Pension inadequacy and drought blamed for retirees’ woes

Age Pension is less than what is needed to support even a modest standard of living in retirement: ASFA chief.

Pension, drought blamed for woes

The drought is starting to have an impact on the daily living costs of retirees and the twice-yearly increases in the Age Pension are less than what is needed to support even a modest standard of living in retirement.

That’s the view of Dr Martin Fahy, chief executive of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) after reviewing recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) movements.

The CPI in the September quarter rose 0.5 per cent, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures, after a 0.6 per cent rise in the June quarter.

The most significant increases were international holidays, travel and accommodation (+6.1 per cent), tobacco (+3.4 per cent), property rates and charges (+2.5 per cent) and childcare (+2.5 per cent).

The most significant falls were automotive fuel (-2.0 per cent), fruit (-3.1 per cent) and vegetables (-2.5 per cent).

 


Dr Fahy said that while the increase in the headline rate of the CPI might not look large, the drought was starting to have an impact on the prices paid by retirees.

“Even with inflation running at a low rate, many retirees will be in retirement for 25 years or more and need to take into account future price increases and spending needs,” he said.

“With the low rate of overall inflation, the Age Pension is only increasing at a modest rate, with the maximum Age Pension increasing by 1.9 per cent over the last 12 months to September to reach $24,335 a year for a single person (including allowances).

“The Age Pension is less than what is needed to support even a modest standard of living in retirement.

“Having sufficient savings in superannuation to support the lifestyle Australians want and deserve in retirement is an imperative.”

Dr Fahy said that moving to a 12 per cent Superannuation Guarantee was a necessity for those not yet retired given that many Australians still did not have substantial superannuation balances.

“The median account balance for those in the 60-to-64 age group is $154,450 for males and only $122,850 for women,” he said.

The costs for retirees that increased substantially over the past 12 months largely as a result of the drought are:

  • beef up by 7.1 per cent and lamb up by 14.3
  • milk up by 6.7 per cent
  • breakfast cereals by 6.4 per cent
  • poultry prices by 5.3 per cent
  • eggs up by 4.5 per cent
  • bread up by 3.6 per cent
  • cheese up by 3.4 per cent.

The lower Australian dollar exchange rate has also had an impact on certain costs, according to ASFA, although other factors have also been at work in the past 12 months, including:

  • international holiday travel and accommodation costs up by 5.8 per cent
  • domestic holiday costs up by a very modest 0.7 per cent and a 1.6 per cent increase in the cost for camping and open-air recreation
  • price of motor vehicles up by 3.2 per cent.

Do you concur with Dr Fahy’s statement that the Age Pension is “less than what is needed to support even a modest standard of living in retirement?”

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COMMENTS

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tisme
8th Nov 2019
9:57am
retirement pensions arent enough, new start isnt enough everyone gets publicity except the victims of the governments nation wide slave trade ............. carers. our politicians are so far removed from reality they are a danger to others. (think about it )
Oldchick
8th Nov 2019
10:15am
So true about carers. I gave up full time work to look after my Mum who had severe dementia and mobility issues. I did it for nearly 8 years. It would have saved the Government thousands. When I finally had to put her in a home they killed her with neglect and over-dosing within 6 months. My complaints to the Aged Care Advocacy received little attention. A few sanctions and they believed all their lies. They didn’t even have the decency to reply to me when I submitted a further right of reply to their review of the facility, neither the head office in Canberra or in Adelaide. Here we are almost 9 years later having a R.C. into Aged Care. The Government will sweep that under the carpet too. They don’t have to worry, they’ll all have personal paid carers when they need them.
SuziJ
8th Nov 2019
11:15am
I 'comfortably' live on the single rate of DSP with rent assistance. I don't spend my money on things like alcohol, tobacco, gambling or illicit drugs.

My bills are paid fortnightly and still have enough at the end of the fortnight to be able to put around $100 into a savings account. My car expenses are put into a separate account so that I can keep an eye on how much I spend.

As for Newstart, I know it pays at least $300 a fortnight less than what I receive. I certainly wouldn't want to be on it.
Farside
8th Nov 2019
3:29pm
good for you Suzi, and thanks for your honesty. My old dad has been saying the same thing for years.
musicveg
8th Nov 2019
3:49pm
I think those who are lucky to be on the pension can manage mostly, but those stuck on Newstart until they reach pension age are really struggling, especially if paying rent. We need Newstart to be higher, we already know that half the people on Newstart are over 40, many with little chance of getting a job, and chances are slimmer the older you get and the closer to pension age.
Hasbeen
8th Nov 2019
4:45pm
I'm with you SuziJ, I live very comfortably on the single pension. Hate restaurant meals, don't drink, smoke or gamble, & owned everything I needed or really wanted before I retired, including a couple of low end classic sports cars. I don't drive a lot these days, so not much petrol cost, & having spent some years in the tourist industry, have no need of holidays.

