More please say age pensioners

Pensioners pleased but say increase is paltry and will make little difference.

More please say age pensioners

The Federal Government has acted on deeming rates after prolonged pressure from key groups representing older Australians.

Sunday’s announcement of a drop in deeming rates will affect about one-quarter of age pensioners, with single pensioners set to receive up to $804 extra a year, and couples up to $1053.

But what do key players and YourLifeChoices members have to say?

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said on the Today show that deeming rates had been on her agenda since the May federal election.

She defended the department’s decision not to reduce the deeming rate to match official interest rates and did not address the call from the Greens for a Senate inquiry into how the Government sets the pension rates.

“The cost of living has never been higher,” Senator Ruston admitted.

“One of the things … that’s been out there in the public is that the overnight cash rate that the RBA (sets) is but one of the elements that are considered when you deal with the returns that you are likely to receive on financial assets. It is not the only one.

“We look at a whole basket of different assets that people might be holding their financial assets in and come up with an estimation that we believe accurately reflects what the people would be able to get in the marketplace today.”

YourLifeChoices member Betty said: “It’s better than nothing, but I still think it’s very, very poor. It could have been more. I was hoping for 0.5 per cent at least.

“If I’m to believe the forecasting for the next six months, the RBA will cut the cash rate by another 0.25 percentage points so we’ll be exactly where we were two days ago. We’re already losing money on the interest rates and the RBA will take away what’s just been given.

“Not only that, but I live in an aged care facility and when the last lot of indexation came through, I was to get about $4.60, but the DSS took $3.50, so I ended up with $1.10.

“She (Anne Ruston) is expecting me to be grateful for $1.10 increase each fortnight. I’d like to see how grateful she’d be with such a paltry increase.

“I think an independent body should decide deeming rates and they should be calculated at least annually. Four years between deeming rate changes is very, very poor. The last time they were changed I was earning five per cent interest. Now I’m barely breaking even.

“I could be more colourful with my comments, but I’ll leave it at that.”

Member Chrissy L said: “While it (the deeming rate changes) is a step in the right direction and I am pleased the Government has finally done something about this situation, I think it could have gone further and been more realistic regarding the cost-of-living pressures that pensioners and part-pensioners are facing. I will benefit about $7.50 per week – not sure I can stimulate the economy much with that, if at all. I think the time has arrived to look at an independent body to manage changes to deeming rates for fairer outcomes for pensioners and part-pensioners, instead of this kind of kneejerk reaction, after much pressure from seniors groups and individuals who have to live on these miniscule increases in their pensions.”

Member Greg wrote: I see that the deeming rates are going to be increased … I think it's time that the Federal Government had a hard look at the full pension rate. It's a matter of life and death.”

Deputy Opposition leader Richard Marles said on Sunday the changes were too little, too late.

“Pensioners today will feel short-changed,” he told Sky News. “We’ve seen five reductions in the cash rates since the deeming rates last changed.

“This is far too little, far too late. I think pensioners today can feel like this decision is a slap in their face. This is a government which is trying to balance the books on the back of pensioners.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg defended the changes as reflecting the fact some retirees are getting higher rates of return than bank deposits.

“We’re strengthening the arm of around 1 million welfare recipients,” he told ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.

“What’s important to understand is – it’s not a linear equation between or comparison between the cash rate and the deeming rate, because the deeming rate applies to a whole suite of assets.”

The Council on the Ageing chief executive Ian Yates said the announcement was welcome news, but noted that it would not affect 75 per cent of age pensioners.

“Those calling for the full cut in the cash rate to be applied to deeming need to be honest about how many pensioners are affected, and about the fact that if the Government replaced the deeming rate with actual earnings, the majority of part pensioners would be worse off,” he said.

“We appreciate the frank and constructive discussions we have had over the last week with relevant ministers in the Morrison Government and the positive outcome that has resulted.”

Are you happy the rates have finally been adjusted? Do you think they should be adjusted more regularly? How should this occur?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    patti
    15th Jul 2019
    10:28am
    Just the Age Pension. No super, no investments, it's hard. Some recognition would be nice. But we battle on - can't put much into the economy I'm afraid
    maelcolium
    15th Jul 2019
    1:58pm
    Actually Patti, pensioners contribute a great deal to the economy in the unpaid volunteer hours many do which would otherwise be a cost to the economy. Also, pensioners are net spenders in that income received is largely spent, so they are drivers of the consumption sector of the economy. Add to that the high percentage of pensioners who pay health insurance which replaces expenditure that would otherwise be needed to be put into the public system.

