27th May 2016
Asset threshold changes to remain
Assets folder

Any one hoping that a Labor Government will reverse the change to the Age Pension asset thresholds and taper rate will be disappointed, with Bill shorten announcing yesterday that, due to budget constraints, his party would not be able to make the necessary changes.

Criticising the changes when announced in the 2015/16 Budget, the Labor Party said that 330,000 pensioners would lose all or part of their Age Pension and the changes would affect 700,000 people currently in their 50s and 60s.

Reversing the asset threshold changes, which will take effect from 1 January 2017, would cost $3.55 billion over four years. The changes were supported by the Greens, which gave the Government the numbers to have them pass as legislation. Speaking on radio in Darwin, Mr Shorten said, “we still think they’re not the best changes and that’s why when the Greens and the Liberals voted together on pension changes we registered our disagreement”.

“We do not believe ... that we’re in a position to restore the changes they’ve made or reverse the changes they’ve made to the pension assets test,” he added. He also noted that this was a first-term issue and should the Labor Government be voted in and serve a second term, then the issue will be readdressed.

It’s not all bad news though, with pension income an area where part pensioners could see a win.

“What we will do is ... we will review our pensions income because we’re not convinced that meddling with part-pensioners is the best way to go for Australians,” Mr Shorten said.

Read more at TheGuardian.com





    COMMENTS

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    27th May 2016
    10:45am
    Short Bill says, "should the Labor Government be voted in and serve a second term, then the issue will be re-addressed". Pig's arse! This is just a carrot and stick stunt!
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    11:47am
    Sounds like they are caught between a rock and a hard place Eddie. Also, Turnbull and his cronies would pounce if Labor even hinted that it was rolling back the current bad policy. I'd be thinking that there might be some common sense in the income side if Labor got in. As I have repeatedly said the large sum of money shovelled to the big end of town needs to stop as well as collecting taxes from multinationals (the real rate of tax, not what they want to pay!).
    Given the RC into Labor, the raiding of Conroy's office and now the highlighting of Fenney's stupidity I can but surmise that the current ratbags are worried. Why else would such a bunch of liars stoop to the tactics they have whilst continuing with their dishonesty with every breath.
    HarrysOpinion
    27th May 2016
    12:36pm
    Shorten voted strongly against Age Pension increase some time ago. He's a joke. Nick Xenophon voted FOR.
    GeorgeM
    27th May 2016
    1:37pm
    Agree, Eddie a.d Mick. Time for all current AND FUTURE (i.e. most people) to vote out all current sitting Liberal / National, Labor and Greens MPs. Unless:
    a. They agree to reverse the planned Assets Test changes, and b.
    Change all MPs Super Entitlements / Eligibility to be same as the rest of us. At the very least, they must share the pain.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    2:02pm
    The bind the nation in in! Best vote for Independent and put the Turnbull lying machine last methinks.
    Reeper
    27th May 2016
    6:24pm
    Always concerns me when I hear 'lets vote out the Libs and ALP' If people like Mick engaged their brains before embarrassing themselves they would realise outside of the LIbs and ALP there isn't a cohesive number of like minded candidates who could run the country. There are five seats in the House held by other than the Libs or ALP and none of those talk to each other anyway politically.

    Whatever happens in the next 50 years, will end up with a divided parliament of left and right and a couple of 'others'.

    And, by the by Mick, do a bit of Googling and there is a site which shows Mr Shorten and the ALP are running way ahead in the 'lying' stakes.....
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    9:21pm
    The normal message from the government Reeper.
    You are so funny. Only a stoolie or somebody who does not live in this country could even suggest that Labor is ahead in the lying stakes. This belongs to the government: "Budget emergency", "no new taxes", "we say what we do and do what we say", no cuts to Gonski, no cuts to Medicare, etc. etc....... You must be a real clown Reeper to think that anybody could believe the NEXT lie coming from the current government. Even the stunt by Morrison and Turnbull with the claimed Labor black hole, complete with placard, has been shown for the deceit it was.
    And as for your claim that Independents do not count you know full well that had it not been for Independents in the senate then AUstralians would have been hit be a whole pile of taxes by now. WHAT THIS GOVERNMENT WANTS.
    You have no credibility Reeper. The government you represent has no credibility. AUstralians hate deceitful liars. Welcome to the list.
    TREBOR
    27th May 2016
    10:09pm
    WHY is there a need for a "cohesive number of like minded candidates who could run the country"?

    The country runs itself via the public service, which is a permanent institution (sort of these days), and which does all the actual work. All the politicians do is cop a hefty pay packet to pull it all tog ether, using the work of public servants, then sieve it through the party fishnet to ensure doctrinal purity, then set about selling it to a populace they consider too stupid to say otherwise.

    Fully 2/3 of that 'work' is PARTY work - not the work of government, so perhaps their salaries should firstly be cut by 2/3rds.

    Secondly perhaps we need a crop of Independents who will bring integrity to the table and not just more of the same old Party lines.

    I was reading 'Monthly' Magazine today at the quack's (while waiting two hours over my appointment time), and the first article was a comparison of the discussion in British Parliament over launching air strikes against IS.. and the way the whole deal was handled here.

    Very illuminating.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    10:37pm
    My point exactly TREBOR. That is precisely the reason why we should vote for people like Ricky Muir. They will get advice and do the job....and not pay off the rich.
    Misty
    28th May 2016
    1:17am
    Well Reeper latest Poll shows Labor ahead 52, 2 party preferred to the LNP 48, so whose lies are being believed the most?.
    Phil1943
    27th May 2016
    10:46am
    It makes me so angry, how there's never enough support for older Australians but plenty of money for submarines and other political playthings that do nothing for our quality of life. Add to this all the intergenerational whinging from Gen X and nothing looks too bright for our futures. Shorten's just another disappointing would-be leader who finds it easy to ignore over 700,000 of his fellow countrymen.
    Farside
    27th May 2016
    11:35am
    of course it is easy for the politicians to ignore 700,000 while they continue to vote along aspirational and traditional lines. It is only by living in a marginal, swinging electorate and holding them to account that you can garner the focus of the elected representatives.
    Misty
    27th May 2016
    12:07pm
    It makes me mad, all the wealthy retirees complaining about losing some of their Govt pension, I have no sympathy for any of you, I do own my modest home here in the country, I do receive a govt pension and my super pension also my late husband's super pension, both of which we converted to allocated pensions, both of these add up to no where near the $450.000 mentioned above, my late husband lost half his in the GFC. I manage very well on this income and can still save and help my grandsons out so stop whinging all you wealthy pensioners.
    HarrysOpinion
    27th May 2016
    12:42pm
    The changes were supported by the Greens. You can thank them and their socialist/communist ideology.
    Alexii
    27th May 2016
    1:55pm
    Hey HS, if it were a socialist/communist ideology they would NOT have supported the cuts to pensions. They have tied themselves to the capitalists. It's just too bad about all of us who don't even earn enough from our superfund to be equal to a full age pension (not even with the part pension) so from next January we'll be struggling even more.
    What a rotten thing for the Greens to do to us and now for Labor to go along with it - although it's what I expected as I always think the major parties sit back and clap their hands in glee when the others are in government and do things they secretly agree with.
    Pox on them all.
    They should be ensuring the big end of town pays it's fait share of taxes and then they wouldn't need to hit the small timers. But of course who's easiest to hit? And who helps to finance the major parties?
    Tom Tank
    27th May 2016
    3:21pm
    HS I don't think you would know a Socialist or a Communist if you fell over one.
    Both ideologies are bandied about by right wingers, or should that be whingers, to scare people. A touch of the old "Reds under the beds".
    There are very few, if any, of either of these extreme political views involved in the political process in Australia apart from a few demos now and then.
    HarrysOpinion
    27th May 2016
    4:56pm
    I know more about the grubby socialists/ communists than you do Tom Tank.I lived in one East European country that was dominated by socialists and communists for over 40 years until they fell dead on their fat arse after the people had enough of being deprived of a prosperous life and liberty while the socialist/communist scumbags helped themselves to become a privileged parasite class of masters running modern day slavery. So, yeah I fell over more than one in my past. I read the Greens policies, have done so since 1990. The party voted in support for legislation that saw assets testing for age pensions reduced from $1M down to $800,000 and now with the Greens help it's down to $250,000 for single home owner pensioners and $375,000 for home owner couples. The Greens are intent on destroying the middle class of home owner retirees just like the communist ideology to deprive the wealthy of their private lands and homes.
    Left-wing trade unionists and some members of Labor's Left faction sympathise with the Greens' social policies and often identify more readily with the Greens than with the Labor Right.
    During the 2004 federal election the Australian Greens were branded as "environmental extremists" and "fascists" by some members of the Liberal-National Coalition Government. John Anderson[ described the Greens as 'watermelons', being "green on the outside and red on the inside". John Howard, while Australian Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party, stated that "The Greens are not just about the environment. They have a whole lot of other very, very kooky policies in relation to things like drugs and all of that sort of stuff".

    The Australian Greens are part of a worldwide movement that is actively engaged in the political process. As their writings state, this objective involves a radical transformation of the culture that underpins Western civilisation.

    Read the rest for yourself and don't waste my time with your sarcasm.

    http://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2011/01-02/the-greens-agenda-in-their-own-words/
    HarrysOpinion
    27th May 2016
    6:41pm
    Alexii, In previous parliament past senate votes a handful of the Greens voted in support of increasing the pension. Surprisingly SHY was one of them. But,now, they have tied themselves to the capitalists for something in return. However, when you observe that the capitalist Coalition want to deprive the middle class age pensioner by including their residential land and home in the Assets Test so as to not to pay them the age pension, one can find a similarity to the communist ideology of depriving the wealthy of their private land and homes except it's not the rich they are targeting but the middle class.
    So they have adapted the communist ideology in reverse. Not only the Assets Test but the Deemed Income Test is also affected with a reduction of the threshold down to $38,000 (?) from $48,000 subject to (I think it is still the same 1.75% for excess (1) followed by the 3.2% (?) for excess (2)). Of course, the rich are not affected because they wouldn't qualify for the age pension in the first place (unless they cheated with the application. As one Bonny stated, "I own nothing but control everything!").
    Bill Shorten is on record as being one who strongly opposed an increase to the age pension. So much for Labor!
    A lot of middle class cash poor home owner pensioners will be hurting, some badly. Either they will need to sell their residential homes or if they want to stay in them until they die then they will be forced in to Pension Loans secured by Reverse Mortgage. This is something they never contemplated would happen to them under the capitalist Coalition government. So much for peaceful retirement. This is one real class social struggle that may lead to some individual tragedies. My money is on Xenophon, Lambie, Lazarus and the Family First senator.. For the Lower House as well as the Senate the ALA Party is promising to respect the elders in the community and has stronger policy on national security than the Coalition. It's just a question of where their preferences sit and we will not know this until 6th of June.
    TREBOR
    27th May 2016
    10:16pm
    Tovarich HS - this is not The East Of Europe.... get used to it. Never forget it was the socialists of the Liberal party who introduced that socialist concept of equality by affirmative action within the public service....

    Where your mistake lies is in assuming that anyone with any idea remotely similar to Stalin is some how a Stalin-in-waiting - when the reality here is that they are not in a position to force ANYTHING on us unless we permit it.

    Stalin was no Socialist or even Communist - he was the last and the greatest of the Tsars - a position the current leader in Russkiye is attempting to revive for himself.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    2:38pm
    Tom Tank: I think you may be a bit ahead of yourself here. A couple of observations:

    1. You say "socialist/communist scumbags helped themselves to become a privileged parasite class of masters running modern day slavery".
    If you have ever been to the US you would horrified at the poverty even average citizens are forced to live in with no working conditions. This is a society where true "slaver" is practiced and it is the system the rich here in Oz have been crying out to copy for decades.

    2. I think that you misunderstand the Greens and what they stand for. Predominantly the Greens is a genY Party and genY for the most part is of the mindset that boomers owe them something and that boomers have had opportunities when genYs have not and lived in privileged economic times. THEY SEEK TO ASSET STRIP THEIR PARENTS! What the poor little over nourished dears do not understand that if they push this agenda then their parents will be forced to consume every cent they own and leave their children Nix. Perhaps a fitting repayment for what genYs seek to inflict on parents who have done so much but only gotten back envy and complaints. It leaves me cold.

    3. Labor - I will be voting for Independents whose preference goes to Labor. I would prefer a Party with a social conscience any day to a Party like the Liberal Party whose one and only interest is making money for the rich and scalping everybody else. God forbid that we end up like the US.
    OlderandWiser
    30th May 2016
    5:30pm
    Misty, it makes me very angry to see judgmental people like you making such ill-informed comments. It appears you are very comfortably off with your home, pension, and allocated pensions from super. Good luck to you! But you have no idea what circumstances challenge others, and just because they have assets valued by Centrelink above a given threshold does NOT necessarily make them ''wealthy''. Some have assets that yield little or no income and that can't, in the current economic environment, be sold for anywhere near the value Centrelink assigns - if they are even saleable. Other folk have very high living costs due to illness, disability, etc. Losing the pension concessions can be devastating for some of these folk.

    It is really disgraceful that people presume to attack others about whom they know absolutely nothing, based on wild and totally unsubstantiated assumptions.

    Jenny Macklin admits the asset test changes weren't thought through and were ill-considered. Any sensible analysis exposes massive unfairnesses and foolish economics that will end up costing taxpayers heaps.
    Rosebud
    27th May 2016
    11:01am
    This Gov.could at least Grandfather for existing . And start the new limits from Jan.2017.
    Anonymous
    27th May 2016
    11:05am
    This is too sensible and equitable for ANY government to consider.
    Alexii
    27th May 2016
    1:56pm
    A shame they seem to always lack common sense, Eddie.
    TREBOR
    28th May 2016
    12:56am
    .. also a graduated downturning of negative gearing on investment properties - a business that people go in to to secure a loss for years until finally reaping a capital gain at the end....

    10% reduction for ten years... slow enough for the market to adjust, methinks..
    ails52
    27th May 2016
    11:07am
    Don't trust a word he says. Nothing is ever revisited post election,just check history over the past century.
    Alexii
    27th May 2016
    1:56pm
    So true.

    27th May 2016
    11:42am
    The changes Labor is now not going to reverse are for "pensioners" a fair way up the wealth mountain.

    These changes won't hurt people in lesser financial circumstances.
    Rodent
    27th May 2016
    11:57am
    Dear Barak

    I recent posted this information.
    I would be interested in you reading the following and then advising What do you consider Lesser Financial Circumstances?

    Dear Beyond Caring, and others. I and many others have written on this forum many times about the utter stupidity and inequities and unfairness of the Proposed Pension changes due 1 Jan 2017

    In relation to your $450k Asset figure this is what will apply

    A Single Home Owner will LOSE $6064 in annual pension, at the same asset figure Single and Couple Home owners Annual pension will not change, and a Couple Non Home Owners Annual Pension will not change.

    HOWEVER it become crazy as you have higher Asset Figures
    Eg at $550k a Single Home owner loses $9280 in annual Pension, a Single Non Home Owner only loses $175 in Annual Pension. At the same $550k figure a Couple Home Owner loses $3568 in Annual Pension. A Couple Non Home Owners Pension does NOT change.

    At $650k in Assets a Single Home Owner receives NIL pension, and a Single Non Homeowner Loses $4075 in Annual Pension. A Couple Non Homeowner Loses $7468 in Annual Pension and beyond belief a Couple Non Homeowner gets a small Increase in Annual Pension of $2321

    At $750k in Assets both the Single Home Owner, and Non Homeowner receive NIL Pension, The Couple Home Owner loses $11368 in Annual Pension , and more beyond belief at the SAME $750K Asset figure the Couple Non Home Owner loses ONLY $1579 in Annual Pension

    I have all this information in $25k Asset Figures in a large Spreadsheet, but cannot post that here, so apologies for format. If anything is unclear just ask
    Sundays
    27th May 2016
    12:10pm
    Yes, there are some anomalies Rodent and they need to be looked at. However, those with assets over the asset threshold $823000 for a couple can adjust their affairs if they want to still get a part pension. At the end of the day, they have a lot more money than anyone relying on a full pension. I would personally rather see more pension for a single non home owner. our part pension is being cut but we are still ok, just have to fund more of our lifestyle ourselves
    Misty
    27th May 2016
    12:13pm
    Rodent what do you mean, the sentence starting ,A single home owner will lose $6064 in annual pension but then you go on to say, at the same asset figure single and couple home owners annual pension will not change, should you have left out the single home owner here, either they lose or don't lose you can't have it both ways.
    beyond caring
    27th May 2016
    12:19pm
    dear Barak, are you saying that as I live in a "very modest" home.. like many worked hard for 50 odd years with either myself or any of my family ever sort or received any C'link payments ... put the Children through Uni "no hex" and so no .. then not retiring until 68 yrs just to allow reasonable Super .. and have a part pension ... then to be told that come Jan 17 .. the part pension will now be cut in 1/2 ..

    Wealth mountain ..what a joke. you need to get out more
    Anonymous
    27th May 2016
    1:26pm
    beyond caring - With the assets that will cause your pension to reduce, you are not poor.

    And please drop the "worked hard for 50 odd years", stuff. Many people work very hard, but through no fault of their own are far less well off than you.
    Misty
    27th May 2016
    2:17pm
    Beyond caring you obviously still have a good pension from your super or you would be receiving much more from Centrelink so stop your moaning please.
    TREBOR
    27th May 2016
    10:20pm
    Sir Rodent - these are supposed to be not the family home, but income generating assets, such as super, investments, bank accounts etc.

