Australian Government to Increase Retirement Age to 70

July 10, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. gradually /ˈgrædʒuəli/ (adv.) – in a slow or fixed pace
Example: Lifelong decisions gradually but surely change one’s life completely.

2. counterbalance /kaʊntərˈbæləns/ (v.) – to oppose something or someone in a way that evens out the situation
Example: The opposing party suggested a new strategy to counterbalance the government’s schemes.

3. entitlement /ɛnˈtaɪtlmənt/ (n.) – the state of having the right to get something
Example: Senior citizens have the entitlement to get monthly pension.

4. populace /ˈpɒpləs/ (n.) – refers to the inhabitants in a country or an area
Example: The entire populace gathered in the streets to witness the fireworks.

5. demographic /ˌdɛməˈgræfɪk/ (adj.) – referring to population
Example: The demographic information shows that the number of elderly people is increasing.


Read the text below.
Last May, the Australian government announced that the country’s retirement age will be increased to 70 by 2035.

Australia currently follows the 60 to 65 retirement age, which is followed in most countries. Since 2009, the Australian government has been attempting to gradually increase the pension entitlement age. According to Joe Hockey, current treasurer of Australia, implementing this plan may counterbalance the financial dependency of the aging population to the working population.

Nearly one fourth of the 23.4 million people in Australia are over the age of 65. Official statistics show that the lifespan of an average Australian today can reach between 79 and 84 years old.

Since the state pension is funded by the taxes of the working populace, the continuing growth of the aging population may lead to demographic crisis. This may cause the laboring minority to provide for the elderly majority.  

Hockey believes that adding five years to the pension age can effectively help avoid the demographic threat. If the Australian government pushes through with the plan, Australia will have the highest retirement age in the developed world.

Starting July 2017, the government will begin to add six months to the retirement age for every two years. Hence, it is certain to reach 67 by 2023.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the Australian government’s plan to raise the retirement age to 70 is a good idea? Why?
·         How do you think the aging population would react to this change?

Discussion B

·         Would you also want to change the retirement age in your country? Why or why not?
·         What can be the other effects of having an aging population to a country's economy?

July 10, 2014