In addition to guaranteeing record funding for Medicare and hospitals, the Government will support older Australians by boosting their financial security, helping those who want to work longer, and giving them more choice in their care. The Government will also protect older Australians from Labor’s Retirement Tax.
Increasing financial security
- Australians will be able to prepare for a longer life through new online skills, health and finance checks at ages 45 and 65.
- The Pension Work Bonus will be increased to allow age pensioners to earn an extra $50 a fortnight without reducing their pension, and for the first time the bonus will also be extended to the self‑employed, who can now earn up to $7,800 a year without reducing their pension.
- The Government will allow more people aged 65-74 to keep contributing into their superannuation.
- The Pension Loans Scheme will be expanded to give all Age Pension aged Australians the option to boost their standard of living. Full rate pensioners will be able to boost their income by up to $11,799 (singles) or $17,787 (couples) per year.
- Superannuation funds will be required to provide more information to help consumers compare and choose products.
- The Government will provide advice on relevant skills and training to help workers build their careers or transition to jobs in new industries. For Australians updating their skills, the Government will contribute up to $2,000 through the Skills and Training Incentive.
- Access to the Restart wage subsidy for Australians aged 50 and over will be expanded, providing up to $10,000 to employers to support workers as they start a new career.
- The Government will also provide $17.7 million in additional funding to support entrepreneurs, with a focus on those aged over 45 years, helping older workers to turn their years of valued experience into a thriving business.
To support Australians who wish to receive care at home, the Government is providing $1.6 billion to support 14,000 additional high‑level home care packages by 2021–22. This adds to the 6,000 places the Government has provided since the last Budget.
The Government is reforming the aged care system to ensure that aged care facilities are providing the care the community expects and guarantee and respect the dignity of older Australians.
The Government will establish a new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission from 1 January 2019 to strengthen regulations.
The Government is also providing $22 million to develop the National Plan on Elder Abuse. The Government will work with the states and territories to develop a national online register for enduring powers of attorney.
To enable Australians to make the most of a longer life, the Government is investing in the health of older Australians by providing funds for:
- Increasing mental health services for people in residential aged care facilities;
- Piloting services for older Australians to help them remain connected to their communities; and
- Boosting the physical activity of older Australians.