Minister flags review of Age Pension and the family home

Is this a case of ‘here we go again’ as senator refers to Retirement Income Review?

age pension and family home

As debate continues over next year’s legislated increase in super contributions, and as Australia waits on the federal government’s response to its Retirement Income Review, the assistant superannuation minister has flagged a review of the Age Pension and the family home.

Super sector leaders and everyday Australians have repeatedly called for a moratorium on change in the sector, but Senator Jane Hume appears to be having none of that.

She has slapped down calls to cease reform of the system in favour of cementing policy stability. And she has hinted that any further reform would also encompass the Age Pension and voluntary saving arrangements.

“One of things we keep hearing is ‘stop tinkering and making changes’,’’ she told The Australian. “Well, you know what? From the members’ perspective, they are seeing improved efficiency from these changes.

“I can’t give away too much ahead of the release (of the Retirement Income Review) but one of the things the review focused on explicitly was the interaction between different pillars of the retirement system.”

The review was announced on 27 September 2019 and handed to Treasury on 24 July this year. It was recommended by the Productivity Commission to assess the state of the retirement income system and how it will perform as Australians live longer and the population ages.

It set out to consider “the incentives for people to self-fund their retirement, the fiscal sustainability of the system, the role of the three pillars of the retirement income system, and the level of support provided to different cohorts across time”.

More than a month since the handover, there has been no official government response.

Senator Hume was criticised last week after saying she was ambivalent about the legislated increase in super – from 9.5 to 10 per cent – going ahead, adding that super attracted too much attention compared to the other pillars.

“A good retirement outcome is not driven solely by one’s super balance,” she said this week. “It’s about the other pillars as well: [the] Age Pension and voluntary savings outside of super, including the home.

“There are also payments in kind: things like health and aged care, the fact that those things are heavily subsidised matters when we compare our system to those of other countries.”

The Age Pension is indexed twice yearly and calculated according to the greater of the movement in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI). It is then ‘benchmarked’ against a percentage of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).

Indexing pension rates to CPI, says the government, “maintains their real value over time”.

The case for continuing to exclude the family home from the assets test for the Age Pension has drawn many critics in recent years. The argument presented by Deloitte Access Economics' Chris Richardson is typical.

“Including the family home [in the assets test] is still the right thing to do,” he said. “You have some people who have incredibly valuable homes and yet qualify for the pension.”

A Productivity Commission report claims that the federal government would save up to $6 billion a year by including the family home in the Age Pension assets test.

The report, Housing Decisions of Older Australians, states that around 360,000 pensioners would lose their entitlements if the family home was included in the assets test.

It says the move could also make Australia’s tax system fairer, stating that asset-rich and cash-poor retirees could live a better quality of life in retirement if they were to draw on the equity of their assets instead of claiming a pension.

The Productivity Commission believes “there is a strong case on equity grounds for setting limits on the value of the principal residence that is exempt from the Age Pension means test” but acknowledged that it couldn’t happen in the immediate future.

A well-placed super industry source told The Australian the sector feared the Retirement Income Review would “undermine the raison d’etre of the whole sector”.

“Hardly any of the submissions were about the other two pillars, so who knows what’s coming on that front,” the source said.

The Department of Social Services confirmed last week that age pensioners would not receive an automatic indexation increase on 20 September because inflation had gone backwards. It is the first time since 1997 the pension hasn’t risen with indexation.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison later suggested there might be an interim sweetener for pensioners, but that was quickly watered down by federal finance minister Mathias Cormann, who said any additional government support for pensioners would be “a matter to be determined in the context of the budget”.

Are you fearful of what might eventuate from the Retirement Income Review? Do you almost feel it is inevitable that the family home will one day be included in the assets test for the Age Pension?

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    COMMENTS

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    flowerpot
    28th Aug 2020
    9:55am
    A universal age pension would solve all this. Have people contribute to a national pension during their working lives through their tax. If you've worked long enough and paid into the system then the age pension is automatic and the amount is dependent on the years worked. This does not exclude private pensions that are run by companies/institutions that you work for. This means that everyone has a base pension for life and your home has nothing to do with it. If you've never worked you're not entitled to a pension. It would save a lot of admin and be fairer. Child care credits for those looking after children would be included and those with disabilities etc would also be catered for. The constant changes to super and state pension rules inject a lot of anxiety into a system where nobody feels secure as the rules change all the time.
    Golden Oldie
    28th Aug 2020
    11:23am
    They tried that. Universal pension for all, in 1946, collected through a 7.5% increase in income tax. Forget the date, but years later the LNP government wanted to makre government, and found that the superannuation owed to the public servants being sacked was much greater than than the funds they had, and the superannuation funds collected since 1946 was there to be raided to pay for superannuation entitlements. Now, also consider what would happen if business had unfunded super for their employees. It is a jailable offense. Legalised grabbing the pension fund, no more universal pension, but no decrease of 7.5% income tax paid. New fund started, but not for working Australians, only for parliamentarians, paid for by all taxpayers.
    People have worked all their lives for some financial security, most have gone without luxuries to pay off a mortgage over 20 0or 30 years, to pay for a house, a non income producing asset, to get a bit of financial security in retirement. Now there are attempts to include the home as an asset in the asset test for an age pension, a test that already excludes a pension entitlement, which would not exlude a person on an income test. Using the family home with a reverse mortgage has another problem. If, due to old age infirmaty, you need to go into aged care, the entry fee is a refundable loan to the aged care provider, plus a massive ongoing fee based on your assets, and what do you get for that, a single bed in a private aged care centre that cares only for the profits they can make, when the care received is inferior to that of the prison population.
    thommo
    28th Aug 2020
    4:47pm
    Agree with you flowerpot. Just pay everyone a pension and it will sort itself out via the tax system. With this system, those who are thrifty and can save cumulatively, can enjoy their savings for a rainy day. But that is not possible under the current system. The more you save, the more pension they take from you. The day of reckoning for the major political pArties is nigh.
    Life experience
    28th Aug 2020
    6:20pm
    Uk has universal pension. It works well
    Aussie focussed
    28th Aug 2020
    8:08pm
    Flowerpot you speak the common language of all. Changes are made to move monies to the 'new' programs that will win elections and bugger the past people who put in. The ones introducing changes and 'efficiencies' have an agenda that they do not disclose but you can bet their superannuation it is ultimately for their reward not those that are dependent on the past legisglated laws and agreements. Keep on contributing, like your work
    johnp
    30th Aug 2020
    12:01pm
    I agree with much of what you and others have said, esp re a universal aged pension which is a logical large ongoing saving for govt. A bureaucracy eliminating way to go as the aged are then just in the tax system along with everyone else.
    The only thing I have issue is with this part
    "If you've never worked you're not entitled to a pension"'. So they are just put out on the street to beg and starve ??
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2020
    5:30pm
    I don't think so johnp. I think there should be a sustenance-level (very minimal) pension for folk who never worked.- perhaps repayable from their estate on death if they leave anything behind.
    Farside
    30th Aug 2020
    9:48pm
    I see where you are going Youngagina – perhaps the universal portion (part A) should be capped at sustenance (e.g. like austudy, youth allowance etc) and the quality of life supplement portion (part B) capped by actuarial formula based upon estimated remaining years and amount of income taxes paid. In other words, those non-workers receive part A only as universal pension, while the retired workers receive parts A and B. In that way those who have paid lots of income tax will be better looked after in retirement than those who have not.
    PlanB
    31st Aug 2020
    1:29pm
    Youngagain said
    'I don't think so johnp. I think there should be a sustenance-level (very minimal) pension for folk who never worked.- perhaps repayable from their estate on death if they leave anything behind. '
    ---------------------------------------

