24th May 2018
What YourLifeChoices members said on assessing the family home
Author: Janelle Ward
YLC members archetype

Asset-rich, cash-poor – that’s the refrain of many older Australian home-owners as they approach retirement age.

Which makes Michael Rice’s recommendation in his report, The Age Pension in the 21st Century, presented to an Actuaries Institute Financial Services Forum, provocative.

Mr Rice says the pension and superannuation systems favour wealthy, home-owning retirees at the expense of middle-income retirees and renters. He says retirees’ homes valued at more than about $500,000 should be included in the Age Pension assets test.

“Currently, the exclusion of the family home from the assets test creates distortions in savings patterns and favours home-owners over renters. In addition, it discourages downsizing, as the proceeds of downsizing would become subject to means testing.

“Up until about 30 year ago, the value of a family home in a capital city was about 2.5 times average annual earnings. It is now between eight and 12 times earnings, depending on the state or territory. Consequently, the home is a valuable investment, far beyond what was originally envisaged for social welfare benefits.”

Including the family home in an Age Pension assets tests – and at what point – is an emotive issue. What do YourLifeChoices members think about Mr Rice’s report? The overwhelming sentiment was anger.

Here are some of your edited comments:

“I am sick and tired of hearing that retirees should sell their family homes to free up the property market. I would bet all politicians in state, federal, and local councils have more property investments than retirees. Leave the retirees alone, especially on home ownership and superannuation.”

“I for one, reside in a two-bedroom apartment in Zetland, and that is all the downsizing that should be required of me. However, my apartment is close to reaching the value of $1,000,000, which is the reported as the value when most agree it should be included in the proposed Age Pension asset test. Further, by the time I reach eligibility age for the Age Pension, my apartment might even increase in value. I worked very hard, and did without a lot … to pay off my apartment as a single male working/living in the city. I would be horrified should any Age Pension I’m entitled to, be reduced and/or declined, based on the value of my apartment. What am I supposed to do? Move to an Australian country town where I know nobody and have no family?”

“Rubbish –  and keep ‘experts’ like this one well away from my house and super …”

“An utterly ridiculous proposal with no reference whatsoever to the market price and bound to impact savagely on those with the least.”

“Most retirees worked hard to own their own home… I know that I worked five days, three nights and an occasional Saturday to pay off my home. I went without many things to pay off the mortgage.”

“We downsized two years ago and our small new place has now caught up to the old larger place in price. Do retirees have to sell up and move into a smaller residence every couple of years? I can see us all living in a tent within 10 years.”

“Generally, property values are driven by the market and are out of an owner's control but the real impact is that with increased property value comes higher council rates etc. Sure one could ‘downsize’, sell out and move elsewhere, but that, too, comes with a high price to the elderly: increased stress, financial worry and struggling to cope with living in a strange place.”

“I can see merit in these suggestions. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. However, we need to protect the middle and poor. We also need to make sure that any savings are passed on so that the full pension is raised to give the poorest a better quality of life. To account for richer and poorer areas, I suggest that the median house price should be also be used. For example, the asset test could start to kick in should a dwelling be above the median dwelling (price) at the postcode. There would also need to be minimum and maximum levels. I know people living in houses worth $5 million who still get a part pension. This should be paid to the poorest.”

Do you believe it is time that Michael Rice’s suggestion that homes worth above $500,000 and above should be taken into consideration in the Age Pension assets test?

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    COMMENTS

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    jennyc355
    24th May 2018
    10:45am
    Typical ... those of us who actually own our home and don’t ask for rental assistance etc it added to our assests ,,
    MICK
    24th May 2018
    11:53am
    Yep....war on those who got a home through some pretty tough times and making some pretty tough decisions.

    $500,000 would not get you a decent block of land in Sydney. Michael Rice is likely on this government's payroll otherwise he could not come out with such a stupid ill founded report. This community will ignore it.
    Bring on the election.
    Old Man
    24th May 2018
    12:14pm
    How do you do it so consistently MICK? No matter what the topic is, you blame the government. You have some good posts but they are sometimes ruined by your obsession.
    MICK
    24th May 2018
    12:23pm
    This issue and the attack on retirees are completely of this government's doing. Tell me it is not so OM and I'll stop blowing the trumpet.

    Labor gave retirees a fair pension increase when it was in. This lot have come after retirees repeatedly and the comments we all read are testament to the harm the coalition has done to this community.

    I know you are a Liberal through and through OM but it is better for Australians to change their stripes when we have have the scale of betrayal this lot has shown. Can't get any worse unless they get the dictatorship they want.
    Old Man
    24th May 2018
    12:50pm
    I could take you up on your suggestion, MICK, and just say it is not so and you being an honourable person will stop blowing the trumpet but I think that would be unfair. This issue does not have any fingerprints from any government member on it. Whilst it mentions Martin Stevenson of the Department of Treasury, the mention is only in connection with "producing modelling and other numerical work". It is presumed that this work was carried out within parameters set by Rice. The conclusions drawn by Rice are his and although he is experienced and well credentialled, it is still just his theory, not fact.

    Labor changed to method of calculation of some pensions from CPI to average wage although CPI has now passed average wage and the government reverted to the CPI adjustments. Yes, Labor granted a supplement to cover the costs of their carbon tax that we were promised wouldn't happen and, according to some economists, it didn't cover the cost increase.

    Really MICK, it matters little who I support and your guess is just that, a guess. If my posts suggest one thing or another then so be it but if you read my posts, they are more often than not asking for proof of ridiculous claims or chastising posters for what I would call inappropriate language.
    MICK
    24th May 2018
    1:41pm
    I'm certainly big enough and old enough to take it on the chin. No problems there if a fair cop.

    With regards to retirees this government has nibbled away at the edges. Lowering assets test to one which was too tough..which caught many who are able to do little more than earn a 'pension' which is often less than the current OAP. Then came pushing the retirement age to 70. Then came trying to include the family home to push yet more retirees off the pension. I believe I missed some but perhaps other readers can fill in the blanks.

    So where is all that 'saved' pension money going to? Clearly to rich Australians and multinationals who have absolutely no need of government welfare.
    I make no apologies for going after this decrepit government OM. It is a cancer on our society and needs to go very quickly no matter which side of politics you are on.
    George
    24th May 2018
    9:10pm
    Yes, jenny, it is also a STUPID idea floated with support from his Liberal cronies to pit Renters against Homeowners. This is clearly just a brain-dead solution from a right-wing analyst who thinks he can also gets Greens support with this tricky idea - just like they did with the Assets test change. YLC should not give him any more publicity, and let him know the anger he has generated among retirees.
    HS
    24th May 2018
    10:57am
    If you have a $1 million dollar apartment , sell it and live off the proceeds. You should not be able to qualify for OAP until you are down to the amount of allowed threshold.
    OAP is not a reward for all the hard work in the past and sacrifices of owning a home. OAP is for the poor, it a Safety Net for those who were not fortunate enough to self-fund their retirement.
    Whether you 1) live on $1,000 per week or 2) live on $800 per week. You can survive the next 20 years on a $1 million dollars.

