Pensioners lose out, self-funded retirees gain ground

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If you’re an age pensioner and thought it was tougher to make ends meet this year, you’re not wrong.

The living costs of age pensioner households rose 0.3 per cent in the March quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), even though there was no movement in the consumer price index (CPI).

Meanwhile, if you’re a self-funded retiree, you may have noticed household costs had improved. The ABS says they fell by 0.2 per cent.

In other categories, pensioner and beneficiary households experienced a 0.3 per cent rise in costs, other government recipient households costs rose 0.2 per cent and employee households costs were static.

The main contributors to the rise for age pensioner households were health costs (+5 per cent), driven by the cost of pharmaceutical products and medical and hospital services, and food and non-alcoholic beverages (+1.5 per cent), driven by the cost of vegetables.

The ABS attributes the rise in pharmaceutical products and medical and hospital services to the cyclical reduction in the proportion of consumers who qualify for subsidies under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS). The safety net threshold amount for both are reset on 1 January each year.

Transport (-2.5 per cent) contributed the most significant partial offset in the quarter, driven by automotive fuel, with falls in world oil prices flowing through to consumers.

The ABS says that in the past 12 months, age pensioner costs rose 1.4 per cent while the CPI rose 1.3 per cent.

The living cost index (LCI) for self-funded retiree households fell 0.2 per cent largely due to the fall is recreation and culture (-1.8 per cent) driven by domestic and international holiday, travel and accommodation. Transport (-1.7 per cent) also contributed to the fall, driven by automotive fuel.

Health (+2.2 per cent) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (+1.4 per cent) were the most significant positive contributors.

In the 12 months, the LCI for self-funded retiree households rose 1.6 per cent.

The weighted indices measure the impact of changes in prices for out-of-pocket expenses incurred by households buying a fixed basket of consumer goods and services.

CBA chief economist Michael Blythe notes that a number of essential costs have started to come back down, the Australian Financial Review reports.

“Inflation in the ‘pain spend’ on those items we have to buy but don’t enjoy (32 per cent of the CPI) has slowed sharply,” Mr Blythe said. “Both major parties are making additional promises to cut living costs in the current election campaign.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) next meets on 7 May, with many pundits predicting it will cut the official interest rate.

Do you believe that budgeting is tougher or easier than 12 months ago? Have you noticed any significant price rises in key categories?

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Written by Janelle Ward

94 Comments

Total Comments: 94
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    a. on the validation and acceptance of their Pension as an absolute and paid for right.
    b. by being subjected to unfair asset and income tests, thus rendering it nigh impossible for them to advance their pension by working in their older years
    c. by being forced to deal through a body that has broken systems and little to no means of ready access, let alone willingness to simply do their job
    d. by being publicly verbally attacked (the verbal substitute for physical assault) for being things that most of them never were – i.e. bludgers and layabouts.
    e. by not being afforded the respect due to their age and experience, let alone their building of this once fine nation now gone to the dogs
    f. by being treated as disposable items and cash cows by not only governments, but often their families as well and also by aged care providers
    g. by being refused ample support to remain content in their own home, but often left to wallow in filth and loneliness, and sometimes passing away without anyone noticing

    Floor open to someone else now…. I’ve got things to do, such as running the ex down for her brain MRI…

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      .. as for b. above, we could discuss the position of lower end SFRs and super accumulation in the same light as oportunity to earn without penalty. (make that b.1.)…

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      Trebor have you any idea how expensive that brain MRI is for a self funded retiree.
      I would really love some equality across the board. I would suggest a lot of self funded retirees don’t get medical attention due to the high costs involved. Meanwhile watching their pensioner friends getting every test and procedure done courtesy of the Government’s pennies.

      Labor is offering $500 per year to pensioners for dental. My dental bills have been massive – I would love some help too. – Perhaps as a reward for really really saving to have enough money to retire.

