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Issues that concern Australian seniors take centre stage in this federal election. The Labor Party promises reforms that could improve the life of the retirees and their families and the Coalition seeks re-election by banking on their achievements and continuity of their plans.

Retirement Essentials has summarised the plans of the two opposing parties so you can decide how to cast your vote.

1. Spotlight on Aged Care

Labor is offering Liberal is offering
  • Stronger, more sustainable, more transparent and easier access through the Living Longer, Living Better (LLLB) reforms
  • Expansion of health care services in the community, at home and in residential aged care
  • Quality aged care workforce
  • Invested an extra $1 billion a year in aged care services since 2013 and have continued record investment through the 2018/19 Budget’s $5 billion boost over the next four years
  • Deliver more support for older Australians with $552.9 million increase to aged care funding including the release of 10,000 high-level home care packages within weeks
  • National action plan to reduce the number of younger people living in residential aged care
  • Reduction of the daily maximum fees payable by up to $400 per year for level 1 packages, $200 a year for level 2 packages and $100 a year for level 3 packages
  • Investment of $101.9 million to increase the Viability Supplement for eligible residential aged care providers
  • $30 million commitment to develop a network of Veterans’ Wellbeing Centres to take care of Australia’s veterans and their families






2. Spotlight on Retirement Planning and Superannuation

Labor is offering Liberal is offering
  • Protect the pension through the Pensioner Guarantee that safeguards government pensioners and allowance recipients from the abolition of cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits
  • Create a regulatory framework that facilitates the offering of better retirement income stream products for those entering retirement
  • Protect the rights of older Australians in physically demanding jobs
  • Supports nationally consistent retirement village legislation with stronger consumer protections
  • Support older Australians to reskill as they transition through phases of work and into semi-retirement and retirement
  • Lift retirement incomes fairly and take pressure off the Age Pension
  • Investigate and implement strategies to improve women’s retirement incomes
  • Lower the annual non-concessional contributions cap to $75,000
  • Further lower the High Income Superannuation Contribution threshold to $200,000
  • Reverse the introduction of catch-up concessional contributions and changes to tax deductibility for personal superannuation contributions
  • Invest more than $400 million to boost the superannuation balances for women and low-income earners
  • No new taxes on superannuation
  • Widening choices in later years through an expanded pensions loans scheme, giving around 1.8 million Australians the option to boost their income by drawing down on more of the equity in their own home
    Wage subsidies and training incentives for mature aged workers
  • Improve flexibility of the superannuation system by allowing part time workers to contribute to their super
    Protect and expand access to self-managed super, with a plan to extend the max size of self-managed super funds from four to six members enable more families to take control of their retirement savings
  • Allow contributions to super from the proceeds of downsizing, up to $300,000 for eligible Australians aged 65 and over
  • Help maximise returns for retirement by continuing to give self-managed super funds the flexibility to borrow on a non-recourse basis






3. Spotlight on Negative Gearing and Capital Gains

Labor is offering Liberal is offering
  • Limit negative gearing on new housing from 1 January 2020
  • Halve the capital gains tax discount for all assets purchased after 1 January 2020
  • Put negative gearing to work by limiting it to new investment properties to help boost housing supply and jobs
  • Against the abolition of negative gearing as it will push down home values




4. Spotlight on Franking Credit Refunds

Labor is offering Liberal is offering
  • Crack down on refundable franking credits because this tax loophole will cost the budget $8 billion a year
  • Against the abolition of franking credit refunds because this will place additional taxes for retirees and pensioners




5. Spotlight on Health

Labor is offering Liberal is offering
  • $2.8 billion Better Hospital’s Fund will benefit every hospital and every patient in the country
  • Commitment to pay for more than 62,000 cataract procedures or 9,800 knee replacements or 9,400 hip replacements
  • $600 million towards eliminating all out of pockets costs for diagnostic imaging with up to six million free cancer scans funded through Medicare
  • Improve Medicare and Centrelink services and cut waiting times for pensioners, carers, students and social security recipients across Australia.
  • Invest $2.4 billion in a Pensioner Dental Plan – giving up to three million Australian access to free dental care
  • $1.1 billion investment into Primary Health Care as well as sustaining the current incentive for General Practitioners (GPs) to treat seniors living in residential aged care
  • $185 million investment into research in ageing and dementia
  • Financial boost for several health areas including a $5 million investment to educate people about the recent changes to the tiers of private health insurance
  • Additional medicines are now included in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) as a result of the budget including important prescription drugs for the treatment of kidney, bladder, liver, and skin cancer. Besponsa, a medicine used for the treatment of acute Leukaemia, is also now added in the PBS.
  • Invest a further $6 billion in Medicare over the next four years








6. Spotlight on Energy

Labor is offering Liberal is offering
  • 50% of Australia’s electricity generation to come from renewable energy by 2030
  • Abolish outdated standing offers and replace them with a new default offer consistent across retailers
  • Introduction of one-off Energy Assistance Supplement for pensioners ($75 for singles and $125 for couples) designed to help the elderly with expensive electricity bills






Your vote lets the people in our government know how you stand on these important issues. Let’s make sure the government continues to work hard to make Australia a better place for all of us.

Also let us know in the comments section how you feel about the plans and policies proposed by the two main parties.