    If they have never worked how would they have any estate??
    johnp
    31st Aug 2020
    1:52pm
    Possible inheritances
    CoogeeGuy
    28th Aug 2020
    10:35am
    I am a single, retired police officer. I was stationed within an inner city Command, where cost of living and housing was high. Because I was stationed at this Command from the beginning, my attempts to transfer to a smaller town, where cost of living was lower, did not eventuate. I did not earn a big wage, but I saved, and did without a lot to ensure I paid off my modest two bedroom apartment, located 4 km from the city. No overseas holidays, no eating out, no nice clothes, and little entertainment. Due to the cost of my apartment, I had to place every cent into paying down the mortgage prior to my retirement. Thus, I DO NOT AGREE with my apartment being included in the asset test when determining whether or not I am eligible for an OAP. I did the hard yards already, and I do not feel I should be penalised again, at the end of my life. My house is my castle, and is where I feel safe. I was not given this house, I earned it, and I paid for it. If I saw the value of my apartment continue to depreciate because I was drawing on its value to pay me a 'pension', it would cause me much anxiety. What happens when there is no more value left on my apartment? Do I get thrown out, and the bank sells the apartment? I might very well receive an OAP, but I will be thrown out of my apartment to boot? I am totally against this proposal. It does not pass the pub test.
    sunnyOz
    28th Aug 2020
    11:44am
    Coogee - I am ABSOLUTELY with you as I am very like you. I am single, worked on parents farm (who did not own it - were share-farming) till late 30's. Walked out with nothing but my car, horse float, minimal furniture and 2 horses. And an 11 yo daughter after my partner decided farm life wasn't for him. Only started working then, in any job I could find, mostly low paid. But boy did I work! Sometimes 3 jobs, rarely going out, but at age 44 scraped enough to buy a dump of a place in a farmland area. Bank was even hesitant to loan me money. But I worked by butt off - just me, no one helping me, giving me anything, no 1st home owners grant, no inheritance, lotto win. Just my bloody hard work. Like you - NOW my home is surrounded by modern homes, due to urban creep, and now a desirable area.
    My absolute major priority was paying off my home, as well as providing a safe secure home and education for my daughter. I saw many of my similar aged friends poo-poo me for not joining in with them. I have had ONE O/S trip to NZ, have only recently sold my 21yo car, and the only designer gear I wear is if I can find it in an op shop. NOW they are jealous because I own a home. I worked bloody hard to do things around my house - never got anything done without having the money. And ALL of that, including the mortgage, were paid for with after tax money.
    My house is by no means a mansion - 2 B/R, fully fenced, solar, with small pool, but absolutely everything I NEED for me, not just WANT. At one stage I did rent out my house to work in a rural Qld town for a good job, but there would be no way, absolutely no way I could live in a remote town.
    I too am sick of being penalised because I worked hard, paid taxes, and put a roof over my head. It's getting to the stage where if you DON'T financially plan for the future, you are better off. And this rule would only create a huge level of further government waste. How can you value a home? - it's only worth what people can sell it for. You could build the same mansion in Bondi and Birdsville - but I can guarantee they wouldn't be assessed the same by Centrelink.
    I am on the aged pension because I could not save enough to be self funded. With this stupidity, MP's don't have to worry! Not when they can claim $276 PER DAY for 'expense'. So what if you or I need money? - do we sell off a bedroom? Or maybe the bathroom?
    I too am totally against this proposal. I don't give a hoot what the property is worth. It is YOUR HOME. Not a bargaining tool for Centrelink to screw you out of every cent they can.
    Skeeta
    28th Aug 2020
    12:35pm
    I totally agree CoogeeGuy. I've been in my home for 45yrs and it now stands in a high value supburb but I don't want to leave my family home. Keep the family home clear of any asset tests.
    Skeeta
    Brissiegirl
    28th Aug 2020
    1:22pm
    Pity help any political party/politician who tries this one on. The majority of hard-working home owners, the pillars of our society, will very quickly end their cushy career.
    older&wiser
    28th Aug 2020
    3:52pm
    Totally agree Coffee & sunny. I'm in same situation. Always been single, worked in low paying jobs, what ever I could find. No holidays o/s, old car, now on aged pension with minimal super. But I own my home. Like sunny, I too know I lost some friends because I was always saying no to their invitations to go on outings and holidays. They too said I was stupid to be working for a bank, but now that they too are at aged pension age, some are complaining 'how can I afford to live on pension and pay private rent?'
    Now suddenly they are envious of my years of hard work. My house is small and old but I have made it my home by spending money, after tax money, on making it comfortable for me. The govt has no right to now penalise me for my hard work. I don't care how much any house is valued at, for any person on the pension. If it's grown in value, they should not be penalised.
    panos
    28th Aug 2020
    6:58pm
    Coogee quite a few comments about your life..

    19148
    Aussie focussed
    28th Aug 2020
    8:19pm
    Coogee, you have said it all and deserve everything you have worked hard for and saved for. Congratulations on doing a tough job, a job many of us couldn't do. Your situation is becoming too common and you and many others like you (and me) who have put in and helped build this country and its health system deserve some cred for doing so. We have all learned that pollies change their spots according to what they think, not what they deserve. We have saved and worked based on ethics and standards of the past and the new goal posts are rubbery and move along the boundary. You put in, you deserve to get back and no debate. You want to bludge ( and wouldn't we like to do it sometimes ) then you get what a bludger deserves ... didley squat for that great bludging time. Yes sometimes there are no options but you make the choice you get the fruit of your decision. Those who worked for this country, defended it, or helped build it deserve their worth.
    Mark
    28th Aug 2020
    10:47am
    The title of the article seems a little alarmist given the information in the article. If the family home were ever included in the assets test it would probably require both sides of politics to agree anyhow given the current setup in the Senate.
    Also remember that the family home is already included in the calculation of the assets threshold.
    Garyand
    28th Aug 2020
    11:10am
    Good luck getting anything like this through the senate, senator.
    Unless there is a universal pension, this issue will persist.
    Seldomseen
    28th Aug 2020
    11:11am
    If a handful of politicians can make a decision ,on one condition
    We have 20,000,000 plus people agree to the pension and perks the said group of decision makers get
    Only fair
    JoJozep
    28th Aug 2020
    11:15am
    A universal system where everyone gets the pension is totally illogical. Where would you find the extra billions to fund such a scheme? Remember, it's not the government who pays, it's the present working taxpayer and future generations of taxpayers who pay. Besides, there are some major flaws. What incentive would I have to work hard, save money for future recessions, pay off a mortgage (don't forget when paying off a mortgage, you use after tax savings). For the lazy ones, absolutely none.

    You don't think (pandemic aside) whilst I'm working, I wouldn't like to go overseas twice a year, visit the most interesting places, wine and dine, chat up new friends, buy a yacht, buy an expensive car and avoid a life long mortgage and its repayments. So why should I save as I grow through life if I'm guaranteed retirement?

    And where am I going to retire? If I have no home, a good aged care home costs a $45,000 per year. Plus rent, ie $28,800. that's $73, 800. On top of that, there are fixed living costs like food, clothing, power, running a car, insurances, telephone, water and sewerage and household consumables. By not being encouraged to save, I'll have no other income except the fixed aged pension, so I'll be about $30,000 -$40,000 short every year!

    Use your head and do your sums. The present system only works because you do get a part pension but that's all. If you include the family home in the assets test, the system will fall apart. The only option left is if this mischievous LNP Jane Hume gets the boot and so too the LNP crap party. What's driving the so and so? Is it a better position and status in the LNP, or does she like sucking up to ScoMo and Kormann?
    Is she preparing the mood of the population when ScMo finally wields the axe? Otherwise we will mount a class action suite against the legislation and see Kormann and Co. bite the dust! Maybe it's time for all existing pensioners to rise up and defeat this two faced federal government sooner rather than later.

    At least this should make future governments think twice before repeatedly annoying and penalising pensioners.
    Mootnell
    28th Aug 2020
    11:36am
    Exactly
    inextratime
    28th Aug 2020
    11:41am
    One source of funding would come from the thousands of people employed to administrate the current system, plus the cost of the premises and all associated costs. The cost to have such a complex system that currently exists is designed to employ as many people as possible and that's for starters. NZ and the UK manage a universal system, why should Australia be different ?
    Karl Marx
    28th Aug 2020
    11:50am
    I don't think you're using your head at all JoJozep. A universal pension is logical, totally. Billions will be saved just in the current administration of a very unfair, extremely complex & broken system. Billions more will be generated through the tax office as ALL income will come under the current tax rules on earning. No more tax free super generated income. Wealthy retirees who don't pay tax under the tax free super schemes will now be paying tax but also will get a pension.
    I never ever begrudged my grandparents or parents getting the pension while I was working & paying tax.
    And from your sums I would suggested you never retire from working, ever lol
    Anonymous
    28th Aug 2020
    3:59pm
    JoJozep, where would the extra money come from? It SHOULD come from ending the grossly unfair handouts to the wealthy through massive superannuation tax concessions that favour the high paid and works with an unfair pension system to penalize people who, despite a relatively low income, manage to save.

    Superannuation tax concessions are costing the country much more than the total cost of the OAP, and the vast majority of the benefit goes to high income earners. Make the concessions fair and there would be mega-billions to put towards pensions for all aged folk. Add to that, a fair tax system would even out any pension payments to the well off, so they would make no net gain. The result would be a much fairer and simpler system with none of the current incentives to manipulate or reduce savings because the penalty for retiring with savings is so harsh.
    Farside
    28th Aug 2020
    11:03pm
    "we will mount a class action suite [sic] against the legislation and see Kormann and Co. bite the dust!" ROFL you're dreaming JoJo.
    Horace Cope
    28th Aug 2020
    11:19am
    "Are you fearful of what might eventuate from the Retirement Income Review? Do you almost feel it is inevitable that the family home will one day be included in the assets test for the Age Pension?"