    The figures you have posted above are one very clear reason the family home should NOT be included in assets, unless it is massively higher in value than the neighbourhood in which it is placed, and why the case of every individual or pair thereof should be addressed on a case-by-case basis rather than being thrown into the meat grinder as if all are the same.
    Rae
    30th May 2016
    9:00am
    Whack it all into a family trust and get the full pension. Go see an accountant then a solicitor.

    misty is on the money. You need a part government pension unless you want to pat thousands of dollars extra for everything. Especially if needing medicines.
    Adrianus
    30th May 2016
    9:12am
    Rae, are you sure that's good advice? With a unit trust obviously the benificiaries' equity is clearly defined, but even in a discretionary trust all eligible members need to declare their benefit. Wouldn't be too difficult to trace the source of funds? Surely?
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    9:38am
    Barak, you also work on wild assumptions about other people's circumstances, with no investigation of facts. Working on ASS-U-MTION makes you a PRIZE ASS. Sorry. But you are totally wrong and you obviously have no idea what you are on about. The same goes for Misty.
    The fact is that your ''I'm okay bugger you'' attitude will come back to bite you, Our retirement and pension system is under attack. ALL retirees will suffer in the end - and when it's YOUR turn to be hurt, please don't expect anyone to speak up in your defence. Your selfishness will get you what you deserve - soon.

    Every retiree should be ignoring personal circumstances and politically convenient (but thoroughly dishonest) slogans and excuses and demanding a total overhaul of the retirement funding system to be fairer, more economically sustainable (based on FACT, NOT WILD FICTION), and to provide security for older Australians - plus to allow them to feel properly respected and valued.

    This government has been a dismal failure, and its attacks on older Australians shouldn't be tolerated - much less excused - no matter which side of politics you are on and no matter what impact changes have on your personal circumstances. IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU.
    You don't know the situation others are in, so if you make assumptions or judgments you are not just being an ASS, you are also demonstrating inexcusable arrogance, selfishness, and disrespect for others. PLEASE STOP.
    Hairy
    27th May 2016
    11:50am
    More deceit more lies more discrimination more lack of duty of care to citizens at the end of working lives.more to give to rapefugees more for terrorism.more for mosques more for the promotion of sharia more for the maggots in Canberra.more distrust loathing and hatred for all politicians.more judiciary closing their eyes more slaps on the wrist for violent offenders pedophiles and murderers.more rorts from goverment banks halal.just the tip of the iceberg. This country is going down like the titanic and our goverment bodies are blind and deaf to the cries of drowning.they are the ones who stole the lifeboats
    Anonymous
    27th May 2016
    11:55am
    Hairy you seemed to have covered what a large majority of real Australians think and no doubt you will upset all the lefties on this blog. Well done.
    Anonymous
    27th May 2016
    1:25pm
    Irrelevant hate talk from both of you.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    2:04pm
    No lefties on this website robbo. Only victims who are being done over whilst the big end of town gets tax cuts.

    Barak: Anger I would suggest.
    Anonymous
    27th May 2016
    2:11pm
    Barak and MICK I said real Australians not pretend ones.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    4:06pm
    What's a 'real Australian' these days robbo? I'm sort of an import....as are many others on this website. But I am a fierce supporter of the nation and its inhabitants. As you know.
    Not Senile Yet!
    27th May 2016
    11:51am
    Well then he just lost my Vote!
    The Penshioners paid for every piece of infrasructure we currently enjoy...directly or indirectly!
    They deserve better...Will now put an Independant No1 in BOTH houses...and advise all Pensioners to do the same!
    Llabor & Liberal will be LAST ON MY VOTE!
    LET'S STICK IT RIGHT UP THE BOTH OF THEM!
    Alexii
    27th May 2016
    2:01pm
    Quite right, Not Senile Yet. They don't deserve our vote. I'll be doing the same - only problem is the preferences will flow through.
    Sceptic
    27th May 2016
    3:31pm
    a couple of things to mention here. Please learn the new voting rules for the senate before saying that the preferences will flow through. Under the new rules, the preferences are totally in your hands.

    Second NSY, do not vote for a major party as you disagree with their policies, but vote for an independent, who has no policies, and could not enact them even if they had. When they do have a policy, it tends to be a parish pump one.

    A wasted vote is a blind vote for an independent.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    4:11pm
    News to me but always glad to learn. Please clarify for the benefit of those of us who are not up to speed.

    Your rant about Independents is precisely what the LNP Party line is. Says a lot about who you are are pushing Sceptic.
    The point you refuse to make and which you and both sides of politics are scared to death of is that INDEPENDENTS MAY NOT GO ALONG WITH BAD POLICY. That hurts whoever is in government. That is why there is an attack on Independents in progress.
    Your BS about "policies" miss the wider point: Independents choose what they will accept or reject. That is why both sides hate them. And that is why you are peddling the LNP line. What does that say about you?
    Not Senile Yet!
    27th May 2016
    11:51am
    Well then he just lost my Vote!
    The Penshioners paid for every piece of infrasructure we currently enjoy...directly or indirectly!
    They deserve better...Will now put an Independant No1 in BOTH houses...and advise all Pensioners to do the same!
    Llabor & Liberal will be LAST ON MY VOTE!
    LET'S STICK IT RIGHT UP THE BOTH OF THEM!
    Anonymous
    27th May 2016
    2:13pm
    Your wasting your time one of the major parties will get in you all should know that.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    4:13pm
    Of course......and Independents/minor Parties will hold them to account, a reject bad policies or ones which rage Class Warfare like the current government is conducting. THAT IS WHAT GOVERNMENT IS ABOUT so please pass on to Malcolm that the senate is not a right wing rubber stamp. Never was. Never should be. Unless we end up with a dictatorship!
    Misty
    27th May 2016
    11:57am
    See my comment below, anyway with limited finances available common sense dictates that some of these cuts are unavoidable.
    Oldman Roo
    27th May 2016
    3:24pm
    Common sense is telling me that the cuts to part Pensioners are a hit on the wrong people . The top end of the wealthy and high income earners are wallowing in money , not to forget our Politicians and large companies , with one out of three not paying any taxes . I almost forgot the 55 wealthiest Australians are not paying any tax at all .
    And you are trying to tell me I should be happy with my lot after scraping and saving all my working life to live without welfare , just to find in a mismanaged economy the money and sacrifices were a futile act . On the present cash rate my income will be below the basic Pension paid to a person who never saved and squandered his money .
    So who do you think you are fooling ?
    Rae
    30th May 2016
    1:33pm
    Yes Oldman Roo it would be better if all shared i the pain of the economic failure rather than only middle class savers.

    Not surprisingly those unaffected think it is terrific until it affects them. And it will before it is over.

    27th May 2016
    12:02pm
    Shorten is no leader and he will only succeed in losing this coming election.
    We can only look forward to more of the old same-same - more handouts to mates, more handouts and concessions to the corporate sector, multiple billions spent on expensive, useless toys such as submarines (that Defence can't get anyone to man, as well!), more billions wasted on Aboriginal demands, and more concessions axed for older folk.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    2:07pm
    Yeah Aaron. I think you are right. Shorten and Labor are poor talkers and are being outgunned by a team of liars who have the media onside. I find it incredible that the so called free Press is little more than a mouthpiece for the current government and is grooming its man back into office. Surely voters have not forgotten the lies, deceit and betrayal yet?
    Oldman Roo
    27th May 2016
    4:04pm
    Aaron , I am glad you brought up the utter waste of very big money on the submarines that will be superseded by the time they are built . Even now they would not rate a mention as a force to be reckoned with by any major potential enemy and we do not need them to fight third world countries . Not to also consider that with constantly improving underwater detection and surveillance the end of the conventional submarine is very near .
    They may just serve to create employment and perhaps secure the extra votes in a state that has a few marginal seats in the forthcoming election .
    So much for the game of playing politics and putting the best for the country last .
    beyond caring
    27th May 2016
    12:06pm
    agree totally with Fast Eddie so well put with few words sums them up completely ...... Labor, is no better than the libs .. it's all BULL... they all must wake up and have a good laugh thinking how they can shaft us today and expect us to vote them in again... No more will I ever vote for either of the major parties again. had enough of the Bull and acts.. worst part is they can even act.. .not even good at that.. make sure you do what I have done .. tell your pension mates and importantly tell your local members... just hope there a big backlash
    TREBOR
    27th May 2016
    10:29pm
    I haven't voted for any of the major party candidates for over twenty years - and that was before my fight with them over my Pension rights.

    I always said that I vote on principle, and voting for any of the current lot on principle is an oxymoron, with the pillow-biting greens the worst with their 'any deal will do as long as it gives us seats'.

    Wouldn't vote for LNP, Labor or Greens if they were the only ones standing.
    Streak
    27th May 2016
    12:20pm
    The article above mentions 50 and 60 year olds.
    What about existing pensioners like myself who are 74.
    Are there any changes?
    .
    Sundays
    27th May 2016
    1:12pm
    Yes, the changes to the asset test affect 330,000 existing pensioners who get a PART pension. Some will miss out and some will get less. However, some pensioners with minimal assets will get more. You should read more about the changes to see if you are affected.
    Alexii
    27th May 2016
    2:03pm
    As a 75 yr old who worked for a long time extra to build up my super, it's going to reduce the already small part pension I get. Suppose it'll happen to you as well, Streak.
    Sickening, isn't it.
    Misty
    27th May 2016
    2:24pm
    Alexi my late husband's super is less the $200.000 nowand mine was $70.000 when we took out our allocated pension 12 years ago, I still receive a govt pension as well as the super one so I don't know what you are complaining about, you must live a very expensive lifestyle if you can't manage on what I am reading into your comments is your income, that is if the changes will affect you so greatly.
    Alexii
    27th May 2016
    2:52pm
    Actually, Misty, we don't live an expensive lifestyle at all. We make our lunch and take a thermos with us when we go out. It's a rare occasion when we'd buy a coffee and even more rare to eat in a restaurant - Subway is more like it. Local cinema about 3 times a year. Holiday in our van and always check out the cheapest parks and use free ones where possible. Sensible savings by eating healthy foods and not junk foods. We don't waste our money at all! Hope this helps you.
    TREBOR
    27th May 2016
    10:33pm
    When we (the ex for whom I am carer and I) travel we have a neat little gas stove to make coffee and tea (in eighteen hundred and eighty three, Harris clippers put to sea), and we carry food to eat along the way so as to have a cheapest possible trip.

    Our neighbours were away when we arrived back here, and the missus next door said they'd just spent two days at a nearby oceanfront place - and not quite romping on the afterdeck of the QE V etc on a world tour.

    I guess we country folk are a little different. Oyster farming and cutting them paddocks and building your own home don't give you a lot of super...
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    7:16am
    Misty, what, precisely, do you ASSUME is Alexii's income? Do you realize that many who lose the part pension under this unfair new system will have incomes about HALF of yours - and way less than the base old age pension rate.

    You really should stop ASSUMING. It makes an ASS out of you.
    Ayin
    27th May 2016
    12:36pm
    Our biggest problem is a total lack of leadership? If we have a bitter pill to swallow give it to us straight. We have a huge debt to retire but no plan for doing so. Bill you wont get my vote nor will Malcolm, you are not the leaders this country needs.
    Happy Jack
    27th May 2016
    1:03pm
    How LOUSY can they get? By the GOVT"S figures by ripping into the pensioners they will save $3.15 billion over 4 years. That relates to a little over 3/4's of a billion per year which equates to 3/4's of the cost of one submarine.
    You can bet that there will be zero impact on the PARLAUGHAMENTARY pension though.
    As I said- HOW LOUSY CAN YOU GET.
    Alexii
    27th May 2016
    2:05pm
    No more lousy than they are already. Or perhaps I'm wrong - it might be even worse after the 2017/18 budget!
    Play Fairly
    27th May 2016
    2:10pm
    Yes Happy Jack, I think they are all lousy. None of them have any social responsibility towards the sick, disabled, and the aged. They don't realise they are losing votes by the bucketfull each day. I hope everyone puts the major parties last. Their "gravy train" needs to be derailed.
    Play Fairly
    27th May 2016
    2:10pm
    Yes Happy Jack, I think they are all lousy. None of them have any social responsibility towards the sick, disabled, and the aged. They don't realise they are losing votes by the bucketfull each day. I hope everyone puts the major parties last. Their "gravy train" needs to be derailed.
    BJ
    27th May 2016
    3:44pm
    Yes they are lousy they dont mind loosing billions of dollars in company taxes over the next few years so they have to find the money from somewhere so they hit the poor pensioners polititions could not care less about anyone but themselves put both major parties last lets start again
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    4:15pm
    This government is looking the other way BJ. The loss of taxes from the rich is a part of the game. The taxing of the poor is the other side of that equation.
    Anonymous
    27th May 2016
    6:05pm
    With ANY government it is ALWAYS easier to punish the majority who are individual taxpayers and not a company, conglomerate, or big business of any kind. This way there is less strength in numbers, dollars, publicity, and support in any way for objection. This is exactly what is happening to us now and will continue to happen under the LNP or the Labor Part. The Greens, I believe, are mostly unrealistic, out-of-touch, eccentric tossers always concentrating on some "spirit gum" hairy-fairy pseudo policy - so they are out, as well. So, who's left? Independents, a couple of which are so far up themselves you can't see their shoes. One Nation. Australian Alliance Party. And a few others not even worthy of mention. We are choosing from a long list of mostly losers, so please be ever so careful of whom you pick as this is more like having to select the LEAST WORSE - a very scary situation.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    10:34pm
    Eddie: personally I don't care who people vote for as long as the current government is put absolute last.
    I love this country and I saw the beginnings of a dictatorship with Tony Abbott. That is disturbing.
    Just remember that this crew is big business running the show....and we all know what big business wants: money, and heaps of it.
    A friend of mine once said to me "it matters not if voters elect Billy the Blacksmith" as whoever gets in will have the best advice money can buy served up to them. So in the end Independents of any persuasion should do the job rather than deliver money to their employers. That is the real deal...as well as making decisions based on truth rather than corrupt liaisons.
    Hope you can see the method of my madness. As I said at the outset I love this country and do not want to see it run into the ground any further by the ratbags we put in.
    Rosebud
    27th May 2016
    2:20pm
    Can we post all of our comments on Malcolm Turnbull's FACEBOOK'S PAGE (I am assuming he or Scott Morrison or M.Corman have one.)
    Misty
    27th May 2016
    2:27pm
    Way to go Rosebud, Twitter too, they all have these, both private and Govt office.
    Anonymous
    27th May 2016
    3:04pm
    Hey Rosebud isn"t Bill Shorton brains the one backtracking here he was going to be the great saviour of you lefties who are only interested in helping yourselves to as much welfare as you can get.
    Being a habitual backstabber what do you expect.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    4:18pm
    Spoken like a true rusted on righty robbo.
    Shorten was never the great savior. Just an alternative to tyranny personified. A bad one but one nevertheless.

    The LNP does not backstab its leaders does it? Really? You must have Alzheimers as you cannot remember the previous PM can you? And still destabilising......
    Oldman Roo
    27th May 2016
    4:30pm
    Rosebud , I think the guidance given to you by Misty to contact Turnbull , Morrison and Corman are correct and I am sure Misty has very good connections there .
    Misty
    27th May 2016
    10:36pm
    Yes I do Oldman Roo, it's called Google Internet you want to try it sometimes.
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    10:36am
    I went to a LNP facebook page and all they wanted was donations of $50 or more. Atleast Labour only wanted $10 or more on theirs.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    2:27pm
    Why would you go to either? Send your money to somebody who behaves like a human being and conducts him/herself with respect and works for the nation, not against it.
    Bakka
    27th May 2016
    2:53pm
    Bad news..... was waiting with" sledgehammer" to square up on Libs over this, while holding out some hope that Labor might reverse or at least restructure some of this poorly thought out strategy.
    Guess they just cannot keep their hands off the the very thing they all champion us to embrace. " What the poli giveth he also taketh away." ( oh.. unless it is their own super scheme!!)
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    4:19pm
    Yeah. It might have been better if Shorten had reversed the changes and promised less elsewhere.
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    10:34am
    All those spending promises are only valid until July 2 after than things will be very different.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    2:25pm
    Straight from the lips of Malcolm Turnbull?
    MmtuMoja
    27th May 2016
    3:19pm
    So over a million people effectively 1 in 23 of the population (with modest savings certainly not in excess of 1.6 million) are going to have less to spend on essentials or even the occasional little luxury. They may lose discounts like those on power bills which help them to stretch their money further. So they may have to or choose to skimp on food, heating, cooling, doctors visits, medications, the occasional handout to struggling offspring to make their money last (years, decades, who knows), with the predictable outcomes such as poorer health (physical and mental). With the cost of paying for healthcare already an issue, how exactly does this sort of action improve the bottom line? How many jobs dependent on the no longer purchased items may also be affected? By all means save money but be mindful of the issue of "false economies".
    Sundays
    27th May 2016
    3:47pm
    For goodness sake, pensions for the needy are not being reduced! Part pensioners may have to use some of their assets to top up and maintain their current lifestyle. The people who have my genuine sympathy are single age pensioners who rent, for them life is a real struggle!
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    4:20pm
    I hope you remember the statistics on polling day and do not vote for the devil again. Once bitten twice shy.....or conned by the media? Pick your poison.
    Misty
    27th May 2016
    10:40pm
    MmtuMoja you call !.6 million modest savings?, I don't know what sort of rarified air you are breathing but I can assure you I do not know of many people who would call that amount modest.
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    10:33am
    People just need to become more efficient with their resources. Just like the government does with it's resources. All that waste especially in healthcare and education astounds me.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    2:25pm
    And all that waste in political advertising, paying off the coal industry and turning a good NBN project into a Turnbull tip does not.
    We need health and education. We do not need waste by leaders. And we certainly do not need this government.
    Cruiser
    27th May 2016
    3:58pm
    No surprises here, those of us in the shrinking pension position have 7 months to rearrange our financial affairs. We need to start spending, draw cash out of super, upgrade kitchen, bathrooms, pergolas etc, prebook and pay for holidays, upgrade car. Next increase the account based pension from the super fund to cover the cut in the pension, enjoy the limited life we have left. The reduced asset position will reduce the impact of the Jan 1 cuts and maintain, even improve our lifestyle. Dont forget as your super gets lower so the pension increases, also your house will now be worth more following the improvements made and provides a future downsizing opportunity. Seize the day!!!
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    4:21pm
    I might think that voting Labor in will give retirees 3 years to make their point with the threat of voting it out if it does not rearrange the gravy train.
    particolor
    27th May 2016
    4:23pm
    Your not supposed to enjoy your limited time left !!
    Life wasn't meant to be EASY !!
    Malcolm Frazer ...
    TREBOR
    27th May 2016
    10:38pm
    Cruiser - I'm doing that already on a single pension.....

