Women choose work over welfare

A new report reveals that women are working longer instead of turning to the dole or disability pension.

Findings by Cain Polidano, Principle Research Fellow (Labour Economics) from Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne, have revealed that despite the pension age being raised to 65, women are choosing to continue in the workforce instead of relying on other sources of welfare like the dole or disability pension.

Detailed in a report based on analysis of Centrelink data that was conducted by Polidano in conjunction with Deakin University, also found that the increase in the female Age Pension eligibility from 61 to 64.5 reduced the female welfare receipt rate by 12.6 percentage points on average across affected ages.

We are not seeing a flood of people entering the system to retire earlier. Rather the data shows a very small proportion of women who, because of disability or prolonged periods out of work, are unable to support themselves in the workforce." Cain Polidano

According to Polidano, there is little evidence indicating that the changes in age eligibility significantly affected the number of women accessing alternative welfare payments such as disability support, unemployment benefits or a widow allowance.

This content originally appeared in AFR on 12 July 2016 

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