I have most of my fun at home, with a couple of my kids horses & my dog for company, & have found the cash from the pension to build & fly 18 remote control aircraft in the last few years. Those who prepared for retirement should be living the life of Riley on the pension. Those who want travel & eating out can not really expect the taxpayer to fund their leisure choices. Those who spent too much on thesr things in their younger life made their choices, & have no right to complain.

Yes government is getting expensive, particularly local government with exorbitant rates & charges. Car registration & insurance are getting a bit rich, as is home insurance, but it is all fundable if you are smart.
Oldchick
9th Nov 2019
11:23pm
SuziJ and Farside, there are times I can live fairly comfortably on the pension too but as a homeowner there are always unexpected expenses and regular maintenance and repairs and they have to be met. I try and do what I can, in fact most people are surprised at what I will try to tackle but I’m no Tradie. If you like to cover yourself for Private Medical as I do that takes a fair chunk of pension per month too. With a history of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis plus a plethora of other health problems requiring copious amounts of medication, both prescribed PBS and non-PBS, together with the need to have regular physiotherapy, acupuncture and podiatry to help manage my conditions, private Medical is a necessity, not a luxury. I also know of too many who don’t have it and who’ve been on waiting lists for months for medical procedures or others who try to jump the queue and that’s not me. I do have my 2 small dogs, have no children or grandchildren as I spent most of my adult life as a carer to my parents, even when I was working full-time. My dogs are my family. I live alone in a semi-rural area, so pay more for most goods and services too. I certainly don’t consider myself a waster, even though I do ‘splurge’ on the occasional $20 meal, and NOT every week. Other than that my time is spent around my home.
Sickofit
8th Nov 2019
10:05am
I’m fed up of ”pensioners” being blamed for everything. We built the country that the blamers are enjoying. The aged pension is NOT a freebie because we paid extra income tax to pay for it.
VeryCaringBigBear
8th Nov 2019
10:48am
You haven't paid for the OAP at all as you can only get it if you have no other means if support.
Tanker
8th Nov 2019
11:34am
ACBB I am afraid you don't know what you are talking about. Way back an ALP government introduced a scheme similar to that in the UK where everyone paid an amount from their wages/salary to provide for a pension upon retirement.
Bob Menzies, as P.M, took all those funds into Consolidated Revenue and announced that Age Pensions would be funded from income tax receipts. It is of course both means and asset tested these days whereas the original ALP scheme was not intended to be.
If you have an issue with the age pension system as it now stands complain to the party that changed the original system, the Liberal party.
TREBOR
8th Nov 2019
1:56pm
Keep up in class, BB - start with Menzies...
VeryCaringBigBear
8th Nov 2019
2:37pm
Unfortunately many of those who paid into that scheme don't get any welfare (OAP).
Triss
8th Nov 2019
5:49pm
That’s true, BB, and they really should have a refund of the money they paid in which the government stole from them.
Discontented
9th Nov 2019
12:22pm
Right with you there Sickofit
Discontented
9th Nov 2019
12:22pm
Right with you there Sickofit
TREBOR
10th Nov 2019
1:39am
It was arranged (by the Liberal Party) as a fund that did not discriminate on the basis of what an individual put in...

Ergo - someone who had cerebral palsy and could never work still got a pension....

Your problem, VCBB, is that government successive have introduced and expanded an 'asset and income test' ...

No good whining that some don;t get the pension they paid for - they just aren't entitled, under the current rules, to draw from that common pot....

Those of us who oppose the assets and income test did not create this situation, so I take it you are now onboard with a Universal Pension circumscribed by the obligation to pay income tax at the going rate for all income over and above, including 'gifts' and 'fringe benefits'?

(pay Kerry Packer a pension - no more $1m to bet at the races each week that is not 'earned income' - no more free trips on the chopper or plane.... all fringe benefits and added to taxable income)...

