Here are the factors that block your path to retirement

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Several studies in previous years have concluded that government policy has encouraged older Australians to retire earlier rather than later.

More recently, however, that trend may be reversing with seniors opting to stay in the workforce longer. Among the reasons for stretching out a career are the increasingly stringent rules limiting access to the Age Pension and the historically low-interest rates that barely allow pensioners’ savings to hold their value.

A survey conducted by Roy Morgan research 18 months ago found the average age that individuals aspired to retire had risen three years in just 12 months, from 58 to 61.

Recent Coalition government budgets, however, have contained several disincentives for those contemplating hanging up their hats sooner.

In January last year, more than 300,000 Australians lost Age Pension entitlements when the assets test was tightened. This gave food for thought to pre-retirees who may also have breached the threshold for the payment, forcing them to keep working longer in lieu of Age Pension eligibility.

“The changes to the Age Pension have rattled people quite a lot,” Aspire Retire Financial Services co-founder Olivia Maragna told the Australian Financial Review. “People are starting to realise that the Government is not going to support them.”

She added that the Government had not given individuals enough time to change their savings plans in response to the pension cuts, leaving them little choice but to work longer if they wanted to maintain their lifestyle in retirement.

The stricter assets test meant the upper threshold for a couple who own their own home to receive a part pension fell to $816,000 worth of assets from $1.2 million. For a single home-owner the threshold fell to $542,000 worth of assets from $794,000.

From July 2017, the Government introduced the $1.6 million transfer balance cap, limiting to that figure the amount of money in a super fund’s retirement phase which would not attract tax on earnings. The purpose was to force earnings on balances over $1.6 million to be taxed.

For those at that threshold, the foregone tax-free element may be enough reason to keep working.

Also keeping old Australians working are cost-of-living factors, non-paying ‘kiddults’ who will not move out of home, or worse, adult children who depend on the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ to fund their first homes or other expenses.

Individuals who are cash-strapped with few savings are concerned over how they will maintain their lifestyles in old age. Soaring health insurance, electricity, gas and petrol prices are putting a major dent in retirees’ funds as the cost of those items increase beyond the rises in the Age Pension.

Once, many moons ago, retirees could depend on reasonable income from double-digit interest paid by banks on their savings. But those days have gone with few deposits attracting more than 2 per cent a year – hardly keeping pace with inflation.

Earlier this year, Australian Bureau of Statistics chief economist Bruce Hockman told news.com.au that: “A decade ago, around 9 per cent of people aged 65 and over were employed. This has increased to around 13 per cent in 2016–17.”

Launching the report, Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia 2016–17, Mr Hockman said that 38 per cent of individuals delaying retirement cited financial security.

Of those who had an age in mind as to when they wished to retire:

  • 20 per cent intended to retire aged 70 years and older (22 per cent of men and 18 per cent of women)
  • 50 per cent intended to retire between 65 and 69 years (53 per cent of men and 47 per cent of women)
  • 23 per cent intended to retire between 60 and 64 years (19 per cent of men and 27 per cent of women)
  • 7 per cent intended to retire between 45 and 59 years (6 per cent of men and 8 per cent of women).

If you are not yet retired, are you contemplating staying on at work longer? Were you forced to delay retiring, and if so, what were the reasons?

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Written by Olga Galacho

84 Comments

Total Comments: 84
  1. 0
    0

    Olga, You say saving are hardly keeping up with inflation. They are not keeping up inflation, not if you are on a part pension. Considering the interest rate and the deeming rate, savings are going backwards. If you are asset tested Centrelink takes 7.8% off your pension for each $1000, yet that $1000 is earning only 2%. It is now better to spend than to save.

    • 0
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      If your $1000 is only earning 2% you are badly invested. My $1000 is earning a lot more than 7.8%.

    • 0
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      Yes, you are right, Nan Norma. 330,000 people who had their pensions reduced (not 300,000) and 91,000 who lost it altogether because of the defective new asset test were given the clear message – blow up some assets and you can get more pension than you could earn by keeping those assets! In addition to those numbers, add the new cases every year who are getting less or no pensions!

      thommo’s comments are apt below – this Govt will / must be thrown out at the next election. Vote against every sitting member by putting them last in preferences (as Greens collaborated, and Labor won’t fix it) – every one of them must be removed.

