SENIORS are urging senators to vote down the planned pension changes.
SENIORS are urging senators to vote down the planned pension changes. Patrick Gorbunovs

Seniors call senators to abandon pension changes

SENIORS have again urged crossbench senators to vote down the Abbott Government's planned changes to the aged pension, fearing the effects on their hip-pocket.

The peak body for pensioners and retirees, Council of the Ageing, has joined a National Seniors call to abandon the pension changes.

Reforms to the way the aged pension and other welfare payments were proposed in the May Budget, and would realign increases to average weekly earnings, rather than the usually higher CPI from next year.

COTA chief executive Ian Yates said if the bills before the Senate were passed, pensioners would see an "effective cut to their pension of more than $80 a week over the seven years".

He said the changes would hit hardest seniors on full pensions with "little or no assets", in addition to plans to extend the retirement age to 67 years.

"For the Coalition to target pensioners in this way is unfathomable, especially when they have left other generous superannuation measures in place which favour high income earners and more wealthy retirees," he said.

While the Senate has not yet debated the bills, Labor and The Greens have previously said they would vote against the reforms, while the Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer has said he was open to negotiations with the government.

- APN NEWSDESK



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