Age Pension process is “too hard, too complicated and too long”

The application process for the Age Pension is “too complicated and too long”.

Age Pension process is “too hard, too complicated and too long”

Older Australians have spoken, saying the application process for the Age Pension is “too hard, too complicated and too long”.

New research from National Seniors and Retirement Essentials of 530 retirees who had applied for the Age Pension found that 42.4 per cent were dissatisfied with the process.

Anyone who has applied for the Age Pension would agree. The application itself is 25 pages long, with complicated wording, jargon and a range of rules that would make your eyes water.

YourLifeChoices Retirement Income and Financial Literacy Survey 2018 has also revealed that, not only is the Age Pension complicated for the 41 per cent who claim it as their primary source of income, but 75 per cent are unsure about their entitlements that could help them live a better retirement.

Around seven in 10 also say that the superannuation system is too complicated, more than 73 per cent say they don’t understand how financial investments work, and 72 per cent say it’s difficult to find help when they need to make a financial decision.

Almost 75 per cent believe the Government is not doing enough to provide the necessary information to help age pensioners decipher the complicated Age Pension process and their retirement income options.

Then, consider the fact that 33 million Centrelink calls went unanswered last year and it’s not surprising age pensioners are finding it difficult to gets questions answered.

With almost two million people on an Age Pension and 700 new applications made very working day, National Seniors Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Professor John McCallum has called on the Government to simplify the Age Pension and superannuation process, with a focus on training, improving internal process and management.

“Our study provides clear evidence that senior Australians face unnecessary hurdles to access the Age Pension entitlements they rely on for their essential living expenses,” said Prof. McCallum.

“The complexity of the Centrelink process, combined with insufficient call centre operators, long wait times and insufficient Financial Information Service Officers is frustrating for older Australians.

“Today, Centrelink’s assistance is at the end of a long wait on the phone or in a queue at the local Centrelink office, an under-resourced albeit competent Financial Information Service, or an online service that has been poorly designed for the physical and digital capabilities and service needs of older people.”

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen responded to the report, claiming the process was “continually improving” its digital channels to make applying for and being on the Age Pension easier, and to limit the need for Australians to call for assistance.

“More and more people are choosing to do their business online, including older Australians, who can now lodge Age Pension claims electronically through myGov or the Centrelink app,” said Mr Jongen.

“The new online claim process ensures claims contain all the information needed, so they can be processed as quickly as possible.

“We understand online options are not for everyone, and we are committed to improving people’s experience when dealing with us, be it by phone, face-to-face or digitally.”

The concern is that these digital options do little for older Australians already struggling to keep pace with technology and online systems that have replaced face-to-face services.

“It is clear the system is not geared for seniors to independently and confidently apply for the Age Pension,” said Retirement Essentials Chief Executive Paul Rogan.

“Centrelink and other groups must work together to make it easier for those who are eligible to access the entitlements they rely on to fund their basic needs in retirement.”

Do you think the Age Pension is complicated? How have you found the Government’s digital services, such as myGov or the Centrelink app? Do you feel that the Government provides enough information to make the process accessible?

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    COMMENTS

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    25th Jun 2018
    9:44am
    It should be detailed and require all the information required to weed out dishonest claims and to prevent errors and possible future clawback
    Taxpayer money should be tightly managed and only handed out to deserving applicants
    Old Geezer
    25th Jun 2018
    11:43am
    I agree if you want the OAP then you should have to work for it like everything else in life you want.
    Kathleen
    25th Jun 2018
    12:03pm
    When times were better partners of pensioners also received a payment. We know a couple where the wife was 13 years younger than her husband and she received the partner allowance which was nearly as good as the pension for 13 years before she went on the pension. That was not so long ago either as she is 71 now.
    OG, so a 94 year old should have a paper run? Or are you referring to the fact that the pension should be so complicated that a person needs a degree to complete the forms?
    I think you like to be provocative OG.
    Aussie
    25th Jun 2018
    12:19pm
    Kathleen ... Now you are learning about OG and many other Lib's in this forum ...they have nothing to do just provoking with useless arguments to fill up there times in a day .... I look at the forum everyday and is so little useful comments from intelligent people ,,,, the rest Ummmmm no comment.
    Old Geezer
    25th Jun 2018
    12:46pm
    Why not Kathleen as I could still do a paper run myself as it aint that hard.
    Anonymous
    25th Jun 2018
    3:44pm
    Well Kathleen - if we would still give pensions to partners (mostly wives) to old blokes getting to 66 now we certainly would blow the pension system. Too many oldies dumped their wives and went to Asia and got themselves a new model. Another reason perhaps the Hawke Govt dumped the widow's pension. Who wants to have a lot of younger women on a widow's pension? By our behaviour we sometimes force changes we do not like.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    8:57pm
    .. yes - another string to the Ebergeezer bow....
    Triss
    25th Jun 2018
    9:28pm
    Didn’t Bob Hawke rake in a younger model? When he shuffles off the mortal coil his younger wife will take over his taxpayer funded pension for a few more years.
    Kathleen
    25th Jun 2018
    9:37pm
    Cowboy Jim, did I say I agreed with it? Maybe the money was there then in better times. It amazed me at the time actually. Women don’t need to be supported by their husbands except during the childbirth years and while the children are young.
    A 52year old lady is quite capable of supporting herself and earning good money as well. You work until you are not able to. I did!
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    10:54pm
    This is only a requirement for white people.
    AutumnOz
    25th Jun 2018
    10:13am
    Government forms have always been confusing, probably designed to be that way which was OK when there were plenty of public servants to help people overcome the difficulties, but these days the simpler the better.
    Online form filling out is almost impossible for anyone with inefficient internet access which drops out half way through answering a question and they can never get it back in time to complete the form. This applies to many regional and most rural areas in Australia.
    bluebottle
    25th Jun 2018
    10:16am
    I applied online for the age pension in February, and the website says that the outcome is due on 4th April. It's now nearly July and still waiting. I'm told there's nothing wrong with my application it's just stuck in the processing queue.
    Rae
    25th Jun 2018
    12:52pm
    Hang in there. A friend's took 8 months to process last year. Appears the NBN is not only dropping out for the public but for myGov too.
    KSS
    25th Jun 2018
    1:08pm
    Not very surprising bluebottle when there are 700 new age pension applications per day! You would be just one of 56000 applications between February and now!
    Seadove
    25th Jun 2018
    3:39pm
    Bluebottle, my cousin was in exactly the same boat as you, applying in Feb. He got sick of waiting and talking to Centrelink so went and saw our local federal member and the money was in his account the next day. This could be worth a try for you considering how useless the government has made Centrelink now.
    GeorgeM
    25th Jun 2018
    4:38pm
    The problem is Hank is on a massive pay, yet doesn't have KPIs which are related to the Customer Satisfaction aspects! In any private company, he would have been sacked long ago after producing such miserable outcomes. I think the Liberals like such inefficiency when and where it suits them!
    marls
    25th Jun 2018
    6:51pm
    Seadove agree I ended up going to my local member to and it was complete within a few days after waiting months
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    8:59pm
    Aye, that's what happens when you chop the public service at the workface and feed your fat cat contracted mates far too much...
    bluebottle
    25th Jun 2018
    10:38pm
    Hmm my local member is a government cabinet minister. Not sure if that would help or hinder ?
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    9:41am
    Fat Hank's (aka Jabba) massive salary and perks is simultaneously a bribe and a hold-over - if he continues to perform to the wishes of his political masters (watch this space for comment on 'division of powers') he will retain his bribe - if he fails or refuses, his contract will be terminated.

