Superannuation: will the asset threshold changes affect you?

From 1 January 2017, the asset thresholds and taper rate that apply to the Age Pension asset test will change and an estimated 416,000 age pensioners will be affected. So, how will this affect your retirement income?

From 1 January 2017, the asset thresholds and taper rate that apply to the Age Pension asset test will change and an estimated 416,000 age pensioners will be affected. So, how will this affect your retirement income?

While the changes have caused some worry, some pensioners will actually be better off under the changes.  According to the figures released by the Government, 170,000 pensioners will be better off. This includes 50,000 pensioners who are currently receiving a part Age Pension moving to a full Age Pension in the New Year. And thanks to the increase of the lower thresholds, the part Age Pensions of 120,000 are expected to increase by up to $30 per fortnight.  Importantly, if you’re already receiving the full pension, you will continue to do so, providing your current financial position doesn’t alter.

However, it’s not all good news as the changes mean 91,000 Australians will lose their Age Pension entitlement altogether and about 235,000 will have their part Age Pensions reduced.  If you’re one of the unlucky ones who will lose their Age Pension as a result of the change, rest assured that you will have the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card, as well as the low income Health Care Card  for life (or until you are eligible for the Age Pension again).

Under the changes, the lower asset free threshold will increase, but the upper asset-free threshold reduces, meaning fewer people will qualify for a part Age Pension. In addition to these changes, the taper rate will also increase to $3 for every $1000 by which the asset free threshold is exceeded, meaning the Age Pension payment will reduce to $0 more quickly. 

The thresholds will change as follows: 

  Current From 1 January 2017*
  Asset free threshold Pension cut-off threshold Asset free threshold Estimated pension cut-off threshold

Homeowner

       
Single $209,000 $791,750 $250,000 $541,200
Couple (combined) $296,500 $1,175,000 $375,000 $814,250
Non-homeowner        

Single

$360,500 $943,250 $450,000 $741,250
Couple (combined) $448,000 $1,326,500 $575,000 $1,014,250


*Upper thresholds change with Centrelink rate changes. The above estimated pension cut-off figures from 1 January 2017 are based on the 20 March 2016 pension rates and are subject to change. Source: humanservices.gov.au

For those who have reached Age Pension age and are planning on claiming the payment, remember that the balance of your superannuation fund is included under the asset test. If your partner hasn't yet reached Age Pension age, then although you are assessed as part of a couple, the value of their superannuation is excluded from the asset test.

To be guided through the changes and what they could mean to you, visit AustralianSuper.

If you’re concerned about how the changes will affect your retirement income, it’s important to review your financial situation and seek advice before making any decisions.

This article has been sponsored by AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, the Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898. The views expressed are those of YourLifeChoices and not necessarily the views of AustralianSuper. The article contains general information and you should consider if it is right for you.





    COMMENTS

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    4th Sep 2016
    10:53am
    'I'm querying the statement: "'If you’re one of the unlucky ones who will lose their Pension as a result of the change, rest assured that you will have the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card and Pension Card for life.'' The two cards are very different, and previous announcements have indicated that those losing their pension would ONLY keep the CSHC - NOT the pension card. The CSHC is worth very little by comparison with the pension card as the pension card entitles holders to rates, registration and license rebates and other benefits not available to CSHC holders.

    The asset test changes are a disgrace in an environment where average returns range from less than 2% to around 5%. The pension is equivalent to a return rate of 7.8% + benefits, increasing twice yearly. Many retirees who sacrificed lifestyle to save for retirement and tried hard to be self-sufficient, but were crippled by economic downturn, will now be worse off than pensioners. It's a STUPID way to structure the pension means test.

    There have been copious exposes detailing how retirees will be driven to over-invest in housing and the soon-to-retire are better off spending heavily or gifting generously rather than keeping money that will place them in the position of being far worse off than if they hadn't saved it.

    Of course the worst hit of those who saved will be those who suffered educational disadvantage or crisis/deprivation/trauma that destroyed their capacity to trust and made them very risk averse. The more privileged who can achieve higher investment returns won't suffer, and the fortunate who lived a more lavish lifestyle and saved less actually benefit. So the policy change does the opposite of what the government claims to seek to achieve with pension policy - it hurts the underprivileged.

    This is UTTER STUPIDITY - the work of careless, thoughtless, lazy politicians who have never lived in the real world and couldn't be bothered considering the realities of life for struggling retirees and devising sensible policies that genuinely serve the national interest and are FAIR.
    Alexii
    4th Sep 2016
    12:16pm
    All those politicians who agreed with this and supported it in parliament are just rotten B.........s. They need to try to live on the returns that we can get from our hard earned savings in superannuation accounts and they would then sing a very different tune. But they'll never have to do that.

    And for those on this website who will say that we should use all our super over time and then get the age pension, why should we have to do that? The well off polls and the other rich whom they continually support don't and won't have to watch their meagre savings dwindle away as we will do - even though we will be getting less than what a full pension would give us. makes me wonder why I didn't just blow my money on all the goodies, on new cars, expensive holidays, on thereat that I always wanted to have but still haven't got - and so on.
    Rae
    4th Sep 2016
    12:49pm
    It isn't fair Rainey for those who are risk averse. Surprisingly the stats show these people far outnumber those prepared to stomach loss.

    I lost a beloved husband suddenly in a work related accident leaving me entirely responsible for three young children.

    I broke down when it hit me I would be totally responsible for every decision and the consequences.

    I sought professional help and accepted therapy and reprogramming.

    Then I had the confidence to accept the losses that come from business ownership and investing in markets. You win some and lose some but it is playing the game over time that creates wealth and income of your own.

    It is unfortunate that the government is broke.

    We are going to have to do more for ourselves.

    The risk averse will be disadvantaged the most. They always have been. Mental health services to help them gain the self belief to be able to deal with loss and past trauma would be a great way to help. Don't hold you breath though because this is not well understood by most.

    The day I broke down I drove to the Women's Crisis Centre but it was closed. It was after work for me but they only opened from 10 to 2. Who has a crisis in the middle of the day?

    Unfortunately we will all have to make do on less. My investment income is falling too. I get no government welfare. Not even the tax concessions given to self funded retirees. I'm okay but I have cut back, changed insurers, electrical retailers etc looking for the better deal. Taken holidays at home rather than overseas.

    My last few trips abroad allowed me to see the devastation financial, ecological and political collapse is beginning to have.
    Safe destinations are shrinking in number.

    Even the superannuation tax concessions here are beginning to be compared to welfare so no one is safe. When it was pointed out that superannuation tax concessions are a form of taxpayer welfare I saw a thickening plot.

    Best to cut back and start some very serious budgeting and saving preparation because this will be very nasty before too long I suspect and not just for the disadvantaged.

    Your last paragraph is correct. Politicians have been all those things and over indulged for far too long all around the world.
    I suspect that is coming to a fast finish as well.

    There is no FAIR not now, not ever.
    Anonymous
    4th Sep 2016
    3:25pm
    A friend consulted a financial advisor for help, realizing their income would be cut by nearly 30% in January 2017. After careful analysis of their situation, and discussion of their strong aversion to investing in shares and managed funds etc. because of past huge losses, the financial advisor concluded their only feasible option was to separate and claim two pensions. Centrelink told them since they have self-contained suites at opposite ends of their huge $2 million house, they can separate and legally live in the same house and get two single pensions. By putting the house in one name, the other partner claims the non-homeowner rate.

    Another couple found that by renting a tiny bed-sitter a block away and claiming to be separated, they could boost their total income to be a total of over $400 a week better off than remaining married. Otherwise, they would simply drain away their savings at a rapid rate. Centrelink told them quite openly they could spend 4 nights a week together as long as they maintained separate addresses and lived apart for approx. half of each week.