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      a. Age Pension is not and should never be a right. It is there to help those who have not paid into a superannuation fund.
      b. Unfair asset and income tests, no they are not unfair. I object to a person with apart from their own home have income generating property or a holiday house, income from other sources even getting a pensions. Use your own money before you apply for a pension. Again it is not a right.
      c. Centrelink staff deal with people who are at their lowest point, staff are abused, verbally and physically for simply doing their job. When Centrelink cut back staff numbers it is always from the coal face, leaving those behind to pick up the additional workload.
      d. Due respect, this is sickening, you earn respect, what you know is out dated and no longer valid. It is not for you to demand respect, if you do not show respect you will not get it back. I get sick of the when i was a child…….it has no relevance now. So get over it!!
      f. Cash cows by Government, so you are being treated the same as every one else, as to your families, just say NO, perhaps you never said NO before so it is your fault, just deal with it. Aged Care providers are money making businesses, do your research before you jump into that life style. For those of us who need more care nursing home is a whole different ball game and good luck with that. I have had to walk that road.
      g. No one is refused ample support, if you expect a live in home carer at my expense, a taxpayer, think again. Most elderly can get help through local Councils and MyAgedCare, welfare agencies, meals through meal-on-wheels.
      You sound like a very spoilt badly behaved child, spitting the dummy because you cannot get what you want.
      My hubby and I have decided that we will stay in our home until we are 75 yrs old and then move into a retirement village with a nursing home attached. We are making plans this is what everyone should be doing. How we live and dies is up to us and not others.
      I strongly recommend you actually read the legislation that covers Age Pension, it is more generous than you know.
      We live on my $25,208 per annum superannuation and a small top up of Age Pension, we also have a small parcel of shares. We manage as we have alter our lifestyle from what it was when we both worked full time to now when we are both at home retired.
      To say I am irked by your arrogance at your lack of knowledge and woe is me attitude is an understatement. Avail yourself of the legislation and know what you are on about.

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      kudos to tactful on taking personal responsibility and getting on with life and appreciating what she has.

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      Rosret, you are eligible for the $500 dental if you can qualify by having an income less than $53,000 per year for a single and under $86,000 per year for a couple. As a pensioner couple we receive well under half that even taking into account any discounts we receive.

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      I fully support your comments, Trebor, and find tactful has written a whole lot of rubbish trying to support a Broken System. I find the existing system supporters tend to have very little imagination or understanding of the world and live in their own bubble, hence it’s not worth trying to help them to open their minds.
      This is (or was) a very Rich country which can easily afford to look after everyone, especially Retirees and the disadvantaged, a whole lot better if they hadn’t got rid of the massive wealth (Minerals, Gas, Oil, etc) and exceptional Farming industries by handing over our wealth to foreign companies and countries. We can still take them back if we get a strong PM (like Trump)!

      That said, the only fair solution now is Universal Age Pension (besides concession cards) as a matter of right for all Aged 65 and with Residency of say 15 years, with NO other tests. Let’s join every other Advanced country who does this, with NZ being a simple example for us to copy. There are many other areas requiring action, however this one measure will stop a lot of unfairness and allow people to also do better than that by rewarding effort and removing disincentives for savers and earners, with consequent benefits for the economy as well. Centrelink admin costs (and harassment) can be massively reduced with ATO simply sending out payments after a simple application form is completed.

      Maintain the rage, Trebor…..a lot of us are with you. Major Change takes time, but all need to act with determination and without being demotivated by stupid comments such as from tactful. All need to immediately write to their MPs to DEMAND Universal Age Pension, and all current MPs who do not accept it must be voted OUT (especially the Major party and Greens who have repeatedly stuffed Retirees) by putting them LAST (or just above the crazies). Remember there are 3 Million+ Retirees who can make the difference and become a voting bloc, with 44 (out of 151) seats in the Lower House on Margins of less than 5%.

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      Countries that have Universal Age Pensions have a totally different system to ours. In the UK for example everyone has to contribute to a National scheme, in addition to income tax, that then provides the age pension.