How say ye???
Oldchick
8th Nov 2019
10:06am
Not only the Aged Pension but also DSP. I’ve felt compelled to go back to work one day a week despite multiple health problems, and at 62 years of age, because it’s so hard living off the pension alone. I have a draw-down on Super each month too, I certainly don’t live a lavish lifestyle, don’t buy new clothes, all secondhand if at all. I keep a spreadsheet of all my incomings and outgoings per pension period (except food for myself and my too small dogs, because that’s so variable). I pay the majority of my bills in instalments in advance and I own my own home so there’s always maintenance costs. My social life is a $20 pub meal maybe once a week, no coffees at cafes but the occasional bbq with neighbours. Holidays are a thing of the past. Even with the work, now they reduce my pension by over $100 - 50c for every $ I earn over $174/fortnight. Great incentive to get people, especially older people, back into the workplace. How people with absolutely no backup manage I have no idea. No wonder more and more are living in their cars or in tents. This Government have absolutely no idea what they’re doing and I don’t believe they care either. They’re so smug and self-serving. They know they’re going to be set up u til the day they die.
mogo51
8th Nov 2019
11:24am
My understanding is you can earn $130 per f/night, puts yoy $44 over, should only be taking $22 not $100. Appeal their decision, seems they can't add up.
TREBOR
8th Nov 2019
1:58pm
I'm 70 now and in the market for a job... just not that RMO at the base hospital or a locum across the next big water... not qualified.
Farside
8th Nov 2019
3:34pm
Oldchick should have a conversation with SuziJ, she is saving $$$ on the pension and may be willing to give a few tips.
musicveg
8th Nov 2019
3:51pm
Farside, Oldchick has multiple health problems which most likely is costing in medication etc. Everyones circumstances are different.
Farside
8th Nov 2019
5:45pm
no doubt musicveg, everyone's circumstances are different and Oldchick might be spending more on medication than some (SuziJ may spend money on meds as well) but the most adverse of circumstances should not be the basis upon which policy is based. Flexibility is required to deal with outliers. That said Oldchick is still spending $40 each pension period on pub meals, can afford to have two pets and has a job paying more than $174 per fortnight. I think there are others ahead of Oldchick for special consideration.
KSS
8th Nov 2019
8:38pm
Not a bad daily rate then if you are ' losing' $100 a fortnight off your pension!
Oldchick
9th Nov 2019
12:34pm
On DSP you’re allowed to earn $176 per fortnight before they take 50c in every $ you earn after that. Different for Aged Pension, they can earn more. Also only allowed to work a max of 30 hrs per fortnight before you lose the pension altogether. S388 per fortnight, over $100 loss of pension. Simple maths. I own my own home - last fortnight $300 just in essential home maintenance cost, another $30 to repair a tyre puncture, another $48 in medication and $680 in standard household bills, before food, petrol and dog food. I pay the majority of my bills in advance so there are no bill shocks or at least minimised and I maintain (almost every day) an Excel spreadsheet of all my incomings and outgoings, so yes I do budget correctly. Yes I do have a $20 pub meal once or twice a fortnight but that’s my entertainment- no smoking, etc. no concerts, no going to the movies ....... I could sit back and do nothing in the way of work but if my hot water service packs up (15 y.old) - $1400, the stove (likely) $1000, electrical system need fixing ??? plumbing ?? Can’t call the landlord - I’m it.
jaycee1
10th Nov 2019
9:19am
Oldchick,
I have 2 small dogs as well but make most of their food myself. It usually costs me less than $12 [1kg mince, oats, veg, tomato paste, parsley and soup mix or pasta]
The mince is the most expensive but if you get Aldi's or any on special then it's not so bad. With the oats and soup mix you only need about a cup or so - use any veg you have that is going soft [or grow your own] same with the parsley. Pop into a slow cooker till done then divide into containers and freeze. I get 8 and a quarter containers from my cooker which gives me just over 3 weeks food.
When buying treats I also get them from Aldi you get a big bag for about $5.
Oldchick
10th Nov 2019
8:05pm
I make most of my dogs food too. They have a mix of raw and I cook mince too with veggies and rice. I also dehydrate chicken and beef for them as treats. I am fussy about their treats because so many of them are made in China or ex China but sent via NZ and not healthy for them.
80 plus
8th Nov 2019
10:23am
I did not vote for them, if you did, do not do it again.
VeryCaringBigBear
8th Nov 2019
10:49am
There is no decent alternative to our current government and since you have to vote you have only one choice.
80 plus
8th Nov 2019
10:59am
VCBB, There are plenty of decent alternatives, the problem is we get the government big business and the Murdock press and their followers wants.
VeryCaringBigBear
8th Nov 2019
11:01am
Who?
Agnes
8th Nov 2019
11:15am
Agree with VCBB 80 plus, it would be nice if there were alternatives, but there just aren't. Given present circumstances ( and unless things change) , I will carry on voting in exactly the same way.
panos
8th Nov 2019
12:25pm
Very Caring Bear & Agnes, No one has to vote all you need to do is get your name crossed off the electoral roll on polling day.

By voting the way you are nothing will change, so I would rather you just go and get your name crossed off and do not vote for anybody.... please
TREBOR
8th Nov 2019
1:59pm
Race to the bottom - Dumb and Dumber.. Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dummer..

The only true hope lies with the Independents... too much vested interest, conflict of interest, and government by small special interest group going on ...
musicveg
8th Nov 2019
3:52pm
There are plenty of alternatives, just make sure you know where the preference vote will end up.
Agnes
8th Nov 2019
5:15pm
Thanks Panos and I am sure your advice is well intentioned, but I will not be acting on it. But here I disagree with VCBB as under our proportional voting system (with which I do have a problem but thats a whole other forum) we have to vote for every party in order of preference. So I consider I must vote and exercise my democratic right, in order to help ensure that the ALP and greens are kept out of power. Under present circumstances I must ensure they are placed last and second last on my ballot. Of course if they were ever to come up with policies that I consider to be for the good the country rather than lining their own pockets and those of their big business mates, then I will be happy to vote for them. I therefore intend to keep on voting for the least disliked party (which has not always been the Coalition by any means) until things change to alter my preference.
Agnes
8th Nov 2019
5:18pm
And dear musicveg, as I said, as things stand there are just no alternatives at present, but when they happen along I am sure you will let us know with the evidence for it. And as implied I give a great deal of thought to preferences ,as required by our present system.
Triss
8th Nov 2019
5:55pm
The preference vote ends up where you put it, musicveg.
KSS
8th Nov 2019
8:40pm
Don't vote - then don't whinge!
Hoohoo
11th Nov 2019
11:02am
Our current toxic government is made up of a bunch of self-centred, mindless idiots. They are ruining our country, our economy and our democracy. They prefer to set common people against each other rather than have policies to address our country's problems, so they are not even doing the job they are being paid quite handsomely to perform. They are the real bludgers!

