New research from CSIRO that shows many Australians are dying richer than when they retired does not reflect Indigenous people’s experience, says a petitioner to lower their retirement age.
Andrea Booth

11 Jan 2016 - 2:42 PM  UPDATED 12 Jan 2016 - 9:44 AM

“We probably would be lucky to collect any money at all,” Brett Nutley, the man behind the GoPetition to lower the retirement age of Indigenous Australians by 10 years to 55, told NITV about new CSIRO research showing many Australians die richer than their retirement age. 

“When you look back on the Stolen Wages [where governments withheld income from Indigenous Australians], they don’t have enough money for retirement.”

He added that Indigenous Australians were less likely to be in professions that provided super, including laboring and low-wage jobs and those that are paid cash in hand.

'We won’t live past the current retirement age'

The CSIRO research shows many Australians after retirement are saving their superannuation, leaving them with more funds than when they left the workforce. 

“It seems no matter how large a person’s super balance they stick to the minimum drawdown rates mandated by the government”, the CSIRO’s Andrew Reeson told the Australian Financial Review on Monday.

But in a recent submission to a Senate Inquiry into economic security of female retirees, the Queensland Government noted a superannuation discrepancy between Indigenous and other Australians.

"While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women had an average balance of $39,909 in 2010, the equivalent figure for non-Indigenous women was $63,000. For men the respective figures were $55,743 and $110,000," it said.

Mr Nutley says it concerns him that even if Indigenous Australians had the same employment opportunities as their non-Indigenous counterparts, the gap between their respective life expectancies rendered the research irrelevant.

“We won’t live past the current retirement age,” he said.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the median life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was 69.1 years for males. This figure is nearly 11 years lower for non-Indigenous males.

The statistics were similar for Indigenous females. Their life expectancy was shown at 73.7 years, a figure almost 10 years lower than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Australia is an aging population with the proportion of elderly to the rest of the population at one in seven which is set to increase to one in four by 2055.

Petition calls for lower retirement age for Indigenous Australians
A petition wants the retirement age of Indigenous Australians to be lowered to age 55.