    This Space:- Division of Powers in OUR form of democracy demands that public service b e truly independent and offer independent advice and operation to support government policy - NOT be directly answerable to and subordinate to the incumbent government (government of the day) in any whim it may come up with.

    When Joh Bjelke-Petersen was asked what he understood by division of powers within a democracy - he famously answered :- "Division of what?"

    Howard, Keating, and all the rest since are no better.... and assume that by being elected they assume the mantle of absolute power and entitlement to rule i any way they wish.. The Divine Right of Elected Government... (a theme I've developed elsewhere alongside The Eternal Civil War Between Elected Government and People ... over who should rightly rule the roost).....

    You'll get there one day, Grasshoppers.... I'm not a 'smart-arse' or 'clever dick' - I merely conceptualise and put into concrete terms those mostly amorphous things the most people feel without having the words to express them.
    MICK
    25th Jun 2018
    10:21am
    Have been through the system a few years ago and I can but agree that the system is DESIGNED to make life difficult. Has nothing to do with weeding out people and everything to do with avoiding payment.
    The current government has made life difficult for many retirees as it comes after them with a ferocity never before seen. And where is all this money being denied to retirees going? To the top of society via tax cuts of course.
    Think carefully before you vote as worse is coming should this disreputable group of thugs be re-elected with the next big end of town funded election propaganda campaign.
    Anonymous
    25th Jun 2018
    11:39am
    Did all that stuff a couple of years ago, asked for and got a paper form. Filled everything in that I found easy and took the lot to C/Link along with bank statements, share notifications and so on. They helped me filling the rest in. On top of that they had a form for a possible overseas pension to fill in which was another headache but I got through OK. Never had hassles since - just wish the change over to the NBN was that easy.
    Anonymous
    25th Jun 2018
    12:14pm
    Mick oh Mick, that was exactly what I expected you would say. I will bet my bottom dollar that the questionnaire has hardly changed since 2013 - the days of Juliar and Dudd! This is the bureaucracy we are talking about, not government policy. They are different you know. Same old tune, Mick - come up with something different once in a while!
    MICK
    25th Jun 2018
    12:37pm
    You are lucky Jim

    Big Al - another post for your employer. Whilst you seek to run Labor into the ground based on NOTHING let's start with the national debt:

    $147 billion when Labor left office.
    $552 billion (2017) under the government you post for. The Turnbull government.

    Tell now about Labor. Really. Troll!
    Anonymous
    25th Jun 2018
    3:22pm
    And Mick, what was the government debt when Labor came into office in 2007? What's that? You cant remember? That's the same answer Dill Short-on ideas gave to the Royal Commission into union corruption. Now Mick, how many cost saving measures has the present opposition supported that have been put to the parliament by the democratically elected government? I will give you a clue - the answer is somewhere between nought and zero. So don't go lecturing the likes of me about government debt. Your mob created it, and have done everything in their power to thwart every attempt by the present government to correct the situation. The politics of envy old fella - just disgusting!
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    9:05pm
    He said the figures, Al. And an opposition has no obligation to support unworthy legislation and regulation and changes that adversely affect people.... I've said before - the entire gamut of government spending needs a full and thorough review and revision - starting with the wastes of money in QANGOs that duplicate public service activity, and 'out-sourcing' things that could equally be done by the existing public service under its mandate, and then a full review of who's NOT paying tax and soaking up their dollars.