    We have no problems with any changes to the age pension as we have a small super fund and a modest family home. Reading the article carefully, I note that the Assistant Minister hasn't flagged the family home as an asset. Her words: "A good retirement outcome is not driven solely by one’s super balance,” she said this week. “It’s about the other pillars as well: [the] Age Pension and voluntary savings outside of super, including the home."

    Chris Richardson, a person not involved in government decisions, has constantly stated that the family home should be included as an asset. His thoughts can in no way be construed as having any bearing on the family home being included as an asset. To be practical, it is almost impossible for any government to devise a fair assessment of a family home because of the differences state to state, suburb to suburb, city to country or large town to smaller towns.
    Skiing
    28th Aug 2020
    11:24am
    What a ridiculous article. Nothing but scaremongering. Why not wait for the report then comment. Production of a report will be a long way from any legislation being passed. Why create angst just for the purpose of a headline?
    Mootnell
    28th Aug 2020
    11:32am
    They are going to save 6billion!
    Of course they’ll do it and give themselves another nice big pay rise and the rest to the squares who’ve done nothing to build the countries wealth.
    All I can see is many through no fault of their own having to sell their family homes be dumped in by all admissions, sub standard old age care just to shut the speakers up.
    Just another round of mindless paperwork to validate why they’ve given another u teen bloodsuckers jobs paid for by the actual taxpayer. What a ridbloody greedy circus.
    A house does not make a person an 8ncome and why should they have to sell a family home because ‘time itself’ has made the Land that the once Modest house sits on.
    There would be very few who will be able to remain I. Their home if this is enacted.
    The idiots can’t see they then become an even bigger drain on the tax dollar.
    If they sell all the money goes into buying into aged care. It is not free except to those that have spent all their money. Otherwise you sell your house and the aged care providers just say I’ll have that thanks.
    Mootnell
    28th Aug 2020
    11:33am
    And I’m also over preemptive text.
    mogo51
    28th Aug 2020
    12:07pm
    I believe that the family home should be in the assets test but a fair value set, so as to not affect the 'workers' of Australia. But those living in houses worth $millions, are far from struggling.
    To have to sell a 'mansion' is hardly an unfair expectation. All you need is a comfortable home, with accepted living standards. Living in a house overlooking Sydney Harbour and collecting the pension does not fit in my view. These are hard and difficult times now, everyone has to do their bit.
    Rae
    29th Aug 2020
    11:13am
    Nobody can afford the crazy prices being demanded for those harbourside houses. They were affordable for the ordinary worker in times past.

    A property correction can't come soon enough.
    ozjames70
    28th Aug 2020
    12:37pm
    Am I missing something? I thought at 70, I have paid into the Aged Pension through my taxes and in the last few years through the compulsory super contribution. The only thing missing is payment of a universal aged pension, which should be taxed, but with a standard tax-free line like NZ has.
    We worked hard to pay our home off. It is not a multi-million dollar property, but penalising us for working to minimise our future expenses stinks. These people making decisions on our OAP are in plum jobs, with non-contributory super of a type most people could only dream of and are not at all in touch with reality.
    I fought for my country and since Centrelink have taken over veterans, have had staff question whether my injuries deserve the pension I am paid. I'm told at 70, I look healthy enough to work. Well, I did work, I fought and I paid my dues. If taxes had not been high to cover government services, I'd have had more, but the government already took money to fund my OAP, so if they want to change the rules, get ready for the revolution that throws out all of the rules and the current political model. You can only push the 20 odd million Australians so far and they say no-more. Politicians have balanced the books by selling core services to foreigners and now having spent the money claim their is none to support core services. Unacceptable. We should start by saying we can't afford to pay the excessive number of politicians we have and just scrapping their pension funds.
    Rae
    29th Aug 2020
    11:15am
    We could easily do without Federal Parliament and just have the States and Local Councils with a COAG Federal Cabinet as Morrison has shown can be done.

    It would save billions.
    Cheezil61
    28th Aug 2020
    12:38pm
    Agree with almost every comment here! Leave our homes alone, we've worked hard & gone without so much to keep them!
    Every pollie should have their homes assesse & super/pensions affected/adjusted (reduced) accordingly, not the rest of the public!
    Gett'n Older
    28th Aug 2020
    4:07pm
    You can't adjust someones superannuation based on the assets they have given it is one of their assets. They get a superannuation defined benefit pension the same as anyone that was a public servant employed prior to 2003 (when the system was stopped for pollies and public servants), so if asset testing it happened for pollies it would happen for all defined benefit recipients.
    Elizzy
    28th Aug 2020
    4:54pm
    Soon no-one reaching retirement age is going to own a home due to the exhorbitant prices. What then?
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2020
    5:35pm
    That's rubbish, Elizzy. Homes are as affordable as they have ever been - more so, really, because of low interest rates and the low costs of household goods, clothing, cars, appliances, etc. The problem is expectations. Anyone content with the 30-year-old-in-need-of-renovation 2 bed + sleepout worker's cottage in the burbs can afford a house comfortably. Demand an inner-city dwelling and/or the now-standard 4+bed 2+bath 2+living room landscaped garden near new brick and tile and of course you will struggle to pay for it. Our generation settled for what we could afford and worked our way up over time.
    Dancer
    28th Aug 2020
    12:41pm
    It is frightening for elderly people already retired. I was a single Mother of 3 in the 70's, when my marriage ended I had just enough for a deposit for a very modest home in return for not getting any financial support at all from the Father of our chiIdren. I was already paying rent for the same amount as I would pay off a mortgage but my bank manager refused to lend me the money. When I asked why? He said women in my situation "were not a good risk"! I was incensed and then tried 5 other lending bodies with no luck, finally through a contact who referred me to a Building Society I got the loan. I could have kissed the accountant who trusted me to repay the loan which I did in 25 years. I worked until I was 65 and managed to buy a small investment unit which I paid off as I had no super and sold it and tipped the money into super before I retired.I am now 82 and have already downsized to a retirement village and lost quite a lot of pension because I had too much money in the bank from the sale! How are people supposed to plan for their retirement if the Government keep changing the rules. If I hadn't managed to get a housing loan when I did I would now have no home and look forward to a meager old age. No one meddles with the politicians pensions as they are paid by our taxes for the rest of their lives.
    Gett'n Older
    28th Aug 2020
    12:43pm
    Including the family home is not that black and white. Where a person has lived in the same home for 40 years and it now happens to be worth millions is not the same as someone getting their super on retirement and up sizing their home to something worth millions.

    Any developed policy would be better targeted to penalise this behaviour rather than penalising someone who just wants to continue to live in the neighbourhood they know and have support available to them.

    Universal age pension is not the answer in the short term. Any overseas system quoted has contributory elements which we would need to start now to be implemented decades down the track. Realistically that is the superannuation purpose and if anything that may be changed to make a pension the mandatory way to access it (rather than a lump sum on retirement)
    Anonymous
    28th Aug 2020
    4:11pm
    Universal pension IS the answer Gett'n Older. It can and should be easily funded by fixing the unfair superannuation tax concession. The funds are there. They are just flowing to the wealthy now instead of where, in fairness, they should be directed.
    Gett'n Older
    28th Aug 2020
    5:29pm
    The mathe doesn't add up for a universal pension without a contribution system. There is not enough money to be saved from your suggested removal of superannuation concessions alone. There would be many more savings needed to be found to have any chance of a universal pension.
    ph
    28th Aug 2020
    8:30pm
    we already contribute. 7.5% of our income tax is for our pension payments. Just because the government decided to put this money into consolidated revenue, rather than keep it in a separate pot is not our problem, it is the government that needs to own up to its missteps and fix the system to be fair for all, inclusive of parliamentarians.
    Gett'n Older
    29th Aug 2020
    11:55am
    PH ... That's simply not correct. There is nothing specifically put away for welfare for future expenditure. Regardless of this government or the alternate neither have done this for decades.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2020
    5:38pm
    Gett'n Older, the combination of superannuation tax concession reform, savings on administration, and taxing retirees would very comfortably pay for a universal pension with a lot left over. The majority of now self-funded retirees would be no better off with a universal pension. Any pension they received would be paid back in tax. And many would pay a lot more tax. The universal pension would only benefit pensioners (by eliminating Centrelink's invasion into their lives) and those who are now struggling unfairly due to a cruel and patently unfair assets test. The extra costs would be negligible and more than compensated by savings and extra tax revenue.
    Buggsie
    28th Aug 2020
    12:50pm
    Include the family home above a certain reasonable limit, dependent on the area (postcode?) where you live. I know people in Sydney living in a $2.5million home and drawing a full pension. How unfair, when we live in a home one fifth of that value and were excluded from the age pension due to the asset test being arbitrarily changed several years ago. Also, politicians' assets should be considered when the value of their very generous publicly funded pensions are calculated - in our dreams, will never happen! One rule for one, another for us.
    Gett'n Older
    28th Aug 2020
    4:00pm
    They are not publically funded pensions as such, they are superannuation defined benefit pensions the same as anyone that was a public servant employed prior to 2003 (when the system was stopped for pollies and public servants).
    CoogeeGuy
    28th Aug 2020
    5:53pm
    Just because I purchased an apartment in Sydney, and it has increased in value over and above the value to an apartment in a country location, should not see me penalised. So sorry Buggsie, I cannot agree with your suggestion.
    Arvo
    28th Aug 2020
    6:22pm
    CoogeeGuy,

    Retirees on a pension with residential properties worth over $1.5 million are penalising the workers whose tax contribute to the welfare pension payments while the tax paying workers themselves are struggling to create their own.

