Universal part-pension for all retirees, say seniors groups

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Every retiree should be given a part pension, say seniors groups concerned that COVID-19 has wiped out many nest eggs, leaving many cash poor and increasing the number of older Australians living in poverty.

Seniors groups are calling on the federal government, which is still in the midst of its Retirement Income Review, to overhaul the pension system and introduce a universal part pension.

Changes to tax concessions, such as removing franking credits, would be used to fund the new pension which, if introduced, could mean the end of the income and assets tests.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on retirement income, with equity and investment markets and global interest rates all taking a massive hit.

Analysis firm JPMorgan estimates dividend income will drop by $68 billion in the 12 months to the end of June, property income will slump by $59 billion while interest payments will be $8 billion down, according to a Fairfax report.

Many retirees who had already suffered loss of income caused by back-to-back-to-back reduced interest rates will not see much reduction in the value of their assets. Under the income and assets test, the value of those assets – not the loss of cash – will still determine whether or not they qualify for the Age Pension.

A universal pension would make the means test redundant and could improve retirement outcomes and incentives for savers, says National Seniors spokesperson Ian Henschke.

“It would get rid of the pension assets and income tests, doing away with the need for unfair taper rates, deeming rates and work restrictions, and end the need to engage with Centrelink,” said Mr Henschke.

“If everyone of pension age received a pension, retirees could just add this to their other income and pay tax. Means testing is costly to administer and leads to perverse outcomes, which are more apparent in the current crisis.

“Asset taper rates unfairly penalise those who save more for their retirement. Income tests undermine ongoing workforce participation and lead to ongoing anger over deeming rates.”

YourLifeChoices has been calling for a universal pension for years. The Australia Institute senior economist Matt Grudnoff is also a proponent of a universal pension.

“At the heart of the problem is an Age Pension system that is both inadequate and hugely complex. But there is a solution – a Universal Age Pension,” Mr Grudnoff wrote for YourLifeChoices in 2018.

“The means testing of the Age Pension results in pension payments being focused mainly on lower income retirees, while the far less means-tested superannuation tax concessions mean that the majority of the tax concessions go to high-income earners.

“The main advantage of a Universal Age Pension is that the whole system becomes simpler. It reduces the cost of administration to both the Government and to retirees. No more having to work out if you’re eligible for a pension or part pension. No more asset or income tests.”

Mr Grudnoff says a universal pension would also increase work participation rates among older people which would strengthen the safety net for those who rent.

“The idea that the Age Pension is unsustainable and that we need to accept the high rates of poverty facing retired people is simply wrong. Reform does not need to break the budget. We just need to more efficiently and fairly distribute the money already being used to boost retirement incomes,” he said.

“A system with integrity and fairness at its core should reflect the underlying purpose of having a pension in the first place: Every Australian should be able to live in retirement with dignity.”

Mercer actuary and senior partner David Knox says the means test hinders many from getting a fair go in retirement and praises the notion of a universal pension.

“The advantage is the universal part pension gives everybody a base to build on while the means-tested pension ensures that no-one lives in poverty,” he said.

“Another advantage is that the means testing will cease at a lower level of assets or income than currently, as it would only apply to half the pension.

“This means that many retired Australian households would not be subject to any means testing and there would be a much clearer incentive to make some extra savings for your retirement.”

The federal government will report on its assessment of Australia’s retirement income system on 24 July.

What do you think of a universal part pension? Has the pandemic had a big impact on your nest egg?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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124 Comments

Total Comments: 124
  1. 0
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    If we remember the National Welfare Fund of the 1940’s which was amalgamated into general taxation by Menzies then we are all ENTITLED to the pension as we paid our tax all our lives. The National Welfare Fund was designed to cover the old age pension, universal health care and disability care. We should also ask why do we need a Medicare levy as we are actually paying twice. Anyway why is this so hard for the government to understand what we have need taxed to fund and now with the low interest rates poor dividends etc self funded retirees now need what they have paid for ie the pension more than ever.

