Since when was the Age Pension a handout?

The Age Pension was introduced as a right for all – never a handout.

Since when was the Age Pension a handout?

There’s a lot of inaccurate and misleading commentary on the Age Pension at the moment. So as an end of year round up, I thought it might help to place a few facts on the table in order to add some context to the wild statements from people who should know much better.

Many part pensioners are facing cuts to their income in January and as we noted on Monday, they are understandably concerned whether this situation is fair or necessary. Today we consider the background to the Age Pension, who it was meant to help, and what has happened in more recent years post the introduction of the Superannuation Guarantee Contribution (SGC). We then ask, where is this leading and how reasonable is the expectation of an Age Pension for those who are still working?

The Australian national Old-Age Pensions Bill was passed by the House of Representatives on 3 June 1908, replacing state pensions schemes and awarding a maximum of 10 shillings per week, applied to men and women over age 65. On the day, an opposition minister, Mr Reid, commended the bill, stating “… it removes the idea of old-age pensions from any suggestion of a charitable allowance. An old man, who has done his duty as a citizen for 25 years (is) as much entitled to a pension as a commander-in-chief or a chief justice”. Members of the Labour Party and the Ministerialists cheered these sentiments (Argus, 4 June 1908). As has been noted by academic TH Kewley, “It brought …  the provision of fixed rates of benefit to which there was a clearly defined entitlement. This marked a revolution in social policy too, which in turn reflected a new understanding of the causes of poverty and a new attitude to collective responsibility.” (my italics)

So it is fair to understand the intention of the introduction of an (almost) universal Age Pension was as a reward for service, not a handout.

The universal Australian Age Pension was non-contributory and, importantly, unrelated to an individual’s employment capacity and history.  Shortly afterwards in 1910, the pension age for women was lowered to 60. In 1912 the family home was exempted from the Age Pension means test. There were few significant changes in social welfare from this time until the end of World War II, with the exception of the introduction of a service pension in 1936 and a Commonwealth widows pension in 1942.

The post-war period saw a consolidation of the welfare state, whereby the Government assumed a greater responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. Worldwide economic turmoil in the 1970s created conditions for the rise in a neo-conservative political ideology in the 1980s, championed particularly by Margaret Thatcher in the UK and Ronald Reagan in the USA, which supported the notion that the (economic) market knows best and that individuals should now assume responsibility for their own financial wellbeing. It also maintained that the ‘trickle-down’ effect would mean wealth created by the rich would find its way into the hands of the poor.

In Australia, starting in the late 1960s, many unions had begun to agitate for a portable superannuation scheme which meant their members would gain the privilege already enjoyed by civil servants and the professional classes – a dignified retirement. This came to pass in 1992 with the introduction of mandatory superannuation, brokered by the Keating government and as a trade-off for wage demands by the unions. So the unions would forgo annual wage or salary increases in order to allow employers to pay the initial 2.5 per cent (planned to rise to nine per cent, then 15 per cent – it’s currently stalled on 9.5 per cent) SGC.

Contrary to popular current political mythologists, there was no ambiguity or lack of definition around superannuation when it was introduced in the House in 1992 by

Keating Government, Treasurer, John Dawkins who stated: “The increased self-provision for retirement will permit a higher standard of living in retirement than if we continued to rely on the Age Pension alone. The increased self-provision will also enable future Commonwealth governments to improve the retirement conditions for those Australians who were unable to fund adequately their own retirement incomes.” (Superannuation Guarantee Bill 1992).

We can see that the SGC was intended to be in addition to the Age Pension, not instead of it.

So fast forward to 2016. We have an Age Pension that now seems to be considered, at best, a safety net and, at worst, a handout. So much for the years of service, paid and unpaid, from our senior citizens. Superannuation has not been in place long enough to offer sufficient extra savings to make a significant difference to retirement income for older Australians. Had it risen at the rate originally intended, and not stalled by conservative governments, particularly the Howard government, most Australians would have been much better off. The result is that the median super savings on retirement is around $100,000, which is hardly likely to supplement an extra 30 yearsof living. As recommended by the Financial Services Inquiry (FSI) and supported by current government ministers, there is a call to ‘define’ super, based upon the myth that it was always intended to replace the Age Pension – which, as we have seen, it was not.

In the 1990s the World Bank described Australia’s retirement income system, with its the three pillars (Age Pension, compulsory superannuation and private savings), as world’s best practice. This is no longer the case. What was not viewed as an integral pillar to retirement income – the family home – has now become the single most important factor in defining the level of comfort retirees will experience.

Those fortunate enough to have purchased a house and to still own it, have a fighting chance of living a reasonable retirement. Those who are renting – and this is about 15 per cent of retirees – are facing increasingly high rents in overheated city housing markets and few ways of having sufficient income to do more than exist hand-to-mouth until the next Age Pension cheque comes through.

Recent political debate has zeroed in on the ‘lifters’ and ‘leaners’ (thanks Joe Hockey, currently enjoying a cigar at the taxpayers’ expense in downtown Washington) and the ‘taxed’ and ‘taxed not’ a throwaway (we can only hope) line from Treasurer Scott Morrison. The fact that the ‘taxed not’ would actually appear to be 300 of Australia’s largest companies makes this remark even more ironic.

It is in this political climate that we have seen the introduction of changes to the Age Pension that will reduce allowable assets and caps on contributions.

It has been noted that Australia’s Age Pension is one of the most generous in the world.

But as we have pointed out countless times, this is simply not the case. It is a political myth that needs to be laid to rest for once and all. According to the OECD (2014–2015), the percentage of our GDP spent on the Age Pension is the third meanest in the world, behind Korea and Mexico. Our Age Pension is also described as ‘unaffordable’ because of the high debt our Federal Governments have failed to address. But no one has as many choices as federal governments have. And currently they choose not to remove billion dollar subsidies given to narrow interest groups (think investors and negative gearing or mining company fuel rebates for starters). A report by The Australia Institute reveals that all Australians could be paid an Age Pension if the overly generous subsidies on superannuation for the very wealthy were removed. This is hardly rocket science. But the so-called ‘affordability’ of the Age Pension is a furphy when it comes to where our taxes are really being spent. And this has led to a sport where bashing older people and welfare recipients is the easiest shot.

By contrast, New Zealand allows its age pensioners to work as much as they like without losing their pension. Funnily enough they do, so the problem of retaining older workers to improve productivity is not a problem 'over the ditch'.

There is no argument that conditions surrounding superannuation need to be continually reviewed. But tinkering with the income and assets test for the Age Pension can cause stress to many retirees. The changes to the asset test thresholds will mean some people are losing income upon which they thought they could rely. What we are lacking is something seniors’ groups have been advocating for years – a comprehensive retirement incomes review that considers the Age Pension, superannuation and taxation as a whole, so the full system can be understood and benefits can be maintained for those in need, whilst those who use superannuation as an estate planning vehicle can be made to pay a fairer share of taxation.

Sadly, in the current political climate, this is unlikely to happen.

But in the meanwhile, let’s remember the original purpose of the Age Pension and mandatory superannuation. The Age Pension is not a handout, it’s an entitlement. And superannuation is not a gift from an employer, it is your right as negotiated long and hard by unions on behalf of all.

We live in the Commonwealth of Australia – which is meant to be based upon the ‘common wealth’ i.e. the ‘collective responsibility’ noted by TH Kewley. This, in fact, was meant to ensure that the retirement of all should be dignified and never dependent upon capacity or previous employment. Rich man, poor man. Rich woman, poor woman, we all deserve the right to a productive and enjoyable old age.

Tell us your story of pensions and super and how our system works for you?





    COMMENTS

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    Not Senile Yet!
    15th Dec 2016
    10:41am
    The only Leaners in our Society besides the Corporates dodging paying tax using loopholes that Neither Major Party wants to close or rectify.....are THE ELECTED POLITICAL PUPPETS with their snouts firmly entrenched in the Tax payers coffers! They consistently attack others yo distract from the fact that they are now ABUSING their priveleges and rorting the tax system yet continually NOT doing their job!
    That being to...BALANCE THE BUDGET!
    They ALL need Sacking!
    Farside
    15th Dec 2016
    11:32am
    It is worth acknowledging that it is within the powers of every elector to vote in favour of sacking their incumbent representatives yet they do not. One can only conclude that for the most part voters are satisfied with their representation.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    1:50pm
    It will not make any difference who is in power as there is simply not enough money available to pay people a pension who don't need it. Labor would be less generous than the Liberals here.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    3:39pm
    You obviously can't read, OG. There IS enough money to pay EVERYONE a pension IF unfair superannuation tax concessions to the wealthy were properly reigned in. These concessions are costly MORE than the total cost of the aged pension, and they benefit ONLY the wealthiest. The average well-to-do so-called self-funded-retiree receives far more from the taxpayer purse than the average person who retires on a full age pension. That is a disgrace!
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    4:05pm
    If people save for their retirement and don't collect the OAP they deserve to be rewarded as they are saving the government money. Tax concessions are necessary simply because people would not put money into super without them. It is be stupid to do so. So take them away and you will have no super in the future.

    Your comment is being very short sighted as we need more fully self funded retirees and a lot less on the OAP.

    It is a disgrace that people who don't need the pension but collect it because it is simple nice to have!
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    4:12pm
    What a hideous hypocrite you are, OG. The rich who can and do easily save for retirement deserve rewards, and the battlers who do save for retirement, despite having it much much harder, must be harshly punished and beaten down!

    You are the one who is short sighted. We need more people striving to be at least partly self-sufficient. The rich will be self-supporting in old age anyway. It's the strugglers we need to encourage, but they are the ones being punished, so there will be far more people on pensions.

    Rewarding the battlers would mean more people would save and be on part pensions and the cost of pensions would reduce. But no, you want to gift it to the rich whose behaviour won't change because of tax concessions. They can't spend all their money anyway. If they don't put it into super, so what? They will invest it and still have it for retirement.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    4:16pm
    I agree taking away the tax concessions will not effect the wealthy but they will effect those who need the discipline of super to save. There are many times more of these than the wealthy so that's where you have got it very wrong.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    4:28pm
    You fool, OG. It is those who need the discipline of super to save who will STOP SAVING because they are being punished for it. You really do not have much between your ears, do you? Either people can save easily and don't need help, or they are struggling to save (whether due to limited income or to poor habits) and they do need help - but the latter are being punished and discouraged, so they will STOP SAVING. The former are always going to well off anyway and their saving won't change a thing.

    All you are doing is selfishly and greedily claiming more for the rich. because you are one of them.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    4:51pm
    Wrong Rainey I don't get any tax concessions and never have.

    However I do have enough sense to realise that a lot of people won't save for their retirement without super. Why put money into super without tax concessions?

    By the time young people get to pension age many more changes will have happened and it will a completely different ball game.

    Many people today have not much of an idea about super or the OAP until it comes to retire so these changes will not make any difference to them. The only ones effected are those which have too much money today to qualify under the new rules. I'll say it again these people have more than ample to retire on without the pension.
    Oldman Roo
    15th Dec 2016
    5:15pm
    OG , whichever way you try to sell us the flawed LNP propaganda machine that is driven by political manipulation , their agenda will result in the destruction of what it takes to make a nation successful . Being a reward for hard work and saving .
    It reminds me of a comment I came across recently on the internet " A nation of sheep will breed a government of Wolves .
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    5:34pm
    Well said, Oldman Roo. Good to see some have the intelligence to recognize how destructive it is to make policy that discourages hard work and saving. The government CLAIMS to want us to save, but then they punish us for doing so!
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    5:47pm
    Old Man I have no idea of what the policy of the LNP government is. I don't vote so have no need to know about any political party.

    I do know however that too many people today simply do not want to work and just turn up to get paid or will do anything to access the welfare purse. Getting anything done has got so bad that I have to be looking over their shoulder while they do things for me now.

    I take nothing from the government but they take heaps of taxes from me. I am very proud to be independent and certainly have no wish to deal with Centrelink at all. I get enough of that when asked to help others sort out their affairs with Centrelink.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    9:41am
    Well perhaps you should educate yourself, OG, before you make ridiculous ill-informed comments based on wild assumptions!

    The pension changes are going to drive pension costs UP UP UP UP UP and hurt the economy and taxpayers. Oldman Roo is right. You cannot punish people for working and saving and then expect them to work and save. The ''welfare mentality'' you complain about, and people not wanting to work, is ENTIRELY due to the government not allowing a fair reward for effort. And the assets test changes deny fair reward for effort. They make people who DID NOT work and save better off than people who did. It's got NOTHING TO DO WITH NEED. It's about motivation and the national good.

    We CAN afford to pay pension to those who need them AND those who deserve them without imposing an intolerable burden on taxpayers if we engage in sensible reform based on FACT instead of on dumb baseless assumptions. And the first FACT is that modest assets DO NOT MAKE YOU WEALTHY. Longevity is a huge factor. How long you will live determines how much you will need. Health is a massive factor. Past education and opportunities and the psychological impact of past traumas and crises are huge factors. Access to opportunities and contacts are major factors. It's way more complicated than ''have some money, must not be needy''. But it takes intelligence and empathy to understand that. It was obvious you have no empathy. Now it's clear you have no education either - at least in policy matters and their impact. So you really should SHUT UP.

    Anyone who claims to know what total strangers need or don't need should be put in stocks and forced to listen to personal stories of hardship until they are properly educated to understand that their assumptions were ignorant, arrogant, cruel, hurtful, and socially and economically destructive. YOU DO NOT KNOW THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF OTHERS. YOU CANNOT KNOW THEIR NEEDS OR HARDSHIP. And it's disgusting to continue this vile rant accusing them of greed and claiming they do not need their part pension. Worse still, it's positively vile to claim they just want to leave it to their kids to fund trips to Disneyland.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    12:37pm
    I only tell it like I see it Rainey and know that whatever OAPs get it wold never be enough.

    Something is very wrong when kids expect their parents to leave everything to them and do without so they can. I have seen many people waste their inheritances and can even see their parents turning over in their graves in disgust.

    Next thing you will want is a health check for all OAPs to see how long they will last in this mortal world.

    Yes I do think people who get the OAP just because they can as being greedy. The same as I see people take more than they need just because it is free knowing they can't use it but take it anyway so no one else gets it. This is nothing but greed.
    Slimmer Cat
    16th Dec 2016
    1:12pm
    Totally agree OG. I don't get anything from the government and still pay tax. My home and super is to fund me in my old age not to pass onto my children. From what I observe in friends and neighbours OAP would be in the queue for wooden legs if they were being handed out free.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    1:24pm
    Sounds like my extended family too. They do nothing but whinge about no getting enough OAP. I take no notice of them and they are always asking for money or a staying for a free holiday. I felt like I was running an endless free motel with all meals as well. So I got rid of all the extra beds in the house a few years ago and now they only come once as they think it is beneath them to sleep on the floor. One even asked to sleep in my bed as they had a bad back. So I said it's the floor or the motel down the road. Thankfully they haven't been back.
    TREBOR
    16th Dec 2016
    2:42pm
    So all those people who've been subjected to the ordeals of divorce, unemployment, bad management, bad government and its rapacity when it comes to your dollars in every way they can get their filthy hands on it... for a lifetime .... should NOT be rewarded or compensated, OG?

    Or is it only those who have the opportunity to get ahead without hindrance and even direct attack on their livelihood etc, who should be 'rewarded'?

    Not everybody gets a sweet ride, you know... and words are cheap.
    TREBOR
    16th Dec 2016
    3:16pm
    And let's not forget the long-term and future effects of high unemployment over an extended period for many. At the end of the day that means fewer people being able to put aside anything for retirement.... and thus the 'burden' of Old Age Pension is set to increase massively - again due to government and business incompetence and sometimes pure greed.
    TREBOR
    16th Dec 2016
    5:33pm
    OG has been in business - never took a tax concession - has handled millions and never had a concession in any way.....

