4914.0.55.001 - Newsletter: Age Matters, Feb 2004  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/03/2004   
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Welcome to the first issue of Age Matters for 2004. Two important discussion papers were recently released by the Commonwealth Department of Treasury that highlight issues associated with the ageing of the population.

The first paper, Australia's Demographic Challenge identifies three main policy areas:

  • improvement in the capacity for work, through better education and health - that is, the need to improve and continually update skills and the need for a healthy lifestyle.
  • better incentives for work - proposing changes to the superannuation system and identifies the challenge of redesigning the current income support system.
  • improved flexibility in the workplace - that is, the need for more flexible arrangements in the workplace (e.g. part-time work) - removing the focus from early retirement or compulsory retirement.

The second discussion paper, A more flexible and adaptable retirement income system, highlights the need for people to plan and prepare for retirement. It outlines a number of key initiatives of changes to the superannuation system. Further information on the discussion papers can be found at www.treasury.gov.au.

Current and planned NASU (and ABS) activities such as the Mature Age Persons Statistical Report will assist in providing data to address the issues highlighted in the discussion papers.

Other useful reading in this issue includes international trends in labour force participation and summary findings from the latest ABS General Social Survey (GSS). Some interesting facts from Census of Population and Housing: Australia in Profile - A Regional Analysis (cat. no. 2032.0) are also presented in this issue of Age Matters.

Maryann Wood