    "spending, draw cash out of super, upgrade kitchen, bathrooms, pergolas etc, prebook and pay for holidays, upgrade car. "

    Trust me it ain't easy, and one reason I'm still applying for jobs.
    beyond caring
    27th May 2016
    4:01pm
    .
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    4:22pm
    Wow, what a comment..... Says it all.
    particolor
    27th May 2016
    4:26pm
    You said it 10 seconds before Me Mick !! :-)
    I think that's what they think of the Present Government.
    Absabloodylootlynuthing !! :-) :-)
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    10:27pm
    Great minds think alike.
    TREBOR
    29th May 2016
    1:27pm
    Now there is a man who knows his stuff! Couldn't have unsaid it better meself!
    Rosebud
    27th May 2016
    4:10pm
    Robb, if you were insinuating I am a leftie you are wrong.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    4:23pm
    All the right wing LNP rusted ons do the same. That is standard Party policy. If they put up the facts call them a "leftie". Pay no attention to it.
    TREBOR
    27th May 2016
    10:39pm
    Yes - even suggest that the poor people deserve a fair go and you are a Communist.... really sick minds at work there.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    2:22pm
    Remember the response from Marie Antoinette when citizens were hungry and crying out for food: "Let them eat cake".
    I can just see Bronny doing that. We all know what happened to Marie Antoinette. Well deserved end to inhumane people....and history is repeating as it always does.
    particolor
    27th May 2016
    4:16pm
    Do not expect anything more than a Very Menial Adjustment to the Pension from either of those Bought Out Party's !! And don't believe ANY of their RUBBERY FIGURES !! :-( :-(
    Rodent
    27th May 2016
    5:20pm
    Dear Misty apologies

    Yes the original Post contained errors, I had corrected it in a later Post. In reference to the $450k Asset Figure the following applies
    Single Home Owner LOSES $6064 in annual Pension, the Single NON Home Owner, A Couple Non Home Owner, and Couple Home Owners at the SAME $450K Asset Figure lose NOTHING
    HarrysOpinion
    27th May 2016
    5:45pm
    Rodent, do your calculations include the value of the residential home in the Assets Test?
    Bonny
    27th May 2016
    6:21pm
    Agree the house needs to be included in the asset test as this home owner and non home owner criteria is just so inequitable. The ridiculous upsizing of houses needs to be discouraged as it is just stupid not only from a financial point of view but a practical point of view as well.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    9:24pm
    You must be a parrot Bronny. Your job in the machine appears to be helping to skin retirees and their children. This is what all of your blond posts say.
    Time you took another helicopter ride.
    TREBOR
    27th May 2016
    10:43pm
    Only if we also take from those without pension to the same degree when they own a big house.....

    Why should a superannuant or market manipulator get a fairer shake than a pensioner? Let's just infer a level of income from everyone's home then, shall we, and in the case of non-p[ensioners create a 'home tax' that equalises them with pensioners. How much tax do you think your average politician would have to pay to make up the difference between his/her home value and what is considered fair by the number crunchers?

    You can't sting one without the other......
    Bonny
    27th May 2016
    11:01pm
    Big difference here is that I pay still the government with my taxes and not take from the taxpayers.
    TREBOR
    28th May 2016
    1:02am
    But.. but.. but.. Bonny - what if your home was included and you were taxed on it... that is the same as suggesting that a Pensioner with a decent home should pay a tax..... by losing part of pension.....

    One tax for all .. that sings.... Rule of Law demands it.... slug the lot a percentage of deemed value of their home and then we can talk.

    Do you somehow imagine that every time a Pensioner buys something - they are not paying tax? Where do you get off even suggesting that others are not paying taxes while you do? Income tax - of which you by your own admission, pay nothing - is only part of the deal.

    You're joking, right? Besides - you don't even live in Australia.... you could not possibly live here and have so little understanding of how things actually work.

    Nope - you can pay the same percentage on your home value as a pensioner does....... just business you understand....
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    9:01am
    And what do you call your parliamentary pension Bronny?
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    10:21am
    I don't even own a house let alone one in a leafy Sydney suburb. Anyway houses are taxed it's called rates. Don't pensioners even get a discount on them too?

    Remember if get something for nothing it comes with strings attached.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    2:20pm
    What about the internet connection you often talk about? Yeah. Caught out ex LNP pollie.
    You live the good life and tell your lies. Why does that sound so familiar?
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    6:08pm
    Why then was I effected by the internet outages of the last couple of weeks?
    particolor
    28th May 2016
    7:35pm
    Strewth !! Don't tell Me that Disruption was only Meant to effect us Serfs !! :-(
    Adrianus
    28th May 2016
    7:54pm
    No not ordinary people just labor voters. It helps to make "ordinary people" angry as they walk to the polling booths.
    Misty
    28th May 2016
    8:07pm
    I never believed Mick when he said Frank and Bonny were one and the same person but after Frank's comment here about ordinary people and then Bonny's one later on I too am starting to wonder.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    8:19pm
    Misty: I have caught Frank out in the past when he 'forgot' himself and posted a response TO HIMSELF under his 'Frank' username. Also caught out a poster who called himself Solomon....who said he was "paid for services to the (Liberal) Party". ANd then we have heemskerk and a couple of others who are not real either.
    Last thing is watch how some of the stoolies disappear ahead of the next attack by the government....all at Party HQ planning.
    Ok, conspiracy theory if you like. After a while the pieces start to fall into place though. Keep your eyes posted Misty.
    particolor
    28th May 2016
    8:32pm
    Klink wants to see you in his Office Schultz ! To see what you have Gleaned from the Enemy :-) :-) :-)
    Adrianus
    29th May 2016
    7:20am
    Yes Misty, we know, and you've always voted LNP like Rainey but now you've seen the light.....ha ha ha you are funny.
    If you want to know why Labor screws you over then its because of rusted ons like you and MICK, There are just too many of you. Therefore Labor's care factor is zero.
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    10:34am
    Poor old Frank the crank is even unable to use his own terminology. Mentally devoid it seems.
    Sorry Frank but this coalition government is the only one "screwing" people over. Whilst Labor is not (currently) making a long term decision on changes for retirees we all need to remember that IT WAS THE GOVERNMENT which brought them in, not Labor!
    ANd for the record about "screwing" voters over Frank readers need to comprehend what the tax cuts to small business (=big business!!) is all about: the transfer of wealth to the rich and subsequent tax increases for average Australians to fund it. They are the facts. ANd you know it. Troll!
    TREBOR
    29th May 2016
    1:31pm
    Bonny's life story and income strands change every week.... as for the internet - it's reliably unreliable in Botswana or wherever...
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    3:52pm
    Awesome internet today here.

    Oh dear I wouldn't be hanging out for Labor to change anything for the better for wealthy aged pensioners. No money in doing that.

    All both sides of parliament are now concerned with is getting more money to pay for what they think we need not what we do need.
    Misty
    29th May 2016
    4:19pm
    Bonny no govt should be making things better for wealthy aged pensioners, of which you seem to be one from your comments here, there are plenty more people deserving govt help then those you mention above.
    Bonny
    31st May 2016
    3:11pm
    Me a wealthy age pensioner. No way I pay taxes not put my hand out to the government for my living expenses.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    5:50pm
    Bonny, if you had any economic sense at all, or even a grasp of basic math, you'd know - as my Labor rep. said today - that there is HUGE money in reforming the pension system to STOP THE IDIOTIC PAYMENT OF BIGGER BENEFITS TO PEOPLE WHO DIVEST ASSETS and reward honest, responsible planners and savers.

    Where there is NO MONEY, is in paying people to divest assets and younger folk to NOT save, which is what the IDIOTIC LNP have done.
    Rodent
    27th May 2016
    5:33pm
    Dear Sundays

    Re your post

    For goodness sake, pensions for the needy are not being reduced! Part pensioners may have to use some of their assets to top up and maintain their current lifestyle. The people who have my genuine sympathy are single age pensioners who rent, for them life is a real struggle

    Not sure I agree - In Terms of the Asset Tables - the Single AP who Rents (ie Non Homeowner) at Assets of $550K gets $14,921 as from 1Jan 2017, and at the SAME $550K Asset figure the Single Home Owner gets ZERO Annual Pension

    The Single None Home Owner loses ALL their Pension once their assets exceed $750K
    Bonny
    27th May 2016
    5:58pm
    Rodent these people with all those assets are not needy. That's why their pensions are being reduced. The pension should only be paid to the needy not to those for whom it is a nice bonus to have.

    I agree with Sundays.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    9:26pm
    Let's take the kid's inheritance as well now. Liberal government at work!
    Bonny
    27th May 2016
    11:10pm
    One will just have to give the kids their inheritance before one dies.
    TREBOR
    28th May 2016
    1:07am
    We already did - giving them a good start in life....

    WHY should there be any difference between leaving something for your kids and and giving it to them now? Why should one be taxed and the other not?

    Bonny - you are suggesting that no person has any right to dispose of their own property as they choose... are you some kind of Stalinist, who believes that every individual should be subservient to the State and that the concept of personal ownership is malleable?

    Do you apply the same standard to yourself?

    (No).... (next question)
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    2:17pm
    You would not even consider that one Bronny lest your children decided to put you in a nursing home. Come to think of it maybe that is a good idea.
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    1:09pm
    I pity that nursing home because it certainly wouldn't be the same with me in it.
    TREBOR
    29th May 2016
    1:32pm
    That last has the ring of truth....
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    2:01pm
    Would be fine for you Bronny but you would need to go to the Upper North Shore one in Sydney I suspect.
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    8:59pm
    Good heavens No I don't want to live with the toffs.
    disillusioned
    27th May 2016
    5:55pm
    I am SO disappointed in the Labor Government for taking this stand against retirees. I was gung ho to vote for them, but now I'm not so sure. Don't believe they'll change this if they get a second term. Feel betrayed!!
    Golfer
    30th May 2016
    10:58am
    You were betrayed Disillusioned. A typical Labor move. They've probably wanted to change asset testing for pensioners since Kevin's days (remember Kevin?) but couldn't / wouldn't because it would severely impact their popularity with the Labor faithful.
    Labor was overjoyed when the LNP Government made the economic decision to change the model (a change that I abhor) and gave enacted with Greens support.
    The LNP was aware their popularity would be affected by the change but went ahead either it...they've lost my vote in the process. But at least they had the courage of their conviction....
    not like Labor as Shorten now says they won't reverse the decision.
    Rodent
    27th May 2016
    6:02pm
    Dear HS
    Not sure why you ask this question?- Rodent, do your calculations include the value of the residential home in the Assets Test?
    The answer is NO - of course not- they are based on a very large Spreadsheet with asset Values in $25K increments for ALL Customer Types, Home Owners, and Non Home Owners, Singles and Couples, with Annual Pensions as at today and estimated Annual Pensions as at 1 Jan 2017. I also use a very sophisticated software product from Plansoft that can check all the figures, including the impacts of both the Income and Assets tests in calculating the Pension
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    10:14am
    It wouldn't be that difficult to create a spreadsheet with variables to work it all out usinfg different senarios.
    Rodent
    27th May 2016
    6:21pm
    Dear Bonny, and Sundays and who ever

    Rodent these people with all those assets are not needy. That's why their pensions are being reduced. The pension should only be paid to the needy not to those for whom it is a nice bonus to have.

    I agree with Sundays.

    I consider $450K to be a middle of the road Asset value, I don't mind who agrees, or disagrees with the figure, its just a reference point. At that point some may need SOME pension assistance?
    So why will the Govt pay a significantly REDUCED Pension to Single Home Owners COMPARED to other Pensioners at the SAME Asset figure?
    Eg a Single Home Owner as from Jan 2017 will only receive $7120pa, a Single Non Home Owner will receive $17,874, a Couple Home Owner will receive $28,402 and a Couple Non Home Owner will receive $31,280.
    Bonny Please don't say -Include the Home in the Assets Test- I have heard the argument before-

    A New Pension System needs to be developed based on Deemed or Actual Income Not just Assets
    Bonny
    27th May 2016
    6:36pm
    Someone with $450K doesn't need any extra assistance as they have $450K in assets to spend. If they can't spend those assets then they are simply not assets as if they can't be spend they have no value.

    People need to realise that they don't have to just live on what their money earns they can actually spend it down until they get down to a level where they qualify for the pension again.

    The house needs to be added to the assets test. It is simply stupid that one could buy a $5 million dollar house and get the full pension.
    HarrysOpinion
    27th May 2016
    7:33pm
    That's if the age pension will still exist in the future. And; if it there is no age pension for new applicants in year 2033 when they are in their 84 year of life without a cent in their bank account, where do they go? The crematorium? Why should people who paid their tax all their working life, threw most of their savings in to paying off mortgages and paid tax for the age pension of the previous two generations of home owner pensioners as well as non-home owner pensioners be degraded and demeaned? Just because YOU say they are not entitled to be equally treated as past age pensioner generations have? I think you need help Bonny, Just reach out. I'm sure someone will help you and your state of mind.
    particolor
    27th May 2016
    7:46pm
    I think there something Commie like in their Pipeline Myself !! You wont own a Home and all housing will be owned by the State !! You'll get a Crust and a Drink of Water when you look like you need it !! :-(
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    9:28pm
    Bronny: what you propose is nothing left to the next generation and everything eventually owned by the rich. Says quite a bit about your place in the LNG machine.
    TREBOR
    27th May 2016
    10:46pm
    If the Aged Pension ceases to exist that will be Casus Belli Civitatus - since we've all paid into the fund through our taxes for our entire working and spending life, and are entitled to draw Pension according to the rules.

    It is not possible to create a rule that says nobody qualifies......
    TREBOR
    28th May 2016
    1:15am
    They don't have $450k in assets to SPEND, 'Bonny' ... the assets generate income.... at today's bank rates that is around $13000 per annum.... and a family home does NOT generate income.....

    What the fork is wrong with you?

    We've had governments successive demanding that we become self-sufficient in our retirement - a time at which we have no idea if we will live for two or forty more years... yet you are demanding that we use up all our accumulated assets at a time when history shows clearly that those will be of little real value in twenty years anyway, due to inflation and sky-rocketing costs of living under a 'privatising' policy of government....

    What then? Your average person with $450k spends down the assets - and then what? They already are not recouping the equivalent of a pension.... are they to sell their bodies on the street?

    Is the government, in twenty years time when they have spent down their resources to nothing - going to blithely give them a pension, a place in a nursing home, and all found?

    I THINK NOT!

    Wherever you live, 'Bonny' - and it ain't Australia - you are dumb as dog shit and have no idea how to calculate money.
    TREBOR
    28th May 2016
    1:17am
    I guess that says it all - **awaits the wrath of The Drew.. so sue me*.. truth hurts, neh?**
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    10:11am
    I guess I am smarter enough to wrk out that if something is not done now to address this then it will only hurt people a lot more in years to come. There is a safety net of assets below which one gats the full pension so I really can't see what the problem is here.

    Just like those above the current assets test more people will have to spend down thier assets to qualify for the pension. It is better for you to soend your money then to hand it on so that it becomes a lottery win for the next generation. How many people have set up a trust so that this does not happen?

    The only problem with my state of mind is that some people can't face reality.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    2:16pm
    Let's make a list Bronny:

    1. collect taxes (including back taxes) from multinationals and rich taxpayers who use the same schemes.
    2. collect taxes avoided through Offshore Tax Shelters used for evasion of Australians tax (including back taxes). The make these vehicles ILLEGAL...as they should be.
    3. rework what are and what are not tax deductions for the rich whereby they avoid their obligations to the nation.
    4. repeal company tax decreases for all but small businesses with a turnover under $5 million a year.
    5. THEN LOOK AT REDUCING RETIREE BENEFITS.

    Of course this government wants to address item 5 and IGNORE the rest. So keep on with your crap my dear ex LNP pollie. It ain't a gonna happen!
    TREBOR
    29th May 2016
    12:44pm
    Those are good starts, Mick - wait for the Usual Suspect screeching that it will drive business away from Australia and might even lead to an embargo on us like the US did with Cuba - since we would now be totally 'communist' for putting our people before business.

    Thing is - if a business is not paying its way in taxes - we don't want them here anyway. A nation and its tax system is not just there to be a tool for a company garnering profit, and all irresponsible companies need to be exported or made to cough up.
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    1:08pm
    Yep. Agreed. No good just exporting your profits to the US as currently happens. They need to pay their rightful taxes like the rest of us.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    6:18pm
    Why not try a pension policy that actually addresses NEED - ensuring those with INADEQUATE assets to last them until death get some help and those with high incomes get less - instead of attacking people whose modest savings WILL NOT last them a lifetime and making them MORE dependant on the taxpayer.

    The idiotic LNP and Greens have concocted a stupid policy that pays people NOT to save, but to be more dependant on the taxpayer. It rewards people with a $7800 a year pension increase (rising every 6 months) for every $100,000 they SPEND. Since their $100,000 savings are likely getting them less than $5000 a year, they are being paid to reduce their wealth quickly. Anyone with a brain would see that's plain IDIOTIC and will drive the country into far bigger debt, pushing pension costs UP.

    All you pensioners who agree with the changes - YOU will be the losers. When the costs blow out, it's YOUR pension the government will cut to compensate for their stupid destructive policy.

