22nd May 2018
Assess the family home for pension, says expert
Author: Janelle Ward
Assess home for pension: expert

The family home is under threat, with a leading superannuation expert saying it should be part of the pension assets test.

Superannuation consultant and independent actuary Michael Rice says retirees’ homes valued at more than about $500,000 should be included in the Age Pension assets test.

His report, The Age Pension in the 21st Century, presented to the Actuaries Institute's Financial Services Forum yesterday, outlined several scenarios it said would result in government retirement spending being distributed more equitably.

Mr Rice says the pension and superannuation systems favour wealthy, home-owning retirees at the expense of middle-income retirees and renters – a finding mirrored in YourLifeChoices’ Retirement Affordability Index™.

In the most recent March edition of the Index, the two retirement tribes that rent – Cash-Strapped Couples and Singles – are the ones that struggle the most to make ends meet.

“Currently, the exclusion of the family home from the assets test creates distortions in savings patterns and favours home owners over renters,” the Age Pension report says. “In addition, it discourages downsizing, as the proceeds of downsizing would become subject to means testing.

“It also creates anomalies between different home owners. For example, a couple with a home worth $500,000 and $1.25 million of financial assets would receive no Age Pension. In contrast, a couple with a home worth $3 million and minimal financial assets would receive a full Age Pension, at the expense of taxpayers in much less fortunate situations.”

Mr Rice, chief executive of Rice Warner, told the Australian Financial Review that if the value of the family home above a certain threshold was included in the assets test, retirees could be encouraged to downsize and unlock some of the home’s value to provide retirement income.

"This approach may result in a more appropriate allocation of housing supply,” he said, “as retirees no longer reside in unnecessarily large homes."

YourLifeChoices asked its 250,00 members in its Retirement Income and Financial Literacy Survey 2018 if they believed it was time the family home became part of the assets test for an Age Pension. The survey attracted 5064 respondents with 21.3 per cent saying yes and 70.2 per cent saying no, while 8.5 per cent were unsure.

We also asked at what market price the home should be included in the assets test. Eleven per cent said at $500,000, 30 per cent at $1,000,000, 20 per cent at $1.5 million, 16 per cent at $2 million, five per cent at $2.5 million, and 18 per cent said at $3 million or higher.

In his report, Mr Rice advocates further changes to the way retirement income is structured.

He said wealthy Australians received “the lion's share” of super tax concessions and were able to build up generous retirement benefits – at the expense of middle Australia.

"It could now be argued that the middle tier of income earners receive lower value from the system,” the report says. “They do not receive full Age Pensions nor do they have the disposable income to build large retirement benefits."

The report did find that the superannuation system was succeeding in at least one of its goals, with the cost of age and veterans' pensions expected to fall from 2.7 per cent of gross domestic product at present to 2.5 per cent in 2038. This was attributed to larger super balances and more older Australians putting off retirement and continuing to work at least part-time. 

Mr Rice said the pension savings should be ploughed back into aged care and other spending on the aged “to deliver a dignified and comfortable retirement for all”.

What is your view on including part of the value of the family home in an Age Pension assets test? Would it encourage you to downsize?

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    COMMENTS

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    4b2
    22nd May 2018
    10:15am
    I am sick and tired of hearing retirees should seel their family homes to free up the property market. I would bet all Politian's in state, federal, and local councils have more property investments than retirees. No wonder they don't want to change the negative gearing and capital gains rules. These changes would free up property quicker and address the increases in prices. Leave the retirees alone especially in home ownership and superannuation. Make your changes for the future not the past.
    jackie
    22nd May 2018
    10:21am
    It’s sad this Government can’t wait till we go to the real world but tries to send us there sooner.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    11:16am
    Here we go again. More of the same with THIS GOVERNMENT trying on the next attack on retirees and working Australians.
    Instead of finding the next way to nobble retirees this government and its sponsored 'voices' need to discuss why Australia is alone in the western world in repeatedly denying its citizens the pension and going after them repeatedly. VOTE LABOR...did I say that!
    Jim
    22nd May 2018
    12:08pm
    Yes Mick you did say that as you constantly do, I have no problem with your comment regarding your wish for a Labor government that's your prerogative, but as for the Libs attacking pensioners again I have no problem with that because it's true, the only area I disagree is that Labor will be any better, watching question time yesterday the government consistently raised the issue of Labor's plan to raid the savings of retirees by removing the franking credits as a legitimate refund, I know in the past that you have stated that Labor has backed away from this policy, but strangely when they had the oppourtunity to deny that this was their policy not once did they deny it, trust is a big consideration when voting, I for one don't believe a word uttered by either party, I guess it's going to be pot luck as to who will do a better job.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    12:14pm
    I believe I can answer that one for you, Jim - neither will do a better job - it will, as usual be nothing more than a balance of negatives with a few positives thrown in for window dressing.
    Sen.Cit.89
    22nd May 2018
    12:28pm
    Please forgive my scepticism; I'm wondering if any of those advocating this policy have any financial interest in Companies Owning Retirement Villages? The likes of which. where to my regret, I downsized to.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    12:45pm
    Jim - thanks for acknowledging the facts. Labor? That waits to be seen but no government could be worse than the Abbott and Turnbull governments. This lot are NOT governing for the nation and they have doubled the debt since taking office with zip to show for it other than trying to nobble Labor. That is not government. Vote for the nasty lying bastards again at your peril because if you think they are done then you will be wrong. More to come.
    Enough!
    Hasbeen
    22nd May 2018
    12:46pm
    I have no interest in helping pensioners who pissed their income up against a wall while working, have a more comfortable retirement.

    They pissed their income away, & now want to piss my savings away.

    No thanks.
    Jim
    22nd May 2018
    1:55pm
    Yes Mick debt has increased partly to service the debt Labor left after having one of the best surpluses in history, under the Libs employment has increased by over 1,000,000, that's 1,000,000 more people that are potentially paying tax 75% of those new jobs were full time jobs, under Labor it's quite conceivable that those figures will be reversed, also in question time yesterday it was claimed that Labor hasn't had a real surplus for 29 years, again no one on the Labor side denied that this is the case, I haven't researched this myself so there will no doubt be some that question these figures, but I find it strange that no one from Labor questioned it, as I have stated in previous posts I have had personal dealings with Shorten, he can not be trusted, so I fear giving him a go, will be to the detriment of us all, sometimes the devil you know is the better option.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    1:57pm
    I understand what you are talking about. Our neighbours before we moved house used to go on holidays, weekends away and nights out when we were hard at work. We saw them drive by. They must have thought we were nuts but that foundation was a big part of our success in life.
    Don't be too tough on people Hasbeen. It takes all kinds to make a world and all I ever ask is that the system is fair. The tax cuts and attacks on retirees from the current batch is not.
    sunnyOz
    22nd May 2018
    4:00pm
    Agree with you Hasbeen.... I am single, worked hard all my life after leaving my families farm with very little in my mid 30's. Now at 65.5, own my humble small little home outright (nothing grand, but now worth around $620,000 due to my hard work and own renovations by blood, sweat and tears), with a small amount of super.
    Yet my sister is the bludger of all times. Still lives in a 3 bedroom govt house, now on DSP due to a lung condition - due to her chronic smoking. Self inflicted. Needed new dentures - all paid for. Never worked an honest day in her life - only worked for cash in hand. 2 kids to 2 different dads. She is constantly asking me for a loan, saying 'I can afford it', bemoaning the fact that 'it's unfair that you have everything whilst I struggle' (her exact words).
    I worked bloody damn hard - often 3 jobs at a time - no holidays, no designer clothes or new car, every weekend working on my house. Why should I be penalised and be forced to downsize? Firstly - to what? I have lived in my area for nearly 30 years, am close to hospital, doctor, transport, friends network, etc.
    I hope the govt will have the money to put into our roads, because there will be more people forced to live in caravans permanently on the road.
    Makes me bloody angry. And I can lay a bet that the people espousing this rubbish have their finger in either the aged care home system, or multiple rental properties.
    Sick of this senior bashing....
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    4:40pm
    Again far too many of you are speaking in blacks and whites and 'lifters' and 'leaners' - I'd have thought after watching the comedy routine of Fat Joe you'd be past that silly way of looking at the real world and realise there a far more than fifty shades of grey out there.

    Put simply, how dare you even begin to suggest that those who have nothing to little in retirement blew it all on nosegays? You know nothing of those people and what they may have endured in life.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    5:13pm
    There are a few I DO know about, Trebor. Like Sunnyoz, I have a relative who has never worked but faked disability for 40 years. Inherited money and travelled the world, lived like a queen, dressed in designed clothes, all the time pulling DSP because she hid her inheritance in overseas banks. Also have SILs who gambled every cent away - just feed the pokies 24/7, and now get the full OAP plus rent assistance. Yet people who really struggled but went without to pay off a home and save a little are discriminated against. And now the bastards want to steal our home as well!
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:08pm
    Those who abuse the system are the exceptions that prove the rule that the majority do not.

    Some people do those things - others fall foul of the pitfalls of life along the way and can drop from riches to streeties in no time flat.
    Joy Anne
    23rd May 2018
    6:56am
    Totally agree. Leave retirees and super alone. We worked hard all our lives to get our house etc. Why dont they start attsck in ng POLITIANS. Leave us pensioners and retirees alone.l
    Triss
    27th May 2018
    7:33pm
    Time for everyone to get their pens out. If pensioners who have worked and paid for their homes are going to have those homes assessed for pensions then so must all public servants. Before retirement the now OAPs paid for their own homes and also, through their taxes, paid for public servants’ super.
    CoogeeGuy
    22nd May 2018
    10:21am
    I for one, reside in a two (2) bedroom apartment in Zetland, and that is all the downsizing that should be required of me, by the Government. However, my apartment is close to reaching the value of $1,000,000, which is the reported value when most agree it should be included in the proposed Old Age Pension Asset Test. Further, by the time I reach the eligibility age for the Old Age Pension, being 67 years old, my apartment might even increase in value. I worked very hard, and done without a lot ie: no travelling, no restaurant dinners/lunches/breakfasts, no motor vehicle etc to pay off my apartment as a single white male working/living in the city. I would be horrified should any OAP I be entitled to, is reduced and/or declined, based on the value of my apartment. What am I supposed to do? Move to an Australian Country Town where I know nobody and have no family? Then, if I did move to a cheaper residence, I would have to move into a larger house in the country as there would be no apartments. And if there were apartments built, they would be quite expensive anyway, due to new building costs and greedy developers. Based on this information, I totally disagree with the proposal of including a persons family home in the OAP Asset Test. It does not pass the test of 'reasonableness'!
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    11:18am
    Having an unreasonable assets test is a big part of the problem. Having an assets test at all is what this government wants to do: destitute average citizens whilst only creating a minor hiccup for wealthy citizens who have made large retirement investments decades ago and do nicely without the support of the pension.
    Class warfare in action.
    HS
    22nd May 2018
    11:27am
    First of all you haven't done your research very well. Apartments in regional cities are affordable and you can comfortably live out your life on the balance out of your $1 million + your Superannuation without touching OAP.
    True, you might be a long way from your friends and family but the OAP is not a designed for that luxury. In fact, it is not designed for any luxury!
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    11:40am
    Why would people born and bred in the cities and with all their connections there wish to move to regional cities?

    If you've got $1m in super you are already getting more than the pension....

    Do keep up.
    CoogeeGuy
    22nd May 2018
    11:44am
    HS! You are being unreasonable and absolutely ludicrous. I worked hard all my life, and sacrificed everything, to live here in Zetland, close to where I worked all my life. This is where I built my friendships, family etc, and NO ONE should expect me to MOVE just because I have reached my 'use-by' date. I would be alone, isolated, unhappy, which leads to depression and anxiety, and thus would be even a larger burden on our sick, unhealthy, health system. The message is clear to the Government. Lay-Off our primary residences when it comes to the OAP Asset Test. They are pushing us too far this time, and I think you will all be in agreeance; it is time we all pushed back to put these incompetent, self servicing Government Parties in their place. It is time we commenced to treat our elderly with respect and dignity they deserve. Particularly in retirement.
    Moo
    22nd May 2018
    11:45am
    @HS - so people in Sydney should have to sell up and move elsewhere because their family home is worth more than other places? Whilst people in Adelaide and Perth for instance can stay put with their family close by? Time for NSW to secede from the Commonwealth if that's the case. And we'd do very well on our own keeping 100% of our GST, income taxes and company taxes.
    HS
    22nd May 2018
    11:58am
    Hey you lot !
    BECAUSE IT WILL BECOME A NECESSITY AND THE ONLY OPTION... Suck on that !
    Get in early before it becomes too late !!!
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    12:15pm
    Ah - I see - so it's a matter of do it willingly or we'll force you to do it?
    Thanks for outlining the game plan for us.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    12:19pm
    ... not to mention revealing to us the true nature of our 'government' and its service to the people who pay it...

    Again a staple in their diet is the hands that feed them.

    (I was waiting for you to fall into that trap.. ha, ha, ha)....

    Next trap - when everyone sells up to move to the regional cities - how long before the prices there go through the roof and the entire market collapses for anyone who sells up to move?

    Maybe that's the game plan - to raise the values on the regional properties held by the likes of Barnyard Joyce......
    Anonymous
    22nd May 2018
    12:57pm
    Mick, you are like a broken record! Fair dinkum, Shorten, Bowen and co. could commit mass murder in Martin Place, or genocide in Fed Square Melbourne, and you would still be trumpeting on their behalf. Nothing like a balanced perspective, is there Mick?
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    1:30pm
    If any government brings in this policy to add the house in the assets test then it will be a Labor government not a Liberal one. Simply because there are more Liberal voters living in more expensive houses than Labor voters.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:01pm
    And here is the voice of the government at it again. Throwing the cat amongst the pigeons.

    TREBOR - it's much more than paying your own pension even if one does have $1 million invested. No healthcare card (ouch!), no reductions on a whole pile of discounts others get. I have to disagree with your take but do understand it.
    Please don't demonise the slightly better off. It is the wealthy who abuse the tax system who need to go after.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    2:16pm
    Mick as far as I am concerned I pay my own way for everything with no handouts form the taxpayers. I pay my taxes and I certainly don't abuse the tax system. My simple life allows me to earn more than I need so my wealth continues to grow even though I am technically retired. I find it astonishing that because of that you think I should be milked of my wealth without any reason for doing so.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:52pm
    I fit that description perfectly OG and we do not get a single dollar of assistance from this bad bad government. I draw the line though when they come after my assets and increase my living costs every day of the week....and then give their wealthy mates a huge tax cut.
    I expect a fair policy and your support of this governments clearly steps over that line.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    3:15pm
    Mick if you own shares in companies then the cut in company tax is going to provide a boost to your return from those companies which is going to help you as well. The tax cut means companies have more money to invest and spend so that they have a good chance of making more money from their current assets.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    4:33pm
    I know that, Mick - my policy is that nobody falls below the equivalent of the pension and perks... If you are a smaller SFR and fall below a certain level of income, you receive a health care card and such.

    Of course, some of those things are up to state governments, so they need to be whipped into line as well.

    I was reveling in HS' faux pas about telling us how our government would compel us one way or another to do their bidding.... on zer trains, Juden - der Ostland is vaiting for you where arbeit will make you vrei!

    Politicians - a quasi-Fascist bunch of ideologically driven pogues with extreme delusions of grandeur and an overweaning sense of entitlement.......

    We saw that with Carr and his 'dv laws' to steal licenced firearms from the community after a vote of the people said NO! Either do as we dictate or we will force you... you saw the same with the dopey sheila who got up and demanded 50% women CEOs or legislation would compel it... now we see it with 'sell your house and move out or we'll force you to'.