    Can't possibly be living in Australia.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2016
    5:23pm
    Also doesn't spend anything but takes his family on cruises as a treat!
    Misty
    27th Mar 2017
    1:01pm
    A strange thing to say OG, that people who don't need the pension are happy to put their hand out, isn't it a fact that many wealthy people arrange their affairs with their accountants in such a way, as to enable them to receive a part pension, or the Health Care Card at least?.
    particolor
    27th Mar 2017
    1:37pm
    Has OG ran out of breath yet ?? :-) :-)
    particolor
    27th Mar 2017
    1:40pm
    Get ready for your $1.50 Handout Raise next Month Folks !! :-) Spent it Wisely !!
    mogo51
    15th Dec 2016
    10:43am
    A very sound and well researched article Kaye, well done.
    Pity Politicians do not look at their own perks in the same vein.
    Kaye Fallick
    15th Dec 2016
    2:09pm
    Thank you Mogo 51 - kind words
    MICK
    15th Dec 2016
    10:51am
    Here we go again. A recycled story.
    You'll get the same old arguments. On the one side well off retirees who have made their own future will call it a handout. On the other side those who have failed to provide for themselves, have costly medical bills over time or simply not been able to work will call it an entitlement.
    In the end it matters not what you want to call the pension. What matters is that some countries pay pensions because this is in their DNA: after a lifetime of work citizens deserve it. In Australia we attack retirees and hand their pensions to the rich and multinationals. That appears to be what we have become.
    HarrysOpinion
    15th Dec 2016
    1:39pm
    Of course, Government pension to retiring politicians is not a handout BUT an ENTITLEMENT for the so many years of practise of deception. How privileged they are to be exempted from prosecution under the Crimes Act.

    CRIMES ACT 1958 - SECT 82

    S. 81(4) substituted by No. 36/1988 s. 6.

    (4) For the purposes of this section, "deception"—

    (a) means any deception (whether deliberate or reckless) by words or conduct as to fact or as to law, including a deception as to the present intentions of the person using the deception or any other person....
    Jim
    15th Dec 2016
    10:54am
    Great article that puts many things into the correct perception of what the age pension was meant to be for, also some thing that should be added is the rate of tax we used to pay was far higher than the current rate of tax especially when we worked overtime, the country has had our money and support for many years, it's time to support us pensioners in our twilight years with the dignity we have earned and deserve.
    Not Senile Yet!
    15th Dec 2016
    11:17am
    MICK stop recycling the Polictical Propaganda peddled by our Party Puppets....key words...that Label one group against another is an American Polictical Tool of Propaganda of half truths...Not facts...to cause arguements/debates...where there are None by the General Public.
    They are dsigned/created by highly educated and Well-paid Boffins who Specialise in Verbal Communications....the idea being to create confusion/debate on subjects where there is No perceived confusion/debate exists!
    Stop repeating their Propaganda Mate!
    It absolutely does Matter....that the Definition of the Age Pension is an Entitlement!
    It also matters that Cutrent Politicians are Deliberately trying to SABOTAGE the very fabric of why iit is an Entitlement by LABELLING it Welfare!
    IT WAS NEVER WELFARE....NEVER WILL BE...AND THEY KNOW THIS!
    As for the Asset Tests....there never was one...until the Polictical Parties Created it as a way of saving money....after they consistently Blew up Budgets after Budgets....and used it to claw back savings.
    The Assets Test had no other reason for its Existence......never being Part of the Original Legislation.
    So sick of people reapeating their Propaganda of Half Truths and outright Lies!
    If you want to engage in debates....get the facts...not repeated innuendo or personal interpretations of same!
    gravy
    15th Dec 2016
    11:44am
    I think you may have misread Micks piece. In fact Mick states "In the end it matters not what you want to call the pension. What matters is that some countries pay pensions because this is in their DNA: after a lifetime of work citizens deserve it. In Australia we attack retirees and hand their pensions to the rich and multinationals. That appears to be what we have become."

    So it would appear that Mick supports the pension and attacks the rich and multinational handouts.
    Farside
    15th Dec 2016
    11:57am
    The article above includes the statement "In 1912 the family home was exempted from the Age Pension means test" thereby implying but not stating an age pension means test was in existence before 1912.

    In fact there has been an income and assets test for the pension since 1909, so pensioners have had over 100 years to get used to the concept. In 1909, the income limit was £52 and the asset limit was £620.
    MICK
    15th Dec 2016
    12:48pm
    Thanks gravy. I was just trying to summarise the normal positions taken.
    I DO agree with a pension system and keep writing that a real government would go after the rich to pay their fair share (AS A PERCENTAGE OF THEIR INCOME!!!) rather than cannibalise those who have done their bit at the end of their lives.
    It galls me that society refuses to see this issue in those terms and debates the merits of the pension system all the time rather than who is creaming off huge amounts of loot with politicians routinely looking the other way.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    3:49pm
    Farside, whether or not there has always been an assets test is not the point. What is relevant is that a lot of current retirees and soon-to-retire planned for decades based on a particular policy and thresholds. Younger folk have an opportunity to restructure their affairs to cope with a changed policy. Most much older retirees have enjoyed a more liberal policy for long enough that the change won't be devastating. But to suddenly demolish the plans of a select group of retirees leaving them no options to avoid an income loss of up to $15000 a year is cruel and grossly unfair- given that no other sector of society has been hurt in this manner.

    I have no problem with governments implementing fair and reasoned policy changes to improve the budget bottom line, but to smash the retirement plans of a small sector of the population in a way that actually HURTS the budget, by reducing saving for retirement and incentivising affected retirees to reduce their assets by buying bigger houses or taking world cruises, is not just unacceptable. It's grossly irresponsible and bordering on criminal!

    The change is NOT economically sound. It's NOT fair. It does NOT benefit the poorest. It does NOT take realistic account of very relevant facts about the current investment market and the liquidity or otherwise of people's assets. It does NOT take sensible account of current interest/investment return rates. It is harshest on the least advantaged of those it affects and impacts least on the most privileged (generally educationally) of those affected, and thus fails dismally all tests of fairness. It is socially and economically destructive in that it destroys confidence and creates fear and distrust.

    It is WRONG on every level.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    4:07pm
    Very few people are effected by these changes and those that are well I'm afraid the party is over and it's time for a dose of reality. After all they don't need it so why waste money giving it to them.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    4:14pm
    Oh, so if it hurts a minority it's okay - as long as it doesn't hurt you? You selfish old man!

    And you wouldn't have a clue who needs what. You are just an arrogant and judgmental ignoramus trading on wild assumptions.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    4:20pm
    It really doesn't hurt anybody Rainey. It just takes away from those something they should not have had in the first place. All that has happened is the line in the sand has been redrawn and less people get the OAP which is a good thing for all Australians.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    4:50pm
    WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG you ignorant arrogant nasty fool. You have no idea of other people's circumstances. Many will be hurt badly - but clearly you have no capacity for empathy or compassion.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    4:53pm
    RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT! How many times do I have to say those effected do not need the OAP. It is just simple nice to have. They have not been hurt badly at all.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    5:28pm
    You can say it every second of every day and it's still WRONG and an arrogant opinion based on unfounded assumption made without a shred of evidence or even the common decency to consider that you DON'T KNOW OTHER PEOPLE'S CIRCUMSTANCES.

    Many who were affected DO NEED THE PART OAP they were getting. PEOPLE ARE HURTING - BADLY. And it's only arrogant, ignorant, cruel, nasty, selfish people like you who can't get past their wrong unfounded assumptions who endorse policies that are stuffing up the nation and making the future terrifying for every Australian.

    But keep endorsing stupid policies. When all those affected have spent their money on bigger houses and world cruises and are getting FULL pensions instead of small part pensions and the budget blowout is evidence, dimwits like you will be scratching their empty heads and wondering why. Just as you complain about the ''welfare mentality'' your stupid ideas generate.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    6:34pm
    By the time that happens Rainey any pension will be a debt to their estate so no matter how big or better their house becomes it will get them in the end.

    Talking about cruising I certainly wouldn't want to be one one of those bath tubs for more than a week or two and that wouldn't use up very much money.
    Farside
    16th Dec 2016
    8:50am
    Rainey, in the context of this comment the assets test is exactly the point I was addressing. The OP said "As for the Asset Tests....there never was one" ... she/he was wrong.

    It is understandable you and others will be unhappy over the coming changes and that is ok, a perfectly normal and expected response. It is not a surprise to those making policy or those implementing it. You have a right to be upset at losing a handout but you can take solace in the point that when they reach the safety net there is a reasonable likelihood of budget being there to fund it.

    This will not be the last of the changes so perhaps hold your powder for when it will be required. Eventually retirees will be ble to draw down however much they require to fund their lifestyle so long as they have the assets to repay upon death. If they don't have the assets then there is always the safety net.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    10:11am
    Farside, I'm not losing. I'm still working. But I'm concerned because those who are losing will be spending big and claiming higher pensions and the burden of pension costs on the nation will be higher. OG is WRONG! The crunch is coming very soon! The number of full pensioners will rise very quickly and the level of part pension being claimed by part pensioners will also rise quickly. If pensions become debt to the estate, people will save less still. Spending will rise - mostly outside Australia - and pension costs will rise. With no inheritance, more younger folk will be poorer - and it's the children of battlers who manage to accumulate modest assets who are in most need of that little boost from inheritance that often enables them to be self-sufficient in retirement, or to educate their kids to earn more.

    What we need to do to remedy the economic problems is restore the concept of reward for effort. That doesn't mean abandoning the genuinely needy. But it means making taxation fairer so that there is adequate money in the kitty to ensure those who struggle to work and save benefit fairly, and the proceeds of their effort are not confiscated to benefit the rich tax manipulators who are currently bankrupting this nation.

    We need to get back to the notion of social harmony through progressive taxation and the well-to-do taking pride in paying their way and supporting those who don't do as well materially but contribute substantially to society and the economy. Stop this ''we must reduce tax'' nonsense and adopt the Japanese approach that paying tax is a privilege and everyone should do so willingly and proudly - to the full extent of their ability - to ensure a healthy and happy society.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    4:07pm
    Rainey the rich pay the majority of the taxes today in this country so increasing their taxes would only hurt the economy not make it better.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2016
    8:24pm
    Wrong, OG. Increasing taxes on the rich would improve the economy, because it would drive circulation, and it's circulation that drives a healthy economy. We need to take a little away from those who have too much and give more to those who will spend. We need to offer incentives to employ and invest in expansion - and higher taxes mean more tax benefit from employing and investing. It's what makes economies work. The rich don't like it, but ultimately it's for their benefit because it makes a healthier society and a growing economy. The nation boomed when taxes on the wealthy were much higher, and people were happy. Things have gone steadily down hill with progressive tax deductions. And if you look at the countries that have the happiest people and healthiest societies, they all have high taxes - but also excellent social services, so people have security and comfort.
    particolor
    17th Dec 2016
    8:52pm
    Settle Down Everyone ! Don't get your hopes up ! You wont be getting anymore in the Foreseeable Future :-( :-(
    keychange
    15th Dec 2016
    11:21am
    Twenty years ago planning for retirement the pension age for females was 60 now we have to wait another 6 years before my wife is eligible - that is a hard cash out of pocket $402 pf for 6 years = $62,712 - then the GFC ate a lot of my super and 10 years has not been enough time to recover. How can we be blamed for not planning when the goal posts have constantly shifted. I am sick of these politicians with their big fat super for life accusing me of being a burden!
    PlanB
    15th Dec 2016
    11:26am
    I am with you on that keychange, plus all the other perks they get AND don't have to wait till a certain age either!
    keychange
    15th Dec 2016
    11:34am
    and I might add I have had a personal super policy since I was 23 years old.... so I did make the effort... and I will hopefully live with reasonable comfort but don't tell me the pension is a hand out. If something happens and I need it then I am entitled to it!
    Farside
    15th Dec 2016
    12:15pm
    The future burden if you like is going to fall upon those kicking the tin to pay for social security and welfare, including age pensions. The goalposts must change so long as the current settings remain unsustainable. At this point in time nobody knows the answer. If not changed then the bigger question is what amenities or services are we as a society prepared to do without. This is an ongoing conversation.

    By way of context social security and welfare accounts for about 35% of budget spending. The age pension accounts for about one-third of the total SSW spend.
    keychange
    15th Dec 2016
    12:39pm
    The age pension will be overtaken by superannuation incentives some time in the next 18 months
    MICK
    15th Dec 2016
    12:52pm
    The issue keychange is that the retirement sector is being targeted by this rich man's government with their spin writers in overdrive trying to paint the picture of 'rorting retirees' to drum up hate towards boomers. It's been going on since this deadbeat government lied their way back into office.
    Australians need to make a choice: do we want to work until we drop dead at high pressure jobs? Do we want retirement benefits? Or do we expect the big end of town to pats RIGHTFUL taxes? I know where I stand on this.
    TREBOR
    16th Dec 2016
    5:37pm
    Sorry, Farside - but we've been kicking the tin for fifty odd years in most cases here - and we were the ones who were carrying the burden. Suggesting that somehow the 'burden' is much more now is nonsense given the relative value of incomes - it simply is not, and saying so is nothing but a political ploy to excuse a vicious and unwarranted attack on social security recipients.
    Farside
    17th Dec 2016
    11:17am
    Trebor, whether or not you have been kicking the tin for 50 years is irrelevant when determining the level of burden. The fact remains that the population demographic changes mean there will be proportionally fewer taxpayers.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2016
    8:47pm
    Farside, if the government encourages and rewards endeavour instead of punishing it, there will be fewer people needing pensions because more folk will be able to save for at least substantial self-sufficiency. Then we won't need a lot more taxpayers because the pension bill will reduce. Superannuation was intended to achieve that aim. The problem is that the government is punishing those who work, plan and save and sending a message to everyone to NOT save for retirement, so pension costs increase and yes, we have a problem with proportionally fewer taxpayers. The solution is to STOP bashing savers and reward effort. Higher taxes on the wealthiest would generate more circulation and more job growth, and there would be money to pay pensions to those who need them without removing incentives to strive and save.

    It's really common sense, but common sense sadly just ain't common! Greed has addled the brains of the rich and powerful.
    Bling Bling
    30th May 2018
    11:13am
    Keychange you are so right,
    PlanB
    15th Dec 2016
    11:25am
    Once you have worked ALL your working life AND looked after sick and dying family members -- thus saving the Government a heap as well, the aged pension is a well-earned payment --
    johninmelb
    15th Dec 2016
    11:31am
    And off we go again.

    Repeating the same ranting and raving that you have written every other time the word Pension gets mentioned on this site.

    We have done this discussion to death. Nothing is going to change.

    You will still be debating it over an over in 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, etc etc.

    Do you seriously believe Turnbull and Shorten read the drivel on this website, and make decisions based on it?

    We lost this battle years ago. It's over. No-one is ever going to change things back, and we are never going to get a pension scheme like the UK, where everyone gets a pension regardless of income and assets.

    I resigned myself to that sad fact of life years ago.
    adbob
    15th Dec 2016
    12:02pm
    Not just "like the UK" - like just about every other developed country in the world - eg look no farhter than New Zealand, which was mentioned in the article.

    Even Greece in all its travails has not reneged on the obligation to pay age pensions.
    gumtree
    15th Dec 2016
    1:49pm
    The answer is simple. Live overseas for awhile then return as a 'refuge' supposedly from a war torn country then bring your family out and if a muslim bring your 4 wives. No problem-great country!
    Kaye Fallick
    15th Dec 2016
    2:12pm
    Hi JohninMelb thanks for your comments but sorry you think I am ranting and raving - I actually did quite a bit of research for that article :-) anyhoo, i do believe that things can and will change and that is why we try to keep this debate alive. Warmest, Kaye
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    4:16pm
    Yes, Kaye. Things CAN change and we have to keep trying. Thanks for your efforts, and please keep on. We need people like you to support demands for reform.
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    6:23pm
    I've Awarded the Best Comment to Gumtree on this one :-) :-)
    On the Grounds of Honesty in Journalism :-) :-) :-)
    johninmelb
    16th Dec 2016
    7:51am
    Kaye, my comment was not directed at you.

    I have no problems with the article.