    WAKE UP AND OPPOSE THIS NONSENSE BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.
    Circum
    27th May 2016
    7:43pm
    The Labor party never had any intention of reversing pension changes proposed by the Liberals.They would have rejoiced when the senate passed the bill as a/The Liberals got the blame for introducing the changes,giving Labor political points,b/$3.55 billion became available for Labor to siphon off and use to promise further spending.Claims that Labor is not in a position to restore the changes simply mean that Labor doesnt want to reverse the changes as retirees/pensioners are not high on their priority list.
    The comment about readdressing the issue in a second term,is a cruel attempt to give people hope.Even the fairys know it aint gunna happen.
    particolor
    27th May 2016
    8:06pm
    Now isn't that True !!
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    9:33pm
    You may be right Circum but likely that the attacks on Labor over the past 2 weeks are forcing it to become more conservative. If you think that only Labor is making new promises (that is what this government would have you believe) then you need to watch the media more closely.
    I might think that Labor would mellow on this issue once in government if/when the income stream stolen by the rich and multinationals is retrieved...if Labor has the guts to see it through.
    No idea of where this is all going, but as I have said before WE HAVE COLLECTIVE POWER AT THE BALLOT BOX....if we are smart enough to harness it and use it.
    Adrianus
    28th May 2016
    9:40am
    I agree circum. Labor are big on political points and small on putting people first!
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    10:01am
    One can only wonder if Labor has more cuts to the pension system on it's agenda to help pay for all it's election promises.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    2:09pm
    Funny, funny, funny. This government has gone after average citizens in retirement phase to deny them an existence and now the government trolls blame Labor? Unbelievable.
    particolor
    29th May 2016
    9:42am
    Libs only hope is to offer Pensioners a Bacon Saver ! :-) :-) Worked for Labor ! :-) Only problem here is Libs cant keep their Promises :-(
    I see an Independent "TV Star" is after Tony's seat now ! :-) :-) :-)
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    10:29am
    Libs keep promises to their wealthy backers and lie to the rest of us. The current government have thrown away the rule book and consider us all to be imbeciles ripe for the picking. Given how many voters are going to give them another go they may have a point. Says something about the stupidity of the human race methinks. Einstein made that point and I sort of have to agree with him.
    OlderandWiser
    1st Jun 2016
    3:58pm
    The problem with that logic, Circum, is that there won't be any savings, and Labor has stated that they recognize that the stupid change to the assets test will cost taxpayers a great deal more. They are not claiming any savings, because they see the flaw in the policy.

    The LNP and Greens conspired to engage in a massive act of fraud on the Australian taxpayer. Why? I wish I knew. Either they WANT to drive the cost of pensions through the roof (perhaps to give them an excuse to abolish them?) or they are very, very STUPID.

    The policy PAYS people generously to dispose of their savings and put their hands out for fatter pensions. It punishes anyone who tries to achieve independence in old age but doesn't quite make it past partial independence. It offers a massive $180,000 reward (over 10 years) to an affected retiree for spending $100,000 on a world cruise. Keeping their $100,000 might yield $5000 a year investment return (if they are lucky - and at high risk in today's world). That $5000 a year is fixed for life. But spending it yields $7800 a year, increasing every 6 months!!!

    Only dumb folk who can't do math support this policy, and happily most Labor politicians I've spoken to are smart enough to see the holes. The Greens are clearly lacking basic intelligence, and can't do more than mutter stupid dishonest slogans. The LNP leave me wondering. They are supposed to be the 'good economic managers', but between this act of stupid wastefulness, and gifting billions to the US government through ill-conceived company tax cuts, it appears they are either totally brainless, or determined to wreck the economy.
    Needy not Greedy
    27th May 2016
    9:53pm
    Let's face it the government couldn't give a rats arse if those subs sink as soon as they put them in the water or are duds like the last lot we paid for, it's all just been more political crap to create tempory jobs. Like most I am gutted with all three major players in this election, they find pensioners such an easy target, it's just a stroke of computer mouse to rip into us time after time, much easier than attacking corporates or super wealthy. You can see by the blog on this issue that they now have us bitching and arguing amongst ourselves, so sad to see and so hard to do anything constructive to rectify.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    10:07pm
    I was told that we are buying substandard subs because they can only stay underwater a fraction of their nuclear cousins. As I have no knowledge of subs not sure how accurate that is though.
    TREBOR
    29th May 2016
    12:51pm
    Nuclears don't have to recharge batteries or suck air to run fuel..... that means they can remain underwater almost indefinitely as long as the food and the air holds out. The thing with nukes is that they are 'noisy' compared to electrics with batteries pre-charged with diesels, due to the cooling systems and numbr of pumps and valves needed for a nuke reactor.

    Diesel/electrics are considered to be 'stealthy' compared to the big ones, however - every submarine has a 'signature' from pump and engine noise and propellor etc that identifies it with the right equipment. I've previously expressed doubts about buying submarines built by certain countries for the simple reason that they will have full access to every aspect of each sub's 'signature', and even have the opportunity to build in 'callers' that will tell their AS people exactly where that sub is and what it is.
    particolor
    29th May 2016
    1:00pm
    I've always said that Trebor ! If you've gotta have the useless things Build Yer Own with NO BUGS !! :-)
    TREBOR
    29th May 2016
    1:40pm
    Or at least 'bugs' that only WE know about... a simple sklirg in hull pattern will create a water flow that can ID a sub AS a sub and even what class it is. Certain countries (no names and none required), having suffered massively from submarine campaigns in the past, and who are now allies, have the BEST anti-submarine detection systems in the world......

    No way I'd buy a sub built by them. the concept of The Second Hundred Years War comes into play here... and it is being played out in the Pacific. As economic strains from the 'globalised economy' and 'promoting industry in the emerging nations' (primarily for the benefit of the middle men and not the mass of people or the economic sphere at all), and 'market shares' get smaller and small for some countries and they enter neo-feudalism and poverty for the many... expect war to break out.
    TREBOR
    27th May 2016
    10:03pm
    If you are on Pension, you've earned it and paid for it - it makes not one whit of difference where you live - that is your business complete and there is no requirement for you to spend your saved Pension over fifty years of work here in Australia.

    On top of that - any pensioner who chooses to stay offshore for (say) six months of the year and then be here for six months of the year - i.e. who retains a residence here - STILL has to pay for keeping services.. power etc... online, so there is no valid reason to remove the utilities allowance.

    If any Pensioner chooses to stay offshore for two weeks or two months or two years - there is no justification whatsoever for cutting off their pension, and this is nothing but the politics of spite and envy from those already massively overpaid for their dismal work performance, in somehow construing that a Pensioner spending a bought and paid for Pension is somehow receiving something for nothing.

    I have promised to march on Canberra in a sort of Cooee March over certain issues - I will make the promise that if this one comes in - look for me on the road to Canberra with the Australian Flag.
    MICK
    27th May 2016
    10:15pm
    I have to agree TREBOR. You know that retirees are just the whipping post to take the heat off this deceitful government which does not want the electorate to focus on issues like their refusal to collect taxes from multinationals or the very rich and the total blind eye to offshore tax evasion shelters. Our current PM has one.
    Better to hound retirees for wanting their pensions with a bit of a fair go.
    In 2016 a million dollars is not what it used to be..........but clearly a lot of dough if you are destitute. The reality is that this pays no more than the pension (interest), something which many cannot see.
    I would have thought that the government would be pleased that retirees fund their own retirement pension, but apparently those who went without during their lives are now fair game. Welcome to life and bastardry in government.
    particolor
    29th May 2016
    1:49pm
    Expect NOTHING from any of them and you wont be Disappointed !!
    Mike
    27th May 2016
    10:29pm
    The assets test changes did not affect the real wealthy, it was an attack on the middle class, and the hard working working class, those that worked hard and saved for their retirement under current legislation. Hockey destroyed the retirement plans of hundreds of thousands retirees and those nearing retirement. At a recent seniors meeting in Newcastle it was estimated that approx. 560000 seniors would NEVER EVER vote for those blasted Liberals ever again. Now that Labour has a chance to remedy some of the attacks on the working and middle class, and has chosen NOT to, WHY would anyone vote for LABOUR either. It would appear that the Nick Xenophone team might be a reasonable alternative.
    Misty
    27th May 2016
    10:46pm
    Mike Nick's preferences will probably go to the LNP one of Nick's team stated on the Paul Murray show on Thursday night so you may just as well vote LNP or Labor in the first place.
    TREBOR
    27th May 2016
    10:48pm
    I, for one, truly want to see the major parties all crash in this coming election. If my vote can help, that will certainly be the case.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    9:02am
    I'll support that. Just remember to put Liberal last...where it belongs.
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    9:56am
    Maybe a toss of a coin for last place is a better idea.
    Misty
    28th May 2016
    11:20am
    Well there you have it everyone who has been wondering about the state of Bonny's finances, she says in the comment below about wether the rich will be affected by having to pay more tax, she states that she doesn't, says it all doesn't it. Couldn't post this reply below to Tremendoussnifier don't know why but the computer just wouldn't let me.
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    6:01pm
    Unfortunately we don't all do things the same way as ordinary people. Some of us learn the rules and then play the game using those rules which can be very different to the norm. The wealthy pay professionals to help them do just this but anyone can do the same by studing the rules.
    Misty
    28th May 2016
    6:16pm
    And just what do you mean by that comment Bonny, "Ordinary people", I find that insulting, do you think you are superior to most other people?.
    particolor
    28th May 2016
    7:32pm
    Being an Ordinary People and Representing the Great Unwashed ! We are OFFENDED ! :-( :-(
    Adrianus
    28th May 2016
    7:51pm
    All Ordinary people stand up and be offended!
    Refuse all attempts to make you extraordinary.
    Accept no extras!
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    1:06pm
    Ordinary people are those who follow others without question. I am not an ordinary person and have never been one. If you are insulted then that is your problem. Many of those who succeed in life do something different to the norm. They don't line up just because everyone else does. They try to find another way. They recognise the alternatives and better ways of doing things.

    That's the problem ordinary people will not stand up and be offended. They say they will but when asked to step up very few if any do. I am not one of those people. If that offends others then that's their problem not mine.

    An example I was on a bus on one of the pacific islands and I could see that everyone on that bus were getting very hot and uncomfortable. Most of these people were elderly and I could see if someone didn't do something then there would be problems. So it was me that asked the driver of that bus to either leave now or we were all getting off that bus.
    TREBOR
    29th May 2016
    2:24pm
    The thing is, Bonny.. Frank.. that 'ordinary people are NOT the sheep you wish to portray them as - they are often simply under-stated extraordinary people..... perhaps like T.E. Lawrence they simply wish to be ordinary people.

    Being able to navigate your way by rat cunning through a lifetime of not having to work and knowing all the rorts is hardly a recommendation, Bonny. Your character is too fictional to be real, and thus far your constant changes of life story and income tend to create an aurora of suspicion around you.

    Quite simply - your claims to an extravagant lifestyle without even home ownership and unspecified income in the high eighties or above plus some allegation of access to arcane knowledge that others do not posses tend to make of you an inmate in the delusion house.

    Picking on a poor Fijian bus driver does your tale no good....
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    4:19pm
    That's not what I see around me Trebour.

    Unfortunately I am very real and I learnt early in life that one doesn't have to work hard but be smart about what they do instead. I learnt that life is a game with rules and once those rules are learnt the game can be played to what ever level one desires. I do many things very differently from others. I even noticed once years ago that I used to put my garbage bins out differently to others as I read the rules differently.

    Who said it was a Fijian bus driver? That's another false assumption.
    Misty
    29th May 2016
    9:42pm
    Wow Bonny that is a great accomplishment, putting your garbage bins out differently, I didn't realise that there were rules as to the way a person put their garbage bins out, personally I couldn't give a stuff as long as they are out and emptied that is all I worry about.
    Rae
    30th May 2016
    2:22pm
    I agree with you on this one Bonny.

    There are far too many people who still trust the Elite and play the game with the rules expecting the result that was promised.

    I'm not a team player either. In fact circumnavigating the rules gives me great delight. I don't break them but I certainly use them.

    All this nonsense about super when you can earn almost $60000 a year and pay no tax anyway.

    I have no sympathy for those who trust a four year Pollie. People should know better. They all lie.
    Ayers Rock
    27th May 2016
    10:55pm
    The most fair “Old-Age Pension” formula for every Australian citizen I propose below:

    This is taxable, and no asset and other income test is needed. Indeed, taxation fixes to deal with the fairness if it is the issue:

    1. Marital status is not the issue. Whether married or single, it does not matter, this is not a parameter anymore. This new way prevents such improper ways, fake separation, fake divorcing, … etc. The new way is with full confidence to their State and their own futures. Full fairdinkumness is achieved. Also reinstate old-age pensioner’s spouse pension no matter what her/his age is. The current legally ignoring the spouse payment to the pensioner’s spouse in general does not reflect righteousness for a fairdinkum country.

    2. No matter you have none income or 10 million $ annual income:
    Every person is treated on the same platform! God never asks you whether you had money or not during your earth life. Let’s try to copy a bit of the God’s Treatment and Justice to the Humanity:

    3. If the person has filled his 40 years of working life with working, let him or her to be pensioned on her/his own will whether he/she is at the age between 55 or 67. No need to put an age barrier to a person for his legitimate pension demand from State. From the age 55, a person should be able to demand his/her own old age pension, depending on his/her number of working years.

    4. No matter whether having own house, or not owning a house or renting, or having 10 houses or none etc. Indeed, the Government is still collecting all his other taxes from rental incomes, overseas incomes, shares dividend incomes, capital gains taxes from the old age pensioners if related to the assets or incomes... etc. Government looses nothing.

    Formula:
    A (constant pay: Eg. 1500$/person) + B (variable part: For each working year, 2% of the final annual work salary.)

    Salary: earnings as an employee, or taxable trade income as declared per year.
    The max total working years: 40 years.

    Example:
    If the working person reached to 40th working life with salary as 100000 $, for example:
    40 years x 2% x 100 000 $= 80 000 $ annual old-age pension entitlement as variable pay. (Assumed no year is defaulted. If any year is defaulted than it is deducted from 40 years. E.g. 2 years had not worked but rested (except disability times and sickness, or registered unemployed times). Counted as 40 – 2 years = 38 years working years. Then put 38 years into the formula instead of 40 years.)
    The total old age pension amount to be paid by the State:
    Constant pay: 1 500 $ per month x 12 months=18 000 $. (annual pay)
    Variable pay: 80 000 $ (entitled for a year to receive) /12month x 12month= 80 000 $.
    The final annual old age pension pay: 18 000 + 80 000 = 98 000 $. This is taxable income.
    The tax on this pay is about approx, 30 000 $. The net amount pay, 98 000 $ - 30 000 $ = 68 000 $. Monthly 5750 $ payment.
    Suppose, this person is married, and his spouse has never worked and never earned money in his/her life:
    Once her spouse is entitled to receive his/her old age pension, he /she also gets 1500$ per month. This person does not have to pay any income tax by default (because it is lower than min 19200 $ threshold income).

    It seems the current old age pension system is really old carrying medieval ages mentality. It is blocking the happiness tracks of the pensioners who have devoted their beautiful younger years for the Country. All Australia should respect and pay the tribute them while they are alive, not after their deaths. Eliminate all frustrations for everybody. Start with the oldest people to the younger people.
    TREBOR
    27th May 2016
    11:59pm
    Why not just go for 'pay everyone the Pension at single rate' and put tax on any extra income derived above that?

    After all your writing above - I still no not know what your 'new way' is.....
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    9:09am
    I'll put the formula TREBOR:

    pay a pension to all but add this to any other income and then put it through the tax system. That will upset the rich but it should ensure that the mass rorting of the superannuation system ends.
    Last thing is drop retirement age to 65 and permit people to access the pension as 60. Those who have enough can retire early. Those who do not have to work a bit longer. But all pair a fair share of tax depending on their status in life and how well they have or have not done.
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    9:47am
    Do you really think the rich would pay more tax? I certainly don't especially under the current tax system.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    12:28pm
    Called NO DEDUCTIONS Bronny. Not even an ex hack could get around that one.
    Retired Knowall
    28th May 2016
    4:23pm
    2 questions-
    Who's God are you referring to ?
    So your saying the unemployed in our society would get a pension of $750 per fortnight ?
    What would your God say about that ?
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    10:25am
    I'll argue the fact that THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD....and he is not involved in politics.
    TREBOR
    29th May 2016
    2:26pm
    s I said before - you can't blame God - he hasn't done anything......
    Rovert
    28th May 2016
    1:25am
    For those not wanting to vote for the LNP or ALP, it might be an idea to look at the Mature Australia Party. They might have some policies that would appeal.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    9:12am
    There are a number of parties out there. I suggest any which look good need further investigation. Do due diligence on the candidates:

    1. what is their political orientation - google them!
    2. which Party are they preferencing? - if Liberal then don't vote for this Party.

    Good to see you looking beyond Liberal and Labor Rovert. This is the way to kill the perverse and corrupt game we are all used in. End the 'party' and you end the game.....and hopefully get proper government again.
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    9:37am
    Whoever ever you vote for it is a vote for Labor or the LNP.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    2:06pm
    Unfactual as usual. Voters are not scared of your campaign of misinformation Bronny.
    Adrianus
    28th May 2016
    9:38am
    Thank you for this article Debbie.
    Shorten not only lied about proposed changes to the assets test but also about returning the school kids bonus. Last year they encouraged people to sign a petition against changes to the school kids bonus. What happens now?
    I really feel bad for those who are taken in by Labor's lies. :(
    Misty
    28th May 2016
    9:47am
    Frank Labor is entitled to make changes after the true state of the economy is known, that is what any sensible,responsible govt would do or do you disagree with this?.
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    9:54am
    Labor's biggest current lie is it's negative gearing policy. I know how negative gearing works and the best properties for the high income earners to own are new ones. With new properties comes big tax write offs for depreciation and some capital costs. This is a policy for the benefit of high income earners unlike the current policy which can help most income earners.

