Latest Media Releases

Media Releases


 The Association of Independent Retirees (AIR) makes comment via media releases on Government policy changes or announcements that are in the interests of our members or retirees in general. 

We distribute our media releases to organisations in the print, online and broadcast media.

If you work in the media and want to receive our media releases via email, please contact our media coordinator listed at the end of each media release or via the Contact Us page.

Our Media Releases are often referenced in local, the capital city and national publications.

2024-03-23_Retirees Concerned About The Increasing Costs of AGED CARE.pdf

“Retirees welcome the release of the Aged Care Taskforce report on funding arrangements,” said Wayne Strandquist, Chief Advocate for the Australian Independent Retirees (AIR). “The report highlights the need for additional aged care funding to meet future demand, improve the quality and safety of care, fund higher wages, and improve the financial viability of aged care providers.”

“The approach from the Taskforce on funding options was intended to ensure a fair and equitable approach in assessing the means of older people accessing residential and in-home aged care,” Wayne Strandquist said. “AIR supports the continuation of a safety net to provide aged care for people of low means, and we are pleased to see the Taskforce has recommended the continuation of financial arrangements for existing recipients of aged care”, he added.

2024-01-23_Retirees_Need_Clarity_on_Costs_for_Aged_Care_in_the_New_AGED_CARE_ACT_.pdf[77.67 KB]

The Exposure Draft of the new Aged Care Act is welcomed by retirees. It provides many important reforms to improve the quality and safety of aged care.

“However, the source of funding, fees, payments, subsidies, consumer contributions and means-test arrangements are not included in the exposure draft legislation,” said Wayne Strandquist, Chief Advocate of the Association of Independent Retirees.

“To provide a comprehensive response to the New Aged Care Act Exposure Draft and Consultation Paper by 16 February 2024, full and partly self-funded retirees need to evaluate the costs and affordability of the reforms described in the new draft Act,” Wayne Strandquist explained.


“Retirees welcome the passing of legislation to increase the Income thresholds to be eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC),” said Mr Wayne Strandquist, National President of the Association of Independent Retirees.

“The CSHC annual income test threshold has been increased for a single person to $90,000 and a couple to $144,000 in legislation passed by Parliament on 26 October 2022 and is effective from 4 November 2022,” said Mr Strandquist.

“This change means more self-funded retirees can apply for the CSHC to access important health care concessions. These include cheaper medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, access to the Extended Medicare Safety Net, and bulk billed visits to a GP at the Doctor’s discretion,” said Mr Strandquist.


“The Association of Independent Retirees (AIR) welcomes the many recent improvements to the retirement savings and income system, but increased flexibility often requires more understanding,” said Mr Wayne Strandquist, President of the Association of Independent Retirees.

“We are calling on the incoming government to implement a national program to improve the understanding of Superannuation and other aspects of the Retirement Savings and Income System,” said Mr Strandquist.

“This would enable people to better plan for their retirement and with enhanced financial literacy, make the most of their retirement savings and income,” said Mr Strandquist.

Mr Strandquist noted that “The Retirement Income Review report included many observations about the need to improve their understanding of the retirement income system. It also reported that there was significant evidence of low financial literacy, particularly about the key issues in the retirement phase”.


“Retirees with superannuation are concerned that Labor wants to ensure that super funds that focus on an “Environmental, Sustainable, Governance” (ESG) investment strategy are not penalised if they fail the Your Future Your Super performance Test,” said Mr Wayne Strandquist, President of the Association of Independent Retirees.

“Speaking at the recent Responsible Investment Association of Australian conference the Labor shadow minister for financial services and superannuation, Mr Stephen Jones, is quoted as saying that ‘Labor will ensure that the proper objective of holding super funds to account for their investment returns and costs doesn’t interfere with the equally proper objective of funds to drive both economic and social outcomes,” Mr Strandquist reiterated.

“This election pledge by Labor is tantamount to interfering with the primary objective of super funds to maximise investment returns by giving a dispensation to funds with strategies that pursue other objectives,” explained Mr Strandquist.


“The Association of Independent Retirees (AIR) welcomes the budget announcement to extend the reduced minimum percentage that retirees must draw down from their superannuation funds,” said Mr Wayne Strandquist, President of the Association of Independent Retirees.

 “This temporary relief until June 2023 provides retirees with the flexibility they need to manage their superannuation during periods of investment market volatility, heightened military tension and ongoing COVID19 disruptions,” explained Mr Strandquist.

“Furthermore, the Association of Independent Retirees recommends the minimum drawdown percentages from superannuation should be permanently lowered and the age ranges broadened for retirees aged 75 years and older as shown below,” Mr Strandquist advocated.


“With the continuing volatility and uncertainty in world financial markets, we call on the Government to extend the reduction in superannuation drawdown percentages for a further year until 1 July 2023,” said Mr Wayne Strandquist, President of the Association of Independent Retirees.

“Retirees who fund some or all of their retirement from superannuation, appreciate the flexibility provided by the Government with the halving of the superannuation minimum drawdown percentages due to economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic over these last two years up until 30 June 2022,” said Mr Strandquist.


“Retirees welcome the recent passing of legislation in Federal Parliament that provides more flexibility for retirees to make non-concessional contributions to superannuation,” said Mr. Wayne Strandquist, National President of the Association of Independent Retirees.  “This legislation package included the abolition of the work test for non-concessional contributions for up to age 75 and reducing the eligibility age from age 65 to 60 for downsizer contributions into superannuation,” said Mr Strandquist.


Older Media Releases


“Retirees welcome the reduction of 0.55% in the interest rate applied by the Government to access the equity tied up in their home under the re-branded Home Equity Access Scheme,” said Mr Wayne Strandquist, National President of the Association of Independent Retirees.

2021-06-10_Retirees Welcome Extension of Temporary Superannuation Drawdown Relief 

“The announcement by the Government to extend the temporary halving of the minimum superannuation drawdown amount is welcomed by retirees. In times of financial crisis or market volatility that we have seen with the GFC or the COVID-19 pandemic, retirees need greater flexibility in the minimum amount they are required to draw down from their superannuation,” said Mr. Wayne Strandquist, President of the Association of Independent Retirees. 

2021-05-14_Retirees Welcome Budget Increase for Aged Care and Greater Flexibility for Super Contributions

“Retirees welcome the allocation of more funding in the Federal Budget to improve the quality and safety of the aged care system and some additional measures to retirement savings,” said Mr. Wayne Strandquist, President of the Association of Independent Retirees.


“Action by the Reserve Bank to reduce the official cash interest rate by 0.15% to just 0.10% increases the financial pain for fully and partly self-funded retirees,” said Mr Wayne Strandquist, President of the Association of Independent Retirees. 

2020-10-07_Budget_Leaves_Self-Funded_Retirees_Hung_Out_To_Dry [130.86 KB]








AIR President Wayne Strandquist on ABC Radio National

7 October 2020 Click to listen to the interview


AIR President Wayne Strandquist on SBS

Wayne is interviewed in response to Media Release Triple Whammy Hits Self-Funded Retirees.

Click to watch the interview