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      The National Welfare Fund was a scam from the very start. Government wanted tor raise taxes so what better way than con the people it was something other than just a rise in taxes.

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      Daveh never have I heard a comment so correct and so under discussed , was the fund that was meant to look after all

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      Something happened when I was typing, after all of us , anyway to continue.
      I think we are lucky in our lives both retired, able to see our kids in another state generally yearly, sometimes a bit more, we own our home, and a car, when I say lucky I guess I mean compared to some pensioners who are on the edge , well I have no idea how they survive with this centrelink pension thing we operate now. We did pay our taxes. but this is the reality, every week we pay all our bills we don’t owe,we get a bit behind at times, though.

      But after doing the paying out and buy food, we’re pretty well out of the once a month meal in fact maybe 6 monthly might be it, we are average people and I guess most of us are around the same situation.
      What I am saying is life for all pensioners SHOULD NEVER EVER BE A STRUGGLE, PENSIONS WERE PLANNED FOR, AND IT SEEMS THAT THAT WENT OUT THE GATE.
      But the Government has found billions of dollars to protect against the PANDEMIC where was it all sitting waiting at?
      And who do we owe the money to? When in the beginning of the history of stock markets and interest rates etc world wide banks began it profit from it and used OTHER PEOPLES MONEY to have it that way. So maybe we don’t owe anyone anything.

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    If we remember the National Welfare Fund of the 1940’s which was amalgamated into general taxation by Menzies then we are all ENTITLED to the pension as we paid our tax all our lives. The National Welfare Fund was designed to cover the old age pension, universal health care and disability care. We should also ask why do we need a Medicare levy as we are actually paying twice. Anyway why is this so hard for the government to understand what we have need taxed to fund and now with the low interest rates poor dividends etc self funded retirees now need what they have paid for ie the pension more than ever.

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    Sounds nice in theory but it is never ever ever going to happen. The Liberal party will never ever countenance such a move. Income support of any sort is anathema to them as they want a highly compliant workforce totally dependent on working for whatever an employer wants to pay them. Remember that most employers are Liberal supporters who only want to pay subsistence level wages with very minimal conditions like sick leave etc, and certainly no penalty rates etc. Pensions are a drain on the economy and they need whatever big sticks they can find to keep us under the thumb.

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      This is getting off message and just a political rant.
      The question is simple: Should a pension for everybody be funded from taxation?
      The answer is also simple. Yes, if the tax has been paid!
      If recipients of the pension also have another income stream, then taxation should be assessed on the total income.
      This is the system in the UK.

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      “Remember that most employers are Liberal supporters who only want to pay subsistence level wages with very minimal conditions like sick leave etc, and certainly no penalty rates etc”

      If this were true we would not need to import so many cheap goods from places such as China. Cheap because they pay lower wages elsewhere than in Australia. Australia’s wages are relatively high compared to elsewhere, which of course makes buying anything also more expensive. We are paid alot but its costs a lot to live here.

      One very recent examole, I have just booked 5 nights accommodation in a regional area and it is costing over $1000 and that does not include getting there or activities once there. Is it any wonder people go to Bali or Fiji when they are able?

      So yes pensions are a drain on the economy as is all welfare, but it is what we are prepared to pay to look after those unable to look after themselves. It is not a right!

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      johninmelb, You are sadly misguided it seems LABOR introduced BOTH the assets and the income test for pensions. And when asked, prior to the last election, if they would reverse the cruel change Hockey made to the assets test, Labor’s reply was NO. Labor also introduced the superannuation system that pays huge benefits to high income earners, and actually costs more than the total cost of the OAP – by with 80% of the money going to the well-to-do. And Labor is pushing for the superannuation guarantee to be increased, which would direct much more taxpayer money to the well-to-do.

      If the superannuation system was properly reformed, we could easily afford to pay a universal age pension and eliminate age poverty.