    You might be cash poor but your asset rich, sell it and live off that!!!
    YES YOU CAN ! YES YOU SHOULD ! YES, YOU WILL HAVE TO...soon!
    HS
    24th May 2018
    11:08am
    As for politicians on government pension. You lot ought to be ashamed of yourselves taking a government pension on retirement and working in the private sector.
    Your pension should not be any different to the common citizens pension and subject to the same rules.
    It is nothing short of larceny of tax payer's money how you privilege yourself to different rules.
    MICK
    24th May 2018
    11:57am
    "Not fortunate enough"? Clearly you made no sacrifices in your past and do not own your own home. Now you want those who did make sacrifices to not enjoy themselves a little in their old age. What a jealous miserable you must be HS. Stand back and be fair!

    It might come as a surprise to you that all other first world countries have a universal pension system and do not come after retirees with a vengeance like our low life government. That is why this lot are heading out the door shortly. I just hope voters remember what this lot has done to working Australians for decades to come.
    Sundays
    24th May 2018
    12:50pm
    HS, does that mean, you think it’s OK for people not to bother trying to buy a home, or save for their future? Just spend everything, and when you’re old the Government will look after you. That really would be a tax burden!
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    1:26pm
    Yes, clearly HS wants universal poverty - because that will be the result of this stupidity. Why bother to work, save and pay off a mortgage if you then lose entitlements in old age as a result? Might as well live it up, cruise the world, and take handouts. Only gullible 'do-gooder' fools subscribe to this socialist mentality.
    To build an affluent society, we need rewards for hard work and responsible living. We need people to be able to enjoy the fruit of their labours.
    Currently, we have a system that promotes increased hardship and ultimately increased dependence on the government. That's idiotic! And punishing homeowners would only make it much worse.
    MICK
    24th May 2018
    1:45pm
    TREBOR - I can understand that it might not be nice to see your fellow retirees having some quality of life in their remaining years. I get that all the time.
    What HS misses is the tremendous sacrifices many of us made whilst some Australians lived a charmed life. The right calls this jealousy but it is plain sad that those who created their own futures because they did not want to save and invest now demand that others who did should be set upon. This is not the Australian way.
    ozrog
    24th May 2018
    6:01pm
    Be careful what you wish for as any changes will affect everyone in the future. The slippery slope could be long and expensive for when the young ones of today approach retirement.
    HS
    26th May 2018
    2:46am
    What a bunch of greedy hyenas some people are!
    HS
    26th May 2018
    3:10am
    ""Not fortunate enough"? Clearly you made no sacrifices in your past and do not own your own home. Now you want those who did make sacrifices to not enjoy themselves a little in their old age. What a jealous miserable you must be HS. Stand back and be fair!"

    Actually, Mick. I do own my home and a car. I am not at all jealous. I have made many sacrifices along the way in my past. In order to own my own home in retirement I had to move out of the city to a regional centre where the home was affordable. You see, Mick, I wasn't fortunate enough to own my home in the city. I preach what I know.
    You and the others know 'jack-sh^t about my past.
    Life in the regional city is great. It's no different to living in a large city suburb.
    Well, it's even better ...there is less pollution in the air !
    PlanB
    26th May 2018
    9:52am
    How long do you think that money would last HS if you had to rent! and keep yourself
    PlanB
    26th May 2018
    9:54am
    HS you know what you can do--- but b4 you do the Pension IS NOT a hand out we paid F#@*& taxes to be able to get it
    PlanB
    26th May 2018
    9:57am
    AND HS you know Jack Shit about other past and what they have been through too
    HS
    26th May 2018
    12:20pm
    Plan B, Read my words !!! "Whether you 1) live on $1,000 per week or 2) live on $800 per week. You can survive the next 20 years on a $1 million dollars".

    So, if you retire at 67, you are good to the age of 87 but, not if you remain living in the capital state city.
    PlanB
    26th May 2018
    12:26pm
    HS I got out of the Sydney area as I would not like to live in ANY CITY -- I am where I wanted to be for many years but had to stay in said city because of WORK --- now I am well retired I would not care if I never saw a capital city ever again and I have been out of the Sydney area since 1987
    HS
    26th May 2018
    12:51pm
    Mick! You wrote:-
    "It might come as a surprise to you that all other first world countries have a universal pension system and do not come after retirees with a vengeance like our low life government"

    I recently read that Finland which has been running the universal pension system for past 2 years is discontinuing it because it is not sustainable.

    A reasonable person would step back after some good deep thought and hope that the "vengeance" is not really against those retirees in need of a pension but against those who can live off what they have until they reach the point of needing the 'safety net' of a pension.

    There is nothing wrong with the government's mission to weed out those who have the means to live off their assets.
    HS
    26th May 2018
    1:29pm
    And, the weeding out must include politicians, federal, state and municipal councils levels.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    27th May 2018
    4:03am
    There is a great deal wrong with grinding people who worked hard into poverty and denying the next generation the inheritance their parents worked so hard to pass down, while handing out to people who wasted their money and doling out obscenely to the well-off. The aged pension is NOT a high cost to our society. Australia spends less than half what other nations spend (as a portion of GDP) on the aged, and the expenditure is falling. Yet Australia wastes countless billions - increasing rapidly - on superannuation tax concessions for the wealthiest 20% - who DO NOT NEED THIS SUPPORT. We can apparently afford to slash taxes for rich corporations and for high income earners. We can afford obscene remuneration for politicians and senior bureaucrats, with retirement benefits and expense allowances that boggle the mind.

    Please don't give me this UNSUSTAINABLE BS! It is simply NOT TRUE. It's a matter of spending priorities - nothing more! And cutting pensions will cut spending that creates jobs and drives more tax revenue and business profit. The reduction in wealth magnifies over time. As more people realize there is no benefit to having a home or saving for retirement, people will work less and pay less tax. What's the point? Why take on extra work hours when you won't benefit from the money? People will take time off and spend up big instead, knowing that savings and assets are worthless in retirement.

