Age Pension change notified by Christmas

Retirees may not find out until just before Christmas if their Age Pensions will be affected.

Man getting letter re pension threshold changes

While we’ve known for sometime about the 1 January 2017 changes to the asset thresholds, retirees may not find out until just before Christmas if their Age Pensions will be affected.

The asset thresholds that will apply have been finalised since 20 September 2016 but thanks largely to the complex rules surrounding Age Pension payment calculations, there’s still some uncertainly as to who will be affected and by how much. Human Services has an Age Pension estimator on its website to give people an indication of how their payment will be affected.

For those who are likely to be affected or who find themselves just outside the threshold, a letter should arrive within the coming few weeks. However, confirmation of individual cases will not be received until early December – just in time for Christmas and only a couple of weeks before the changes take effect.

Federal cabinet secretary Arthur Sinodinos said anyone who is unsure of their circumstances can contact Centrelink for clarification. "Any pensioner who has an issue should get on to Centrelink now and get it clarified, and they're waiting to answer their (pensioner's) questions." Clearly Senator Sinodinos has never had to call Centrelink for clarification on any matter.

Announced in the 2015/16 Federal Budget, the changes have been modelled to show that approximately 416,000 age pensioners will be affected. Of this number, 170,000 will be better off, with 50,000 currently receiving a part Age Pension expected to receive a full Age Pension once the thresholds have been changed. A further 120,000 on a part Age Pension can expect their payment to increase by $30 per fortnight. These changes will also see 91,000 lose their Age Pension entitlement and about 235,000 see their part Age Pensions reduce.

Those who lose their Age Pension will receive a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, which will be exempt indefinitely from the associated income test.

You can find out more about the changes and the new thresholds at HumanServices.gov.au

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    COMMENTS

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    pault
    18th Oct 2016
    10:41am
    And the pollies continue get their pensions and Gold Cards when they leave Parliament - they can have another job with no penalty - no Assets Test or Income Test for those people!
    It would be good if someone could investigate how much we taxpayers are paying all of the ex-pollies who are on the gravy train.
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2016
    6:33pm
    God forbid. They are in politics as they love their Country so they expect to be rewarded for the sacrifices they make for the sake of Australia and its people.
    TREBOR
    18th Oct 2016
    8:08pm
    Niemie - your tongue in cheek is outstanding.....
    Beeman
    18th Oct 2016
    10:47am
    I wonder what the total cost of running the Age Pension is. The army of employees, administrators and executives, the operating expenses, computer costs etc, etc, etc.
    If everybody were to be entitled to the pension, with modern technology, the department could probably be operated with a handful of people in a tiny office and save a lot.
    Perhaps the age pensioner system is designed to keep the unemployment figures at a more acceptable level
    Appathetic
    18th Oct 2016
    11:14am
    Beeman - there have been a number of reports on this matter and most have the savings at around $30bn pa! You are correct that politically the employment implications - both private and public - are too unpalatable for politicians. A number of countries - e.g. NZ - took the efficiency based decision to pay everyone a pension at pension age and if you saved more good on you.
    particolor
    18th Oct 2016
    11:37am
    Your both right ! I think the UK has the Pension like that, When your Pension Age, You get the Pension :-) :-)
    But that's too easy for our Gonzo's !!:-(
    Anonymous
    18th Oct 2016
    1:01pm
    The U.S. does, as well.
    TREBOR
    18th Oct 2016
    8:11pm
    I've long advocated paying everyone pension and taxing all according to the tax scales on income above that, including fringe benefits derived as 'gifts' etc from companies etc.

    (Nah.. NAH! I don't OWN the private plane - that company I used to own just lets me use it as a gift!.

    That'll be a deemed addition to your income of cost of use of that plane, thank you, Mr Ripoff.)
    Jen
    18th Oct 2016
    11:28am
    Always amazes me how Government is always coming up with ways to reduce pensioners benefits but continue to enjoy all their perks. One perk that they continue to get away with is getting paid to stay in their own properties disguised as staying away from home allowance.

    18th Oct 2016
    11:57am
    I have been to Centrelink and been advised that my part pension will drop from $320 per fortnight to $98 per fortnight! How happy am I that I have scrimped and saved to put as much into Super as possible to provide for myself and loved one - and not squandered it on expensive overseas holidays and the pokies etc! What a fool I have been! Thanks for nothing!!!
    KSS
    18th Oct 2016
    12:59pm
    "How happy am I that I have scrimped and saved to put as much into Super as possible to provide for myself and loved one...."