They are only in power because a small flock of uninformed, frightened, little sheep lost their nerve when they got to the ballot box on May 19th. These frightened people believed the propaganda from the likes of Clive Palmer, the Murdoch Press & nasty little shock jocks who hate women & the disadvantaged "losers".
Hoohoo
11th Nov 2019
11:57am
TREBOR, do you know how many people are on the waiting list for their assessed care package to be implemented? Last I heard it was 120,000 thousand people. The problem is the govt is more concerned about having a bloody Surplus than allocating spending (3.4 Billion dollars UNSPENT on the NDIS last year, while disabled children are being carted about in wheelbarrows for lack of a wheelchair that fits them).

And where will they get the personnel to be employed doing this poorly paid, stressful work? Carers will not stand by & watch their loved ones being neglected or treated poorly, if they can help it.
panos
8th Nov 2019
10:45am
Why don't they just give us the option of the green dream, will save heaps, if you don't want to have the rest of your life scrimping, begging and just existing till the end anyway.

The ultimate money saver for the govt and a life saver for those that want it. ala Edward G Robinson in Soylent Green.... Peacefull no pain
Farside
8th Nov 2019
3:39pm
too many do-gooders and the like thinking they know what is best for you is why the green dream is not an option, except for your pets. Making nembutal more accessible does not mean it would be used. Should not have to try to import illegally or head overseas or find a lonely tree and make a mess for someone to clean up.
Rocky2
8th Nov 2019
10:47am
The problem with politicians when it comes to Aged Pensions is the advice thay receive from there highly paid advisors, is that most advisors are university drop outs who have never worked in the real world and take all there experience from books and what thay see from the front door, its time these advisors put down there books and opened the back door to get the view on how all Australians live and work and stop believing the bullshit thay read in single view university training
VeryCaringBigBear
8th Nov 2019
10:51am
Most of it comes from statistics and the stats give the real picture as most pensioners would whinge that enough I never enough no matter how much they got.
mogo51
8th Nov 2019
11:29am
True VCB, whilst the current lot are abysmal, if stupid Shorten the socialist got the job. They are not an alternative. Unless the Independents stop pushing their own barrows and unite, we are headed for financial Amageddon.
Rocky2
8th Nov 2019
12:34pm
VCB statistics are used to bolster weak arguments , when most Pensioners are struggling thay can't all be Whingers, try opening your back door and listing you just might hear what is acutely happing to real people , as pointed out stop reading books and listen thay all can't be wrong
Rocky2
8th Nov 2019
12:34pm
VCB statistics are used to bolster weak arguments , when most Pensioners are struggling thay can't all be Whingers, try opening your back door and listing you just might hear what is acutely happing to real people , as pointed out stop reading books and listen thay all can't be wrong
TREBOR
8th Nov 2019
2:00pm
Lies, damned lies and statistics......
Hoohoo
11th Nov 2019
11:51am
The problem with many Independents, Mogo51, is they give their preferences to the problem party. Clive Palmer disrupted our last opportunity for a democratic election, by sprouting yes noises to the left & to the right, so he cleaned up on sheep-voters who didn't want a Labor or a Liberal government. Look what we got?
Palmer didn't even want to win - he just wanted to disrupt & wow, he got EXACTLY what he wanted. Last time he DID have a seat in parliament he was either absent or asleep.
Rocky2
8th Nov 2019
10:47am
The problem with politicians when it comes to Aged Pensions is the advice thay receive from there highly paid advisors, is that most advisors are university drop outs who have never worked in the real world and take all there experience from books and what thay see from the front door, its time these advisors put down there books and opened the back door to get the view on how all Australians live and work and stop believing the bullshit thay read in single view university training
Travellersjoy
8th Nov 2019
11:05am
International travel on the age pension?? Surely you jest.

Always confusing comfortably circumstanced superannuants with age pensioners to the persistent detriment of age pensioners - although Howard enabled plenty of VERY comfortably circumstanced superannuants to get all the benefits of the pension as well.

Please always remember that people on the full pension have a very different life from those on part pensions and 'self funded retirees'.
panos
8th Nov 2019
11:13am
Please always remember that people on the full pension have a very different life from those on part pensions and 'self funded retirees'.