    What a terrible situation when couples who have been happily married for 50 years are contemplating separation because of cruel pension changes that make them worse off than pensioners! And meanwhile the couple who sank $5 million into a mansion, gave $2 million to their kids before turning 60, and spend $500,000 cruising the world enjoys a full pension!
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2016
    5:03pm
    Rainey I cannot get my head around why anyone would sink $5 million into a mansion, gave $2 million to their kids before turning 60, and spend $500,000 cruising the world would do so to get a full pension. With that sort of money you would be miles in front just by having your money lazily earning bank interest. If invested well you would have many times the age pension to spend each year. No one would be that stupid!
    Greg
    4th Sep 2016
    8:05pm
    "A friend consulted a financial advisor for help, realizing their income would be cut by nearly 30% in January 2017."

    If their income is cut by 30% they have assets. Drawdown on the assets and as they do the pension increases. Whats the point of dying with hundreds of thousands in the bank.
    MICK
    4th Sep 2016
    9:37pm
    There are always ways Geezer. Parents who have trustworthy children will likely have under the table cash top-ups which does not go through the system. Those folk will get both the pension AND the returns on the capital they gave to their children.
    Ok...comes down to the trust between boomer parents and genY children and this is where the lines may be blurred.
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2016
    10:29pm
    Mick it simply does not make any sense. Why live on the OAP when you could have many times more? Sounds like the recipe for stupidity to me.
    Radish
    5th Sep 2016
    8:42pm
    The they do it is because they see others getting the OAP and the concessions etc and they "want it as well".

    So they do all they can to get it. I agree if you can self support it is a hell of a lot better than being beholden to Centrelink. Worrying you may do the wrong thing and they will pounce on you.

    Personally I do not care...if I can look after myself I will do and I do not envy people on the pension. That is how it is; some get it, some don't.

    Putting your trust into your children as you age...yeah, well watch some of the programs on TV and you will see in many cases that trust is totally misplaced.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2016
    7:57am
    The point here is that the assets threshold is way too low for younger retirees who may have 30+ years to live and are getting poor returns on their investment. There's an assumption that everyone can - and should - invest to get high returns. But you have to get better than 7.8% to be as well off as a pensioner if you are only just over the threshold. That's insane. And it hurts the disadvantaged most - people who are uneducated, risk averse due to having suffered extreme hardship, etc.

    The people I see manipulating to get around the cruel system are battlers who are afraid. They don't understand investment. They worked hard for their savings and they fear losing them too early in retirement. They are seeing the value of their portfolio falling, and they are forced to cash out investments at a loss to have cash to live on.

    Those who argue against me on this are short-sighted and lack the capacity to see the whole picture. I have no issue at all with managing the pension system to look after the neediest, but do it in a way that is fair. Stripping personal savings from 65-year-olds who have less than $1 million earning returns isn't fair or sensible. Now if they geared the taper rate to age, that would help enormously. Of course an 87 year old couple can live well of $820,000 in assets. But a 65-year-old invalid who has to budget for disability aids, home help, personal care, and high medical expenses needs a lot more, and with no assistance to achieve guaranteed returns, he is going to suffer very unfairly as a result of a taper rate that ASSUMES 7.8% returns.

    The nasty assumptions here that people do it because they see others getting the OAP flow from arrogance and ignorance, and inability to examine all the factors objectively and with empathy.
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2016
    1:12pm
    Rubbish Rainey if a couple can't live on $800,000 then they are living way beyond their means. It is only a problem for those who for some silly reason do not wish to use their capital until they get it down to a level where they get the full OAP. Why should the taxpayer support these people just so that they can leave assets behind for others? You make no sense to me at all.

    To me it has more about others are getting the pension so I'll do what I can to get it too. They jate being the odd person out and there is onlt so many times you can leave your pension card at home. That is how stupid this welfare mentality society has become.
    Captain
    6th Sep 2016
    1:37pm
    Old Geezer/Bonny,

    I fail to follow your logic, I don't have a pension card and my wife are never embarrassed or "hate it" when we are out with friends who have pension cards. They understand that like them we worked hard and saved and by good luck and a little good management we ended up retired and not able to claim a pension. So perhaps you should keep your welfare (entitlements) ideas to yourself.
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2016
    4:14pm
    No I won't keep them to myself because that is what I see happening out in the community. I for one would never tell anyone my business but I must admit people just assume I am on welfare. That said most time I just get given a discount without even showing a card. Now if I said anything that would be an embarrassment to that person so I feel it is better to say nothing.

    The welfare mentality so that entrenched now that people just assume you are on the pension. I don't think this is good for out society at all.

    By the way I don't consider that I had any so called good luck in my life at all.
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2016
    10:30am
    You don't consider you had any good luck Bonny/OG because you don't know what real hardship, crisis and trauma is. If you did, you would be far less egotistical and arrogant. Believe me, you were VERY VERY VERY LUCKY. You just don't have the knowledge or perspective to appreciate your luck. Very sad!

    And very sad that you make such vile and contemptible assumptions about people you know nothing at all about.

    Of course it's common for people to assume older Australians are pension recipients, because most are. Most have not had the luck and opportunity to be otherwise. Superannuation was only available to the favoured minority for most of the years today's retirees worked. The working and most of the middle class of our generation couldn't afford investment properties or to buy shares. We didn't have subsidized child care or paid parental leave. We started work on absurdly low ''junior'' wages and females earned very little, and generally gave up work when the children came along. It was a struggle for most of us to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, and to educate our kids. And having faced the challenges of 17.5%++ interest rates and recessions and the GFC, and had parents who hadn't a hope in hell, generally, of leaving anything substantial to their offspring, the majority of us were compelled to rely on government promises that a substantial portion of tax revenue was being set aside in a special fund to cover the costs of supporting us in retirement.

    Unlike you, OG, most Australians understand these facts and have respect for senior Australians who EARNED their retirement and who, if not defrauded by criminal governments, would be enjoying a much higher standard of living than they are, and would never suffer the vile and disgusting insults of pigs who call the OAP ''welfare''.
    Old Geezer
    7th Sep 2016
    11:19am
    Yes Rainey unfortunately I have been through all of the above plus a lot more. I have also had two aggressive cancers and that has left me what most people would call disabled but I don't let it stop me doing what I want to do.

    So I have every right to called the OAP welfare.
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2016
    1:58pm
    No, OG, you DO NOT have any right to denigrate people who have been less fortunate than you, and it you should be ashamed of yourself. Your contemptuous comments are disgusting.
    Old Geezer
    7th Sep 2016
    3:00pm
    Gee Rainey I didn't know that the truth hurt so much. Anyway I don't know what is your problem if you are not entitled to the OAP then why are you concerned about it? Me thinks that it is going to effect you big time.
    Anonymous
    8th Sep 2016
    8:10am
    Unlike you, OG, I care about the nation and the majority of people. I'm not just self-obsessed. And I DO think. You don't. You keep banging on about your personal situation and denigrating everyone who isn't as well off, and blaming people whose circumstances you know nothing about.

    You have NEVER spoken a word of truth, and your arrogance doesn't hurt - but it does OFFEND. It's vile and inexcusable.
    Old Geezer
    12th Sep 2016
    2:47pm
    Rainey I have said nothing but the truth and find it insulting and offensive that you accuse me of not telling the truth. Unfortunately I find most people are too lazy these days to help themselves but like to whinge about how unfortunate their life has become and the more they are given the more they want for nothing. That is how welfare dependant our country has become.
    Dee
    4th Sep 2016
    11:52am
    It is not clear here or on the Centrelink/humanservices website whether the asset threshold includes the value of the family home or not. I'm thinking not, otherwise anyone living in their own home/unit/apartment won't receive a pension.
    Greg
    4th Sep 2016
    1:55pm
    "The value of any real estate, apart from your principal home, is included in your assets test."