    Well now you can do exactly that and spend the money you put into super on funding your retirement as it was meant to do. You will also get the Commonwealth health card and possibly the low income pensioners card.
    Rae
    18th Oct 2016
    2:01pm
    Squander a bit Al. Take the loved one on a terrific cruise and get your $350 back. You may as well.

    No medals for being a saver these days. They only reward consumers.
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2016
    6:39pm
    Yes Big Al it is a shame that you (and many others) will be penalised for your endeavours. It is totally wrong and shameful. Too many pensioners who did not save and just spent everything are now enjoying a charmed life. What should be done retrospectively is to obtain every pensioners tax returns for their working lives to actually see their earnings and tax paid.
    marls
    19th Oct 2016
    11:19am
    i started to wake up and decided to retire early take my super and live off it until retirement age otherwise i would off only got a part pension if i continued to work, which meant travelling 4 hrs daily and a new car every few years, there is no incentive for people to work and save
    Anonymous
    19th Oct 2016
    9:47pm
    My financial adviser says of 98 of his clients who will lose out under the new rules, 96 have booked expensive overseas cruises to spend up big and will claim FAR HIGHER pensions than they otherwise would have received. Dim witted politicians are too STUPID to understand that if you reward people for irresponsible behaviour, they behave irresponsibly. If you give them more for saving less, they save less. Nobody will BENEFIT from these IDIOTIC changes. The pension bill will soar, and all retirees will end up worse off.
    Old Geezer
    20th Oct 2016
    3:39pm
    Rubbish Rainey overseas cruises don't cost enough to cut down people's assets. They would have to live on a cruise ship for a couple of years or more to cut down their assets.

    The pension bill will not soar that is a complete furphy.
    kev888
    18th Oct 2016
    12:03pm
    I have paid for it its my entitlement.Why are we paying for bad governance, the govt lost the money through bad policy bad investment . What the hell has the govt done with my entitlement?
    Grateful
    18th Oct 2016
    12:14pm
    BigAl and Kev888. Because it is NOT an entitlement. Read the rules.
    Count your blessings that you have received a Christmas present from governments in those higher pension payments that you will be losing, especially those around 2003,and that you are also fortunate enough to have those assets.
    Many who have striven equally as hard, through no fault of their own, bad health etc., especially after that GFC in 2008, would dearly love to be in your positions.
    And if you own your home, what a huge Christmas present the government has been giving you since 2003 with those absurdly generous tax concessions for negative gearing which has ARTIFICIALLY increased you wealth by hundreds of thousands of dollars without you even lifting a finger.
    Count your blessings.
    Grateful
    18th Oct 2016
    12:22pm
    Re the GFC, and the heart palpitations and wealth destruction it caused retirees who had all their savings tied up in the one very unbalanced bucket, superannuation!!!

    Guess which country suffered the biggest losses on retirement savings during the GFC?

    Iceland.

    Guess who was the second biggest loser?

    Australia.

    Yes, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that our superannuation funds lost a larger share of their members’ funds than any other pension system in the world -- with the exception of Iceland.

    "Governments" have shown no consolation to those who saw their COMPULSORY savings disappear.
    Count your blessings.
    HarrysOpinion
    18th Oct 2016
    12:58pm
    Grateful-The Age Pension Act states that if a person qualifies for the Aged Pension they are "entitled'" to age pension payments, so it becomes an "ENTITLEMENT" in accordance to the conditions that qualify a person for the Age Pension. You are twisting a legally enacted definition by denying the true meaning of 'entitlement' for Age Pension in accordance with the Act.
    Retired Knowall
    18th Oct 2016
    1:31pm
    And as legislation changes you are ENTITLED to the reduction in your pension.
    KSS
    18th Oct 2016
    1:33pm
    HS If it were an entitlement there would be no conditions and everyone would get the full pension amount simply by virtue of reaching the designated pensionable age.

    The fact is, that is not the case and you must satisfy a list of criteria to qualify. IF you qualify i.e. meet (or partially meet) the criteria only then is anyone "entitled" to a pension. Don't meet the conditions? Then you are NOT "entitled" to an age pension. Your own post agrees with that spelling out the conditional nature of an age pension..
    sidney70
    18th Oct 2016
    2:53pm
    Somewhere in my memory did not the lang Government in 1930 pass legislation that every working person would pay extra Tax so that on retirement they would get a full pension.
    Grateful
    18th Oct 2016
    3:30pm
    HS. Yes, those WHO QUALIFY!!!!! It is not an "entitlement" UNLESS you qualify. You must be ELIGIBLE to receive that entitlement and those eligibility criteria include qualifying under the assets and/or income tests plus citizenship and appropriate age.