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      During my working life I was employed by both Commonwealth and State governments, mostly in ministerial offices and at various times directly responsible to departmental heads. I also worked in private enterprise. In my experience, private enterprise rewards hard work and incentivises their employees in many ways that I didn’t find within the public service. They were always realistic about the abilities of their employees, appreciative of new ideas, and paid well to keep their employees as they know that employee turnover has many business costs – both personal and monetary. Private enterprise runs on budgets generated by hard work, initiative and the desire to improve and succeed for the benefit of everyone. Public servants are guaranteed funded by taxpayers and there is very little accountability within the public service “family”. They are jobs-for-life. An unsatisfactory employee almost has to commit a crime before their employment is terminated. I do not believe that private employers are bad people. They are the risk takers, the trainers,the enterprising, and the engine of our economy. Our country survives on the back of entrepreneurial business people. Having seen many sides of government and private enterprise, I know which is the most satisfying.

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      johninmelb. You obviously have never tried to run a business. As the saying goes ‘if it was that easy everyone would do it” yet only 10% try and many fail.

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      inextratime – I have run my own business, and I looked after my staff as I knew what an asset they were.

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    The problem with the Universal pension as seen in NZ and the UK, it actually doesn’t pay enough to support the ‘poorer” person. But it works really well when you have some super etc. to suuport you. I have 1 friend on it in NZ, and the rate is quite low, not liveable, she tells me that she needs extra to live on. last night my father told me of friends in the UK, they have a really good super scheme and also get the Universal pension, and they are rolling in $$. So eventually a Universal payment might work here, but not until the majority or people have a reasonable super fund. We are many years away from that.

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      Universal pension should only cover the basics of living and if you want more than you have to save for it yourself. That’s how it works in UK and NZ and the way it should work too.

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      Retiring Well. So a Universal Pension keeps the status quo for full age pensioners who are struggling but tops up the income for retirees who are fortunate enough to have accumulated enough wealth to miss out on the Age Pension. Might be a good idea for some but not for the majority.

      Speaking generally retirees who are asset rich but cash poor are only cash poor because they don’t want to liquidate their assets. I realise that for some it’s a difficult decision. For example, someone invested in property that cannot be gradually cashed in may find it a tough decision to make but it was their choice to make the investments. I don’t see why the tax payer (future generations) should subsidise the relatively wealthy from divesting their investments to fund their retirement.

      I think in principle the current system is good. I’m all for simplifying and improving the system to make it more efficient and fair provided it is for those who need help the most. If that means eliminating or reducing concessions then so be it.

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      Maci, ‘retirees who are fortune enough’ worked hard and sacrificed to save, and now you want them deprived while those who lived it up are rewarded from the taxpayer purse. The current system is CRAP. It rewards manipulation, dishonesty, and grossly irresponsible lifestyles. It harshly punishes people who worked and saved to fund a more comfortable retirement.

      The current system denies us freedom of choice. You can spend on alcohol and restaurant dinners and world cruises and the taxpayer will hand you around $1 million. But choose to save for a more comfortable old age or better quality aged care and you are denied. You can dump Grandma in aged care at government expense and tour Oz in your luxury RV, then come back and bludge off the taxpayer. But give up that holiday to stay home and care for Grandma yourself and you are denied. If you are lucky enough to be able to take time out to tour Oz in your RV before 65, you get taxpayer benefits, but if you save up to tour after retiring, screw you! You are deprived. If you give your money to your kids before your retire, the taxpayer funds the gift. But if you hang on to your money until death so you don’t have to rely on the government to pay your medical and dental bills in old age, you are punished and your kids lose out. It’s mindboggling that anyone could deem that a ‘good’ system!