    It's a recipe for economic disaster!
    Old Geezer
    28th May 2018
    10:49am
    OGR but you want to grind the wealthy into poverty instead by raising their taxes even further. No wonder we have such a high welfare mentality in this country today.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    30th May 2018
    2:02pm
    OG, you make up fairy stories. I have no desire to grind the wealthy into poverty, and we could multiply their tax rate by 50 and it still wouldn't touch them. We have a welfare mentality because of arseholes who insist only the middle and working class should be deprived while we hand out to the rich and give crumbs to the poor.
    We have a welfare mentality because of GREED AND SELFISHNESS AT THE TOP.
    jackie
    24th May 2018
    11:01am
    1909

    From April the Old-Age Pension (AP) was introduced. The pension was subject to a means test as follows:

    The value of property, both real and personal, owned by a pensioner could not exceed 310 pounds and applicants were not permitted to deprive themselves of property in order to qualify for the pension
    Where the value of the property of a single pensioner included their residence and exceeded 100 pounds, pension was reduced by one pound for every ten pounds of value in excess of 100 pounds. Where the property did not include their residence or that residence produced income, pension was reduced by one pound for every ten pounds of value in excess of 50 pounds. The pensions of members of couples were reduced in the same way but the amounts above which pension was reduced were halved to 50 pounds and 25 pounds respectively
    Income over 26 pounds per annum reduced the amount of pension payable on a pound for pound basis. The rate of pension was initially 26 pounds per annum, so a pensioner's total income could not exceed 52 pounds per annum under these rules. Each member of a pensioner couple was deemed to receive half of the couple's total income and own half of the couple's total property
    marls
    24th May 2018
    12:22pm
    Jackie google who stole the compulsory workers pension fund by Australian morning mail
    It was set up as non means test
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    1:29pm
    And we should go back to 1909, and demolish all the social and economic improvements since then?
    Sundays
    24th May 2018
    1:36pm
    Yes, and the means test was completely removed in 1954. Governments have been tinkering with it ever since
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    2:51pm
    Most of the people here would be dead if it was 1909.
    thommo
    24th May 2018
    11:03am
    Mr Rice says that the exclusion of the family home from the assets test creates distortions in savings patterns and favours home-owners over renters. So his idea is to penalise the home owner retiree in favour of the renter.
    What a load of BS...All the govt has to do is give the renter more financial assistance, or increase their pension.
    Aust is a rich country and it can afford to increase the pension by at least $10K per year, but our govt's are just too stingey to give retired Australians their entitlement to a decent pension.
    We should be voting them out of office asap.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    1:37pm
    Personally, I think renters get a pretty good deal. They pay no rates, no house insurance, no maintenance costs, AND they get a better pension deal and rent assistance. How bloody much do they want after most of them CHOSE not to make sacrifices to pay off a mortgage?

    I sympathize with those who genuinely couldn't buy a home or lost their home in a crisis of some kind, but I'm really sick of this bashing homeowners who struggled for decades with high interest rates, and now are paying hefty bills just to remain in their homes.
    midnight
    24th May 2018
    11:04am
    As a single 68 year old female, like many, I worked three jobs to support myself and my kids, have spent a life time op-shopping, being frugal in every way I could manage, not going out, never had a 'four week annual holiday' and now the suggestion is that I be punished because property values keep going up. No way. It's all I have, and what these politicians neglect to consider is that whilst we purchase, maintain, and improve the value of these properties, it will eventually be handed to the next generation. Taxing us or 'making' us downsize only profits the property investors looking for a bargain, that they will then rent to us at an outrageous and unaffordable price. Lacks any kind of fore thought at all.
    Kathleen
    24th May 2018
    11:22am
    Midnight, it should never include people like yourself who have gone without and only have the pension and a roof over your head.
    Your home is where the family returns to and where they come when they are homeless.
    Many people play the system though! They have extra money they keep spending down to so they can get the pension. You can still have a lot. They have overseas holidays, dine out, coffee out every day, etc. They are not poor.
    Having a home saves the government the rental assistance payment for a start. Homeowners repair their homes as needed, pay rates, and have emergency accommodation for family and friends.
    A just society will not expect you to sell your home.
    A modest home is not under threat as far as I can ascertain. They would go by the median price in your area.
    miker
    24th May 2018
    11:55am
    Disagree with Kathleen. Irrespective of how the home ownership was attained it is to be kept hands off by callous politicians who are invariably personally excluded by such legislations. Only those who don't own a home would support this measure, in envy
    Kathleen
    24th May 2018
    12:32pm
    miker? My comment was not about how you owned the home solely.
    I talked about extra money some have and continually spend down to. I was reassuring midnight that the median house price for the area would be gauged. People like her are not a target nor should they be.
    That was a comment to her in her situation.
    This is all pie in the sky. They float this regularly. No politician who values their votes will enforce this.
    You have read and interpreted what you wanted to.
    Also, we do own our own home and it is where our family retreats to in time of need, like marriage break up and homelessness.
    Home owners are not the issue anyway! It is what you have besides that and whether it should be spent down before applying for any pension. I believe it should be spent down to a small emergency fund.
    Recently, a friend applied for the pension with a home, super, cash and land. She narrowly missed the cutoff. A home and a small safety net is all that should be allowed. Just my opinion!
    Sundays
    24th May 2018
    1:07pm
    I think you’re being a bit jealous Kathleen. Pensioners are not a homogeneous group. Some have more than others which is why they get a part pension instead of a full pension. It’s not OK to have spent all your money and qualify for a full pension, but suggest that savers now also have to spend all their money to receive any pension. We’ve already seen what the change in the Asset test has done. Many self funded retirees are living on less than people on the full pension.
    Kathleen
    24th May 2018
    1:24pm
    Sundays, an opinion does not automatically make you jealous. Maybe money given to people who don’t need it could be given to people who do. There seems to be well off retirees and some doing it too tough. I am okay, I am not asking for more, but some are obviously going without food and medicine and some are even homeless.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    1:33pm
    So people who work harder and go without more to save should NOT be allowed to enjoy any reward, but should have all the extra taken off them and handed to people who didn't strive as hard. Bugger off with your greed, Kathleen. You want more - work harder. Save more. Don't expect me to hand over all the proceeds of my efforts.

    What we need to do is abolish the assets test completely and recognize and reward effort. Let people strive to achieve a good life in retirement and more will do so. The pension should be adequate for everyone to live in modest comfort, but NOT by demolishing those who worked bloody hard to have a little extra. If effort is rewarded, more will strive and we'll have greater affluence. We can well afford to increase the pension to abolish poverty. It's just a mean government claiming we can't.
    Sundays
    24th May 2018
    1:44pm
    Kathleen, I think there should be more public housing, or an increase in rent assistance, which the Government can afford. It should not be subsidised by people who have already gone without to save for their retirement.
    Kathleen
    24th May 2018
    4:14pm
    OGR, I neither want nor need your wealth or envy you.
    There is an ever widening gap between the rich and the poor in society at large.
    To help close the massive gap more help needs to be given to the poorest. Better wages throughout people’s working life might help for a start. Not giving big banks and corporations tax cuts or finally closing the loopholes that allow no tax at all to be paid. And no company pays any GST.
    I know people wroughting the system. I imagine everyone does know someone who has wealth and keeps playing around with their money to keep getting a full pension. They are the ones I am referring to not people getting a bit so they have reduced bills which amount to not that much but helps anyway.
    No one should be homeless, especially the elderly and children.
    No one should be hungry in Australia, yet they are! And no elderly person should be going without their medications but that is happening too.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    4:24pm
    I agree, Kathleen. My point is that you can't fix it by depriving people of fair reward for effort. The current approach is to take from people who are not wealthy, but moderately affluent thanks to years of hard work. The rich are left alone to continue their pillage and plunder. I am NOT wealthy. My investment income is about equal to what it would be if I were on a full pension, except that I get no discounts or concessions. I keep working to avoid draining my savings too early in my retirement, because I know they will be needed later. But I suffer a huge drop in income as punishment for saving. That is NOT good for the nation. We would have far less poverty if people could enjoy fair reward for working and saving, because there would be more people doing that and less people relying on government support.
    HS
    26th May 2018
    1:09pm
    Sundays stated-It’s not OK to have spent all your money and qualify for a full pension???