    Even if your apartment was worth $1 million, without a mortgage loan, you could sell, rent and live comfortably for the rest of your life off the proceeds.

    Your case is weak,and unfair to taxpayers.
    Arvo
    28th Aug 2020
    6:28pm
    CoogeeGuy- One other thing....Dealing with Strata Managers is not always pleasant, given that you are contributing to their income but they treat you like an employee janitor.
    Sundays
    28th Aug 2020
    7:13pm
    Arvo, there would be no incentive to save and buy a home if people had to sell to fund retirement. They would just spend up big, get the full OAP and rent assistance. Taxpayers would be supporting a lot more people. Why should home ownership become only for the very wealthy, who don’t need a pension. Someone living in Sydney vs the country should not be penalised.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2020
    5:40pm
    Spot on, Sundays. Why bother to go without to buy a house that you will have to sacrifice in old age, when you can just rent and get a pension and rent assistance?
    Arvo
    31st Aug 2020
    1:56pm
    Sundays & Youngagain-
    You are both wrong.
    If you have the wealth then live off your wealth don't bludge off the hard working taxpayers for your fortnightly pocket money.
    Anonymous
    31st Aug 2020
    5:26pm
    We ARE the hard working taxpayers Arvo, and others are bludging off us. We paid huge taxes all our lives, and now we are paying tax by default by not drawing a pension. We contribute some $30K a year to the nation's treasury by supporting ourselves until our savings nearly run dry, and now you want to steal our homes as well. Get lost Greedy! I'll burn mine down before I give it to the stinking selfish money-grubbers who claim some superior entitlement to take $1 mil in pension income from the likes of us because they didn't save like we did.
    ozjames70
    28th Aug 2020
    12:59pm
    So we have an aged care system that is failing and older people living longer...
    An easy model is for the government to force more people into aged care centres where there is already a problem. This can drive down life expectancy and therefore health costs and shorten the period of the OAP that has to be covered.
    With the triage system health is using, very quickly, the government will reduce the load on the health system, reduce their costs and rebalance the budget. What smart young politicians we have.
    Maybe it's time for a rebellion. The Rum Rebellion or the Eureka Rebellion tell us we can force an out of touch government to their senses. Pity the unions are in Labor's pocket and all Labor cares about is keeping their seats. Maybe the people need to talk to some of the generals in defence to trigger change. We've only ever had one coup, but maybe it's time. There is not a politician that cares about the people or the country. They are all short-sighted and only interested in their own personal gains. Talk about snouts in the trough!
    ozjames70
    28th Aug 2020
    1:06pm
    By the way, after living in a blue collar area of Sydney for years, our modest home is worth $2M. Our lives revolve around a community. We are not wealthy. Why should we sell, move to an area with lesser health and other services, buy vehicles to get around, and basically cut ourselves off from what keeps us alive and well. Oh yes, the government doesn't want us to survive...
    Anonymous
    28th Aug 2020
    4:08pm
    I agree. But why should someone with a $500,000 home and $1 mil in savings be punished and deprived while you get a pension? The answer isn't to attack people like you. It is to introduce a universal pension. It's ALWAYS been the right way to support retirees and now, more than ever, it's essential to end unfairness.
    panos
    28th Aug 2020
    4:11pm
    They want you to reverse mortgage and use your asset to pay yourself instead of sucking on the taxpayer teat whilst your relatives wont benefit when the time comes
    Sundays
    29th Aug 2020
    9:06am
    Youngagain, much as I think we should have a universal pension, it is highly unlikely. We have to work within the current system and make our choices accordingly.

    Some people much prefer to live comfortably on $1M in savings rather than struggle on the OAP. Others prefer to keep the $1M intact and try to live off the interest, Yet others would prefer the more expensive house to qualify for the pension or part pension.

    The unfortunate have no choices
    Rae
    29th Aug 2020
    11:19am
    Sunday I can't see why a universal pension is unlikely. Every other OECD country has one.

    What we have is a failing Colony where all our assets have been flogged off and even public services have become profiteering corporates grasping at public funds.

    It needs fixing now.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2020
    7:59am
    Yes, Panos, because only bludgers, cheats, manipulators and ne'er-do-wells should be allowed to take $1 mil + from the taxpayer to fund their retirement. The responsible hard workers who slaved to pay for the retirement of THEIR elders should be kicked in the guts and have everything they worked for taken away to ensure there's enough in the kitty to pay the greedy, selfish and irresponsible generously.

    Go away and leave us homeowners to enjoy a richly-deserved reward. We earned it. And if we want to leave it to our kids, that's our business. Many of us worked bloody hard with that specific objective in mind, because we wanted our kids to have the security and comfort we didn't have in our earlier lives. And no, the lawyers DON'T get anything if it's left to our children in equal shares, or in whatever other way the children agree is fair.
    Chooky
    28th Aug 2020
    1:11pm
    Go after the family home of pensioners but pay out billions every year in franking credits. Politically unpalatable for the current government I should think.
    Anonymous
    28th Aug 2020
    4:06pm
    You clearly have no understanding of franking credits, Chooky. You've swallowed a lot of lies told by green-eyed monsters and a corrupt political party.

    I don't agree with going after the family home of pensioners, but Labor's franking credit policy was an unmitigated disaster, patently unfair, and economically very bad policy.

    Please stop and think. Why should people who have enough income to live on without franking credits get their credits and those who get no pension and don't earn enough to live on be denied? How is that reasonable?
    Dot
    28th Aug 2020
    3:11pm
    Billions of dollars for migrants to learn to speak Australian. Is this is what our soldiers gave up their lives for. As a displaced bloody European from 1950 no damn hand outs to us, you work you bastards and my parents worked hard as my husband has. We've paid taxes and every thing else without any assistance. So we've lived in the same home for 50 years we paid for with an interest of 18per, not like today where they almost zero interest on their mortgage. It's only a matter of time before I do myself in, let's not forget those poor old retirees who have passed away due to the damn virus, the Government must be happy with that because every old pensioner who passes away there's saving to be made.
    panos
    28th Aug 2020
    3:59pm
    Plenty of vacancies are now available in nursing homes, courtesy of the Fed Liberal govt and there non response to covid although they knew what it would be like from the Italian experience in Italy.

    Some bright spark said do nothing think of the savings so Scomo from marketing can spin this , no problems
    Rae
    29th Aug 2020
    11:25am
    I can't see why they'd learn English when not speaking it gets you public housing in the heart of Melbourne and a fortnightly income.

    I'm thinking I should have just learned my Clan language and refused to speak any other.

    As it was I worked hard from 15 and paid for myself which was the Australian way until all this nonsense started about looking after strangers and making your own pay for it all.
    PlanB
    1st Sep 2020
    1:52pm
    Yes I bet Morrison and his mob are clapping their hands with the many deaths of the OGP -- and thinking GREAT that's a few pensions we don't have to pay now -- that's they type pf scum they are
    panos
    28th Aug 2020
    3:22pm
    All they are saying is no more passing the house on to siblings to sell...

    If your house is worth millions you should be doing reverse mortgage plenty of them available and live off that and not the pension... simple

    Everybody paragraphs are a wonderful thing.
    Anonymous
    28th Aug 2020
    4:01pm
    Why shouldn't people be able to ass on their home to offspring, Panos? They work hard to pay for it, paying huge interest along the way. They battle to improve it. Then they are told 'well, stuff you. If you had gambled and partied instead we'd make the taxpayer support you, but since you chose to be responsible, we'll take back everything you worked for."

    That clearly appeals to the selfish and those who didn't bother to save, but it's neither fair nor economically beneficial for the nation.
    Anonymous
    28th Aug 2020
    4:03pm
    On the other hand, it's not fair that savers who put their money into other assets are penalised while those who pump it into expensive houses claim pensions. But the solution is a universal pension - which should always have been policy. It is NOT to make the penalties for responsible living even more severe.
    panos
    28th Aug 2020
    4:08pm
    I guess your happy to have pensioners pass on their multi million dollar houses.

    I dont get it, live like a pauper on the pension so as the the siblings can fight over your multi million dollar property through the courts.

    Solicitors just love this

    or reverse mortgage stay in your house of 5 thousand years till you pass on and live well.