    Quote from Human Services website.
    Pamiea
    4th Sep 2016
    12:42pm
    Well said Rainey and Dee you can have your own home (at this stage!!). Look at the graph. Those with homes and those without.

    My concern is an inheritance. I was told it is exempt but I am not so sure. Does anyone know?
    Mez
    4th Sep 2016
    1:16pm
    Not exempt! Mine went into super and all is regarded as assets and are deemed. Better to spend it !
    HarrysOpinion
    4th Sep 2016
    7:22pm
    Inheritance is exempt from the Assets Test for first 12 months because it's a one off - lump sum but not exempt from Deeming Income Rule. You need to report the Inheritance within 14 days of receiving the money in your bank account.
    Fliss
    5th Sep 2016
    10:17am
    Not exempt. An asset is an asset, especially if income producing.
    Mez
    4th Sep 2016
    1:19pm
    Inheritance even enters the equations in cases of insolvency!
    jeffr
    4th Sep 2016
    2:22pm
    Does anyone know if for eg: Assets amount to $450,000 meaning $3 x 75 = $225 deducted from pension of a couple. Is this $225 from each pension or taken from the combined pensions?

    I do not trust any of them as they change the rules so suit themselves
    almost a grey hair
    4th Sep 2016
    3:30pm
    I take it you are rec aged pension at the couple rate. The taper amount is taken from the total couple amount. i.e. $1325 (approx for example) minus 225 = $1100
    jeffr
    4th Sep 2016
    9:30pm
    Thanks almost
    Pamiea
    4th Sep 2016
    2:39pm
    Mez I am sure I read on a Centrelink website that as from 1 January 2016 an inheritance was exempt. Was yours prior to this date? If you spend it you get knobbled because you have to give proof to Centrelink of moneys received.
    Anonymous
    4th Sep 2016
    2:58pm
    I'm no expert, Pamiea, but I think you'll find an inheritance is exempt income, and the inheritance itself is not counted as an asset, but the instant you bank it or invest it, the investment is counted as an asset. If you give it away, the gifting rules come into play. So effectively it IS counted, despite the actual wording of the legislation.
    Rae
    5th Sep 2016
    7:37am
    This is one of the reasons people use a testamentary trust. The assets remain isolated and only the income is counted under the income test.

    It also prevents the spouse of a beneficiary making a claim on the estate.

    There are some drawbacks though.

    Professional advice is needed.

    However now that cottages in the suburbs are worth millions it is a legitimate tool to examine.
    Fliss
    5th Sep 2016
    10:21am
    Logically, an inheritance won't be exempt. If someone inherited say $500,000 then of course it is going to be counted towards their asset test & if invested then towards their income threshold as well. Income tax is not paid on an inheritance but the minute that inheritance starts producing income then that income is taxed.
    jackyd
    4th Sep 2016
    2:46pm
    I must be missing something, as I understand it the taper rate after the asset threshold has been met reduces by $3 per thousand dollars of value of assets over the threshold.
    So for example the single age pension would become zero at a figure around the $383,000 mark rather than the $541,250 proposed in the table above.
    Please indicate where I may have miss
    calculated otherwise it is a scary difference?
    Pamiea
    4th Sep 2016
    2:59pm
    Hi Jackyd
    As from 1 Jan 2017 the way I understand it as a single you are allowed $250,000 and if you were to have $383k ie $383k less $250k = $133 x 3 = $399 deduction but I presume they wont deduct this much because the threshold is a greater amount which you would get as a single pension. Correct me if I am wrong please as I will be affected in time. One has to be Einstein to understand how Centrelink works.
    HarrysOpinion
    4th Sep 2016
    7:30pm
    But, it's $399 deduction divided by 26 weeks = $15.35 deducted from your fortnightly pension.
    Greg
    4th Sep 2016
    7:56pm
    Pamiea - Current single pension $873
    If you have assests of 383000 less your allowance of 250000
    = 133000. 3 x 133 = 399. 399 is taken away from 873 = 474
    Hence the fortnightly pension would be $474.00

    HS - No not divided, the $399 is the fortnightly amount.
    jeffr
    4th Sep 2016
    8:03pm
    So who is right? Almost a grey hair tells me that $3 in the $1000 IS deducted every fortnight and now you are saying divide by 26 to get fortnightly figure

    More confused than ever
    Greg
    4th Sep 2016
    8:34pm
    Quote from Human Services website
    "Currently, for every $1,000 of assets you own over the assets test free area, your pension is reduced by $1.50 per fortnight. This is called the taper rate.

    From 1 January 2017, your pension will reduce by $3 per fortnight for every $1,000 of assets you own over the asset free area."

    Very, very simple - even I understand.
    jeffr
    4th Sep 2016
    9:28pm
    Thank you Greg,

    My original question was is the amount over $375000 such as $450000 @$3 =$225 would be deducted from both pensions.The answer given by " almost a grey hair "was it is deducted from the combined pension each fortnight.
    Others confuse the issue and it is better to ask and look simple than get it wrong.
    jackyd
    5th Sep 2016
    1:34am
    Got it...per fortnight, and was just going on the single pension without other concessions, cheers.
    Pamiea
    4th Sep 2016
    3:06pm
    Hey Rainey that is crazy isnt it? Perhaps I should get a cheque with no use by date and bury in a tin for my son and then use a reverse mortgage on my home. I am sure such a cheque does not exist tehe.

    Trying to beat the capitalist pigs is futile but fun thinking about it.
    Anonymous
    4th Sep 2016
    4:36pm
    Cash it out and put the cash under the bed. You'd be better off than trying to invest it. What a stupid situation! And to think we pay the IDIOTS who come up with these ideas at obscene salary rates, and with benefits to die for (only they keep on living and claiming and we have to foot the bill!)
    HarrysOpinion
    4th Sep 2016
    7:36pm
    If you cash it out through the bank and take the lot to put under your mattress you will be investigated because the amount will be a historical record on your bank statement. If you cash it out on the black market you will lose, perhaps, a quarter of the amount. Is it really worth it to lose a quarter and lose the pension for life if found out?
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2016
    7:36pm
    If you take it out of the bank before you qualify for the pension or you will have to explain what happened to it.
    MICK
    4th Sep 2016
    9:43pm
    How about you sell your house and buy a bigger one in a better location. if the funds are personal use (a house is!) then one might think it would be exempt tax (???).
    But then expect Death Duties to come our way in future as our deadbeat governments will come after our assets after we die just as ruthlessly as they did before. That is what a mismanaged economy produces.
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2016
    10:39pm
    Mick what would I do with a bigger more expensive house? Run a boarding house? Probate is a form of death duty so we all have death duties.
    Fliss
    5th Sep 2016
    10:25am
    All above are correct - i.e. bank will have record of transaction, under the bed it will still be deemed to be earning, etc, etc . . . . . . . just declare the money received & be thankful for it. Sad that you lost someone dear to you to receive the inheritance, but they certainly didn't want it causing a headache for you.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2016
    8:21am
    Fliss, fortunately I'm not speaking for myself and personally I'm not affected, but I know people whose inheritance, under these stupid new rules, makes them WORSE off than they would be without it. Of course they can draw down on the inheritance to make up the loss, but ultimately they actually get ZERO benefit from the inheritance because they lose 7.8% plus benefits until it's all eroded.

