Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Australia: Government Establishes Panel on Economic Potential of Older Australians

The Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan has announced the establishment of an Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians to ensure the potential of the older members of our community is considered in a range of policy debates.

To be chaired by Everald Compton, who also chairs the existing Consultative Forum on Mature Age Employment that advises the government on what drives mature-age employment, the new panel will, among other things, examine how businesses and policy makers can assist senior Australians in their transition from the workforce into other valuable endeavors, such as supporting their families, mentoring, volunteering and community work.

In a speech announcing the panel, Swan said that "[e]nhancing mature participation is simply one of the most important issues facing our economy today." While it is important to continue recognizing the skills of older workers, encouraging further skill development, promoting healthy workplaces that support mature age workers, promoting age management in the workplace, allowing workers to make a phased transition to retirement, and ensuring that retirement income policies provide the right incentives, the new panel is "to look beyond the usual story of an ageing population and help us look to new ways to embrace the opportunities that much larger, and more active, communities of older Australians "

Sources: Australian Office of Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Press Release (March 30, 2011); Sydney Morning Herald "New panel to advise govt on seniors" (March 29, 2011)

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