    These are the kinds of people in whom we repose faith and trust to caretake the nation on our behalf - petty little backyard Hitlers.

    We should all thank HS for revealing that truth to us anew (not that we didn't know already).....
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    8:12am
    Why would it become a necessity in a very rich country, HS? Oh, don't answer that. I know. Because ARSEHOLES are wrecking the nation with their COMMUNIST propaganda and GREED.

    It will only become a reality if we all accept your BS argument and let the greedy restore feudalism. The reason we shout protest is to ensure it doesn't happen - because there is absolutely no reason why it should.
    Rae
    1st Jun 2018
    5:16pm
    HS the OAP was designed exactly to allow the aged a dignified retirement in their homes. That's what the 7.5% of tax was always for. Fraser thought he stole it but history tells the truth always.

    Superannuation was always about supplementing the pension for a better retirement not replacing it.

    This is a money grab by the Superannuation Industry using one of their members who benefits if people are fearful of applying for the aged pension or fear they won't get it.

    Nasty.
    Not a Bludger
    22nd May 2018
    10:21am
    Rubbish - and keep “expert” tossers like this one well away from my house and super, including those from union boss controlled industry funds.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    11:21am
    This government IS after your house.
    You might want to elaborate on your spurious claim that union bosses control some superannuation funds and stump up with performance figures from these funds. That'll be interesting but unlikely you would have a leg to stand on.
    I never got a reply from OG yesterday when I asked for his figures. They do not exist and it is well established that Industry Funds are the top performers. Have I got that wrong?
    Not a Bludger
    22nd May 2018
    12:32pm
    IMick - you are wrong - the tosser that wrote tis report is not from the government who are not pushing this issue at all - he is an industry consultant, a so-called specialist.
    And,by the way, all industry funds are controlled by union thug bosses who also sit on their boards, for very decent fees.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    12:50pm
    Maybe. Maybe not. There is a reason this tosser is running this agenda though. Perhaps he wants government work. I cannot say and acknowledge that I have no facts on this one other than a gut feeling that this guy may be in bed with the wrong people. We will see.

    I respectfully put out a challenge to you Not a Bludger. Compare the earnings of Industry Funds and Retail Funds. Then the true distinctive will likely be obvious. I am not sure WHICH union thugs are on the boards of these funds but if they are doing a great job and not skimming off the profits into their own bank accounts then who can be unhappy. I am happy to view the performances if you wish to do the legwork. Cheers
    Anonymous
    22nd May 2018
    1:04pm
    Not a Bludger - you are correct in your assertion about union control/influence over industry super funds. I will give you a name (I am sure Mick will pooh pooh this one) - a bloke called Gary Weaven - former secretary of the ACTU - have a look at what he has been doing work wise for the past twenty years. Just one of many - good luck to them I say, but when Keating manufactured the Superannuation industry on a massive scale, his union colleagues were very quick to realize the mammoth financial behemoths they would morph into. Smart thinking guys - follow the money!
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:04pm
    Big Al - same offer. Come up with the RETURNS of the top 3 funds. Three Retail and then 3 Industry.
    You can claim all sorts of union corruption but the figures stand up for themselves. What does that say about the so called 'professional' managers who in many cases are reputed to be so lazy they only track the index? This lot bleed superannuation funds and you might want to chase the right crooks.
    Can you put up the figures please and I'll wait to be proven wrong. Thanks.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    3:49pm
    Mick I can tell you for certain that those funds you mention are not the top 3 super funds in Australia today. They may be the top 3 public super funds but many more super funds are earning more than them. None of the top performing super funds have anything to do with unions at all. However Labor doesn't like this situation at all and is trying to close them down in favour of the union or industry funds so they can control a lot more of the money in super.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    4:37pm
    Facts and figures please, gentlemen - I'm growing sick of the rhetoric...
    Not a Bludger
    22nd May 2018
    5:14pm
    Right on, Trebor - and as for Mick, as I have previously said, you are obviously a paid, union "red shirt" pushing the leftie, trot line - otherwise you would not be on this oldies page minute by minute as you are, repeating the same, time after time.
    Sal
    23rd May 2018
    11:36am
    Mick, I am in a retail fund and it performs equally or better than most industry funds for the past 15 years but it is never in any reports of the best funds. In my research I have also seen many other retails funds that have performed well. It appears to me that these reports concentrate on poor performing retail funds and are probably funded by Industry super funds.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:26am
    Well, Michael rice is an idiot who can go hang himself - before the pensioners do.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    11:23am
    Maybe ask who this "independent actuary" does most of his work for. I can see the fingerprints on the smoking gun already.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    11:41am
    When will he be slotted into a safe Liberal seat?
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    1:02pm
    Of course this stinking over-paid self-serving fat cat will never need a pension, so nobody is going to threaten him with the loss of his home.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2018
    2:37pm
    On the trains, Pensioner Untermenschen, or we put the dogs on you! Raus! Raus!! Der Ostland and a new life of re-settlement awaits you, and Arbeit Macht Frei!!

    Kinda sounds like the state 'government' in its raids on those old bludgers living in The Rocks.... Raus.. Raus... Untermenschen RAUS!! Raus from high value property so we can sell of the nation's heritage and sovereign funds. Der Reich needs the money more than it needs its humanity..... you are all vassals of der Schtaat, and will behave as such or be compelled!! Now MOVE! Five minutes to pack your belongings and RAUS!
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:34am
    I'd like to hear his justification for a figure of $500,000. That is an absurdly low figure in today's market and would absolutely impact on the majority of pension only recipients who live in major city areas.

    We've been through this before - a home in Farawayville with four bedrooms and a fine balcony may be worth $460k at most - the same dwelling in Upper Incomia (the rising in status suburb near Richville) might run into $1,200,000.

    An utterly ridiculous proposal with no reference whatsoever to the market price and bound to impact savagely on those with the least.

    Somebody lead this twerp to his place in the guillotine line. Honestly - where do they get these half-baked and semi-educated, short-sighted, and narrow perspective without any overall picture from?
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:36am
    Sorry - that was :- "half-baked and semi-educated, short-sighted, and narrow perspective CLOWNS" ... I apologise profusely for my oversight.
    Donzie
    22nd May 2018
    10:36am
    Most retirees WORKED HARD to own their own home..I know that I worked five days, three nights and an occasional Saturday to pay off my home. I went without many things to pay off the mortgage. I own a small 3br home on a small block of land. Including the family home in the assets test could be considered particularly for those who live in multi million dollar homes.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    11:31am
    If this lot were serious they would draw a line in the sand rather than come after retirees as though they were wealthy just because they are not standing in front of Centrelink with a cup in their hands.
    It is Class Warfare and I hope voters remember when the mainstream media propaganda campaign starts leading to the next election.
    Mayesy
    22nd May 2018
    10:36am
    I believe i am a typical middle status person. I worked for 50 years for wage/salary, bought an old house, scrimped and saved, camping holidays with kids, borrowed furniture and improved things as time went on. Average car age when upgrading was 13 years old. es i own a house, in a typical area and reasonably handy to shops and doctors. My house is average price for this area and many other areas- around $750K Part pension, as some super(not enough)-some pension needed to see out my/our days. So i downsize??? to what, to where? if my pension is dissolved-FURTHER. The figures seem to indicate that the cost to Gov't will go down as the people with longer super acclumination come on boards (as % of GDP) The people making their suggestions need to get from behind their Apple and statistics and understand that PEOPLE are hurting, in real life. It's not a game, you may need to want to be noticed- and you are- a Knob.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:40am
    Once again - the major factor involved in ANY discussion of superannuation and its effects and any short term stop gap measures - such as raping the pensioners and retirees over and over - fails to take into account the reality that the superannuation system as we know it has only operated for half its lifetime - 25 years instead of the 50 required for it to settle in.

    All this tub-thumping by self-serving idiots in politics or in the pay of political parties is just utter rubbish, with the clear intention of keeping up the pressure on the voting populace. Their policies put this nation in the bind it is in - they can get it out of it - by putting their damned noses to the grindstone for a change.

    Kick the lot out at the next election and put in some real people for a change.
    Dot
    22nd May 2018
    10:42am
    The elite are once again targeting pensioners, I say it's time to target those who continually target us and I know what I'd like to do to those rich bastards.
    2026 the next massive world crisis, my dearest wish is to be still around so that we can get even with this bastards.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    11:02am
    Those who inflict pain and suffering on others without reason should be taught that there are consequences. Like children they need to be shown their limits.

    I think it's a fair summation of our politicians to say they are children let loose in a lolly shop..... and with no discipline whatsoever.

    One primary component in their diet seems to be the hands of those who feed them ...
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    11:32am
    The're coming again. Make sure you remember when you caste your vote. I will be.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    11:59am
    Keeping us off balance with repeated waves of low grade troops...
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    3:56pm
    If you think hurting the elite is a good idea go for it. Remember however any pain they feel is magnified upon those who are not in the elite class with the poor copping the worst of it.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    4:05pm
    I would urge people not to vote for the mainstream parties ever again.Time to get out of your comfort zone if you really want change.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    4:22pm
    When I find someone worth voting for I will but haven't found anyone for a couple of decades so don't expect to find anyone any time soon.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    4:46pm
    Nobody is hurting any 'elite' OG - your silly ideology is showing again along with your basic inability to comprehend the reality that in this and every other democratic nation governed by the rule of law -ALL are equal.

    If anyone is hurting anyone else - it is your 'elite' who are doing so.... everyone else is simply trying to retain some grasp on life without all the hassles handed down from that kind of self-appointed idiot.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    7:25pm
    I know of one elite family that as soon as the GFC hit they just sacked the 40 people they had working for them cleaning their pool etc. as they didn't have the income coming in to pay them. That's what happens when you try to hurt the elite.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    9:54pm
    OG, NOBODY needed to sack 40 people because the GFC hit. that is just a load of BS. No. Blatant lies. Go away with your garbage, troll!
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:12pm
    So those people working the pool and the like were hurting the elite by creating a GFC?

    Why am I not alone in thinking that is pure rabid thinking on your part... the very elite caused the GFC... not those trying to earn a decent and uninterrupted living.

    Sometimes you truly venture into insanity, OG.
    Old Geezer
    23rd May 2018
    9:43am
    These people were making so much money that if they didn't spend it they donated the rest to charity every month. So when the money dried up very quickly they just sacked everyone and had to move from their rented mansion. They lived in a relative garage for quite awhile until they got back on their feet. I met up with them a couple of months back and they are again renting a large house and have lots of hired help. Yes they are doing exactly the same as they did before the GFC and will do exactly the same when the next downturn hits. Many people do the same as these people as that is what they have been taught to do. Live well while it is good and don't worry too much when things get bad as they will get better again.

    Unfortunately this is exactly what a lot of people are doing by using credit cards to fund their lifestyle.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    23rd May 2018
    7:00pm
    Venturing into insanity alright! What a load of garbage. If they were doing that well, they would have seen a steady downturn as the GFC hit - not a sudden collapse that would cause them to put off their entire staff. They downturn would have meant a reduction in takings and profit - a reduction they should have known would be temporary. It was NOT bad anywhere near bad enough for a business that was making that much money to close up shop.
    Old Geezer
    23rd May 2018
    8:37pm
    Their business is a business that relies on people world wide and mostly on those in the US. The GFC hit the US virtually overnight and their business went from millions a month to nothing overnight.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    27th May 2018
    4:13am
    What a load of rubbish, OG. You make up the wildest nonsensical yarns! Anything to argue against common sense, logic, and majority opinion and in favour of your stinking elitist mates who want to restore a feudal society.
    almost a grey hair
    22nd May 2018
    11:02am
    Superannuation expert indeed . He is about as out of touch as Turnbull and cronies. Where in Australia can you buy a home for 500K. If he had said $2mil he might have a little bit of credibility..
    Any Govt who makes this come alive will be queuing up at centrelink like the rest of the great unwashed, govt pensions like a distant memory.
    There is only one way you can make a fair and level playing field, that is to give an age pension to everyone of pension age free of assets test like they do in first world countries
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    11:33am
    People like that need to exist on what most of us live on. I suspect that this guy has ambition and sees a generous government handout if he tows the line.
    HS
    22nd May 2018
    11:34am
    "Where in Australia can you buy a home for 500K."?

    Look around some regional cities, That's where!!!
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    11:43am
    Not interested, thanks. Home bought and paid for - no discussion available.
    Wstaton
    22nd May 2018
    11:56am
    Unfortunately not in the main. If they get booted out it is usually with a very nice pension which has nothing to do with centrelink.

    They can very happily find another job and guess what! Their pension does not get asset tested.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    12:51pm
    You can HS....but not in Sydney or Melbourne. Still many cheap regional centres last time I looked.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    2:20pm
    It is actually quite clever and is conditioning people to expect the worst so that when they bring it in with houses over $2 million everyone will breathe a sigh of relief and forget about it.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    4:26pm
    But Australia is not in that league. Becoming third world as every day goes by.
    Brissiegirl
    22nd May 2018
    11:17am
    $500,000 cut off? This "expert" opinion isn't worth a pinch of salt. Hands off the family home - people scrimped and saved and went without to pay off their homes as security in old age. Those who constantly push this idea obviously want to penalise the hardest working, thriftiest and most sacrificing of people in their old age. As for the government's "downsizing" scheme, you have to live in your home for 10 years in order to qualify. Therefore if you moved into a house at age 55 intending to be there for 20 years, then one partner unexpectedly died, say age 60, and you want to move to a smaller place, you have to stay put for another 5 years in order to qualify. The 10-year stipulation is, as usual with government policies, a ridiculous restriction. Just leave people to live out their lives without financial penalties for living where they choose. We're not yet fully socialist but looking at our over-paid, ignorant, high living politicians the word oligarchs comes to mind.
    Lescol
    22nd May 2018
    11:28am
    I too am a 'retirement expert' and advocate the removal of the asset test. Somehow I doubt my claim will be recognised. Pensions are an entitlement NOT welfare and they should be controlled by the government; not by the high street clowns.

    cheers
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    11:34am
    We are also retired and advocate the removal of the current rich man's government. Guess how they are going to fund the tax cuts to their mates? Us.
    George
    22nd May 2018
    11:59pm
    Maybe you should push your "retirement expert" opinions more often and spell out what you think and push for change? And, not let blinkered "experts" hog the floor?

    In fact, I believe all Tests should be removed other than Age (65) and Residency (say 15 years for max rate, maybe $0 for less than 10 years, wit pro-rata in between), and all who qualify should be paid a standard Universal Pension. Then, tax all income above that, except a capped allowance for Super benefits without tax (say deemed 5% of $600K assets).

    Politicians should have all their Special Pensions scrapped, and apply on the same rules as everyone else - that will stop their tinkering of pensions for others without affecting themselves.

    A Minimum Tax system is badly overdue here to ensure all large companies and rich individuals pay their fair share of tax (rates to be determined), to ensure funding will never be a problem!