      Such a scheme was started way back but Robt Menzies saw the amount of money accumulated and grabbed it putting into consolidated revenue and announced that any age pension in future would be funded from tax receipts.

      If you are unhappy about the lack of a Universal Aged Pension blame Menzies. If you want such a pension then think about how it should be funded? Death duties would help, as we are one of the few developed countries in the world that does not have them. I am sure further methods of taxation would be required to fund an age pension for everyone. This is a concept that will not sit well with those with accumulated wealth in their retirement.

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      Countries that have Universal Age Pensions have a totally different system to ours. In the UK for example everyone has to contribute to a National scheme, in addition to income tax, that then provides the age pension.

      Such a scheme was started way back but Robt Menzies saw the amount of money accumulated and grabbed it putting into consolidated revenue and announced that any age pension in future would be funded from tax receipts.

      If you are unhappy about the lack of a Universal Aged Pension blame Menzies. If you want such a pension then think about how it should be funded? Death duties would help, as we are one of the few developed countries in the world that does not have them. I am sure further methods of taxation would be required to fund an age pension for everyone. This is a concept that will not sit well with those with accumulated wealth in their retirement.

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      The Old Age Pension is an entitlement if you qualify. If you pass the income and assets test you are entitled to all or a part pension. Most retirees did not have the benefit to pay into a super fund before 1992. Retirees contributing since 1992 have not received the benefit of compounded returns. One does not start planning for their retirement the day before they retire. To have the income and assets changed after one retires is outright theft of pensioners assets. A universal pension could be funded by a fair rent and resources tax, google tax, changes to family trusts.

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      Tom Tank, I did not go into how to fund it, however at least you noted that Menzies (then Fraser) stole the money which was to be put aside for pensions. However, that 7.5% is still included as part of the tax rate for personal taxes, hence the money is still being collected, so no excuse to not pay pensions to all. Mad as Hell is completely right in his comments, hitting pensioners, and pre-retirees on the verge of retirement, with up to $14,000 reduction in their incomes through pensions was a bastardly attack by the Liberal Govt based on a budget emergency lie (and a broken promise) – as their desperate attempts to give big tax cuts to the companies and the high income earners shows.

      As far as your comments about funding goes, Mad as Hell mentioned a few, I would mention the following:
      a. Use the massive Centrelnk cost reduction by shutting down a major part of Centrelink, as ATO can easily issue out the payments following a simple application form.
      b. Start diverting the 7.5% taxes being collected for this purpose into a new Future Fund managed independently of Govt hands – publicly controlled Fund (but managed by Independent financial experts) – to generate sound returns. Roll into it the Future Fund set up and being managed by Peter Costello to help fund the politicians, etc – as they need to lose their undeserved pensions and be treated as everyone else.
      c. Impose Minimum Taxes on large companies and the rich – say 25% on companies and 30% on Individuals (who continue paying the 7.5% for pensions) on Gross Income. If any deductions are allowed, these must only be local, proven expenses.
      d. An additional financial side-benefit would be additional taxes (including more from the 7.5% tax) generated by people over 65 motivated to continue to earn and save without being penalised.
      e. Another additional financial side-benefit would be the reduction in health costs as a result of less stress on the elderly to deal with Centrelink.
      I hope some Political party is listening / watching this site.

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      GeorgeM, how do you figure “that 7.5% is still included as part of the tax rate for personal taxes”. The National Welfare Fund levy was never a tax any more than the Medicare levy is a tax and it was discontinued long ago. I cannot even remember seeing it on a payslip.

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      C’mon, Farside, are you serious, or wanting to split hairs again? Levy = tax for any sensible person – it hits you in exactly the same way. The 7.5% was never withdrawn and is very much still part of personal income “tax”.

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      George, the tax rates are the rates as specified in the legislation. The enabling act was repealed over 30 years ago and rates tables have been regularly modified since. When was the last time you paid the levy or declared it in your tax return?