    Hmmmmm I guess the majority of you like the first option.

    But hang on the govt is going to take it out of your hands ASAP
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2020
    1:37pm
    I think we should ALL be able to pass on whatever we work hard to accrue. Why else would we bother to slave away and pay high taxes and contribute to society? What is this green-eyed monster that drives people to suggest that anyone who wastes money should be supported by the taxpayer but anyone who saves should be penalized and have to forfeit the benefit of their endeavours? It's unfair and it's disgraceful, and it's the thinking only of the envious poor and the evil rich.
    Captain
    30th Aug 2020
    11:08am
    panos, are you suggesting that we all sell our homes so that our siblings (brothers and sisters) don't argue over our assets? Do you mean our children (not our siblings) should not be able to inherit our homes as they will fritter all the asset value away by engaging lawyers?

    You are perhaps suggesting that we all sell our homes, therefore having more than the asset limit, therefore not collecting a pension? This would make us all Self Funded Retirees, and being a SFR is what you have classified as scum of the earth in previous posts.

    Make up your mind before you make a complete as of yourself.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2020
    5:44pm
    He already did, Captain. It's idiotic to suggest that people who work hard and sacrifice to save should be stripped of all they earn, while others get handouts, for no better reason than that someone MIGHT fight over the spoils after death.

    Why would we bother to work and save to buy a home if it's going to be of no practical benefit? Better to just give it to the kids early on, rent back, and get rent assistance.
    floss
    28th Aug 2020
    3:49pm
    Spot on Dot.
    Cassius
    28th Aug 2020
    4:20pm
    They always go for the soft (easy) target.
    It is about time they attacked big business by closing the loop holes in the tax system. Corporate Australia need to contribute more to the economy
    Rae
    29th Aug 2020
    11:29am
    There is barely a corporate Australia left now. Our pathetic managers have literally recolonised Australia for foreign investors.

    Now you have Hume wanting the last of the wealth transferred into the hands of the global wealthy. Not satisfied with selling off Australia they want our homes to boot.
    Mariner
    28th Aug 2020
    4:38pm
    This hairy chestnut has been around for ever; just do not your knickers in a twist. It will be mentioned as long as property prices are stable and every Tom, Dick and Harry want to "get on the property ladder". Leave it be; sure if you live on the full pension on a property worth $5 million you might have a few funny moments but how many of us does that apply to?
    There is always some institution, think tank or social engineering bod to throw that into the wind and all of us get upset and start writing comments. Just ignore the buggers and they might stop.
    Lewi
    28th Aug 2020
    4:57pm
    we live on just a pension from australia $1423 per 2 weeks no othr ow our flat worh now 250.000if they take any more from us we need to go begging inthe street
    Elizzy
    28th Aug 2020
    5:19pm
    Sen. Hume says health and aged care are heavily subsidised compared with other countries. One: that's not true - do some research. Two: what's wrong with that; surely that's a mark of a society that has the best interests of its citizens at heart?
    Arvo
    28th Aug 2020
    5:26pm
    We've been down this road before. Any residential home valued at $1.5 million upwards ought to be included in the Assets Test, irrespective of how long and how hard anyone has worked or gone without by paying off a mortgage loan.

    Like all thresholds the amount can be adjusted annually.

    It's unfair on the taxpayers to pay a welfare income to people who can cash in on the value of their millions dollar property and who can live off the proceeds for the rest of their lives.

    Out of the wealthy homeowners comfort zone? Yep, sure will be but, why should tax paying workers pay for the comfort zone of a wealthy residential property owner when they are struggling to establish their own comfort zones?
    Brissiegirl
    29th Aug 2020
    9:27am
    Dear Arvo, can you say how you arrived at the $1.5m ceiling? A family home close to services/family in Sydney wold be a different value from a house near services in Ballina. Who and how would such homes be compared and valued? Are you suggesting that the Sydney home-owner is less entitled to a pension than someone who lives in a $1.4m house in say, Ipswich?
    This idea has been done to death. It's clearly unfair and impossible to implement. It's a good gotcha idea for those who feel envious, or simply dislike like the foresight of individuals having kept their long-term family home as a future comfort zone.
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2020
    2:04pm
    Same way the fools in power came to the conclusion that $900,00 was enough for a couple to live on without a pension, regardless of their ability to use it to generate income, but people who squandered their money, gave it to kids before turning 65, or plunged it into a mansion should be rewarded with a $1 million+ handout from taxpayers to fund their retirement - and high income earners should be given millions in tax concessions to top up their huge superannuation accounts and enjoy lavish retirements. It's all random, concocted, illogical BS driven by envy and greed, Brissiegirl.

    That said, I do agree that an owner of an expensive home shouldn't be favoured by the welfare system over and above someone who settles for a conservative home and puts their money into shares or bonds etc. instead. The answer is a highly affordable and much fairer universal age pension, fairly taxed, and reform of the unfair superannuation tax concession system.

    Arvo, how is it unfair to let someone retain their home that they worked for over a lifetime, when others are given $1 mil + to retire on (plus rent assistance if they don't own a home at all) and high income earners are given a fortune in tax concessions they don't need so that they can retire filthy rich? The whole damned system is unfair, and attacking home owners won't make it fairer.
    Arvo
    29th Aug 2020
    2:18pm
    Brissiegirl-

    Do your sums.

    1) on the basis of a single retiree aged 67 years with $1.5 million cash-in from sale of their residential property. Could they live on that for the rest of their life if they withdraw the equivalent annual full old age pension? Sure could !

    2) Do the same for a couple. Sure could !

    So, it's not a case whether one has a residential property in 'whoop-whoop' or in Sydney, it's a case of, if you have the wealth...spend it wisely to live off...don't bludge off the hard working taxpayers contribution to tax revenue...just to make yourself comfortable and greedy to retain your wealth.
    Anonymous
    30th Aug 2020
    7:51am
    Arvo, I repeat: how is it unfair to let someone retain the home they worked for over a lifetime when others are given $1 mil to retire (plus rent assistance in many cases) and high income earners are given a fortune in tax concessions they don't need so they can retire filthy rich?

    I am peeved that people with a $1.5+ mil home can get a pension while people who settle for a $500,000 home and invest the balance can't. That's wrong. But the solution is to abolish the unfair assets test - NOT to deprive people of everything they worked a lifetime to acquire (in many cases with the aim of passing on to their heirs).
    ozjames70
    30th Aug 2020
    8:17am
    Based on this logic, lower taxes, let everyone fend for themselves and watch millions suffer. A few will do well, but the rest... Doesn't sound like humanity to me.
    Mariner
    30th Aug 2020
    9:24am
    ozjames70 - that's the way in most of Africa and South America. I spent 8 years in Africa and if you do not look after yourself there is nothing when you are old. The top people have millions, mostly salted away in European banks in case they lose their positions as they so frequently do.
    David
    28th Aug 2020
    6:11pm
    Totally agree with Golden Oldie. The additional 7.5% paid in income tax to fund a universal age pension was raided to pay Commonwealth public servants upon retirement & low & behold the Commonwealth Govt pushed for ‘us’ long suffering taxpayers to fund their own retirement. Tantamount to paying an insurance premium but cannot claim on the policy!! Am I missing something here where bureaucrats believe your principal place of residence generates an income so should be included when determining whether you receive a pension (full or part) beggars belief. My wife & I worked hard over the decades, went without & paid off our mortgage only to be discarded for our frugality. We are on our own so to speak. The sooner the universal aged pension is reintroduced & excluding the family home the fairer our society will become.
    Life experience
    28th Aug 2020
    6:22pm
    DO NOT AGREE with house being used in asset test. Why would anyone even think about buying a house ? Not enough rentals out there either. Bad idea.
    Arvo
    28th Aug 2020
    6:35pm
    You'd think about buying a house or apartment for the comfort of secure stable residency while in employment, raising a family and future appreciation in value so that at retirement age if your super is not enough to live off you sell, rent and live the rest of your life in comfort off the proceeds. Easy to work out, no rocket science.
    Gett'n Older
    28th Aug 2020
    7:14pm
    Arvo, of yes it is so easy to find a rental when you have no job. Landlords don't care if you are retired, they just see limited income. Even then you can be homeless at their whim if they decide to sell the property and the new owner doesn't want to rent it.

    It's not as simple as you have an asset that you need to sell to live. Just because a 2 bedroom 1950's home in Sydney is worth $1.5 million and the same house in Brisbane is $800K why should one have to sell and the other not purely based on location.