    Then there's PPL and childcare subsidies that could be severely curtailed (wow - how do they do that now without cutting employment? Talk about digging your own grave), and a host of other WELFARE benefits outside of the mandate of Social Security.

    Plenty of meat out there for the chopping block without attacking pension and unemployment benefit rights, part of the Social security Fund paid for over years. The campaign against Social Security is ideologically based and nothing more and deserves to be brought low at every turn.
    Jim
    26th Jun 2018
    4:41am
    Now let's see who might be working for a government entity, last week our regular commentator on all things anti government claimed he gave up work in his 50's because he was sick of big buisness treating him like a slave and paying him slave wages, so what has he been living on, it can't be on his savings because you can't live and save on slave wages, he has claimed for many years that he doesn't believe in either party and people should look to vote independents in, and yet he is full of praise for labor and no matter what the Libs do he is against them, does anyone else smell a rat here or am I just getting more cynical as I get older, also in the past I am certain this same person has also claimed he is ineligible to claim the pension, them slave wages must have been better than I thought they would be, or has there been a lottery win or the more likely answer his employer Bill is his sponsor I guess we will never know, or maybe his writing of fiction is starting to pay dividends.
    Ted Wards
    25th Jun 2018
    10:41am
    What gets me is that the Government already has most of the information they need through the various departments such as the ATO. The idea behind centerlink was that it was supposed to bring all this together in one department so that the process was simpler. Another example of this is the My Aged Care system. All your assessments etc are supposed to be stored in one central database and it is supposed to simplify the process of getting support to stay living independently in your own home with minimal assistance. In some cases it works but in most it doesn't. So maybe the real question to ask is why arent the Government doing what its supposed to do and eliminate the questions they already know the answers to. They already know about your super and tax, shares, what your assets are etc through the tax office and other departments. If you go for an aged care assessment they really only need to assess your physical circumstances yet they also gather all this information again to assess your ability to contribute to service provision. Anyone else wondering why they dont just use the information we already know they have which of itself would simplify many processes.
    AutumnOz
    25th Jun 2018
    11:31am
    I agree with your comment Ted and I often wonder why I am sitting on the end of the phone waiting to talk to someone about something they already have full information about.
    I can't do it online as my computer is very old and I am sure it cant be picking up some things on the website as items mentioned seem to be missing or have no button to press to access.
    Ted Wards
    25th Jun 2018
    1:10pm
    Hey Autumn

    If your around the Woolloongabba area of Brisbane we have an internet cafe and free lessons if your interested without having to upgrade your computer.
    SuziJ
    25th Jun 2018
    2:39pm
    Ted, I'm on the DSP, and have been advised they will send out a form for me to complete around 9 weeks prior to me being eligible for the Age Pension.

    They already have all they need on me to pay me the DSP, so why can't they just transfer me over on my 66.5 year birthday?

    Because they'll be changing the payment I receive and they need all that information again for my Age Pension claim. I know, it's ridiculous.

    I had to go thru this in the late 1990s when I changed from the Single Parenting Payment to the DSP. Haven't changed since, and I don't ever think they'll change.
    Anonymous
    25th Jun 2018
    4:13pm
    SuziJ - you sure are milking the system for all it's worth - from the Single Parent to the DSP and now the OAP. And now you are complaining about filling in a few forms. Really surprised you even put that in writing.
    AutumnOz
    25th Jun 2018
    6:26pm
    No Ted, nowhere near Brisbane. Your internet cafe is a great idea, we used to have one here but it closed when the owners became ill.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    9:07pm
    Last tax return the ATO autofilled every field for me including bank interest..... HELLO!!
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    9:10pm
    Jeez, Cowboy Jim - bit harsh criticising those who get their entitlements from government.

    You must be one of those ideological people who think that feeding children is a crime if you are broke........ the little bustards should just go straight to the gas chamber.... healthy parents to the right where work will make you free - useless small mouths to the left....
    floss
    25th Jun 2018
    10:53am
    Autumn Oz. any thing to do with C/Link is impossible,lack of staff etc.Perhaps the Federal Government wish it to be that way and rather spend time and money on getting a tax break for large over seas companies that pay very little or no tax anyway.Mick what you are saying is correct in the real world, how did we end up in the mess we are in.
    AutumnOz
    25th Jun 2018
    11:27am
    Floss, I think the gov't enjoys making life difficult for everyone.
    It isn't limited to C/link but as Ted Wards above says it also infects My Age Care as anyone of pension age, not just those receiving a pension, need to go through them to access community transport and neighbour aid if transport is needed to medical appointments and shopping etc.
    The whole thing is crazy as they were here assessing one of us but didn't assess the other as it needed another application for that assessment which is ridiculous.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    9:11pm
    Smiling Hank - aka Jabba the Hutt .....
    MICK
    25th Jun 2018
    11:14am
    Readers might like to read the other story today. All Australians should be suitably worried:

    https://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/the_meeting_place/post/this-whistleblower-has-a-warning-for-us?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Volume%2018%20Issue%20126%20Daily%20eNews%20Monday%2025%20June&utm_content=Volume%2018%20Issue%20126%20Daily%20eNews%20Monday%2025%20June+Version+A+CID_0425f889b31dfcf98eadebaba6208e95&utm_source=campaign%20monitor&utm_term=Should%20we%20heed%20Wilkies%20warning