    I agree it’s not OK but, as one senior judge of the Supreme Court stated:-

    “It doesn’t matter whether the claimant spends his inheritance on ‘wine, women and song’ What matters is whether he qualifies under the Family Provision Act rules”.

    If some people are clever enough to fit their situation legally into the government OAP rules. That’s how it is, right or wrong, it is legal until it is legislated to be unlawful.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    27th May 2018
    4:05am
    Yes, it's legal. But that doesn't make it right, moral, ethical, socially acceptable, or beneficial to society. What we need to do is get the legislation changed appropriately so our society doesn't collapse and plunge us all into misery.
    aussie
    24th May 2018
    11:23am
    Of course, useless, snout in the trough parasites (called politicians ) would be excluded from that proposed BS suggestion.
    maelcolium
    24th May 2018
    11:56am
    Relax folks, it won't happen. No political party has the cojones to enrage the home owning retirees. Notice how quickly the ALP retreated from pinging pensioners with the tax credits on their shares? On the other hand the LNP has no intention of enraging the wealthy retirees sitting in their harborside mansions. This actuarial airhead can waffle on to his heart's content, but nothing will change. Unless of course either of the main parties want to see Hanson sitting in the Lodge.
    Kathleen
    24th May 2018
    12:34pm
    Agreed! They float and watch the reaction.
    Joy Anne
    24th May 2018
    12:13pm
    NO IT SHOULD NOT BE ASSESSED INTO AGE PENSIONS. PENSIONERS HAVE IT HARD ENOUGH NOW EVEN THE ONES THAT OWN THEIR OWN HOME AND BECAUSE OF GOVERNMENTS WANTING TO SAVE MONEY. IF A HOUSE IS WORTH OVER ONE MILLION THEN MAYBE BUT EACH STATE IS DIFFERENT AND VALUES ARE DIFFERENT. MOST PLACES YOU CANNOT BUY A BLOCK OF LAND.
    Old Man
    24th May 2018
    12:18pm
    If any government ever has the stupidity to include the family home in an asset test for the age pension then a retired politician's pension should be reduced, dollar for dollar, by any other income received by them, their spouse or their family trust.
    Hairy
    24th May 2018
    12:19pm
    May I suggest Michael Rice stick his head in the toilet and keep pressing the button till stupid brain cells are flushed where they belong,The sad thought for me is I probably paid for some of his education.Go join the Greens your their sort of thinker.
    niemakawa
    25th May 2018
    4:17am
    Yes the Greens do not think.
    Travellersjoy
    24th May 2018
    12:20pm
    Low income pensioners in inner suburbs would be seriously disadvantaged by such a ruling, especially as low as $500,000.
    I am well aware there are cashed up young people, and some developers, with their eyes on my house, but it is actually my home.
    Where am I supposed to get the money to live on if my home is valued high and my income is the age pension? Which would then be reduced from its present pitiful level.
    Is this a tactic of the powerful to force us out of our homes, families and communities?
    Are they prepared to pay enough tax to adequately support all those replanted oldies, deal with their grief and loss, deal with their loss of social support systems, etc etc? Of course not.
    We are just pieces on a draughts board to the rich and powerful who see themselves as players.
    My grandparents helped my parents get a home after WW2, my parents helped me get my home, and I helped my children get theirs.
    Who do these people think they are that they can plan to starve me into giving up my home by reducing my age pension?
    BElle
    24th May 2018
    12:27pm
    It has always been the situation that the WEALTHY will keep the POOR - poor. They have the means and the authority to do so. We minions give them that right. Do we in fact have a choice.... the obvious answer is no.
    The common person is less and less able to combat this situation and it will get worse in coming years as we fall for their lies and conceit.
    seadog
    24th May 2018
    12:43pm
    I worked very hard and sometimes up to three jobs at a time so that I could pay off my home mortgage. The age pension should be paid to all retirees no matter what their income or savings. Each person has paid taxes even those on high incomes, who have actually paid more because of it, so to keep everyone on the same plane then pay the pension to all. Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln both are quoted as saying "You cannot help the poor by stealing from the rich, It just makes the poorer people want more and more without having to make the same sacrifices". It is no good just blaming this government Mick, as you always do, Each major political party is the same regarding the age pension. Who was it who increased the age to 67 years - Not the current government.
    I am not a supporter of either side as I believe that neither are acting in the best interests of the country. We were once a rich country but are not now because of the poor quality of the politicians on both sides. Too many lawyers and union officials for my liking.
    Sundays
    24th May 2018
    1:13pm
    Maybe if your house is worth $5million, but for the majority definitely not. A lot of poor pensioners live in houses worth more than $500,000. The Government know this and it would be political suicide. What sort of society wants to take from the elderly
    Gammer
    24th May 2018
    1:27pm
    Those of us who have managed to pay for our own homes did it tough on the way to retirement... what about when our mortgage rates were astronomical in the late eighties? 18% my late husband and I were paying!!! We struggled through it, why give us such a hard time now?
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    2:00pm
    Never, never. The only ones entitled to my home are the beneificiaries I nominate. Anyone else can go and sing for their supper.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    2:48pm
    Anything you received in welfare OAP should have to be paid back from your estate when you die.
    Kathleen
    24th May 2018
    3:55pm
    OG,
    Then why not sell your home and blow it all on luxuries and take a cruise and jump overboard when the money runs out.
    What planet are you visiting from?
    People should not have to feel guilty for having a home and drawing a pension. They should not have to hand their home to the government now or in the future.
    It is the family home. Even my grandchildren know that. We have no other wealth but a modest home.
    Stop provoking people on here to spew hate.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    4:04pm
    I don't own a home so that is not an option for me. Why jump overboard on a cruise as that is simply being stupid. There are much better ways to die than that. Anyone I am having too much fun to even think about departing this mortal earth yet. I don't need luxuries as they just clutter my life and I then have to dispose of them. Easier not to have them.


