should they stay or should they go?

Australia’s ageing workforce is a serious challenge for the government and employers, so retirement issues are at the forefront of the news agenda with frequent new announcements about retirement rules and superannuation. The retirement age – and the age when individuals become eligible for the government pension – increases from 65 years to 65 and a half from 1 July 2017 and will then rise by six months every two years, reaching 67 by 1 July 2023.

Changes to the state pension, like the introduction of the Work Bonus, are designed to encourage ongoing participation in the workforce once workers reach retirement age, while the rise of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) and impending increases to compulsory superannuation and the retirement age are all hot topics.

Constant change is likely to be the norm in this complex policy area, so it’s important to stay informed about all the latest changes. You should also seek expert financial advice and consult employees before making decisions that will impact superannuation or retirement arrangements.

Australia’s approach to retirement income is based on three pillars:

• a safety net in the form of a means-tested government age pension

• private savings from compulsory superannuation

• voluntary savings through super and other investments.

After almost three decades of compulsory contributions, Australian workers have $1.8 trillion in superannuation, the fourth largest retirement pool in the world and the largest per capita.

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