    Another problem I see with new property investment is that investors will now have a limited market to sell fheir now second hand properties. Would I invest in new properties? No.
    Misty
    28th May 2016
    10:05am
    I do hope NG is abolished, except for one investment home other then the family home, I do not agree with people negative gearing 6, 7, 8 +homes at the expensive of the rest of Australia's tax payers.
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    10:42am
    I too would like to see NG abolished but I am concerned that it will cause rents to rise and that affects the poorer people in our society. Housing as an investment is only marginal which will only be made worse by the rise in CGT. I wouldn't want to be a renter under a Labor government.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    12:34pm
    Troll Frank: you forgot to mention the LIE from Corman and Turnbull about the claimed Labor "black hole" which has subsequently been shown not to exist. Intentional blatant lie from your employer. And let's not forget about the lie that the nation can afford the huge huge tax cuts to the rich. It can't and IT IS NOT FUNDED.
    You like your LNP employers are a shameless liar. As if you do not know what you are doing.
    Adrianus
    28th May 2016
    3:05pm
    Misty, Lee Kuan Yew used to say that's what politicians do. They promise the world and then renege once in, blaming their reversal on the newly discovered state of affairs. You have just revealed another Labor lie. Labor have a pretty fair idea what the fiscal situation is/was before they got the PEFO.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    8:13pm
    This is the lie both Abbott and Turnbull have used since day 1 as they ran up another $100 billion in debt and more than doubled the deficit. Liberal Party liars and deceivers of the nation.
    God help Labor when it wins the election. The LNP government has removed the debt ceiling and shredded, economy and hidden the facts.
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    4:26pm
    Whoever gets into power will have some tough decisions to make. They will need money and lots of it so will look for the easiest targets first. Labor time bombs will need to be diffused as well. Australia is now living well beyond it's means.
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    7:12pm
    Go Labor: collect taxes from the rich and multinationals. The close Tax Havens and/or tax money in these at a high rate. Can't wait!
    The only people "living beyond their means" are the wealthy who want it all and whose wealth is increasing exponentially.
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    10:48am
    Smart people will now leave work well before retirement age and spend their money on their bucket list. Access theiir super as soon as they can. Meanwhile give their kids their inheritance now so bythe time they reach retirement age they will qualify for the pension.

    I know of people already doing this. Why not travel while younger so you can really enjoy it.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    12:35pm
    ANd fail the 5 year test. What a chiseller you are Bronny.
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    5:49pm
    Five year test is all taken care of in the plan.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    8:10pm
    As I said: chiseller!
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    12:18pm
    Nope I just play by the rules.
    TREBOR
    29th May 2016
    2:28pm
    That's why the rules are about to change...... your input is gratefully accepted, and I hope you've put money aside for your back taxes.
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    4:03pm
    Good I like changes to the rules as I'm flexible enough to change my strategy and continue playing the game.
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    7:10pm
    Bronny will stop smiling when the Turnbull government brings back estate duties and kills off attempts to give estates away prior to death.
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    8:46pm
    That Mick is not a worry to me either as I plan to spend everything before I die.
    Misty
    29th May 2016
    9:44pm
    Including the rules for putting out your garbage bins Bonny?.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    8:47am
    How do I know you are a government troll Bronny: you lie consistently. You stated that you intend to leave your estate to your children before you die. Now you intend to spend it? So which is it?
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    7:11am
    Bonny was shouting that people with some savings didn't need pensions and claiming to be worried about poorer taxpayers. Now it transpires she's just a cheat - thieving from taxpayers, and having no conscience at all about contributing to driving the national debt up. She encourages irresponsibility that will destroy the nation's economy. But she abhors ''greedy'' people wanting minimal taxpayer support to top up inadequate incomes from their saving. What a nasty hypocrite!
    Happy Jack
    28th May 2016
    11:01am
    Well, bugger me!! hanky waving Frankie back on deck. Goes to show they must be getting worried down in the LIEberal party campaign headquarters. What with the poor showing by Tumbles Turnbull, Moaning Morrie's being found out to be bullshitting (again) not to mention the worsening polls for the LiEberal party. Yep! the upper echelons have decided to bring out the heavy artillery. God help us - I'm in dread of now, of Germjerk69 returning.
    particolor
    28th May 2016
    11:32am
    I'm outta here !! Stuff their Pop Up Add I spent 20 Minutes Writing a Letter And when I went to Send it That Bloody Add popped up and Wasted it !! BYE !! :-(
    Misty
    28th May 2016
    11:43am
    Yes particolor I think that is why I couldn't send a post earlier too.
    particolor
    28th May 2016
    11:54am
    I cant even find the EXIT Button now ?? Hotel California ! :-(
    And that bottom Pop up came up again but I dodged it this time :-) :-) :-) BYE ALL :-)
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    12:39pm
    It's the big green neon one over the doorjamb Particolour.
    Rodent
    28th May 2016
    11:39am
    All It has always been my Understanding since Mid 2015 when the Assets test/Pension bill was passed by both houses of Parliament that Labor opposed it at that time, the Greens stupidly supported it and it passed. From that Date until this week I have CONSTANTLY chased Labor, Jenny Macklins office re whether it had a policy then, or will have to take to the election. The first answer was NO we don't have a policy, BUT we are considering our position for the election.
    I have queried the claims in the Media to both Labor, and Liberal that the Savings for this current Budget of $3.55Bill was questionable, and asked if they had factored in the Non Payment of the Clean Energy Supplement to New Pensioners as from Sept 2016.
    I have yet to receive a reply. I have not seen this $3.55Bill savings figure in any Budget papers, although may have missed it? Its my belief that the $3.55Bill for the 4 Years of the Budget is actually understated. Based on data I have I believe it could be as much as $7.5Bill over the 4 Years

    Just recently I got the following as a reply to my concerns about Labor's decision not to reverse the changes to the Pension Assets Test, I will leave you all to decide if its relevant, some may rightly say that any claim to Review in a second term by labor is BS

    As you know Labor opposed this cut to part-pensioners in the Parliament last year.

    We believe the Turnbull Government’s policy is flawed.

    We believe these cuts will impose disincentives to save, and strong incentives to spend down assets.

    This is not in the best interests of pensioners, or the sustainability of the system as a whole.

    But we cannot fix all of the government’s problems overnight.

    The Liberals have tripled the deficit since coming to office. The budget we will inherit should we come to government is fragile.

    It would be irresponsible to commit to reversing this change from opposition.

    But we understand the situation this cut has put pensioners into – and that is why we will be undertaking a review into the pension means test in government.

    We want to make sure the pension is as effective as possible; that it interacts effectively with the superannuation system and incentivises savings as much as possible.
    Misty
    28th May 2016
    11:47am
    Well Rodent who knows what the real state of the economy is and if Labor did happen to get in isn't it wise not to make too many promises that they may not be able to keep.
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    12:45pm
    The fact is that $3.55 billion is rather small change when you look at the tax forgone by refusing to tax multinationals at the correct rate. Same for wealthy Australians using offshore Tax Havens.
    The attack on the retired is no more than diverting attention from the above. Scapegoats who do not matter. That is we should be making them pay by talking to everybody in the same age demographic as ourselves and getting them to understand how they vote is important this time around. None of us should 'follow our life long footy team' so to speak but knuckle down and send the message. Otherwise we deserve to be done over....and it will reoccur again and again....just like the campaign of deception which Turnbull and his cronies are running for the second time complete with slogans ("learn and earn", "jobs and growth").
    Come on retirement community. Take the medicine and get rid of these bastards!
    Bonny
    28th May 2016
    5:54pm
    Which ones?
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    8:09pm
    In your case Bronny, dementia medicine or hemlock may be appropriate. Sorry, it's Saturday!
    particolor
    28th May 2016
    8:35pm
    And look out ! I'm in a Bad Mood ! Telstra keeps Dropping out GRRR !! :-( :-(
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    9:08pm
    I don't feel sorry for you parti. We were disconnected BY OPTUS FOR OVER 2 MONTHS. Their fault. Our pain. Didn't give a stuff!
    Be happy you have not been dealt with same way.
    particolor
    28th May 2016
    9:15pm
    I was in February ! Same as you, but only waited 5 days to be reconnected I got a Free Month for it !!:-) and :-(
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    10:23am
    Mine is heading to court.
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    12:17pm
    No poisons for me I don't want to support big pharma.
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    1:12pm
    But Bronny.....your coalition government is not preventing multinationals from avoiding their tax obligations. So YOUR ARE SUPPORTING THEM.
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    1:14pm
    Just maybe you have got me all wrong Mick.
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    1:59pm
    Strongly doubt that.
    Crazy Horse
    28th May 2016
    9:03pm
    Only Labor takes the aged seriously and regards us as a functioning part of the community not a burden to be managed.

    See http://www.senatorhelenpolley.com.au/labor_s_plan_to_become_an_age_friendly_nation
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    9:12pm
    Labor cares. Liberal plunders. Pretty well the difference between the parties. And then you have the current lot...who are out there on their own and need to be terminated.
    Come on in Arnie.
    particolor
    28th May 2016
    9:19pm
    Whats everyone doing here on Saturday Night ?? Did the Pokey's Bus break down ? :-) :-) :-)
    MICK
    28th May 2016
    9:32pm
    Slow night with winter arriving. Best entertainment around!
    particolor
    28th May 2016
    9:43pm
    Twitters Better ! :-) :-) The upcoming Election is Drawing some Really Funny Stuff ! :-)
    Alex
    28th May 2016
    9:22pm
    The provision of pensions and the welfare of seniors is one of the core responsibilities of the Federal Government but it is the only one not being addressed by any party currently campaigning for this election.
    Education and health are State responsibilities for which the states need to be adequately funded. However the political parties are trying to win the election by making promises in these and other areas in the hope of winning seats while ignoring their core responsibilities.
    The pension has been paid for as you know through a superannuation scheme created in 1946 to ensure that all retirees would have a pension. Every retired person has paid into this scheme.
    While we are not asking for the universal pension which by right should be paid to all retirees we need to see the changes made in 2015 reversed and we have to strongly oppose any further impoverishment of seniors.
    It does not seem that any of the major parties has an acceptable policy for seniors and we need to let them know that this is unacceptable by not voting for them. We can make a particular difference in the Senate by voting for Independents and putting candidates from the major parties last.
    Hopefully we can also find and elect some qualified candidates in the lower house.
    Candidates preferences should not make a difference this year as instead of just voting for a Party you select your preferences on the ballot paper. You do not have to select all the candidates for the Senate below the line to do that as has been necessary previously.
    Instead you need to either:
    • number at least six boxes above the line for the parties or groups of your choice, or
    • number at least 12 boxes below the line for individual candidates of your choice.
    Numbering 12 candidates below the line should not be too difficult. Check out who is standing for the Senate in your state, what they stand for, and whether they are Independent or a member of a Party before going to vote.
    particolor
    28th May 2016
    9:55pm
    Thanks for that ! Very Interesting ! :-) All Independents should be made to state their Preference ! And if they change it after Election Arrest them for Fraud !!
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    3:46pm
    It would not surprise me that both parties have more changes to the age pension on their agenda. They are probably both looking at including the house in the assets test and I have heard that they care considering a HECS style debt whereby any pension received is to the paid back out of one's estate.

    I have said all along that the 2017 changes will not be reversed as there are simply too many age pensioners and even more people will retire in the coming years. The taxpayer base is simply not big enough to suppose all these people.
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    7:08pm
    If Labor collects the rightful taxes from multinationals and closes offshore tax shelters then there would be enough money to pay every retiree $100,000 pa. But Malcolm knows that.
    OlderandWiser
    30th May 2016
    5:39pm
    Bonny, there will be more pensioners - not less - with an assets test that leaves savers worse off than pensioners. Only idiots who can't do math support this stupidity.
    Retired Knowall
    31st May 2016
    5:16pm
    Yes you are right Rainey, there will be more and more Pensioners, But _ they will be getting Less and Less as time goes on.
    Simple Maths really.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    6:24pm
    They will only get less if the government cuts all pensions to compensate for the loss it's idiotic policy is going to cause, Retired Knowall.

    Every single retiree I know who is affected by the changed assets test will be drawing a FULL pension after Jan 2017, instead of a small part pension. They are ALL divesting their assets in response to this STUPID change. Lots of costly cruises being booked, home upgrades happening, even marriage separations! And every soon-to-retire worker I know is REDUCING their superannuation contribution and saving to an absolute minimum and drawing down whatever they can from super to gift to kids or spend on expensive holidays.

    Simple maths, Retired Knowall, is that if you give someone 5% a year - FIXED FOR LIFE - to keep their money, and 7.8% rising every 6 months to spend it, they won't hang on to it for long!
    Alex
    28th May 2016
    11:17pm
    Thanks particolor. The present Independents seem to have acted according to their own judgement and not just rubber stamped anything for any party which is encouraging. Have a nice week end/
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    10:21am
    I had a bit more of a look at the legislative changes. It appears that these have been done to squeeze out Independents from the senate. Clearly so that coalition governments are able to ram through their legislation without dissent from senators scrutinising it.
    Voters have two options:

    1. number 1 to 6 ABOVE the line. That allows parties who have grouped themselves (the big boys) to redistribute votes as they see fit, but Independents may be unable to do this.
    2. number 1 to 12 below the line. That gives voters control on who they vote for.

    I guess the way forward is to vote option 1 if INdependents are grouped or option 2 if not and voters want to pick a certain Independent. Either way there should be a strong analysis of how it all went after the dust settles. And if this dreadful government gets back in under a nobbled electoral system then ordinary Australians will pay the price for being lied to and successfully conned. We'll see either way.
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    4:27pm
    I predict the LNP in charge of both houses.
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    7:06pm
    Want to put some real cash on that Bronny? I'm up for it.
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    7:49pm
    I'll check out the betting odds and might put a few bob on them.
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    8:03pm
    Nay the odds are too short for me.
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    8:25pm
    Answered like a true employee. Put your money where your mouth is Bronny or do not make such a call.
    Rodent
    29th May 2016
    9:44am
    Dear HS

    You may be a little out of date with your comments re Demming in your post 27/5 @6.41pm

    I posted this on another recently, it may help you

    Dear Appathetic

    The Deeming changes to which you now refer will not be going ahead. Following is extract from Super Guide, and my memory says that I have seen this NOT going ahead elsewhere in other information
    Extract from Super Guide - a very reliable source in all things Super, Pension etc

    Note: The federal government had announced that from 20 September 2017, the deeming thresholds would be reset, which meant that the income deemed on your financial assets would be deemed at a higher rate reducing your entitlements to the Age Pension. More specifically, from 20 September 2017, the government intended to reset the deeming thresholds for the lower deeming rate to $30,000 (singles) and $50,000 (couples). The federal government is NO LONGER proceeding with this measure.
    FM
    29th May 2016
    3:19pm
    Yes Mick
    This lot cannot get back in again. It would be an absolute travesty given the way they have abused their power and failed to act in anyone's interest except their own and Tony Shepherds.
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    4:23pm
    They will get back in because people still have bad memories of the last Labor government. I certainly don't want more years of a government that cannot govern due to a hostile Senate. Neither do I want another hung parliament that governed for a selected few.
    Misty
    29th May 2016
    6:15pm
    So What Bonny?, just because you didn't like the last Labor Govt doesn't mean this one would be the same if they are elected, people evolve and learn from previous mistakes so I am sure they won't be repeated again. I don't think anyone much liked the last Labor in Govt period, even your so called rusted on voters but they dislike the present chop and change back stabbing LNP Govt more.
    Bonny
    29th May 2016
    6:22pm
    That's not what I am hearing from people. Most people I know say it is better the devil you know than the one you don't and they certainly don't want another Labor government supported by the Greens.
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    7:05pm
    That is what you are being paid to say Bronny. And to boot your employer wants a rubber stamp in the senate.
    Amusing. Nobody's listening though.
    Misty
    29th May 2016
    7:57pm
    I would guess that probably all the people you are hearing that from Bonny are LNP supporters.
    FM
    29th May 2016
    3:26pm
    For what it is worth this is the reply I got when I complained about Labor's agreement to go along with LNPs cuts to part pensions for self funded retirees.
    Dear
    Thank you for your email to Bill Shorten about the aged pension and the former Compulsory Contributions Levy and National Welfare Fund.
    We note your disappointment with Labor’s decision on the pension assets test.
    The Liberals have spent three years attacking Australian pensioners.
    First, they tried to cut the indexation arrangement of the pension – a cut that would have left pensioners as much as $80 a week worse off within a decade.
    Labor fought this cut, and fortunately we were able to protect the pension.
    Thanks to Labor, pensioners have been spared this unfair cut.
    But the Liberals did not stop there. In 2015, the Abbott-Turnbull Government teamed up with the Greens to cut the pension assets test.
    Labor fought this cut too. We opposed it in the Parliament but the Greens and the Liberals did a deal to cut the pension.
    We opposed this cut because we believe the policy is flawed.
    We believe these cuts will impose disincentives to save, and strong incentives to spend down assets.
    This is not in the best interests of pensioners, or the sustainability of the system as a whole.
    But we cannot fix all of the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s problems overnight.
    They have tripled the deficit. The Budget we will inherit when we come to government is fragile.
    It would be irresponsible to commit to reversing this change from opposition.
    But we understand the situation this cut has put pensioners into – and that is why we will be undertaking a review into the pension means test in government.
    We want to make sure the pension is as effective as possible; that it interacts effectively with the superannuation system and incentivises savings as much as possible.
    Labor has a strong record of supporting pensioners. In government Labor introduced the biggest reforms to the pension in its 100-year history. We increased the base rate of the pension, introduced a new pension supplement and improved the regular indexation arrangements so that the pension keeps pace with the overall standard of living of other Australians.
    These changes were some of the most significant anti-poverty measures undertaken in a generation. They literally brought more than one million people out of poverty.
    Thank you again for taking the time to write to Bill Shorten. We welcome your interest in our policies and the political process.
    Kind regards,
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    11:29am
    Some reassurance here, but not enough. They MUST commit to reversing the changes. Once they take effect, the damage is done for tens of thousands.
    Adrianus
    31st May 2016
    11:43am
    Rainey, wow! Most of that is word for word what you've been posting?
    Gee, Labor is fantastic huh?
    Misty
    31st May 2016
    12:25pm
    So glad you agree Frank.
    Adrianus
    31st May 2016
    12:27pm
    Yes but will they commit to their political BS? Windsock Politics at its most blatant. You can choose to be fooled but not me thank you. :)
    Bonny
    31st May 2016
    3:27pm
    I disagree as the changes were necessary as it is just plain stupid that couples with over $1 million should be paid a pension. Our country cannot afford to continue paying them while our young people struggle from week to week to make ends meet. These pensioners are wealthy compared to the working poor. At least they have the cash available to pay for emergencies whereas our working poor don't.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    5:42pm
    What is JUST PLAIN STUPID, Bonny, is paying retirees to divest their assets and claim fatter pensions at taxpayer cost.