    There you go - my basic, starting suggestions for a fairer Age Pension system.
    inextratime
    22nd May 2018
    11:29am
    Something that seems to go missing when all these comments come up. It assumes that people who have rented all their lives haven't scrimped and saved to pay the ever increasing rents. However at the end of the day their rent payments came to nothing whereas people who paid mortgages now sit on big fat increases in value that only happens due to supply and demand, no productivity. The difference being that home owners were able to raise a deposit whereas renters weren't. A bit unfair ? I own a house so am not looking from any biased perspective.
    Brissiegirl
    22nd May 2018
    11:38am
    For able-bodied people, the opportunity to raise a deposit is a choice, not mandatory and not a gift. Those who choose to rent make a financial decision with all the longer term implications in the same way as those who go without, work 2 jobs, pay rates and taxes, insurance, maintenance. They also pay interest on their mortgages. Most people can save for a deposit if they put their hearts and minds to it and go for something within their means. Yes their rent payments come to nothing because that's the way it is. As for "big fat increases in value", sounds like the green-eyed monster's here again. You don't make poor people, or those who make less sensible financial decisions, better off by cutting down those who strive for personal security."
    Sundays
    22nd May 2018
    11:44am
    If we are talking people over 65, barring illness or divorce they could have saved a deposit. It took my husband and I, six years of scrimping before we got our first home. If we hadn’t had two children in that time, it would have been quicker. We even traded in our car for an old bomb. The people I know who have rented all their lives did not want the stress of a mortgage, but now it’s a different story. It’s the sacrifice made early on which was the productivity!
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    11:45am
    Remember there are more than fifty shades of grey in all that reckoning - there are people who worked their guts out with multiple jobs and hours and such and copped it in the neck one way or the other.

    It's not just a question of 'lifters' and 'leaners' - and anyone who falls for that Not Your Ordinary Joke line is as bad as he is.
    Sundays
    22nd May 2018
    11:56am
    I agree, but barring unforeseen circumstances it was doable to save a deposit for a home. Those who did and paid the mortgage off while also paying rates, insurance, maintained and repairs did not just get lucky. I’m having a problem with so called experts who want to punish savers and those who have savings under the guise of helping the ‘needy’. He is attacking the anomalies in the Asset test from the wrong end. Just abolish it instead of creating a divide
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    12:01pm
    It's (not) funny how his kind of 'helping the needy' turns out to be shafting them, and in no way affecting those with plenty.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    6:19pm
    Almost all current retirees could have saved a deposit for a home if they had bothered to try. Don't come that ''poor renters'' crap with me, please. They are favoured, with government housing, rent assistance, more lenient pension rules... on an on it goes. I'm heartily sick of paying through the nose for having battled for 40 years to pay off a home. The persecution MUST STOP.
    Old Geezer
    23rd May 2018
    9:52am
    OGR some like me don't own a home for other reasons.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    6:32pm
    Why they don't own a home is not relevant, OG. You could have. You chose not to. Why, then, should you be favoured? The point is that those who make that choice should not expect the taxpayer to compensate them for not having what they chose not to have.
    clancambo
    22nd May 2018
    11:32am
    Michael Rice is an uninformed goose! We downsized 2 years ago and our small new place has now caught up to the old larger place in price. Do retirees have to sell up and move into a smaller residence every couple of years? I can see us all living in a tent within 10 years.
    Just what makes this clown an expert?
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    11:46am
    He's a legend in his own free lunch-time.
    Sundays
    22nd May 2018
    11:47am
    Yes, we downsized 10 years ago, but it didn’t free up capital. We just no longer wanted the work of a large family home. When he says downsize, he means sell up and move to a cheaper location. It would have to very cheap to be under $500k. In Sydney and Melbourne that wouldn’t even buy you a first basic home
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    11:55am
    Know the feeling - we (the ex and I - I'm her carer) sold off a rural property and moved into a town further north (warmer) - no real capital gain and nothing in the till, but less work.

    This place has jumped about $100k in the last few months - a sudden surge, so up will go the rates etc to cater to these 'rich' retirees.

    Still waiting on my trip to the ancestral homelands.... etc....
    Rusty
    22nd May 2018
    11:33am
    Here we go again,another overpaid expert who most probably has a negatively geared property portfolio wants to attack pensioners who have worked all there life and paid off their homes without any help.
    Pushkin2
    22nd May 2018
    11:33am
    Generally property values are driven by the market and out of an owner's control but the real impact is that with increased property value comes higher council rates etc. Sure one could "downsize", sell out and move elsewhere but that too comes with a high price to the elderly : increased stress, financial worry and struggling to cope with living in a strange place. I wonder what the statistics are on the numbers of people getting seriously ill or dying after "downsizing". Better to stay home methinks.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    11:38am
    I think you are missing the point of this game. The current want to drive retirees out of their homes, push them into dog boxes on places nobody wants to live and then demand they lives off the cash they got. Show me where else such a vicious policy exists anywhere in the developed world????? In fact tell me where pensions are withheld from retirees because of artificial tests created by governments. Don't exist.
    Brissiegirl
    22nd May 2018
    12:02pm
    Important point about people getting seriously ill or dying after downsizing. My father moved, had a stroke and died 8 days later. It is just so wrong, on so many levels, to promote policies that encourage or force retirees to even consider moving out of their familiar surrounds. It's so easy for younger "experts" and people who never made provision for their own home to tell others what to do but they should just shut up and mind their own business. In my previous post I forgot to mention householder's insurance. If you calculate all the outgoings involved with paying off a home the "big fat increase in value" is not only a ghastly display of envy, but laughable.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    4:48pm
    Moving home is a stress factor unnecessary and which needs to be fully considered, rather than these current bottom liners that run the show for everyone with their phoney figures that sound good but never work out in the real world.

    For the thousandth time - if 'economists' and the like had it right, the economy would be running like a Swiss watch right now without any need for this kind of theft and fiddling from retirees.
    thommo
    22nd May 2018
    11:36am
    Mr Rice must live under a mushroom. To say that a person who owns a home worth $500K is wealthy has got rocks in his head. Get real buster.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    12:53pm
    Wow....a sane comment. I am impressed and agree. Spot on. So who is pulling the strings of this guy remembering that he is an actuarial account and these guys are not stupid?
    Chris B T
    22nd May 2018
    11:39am
    How is it Home Owning Pensioners are so much Better Off the Non Home Owning.
    Non Home Owning are Allowed $200,000 more in Assets as well as Rental Assistance.
    The Home Owner has council rates,water rates, home insurance and maintenance to pay out of OAP or Self Funded Fund. This would be Capital for some so less earnings.
    Without These Added Benefits.
    The Most Important Differrence Is One Group Saved and Payed Off There Home while the other wasn't willing or couldn't be bothered to make those savings while spending without any thought for later life needs.
    Now they are crying poor (some might not have be able to buy a home, that would not be for all). Eg example East Victoria Park Perth Homes where $8000.00 in 1975.
    One of the Places I Lived and know of first hand I bet many YLC followers can name plenty
    more.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    11:50am
    With the current costs of home-owning - it sometimes seems better to let someone else pay for the problems and repairs.

    "The Most Important Differrence Is One Group Saved and Payed Off There Home while the other wasn't willing or couldn't be bothered to make those savings while spending without any thought for later life needs."

    Please don't generalise or Assu - you make a fool our of you but not me.
    Chris B T
    22nd May 2018
    12:25pm
    There is a time Frame not just Arriving At the OAP and Renting or Home Owning, For Most It Has Taken More Than 65 years so for OAP.
    Unless Falsely Claiming.
    Generaliseing What Non Homeowners Receive Benefits, Home Owners don't Receive and are so much Better Off without such Benefits and saved and payed for while Others Didn't .The expect to release Funds out of these Savings. All the While Non Home Owners Collect More Benefits Out Of the Same Tax Revenue.
    I think you have lost it.
    jaycee1
    22nd May 2018
    12:48pm
    Chris B T,
    I seriously object to your statement that non-home owners 'weren't willing or couldn't be bothered' to make the savings for a house deposit. That is a blanket statement and doesn't apply to everyone.

    We were never able to save for a deposit and it certainly wasn't because we lived beyond our means either.

    Due to circumstances we survived on one wage and were never in the position to save enough to own our own home even though we would have liked too.

    Do NOT lump everyone in the same basket we don't all fit!
    Chris B T
    22nd May 2018
    2:04pm
    jaycee1
    A lot of people where in the same situation as you and managed.
    There is a notion that Renters are or were the only ones doing it tough.
    The big Difference now is the Renters Receive additional allowances and higher assets to which home owners don't have. This is the same Tax Revenue as everyone else has PAID into.
    Now there is Talk about Making the Home as Part of the Asset Test.
    As for what Lump your talking about are and still Receiving Additional Payments Out of The Same Revenue collected equally.
    What if the talk was about Removing such Benefits from Renters and make it equal to Home Owners.
    Home Owners do have and will have always bills to pay for there Home. No additional Payment From That Same Tax Revenue.
    So make Room in That Tax Revenue Basket.
    Lookfar
    22nd May 2018
    2:45pm
    Chris you have been conned into playing the divide and conquer game, it is not appropriate here, - anybody without a home is not going to score some one else's $500,000.plus, home, they would just have to immediately downsize themselves.
    Nor will they get any more benefits, any money saved from paying pensions will go offshore to their rich mates.
    The person who wrote the article is not old nor poor, he is not on "our" side, only his own, are you on his side or ours? - don't try to say you are only on your own side, if you are old you are on ours.
    Please try to think before opening wide your yap.
    Chris B T
    22nd May 2018
    4:11pm
    Lookfar
    This is about Making Home Owners Responsible for there own Pension.
    While Renters Get Gifted Benefits that home owners don't and are not made Responsible For There Pension and Accommodation.
    Like I said how would it be If this Was About Removing Renters Benefits and made OAP Equal as in the collection of TAX REVENUE.
    Home owners don't pay less TAX.
    People are doing it tough on both sides of the coin so why Troll Me.
    I've stated only what is the Present Situation.
    The Renters receive benefits, that Home Owners Don't.
    This is FROM THE SAME TAX REVENUE COLLECTION.

    "Mr Rice says the pension and superannuation systems favour wealthy, home-owning retirees at the expense of middle-income retirees and renters – a finding mirrored in YourLifeChoices’ Retirement Affordability Index™.
    Mr Rice says the pension and superannuation systems favour wealthy, home-owning retirees at the expense of middle-income retirees and renters – a finding mirrored in YourLifeChoices’ Retirement Affordability Index™.".
    Please Tell me How This Is Not About Renters as well.
    TREBOR
    24th May 2018
    11:43am
    He threw that in as a 'sweetener' and to look like he was fair and impartial while advocating the absolutely unfair and partial.

    Beware the smile on the face of the tiger - and it is NEVER necessary, in order to get a good result from your government, to accept a trade-off of some bad at the same time.

    Governments have only one direction - the RIGHT way or no way.
    Jolly
    22nd May 2018
    11:41am
    I have read most of the comments below and I am astounded by the Me Me Me generation, yes you lot!!. Over 30 years ago I had a home in North Richmond NSW, due to a change in my domestic situation I had to sell. So I paid off the mortgage and bought a take away in a Northern NSW town. To cut a long story short my wife and I ended up living with her dad who had lost his wife. We lived there for about 12 years, I said to my wife we cannot go on living here we need to get our own place. While there I had set up a SMSF through Esuper. The best investment I ever made. So we went looking for a property, the only place we could afford was the Blue Mountains(I worked in Sydney my wife had just been retrenched). So we bought a place in Wentworth Falls. Only a 2 bed villa, but it was ours. Close to the village and the station. We used our SMSF funds to purchase. The plan then was to due some upgrading new kitchen and flooring, again using our SMSF. Then the retirement plan kicked into action. This plan was to buy a Manufactured house in a village. You have to buy outright because there are no mortgages for this type of purchase. As look would have it I was retrenched and got a reasonable payout. So off we went up the Central Coast of NSW and bought our last home. Ok it was a Me Me Me decision, but at least I am not living in a house worth a squillion dollars.
    clancambo
    22nd May 2018
    11:54am
    Aren't you a clever smart arsed "wally"!!
    Sundays
    22nd May 2018
    12:15pm
    What is your point Jolly. If you’d stayed in North Richmond you would have a place worth more than $500k. You didn’t so this proposal doesn’t affect you. Those that did are Me, Me,
    Me. I don’t think so!
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    12:57pm
    And I am sick of the ME ME ME lot who continually claim those of us who worked out guts out, endured hideous disadvantage, and made huge sacrifices should now be deprived of the rewards we EARNED. It cannot be good for our society to deprive people of rewards for their effort.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:10pm
    Sounds familiar OGR. That's the problem with the current government: IT DOES NOT CARE and only serves the top end of town. Who do you think is paying? Blind Freddy can see where this money is coming from and the proposal to fiddle the tax scales is the first way to tax us more. How many of our right wing nincompoops know about this?
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    4:51pm
    What about the countless thousands who worked their guts out, suffered through divorces, family separation and loss and associated costs, sickness and so forth, and ended up with next to nothing?

    Don't they count? Or did they all just throw it away on piss, pokies, pussy, ponies, and puppies?
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    4:06pm
    Of course they count, Trebor, but you don't help them by depriving people of their life savings and the home they battled for 30+ years to own. Nobody is ever going to gain from stripping people of the meagre rewards for 40 or more years of contribution to society. If we allow people to enjoy a fair reward for working and savings, we'll have far more affluence driving more spending driving more growth, tax revenue and jobs and thus more capacity to support those who in genuine need. Even those who threw it away on piss, pokies, etc. have to be supported in old age in a compassionate society. But there will be nothing for anyone if people are convinced that all their efforts are futile and they just give up and spend spend spend then take handouts in retirement. The young are doing that already, because they see what is happening to retirees. Taking more from seniors is only going to make the problem worse.
    mike
    22nd May 2018
    11:49am
    WE have a modest country cottage worth about $200000 and lost our part pension and Concession Card when our combined super balance went over $813000 last year. We know several people in Sydney with 2 and 3 million dollar homes with super balances of about $600000 who retained their part pension and PCC. I wrote to my MP about getting ny PCC back but all I got from Mr Andrew Gee MP is political nonsense and garbage. Also a very insulting statement that those who lost it on 1/1/17 , IE, those with a balance of OVER $813000 would retain the PCC because they might be disadvantaged by losing their part pension, But those who had less than $813000 and lost it a few days later Would Not. Mr Gee MP, YOU DONT DESERVE THE RETIREES VOTE AND I WILL NOW VOTE ONE NATIOM
    musicveg
    22nd May 2018
    6:28pm
    You sure One Nation is going to help you? They do a lot of dealing with the Lib's. Be careful, maybe seek out some other independent or minor party who want to change things.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:17pm
    I wouldn't trust ON - ever - after the rhetoric about change and wanting a fair deal etc, and then the rapid turnaround to support the neo-conservatives.

    Unfortunately for all her superficial appeal to the masses, Pauline Hanson is just another 'I'm better than you rabble and I'll join the side that dictates to you shiftless scum and you all need to be beaten into your proper place' type.