    The age pension is NOT and ENTITLEMENT and the sooner people get that out of their expectations and only receive what they ARE entitled to under the eligibility criteria the sooner we will have a scheme that we can AFFORD. Then it would allow increases to those who are in NEED to at least put them above the poverty level, something that we should all be ashamed of, especially if what we receive is depriving those under the poverty level a fair quality of life.
    Recent independent reports show that nearly half of those that do receive a part pension don't even spend it!!!! What does that tell you???
    Golden Oldie
    18th Oct 2016
    5:22pm
    Grateful, FYI you cannot have negative gearing on the home that you live in, only on investment properties, where you can claim expenses such as interest on mortgages, rates, maintenance, etc as deductions against your income. Losses in Superannuation and investments were also hit hard during the GFC if you had to sell any of your investments, shares, etc at the lower values from a depressed share market. Even now, 8 years after the GFC, the share market has not recovered to the same level as just before the GFC hit.
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2016
    5:35pm
    Grateful. To make things really fair for those that have "scrimped and saved" The Government should include subsidised housing and/ or rental assistance in the assets test of non-home owners. They already have a higher Asset - Free Threshold.
    TREBOR
    18th Oct 2016
    8:12pm
    Bought and paid for right people - not going to explain it slowly to you again. Accept it and get over it.
    Old Geezer
    18th Oct 2016
    10:50pm
    OAP pension is not an entitlement. It is welfare and should only be given to those who need it not to those that it is nice to have.

    I congratulate the government with the new January 2017 changes to the assets test. The people effected should not have been getting the OAP in the first place as they have plenty of money to use and if they draw it down enough they will again qualify for the OAP.

    Now for the nest step which is to included the house in the assets test. I also agree with the idea that any OAP paid be deducted from a person's estate.
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2016
    10:58pm
    You would Oldgeezer, probably you are one of those that have done nothing during your working life (if any at all) and expect those that had the sense to save have to bail you out.
    ex PS
    19th Oct 2016
    8:59am
    OG, it's taken a long time for it to sink in, but you have finally got it. The OAP, is in fact an entitlement for those who meet the requirements, argument over, game set and match.
    THE OAP IS AN ENTITLEMENT.
    Old Geezer
    19th Oct 2016
    10:49am
    OAP is welfare and not an entitlement. If it is an entitlement then why don't people like me get it?

    No I didn't save I invested my assets instead. If anything I am the one bailing others out as I am a self funded retiree than still pays tax.

    Looks like the game went into extra time PS and you have lost.
    Anonymous
    19th Oct 2016
    9:38pm
    ''Entitlement'' is NOT the issue. The issue is that those who saved are being penalized and those who didn't, rewarded. If you now go out and spend a few hundred thousand, you get a fatter pension. Those who did what the government recommended and went without luxuries suffer for it. That's wrong by any standard. And to position retirees such that they can PROFIT from taking a world cruise or buying a bigger house is PLAIN STUPID AND IRRESPONSIBLE. People will save less because it doesn't pay, and future pension costs will be higher as a result. That's IDIOTIC IRRESPONSIBLE GOVERNANCE by IDIOTS who have blown the deficit and obviously have no idea about economics. No wonder the country is in a mess. But they continue to line their coffers and pretend superiority.
    Old Geezer
    20th Oct 2016
    10:12pm
    People who saved penalised? Not too sure I'd give up my lot for the OAP. Anyone stupid enough to spend just to get the OAP is being very irrational as they will earn so much more by investing well instead. These people spending are the idiots not the government. Great idea of the government to change the rules as anyone effected by them should not have been getting the OAP in the first place.
    ex PS
    21st Oct 2016
    1:22pm
    I'm getting bored with this non-argument O.G. If I was born in this country, worked full time and had no savings or Super could the government deny me the pension, or would I be entitled to it?
    A payment paid to you because you qualify for it and deserve it is an entitlement as far as I am concerned, it is no different than a tax concession, you get it because you are entitled to it.
    The only reason this government wants us to look at the Pension as welfare is they want to put a negative connotation to Pensioners so that they can push them around wit impunity. They have used the same strategy to dehumanize other sections of the community by just placing illegal in front of there activities. Illegal asylum seekers, no such thing, but it worked.
    Retired Knowall
    22nd Oct 2016
    12:19pm
    Everyone in Australia is ENTITLED to WELFARE if they meet the qualifying rules at the time.
    So the OAP is both an Entitlement and Welfare.
    It just amazes me how many bleat on about how they are entitled yet cry about the amount, it's just whatever the Govt of the day decides to modify the rules from time to time. If you don't like it, do something constructive about it.
    Mad as Hell
    22nd Oct 2016
    1:09pm
    The Liberal party on the eve of the election stated " ....there will be no changes to the pension ...."
    Now on January 2017 the Assets threshold is reduced, the pension taper rate is from $1.50 to $3.00
    This only passed the senate thanks to the Greens and Liberals doing a deal.
    These changes affect retirees who have played by rules are on modest incomes, most of whom have only had access to super contribution since 1992.
    Retirement is a long term planning process and decisions are made on the rules of the day. The government wouldn't change pre 2004 politicians pension but could move the goal posts for average retiree.
    I'll NEVER EVER VOTE LIBERAL OR GREENS, EVER
    I'll NEVER EVER VOTE LIBERAL OR GREENS