Never a truer word has been said......
SuziJ
8th Nov 2019
11:18am
Tell me why you think that we on a full pension are better off than those on super & part pension?
panos
8th Nov 2019
12:19pm
SuziJ, you have totally misread the post, people on a full pension are WORSE OFF !!
Bundabergian
8th Nov 2019
4:56pm
International travel yes, but only one way! I read in a recent magazine article that one strategy for managing better on the pension is going overseas to live, as many countries have a good lifestyle for far less money.
How sad is it that one way to survive in Australia is to leave the country?
mogo51
8th Nov 2019
11:20am
Well you don't do International travel or any holiday fot that matter on the pension. Drought forcing up fruit & vege prices, fuel up nearly .20c ltr.
Don't know where they get their figures from regarding CPI from a kids story book perhaps?
TREBOR
8th Nov 2019
2:02pm
A holiday is something like a once a year visit to the grand-kids or organising a big family reunion thing 'up North' - in every holiday - I do all the driving and lugging - I come home more tired than when we started..

The lot of the carer on $129 a fortnight...
Farside
8th Nov 2019
3:46pm
Caring is a noble choice, but a choice nonetheless and no point grizzling over it. Some carers get nothing for their troubles other than the satisfaction from helping others.
musicveg
8th Nov 2019
3:55pm
The article read "The most significant falls were automotive fuel (-2.0 per cent), fruit (-3.1 per cent) and vegetables (-2.5 per cent)". So you can travel in Australia and eat lots of fruit and veg and do better.
TREBOR
10th Nov 2019
1:42am
arrgh, aye, m'lod - they ye agree that a carer pensioner should receive two pensions?
Farside
10th Nov 2019
11:38am
treating the caring and pension as independent has merit but I do not support carer pensioner receiving two pensions. If the patient has a package to pay for provision of support and they pay to a carer pensioner then it should be treated as income.
Hoohoo
11th Nov 2019
11:30am
So what if a second pension payment for a Carer was taxable? For those Carers who have given up paid work (& Super) to care for a loved one, it would still make a huge difference, especially if they have no other income stream/investments.

Farside, I don't think you fully appreciate the obligation some people feel, to care for their loved ones. Yes, it is a choice, but not a choice at all for some loyal, kind people. I know many, many people who have cared for their demented or disabled partners or parents, & are forced to commit them to an institution only when medical authorities insist, or the Carer becomes hospitalised (usually as a result of the stress & exhaustion, both physical & emotional, of being a Carer for an extended period of time).
Farside
11th Nov 2019
12:47pm
Hoohoo, I made that choice to look after my wife when she had cancer. Nobody forced me to do it. I gave up current and long term income and did not ask for or receive any allowances. My choice, my obligation and I am now bearing the consequences of that decision. What is it that I am not appreciating?
Hoohoo
12th Nov 2019
3:16pm
Pardom me please, Farside, but you have missed my point. In fact, you have made my point by doing exactly what I said about Carers, that they forego financially because they do not hesitate to care for their loved ones, when needed, as you kindly have done, Farside.

I don't know how much you had to forego financially, but the fact is that when you have nothing to fall back on financially, it doesn't change your unconditional decision to Care. For those who have nothing, some extra financial help is warranted, because they are saving the govt heaps by caring for their loved one at home.
Farside
12th Nov 2019
5:00pm
I understand your point Hoohoo that caring at home is cheaper than putting someone into care however it is not warranted. It does not follow that the personal choice to forego employment in order to care for someone should be subsidised by the government. Carers are fortunate to receive an allowance if indeed they have nothing but it should not be anymore than Newstart, which is for people without employment choices. Meanwhile those who access savings, sell assets, borrow from family etc to make ends meet do it for free.
Hoohoo
13th Nov 2019
3:24pm
Some people simply do not have a fall-back plan, Farside, for whatever reason. Some people can't borrow money and have no assets to sell.
And I think you are being unnecessarily cruel to say they should try to live on pitiful Newstart, AS WELL AS THE COSTS INVOLVED IN CARING! As anyone who has done it knows, you are constantly out of pocket when caring for someone - extra petrol costs, that extra prescription, that emergency run to the shops for incontinence pads or other special or unexpected needs.
I know a lot of Carers who are reluctant to ask for reimbursement from a cranky (& often partly-demented) parent, when they have already spent the whole day just trying to settle them down to a half manageable level. These Carers deserve a much better Allowance for the work they are doing.
MICK
8th Nov 2019
12:01pm
The normal crap.
Look at the past 10 years and tell me why supermarkets have consistently driven up prices.
Perhaps also look at self funded retirees who planned for their last 30 years and have been repeatedly targets for this government as well as now almost zero interest rates...and still being hunted.
Tell me about the drought!
musicveg
8th Nov 2019
3:57pm
Supermarkets have been underpaying staff, so we need to know where the money is going, most likely to CEO's and shareholders. If they drop the prices more then wages will not increase.
ceejay
8th Nov 2019
12:02pm
Think about the drought-affected older farmers who can't sell their farms or livestock, have used up all their 'rainy day' funds keeping remaining livestock alive while paying exorbitant utilities, with reliance on part pensions to live and keep livestock alive. If the average urban pensioner can't survive on the current pension payment, how do rural pensioners maintain the family farm that has not turned a profit for the past 8 years of drought?
panos
8th Nov 2019
12:21pm
Do not believe everything you read about the poor old farmers plight, don't worry about them.