    The same applies to people who received compensation for injury. Instead of being able to spend that compensation on medical care and disability aids etc. (as it was intended when awarded), they have to use it to make up the loss of pension, so the compensation is actually worthless. It's an insane system, and only the short-sighted simpletons who can't think past ''money - spend'' are endorsing it. Thinkers are looking further into it to see the ridiculous anomalies and gross unfairness of it.

    4th Sep 2016
    3:16pm
    It angers me when IDIOTS rant about ''millionaires getting pensions''. But the same IDIOTS claim that a $1.6 million limit on what can be transferred into a superannuation pension account is too low. They have double standards, these hypocrites!

    It's past time for people to acknowledge the reality. $1 million is NOT enough to retire on in the current economy. And drawing down on savings early in retirement means there will be insufficient for later years - ESPECIALLY if assets have to be sold at a loss (and low value) in order to produce cash to draw down.

    There is ample opportunity to balance the budget (by taxing the HAVES rather than the HAVE NOTS - i.e. taxing the REAL leaning TAXNOTS like big corporates) without these stupid, cruel, unfair attacks on decent, hardworking people who saved responsibly and DESERVE to be allowed to retain their savings for future needs.

    The taper rate should ALWAYS be adjusted in line with current investment returns. That's common sense. What a pity common sense is so lacking in this greedy world.
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2016
    7:23pm
    If a couple has more than a million dollars they are in the HAVES category. After all the OAP is welfare that stops old people living in poverty. If a couple has a million dollars they are a long way off living in poverty. Millionaires shouldn't be getting the pension.

    Of course you can live on a million dollars I live on the income from less than half that amount. Then again if you wear designer clothes and get you hair done every week then you are not living within you means. Time to buy a pair of hair clippers and check on the bargains on the half price day at your local op shop instead.

    If you want the pension then you can no longer keep your saving for later use. Not too sure what you would want them for in later life It makes no difference how much money you have for a nursing home and home help is also costed on your means as well. If you want to travel you need to do it now not later as your health may not let you in your later years.

    So spend your money and enjoy it instead of spending your time whinging about you no longer qualify for welfare.
    MICK
    4th Sep 2016
    9:46pm
    Rainey: One million dollars certainly buys a lot less than it used to but I suggest one can still live well of this amount of money. The real question is what sort of return can one crank out of this. Clearly bank interest is not going to be enough but then there are heaps of investments better than that anyway and people leave their money in the bank for safety or because they do not know what to do with it at present.
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2016
    10:32pm
    Mick you can spend the capital as well as the interest. Three is no shame in doing that.
    Farside
    4th Sep 2016
    10:34pm
    You hit the nail on the head OG ... except for the family home, "If you want the pension then you can no longer keep your savings for later use. " – this statement should be in the explanatory memorandum for the proposed revisions.

    You do not need a crystal ball to see it is not beyond the realms of possibility that people might have to pay banks to look after their money. This will encourage retirees to spend their savings.
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2016
    10:42pm
    Brian in Europe they have negative interest rates already where it costs you to have money in the bank. We could easily enter a period of deflation instead of the normal inflation. I really don't expect much upside in interest rates for maybe a decade.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2016
    8:25am
    The point you are all missing is that many of those affected DON'T HAVE A MILLION. They have maybe $750,000 plus a modest home, furniture, car, and personal possessions. And forcing them to drain their assets means that in a decade or two, if the economy stabilizes, they will be poor old age pensioners imposing a burden on the system, instead of self-sufficient (which they would be now if return rates hadn't crashed).

    The taper rate is TOO HIGH for younger retirees - especially those with major health problems or serious disadvantage. There should be special provisions relating to age and special needs/circumstances.
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2016
    4:21pm
    Rainey if they have major health problems then the likely hold that they will live another 20 or 30 years is remote.

    I think $750,000 is more than ample to retire and live on with the OAP there if they need it later in life. Even $750,000 is still too much as they will not need it.
    Anonymous
    8th Sep 2016
    8:17am
    Again you trade on ASS-U-MEs, OG, making you a prize ASS. Sorry, but you are dead wrong. I know many cripples who are still alive and kicking at 95. Expensive health conditions DO NOT necessarily imply early death. And $750,000 is NOT enough to meet the needs of many who require special personal care, home help, disability aids, specialized medical treatment, etc. But that isn't the main issue. Someone who drove an old car, lived in a modest home, had no holidays, never dined out, sewed their own clothes specifically to save for old age should NOT be deprived of their savings while someone who cruised the world and partied is handed taxpayer dollars.

    The issue here is common sense and incentives to build the nation's wealth and save the taxpayer dollars.

    Only a PRIZE IDIOT suggests that you can improve the economy by stripping workers and savers of all the benefits they worked and saved for to hand to people who didn't bother. And that's what the changed taper rate does. It does NOTHING for the genuinely needy. And it CANNOT reduce the burden on the taxpayer, because it rewards everyone who structures their affairs to increase the burden they impose.

    You really have to be dumb to excuse such lunacy.

    4th Sep 2016
    4:45pm
    Can someone justify the huge differences in thresholds for singles vs married couples? Two singles get a much higher pension to compensate for extra costs of living alone - though there may be none if they happen to share accommodation! It seems to me there is great inequity here and a strong incentive for couples to part ways!

    A homeowner couple with $850,000 getting no pension could part, with one partner keeping the home, and their threshold goes up to well over $1.2 million, their pension payment rate increases substantially, and one can get rent assistance. It's not surprising many who are seeing their income decimated and lifestyle destroyed are considering this strategy. Now if one of the divorced couple decides to live with their pensioner sister, and the other takes a pensioner brother in to occupy the spare bedroom, their living costs are virtually no different from when they were married, but they are drawing generous pensions and enjoying benefits where as a married couple they got nothing and struggled to avoid draining away all the rewards of 50 years of hard work.
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2016
    7:12pm
    If you have enough assets not to get the pension then you have more than enough to live until you reduce your assets and be eligible for the pension again.

    Why worry about it enjoy your life instead.
    HarrysOpinion
    4th Sep 2016
    7:38pm
    I usually don't agree with your mentality Old Geezer but I will credit you for this correct advice.
    Greg
    4th Sep 2016
    7:59pm
    Exactly Old Geezer
    MICK
    4th Sep 2016
    9:55pm
    You are assuming that nest eggs are large enough Geezer.
    If you have $700,000 you will probably be forced to spend the capital rather than live off the returns. That is fine for a while but if inflation continues to bite then a nest egg will quickly vanish if you are having a great time.
    I am trying to avoid that strategy because I do want to leave my kids and grandkids nothing other than a bill for my funeral. From a previous discussion I recall you intend to do just that. Also, I was left a small inheritance and would find it deceitful to dud the next generation. It takes a certain sort of person who could do that. Not me mate!
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2016
    10:37pm
    Agree I'd love to spend it all before I depart this mortal earth but I really can't see that happening especially when I earn more than I spend each year.
    Farside
    4th Sep 2016
    10:40pm
    @MICK, you are absolutely right in what you say however the taxpayer should not be expected to fund your decision to leave an inheritance for your kids and grandkids.
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2016
    10:47pm
    I agree Brian. The government is looking for ways to cut expenditure and Centrelink stats would be telling them that OAPs are not spending their capital. It doesn't take much of a statistician to come to the conclusion that if people are not spending their capital they are paying them too much in pension payments. So if they don't need it then why give it to them?