    In reality too dumb to know the difference between saying and doing, but well aware of the perks and cash pit of being in politics.
    Jim
    22nd May 2018
    11:52am
    So we are going to listen to a financial expert on this subject, he has clearly no idea on the value of homes if he thinks that $500,000 is the starting point for determining which homes should be included I an asset test, in the Illawarra you wouldn't be able to buy much for that amount, it shows how out of touch these people are, I would hazard a guess that the majority of people in this area would lose some of their pension, and in some cases the pension is their only source of income, what an absolute joke.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    11:58am
    As the kid said to his dad when shown the photos of two blocks of land dad owned in Paris, Texas (in the movie of the same name - RIP Harry Dean Stanton) -

    "What are we going to eat? Dirt?"
    almost a grey hair
    22nd May 2018
    12:00pm
    I also live in the gong and everything around me(shell cove)is now round 800to 1.2.
    I think its just fake news ,creating a topic so we can all have a spit.
    It would be the end of the gov if they did
    Sundays
    22nd May 2018
    12:10pm
    Yes, but he wants ‘to deliver a dignified and comfortable retirement for all’. What he really wants is to abolish the OAP for anyone with any assets or savings by making people to sell up and live off the proceeds.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:13pm
    And you have to ask WHY this bastard of a government wants to include the family home in their wicked assets test.
    Clear. It'll push half of retirees OFF THE PENSION. Then there'll be heaps of money to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.
    Jim
    22nd May 2018
    2:57pm
    Mick you have already admitted in earlies comments that you don't know if this bloke has Got any ties to the government, you suspect that he has, your suspicion isn't fact, the government has at no time that I am aware of endorsed this proposal, and as for your earlier comment about where the money comes from, of course the money comes from all of us, again in question time the Libs stated that the Labor policies would cost $200 billion more than the Libs policies, even if that figure is half true we are heading for trouble, because you see the cost of their policies come largely from the same source us, and it was also stated that the largest increase in their tax take would come from retirees, again no denial from Labor, just a few silly grins because they have been found out.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    4:55pm
    It matters not, Jim - the aim as stated by Mick is clear - to force OAPs principally and then everyone else at the 'leaner' end of society to burn down their assets to live, thus saving the 'budget' in the short term (not going to go over that particular lie again), and enforcing their ideological aim of ensuring that the majority are landless serfs who cannot pass down an inheritance to ensure their future generation's prosperity (that will be reserved only for the elite) while the 'lifters' (the elite) own it all and disburse it at whim to those serfs as long as they beg enough.

    If this nonsense comes in - you've my word on it - I will be the old bastard in the news marching on Canberra with the Australian flag....
    miker
    22nd May 2018
    12:11pm
    Maybe it all comes down to the reputation the elderly hold in our society, especially since we are growing in number. We are aged, vulnerable, less respected with age increase, envied because of accrued wealth by younger one who don't work as hard as we did. Very few young people have long periods of leave due, too busy planning their next break instead of working, want it all now. I never got my first trip to Europe until age 51, most of my young aquaintances under 35 have been several times. Jelousy is indeed a curse
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:14pm
    We've got it. GenY wants it. And they'll blow the lot on BS. Welcome to the crazy world we all live in.
    ozqueen
    22nd May 2018
    12:20pm
    Most retirees who own a home do so because they have been willing to make sacrifices early on. They've taken their lunches to work, used public transport and shopped discount in order to pay off that mortgage. Why should they be punished for doing what everyone in society should be doing - actually working for a living? Does the government really think it's a good idea to attack such a large proportion of the voting public - one that's getting bigger each year?
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:14pm
    The same story replayed again and again. Totally agree.
    Mad as hell
    22nd May 2018
    12:22pm
    No Michael no no no.

    22nd May 2018
    12:36pm
    Michael Rice is an independent actually and superannuation consultant
    He does not speak for the coalition or labor
    Mick is spreading lies again
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:15pm
    And you do not speak for the government either do you Raphael.
    Mad as hell
    22nd May 2018
    5:16pm
    He is a consultant for the government. He has 70 staff I think he would have to be getting a healthy remuneration from the government.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:20pm
    Settled for ya:-

    "
    Michael Rice

    Chief Executive Officer

    Michael has extensive experience in the financial services industry both in Australia and overseas. He specialises in providing strategic advice to financial institutions, fund managers, government agencies, industry associations and large superannuation funds. Michael founded Rice Warner in December 1987."

    http://www.ricewarner.com/about-us/our-people/michael-rice/

    Read at leisure.
    patti
    22nd May 2018
    12:39pm
    I would not be in favour of my home being included in the income and assets test. It is currently worth around $370,000. which would exempt me according to the proposal. At least for now. But who knows what could happen in the future. When I was paying a mortgage, I got no help, but if I'd been renting I would have got assistance. I could not downsize without moving to, say, a caravan. I need my full pension to take care of rates, repairs, insurance etc as well as to live. I don't think we need to worry as I can't imagine people with million dollar homes voting for this proposal!
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:16pm
    Solution is simple: do not vote for this lot who are attacking retirees mercilessly.
    Jim
    22nd May 2018
    4:28pm
    And if you vote for the Labor lot with Shorten at the helm you will be even worse off, no matter what you hear Shorten has made it very clear who he is going to attack when he gets into government and that is these so called wealthy retirees, his first attack was on these wealthy retirees that might be getting a few hundred dollars a year from franking credits, when it was pointed out that might cost him a few votes he backtracked, so obviously not a lot of thought went into the policy in the first instance, so some people think we should trust him to keep his word after the election, if he keeps his word and leaves pensioners alone he might create history, a politician who tells the truth and keeps his word. Without Shorten at the head a lot more people might vote for Labor, especially the unionist he has betrayed before he headed off to the big house, I know I was one of them.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    5:17pm
    Exactly, patti - as I said some weeks ago, if the family home is now to be included as an asset in determination of anything, it should have been treated as an investment over its lifetime.

    In plain English - the answer is NO to this proposal.
    Young granny
    22nd May 2018
    12:43pm
    Why are not the many single pensioners in 3 bedroom housing not moved to smaller dwellings to make room for families who are in need of public housing? They do not want to move so why should other pensioners who own their own home be forced to downsize because of the asset test.
    More younger people chose to travel and have an expensive life style leaving them needing public housing later in life. Most of today’s pensioners have sacrificed many things to provide for their families and buy a house they could at the time afford without many of the generous child handouts being given out today.
    Before long all houses will be over 1 million dollars and no home owner will be eligible for the pension. This only encourages young people to not buy a house.
    Nd
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:18pm
    For the same reason you do not want to lose your circle of friends granny.
    A better option would be to share a house.
    musicveg
    22nd May 2018
    6:33pm
    The public housing system is broke too, too many people who now have jobs with high wages still live in cheap subsidized housing. This needs to be fixed to free up more public housing.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    9:49pm
    NSW gave lifetime occupancy rights to many residents. I know one who inherited over $1 million and still lives in public housing.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2018
    8:51am
    .. but.. but.. but... under those clear rules, Rainey, they are entitled to. It's not their fault the 'government' made this policy.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    2:07pm
    Yes, it's the government's fault - but decent people don't take advantage when they have $1 million and a young mother is living in her car.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    12:49pm
    Mr Rice's suggestion would create far more problems and inequity than it would resolve.

    Firstly, home owners are NOT necessarily favoured over renters. Many are WORSE off than renters when rates, maintenance, insurance, etc. plus pension loss is counted. It can cost in excess of $500 per week to live in one's own home in retirement. It seems wrong that people who made sacrifices to achieve security in old age should now suffer for it.

    Secondly, he does not consider, in his valuation, the location or issues of special need. Some couples genuinely need a larger home, or one modified for disability, etc. We built a much larger retirement home than we really wanted because we have to accommodate orphaned grandchildren for extended periods. If we are punished for doing that, the children lose the opportunity to develop to their potential and the state has to pick up the bill for their care during the periods we look after them. How is that helpful to the nation?

    And thirdly, this self-serving, obviously wealthy man pays no heed to the psychological impact of forcing people out of their home, or making them mortgage it after decades of struggle to pay it off. It's cruel in the extreme. And it won't help the nation. Ultimately, the young inherit the home and other assets, making future generations far better off. But no... the self-serving rich bullies want to take it all away so the government can waste more.

    These mean and greedy over-paid morons just want to destroy the quality of life, and it ISN'T saving money. We already have a very low OAP cost overall - half that of other nations and, as Mr Rice admits, falling. SO BLOODY WELL STOP BASHING RETIREES!

    The answer to the inequity is to ABOLISH THE ASSETS TEST which is grossly unfair and economically and socially harmful. Get rid of it completely, instead of trying to deprive retirees of the lifestyle they worked so hard to attain.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    1:09pm
    Gee I'm glad I don't own a house if it costs that much per week to own. Better to rent one at that price instead.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:19pm
    You don't own a house OG? Spare me whilst I pick myself up off the floor.
    Who writes your scripts at Party HQ?
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    3:26pm
    No Mick I don't own the house I live in.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    5:18pm
    His family trust owns it.... same theft, different day.
    Old Geezer
    23rd May 2018
    9:53am
    Nope.
    TREBOR
    24th May 2018
    11:44am
    We don't really care how you rort things, OG - as long as you pay your full responsibility of taxes.
    Keith
    22nd May 2018
    12:54pm
    Wow...never saw this coming. So, the gubberment are coming after your Super and now there coming after your home. Coogee Guy..you need to think outside the square. It all comes down to quality of life. I’m probably in a similar situation to you, but I left Australia 7 years ago as a self funded retiree & now enjoy a life living like a king on a beautiful beach in SE Asia. Cheap flights back to OZ when needed and the “scenery” around here is pretty good too , if you know what I mean. There’s always options and I wouldn’t swap this lifestyle for anything.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:20pm
    It'll get worse. Just wait until the next GFC or global event. Then YOUR super will be rolled into consolidated revenue and allow you to have a part pension.
    Jim
    22nd May 2018
    4:37pm
    Don't believe what you read, the government has no such policy has never had such a policy, you will find the fear mongering crowd are pushing the agenda, bug I do agree with most of the comments regarding the asset test, it should be abolished immediately, I can't see either of the main parties doing it, one of the parties would lose its main instrument of envy politics, we can't have that now can we.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2018
    8:55am
    The trick is to use a flunkey to run an idea up the flag, see how many bullet holes it cops, and then determine which alternative route you are going to take to attain the same result.

    Get with it, Jim. Remember that these bastards have little groups who sit down all day with nothing else to do but come up with a thought bubble that has no relevance or reality to the folk they are about to rob, and they figure out Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and as many alphabet plans as necessary to achieve their result.

    That's why I don't mind a political aspirant who stumbles a little on the speeches - they haven't spent hour with their handlers learning how to look as if they know what they're talking about, and are more likely to be real.

    Remember the Trebor policy - always look at what they say, not how they say it.
    Arisaid
    22nd May 2018
    12:58pm
    We downsized and after b..... stamp duty etc the change over was the same. However we need to stay in or near a city because we need to be close to hospital services. Could have got something cheaper further away but with no or little public transport, adequate hospital services etc. Yes it cost more than $500,000. These experts need to pull their heads in
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:22pm
    Sad. You believed this lying bunch of crooks which calls itself a government and you were done over.
    The 'experts' you refer to are paid stooges saying what this government want them to say to persuade people to do the unthinkable. Read the post above. Another victim.
    country lad
    22nd May 2018
    12:58pm
    I can see merit in these suggestions. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. However we need to protect the middle and poor. We also need to make sure that any savings are passed on so that the full pension is raised to give the poorest a better quality of life. A dollar amount where the asset test is suggested to kick in. this has problems and is hard to set. To account for richer and poorer areas, I suggest that the median house price should be also used. eg the asset test starts to kick in should a dwelling be above the median dwelling at the postcode. There would also need to be minimum and maximum levels Eg minimum level say $1mill or the median value of the house in that postcode, which ever is greater; to a maximum of say $2mill. I know people living in houses worth ~$5 million who still get a part pension. This should be paid to the poorest.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    1:03pm
    No. EVERYONE should get a pension. Punishing people for working hard and saving is economically and socially detrimental. Pay EVERYONE a fair OAP and tax retirement income - like almost all other developed nations. Needs-based welfare drives need.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:26pm
    Look at America country lad. This is what is being done here. Only two classes will be left when done, the rich and the poor. Either do something or get used to your future.

    The problem with our system is that the rich have organised outs with successive right wing governments. Now the system is perverse.

    I agree with OGR. There needs to be an OAP for everyone above a certain level. If the current batch wanted to work out a formula based on income and assets then they could. They don't and they won't.
    Jim
    22nd May 2018
    4:51pm
    I don't agree, the rich might be getting richer but in most cases the poor are also richer than they used to be, anyone who thinks that things are worse off than they were years ago are sadly mistaken, I think there is some intentional confusion perpetrated by the envy politics brigade, the gap between rich and poor might have grown, that is not the same as the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, so I guess you could argue that the policies of previous governments has increased the wealth of everyone, that couldn't possibly be right could it.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    5:20pm
    Yes - the poor are so much richer these days that they find it harder to keep up with rising costs of power, fuel and all the other luxuries in life.
    Jim
    22nd May 2018
    7:34pm
    I didn't say that people are not struggling, I am trying to differentiate between the poor of today and the poor of years ago, I was born in the 40's we didn't only find it hard to keep up with the energy bills, we only had gas, there were days that we didn't have the penny to put in the meter, so we were in the dark, unless we had a fire going then we had some light, but if there was a meal to be had that night if would be cold, we were not the only ones to be struggling, it was quite the norm in our neighbourhood, progressively since then things have improved out of site, for some their measure of poverty is measured by the type of mobile they have, I am not suggesting that there are some who are doing it tough, the main ones that are doing it tough are the pensioners that are renting and paying a large portion of their pension in rent, these are the ones I have sympathy for and these are the ones needing the most help, but I don't agree that in general the statement that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer, I still say in general we are all better off than our parents were.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2018
    9:03am
    Times and conditions were way different then, Jim. I know that as well as you do, and so does anyone else from the 'baby boomer' generation(s).

    When I was a kid, a job as a tradesman in the filthy industries was a high-flying job, only the rich or those who could afford to stay home on a scholarship could go to university, and my grandfather was a salaried train driver and one of the top guns in society of his time.

    Times were different, but it is clear from every indicator that the rich are indeed getting richer and the poor poorer.

    Any thought bubble of stealing one of the basics of life - their OWN bought and paid for shelter - from old people is tantamount to exposing them on a winter hillside economically after regarding them as of no value in any way - and is but a matter of degree from that in actual implementation.

    That kind of thinking has NO place in a civilised modern society, and those who advocate it are little better than rabid animals who should be treated as such.

    (Now you see the essence of radicalisation and marginalisation that inevitably leads, down the track, to revolution and insurrection and well-greased automatic guillotines)...
    Cautious
    22nd May 2018
    1:02pm
    Testing the waters for a bite.
    My advise...bite hard, long and loud.
    And whilst at it, make suggestions about maximum remuneration for bank and super fund executives.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:27pm
    And vote carefully lest we all get what we deserve again.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    1:03pm
    Absolutely not.
    seadog
    22nd May 2018
    1:04pm
    As usual Mick is having a go at the current government. The statement that he is talking about is from a so called "Expert" in Superannuation not the Government. As for the worst government and the increasing debt. he conveniently forgets KRudd and Julialiar who both borrowed so much money that the interest payments, and the dodgy schemes that they put in place without a business plan, are what is causing the debt to grow. They must have felt relieved when they lost Government because they did not have to explain why the current debt keeps rising. It should be remembered that every Labor Government gets this country into a lot of debt only for the Liberal-National Governments to try and get us out of it. History repeats itself once again. Just think of the NDIS Scheme and also Gonski which were never funded for a couple of these schemes.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:31pm
    Normal troll comment with unfactual propaganda.

    Debt? Tell me WHY the media refuses to repeatedly attack the Abbott and Turnbull governments which have MORE THAN DOUBLED our debt and achieved not one noteworthy thing.
    Plenty of accusations but no facts and figures or even logic. That is what right wing trolls do.

    Please explain to the readers: if DEBT is an issue, other than an excuse to tax average citizens, then WHY is this government giving the wealthy UNNEEDED tax cuts?????? Please don't even think of trying on the normal right wing 'Trickle Down Economics' lie!
    Over to you.
    KSS
    22nd May 2018
    1:07pm
    Superannuation consultant and independent actuary Michael Rice wrote a report, "The Age Pension in the 21st Century", and presented it to the Actuaries Institute's Financial Services Forum.

    What part of this says it is Government policy? What part of this says it is now law and enforceable? Where does it tell us when this is to be implemented? Where can we find out how MPs and Senators voted?