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      Irrelevant diversion with bureaucratic words yet again! Repeating, the 7.5% was never withdrawn and is very much still part of personal income “tax”. Hence, bottom-line – the money is still being collected!

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      poppycock George, have a chat with your favourite tax accountant or lawyer and have them explain it to you nice and slow so you are not confused by the “bureaucratic words”. Nobody is collecting your 7.5% for the National Welfare Fund.

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      Maybe you were part of the bureaucratic system which tried to do the cover-ups. The FACT is the 7.5% tax meant to fund pensions is still being collected. Just because they shut down the National Welfare Fund doesn’t mean the money is not being collected, as the tax rates did not go down by the same rate at that time, and the money continues to go into consolidated revenue – your logic is, to use your words “poppycock”. Read this several times, nice and slow, as bureaucrats with slow brains like to do.

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      Sorry George, I was not part of the bureaucracy but vaguely remember some of this stuff from uni. All this was well before my time so care factor for the NWF stolen contributions myth and cover-up conspiracy is zip.

      “The previously separate income tax and social services contribution were merged in 1951. Then appropriations to the National Welfare Fund were made dependent on payroll tax receipts, in an effort to give the financing of social services a contributory facade. …
      During the 1954 General Election campaign Menzies publicly stated that Australia could not afford a contributory pension scheme, for it would involve, effectively, an increase in income tax, which would be highly undesirable on both political and economic grounds.” (AUSTRALIA’S POLICY TOWARDS THE AGED: 1890 – 1972 J . E. DIXON)

      As far as I am concerned it is clear the contribution was never more than a thinly disguised tax as the government was topping up the NWF. I would not expect to see a 7.5% step reduction although it is interesting to note the tax on £10,000 declined from 56% to around 47% between 1952 and 1955 – is this your smoking gun? Here’s a link to the historical tables https://atotaxrates.info/individual-tax-rates-resident/pre-2010-tax-rates/

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    Come on RBA raise the interest rates and give us oldies a break.

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      Any meaningful increase in interest rates would have all sorts of consequences some desirable, most not. Let the RBA do what they do. The oldies will need to spend down their savings or switch investments rather than rely upon interest in these circumstances.

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      Or just stop spending which seems to be happening all over now creating all sorts of consequences for business and employment.

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      my friend overseas has term dep. investments and he has to pay them to keep his money there

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      my friend overseas has term dep. investments and he has to pay them to keep his money there

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      The next rate change will mostly be down.

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      The RBA have dug a hole for themselves cutting the rates so much.The negative effect on savers is obvious.There is constant lobbying from self interest groups (who the RBA has pandered to in the past) not to increase rates but indeed to cut them further.
      I agree with the NAB chief who questions the merit of cutting rates,in todays Heraldsun.
      Rate cuts have gone too far and the RBA know it but are too scared to act unless all their economic statistics line up.

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      The RBA have dug a hole for themselves cutting the rates so much.The negative effect on savers is obvious.There is constant lobbying from self interest groups (who the RBA has pandered to in the past) not to increase rates but indeed to cut them further.
      I agree with the NAB chief who questions the merit of cutting rates,in todays Heraldsun.
      Rate cuts have gone too far and the RBA know it but are too scared to act unless all their economic statistics line up.

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      Rae, actually the view seems to be that people will spend more as no incentive to save. I don’t understand that behaviour myself. At least the Government should also cut the deeming rates.

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    If shorten gets in his Retiree Tax Grab will devestate low income retirees. His statement that it will ONLY affect the very wealthy and also why should retirees who pay zero tax get a break. Well it has been shown that the very wealthy will not be affected and HOW can Shorten include those on a low tax threshold as very wealthy. He cant have it both ways. Also retirees who worked and saved and put their savings in shares and other equities have in fact paid tax. The companies pay tax on behalf of the shareholders and if those on low incone are denied a tax credit then it is double taxation. Shorten is targetting low income retirees. He is a mongrel liar.