    The days of leaving an inheritance unless your are wealthy are numbered. I can see the day coming where you will have to spend your money before you get any welfare from the government. It is happening with Newstart already.
    Captain
    6th Sep 2016
    12:24pm
    Well said Rainey. I have been reading Bonnie comments for some weeks now.
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2016
    2:30pm
    Brian, the flaw in your argument is that the taxpayer is subsidizing people who buy big houses, cruise the world, give money to their kids, spend up big on partying, etc. etc. etc. and the system is encouraging and rewarding that irresponsible behaviour, which means the taxpayer will have to shell out more and more to support more and more folk who decide to arrange their affairs to avoid being punished harshly for being responsible.

    If we want to save the taxpayer money, we have to structure the system to encourage the conduct that saves money, not to reward the conduct that drives costs up.

    Furthermore, the current focus ignores the fact that those entering retirement now have to budget for up to 3 decades of inflation. $800,000 today might be worth as little as $80,000 in real buying power in 30 years' time. By forcing younger retirees to erode their capital, the government is ensuring higher levels of dependency later. A small part pension now to enable preservation of capital will do two things: it will maintain money circulation, which generates jobs and tax revenue, and it will enable younger retirees to plan ahead and be more self-sufficient later. All sensible economists and financial planners agree with this. They are warning the government that the assets test changes CANNOT save money. They will drive costs up. It's only the short-sighted who can't see the whole picture who endorse this idiotic approach.
    Old Geezer
    7th Sep 2016
    3:15pm
    It does not matter what $800,00 is worth in 30 years time Rainey. Once people get below the asset test level they will get the OAP. So I say spend it now while it has some worth and can buy more.
    Anonymous
    8th Sep 2016
    1:25pm
    There you go again, OG. Do what OG says. Stuff everyone else whose circumstances are different or who have different spending priorities, preferences or needs. Nothing matters except lining the coffers of the filthy rich and grinding battlers into hardship. Don't let the strugglers enjoy any reward for their effort. Make them spend their savings to exist while others get handouts, and because OG doesn't care, nobody is allowed to complain.

    You are the most self-obsessed self-serving narcissist I've ever come across. Totally incapable of considering anyone or respecting anyone else's right to a point of view.
    tasmainia
    4th Sep 2016
    7:40pm
    Double whammy on this as i have 2 friends that have just put their parents into aged care and they needed $500,000.00 per parent. One facility said they only have two beds for non deposit clients. So we need $1 million for aged care per couple but we lose the pension by having money in the bank to fill the aged care home requirement. Both venues admitted their bonds have increased since July last year. Just can't plan ahead
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2016
    7:52pm
    These bonds are negotiable. I recently had one reduced from $500,000 to $150,000. It is disgusting the way that Centrelink tells nursing homes how much a people can afford. That needs to change.
    Fliss
    5th Sep 2016
    10:30am
    My understanding was that if you paid a lesser bond (RAD) then you paid a higher weekly rate.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2016
    8:36am
    OG, you are full of it! The bonds are negotiable to a limit of 10% in most establishments. NOBODY gets a reduction from $500,000 to $150,000. Sorry, but the lie is way too obvious.

    Yes Fliss, you can reduce the RAD and pay a higher weekly rate. But you lose by doing that. And many simply can't afford the higher weekly rate because they don't have income to cover it.

    The system is a hideous mess, and those retiring or just retired who tried to provide for their old age now have no hope, because unless they are able to achieve very high returns on their assets, they will be poverty-stricken in twenty years, and won't have a hope in hell of funding the RAD.

    In the aged care home a relative was in until recently, the RAD increased $100,000 last year. That was from a base of $325,000. It's now over $500,000. A ''wealthy'' retiree couple with $820,000 in total assets (maybe $750,000 after discounting personal items, car, furniture, etc) won't qualify for a pension, and if their home is worth, say $250,000, they will be left with nothing after paying two RADs. But if they have to drain their savings for the next 20 years before going into care, they will have no hope at all of paying the RAD. Kind of puts the nonsense about the changed taper rate in a different perspective - but only for those with the integrity and common sense to deal in facts.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2016
    10:28am
    BTW. Bonny, you gave yourself away completely with that post. It's the exact same BS that you posted under your earlier name.
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2016
    4:18pm
    All I can say Rainey is bring on dying with dignity because I for one will not being going into aged care.
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2016
    2:02pm
    I concur, OG, but only self-serving ignorant people base arguments on personal circumstances. Decent, intelligent people consider other people and don't focus on their personal interests or circumstances.

    4th Sep 2016
    8:12pm
    Note to the Editors: You have run this article now for the third time. Have you such a lack of imagination that you cannot find other topics? May I suggest that a Senator getting his personal debts being paid by a foreign power is worthy of discussion. Moreso when that self same Senator is on record as opposing his own party's policy on treatment of that foreign power.
    MICK
    4th Sep 2016
    9:59pm
    Normal anti Labor post Old Man. Why does that not surprise me? I would have thought that the pertinent comment might have been to REFORM THE ELECTORAL LAWS so that no politician of any sort could accept money from anybody for electioneering or any other reason.
    I know that the coalition would never support that and there lies the real corruption. If there is nothing to hide then fix it!
    Anonymous
    4th Sep 2016
    10:08pm
    And how is it anti Labor Mick? Where have I mentioned names? I was merely asking for a bit of balance in this forum. And yes, your point is well made about donations, except for the anti Coalition gibe, and that would be a good topic for here.

    4th Sep 2016
    8:15pm
    I'm confused about all of this. On reading the charts and the supporting statements, I believe that people with less will get more and those with more will get less. Surely this is a good thing isn't it? No wonder Labor is supporting it as it drops right into their way of thinking, take from the rich and give to the poor.
    Greg
    4th Sep 2016
    8:29pm
    Correct
    Old Geezer
    4th Sep 2016
    10:54pm
    Agree the money should be going to those who need it not to those who think they deserve it.

    Many people think they deserve it because they worked hard and paid their taxes etc but that is not how it works. If that was the case I would deserve it more than most people.

    Personally I think those who arrange their affairs just to get the OAP are cheating those who really need the money to keep them out of poverty.
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2016
    8:03am
    NOT CORRECT. Many people with way more with get more. People with nothing will get nothing. People with less will lose. The DESERVING will be slugged with massive losses and the undeserving irresponsible who lived the high life will get a $30 a fortnight increase, but the really hard up with get NOTHING AT ALL.

    It's a shit change orchestrated by overpaid morons who can't understand simple logic and haven't the intelligence to address the problems in the system properly. It was introduced fraudulently, after promises NOT to tamper with pensions got a government elected. And it was introduced with a promise of a total review of the pension system, which didn't happen, and is desperately needed.

    OG, nobody deserves it because they worked hard and paid their taxes. But neither is it fair to punish people who sacrificed lifestyle to save while rewarding people who made no effort. And to do it in a way that denies younger retirees the very modest security and comfort they worked and saved for, while handing more to people who always had far more but spent wildly is just plain WRONG and no BS argument from people like you can ever justify it.
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2016
    4:44pm
    No nobody deserves it because they worked hard and paid their taxes because we all did. I for one didn't sacrifice my lifestyle to save so there is no merit in that argument either. Younger retirees should just forget about the pension and enjoy themselves while they can because as they age they may not be able to do so. Money is not a substitute for good health. Anyway when they get in a nursing home everything is provide so they will save money even if they are on a pension.

    More changes to the OAP are on their way so why argue about this first stage?
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2016
    4:44pm
    No nobody deserves it because they worked hard and paid their taxes because we all did. I for one didn't sacrifice my lifestyle to save so there is no merit in that argument either. Younger retirees should just forget about the pension and enjoy themselves while they can because as they age they may not be able to do so. Money is not a substitute for good health. Anyway when they get in a nursing home everything is provide so they will save money even if they are on a pension.

