Pension plans not the problem
I FOUND the “Ageism rife in PM’s own department” story interesting (Mercury, December 2). Only one person in the PM’s department of more than 2000 still employed over the retirement age, and similar statistics from other departments.
The Government blamed the lack of older workers in its top departments on a now-closed superannuation scheme that financially penalised people if they didn’t retire by 55. This is not all that relevant now because the scheme mentioned was the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS) which closed to new members from July 1, 1990. The vast majority of Commonwealth workers are now in the Public Service Superannuation scheme (PSS) closed to new members from July 1, 2005, and its current replacement the PSSap (accumulation plan).
Retirement at 55 is optional, without penalty in the PSS and not applicable in the PSSap. Not a lot of employees still in the CSS. For the purposes of the story, the Government forgot a few relevant facts.
Paul Merhulik Blackmans Bay