    Actuaries are mathematical problem solvers and strategists. They are not politicians or law-makers. They are bean-counters with thought bubbles. Settle down. It's a slow news day so YLC drags this up again to provoke the usual response.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    1:11pm
    There has been talk of exempting houses under $2 million for some time no. Seems to me like they are putting it out there with a $500,000 figure so that if they bring it in at $2 million then everyone will think it is a good idea.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:35pm
    Michael Rice has no credibility and who is he to tell the nation about what we need. Whilst this may be the voice of government he is irrelevant.

    OG - $2 million might be acceptable but then 5 years ago $1 million might also have been acceptable. The goal posts change (inflation!).
    And who said this lot have the RIGHT to bring the family home into the assets test? That is an assumption they need to take TO AN ELECTION. On that issue alone they would be out the door. Instead they'll say nothing and then bring it in if they get back into office....which they have no chance of. Another Royal Commission into Labor??????
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    5:21pm
    ... and if their figures ever actually worked out we'd all be in clover for life....
    Jim
    22nd May 2018
    5:30pm
    No Mick this is not the voice of government, well not the current government anyway, with Shorten's last attack on pensioners it's quite conceivable that it could be the policy of the next government, maybe that's who this guy's working for, just laying the groundwork.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    1:08pm
    Sounds like a great idea to me. If your house is worth more than $500,000 you can still have your pension but it is to be paid back from the sale of your house when you die.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    1:18pm
    You still around, the Government is waiting to collect.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    1:23pm
    Nothing to collect from me.
    Eddy
    22nd May 2018
    1:41pm
    Oh dear, I am now in the unenviable position of agreeing with the sentiments of Old Geezer. Just shows anything is possible.
    The only beneficiaries of exempting the primary residence from the assets test are the beneficiaries of the eventual estate.
    I know of one instance where a retiring couple sold their existing house and, by combing the proceeds with their super lump sum, bought an enormous mansion, 5 bedrooms (each with an en-suite), triple garage, indoor swimming pool and a tennis court, all on approximately a Hectare (ie close to 2 1/2 acres). Current value would probably be well in excess of $2 million. Reason: to get the full OAP and preserve their assets for their kids. To my mind this is unconscionable.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    1:48pm
    Eddy, I agree with what the retiring couple did. They have a right to a pension regardless of assets or income. What is proosed in this article is unconscionable.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    1:50pm
    Eddy I know of families who have pooled their assets and bought the oldies a house worth $10 million plus. Oldies still get OAP but they also get lots of tax free gains as the property doubles every 10 years. put the oldies in such a house for 30 years and the family is doing very nicely indeed.

    I actually live in a neighbourhood of expensive houses bought by people who do so to collect the pension or people in the medical profession. They are just as you describe Eddy with only 2 people living in them at the most.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:36pm
    OG - typical comment from you. So your house is tied up in a Trust is it?????
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    3:11pm
    No Mick I am not talking about trusts here at all. This is even better than trusts. The oldies own the $10 million house and collect full pension. The family gets lots of nice tax free income when house is sold in 20 or 30 years. The equity in it can be used for all sorts of other investments too. Tax is structured in that the borrowing belongs to whatever it buys no what is borrowed against. So the kids could use the very expensive house to buy lots of negative geared properties. It's actually an awesome tax free investment for the whole family.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    3:16pm
    OG your last comment: If it is legitmate then good luck to them.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2018
    9:07am
    You don't pay for a pension once via taxation over a lifetime, and then pay for it again in retirement. What part of the Social Security concept as exercised in Australia do you NOT understand?

    sorry 'bout that, fellahs, but that's the way it is.

    Now go away ad play with issues you understand.

    OG - you'll go to the guillotine as an utterly uneducated waste of time and as just dead weight on society and its rules and arrangements.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    23rd May 2018
    7:50pm
    If battlers are required to pay twice, then why are the rich getting obscene handouts that they DO NOT have to give back. Superannuation tax concessions cost way more than the OAP, and 80% of that cost benefits people who are so well off they will never need a pension. So how about we take THEIR houses as repayment of the tax concession they didn't need or deserve, instead of robbing battlers? Have you noticed they always think they are ENTITLED?
    MD
    22nd May 2018
    1:10pm
    'I live here, I live there' - live wherever you bloody well like, who gives a rats where anybody lives? govt certainly doesn't.

    'Somebody living in Melbourne or Sydney cannot be compared to those living in Adelaide, Hobart' (or Timbuktu) - of course not and for that matter, what relevance wherever the location ?

    'I scrimped and saved and wore hair shirts just to own my home' - and with the rare exception of a wealthy few, who didn't ?

    The age pension is supposedly non discriminatory, available to people of certain age. Where you live, how you live and by what means you MAY (or may not) be satisfied, has nothing whatsoever to do with government.

    As it seems most herein EXPECT, nay demand a pension: knowing this is administered by govt, then how or why is it that so many seem hellbent on dictating the terms of their social benefit according to their own world view ?

    Government's the world over are extremely adept at shifting goal posts - frequently, maybe it's govt's means of 'keep em guessing', however, where they fail to win their way by one means they'll simply move the posts and score points by other means.
    Is Dept Human Resources issuing rose tinted specs to all pensioners ? We're 'owed' nothing - zip, zilch, zero. Qualifiers for pension entitlement are expected to meet the criteria set down, the criteria is not negotiable on the pretext of any individual self justification.

    A fair and equitable home value based on the current Australian average cost of house/land package should be adequate to serve the purpose of the Asset test. That there will be winners and losers is a foregone conclusion. The greater the degree of reliance on the public purse will probably be the latter. That's life.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    1:27pm
    If you live in a modest house then what is the problem?
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2018
    9:19am
    None of which is a VALID reason for including the family home in any assets test. That home was never considered for taxation purposes as an investment, and thus is utterly exempt for all time from any consideration.

    Unlike - say - a big boat or a Windbag - you cannot sell it at the drop of a hat, and it is not an asset that in any way returns income to you.

    Besides, any continuation of such FAIR reasoning, along the lines that since it was never a cash-generating investment, and thus has no bearing on any calculation for a Hidden Tax in retirement, also applies to a boat or a windbag. Not only that, but the owner of such non-cash-generating assets is once again slugged if the asset is sold.

    ONLY cash-generating investments such as properties, shares and such, and such should rightly be included in any assets test, and then only on the basis of the actual income they return.

    It is for all of these reasons that my position moved to an Assets Free Test for Pension, Universal Pension, and taxation on all income strands over and above that at the going income tax rate, including fringe benefits at actual costs (not a subsidised or concessional cost), and gifts that substitute for income, such as free rent, free holidays and such provided from any source.
    NeDaPa
    22nd May 2018
    1:13pm
    The family home is not just an asset to be taxed, assessed or used as a political football to stress retirees. My wife and I have worked very hard and sacrificed a lot to own our family home and make it comfortable for our retirement. It is a place that our children and grandchildren love to visit and having sleep overs. It is a place of memories.
    All these so called experts are only interested in their own agendas, big noting themselves, Using sensitive and emotive topics and do not care about real Australians.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    1:26pm
    One should not be allowed to own a $10 million house and collect welfare.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:38pm
    That is the first thing you have said in year which sounds even remotely non fake.
    Please explain.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    5:24pm
    If it's an asset to be taxed in retirement via this circuitous approach, it should have been treated as an investment all along and all costs made tax deductible...

    Too late now, Big Guv.... you're not getting it.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2018
    9:22am
    All those two million pensioners out there live in $10m mansions.... most of which is improvements and not the inflated value of their modest home over the years.

    Named these pensioners that live in $10m mansions, OG. If you think they are robbing the social security system, there are avenues open to you to address that.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    8:25am
    I know more than a few living in $500,000 homes who are robbing the system. It's not just people living in mansions, and you won't stop it by punishing people for investing in a nice home so they can retire comfortably.
    Snowflake
    22nd May 2018
    1:13pm
    How is being forced out of your family home going to free up property. You will have to buy another one to live in and the property you are selling is going to be too expensive for most younger buyers. Seems like another ill thought out idea by the government, and might I say the Liberal government are experts at crap ideas.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    1:25pm
    It will free up your house for people wanting to upsize their existing house. This will make their house available to young buyers.
    Kaz
    22nd May 2018
    2:09pm
    Really OG it’s hard to to find logic in some things you say. Do you just make it up as you go along!
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:39pm
    You are missing the fraud here Snowflake. The government want you to live on the difference and during that time they do not have to pay you a pension. Totally fraudulent...which is what drives this government. Never changes.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:26pm
    And then you have nothing to pass on to your children and grand-children, and the escalating social and economic divides of this nation accelerate, with only the well-off having any 'right' to pass on inheritance.

    That is the end result of all this, with only the well-off now being able to continue to prosper, and that mightily, and eventually control everything from property to wage rates. Over a century of upward social advancement struck down in a single stroke by a neo-Fascist mentality.

    Inevitably that will lead to civil war, as history shows us, so far better for the 'upper' class twits of the century to get their minds right now, and not down the track when they are in the tumbrils....

    We need to boot the lot of them out of Parliament and bring in some real people to caretake this country.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    1:45pm
    YLC on behalf of all your readers you must fight this proposal tooth and nail. No pensioner should be subject to such blatant theft by any Government. Pensions are a right and should not be means tested at all.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    1:55pm
    I would like to see a statement from the leaders of Libs/Lab/Greens on this proposal. More to the point do they advocate such a system and will they introduce it. This must surely be included in their election manifestos.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    1:57pm
    Why? Labor will just spring it on you in their first budget if by some slim chance they get elected.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:41pm
    Good call niemakawa.

    OG - how do you think the current lot operate. Remember Tony Abbott's promises? Pretty well all shredded THE DAY AFTER the election. Tell me about springing it on the public.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    2:46pm
    OG Political commentators must ask the right questions during the election campaign. But considering many are downright socialists they will not. So it has to be left to the public to force the issue with all Parties . The Lib/Lab/Greens all are Globalist in outlook and follow the directives of the UN. The real reason for his proposal is to provide housing for the newcomers who are arriving daily at a rate never seen before. Australians fast becoming second class citizens in their own country. This is the scenario all over Western Europe where migrants are being brought in by the hundreds of thousands. The public are not consulted and the Political elite are riding roughshod over them. Some call it the NWO. Whatever it is called it is a replacement programme in full swing. Fortunately the plebs are waking up and voting for Nationalistic Governments, as they should. Do not vote for Libs/Lab/Greens in Australia as they are all out to destroy our Country.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:57pm
    Many people who do not plunder other people might be considered 'socialists'. I sort of have a foot in each camp but I sympathise with the downtrodden...as opposed to those who have created their own nightmare and seek to blame others for their dilemma.
    Yes the 'elite' who run the planet are indeed pursuing their agenda. Watch for an accomplishment they have waited centuries to achieve: controlling the money system. When cryptocurrency arrives that is game over. They win.
    George
    22nd May 2018
    9:27pm
    None of the 3 majors (Liberals, Labor or Greens) interviewed by YLC supported Universal Pension.

    All RETIREES MUST VOTE THESE MAJOR PARTIES OUT BY PUTTING ALL CURRENT SEAT-WARMERS LAST till they change their minds and start being fair to the retirees, and agree to scrap their own Special Pensions which protects them from rule changes.
    PJ
    22nd May 2018
    2:00pm
    As John Lennon said:

    I'm sick and tired of hearing things from
    Uptight short sided narrow minded hypocritics
    All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
    I've had enough of reading things
    By neurotic psychotic pigheaded politicians
    All I want is the truth, just give me some truth

    Says it all really!!!
    musicveg
    22nd May 2018
    6:40pm
    Yes John Lennon was a great songwriter, could see through dishonest people.
    Fisherman
    22nd May 2018
    2:02pm
    There is a fundamental problem when people think the Age Pension is welfare. I regard it as the interest earned on the Income Tax I paid between 1962 and 2012.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    2:07pm
    OAP is welfare and has nothing to do with any interest you earned on anything at all.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:43pm
    Yes Fisherman. In all other western countries the pension is a right not to be questioned. With coalition governments is is always something it believes it has the right to rob the public of....whilst handing this money to the top end of society, which is currently being set up.
    MD
    22nd May 2018
    3:07pm
    Aren't most wage earners categorized as 'tax negative' ? Meaning the amount collected from income tax falls short of what said tax payer realizes from the public purse.
    Now if that's correct then wouldn't most tax payers be further indebted to ATO for interest accrued ?
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    5:26pm
    Once more - even the government itself differentiates between social security and welfare.

    Go work it out, OG - I can't spoon feed you every time you pop in with the same baseless comment.

    https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook45p/WelfareCost
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    6:15pm
    The fundamental problem is that the IDIOT well off think that it will benefit the nation somehow to restrict pensions to the poor and bash anyone who strives and saves and reduce them to poverty. The reality is that we will be reduced to third world status by taking everything from the workers and savers.

    What the hell did we work for 5 decades and sacrifice lifestyle for if not to enjoy a nice home in old age and have something to hand to our kids? Take it all away to give to those who didn't strive as hard or didn't save (as well as a few genuinely disadvantaged) and we'll have only the wealthy having anything. The upper working class and middle class might as well squander everything and claim a pension if they are not going to be allowed to enjoy what they earned and pass on something to their kids and grandkids to make the next generation better off.

    The current attitude is plainly IDIOTIC. Sending a message to workers and savers that they may as well not bother, because it will all be taken away on retirement, is NOT GOOD ECONOMIC POLICY. It's STUPID and DESTRUCTIVE and guaranteed to make the nation poorer. If there's no benefit from working and saving, we will have rich and poor and nothing in between. THIRD WORLD! And when all the workers and savers are reduced to poor, there won't be enough to pay pensions and then the pension will reduce and poverty will increase... and so the cycle will continue.

    Only a blithering IDIOT would think punishing people for working and saving is smart.

    Leave the family home alone and END THE STUPID DESTRUCTIVE ASSETS TEST before it totally destroys our society.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    7:26pm
    Your assumption is correct.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:28pm
    Too true, Rainey... Once they get the pensioners cornered into absolute poverty and eating dirt, the home-owning smaller SFRs are next.

    You could add 'punishing people for working and saving, or battling to end up on a pension only' .....
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    2:03pm
    Questions must be asked as to why some pensioners do not have their own home. They cant all be poor. Some would have spent and squandered during their working lives or many preferred not to work at all, but collect welfare instead. Governments always targeting those who worked hard and saved, yet the so called poor are left alone without question. I have had some experience with charities and they are handing out assistance where it is not required, as do the Governments in general. The family home must never be incliuded in the assets test.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    2:12pm
    I get give a hamper every Christmas because a certain charity deems me to be eligible over many of the other people they give hampers to. I keep telling them I don't need it and get told I need it more than most of the people they give them to. Many people just take what they can get no matter if they need it or not.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:46pm
    Not everybody has the grit to own achieve home ownership. GenYs are a great example. They want to spend on themselves like a drunk sailor on shore leave: overseas holidays, shows and restaurants, new cars, electronic gadgets,designer clothes, etc. And then you get the endless lament about 'no money' and how good their parents have it. What else is new.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    5:27pm
    You should be a judge in the Poor Court, OG - where the magistrates rob the pockets of the poor....
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:29pm
    Yes - some may have squandered - but the ordinary punter such as yourself, niekie, has no way of knowing which ones did that.

    Be wary of jumping to conclusions.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    23rd May 2018
    9:12am
    That is the problem Trebor. Many squandered, but the current system rewards them, while being totally inadequate to meet the needs of the genuinely disadvantaged. That's why the universal pension is needed. Set it at a fair rate then tax anyone who has additional income from whatever source. But pay it to ALL over 65, AT THE SAME RATE (yes, politicians included!) Also, change the superannuation tax concession to a 15% discount on the person's top marginal tax rate and if that results in a negative, pay it into the person's super fund.

