Australia Markets open in 9 hrs 48 mins

New pension age needs new culture: Hockey


Treasurer Joe Hockey has rejected claims manual labourers will be affected by an increased retirement age of 70, saying most can't work until they're 65 now.

The coalition announced a host of pension reforms in Tuesday's budget, including a hike in the pension age and changes to indexation.

The eligibility for the age pension will be increased to 70 years by July 2035, raising questions about its impact on workers in manual occupations.

But Mr Hockey said already bricklayers don't work to the current retirement age of 65.

"The problem has been a transition to a new career, and it's real now," Mr Hockey told Sky News.

"That's why we've got to start changing the culture."

He said the Restart program - also announced in the budget - would provide $10,000 incentive payments to those who hire the over 50s.

"It is an incentive to change the attitude of business," he said.

Labor has announced it will oppose the pension age increase, saying Mr Hockey had failed to justify the measure.

"He says Australians should work longer than anybody else in the developed world," shadow treasurer Chris Bowen told Sky News.

"Not one country in the OECD has a pension age of 70."