    18th Oct 2016
    12:19pm
    So Grateful, those of us who have been 'lifters' throughout our working lives, deserve to lose out in our twilight years? Where is the incentive to achieve? The Russkies worked out 25 years ago that your Utopian ideas just don't work!
    Grateful
    18th Oct 2016
    12:35pm
    BigAl, as I said, count your blessings that you were able to be a "lifter" like millions of other Australian's who have made this country great and enabled you to enjoy all of those wonderful benefits during your lifetime, like all those others, as the fruit of your ability.
    But, the current generation has to keep "lifting" to pay for all of those over generous benefits that are now being paid to those that do not NEED government assistance. Count your blessings that you do not NEED government assistance, I bet those at the bottom of the heap who have not had your ability and good fortune would swap with you tomorrow.
    Anonymous
    18th Oct 2016
    1:11pm
    I think you both are correct in what you say, but what I, personally, would like to see is government employees on retirement benefits parity with the rest of us. No Gold Cards like us and no continuing annual "salary" payment once work is finished like us. We are paying big government politician salaries with our taxpayers' dollars with VERY little equitable return.
    Appathetic
    18th Oct 2016
    1:15pm
    Big Al - remember that for a large proportion of your working life you contributed 3% of your tax towards the age pension. You should at least have a tapered rate proportional to your contributions. Its also interesting that the proportion of age pensioners in relation to tax payers continues to fall; yet are unwilling to support those who paid for the infrastructure they now use.
    Rodent
    18th Oct 2016
    12:26pm
    RE POSTED HERE because its more relevant

    Its really disappointing to see inaccurate and misleading information written in the Media by so called Journalists. This is an EXTRACT of an article by Samantha Maiden of Sunday Telegraph where she talks about the Jan 2017 Changes.

    The reason this is misleading is because it implies that if your assets are WITHIN these Asset Value ranges for your particular Pensioner Group, Single, Couple, Home Owner, Non Homeowner you will get an INCREASE in you pension. In many cases SOME people will get an increase others will not, and certainly will not at some of the values represented in the article.
    Yes I have written to her to explain why she is wrong and asked her what is the source of her information.

    NB this EXTRACT is only about the claimed Increases, the full article refers to the Asset Ranges that LOSE Pension
    This is the extract

    Your asset tested rate of pension will be increased if your assets are between
    $209,000 and $291,000 for a single homeowner.
    $360,500 and $539,500 for a single non-homeowner.
    $296,500 and $453,500 for a partnered homeowner.
    $448,000 and $702,000 for a partnered non-homeowner.

    The full article is available under this title - Pensioner's Payouts at risk as new Asset Test Looms

    I also have some concerns about the "Numbers" that appear in this YLC article second last para- they are yet again a different set of Numbers of people affected- what is the Modelling referred to and who did it, was it DSS or someone else?

    18th Oct 2016
    12:28pm
    There was an interview with an old age pensioner on TV last night that didn't do any favours for those who will lose or have a reduction in the age pension. The lady being interviewed was complaining that her asset threshold will now be too high and she will lose her pension. One of her assets is a second home which is occupied by her son. She can't sell the second home because her son can't afford to buy himself a home.

    This is most likely a rare event and if the lady was smart she would have kept her head down as all she has done is make it bad for those in genuine need. Maybe her son could afford to pay mum a bit of rent to make up for the bit of pension she will lose. With two houses as part of her assets, it may be likely that she is not drawing a full pension although I have no proof of this.
    Rodent
    18th Oct 2016
    12:42pm
    Old Man correct it was not a good look, BUT no more than one would expect to see from THAT programme

    Just watch the Govt jump on the POSITIVE aspects of this change, by that I mean we will see examples of pensioners that get an INCREASE out of this "REBALANCE THE ASSET TEST change.