    That would end poverty, discrimination, social unrest, and be far more economical, and it would remove the disincentive to working hard and living responsibly.
    Kaz
    22nd May 2018
    2:06pm
    Get stuffed. I paid my home off over my entire life and I’ll downsize when I’m ready! As for your franking credits, labor is right and that’s not raiding savings.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    2:08pm
    Obviously you own a house and are on the OAP pension and have not idea what franking credits are or how they are used. This is typical on someone on welfare.
    MICK
    22nd May 2018
    2:48pm
    I fully understand how franking credits are use OG. The problem with Labor's policy is they target self funded retirees who are not well off by any means. That is not right and Shorten needs to stop looking at himself in the mirror and tweak the policy.

    It would be fine if it cut in at certain income level rather than the get everyone mentality. I sometime wonder if Shorten wants to get into government.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    3:04pm
    I agree Mick with approximately 2 million self funded retirees plus others with no income going to lose on this insane policy this policy could be enough for him to lose the election. There are also quite a few media reports coming through that say he wants to take from people with not enough income to pay tax to pay for tax cuts for those with enough income to be paying tax.
    Anonymous
    22nd May 2018
    3:24pm
    Mick, your constant theme in every post, whether on this topic or otherwise, is that a) the current government want to tax the bejesus out of (nearly) all of us, to give to the top end of town; and b) that makes them corrupt, dishonest, unprofessional, yadda yadda! Let's look at that proposition and examine it. The top end of town (as you put it) represents probably no more than 10 per cent of the population (and that is being generous). So are you seriously suggesting that a party which includes some very intelligent people - for example, Tony Abbott is a Rhodes Scholar (as was RJL Hawke), would seriously set out to tax the living daylights out of most of us to give to the richies? And how would they ever get re-elected? I think you need to change the record old fellow - it is spinning at 78rpm's, but you have cut your argument on a 45!
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:30pm
    Perhaps it should be cut on a .45.........
    GrayComputing
    22nd May 2018
    3:06pm
    WHAT ENDLESS GREED FROM THE TOP END OF TOWN
    It is time for all of us to rant at our PMs to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVERV AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

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

    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?

    Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    Some opposition and independent MPs stand to lose their chance at being part of the needed government changes

    We all need to tell our MP that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    musicveg
    22nd May 2018
    6:43pm
    I agree, but I don't own a house. My rent is paying someone else's investment.
    George
    22nd May 2018
    9:24pm
    Absolutely correct, GrayComputing! Yes, I can also see that this article is meant to put non-homneowners against homeowners, and this attempt to divide Retirees should be rejected by all.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    3:07pm
    Expert, in this case = Socialists trash.
    Anonymous
    22nd May 2018
    3:15pm
    yep - Mick's mob, Shorten's lackey

    22nd May 2018
    3:14pm
    Mick has to be the most dishonest labor troll on this site.
    The consultant in this article is expressing his personal opinion and somehow Mick has managed to fill the comments section with lies implying the consultants opinion is coalition policy
    The coalition has no intention of including the home in the asset test
    Only the labor party if anyone WOULD actually attempt this
    Beware if they win, they will sneak the legislation through.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    3:20pm
    I agree I see that franking credit policy as a mere scare policy for something worse to come.

    I was reading their policy on employment and they want to change the definition of casual. So if I now have a cleaner come when I request them to do some cleaning for me I wont be able to do that under Labor's employment policy. I'll have to engage that cleaner on a regular basis if I need them or not. So if I go away for 3 months I will still have to pay a cleaner to clean my house for 3 months. That's another insane policy from Labor.

    22nd May 2018
    3:17pm
    This no doubt part of labours hidden agenda as as soon as they are elected they will open the borders and bring in as much scum as they can and of course they have to give them a generous allowance to survive so they will take it from the pensioners as they are all left wingers and will vote Labor anyway. By the time Labor is finished all pensioners will also be on cards to limit spending as well and if you don't believe me think franking credits.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    3:21pm
    They are already coming in unabated. Have a good look around. The boats may have stopped but the planes have not. A disaster awaits us unless!!! Houses for the newcomers 10 to a room. That is all part of the plan.
    Brissiegirl
    22nd May 2018
    5:01pm
    Have you ever noticed photographed/filmed homeless persons are mostly white? That's because foreign immigrants are well-housed, well-fed and well-clothed. They are prioritised, particularly for social housing, otherwise the do-gooders would let ensure all hell breaks loose.
    musicveg
    22nd May 2018
    6:45pm
    If this is a concern you may want to look at the Sustainable Australia Party who want to curb LEGAL immigration.
    Aussie
    22nd May 2018
    3:18pm
    Here again ... as I indicated on a previous posting ... I find an attack on pensioners every fortnight ...here again ..... How in hell we can live in peace with this stupid ignorant government .... they have nothing better to do ???? other than hit us every 2 weeks .... ...No peace even on retirement ,,,, Better dead that way they will be happy ...F ...g Bastards
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    3:24pm
    Death by stealth. The plan of Globalist Governments.
    Lescol
    22nd May 2018
    3:57pm
    YLC -- This needs to be your policy: NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN and tax paid after every dollar. Simple and a pension is not welfare.

    For the record, in future I intend to vote against every incumbent government until this matter is addressed. Simple.

    cheers
    robmur
    22nd May 2018
    4:01pm
    Rice is a federal government plant. Of course the government would want pensioners/retirees to take out a government loan against the value of their house if they were cash scrapped, and then pay back the loan at 5.2% when the house was sold. The loan could come from their estate if they died before the house was sold. By forcing pensioners to become less reliant on the Age Pension, the government saves money. It also benefits when loan is repaid plus the interest money gained. Again, it is the pensioners/retirees being targeted as a way of saving money. I don't agree that the family home should be included in the assets test. Just plain evil and unfair.
    Aussie
    22nd May 2018
    4:07pm
    This not a new subject ...read this from 2016 ......

    https://www.smh.com.au/money/planning-and-budgeting/the-truth-about-home-ownership-and-the-age-pension-20160909-grd5pz.html
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    4:20pm
    Can't see $200,000 buying anyone a decent home anywhere myself.
    Aussie
    22nd May 2018
    4:32pm
    I agreed OG unless you move to QLD where you can buy small home for about 200 but is in land maybe about 1 or 2 hour drive from the coast line ....

    Here are some properties below 200K in QLD

    https://www.realestate.com.au/buy/property-house-with-3-bedrooms-between-150000-200000-in-qld/list-1
    Aussie
    22nd May 2018
    4:36pm
    Or maybe this one for 40,000 Dollars ... no bad and looks great

    https://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-qld-dirranbandi-128358654

    But is in 18 Lignum Avenue Dirranbandi ... 3 bedrooms ... Timber home
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    4:45pm
    Not too sure I'd want to live in Dirranbandi. Might check that one out next month when I drive through on my way to Lightning Ridge to do some fossicking.
    Aussie
    22nd May 2018
    4:53pm
    If you do please send me a message with your opinion and pictures if possible ...Thanks OG .... maybe time to move to the country ....
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    5:21pm
    Dirranbandi is quite isolated and I have been there a few times but I can't remember what it looks like other than a small country town.

    Here is some photos


    https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=MhzyO2n7&id=F35D162C7CF2A88F2B0ACF78A87B5A05C7AF6674&thid=OIP.MhzyO2n70pcWUwif-p56rAEsDI&mediaurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abc.net.au%2Fnews%2Fimage%2F6812202-3x2-700x467.jpg&exph=467&expw=700&q=dirranbandi&simid=608015467094148973&selectedindex=43&ajaxhist=0
    Old Man
    22nd May 2018
    4:32pm
    Here we go again! An opinion from a person who is not a politician, not connected to any politician, does not advise any politician or government and is saying the opposite of what all politicians are sating and it becomes an excuse to bash one side or the other. Settle down people and expend your energies on real problems, not made-up crap.

    If any rational thought is put into this thought bubble, it will be seen that it is totally impractical to ever include a family home as an asset under the age pension test. As pointed out by respondents to this ridiculous article and every time YLC publishes crap like this, the reasons given are clear and concise. If you live in a capital city you will lose the pension because even modest homes will attract prices of over $1M. These people are, in most cases, the salt of the earth who bought into areas that were full of blue collar workers and events have overtaken them.

    On the other hand, we see 4 and 5 bedroom, well appointed homes in country areas where the population is decreasing because of a lack of employment and they are worth a fraction of a similar home in the city. How does any federal government strike a figure that is fair when the country is so vast and prices are fluctuating at different levels, some soaring, some slightly upward and some decreasing.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    5:32pm
    Yes - agree totally - but we need to show them the marked mine field so as to channel their thoughts correctly.....
    Aussie
    22nd May 2018
    4:43pm
    Well time to sell and move up to QLD or Overseas .... QLD looks good if you are able to live in a country site a bit far from the big cities ..... and prices under 200K

    I did a search for houses up to 50,000 dollars here and I got surprise how many properties below 50K but not in the Gold Coast or Brisbane so if you can change and live in the country side this may be an opportunity ???? for some of you and maintain all the benefits Australia provide you as pensioner rather than go overseas and only get the minimum pension ....

    https://www.realestate.com.au/buy/property-house-between-0-50000-in-qld/list-1?source=location-search

    Yes we have opportunities to retire in Australia but you must be able to change from what you are use to have but you still near your family ... just a shot fly to Sydney or anywhere in AU ....
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    5:07pm
    Queensland is my usual winter destination but I will only spend a few weeks up there this winter as I have other commitments elsewhere.
    Cranky
    22nd May 2018
    5:03pm
    I know what I would like to tell Mr RICE, but I can't say it here unfortunately. I suppose Mr RICE is one of Mr Turnbulls rich mates and he doesn't care about the poor old pensioner who has contributed to funding the Government"s handouts for in some case up to sixty years or more and is now just getting back some of the money the pensioner contributed to pay the salaries of People like Mr RICE etc., These do gooders, like Mr Rice should try living on the pension and then he might have different thoughts on what should happen. No doubt he (Mr RICE) gets paid millions a year and lives in a mansion worth millions and doesn't have to worry where the next plate of food comes from as he (Mr RICE) no doubt can afford to have wine with his dinner every night, where the old pensioner is lucky if he can afford to have a glass of water or cup of tea with his meal if he can afford a meal. I would love to be able to talk to Mr RICE in person and really tell him where to go. I notice that Mr RICE didn't mention politicians in his report as they no doubt pay his huge salary to come up with these fantasies. He no doubt was educated at the expense of the taxpayer. I love these "EXPERTS" some of whom have never really worked a day in their life, except to tell other people like the poor old pensioners what they should or should not do. I hope at the next election we see the last of the Turnbull/Morrision Government and that by the time they again get the opportunity to Governmen this country aagasin they may have learned a lesson or two - Max J (A grumpy crippled old pensioner
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    5:10pm
    Unless I had a house worth over $2 million I would not be too concerned. It is actually a good idea in that way too many on welfare now live in very expensive houses just so they qualify for the pension. It is simply stupid that same amount of assets with different mixes can determine if you get welfare or not.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    5:44pm
    We're gonna need a bigger and more automated guillotine...
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    7:29pm
    Off with their heads, yes. Traitors need to be dealt with accordingly.
    Chooky
    22nd May 2018
    5:58pm
    Bugger off Michael Rice, we are so fed up with you right wing conservatives going after pensioners. Any politician stupid enough apart from Tony Abbott who made lots of noise about pensioner’s homes, and we all knew he was stupid, should rethink his/her career if they dare go after our homes.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    7:11pm
    I think he is a left swinger.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    6:07pm
    Well, we have to do something to help the poor Y generation who can't afford houses, don't we. I mean... remember when we were struggling through the 'recession we had to have' paying 18%++ interest. We were all demanding that our oldies give up their homes and their pensions to give us handouts, weren't we? And they obliged, didn't they? Isn't that how the baby boomers got so lucky and had everything handed to them?

    NO? It didn't happen that way? Actually, I think you are right! I don't recall EVER wanting my grandparents' or parents' generation to suffer. Quite the opposite. I wanted them looked after and rewarded for their contribution to society. Pretty much everyone else I knew felt the same way. We would NEVER have wanted the government to take from the aged.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    6:15pm
    I never paid anything like 18% interest but I did get about that on term deposits and it was about that time I thought why am I still working my money is earning more than I am. So I left my job and haven't had a job since. I have earnt far more working for myself and today earn a lot more than I ever did when I had a job.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    6:21pm
    Be off with you, OG. Nobody is interested in you egomaniacal BS.

    I was talking about REAL PEOPLE who live in the REAL WORLD - not the overfed, over-privileged, overpaid greedy self-serving rich snobs who have no idea what reality is.

    Most of us struggled with mortgaged during the 18%+++ interest days. And most of us were battling to educate kids at the same time. It was damned hard. And we DID NOT expect the government to take from our oldies to make it easier.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    7:22pm
    The world was real enough for me at the time and it was great when property prices fell in Sydney as I was able to buy a property at over 30% discount and didn't have to borrow a penny.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    7:25pm
    OG do you live in a shoe box??
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    7:27pm
    It is certainly a big shoe box that must hold big shoes then. I actually live in house with lots of bedrooms and bathrooms with my fleet of cars. caravans etc in the garage which is bigger than the house. Nice sized shoe box.
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    7:31pm
    OG I think you need a carer as your imagination is running wild and it seems you have lost touch with reality.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    9:41pm
    OG, you are disgusting. I am trying to discuss a subject and all you can do is big note yourself to distort the discussion. You are sick.
    Old Geezer
    23rd May 2018
    9:47am
    I don't need a carer as I am a carer for too young people at the moment myself. I look after young people who have fallen on hard times until they can get back on their feet and can live their own life again.
    Old Geezer
    23rd May 2018
    9:50am
    OGR So it is disgusting that I was able to see the property bubble and divested out of all my properties and took advantage of earning high interest on my capital. I have recently done the same but interests are not anywhere near as good but I do expect the property market to fall over 50% so I'll make a few dollars back there instead.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    8:21am
    It's your ARROGANT BS comments that are disgusting, OG. Nobody cares what you did. Just stop boasting about it and acknowledge how life was the majority of us who weren't born with a silver spoon. Seeing the property bubble had nothing to do with it. Having the MONEY to respond to it was the issue. Most of us were just struggling to keep a roof over our children's heads during the 18% interest period. We didn't have the option to divest ANYTHING.
    ronnieb
    22nd May 2018
    6:12pm
    THis is an interesting topic and provided nobody (or at least very few current OAP) suffers too greatly i think you could generate a scale that works and saves the Government quite a bit of hard earned taxes. EG you could apply a starting value of say $500k for regional areas with the definition of regional areas to be determined and top it off at say $900k (on present day values of course) for city/metropolitan areas - also to be defined. There would have to be some adjustments for interstate variations and so on but the Government or the RESI should be able to bring up a fair assessment. Clearly Sydney would be the worst hit if valuation assessments were applied across the board but i don't think many Victorians or Queenslanders etc would object to a "localisation "adjustment.

    It's actually nonsense having an OAP drawing the full pension is living in a $2m house for example.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    6:17pm
    No one value for everyone and if you are over that valuation then you will draw your pension against the value of your house which is to be paid back when you no longer want it.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    9:40pm
    No. The ONLY sensible way is to scrap the assets test completely and pay pensions fairly in a manner that encourages and rewards saving and responsible planning and investing. Punishing people who work hard and save well and try to look after their own retirement is not just cruel, it's ECONOMICALLY IDIOTIC.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    8:18am
    So, Ronnieb, the pensioner who needs to retain a larger home because they look after orphaned grandchildren for extended periods is punished, and the pensioner who can happily live in a tiny apartment is rewarded? What about the pensioner whose PTSD or mental illness prevents them living close to neighbours, so needs a large land lot? Or do we just condemn those with special needs to hardship unless they were born with a silver spoon or won a lottery?