    This would be an administrative nightmare as well. Who provides the value? What if the housing market goes backwards (it can happen as evident now in some locations)? Does the person get compensated for the fact they didn't need to sell their home?
    Sundays
    28th Aug 2020
    7:25pm
    Actually, having stability on old age is just as, if not more critical. Renting in Australia is very difficult with no security.
    Brissiegirl
    29th Aug 2020
    9:32am
    Usually people who recommend renting in old age haven't experienced the benefits of paying off a private home and aren't too keen about people having such sound financial foresight. Recommending renting in old age is a somewhat careless attitude. As well, the more people who revert to renting, the more public housing would be required with resultant high taxpayer funding.
    bobm
    28th Aug 2020
    6:58pm
    I worked my arse off. Saved enough money from salary was able to scrape into a small 2 bedroom duplex. Continued to save and build onto the duplex-sold it made some money. Started over again did the same thing buying, doing up, selling, then do this a number of times. Purchased a reasonable house to do up and live in that as a fully paid up home owner.
    I was not like some of the blood sucking Pollies who come into parliament half way thro the Parliament 4 yrs, get elected for another 4 yrs, then the third term decide " the family needs me, It is too hard to be away from home" and then pull the pin half way thro the 3 rd term.
    I believe it is looked upon a 3 rd term and they get a pension for life. A shed load more money per year then many of us dream about with little work.
    Now one of them wants to cut back on pensions and include the home of the pensioner as part of cCentre link assets test. GOOD ONE
    Play Fairly
    28th Aug 2020
    7:13pm
    Totally agree Bobm.
    Brissiegirl
    29th Aug 2020
    9:33am
    Hang onto those words bobm. They're pure gold.
    PlanB
    29th Aug 2020
    3:23pm
    And they can then get another WELL paid job -- sometimes selling off Aussie to the likes of Chinese ---as well as the pension and the lurks they get -- and rob us blind
    ozjames70
    30th Aug 2020
    8:09am
    Great observations. Show me a politician who cares about the country and we people and many of us would rally behind them. Problem is they are only interested in their lifetime perks and the juicy future (post-politics) roles they set themselves up for with organisations who buy politicians to avoid paying tax. All the while they sell the country to foreign investors.
    Play Fairly
    28th Aug 2020
    7:01pm
    With the way everyone's life has been turned upside down with Covid,  surely we need to wait until we know what the "new normal" will be for us all.  To start hinting at introducing major changes to the OAP regarding inclusion of the Family Home in the Assets Test at this time is just plain ridiculous.

    Nobody really knows what is ahead for everyone regarding covid health concerns, our economy,  global financial fallout, increased unemployment, increasing numbers of closed businesses,  depressed real estate markets, etc. etc.,  it is hardly a sensible time to be moving the goalposts.
    floss
    28th Aug 2020
    7:18pm
    After the Hockey blunder nothing this government does to people on a pension would surprise me.
    Rae
    29th Aug 2020
    11:36am
    It wasn't a blunder floss but deliberate bastardly and Hockey and Cormann toasted that betrayal with fine wine and cigars.

    Hockey destroyed Superannuation and now Hume wants to destroy home ownership for all but the very wealthy.

    This winners/losers nonsense has gone on long enough.
    Oxleigh
    28th Aug 2020
    7:22pm
    The media who write about these proposed new changes and advice are always working for free for the government, the government and advisors always release these proposals a few years before they actually happen.
    What this does is get people riled up and chanting and saying no to these proposals.
    This keeps up for a year or so, finally the news disappears and people get used the the fact it is inevitable, the government always says its just a proposal and we are not doing it.
    Then just as John Howard said we are not introducing the GST when it quieten down, bang we wake up one morning and there it is. Not as intended either, just another tax on most everything that the tax was to be dropped from.
    No means yes to the polies.
    ozjames70
    28th Aug 2020
    7:50pm
    The divide and conquer of old people is a great tactic. I paid off my home for security in my old age, not to reverse mortgage it and try and guess how long my wife and I will live. It's clear some people in politics don't get this. Talk about how to create mental anguish to put health costs up.
    I don't begrudge people who were able to save a bit more from being able to top up their pension. The universal pension works for all pensioners and allows us to simplify the various lurks and loopholes, but that would mean we need less public servants, so who'd be in favour of that.
    Aussie focussed
    28th Aug 2020
    8:04pm
    You are 65, worked since 18, put into private health, saved, put into super since 18, bought a house and at last debt free. BUT .... you may not get a pension and entitlements!! Why? Every tax paying, income earning Australian deserves a pension. Every english speaking person living and earning for over35-40 years deserves a pension. Pushed out a few years to 67 OR mor?! Why I've taken this many years given notice of my age how come the panic?!! Well the bucket is only so big so WHY do new immigrants get access to our medical health system, why do they qualify for ANY welfare when they can't speak english and have only been in this country for a few years. Why do they get family reunions approved?! If you put in you then must get out, do don't put in, get it strictly reviewed and get the consequences. You don't speak the language of this nation then you don't get IN or you MUST learn at your expense, there is NO free ride, and don't push tax paying citizens to the back of the queue. If you want the free ride and many do, learn you have to put in to get out because the bucket is only so big and those who work hard have put in and have earned the reward of a pension AND a super annuation payout.
    Mariner
    29th Aug 2020
    11:37am
    Only applies to English speaking first world countries. Immigrants in other countries do not get those freebies; and that is the reason for the stream of so-called refugees to get to England. Scomo seems to have stopped some of our boats with the help of Dutton. The pension and welfare systems in the UK and other places are stretched. Govt reckons we have enough and should lose the benefits WE worked for to give to "less furtunate" illegals we don't really want. You can vote in whoever you like and that won't change unless you have a majority One Nation or some such in power.
    panos
    29th Aug 2020
    4:34pm
    Funny how could you pay super at 18 if your 65 now...??
    Mariner
    29th Aug 2020
    9:18pm
    He might have started his working life overseas, panos. I did pay super from age 18 in Europe, left at 20 and still get a $120 a month from there.
    ozjames70
    30th Aug 2020
    8:15am
    Anyone who has paid taxes has contributed to their OAP (retirement cushion). It just we real people have paid a bigger share than those who get the biggest benefits (politicians et al)
    ph
    28th Aug 2020
    8:04pm
    Canada also has a universal aged pension system.
    Gett'n Older
    29th Aug 2020
    12:01pm
    Yes, but there is a catch and it is not enough on it's own and had eligibility requirements - The Old Age Security (OAS) pension is one of the three main pillars of Canada’s retirement income system. The two other pillars are the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Pension Plans/Individual Retirement Savings.

    The universal OAS pension is a taxable monthly payment available to seniors who are aged 65 and older and who meet the eligibility requirements. It was designed to replace 15% of a senior’s pre-retirement salary. Unlike the CPP, Old Age Security benefits are not tied to your employment history. You may be eligible to receive the OAS pension even if you have never worked or are still employed.
    ph
    28th Aug 2020
    8:05pm
    Canada also has a universal aged pension system.
    SKRAPI
    28th Aug 2020
    10:56pm
    WE WERE TOLD MANY YEARS GO BY ROBERT MENZIES THAT ALL PEOPLE WHO CONTRIBUTED DURING THEIR WORKING LIVES WOULD RECEIVE A PENSION IF PAST GOVS. HAD KEPT THEIR STICKY FINGERS OFF IT IT WOULD B WORTH MUCH MORE 2 DAY . WITH COMPOUND INTEREST . MANY PEOPLE HAVE SAVED HARD 2 BUY THEIR OWN HOMES SO WHY SHOULD THEY B NOW PENALISED 4 THAT ?? OTHERS HAVE SQUANDERED THEIR SAVINGS ON OVERSEAS TRIPS ETC. SO SHOULD THOSE FRUGAL SAVERS B NOW PENALISED
    PlanB
    29th Aug 2020
    11:52am
    Yes SKRAPI,

    Yes I worked my A--- off too and when I was working I never had Super at all that came in AFTER I finished working what I saved I did on my own by doing without other things AND also spending some time caring for my Mother AND my Husband on some pitiful amount of 'carers pension ' $20 for 24 --7
    Mariner
    30th Aug 2020
    1:54pm
    Said it before - when Menzies spoke most of us worked, the unfortunates were looked after. But we all looked for work, no possible escape for an alternative lifestyle with eternal dole payments, fatherless children, teen pregnancies, maternity leave. So there was money after a working life - NOW we need all the money for the non-working lives of many who can afford to be jobless. So how do we keep all the many who just want to be surfing and are happy on social welfare? Us oldies who accumulated some wealth are supposed to be milked for that purpose. Where else would they get the money? Before you say - tax the multi-nationals I'd say they are not that daft.
    Farside
    28th Aug 2020
    11:30pm
    YLC asks "Are you fearful of what might eventuate from the Retirement Income Review?" – no, but I hope it is a thoughtful and sustainable review than some minor changes to the hotchpotch system that applies today.