    Hold your head high. You are a key part of the economy!
    Ted Wards
    15th Jul 2019
    10:44am
    The day we demand that politicians get paid exactly what the average person does with the rates etc is the day we will massive changes in this country., Got a pay rise today and I will get after tax, less than I got before due to a movement is tax brackets. I asked if my boss could just keep the rise herself. SO great now I get less pay and pay more tax. Yeah isn't that just fantastic! Wonder if I could get the same rise as Sco Mo gave himself the first few days after the election? Time we demanded better and not insist on change because we fear it.
    Ted Wards
    15th Jul 2019
    10:45am
    Sorry that should read insist on change and not fear change... thats why we got stuck with Sco Mo!
    johnp
    15th Jul 2019
    11:00am
    Regarding "Frydenberg says
    “This is about lowering the deeming rates, which will be good for them.”
    Basically it is just being given "peanuts or chicken feed" really. Shrugging off the average joe whilst all along the politicians suck the exorbitant, obscene perks, salaries, pensions, travel etc etc. Cos they can !!
    Farside
    15th Jul 2019
    7:02pm
    you should cut Frydenburg some slack. He is doing his best keeping in mind his views would be shaped by his parent's success, his elite education, growing up in the well healed inner eastern burbs of Melbourne and networking with the top end of town. In the circles he mixes politicians earn modest incomes, even taking their perks, allowances, etc into account.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jul 2019
    11:06am
    I consider a 3% deeming rate very generous as it's not hard to make a lot more than that considering the return on shares was greater than 11% last financial year. Super funds are earning around 10% too.
    maelcolium
    15th Jul 2019
    2:06pm
    Um...…………... super funds are not tested by the deeming rate. Centrelink assess an assumed proportion of income from your super fund, not the deeming rate.

    Another ill informed clown!
    LiveItUp
    15th Jul 2019
    2:26pm
    Centrelink deem the total assets of your super fund.
    Colours
    15th Jul 2019
    11:12am
    This government is a disgrace. No empathy, no policy, no clue.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jul 2019
    12:16pm
    The alternative would have been so much worse so be thankful.
    Digby
    15th Jul 2019
    12:42pm
    Couldn't agree more LiveItUp. OAP would probably have been a lot worse off if shifty Bill and his compatriots who were only concerned about their back pockets, got into power. They had no sympathy for the older age group and no policy on deeming etc., only to decrease the amount some OAP got via franking credits etc., But they made sure their Union cronies were a on a very good ( and corrupt apparently from news reports) wicket.
    maelcolium
    15th Jul 2019
    2:00pm
    You guys are in Disneyland.
    Mary
    15th Jul 2019
    6:30pm
    I have to respectfully disagree with u Colours. In my humble opinion. I believe that ALL governments are a disgrace. None have empathy. All have terrible policies and the only clue they have is how to increase their entitlements and make us pay for them. That is All governments.. whether it be in the future a Green, Labor, Liberal or other.
    Triss
    15th Jul 2019
    8:45pm
    You’re right, Mary, that’s why I always say- never vote a multi millionaire into a position of power - because from then on everything will be treated as their own personal piggy bank.

    15th Jul 2019
    11:23am
    The deeming rate for cash is 1% for amounts under $51,800 for singles and $86,000 for couples. I would suggest that those with a higher cash amount than this would be few and far between but I stand to be corrected. As has been pointed out, the higher deeming rate doesn't only apply to cash but also covers shares and super funds, both of which have a higher return, on average, than the deeming rate.

