Economic loss claims affected by recent government retirement age changes
Published 20 Aug 2014
As we are all aware in the recent May 2014 Federal Government budget the Government announced that the Aged Pension entitlement age will increase to 70 years by 2035. As we know in previous years the Government had increased it from aged 65 to 67 years of age.
This will have a direct impact on personal injury claims that we at Gerard Malouf & Partners compensation lawyers run for all our clients. The impact will be directly in their economic loss claims especially in relation to the future loss of earnings and future loss of superannuation contribution and benefits. Gerard Malouf & Partners are well aware of these changes and how they will impact on their clients and with this in mind have a team of forensic accountants and experts who are able to calculate the future loss of earnings and loss of superannuation contributions by projecting them to retirement age of 70 years.
Of course as we are all aware in some cases people have a specific intention of working to aged 70 or even to 75 years of age. Our forensic experts have been used in the past to specifically calculate future economic loss claims beyond 70 years of age. In cases, as indicated above, where our client who has been injured makes a claim for compensation it is equally important to investigate and enquire as to their professional background, their employment history and their intention and plans to have continued working. The calculation has to be made on a genuine anticipation by our client that he or she would have worked to aged 70 or 75 years of age.
With regards to how the retirement ages will affect workers compensation - it is questionable whether the Workers Compensation Act in the various States will factor in an allowance for ongoing weekly benefits to be paid to individuals bearing in mind these Federal Government changes to the retirement age.
Currently Australia wide the retirement age for anyone born prior 1952 is in fact 65 years of age. Therefore the relevant State workers compensation insurers will continue paying weekly benefits up until 65 years of age if those individuals were born on or before 1952. Since the Government has also introduced two incremental increases so as effectively the workers compensation insurers will continue paying after 1952 for individuals retiring at aged 65.5, 66 years and up to 67 years of age.
Those individuals born after 1954 who are currently on weekly benefits and have been permanently assessed as being unfit to return to work will continue to have their weekly benefits paid up until aged 67.
We here at Gerard Malouf & Partners pride ourselves in our ability to make sure that we constantly are appraised of any changes whether it is in the Federal Government or State Government that may impact on our clients who have been injured in either work related accidents, motor vehicle accidents or any other public liability claims. It is vitally important to be able to advise clients and ensure that their full rights are protected.