      Nobody can ever determine who has genuine needs and who is manipulating to pretend, or whose needs result from irresponsible behaviour, so a needs-based system is always going to be an unfair disaster. It pays the faker who pretends disability. It pays my neighbours, who take cash from the ATM every fortnight to hand to their kids so their savings don’t grow enough to reduce their pension. It pays the couple on the other side of me who won’t marry and claim to sleep in separate bedrooms, claiming two single pensions despite 20 years of living as man and wife. It pays the multi-millionaire who sank $2.5 mil into a luxury mansion, bought a luxury car that sits in the garage and has never been driven (but is depreciated for Centrelink asset valuation purposes), and spent 8 months touring Europe (on a full pension, because he was visiting family so had a ‘compassionate’ reason for being out of the country) in order to reduce his bank balance enough to not lose pension benefits.

      Nobody should have to liquidate assets prematurely. And it’s selfish to suggest that people who save should have to hand their savings to the taxpayer by foregoing a pension while spendthrifts get handouts. Nobody should be denied the right to choose at what stage of life they spend the money they earned.

      I don’t have an issue with the principle that people should live on employer-funded super, but nobody should have to liquidate assets acquired through personal sacrifice to save.

      You don’t see why the taxpayer should subsidize the ‘relatively wealthy’. I don’t see why the taxpayer should subsidize the irresponsible spender or the manipulator or the cheat. And ‘wealth’ is a perception anyway. The majority of those currently excluded from the OAP are NOT anywhere near ‘wealthy’. They are battlers who lived modestly. And any money they leave to their offspring will benefit the next generation by ensuring that the children and grandchildren of the responsible savers have good educational opportunities, can buy a house, can afford good health care and can weather bad periods without resorting to welfare. The alternative is to grind future generations into increasing hardship by making it detrimental to save, so everyone incurs more and more debt and when hardship hits, more and more folk need welfare.

  5. 0
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    there should be a national income system to cover the unemployed, disabled and aged pensioners, this would remove the need and cost of Centrelink completely and protect people from the advancement of technology and the resultant job losses and mass poverty from forcing people to live on Newstart a shrinking pension and diminishing superannuation incomes and creating a nation of poverty stricken 3rd world citizens and underprivileged children .

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      How do you propose paying for it?

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      Easy. Stop handing billions to the wealthy in unfair superannuation tax concessions. Change the tax on super to 15% discount on the member’s marginal rate and we would have mega-billions to fix the pension system, and only high income earners would lose, because 80% of the billions paid in super tax concessions goes to the highest-earning 20%.

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    Yes it would be great but will not happen in my lifetime. It is a whole industry sector making us fill in forms and grovel for what they feel they can give us. All those bureaucrats would be out of a job!

  7. 0
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    Again we have an academic spouting his opinion with the argument skewed totally to one side of the discussion. What is needed is a definition of what is considered “rich”. Different politicians from different parties have given their definition of “rich” and we have not yet achieved a consensus on the definition. Governments of both major parties have agreed in principle that there should be a means test applied to establish the eligibility for an age pension, only the limits have been changed.

    If we just concentrate on a couple owning their own home, they can have assets, which don’t include the family home, of $394,500 and will still be eligible for a part pension until assets increase to $869,500. For those people who don’t qualify for an age pension surely some of this amount can be liquidated and used as living expenses when it is considered that there are people with only the age pension to live on and no additional income? Can somebody please explain why a couple who own their own home and have nearly $900,000 in assets need to maintain those assets and still qualify for an age pension?

    I note that a lot of comments on this subject, which is as regular as clockwork, claim that they paid taxes all their working life and are therefore ENTITLED to a full age pension. To those people I would like to point out that their taxes paid for the age pensions of people who had retired and age pensions today are being paid for by those who are paying tax.

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      And their house is worth what $10 million.

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      And their house is worth what $10 million.