    It seems that this is just a government bashing exercise by those who still won't accept that Labor lost the "unlosable" election. There has been no criticism of Labor who oversaw the deeming rates in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 when the cash rate fell below the deeming rate but Labor made no moves to adjust the deeming rate. Instead, we read criticism of the government which reduced the deeming rate in 2015 and is doing so again, twice more times than Labor did in it's time in government.
    terrib
    15th Jul 2019
    11:28am
    Once again aged pensioners who have no home or assets are left way behind. The basic pension must be increased immediately or I can see many ending their lives early because they cannot afford to live. I am a housing tenant & with the last increase we had recently I am actually worse off by 60 cents a fortnight. This is not the first time this has happened either & until they up the pension it will happen again. Does not give one much hope for the future.
    johnp
    15th Jul 2019
    11:38am
    When people are talking about " 60 cents a fortnight". I am feeling quite nauseous about the current govt !!!!
    Nobby
    15th Jul 2019
    1:38pm
    I agree with you as life is very hard out there for a lot of pensioners. Heat or Food!
    For those with no savings, no super, no assets it has got worse they got nothing and the cost of living continues to increase.
    I think people will be moving to Victoria to take advantage of euthanasia laws there.
    Mary
    15th Jul 2019
    5:41pm
    only one thing Nobby. That is you will need money to pay the bill to leave this planet. no money. no euth.. better start saving
    Chris B T
    15th Jul 2019
    11:50am
    I believe Everyone, be allowed the First $50,000 at Zero %. Than Deeming Rates if so Needed.
    This way when the unexpected Personal Monetary Problem arises you ride it out without complications.
    This will never be Enough for some, generally it would do for most.
    At at least encourage saving.
    Karl Marx
    15th Jul 2019
    11:59am
    The whole system is broken, to complex even for the most knowledgeable centrelink staff & way to costly & time consuming & needs to be tossed out & replaced with a universal pension & all those earning money through investments, work, shares etc pay tax the same as everyone else, less stress for those on the OAP so hidden savings in medical care as well.
    johnp
    15th Jul 2019
    12:04pm
    Agree O&W 100% re universal pension. Govt just doesnt get it re the savings they could make as already being done in most other countries. It is all rather "Kafkaesque and a Catch 22"
    Digby
    15th Jul 2019
    12:49pm
    Totally agree O&W, universal pension for everyone including the well off, and then just tax people accordingly , as the USA and NZ do, classing the pension as income. Then no need for a centrelink "police" force enforcing the means test etc.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jul 2019
    1:01pm
    Agree give anyone who wants the pension but it has to be paid back from your estate when you die. That's the only fair way.
    johnp
    15th Jul 2019
    1:07pm
    Yes, agree Digby. That is also why I mentioned about
    people talking about " 60 cents a fortnight". I am feeling quite nauseous about the current govt !!!!
    There would be no need for such ridiculous situations like this if there was a universal pension
    And no need for a centrelink "police" force
    Karl Marx
    15th Jul 2019
    1:32pm
    No LiveItUp as a lot of pensioners will still pay tax on their investments, wages, salaries etc while getting the universal pension.
    LiveItUp
    15th Jul 2019
    2:09pm
    Most will also simply not earn money just so they don't get taxed too.
    Triss
    15th Jul 2019
    9:01pm
    LiveitUp, if pension benefits are to be paid back on death then it must apply to all benefits, not just one section of the community because that would be discrimination and violation of human rights. So if you’ve had child benefits during your life, treatment in a public hospital, maternity/paternity leave or any other of a myriad of benefits they must be paid back out of your estate. I think I just heard your scream of disagreement. Not so smug when it applies to you, eh?
    Misty
    15th Jul 2019
    11:11pm
    Goos comment Triss, as you say, we don't want one rule for one and a different rule for another, thaT is what is not fair Liveit UP
    LiveItUp
    16th Jul 2019
    5:18pm
    No it should only apply to welfare benefits such as the OGP and disability pension. You home should be used to fund your pension just like it does for aged care.
    GeorgeM
    18th Jul 2019
    9:15pm
    O&W, good summary comment - scrap the whole broken system and implement Universal Pension. Ignore silly comments from LiveItIUp (clearly OG's new name, writing same old crap).

    Most pensioners, 75%, also would not benefit from these changes. Also, I have not heard anyone especially in the media reporting the breath-taking hypocrisy of offering UP TO $800 p.a. stolen money back as a good deed, after they cut part-pensions by up to $14,000 p.a. with the Jan 2017 Asset Test changes. The Asset Tests since then are effectively using a Deeming Rate of 7.8% and no one in the hypocritical Liberal Govt wants to acknowledge that. No mention from the equally hypocritical Labor either.
    Crabapple
    15th Jul 2019
    1:50pm
    I quite agree with terrib’s comments. Also, all these people complaining that the deeming rate cut will not give them enough. Well, at least you are getting something, not like people like us, through no fault of our own, who don’t get a darn cent. AGAIN! How pensioners are expected to live on the paltry sum we receive is appalling. By the time you pay for your rent, not for govt housing, you don’t have a lot left to survive on. I have to say that my husband and I are managing through budgeting, but we are among the luckier ones. It is just not fair that a lot of elderly people are struggling and why should they have to beg for any assistance. The situation for most of today’s elderly is just simply horrific and I certainly hope the time never comes that we might have to go into an aged care home.
    BERRYUPSET
    15th Jul 2019
    1:58pm
    SCOMO says it`s YOURS as though he`s giving us something!What we`ve been given JUST catches up with increase in the cost of living very welcome but not enough to stimulate the economy just keep our heads above water!Checkout most of your costs insurances petrol club memberships road fund licence energy costs etc etc!
    ronloby
    15th Jul 2019
    2:41pm
    This so-called peoples government is a BIG joke. They accept their last rise without saying a thing, but also they say nothing about giving pensioners a bit of extra cash. These pollies just look after their own hip pocket. It is all about themselves and buggers the rest of the country.
    Triss
    15th Jul 2019
    9:05pm
    Well, you have three years to rectify that. Don’t let’s keep it to ourselves, start those jungle drums drumming.
    ronloby
    15th Jul 2019
    2:41pm
    This so-called peoples government is a BIG joke. They accept their last rise without saying a thing, but also they say nothing about giving pensioners a bit of extra cash. These pollies just look after their own hip pocket. It is all about themselves and buggers the rest of the country.
    pixii
    15th Jul 2019
    3:25pm
    If the big Banks did what the Government has continued to do , that would be an add on to the Royal Commission as false advertising investment rates, we only get say 1% , Govt says 3,5%. Can’t anyone count in Canberra?
    LiveItUp
    15th Jul 2019
    4:29pm
    Why are you only getting 1%?
    Intellego
    15th Jul 2019
    4:09pm
    Some people need to learn who to spell correctly: "minuscule" (not "miniscule").
    Farside
    15th Jul 2019
    11:38pm
    perhaps the 52% of people who use the alternative (source: OED), albeit incorrect, spelling are just ahead of their time and at some future date that spelling will become acceptable
    Intellego
    15th Jul 2019
    4:09pm
    Some people need to learn who to spell correctly: "minuscule" (not "miniscule").
    Triss
    15th Jul 2019
    9:09pm
    People in glass houses, Intelligo. I think you have also made a spelling mistake.
    Misty
    15th Jul 2019
    5:41pm
    This will help a few but most will miss out, don't think it will increase economic activity though.
    Bazza
    15th Jul 2019
    5:51pm
    Why are people complaining about what they are receiving...….pensioners are getting are a darn sight more than self funded retirees who receive ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!