    Why are people felling guilty about having a house and drawing a pension? You certainly must have a guilt complex about something.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    4:30pm
    You CHOSE not to own a home, OG. Why should people who chose to spend decades struggling to pay one off so they would have comfort and security later and something to leave to their children be deprived while those who chose to rent are rewarded. Go away you vile man. Your selfishness is disgusting.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    4:33pm
    Actually, I'm certain you DO own a home. You just put it into a trust of some kind or a company, or gave it to children while retaining lifetime occupancy right, to make sure that YOU never have it taken off you or suffer penalty for owning it. Now that you have secured your position, you condemn everyone else to suffer. What a creep!
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    5:09pm
    No I don't own a home or have any rights to one at all. I think it is wrong that people can have houses worth millions and get welfare.
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    9:30pm
    OG, so it is true you live in a shoe box. !!!
    Triss
    24th May 2018
    9:45pm
    OG, tell me why anything recieved in welfare should be taken out of your estate when you die. You cannot decide to penalise one section of society that is not democratic. I notice you don't include the ex politicians who ran out of whatever paltry amount they put into their super and have been living off the taxpayers' handouts for the last 20 or so years. And no, politicians' pensions are not entitlements as they congregated behind closed doors to agree line their pockets at the expense of taxpayers and real OAPs.
    Old Geezer
    25th May 2018
    10:26am
    UNi students have to pay back their HECS debts so why not have OAPs pay back their welfare as well.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    1:33pm
    Because OAPs have already paid for their pensions. They should NOT have to pay over and over again. 40+ years of hard work and paying taxes ought to be worth a decent retirement, but not while there are greedy nasty pigs running the show.
    Old Geezer
    25th May 2018
    1:46pm
    OGR no OPs have not paid for their pensions at all. It is paid out of general revenue and has nothing to do with what they earned, didn't earn or whether or not they paid tax. It is unearned income and should be required to be paid back like any other debt. Yes it is a debt to society.
    Triss
    25th May 2018
    5:36pm
    Uni students pay back their Hecs because they're young enough to go out and work to get it back. That's not the same with OAPs. Hecs is so young people can train for a job and have a career and a decent income, that also is not the same for OAPs.
    are you going to pay backa all you hospital and medical bills when you shuffle off this mortal coil? I expect so because, as you believe in doing that, you'll return all the money voluntary. Not.
    Old Geezer
    25th May 2018
    6:13pm
    The OAP is the same as HECS debts only in reverse. You save to buy a house through your working life and your house provides for your living expenses after you leave work. Great system.

    Everyone gets their medical expenses paid so that's a fair system.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    7:09pm
    HECS and OAP are nothing alike, OG. That's an IDIOTIC statement. HECS enables a lifetime of higher income and work satisfaction. The OAP allows workers who have made a huge contribution to society and NOT been well rewarded for it to have a decent retirement and not die of overwork.

    There is NOTHING great about stealing everything someone worked a lifetime to achieve just because their work wasn't fairly rewarded, or they weren't given fair opportunity to work in a high paid occupation. You are persecuting the persecuted for being persecuted, you vile selfish man.
    Old Geezer
    28th May 2018
    11:00pm
    HECS and OAP are very alike OGR. An OAP that 's works like a HECS debt is a fair and equitable system which allows those who want the OAP to access it and to pay back any OAP accessed. There is no income or asset test involved. You borrow money to buy a house well why not borrow money using that house to live out your old age?
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    30th May 2018
    2:07pm
    When drawing the OAP guarantees me a high income for 40 years after I cease to need it, I'll agree it's like HECS. And when every wealthy person in this country surrenders their home as repayment of all the privileges and benefits they have enjoyed through their lifetime - courtesy of the general population who pay for infrastructure and provide labor - I'll agree pensioners should surrender theirs.

    You are SCUM, OG. The lowest of the low. Thoroughly selfish, self-serving, greedy, and disgusting. Pity you wouldn't drown in that pile of gold you hold so dear.
    Chris B T
    24th May 2018
    2:14pm
    Why don't they suggest A Readout From The ATO and Your Bank Balances For The Past 40 years.
    That goes for all The Bellowing Bloggers about how Bad they had it and rent.
    There are a lot who struggled and managed to Purchase There Home on the Low Wages and multiple setbacks, sick, disabled children, broken relationships some more than once, sack for no reason, forced to move to make why for developments to be under compensated for suitable replacement.
    Yes there are lucky ones that there home has gone up 10 fold over a sort time. To be asked to move and start new again is a big ASK.
    Tell why is it that Renters have Federal Gov Rent assistance for a State Gov Issue and the effectively allowed to $200,000 more in assets.
    This could be $200k car,boat,motor-home etc.
    With the motor-home/5th wheeler you can move around the country and claim Rental Assistance at the Caravan/ Mobile home Parks.
    Where is The Pub Test In That!
    Example of how worthless your home could suddenly be is the ones falling in the Ocean on the Northern Beaches Of Sydney.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    2:44pm
    The old age pension should be paid to anyone who wants it and it then becomes a debt on their estate when they die.
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    2:58pm
    No the OAP is an entitlement for all pensioners regardless of income or assets. The Government(s) know fully well this is the case but being devious and anti-Australia they ignore this completely.

    Read the policies of The Australian Conservatives ( Cory) a welcome change and definitely what this Country needs.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    3:03pm
    They are not an entitlement at all. They are welfare and paid to those deemed to have no other means of support.
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    3:07pm
    OG take a break you are becoming tedious and boring as well as plain antagonistic. Do you have any pills available?? Now be a nice person for once.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    3:10pm
    Unlike others I don't take pills I am real and say what I think is good for our society. I don't think it is fair that we give people with lots of assets money for nothing and tax those with no assets to pay for it.
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    3:46pm
    OG if you say so. Now off with you old chap. Enjoy your perpetual dreaming.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    3:48pm
    Why I have only just woken up.
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    3:57pm
    OG, as I said keep dreaming.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    4:24pm
    Good idea of mine to give every one the pension and have it paid back when they die.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    4:26pm
    Stupid elitist idea to create a feudal society of nobles and slaves. Disgusting!
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    3:00pm
    This is a very one sided article. Where are the comments form people who like the idea?
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    3:05pm
    The majority do not like the idea. Seems you are one of a few that do.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    3:08pm
    It is a great idea. Give anyone the OAP if they want it and it can be paid back when they die. A no brainer.
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    3:54pm
    OG it is not about want but what is due to all OAP regardless. The majority of OAP who do not own their own home is , I would say, through choice. They preferred to spend their wealth before retirement, then expecting to be bailed out by those who saved through their working lives.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    3:59pm
    There is nothing at all due to OAP at all. That is complete rubbish as people only get welfare as they have no other means to support themselves.
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    4:10pm
    OG change the record. Do you ever challenge those who claim to be poor.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    4:12pm
    Why because I consider myself poor?
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    4:31pm
    Strange. The other day you were boasting about how rich you were, and having the ability to sell properties and invest cash when interest rates were 18% and the rest of us were struggling to keep a roof over our children's heads. I guess we can only conclude you are a pathological liar, OG.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    5:16pm
    Poor and rich are relative terms. I consider myself poor but others may not depending on what is their perception of poor. I live below the poverty line but love very well too. Poverty line is another relative term.