Worry about people on a FULL PENSION and how little it is to live on...
Farside
8th Nov 2019
3:50pm
farmers who cannot make a go of farming despite the all that is done to support them should sell up and exit the industry and lifestyle.
musicveg
8th Nov 2019
3:59pm
Some farmers have had their day, they need to move on to greener pastures, those poor animals are suffering in the dirt, and most are for export. The whole system of agriculture needs a shake up and the water wars are not helping, farmers cannot bid as much as the mining companies for water.
TREBOR
10th Nov 2019
1:45am
..and don't forget the restriction on farmers sub-dividing and giving off the majority to their inheritors (whoever they may be) and keeping a five acre plot with the house so they could retire and not work and get a pension based on calculation of income alone and not some myth of deemed income from having acres to spare that they can't work
Farside
10th Nov 2019
11:42am
ag land is there for a purpose and not to be land banked so farmers no longer able to farm it can hold onto it as the kids inheritance. Use it or lose it.
ceejay
8th Nov 2019
12:02pm
Think about the drought-affected older farmers who can't sell their farms or livestock, have used up all their 'rainy day' funds keeping remaining livestock alive while paying exorbitant utilities, with reliance on part pensions to live and keep livestock alive. If the average urban pensioner can't survive on the current pension payment, how do rural pensioners maintain the family farm that has not turned a profit for the past 8 years of drought?
GrayComputing
8th Nov 2019
12:22pm
NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
A pension is not welfare.

Now is the season for discontent, so do something about it!
It is time to kill off this insane hugely expensive pensioner whacking bureaucracy.

It is time for all of us (yes that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules.

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

Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

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

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

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

We all (that means you) need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
panos
8th Nov 2019
12:26pm
Now this makes sense,.
VeryCaringBigBear
8th Nov 2019
3:34pm
I agree give the OAP to anyone who wants it and it then has to be paid back from your estate when you die from your expensive house and other assets.
musicveg
8th Nov 2019
4:00pm
I love the you keep reminding us of the universal pension, you post this often, I agree but how to make these changes, have you started a movement yet or at least a petition?
Triss
8th Nov 2019
6:02pm
Providing that applies to ex pollies, bureaucrats, judges, etc, BB.
VeryCaringBigBear
8th Nov 2019
6:40pm
Big difference is that one is part of a salary package while the other is welfare.
Triss
8th Nov 2019
8:24pm
No, BB, the difference is that one is the result of a group of corrupt pollies huddling in a back room and rubber stamping a corrupt policy. There can’t be a taxpayer anywhere that would have agreed with an ex politicians’ pension being paid for life along with multiple business class holidays after eight years in parliament. And remember some of them were in their thirties and could not have accumulated anything like they’ve received up to now. Taxpayers will be burdened with them for up to sixty years.
TREBOR
10th Nov 2019
1:46am
Pension is part of our salary package as Taxpayers....
GeorgeM
8th Nov 2019
12:45pm
While Dr Martin Fahy is correct that "The Age Pension is less than what is needed to support even a modest standard of living in retirement.", his solution is only to increase Superannuation which will then result in, firstly, cut-backs of wages in lieu of that, and secondly, cut-backs in Age Pension when the same people get to Retirement and find the nasty Assets Test will cut back their Age Pensions more than they could earn from the increased Super. So, the comments from Dr Fahy has failed to address the real issues of a BADLY DESIGNED Retirement Incomes system and his myopic solution is off the mark!!!

It would be much better to give Universal Age Pension to all without any tests, i.e. for all reaching Age 65 yrs and Residency say 15 yrs, and actually increase the Age Pension by severely cutting back massive Super benefits exploited by the rich, remove Centrelink admin costs by using ATO to pay UAP, as well as ensure all pay fair and reasonable taxes by having a Minimum Tax system without allowing any overseas expenses and only Local verifiable expenses. Also, scrap special Tax treatment for Family Trusts, tax all overseas money put there by the rich, and remove Negative Gearing on all except one house in your lifetime. Massive additional Revenue is possible if politicians only had b.lls, and the standard of living in this massively resource-rich country should be much higher for all including Retirees.