    22nd May 2018
    6:47pm
    my my, a feather in the cap for ylc, fully well knowing that this article by a so-called, which fund would get his/her o.k, superannuation expert suggestion at the best would bring the flock racing to cry foul led as usual by the true independent labor hopeful mick(tremor), denouncing the government for somebody's individual remarks, as a true labor minion micky(tremor) usual an hour or so later, he has to refer any posts to labor's headquarters first, don't like the comments they are automatical called "coming from a liberal troll" however just to show how dumb independent labor micky(tremor) is, read his comments when old geezer stated he did not own the house he lived in, it just states enough about what separates the corn from the chaff or the dumb from the intellectual, owning a house should not be a burden, just be one step ahead at all times, however I feel for those who are still renting, some may have wasted their money, however most you will find had more hardship in life then what we ever wished for on our worst enemy
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    22nd May 2018
    9:38pm
    "most you will find had more hardship in life then what we ever wished for on our worst enemy :

    CRAP! MOST were wasteful and irresponsible. MOST just didn't bother. MOST happily take advantage of a system that favours bludgers, cheats, manipulators and spendthrifts and punishes the responsible.

    I am not without compassion, and of course I am aware of the hardship some suffer. Goodness - I had far more than most! But the MAJORITY did not suffer hardship. They just didn't bother to work to own a home because it was easier to bludge on the taxpayer, cry poor, and be lazy.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:34pm
    Grow up, heemie - I was wondering when you'd put your usual drivel in.

    Only your last comment makes any sense... the rest is rubbish....

    OG just boasted about his shoe box with his caravans and such and his constant trips around the place... and claims not to own the home he lives in - his stories change all the time - OG is a fantasist of the first water, and you fall for it.
    Old Geezer
    23rd May 2018
    9:55am
    We all have hardship in our lives and most don't plan for it so it consumes them. However for those who plan for the worst it becomes a mere inconvenience and they just get on with their lives as normal.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    23rd May 2018
    7:44pm
    What a STUPID, ARROGANT and SELF-SERVING COMMENT, OG. Don't plan for hardship? How the F... do you PLAN to pay a $100,000 in therapy for a special needs child after living in poverty for your whole life, having no education or skills training, suffering two years of critical illness yourself, and having no family or support structure whatsoever? You really are THICK AND IGNORANT.

    The rich CAN plan for hardship. They have money to put aside. Those who grow up in poverty DO NOT.
    musicveg
    22nd May 2018
    6:48pm
    What about an asset test for retired politicians? They should not get a life time pension.
    Old Geezer
    22nd May 2018
    7:20pm
    Rubbish their pension is art of their job package not welfare.
    George
    22nd May 2018
    9:22pm
    In fact, their undeserved, untested, obscenely large, non-means tested UNFUNDED Pensions should be SCRAPPED IMMEDIATELY and they should only be allowed to claim pensions on the same rules as anyone else i.e. based on Assets, Income and Partner tests. One rule for all!!

    Vote them all OUT TILL THEY FIX THIS SELF-SERVING ANOMALY by which they have special benefits designed by themselves which are not available to everyone else.
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:35pm
    They can pay for their own super scheme, and if they don't fit the bill under their assets test - no pension, and no preferential super scheme either.
    Old Geezer
    23rd May 2018
    9:51am
    They have paid for their own super scheme as it was part of their salary for being a pollie.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2018
    2:55pm
    Not what we voted them to get.... as shareholders.... we didn't get a say.

    Let them put politician remuneration to a vote of the people and let's see.
    Jtee
    22nd May 2018
    8:57pm
    Good on Michael Rice. Totally unfair and would result in most pensioners near the larger cities and on the coastal strip having their pension reduced through no fault of their own except that they live close to where the population growth areas are. Australia's population growth has seen the rules of supply and demand have impact on housing values. A problem created by big business and governments saying that we NEED to have a larger population to help pay for these who are ageing. Aren't those people who are part of the increased population going to age too???? A vicious circle.
    Jtee
    22nd May 2018
    9:04pm
    We have been in our home for nearly 40 years and would lose the pension if it was assessed as an asset. It's not our fault that values have increased and it shouldn't be counted as an asset. It's our home and something that we have worked hard for. Don't take it off us by threatening.
    George
    22nd May 2018
    9:16pm
    It is yet another YLC article setting homeowners against non-homeowners!!!

    It is important to note the comment in the Paper that "It is fair to say that there is no clear objective for the Age Pension. Its quantum and eligibility have changed many times." In other words, a directionless report!

    The "Independent" guy hasn't come up with any new or radical solution other than the usual discredited approach of attacking a particular group of Retirees (homeowners) - many of whom have worked HARD to get their homes, and struggled to save on top of that, and then found nasty Govts are waiting to assess their assets with ridiculously unfair tests to NOT pay their fair Pensions, while the people who make these unfair rules (Politicians) are unaffected and get large, non-tested pensions for life starting earlier than everyone else (55 going to 60) just based on a few years in their roles.

    It would have been much more credible if the so-called "independent" researcher came up with an actual bold new plan - such as Scrap all Politicians Pensions (so any rules they make affect them also), and implement Universal Pension for all simply based on Age (65) and Residency (say 15 years). No need for Centrelink to hound pensioners, and save heaps of admin costs!
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:37pm
    You got it, George. Universal Pension and tax on income, fringe benefits and gifting from your (past) companies over and above.

    No more free rides at both ends.
    musicveg
    23rd May 2018
    2:04am
    I agree to your thoughts on this topic George, well said. The money they save from scrapping Politician pensions would pay off the national debt!
    bobbalinda
    22nd May 2018
    10:31pm
    If they do make the home part of the assets test then I will sell up, go cruising till the cash is gone then go for govt housing! Hells bells it is hard to find a home under 500,000 these days. Worked hard all my life, saved for my home and now you want to penalize me? I could have spent my money on booze, cigs, gambling and just having a good time!
    TREBOR
    22nd May 2018
    10:41pm
    I've owned and lost two homes through divorce and then illness and injury after years of loyalty, hard work, integrity, and self-sacrifice towards a better future than I started with (= nothing at all) ... I'm now back on my feet for the umpteenth time through hard work - kinda tends to give the lie to the 'lifters' and 'leaners' idea.... old 'Lifter Joe' wouldn't know what a genuine day's work was.

    We're gonna need a bigger and more automated guillotine....
    niemakawa
    22nd May 2018
    10:44pm
    Keep the blades in prime condition.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    23rd May 2018
    9:06am
    If they make the home assessable over a $500,000 limit, they will drive increased poverty and a major housing crisis. People will sell their homes before age 65 or give them to the kids. Many will spend the proceeds and then just claim the pension. It will be just like the stupid assets limits now - spend up big and get more income, or save and be punished. Many will choose the former. It will be a social and economic disaster.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    5:11pm
    OGR no one is stealing anyone's house. It is simply wrong that one can have an expensive house and get welfare without having to pay it back.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    9:16pm
    Sure is, OG. Wrong that rich arseholes can milk the system for superannuation tax concessions, negative gearing concessions, capital gains tax concessions, GST refunds on private purchases falsely claimed as business costs. It's wrong that rich arseholes can have money stashed in overseas tax havens, operate trusts to avoid tax... on and on and on it goes. But the stinking greedy rich bastards want to steal the homes workers slaved for decades to buy while they keep theirs and pass them on to their heirs.

    TAKE THE RICH GUYS' HOUSES INSTEAD. MAKE THEM REPAY ALL THE ''WELFARE'' THEY CLAIMED THAT THEY HAD NO NEED OF.

    22nd May 2018
    10:58pm
    ogr you are like our so-called independent labor micky(tremor) eaten up inside by a hatred you nor him can't even explain themself, both of you state to be well-of, financial, home owners, etc yet at every opportunity villify those less off by calling them bludgers even without knowing their circomstances, ogr by reading your and labor micky(tremor) comments all one can see is the pure hatred and devision people like you and micky are attempting to sow in our society, hopeful the readers will see through it.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    23rd May 2018
    9:04am
    Heemskerk99, you really are quite astonishingly dumb! Obviously you don't comprehend what I say - probably don't even read it properly.
    I have never said I am well-off. I am comfortable. I own my home. I have some savings - enough that I would not qualify for a pension if I retired, but not enough to generate an income equal to the pension. I still work - though well past retirement age - because I'm lucky enough to have a job I love with flexible hours and that pays moderately well. Add my investment income and I'm okay, for now, but I'd have tens of thousands more income if retired with a lot less assets, which makes no sense at all.

    I have no hatred for anyone, and I don't call those less well off ''bludgers''. For most of my life I was among the seriously disadvantaged, though I didn't collect welfare. I worked for miserable wages at shit jobs and lived frugally.

    I do think it's appalling that people can bludge, gamble, drink, party, holiday, etc. and get a pension that positions them better off than those who lived responsibly and saved as best they could. I also think it's wrong that homeowners are disadvantaged compared to many who rent. The system is bad. It's poorly designed, economically unsustainable (proven by the constant proposals to change it), and socially divisive and destructive. It drives need and increased poverty.

    The fact that I object to a bad system, and I disapprove of people taking unfair advantage of it, does NOT make me ''eaten up inside'' or hateful.

    I object TO THE SYSTEM. Get it through your thick skull, heemskerk99. I have no issue with people or my life. I am very content. But I'd like to drive SENSIBLE CONSTRUCTIVE POLICY CHANGE that would benefit our society. And to do that requires noting honesty where the flaws lie and how people take advantage of them.
    Old Geezer
    23rd May 2018
    9:35am
    OGR you just hate anyone better off than you are. Personally I couldn't care less how much anyone else had. One of my friends is very wealthy and another is very poor. We just enjoy each others company and have some good times together whether it be a cuppa in a park, free coffee at the golden arches etc.
    niemakawa
    23rd May 2018
    1:28pm
    OG somewhat of a contradiction. All along you have been in favour of the family home being included in the Assets Test, yet here you say that you couldn't care less how much anyone has. So which is it old chap??
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    23rd May 2018
    6:34pm
    Good question, niemakawa. Obviously the truth is that OG hates anyone other than the rich elite to have anything, or any opportunity to get anything. He thinks if you are not rich, you should be poor - and if you are not poor, you are fair game for the stinking greedy rich to steal everything you've spent a lifetime working for.

    No, OG, I don't hate anyone who is better off than me. I don't hate anyone. I just think greed is disgusting and selfish people are contemptible. Of course you can enjoy the company of the rich man and the poor man, but if someone middle class was in the mix you would be wanting to see the government torment them and steal their home.
    TREBOR
    24th May 2018
    11:50am
    And contempt is not hatred, since the person treated with contempt is of insufficient value to hate. One can ONLY 'hate' someone on an equal footing, not a lesser being.... such lesser beings are more to be pitied.....

    heemie - we don't hate you, son (leaves open the question of contempt) - we're trying to bring you along slowly..... but you can't be helped unless you want to be....
    Dragrush
    22nd May 2018
    11:09pm
    Judging by the responses so far to this proposal by Mr Michael Rice the family home issue is going to be a hot topic for some time to come as it should be ......not forgetting that it was a young unknown liberal member who put forward the idea and also the business council of Australia has been pushing the idea for a while now. If you take the trouble to read Mr Rice's paper you will see an interesting timeline of events and it is clear that the days of an expected old aged pension are limited. Any inclusion of the average family home will cancel pensions of half the people in Melbourne and Sydney and perhaps many other states. Mr Rice as an well known actuary obviously has the attention of the liberals and I would have thought he would have been better off making constructive suggestions as to how homeowners can better access a low cost option to obtain some wealth equity from their homes. The pension loans scheme is a potential minefield and will bleed away the asset value so quickly the government will need to do something to change it before the next election. I guess at the same time we have any number of long time contributors to this column (unnamed to prevent a tirade of abuse ) who would be better off making sen sible contributions to how a more equitable OAP can be given to us. Dragrush
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2018
    9:29am
    Business Council of Australia - that laughable body of 150 members that punches way above its weight and gets its rabid opinions aired and gets the ear of the dopes in government, while only one third of its members pay their full tax on TAXABLE income.

    The BCA is a joke, and should be disbanded forthwith.
    Old Geezer
    23rd May 2018
    9:36am
    Why shouldn't those in Sydney and Melbourne with expensive houses pay for their own retirement?
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2018
    2:56pm
    Because you can't eat a house.....
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    23rd May 2018
    7:40pm
    Because if you work hard and save well and pay off a mortgage, you deserve to enjoy the rewards, and if there are no rewards, people will stop doing it. The way things are in Australia, people are rewarded for bludging, overspending, gambling - anything except living responsibly. Yet we are told we need more people living responsibly. It defies comprehension how any government can be so thoroughly STUPID as to incentivize exactly the OPPOSITE behaviour to what it says is good for the economy.

    Okay, let's now punish people for owning houses, and see how the housing crisis exacerbates and aged pension costs rise with the sudden rush of people wanting rent assistance after they sell their houses and give away the proceeds, or spend them cruising, because there just ain't any point in having assets if it's going to cost you your income for the rest of your days.
    Hairy
    22nd May 2018
    11:55pm
    Another of those educated nutters spewing garbage and getting bloody paid for it probably,I would say the way he talks he would fit right in to the the greens party,birds of a feather and all that.OG you should be a puppeteer ,man can you pull strings,change your name to joker man lol
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2018
    9:34am
    You got that right - over-education and flying too high for too long causes the individual to develop myopia, short-sightedness and confusion of the mind bordering on psychosis, and academic over-infusion calcifies the mind rather than liberating it.

    We have 'experts' who will stand tall and tell you with a straight face that you are too drunk to drive a car at 0.02.... or even 0.05 ..... when the majority of accidents do not even involve alcohol consumption, but are the result of negligence or stupidity.

    We have 'experts' who daily tell you with a straight face, and at massive cost for 'consultation', that they, like some French General on the Western Front in WWI (let's shell the sh1t out of them and then charge! Bunkers? What bunkers?) have the answer to the ills of the economy......

    We have 'experts' who will tell you with a straight face that women are paid less than men for the same work, and that we have a near unlimited number of 'genders'.....

    No wonder experts are defined as 'has-been drips under pressure'....
    Manchild
    23rd May 2018
    10:42am
    Completely agree the family home should be included in the assets test. The inequities of the current system are fully explained in the article and the people against it are purely for selfish self interest reasons
    Old Geezer
    23rd May 2018
    10:56am
    I agree.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    23rd May 2018
    6:31pm
    No. Those against it understand the negative implications and that the negatives of the outlined plan outweigh the positives - creating far more problems than they solve. What we need is innovative thinkers who live in the real world and understand that needs-based welfare creates need. This proposal would wipe out incentive to work, save and invest and create a nation of aged paupers. What is the point of slaving for 30+ years to pay off a mortgage only to have it all taken away? And why are the less well off being persecuted while obscene handouts continue to the well-to-do who are NEVER asked to pay anything back.