    I was referring to the inane rubbish that gets regurgitated in the comments, over and over again, every time you write an article about pensions.

    I am sorry to disagree with you on one point, nothing will change. We pensioners will continue to be treated like second class citizens. The horse has bolted on this one. We will never go back to the way things were, or what WE think they should be. I feel very confident in saying that no government anywhere in the world has ever done something like that.

    Secondly, we are never going to bring politicians to account for their excessive entitlements, the waste of public money on grandiose schemes, and all the other excesses, like jobs for the boys etc. Both mainstream parties in every democracy in the world, not only Australia suffer from this. People stand for parliament because of the perks, the kudos, and self-aggrandisement. If you had a chance to get on that gravy train, why wouldn't you take it??

    The problem I have is that all these commenters with grandiose ideas about what life should be like, are just sitting on their axxe in front of their computers writing rubbish. Not one person has presented a viable plan TO FIX THESE PROBLEMS of the pension, Medicare, hospitals, rorting politicians, and everything else that gets their goat.

    Believe me, it is only going to get worse, not better. The longer you sit in front of your computer complaining here, the more disadvantaged, and angry you are going to become. The young up and coming politicians are going to be worse than the ones we have now. Get used to it.
    Farside
    16th Dec 2016
    9:02am
    John in Australia's greatest capital city, you are spot on in relation to the same old rants coming in the comments however I disagree with your point that pensioners will always be treated as second-class citizens. Pensioners have contributed to bring about the current situation over many decades by not organising and voting according to their interests. I have watched my grandparents, parents and their relatives and friends collectively delude themselves and unthinkingly vote against their best interests because of aspiration, tradition or some equally vacuous reason.

    This can change and change quickly if retirees were to organise and vote in their best interests.
    Kaye Fallick
    16th Dec 2016
    10:09am
    Hi JohninMelb - thanks for replying. I guess my perspective is that many things i thought were here forever have actually been dismantled - apartheid regime in South Africa, Berlin Wall etc. So i do believe that there is always hope of a better way. this is why i write on this topic so often - i strongly believe that our retirement income system is structurally unsound, advantages the wealthy and punishes those least able to defend themselves. so i will keep putting that message out there until we have a 'root and branch' review of all components of this system so we can have a better informed public debate on what is right, what is fair and what is sustainable. S thanks again for contributing to this debate online - and i hope you have a great Christmas break - warmest, Kaye
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    10:18am
    Thank you Kaye. You are absolutely right and to be congratulated for your persistence in trying to drive a fix for a broken system that is causing huge hurt to this nation. Keep on, please. Merry Christmas, Kaye.
    johninmelb
    16th Dec 2016
    3:16pm
    HI Kaye, I agree with you about things like Apartheid, and the Berlin Wall. Like you, I never ever expected to see them dismantled.

    You could also use examples like booting Marcos out of power in the Phillipines, China and Cuba finally coming back into the world, the break up of the old USSR, and the Arab Spring demonstrations, though not quite so successful. Also things I never expected to see.

    But some things are intractable. I'd like to think that in my lifetime, we will see a high speed rail link in Australia, we will get a Prime Minister and a government that actually wants to move Australia forward, that North Korea will dealt with and sorted out, and a lot of other things. But I ain't holding my breath on any of them any more.

    But pensions?? Everyone knows - especially the politicians - that the system is broken, irretrievably broken in my view. The country will never be wealthy enough again to fix this problem, particularly with an aging population. The cost would be horrendous. We have lost our manufacturing, iron and coal are going down the drain, and coal will end up killing us all anyway. We need factories, we need people working, and everyone paying taxes, and sadly, we need more people, to achieve economies of scale. That means more educated and skilled migrants, and that will set off another firestorm.

    You can write articles till the cows come home, you are only preaching to the converted here. Turnbull and Shorten do not read this website, I am certain of that. As for the rest of the rabble like Bernardi, Morrison, Joyce, Abbot and co, well they are just laughing at us, as they know we have no choice but to suck it up.

    Shooting is too good for any of them, but I will gladly join any firing squad you care to set up. I very much doubt you could be tried for murder, if you shoot useless vegetables without a brain in their heads.
    Circum
    16th Dec 2016
    3:48pm
    Never say never John.Nothing stays the same as change is continual.We can influence the direction of change.But if you lay down and concede defeat you cant blame the tanks for running over you
    GeorgeM
    16th Dec 2016
    11:38pm
    Hi Kaye, thanks for your article which helps all to understand the history and confirms that Age Pension is an entitlement.
    I wonder if you missed the funding side history, as the Compulsory Contributions (levy) of 7.5% tax commenced at 1st January 1946 too pay for Age Pensions has never been removed - hence it was always funded as well!

    To those who can't think how to fix it - the fair solution is to pay full Age Pensions to all who have worked say 15-20 or 25 years and paid taxes in this country (including the above 7.5% impost), and tax all other income as normal. We need a Trump-like alternative to "drain the swamp" in Canberra of our existing politicians and put new policies in place to fix this and many other systems ruined by our politicians of all sides.
    Jess M
    15th Dec 2016
    12:01pm
    Excellent article thank you. Sorry johninmelb that you feel nothing can be changed. Remember the saying which goes something like this, "Evil Prevails when good people do nothing." Throughout my life good people have worked hard to get our entitlements and we may need to fight hard to keep them. Us oldies have the numbers to change things and politicians rely heavily on numbers.
    Ozbrum
    15th Dec 2016
    12:49pm
    I agree Jess
    We oldies also have " experience " in our favour, which can and should be utilised ... Perhaps we can organise a hobble to parliament house to voice our disgust at our representative brazenly telling us our pension is a handout.... How dare they.

    Try making the same comment with regard to say religion.... "Its not a religion, just a personal opinion"

    Perhaps we need a period of honesty, let's spend the money currently spent on multiculturism on multi age pensionism.... Remember where charity begins ....
    particolor
    16th Dec 2016
    8:15pm
    This Site Lacks A Like Button !! :-) :-)
    deepred
    15th Dec 2016
    12:02pm
    I have no great problem with this discussion on the age pension....but please can we restrict it to those who really need it (and be as generous as we can). As I understand it now, a couple can own a house of limitless value, have something around $750,000 in other assets and receive something around $75,000 per year through some means or other (super, interest , still doing some work or whatever) and still receive some pension. I could hardly regard such elderly couples as needy and believe the current tightening up of the age pension conditions as very reasonable.
    Jess M
    15th Dec 2016
    12:36pm
    A single pensioner house owner is allowed assets of $250.000 before the pension decreases from the 1st January 2017. While the house is not counted as a asset a car, plus household furniture and other items including jewellery are. If someone retires at 60 or put off from work they can expect to live another 20 - 30 years. They will certainly need another car plus upkeep of home if they want to stay out of a nursing home. They will probably need help with gardening lawn mowing and maybe household cleaning. Many have pets totally worth it but again at a cost. Goodness knows they might like an odd holiday too. Most of these people have contributed to society in many different ways. Working all there lives, raising the next generation and caring for ageing parents. Politicians get their full pension for life after serving 7 years in office. Maybe a bit of a double standard.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    1:52pm
    I agree deepred the only people effected by these changes are those who don't need the OAP. I applaud the government for this move.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    4:18pm
    That's because you are arrogant, selfish, nasty, and ignorant, OG, and too dumb to understand that punishing people for doing what is good for the country and rewarding people for doing what is bad stuffs the economy. But take heart. You are in good company. Our politicians are equally stupid.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    4:30pm
    If being greedy is for the good of the country then people are being punished. I have a heart and I know that the people effected should not have got the OAP in the first place. Times have changed and now these excess need to reigned in. From what I hear they is more of this to come as well.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    10:28am
    Nobody is saying being ''greedy'' is good for the nation, OG, and the people you are accusing are NOT GREEDY. It's the fat-cat rich superannuants (probably your kind!), politicians and rich bureaucrats, those rorting the negative gearing rules and other tax minimization schemes, and wealthy multi-national companies that are GREEDY.

    Retirees just want modest comfort in their old age that they EARNED by hard work and frugal living and that it is BENEFICIAL TO THE NATION to allow them to enjoy, because incentives and rewards lead to more work, planning and saving.

    You have NO IDEA who should or shouldn't have a pension because you have NO IDEA of other people's personal circumstances, and only a very vile PRICK would make wild assumptions and cruel and nasty assertions.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    7:37pm
    Now I understand why you are still working Rainey.
    Anonymous
    21st Dec 2016
    11:50am
    ASSUMPTIONS from an ASS again, OG. I'm working because I LOVE what I do and I LOVE who I work with. I'm not working for money. I'd be doing something very different if that was my motive.
    Snowflake
    15th Dec 2016
    12:10pm
    Let the government keep pushing. History shows what eventually happens and when it does, the government has no one to blame but themselves. How is it we get the worst sort of people in politics?
    Farside
    15th Dec 2016
    12:49pm
    Politicians reflect the majority in electorates they represent. Don't like your MP or senator, then organise and vote for someone you do.
    Rae
    15th Dec 2016
    2:27pm
    There is a reason huge cruise ships are headed our way and the banks are freaking out because term deposits are being withdrawn. It isn't quite a bank run yet but then we haven't got to January either.

    Surely someone in the LNP/IPA should have seen this could be a problem.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    4:20pm
    Too idiotic to see the obvious consequences of a dumb policy change, Rae. Why are we paying these fools so much?
    Janran
    15th Dec 2016
    7:38pm
    Because anyone with eyes and ears knows that Parliament is a pit of spitting vipers. Question Time is merely a platform for Party lines and propaganda. You'll notice our present party in office (of incompetents), start answering a question with "Labor did...this or that" and often they don't go near answering the question at all. If you tell the truth you are ridiculed for being naive. The standard is for hyenas and weasels.

    Snowflake, I think this is why politics attracts such lowlife candidates. Those who genuinely want to make Australia better for its people know they can't stand for either of the two major Parties, because they'll be forced to compromise beyond what they can bear. Take Peter Garrett, for example, who should have joined the Greens, if he didn't want to sell his soul. And speaking of selling his soul, look no further than Malcolm Turnbull. He should have stood up to the Abbotteers right from the start and called their bluff. Would the LNP have removed MT from the PM chair for a third change of PM within the same Parliament? I don't think so! That's how they convinced the public to get rid of Labor.

    Unfortunately, those who enter politics outside the two major Parties are often inspired by single issues and they have no idea about micro- or macro- economics. The upside is they still might possess a heart and a soul.

    Politicians' pensions are BLOODY OUTRAGEOUS!!! Why on earth should they get free overseas travel? It's ridiculous!

    I hear your pain, Rainey. The trouble began when some people had Super (usually Govt. jobs), while the rest of us are entering, or have entered, retirement with not enough Super. Some of us who did the right thing and tried to be self-funded, but couldn't accumulate enough to retire comfortably, have been stranded in No-Man's-Land. Understandingly, they've sought to bridge the gap with a part pension and a Health Care Card. The trouble is they are now being punished for having had a go instead of taking that World trip and up-sizing into a luxury home and then becoming eligible for a full pension - LIKE THE DIRTY RICH HAVE DONE. The real shame is that average hard-working battlers don't know where to go for reliable financial advice (Family Trusts) and have often been bitten hard by sharks (Banks). Meanwhile, the rich are all over being able to take advantage - they are born to it.
    adbob
    15th Dec 2016
    12:11pm
    Rich rural families (one of the LNP's main constituencies - they cry poor all the time but there are plenty of them) are unaffected. They keep their assets in family trusts and appear assetless as individuals. They spend their whole lives with a health card (gliding up to the pharmacist's in brand new Land Cruisers) and get the full age pesnions when they retire.

    OTOH Labor has been in power enough times to fix this and while they're not proposing this themselves they're no objecting either. That's one of the problems - we don't have a proper Labor party any more.

    Hawke and er y'know Keating Thatcherised the place with the LNP looking on in amazement. Shorten doesn't have a Labor bone in his body - just personal ambition.

    The Greens pretend to be left wing but they're more supportive of spongers than of workers. Nobody's batting for Joe and Jill Average who just want to get a little bit extra for their lifetime of hard work. All the other interest groups have lobbyists who have variously bought off or cajoled the major parties. Ordinary folk don't.
    Ozbrum
    15th Dec 2016
    12:35pm
    Well said !
    Politics has evolved to the point whereby every party has a primary objective of retaining their seat of power, one can only gues at how much time is spent " conditioning" the electorate and how much is actually spent doing the very job we pay them to do.
    Rae
    15th Dec 2016
    2:29pm
    I think Jackie Lambie actually is battling for ordinary folk. As time goes by more people like her will step forward. The end of the two party system can't come soon enough in my opinion.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    4:22pm
    I think we should legislate that politicians can only serve two terms and receive NOTHING on leaving politics. It would save the nation a fortune and help reduce the tendency of politicians to focus on winning votes rather than doing what is good for the nation. We should also make it easier for ordinary folk to get into parliament so we have representation by people who know what it's like to live in the real world. And abolish parties for good. Ban political alliances. Let's have all independents.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    4:22pm
    I think we should legislate that politicians can only serve two terms and receive NOTHING on leaving politics. It would save the nation a fortune and help reduce the tendency of politicians to focus on winning votes rather than doing what is good for the nation. We should also make it easier for ordinary folk to get into parliament so we have representation by people who know what it's like to live in the real world. And abolish parties for good. Ban political alliances. Let's have all independents.
    Farside
    16th Dec 2016
    9:12am
    Rainey's comment to limit politicians can only serve two terms and receive NOTHING on leaving politics is a good one. The terms should be four years in the House of Reps and six years in the Senate. Politicians should also be ineligible to work in jobs related to their portfolio for a period of two years and be supervised by the Federal Court during this quarantine period with serious penalties for infraction. Unfortunately reforms like thi will not be introduced by either coalition or Labor governments.

    15th Dec 2016
    12:19pm
    ALL of the politicians are having a "pig-out with their salaries, benefits, perks, etc and some of them refer to the Age Pension as a "handout" to thos e people who have WORKED all their lives in a REAL JOB! My thoughts of them I wouldn't be allowed to put into print.
    Farside
    15th Dec 2016
    1:33pm
    What you think of pollies is rather irrelevant unless it is backed up in the ballot box. Don't like what they are paid then organise to put people in place who will change it ... by the way, good luck with that.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    5:25pm
    I didn't vote for any of the incumbents. Good luck with that.
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    7:45pm
    And Neither did I !! :-)
    But I can write a Speech for you if you like ! But I'm afraid they will Exile Me to Elba if I do !! :-) :-) :-)
    Ozbrum
    15th Dec 2016
    12:20pm
    Good article Kaye.
    Major problem when attempting to put labels and perspective on this very touchy and personal subject, is ( depending on vested interest ) it is impossible to generalise or to create a level playing field ! Consider....
    1) IF ONLY the politicians of days gone by.... You know the persons who we trusted and who were charged with the responsibility of looking after we citizens, had created a fund with say 1% of tax collected, invested the funds in for example infrastructure loans, at reasonable interest rates, we would not be having this oft repeated debate.
    Does this then mean it is fair to penalise the pensioner who often for very legitimate reasons , has nothing but the age pension to live on and is in a constant battle to make ends meet or should we look to "raid" the very funds established to ensure the ex pollies very generous pension and allowances...?
    2) IF we were to take say 10 pensioners from varying backgrounds , with different levels of retirement income and and 10 ex politicians from cabinet to back bench or senator level..... To compare length of service in public service employment, include a time sheet of length of time whilst in service working on self serving projects .... Perhaps just perhaps we would get a better understanding of why those who we employ get a benefit AND entitlement but state with hand on heart ours is a handout !
    Footnote
    Has anyone ever sighted an article similar to the one written by Kaye but relating to reductions in ex public service pensions ? If not why not ?
    gumtree
    15th Dec 2016
    2:03pm
    My thoughts exactly Ozbrum. But a reality check-do you think any politician including the likes of Darren Hinch and Pauline Hanson, have any interest reducing their benefits for the good of the aged pensioner.
    Just like any country in the world once you become a polly you become rich! Bit late for us now.
    Snowflake
    15th Dec 2016
    12:22pm
    Deep red you are living in la la land. I have just had my pension reduced by $95 a week. Yes, I have assets but not a great deal in the scheme of things today. I was only receiving $250 a week previously. Now I am going to buy a house to live in, spend other money on frivolous things instead of having it on standby for dental work, car repairs ( and the list goes on) and claim the full pension. So now I will be a burden on the country instead of being a lot less of a burden and having a reasonable lifestyle. Did you read the article, the pension was and always will be an entitilement despite government spin. So, to all you smug people who have invested their money blah! blah! and sit back without a care in the world maybe think of the less fortunate. I spent $95 on children's toys for the giving tree. Did you? And I bet I can afford it less than you can.
    Rae
    15th Dec 2016
    2:39pm
    I have a good friend who cashed in, and we may be near the market tops now so a good time to do it, and built a lovely new home on the canals at Port Macquarie.
    Bought a nice new car and new furniture.Kept just enough bank shares to be allowable for a full pension and is happy as can be. No worries and can't believe how good those discounts are.