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      Horace Cope the issue here is whether or not it is beneficial to save. With investment returns at the current lows, it isn’t worthwhile unless you can have around $1 mil for a single and $2 mil for a couple. So people either spend unnecessarily or manipulate to qualify for a pension. If we change the assets test or abolish it, it becomes beneficial to save and we have far less age poverty, more spending to generate jobs and tax revenue, and more people able to fund their own health care and age care. Everyone wins. The current system punishes savers by making them live off their assets, thus transferring 100% of the benefit of saving to the taxpayer. So why bother to save? It’s futile.

      If a couple has saved $900,000, they are ENTITLED to a better standard of living than those who didn’t save and rely on taxpayer support. What you are saying (and the message the current system sends) is ‘people who don’t save should be handed $1 mil+ from the taxpayer, and people who do save should get a kick in the teeth and be told to spend their savings’. That doesn’t work for me, or for the nation as a whole.

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      RW – there are not many on the pension with houses worth $10 million. Mention $3 million and you have a point. In my modest unit the cost per annum is $8000, possibly better off just renting and getting rent assistance. What would the costs be for a $10 million house per year? Probably more than half the pension income.

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      No, Youngagain, the point here is universal age pensions. Those who save will continue to save and those who spend all available income will continue to do so. I wonder what would be said if Twiggy Forrest, Gina Reinhart and Sir Frank Lowy were to be granted a lifetime age pension, there has to be a cut-off point. BTW, on today’s pension rates I will have to live to age 129 to receive $1M+ from the taxpayer.

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      So Horace; does that make you about 90 years of age ??

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      I can’t see why ordinary workers who save have to be punished because a handful of really wealthy must not be supported. It’s stupid. Treat everyone the same whether a spender or a saver or a billionaire.

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      Horace Cope, you are mistaken, sorry. Those who save WILL NOT continue to save when they find it is making them worse off. I know of dozens of savers who have blown their money to get the age pension because they recognized that saving was a disadvantage. A friend takes cash from the ATM and hands to her daughters ever single fortnight because she doesn’t need It but leaving it in the bank means her pension is reduced. She is in good company. There are hundreds of thousands of savers who have stopped saving because of the stupid flawed and unfair pension system.

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      Besides that, Horace Cope, it is selfish to suggest that just because people will continue with a past good habit even if they are punished for it, it’s okay to punish, cheat, deprive and discriminate. Whether people will continue to save or not, they are entitled to fair benefit for doing what is good for the country.

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      Youngagain – you have it in a nutshell. That is exactly the way it works all around me. Mates of mine are doing that hand over stuff to their offspring all the time. Better now then when I am dead is the motto. The pension stays the same. I used to save, had no option in the 60s and 70s but that has long gone. As I see it now the saver is no better off than the waster: – one has the full pension and the other has to spend what he’s saved. I am in the middle, got a part pension. Saw the light a bit earlier than others and I am happy with the choice I have made. No super but some cash in the bank!

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      HC and RW, as a SFR, I would love to receive an aged pension. If the idiots in charge of the Australian nation (both Liberal and Labor) had any sense they would realize that the current Asset and Income Test system is deeply flawed and encourages spending above saving.

      I have presented a revised tax system to both major parties and they just can’t get their heads around a simpler system then current. At the moment business tax (for those few who pay tax) is an average of 0.17cents in the dollar. Individual tax is perhaps double the company rate.

      If every company and individual paid 0.15 cents for every dollar earned where would we be? Without a National Debt within 5 years?

      For those who receive a pension, they would also pay the above 0.15 cents on every dollar.

      Would need some investigation to determine if 0.15 cents is not enough or too much. A starting point at least.

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      YoungAgain: The only reason that a couple who has accumulated $900K in assets does not enjoy a better standard of living than those who have been less frugal (or very likely less fortunate) is because they refuse to liquidate their assets. I realise that this might require some tough decisions and is an anathema but it’s their choice.

