Warren Truss.
Warren Truss. Craig Warhurst

No offence intended: Truss

WIDE Bay MP and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss attempted to deflect outrage across Australia at reported comments on superannuants seeking the pension as well.

Mr Truss said he had made the truthful observation that many people were accessing their superannuation from age 60, spending it on luxuries by 65 and then going on the pension.

"People need to read the whole speech," he said.

"Unfortunately, the Courier-Mail took one and a half lines out of a six-page speech," he said.

It was merely "a comment on budget reality at a post-budget breakfast".

He was "explaining the situation and some of the issues we have to deal with, particularly health and aged care".

"We live longer, we spend more time at school and aspire to retire earlier, so we spend much less time in the workplace.

"The number of Australians over 84 is going to quadruple. If you are born today, there is a one in three chance of living to be 100.

"These major issues arise regarding the budget. The aged pension already represents about 10% of the entire Federal Budget - $40 billion, which in 10 years will be $72 billion.

"In spite of all the benefits of encouraging people to take their own superannuation, there are still 1100 extra people becoming eligible for the aged pension every week.

"People who have superannuation have for various reasons found it is not adequate to meet retirement expectations. People are living longer so it's not enough.

"Some people enjoy the early years of retirement and a few little luxuries and therefore they run out of money.

"There was no judgment in my speech. It's just a matter of fact.

"I'm not suggesting they're doing anything wrong.

"It's about making the aged pension sustainable.

"By 2050, there will be 2.5 people in work for everyone over 65. So that 2.5 people will have to support one person in retirement and set some aside for themselves.

"That's why we need a tighter assets test from about four years on and to increase the aged pension eligibility," he said.

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