Georgia Dixon

Retirement Income

An older workforce could boost Australia’s economy

An older workforce could boost Australia’s economy

A global report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has suggested that harnessing an older workforce could deliver up to $78 billion for the Australian economy.

PwC’s Golden Age Index examined data from all 34 OECD countries to examine the extent to which older members of society remain active in the labour force.

Nordic countries led the way in terms of senior citizens remaining part of the workforce with Iceland (1st), Sweden (3rd), Norway (6th) and Denmark and Finland all in the top 15. Australia ranked 16th overall, with our friends across the ditch in New Zealand finishing first in the Asia Pacific region, up to second from ninth last year.

PwC Economics and Policy Partner Jeremy Thorpe says the result show Australia needs to consider the challenges and the opportunities of an ageing population.

Mr Thorpe says, “The Golden Age Index shows that compared to other OECD economies, older Australians are underutilised in the labour market and our policy frameworks may inhibit their ability to make important contributions to our economic, social and public life.

“The countries who performed strongly in this report all have three key labour market themes in common: encouraging later retirement; improving employability and lifelong education and training; and, reducing employment barriers for older workers.”

Mr Thorpe added that there are considerable economic gains for encouraging senior Australians to remain in the workforce in some capacity, saying, “We have a rapidly ageing population and this puts pressure on the health and social care systems and also threatens the financial sustainability or some public and private pensions.

“What we’re seeing in other parts of the world is that later retirement and more flexible working policies is good for the economy, businesses and individuals,”

What’s your take on this research? Do you think the government should be working with employers to figure out ways to encourage seniors to remain in the workforce? Or should it be focussing on ways to make retirement more feasible?

Related links:

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Retiring overseas not necessarily a pipe dream

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