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      Maci, a couple with $900,000 in assets should NOT HAVE TO liquidate their assets prematurely in order to maintain a better standard of living than the less frugal. They DESERVE a reward for being responsible, and it’s in the interests of the country to ensure they are rewarded, so others are encouraged to be similarly responsible. Those who tout this ill-conceived BS that people should liquidate their assets have no economic sense. What happens 15 or 20 years from now when that couple has huge medical or dental costs or needs household help? What happens when they need aged care? Oh yes, government funds it for those with no money, but some people saved to enjoy choice and better quality care. And greed and selfishness is denying them the benefit they saved for.

      When the assets are gone, despite decades of sacrifice to save, they can’t have what they saved for. If the spendthrifts are entitled to take around $1 mil from the taxpayer purse to compensate for their spending, then the frugal are equally morally entitled to take from the taxpayer purse to ensure they can enjoy the benefits they earned by being frugal. And it’s hideously selfish to claim otherwise.

      And no, most pensioners are not ‘less fortunate’. All the ‘less fortunate’ I know – uneducated orphans, folk who endured chronic ill health, people who migrated with nothing and no qualifications, people who survived major crisis or trauma, people who had disabled children and copped massive medical and special care costs – are actually SFRs. I can’t find a single pensioner who was ‘less fortunate’ than my self-funded friends. I think genuine misfortune often leads to a saver mentality, because people who genuinely do it tough recognize the value of having a nest egg to get them through the rainey days.

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    The idea that the Age Pension is unsustainable and that we need to accept the high rates of poverty facing retired people is simply due to the insatiable greed of our politicians over the past 70 odd years. In 1946 the then parliament set up “National Welfare Fund” into which we taxpayers contributed 7.5% of our taxable income for most of our working lives (yes, even after the fund was trashed and closed down).

    Then on top of that, they (the govt of the day) let superannuation companies scarper with our self-funded policies, with no redress permitted at all. In other words they (the govt) stole our super savings.

    Now they (the govt) have the bald-faced audacity to lie to us and say these fundings never existed. BS Scomo, look it up in your own Hansard record y’ mongrel…

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      No one stole anything. It was a con from the start.

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      Con and Stolen. Basically when it all comes down to it, are both similar things !!

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      I wonder whether those reminiscing about the National Welfare Fund ever paid attention to the world changing around them in the 60s and 70s. How could people be so deluded that the fund was essentially a dud more than 50 years ago was ever going to provide for them? I would have expected they would realise sometime in the intervening decades that they needed a Plan B for retirement.

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      Farside, whether the Fund was sustainable in the form it was created is irrelevant. The fact is that in today’s world all the money that SHOULD be paid to the aged in pensions is being handed to wealthy younger folk in massive superannuation tax concessions. The total cost of superannuation tax concessions now exceeds the cost of the OAP, and is growing at a terrifyingly rapid rate. A whopping 80% of that money goes to high income earners who will never need a pension to retire. Why? They don’t need it.

      To the LNP’s credit, they have made some changes to reduce the handouts to very high income earners and those with very large superannuation balances, but it’s not nearly enough. The super tax concessions should be changed to 15% discount on the member’s marginal tax rate – NOT a flat 15%. The flat tax disadvantages lower income earners and gives high income earners far too much, at unreasonable cost to taxpayers. It is really STUPID to have a pension system based on need and a super system based on GREED. If the retirement funding systems aligned, we could easily afford a universal aged pension.

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      Youngagain, I don’t disagree with your point about concession for superannuation requiring review but that is not pertinent to the comment and something quite separate. Even if that were addressed it would still not resolve the teary eyed reminiscing about the demise of the NWF and why it is not providing for them decades later.

  9. 0
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    Universal Part Pension …. bring it on…. compulsory super contributions have been in place for 30 years so everyone has had the opportunity to grow a nest egg toward retirement . If you have not , stop sucking off those who have

  10. 0
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    No definitely not that if they don’t refund franking credits.

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      Franking credits won’t be much help if dividends are slashed or cease. A universal pension provided guaranteed income through good times and bad, and doesn’t had massive amounts back to the very rich. Much fairer and more economically sustainable.