    24th May 2018
    3:07pm
    To be fair to those who have their assets outside their home, the home should be included
    Make it a test on total assets including house at say $1M

    Either include the house or make pension universal. Can't have it both ways
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    3:09pm
    It works out well over $2 million now so $1 million would be a bit low for the majority of people.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    4:17pm
    Universal pension is the ONLY sensible approach.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    4:21pm
    I agree and it is to be paid back when you die.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    4:25pm
    NO NO NO NO and NO. The rich don't pay anything back. Start stealing houses from the working class and you will have an elitist feudal society in which there are nobles and slaves and nothing in between. Oh... of course, OG, that 's what you want you greedy man.
    Triss
    24th May 2018
    9:51pm
    Then everyone must pay back their pensions when they die, OG. Judges, bank managers, ex nurses and teachers, politicians...the lot. Good luck getting that through.
    Old Geezer
    25th May 2018
    10:23am
    Big difference here as the OAP is welfare and those people you mention had their pension as part of the entitlements of their job. Pollies also have an entitlement to their pension as part of their job. NO one has an entitlement to the OAP as it is only paid to those who have no others mans of support.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    1:31pm
    But that discrimination should not have been allowed in the first place. People who work should be rewarded fairly. There is NO justification for claiming X is entitled to retirement benefits because they were privileged to have a government job and Y can go to hell because they worked their guts out for less reward, in poorer conditions, so some rich arsehole could get richer. It's WRONG.

    EVERYONE who worked EARNED the pension and EVERYONE should receive it.
    Old Geezer
    25th May 2018
    1:44pm
    The best way then is for those who want the pension to get it and it is then paid back from their estate. Those who don't want it should not be required to have it if they don't want or need it. That's a much fairer way.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    7:06pm
    Only an idiot keeps harping on WRONG claims when the error has been pointed out, OG. There is NOTHING FAIR about bullying people who didn't have cushy well-paid government jobs with fancy super schemes. The ONLY fair way is to treat EVERYONE EQUALLY. That is, pay the same pension to all in retirement and LEAVE OUR LIFE SAVINGS ALONE. We earned them. We paid our way. We have a right to retain what we earned. You stinking vile disgusting selfish thieves can take a hike. You deserve the hangman's noose.
    Old Geezer
    28th May 2018
    11:03pm
    Why not spend your life savings as they are no good to you 6 foot under at all?
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    30th May 2018
    2:00pm
    They are VERY helpful to my offspring and grandchildren, and I have a right to decide that they should benefit from me living frugally and working hard if that's my choice. Get lost you miserable old miser. Go back to the planet you came from. You certainly are NOT human.
    Barckyb
    24th May 2018
    6:55pm
    Micheal Rice hasn't explained how he will account for the vast differences in the value of homes across the nation.
    A retired person in country Australia has financial assets and income that qualifies for an Age pension, a retired person in, say ,Sydney has exactly the same financial assets and income would not, under Mr Rice's proposal, qualify for any age pension because of the comparative values of their primary residence. How is that fair??
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    7:16pm
    It is not fair at all. Continue the fight to ensure that the family home remains sacrosanct and never included in the assets test. It is like stealing, and I know that is the real objective of all the Globalists parties not just in Australia mind you.
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    7:16pm
    It is not fair at all. Continue the fight to ensure that the family home remains sacrosanct and never included in the assets test. It is like stealing, and I know that is the real objective of all the Globalists parties not just in Australia mind you.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    7:19pm
    You must have an expensive house then niemakawa if you are so against th house being included in the assets test.
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    7:26pm
    No OG for the record I do not. I am not jealous as some commenting here. Again I advocate that the family home is never included in the Assets Test, whether it be worth 100,000 or 10,000,000 etc. I do not agree that those who do not have their own home continue ( usually by choice, money frittered away)) to be subsidised by home owners.
    George
    24th May 2018
    9:25pm
    Yes, Barckyb, it is just a stupid, but dangerous (because Political parties could run with it) thought bubble from an academic who lives away from reality about how such stupid policies could be implemented without massive holes.
    baza18
    24th May 2018
    8:02pm
    Why is everyone getting their bowels in a knot anyway, this Michael Rice isn't in any of the Government parties & only advises on these matters. It doesn't mean any of this will happen so why get so wound up about it.
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    8:26pm
    It does not mean that it will not either. I for one am not "getting wound up" just letting those that are interested know my thoughts. I am sure that some Government lackie is scouring this website to report back his/her/its findings to the "Boss""
    miker
    26th May 2018
    2:51am
    He is planting the seed that some future Treasurer will hope germinates. The start of the softening up process if you like. There aren't enough young workers paying tax to fund us like we funded our parents. Who can doubt that some serious manipulations are coming
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    26th May 2018
    2:34pm
    You are right, Miker, except for the bit about there not being enough workers. Aged pensions in Australia are highly affordable - half the percentage of GDP that they cost in other developed countries and falling. The budget problem is NOT aged pensions. It's superannuation tax concessions. That has been repeatedly pointed out, but the government refuses to act on it because 80% of the billions spent on superannuation tax concessions benefit the wealthiest 20%. Surprise, surprise!
    Old Geezer
    28th May 2018
    10:48am
    No upper concessions then why would anybody put money into super. I certainly wouldn't.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    30th May 2018
    1:57pm
    Then don't IDIOT. Most Australians have the basic intelligence to understand that reducing tax concessions to be fair DOES NOT MEAN ABOLISHING THEM. Sorry you are so ignorant and brain dead that you can't understand plain English, OG.