    • 0
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      Yes, George, but in OG’s mind only HE matters. It is irrelevant what is happening to the rest of the nation. It’s called narcissism. It’s a serious personality disorder that make you thoroughly self-centred, obnoxious, nasty, greedy, and totally incapable of empathy or compassion.

      OG, weren’t you taught in childhood that it’s rude and disgustingly offensive to skite constantly about how well off you are? Yes, if you are only earning 2% you are badly invested, and you need HELP AND UNDERSTANDING because you were obviously seriously deprived of opportunity and education. Only SCUM would endorse policies that punish people for being deprived and let the privileged gloat endlessly.

    • 0
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      I was taught to crow all ones achievements from the hill tops so everyone knew and then they could do better. It is certainly not rude at all. What is rude is to say things like the old age pension is not welfare. Also to tell lies about what really happened.

  2. 0
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    Those Utter utter b’s in Federal Power at present know that they will get a severe backlash from the older folk next election. The Greens supported the cut back that cost 300,000 people what they were originally promised, so they have something to answer for as well.

    Cutting the retirement age back to 70, for “ecomic reasons” shows how out of touch they all are.
    Just to keep the other side on their toes, ask your local Labor aspirant (or member) what they intend to do for self funded or pension dependant retirees. Answer? Not a lot, but it might be a little more than might be expected.

    I certainly couldn’t support the current rabble. Their motto for us lot? “Hurry up and die!”

  3. 0
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    High cost of living. Pension does not keep up with the cost of living,

    • 0
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      Thank the Lieberal-Hillbilly COALition for that.

    • 0
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      If you think it is not keeping up now just wait to see what Labor does to inflation.

    • 0
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      Got some evidence to support that scare-mongering, OG? Or is it just an opinion…….

      Are you including the hidden inflation created by massive rises in the cost of utilities etc? Every such demands a higher income level on average to cope, and thus generates lower buying power for the dollar.

      I doubt Labor could do any worse than the current lot.

  4. 0
    0

    Hmmmm… higher percentage of women than men planning to retire in the youngest groups… must be struggling in the Superannuation stakes…. NOT.

    Just saying… keeping up my end of the propaganda wars…..

    23 per cent intended to retire between 60 and 64 years (19 per cent of men and 27 per cent of women)
    7 per cent intended to retire between 45 and 59 years (6 per cent of men and 8 per cent of women).

    • 0
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      The price of liberty from lies is eternal vigilance…. so the skewed playing field of sweet jobs with sweet super .. towards women .. is really estimated to begin to come into effect over the next 10-15 years….

      Wonder if there’ll be discussion of a superannuation gap against men then?

      Do NOT trust a feminist (that includes men feminists) with the truth….. they either do not understand figures and facts or they deliberately ignore them in ‘the greater good’… for them.

    • 0
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      Well said, TREBOR!

    • 0
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      Opinions are like assholes everyone has one. Even Assholes.

    • 0
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      ex PS – why are u insulting Trebor and Knows-a-lot.

      I happen to almost always disagree with their opinions, because quite frankly , their opinions are dumb, but I’d never call them arseholes.
      Please apologise and retract your statement

  5. 0
    0

    This government will pay the price at the next election for changing the assets test in 2015 budget, after promising at the 2013 election that they would not change the pension, amongst other things. But they lied and for this treachery, they will be wiped out at the 2019 election.
    The several million pensioners should have enough political clout to ensure governments look after them in their retirement, and to pay them a respectable and decent pension, which IS THEIR ENTITLEMENT….

  6. 0
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    When bringing forward statistics on who lost all of their pension, who lost a bit of pension or who lost health cards, should we ask the question; “Should Sir Frank Lowy get a full pension?” There has to be a cut-off point for welfare payments because Australia can’t afford to pay everybody over the age of 65.

    • 0
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      As long as Lowy pays tax on all his other income, gifting and fringe benefits – no problem.

      Give him $22k a years and start to refill the coffers ….. hard times demand hard measures… I’m sure he’ll survive….

    • 0
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      Everyone over 65 should receive a base pension even Sir Frank, EVERYONE. And everyone should have to pay their share of taxes on all monies earned, even pension funds, super, SMSF, wages, salaries, ALL income.
      Universal pension, pay taxes on all income, close loop holes such as off shore investing, negative gearing & family trusts etc.
      Saving from a simplified pension scheme, appropriate taxes & closing loop holes will see the government with more money.