    Best of all no advisors costing thousands or worries about market collapses. She looks ten years younger already.

    Good luck. I always give to the Salvation Army and local Bushfire brigade at Christmas. Have a good one.
    john
    15th Dec 2016
    3:02pm
    Snowflake, the self satisfied are people who are truly happy for themselves only , they have no capacity to understand the billions of different human conditions and situations, I know some good people very well off, but you would never know , they are childhood friends . you never ask nor give, its friendship, there are many people in the world even here in our wealthy Australia, that struggle and shouldn't have to.
    And many that triied and tried , but still struggle. I find the ignorance of the self satisfied amazing, because they only see the world through themselves , they think everyone has circumstance that is the same as theirs , there fore they come out with the , let them eat cake , they should have prepared better, I'm fine why aren't they.
    That attitude I have witnessed in lots of people who are extremely self opinionated and a little arrogant. Take it easy.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    4:25pm
    Snowflake, I keep saying people will do precisely what you are doing, and claim BIGGER pensions. It's obvious. If you are worse off for having saved, you will reduce savings. It confounds me that fools can't get that simple concept.

    The STUPID change to the assets test will drive pension costs through the roof. Guaranteed!
    Johno
    15th Dec 2016
    12:22pm
    Im now 74 worked all my life from age 14 and half until 67 these idiots try to tell me we are not entitled to age pension.We waste 45 million dollars drilling holes in ice to see what weather was like one million years ago get real.I am beging to believe what my father said about pollies doesnt matter who you vote for all the bastards are the same
    PlanB
    15th Dec 2016
    12:24pm
    Yes Johno -- they have all proved to be crooks different wings on the same bird
    Farside
    15th Dec 2016
    1:34pm
    The majority of the population disagree with you Johno.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    5:33pm
    I think that's wrong, Farside. I think the majority DO agree with Johno - the silent majority, that is. It's a greedy, selfish, noisy, brainless minority driving current policies.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    5:50pm
    Rainey, you are ever so right. This person Farside is WAY out of touch by some of his/her comments - should be Wayside.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    7:10pm
    I agree with Farside as the more you give people the more they want. OAPs would never be satisfied no matter how much they got it would never be enough.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    7:30pm
    Geez, a VERY false assumption and a gross over-exaggeration. Even you should know that.
    Farside
    16th Dec 2016
    9:25am
    Rainey, Fast Eddie - you are are chasing rabbits when you talk of the silent majority. You present no evidence to speak on behalf of the mute. The fact is sufficient numbers of voters elected the current parliament and the previous parliaments; the silent majority simply voted in line with the greedy, selfish, noisy, brainless minority driving current policies of the minority. Such weak minded folk have no right to complain in a democracy.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    12:44pm
    I agree the silent minority are silent in the vote box too.

    The only people whinging about these changes are the ones effected and quite frankly they have had it too good for too long. Thankfully the party has ended and something has been done with a lot more that needs to be done. From what I'm hearing this is only the first change of many to come.
    gumtree
    15th Dec 2016
    12:45pm
    Glad to read an article where the history of the introduction of aged pension and compulsory superannuation has been accurately noted. Unfortunately the injustices remain for ordinary pensioners versus politicians, e.g. Philllip Ruddock envoy 'salary' and his hugh pension and benefits intact. I cannot afford to live in Oz so will be heading overseas early next year and live off $660 a fortnight aged pension (partner not eligible for pension or newstart). My advice to all Oz pensioners is to consider living in an Asian country where you will have enough to eat & drink, a roof over your head and live out your life with dignity along with many aussie mates doing the same thing.
    Ozbrum
    15th Dec 2016
    1:08pm
    I now live in an Asian country , thereby reducing my countries need to extend any medical benefits to me , if I get seriously ill then I will have no choice but to return back to Oz.
    Young@heart
    15th Dec 2016
    12:51pm
    No one likes to have their entitlements taken from them.
    My part pension will be reduced by around 78% resulting in a comfortable retirement lifestyle degraded to a basic retirement lifestyle.
    Pity the country does not appear to have a serious senior’s party for whom we could have our voices heard. I certainly can't find any such representative in the west for the forth coming state election, looking like I will be voting for an independent. One thing is certain I will not be voting for any of the three prominent parties!
    Merryljo
    15th Dec 2016
    12:57pm
    Interesting that neither NZ nor UK have a means tested Age Pension system. In both countries you are permitted to have income over and above the pension without penalty.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    1:06pm
    Same in the U.S.
    Slimmer Cat
    15th Dec 2016
    2:54pm
    In the UK you paid into the retirement scheme from the first day at work till the last day at work hence everybody from the PM down gets the pension. These days it is not enough to live on and requires an input from savings etc.
    vinradio
    15th Dec 2016
    1:23pm
    I think it's time to take action. There are many of us already retired, or about to retire who need a pension of a reasonable amount, without all the tinkering and finding ways to reduce it by those who have huge benefits to rely on when they retire, and you all know who I mean!
    We could vote out any party who promises to meddle with the pension to decrease it by mean and stingy ways. Trouble is what political party would support us? Perhaps we need to start our own Power to the Pensioners Party! (PTTPP)
    Cranky
    15th Dec 2016
    1:28pm
    I totally agree with the words of "Not Senile Yet" in relation to the aged person. Ua older Australians worked harder than the current generation and we didn't have all the lerks and perks that the current generation receive, such as paid maternity leave, child care assistance etc. and they still whinge that it isn't enough. I think we well and truly earned the small amount of pension we get. I feel that the rate of the aged pension should be the equilavent of the minimum wage - Grumpy
    Rodent
    15th Dec 2016
    1:31pm
    All this is relevant and interesting, there are comments from a Part Pensioner posted on another website

    1. Just got my letter, a reduction from $620.20 (spouse and self) to $156.90 based on assets of $763,734.00.
    The reduction of $3.00 per thousand is also reflected in the Energy and pension supplements, so when your assets reach $791,330.00 your age pension ceases and you just get the supplement and that cuts out at $816,000.00. (found that out after a 2 hour phone call to Canberra and the fifth public servant I was switched too.
    $816,000.00 minus $375,000.00 equals $471,000.00. (homeowning couple).
    471 by $3.00 equals $1,323.00.
    Full old age pension plus supplements equal $1322.40 per fortnight.
    Who else recalls Toolbull stating that supplements would not be effected.
    The cut off point for the actual aged pension is actually much lower than the stated $816,000.00.
    So starting to plan a round the world trip, may as well spend it before they find another way to rip it off us.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    1:48pm
    Just using your capital alone will last you over 20 years at the OAP rate. However this won't happen because the safety net will gradually cut in as you use up your assets.

    That's a great place to be considering you have capital to pay for emergencies whereas those with nothing on the full pension don't have this luxury. Also give a thought to those young families living from pay check to pay check and if something goes wrong they are in big trouble.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    5:14pm
    More young families will struggle thanks to STUPID policies that discourage hard work and saving and incentivise people like Rodent and Snowflake to spend up big on a cruise and come back to claim a fatter pension.

    Only IDIOTS can't see the inevitable consequences of this UTTERLY IDIOTIC policy that will do so much economic harm.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    5:41pm
    Rainey it does not cost that much to go on a cruise. I just took the whole family and paid the bill so I know how much it costs. The sort of money you are talking about would take a nearly couple of years on a cruise boat to spend it.

    Good luck to them if they can stand being on a cruise boat for that long.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    10:33am
    WRONG AGAIN IGNORANT OG! Friends just spent $250,000 on world travel in a year, and they didn't travel first class or stay in top hotels.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    1:09pm
    Sounds like first class travel to me and certainly no backpackers for them.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    1:42pm
    The OAP is welfare. It is not a entitlement, safety net or handout.

    It does not matter how much you work or how hard you work or how long you worked. If it was then I would be getting more than most but don't get a razoo. It is based on means test like other welfare payments.

    In the early 1900s mot people lived only a couple of years after they retired today it can be 30 years plus. Also today there are many more people retiring. There is simply not enough revenue today to pay all these people what they were paid in the early 1900s.

    Therefore the OAP is welfare and should be only given to those who can't support themselves with the basics of life. If you want more then you should have saved for it. It is as simple as that.

    It was a great move by the government to stop people getting the OAP because it was nice to have and they certainly didn't need it. Any pension paid should also be deducted from one's estate before the assets are distributed to their heirs. This wold help stop people buying more expensive houses just to get the pension and make more money available for those who need it.
    Farside
    15th Dec 2016
    2:01pm
    well said. It's amazing how many are reluctant to spend accumulated savings.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    2:12pm
    Centrelink statistics would be telling the government that people are not spending their savings so the government conclusion to this would have been that people with considerable savings don't need the pension.

    If you saved for retirement then you need to spend it on yo retirement.
    Rae
    15th Dec 2016
    2:53pm
    Well the government will see it being spent now. Someone should have told them you have to be careful about wishes.
    Slimmer Cat
    15th Dec 2016
    3:03pm
    Every person who has worked has paid for the OAP therefore everybody should get the pension. The government should keep a tally on what people have been given and at the end of life reclaim everything that has been handed out before the estate is handed on. Why should people who do not get anything in the way of a pension be in the position that they are supporting children of OAP as they hand on the family home. Just wait till the Labor party gets in and introduces Death Duties which is part of Labor Policy under the Henry Report.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    5:30pm
    I would not object to death duties. What I object to is dumb policies that threaten people's security and ability to enjoy a moderately comfortable retirement - ESPECIALLY since the savings are used to subsidize fat cats who do not need more.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    8:04pm
    We already have death duties it's called probate. The more you have the more you pay.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    10:34am
    Rubbish! Probate is NOTHING. I know a family who recently paid less than $3000 for probate on a $500,000 estate. And if the deceased had not had an aged care bond, no probate would be required.

    The DUNCE speaks from ignorance yet again!
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    12:51pm
    $3000 on $500,000 is more than enough and any more would stop people saving. They would also distribute their welfare before they die. Most people know when they are going to die so it comes as no surprise to them. So they have ample time to sort out their affairs.
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2016
    11:33am
    ''any more would stop people saving'' says the dim-wit who can't comprehend that getting $26,000 a year to live on after working your guts out to save while your neighbour who bludged gets $35,000 for doing nothing, and being told to live on your savings until you are as poor as your neighbour and then you'll get what they get WILL STOP PEOPLE SAVING.

    Your double standards expose your true motive. You are nothing but a greedy, self-serving hypocrite.
    thommo
    15th Dec 2016
    1:59pm
    we spent all our working lives working for the lowest wages,retail and aged care,tried twice to pay a mortgage off,but failed twice,thats life,bought up a daughter and grandaughter,now i still work 2 days a week,and out of $400 a week centrelink docks me ,and my wife,about 120 each,so in effect i am working for peanuts still,lucky i sold the last house and put most into super,otherwise i will be working 'til i drop
    Chuck
    15th Dec 2016
    2:34pm
    The Australian Age Pension unfairly discrimates against married couples.If one party meets the necessary age, income and asset tests requirements, while the other party wishes to continue working, then the retired party should receive an the age pension, as it allowed in NZ and most other countries.
    I
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    5:25pm
    Chuck, the Australian Age Pension unfairly discriminates against everyone who is moral, decent, honest, law-abiding, hard working, and frugal. It favours the cheats, the immoral, the lazy, the spendthrifts and the manipulators. No wonder the economy is in a mess!
    john
    15th Dec 2016
    2:47pm
    Old Geezer revelling in his good fortune and much higher intelligence than all others. The fact that to say we can't afford to pay people pensions if they don't need one is as irrelevant as saying I may be quite comfortable, but I still need air to live , just like the person who can't breath but gets free air handed out. And just breathes!

    See, Geezer its not free. Pensions are a entitlement , there is no argument. I'd say some very wealthy people would opt out any way if they were decent.
    Most of us worked , and I mean worked for what we have, paid more tax than some giant companies get away with not paying, and have come to a relatively successful retirement time of their lives.
    Now Geezer, listen, I have an investment property I still pay a mortgage on, it is about 3/4 of the way through being paid off. I own my house we live in. I have a company pension I received after 3 decades of very hard physical work , No not a desk jockey , although they will say that they work hard too, in a different sort of way. Yes.
    My wife works part time , where she is and her qualifications make for a set up where lots of part time casual work occurs. She is part time. So our weekly income is far far from massive but we get by.Get by, may sound a bit dramatic but true. I'm retired , and I suspect there are a lot of people like us , that are just on the OK side of the line of income satisfaction and survival , so again dramatic, but not death throws stuff, you understand me.
    I have had occasion where we simply couldn't afford certain things, I was gifted something recently which would have cost me a bit, but the material cannot be used for several months because we can't afford it yet. Travel is generally a saved up option for us, or we don't go , travelling interstate happens but very rarely. O/S not yet??
    Now if you saw my circumstance you call me a whinging bugger, I am far from it, but my wife and I sometimes get to an edge, where by we have several days to wait to receive income , we pay all our bills and we don't starve, but we are on many occasions through the year, cashless, I mean cashless. not through irresponsibility either.
    But you know life's pretty good.
    The whole thing I'm saying is we are amongst millions like us, and we like them worked our bums off to get to our time for pensions , and hear this Geezer, pensions are a government responsibility where by they are supposed to be competent enough to keep our economy in a wealthy stable country, moving along and not falling into massive debt , which on many occasions comes about by stupid or "paid for" ideas. You know what that means too. Keeping people safe and healthy is also a government responsibility, making idiotic decisions just to stay in power , which has happened all through the history of this country, the mad dog pay off debt syndrome, at what ever cost to the people is also something competent governments should have sussed out before making things happen that put the nation in a terrible situation. And they have all of them!
    If you get my drift , the government has the obligation to pay retired people a pension, even the lucky ones like me. I am as I said cashless sometimes, on a pretty regular basis,I've tried to improve our lives in this family I've worked hard, and given and given in that sense.I 've actually got an investment, costs me more than I put back in. No tax breaks now.
    But some weeks when its Tuesday and we're all paid up in food and bills , and there we are sweating on Thursday payday. I think well , I could use a little part pension from the gov, maybe even a full one, but no , part will do. I get nothing knocked back!
    i Don't begrudge it, but millions of government money has been thrown away by both major parties and we, who try , deserve to be treated equally .
    I cannot stand self satisfied "I' m alright Jack.... stuff you" types, saying that we're all hunky dory because incompetence means only those on the bones of their backsides get any help, and how some of those hard workers survive has me baffled.
    Lets hope for better times,at least we don't live in Syria.
    But before you comment about there not being enough money for pensions, maybe you had better look at why, and who caused it, and why most Aussies are on that frustrating line of being there but just not being there properly.
    Hope you understand that Geezer old fella! Enjoy the day!
    Rae
    15th Dec 2016
    3:00pm
    Nice post.

    Old Geezer is quite happy to take tax concessions though. Funnily enough regardless of the language I consider those a form of welfare.