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      Dividends are not only from public companies but private ones as well where dividends may continue to be paid as normal. Many of those receiving dividends especially from private companies are better off keeping their franking credits than having an universal pension. n universal pension is only a good idea for those who are lazy investors.

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      Retiring well, if we had a universal age pension then it is reasonable that everyone pays income tax, no exemptions (except of course those whose total income is below the taxable threshold). Do you agree? If so, if you have franked dividends and the dividend income plus the universal pension took you over the tax threshold then you would be liable for income tax and you could claim a legitimate deduction for your franking credits. Does that make you happy? However from your latest comment at 12.05pm I suspect not.

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      No it doesn’t as there is no difference between getting a refund or your franking credits and using them to pay less tax. Bottom line is the same in both cases. However Labor wanted to make it unfair in that only those who got refunds were affected. So why should I get my franking credits refunded as I may enough tax to cover them but you don’t because you pay no tax?

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      A universal pension is good for those who are unable to manage an investment portfolio to achieve high returns, and that would be most aged folk who have not had the benefit of high education and earnings, so a universal pension is a benefit to the nation as a whole. Only the privileged few will do better with franking credits and no tax, and – sorry RW – but the nation SHOULD NOT be catering to you and the minority of equally privileged folk who care only for their own hip pockets and not for those aged who are struggling.

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      Correction RetiringWell, I do pay income tax and the Medicare levy, in 2018/2019 financial year I paid nearly $9000 in income tax. The only reason my tax did not go over $10k is that I also got a $1080 tax credit for which I was truly thankful. My superannuation is defined benefit through DFRDB and CSS and is not tax free.

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      Yes I paid a small amount of tax but would of had a tax bill higher than you if I didn’t have franking credits to pay it for me. Why should I be allowed to offset my franking credits against my tax but others who get refunds of them now get denied them? That’s what Labor wanted to do.

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      Retiring Well, your situation is now becoming clearer. Am I correct in understanding you object to having your income tax offset by franking credits whereas others get their franking credits refunded even though they are not liable for tax and therefore pay no tax. If that is so then I agree with you, I cannot see the rationale for any person or organisation getting a tax refund when they pay no tax.

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      Eddy, self-funded retirees are living on income they generate from savings. Those savings were made from after-taxed money. The income on the savings was taxed until they retired. Now they are saving the taxpayer tens of thousands every year. Yet you want them forced to live on peanuts and get NOTHING while pensioners TRIPLE DIP, getting pensions, concessions AND franking credits?

      Why should a taxpayer who contributes a few thousand dollars annually to the Treasury claim franking credits, but an SFR who contributes tens of thousands, and has less to live on (in many cases) than a pensioner, is denied?

      SFRs paid tax all their lives and made sacrifices so they could avoid claiming a pension in retirement. Surely they are entitled to SOMETHING to help them make ends meet when investment returns are pathetically low?

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      Yes Youngagain, I understand. My savings are taxed too, or at least the interest they generate. Unlike some others I also have to pay income tax on my superannuation income (although not on my DVA Disability pension). With all things together I am ineligible for even a part Centrelink pension even though I have paid same rate of tax as everyone else since I left school in 1957. I am afraid Youngagain that SFR, like yourself, and those like me are not entitled to any “something” to make ends meet unless we meet Centrelink’s eligibility criteria.

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      I do not want to mislead, Our savings are in a joint account therefore the interest is split between my wife and myself. My wife has no income therefore I only have to pay tax on 50% of interest earned.

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      Not legally entitled, Eddy, under a stinking unfair system that is wrongfully supported by the selfish and greedy – but definitely morally and ethically entitled, and SHOULD be entitled, and every decent person should be supporting a very aggressive demand that moral entitlements be recognized. The nation would be in far better health both socially and economically if moral entitlements, not greed and selfishness, were the basis for legislation.

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