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Retirement age won't be lifted, says PM

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has abandoned a commitment to raise the retirement age to 70.

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The Liberal Party has for years been trying to raise the pension age from 67, but Morrison announced today he would no longer pursue the change.

“Next week, cabinet will be ratifying a decision to reverse taking the pension – the retirement age – to 70. It will remain at 67,” he told Nine Network.

“I don’t think we need that measure any longer when it comes to raising the pension age, and that’s one of the things I’ll be changing pretty quickly.

“I’ve been talking to my colleagues about it, we’ll ratify it next week. The pension age going to 70 is gone.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack described the about-face as a “sensible and pragmatic” move.

“I think if you’re a tradie or a brickie or a shearer in rural and regional Australia, you don’t want some suit in Canberra telling you that you’ve got to work until you’re 70,” McCormack told Sky News.

“It’s hard, back-breaking work what a lot of our people do, and I think being told they’re going to have to work until they’re 70, I think, was probably a step too far.”

The plan was first announced by the Abbott government under then-treasurer Joe Hockey but was never legislated.

Under the 2014 proposal, the qualifying age for the age pension would rise from 67 to 70 years beginning in 2025.

The age would be increased by six months every two years until reaching 70 years in 2035.

It was expected to save about $3.6 billion over four years.

Cabinet minister David Littleproud said he and his Nationals colleagues had been consulted and were fully supportive of overturning the long-held policy.

“There’s cabinet solidarity around that decision,” he told ABC radio.

“From our understanding, there will be minimal to no impact (on the budget).”

Littleproud said the prime minister had been considering the change in his former role as treasurer and denied it was policy on the run.

– AAP

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