Pen­sion plans not the prob­lem

Mercury (Hobart) - - LETTERS -

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

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