Can we afford old age?

Australia is getting older. Rising life expectancy brings with it the prospect of not years but decades in retirement. Can we afford the costs of old age? Will superannuation give retirees the standard of living they want? Is pension spending sustainable if it will triple over the next 40 years?

These are the pressing questions that were addressed by Dr Cassandra Goldie (CEO, Australian Council of Social Services), Jeremy Cooper (Chairman, Retirement Income at Challenger Ltd), and Simon Cowan (CIS Research Fellow and Target30 Director) at the Centre for Independent Studies forum: Can We Afford Old Age?

The speakers probed the age pension, superannuation, the family home exemption in the assets tests, and ways to give pensioners a good standard of living without placing a heavier burden on taxpayers.

MEDIA RELEASE: Can We Afford Old Age?

Australia is getting older. Rising life expectancy brings with it the prospect of not years but decades in retirement. Can we afford the costs of old age? Will superannuation give retirees the standard of living they want? Is pension spending sustainable if it will triple over the next 40 years?

These are the pressing questions that will be addressed by Dr Cassandra Goldie (CEO, Australian Council of Social Services), Jeremy Cooper (Chairman, Retirement Income at Challenger Ltd), Simon Cowan (CIS Research Fellow and Target30 Director) and Matthew Taylor (CIS Research Fellow) at Can We Afford Old Age?, an event hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies.

The speakers will probe the age pension, superannuation, the family home exemption in the assets tests, and ways to give pensioners a good standard of living without placing a heavier burden on taxpayers.

Dr Cassandra Goldie has been CEO of ACOSS since July 2010, with extensive public policy expertise in economic and social issues, civil society, social justice and human rights. She has represented the interests of people who are disadvantaged and civil society in major national and international processes including most recently through the G20 as Deputy Chair of the Civil Society20 and Chair of the Global Infrastructure Working Group (2014), as well as a member of the Prime Minister’s National Panel on Economic Reform (2013), the Ministerial Roundtable on Superannuation (2012/13) and the National Tax Forum (2011).

Jeremy Cooper is Chairman, Retirement Income at Challenger Limited, a full time executive role focusing on research, public policy issues and thought leadership. Prior to joining Challenger, Jeremy chaired the ‘Cooper Review’ into the superannuation system, the recommendations of which have been substantially adopted. Before his review role, Jeremy was Deputy Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for five years from mid-2004. Prior to his term at ASIC, Jeremy was a partner of an Australian law firm, now part of Ashurst.

Simon Cowan is a Research Fellow in the CIS economics program, and Director of the CIS TARGET30 program which aims to reduce government spending to less than 30% of GDP. He is a leading media commentator on policy and politics. He co-authored (with Matthew Taylor) the leading CIS research report The Age Old Problem of Old Age: Fixing the Pension, which proposes age pension reforms that would increase pensioner incomes by an average of $5,900, restore equity and sustainability to age pension policy and reduce annual taxpayer expenditure by $14.5 billion.

Matthew Taylor is a Research Fellow in the CIS economics program, conducting research on income support policy with a specific focus on Paid Parental Leave, the Age Pension and Disability Support Pension. He has a Bachelor of Economics with Honours from Monash University with specialisations in economics and econometrics and has expertise in the development of micro-simulation models to assess the fiscal and distributional impacts of alternative tax and income support policies.

Date:    Tuesday, 7 July 2015
Time:     6:00pm – 8:30pm
Addresses will start at 6:00pm concluding at 8:00pm followed by drinks and nibbles
Where: Deloitte Sydney, Grosvenor Place, Level 9, 225 George Street, Sydney

Media enquiries: Karla Pincott – media@cis.org.au