ALL need to write to the Retirement Incomes Review / Josh Frydenberg to carry out a full-scale overhaul on these lines, not tinker around the edges with silly, myopic solutions.
Farside
8th Nov 2019
3:53pm
lots of actions to give a tick among George's shopping list of things the government should do
neil
8th Nov 2019
1:30pm
Poverty level cash wise is reckoned to be $433.00 per week. This is a smidgen under the pension. The pension is a ludicrous amount for anything beyond just staying alive.
Neil.
neil
8th Nov 2019
1:30pm
Poverty level cash wise is reckoned to be $433.00 per week. This is a smidgen under the pension. The pension is a ludicrous amount for anything beyond just staying alive.
Neil.
floss
8th Nov 2019
1:43pm
If you think the drought will effect your pension just wait till we double our population and we are well on our way to achieving that number.More people more water required simple really, wake up Australia.
TREBOR
8th Nov 2019
2:04pm
Stop the Planes!!
musicveg
8th Nov 2019
4:03pm
Big business want big population, brings in more money for them at the cost of those who are already living here and bad infrastructure. Only the Sustainable Australia Party wants to change this. Am looking for other parties who also agree if anyone knows which ones?
TREBOR
10th Nov 2019
1:48am
The current infrastructure will not sustain a bigger population - it does not now...
musicveg
10th Nov 2019
2:02am
Yes Trebor, we need less people. 200,000 humans are born every day globally.
Hoohoo
13th Nov 2019
3:30pm
It has been said that the best way to lower global poverty and high birth rates, is to educate girls. And boys, of course, but not at the expense of girls missing out, as happens frequently in many third world countries.
musicveg
13th Nov 2019
8:48pm
I agree Hoohoo and also stop child marriages, even still legal in many USA states.
ronloby
8th Nov 2019
2:03pm
No one has mentioned the BIG payrise these so-called "for the people" Pollies that lounge around, jetting around the place had received last year (I think). They care about no one except their own back pocket, and will always do so. All they want to do is make sure they have a surplus regardless of who or what it affects.
Farside
8th Nov 2019
3:24pm
increase to newstart is a far higher priority than an increase to the age pension, if pensioners are doing it tough then imagine for a second what it feels like for those on newstart.
musicveg
8th Nov 2019
4:04pm
I agree, crime is on the rise because of so many not being able to meet their basic needs. Everyone deserves, shelter and food.
Dancer
8th Nov 2019
3:25pm
The Age Pension, Carers Pension and Newstart - none of these are enough! I have recently written two letters to Federal Politicians pointing out that this year's rise in Private Health Insurance alone equates to about 75% of the pension increase we have received this year. On top of PHI premium increases, there are increases in energy, house and car insurances, council rates, petrol, food, water, car registration, telephone - the cost of living is definitely outstripping the pension increases.
I urge all pension and newstart recipients who are struggling to maintain a reasonable standard of living to write to the appropriate Federal Ministers - real hard copy letters, not emails or texts which are easily ignore. Ask for detailed responses to the points you raise, and follow up if you don't get a reply or if you are not happy with the reply.
VeryCaringBigBear
8th Nov 2019
3:37pm
I have no trouble living on the OAP myself with plenty to share.
panos
8th Nov 2019
4:17pm
Very Caring Bear, your lot in life is done and complete, if you have spare cash give it back to the govt.....
VeryCaringBigBear
8th Nov 2019
5:14pm
Why so they can give it to those who don't need it instead?
Triss
8th Nov 2019
6:11pm
Shot yourself in the foot, BB, giving it back to those who don’t need it is exactly why it’s not feasible to repay a universal pension out of your estate. You seem to be a bit like this government, one rule for you and and a different one for others.
VeryCaringBigBear
8th Nov 2019
6:39pm
It's only fair that people should have to pay it back out of their estate unless everyone gets the OAP if they need it or not. If only some get it then it's a debt to be repaid from your estate.
panos
9th Nov 2019
11:51am
BB you really do need to change your name
TREBOR
10th Nov 2019
1:50am
. but... but.. but.. BB - you were skyting about your income from shares.......

Exactly where do you stand - or not stand?

No way anyone should repay a pension out of estate, given that they contributed to it all their life...
Hoohoo
13th Nov 2019
4:05pm
Well said, Dancer.

And for VCBB, it looks like TREBOR has caught you out in a lie. Either you're living off the OAP alone or you've got shares. Can't be both. So leave it out with your "I have no trouble living on the OAP myself with plenty to share." It makes me sick
VeryCaringBigBear
8th Nov 2019
3:39pm
If people can go to church and give 10% of their income to the church then the pension is more than adequate.
TREBOR
10th Nov 2019
1:50am
Name them ...
musicveg
8th Nov 2019
3:46pm
Great to see the healthy food like fruit and veggies have decreased and the unhealthy animal proteins have risen, might encourage more people to eat more healthy, live healthier and reduce the medical costs.
KSS
8th Nov 2019
8:47pm
Give it a rest musicveg. People eat meat, fish and fowl. Get over it. You do you, let them do them!
Hoohoo
12th Nov 2019
3:24pm
Meat eaters don't like to be reminded of their killing ways, it seems KSS. But you can't deny some of the negative health aspects of meat eating.

Most people just can't be bothered to be serious enough about nutrition to research how to plan & cook in a healthy, sustainable way. Most people are too busy doing something else to make this a priority in their lives. But don't dare diss off on someone who IS informed & who HAS made it a priority in their lives.
musicveg
12th Nov 2019
11:21pm
Thanks for your support HooHoo, I really do care that people are not aware of healthy choices, and it is difficult for some people to change, especially when they are getting conflicting information from many that have vested interest in certain types of food products. KSS just likes to always attack me, and has done many times,even though my intentions are good not bad. I just got told yesterday that I did not look my age, and compared to others my age I am doing well, I wish others could feel the same, The evidence is definitely there to reduce animal protein and increase fruit and veggies and real food not processed but many just don't want to see or understand what they put in their bodies can be fuel to disease.
Hoohoo
13th Nov 2019
4:13pm
So true MV, A lot of people aren't aware of the hormones in meat & farmed fish (especially farmed salmon), & how these hormones can really disrupt your health in many ways.

