Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Jan-Feb 2015 Contents Thinking about
life after work?
Many people approaching retirement age are interested in accessing their super
before retirement to either top up their super balance or reduce their working hours.
This strategy is called transition to retirement (TTR).
If you've reached 'preservation age'
(age 55 if you were born before 1 July
1960) and have money in a super
account, you can transfer part, or
all, of your super into a TTR income
stream. This is subject to legislative
requirements and fund rules. Your
maximum yearly drawdown is 10% of
your balance. The money is also non
commutable, which means lump sums
cannot be withdrawn until you fully retire
or reach age 65.
Income received from an income stream
is concessionally taxed. This means, if
you're under 60, income is taxed at the
marginal rate with a 15% tax offset. After
age 60, the income is tax free! There
is also no tax paid on the investment
earnings. This means you could have
more cash available to either reduce your
working hours by supplementing your
income, or increase your super savings
through salary sacrifice.
To find out more about how we can help
you transition to retirement, attend
the next HESTA presentation at your
workplace, visit hesta.com.au for a
copy of our Super strategies in your
50s and 60s fact sheet and the HESTA
Income Stream Product Disclosure
Statement (PDS) or call 1800 813 327
to arrange a consultation with a HESTA
With more than 25 years of experience
and $29 billion in assets, more people
in health and community services
choose HESTA for their super.
REVIEW SITES ARE COMING,
LIKE IT OR NOT
The Federal Government has signaled
that it welcomes consumer-led reviews of
aged care, with Assistant Minister for Social
Services Mitch Fifield telling the Committee
for Economic Development of Australia
in late 2014 that he foresaw My Aged
Care becoming a "Tripadvisor for aged
In the meantime, non-government sites
have sought to enter the same space.
AgedCareReviews.com.au promises an
online community and searchable review
site, although there appear to be only a few
reviews so far.
Insurance Group NRMA is looking to
launch a review and rating site for retirement
villages, in-home care and residential
accommodation attached to its newly released
Living Well Navigator tool.
While the group won't comment publicly
about the service, providers have been told
that they can pay a fee of $2,900-$3,900 in
return for an 'OWL rating' and a further fee
to upload photographs or feature higher on
the list. Consumer reviews are part of the
planned package, with NRMA members able
to post reviews and comments that will be
moderated after posting.
Similar measures have been put in place
by AgedCareReportCard.com.au, which is
another site that describes itself as consumer-
driven but inclusive of industry.
Launched in October by registered nurse
Lauren Todorovic, the site was prompted by
her experience fielding queries from families
needing to find an aged care facility.
"There was just nothing out there that
captured people's experiences in a centralised
platform," Todorovic says. "Families want to
know what the care is like and the service
being delivered. They can look at a facility but
right now there is nothing out there utilising
consumer experiences to share them with
others before they enter aged care."
The site has more than 150 report cards
already, many positive but some critical
of facilities. One site in Victoria scores 2.1
out of five (one out of five for management
responsiveness), with the two-word review
saying only "overall poor."
QUESTION POOR REVIEWS
Todorovic understands that criticism of
facilities may be difficult for providers but
insists her site has positive goals. "The initial
idea of being transparent is confronting for
some providers but we are coming at this from
a positive angle," she says.
"It is not a complaints website. It is about
sharing people's experiences so that as
more and more people use it, we generate
improvements in the industry because we are
listening to what people who use the services
The site's reviews are monitored and facilities
can follow up on reviews they believe are unfair.
"We have risk strategies in place so that
when people leave a review they need to
leave a minimal amount of information and we
have designed the back end so we do some
monitoring as well. Any individual concerns or
complaints --- anything personalised --- needs
to be taken to the facility."
Todorovic believes that while family members
are driving reviews now, this will change as
the number of technologically savvy older
people increases --- and this might force
providers to engage.
COTA Australia chief executive Ian Yates
says there is a lot of interest among its
constituency in the development of rating
sites, although he also cautions the need for
transparency and verification.
"We are seeing diversity in the
approaches and that's inevitable but [this]
will evolve over time," he says.
"There's not at the moment a rating site on
the degree of choice and control that residents
and customers of home care experience and
we know that is an important consideration."
Yates says there is a growing expectation
among older people to be able to access
"Yes there are older people who don't go
online, just as there are younger people who
don't, but the vast bulk of those people's families
do and they want to shop around," he says.
"Putting prices for the residential context
online has been an important development
but getting feedback from people within the
facilities is something that they will take
quite seriously." n
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