    "Do you almost feel it is inevitable that the family home will one day be included in the assets test for the Age Pension?" – of course, it is already included for a nominal value however a change to fair value does not mean the present thresholds remain constant as many seem to assume. Also won't be surprised if a Federal land tax on residential properties is in the gaze of a crystal ball.
    ozjames70
    31st Aug 2020
    10:10am
    It won't be an honest review. Since the OAP was introduced, every review has reduced it in some way. It never compares it with the politicians pensions from a point of equity or from amount being paid to others through social services.
    It didn't take a big review before the government subsidised businesses with JobKeeper or paid those who aren't working more through JobSeeker, but it takes a formal review to call our home an asset and add land tax to reduce our pensions which are already below the poverty level.
    Farside
    31st Aug 2020
    1:49pm
    ozjames, did you fact-check your contention "Since the OAP was introduced, every review has reduced it in some way" or just express an unsupported opinion?

    Labor governments made four increases to pension rates in November 1984, April 1990, September 1990 and January 1993 aside from CPI to achieve 25% MTAWE. Following the Harmer Review of Pensions in 2009, the Rudd Government introduced the current indexation method and increased the single pension rate by $30 to improve its relativity to the couple rate.
    https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/FlagPost/2014/April/Pension-indexation

    Why would you think it should be equal to politician pensions?

    Would you like the age pension changed to the same level as others paid through social services such as jobseeker or austudy?
    Rae
    29th Aug 2020
    11:03am
    I wonder if Senator Hume is aware of the Welfare Fund money or the fact that both Parties created this hugely overvalued home prices nonsense by overdoing immigration and under doing interest rates.

    After creating a very nasty property bubbly deliberately they want to punish elderly Australians for it.

    And half of Australia thinks this is okay because they keep voting for crazy policies.
    Anonymous
    29th Aug 2020
    1:28pm
    They don't think it's okay, Rae. There are just no good choices when voting. It's evil, more evil, or a total disaster.
    Sooty from Marketing
    29th Aug 2020
    11:13am
    With Scotty From Marketing track record I can see pensioners sold out again.
    PlanB
    29th Aug 2020
    11:28am
    This has been said b4 see below --and it worked every time, that's what they have done to us!

    'To conquer a nation
    first, disarm it's
    Citizens
    Farside
    29th Aug 2020
    4:50pm
    ridiculous.
    Ricken
    29th Aug 2020
    4:19pm
    kept a copy of this from a previous contributor to this site. Sorry don't know the name of the contributor. Tremendous amount of work done by them to compile this.

    Retired Politicians Perks

    Salaries of RETIRED Prime Ministers and Politicians
    Office
    Additional salary (%)
    Salary as of 1 July 2015
    Prime Minister
    160
    $ 507,338
    Deputy Prime Minister
    105
    $ 400,016
    Treasurer
    87.5
    $ 365,868
    Leader of the Opposition
    85.0
    $ 360,990
    House of Reps Speaker
    75.0
    $ 341,477
    Leader of the House
    75.0
    $ 341,477
    Minister in Cabinet
    72.5
    $ 336,599
    Parliamentary secretary
    25.0
    $ 243,912
    Other ministers
    57.5
    $ 307,329
    Shadow minister
    25.0
    $ 243,912

    Source: Remuneration Tribunal.

    TOTAL annual wages for the 150 seats in the Parliament were:

    Prime Minister
    $ 507,338
    Deputy Prime Minister
    $ 400,016
    Treasurer
    $ 365,868
    Leader of the Opposition
    $ 360,990
    House of Reps Speaker
    $ 341,477
    Leader of the House
    $ 341,477
    Minister in Cabinet
    $ 336,599
    Parliamentary secretary
    $ 243,912
    Other ministers*
    $ 307,329 x 71 = $ 21,820,359
    Shadow ministers*
    $ 243,912 x 71 = $ 17,317,752

    The TOTAL ANNUAL SALARIES for 150 seats = $ 41,694,311 (Yes, that’s nearly 42 MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR)
    (And that’s just the Federal Politicians, no one else!)

    Politicians are paid ‘lifetime’ salaries the same as their last working year;

    After retiring, the average politician's life expectancy is an additional 20 years (which is not unreasonable).

    This EXCLUDES all their other perks.

    20 years ‘lifetime’ payment (EXCLUDING wages paid while a Parliamentarian):

    Prime Minister ………………………$ 507,338 X 20 = $ 10,146,760
    Deputy Prime Minister ……………$ 400,016 X 20 = $ 8,000,320
    Treasurer ………………………………5,868 X 20 = $ 7,317,360
    House of Reps Speaker ……………$ 341,477 X 20 = $ 6,829,540
    Leader of the House …………$ 341,477 X 20 = $ 6,829,540
    Minister in Cabinet ……………………$ 336,599 X 20 = $ 6,731,980
    Parliamentary Secretary ………………$ 243,912 X 20 = $ 4,782,240
    Other ministers** $ 307,329 X 20 = $ 6,146,580 x 71 = $ 436,407,180
    Shadow ministers** $ 243,912 X 20= $ 4,878,240 x 71= $ 346,355,040

    Conclusions:

    TOTAL ‘life time’ (20 year) payments, (excluding wages paid while in parliament) is OVER EIGHT HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS.

    Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, John Howard, Paul Keating, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, et al, ad nauseuare receiving $10 MILLION + EXTRAS, at OUR EXPENSE, after leaving Parliament.

    Should an elected PM serve 4 years and then decide to retire, each of the 4 years will have cost taxpayers an EXTRA 2½ million bucks per year, i.e. $2,536,690 per annum X 4 years = $ 10,146,760.

    A 2-year retirement payment cut-off will SAVE our Aussie bottom line $ 792,201,909 - NEARLY $ 800 MILLION.

    There are 150 seats in House, minus the 8 above = 142 seats, divided equally for example = 71 each for both shadow and elected ministers.

    150 seats - 20-year payment of $ 833,886,220 less annual salary x 2 years of $ 83,388,622. [$ 41,694,311 x 2]
    panos
    29th Aug 2020
    4:38pm
    and you wonder why the back stabbing to become Prime Minister even if it's for a short time.

    Oh dont forget they all get an office and staff after retirement... and dont forget the governors either a lifetime salary//
    ozjames70
    30th Aug 2020
    8:31am
    Great data. It excludes the very plum jobs ex pollies get due to the favours they did while in power.
    johnp
    30th Aug 2020
    12:10pm
    Great Info which somehow need to be made more public
    Does anyone know how that can be done ????
    Also maybe just needs to be condensed somewhat.

    30th Aug 2020
    8:05am
    Tell Ms Hume the reform that is needed is to stop giving unfair tax concessions on super to high income earners and fix the tax systems, and use the savings to fund the universal pension that our generation was promised, paid for, and, in fairness, ought to be receiving - given that we did NOT get the benefit of employer-funded super and the accompanying tax concessions, but rather paid tax levy to cover the cost of our retirement.