    They certainly cost enough and fit OGs definition of nice to have but not strictly necessary.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    3:21pm
    I'm cashless nearly all the time these days as I rarely have the occasion to use cash. I recently went overseas to a place that only uses cash and I actually found it difficult in that I had to work out how much cash I needed.

    I can't understand why anyone in retirement would have a mortgaged investment property as it's useless unless you can write off the interest, depreciation and expenses. Not only that tenants and agents are such stressful oddities as well. Why not sell your investment property and you will find that you have heaps of cash as you no longer have to meet all those expenses? They are as bad as pets when you want to travel.

    I hold enough money at call to last me 3-4 years and have the rest invested both in Australia and overseas. I have paid more tax than the average person all my working life but don't get the OAP. If it is not available to me then it is not an entitlement but welfare. It is simply wrong to say it's a reward for hard work, taxes paid etc because it is clearly not.

    I travel whenever I like as my income is no longer dependant upon me trading time for money. I do speculate a bit from time to time which enhances my income but it is not necessary for me to do so. I have always thought that one should aim to work smarter not harder and swap trading time for income for passive income. This is what I did. Yes it takes discipline at first but when the results start to appear it all somehow seems a good idea. All my kids have done the same and are all independently wealthy.

    I know quite a few people in multi million dollar mansions that collect the full pension. One even has art work to die for on their walls which belongs to their kids super funds. These people are using the home exemption loop hole to accumulate family wealth with tax free gains. They have no maintenance costs, pay no rates etc but use their OAP as their spending money for the luxuries of life. Their family pays all the upkeep, rates and even fills the fridge with food. Is this really fair?
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    3:27pm
    Except I don't get any tax concessions and never had so none of that "welfare" for me either. I don't even have a Health Care Card.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    5:21pm
    Your boasting evidences privilege, OG, and clearly you have no comprehension of the struggles of people who grew up uneducated, deprived, perhaps abused, with no ability to trust and no connections to people who can teach them how to invest and make profit. These people will NOT be able to get through 30 years of retirement in reasonable comfort, despite having worked their guts out and planned such that they SHOULD be self-sufficient and well off if the government hadn't stuffed up so badly.
    It's all very well for you arrogant self-opinionated mongrels who have no capacity for empathy or understanding. You have no idea what life is like for some, and you don't care.

    And don't lie about tax concessions. NOBODY who lives as you do received no tax concessions. That is a monstrous and very obvious lie.
    *Imagine*
    15th Dec 2016
    7:28pm
    "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." OG you have previously stated that you hold a substantial superannuation fund in the retirement phase.There is no tax on your fund earnings, there is no tax on the withdrawals and you only paid 15% tax on the earnings of that fund, prior to retirement. Hence, you most certainly have benefited from the reduced tax environment. Was that welfare or an entitlement? Semantics, I think.
    Rae
    15th Dec 2016
    7:41pm
    Sorry then OG I apologise. I was mistaken in my belief that you approved the tax concessions for super. I never got any of them either, or the OAP or that card.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    8:03pm
    Rainey my super fund is only 10% of my assets and as the only money in it was from my employers as compulsory super that I got no tax concessions for putting the money in. In fact it was taxed at 15% when it was put in. As I couldn't take it out I had to play the super game instead. If I did get any tax concession on it then it would have been more than taken up in fees. So it really cost me money to have.
    Some entitlement!
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2016
    6:08am
    Ah, so you had employer funded super. PRIVILEGED! And you were able to accumulate 9 times as much outside super. PRIVILEGED! (Most in my age group - barring public servants - paid more in admin fees than their employers contributed to super, so they ended up with nothing. And they sure couldn't save outside super from the pathetic crumbs exploiting rich bastards paid them)

    And you had a high income and never claimed a tax concession. LIAR! Nobody gets that wealthy and doesn't use every tax loophole available.

    But I've figured out exactly where you got your money from, and why you support bashing clean-living, hard-working people who struggle to save responsibly and handing out to drug addicts. It's very obvious who you are.
    john
    15th Dec 2016
    2:50pm
    Correct Gravy!
    john
    15th Dec 2016
    2:52pm
    Excellent comment key change, my wife waits another 6 years for a pension, and the way my situation went, she'll get nothing either.
    Nan Norma
    15th Dec 2016
    2:59pm
    Best article I've read in a very long time.
    Rae
    15th Dec 2016
    3:08pm
    A brilliant article Kaye. Well researched and neatly argued.
    particolor
    30th May 2018
    8:14pm
    Answer to article Below which I cannot Open !!
    And the same still applies to this day ! :-( :-(
    Julie would send to Check to Erdogen if he asked Nicely !! :-( :-( :-(
    Wrestle that Check Book off her !! :-(
    particolor
    30th May 2018
    8:14pm
    Answer to article Below which I cannot Open !!
    And the same still applies to this day ! :-( :-(
    Julie would send to Check to Erdogen if he asked Nicely !! :-( :-( :-(
    Wrestle that Check Book off her !! :-(
    particolor
    30th May 2018
    8:14pm
    Answer to article Below which I cannot Open !!
    And the same still applies to this day ! :-( :-(
    Julie would send to Check to Erdogen if he asked Nicely !! :-( :-( :-(
    Wrestle that Check Book off her !! :-(
    floss
    15th Dec 2016
    3:27pm
    They throw billions at countries that hate our guts,where most is used as some form of bribe and they can't pay a fair pension to people that built this country. Wish the Fed. election was held on the 2nd of January 2017.Pay back time for me.
    Cuddlycas
    15th Dec 2016
    3:31pm
    Thank you for your informative article. I guess a few of us are angry because we have worked hard, done without and followed the rules. I retired last year and feel i have had a slap in the face! If changes are to be made then there should be a period of grace for retirees to prepare and work around those changes. I notice when any legislation is about to be changed there is heated discussion in parliament with much arguing however matters regarding age pensions are approved. Neither political party cares about the elderly or disadvantaged. There isn't even a Minister for Aging within Federal Parliament - no-one cares! On top of that we have 40 year olds having a shot at pensioners! All right for them, they will receive huge super payments when they retire! I guess we feel defeated and let down. The pension should be an entitlement after years of paying taxes and no-one in this country should go hungry or be homeless.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    3:34pm
    There has been ample time already to sort out your affairs to accommodate the changes so no period of grace is necessary at all.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    4:00pm
    CRAP OG. You are an ill-informed bigot. There has been NO OPPORTUNITY for hundreds of thousands of retirees to change plans they made over decades. There is NOTHING an affected retiree can do except trade up to a bigger house (something many, for very good reason, do not wish to do) or have a huge spend-up (counter-productive because the whole point of NOT spending earlier was to fund a comfortable old age and meet expected future expenses).

    A period of grace WAS very necessary and should have been provided by all standards of decency, honesty, integrity and fairness. This government is a disgrace, and it sickens me that our country is being destroyed by the government and the disgusting sick people who justify its wrongs.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    4:13pm
    There is a very sensible thing that people can do. Live off your assets until you qualify for the OAP. After all you have the means so why not use them? That's what people like me have been doing all along. Stop trying to get something you don't need so that others who need it can have it.

    A good change would be to only give the pensioner concessions to those on the full pension. The glory days of getting a $1 in the OAP to get the benefits has run it's time. Remember every discount you get the rest of us have to pay for it with higher costs and taxes.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    5:11pm
    You are old enough to maybe not need to worry about huge future expenses to maintain your home and appliances, replace a car, cope with high medical and dental bills, etc. OG. Many younger retirees have to budget for their savings to last 30 years with no income, and they CANNOT DO THAT with the miserable little inadequate pot of savings they are now permitted to keep. You are WRONG on this issue. And it is going to cost the nation MORE.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    7:07pm
    Rainey I'll live for another 20-30 years so I will be around to see it. However I have already worked it all out using the discounted cash flow method and there is nothing to worry about.

    By then one will have the right to die with dignity o that will be a big saving for the nation and will more that pay for any of your fathom costs.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    10:20am
    So clearly you were educationally privileged and possibly lucky in health, so you can get by. And according to you, anyone less fortunate can get stuffed! Who was it called you a ''prick''. That's way too mild.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    3:55pm
    Sorry no privileged education or luck with my health. Just a positive attitude that anything can be overcome if you put your mind to it and don't give up. The problem with many people is they give up too easily and then divert their energy into whinging instead.
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2016
    6:19am
    Or maybe unlike you they are GENUINELY challenged by crisis, trauma, injustice and disability and despite struggling for a lifetime they can't quite make it to wealthy status. You are the nastiest piece of crap I've come across. Judgemental, arrogant, callous and disgusting. You ARE Privileged. You are just too arrogant and conceited to recognize what privilege is.

    I work with people who worked their guts out for 50 years despite crippling disability and hideous injustice, and who never once complained or asked for charity, but they had no hope - coming from GENUINE DISADVANTAGE - of ever earning enough to achieve self-sufficiency in old age no matter how hard they tried. Add a few cases of special needs kids costing the earth, their wives suffering debilitating illness, living through a bushfire and a flood, taking time out from earning to care for sick or aging parents... and these folk ALSO spend their retirement doing charity work and community service. And you - your disgusting vile selfish person - accuse them of ''giving up too easily'' and ''whinging''. What a nasty piece of crap!
    Cuddlycas
    15th Dec 2016
    3:50pm
    Old Geezer: i don't agree that approx 6 months was long enough to accommodate changes particularly when you have already stopped working. Five years should have been allowed before radical changes were made.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    4:02pm
    Absolutely, Cuddlycas. Minimum five years. People planned for decades based on the policies at the time and the government's constant urging to save for retirement. Now those who heeded the government's pleadings and tried to contribute to improved national prosperity are being persecuted.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    4:25pm
    I've know about it for over 2 years so that is ample time. Anyway people really need to be more flexible so that they can adjust to change. There have been many changes since I stopped working nearly 3 decades ago and I haven't seen anything that could not be changed. Lots of the changes have been for the better and this is one of them.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    5:23pm
    Oh, well, everyone in the world should be as lucky as you OG, and if they are not they should suffer terrible pain, because you are so self-opinionated that you can't accept that others aren't as privileged and therefore don't have the same capacity to arrange their affairs to avoid hurt when policies are cruelly changed with little notice.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    7:49pm
    Yes terrible pain Rainey to have too much money. Spare a thought for those on a full pension with no assets to fall back on. These people have disasters not mere inconveniences when things go wrong.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    10:16am
    And there will be hundreds of thousands more of them because of the utterly STUPID policy you are endorsing. That's the problem, OG. People who worked and planned to avoid that situation are now forced into it. And with incentives and rewards removed, more and more people will live it up earlier and be poor later.

    I don't have ''too much money'', but I did work and save and plan responsibly - despite incredible hardship - to be comfortable in old age, and it's downright IDIOTIC to discourage people from doing that.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    12:46pm
    Hundreds of thousands of them might just help get rid of the welfare mentality that is now ruining our country. Everyone will no longer have tunnel vision in that one must get the OAP no matter what.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2016
    8:42pm
    No, the government is CREATING a welfare mentality, and so are you Old FOOL. You can't prop up druggos and drop-kicks and punish hard work and expect to have people work. They will opt out and look for handouts, as is happening. It's astonishing how blind and stupid some can be - but they are in good company. We are paying politicians a fortune to be equally bat-eyed and idiotic!
    Not a Bludger
    15th Dec 2016
    3:50pm
    The Old Age Pension should, in our society, be an entitlement unencumbered by rank, wealth or other restriction - given, of course, an appropriate number of years in Australia and as a taxpayer.

    As,for example, it is in New Zealand.

    My wife and I, for example, have always been tax payers for more than 60 years, and for the last 30 years, as business owners, have paid taxes to the amount that I could not now add up - including - personal taxes, wholesale sales tax, GST, payroll tax, income tax on behalf of employees, superannuation guarantee fund/tax contributions on behalf of employees, company tax at 30% of everything that our companies earned (aka everything that we earned), sundry levies that governments applied eg medicare levy, Queensland flood levy amognst others that I do not now recall.

    I am also an Army Veteran of 9 years of service.

    And now, as we lose our small part pension on 1JAN17 after having been "twice a citizen" viz taxpayer and defender - this is what my government does to me and my wife in our mid 70's.

    Go Pauline and Donald Trump, I say.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    4:01pm
    You are like me too much money and you don't need the OAP. Leave it there for those who need it.
    Not a Bludger
    15th Dec 2016
    4:05pm
    How do you Old Geezer - stay old and nick off.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    4:06pm
    You don't know what Not a Bludger needs, OG. You have no idea. What a vile, arrogant person you are to make such baseless assumptions and wish hurt on good people with no justification and no empathy!

    Not a Bludger, I sympathize. You, like many, have been gravely wronged. But what is worse, this government has sent a strong message to all Australians that working hard, as you did, is a sin to be punished and bludging is far more rewarding. That's pretty stupid in a nation that is struggling with debt and deficit!

    OG keeps complaining about a ''welfare mentality'', then stupidly supports the very policies that drive it!
    Not a Bludger
    15th Dec 2016
    4:38pm
    Thank you for your comment Rainey.

    May I apologise also, as my eyesight failed me momentarily.

    My comment to Old Geezer should have read:-

    "How dare you Old Geezer - stay old and nick off".
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    4:38pm
    I do know what they mean Rainey. They are better off than a lot of OAPs but don't want to face reality.
    Not a Bludger
    15th Dec 2016
    4:47pm
    Old Geezer - if you have never carried a rifle, you have no idea of what reality means.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    4:56pm
    I have carried a rifle many times and used it many times as well so I do know what reality means.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    5:08pm
    He has no idea about a lot of things. My partner carried a rifle, but before that his life was totally destroyed by his father's war injuries and stinking lying bureaucrats using flawed government policies to their own advantage. We have suffered hideous disadvantage and injustice, again and again and again, and it's caused unbelievable hardship. But I'm grateful. I have the ability to be compassionate, caring, empathetic, understanding, and non-judgmental (at least of people who don't presume to judge others and condemn them to hardship), and that's worth far more than anything money can buy or claimed status can deliver.

    Old Geezer is a very nasty person who supports unfairness and cruelty, and who THINKS he knows everything but is, in fact, very ignorant. Please don't be hurt by his comments. There are many in this society who respect you and are grateful for what you did for this nation, Not a Bludger.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    5:34pm
    Just because you don't like what I have to say it is not an excuse to abuse me Rainey. If you think abusing me is going to upset me and go away think again.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2016
    5:37pm
    I'm stating facts, OG. I don't care whether you are upset or not. (Pretty sure you don't have the capacity to feel anything other than self-importance.) But you are hurting decent people and supporting cruel hurt to thousands with your nasty, ignorant remarks. That's fair enough cause to tell it like it is. You obviously don't give a hoot who you hurt.
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    6:31pm
    Your gullibility at times Rainey astounds me and makes for a good chuckle.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    9:42am
    I'm not gullible, idiot. I'm INFORMED and CONSCIOUS.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    12:29pm
    Ha ha been talking to Dr Google again for your information I see.
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2016
    10:26am
    No, OG, but it would be better than relying on arrogant and ill-informed ASSUMPTIONS that make you a total ASS.
    Old Man
    15th Dec 2016
    4:58pm
    Whilst this article appears to be well researched, I would like to challenge a couple of statements and interpretations. It is stated that the percentage of superannuation payments were to start at 2.5% and subsequently rise to 15%. According to the original legislation the steps were: 1992-93 - 3%; 1993-94 - 3%; 1994-95 - 4%; 1995-96 - 5%; 1996-97 - 6%; 1997-98 - 6%; 1998-99 - 7%; 1999-2000 - 7%; 2000-01 - 8%; 2001-02 - 8%; 2002-03 and subsequent years - 9%.