    As I keep saying we are seeing an impending dictatorship in the formation.
    Old Geezer
    25th Jun 2018
    11:46am
    What has that to do with applying for the OAP?
    MICK
    25th Jun 2018
    12:38pm
    Meant to highlight what is so very wicked and wrong with the government. Attack on pensions and retirees is but one piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
    Charlie
    25th Jun 2018
    11:19am
    Gave up on My Gov a few years ago when I still believed it was possible for an age pensioner to get a half-day work. A big conflict in centrelink/mygov passwords. Not worth going there and waiting to sort it out.
    Old Geezer
    25th Jun 2018
    11:47am
    Never had any trouble with MyGov site for myself or anyone I have helped with their financial affairs.
    Charlie
    25th Jun 2018
    4:00pm
    They kept refusing my password because it conflicted with a password I had at Centrelink.

    The Centrelink office said i couldn't transfer from Disability pension to Age pension Disability, but Human Services in Canberra said I could.

    I was about the time when the government shut down a lot of their funded employment services and I became ineligible for disability employment assistance because I had turned 65. MYGov had just started.

    Now we have (Seek employment service) where private employment services advertise on another employment service. Casual work means, a tryout for a full time position and a person gets no acknowledgement of the relative success of their application.
    AutumnOz
    25th Jun 2018
    6:28pm
    Old Geezer, it is time you went back to the factory and had your recorded tapes or CDs upgraded, you are continually repeating yourself.
    Andrew
    25th Jun 2018
    11:23am
    My experience is similar to the others who have made comments. 4 and half months waiting for a part pension. Considering the amount of admin taken into taking my enquiries both at the local office and the call centre. The costs to the department must be huge probably close to my back pay if and when I receive the pension. My whole application should have taken only two visits in February. I am still waiting in June . There have been at least 5 visits to the local Centrelink office and a similar number to the call centre. The staff are doing their best but the system is incredibly inefficient. My issue is that the assessment team is not using technology to know that more info is required. It has been up to me to ring up to find out what is going on on numerous occasions. Only to be told another bank statement is required etc. This is obviously jamming the system causing delays for everyone.!!??
    Old Geezer
    25th Jun 2018
    11:48am
    Have you contacted them every week?
    GeorgeM
    25th Jun 2018
    11:23am
    "Age Pension process is “too hard, too complicated and too long" - Agree!
    Scrap the system altogether and replace it with Universal Pension.

    All retirees should ask their MPs and threaten to & not vote for them if they do not listen. Time for action is NOW (at the next election) - you owe it to yourselves as well as future retirees getting into this mess each year!
    Old Geezer
    25th Jun 2018
    11:48am
    It aint that hard at all. People are just too lazy and want their welfare without any effort on their behalf.
    Magic Touch
    25th Jun 2018
    12:39pm
    George you are right don,t vote for them who put all the hard ship to the honous old hard working AUSTRALIAN, if they don,t want to listen.
    Old Geezer
    25th Jun 2018
    12:46pm
    Good vote for whoever you like but it aint going to change anything but probably make it so much worse instead.
    GeorgeM
    25th Jun 2018
    4:42pm
    Worse for you, OG? Then bring it on! Might be good for most others!
    While I don't support either major party (or the Greens), this Liberal Govt since the promise-breaker / liar Abbott has completely lost any right to continue governing.
    Old Geezer
    26th Jun 2018
    2:48pm
    Nope it wont matter to me who is in power as I will just change to suit but it will for many others.

    I will admit thought that the current government is so much better than the one we had before it.

    25th Jun 2018
    12:08pm
    Government forms have always been complex because it is important that spending taxpayers money should ensure that the eligible people are catered for. Government forms have been complex since I first started working many decades ago but back then, there were people who could assist with any queries. Frontline staff are very thin on the ground including face-to-face and telephone staff and this is where the problem lies. Governments of all persuasions have reduced the public service to pretend to save money but have also employed "consultants" who are paid from a different section. Inevitably these "consultants" are senior public servants who have retired or taken redundancy and are doing the same work. What is needed is more junior to middle range staff who are the people who actually deal with clients.
    MICK
    25th Jun 2018
    12:41pm
    It is not the forms which cause issues. Rather it is the little Hitlers who make demand after demand for 'proof', a bit like yourself, with no intention of processing claims based on the data. Unless you are destitute it matters not if you qualify or not because employees can make it impossible. That's when people give up. As per the article.
    Anonymous
    25th Jun 2018
    3:38pm
    Oh MICK, really, it is said that whoever mentions Hitler in a discussion has lost. Asking for proof such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate or other means of ID is a part of most government forms and to arrive at an interview without them is foolish. Calling those who ask for proof of a statement derogatory names is trying to mask an inability to comply with normal regulations.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    9:15pm
    I usually mention Hitlerian policies and initiatives and offer comparison with attitudes and actions of some here and elsewhere and in the broad sweep of managing the nation on our behalf.

    Pensioners in The Rocks - RAUS! On the trains or we put the dogs on you.... a better life awaits you in der Vesterreich..... you will be like Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip... surrounded by hostiles and serving as a trip wire when we hear your death screams in Macquarie Street and consider police funding.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    9:54am
    How quickly The Armenian of Macquarie Street forgets the three million Armenians 'ethnically cleansed' by the Turks....