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      You are mistaken if you believe companies pay tax on behalf of shareholders. A company is its own entity and taxed accordingly at the company tax rate. So unless you are subject to withholding tax then get over it if Howard’s franking credit refund gift comes to an end after May 18. If LNP wins then celebrate the continuation of your largesse.

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      See an adviser. It may be worth selling the shares , obviously the desired outcome, to someone on high income eligible for the tax deduction and sorting out so you can receive the money from Centrelink. The bonus is the concessions and help anytime you need it without having to draw down your own savings.

      Foreign shareholders are apparently the real winners. Why is this not a surprise. You’d swear both the LNP and ALP are working for foreign nationals and companies .

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      that’s how I feel Mike

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      that’s how I feel Mike

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      That levy of 7.5% collected via income taxes was never repealed with the Act – due to the fact it was shifted over to Consolidated Revenue when Menzies with Labor’s agreement, the contents of the Pension Fund to pay down WW2 debts. Therefore not being attached to Act when repealed – it continued on being collected and paid into Consolidated Revenue.

      And any government MP gets very shaky when asked as they cant justify this. Change the subject quickly or say goodbye.

      Pauline Hansen did do paper on this and it was available once on Google. Could be on her website.

      Bit like the actual papers I followed through Gov sites some time back and yes it existed 100% sure of that – was a contribution y way of levy just as Medicare is done but mysteriously these papers on this 7.5% levy just disappeared when I last checked it out back in 2009.

      Same time as was checking re the cut by Labor government by then when they cut the married couples pension from paying them 167% of the single pension of that time to 150% – meaning of course 1 full single pension and 1 half single pension. Latter being of course to the female.

      And that is so blooming like Labor – always shooting their mouths off at how women get treated and then go and short change them all.

      Even those who even though married – living off one wage his went out and got a little part time job once the youngest child in school and able to meet them when school was out back then a lot later than locally 2.15 or so today. School days used to end at 4pm once.

      Anyway I also noticed that my Labor MP had a leaflet saying the the cuts to the Age pension were under this Liberal Government.

      Now cant find that happening at all.

      Anyone here on age pension who noticed they got a cut since 2009? I ask that as many seemingly never noticed the cut in 2009 is asked but then they also still get their pension paid on “Pension Thursday” even though were able to get it pain on any day they liked some years back now.

      BTW it used to be single age pensioners loathed marrieds and were always having a go re costs same electricity for 1 meal as for cooking for 2 etc re the roof being paid for by 2 .

      Now see on this thread its more SFR having a go as pensioners. Shouldn’t because the pension is a measly amount of money and should be $500 a week minimum right now. And of course siblings, friends etc can share a home and half the payments of rent or tak ein a lodger in own home.

      We also should be aware that the UK who paid out to all workers their State pension under certain rules – have now new rule added – saying pension wont be paid to anyone who hasn’t worked and paid income taxes during lifetime of less than 40 years.
      That means have had to work say from age 25 continuously to 65 retirement age there I assume.
      Should we have some sort of qualification here too?

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    What the?
    “The living costs of age pensioner households rose 0.3 per cent ….
    Meanwhile, if you’re a self-funded retiree, you may have noticed household costs had improved. The ABS says they fell by 0.2 per cent.

    What a lot of codswallup. The more you send the more you save – is that how it goes?

    I will not disagree – the pension is at poverty rates especially for singles.
    However self funded retirees cache devalues at the rate of inflation every year. Unless the superannuation funds can return 5% plus self funded retirees will constantly go backwards.

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      the single pension is still generous compared to Newstart so plenty of folks already there when it comes to living below the poverty line

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      Someone is always worse off and that excuses all sorts of bastardly apparently.

      Be grateful you are only a beaten slave because you could have been killed sort of argument. Annoys me immensely.

      It includes stuff like overseas holidays and such Rosret. Grattan does a lot of the stats and they believe all SF retirees are rich. Jetting all over the place and dining at three hat restaurants. They haven’t noticed the collapse in spending yet. It will come as a complete surprise. Ideologists never understand until it actually blows up on them.