    The words of John Dawkins are quoted as; “The increased self-provision for retirement will permit a higher standard of living in retirement than if we continued to rely on the Age Pension alone. The increased self-provision will also enable future Commonwealth governments to improve the retirement conditions for those Australians who were unable to fund adequately their own retirement incomes.” and the interpretation of that is that super was to be in addition to the age pension instead of replacing it. I would interpret it differently that the words suggest to me that self funding would free up funds to allow a larger age pension for those who didn't have sufficient super funds because of various circumstances. Whilst the original payment from 1903 of 10/- per week for those attaining the age of 65 was an entitlement, it must be remembered that the average age for men in those days was 57. A lot of amendments have been made to the age pensions since 1903 and before deciding whether the age pension is an entitlement in 2016, I think each amendment should be examined together with the Treasurer of the day's Budget address.
    Cuddlycas
    15th Dec 2016
    5:11pm
    It is obvious that this topic stirs up many heated emotions and responses because we feel badly done by but the truth is if businesses and politicians were to also be doing the "honest thing": tightening their belts and living within their means then it would be fine. There would be a level playing field. That is the problem - we look at what we have and hope to god it will last us for the remainder of our lives and so fear enters the equation. With gas, electricity and water charges about to soar then don't dare get sick and use up your money as there may not be any OAP in future. Fear and anxiety over financial affairs is very powerful when you don't have the means anymore to build your wealth.
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    6:58pm
    And that's the SAD Part :-( :-(
    Dot
    15th Dec 2016
    5:38pm
    The only ones that are entitled to a pension or any welfare are POLITICIANS OR REFUGEES, the rest of us can get stuffed.
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    6:02pm
    Us Oldies who paid Tax all our lives, And built this Once Wonderful Country no longer count for Anything !! :-(
    Its not an Entitlement!!
    Its not even Welfare :-(
    You have now been Downgraded to BEGGAR ! :-( :-(
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    6:36pm
    No it's just welfare given to those who need it not to those who it is nice to have.

    Also no amount of begging would get me more than a razoo back of all the taxes I have paid. So it's not begging.
    floss
    15th Dec 2016
    6:25pm
    We have always been on the look for muggers and robbers I never saw the Liberal party coming. And throw in the Old Geezer what a nasty old man.
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    6:39pm
    Looney....They recon Its worth every Penny they pay Him/Her/It :-) :-) :- )
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    6:55pm
    I love that Bait I use !! :-) :-( I think I'll use it again next time I go Fishing ! :-) :-)
    Caught a BIG One that time !! :-) :-) :-)
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    7:00pm
    Liberal party is only doing what's right and reigning in the OAP so that those who need it get it and those who it is only nice to have don't. I seen it coming a long time ago as it simply so stupid allowing people with so many assets to get the OAP and benefits.

    My next prediction is that the benefits will only be able to those on the full pension.
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    7:16pm
    How about they Pull the Reigns on their Perks !! :-( :-(
    And Explain these Benefits to full Pension ?
    Unless you talking about Self Funded Pensioners Not even getting a Health Card Etc. :-(
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    7:27pm
    I don't get a Health Care Card or even a razoo from the government as a self funded retiree so no idea what you are on about.
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    7:40pm
    Your the one who made the Statement about Benefits !! You lost Me ?? :-(
    Any more Predictions Socrates' ? :-)
    thommo
    15th Dec 2016
    8:51pm
    The age pension is an entitlement. This is a rich country and it can afford to look after it's retirees beyond their 65th year. Those who are against it are opportunists, especially hard right conservative politicians like Abbott, Morrison, Dutton, Turnbull et al, and because there is a perception that the budget needs "balancing".
    But even if this is so, do these politicians look at their own excessive entitlements such as overly generous life long fully indexed taxpayer funded pensions, other lurks and perks and gold passes etc. Definitely not.
    They have applied any austerity measures to themselves at all. just to those on the lower rungs of the ladder like aged pensioners.
    But come the next election, the calithumpian parties will come to the fore, and among them will be a PENSIONER's PARTY, and they will take on this LNP govt and the Labor party and ensure that our rights are preserved and in fact BETTERED......
    HOORAY FOR THE AGE PENSIONERS WITH THEIR OWN POLITICAL PARTY.....
    Nan Norma
    15th Dec 2016
    8:51pm
    I am one that has saved all my life, while my sister squandered all her life. Tell me why she deserves a have a full pension and I don't.
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    9:02pm
    O DEAR !! The Frugal are not always the Wisest ! Nobody ever managed to smuggle a bag of Gold into Heaven :-) Not that I know of anyhow :-)
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    9:49am
    I sympathize, Nan Norma. Just heard of a similar case but worse, because courts decided the sister who had squandered all her life was ''needy'' and should inherit 90% of the parent's estate, despite having cut them off, defrauded them, and ignored them. The sister who cared for her aged parents and spend tens of thousands on renovating their home and helping them afford needed services got $10,000. 40% of the estate went to lawyers. We live in a SICK world!
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    10:21am
    And yet another where a man cared for his aged father for 35 years while his drug addict sister never made contact, but she got 75% of the estate in a will contest because she ''needed the money to buy drugs''!
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    4:16pm
    Rainey the courts love a dob story and will settle where ever the feel that the money is needed. Sounds to me like both your cases the court awarded correctly tot eh needy people.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    4:18pm
    That is also how the OAP system should work too by giving the money to the needy not the greedy.
    Nan Norma
    16th Dec 2016
    8:55pm
    Old Geezer, Who is to say who's greedy? The greedy one is the one who has already eaten most of the pie but now wants all that's left as well.
    particolor
    16th Dec 2016
    9:50pm
    All the Crumbs and Lick the plate Too :-) :-)
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2016
    8:38pm
    OMG, OG! You support funding drug addiction and parental abuse but punishing honest endeavour and responsible living. No wonder this nation is STUFFED. What a dangerous moron!
    Jtee
    15th Dec 2016
    9:00pm
    COMMENT. I was just watching news on TV and there was a story about a new movie, Aquaman, being made at Movieworld. The reporter said that a there was disagreement regarding who had brought it to Australia, Queensland or the federal government. Our treasurer got up and smugly stated that the Commonwealth had put $22 million dollars towards it.

    I sincerely hope that the government coffers get more back than they put in, especially after they say they can't afford to pay aged pensioners and have to cut us back.
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    9:05pm
    Yes ! I heard that too !! I think they've been holding out on us :-)
    Or Investing it for us ? :-) :-) :-)
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    9:08pm
    Aren't they a Smug lot of Creatures for BROKE People ! :-) :-)
    Charlie
    15th Dec 2016
    9:44pm
    If pension is an entitlement, it gets down to what standard of living the money is supposed to provide. What used to be a need for a radio and TV for comfort, is now an internet service. What used to be a flat with a tin roof and ceiling fan, is now a flat with an insulated roof and ceiling, an air conditioner and a soaring electricity bill.

    Then came the super that made the extra comforts, something the pensioner has to provide, but although many people are taking super for granted and thinking of the age pension in terms of a safety net, some of today's pensioners were in their mid 30's before compulsory super commenced and it was only about 3%. So its not unusual to find people with not enough super.

    A national disability scheme has just commenced but that didn't help me. I needed to draw my super and retire 10 years early because of illness. But I didn't get the the same conditions regarding (allowable savings) as an age pensioner. I was much like a person on the dole with plenty money in the bank and my savings had to be eroded before I could draw maximum benefits.

    There is a huge shortage of affordable flats and units for age pensioners. Estate agents don't like renting flats to age pensioners because as soon as the house prices in an area go up because of growth, the rents go up and the age pension stays the same , so the pensioner has to go somewhere else, if they don't have the capital to cover the rise.

    There needs to be more affordable flats and units for age pensioners only. They don't want to live next to a roudy bunch of youths on the dole.
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    9:59pm
    :-( :-( :-( :-( I HAVE TO !! :-( :-( :-(
    Charlie
    15th Dec 2016
    10:25pm
    Poor bugger particolor
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    11:58pm
    YEAH !! :-( I have no Choice ! I'm too Poor to move :-( I'm sure the Housing Dept. HAND PICKS THEM !! To P**S us off !!:-( :-(
    TREBOR
    16th Dec 2016
    5:32pm
    Yes - Paul Keating's "300,000 in super" ad sure covered that... to get there you needed a good income, a steady income, and to start at age sixteen - not 45 as I did - though I had my own super before that until I figured out the cost of taxes and fees was ridiculous.

    And you had to not include inflation and rising costs of living and now low interest rates and returns....

    Where's Bonny to tell us that her $400k returns $80k a year on the dot every year.... must be invested in loan sharking...
    particolor
    16th Dec 2016
    6:26pm
    More like IS THE LOAN SHARK !! :-) :-) :-)
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2016
    6:24am
    I know a few drug runners who make those sorts of returns. And they are really quick to claim to ''help'' people, and equally quick to bash clean-living hard workers who save and try to be self-sufficient but can't quite make the grade. They peddle EXACTLY the same crap we get from Bonny and OG, because they want everyone who isn't getting filthy rich from criminal activity to be downtrodden and desperate (because they are easy targets) and they love the drop-kick druggos who make them rich.
    Needy not Greedy
    15th Dec 2016
    9:46pm
    Give up boys, Old Geezer has won ' Australia's Most Obnoxious Prick' award, his comments have done wonders for the Pro Euthanasia lobby that's for sure, great article by Kaye, isn't it such a great shame we are now lumbered with such a narrow minded inept bunch of politicians (on both sides) compared to some of the some of the great pollies we had in bygone era's, can you imagine either of these mobs tackling The Snowy River scheme or building the National Highway system and all the other great achievements in our history, my god we would be still following Burke and Wills blaze marks on gum trees if we were waiting for this current mob to do something, why tackle some thing hard when they can rip the pensioners off and spend weeks arguing about Gay Marriage, Backpacker Tax and Adler Shotguns,what a sad joke they are!
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    9:56pm
    I fully Agree !! :-)
    Rae
    16th Dec 2016
    8:12am
    Yes in NSW Baird has practically sold the entire State's public assets to build a piddling private toll road. Total incompetent spendthrifts and destroyers of the common wealth.
    Fitza
    15th Dec 2016
    10:00pm
    I turned 71 years of age one month ago. In the last two months, I have obtained a full time position with the NT Govt. One of the major reasons for seeking full time work, was the attitude and pressure put on age pensioners by the Centrelink staff, who from far too many interactions with them, seem to regard anyone pensioner trying to escape their grasp as some kine of 'enemy 'who should be hunted down and put down.
    The other major reason is that, for my age, I am fit and active and highly qualified in the area of Social Work which happens to be where all the jobs are (health and welfare).
    I earn so much money that I pay more tax than I used to get in age pension from Centrelink. My current online Centrelink account says 'previous payment 0.00 and next payment 0.00 '.........and trust me when I say, this is exactly how I like it.
    I know the Centrelink staff are directed by their political masters but in my personal opinion, there is no doubt at all , that many are deliberately making it 'difficult 'for anyone who is an aged pensioner and is trying to find paid work.
    For example, in the two months since I have gained full time, paid work, the Centrelink staff have subjected me to at least 3 'reviews' or, as they seem to be calling them now, 'integrity checks '. I prefer to call them what they really are which is 'harassment ' of an age pensioner attempting to escape their horrendous system. The 'integrity checks 'seem to take the form of cutting off an age pension I already know I am not entitled to due to my high earnings, then getting me to p[hone an 1800 number, where a Centrelink staff member goes through what in military terms would and could, only be described as an 'interrogation '.
    Fortunately for me and because I am a Social Worker, I am able to predict their 'attacks 'on age pensioners and make sure I have already uploaded copies of pay slips online, plus my other details they want to / need to, know.
    Let me be clear too, I am not blaming the staff. I work in a bureaucracy. I know the staff are only doing what their political masters are demanding they do.
    The latest attacks, from these 'interrogations ' seem to imply that (and I quote) "we data match various details with other Govt agencies. Information sent to us from the ATO indicate that you have obtained paid employment recently. We sent you the request (order) to contact us, as we need to confirm your earnings" etc.etc.etc.
    As I said, I have already uploaded all payslips online, so knew this was an 'harassment '
    exercise.
    Another harassment phone call from Centrelink in the past two months since starting this job, involved the query of the fact that I have moved to another town, Monday to Friday, as it is too far away to drive back each day (320 km each way) and so, I have two addresses due to this work. My main residence, in a capital city and my temporary residence during the week, which is a necessity due to the fact my home is too far away to drive there and back on a daily basis.
    This time, the Centrelink staff member sounded about 20 years of age. When Ipointed out that hundreds of thousands of Australians are doing the 'drive in/ drive out' or 'fly in / fly out ' thing, in order to obtain paid work, it was like It was both an unknown fact to this Centrelink staff member and in his opinion, a '' fact' that I must be some kind of 'welfare fraud cheat ' in his mind. I refrained (just ) from calling him a 'Richard Cranium '' .
    Bear in mind that, during each of the above phone call 'requests'(orders) I was receiving NIL age pension from the Centrelink bureaucracy.
    The third 'request '(order ) since starting work in the past months involved an ínterrogation' that an Intelligence agency interrogating a terrorist, would have been proud of. Even I was impressed - if I had been a Welfare cheat, or god forbid, a terrorist.!!
    In the past 10 months, I have diligently returning mail sent to our address for former residents, to the sender. Many of these letters have clearly been Centrelink letters, as evidenced by the CLK and a number and the address, in the clear window of the envelope.
    It appears that, since starting paid work in the pas two months, Centrelink have finally woke up to the fact the former tenant has not been living here.
    Every single letter since early March 2016 has been returned by myself, to them.
    However, the 40 minute (yes, I timed it) phone call I had with them, with all the warnings about welfare fraud etc.etc.etc.etc. was conducted in such a way that in their mind, I was A WELFARE CHEAT and they were going to prove it.
    Richard Cranium would be a polite description of the person who conducted this phone interview!!
    This monster bureaucracy - that even the KGB would be proud of - is to cut it down to size, literally - and to introduce a NON MEANS TESTED AND INCOME TESTED Age Pension, as in the UK.
    I currently receive zero, zilch, nil, nothing...in Age Pension. If I return to the UK, I will receive the full age pension, minus the income and asset test.
    Would I be better off returning to the UK??
    Is the Pope a Catholic??
    particolor
    15th Dec 2016
    10:13pm
    Sounds like you'd be better off !! :-)
    And the Pope only likes kissing Muslims feet !! Look it up ! :-)
    Old Geezer
    15th Dec 2016
    11:20pm
    Sometimes it is better to tell them nothing and take them no where.

    I recently had problem with Medicare in they put money into my account that wasn't mine. Nether them or the doctor's office concerned wanted to know anything about it. If they don't sort it out soon I'll donate it to charity and they can sort it out with them instead.