    Only a moron would support such policy.

    Our country can't afford MORONS in power who can't figure out basic economics. It's nothing to do with couples with $1 million getting pensions. People on high incomes get pensions. People who manipulate their affairs to cheat the system get pensions (like you, Bonny? I believe you boasted, elsewhere, of doing just that!).

    The issue is SAVING TAXPAYER DOLLARS. You don't do that by punishing people for being responsible and honest. You do it by structuring a logical, fair system that assesses people's REAL wealth, not some fabricated bullshit number that has no validity or relevance to real world needs.
    Bonny
    31st May 2016
    7:47pm
    But Rainey I do not get welfare from the Government. I actually pay taxes instead. I really can't see why people would structure their affairs in order to qualify for the pension as it is simply not worth the hassle.
    OlderandWiser
    1st Jun 2016
    4:15pm
    Bonny, you are so pathetically self-obsessed that you can't see anything past your own front gate!

    People structure their affairs to qualify for the pension because THEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TO LIVE ON OTHERWISE - dummy! And they don't necessarily want to drain all their hard-won savings twenty or more years BEFORE they peg out, just in case they NEED the money they saved to cover old age medical expenses, care costs, etc. They also claim the right - after decades of hard work and paying tax and going without luxuries - to leave a little to their offspring so the next generation has it a little easier. Of course that doesn't suit the greedy, self-serving elite, who want everyone else's kids to be poor so theirs can strut about like royalty with their nose in the air. But it actually is GOOD for the nation if people save to leave a little to the next generation.

    And it's far cheaper - as anyone with a grasp of economics knows - to support someone partially NOW, then to support them fully later or to support their children and grandchildren in the future. But that's economics, and pea-brained narcissists don't understand economics. They are far too self-obsessed to think past how wonderful they think they are, and too consumed with their IDIOTIC ASSUMPTIONS about other people's lives.

    The most effective way to save taxpayers and reduce the deficit is to structure the pension so that it incentivizes and rewards saving and responsible planning, but to tax and means test incomes. Stop this nonsense about tax being an evil thing, and educate the nation to understand that its the price of living in civilization - and you get very high value for your tax dollar if the economy is responsibly managed.

    It's really basic common sense. But then, common sense really ain't common!
    FM
    29th May 2016
    3:33pm
    This is the letter sent to Labor
    Dear Mr Shorten and Labor Party Representatives.
    So far there has been no mention of a plan by Labor to adequately fund pensions and part pensions for retirees and yesterday Mr Shorten made it clear that Labor is going to maintain the harsh cuts to part pensions put in place by the LNP by doubling the taper rate and reducing the deduction for self funded retirees who are primarily drawing down after tax income.
    While the funding of other services such are Education and Health are primarily State responsibilities the funding of pensions is a prime central responsibility of the Commonwealth Government and requires adequate funding.
    Starting with the Hawke Government successive Governments have no done that. Instead they have stolen people’s retirement funds and now pretend that previous Governments and retirees instituted no pension savings plan and made no provision for their retirement. This is totally false.
    As I am sure you know a superannuation scheme was created in 1946 to ensure all retirees would have a pension and that every currently retired person has paid into this scheme.
    This is similar to the schemes that exist in NZ, UK, US, Canada, most European and many Asian countries. In these countries every retired person gets an aged pension as a result of their contributions. In Australia the majority of retired people get no pension or a partial pension only. People’s pension entitlements were further diminished by the changes approved in the 2015 Budget that affect self funded retirees with both limited assets and small defined benefit pensions.
    The Australian Pension scheme was set up in 1946 by the Chifley/Curtin Governments in a bipartisan agreement with the Menzies opposition. Income tax was split into two components. One, the social services contribution, was to be used exclusively to finance social security payments in particular the aged pension. This contribution was set at 7.5% and lodged in a National Welfare Fund.
    Mr. Menzies stated that the Compulsory Contribution (levy) should be kept separate so that “the stigma of charity should be removed from the Age Pension. It should be an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund.”
    However he changed his mind about the separate fund and in 1950 when the balance in the fund was almost 100 million pounds the levy was grouped with Tax Paid but was still collected.
    On the basis of this levy The Whitlam’s Government (1975) legislated that every person over 70 was eligible for the aged pension as had been done in the US, UK, Europe, NZ and elsewhere.
    In 1977 the Fraser Government restricted aged pension entitlements and transferred the balance of the Welfare Fund (by then almost half-a-billion dollars) to Consolidated Revenue, and ‘borrowed’ it for other uses such as the building of New Parliament House.
    In 1985 the Labor Government repealed Acts No. 39, 40 and 41 of 1945 (The National Welfare Fund Acts) and introduced the Income and Asset Tests, thus excluding millions of Australians from receiving the Social Services Pensions. Much of this money was used for other purposes including the completion of the new Parliament House. Mr. Hawke is reputed to have said they would work out how to fund pensions when the time came. They continued to collect the 7.5% levy and to this day it still is collected.
    There have been estimates that the trillions of dollars stolen from the fund would be enough to pay a non-means tested pension to every retiree of more than $500 a week.
    It seems that the method present politicians have adopted for dealing with the ‘borrowed’ money is to pretend this levy never existed and that this money was never contributed for retirement pensions. By now most people also seem to be confused or have forgotten about the levy.
    This was very evident in November 2015 when Scott Morrison, arguing for tax cuts for high income earners, stated that Australians paid more personal income tax than other OECD Countries and that they did not pay a Social Services levy. Among other things, he is obviously completely ignorant of the fact that there is a social services levy that is incorporated into statements of personal income tax. An ABC Fact Check showed that when the Social Services levy paid in other countries is taken into account their tax rates are on par with Australia’s. On the basis of this levy other OECD Countries can afford to pay a pension to their retirees but Australia disgracefully tries to limit payment even to the most needy.
    If politicians accepted the contributory funding basis for pensions they have to admit they have spent the money. They also would have to accept that the pension should not be asset and income-tested; that there could be no possible basis for including the family home in any tests; and that the pension is not being paid from the taxes of younger generations (whose own 7.5% also is being misappropriated).
    The National Welfare Fund was the only fund the majority of working people had available to them until the last decade or so as only Government and large organisations had superannuation funds. It is the only superannuation fund many older retired could use. People working casually such as many women were not allowed to contribute to superannuation schemes. It was as valid a fund for contributing to super as any that exist today.
    It is truly frightening that the money people contributed via a Government instituted and managed fund has been effectively stolen and it is grossly insulting to say to people who contributed to this Fund that they did not pay for their pensions and that the aged pensions they receive are welfare.
    At this stage retirees are not requesting a universal pension but consider the changes that have deprived low income self funded retirees of all or a significant portion of their part pensions in the 2015 budget are completely unjustified. They expect those changes to be reversed or at least modified.
    The increase in the taper rate has taken it back to where it was about twenty years ago and does not in any way allow for inflation in that time. It will force retirees on small lump sums to draw down much more of their capital to live on and mean that many more people will have to rely on a full pension much sooner than would be the case if the 2007 taper rate was maintained, but who is doing any forward planning. The discount rate of about 40% for the money people on defined benefit pensions draw down made allowance for the fact that a significant portion of what they draw down fortnightly is not income but their savings. The reduction of this to 10% leaves people who made after tax contributions in old schemes of up to 30% of their income during their working lives with little more than the pension. These contributions made it impossible for people to pay off mortgages during a period when interest rates were up to 18%. It meant most people retired with significant mortgages and debts. If they had taken a lump sum instead of the pension many would be entitled a full pension and most would certainly get a much larger part pension.
    The fact that $1.6 billion dollars was taken from funding for the frail elderly in the last Budget is disgraceful and the rhetoric that has been used to disparage the elderly over the past three years from Labor as well as Liberal think tanks unconscionable.
    It would be much fairer if all retirees got a pension from a portion of their contributions. The remainder of their retirement savings could be taken as a lump sum or pension as is the case in the UK, US, Europe, NZ and many other countries.
    While you have proposed ‘grandfathering’ the proposed changes to high end super for people with lump sums over $1.6 million in their funds there was no grandfathering of last year’s changes.
    This Labor team is a huge disappointment. It appears to be totally out of touch and disengaged from real people. There have been no discussions with senior groups by Chris Bowen, Mr Shorten or Jenny Macklin about how the changes made impact on people. Undoubtedly they will turn up in a few nursing homes for morning tea in the next few weeks. Chris Bowen was Minister for Superannuation but appears to have no idea of what superannuation schemes exist and have existed, like his counterpart Mr Morrison, or of the fact that there are older schemes that are unlike the current ones.
    Like their predecessors this Government and Opposition appear to see people’s retirement savings as a large amount of money that can be subverted to other purposes and not repaid. We have two parties standing with policies that take from the poorest and most vulnerable retirees to give tax cuts to the rich or fund other largesse.
    Labor has given retirees who are its lifelong supporters every reason not to support it in this election.
    Misty
    29th May 2016
    4:14pm
    FM was this the first letter you sent or was it in reply to the one from Bill Shorten's office?.
    Rae
    30th May 2016
    2:36pm
    I would be very interested in learning how defined benefit funds managed to make 3% earnings year after year. How did they do that? Bernie Maddoff did it but he was stealing money.

    Where did all the money go?

    As you said people paid up to 30% after tax incomes for decades only to have very ordinary lump sums and super pensions.

    Where did the compounding go?
    Alex
    29th May 2016
    4:09pm
    Thank you FM. If you do not mind I would suggest that people send their version of your letter to their local Labor MP if they have one, otherwise they could send it to Party Headquarters at Australian Labor Party [campaign16@chq.alp.org.au].
    The ALP did not care that these changes were being made at the time. They said nothing about them until the last minute and failed to make a case as to why the taper rate should not be altered among other things. They seemed relieved these changes were made. It did the 'hard work' for them.
    FM
    29th May 2016
    8:37pm
    Hi Misty
    It was the letter I sent first. The reply posted was to that. I have just listened to their ad on 9 NEWS. When listing the things that have been cut by the LNP it made no mention of the cuts to seniors that have paid for LNP tax cuts for business and high income earners and will also pay for Labor spending should they get elected. We need to keep after them. I made a mention of the LNP proposed GST hike to them earlier last week and it got tagged on in the ad at the end. If they get a number of letters from disgruntled seniors telling them we will put Labor last unless we get something more solid from them they can hardly ignore it. Otherwise that is exactly what we will do.
    MICK
    29th May 2016
    8:50pm
    I responded but the post is gone. Not sure why. Maybe because I mentioned 9 News and how it routinely gives Shorten a raw deal and short coverage whilst painting Turnbull as an Australian who likes children and is involved with business leaders, as well as giving him long sessions. More like grooming than media coverage.
    Your post did not surprise me FM and I agree with you.
    FM
    29th May 2016
    10:11pm
    Hi Mick this is from the ABC website
    So, who won the debate?

    The official audience gave the debate to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, with 42 of the 100 undecided voters in the room saying they would be more likely to vote for him after it.

    Twenty-nine said they'd be more likely to back Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the same number remained undecided.
    Misty
    29th May 2016
    11:09pm
    FM that was the result of the People's Forum, the first debate on Sky 2 weeks ago.
    FM
    29th May 2016
    11:54pm
    Thanks Misty.
    There was probably no decision made by the ABC on who 'won' the debate. I noticed the Channel 9 polling that Mick referred to. I think my eyes are letting me down tonight. I posted a mistake ridden draft of the letter I sent to Mr Shorten as well. I will post the corrected version on the next discussion panel. Time to give up tonight its getting to me.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    8:43am
    It's been a long campaign already. Think we'll all be glad when it's over. Keep up the good work.
    Adrianus
    30th May 2016
    9:01am
    As expected the Leaders Debate was not much more than a staged performance from both, with the journos asking predictable questions. From that perspective it wasnt very entertaining although Bill Shorten tried hard to add some fire and brimstone with his cheap shots at Malcolm Turnbull. I also noticed a fair slice of BS in Bill Shorten as his eyes raised to the left while saying his refugee policy was the same as the government's. I found Shorten difficult to follow at times. He lost me when he talked about workers earning $80k to $87k per week.

    While I listened very carefully with impartiality for anything that would give me a clue on the leadership qualities of both, I became drawn to the question........

    WHO DO YOU TRUST TO WORK ON CREATING GROWTH?

    During the 6 years of Labor, they had ample opportunity to put together an export trade deal from all the negotiations opened and handed to them on a platter by the Howard Government. What did we get from them in 6 years? Just a very modest deal with Chile which benefits Chile more than Australia. I dont mind the benevolence to a poorer country, but it should have been offset by a huge deal with the likes of China or Japan.
    Labor, they're not just poor economic managers, they are economic vandals.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    9:44am
    Actually the leaders debate was an opportunity for both sides to present their positions. I have been paying careful attention to the biggest media outlets in the nation, other than the ABC, which have been grooming Turnbull with long clips of him dealing with children and in the workplace whilst Shorten routinely received very short clips and shots where he was frowning. It is what it is and viewers are beginning to see the propaganda campaign from the big media outlets for what it is: grooming Turnbull for re-election.
    "Impartiality" Frank? You must be kidding!
    Export trade deal? The sting in the tail of these 'arrangements' are yet to come.........like the ability of big business to sue our governments and the extension of big pharmaceutical's rights to over charge for their products. Do tell me about trade deals.
    The fact that you are one of the mouthpieces of this government on this website Frank is clear when you push the "poor economic managers" bit. The same rhetoric as Turnbull last night. You obviously did not listen to Shorten's response. And you fail to mention that under the coalition the deficit has almost triple, net nation debt has gone up by $100 billion and the debt ceiling has been removed so that THIS GOVERNMENT can borrow on to infinity. And you talk about economic management.
    All that this government is about is taxing average Australians and giving the proceeds to the rich whilst negligently not taxing multinationals and not outlawing offshore tax havens where criminals can launder their money. The fact that Malcolm Turnbull uses such tax dodge havens is but the tip of a very very large iceberg.
    Tell it like it is Frank. Your lies and leftie barbs mean nought and the facts are all that count.
    Adrianus
    30th May 2016
    1:35pm
    Hey MICK, no need to attack ME, I'm not responsible for any of what goes on I'm just reporting on the facts.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    2:22pm
    That is the problem Frank. Your "facts" are heavily cherrypicked and full of bias and conclusions which are falsely drawn. I would be happy to debate the real facts but you, like Malcolm Turnbull last night, have nowhere to go on most other than coming back to pink batts, Gillard and debt....whilst the government is going through the same things but on steroids.....with barely a mention from the Press.
    Misty
    30th May 2016
    4:45pm
    Yes Frank who tripled the deficit and who got rid of the debt ceiling so they could just keep borrowing, not Labor so it must be the LNP.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    6:05pm
    Yes, Misty, and their changes to the pension assets test demonstrates exactly why they tripled the deficit. They are brain-dead when it comes to economics. Sadly, some people are sucked in by their lies and can't understand that basic math says you can't make the country richer by paying retirees 7.8% to divest savings that are likely earning them less than 5%, and claim fatter pensions. Only a dunce would approve of such a stupid policy.

    Then they go and hand billions to foreign governments by cutting company taxes for foreign corporations. Yes, pensioners - they are cutting YOUR income to give gifts to foreign nations.
    Happy Jack
    30th May 2016
    9:10am
    HANKY WAVING 'FRANKY" IMPARTIAL!!!!???? you must be joking.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    9:45am
    Yeah Happy. Turnbull is licking his wounds after last night (where he was creamed) and this is the best that the Liberal Party can offer. I wonder what the so called 'free' Press propaganda machine will have to say tonight............
    Happy Jack
    30th May 2016
    9:33am
    Just listening to 2GB's ray Hadley grovelling whilst interviewing the treasurer 'Moaning Morrie'.
    This station is undoubtedly a front for the LIEberal party.
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    9:49am
    I don't often listen to radio but whilst in the car the other day I flicked in onto 2SM. The propaganda crap coming from the self righteous announcer was sickening and after about 10 minutes I turned it off.
    The issue we have Happy is that the right controls most of the big media outlets and its 'reporting' of the facts are getting more in more blatant over the years. We are getting close to a stage that a Labor government will need to introduce legislation to stop blatant one sided political broadcasting. Imagine the cries from the vested interests and their media outlets when you try to stop what is routinely happening.
    disillusioned
    30th May 2016
    2:17pm
    I am disgusted with Bill Shorten stating that they won't reverse the change to the Age Pension asset thresholds and taper rate. I am just under the limit at present, when the changes come in I will be just over. I have worked and studied, paying my own way and my share of taxes, and saving for my retirement for much of my adult life, and now I am being screwed out of the part Aged Pension THAT I AM ENTITLED TO, by Labor as well as the LNP. Of course, POLLIES' pensions, entitlements, etc. are not affected. Snouts in the trough, indeed!!
    MICK
    30th May 2016
    2:25pm
    Methinks he might be frightened to stick his head up. Once in government my hope is that Labor will sit down, look at the ledger and do the hard yards to extract tax, including back taxes, from both multinationals and the rich in our society who abuse their positions in life by cheating.
    In the end who you gonna go with? For me it will be an Independent who gives a tinkers and is not financed by big business wanting a return on that capital.
    Ayers Rock
    30th May 2016
    9:48pm
    Dear All Readers of this article about old age pension situation. I expect the all thinking and decision makers about this issue must come to a consensus to lead to much better old-age pension rights in Australia. I am not using that old-age pension benefits as not as welfare but constituonal rights.
    If a nation does not pay attention enough or does not care enough to older citizens, I do not expect the same minds care about their children and youngsters and veterans, war veterans or other people at different ages as well.
    Please read my first comments on the issue. It is not hard to put in reality. It does not cost to Australian Treasury, but due to fairness of income shuffling from the rorters to the righteously to receivers, the erroneous income distribution will be much more balanced for the sake of old-age pensioners. This will be done a Thoughtful Taxation on the incomes after the individuals income will settle with all good things:
    1. Pensioners will live fear free in their future as they deserve. No doubt on this.
    2. Old-Ager Pensioners are not beggers. They claim their rights, not the others’ helps.
    3. Treasury has the money to support the new system where the Australian Per Capita is almost
    50000 AUD now.
    4. The current Super Annuation system is different, it supports the old-age pension income as extra, but it is not main pillar for the most pensioners. We need a “New System”which will abolish thecurrent “old-age pension grants”and establish the New “Old-Age pension” rights as seen in Europe, Germany, Netherlands, Nordic countries, etc. Even USA may have a better pensioner system to look up . The Governor of the big old-age pension Pool is the Australian Treasury or Government but definitely not the banks, trusts, funds, cults, any other third parties or finance institutions.