      It suits them for high taxes, taxes on savings, on estates, etc to redistribute to those who can’t or won’t save anything themselves ever.

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      Rosret – totally agree that the pension is poverty for singles. I get so sick and tired of couples winging that they are hard done by, and should both get the single pension. I saw this with my elderly aunt (aged mid-late 80’s), whom I am close to. Her husband died 3 years ago, and soon after, whilst visiting her, I found her in tears, and dreadfully upset. It had just hit her how hard it was to survive on the single pension, rather than her previous couples pension. As she said, the minute her husband passed away, her rates did not decrease, her insurance rates stayed the same. Her power bill did not alter at all – If lights are on in house, doesn’t matter if there are 1/2/10 people in the room – the cost is the same, still need to wash the same bed linen. It still cost the same to run the car and for petrol. Her food bill had only dropped a small amount, and they both had minimal medications. The reality of trying to manage was a huge burden on her.
      Within 12 months she had sold her car (was still a good driver, only driving locally to shops and dr) – solely due to costs. A further 12 months, and she reluctantly chose to sell her much loved home and go into care.
      Where as she could survive – not comfortably, but adequately – on the couples aged pension, the actual reality of the single pension is damn hard.

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    What a total lot of rubbish. Government pensioners have to do NOTHING to get their pension whilst self funded retirees have a defacto job in retirement. Some people have no idea what many have to do to get a self funded pension. Sounds like the routine bitch about the fact that some have built up a small nestegg to avoid being on the public purse. Please thank us rather than demonise us!
    Oh by the way self funded retirees do also NOT get all the other add-ons!

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      at least the self funded retirees can spend their saving in full knowledge that a generous safety net is there to catch them when their assets and income go below the test thresholds. Carpe diem.

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      The point I was trying to make is that amassing a nest egg is tough, you miss out on a whole pile of handouts, and then some pensioners consider you should be asset stripped because they do not have what you have.
      Where I get annoyed is that old age pension recipients for the most have no idea of how an ordinary person gets to be self funded and likely most would not make the sacrifices required to get there either. There are many! And you cannot make up what you missed in your 20s and 30s when you are (now) in your 60s.

      Sorry about the rant. It does get up my nose what some people think those who don’t draw a publicly funded pension are (all) blood sucking leeches. A few may be but most are just ordinary hard working people who took a different path in the game of life.

      For the record self funded retirees do NOT get a fair go and the assets test was changed by the current government to knock as many as possible off even a part pension. Many also have an income BELOW the pension and cannot access any top up because they fail the (low) assets test.
      Nothing generous about it Farside.

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      Mick, do you get the Health Card for Seniors? I think there are a range of people on the pension and SFRs?
      Single pensioners are worse off than couple pensioners especially if they have no other money or income.
      Single pensioners who rent are the worst off by far out of everybody. They are unlikely to have any extra cash as well
      Couple pensioners who rent are worse off than a couple with a home for the simple reason
      that they probably have no collateral or next to none
      Property can be converted to money. It is an asset.
      SFRs are the same. They are not one type.
      If they are on just a tad more than the pension they are in the same boat.
      The Seniors Health Card would help but not make life any easier for them overall
      SFRs who are on double the pension should not complain though.
      Pensioners who own their own home also should be happy as they have an asset that some do not. Couples are in a better position than singles as well but hard for those with no assets.

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      that’s how I feel Mike

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      that’s how I feel Mike

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      Right you are Mick. Not really Socialist thinking! Take you as an old Labor man with the old fashioned values. Have been in a union all my working life but I have lost faith in Today’s Labor but not found it on the other side either. You are so right about building a nest egg big enough to be self supporting, I gave up on that after the GFC.

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    You are100% correct Mike. I tried to claim it back once and got the royal run around.

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    You are100% correct Mike. I tried to claim it back once and got the royal run around.