    More changes to the OAP are on their way so why argue about this first stage?
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2016
    1:32pm
    Wow, OG. How disgustingly self-serving can you get. You didn't sacrifice lifestyle to save so anyone who did should suffer? What a disgusting attitude. I can't believe the selfishness.

    We all DESERVE the OAP because the government of our day promised it and we paid for it and past prime ministers declared that it was a debt owed to senior Australians out of respect. The way we treat our aged tells the world what kind of society we are. Obviously, OG, you would like to tell the world that we are all vile selfish scum who leave our elderly parents and grandparents to rot in poverty out of personal greed.
    Old Geezer
    7th Sep 2016
    3:13pm
    No Rainey I would tell the world that are OAPs are paid very well but they are not one bit grateful for getting something for noting and all they do is whinge about it. That is what makes them greedy as no matter how much they get it is never enough.
    Anonymous
    8th Sep 2016
    8:21am
    That's the disgusting and vile ignorant judgement of someone who has no capacity for empathy or human decency, OG. You have no idea who is grateful for what, because you lack the capacity to consider anyone else's circumstances with empathy, let alone with intelligence. Our OAP is among the meanest in the world, and pensioners are living on the poverty line - and that's NOT taking into account the special health and care needs of the aged. Only vile scume would assert that they are ''ungrateful''.
    Pass the Ductape
    5th Sep 2016
    7:38am
    I give up! I simply can't keep track of all the changes and I don't have that much time left, or the inclination to keep sorting it out! I'm certain it's just a way to confuse and worry older people so that they die earlier thereby saving the government a lot of money. Please, just put me in jail; I'd like to have the opportunity to live a little longer.
    thommo
    5th Sep 2016
    9:17am
    There seems to be different figures published for these thresholds from 1.1.17.
    I have always understood from previous publications etc that the asset threshold for a homeowner couple was to be $823,000, however these tables indicate that it will be much less than that, .....in fact it will be $814,250.
    This is disturbing, So does anyone know what the correct figures will be
    Fliss
    5th Sep 2016
    10:31am
    I thought the same Thommo . . . .
    Rodent
    5th Sep 2016
    11:20am
    Thommo, Fliss

    Note the Table is based on Estimated figures- It impossible to know exactly the final Cut Off Values until AFTER the Next , (very small) Pension Rise due on 20 Sept 2016

    If the Govt passes the Omnibus Bill that will create different Pension payment rates for Existing Pensioners and NEW pensioners after (1 Sept 2016) because the new Pensioners will not receive the Energy Supplement that current Pensioners will continue to receive, so their effective $ value of cut off point will be different.

    Yes OG I can just about predict what you will say to this.
    Rodent
    6th Sep 2016
    8:27am
    Thommo, Fliss and others

    Thommo, you are on the ball about the Actual Cut off point for a HOME OWNING PENSIONER COUPLE- you say its $814,250, near enough - its actually $814,133, More interesting thought is what the Impact of the NON PAYMENT of the Energy Supplement to NEW Pensioners(read Home Owning couples as an example)

    Based on the CURRENT Age Pension payment, as at 20 March 2016 for a Home Owning Couple - with NO Energy Supplement (a New Pensioner) their Threshold Cut Off Point with be $807,066

    As I have said before , it is ONLY MY VIEW that the Govt will attempt to leglislate a further change to remove the Energy Supplement from ALL existing Pensoners, most likely in the May 2017 Budget - then the S..T will really hit the fan

    NOTE all these threshold cut off pints will change after 20 Sept 2016 with the piddling little increase in the Age Pension of about 0.4% to 0.6%
    thommo
    6th Sep 2016
    10:12am
    To Fliss, Rodent & others. Thank you for your replies etc.
    The moronic politicians who changed the assets test will hopefully get whats coming to them at the next election, although I was hoping the LNP would have been kicked out of office last election. But they will surely get the boot at the next one, and it will be our turn to sneer at those mongrels such as Morrison, Abbott, Cormann et al. You will note that they don't apply any austerity measures to themselves, as they sponge off the taxpayer with their fat salaries, fraudulent lurks and perks and of course, their taxpayer funded fully indexed pension for life. They are the leaners..
    Anthony Gale
    5th Sep 2016
    10:34am
    HI, Do pensioners still get a cut on car registrations for private use as we used to get, as I use mine for a lot of voluntary work, such as going from Port Kennedy to Rockingham to pick up a council van to do volunteer work for neighbourhood watch functions and attend festivals etc. We do not get petrol allowances for this sort of work but love doing it.
    Rodent
    5th Sep 2016
    11:30am
    Did any of you see Lateline on 2 Sept 2016- in the studio was Simon Cowan- Centre for Independent Studies, and Patricia Pascuzzo- Committee for Sustainable Retirement Incomes, and on line was Peter Martin -Journo the Age

    It was interesting to hear Patricia Pascuzzo say this the Number of people turning 65 was increasing at the rate of 700 per day-- yes that's what she said- And quite frankly I don't believe her, so I have written to her challenging her to produce the data.
    As we no not all people turning 65 apply for the Age Pension, but all are ELIGIBLE to apply
    Old Geezer
    5th Sep 2016
    1:57pm
    According to this document from the ABS.
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/1CD2B1952AFC5E7ACA257298000F2E76?OpenDocument

    "In the 12 months to 30 June 2014, the number of people aged 65 years and over increased by 118,700 people, representing a 3.6% increase."

    So 700 may be a bit high but that figure above gives 325 a day.
    Rodent
    5th Sep 2016
    3:56pm
    Thanks OG I am aware of that data source, and several others.
    Q- How many of those numbers translate into "Pensioners" some people say the translation rate is as high as 80% - ie 80% of those eligible people - apply for the Pension

    One answer to some other related numbers might be this - for the Age Pension number changes- Increases - June 2015 to Dec 2015 - 159 per day, Dec 2015 to March 2016 -179 per day. For the same Periods the DSP numbers are decreasing June 2015 to Dec 2015 Reduction is 95 per day, and Dec 2015 to March 2016 Reduction is 101 per day

    I will be interested in Patricia Pascuzzo's numbers and the data source, if she replies to my email.
    Captain
    5th Sep 2016
    7:58pm
    Rodent, could you please explain what DSP means (is it the number of the older generation exiting and therefore no longer requiring the pension)?
    Rodent
    6th Sep 2016
    7:51am
    Captain


    DSP Means Disability Support Pension-

    Here is the List of all the Categories of Social Security Payments

    ABSTUDY (Living Allowance)
    Age Pension
    Austudy
    Carer Payment
    Disability Support Pension
    Newstart Allowance
    Parenting Payment Partnered
    Parenting Payment Single
    Partner Allowance
    Sickness Allowance
    Special Benefit
    Widow Allowance
    Widow B Pension
    Wife Pension (Partner on Age Pension)
    Wife Pension (Partner on Disability Support Pension)
    Youth Allowance (other)
    Youth Allowance (student and apprentice)
    Captain
    6th Sep 2016
    8:02am
    Thank you rodent.
    Captain
    6th Sep 2016
    8:10am
    To continue the stats - how many people per day are no longer claiming the pension during the same period?
    Anonymous
    6th Sep 2016
    8:27am
    A 3.6% increase in people turning 65 hardly means much considering that every year the amount a newly retired person has in super increases. If retirees are wealthier than in the past, then increasing numbers of them isn't a problem. If they are NOT wealthier than in the past, then the government is lying and there's no justification for reducing retirement funding.
    JO
    6th Sep 2016
    2:57am
    https://www.centrelink.gov.au/RateEstimatorsWeb/publicUserCombinedStart.do
    JO
    6th Sep 2016
    8:01am
    To answer question 'OG' Rodent referring to DSP is the Disability Support Pension.
    Rodent
    6th Sep 2016
    8:05am
    JO thanks it was Captain that asked not OG, I have listed all the Categories off Social Security payments above for everybody's info in my post at 7.51am today
    Captain
    6th Sep 2016
    12:28pm
    Thanks to you Jo as well.
    Rodent
    6th Sep 2016
    8:29am
    Posted in two different places