    Where do we get this kind into politics?
    GrayComputing
    25th Jun 2018
    12:43pm
    It is time for all of us to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER 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.

    Hiring more Centrelink staff will only increase taxpayer’s costs for processing the creeping insane red tape monster system politicians and well paid bureaucrats have created.

    Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly.

    Why worry that few million$ earners get it too. That is peanuts to them, not enough for a good vintage champagne.

    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 and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.

    Also contact opposition and independent MPs who can help us to get a fair deal on pensions

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    marls
    25th Jun 2018
    7:03pm
    Grey computing
    Malcolm Fraser stole the 1950's pension fund where all workers paid 7.5% towards the non means test aged pension in 1977 Fraser transferred 470million into consolidated revenue workers are still paying that 7.5%
    "Who stole the workers compulsory pension fund " by Australia morning mail
    GrayComputing
    25th Jun 2018
    12:48pm
    Raphael why are you are supporting an insane ultra expensive bureaucratic pension system.
    Giving everybody an non asset tested test pension is cheaper to the taxpayer!
    Do you have a consultant or management role in this insane complex system that is befitting you personally. Come clean web troll please explain you position in this whole pension mess.
    ozqueen
    25th Jun 2018
    1:19pm
    I went to a Centrelink office to get the necessary forms having tried to unsuccessfully access them through myGov (I have a post grad in Computer).
    Having filled out the 12 half pages applicable to me (I don't have a partner) I then realized that I needed another 18 page document concerning assets.
    Back to the Centrelink office where I had started to explain what I wanted but I was handed the document. When I asked why I wasn't given it when I had asked for the other forms I was told I needed to ask specifically for any forms!!
    These forms make up the application for the pension!! Filling them out is a nightmare. Who actually knows how much their furniture is worth? Or the current market value of their car? How hard would it be for someone not computer literate to get copies of bank balances, shareholder statements and the other 16 documents necessary for completion? All of this is unnecessary given Centrelink has access to Tax Office records which would have most of these things. People who have worked all their lives shouldn't have to work to obtain a pension considering people who have been receiving dole payments don't have to do a thing - it's given to them automatically.
    bluebottle
    25th Jun 2018
    1:28pm
    I found the mygov process to be quite easy and straightforward, but then I've worked with computers for 50 years though 5 months later I'm still waiting for a result.
    For furniture etc, I was told that it's a fire sale value, not replacement so typically $10,000. Car values can be found on redbook or similar.
    sunnyOz
    25th Jun 2018
    1:57pm
    Ozqueen - I am totally on the same page as you! Read the post I just posted, and seems we have experienced the same. I couldn't take on a full time job now as I need so much time phoning and going to CL office!
    Totally agree with you - I help some non-computer literate people with their CL dealings, and it is just horrendous! I am the nominated person to act on a friend's CL dealings - he has no computer access. And despite CLEAR instructions to this effect, the number of times I have contacted CL for him, only to be told they cannot speak with me about his account. As we live over 600kms apart, we can't pop in to an office together.
    Chris B T
    25th Jun 2018
    1:20pm
    No asset Tests and everyone to Receive The OAP. Then Record ALL EARNINGS when filling out YOUR TAX RETURN and Pay Tax According to Earnings.
    How simple and unjudgemental that would be.
    No need for Centerlink Involvement Just The Col' Klink
    {;-(0)
    Anonymous
    25th Jun 2018
    4:26pm
    That is exactly the way it is in Europe (with the proviso that you also paid in, which means you worked at some stage of your life). That is not the case here as all the people who have never earned a bean get the highest pension. Funny that!
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    9:17pm
    Yes - but that is covered in the concept of a minimum payment into super for those unable to work or out of work at times, which is part of The Trebor Scheme.
    sunnyOz
    25th Jun 2018
    1:34pm
    I have JUST gone through this very same thing, and can absolutely attest that the whole system is both dysfunctional and very user unfriendly.
    When I was eligible to apply for the Aged Pension, I ensured I got all the information ready and made many attempts to upload. I am quite capable of using a computer but the system of uploading constantly timed out, crashed and would not accept documents. A message would pop up saying I hadn't completed a field - but did not identify the field, and all fields were filled in.
    In the end, I took in all paperwork to the Centrelink Office ,and received a receipt. A few weeks later, I got a letter stating they were still waiting on some information - but I had already lodged it. Rang (that in itself was a saga!), only to be told they could not help me and to go in to a branch. Did so - wait over an hour - only to be told the letter was an error, and to ignore it.
    Sure enough, 2 weeks later got SAME letter. Went through same process, being assured it was sorted. But of course - wasn't. When I got a THIRD letter - that is when I lodged a complaint. Finally got a call from a CL employee telling me that when they receive documents, at the bottom of the page is a question 'does the applicant require further follow up (or words similar)'? Staff had not ticked that box - so I was stuffed around for weeks.
    I then went on Newstart for a few weeks, then transferred to Aged Pension. At same time got a short casual job. Went into CL office so many times to ensure was following correct procedure, etc. Followed their instructions, uploaded wage reports. Then didn't receive a part pension. Spent hours following it up, and only after complaint to higher up, was told that the computer system had a hissy fit (what with Newstart, Aged Pension, part-time work). Was all too much - so had totally cancelled my pension! Plus cancelled my Pension Concession Card.
    CL agreed this was in error, and promptly reinstalled my pension and card. BUT - it had taken ME to point out the error. And the CL staff knew nothing about the Work Bonus. Completely had no idea, and their calculations were totally wrong. Again, I had to show them my calculations, which were almost spot on correct.
    I realise that there may be some blips, but what I have gone through leaves me very little faith in the system to get it right. I keep a full record of every contact with CL, as I don't want to be told in 7/8/9/10 years time that they 'overpaid me'. CL also are not obliged to give you a breakdown of any payments they make to you, so unless you are VERY cluey on how to calculate it, you have no idea of what it covers.
    I help a few elderly neighbors who do NOT have computers, and even when I ring on their behalf, nearly all CL staff I talk to refer me to 'MyGov' or the web. I am helping one elderly full pension neighbor (she has no immediate family) who has just sold her house to move in to an aged care nursing home, and honestly, dealing with CL is a frigging nightmare! Every time we go to the office, or phone them, there is another piece of paperwork they want, or something different. Seems to be going round and round, making it so difficult. She does not drive, is semi ambulant, and it does upset me to see the distress they are putting her through.
    So in answer to the question - do you think the Aged Pension is complicated? ABSOLUTELY YES.
    vinradio
    25th Jun 2018
    3:26pm
    I was lucky, i did mine online a few years ago, and the process wasn't too bad, and the first payment arrived on my 65th birthday.
    Anonymous
    25th Jun 2018
    8:31pm
    no vinradio you was not lucky, you just filled in it truthfully and did not B.S
    Chris G
    25th Jun 2018
    4:43pm
    I have found myGov to be a frustrating nightmare! My new phone number has locked me out of the previous account, so I have to re-register all over again. Yet I am hesitant because I am unsure if it will affect my part-pension i.e. the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.
    Old Geezer
    26th Jun 2018
    2:51pm
    What has you phone number got to do with your MyGov account? Surely you didn't hook up that extra security using your phone.