    Lucky you as I don't even have a Centrelink account and I certainly don't want one after dealing with them over other people's issues.
    AB241266B
    16th Dec 2016
    1:34am
    I lived in Australia for 40yrs, I lived in the UK for 42yrs. I came back to the UK to live 2yrs ago.
    My only Income for the past 22yrs is a State Age Pension paid in part by the UK, according to the number of National Insurance contributions paid prior to emigrating to Australia, under a Reciprocal Agreement with Australia whereby neither Party can Means Test my Entitlement by deeming either payment as 'other income'.
    Centrelink posted numerous warnings advising that I should apply to the UK to have my Pension paid in my own right or 'they' may not be able to pay the Australian component.
    I ignored this advice until I reached 65yrs and my husband was ailing (1999).
    All was well until he died 2004. Centrelink used my change of circumstance to investigate me. Not only means testing my UK Pension as other income to reduce pension payments, they advised QLd Housing Commission that I had not declared it as household income, to increase my Rent. At first I was charged with having claimed overpayments of $299 from the date my husband died, to be taken out of future pension payments. This was then backdated to 1999 in the amount of $3600. I was only able to pay rent as usual, so I was taken to Court and charged with arrears of rent arising from the unpaid increase. This led to Eviction from my home of 35yrs. I had been stitched up as an example to other would be cheats.
    I was unable to prove that I came within the Reciprocal Agreement because I was given a new Nat. Ins. No. in 1999 and all records of my Entitlement were 'lost' on the death of my husband.
    In the past two years I have repeatedly asked to have my original number back, but not even my MP was able to help me put the record straight.
    UK Pensions are not means tested, and I am still paid the reduced rate Australian Pension.
    However UK Housing Benefits are means tested counting my Australian Pension as other income, converted to Pounds subject to Foreign Exchange Rates, it is unpredictable yet must be reported as a change of circumstance, when not reported I am already identified as a Welfare cheat and my UK Pension is suspended pending investigation.
    Everyone blames the Government for this systemic elder abuse. It is not this newly elected Government here or in Australia.
    Following a Public Enquiry into the wrong assessment of Welfare applicants left without income, many suicides, and other undesirable outcomes, it was revealed that an American Corporation named Concentrix was responsible and it was stripped of the Government Contract within the Dept. of Works and Pensions. This only represents a fraction of work Concentrix is carrying out in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
    The Government had to reinstate Civil Servants in the DWP (Centrelink counterpart not included)
    AB241266B
    16th Dec 2016
    2:11am
    As I was saying..... Civil Servants have replaced Concentrix but nothing will change because Concentrix has already set the trap in the Computer Programme which the Civil Servants are now operating. The key to this dilemma is the Means Test which corrupts the meaning of a change of circumstance as in marriage, divorce, employment, disability, sickness and age, to a change in assets and income, foreign exchange rates, bank Accounts, all personal and Private information which no one should be able to gain access to.
    Concentrix claimed it acted according to information provided by the Government. This is true it was given a mandate to restructure and re-programme all Government Departments
    to save government expenditure. Tony Blair and Paul Keating facilitated the fraud by legislating the means test. The law is corrupt.
    jonty
    16th Dec 2016
    4:53am
    Old Geezer who are you really 'Joe Hockey'
    I've got only two words for you... Get Stuffed !!
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2016
    9:43am
    Well said, Jonty.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    12:27pm
    Nope I'll still alive but they will probably stuff me once I leave this mortal world so that I am preserved for eternity.
    particolor
    16th Dec 2016
    6:38pm
    Do you mean the Stuffing with Onion, or the 11 Herbs and Spices one ?? :-) :-) :-)
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    6:40pm
    Can't tell as they are a secret.
    johnp
    16th Dec 2016
    7:55am
    I havent searched thru all the comments but I was once told by my father that early last century the feds increased existing taxes back then to cater for the old age pension. Shortly after however the increased income tax was absorbed into the existing tax regime (as is typical). Therefore all us tax payers have always payed over almost 2 centuries in advance for OAP anyway !!
    heyyybob
    16th Dec 2016
    11:46am
    K.I.S.S. people, appreciate what you do have, if you can, be content. Try and love your neighbour(s) and Merry Christmas to all :) Hope 2017 makes you healthy, happy and slightly wiser :D
    particolor
    27th Dec 2016
    12:03am
    Pop around and TRY to love my neighbours !! MISSION IMPOSSIBLE !! :-) :-) At 11.00pm tonight someone outside here either fired a Gun or let off about 25 Bungers !! there was no way in the world I was going outside to find out !!:-( I rang a friend after it ! She used to live here, but moved because of the Ratbags !! She said I should have called the Police ! But I think after Yesterday even they have had enough of the joint !! :-( :-(
    TREBOR
    16th Dec 2016
    2:50pm
    Well said - we are on the same page here.

    A good start would be returning the 'sovereign fund', aka The Futures Fund, of $120bn, set up to insulate our politicians and their mates from any Downfall of the Oz economy etc (and perhaps give them a nest egg when they are run out of town?) - put it in a genuine sovereign fund for ALL Australians, lodge pension and super funds there, and keep the politician's greasy mitts off it!

    That $120bn - which pays no tax here - would solve all the 'budget crises'.....

    Time for a massive overhaul is long gone.... and it seems that only a Peasant's Revolt will bring about change.
    Circum
    16th Dec 2016
    3:36pm
    Excellent article Kaye.You presented the facts very clearly.I support you in raising this topic again as change will happen but it can be slow.But without persistence its like raising the surrender flag,which is what the government wants you to do.
    I sometimes think of the pension as an annuity policy taken out from ones pay and administered by the government.The deal being that your contributions start being paid back to you at age 65.Imagine reaching age 65 and being told by your insurance company that you cant access any annuity payments as you have too many other savings.You have paid for that entitlement and are being deprived of it.To me that looks like theft.
    Jess M
    16th Dec 2016
    3:45pm
    Sorry off topic curcum but can you tell me how you got that horse to appear above your name. Thanks
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    3:52pm
    It is certainly not an annuity as there is nothing backing it at all. It is simply welfare paid out of the governments budget. I have said many times it has nothing to do with how much tax you paid or how hard your worked etc. It is merely a payment to those without the means to support themselves. Of course you won't get it if you have other savings as the OAP is only for those that don't have other savings.

    That horse is merely a moving picture. Google moving pictures or images and you will find heaps of them.
    Jess M
    16th Dec 2016
    4:02pm
    Thanks circum.
    Back on topic. Now all we need to do is to find someone willing to be our voice, the voice of older people to concentrate on getting the numbers. As I stated earlier in the discussion politicians listen to numbers. They know exactly how many people it would take to topple them. We can do it.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    4:04pm
    I'll be your voice.
    Circum
    16th Dec 2016
    4:12pm
    Hi Jess.I found the horse under pictures on my P.C.I had no idea it moved.As for your comment about politicians and numbers I totally agree.Currently they do not see us as a threat and probably feel more comfortable when they see seniors arguing amongst themselves on forums such as this.
    Circum
    16th Dec 2016
    4:23pm
    O.G.WRONG.Your comments are based on opinion not fact.The annuity/pension funding is currently backed by consolidated revenue.It used to be based on a separate transparent fund but was merged into consolidated revenue decades ago.
    Jess M
    16th Dec 2016
    4:25pm
    Most of us are not arguing but agreeing. Again its all about numbers. Poor Old Geezer is mainly out there on his tod and from his earlier comments will end up a lonely old man. I wonder what he replaced all his beds with?
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    4:38pm
    Lonely I have no idea what that means. I am also very happy with my lot but I fear for the future of my kids and grandkids.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    4:44pm
    I replaced the beds with chairs and rugs. I now have a sitting room for every day of the week plus a couple spares.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    4:02pm
    On reading the many comments I have come to the conclusion that no one wants to say what the OAP really is. Well I'll tell you all again. It has nothing to do with how hard you worked, how much tax you paid, how health you are, how many kids you have, how many pets you have or how many birds you feed.

    It is nothing more than a welfare payment paid out of government revenue to those who don't have the means to support themselves with the basics of life being food shelter and clean water. From what I see the current pension is more than adequate to supply people with these needs.

    If you can't digest the above then you are really pulling the wool over your eyes.

    Please put another option in called welfare so I can tick it.
    Circum
    16th Dec 2016
    4:27pm
    Suggestion O.G......Read the article again.It is pretty clear.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    4:37pm
    I did and things have changed a lot since the early 1900s.
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    4:47pm
    Everything would be OK if people only lived a year or so after they retired and didn't expect so much from the taxpayer.
    Circum
    16th Dec 2016
    4:48pm
    Bangs head on table :(
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    5:16pm
    Just face up to reality instead.

    The party is over.
    TREBOR
    16th Dec 2016
    5:20pm
    Sorry - OG - we worked all our lives to get our retirement... the party is just beginning.

    You must be a Labor party schill - you do such a fabulous job of getting everyone off-side with this current government and their craven and self-serving ways....
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    7:34pm
    Well I heard our PM say today that most OAP actually get more but a few get their pension decreased.
    particolor
    16th Dec 2016
    8:17pm
    80,000 is a FEW in Parliament Land :-( :-( :-(
    Ozbrum
    16th Dec 2016
    9:27pm
    You know OG, I will contribute to the fact you have the courage of your conviction though your views appear a little bit unkind to many.

    Perhaps instead of acting a little bit like the Charles Dickens character Scrooge before his reformation, you could be a little bit more charitable with your comments. You must be single minded and very wealthy....

    Most of us would have stories of how we PERCEIVED our taxes were being used.... the growth of the taxation accounting industry is a testament to the complexity of the tax codes , most common folk have no idea what all the mumbo jumbo means which is exactly how the legislators and all the kings horses etc . designed the system.

    We gullibles relied on the integrity of the profesionals ( Accountants, Lawyers, etc) most producing nothing more than more rules to justify their very existence and who were helped by the Banks and the Insurance companies.... None were really concerned about their fellow man, just their own miserable existence.... just try taking a solicitor to court for over charging or reporting an accountant for producing your non compliant tax returns or an insurance company who has an investment fund of several hundred million dollars and members returns are miserable but the managers get massive bonuses.... I think you get the drift.
    This iincompetence coupled with the arrogant investments of criminal politicians and bankers....... (Pink Batts, Mortgage fraud come to mind)
    would contribute to the reasons why decent pensions are becoming unafordable.

    Governments of days gone by were charged with the responsibility of planning for the collective future benefits of our society and taxed wherever they could to cater fot this.....they were handsomely rewarded for doing a very poor job. I could go on, but i am not trying show how clever i am but to preamble before asking some honest questions.
    .
    Just look around us in Oz.... with all the waste.... all the incompetence.....all the arguing.... it is a fantastic country..... are you saying we are not good enough to improve and to force transparency from our politician ?.... to reduce government.... perhaps even get rid of one level of government....or instead of looking to penalise the pensioner who even if and i say glibly IF they did not plan for retirement...we look at other means of penalising those who deserve to be penalised.....

    Have a Referendum " we the people want "
    1.......... get rid of one level of goverment ( preferably have a central administration controlled by states with just a very small staff, Singapore not a bad example )
    .2.......... Immediately put all public service retirement funds into consolodated revenue or to offer to use this to create a fund for all pensioners paying equivalent to 75% of the basic wage available to all persons over the age of 68, paid no questions, no perks, public servants can do as you did , povide the perks for themselves.
    3............All non dangerous crimnals made to work for their keep , they can produce basic items like pavers , kerb and guttering concrete products for use in pubic areas and building, many other items perhaps many we currently import. Work on farms, supervised by soldiers used as part of soldiers training..... I can think of dozens of other types of work. Legistlate to stop Union interference.... those intolerents could join the ranks working on the farms, do them good to do a hard days work. Perhaps pliticians shold be made to work in these environments for 2 months per year...... great subject on its own this one
    4...........All white collar crimnals put to working on cleaning public building, parks , graffitti removal etc.

    5.......... For the low key crims, those on the last year of a sentence or good behavour time....hows about working in the gardens of us old farts one day per week...

    6.......... All regugees made to payback the cost of settling them, ask as we ask the parents of students to pay for what is given. No more handouts, if a man wants to support 4 " girlfriends" ok.... go work for them, see how many want to have 10 kids now. No interpreters, learn or get your mates to interprate for you

    theres a few for starters.... should top up the pension funds and keep us deserving pensions happy til" its time to visit the big judge in the other place.

    eh.... were you a politician, Civil servant > Union exec?

    Good Health
    particolor
    16th Dec 2016
    9:43pm
    OH ! Well Written Ozbrum :-) :-)
    Ozbrum
    16th Dec 2016
    10:19pm
    Thanks Particolor

    got meself excited...did a bit of scratching... lets liven up the party eh ?

    Enough support and i am gonna start the NAN n POP party

    N now
    A Austraia
    N needs
    P politicians
    O of
    P principle

    Independant nation ( new constitution, ridding us of many of the stupid existing state laws and duplication...oh...qudruplation.?..)
    New flag .... (Let those who served under the old one help pick the new one )
    colours Aboriginal colours Ochre and Gold... ( no need to copy others, thse could be some of the worlds oldest colours celebrating the worlds newest nation )
    Anthem Advance Australia Now.... ( lets not assume we are anything but fair )

    abolish the ACT as a state, Canberra would be an admin centre only .. part ot the new state of Central Australia
    new state of Northern Australia
    new state of North west Australia ( new name , Aboriginal related name but not 45 letters...lol )

    Invite the people of Israel to sell the land of Israel to the Arabs, keep Jerusalem as an international city, administered by the UN
    Give the Israeli's a large chunk of the new state of North west Oz with the money from the sale of Israel they will build the worlds greatest IT and security centre.....in 60 years of peace and without the need to fight all the wars etc. that state ( therefore Australia ) will prosper like we can only dream of.
    The arabs can no longer blame the Jews for all their woes and yippee all the problems in the middle east disapear....

    Ossie Ossie Ossie....
    smiles .... but someday.....sigh
    particolor
    16th Dec 2016
    11:16pm
    That's a Very Wide View !!
    heyyybob
    16th Dec 2016
    5:27pm
    You know, debate is a good thing. But this ain't no debate (as usual). I don't think I saw one comment where someone with a strong viewpoint on this subject has conceded to anothers opinion or viewpoint. Guess the majority of us here are too old to change our spots but will happily waste time rabbiting on and tilting at windmills :( I suspect some, like myself, have passed the Good Old 3 score and 10 and should take a break from the two favourite subjects of The Elderly - Health and Wealth :( Don't waste a day like today, trying to change people/s minds here, you have a snowballs chance in Hell of doing that ;) These problems will be taken up by younger people than us and if WE raised THEM right they will or should be able to do the job :) Surely, by now, most of us acknowledge that we are virtually 'invisible' to society. Grab a friend, child, grandchild and get ye to a beach/park/shopping centre/museum/art gallery/pub or club and enjoy each others company !!! Some folk here REALLY need to let go of the angst - its damn near Christmas for heavens sake. Chill. Wishing you an enjoyable 2017 after Christmas :D
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    5:43pm
    Yes it's that crazy time of year again where a lot of people do and say things they regret. I don't celebrate Christmas myself and haven't done for decades. I just let everyone else get stressed and go crazy while I sit back and watch all the silliness and have a good chuckle at their expense.
    Circum
    16th Dec 2016
    5:53pm
    Gotta agree with you Bob.Many have views that are fixed.Having said that its still better that they participate than doing nothing.
    Merry Christmas to all.
    particolor
    16th Dec 2016
    6:24pm
    So what if its a Handout !! :-(
    Wouldn't matter what they called it ! ITS STILL FRIGGIN LOUSY :-( :-( :-(
    Old Geezer
    16th Dec 2016
    6:41pm
    It is plenty for the basics of living if you wanted more then you should have saved for them.
    particolor
    16th Dec 2016
    7:23pm
    PO !!
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2016
    8:31pm
    I wish you would suffer the hideous fate some in this society have had to endure, OG. Then you might stop being so arrogant and callous and self-opinionated and realise that it is often not the fault of an individual that they didn't save. It's the fault of a stinking society and evil bastards in power. Your callousness is disgusting.
    Old Geezer
    19th Dec 2016
    12:06pm
    You just don't get it Rainey. How are those effected that don't save? They haven't got any money be effected by these changes. A very flawed argument indeed!
    Anonymous
    21st Dec 2016
    11:53am
    You are such an IDIOT, OG. You can't read! Nor can you speak ENGLISH, obviously. Those who DON'T SAVE get a BENEFIT. Those who are Affected are those who saved and NEED THEIR SAVINGS, but are forced to dispose of them and end up like those who didn't save. And only an ABSOLUTE BRAINLESS MORONIC IDIOT would support that premise, because it's going to mean more people reliant on welfare in the future.
    DaveL
    17th Dec 2016
    8:38am
    Do not forget, Sir Robert Menzie when he retired as PM on a Political pension commented, "i am entilted to the OAP".
    particolor
    19th Dec 2016
    8:40pm
    AND Head Poo BAH of the Sink Ports :-) :-) Whatever ?? :-) :-) :-)
    Rodent
    17th Dec 2016
    11:00am
    Old Geezer

    Your words -Well I heard our PM say today that most OAP actually get more but a few get their pension decreased.

    As usual you cannot comment factually, that's not what Turnbull ACTUALLY said. If you care to check, which I doubt you will the facts are quite different in regard to the People Impacts/Numbers affected.
    The govt claims specific numbers of people are effected, both Positively and Negatively, naturally they only want to a comment about the SO CALLED $30 per Fortnight increase that SOME pensioners MAY receive. You will find there claims in the original documents supporting the Legislation. You will also find these numbers reported often in the media (since May 2015) both accurately and inaccurately. ALL the numbers were ESTIMATES only.