    BUT they wont go near talking about the Single Home Owner that LOSES 71% their pension where there assets are $500,000. Nor will they talk about the Couple Non Home Owner that still receives $18,882pa with $825,000 in Assets where at that SAME figure ALL OTHER pensioners will get ZERO pension- yes ZERO pension
    notelle
    18th Oct 2016
    4:06pm
    That woman's comments made me sick.
    Complaining, that even though her son is fully employed - he can't afford to pay the market rate for a rental property and this is why she needs to keep her 2nd property for his sake !
    If she loses her pension she won't be able to put petrol in the car and will therefore not be able to continue her volunteering job.....
    Then she started whinging about how she will have to cut down on food in future. Did she really expect people to feel sorry for her, or was she just enjoying her 5 mins of fame?
    Rae
    19th Oct 2016
    8:07am
    This is another reason to pay people the aged pension at a certain age and then tax all other income or deemed income from say a second house that could be rented or sold to generate a deemed amount.

    I think government revenue would come out ahead.
    Glen48
    18th Oct 2016
    12:48pm
    Pollies get 10 free Domestic flights a yr almost 1 mth,,another has put in 35K and received 1,2M back...Howard cost us 6 K a week and was voted out,,Wyatt Twerpt got 100K for losing the election and had 500K spent on his electoral office thinking he would get back,,,Money is spent on electoral offices to upgrade even if you dont want it,,,IF you vote for the Major parties nothing will change...go pressure your local member,,NOW
    floss
    18th Oct 2016
    1:17pm
    Big bloody deal we stand to loose some twenty thousand a year how do you make that up, but I suppose some one to go with out so we can bring more people into our country . They have not payed a life time of big tax like we have and a lot of them will never pay tax. God I wish we could have a election soon as this mob know how to kick us in the guts ,people that helped to make this country what it use to be.
    Rae
    18th Oct 2016
    2:17pm
    Not only that looney. This government needs your pension money to pay for tax cuts for those high income earners don't you know.

    They are the governments lifters that need rewarding.

    We had an election and the LNP were voted back in so people must be okay with all this.
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2016
    6:43pm
    Rae, why should high income earners have to pay anymore tax? They pay enough already. Better to have a flat personal tax rate for all no more than 15% and then increase consumer taxes.
    Rae
    19th Oct 2016
    8:15am
    I don't think they should pay more niemakawa but I fail to see why those earning over $80 000 need a further cut to be paid for by self funding retirees. We paid a high tax rate during the earning years and now pay for tax cuts for other workers. Why should savers have to pay more simply because they saved?

    I don't mind the tax cuts just the way the government is raising the funds to pay for it.

    I'd like to see no personal taxes or consumption taxes but a flat transaction tax of say 2%. Not only would it fix the deficit but everyone would have to pay including those very wealthy currently paying nothing. It would also stabilise markets and make them less like casinos.
    Mad as Hell
    18th Oct 2016
    1:28pm
    On 6th September 2103 Tony Abbott promised " There will be no cuts to education, no cuts to health, NO CHANGES TO PENSIONS, no change to the GST and no cuts to ABC or SBS"
    Liberals and Greens will never get my vote In any Federal, State or Council election.
    Why aren't election promises held to account?
    Jannie
    18th Oct 2016
    3:49pm
    That is why I did not vote for them, went with the Independents and One Nation. It is about time we all banded together and put pressure on the government to ease off on pensioners and look at what they are spending on welfare for refugees and others as well as themselves. Makes me feel sick to the bone that the government is so weak and are for themselves, we are becoming a third world country with corrupt pollies in power. What hope have we got?
    LENYJAC
    18th Oct 2016
    2:22pm
    TYPICAL of these money sucking arseholes that pretend to run this country..while their wages and lurks and perks keep going UP&UP&UP&UP&UP&UP&UP&UP&UP'T]The less off and pensioners and homeless keep getting treated like the plague,and don't get me started on these immigrants with all the perks of the pollies..rant over for NOW?????
    Glen48
    18th Oct 2016
    3:02pm
    The taxpayers got a good deal with me,,CSA put me out of business ..loss all my assets so now on a full Invaled pension,
    Chrissy L
    18th Oct 2016
    4:35pm
    I have just done my sums and I look like losing $10/week. I do not consider myself wealthy at all. I just tried to salary sacrifice a bit in the latter part of my working life to put some by for when I retired so I would have a modest income...not comfortable....only modest! How unfair are these people when we live on what they get in expenses and perks! I feel badly in need of a World Cruise! Maybe then, I can some money back for what I paid in for all my working life. The sooner this lot gets tipped out the better, however the other side have said they won't change it either. We think American politicians are the pits but are ours any better?
    Oz
    18th Oct 2016
    5:09pm
    What crap all pensioners will be adversely affected. If you have 250000$ in assets (single person home owner) you will lose 56$ from your pension. Out of the changes proposed the Government will be the beneficiary.
    Rodent
    18th Oct 2016
    5:18pm
    Dear Oz