    Thommo, Fliss and others

    Thommo, you are on the ball about the Actual Cut off point for a HOME OWNING PENSIONER COUPLE- you say its $814,250, near enough - its actually $814,133, More interesting thought is what the Impact of the NON PAYMENT of the Energy Supplement to NEW Pensioners(read Home Owning couples as an example)

    Based on the CURRENT Age Pension payment, as at 20 March 2016 for a Home Owning Couple - with NO Energy Supplement (a New Pensioner) their Threshold Cut Off Point with be $807,066

    As I have said before , it is ONLY MY VIEW that the Govt will attempt to leglislate a further change to remove the Energy Supplement from ALL existing Pensoners, most likely in the May 2017 Budget - then the S..T will really hit the fan

    NOTE all these threshold cut off pints will change after 20 Sept 2016 with the piddling little increase in the Age Pension of about 0.4% to 0.6%
    Rodent
    6th Sep 2016
    8:39am
    Hey Captain of my Captain -re your Question

    To continue the stats - how many people per day are no longer claiming the pension during the same period?

    Good question- not sure I have ever seen that in any data, DSS Demographics does have Exits over time peroids, but don't think its Age Pension. Will check later. Meanwhile GOOGLE -DSS Demographics and go to March 2016 data and you will be able to view/download all the spreadsheet data, its big
    Captain
    6th Sep 2016
    12:49pm
    Rodent, thanks for the DSS Demographics website.

    My point is that the ABS and Govt keep claiming that us Baby Boomers are costing too much in entitlements (not welfare) . However if as your figures say a total of 170 per day during June 15 to Mar 16 are turning 65 and are eligible to claim the pension there must be another number for those exiting pensions. Also as Rainey pointed out in another post as people become eligible they have had a longer period to build up their super. So I suppose that they will be claiming part pensions in a number of cases.

    Also by the time the BB generation are all retired approx 2028, they will have had upwards of 38 years of super savings. To my way of thinking those retiring in 2028 will be on small part pensions or nothing.

    Those of us who were born in the early part of the BB's(mid 40's to mid 50's will be dropping off our perches by 2036 thus saving on pension expenditure.

    Perhaps the ABS and politicians of all persuasions need to reassess their doom and gloom theories and look at reality.
    Captain
    6th Sep 2016
    4:49pm
    Rodent,

    The DSS Demographics stats for age pension are:

    June 2014: 2,404,902
    June 2015: 2,486195 (increase of 81,293)
    Sept 2015: 2,500,027
    Dec 2015: 2,514,853
    Mar 2016: 2,530,963 (increase for 9 months of 44,786)
    June 2016: 2,546,156 extrapolate for another 3 months, 44,786/9= 14,923 plus 44786=59,961. Approx new total is (June 2015, 2,486,195 +59,961= 2,546,156.

    Ms Pascuzzo's figure of 700 per day equates to 255,500 turning 65, based on her figures and DSS figures, less than 25% of retirees are claiming a pension upon reaching 65.

    Something does not add up. If there are some smart people out there please check my figures in case I am wrong (it has been known to happen - ask my wife!).
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2016
    4:52pm
    That's why the asset test had to be tightened up. There are too many people getting the pension and the country is in debt and can't afford to pay so many people. About time we as a country lived within our means.
    Captain
    6th Sep 2016
    5:12pm
    OG, I see you checked my maths and somehow managed not to agree with them or perhaps you do agree. A little hard to figure out as your response to my figures and request to review the stats are of no help whatsoever. If you cannot keep the comments relevant please do not respond. This part of the discussion is about facts not political points scoring.
    Captain
    6th Sep 2016
    6:36pm
    Rodent, once again you are right. The exits are Newstart, Parenting, Sickness and Youth Allowances.
    Old Geezer
    7th Sep 2016
    11:22am
    Captain I will write whatever I think is appropriate not what others think. I am my own person and do what I want not what others expect of me.
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2016
    1:27pm
    OG, you make no sense. The conversation was proving that there is NOT a big increase in people claiming the pension, and over time the number of people claiming full pensions will fall and the amount of part pension being claimed will fall because of superannuation savings. But the change to the assets test has been evidenced to INCREASE the cost of pensions. Taking that much money out of the economy is devastating, and affected people will find ways to circumvent the loss, but will generally claim higher part pensions as a result because they are angry at being cheated.

    Sorry, but you are showing your gross ignorance here. You simply don't get the facts, and you've shown that you can't even understand the discussion sufficiently to comment intelligently.
    Old Geezer
    7th Sep 2016
    2:58pm
    I agree the number of OAPs will decrease because the rules are going to be tightened a lot more than even those already happening in 2017. The house will be next and then if you want an OAP you can have it but it will have to be paid back upon your death from your estate after your house etc is sold.

    6th Sep 2016
    10:30am
    Can someone please clarify this statement:

    ''If you’re one of the unlucky ones who will lose their Pension as a result of the change, rest assured that you will have the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card and Pension Card for life.''

    Everywhere else this issue is mentioned, it says those affected will only keep the CSHC card, not the pension card. They are vastly different. The CSHC is virtually worthless by comparison.
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2016
    4:50pm
    I don't agree with OAPs getting any discounts as that means the rest of us not only pay our share but extra as well for the OAP discounts.

    Good to see they are tightening up on those discounts.
    Anonymous
    7th Sep 2016
    1:22pm
    OG, I didn't ask for your opinion, and it's not helpful. I asked a question that I'd like answered and I think others would appreciate having clarified. I don't give a damn what you think. We all know you are self-centred and hate pensioners.
    Rodent
    7th Sep 2016
    5:19pm
    Here is a statement from OG that's worthy of Keeping for future reference!!!
    It will be interesting to What happens, When it happens, Who is affected, and Why!!!

    I agree the number of OAPs will decrease because the rules are going to be tightened a lot more than even those already happening in 2017. The house will be next and then if you want an OAP you can have it but it will have to be paid back upon your death from your estate after your house etc is sold.
    Rodent
    7th Sep 2016
    5:35pm
    Just another Snippet from ABS DATA

    Comparing the working-age population (aged 15-64 years) with the remainder of the population (aged 0-14 and 65 and greater) over the 20 years to 30 June 2015, the non working-age population is growing faster at 1.5% compared with 1.4% for the working-age population. This faster growth in the non working-ages has been evident since 2010. Over the 5 years to 30 June 2015 the non working-age population has been growing at 2.3% compared with 1.2% for the working-age population. The main contributor to the increased growth of the non working-age population is growth in the population aged 65 and over.


    PEOPLE AGED 65 YEARS AND OVER

    Over the 20 years between 1995 and 2015, the proportion of the population aged 65 years and over increased from 11.9% to 15.0%. This group is projected to increase more rapidly over the next decade, as further cohorts of baby boomers (those born between the years 1946 and 1964) turn 65. Currently only four cohorts have reached 65 and there are 14 remaining.
    Anonymous
    8th Sep 2016
    8:07am
    Thanks Rodent, but I'd like to see some figures that detail how much LESS pension is drawn each year by new retirees due to the impact of compulsory superannuation and generally improved affluence. You can paint any picture you like with numbers. It's just a matter of leaving out selected information.