    25th Jun 2018
    6:09pm
    Makes me wonder how newcomers to this country who do not speak English (1 million I believe it is) manage to get welfare and with the new rules coming in having to do it via computers etc..I can see a hell of a mess coming up!
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    9:19pm
    A thriving industry will develop among their 'educated' fellows from Offshoria, who will process all their applications for a fee.
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    9:21pm
    They are not required to provide any proof of earning, savings etc. Many have detroyed all documentation, yet they are given welfare regardless. They have (Government) interpretors at their finger tips to do all the work for them.
    Anonymous
    26th Jun 2018
    1:15pm
    Maybe the answer could be to say you are illiterate....I wonder how those people get on (come to think of it)??
    MD
    25th Jun 2018
    8:26pm
    "Do you think the Age Pension is complicated? How have you found the Government’s digital services, such as myGov or the Centrelink app? Do you feel that the Government provides enough information to make the process accessible?"

    Of course it's complicated, aren't all dealings with gubbermint/the organs just such ?
    That they know it goes without saying - a classic case of 'keep the bastards guessing' - I guess! Gubbermint - presumably of our choosing - structures a 'system' for the purpose of administering/distributing largese, a safety net: as some would have it, and do.

    Regardless of when/where the existing age pension imbroglio was established & kicked off this has little consequence with the present state of affairs. That this article indicates daily claimants for age pension in the order of 700 persons, on top of existing numbers currently about 10% of population would suggest a mind boggling administrative nightmare.
    Each and every claimant will assert their 'rights and entitlements' - with conviction, yet often it seems claimants fail to address the criteria.

    That the process is; confusing, demoralising and tantamount to obfuscation by the organs of state might well amount to classic understatement however, it is what it is.
    Strictly speaking for age pensioners, I'd suggest what may be of some assistance could be a body (or number) of prospective claimant advocates. Whether pubic savants or contractors matters little - what should matter is these suitably qualified personnel be fully conversant with the welfare system pertinent to age pension claimant requirements/payments. Whether accessible by phone, in person or online, their ambit would be streamlining the process and info gathering to the point where submission to DHS is a lay down misere. USER PAYS !

    If we are to believe some of the posts, both past and present, of welfare recipients in various claimant categories that advanced through the system over a number of decades should be cause for concern. That it is a concern may well justify the present DHS pedantics.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    8:56pm
    25 pages? I'm 65 and I want my pension NOW!

    That should be all it takes.
    Anonymous
    25th Jun 2018
    9:39pm
    ah tremor is back, his finger will be on the remove button for anybody who has the cheek to not agree with his comments, I know he removed several of my comments, I will not retaliate to his national socialistic attitude, I believe in free speech, an attitude he still has not been able to grasp or unable to believe in.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    10:26pm
    Not me - I don't 'remove' anyone -even a fool has the right to be heard... just not to abuse and insult others.

    I see you haven't learned your lesson.... nor have you learned to read subtlety .......

    Free speech does not entitle you to attack others without reason.
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    10:27pm
    Oh - and I posted some of your silly comments that were later removed by the management ... how does that fit with your idea that I 'removed' them? DUH!

    Now move along and stick with the issues - you say it best when you say nothing at all.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    6:01am
    BTW, heemie, old boy - would you prefer it if I were to use the term 'social nationalist' or 'socialist nationalist' rather than (small letter) national socialist - a term with which you seem to have huge difficulty, since national socialism is not the same as National Socialism.

    Would you prefer international socialism?

    You have choices here, you know - all that is lacking is your own understanding.
    TREBOR
    27th Jun 2018
    12:42pm
    International Socialism or international socialism - can you spot the difference? National Socialism and national socialism - can you spot the difference?