    You may be incorrect, after 1 Jan 2017 and at $250,000 a Single Home owner will receive the Max Pension of $22804 UNLESS they are affected by the Income Test

    Have you run your own numbers in the Centrelink Calculator, so far I have found it to be 100% accurate BUT note the reference to the Income Test possible impact
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2016
    5:38pm
    A pension for all regardless of income/assets ( with only a few exceptions). Simple and cost-effective to administer. Also it MAY give those that squander their money during their working years to put a little aside to improve their lifestyle in retirement. At the moment all these "bludgers" do is criticise those that have done so.
    TREBOR
    18th Oct 2016
    8:23pm
    It's never as black and white as that, Niemie.... some of those 'bludgers' have worked hard to be stabbed in the back repeatedly.

    I worked in the CPS, designed and implemented an entire system they use to this day - and I quit when they promoted an 18 year old girl with no experience and no work product to show over me to satisfy affirmative action.

    I then worked damned hard to be knifed in the back by the company I kept alive, at age 48 - and just after the lifestyle of keeping that company run by idiots alive by working eighteen hours a day cost me my second divorce and home. Then try getting a decent job at age 48, when you're a single White man who's had all the 'privileges' in life.

    Then I developed heart troubles, busted knee, and finally was overcome by the PTSD I'd lived with, without complaint, for thirty odd years of sleepless nights and stress.

    Single White man are just targets in this society as it now stands. I think glen48 knows part of what I mean, and most of us have paid our dues - now it's time for restitution.
    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2016
    8:31pm
    Trebor, I am not painting everyone with the same brush. But I have seen first hand, through charity work, that people who claim to be bad-off are taking advantage of these organisations. Many have money , but spend it, drinking, gambling, drugs and expect to be rewarded for messing up their lives. Believe me it is "bludgers" paradise in this once great and wonderful Country. I agree with your point about white single males. Yes you should be proud of your achievements and the Government has no right not to give you a pension.
    Glen48
    18th Oct 2016
    7:11pm
    The government that was elected on the basis of its wise economic stewardship has increased net debt almost 80% since Labor left office, writes economics reporter Alan

    Today night’s news arrived much sooner than anyone expected. Posted downpage on a Treasury website was the news Australia’s gross debt was now above $450 billion. Another Finance Department document released quietly that night showed net debt had smashed through the $300 billion barrier. Both have been met with deafening media silence.
    Glen48
    18th Oct 2016
    7:41pm
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/four-dumped-liberal-mps-warehoused-as-taxpayerfunded-government-advisers-20161017-gs41x9.html
    Glen48
    18th Oct 2016
    7:43pm
    At least four Liberal MPs thrown out by voters at the July federal election have picked up plum jobs as taxpayer-funded advisers to their former colleagues.

    Senate President Stephen Parry revealed in Senate estimates hearings on Monday that he had hired his former Tasmanian colleague, Eric Hutchinson, for a newly-created role in his office.
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    Fairfax Media can also reveal that Matt Williams and Karen McNamara, who were both defeated at the July poll, have been employed as advisers by their former colleagues.
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    Senate President gives $160,000 job to Liberal MP who lost his seat

    Mr Williams, who held the seat of Hindmarsh, is working as a policy adviser to fellow South Australian Simon Birmingham, the Minister for Education.

    Ms McNamara, the former member for Dobell on the NSW Central Coast, is working as a part-time adviser to NSW senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, the Minister for International Development and the Pacific.
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    A spokeswoman for Senator Fierravanti-Wells said Ms McNamara was advising the minister on seasonal worker policy.

    Former Eden Monaro MP Peter Hendy was hired by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as his chief economist after losing the marginal seat.
    Former member for Dobell Karen McNamara.
    Former member for Dobell Karen McNamara. Photo: James Brickwood

    The practice of "warehousing" - which sees former MPs employed as advisers before making another run for office - has been used by both sides of politics.