    8th Sep 2016
    1:28pm
    I'll ask again, and perhaps that egomaniacal self-serving OG will shut the hell up and let someone answer my question. OG, can you please, for once in your life, show some manners and allow the conversation to continue along the intended lines, instead of bulldozing in with your unwanted crap opinions to change the focus? I am TRYING to get some factual information. I am not interested in your nasty, self-serving opinions. We all know what you think.

    Can someone please clarify this statement:

    ''If you’re one of the unlucky ones who will lose their Pension as a result of the change, rest assured that you will have the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card and Pension Card for life.''

    Everywhere else this issue is mentioned, it says those affected will only keep the CSHC card, not the pension card. They are vastly different. The CSHC is virtually worthless by comparison.
    Rodent
    8th Sep 2016
    5:02pm
    Rainey

    Happy to check for you. Everything I have ever seen that was CORRECT/ACCURATE said that Existing Pensioners who lose the Pension will ONLY have the CSHC Card available to them, and I think it said for Life?

    The answer is buried in the Joe Hockey Budget papers of 2015 , and if memory serves me correctly it was also mentioned in the Senate Estimates docs when the Legislation was being debated in Mid 2015
    Captain
    8th Sep 2016
    5:04pm
    Rainey, my local Federal MP told me that if you lose the pension on 01/01/17, you will lose the pension card and therefore all it's discounts on such utilities as electricity, gas, telephone, registration and rates and medical/medicines.

    Prior to that date if you are in receipt of a health care care or low income health care card you may retain the card and get some discounts (depending on which State you live in).

    The CSHC Card gives you discounts on medical and medicines only.
    Rodent
    8th Sep 2016
    5:11pm
    Rainey one part of info

    This is a partial extract from the 2015 Budget Overview Doc - Section maintaining a Stronger Age Pension System

    Due to these changes, those who no
    longer receive a pension will remain
    eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors
    Health Card or Health Care Card.
    Rodent
    8th Sep 2016
    5:22pm
    From Joe Hockey's Budget Speech

    So from 1 January 2017, we will make changes that benefit pensioners with fewer assets beyond the family home. But we will also tighten eligibility for those pensioners with higher levels of assets.

    Importantly anyone who currently has a Pensioner Concession Card will continue to receive a concession card that provides the same benefits, such as subsidised utilities and transport, bulk billing and cheaper PBS prescription medicines.

    These measures are all intended to provide security and certainty for older Australians in the years ahead.

    NOTE!!!!! when Hockey said this there was lots of people asking for a better explanation re the Card that they would be eligible to receive- because some said this was confusing.

    YLC and others ran stories re all this - often
    Rodent
    8th Sep 2016
    5:30pm
    From the DSS Website under Rebalance the Assets Test- in part it says this

    All income support recipients who lose their payment entitlement on 1 January 2017 as a result of the changes will automatically get a Health Care Card. Those over age pension age will also get a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. These cards will be exempt indefinitely from the usual income test requirements.
    Rodent
    8th Sep 2016
    5:37pm
    Apologies but this is BIGGER-- ie the Legislation HAPPY READING


    Concession cards

    Schedule 3 proposes to provide Commonwealth concession cards to any pensioner who loses eligibility for their payment as a result of the changes to the assets test. For many part-pensioners access to the Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) can be as valuable as the actual pension rate they receive. This is because the PCC provides access to discounted medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and a range of other benefits including:
    • lower expenditure thresholds for accessing the Medicare Safety Net
    • incentives for GPs to bulk-bill PCC holders
    • free hearing services through the Office for Hearing Services
    • discounted mail redirection through Australia Post and
    • a range of concessions from state, territory and local governments such as discounted energy bills, discounted rates, reduced public transport fares, discounted motor vehicle registration and licence costs.[61]

    Apart from the PCC, the Commonwealth offers two other main concession cards: the Health Care Card (HCC) and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC).[62] The HCC is primarily provided to some allowance payment recipients and low-income earners while the CSHC is provided to those over Age Pension age who do not qualify for the Age Pension because of their income and asset levels. The CSHC has an income test but no assets test.

    Both the CSHC and HCC provide access to discounted medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the lower Medicare Safety Net thresholds and GP bulk-billing incentives but neither card provides access to the hearing service or Australia Post discounts in the same way as the PCC.[63] Concessions available from state, territory and local governments also vary between the type of cards and a more limited range of concessions is available to HCC and CSHC cardholders in many jurisdictions when compared with the PCC.

    CSHC holders also receive a quarterly payment, the Seniors Supplement, currently worth $1,261.00 per annum for singles and $949.00 per annum for members of a couple (including the Energy Supplement). In the 2014–15 Budget the Government announced that it would abolish the Seniors Supplement and pay only the Energy Supplement attached to the supplement to CSHC holders. Provisions to implement the measure were included in the No. 1 Bill and the Seniors Supplement Bill. Provisions to cease payment of the Seniors Supplement from 20 June 2015 were also included in Schedule 4 of the Bill when introduced.

    Most of those over Age Pension age who lose eligibility for the pension as a result of the proposed asset test changes will likely qualify for the CSHC anyway (as it is their assets which prevent them qualifying for the pension and their income is likely to be below the CSHC income test). Those younger than Age Pension age affected by the measure (such as Disability Support Pensioners and Carer Payment recipients) may qualify for the HCC due to receipt of another eligible payment such as maximum rate Family Tax Benefit Part A or because they have a low income. The measure proposed by the Bill will ensure that any pensioner who loses eligibility for the PCC as a result of the change on 1 January 2017 will automatically be granted a concession card (a CSHC for those over Age Pension age or HCC for those under Age Pension age). This will ensure that no pensioners affected by the measure miss out on a concession card due to their income. While providing a more limited range of benefits when compared to the PCC, those pensioners affected by this measure will remain eligible for the most valuable concession—discounted medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
    Anonymous
    9th Sep 2016
    11:51am
    Thanks Captain and Rodent. That confirms what I thought. Shows how ignorant those making decisions are, that they don't understand that couples who have incomes as low as $15,000 a year will lose around $38,000 a year in income and benefits. Huge incentive there to spend savings!
    JO
    8th Sep 2016
    1:36pm
    Just some info.. Centrelink looks at all income and assets, does the income test, than an asset test, whichever has the most impact, decrease of entitlement, is used, and can change whenever your income and or assets are changed and updated. Over a period of a pension you can be either income or asset tested but only one is used at a time.
    Dee
    9th Sep 2016
    2:00pm
    Here here Rainey. Looks like putting money under the bed isn't a bad option, especially with little to no return in interest rates.
    ex PS
    9th Sep 2016
    5:47pm
    I have my retirement strategy locked in, live the lifestyle I am living now, disregard any financial problems from now on and go onto a part/full pension when I run out of money. It is not what I originally planned for but it seems to be the strategy that the government prefers, so that's the way i will go.
    Old Geezer
    12th Sep 2016
    11:42am
    That's what the government wants people to do. Suits me as I'll be doing the same. Must admit though things will have to be very bad for the economy if I ever get on the pension.
    Mzunga
    12th Oct 2016
    6:20pm
    My husband and I are receiving part pension. We own our house and I am working 2 days a week only which is around $700.00 per fortnight.
    Two and a half years ago, my husband suffered a not at fault traffic accident (he was riding a motorbike). He had 3 operations due to the injuries. He is getting in the next few weeks a lump sum for pain and suffering and future treatment which it is going to be for the rest of his days - he is 71 currently. The sum is 200,000.00. With that money we will go over the threshold. Does this mean our pensions will be drastically reduced? Those 200,000 will be over the threshold. We are a bit confused because there is nothing at Human Services which explains that. It talks about Income compensation and also if we claimed any benefits from centrelink due to his accident (which we didn't) but nothing about a lump sum for Third party compensation. Any inputs on this? thanks