    It is you two who are GREEDY and SELFISH - demanding people be deprived of benefit for a lifetime of hard work.
    Old Geezer
    23rd May 2018
    8:30pm
    So it is OK OGR if I have a $10 million house and collect the full OAP? Interesting.
    niemakawa
    23rd May 2018
    8:54pm
    OG, Yes I also think it is OK.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    8:09am
    I didn't suggest that for an instant, OG. I think the family home SHOULD be assessed, but NOT in the way anyone in power or any so-called expert has suggested to date. I think ALL assets over, say $1 million per PERSON (not couple) should be assessed for DEEMED INCOME ONLY (deemed at a realistic rate given current economic conditions) - NOT on their claimed asset value. If the deemed income is more than the actual income from that asset, it should be added to all actual income and the total used to assess pension entitlement. Everyone gets to own a reasonable home, furniture, car, and other essentials with no penalty - as they should. Nobody is discriminated against for not being able to invest for high returns. The assets test is patently UNFAIR and economically destructive. Punishing people for saving is STUPID.

    A far better solution is the universal pension and tax all other retirement income. NOBODY should suffer for having saved, as is the case under the current system.
    Radish
    24th May 2018
    9:58am
    Agree.

    Why not on the demise of a person getting as pension (if they have a very expensive homes) recoup the money from the sale of the family home.

    As it is the relatives get all the benefit at other taxpayers' expense.
    TREBOR
    24th May 2018
    11:55am
    Because,Radish (rolls eyes at the umpteenth time) it is THEIR home bought and paid for and their pension is theirs bought and paid for, and they are Entitled to pass on an inheritance to their future generations to assist them with their prosperity. Such inheritance passing down should NOT be restricted only to the 'better' classes, since to do so means that in short order (like the Irish anti-Catholic land laws way back) everything of value and every opportunity in society would end up in their hands, leaving us with the rich and the landless, homeless serfs who can be starved, abused and exploited at whim.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    1:47pm
    BS Radish. Why not take the homes of all the wealthy who claimed superannuation tax concessions, negative gearing benefits, and a host of other handouts? Why do THEY get to keep their assets.

    Yes, my children get the benefit of my home when I die, as they SHOULD. No bloody taxpayer paid my mortgage. No bloody taxpayer helped me when I was desperately poor and struggling to keep food on the table. No bloody taxpayer supported my daughter when she was unable to work because of disability. All through that, I paid tax. Why the hell should the fat cats get to pass their wealth down and the workers have all their assets STOLEN so the stinking well-off can pay less tax. Bugger off with your feudal mentality.
    Radish
    24th May 2018
    3:47pm
    There must be an awful lot of people on this site who have a lot of money and getting a small pension to be so against any changes so that the system is fairer and that those who really need this welfare get it.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    3:56pm
    It's NOT welfare, Radish. And making it needs-based creates need. It's ridiculous to suggest that giving money to people who didn't work and save and depriving those who did is going to make a better society. It's just going to make more poor people! Take away incentive and you have nothing.

    We need a UNIVERSAL PENSION. Stop this NONSENSE deprivation and punishment of people who worked hard and achieve modest affluence. It hasn't worked and it never will.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    5:08pm
    Radish I agree with you. With I many against this idea there must be an awful lot of them with expensive houses and lots of other assets just below the pension cut off level. Otherwise what are they frightened of? Nothing that's the only explanation.
    Radish
    24th May 2018
    6:01pm
    People need to move with the times...the money to pay for pensions comes out of the Welfare budget.

    "By the end of 1942, the Curtin Government had to find an additional £40 million, but what kind of spin could they put on it so it could not be described as a tax increase? They talked about introducing a separate Social Security tax, but decided that such a move would create administrative difficulties and confusion. In the end, it was simpler to raise taxes across the board.

    And so the National Welfare Fund was born. True, a part of all taxes received were paid into it, and certain pensions were paid out of it. But no taxpayer had a separate balance in their own name, so there was no possibility that monies paid in would be allocated to a particular contributor.

    The years passed, governments changed, and eventually they ended the charade of a separate welfare fund. Any money left was transferred to Consolidated Revenue, from where the money for social security benefits now comes.

    Now, some minor political parties are agitating for the money that was originally in the National Welfare Fund to be paid to older people, on the grounds that it was their money all the time. The sad reality is that there is nothing there to pay out. It’s all gone down the vast black hole called ‘government’."
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    9:13pm
    People need to stop believing politicians who LIE. Our OAP costs 1/2 what most developed nations spend and the cost is FALLING. We can well afford to spend a great deal more on our seniors - and we SHOULD. Instead, this stinking government hands it all to the wealthy and abuses the aged. It's time it ended. KICK THE LYING, CHEATING BASTARDS OUT.
    mIKER
    23rd May 2018
    10:53am
    It seems more than reasonable to include the family home in the assets test, providing the home has significant value, say in the order of $2 million. This relatively high cut off prevents the regular toiler from losing their pension and precludes wealthy folk from claiming a pension. Or so you would think, but how many people on a Govt pension actually live in a $2+ M house? Let's think about it, how many would have no assets and attempt to live on the pension? Yes of course there are some, but leave them alone to suffer their miserable lives.
    Old grey
    23rd May 2018
    12:11pm
    Here we go again, anyone with a house worth more than $500,000 should have that extra added to their assets. But wait, that means that ANYONE who owns a house in any of the capital cities (and major regional centres) would be targeted - all need to move to the middle of no-where, where there's no medical, transport et al facilities, and just die, thus saving the government having to pay out any pensions. Maybe we should be considering this for all of these overpaid toffee nosed know-it-alls.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2018
    2:32pm
    Exposed on an economic hillside ....... not worth even that much, according to these parasites who come up with and support this kind of insanity.
    Grateful
    23rd May 2018
    9:21pm
    There are none so blind that WILL not see!!
    Here we go again, pitting the "haves' against the "have nots" to create that division that enables governments of all persuasions to simply ignore the rights of the aged. United we stand divided we fall.
    Politicians love these forums that YLC regularly puts up and always get a maximum, and divided, response. All of your opinions are read by the politicians' support staff and allows them to sleep better at night knowing that they don't have to worry about what they do or don't do, because they will always get support from half the aged contributors. Wake up!!!!!
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    9:09am
    Anyone think to inquire how many lower value homes Michael Rice owns? I'll bet he has a few. Imagine how they will soar in value when there's a rush of retirees downsizing to keep their pension!!!! Then the young will suffer increased prices for affordable first homes, making the housing bubble worse. As the value of smaller homes in rural areas soars, retirees will have to downsize further. Maybe there will be a rush to buy mobile homes and caravans?

    Of course there would also be an increase in demand for aged care as all those seniors with larger, disability-friendly homes to allow them to care for aged, sick parents have to put Mum or Dad into care and sell their home to avoid pension loss. And grandparents providing emergency accommodation for children or grandchildren in crisis would have to stop doing that - with sad consequences for the kids and society. And then there's the health costs as stress and depression among the aged increases because they are forced to choose between mortgaging the home they took 3 decades to pay off, or moving to a less suitable home.

    These thought bubbles by rich idiots are SOOOOO easy! And SOOOOO STUPID! They have no idea. The reason our current system is so badly flawed is because it was designed by rich idiots who have no idea. And now another rich idiot wants to make it worse.
    Old Geezer
    24th May 2018
    3:02pm
    If people downsize then they simply wont have enough to pay the high fees asked by nursing homes. This will result in low fees for nursing home places.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    1:40pm
    Low fees? That will mean poorer care. You really are a nasty individual, OG. You just want people to suffer. As long as you are okay, you want to see everyone else tormented. What a horrid person you are!
    Old Geezer
    25th May 2018
    2:55pm
    Is it fair that one person is charged a $1 million while another one pay nothing to enter a nursing home? People only suffer in nursing homes because they are not allowed to die with dignity so starve themselves to death instead. We would not let animals do this so why are we letting people? The highest percentage of people who suicide are over 80 so why aren't we allowing them to die with dignity instead. Why do we keep people alive to suffer? This is simply insane.
    Radish
    25th May 2018
    4:39pm
    My brother in law is in a very good nursing home...no bond was required and his wife still lives in the family home. He pays a certain amount each week.
    Radish
    24th May 2018
    9:53am
    This article sasys that a SUPERANNUATION CONSULTANT AND INDEPENDENT ACTUARY MICHAEL RICE MADE THE RECOMMENDATION....

    It does not say the government is going to take up the recommendation.
    niemakawa
    24th May 2018
    1:31pm
    Radish, maybe not but I am sure the Government are behind this and testing water so to speak.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th May 2018
    9:18pm
    For goodness sake, people STOP BELIEVING LIES. The OAP costs this nation HALF what other developed countries spend, and the cost is falling. There is simply NO EXCUSE for the vile and disgusting attacks on seniors and the obscene greed of the wealthy who want to deprive older Australians. We have plenty of money to pay a universal pension as in New Zealand, and this country would be far more prosperous if we did.
    Old Geezer
    25th May 2018
    2:50pm
    I believe what I see and what I see is not good in that many people are getting the OAP that simply should not be. This has to be stopped and the one with the biggest effect is the doing something about the big inequity of all. The house. It should be counted in the assets test.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    25th May 2018
    6:27pm
    No, OG. That will only invite more manipulation, more over-spending, and more irresponsible living in order to avoid the penalties for doing what is good for society. We need to encourage home ownership and saving, not punish it. We will NEVER improve the budget or social conditions by rewarding irresponsible living and punishing savers and homeowners.

    I agree there is a problem with the OAP. It would best be solved by a universal pension for all. Second best would be to abolish the assets test, which is the cause of all the inequity. Adding the home to the assets test will create horrendous problems and make the current terrible system far, far worse
    Adrianus
    26th May 2018
    8:54am
    Forget about it Rainey, it will not happen. Those countries with the universal pension, NZ and Denmark both have low corporate tax rates. Australian's will never agree to that. We have a different mentality. Our class warfare and hatred of big business is shifting us further away from a universal pension, so forget it!
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    26th May 2018
    12:27pm
    That's not actually true, Adrianus. NZ and Denmark have low NOMINAL corporate tax rates. Our corporate tax rate is actually very low by world standards. It just happens to suit the purposes of greedy people to pretend that the nominal rate is the actual rate. Intelligent people know that is rubbish. When it comes to home mortgage rates, it's law that lenders must state the difference clearly. The same should apply to comparisons of tax rates.
    GrayComputing
    25th May 2018
    6:49am
    It is time for all of us to rant at our PMs to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVERV AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

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

    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?

    Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    Some opposition and independent MPs stand to lose their chance at being part of the needed government changes

    We all need to tell our MP that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    Adrianus
    26th May 2018
    8:58am
    The family home is already included in the assets test.
    What we find difficult is the value assessment.
    Should it remain the same, a nominal amount for all homeowners? Or should individual valuations be made?
    Radish
    26th May 2018
    10:20am
    This is from the government web site...it states

    "Assets we don’t assess

    There are some assets we don't assess. We call these exempt assets.

    Exempt assets include:

    your principal home and surrounding land up to 2 hectares on the same title"

    So how can you say the family homes is included??
    Adrianus
    26th May 2018
    10:33am
    I guess its because I look at the facts rather than listen to political fiction.
    As of 1st January 2017 the family home you live in is valued at $200,000.
    If you are a single homeowner, you can own $250,000 in assessable assets before you start losing the pension. If you are a single non-homeowner the threshold is $450,000.
    A couple who owns a home is allowed $375,000 before they start losing the pension, while a couple without a home can have $575,000.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    26th May 2018
    2:30pm
    I've read countless reports suggesting that buying a home does not deliver any real economic advantage over renting. If you rent and invest the savings, you end up better off. I always questioned their argument, but it never mattered to me because the psychological and comfort benefits of home-owning always won out over economic issues anyway in my mind. However, I think it's time for some careful consideration of whether home ownership is a major economic benefit before greedy idiots start punishing people for making a responsible decision that is saving the country money already. If the house is included in the assets test, it becomes very questionable whether it's worthwhile owning one at all, and if people deem it of no benefit, what does that do to the housing market, rents, and the cost of supporting pensioners who pay rent to retain adequate accommodation? All is not what it seems to these fools with their thought bubbles based on some mathematical calculation that ignores human psychology and the social consequences of policy changes.

    The government clearly got it wrong changing the assets test so that a couple with $400,000 earn 50% more income per year, on average, than a couple with $800,000 invested. Surely they couldn't be stupid enough to make another seriously harmful change that will mess up the entire structure of society and have inestimable economic consequences medium to long term?
    Adrianus
    26th May 2018
    3:13pm
    Well its certainly not of major benefit to a pensioner who's home has a realistic value of less than $200k at the moment. At what valuation does it become a ball and chain for a home-owner pensioner? I do know that it makes absolutely no economic sense for a home with a realistic value of $2.5m to be valued at $200k by Centrelink, while a $400k home is also valued at $200k. But then again, Rainey you know human nature and you know that none of those high priced properties are the result of any thoughtful planning by way of pension maximisation. By the way, if you think a couple with $400k can earn 50% more income than a couple with $800k then you seriously need to revisit your investment strategy.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    27th May 2018
    8:58pm
    Adrianus, it's not me who says a couple with $400K earns 50% more than one with $800K. It's the government and economists. The average investment return is 5%. A couple with $400K gets a part pension, plus investment return and concessions, easily making an income of $60,000. A couple with $800,000 (assuming they also have a little non-returning cash to live on) gets no pension benefits, no pension, and only earns $40,000 a year - less if they have management costs. It's easy to say someone with $800,000 to invest SHOULD get better than 5%, but not everyone is financially literate. It really angers me that the privileged want to punish people for being educationally or socially disadvantaged and unable to attain a higher rate of return. The elitist mentality is really disgusting!

    I agree that it makes no sense for a home of $2.5m value to be valued the same as one worth $400K. I also know that discouraging home ownership is detrimental both socially and economically - as, in fact, is discouraging other investment.

    The simple solution is a universal pension, as in NZ, with tax paid on retirement income. Everyone has equal benefit, equal incentive to work, save, invest, and pay tax, and the economy gains massive benefit.

    If that is a bridge too far, then raise the assets threshold to, say $1.5 million per person - thus allowing a generous allowance for a home + other investments, but DO NOT specify the assets. Let everyone have $1.5 million non-assessed - and maybe $2.5 million for a couple, regardless of what they choose to invest in. Those with a $1 million home can have $500K in other assets. Renters can have $1.5 million in assets. Someone with a $400K home can have $1.1 million in other assets. Assess the greater of income or deemed income over a fair threshold. Removes the unfairness, AND removes the disincentive to work, save and invest. Tax retirement income.

    We need the ''experts'' to STOP this short-sighted, mean-spirited thinking and start thinking outside the square. Get innovative. The current system is a disaster. It's hideously unfair. It's economically unsustainable. It's driving excessive poverty. It's socially harmful. Making minor changes here and there can only make it worse. An intelligent politician or adviser would be recommending throwing it out in its entirety and coming up with a system that is fair and sustainable. And any decent politician or adviser would be careful to consider the issues faced by the educationally or psychologically disadvantaged, NOT assuming everyone should get high returns and taking the ''if they don't, they can go to hell'' attitude.
    Adrianus
    28th May 2018
    8:51am
    C'mon Rainey, the reality is that you and many others falsely claim to be on the side of the battler. The true Aussie battler is getting a hand up. But why is Mr and Mrs Average upset about that? Not poor enough to get welfare, not wealthy enough to live like royalty? Why take it out on the battlers and the high tax payers?

    My understanding of "equality" is when the battler or the minority gets an advantage. Isn't this a way of forcing a decline in poverty?
    Why should you be so mean spirited when genuine battlers finally have equality?
    I've got no more to say in the face of such hypocrisy.
    Rae
    1st Jun 2018
    5:07pm
    Of course. Superannuation Expert wants more money for his own business. This is no better than a marketing plea. Make the pension harder to get and the home at risk and they'll give me more of their money to play with and take commissions from.

    Greedy devious devil.


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