    Tell her anyone who wants to touch the family homes of retirees will be kicked out of parliament very unceremoniously - as should anyone supporting the disgraceful assets test that deprives responsible people of the retirement they earned. She can b... off and leave us retirees alone to live out our old age in peace.
    ozjames70
    30th Aug 2020
    8:29am
    Agree and add that it is time we cut the levels of Government and not just by forced council amalgamations that were done on bad logic as in NSW, basically as a tax grab). If NZ has been able to manage a country through COVID, but our stupid political groups can't, what more evidence is there that it is time for change.
    And just like the politicians want to change the rules and goal post for we retirees, maybe we do the same with their lucrative retirement system. Not only do we have too much government, we keep paying for it way after the politicians step out of the limelight.
    Interestingly we can't travel, but politicians being paid for life can travel half way round the world for morning tea and a job interview (no doubt earning money that will be tax free).
    Captain
    30th Aug 2020
    11:30am
    If there is a retirement income review already on the Minister's table, why do we need another review?
    ozjames70
    31st Aug 2020
    9:16am
    Because the Minister is out of touch and has other goals other than supporting the OAP. When did you last see a review of the politician's pension and retirement packages, including their favourable ongoing income model? The bottom line is we pay tax towards our pension, unlike politicians who don't. The current OAP is below the poverty line, which the politician's pension certainly isn't. OA pensioners do not get the tax breaks politicians get when they retire.
    The legislation passed in 1900 was for a liveable pension for all. Various governments have hijacked it, but the legislation has never been reversed. There needs to be an impartial review to put back the pieces that have been removed or altered, but no politician would have the guts to do this properly. All it took was a couple of pen strokes to make JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments at liveable levels, but no such treatment for aged pensioners.
    There must be a universal pension that all tax payers get. Everyone should get their pension, regardless of how much they have in the bank. In a universal pension, this rubbish is addressed by you paying tax on income, not what you've saved or earnt and already paid tax on. Countries with a universal pension, where all income is taxed find they have happier, more resilient pensioners and don't spend hundreds of thousand justifying why they have pensioners living below the poverty line. Some pensioners even choose to do some work for health reasons, with the comfort of knowing they don't loose 50% of what they earn and have paid tax on from their OAP, which really means a tax of 70% plus.
    Instead of pitting people whose homes have different values against one another, and penalising self-funded retirees, let's get real and put a universal pension system in place, that won't take a cast of thousands to manage and can be supported with the existing tax system.
    The home whatever its value should not be included as an asset. There are ways to capture some of the value in the home if it is sold, but I've yet to see any country make this work. There is no way of equalizing home values unless you create retirement towns and park all old people in them. What comes after the home value? Do we count gold fillings as assets? Do we tax people on physical attributes, experience, lifestyle?
    Health costs will increase if people have to move out of their homes and are separated from all the things that keep their mental health and physical health stable. This is the reason Health and various governments over time have said pensioners and others are best helped by keeping them in their community, not isolating them. Moving older people who are established and part of a community's focus into place where they lose all connection is a quick way to kill pensioners off. Oh yeah, this may be the goal. Eliminate old people and open the doors to more refugees!
    It's time our politicians wake up before it is too late. Or looking at the protest happening in Melbourne, maybe it is too late.
    Willie
    30th Aug 2020
    12:52pm
    The house is the most inequitable part of the pension system and should be included. How is it fair that I can have a $5 million house and get the full pension whereas some with a $200,000 and $500,000 gets nothing? That is wrong on so nany levels.
    johnp
    30th Aug 2020
    1:27pm
    Agree 100%
    Mariner
    30th Aug 2020
    1:44pm
    A case of "if you cannot beat them, join them" seems to me. I spent mine earlier because I retired early. Super was for me just that - early retirement before they change it into an income stream and cancelling the pension. You watch, that is on the cards.
    ozjames70
    31st Aug 2020
    9:29am
    It's not the house value, just that savings and home value are being used as reasons to take the OAP off people. The inequitable part of the OAP system is everyone pays tax towards it based on their earnings. The should all get the universal amount. No one is saying because they contributed more they should get a higher OAP. Those who earn more, pay more and therefore should still be entitled to the pension they have paid towards.
    Those that pay their way and choose to save, invest, work towards more should not be penalised. If we are going to penalise people for saving and wanting to top their pensions up, or for buying and paying for a home in an area they want to live in and can afford, we'll end up with an environment where no-one tries, everyone lives for the moment and society will collapse.
    Countries with a universal aged pension spend less on managing it and leave taxing income above the pension to their tax office. It works well and is a very equitable model for the people.
    PlanB
    30th Aug 2020
    2:36pm
    Seems to me that those that do not have their own home want the home to be in the assests test -- if they owned their home they would NOT agree
    Farside
    30th Aug 2020
    10:04pm
    I own my own home and agree it should be included in the assets test. You might be surprised how many homeowners share this view.
    ozjames70
    31st Aug 2020
    9:59am
    The problem is there shouldn't be an assets test. Many very wealthy people hide all of their assets in family trusts so avoid this issue. They can live in a $10M house they don't own and stay under the asset level. Part of the issue with including the home in the assets test is there is no way to value it. If I've lived 80 years in an area and home that has grown to be worth $2M, why should I be penalised over someone who has lived for 80 years in an area where their home is worth $500K. We are most likely both happy and established in our communities.
    I could sell up and move, but my doctor, the medical services, transport services (I no longer drive) and my access to the community is all where I live. I've helped to build these services, so why should I not be able to live here and enjoy them?
    The whole reason for asset testing was to try and stop people who have contributed to the OAP for their whole lives from getting it. This was a government decision and should be reversed. A sweetener was that the home was excluded. This was step 1. Now there is a move to include the home. What next? Maybe say we only get the pension up until 80? Maybe say unless we've earned a certain level we don't get the pension?
    The simple answer is a universal OAP for all. It is funded from tax and based on the 7.5% would be enough to carry the population into the future if politicians stopped stealing it to balance their budgets. It doesn't take hoards to manage and is fair and equitable.
    Then anything earned above the pension is taxable and administered by the ATO. This gets returns on investments, which should be taxed.
    Asset testing is all about preventing real people from getting the pension they have paid into for years, so politicians like the Senator can rort the system, protect their pensions, and transfer more wealth to the rich. Just look at the profits and incomes of the protected and privileged and you'll see their taxes are at an all time low. The Senator who probably doesn't know the history of Australia or the OAP is just taking another swipe at the tax payers and want's to get more by stealing our homes to keep transferring more to those who in many cases don't contribute.
    It would be more likely to create in-'stability, but the journalists in most cases look after the politicians, who keep selling out the country and the working taxpayers. At around 20% of the population, if we aged people can be marginalised, the politicians have more freedom to continue pillaging the nation.

    30th Aug 2020
    5:46pm
    The Senator wants to 'stabilize' the system. What she means by that is that she wants to transfer more and more wealth from the working and middle class to the rich. She hasn't mentioned trimming superannuation tax concessions for high income earners. No. She wants to steal houses from old people to keep paying for the luxurious retirements of the well-to-do. That's her idea of 'stability'.
    ozjames70
    31st Aug 2020
    10:02am
    Totally agree. Viva the revolution.
    Mariner
    1st Sep 2020
    8:30am
    Bring in an inheritance tax the recipients of larger estates will have to pay. Most countries have a form of that. Do not punish the buyer and occupant of the place they paid for but take some back from the heir of the place. Happened to me when Mum died, every thing was counted and duties paid before any inheritances were allocated. It is a simple process and we could put a certain figure on it above which the tax is payable - any estate under $1 million being exempt. What could be fairer? It would end the endless speculation about the family home inclusion in the asset test.
    Farside
    2nd Sep 2020
    1:27am
    it's not that difficult for the wealthy to plan their estates so minimum taxes paid
    PlanB
    31st Aug 2020
    1:36pm
    I bet Morrison and his mob will be happy as seeing the oldies dying -- as they have fewer pensions to pay -- and they have no heart and never did -- so much for their "Christianity"

    The way these aged homes have been managed is an utter disgrace -- and the Feds are in charge of them -- or SUPPOSED to be
    el
    31st Aug 2020
    8:27pm
    For anyone touting the UK universal pension - please note the new 'state Pension' is not quite so universal and varies according to the number of years you have made a contribution - indeed you can end up with nothing...
    If you have:
    35 years or more of NI contributions, you will get the full amount
    between 10 and 34 years of contributions, you will receive a proportion of the pension
    less than 10 years of NI contributions, you aren’t usually eligible for the new State Pension.
    Mariner
    1st Sep 2020
    8:23am
    The Aussie age pension works the same way if you decide to live abroad. Only here it is years counted of residence in Australia not contributions. Years on the dole or working for 35 years is counted as the same, funny, eh?
    Dragrush
    1st Sep 2020
    2:12am
    Before the home assets debate starts again on including the family home in the assets test , I think an official valuers report should be made public and show how family homes are really valued . Each Australian state uses different methods to work out property values and some use it for payment of a Land Tax which has also been foreshadowed as becoming a new tax on homeowners all over Australia and other states use it for rate calculations. The bottom line is that it is not the actual house that is valued but rather it is the combination of land buildings and location that makes up a real estate agents valuation. Any valuer will tell you that after 50 or 60 years, your house value is almost zero or at best around 25% of its original worth....if it was not developers wouldn't be so keen to demolish older house on big blocks .......I think the real "family home " values are going to a major problems for us all in the years to come and we should keep objecting to any changes until it is clear what the future implications are going to reveal. Dragrush
    SKRAPI
    6th Sep 2020
    11:38am
    MOST HOME OWNING PENSIONERS HAVE WORKED & SAVED VERY HARD 2 OWN HOMES SOME HAVE REALLY SCRIMPED OVER YEARS IF THIS IS ENFORCED ELDERLY WILL B FORCED FROM THEIR HOMES & WHEN THAT SUM IS SOON SPENT ON LIVING RENT ETC. THEY WILL SOON B BACK ON THE PENSION . IF GOVS. HAD KEPT THEIR STICKY FINGERS OFF ACCUMILATED PENSION WOULD NOW B IN THE BILLIONS WITH THE COMPOUND INTEREST ... MENZIES SAID IF WE PAID AN EXTRA TAX ALL WOULD GET THE PENSION . SEEMS IT ISN'T WORTHWHILE SAVING AS GOVERNMENTS WILL ONLY RIP IT OFF U ANYWAY ....
    Seldomseen
    20th Nov 2020
    11:17am
    So that means if you have worked hard ,and in many years payed massive taxes
    Then you build a beautiful home because you can save money .
    Then there is a possibility you now to many assets when this gov combine house as assets
    For your pension most people with beautiful homes worth a lot off money dont have a great deal off cash to buy even their everyday needs
    But seriously with this intelligence that these decision makers have
    I’m sure they think you can take a leg off a very expensive dining table and go buy your groceries next week


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