    I NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT ABOLISHING SUPERANNUATION TAX CONCESSIONS. I SAID MAKE THEM FAIR. BUT OF COURSE YOU RICH GREEDY PIGS COULDN'T HAVE THAT!
    George
    24th May 2018
    9:22pm
    The summary has missed the following key responses from comments:
    a. Most (99%) want Politicians Special Pensions to be scrapped, and they should be made to apply within the same rules for age pension as everyone else.
    b. The overwhelmingly (90+%) preferred solution is to have Universal Pension with NO TESTS, other than Age and Residency. In particular, the Assets Test MUST BE REMOVED. TALK to David Knox as a starter - he made much more sense!
    c. Ensure proper funding by i) making all companies and rich pay Minimum Taxes, and ii) expand the Future Fund by re-starting contributions from the 7.5% income taxes still being collected for pensions and use it for pensions ONLY with investments carefully controlled by professionals (without political interference) to get maximum returns.
    GrayComputing
    25th May 2018
    6:46am
    It is time for all of us to rant at our PMs to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVERV AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules
    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly,

    Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    Some opposition and independent MPs stand to lose their chance at being part of the needed government changes

    We all need to tell our MP that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    MJM
    25th May 2018
    7:06am
    Stay away from what I have spent my whole life securing!!!!! I am on my own have small superannuation you alraeady increased my working life by 7 year ... Jesus Christ .. I'm over these idiots who fail to tax companies earning billions and moving it off shore I'm sick of politicians not doing things that need to be done... put a stop to immigrants for a couple of years give our country a chance to organise itself... if you take our homes as an asset you are going to be in a worse position when the younger ones come up they have no savings don't contribute to super and won't have pensions at least I can help you out by leaving a home for them god I wish someone knew what they were doing !! It's disgraceful
    Old Geezer
    25th May 2018
    10:24am
    MJM you must have a very expensive house if you are so afraid of the house being counting in the assets test.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    1:29pm
    Nothing to do with expensive houses, OG. It's about what's good for the economy and society. Depriving people of benefit for their efforts is NEVER going to create either a healthy economy or a healthy society.

    It's like a father telling his older child ''You don't get pocket money this week because you still have last week's in your piggy bank'' but giving the younger child theirs because they spent last week's on sweets. That's how the IDIOTS are running this country, and dopes like you, OG, are approving that stupidity.
    Old Geezer
    25th May 2018
    1:42pm
    OGR your example has nothing to do with people getting the OAP and it being paid back when they die. If people spend all their money then that is good for the economy but people hording large sums in houses is not. It result with people living in inappropriate housing and living below the poverty line when this is totally unnecessary.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    7:03pm
    People live in expensive houses because they are punished for having income-earning assets, OG. The problem is that stupid assets test. We will have more people living below the poverty line if we start punishing people for buying a home. There will be far more demanding rent assistance, less wealth for the next generation, more homelessness... People spending their money IS good for the economy, so BLOODY WELL LET THEM SPEND IT instead of stealing it to give to others. There isn't going to be more spending if everyone has less to spend, IDIOT.
    Kathleen
    25th May 2018
    11:20pm
    OG, what on earth is inappropriate housing? This is not Russia.
    Most people have a modest home. You could say mod cons are inappropriate because we should go back to boiling the copper in the back yard. Carpets and tiles, fridges and ovens may even be inappropriate.
    Is appropriate a one bedroom flat that you could not swing a cat in?
    The family home is about having room for family.
    Our parents had big homes until they died, not modern by today’s standards, but the centre for the extended family to meet and stay.
    A home is more than a building, it is a place of nurture and love.
    Maybe you need a hug?!
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    26th May 2018
    12:22pm
    My family home is a safe haven for my orphaned grandchildren. I guess it's ''inappropriate'', since it has spare bedrooms for them to occupy? It also has shed space for pursuing a few hobbies in retirement. I guess that's also ''inappropriate''. We should just sit in a rocking chair - alone - and rot?
    Old Geezer
    28th May 2018
    10:46am
    OGR you can have what ever sort of house you want if you don't put your hand out for welfare. I object to paying welfare to those who have inappropriate houses worth millions when they could be living on their own assets instead of sponging on the taxpayer.
    PlanB
    28th May 2018
    11:53am
    When you have been in your home for a LONG time it does gain value -- and what might have been $200.00 might now be $1.000000 there are not many places these days that are under $500.00, mostly WAY over that
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    30th May 2018
    1:55pm
    OG, I object to paying tax to fund concessions to rich pigs while those same rich pigs complain about me wanting a home in which I can care for my grandchildren so they don't become a burden on the state and grow up deprived and psychologically damaged, like so many others who had nobody to love them.

    It is NOT inappropriate to have a home that meets one's needs - and needs vary. Many who have larger and more expensive homes do so because they are offering care for elderly parents or relatives, or young families in crisis. They SHOULD get a pension. In fact, they SHOULD get MORE pension because they are saving the taxpayer, but rich greedy pigs like you would rather hand it all to rich greedy pigs and let the state provide basic uncaring ''care'' for the needy that results in more healthy problems and more cost to the taxpayer.
    Eddy
    25th May 2018
    11:34am
    One of my difficulties for excluding the family home from the assets test is 'who benefits'. In many cases it is not the retirees but their beneficiaries. In essence public (ie taxpayers)money is being used to benefit persons who currently have no entitlement to benefit. Hence my suggestion that any OAP paid to a retiree should be repaid , either in part or in full depending on their circumstances, eventually from their estate. This way retirees can have funds to live on and their beneficiaries do not get a taxpayer funded 'gift' when the inevitable occurs.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    1:24pm
    So if I choose to spend my money gambling, drinking alcohol, partying, or cruising the world, the taxpayer should support me in old age - but if I choose to save to leave assets to my children or grandchildren so that their lives are better, I should have to repay my pension on death and forfeit the benefit I saved for?

    Sorry, Eddy, that's just BS. Who the hell gave you the right to determine my spending rights? If I want to save to make my kids better off, that should be my right. After all, that benefits the taxpayer because they are then less likely to need support or assistance. Furthermore, letting people choose to save to leave money to offspring drives greater incentives to work and save, and therefore pay tax.

    The OAP should NOT be means tested at all. It should be an entitlement. Gamblers and holiday-makers get it. Why should savers be punished?

    The way to make the nation prosperous is to make working and saving and investing MORE rewarding, not to punish people for doing what benefits the economy.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    1:27pm
    Introduce your BS policy and we'll have a lot more people spending their wealth overseas and coming home to claim a full OAP PLUS rent assistance and free aged care. What's the point of working and saving when it's all taken away from you? Australia needs to wake up! This stupid idea of bashing those who achieve modest comfort in old age is destroying the nation.
    Old Geezer
    25th May 2018
    1:39pm
    I agree Eddy.

    Why do we have a line drawn in the sand where some people get a free gift from the government and others miss out? Why does a couple with a house worth $500,000 and $2 million in assets get nothing but a couple with house worth $2 million and $500,000 gets the full OAP?

    The house is the most inequitable part of the whole age pension eligibility. it forces people to upsize their house when they should be downsizing so they have a house way to big and way to much for them to maintain. This is simply stupid. Then when they can't look after themselves the house has to be sold to fund the ridiculous amounts demanded by nursing homes for a place in them and they then have too many assets for the OAP as well. This is complete insanity.

