Seniors can't see 'meaningful' jobs on Hockey's horizon
THE National Seniors fear raising the retirement age to 70 will not mean meaningful extended working lives for the elderly.
National Seniors Caloundra City Branch vice-president Fran Sutton suggested finding a job for those nearing retirement age would be almost impossible.
"I wouldn't like my chances now of going out and finding a job," Mrs Sutton said.
"The only thing I believe I could get, despite my experience, would be to go to the shopping centre and put on a uniform and wipe down tables and clean up people's droppings because that's all I think I'd be capable of doing in their eyes."
The sobering view follows growing speculation the retirement age will be formally lifted when Treasurer Joe Hockey presents the Federal Budget next month.
One tradesman argued the changed retirement age would make little difference to small businesspeople.
Peter Wodetski, 57, who owns and operates Brick and Masonry Constructions, said most businesspeople had little choice but to delay retirement until they had accumulated the necessary nest egg.
"Most self-employed people are in the same boat. No one's looking after us, so it's not an option," Mr Wodestski said of a set retirement age.
Peta Simpson, who operates employment consultancy New Staff Solutions, suggested positives were behind the suggestion.
"People are living longer, we're healthier, and there's inherent dignity in work," Miss Simpson said.
She said Mr Hockey had outlined statistics showing 33% of children today could expect to live to 100, so longer working years needed to be considered.
"People are changing not just jobs but careers on a regular basis, depth of knowledge in certain individuals will be highly sought-out commodities."
Meanwhile, Mr Wodetski said added working years would reduce the jobs available for younger people.
"We should be skilling up young people to do the work." He said he was taking steps to ensure his long-term working life, by caring for his body with healthy eating and exercise.
"I have to do that to keep my body in good shape because I do work hard.
"Job security for anyone these days is very dubious."