    One is an established system of political belief, the other is philosophical inclination...

    Hope the big words and capitals don't confuse you too much... some students you have to bring along slowly.

    25th Jun 2018
    9:08pm
    reading all these comments, somebody might be able to help me out, I get on to my Gov, 5 minutes later all is solved followed by a letter in the next two days, I phone centre link and when it is busy I get asked do you want to wait or do we ring you back with a approximate time given, I choose for them to ring me back usual within the next hour or two, being a pensioner what is one or two hours worth, the phone rings and c.l is on the line problem fixed within minutes, yet all I read in these columns how hard it is to compute with these agencies, please tell me what am I doing wrong??????????
    TREBOR
    25th Jun 2018
    9:20pm
    I have no trouble with MyGov... simple - but then I'm pretty computer literate... even then you need to remember to log in regularly or it will cut your password out for security, forcing you to work out and remember a new one.
    sunnyOz
    25th Jun 2018
    9:21pm
    I suppose it depends on which area you are calling. I have left my phone number details for a call back - message always states return call will be within 48 hours. They NEVER give an approx time. When they phone, it shows as 'unknown number', and if you don't answer the phone - they won't ring back. One or 2 hours call back? - never!
    Anonymous
    25th Jun 2018
    9:58pm
    must be my good looks, answer the phone if expecting a call, unknown number or whatever, can always hang up after answering the call! sorry my longest wait was less then three hours might be different in country areas
    niemakawa
    25th Jun 2018
    9:21pm
    Hard is hard.
    Jenzam
    25th Jun 2018
    10:34pm
    Yes it is too hard and not fair.. I put the applications in early February for my husband. I put them online and took a copy to Centrelink. We first went to Centrelink in August and they said we weren’t partnered, we have been married 46 years, they found my husbands info through his mothers name. It took 7 months to get partnered. What a hassle.. I have also applied for a Carers pension as my husband injured his back in November so I had to leave work to look after him. I am not getting anywhere with them and our money is dwindling away. I ended up ringing and the lady on the phone said they were so far behind in the processing of applications that it could take months. I feel like giving up but I won’t let them beat me. My husbands form hasn’t been updated since March but I keep uploading the forms hoping that one day they will get it sorted.
    Sundays
    25th Jun 2018
    11:17pm
    Jenzam, I have a friend in a similar situation. They know she has some savings, so were not treating her as a priority. Each time she rang they asked if she was destitute but she was too proud to tell the truth. Finally, I told her to say yes and that the money in the bank is needed for medical expenses (true). She did and the pension was paid in a week. You could try that, or see your local member.

    25th Jun 2018
    10:52pm
    My friend from kiwi papers had the same problems after retirement.
    john
    25th Jun 2018
    11:20pm
    I finally got a part pension, after 2 years one of failing, then the next year of succeeding after numerous visits to centrelink with even staff not being able to get onto mygov site .
    The forms were unbelievable , and the questions , well, I may be stupid, I don't know but I had forms sent back to me because I answered questions the wrong way or about a wrong property or a wrong , well you can see I have no idea, I can use a computer and I can fill out forms but centre link and pensions and concession cards applications, were a nightmare. If I was a person who did not understand directly some of these complicated questions , they would be stumped. Pension very small , but cards handy!
    I actually felt it was deliberately hard to fill out so people would just give up.
    john
    25th Jun 2018
    11:23pm
    It appears to me after all these complaints that every body should be writing to their federal member. And keep doing it and doing it over and over. Because they will take no notice , if you just give up!
    SuzeB
    25th Jun 2018
    11:58pm
    Some forms are a horror. I was looking at lease applications recently (as I haven't had to do one for many years) and some of those are a nightmare too. I remember the pension application being pretty painful, but as we're asking for other people's money I think they shouldn't be too easy either.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    6:08am
    No, Suze - applicants are requesting a drawing of their retirement fund paid for at 7.5% of income tax plus levies,over their entire working life.

    It is NOT 'other people's money', any more than those who receive superannuation payments are getting 'other people's money'.

    26th Jun 2018
    7:16am
    I just wish Centrelink staff would get it right, and not stubbornly refuse to amend their own errors when they are pointed out.
    A young mother with a seriously disabled infant, on oxygen and being tube fed, went to C/link office in desperation - with her child, because she had nobody to leave him with - because multiple phone calls and web-based submissions resulted in wrong assessments. After sitting all day in a waiting room, she was told to ''come back tomorrow'' - we were too busy to see you today. All she wanted was for them to actually READ the figures on a statement and fix their STUPID mistake of double-counting income. Some fool had decided that if a business was jointly owned by husband and wife, and the business had a valuation of $100,000, it was worth $200,000 because two people owned it. They similarly doubled the annual profit.
    She gave up and forfeited thousands in entitlements because she simply could not get them to fix their errors.

    Yes, it's too complex, and NO, arrogant selfish privileged people, IT SHOULD NOT BE HARD. It's a system designed to SUPPORT the disadvantaged, not to persecute them. And it was created in recognition that for ANYONE to prosper in a capitalist society, there must be a proportion of the population who struggle and suffer unfairness. Those who prosper OWE A DEBT to those who do not.