They don't connect that farmed salmon, fed with chicken abattoir processed pellets, is like eating chicken & eggs, which are very high in female hormones. Not good for men or women at such unnaturally high levels.
Bundabergian
8th Nov 2019
4:06pm
I would like to see the pollies and CEOs survive as well as they do on the same income that us mere plebs get. Even once retired they still get the perks!
stevo
8th Nov 2019
4:38pm
My wife and I are living; if you can call it, on the Old Age Pension and believe me it doesn't allow us to live a comfortable life in any shape or form. All the talk is about Newstart and the drought but when the Old age Pension is leaving persons like us out in the cold it's not fare.
You count every cent and try with each Pension Payment to budget but it is increasingly harder to live and pay our bills, medical needs JUST BASICALLY LIVING. The Federal Government is handing out money to farmers for the drought but its about time they had a hard look at us pensioner and increase the rate or there will be many a pensioner who won't survive and become a death statistic the Federal Government will be held to account for.
panos
9th Nov 2019
11:52am
a death statistic the Federal Government will be held to account for.

LOL your dreaming, they dont care and no one will be held accountable
VeryCaringBigBear
8th Nov 2019
5:17pm
I found it very difficult to answer the questions in that survey as for a start I don't fit into any of those tribes and many other questions did not have a suitable answer for me either.
Farside
8th Nov 2019
5:49pm
some of the questions could also not be answered because they were formatted incorrectly
TREBOR
10th Nov 2019
1:51am
Nobody with $400k that recoups $80k lives in that group...

Catch up with yourself...
Blinky
8th Nov 2019
6:07pm
Yes, Mr Fahy is right, but he forgets to mention that the asset test is VERY LOW, it's adjusted only once a year and by a minimal ammount which is probably equivalent to a politician's annual income!
The asset test should be increased to -at least- $500000 to allow x retirees some breathing space.
KSS
8th Nov 2019
8:35pm
International travel????? On a pension????? Child care costs?????? for retirees???????? Tobacco can be given up. And as for property rates and charges this forum continually bangs the drum or renters who don't pay rates. You can't have it both ways!
Arvo
9th Nov 2019
4:56am
"The most significant falls were automotive fuel (-2.0 per cent), fruit (-3.1 per cent) and vegetables (-2.5 per cent)"

Now that is a blatant lie!!!
Bundabergian
9th Nov 2019
12:14pm
Yes fuel has gone up quite a lot here (and it is still the cheapest town around for E10) over the last few months. Every time Mr Trump rattles his sabre.....
panos
9th Nov 2019
5:59pm
you do know that it' s proven your wasting your money buying E10
Bundabergian
9th Nov 2019
8:15pm
panos, I buy it cos it is the cheapest fuel, not for any environmental reason. My car will not go without petrol in it. E10 is cheaper than full fat petrol.
TREBOR
10th Nov 2019
1:54am
Cheapest here is 147.9 - I recall the days when I ran commercial vehicles and got LPG for 0.17 a litre... petrol was around 0.25 or so..
Bundabergian
10th Nov 2019
10:05am
I buy E10 at $1.33. ULP is about $1.38. We have a little independent station that is super busy and they always have the lowest price in town, cheaper even than Woolies or Coles with your vouchers!
Arvo
10th Nov 2019
7:16pm
Under instruction from the government, the CPI statistic figures are fudged!!!
jaycee1
10th Nov 2019
9:01am
Once I stopped working it was a huge drop from wages to pension - luckily was used to budgeting having been the only bread winner for years. Again luckily, I live in public housing so my rent is reasonable. There is NO way I could survive renting privately and that is without having a car, walking /public transport everywhere.
Haven't been to the movies in years, do not drink or smoke, only go out for meals couple of times a year [when the kids take me] do not have paid tv or an extravagant mobile phone/plan [amaysim is great]. Buy lottery tickets now and then if a big prize is on offer.
Have a large collection of dvd's I bought when was working that will take me years to watch.
My one luxury is books - borrowed from the library but if I want to keep any they are bought second hand. [most from overseas as is way cheaper than here].
Every fortnight, after shopping, treat myself to a coffee and raisin toast for $5 at a local shop.
All bills are paid up to date, most are in front, so that at Christmas time don't have to worry about presents for the grandkids etc
Would not say have much over but do manage to save up to go and see family overseas every 5 or 6 years.
No way would I be able to do so if on Newstart!
Bundabergian
10th Nov 2019
10:02am
jaycee where are you? if anywhere near Bundaberg come round and have a coffee and I have a bookcase of books (nothing fancy, just paperback novels ex op shop) that you can take for nothing, I am only going to take them back to Op shop otherwise. This offer goes out to anyone in our area too!


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