    Wayne Swan, for example, served as an adviser to Labor leader Kim Beazley after losing the Queensland seat of Lilley at the 1996 election. Mr Swan won back the seat at the 1998 election.
    Former member for Hindmarsh Matt Williams walks past while Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is interviewed by David Koch ...
    Former member for Hindmarsh Matt Williams walks past while Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is interviewed by David Koch following the 2016 budget. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

    After losing the seat of Eden-Monaro at the 2013 election, Labor MP Mike Kelly re-appeared as an adviser to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. He won the seat back in July from Mr Hendy.

    Labor senator Penny Wong said Senator Parry's decision to hire Mr Hutchinson, the former member for Lyons, to represent him in Tasmania seemed "pretty political".
    Illustration: Ron Tandberg
    Illustration: Ron Tandberg

    "You've appointed a mate who lost his seat to do work in your electorate," she said.

    Senator Parry said that, as an ex-MP, Mr Hutchinson was "ideally suited" to the role.
    Former Eden-Monaro MP Peter Hendy.
    Former Eden-Monaro MP Peter Hendy. Photo: Supplied

    "It's unfortunate for him he lost his seat but fortunate for me I could pick him up," he said.

    "He is a round plug in a round hole."

    Senator Parry said Mr Turnbull's office had approved the allocation of an extra staff position after the July 2 election.

    Senator Parry said he needed an extra staff member because there had been an increase in the frequency and complexity of the meetings he is required to attend as a presiding officer of Parliament.

    His existing electorate staff were already fully occupied, he said.

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    niemakawa
    18th Oct 2016
    7:51pm
    Leeches the lot of them.
    Old Geezer
    18th Oct 2016
    10:44pm
    I really can't see a problem with this at all.
    Sundays
    18th Oct 2016
    8:41pm
    I think that the worst aspect about the new changes is not so much the drop in the upper threshold (which is very generous at present) but the change to the taper rate. Now people lose $1.50 for every $1000 over the minimum asset amount but this will increase to $3 for every $1000. The other problem is that there are so many rules depending on people's situation. Some pensioners have grandfathered arrangements, others do not. The whole system needs an overhaul.
    Old Geezer
    18th Oct 2016
    10:52pm
    Agree the OAP should only be paid to those who need it so that they have the basics of life.
    Anonymous
    19th Oct 2016
    9:44pm
    WRONG, OG. Most if my generation didn't have super but paid into a tax scheme that was designed to fund aged pensions. We SHOULD receive the pension accordingly. Those who did have super would scream if they didn't receive the super benefit they paid for. The rest of us have the same entitlement to the benefit WE paid for. Just because we paid for it via a tax scheme - which was our ONLY option at the time - doesn't excuse cheating us out of what we paid for and were promised.
    Old Geezer
    20th Oct 2016
    3:40pm
    All spent Rainey so no longer available.
    Watto
    18th Oct 2016
    10:38pm
    The Gov't needs to get the money from somewhere. Julie has got the cheque book out funded by the Aust taxpayer to save all the world. They are breeding like rabbits in Africa etc stc.
    Young Simmo
    19th Oct 2016
    12:44am
    I'm a 76 year old born and bred West Aussie, and as long as the boat people continue to get Free Acc, Free Food, Free Medical, Free computers, Free toys for the kids, etc, etc, etc, and all the Politcians support, I can't see anything wrong with my $1.99 pension increase.
    Maybe, that's why they call me GOLDEN HEART.
    Rodent
    19th Oct 2016
    8:26am
    Welcome back OG we have missed you!

    So given your insights about the Pension I am sure you will agree that a Non Home Owner Couple with $600,000 in assets who gets a Pension INCREASE after 1 Jan 2017 of 13.98% = to $32,432pa,
    and another Non Home Owner Couple with $625,000 also gets a Pension Increase of 10.93% = to $30482pa is fair and equitable ?
    At these Two Asset Figures of $600,000 a Couple HOME OWNER loses 25% of their pension, and at $625,000 that same HOME OWNER loses 31% of their pension. Looks like a terrible Bias against Home Owners I would have thought, oh but never mind they have their Family Home as an Asset don't they!!
    I can almost predict what you will say next
    Old Geezer
    19th Oct 2016
    3:17pm
    I think it is fair and reasonable after all these people have to pay to live somewhere.

    Fair thing would be to include the house in the assets test. Then everyone would be on the same page. This gross inequity would then be fixed.
    Rodent
    19th Oct 2016
    4:49pm
    Dear Old Geezer

    You really have no idea about Gross Inequity do you, as it really applies in my example.

    So you are really saying as a SFR you are happy for the Govt to Provide a Pension to both Home Owners and Non Home Owners at these $600k Asset Figures- Of course you are not happy.
    In fact you believe that NEITHER group should receive ANY Pension at these Asset Values . In fact when pressed on other occasions you could not even say that above $350K NOBODY should get a pension. Your view was Home Owners should use the Asset Value in their Home first, and the Non Homeowners would fend for themselves.