    • 0
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      Everyone over 65 should receive a base pension even Sir Frank, EVERYONE. And everyone should have to pay their share of taxes on all monies earned, even pension funds, super, SMSF, wages, salaries, ALL income.
      Universal pension, pay taxes on all income, close loop holes such as off shore investing, negative gearing & family trusts etc.
      Saving from a simplified pension scheme, appropriate taxes & closing loop holes will see the government with more money.

    • 0
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      It should be universal for equity with all other income taxed accordingly. That would save billions in Superannuation rebates. There would be no need for tax concessions at all.

      The biggest problem I saw with the Legislation changes was the breaking of the previous no disadvantage rule. That had contained Legislation a bit and offered some protection. Now that no longer applies anything and any group are fair game.

      The media and most people missed the consequences of that completely in my opinion.

    • 0
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      As before – politicians will never come at that one – they’d be first cab off the rank to pay tax they didn’t pay before…. same with public servants…. I might consider an exemption from tax for Veterans of some sort… the hidden health costs can be enormous…

    • 0
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      Paying everyone over 65 a pension would cost LESS than the current STUPID system that costs a fortune to administer and police and discourages saving, rewarding people for retiring with less and leading to overinvestment in housing.

      Properly levied, taxation would ensure that the wealthy get minimal benefit from a pension, and the cost of those fairer pension payments would be negligible. Most likely the government would come out in front if the numbers were crunched correctly. But the morons making decisions are as bigoted and mean and nasty as some of the LNP trolls here, and totally incapable of math, let alone common sense.

    • 0
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      Love it OGR a tax free pension for me.

  7. 0
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    Would’nt it make sense to lower the retirement age, thereby freeing up positions for younger people. Most people own their own home, kids have flown the nest and are reasonably set up by the time they agre 60. And it would be cheaper to pay the age pension to a couple than unemployment to a family of parents with 3 or 4 kids.

  8. 0
    0

    “Recent Coalition government budgets, however, have contained several disincentives for those contemplating hanging up their hats sooner.”

    Typical of the Lieberal vermin to want to work us into the grave and avoid paying out pensions at all!

    • 0
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      Labor wants to do even better and only give pension to those who spend more than they receive.

    • 0
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      Yes,OG – Labor is not to be trusted either…. wait for the screeching about ‘hidden black holes in the budget!!!!’ emanating from Cambra (Fart of The Nation) if and when Labor take government in the house (remember the difference? The majority party governs the house – they do not exercise unconstrained control over the people)….

      Hence the care with which I choose my words.

    • 0
      0

      You are dreaming again Trebor. I also note no mention of the union thugs trying to control us all either. Isn’t that what is behind the non return of franking credits? Unions what to control everyone’s super so let’s make it unattractive to have your super elsewhere. Thank goodness I only have a small amount of my wealth in super so I can just draw it out and invest it in a tax haven instead.

    • 0
      0

      You think that a union of an interest group has no right to expect a seat at the table when discussing their lives, livelihoods, and futures?

      Would you raise the same objection to the Business Council or similar?

      How do you come to the conclusion that unions want to take over total control of super? More the other way around, with the financial institutions trying to take over industry funds for their own benefit.

      On what basis do you imagine that the unions are seeking to take over control of your life etc? You do realise what that means, to have such thoughts, don’t you? And that twisting truth 180 degrees around and pointing a falsehood at the ‘other side’ is a pretty strange way to approach a subject….??? Or to think it’s the unions and not the malfeasance of the financial sector that is making their superannuation schemes unattractive????

      Very strange thinking there….

      Unions do NOT have the ability or opportunity to take over control… but they do have a right to be heard and to take part in discussion of issues relevant to them and their members.

      Face it, Ebergeezer – you’ve been owned again….. and again….. and again….

    • 0
      0

      Trebor I have never been owned and never will be.

    • 0
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      **chuckles**

    • 0
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      A self-made and self-owned man – thus relieving the gods of the universe of an onerous burden of guilt.

      You’re still a slave Ebergeezer – slave to your fears of unions taking over the country… slave to your fears that somehow all those rich pensioners will rise up and put you on the garbage heap…. slave to a self-created feeling of self-importance and entitlement….