    Be thankful for what you get and that also includes health cards and concessions which sfr's do not receive….they have to pay full dollar on rates, water etc.


    Be grateful folks!

    Bazza
    Karl Marx
    16th Jul 2019
    1:19am
    over 75% of OAP will receive zip, zero, nothing so are grateful for what. & those that may get it, very few will gain the full amount being touted by Ffydenberg & co.
    Bazza
    15th Jul 2019
    5:51pm
    Why are people complaining about what they are receiving...….pensioners are getting are a darn sight more than self funded retirees who receive ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!

    Be thankful for what you get and that also includes health cards and concessions which sfr's do not receive….they have to pay full dollar on rates, water etc.


    Be grateful folks!

    Bazza
    Triss
    15th Jul 2019
    9:11pm
    That’s why a universal pension is so necessary, Brazzaville.
    johnp
    16th Jul 2019
    5:59am
    Exactly right Triss !
    Arvo
    16th Jul 2019
    1:48pm
    Those on part pensions have wealth, savings, investments and super. Those on full pension have no wealth, no savings, no investments no super....that's why they get more!!!
    BERRYUPSET
    16th Jul 2019
    12:10am
    JUST calculated mine $18.50 per fortnight $9.25 per week $481 per annum
    plus approx back date of 4x $18.50 9app = $74...whacky doo!
    cost of living not including inflation FOOD,PETROL ROAD FUND LICENCE FEES ,INSURANCES ,GAS,ELECTRICITY aren`t even covered by any deeming rate cuts!Don`t let SCOMO/FRYDENBURG kid you its A PALTRY pittance!A RISE IN THE BASIC RATE is needed!
    AMEN (and women!)
    Triss
    16th Jul 2019
    7:36am
    No, KSS, BERRYUPSET is exercising his right to freedom of speech and pointing out that the crumbs that have fallen from the tables of the wealthy have gone through their digestive systems first.
    johnp
    16th Jul 2019
    8:29am
    good one Triss, I like that ;-)
    etc1
    16th Jul 2019
    8:12pm
    I found this link and thought I would share it. It's about the pension scheme that the Govt commence in the 1900's. But now call our pension a hand out.
    https://www.cirnow.com.au/more-criminals-in-government/?fbclid=IwAR32sE_6x9_yaxwLP3-ObfShJFlo8kj6uk3OalM5O3BoBo3ttTR06GbZHl0
    johnp
    17th Jul 2019
    10:44am
    Great info etc. How do we make that more public ??
    etc1
    17th Jul 2019
    12:40pm
    Hi JohnP Maybe FBook but I'm not on it. Or have YourLifeChoices look into it.
    johnp
    17th Jul 2019
    12:50pm
    If YourLifeChoices monitor this blog then over to you YourLifeChoices
    GeorgeG
    18th Jul 2019
    1:03pm
    Just done a little research. Max deeming rate in 2010 was 4.5%. Term deposits averaged 5.95.In other words 1.45% in favour of pensioners. Cut to 2019, max deeming rate 3%, and term deposits 2% at best. 1% against pensioners. No consistency. Where is the logic? The result of off the cuff changes by ministers. Tie the deeming rate to the best term deposit rate. So in 2010 it would have been 5.95 max, 2019 2%. Easy and no arguments needed.
    Misty
    18th Jul 2019
    10:44pm
    When have politicians ever done anything easy or sensible GeorgeG, regardless of which party is in government.


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