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    Those who were public servants back before Keating introduced compulsory super enjoyed a wonderful super system. They paid a percentage of their pay into a super fund and the government matched the payments $ for $. For a time those contributions were able to be claimed as a tax deduction. If a person worked their whole life in the public service, they were eligible to retire on a full pension on reaching 60 or a part pension on reaching 55. The amounts paid out were higher than the limits on those applying for an age pension.

    So, there have been, and still are, thousands of retired workers who enjoy a partially self funded pension and are ineligible for an age pension. Much has been made of the poor SMSF people who are getting nothing but the truth of that is that they are either earning above the threshold for income or have a surplus of assets, some of which could be sold to fund a lifestyle. I find it passing curious that some who scream about the unfairness of SMSF users are also claiming that the government should do something about the “rich”.

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      And those public servants who were eligible for a small part pensions had the rug pulled in 2015 when the Government arbitrarily decided that the deductible (not counted by Centrelink) should be 10% and not the actual figure. They then either lost their part pension or had it reduced

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    The living costs of age pensioner households rose 0.3 per cent in the March quarter

    What a LIE!!!

    Why isn’t the cost of home renting included? …up by 12%
    Why isn’t the cost of power and cost of supply included?
    Why is the cost of insurance a selective component?

    COST OF :-
    Tobacco has gone up by 17%
    Fuel in regional areas has gone up by 16%
    Insurance has gone up by 14%

    People who takes their time and effort to analyse the ABS’s manipulated categories and segments will realise that the reported figures are not a true reflection of the reality of cost of living !!!!

    The government forms its economic policy from the unrealistic ABS reports.

    It’s a scandalous scam.

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      Also, they forget about house maintenance costs – one can get hit by thousands at any time if something fails or if the garden suddenly requires urgent action.

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      GeorgeM-

      ACCORDING TO ABS PENSIONER AND BENEFICIARY

      Living Cost Indexes = (LCI) Weighted average of eight capital cities

      Alcohol and tobacco=0.0
      Furnishings, household equipment and services=-0.5
      Transport= – 2.7
      Communication= – 0.5
      Insurance and financial services(b) general insurance is calculated on a different basis. = –0.1
      Recreation and culture = – 1.2
      Clothing and footwear = -1.4

      Note how they included SERVICES in the Furnishings, household equipment and services .

      Does SERVICES mean plumbing, electrical, painting repairs?

      Is cost of servicing transport included in TRANSPORT?

      The entire Living Cost Indexes are manipulated and unreal representation of Living cost. Smaller cities such as Hobart, Canberra and Darwin affecthe LCI weighted index.

      Weighted Index Numbers?
      When all commodities are not of equal importance, we assign weight to each commodity relative to its importance and the index number computed from these weights is called a weighted index number.

      Read more: https://www.emathzone.com/tutorials/basic-statistics/weighted-index-numbers.html#ixzz5mpqleZfP

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      Thanks, Arvo, there are many more questions than answers – maybe YLC needs to get some responses to these questions from ABS.

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    I read and reread this article and cannot make sense of it. The figures given hold no basis for the statement made that self-funded retirees are the winners as opposed to pensioners. I always hope for a reasonable opinion piece in Your Life Choices and in this case I am disappointed. Please editor: read what you are publishing!

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      I have to agree it makes no sense. All those pensioner costs are the same for SFRs too and in fact may be even higher because they don’t get a health card. Equally it all SFRs are off on jaunts overseas either with many existing on incomes about the same as the age pension. This is yet another article on this site published at best to get a rise from pensioners about their bad lot and at worst to create yet more division and class envy between those who get Government help and those that help themselves. Either way it is poor journalism but typical on this forum.

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      KSS, if they don’t get a Seniors Health Card they have incomes that should allow them to be self sufficient.

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      And therefore Paddington their costs would be higher. It makes no sense.

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      This article is motivated by political preasures by this gov. that is why is so confuse and make no sense ….. Just words and only words to make beleive that is all good ….tipical of this Gov.

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