'Widespread dissatisfaction’ revealed with age pension process
The application process for the age pension is proving to be a deeply complex and frustrating experience for many Australians, with around 88 per cent of people dissatisfied with the current process, according to a recent study.
A joint study conducted by National Seniors Australia and Retirement Essentials, which surveyed around 4,500 seniors, found that less than four in 10 seniors were satisfied with the current age pension application process.
Specifically, the study found that 88 per cent of people in the survey were dissatisfied with the age pension application forms and processes.
Retirement Essentials chief executive Paul Rogan said that if the survey data is reflective of the whole community, then based on demographic trends, over 153,000 Australian seniors each year are having a negative experience when applying for the pension.
Mr Rogan said this is significant because of the practical impact on vulnerable individuals.
“Beyond those who are simply frustrated, there are many eligible people who actually give up on accessing their entitlements,” the CEO said.
“When the purpose of the age pension is to be a safety net, we need to do more to assist seniors to navigate the complex process and support them.”
Retirement Essentials has also announced the launch of a new service for helping seniors apply for the age pension which combines a website with an accessible telephone service.
“We worked with seniors to better understand how they prefer to interact with technology and we quickly learnt that a hybrid service that links good old-fashioned customer service with human-centred technology would work best,” Mr Rogan said.
“We believe every Australian should be able to access affordable support when they reach retirement age, which is why we have worked with everyday seniors to design an age pension service that helps them secure their entitlements with confidence.”
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.