A paramedic has become the latest Australian to slam the decision to raise the pension age, claiming their aging bodies cannot cope with the stress.
On July 1, the qualifying age for the pension was raised from 66 years and six months to 67, a move affecting any Australian born after December 31, 1956.
Experts predict the age could rise further to 70 by 2050 and the news prompted a backlash from hard-working Australians.
Paramedic Gary Wilson, 51, said he feared the ‘physical and mental stress’ of the job would force him to give up his beloved profession before he was eligible for a pension.
His comments came as tradies blasted the increase and claimed that 67 was an unrealistic retirement age for someone who does backbreaking work day in and day out.
Paramedic Gary Wilson fears he may be forced to quit his job before reaching the pension age of 67
Mr Wilson, who has served the community for 21 years, said he was not alone in his concerns.
Mr Wilson, a representative of the Australian Paramedics Association (APA), told news.com.au: ‘Retirement is becoming more and more unusual for paramedics because it’s getting harder and harder.’
‘Most paramedics are leaving the career before retirement age, and the rising retirement age is forcing many more of us to make really tough choices,’ he said.
‘In NSW, as a 60-something paramedic you’re expected to do the same job as a 20-something paramedic with years of trauma and stress under your belt.’
Mr Wilson said he loved his job but could not see himself lasting at least another 15 years.
‘I love the work I do, and I love the community I serve but I don’t know if I will be able to serve them until I retire due to the physical and mental stress of the job… which is heartbreaking,’ she said.
Mr Wilson (pictured with Gladys Berejiklian) said he could not see himself continuing as a paramedic for at least another 15 years past retirement age at 67.
Mr Wilson said it was becoming harder for paramedics to reach retirement age
The businessmen also expressed their anger over the decision to increase the pension age.
Tradespeople worry that their bodies will not be able to cope with the rigorous physical labor required for their jobs.
A tradie holds up a sign proposing to increase the age pension in 2018 and records in 2023 as the video resurfaces and goes viral.
‘Only a man who has worked in offices all his life would think you can work until you’re 70!’ Sign said.
In response to the original post, one woman said: ‘My body is just tired, as is my husband.’
‘We both need to rest now. We planned to retire … then they changed the goalposts,’ he wrote.
A 2018 post by Australian tradie resurfaces in 2023 and goes viral
Steve said working as a concreter in his mid-60s had already taken a toll on his body and the new retirement age was ‘unfair’ for those doing hard physical labour.
‘Now I’m starting to feel it more in my knees, I’ve got arthritis in my hands, I’ve had two surgeries on my back,’ she told A Current Affair.
‘It seems a bit unfair that you have to work all your life.’
Macquarie University professor Hanlin Shang believes the pension age must be raised to 70 or government spending will spiral out of control.
He and other researchers estimate that the retirement age will be 68 by 2030, 69 in 2036 and 70 by 2050.
‘As Australians live longer than ever before, this presents a challenge for governments to fund retirees through a pension scheme,’ Professor Shang said.
‘With fewer people in the working group and more in retirement, the old-age dependency ratio will be higher.
‘Does this mean there are fewer hard-working people to support older people? And with more and more elderly people in the population, this will create a burden on the public pension system.’