    In fairness to you perhaps I can make it clearer this way
    Couple Home owners at these Asset Figures after Jan 1 2017 will receive the following Pension

    $600,000 = $16,832pa
    $650,000 = $12,932pa
    $700,000 = $9032pa

    Couple Non Home Owners at these same figures will receive these pensions

    $600,000 = $32,432pa
    $650,000 = $28,532pa
    $700,000 = $24,632pa

    Irrespective of whether EITHER group should get ANY Pension or NOT where is the fairness and Equity in the Pension payments as listed above?

    Guess what - I predicted accurately what you would say- no surprises there
    Old Geezer
    19th Oct 2016
    7:41pm
    There is only $300 difference per week between these rate for home owners and non home owners. Where can you find a decent house t rent for $300 these days? so the home owners were still way in front.

    If it is not fair then it is not fair for the non home owners.
    Anonymous
    19th Oct 2016
    9:41pm
    GARBAGE, Old Geezer. It costs my neighbours $450 per week to live in the home they spent 40+ years paying for. They could rent an equivalent home for $300 per week and get a higher pension PLUS rent assistance, have no rates or house insurance or maintenance to pay and far less worry. Homeowners are suffering unfairness. And remember, THEY went without for 40 years to pay off mortgages at high interest while many renters were living the high life. The majority of renters COULD have bought a home if they had been willing to sacrifice a little lifestyle.
    Old Geezer
    20th Oct 2016
    3:33pm
    Rubbish Rainey I rent out houses that cost me less than $100 a week in total costs. If your neighbour house is costing $450 a week they must not own much of it so pay heaps in interest.
    ex PS
    19th Oct 2016
    8:54am
    I always smile to myself when politicians or bureaucrats talk about "giving the public this or that". The only money they have comes from the voters, how can you give people something that was theirs in the first place.
    Look everyone, I took hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax from you over the years you worked, I am now going to give you a pittance back, but I expect you to fall to your knees and be thankful for it.
    DISGUSTING!!!!!
    Old Geezer
    19th Oct 2016
    3:58pm
    Yep they took hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax from me over the year but all I get back is SBA. Worse still they still keep taking tax from me every year.
    ex PS
    21st Oct 2016
    1:06pm
    OG, I don't mind paying tax, it means that I have actually done quite well with my investments for the previous year.
    What i mind is my tax being wasted on stupid policy, like giving the wealthiest people in the country tax breaks at the expense of those who need help.
    Old Geezer
    21st Oct 2016
    2:49pm
    Yes I agree they should have not be giving my taxes (OAP) to couples with over $1 million in assets. These people do not need any financial help. The only people effected by these changes are those that don't need the OAP but is simply nice to have.

    Tax breaks are incentives not welfare handouts. Would I put money into super without tax breaks, buy a property without tax breaks etc? There would be simply no point at all in doing any of these things. Downside is lack of housing and high OAP bill at a later date.
    DaveL
    19th Oct 2016
    11:15am
    I noted a letter to National Senior 50 Spmething Magazine in their Aug/.Sept edition that Sir Robert Menzie when he retired from politics was entitled to a pension of $20 (ten pounds) per week. His comment when questioned about it, "I am entitled to the pemsion, just as is every Australian".
    fearlessfly
    19th Oct 2016
    1:25pm
    Would have been good if you had been able to provide the URL of the DHS "Age Pension Estimator", it's a bastard of a website, and a search for the above phrase brings up the usual completely irrelevant links to topics not related in any way to your search text.
    Rodent
    19th Oct 2016
    4:10pm
    fearlessfly

    Try this ---

    https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/changes-pension-assets-test
    fearlessfly
    19th Oct 2016
    4:38pm
    Thanks for that Rodent
    PIXAPD
    21st Oct 2016
    4:08pm
    The single full aged pension is plenty, and even renting a person could save up $7,800 a year from the pension and still live comfortably, paying all bills too.
    worker
    22nd Oct 2016
    1:58pm
    Why ?should members of parliaments to who are gust employee of the Australian citizens be payed additional superannuation , and forms of life time perks and pension that would cost millions of dollars if all levels of parliaments were considered.

    why do other Australian citizens that are employees when leaving there employers do not get forms of life time perks and pensions and additional superannuation.

    Do those employees that have been put off from Holden's , Fords, Toyota and other companies get such life time allowance and payments I believe not.


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