.

Keep hunting, there are good jobs out there, just don’t forget to hunt wisely!

Written By

Ulrich Schild – The Job Search Coach

Ulrich Schild, The founder of TheJobSearchCoach.net has actively scouted, interviewed and hired many talented candidates for a variety of employers in Australia and New Zealand while being exposed to some of the very best and worst HR and recruiting practises.Ulrich has always known that he can help and contribute his bit to make Job Search, Job Seeking and the recruiting process easier and better.

 Ageism in the Job Market

1 Monday hires RF 462947329 copy

Are we our own worst enemies? Part 1 of a series on ageism in the workplace.

“We’re looking for someone hungrier.”

“The right candidate is high energy.”

If you’re over 50 and job-hunting, chances are you’ve heard phrases like these. Or maybe you’ve been told you’re overqualified or too senior. These are code words for “too old” and they pepper the language of hiring managers nationwide. Jacquelyn James, director of research at the Sloan Center for Aging & Work at Boston College says when people are asked on surveys to rate others on the basis of age and corresponding characteristics, older people are associated with negative traits that include a lack of interest in growing and developing, inflexibility in thinking and an unwillingness to learn and adapt to new technology. “The data about those kinds of traits are very mixed and much of it is perception,” she says.  And some weren’t negative. “Older people are seen as having a good work ethic, as working harder and being more comfortable with authority.”

Add to such negative stereotypes the mistaken perception that people working into their 60s and early 70s are taking jobs from younger workers. Although arecent Pew study soundly debunked that, as does Kevin Cahill, a research economist at the Sloan Center, the belief is pervasive. Cahill says although people are retiring later, the idea that older workers need to move out of the way for younger workers is a misperception. “The argument breaks down pretty rapidly if you look beyond individual firms and over time,” he says.

See also: Top LinkedIn Tips for Job Seekers

But prejudice of any type, of course, isn’t based on fact, and much of the age bias we see in hiring is unconscious, says Jacquelyn James. That’s due, at least in part, to the fact that ageism is the least studied or examined form of discrimination. A recent paper on ageism from psychologist Susan Fiske and Michael North at Princeton University, called ageism “the most socially condoned” form of prejudice. And it has intensified. By the time people reach their mid-60s, two out of three have retired, either voluntarily or because they weren’t able to keep or find a job, according to research from Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. By age 75, nine out of ten are out of the workforce.

Among the long-term unemployed, the situation is most severe for those over 55, who face the longest period of unemployment. Carl Van Horn, director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, says although the number fluctuates, at least two million people over age 55 have been out of work more than six months and at least half of those for more than a year.

See also: How Can I Compete With People Younger Than My Kids?

Because ageism is often unconscious it’s tough to disarm. With any bias, the key to mitigation is awareness, says James. Fact is, people generally don’t think of themselves as biased. In order to fight the stereotypes—say, that older workers don’t embrace new technology—James advises job candidates be explicit with interviewers that they are eager to learn, and have history of learning and embracing new technology.

With the right strategies, job seekers can combat age-related stereotypes rather than buying into them, says James, and take steps to adapt to the changing culture of the workplace.

Speak the Same Language

“People over 50 grew up talking about their accomplishments, about what they did and how well they did it,” says Gail Palubiak, owner of Interview Academy in Denver, a job search and interview consulting firm that specializes in over-50 job seekers. “But companies today speak the language of contribution. And this is critical—because you are likely interviewing with someone who isn’t the same generation. So talk about how you served a company, not how great you are.”

Date

Belinda Merhab

Forget knitting and pie-baking – Aussie grandmas are going into business.

Australian women aged over 65 have been starting their own businesses at a rate higher than any other age group, with nantrepreneurs setting up 18,500 businesses in the past 10 years, according to the annual Bankwest Business Trends Report.

Over the past year, the number of over-65 female business owners jumped by 15.1 per cent, compared to one per cent growth by men in the same age bracket.

Bankwest business banking general manager Sinead Taylor said the figures showed older Australian women were looking for ways to boost their retirement incomes.

Over-65 women were primarily starting businesses in the `other services’ category, such as hairdressing, photography and gardening, she said.

“This trend can be attributed to a variety of factors like lifetime personal goals and people pursuing new interests,” Ms Taylor said.

“There’s also the impact of the global financial crisis on retirement nest eggs, forcing some retirees to supplement their superannuation by starting their own businesses.

“Age is certainly no barrier to entrepreneurialism.”

Overall, the number of Australians running their own business declined by four per cent in the year to May.

The only other age group to see an increase in business self-starters in the past year were the under-25s, with 2.5 per cent of workers in that age bracket owning their own business.

Ms Taylor said challenging economic conditions were driving entrepreneurs to seek the security of being an employee rather than an employer.

Source:  SMH