    So the best way to make this a whole lot fairer is let anyone who wants the OAP have it but it becomes a debt on their estate. If the kids don't want it them they can provide the living expenses for the oldies instead of the taxpayer. A debt can also be raised up the house to pay for the nursing home. Much fairer and simpler than the current insane system.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    6:34pm
    NO, OG. There is nothing FAIR about taking someone's home off them after they worked their guts out and paid tax for 50 years to own it. And if they did that so their kids could eventually have it, their kids should have it. Why do you want to reward drinkers and gamblers and punish responsible savers? That's STUPID and MEAN and reeks of elitism.

    The solution to the problem is to abolish the assets test, which should NEVER have been introduced.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    7:00pm
    Funny how none of these stinking elitists with the mean and selfish notions can answer the question.

    WHAT IS FAIR ABOUT GIVING TAXPAYER MONEY TO GAMBLERS AND DRINKERS AND HOLIDAY MAKERS WHILE HOMEOWNERS HAVE EVERYTHING THEY WORKED FOR STOLEN FROM THEM? WHAT IS ''GOOD'' AND ''BENEFICIAL'' ABOUT PUNISHING HARD WORKING TAXPAYERS WHO SAVE RESPONSIBLY ASND REWARDING BLUDGERS, CHEATS, MANIPULATORS, DRINKERS, DRUGGIES, GAMBLERS, ETC?

    Can't answer, OG. Because the truth is that you are just a mean, self-serving elitist who wants others hurt so you can gloat - as you do here daily.
    Eddy
    25th May 2018
    9:44pm
    Okay OGR, we disagree, that's fine with me, and I don't feel the need to resort to making abusive comments.
    The reality is there is an assets and income test to get Social Security payments (including the OAP) and I cannot see either major political party changing that reality. If you feel so passionate about this subject then I suggest you should nominate for the Senate, get elected, wait to achieve the "balance of power" and negotiate your desired outcome with the incumbent government. I wish you success as, being one who fails the income test, I could really enjoy an extra $30+ grand per year.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    26th May 2018
    12:20pm
    If you fail the income test, Eddy, I'm not surprised you are misguided regarding assets, because the income test is WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY more generous than the assets test. I could live with the income test as is, but the assets test is WRONG. It rewards those who have less. I can achieve an income of $60,000 a year with only $400,000 in savings, but with $800,000 it's only $40,000 a year. That's IDIOTIC. And counting the family home will only make things a million times worse.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    26th May 2018
    12:24pm
    I see you didn't answer the question. We all know what the current policy is, and how unlikely it is that it will change, but that doesn't make it right.
    Old Geezer
    28th May 2018
    10:47am
    OGR I would fail the income test before I would fail the asset test as it isn't that generous at all.
    Adrianus
    29th May 2018
    3:45pm
    Rainey, you talk about the greed and self interest of Gamblers, Drinkers and Holiday Makers, but not a word of Drug Users?
    Is that because you have previously stated your view against welfare recipients being drug tested?
    So, in your book, its ok to take illegal drugs but not ok to buy a lotto ticket, have a beer with your mates at the tavern or go on a bloody cruise to Norfolk Island???
    Heaven help us if we get caught at the race track??!!! Strewth!!!!
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    30th May 2018
    1:51pm
    Adrianus, you are very rude and presumptive, and quite insulting. And your insults are NOT warranted. I have NEVER suggested or implied it's okay to take illegal drugs. I have a major issue with drugs, I fact, having seen some very dear friends and loved ones destroyed by their children becoming addicted. But drug addiction cannot be treated by bullying and depriving. It's an illness. Drug addicts need to be treated with empathy. Taking their Newstart payment away is inhuman.

    Neither have I ever said it's not ok to buy a lotto ticket, have a beer, take a cruise, or go to the race track. I have done all of those things.

    What I said was that those who choose to spend that way should not be rewarded while people who make other spending choices - such as investing or saving to leave money to a disabled grandchild or to meet expected heavy health and care costs in old age - are punished. The system is cruel and wrong, and any decent Australian would agree. Your unwarranted rudeness and insults show you to be a very unreasonable and unpleasant individual. Probably, like OG, another disgusting paid LNP troll.
    libsareliars
    25th May 2018
    1:51pm
    @Mick12.23pm - Well said, I agree entirely.
    Old Geezer
    25th May 2018
    2:01pm
    Don't forget Labor increased the pension age to 67.
    PlanB
    26th May 2018
    1:08pm
    It might be OK to HAVE to keep working if you have a sit-down office job or do what the politicians do SBA -- but if you are a stone mason or do heavy work then good luck working till you are 67 or 70 if people want to work till they drop then let them -- but people should be able to retire at 60 and have some sort of life b4 they drop dead
    PlanB
    26th May 2018
    9:49am
    How many homes would even fall below that amount! -- -- these parasites can get their pensions at any age AND get other well-paying jobs as well and also not be counting how they have ripped the system off while in Government --
    Those who own their homes worked long and hard AND paid interest.

    I know what I would really like to say but would be jailed if I said it here
    retroy
    29th May 2018
    2:41pm
    HS is clearly a committed socialist who is jealous of other people who have achieved more in life than he has. It is a ridiculous idea that people should drop their standards just to pander to the "havenots" raving.
    What Australia needs is a universal pension paid to every one and then taxed along with their super and pension payments to arrive at a fair and equitable situation for every one.
    Remember that richer people spend more so they pay more GST, which, if you have forgotten, is a tax!
    HS
    29th May 2018
    8:00pm
    retroy- What a load of rubbish! Who are you kidding?
    The rich people form propriety limited companies and spend more through their companies on personal assets, to get more GST Tax Credits and business tax concessions.
    And, that's my Conservative Democrat opinion.
    What Australia needs is to maintain a reasonable liveable 'safety net' for those who need it and those who can live off their assets should do so until they reach the threshold of needing a 'safety net'.
    The problem for the government is, at what level should the OAP 'safety net' be? My suggestion is that the minimum weekly wage indexed bi-annually, would be more than sufficient for OAP, subject to the all the assets test criteria that should include the residential home.
    If people legally gear their asset situation so that it conforms with the government rules in order to qualify for the OAP how different are they to the rich taking legal and illegal measures to minimise or to avoid tax? No different. Nothing to be jealous about! The system is full of loopholes thanks to politicians and legislators with loophole mindsets
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    30th May 2018
    1:45pm
    Retroy, I agree with you about a universal pension and also about HS being a committed socialist (or maybe Communist?). HS obviously wants everyone who saved to be forced to drain those savings while those who didn't get handouts. That is not a recipe for economic health and it is NOT fair. People who save to meet expected expenses later in life or to leave something to children or grandchildren should not be deprived while those who choose to spend up big in earlier life are rewarded. That's a denial of freedom, and this country purports to be a free country. Why should freedom of choice how to use your money be denied? It's WRONG to deprive people of income because they have assets. It is also WRONG to force the aged to accept a minimal standard of living. Senior Australians deserve better than that!


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