    • 0
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      Ha ha. Unfortunately I see myself as none of that at all. It doesn’t matter to me who is in power as I will just adjust and carry on as normal. But it will matter to many others and the nation as a whole.

  9. 0
    0

    At election time remember that it was Morrison who forced through the changes to the Pension Assets Test after an opportunistic alliance with the Greens. Before that the Government had said that those changes weren’t on the agenda. Just i
    n case anyone had forgotten.

  10. 0
    0

    “A survey conducted by Roy Morgan research 18 months ago found the average age that individuals aspired to retire had risen three years in just 12 months, from 58 to 61.”

    Preservation age is now 60.
    Hence the target now moving up to 61.

    People are living longer and now spend 20-30 years in retirement.
    Seems to me the superannuation system is working well if most people can retire once they can access tax free super and wait 7 years to get the part pension or no pension at all

    40% of all Australians retire before the age of 58, which means that these people will likely never depend on the pension for a living. The numbers don’t lie. Aussies are getting better and better off in retirement

    • 0
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      It would not matter how good most people had it it would never be good enough. If you think Labor is going to make it better then you are living in Fairyland.

    • 0
      0

      The 40% who retire before 58 are often made redundant, and never find another job. They try and manage on the Super they have, some Newstart. They will definitely depend on the pension for a living.

    • 0
      0

      I know many people who retired before 58 and they will never be on a pension. Many wealthy people retire for their job early simply because they no longer need to work.

    • 0
      0

      Nope Sundays. The 40% I am quoting are all self funded retirees – FACT !!!

    • 0
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      ” If you think Labor is going to make it better then you are living in Fairyland. “

      Sounds like an admission that there is much wrong here and now to me….. is that a confession?

      40%??

      https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/treasury/a-super-fail-80pc-retire-on-pension-benefits/news-story/f53147276286f68ed06e6fa0a3dd0ee2

    • 0
      0

      Trebor, Trebor, Trebor

      As usual, your ability to decipher information sadly lacking

    • 0
      0

      So instead leave the Liberals in and get more of this unless its an election year … there’s a great solution.

    • 0
      0

      So we have core and non-core SFRs, and of that 80% who will retire with pension, some are actually SFRs – at least 20% of them, and are not classed as part pensioners but part SFRs – to make up the figures?

      Well – who’d ‘ve thunk it?

      BTW – where did you quote the 40% who are SFRs? Is it on this page?

    • 0
      0

      I said 40% retire by age 58%

      Some of them then go on part pension or full pension when they become of age either by spending down or giving away assets.

    • 0
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      Good argument for universal pension and tax on income, deemed income and fringe benefits for all above that.

    • 0
      0

      Nope
      Wronggggg

    • 0
      0

      Please explain?

    • 0
      0

      Sigh !
      You could interpret the fact that almost half the population retire before 60 yet instead of continuing to be self reliant would rather diminish their wealth in order to avail themselves of full or part pension as evidence that the pension is too generous
      Too good to forego and doesn’t go far enough to distinguish between the truly deserving and those who manage their circumstances due to greed

      It’s akso an argument for providing greater incentive for self funded early retirees to keep that status as self funded by for example flavoura le tax treatment of dividend income

      The very same dividend i come that some mongrel self serving politicians want to take away
      I can go on but it’s past your bedtime grasshopper
      Get some sleep son

      I’m having a couple of days off. Driving to the countryside for some well deserved r and r

    • 0
      0

      An excellent argument for universal pension and tax on all income, deemed income, and fringe benefits thereafter…..

      Put your thinking cap on….

      Wrong – those people reduce their income to the point where they can get pension to supplement their income – not to go on pension pure.

      Massive overhaul needed, and as many have said here, the current attack on retirees (not the word) has lead many to go for that kind of retirement…… so attacking pensioners is a waste of time, and will only lead to a greater demand for pension for more who are really capable of retiring without it.

      And yet Ebergeezer and you label those who receive pension as cheats, ne’er-do-wells and rorters….. do you consider those who deliberately reduce their situation so as to qualify as being rorters?

      Answer required…..

    • 0
      0

      Yes I do
      Now you please go to bed son
      Don’t stunt your growth

    • 0
      0

      A fie advertisement for never allowing neo-cons back in…

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