    Again new system:

    1. No marital status factor: Every pensioner is individually assessed. If one of the partner reached to pensioner age between 55 – 67 of years ages, the other will be automatically entitled to receive the base amount as minimum. See the base amount what it is below:
    2. No income test: Whether you have 0 $ income or 10 million $ income, when you reached to your pensioner age, you are under state guarantee until you pass away. It is Australia’s duty to keep the old pensioners in comfort. Maybe they live one single day or may be 50 years after the old-age pensioner entilement. Who knows? Many people die before catching the old age pension age.
    3. May not be in hereditary: The benefit accumulated in the new way is not in hereditary in general. Few exceptions for spouses and small under age children may apply. If any person dies before the old age stage, all his accumulation is entirely added or some portion may be diverted to the surviving partner or under age children. Definitely to 1st level family member, not to other 2nd or 3rd family members. This may be a kind of life insurance as well.
    4. No Asset test. All asset test rules are abolished.

    5. Fully taxable: The new pay for old age pensioners are fully taxable. All old-age pension incomes should be declared in the tax return lodging.


    The new way of Old Age pension definition:

    This is RIGHT and not grant. Because you are paying over your working years. Once gained, it cannot be revoked at any circumstances. Even in Jail.


    Simple Old Age Pension Pay Formula:

    Base Old age pension income + variable old Age pension income – any debt to state (e.g. Higher education tuitions, Government loans, state emergency loans or credits, where used…)

    A. Base Old age pension income= 15000 $ annual per old age pensioner. Only few people may get this level of money since the large majority of the retirees have working and earning history. (I gave as a figurative this. This may be higher or around! Do not tackle with this amount.)

    B. Variable Old-Age pension income:

    N (number of working years) x 2 %x average of indexed annual taxable incomes (not gross but the taxable income which yielded paid tax during 40 years working and index mapped to the current year of the retirement. The previous years are indexed mapped to the current year. No bank interest or dividend or share or capital gains tax or gambling money income should have a factor here. All income money from money generator tools are definitely excluded from the calculation. The purpose is here to recognize the hard workmanship, brain and hand efforts.

    From 50 years of working years, select 40 years of working years as your topmost income years. If 40 years working time still cannot be reached, then deduct “1” for each default year in the formula.

    I copy that numerical example from my previous post again here:



    Formula:
    A (constant pay: Eg. 1500$/person) + B (variable part: For each working year, 2% of the final annual work salary.)
    Salary: earnings as an employee, or taxable trade income as declared per year. The max total working years. 40 years.
    Example:
    If the working person reached to 40th working life with salary as 100000 $, for example:
    40 years x 2% x 100 000 $= 80 000 $ annual old-age pension entitlement as variable pay. (Assumed no year is defaulted.)
    If any year is defaulted than it is deducted from 40 years. E.g. 2 years had not worked but rested (except disability times and sickness, or registered unemployed times). Counted as 40 – 2 years = 38 years working years. (Then put 38 years into the formula instead of 40 years.)
    The total old age pension amount to be paid by the State:
    Constant pay: 1 500 $ per month x 12 months=18 000 $. (annual pay)
    Variable pay: 80 000 $ (entitled for a year to receive) /12month x 12month= 80 000 $.
    The final annual old age pension pay: 18 000 + 80 000 = 98 000 $. This is taxable income.
    The tax on this pay is about approx, 30 000 $. The net amount pay, 98 000 $ - 30 000 $ = 68 000 $. Monthly 5750 $ payment.
    Suppose, this person is married, and his spouse has never worked and never earned money in his/her life:
    Once her spouse is entitled to receive his/her old age pension, he /she also gets 1500$ per month. This person does not have to pay any income tax by default (because it is lower than min 19200 $ threshold income).

    That is it! All simple and fair. If the Government t makes own calculation and if they need extra money to realize this, then ask the Superannuation owners to sacrifice some of their Super Money to transfer here. This new way is State Guaranteed and providing more enough through old age pension income and completely free of financial markets, shares dwindling, earthquakes, political turmoil, whatever negative affects you may call.
    Make 1.Old Age Pension Pool start-up fair and 2. Accumulate fair and 3. Distribute fair.
    Old-Age pensioners do not need Financial Planner other than tax advisors, or Super companies to manage this, but old-age pensioners need an Honest Trust-worthy Old-Age Pension Organization by State. Rules are simple, and not-cryptic, open and equal to everybody. Nobody needs begging, but we claim our human rights as our heartbeats go on.
    I support “FM’s Letter” post to the ALP party about the issue. Maybe the Coalition parties may do a big turn around and give big hug to these demands. Who knows?
    I support hearth strong, sprit strong listeners and carers the others.
    Ayers Rock
    31st May 2016
    12:18am
    Post – 3:
    Australian GNP: 1 trillion dollars Gross National Product: 1,000,000,000,000 $ (2016 estimation)
    ¼ quarter is human works (salaries) : 250 000 000 000 $ (250 billions $.)
    2 % x 250 000 000 000 $ = 5 000 000 000 $. (5 billions $)
    Accumulated over the 40 years: 40 years x 5 000 000 000 $ = 200 000 000 000 $. For simplicity, the yield of such enormous money power by operations, investments and returns are not counted. Divide by the number of 1 000 000 (assumed this number) of old age pensioners.
    Per pensioner, average 20 years live, 200 000 000 000 $ / (20 year x 1 000 000 pensioners)= per year
    10, 000 per year per pensioner. If you make true and precise calculation, because the money is invested and operating with returns (min 5% return year). 10 000 $ x (1 + 1.05 x 10 power 40) = 10 000 $ x 8 (approx)=80 000$.
    Barely a minimum 80 000 $ old-age pension per retiree per year. If returns is higher, then hit 100 000 $ per pensioner per year easily.
    Such Old-Age Fund is enormous power, Australia can send to Spaceship Mars in 40 years as well.
    An engineer at 25 years old now, within next 40 years he/she can see Australian space ship is landing to Mars.
    Australia needs Vision. Without vision nothing happens, and we are occupied by the other countries inferior products. Only benefiting party is those products importers, unfortunately. And also those inferior products' manufacturers. See those countries how started quickly their multi billions dollars mega projects and buildings. A big chunk is our national money but they have captured it. Therefore we are turning around a very big vicious cycle, budget deficit, how to eliminate, blah blah, blah…
    Wake up. Sleep is only needed during night time, not day time.
    (Donald is RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT.
    Math proves.)
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    7:07am
    Shorten just managed to lose the unlosable. I have been saying he was the thorn in Labor's side and we had a choice of a bastard or an idiot as leaders. He's proved what an idiot he is. Only a total fool would stick with a policy that Labor has declared ''ill-considered'' and ''grossly unfair''.
    Of course Shorten will point to ''costs'', but only a total fool believes this ridiculous policy that punishes savers can save money for the nation. It will clearly drive pension costs up as people realize that there is an extremely high price to pay for honesty and responsible planning. The disincentive to doing what is needed to reduce pension costs across the board is far too strong. People WILL react. They will buy more expensive homes (making the housing crisis worse). They will gift more. They will spend more. They will cheat. They will do anything to avoid what really amounts to a ''tax'' of more than 150% in many cases - or, put another way, a severe penalty for saving the taxpayer money.

    Every concerned Australian should be writing to Shorten urging him to reverse his decision immediately. This isn't about greed or selfishness or paying pensions to people who don't need them. This is about equity and decency and sound economic management. It's about demonstrating respect for the aged and giving people confidence in their future.

    The aged pension system needs an overhaul. It IS seriously flawed. It DOES give pensions to people who shouldn't be receiving pensions. The problem is that the assets test change is a mathematically and economically unsound change that makes the system a thousand times worse. IT FIXED NOTHING.

    There are sensible ways to reform the pension system to save the nation money WITHOUT increasing the current level of unfairness, imposing hardship on a select group who are already struggling, or destroying the nation's confidence in our pension system. What the LNP did was irresponsible in the extreme and makes them unfit to govern. Sadly, it appears Labor is equally unfit. We need the whole damned lot thrown out and stripped of all their fraudulently claimed benefits and a new system implemented.
    Misty
    31st May 2016
    12:28pm
    I just spoke to my friend's son who is a Financial Planner and the only ones who need to be worried about the pension changes are those with enough wealth that the changes shouldn't affect them.
    Adrianus
    31st May 2016
    12:39pm
    Misty, I also spoke with a Financial Planner and got pretty much the same response. Could it be that those who don't really need the welfare begrudge those who do?
    Rodent
    31st May 2016
    12:47pm
    Rainey

    I tend to agree, Shorten and Jenny Macklin have made a mess of the possible advantages they may have gained had the progressed with an alternative Pension Policy.

    I am also very disappointed by the lack of Media from National Seniors , they are very quiet right now on Pension issue.

    It was clear to me weeks ago that Labor had no alternative Pension Policy, nor were they ever working on one.
    My concern has always been about the Unfairness and inequities, and stupidity of the changes.
    I am also concerned that there are large numbers of existing Pensioners who even now will not have understood the impacts, and wont realise they have been affected until their Pension is Reduced, or worse still Eliminated.
    I also have concerns about the Income Test Impacts for SOME pensioners. It may well be that many Pensioners will have a Lower pension as a result of the Income Test (not assets test) even with the deeming Rates as low as they currently are.
    If the Deeming rates were raised to their Long Term averages , OR the Govt chose to LOWER the Deeming Thresholds (as they proposed) by then withdrew, then many more Pensioners would lose part of their pension .

    I guess we can be sure of one thing, because the Pension is such a large % of the Total Welfare bill it will be targeted more in the future. And if there a people like Bonny in the Govt that think a person with $450k in Assets do not deserve any Support , without even either being a Pensioner, or have a deep understanding of how the Assets and Income test actually works on the ground, then
    God help us.
    Misty
    31st May 2016
    2:55pm
    Rodent I would dance for joy if I had $450.000 in assets and I certainly wouldn't be looking for, or expect, a hand from the government.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    5:15pm
    Misty, I think you just told us why you DON'T have $450,000 in assets. You obviously know very little about finance and economics. If you had $450,000, it would not last you long in retirement without a pension top-up unless you were able to get outstanding returns (far higher than the 5% the government says is average, and way above the miserable 2.5% some retirees are getting).

    Many people affected by the assets test change will have serious problems, depending on their needs and where their assets lie. Aside from that, the system is ridiculously unfair, in that it assesses someone with a $3 million house and $300,000 as needier than someone with a $300,000 house and $800,000. It assesses someone earning 7% return on $400,000 as needier than someone earning 2.5% return on $600,000. That's just the beginning of the stupid unfairness. It rewards people who are able to gift hundreds of thousands to their kids 5 years before retirement. Goodness, it even makes some homeowners far worse off than they would be renting. The system is an illogical, grossly unfair and economically unsustainable disaster!

    The real issue, though, as anyone with intelligence can see, is that the taxpayer is being duped. Retirees are being PAID to divest their savings. The soon to retire are offered huge rewards for NOT saving, for gifting, for overinvesting in housing, etc. The cost of pensions will soar as a result.

    If people put aside their envy and analysed the changes sensibly and logically, they would realize that they are detrimental to the nation, and for that reason anyone with a brain will oppose them strenuously.

    As for your friend's son, Misty.... I sympathize with anyone he advises. He's obviously inept. Don't take advice from him, whatever you do.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    5:29pm
    Glad the fool you spoke to isn't advising me, Frank. Obviously knows NOTHING about financial management.
    Thankfully, Labor at least acknowledge the flaws in the system and that the changes to the assets test were stupid.
    Clearly, the LNP and Green politicians are as dumb as the inept financial advisers Misty and Frank talk to. No wonder the national debt is soaring! The fools in power don't understand the most elementary facts - such as when returns are only 5% average, only an idiot offers 7.8% for NOT saving.
    Misty
    31st May 2016
    6:21pm
    Well Rainy my son's friend has looked after my modest Super and it has stayed the same for the last few years in spite of my monthly pension and I haven't had to draw down on it at all.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    6:37pm
    Yet neither you nor your friend's son can see that if someone is getting 5% or less return on their investments - fixed forever - and you offer them 7.8% increasing every 6 months to SPEND their money, they are going to be strongly tempted to spend up big and claim the 7.8%?

    What planet do you live on that you assume people who were smart enough to save more than $450,000 can't figure out that 7.8% indexed is better than 5% not indexed?
    Bonny
    31st May 2016
    7:35pm
    Rainey most genuine pensioners I know just accept whatever the government gives them. It's only those wealthy ones who get the pension because they are entitled but don't really need it that seem to want to whinge and want more.

    My super fund keeps on getting a little bit bigger every year even though I take out the minimum each year. It usually makes more than 7.8% a year and is tracking well this year too. It is not that hard for a competent investor to achieve these returns. Not too sure why people would worry about the pension if they can achieve better elsewhere myself.
    OlderandWiser
    1st Jun 2016
    7:47pm
    There you go again, Bonny, with you ME ME ME and bugger everyone else. It's sick! So YOUR fund makes more than 7.8%. Good for you. Not everyone is as privileged and advantaged as you. Many were seriously deprived in earlier life and don't understand investment, or fear risk. Many find themselves locked in to unprofitable investments in assets that aren't readily saleable. Many invested in areas where returns have crashed for various reasons.

    Tens of thousands of people CAN'T achieve better than the pension elsewhere. If they could, they would. But with less than $800,000 to invest, it's extremely difficult to earn enough, consistently, to equal the aged pension for a couple, let alone to add enough to keep up with inflation. And draining capital is okay if you are 85 or 90. At 65, it's scary, especially if your family has a history of longevity. In 25 years time, $800,000 might have the buying power $80,000 has today. If it's been eroded to $300,000 by using capital, that could leave people who planned and saved hard for old age in very difficult circumstances. Sure, they will be no worse off than people who didn't save - but they DESERVE to be MUCH BETTER OFF. If people can't benefit from saving, the economy WILL collapse.

    Honestly, the arrogance and selfishness of the ''I'm okay Jack stuff you'' egotists in this country is sickening. No wonder the country is in a mess. Once, we believed in a ''fair go'' and helping our neighbours. We had respect for others. We admired those who worked hard and did well, rather than being green-eyed and nasty and demanding they be stripped of the proceeds of their endeavours.

    Now, it's ME ME ME and ME again. It's look after the rich, give crumbs grudgingly to the poor, and bash the middle class until they are wallowing in poverty. DO NOT let anyone who isn't wealthy benefit from their hard work and frugal living.

    Our society is stuffed!
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    3:07pm
    Labor IS reversing the assets test change - unless my local Labor member is ill-informed, which I think unlikely. Jenny Macklin also supports the response of my local member.

    My local member advises that Labor intends to review the entire pension system URGENTLY - to ensure that SENSIBLE changes are made BEFORE Jan 2017. What Shorten meant (and unfortunately his message was not clear) is that they won't JUST reverse the changes. They will reverse them as part of an urgently needed and long overdue overhaul of a very flawed system that Labor recognizes is going to drive pension costs up by forcing retirees to divest their wealth.
    Bonny
    31st May 2016
    3:23pm
    The MPs around here don't support that as they have agreed with me that it was a good idea and couples with $1 million in assets don't need the pension.

    They have also told me that they are considering adding the house to the assets test in order to address the inequity of the present system.

    I have also been in touch with Centrelink and have been told that they know nothing of any changes to the deeming rates in light of the latest interest rate cut.
    Rodent
    31st May 2016
    3:24pm
    Dear Rainey

    We are on the same page, BUT I really don't believe you on this occasion. As you may remember from some of my posts I have been in CONSTANT contact with Jenny Macklin's office , and nothing like this was or has been said. I will ask again if what you say is true?

    It is my expectation that IF this were correct, I would have heard by now?
    Rae
    31st May 2016
    5:29pm
    Yes let's add houses to the asset test, crash the property market and see where that gets us. Typical plan with no thought of consequences.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    5:37pm
    Bonny, the MPs you talk to must be real idiots. Please give me their names so I can campaign to have them removed. They are taking fat salaries to stuff the nation. Only a total moron would agree with paying retirees to divest their assets and claim fatter pensions.
    Bonny
    31st May 2016
    7:20pm
    How do you know retirees will divest their assets and claim fatter pensions? Since they cannot give their money away they must spend it on themselves and as a spokesperson from Centrelink told me they have no problem with people doing just that. I really can't see a person who has gone without and saved all their life just blowing their money as you seem to think they will. The guilt factor alone would be enough to kill them.
    Rodent
    31st May 2016
    3:20pm
    Misty

    I understand your thoughts. Yes to many people its a lot of money, more than many have but to others it may not be a lot. What I have tried to do in my Posts re the Pension changes is deal with the facts, as presented by the Govt

    I tried to point out the inequities in the Pension changes, foe example
    at the $450k Figure a Single Home Owner LOSES $6064pa in Pension resulting in $7121 pa
    and a Single Non Home Owner has an unchanged pension of $17,875pa, and a Couple Non Home Owner has an unchanged pension of $31,280 pa and a Couple Home Owner receives a $28,402pa pension which is actually a $350 pa small Increase

    So why should the Single Home Owner be so harshly treated COMPARED to others at the SAME asset Figure?
    Bonny
    31st May 2016
    3:31pm
    That is why the house must be included in the assets test as it is just so inequitable.
    Misty
    31st May 2016
    4:03pm
    Get real Bonny my house is not an assett, I do not get rent assistance from the govt which I would get if I lost some of my pension and had to rent a house, the gov t should be encouraging people to stay in their own homes, at least that way when they depart this earth their children or grandchildren might at least have the chance of owning a home something many can no longer look forward too.
    Bonny
    31st May 2016
    4:12pm
    By the time must pensioners die their children and grandchildren would be old enough to already have their own homes and they wold not need the money.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    5:34pm
    What utopia do you live in, Bonny? That's the most idiotic statement I've read on this site - and I've read some dumb comments. And this from the person who was whining, a few days ago, about how hard some young taxpayers have it? Make up your mind! You are making a total fool of yourself with your ill-thought-out and contradictory nonsense.