    As I have said, more than once the Govt's claim of 166,000 people getting an increase is both False and Misleading because the Unchanged Income test will NOT allow this increase for SOME pensioners at the lower end of the Asset scales
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2016
    6:11am
    Correct, Rodent. The poorest pensioners get NOTHING NIL NADA ZERO. But some pathetic fools believe government spin. Sad, really, that so many lack the basic intelligence to examine political policy objectively and judge correctly. But I guess that explains why the country is in a mess. Too many tunnel-visioned idiot voters who swallow the BS the overpaid IDIOTS in parliament peddle, and not enough with the brains to deal in facts.
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2016
    6:26am
    Poor dumb OG. He heard our PM and he believed the spin - swallowed the lie hook line and sinker. Geez I'm glad I've got a brain. Much more rewarding than having OG's money!
    particolor
    21st Dec 2016
    3:20pm
    Just heard an (OG) on the Radio, and he said that Malcolm Turnbull was the BEST Prime Minister we've ever had !! :-) :-) :-) :-)
    I'll bet his Christmas Bonus is Powerful :-) :-)
    The Announcer told him to Beat It .. :-( :-( :-(
    Marlo
    17th Dec 2016
    12:06pm
    I saw an older man on the news last night protesting his reduction in the aged pension. I think he said he would lose around $80 per fortnight. I believe he is trying to live on what the government gives him and not touch his accrued assets, probably to pass them down to his family. If he is losing $80 p.f. He has plenty to live on. This is not what we save for, either in Super or outside of super. Our savings are to cover our living in our later years. If we have something left to pass down to our children, then that is good luck. I am in a similar situation as the man I mention, although will not lose quite as much. I have no problem with the super changes. Those on a full pension will be better off.
    Jess M
    17th Dec 2016
    12:44pm
    Federal Treasury predicts the measures to cut company tax will cost the budget more than $48 Billion over a decade and the Independent Parliamentary Budget Office has estimated it could cost more than $51 Billion. I suppose people are wondering, yet again big business who often don't pay their fair share of taxes win over the little people yet again. Workers have their tax taken out before they get paid and companies pay accountants to minimum their tax, often showing a loss, which the average worker cannot do.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2016
    5:29pm
    Marlo, you are mistaken on a few counts. Firstly, those on full pensions will NOT necessarily be better off. The only gain is to folk with considerable savings - NOT anyone with no assets. The poorest got NOTHING from the change.

    Secondly, many people who have assets above the threshold do not have sufficient assets to meet their future needs - particularly if they have health issues and perhaps an older home that needs maintenance and are younger retirees with maybe 3 decades to live without income. Some can't liquidate assets that are not returning income, and this can impose extreme hardship. Circumstances differ and we should never ASSUME that just because someone has assets they don't need their part pension. Many are getting part pensions despite having quite high incomes, but the assets test is punishing and discourages saving and planning - which is bad for the nation. It needs revising - urgently. Not necessarily to give more money to all who were affected, but to restore equity and incentives to save and ensure people's means are assessed on realistic criteria.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2016
    5:46pm
    Also, Marlo, if he's losing $80 per fortnight he's not living on what the government was paying him, unless he's living in a tent and starving himself! But that's not the issue here. The issue is whether or not he has a right to be better off in retirement, overall, than people who saved hundreds of thousands less than he did - and whether people should be allowed to conserve assets they have saved for anticipated future major expenses or forced to live off their assets now and have no funds to meet later needs, which may result in a much heavier burden on taxpayers in years to come.

    In my view, retirees who saved should be permitted to enjoy a better standard of living than those who saved less, and should be allowed to retain savings for future anticipated expenses. By all means, tax the estate on death to recover money if that's considered necessary, but don't deprive people who need the money during their lifetime. The assets test is flawed in that it doesn't recognize valid needs and it disadvantages many who are actually not nearly as well off as people whose income affords them a very lavish lifestyle without disqualifying them for a pension. Also, there are hideous inconsistencies between homeowner and non-homeowner and single and couples. The whole system is a mess and needs a complete overhaul. Please don't blindly accept the government's spin! They are trading on simplistic assumptions that don't stack up in the real world, because they don't have the brains to deal with the more complex answers.
    LiveItUp
    17th Dec 2016
    8:08pm
    I agree with you Marlo. The people effected by the asset chnages have more than enough to live on without the OAP. Also the amount of assets you have to get the OAP is ample for any expenses in later life with the Medicare safety net.

    If you can't sell assets then they are not assets as assets can be liquidated. Those assets that require a great fool than thou to come along and buy are very dubious assets. These worthless things need to be written off and thus have no value for the asset test.

    I was looking after the affairs of 2 old people in a nursing home and as they got older the less they spent until they were actually saving money. So nedding more money as you get older doesn't hold water.

    Maybe OG is right these people effected by the asset changes don't need the OAP but it was nice to have while it was available.

    These changes like all changes will soon be forgotten and thus will help the government with it's budget's bottom line.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2016
    8:33pm
    Like OG, Bonny, you are DEAD WRONG. The changes will NOT help the budget. They will blow out pension costs, because they punish and discourage saving and planning and reward asking for bigger handouts, and that's just plain DUMB. But gullible fools who can't see past government spin just keep endorsing policies that destroy the nation. No wonder we are in a mess!

    18th Dec 2016
    11:03am
    Governments that really have the national interest at heart would look at what WORKS, rather than pandying to powerful vested interest groups or jumping on easy-fix thought bubbles without examining the consequences. How irresponsible to just say ''let's put it back how it was. That'll save money'' without considering what was different back then! Investment returns were very much higher before the taper rate was reduced by Howard/Costello, so offering 7.8% return for having less wasn't a problem back then. And maybe the change was too generous at that time. But now that market returns are so low, offering 7.8% for holding less assets is a massive problem. It's going to incentivise reduction of assets and reduced saving and drive pension costs through the roof. Anyone with a brain should be able to see that! It won't save money, but it will create fear, insecurity, resentment, social unrest, and in many cases genuine hardship in years to come.

    If governments looked at what works, they would see two things. Firstly, we had a far healthier economy and happier population when tax rates for the well-to-do were very much higher and nobody was applauding manipulation to avoid tax obligations. Secondly, the only nation in the world that had no GFC and has a booming economy and no debt has a 25% flat tax, after a very generous threshold but with no concessions, rebates deductions or reduction schemes, and an extremely generous pension system and good social services. Countries that have high taxes and good social services and pensions have much higher happiness ratings and are generally more prosperous.

    That all makes perfect sense, because circulation generates growth and prosperity. You don't create jobs or boost profit or boost tax revenue to pay down debt by giving more to rich people who already have more than they can spend and are simply hording. Growth and prosperity are generated when you drive monetary circulation. Give more to poor pensioner Paul and he spends more, so businessman Pete makes more profit and needs more workers to service the busier trade, can pay higher wages because his profits are higher, and pays more tax (as do his employees), and the government then has more money to reduce the deficit and to put back into the economy. More tax revenue means the government can give retiree Mary a little more to supplement the investment income that, because savings were limited by breaks from work to have and care for children, isn't quite enough to live on, so she can preserve her savings to avoid being totally dependant on taxpayers when she is old and frail and needs care, and the future tax burden is reduced. With improved security for her later years, Mary can take a short holiday and buy a few little luxuries each week and the spending boosts business profits somewhere which boosts further employment and wages and the tax take. Her improved happiness means better health that reduces medical costs, and in some cases means reduced crime and social upset. Meanwhile workers Jack and Jill and Joe see that Mary isn't punished for saving but is helped to maintain the living standard she planned for, so they put more savings aside and because they are younger and Jack and Joe don't have to interrupt careers to have kids, their superannuation reaches a high enough level that they don't need pensions at all.

    Unemployed youth Tom, who Paul hires because his business is growing, is now able to pay his own way, pay taxes, and save for his own retirement and to support and educate his kids without government help. More tax revenue, less government spending on welfare, and his spending grows profits for businessmen Adam, Damien and David. The extra profits mean more tax paid so further debt reduction and Adam, Damien and David can hire more workers who pay more tax and spend more to drive higher profits for business operators Julie, Ann, and Jason. And so it goes on.

    It's about making the money go around (it was made round to go round!), and that requires taking more from the rich to give to those with less, but ensuring that work and saving and responsible living is generously rewarded so that there are incentives in the system.

    Right now, the government is doing the exact opposite - destroying incentives by bashing people who saved well, killing incentives to work and save, reducing payments to the less well off, and giving more to the rich to horde. Why should we expect any economic improvement? Of course things are going to continue to get worse.

    But what is really sad is that the rich don't care. All they care about is getting more and more and more and more today, and any target they can take it from is fair game. They don't care about the society, and they don't care about the future. They just want to see a bigger number on their bank statement from that Panama Bank and a smaller number on their tax bill.

    And to try to ensure their preferred status quo is preserved, they write and regurgitate CRAP justifying the most damaging policy changes with inane oft-repeated slogans borrowed from the overpaid self-serving spin doctors who constantly try to sell us flawed policies with speeches full of lies and bull dust, and they insult the people whose hard work gave them the opportunity to be well to do (not that they are capable of acknowledging that ever, much less of any form of gratitude).

    These chest-beaters are focused entirely on TAKING AS MUCH AS THEY CAN GET and demanding the real lifters in society are totally screwed over. And while they tolerate and pretend to be charitable to the very poor (who don't threaten them) they detest responsible, clean-living, hard-working savers because these are the folk who have the ability to highlight the flaws in policies that advantage the chest-beaters.
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2016
    11:23am
    And sadly, right alongside the self-interested chest-beaters, we have the gullible and ignorant ''true believers'' and the jealous folk who can't think past ''he's got more than me, take it off him'' endorsing a flawed and very damaging policy and voting for the corrupt liars who are selling it with spin.
    Retired Knowall
    18th Dec 2016
    1:59pm
    Savings by reigning in tax concessions on Super would amount to $2.5B over 4 years (extract from Govt Budget Papers.
    Australian debt is currently over $405B with interest currently at $40m/DAY.
    To get the balance right the Govt needs to increase revenue by improving it's take on OIL, GAS, IRON ORE, COAL royalties, in which we come LAST by world standards and improve the TAX revenue from Business.
    Only then can the Govt afford to spend more on Welfare....don't hold your breath.
    Jess M
    18th Dec 2016
    2:36pm
    It really is not welfare.
    Jess M
    18th Dec 2016
    2:39pm
    So much work is still done but retired people who volunteer their services to the community.
    particolor
    18th Dec 2016
    4:03pm
    Turncoats on about the Republic again :-( :-( Which can only mean He's up to something Sinister behind the Curtain Again !!:-( :-( :-(
    Retired Knowall
    19th Dec 2016
    7:48am
    Social security in Australia - Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_security_in_Australia
    Social security, in Australia, refers to a system of social welfare payments provided by Commonwealth Government of Australia.
    particolor
    9th Jan 2018
    7:02pm
    And now he's at it Again ??
    Before he gets His Republic (Hopefully on a Dessert Island somewhere) I want a One Off Pay Rise of $11,000 Like they give themselves !! :-) :-) :-)
    go veg!
    18th Dec 2016
    8:48pm
    Having skimmed through the comments, I agree with Old Geezer. He sounds rational and sensible. I know old ladies living in million $ houses struggling on OAP to pay high maintenance costs and hardly eating because they want to keep the house for their children to inherit. I know pensioners who say they can't afford a holiday but have very regular lunches at clubs playing pokies and have their nails done every week. I would love Australians to go back to being self-reliant savers and leave the money available for pensions to those who have suffered hard knocks and need the money for needs, not wants. I'm unsure about people getting a full pension that had chosen to take drugs/drink to excess but perhaps they don't live long enough anyway.
    Anonymous
    21st Dec 2016
    11:47am
    Won't happen while STUPID governments make policies that punish people harshly for working and saving and reward them for being lazy and wasteful. Educate yourself, go veg, please! Don't listen to STUPID ASS OG. He's got it all wrong.

    The changed assets test tells people who saved for their old age if they throw away their savings and put their hand out for a fatter pension, they'll have a much higher income, no risks, no management costs to handle risky investments, no stress worrying if investment returns will fall further, and tons of nice benefits. On the other hand, if they hand on to their savings, they will have to live off them until they run out, pay more for everything than pensioners do, battle with stress and management of investments, and in the end have NONE of the things they saved for and be as poor as people who didn't save. And the ''benefit'' of this cruel and STUPID policy is that the government can GIFT the savings of responsible people to people who didn't bother to save.

    So when NOBODY saves and plans for old age, then how the hell do we meet the cost of welfare? Oh, that's right. We stop paying pensions. Good luck with that if you haven't got savings. But you know what? It's what pensioners who support the taper rate change deserve. You are sealing the fate of the disadvantaged and of the nation by endorsing a VERY WRONG POLICY.
    Senex
    20th Dec 2016
    10:33pm
    This article is sanctinmonious humbug because it skips over the dubious morality of those with nothing but the numbers deciding to vote themselves - via suitably compliant politicians who make their careers out of pandering to those that get them elected - pensions and other benefits at the expense of those relatively few who pay morevin taxes than they receive. The complaints about superannuation concessions to the rich are especially notable for theit humbug element in the absence of recognition that the concessions only mean the "rich" are slightly less heavily taxed to pay for those who have failed to find others willing to reward them for their contributions to others in the economy. (Granted there are people whom no decent person would wish to see unsupported after a financially unproductive life and that there are ill designed features of Costello's superannuation reforms, it is quite unbalanced not to recognise that there are moral issues about justifying taking other people's money by voting power).
    anonysubscribe
    22nd Sep 2017
    6:45pm
    I have been robbed since 1977 when I came to australia. Robbed by governments taxing me so earlier retirees could get a full pension. Robbed by my super contributions which have been taxed on entry. Robbed when my income stream Super pension) has been offset against the age pension so that I am forced to live off less than my capital because I denied myself all my life to accumulate some streams in spite of losing my last job at 51 and never working again. Now I find without owning a house I cannot buy one. If I bought one then the assets and income tests will conspire to work against me even more if I dip into my income stream to maintain a 'modest' (read poor) living. Centrelink is so diabolical that I cannot make financial decisions in my best interests without being penalised in ways I am discovering each time I consider a rational option as centrelink ramifications then prevent me from following through on say, purchasing a house in a lower cost area away from where I spent all my life. The hypocrisy of centrelink asset deeming and income tests contrasts with tax tests of assets and income, effectively taxing me more than accepted principles of equity and fairness established over centuries of tax law. The worst cut is the government crying poor as it bleeds the weakest citizens and rewards its business buddies with preferential taxes and subsidies while clawing back their pound of flesh from citizens who sink into further impoverishment each year.
    particolor
    23rd Sep 2017
    7:48pm
    I feel Anaemic and in need of a Blood Transfusion after reading that !! I hadn't realized I could blame the Government for Bleeding Me Dry !!
    plodder
    9th Jan 2018
    2:10pm
    Rainey. what passion. you have a huge chip on each shoulder so that makes you well balanced.
    who ever solved anything with insults?????
    there is no such thing as 100% right.
    so come on give me the benefit of your wise counsel about my personal character, intelligence etc etc.
    thommo
    18th Jul 2018
    10:45am
    if politicians and senior public servants were made to live on the old age pension for a period, you would see a dramatic rise in fortnightly pensions. to help fund this we could stop paying many millions of dollars in aid to corrupt overseas governments, tighten tax laws on multinational companies and stop public servants wasting money (I worked amongst then for many years and saw what goes on) especially when coming to the end of the financial year.
    particolor
    18th Jul 2018
    6:36pm
    Hamas is Very Very P!$$#D Orf with the Cancellation of their Sky Rocket Funds !!
    Julie Funstuffer !! :-(
    particolor
    18th Jul 2018
    6:39pm
    PS ... Sorry about that thommo, but dont expect a Pension Pay rise at anything above 0.02 % any time in the near future :-( :-(


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