    Seems those who prosper have become too selfish and arrogant to recognize that fact, or just too appallingly greedy to care!
    sunnyOz
    26th Jun 2018
    9:47am
    Rainey - thoroughly agree - have just been though similar. The time I wasted correcting THEIR mistakes was mind numbing. The lack of correct information and understanding of the rules - that they are employed to know, not be told by the public - was appalling. Only in this mornings paper was an article about how 'greed' is becoming the number one failure with today's young ones.
    Adrianus
    26th Jun 2018
    8:39am
    Labor's Frankenstein. The Public Service Bureaucrats. Yep the ones who keep giving themselves big pay rises. They're the ones making the forms.
    TREBOR
    26th Jun 2018
    8:56am
    Public service has been around for ages... the push to place the senior executive on contracts and thus make them amenable to the incumbent party's line of thinking and policy has been bi-partisan... nothing more designed to alter forever the balance of powers between elected government and public service than to install flunkeys of elected government who can be removed for failing to fulfill contract.

    As I said - both major parties love it, since they now have a little less impedance to pushing their respective ideological lines.

    Look at Fat Hank and his rapid boarding of the Oppression Express for the retiree community.... he'll be one of the first on a fast plane out the moment a real government takes over, but his lifetime income will be assured via the stolen Future Fund.
    Anonymous
    26th Jun 2018
    6:48pm
    at last tremor agreed he/she was the one who posted my so-called silly comments, with other words he posted them under my name, just shows the character and devious conduct of this contributor he/she will employ to get his point across, thanks trebor to come clean at last
    for those who are not convinced see his earlier reply
    TREBOR
    27th Jun 2018
    12:47pm
    I posted them in response to Rafe's silly comment that there were no nasty bits... as a quote - not in your name. DUH!

    Once more, unlearned one, how does that fit with your paranoid concept that I 'removed' them? I have no 'Remove' button on your posts - only on my own, like everyone else.

    I did not 'post under your name' - I listed some offensive remarks made on the discussion on that day to enlighten poor Rafe The Unbeliever.

    You really need to learn to stop being an uneducated, semi-literate, viperous piece of slime, heemie... it would help you in life.

    If you have any complaints, refer them to the management, and they'll simply ignore you - or even worse - they might take another look at your vile comments and cancel your account.
    Lil
    8th Jul 2018
    5:31am
    Did anyone get the promised one-off energy supplement by the end of June?
    I did get a letter, but on close examination it was backdated to 2017 - how come, when it's supposed to come in 2018?
    Needless to say, it didn't happen!
    Another government trick?
    sunnyOz
    8th Jul 2018
    11:52am
    Lil - it was a 'one off' payment LAST year, that is, 2017/2018. Not this year.
    Big Al
    15th Jul 2018
    12:10pm
    Recently recd my OAP. Submitted on 3 May and, via ClL Express App, was informed that would b assessed by 22 June. I recd my first payment, and backdated payments, within a day of the indicated date.
    I found the online app quite simple to complete albeit that there are some software bugs which were impossible to correct (to address these I completed the Form online, but did not formally Submit my claim until I was at the CL Office where I also completed a formal Statement outlined and numbering each of the bugs and providing the correct information that I should bave been able to enter). Note: I visited the CL Office about 6 other times to clarify certain questions so that I could provide accurate disclosures.
    Every item of evidence required was scanned and attached as requested.

    In summary, I thought that the online app was easy to use, but u need to take your time, visit CL where u are unsure of how to answer, and ensure that u attach everything requested. The CL staff were always very helpful and obliging .. worked for me.

    FYI .. mine wasnt a straight forward claim having various non-standard components
    bluebottle
    19th Jul 2018
    11:44am
    My claim from February was finalised on 5th July and back-pay received a few days later, after claiming hardship & MP intervention.
    My wife's claim lodged the same day is still waiting, and has now gone to On Hold - "needing more information" but no indication what. I've asked for her claim to be treated as hardship as well; MP's office also escalating but their go-to person is away this week.
    If nothing changes by tomorrow back on the phone for 20 minutes of Mozart.
    bluebottle
    24th Jul 2018
    10:25am
    Well, that was interesting. After they asked for more info to prove my wife didn't have hidden income (now almost 6 months after applying), our local MP's office managed to contact her go-to person at CentreLink and WITHIN AN HOUR my wife had a phone call FROM CentreLink saying it was all approved; her $7,000 backpay would be in the bank in 2 days, and don't bother with the extra information asked for.
    Now shopping for Haigh's chocolates for the nice lady ay MP's office.
    john
    30th Jul 2018
    11:11am
    The application set up is a nightmare, no exaggeration in that report whatsoever.It becomes so confusing and difficult that it appears a deliberate ploy to make people give in and have to go through some kind of assistance from centre link itself.
    It not only should be made easier it must be made easier, because as those comments said some people may be missing out on entitlements because they cannot properly understand what is being asked, in those forms. Its downright disgraceful to go through these terrible questions that are difficult to fathom , and the government does not give a damn.
    Mrs Hedgehog
    13th Dec 2018
    12:05pm
    Simplify the system - easy -. If you have lived and worked full time in this country and paid taxes for at least 15 years you should automatically get the pension. That would save lots of computer or paper work time, reduce the need for all the cross checks of cross checks and yes give a few rich people a cup of coffee extra, but also assist lots and lots of others who live in poverty just because the system is too difficult. It would be cheaper than the system we have now and far easier to administrate.yes studies have been made about this and it would save the government a lot of money. With the NBN coming I will no longer be able to afford internet access as the cheapest is twice what I am currently paying, the alternative is to die of starvation. Government initiatives are wonderful!


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