    Misty, you say the government should encourage people to stay in their own home, but yet you support changes that discourage saving. You aren't making much sense, sorry! The government SHOULD encourage people to be as independent as possible. That means acquiring a home and staying in it AND retaining savings. And that means NOT making people who saved worse off than people who didn't.
    Bonny
    31st May 2016
    6:08pm
    Pensioners usually die at an age where their children are in their 60s and grandchildren late 30s.

    Had a lady contacted me only the other day saying her mother had died an left her some money and she was upset that she would lose her pension. She has since put her house on the market and looking to buy a more expensive one and book herself an expensive round the world cruise. I tried to tell her she would be better off without the pension but no she just wanted to do whatever it took to keep it.
    Misty
    31st May 2016
    6:24pm
    Mine won't Bonny they are only 5 and 6, the grandsons I mean.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    6:26pm
    Your statements just keep getting dumber, Bonny! Pensioners die at all ages with kids and grandkids at all ages. And who says kids in their 30s own houses? Plenty in their 60s don't - otherwise we wouldn't have rent allowance included in the old age pension! What about the disabled? What do they own? And those who lose their wealth in business collapses, bad investments, or marriage breakups? Honestly, your comments are so unbelievably dumb!
    Bonny
    31st May 2016
    7:11pm
    Is that what welfare is for Rainey? To help those who really need it.
    OlderandWiser
    1st Jun 2016
    5:34pm
    The aged pension is NOT welfare, Bonny. Learn your history. It's only arrogant, self-opinionated and self-serving liars who have recently tried to change history and declare the aged pension something it isn't. But the facts remain. It NEVER WAS welfare. It was never intended to be means tested and it was NEVER intended to be regarded as anything other than an ENTITLEMENT.
    Bonny
    2nd Jun 2016
    12:26pm
    Entitlements are things everyone gets but only some people get the pension simply because it is welfare nothing more.
    Rodent
    31st May 2016
    4:36pm
    Bonny - How Predictable - Include the House in the Assets Test.

    Just to show you how silly you really are try this as a example
    Using the $450k figure as a starting point for all Pensioner types. Just add say an average House Value of $500k (at 100% of its value)
    A Single Home Owner now has NEW assets of $950k and receives NIL PENSION
    A Couple Home Owner now has NEW assets of $950k and receives NIL PENSION

    To level the playing field, make each of the Other Non Home Owners , ie Single and a Couples the same $950k in assets and GUESS what the Single Non Home owner gets NIL Pension, BUT the Couple Non Home Owner would still receive $5002pa in Pension.

    So here in this simple example is a Non Home Owner Couple with more than TWICE what you say is above an amount that should receive any Pension and yet they will still receive $5002 pa in Pension at $950k in Assets !!!!

    Dont you understand that you cannot just include the home in the Assets Test, both the Baby and the Bathwater would have to go and a NEW income based system would have to replace it, recognising both Earned Income and Deemed Income
    Bonny
    31st May 2016
    5:00pm
    Of course you can include the house in the assets test. One way it would work would be to exclude all those with a house valued over $2 million. Another way would be to add the median house price to the assets test and calculate it all from there. There are lots of ways of including the hosue in the assets test.

    Why should someone with house worth $100,000 get same pension as someone with a house worth $5 million?

    Holiday houses are already valued for the assets test so it is not a difficult thing to value a house. Any decent real estate agent should be able to get it within 5% of it's value.
    Bonny
    31st May 2016
    5:01pm
    Maybe a deemed income test with the house deemed as well other assets might be a good test as well. Then if you earn more than the deeming rate you come out in front.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    5:24pm
    The logical and fair solution is to include the house but set a high threshold and then assess the higher of the deemed OR actual income over that threshold.

    Let's say the threshold is set at $1.3 million for a couple, allowing for an $800,000 house and $500,000 in assets. Set the single rate at maybe 70% of that. (The exact amounts are for actuaries to figure out). Everyone is permitted assets OF ANY KIND up to the threshold with no loss. That discourages over-investing in housing and properly rewards those who accept more modest accommodation, thus easing the housing affordability crisis.

    Over the threshold, a deeming rate is applied. So if a couple has $2 million including their home, the earnings on $700,000 are assessed at either the actual return rate achieved or a deemed rate (whichever is greater) and the pension reduced by 50c in the $1.

    That would be a much fairer system and would remove the damaging disincentive to save that currently threatens the viability of the entire pension system.
    Misty
    31st May 2016
    6:28pm
    What are you going on about Rainey, you really do have a bee in your bonnet maybe you should take a Bex and have a lie down, I have saved all my life so don't you accuse me of not saving.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    6:41pm
    Misty, I didn't accuse you of not saving. I said you don't understand finance, otherwise you would see that offering people a rich reward for spending and punishing them harshly for saving CANNOT help the country's balance sheet.

    It's about economics, not people. You don't get people to save by making them worse off for doing so.

    I'm concerned for the future of the country. When your pension is slashed because there are hundreds of thousands more pensioners claiming far fatter pensions after shedding their wealth in response to a dumb assets test change, you will wonder why. WAKE UP!
    The country can't afford the ignorance of people who can't see past a dumb dishonest slogan or whose jealousy drives dumb decisions. We need Australians to wake up to reality and support COMMON SENSE POLICY that will SAVE MONEY FOR TAXPAYERS.
    OlderandWiser
    31st May 2016
    6:43pm
    And YES, Misty, I've got a bee in my bonnet. Because I'm terrified for the future of this nation if the idiots in power aren't stopped from implementing STUPID policies that are driving the debt through the roof.

    We need ALL retirees to unite and demand sensible, fair, workable reform that will enable fair pensions to be maintained.
    Misty
    31st May 2016
    6:58pm
    Rainey what makes you think all retirees, pensioners will divest themselves of their assets when the changes come in?, just because Bonny said it doesn't make it real.
    Bonny
    31st May 2016
    7:08pm
    The government wants all the money it can gets it's hands on today to pay for Labor's reckless spending and the time bombs it left behind. It tried to diffuse those time bombs but had a hostile senate.

    I really don't think the pensioners are going to divest themselves of their assets when the changes come in because as the government knows that is simply not in their nature to do so. If you have been thrifty all your life it is simply very difficult to spend down your assets like you say Rainey.

    These policies are not stupid as they are going to save the government money.
    OlderandWiser
    1st Jun 2016
    5:30pm
    Misty, self-interest ALWAYS prevails over the interests of others. People WILL divest their assets. I know many who plan to gift to their kids 5 years before retirement. I've even spoken to some who plan to stash money under the mattress, or separate from partners. Lots are upgrading their homes. When you slash someone's income by 25%+ overnight, after lying to get elected - saying you wouldn't do it - don't expect them to be patriotic.

    Bonny, Labor didn't spend recklessly. Why don't you educate yourself? The worst spending was by Howard and Costello, gifting the proceeds of a huge boom to the rich with obscene handouts that Labor were stuck honouring, despite them becoming totally unaffordable.

    And Bonny, the policies ARE STUPID and they are NOT going to save the government money. People WILL find ways around them. It's human nature. When the government shafts you unfairly, you hit back. And EVERY SINGLE AFFECTED PERSON I speak to has plans to do so. Every young Australian I speak to is planning to circumvent the appallingly unfair and foolish system. Every financial adviser tells me their clients are discussing how to respond to the changes to ensure they don't lose out. No government EVER won by screwing people over dishonestly and unfairly. It simply can't work.

    I know a financial adviser who declares that 96 out of 98 clients affected by the change have already booked cruises at prices of more than $100,000. I'd be astonished if his clients were somehow different from the clients of other advisers.

    But keep dreaming, Bonny. Just like the idiots who formulated the policy and claimed the savings. You will all find out in due course. Sadly, it will be at the nation's heavy cost, and it's needy pensioners who will be the biggest losers. But sadly they have been deceived into supporting the idiotic policy. They believe the lies.
    Ayers Rock
    31st May 2016
    7:27pm
    I have heard all the other’ s previous comments:

    1. Good to hear that ALP will probably do some reform on the pensioners rights instead of vicky vacky make-up retouching. Hoping that ALP succeeds if they are in full governing power in the next Parliament. Even both ALP and Coalition parties even Greens can make joint consensus to solve this problem from the foundation on fairness base. If we believe democracy for the people, and they are the democratic political parties, why not? They are working for the people, aren’t they? or am I a naive person?

    2. If this issue is shelved and locked for dust in the next Parliament, God help us.

    And I also deeply see that we, Australia may be very intelligent and smart country , isn’t it? On the contrast, some countries (E.g. Germany, Netherlands, and EU Nordic countries) seem far behind us.

    No more post for this issue here. I am done.
    Misty
    31st May 2016
    7:35pm
    Me too.
    Happy Jack
    31st May 2016
    9:06pm
    Hey! Bonney" Honney!! who was it who raised the debt ceiling (the legal level the government can borrow ) from 20 Billion bucks to 60 Billion bucks? I'll tell you who, sweetheart? -your LIEberal party Government, that's who.
    That along with the 40 Million they gifted to the reserve bank for pure political reasons, to show the previous Labor Govt in bad light and enable your LIEberal party Govt to make very,very generous tax cuts to the wealthiest in our community.
    Wake up, Boney, if indeed you are a pensioner and not a LIEberal pary stooge, these characters will chew you and spit you out.
    Adrianus
    1st Jun 2016
    9:05am
    The Howard government had no need for a debt ceiling, due to it’s responsible fiscal policies, which saw Australia as the envy of the world and a top ten economy.
    A debt ceiling on how much the Australian government could borrow was created in 2007 by the Rudd Government and set at $75 billion. Rudd obviously had some well founded fears. He knew what his Union buddies were like with credit cards.
    It was increased in 2009 to $200 billion.
    Increased to $250 billion in 2011.
    Increased to $300 billion in May 2012.
    In November 2013, Treasurer Joe Hockey requested Parliament's approval for an increase in the debt limit from $300 billion to $500 billion, saying that the limit will be exhausted by mid-December 2013. With the support of the Australian Greens, the Abbott Government repealed the debt ceiling over the opposition of the Australian Labor Party.
    Labor, big on politics and BS, short on fiscal management.
    OlderandWiser
    1st Jun 2016
    4:18pm
    What crap you write, Frank! The Labor Government had a GFC to cope with, after the Howard government had WASTED the profits of a massive boom making huge gifts to the rich - creating obligations Labor was stuck with, despite them being unaffordable and unjust.

    The Howard/Costello Government was the biggest spending and most wasteful government in our history. They got away with it, substantially, because of the boom. Sadly, many Australians are too dumb to think past ''surplus''/''deficit''. The detail is just too complex for small brains.

    We are now seeing the results of LNP mismanagement when there isn't a boom. Heaven help us if we have to tolerate much more of it.
    Adrianus
    1st Jun 2016
    6:04pm
    Facts Rainey as Friday would say nothin' but the facts. Here's another small one for you. This government has had to rake up $30b just to pay the interest on Labor's debt. That is why pensions for $millionaires will be cut next year. That is why Members with large super balances will have their tax advantage watered down from July. It's not rocket science and yet some reasonably intelligent people have trouble understanding.
    OlderandWiser
    1st Jun 2016
    7:54pm
    Wrong again, Frank. It isn't ''Labor's debt''. That's an LNP lie. It's a debt inherited from Howard and Costello's extravagances and from struggling through a GFC - a debt tripled by the current inept government, and due to grow further as a result of thoroughly STUPID and destructive policies that pay pensioners to blow their savings and gift billions to the US government in pretend tax cuts to companies.

    No, it's not rocket science. It's very simple. Tax those who can afford to pay. Stop gifting to foreign tax offices and pretending you are helping companies invest and grow. Implement SENSIBLE pension and superannuation reform (along the lines suggested by the SENSIBLE lobby groups and advisory organizations), regulate obscene salaries and benefits, and increase allocations to people who SPEND and drive demand -which drives profit growth and job growth and tax revenue.

    Whilever we have a stinking government hell bent on giving it all to the rich, stripping the nation of essential services, bashing battlers, and lying about inheriting a debt instead of FIXING it, we cannot solve anything.

    This government has demonstrated the most horrific incompetence ever seen in Australia. We need them GONE GONE GONE.
    Adrianus
    2nd Jun 2016
    7:16pm
    Rainey don't be fooled. It's Labor's debt!
    disillusioned
    1st Jun 2016
    12:35pm
    Stupid me! How could I possibly think that any of the parties gave a stuff about us oldies struggling along on our retirement savings? Nope, they're all tarred with the same egocentric brush - the "I'm alright, Jack" mentality of both sides of government is appalling!
    Aussie
    5th Jun 2016
    10:55pm
    Hey ...How about this ..unbelievable expense to people that govern us ...Incredible

    Australians demand end to generous pensions for retiring politicians
    Date
    May 7, 2016
    Read later
    Adam Gartrell
    Adam Gartrell
    National Political Correspondent
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    Former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop delivers her valedictory address. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
    Almost 90,000 people have signed an online petition demanding an end to generous post-Parliament perks for politicians.

    Most of the 25 federal politicians who are not re-contesting the July 2 election will be paid a pension of $118,000 a year – and in some cases much more – for the rest of their lives.

    Nineteen are believed to be eligible for the controversial Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Scheme, a defined benefits scheme that already costs taxpayers more than $40 million a year.

    Most will be paid a minimum of $118,125 – or 75 per cent of a current MP's base salary for superannuation purposes of $157,500. Many will also benefit from extra allowances for time served as ministers or office holders.

    Former speaker Bronwyn Bishop, who was dumped by her party last month, will be one of the biggest beneficiaries, grossing around $255,000 a year. Former deputy prime minister Warren Truss and long-serving ministers Ian Macfarlane and Philip Ruddock will get between $150,000 and $200,000 a year.

    While the scheme is only available to politicians elected before 2004, the petition calls for it to be scrapped entirely.

    Started by Queensland woman Michelle Pedersen, the change.org petition started last year hit the 88,000 mark on Saturday.

    Ms Pedersen, a support worker in the disabilities sector, says she started the petition out of "sheer frustration" that politicians continued to suck on the public teat long after they stopped serving the public.

    "The current 'leaders' of this country say that we have to tighten our belts, to live within our means," she said.

    "I am sure that you, like myself, would like to continue being paid a pension and entitlements after holding a position for a few years until the day we die. However, this is not how it is for us. We don't make the rules."

    The petition is more than halfway to its goal of 150,000 signatures.

    The Parliament is losing more than 400 years of lawmaking experience with this year's mass exodus.

    And that's not including the MPs and senators who have called it quits since the 2013 election, sparking by-elections or Senate vacancies.

    Of those, former prime minister Kevin Rudd, former treasurer Joe Hockey and senators Brett Mason and Kate Lundy also qualify for pensions.

    John Howard scrapped the pension scheme for new MPs in 2004 after coming under pressure from then-opposition leader Mark Latham.

    Several of the longest-serving MPs, including Mrs Bishop, Mr Ruddock and Mr Truss, will also be eligible for the Life Gold Pass, which entitles them to 10 taxpayer-funded business-class return flights a year.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australians-demand-end-to-generous-pensions-for-retiring-politicians-20160506-goobhn.html#ixzz4Ahztsb00
    Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

    NO MATTER WHAT WE DO NO MATTER WHAT WE SAY WE ARE OLD AND READY FOR THE BOX ......THAT IS MY FEELING OF THE WAY THEY THINK ABOUT US THAT IS WHY THEY DO NOT CARE IF WE HAVE A PLACE TO LIVE OR EAT ... THEY DO NOT GIVE A S....T ABOUT US AS LONG THEY FILL THEIR POCKETS .....WELCOME TO BEAUTIFUL AUSTRALIA ....
    Adrianus
    6th Jun 2016
    7:11am
    Aussie, I think parliamentary pensions should be linked to 28% of FAS which is a similar amount to the aged/disability pension. 28% of average wage.
    Alexii
    27th Jun 2016
    11:53am
    Labor voted against the changes so they should be prepared to rescind the changes if they get in to government. It's absolutely disgusting if they don't for they are just treating pensioners and self fund retirees as a soft target. Shame on them.
    Alexii
    27th Jun 2016
    11:58am
    See Seniors United Party of Australia Facebook page for policies. They are fielding NSW candidates in senate.
    Supernan
    13th Sep 2016
    1:09pm
    Most of us agree there should be changees to asset limits. So we dont want limit reversed. Just made a bit less severe. Lets make sure Labor know this ! Then they will realise it wont cost them much at all.
    Aussie
    13th Sep 2016
    5:12pm
    Superman
    I agreed with the super reform but lets look at the big politician picture ..... are they affected ???? ...I do not think so some how they still getting enormous pension in comparison to us.
    So in principle I agree but why the politicians get a different pension payments ??? why ...why ?????

    Can you or someone explain that ????
    I do not mind a bit more than us but so excessive payments if a robbery


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