The retirees being ‘overlooked’ in coronavirus packages

Experts says these retirees have been largely missed out in COVID-19 support measures.

Retirees who are being ‘overlooked’

Self-funded retirees have been ‘overlooked’ by the government’s coronavirus response measures, say industry experts.

“Self-funded retirees who do not receive a pension or part pension or the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card are suffering financial hardship due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis with little or no support from the government,” says Association of Independent Retirees (AIR) president Wayne Strandquist.

He explained that with the introduction of compulsory superannuation in 1992, the government’s intent was to encourage more Australians to fund their own retirement and reduce reliance on the Age Pension. And the move has been successful, with YourLifeChoices’ 2020 Ensuring Financial Security in Retirement survey showing that 38 per cent of older Australians are self-funded couples or singles.

But with a self-funded retirement comes risk.

Mr Strandquist said: “This has meant that self-funded retirees must bear the full investment risks of their retirement savings in the share market, property and fixed interest instead of having an Age Pension funded by the government with no risk attached.”

John McCallum, National Seniors Australia (NSA) chief executive, told the Australian Financial Review (AFR) that “retirees are very anxious that there are not going to be self-funded retirees for much longer”.

Professor McCallum said many self-funded retirees are complaining that they feel “abandoned” by the government.

“There is a concern that their struggle to make ends meet is not being recognised,” he said.

Mr Strandquist said the coronavirus pandemic had had a serious financial impact on self-funded retirees in the following ways:

  • falls in the stock market have reduced the balances of most superannuation funds by up to 20 per cent, with younger retirees (60–75 years of age) having their retirement income streams reduced by up to 10 years
  • the drawdown of share investment capital will result in lower returns and potential capital losses
  • lower or no company dividends can be expected, such as already announced by leading share investments including the banks
  • investments made in companies that operate in the hospitality and tourist industries are at serious risk of not being recovered
  • reduced rental property income as many tenants have been stood down from work
  • the RBA cash rate has resulted in the fixed interest and bank interest rates being close to nil.

“All of this means that many self-funded retirees with assets above the Age Pension threshold are now receiving less income than the full Age Pension and do not qualify for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and the $750 income supplement,” said Mr Strandquist.

There has been a 50 per cent increase in calls to mortgage lender Household Capital from self-funded retirees since the pandemic outbreak, its chief executive Josh Funder told the AFR.

Olivia Long, managing director of self-managed superannuation funds at Prime Financial Group and ExpertSuper, called for action.

“I’d like to see Canberra repeat the precedent set during the global financial crisis and decrease minimum pension requirements. Give pensioners the opportunity to sit on their investments until market conditions (eventually) recover.”

Are you a self-funded retiree? Do you feel you have been overlooked in the assistance packages? What would help you?

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    COMMENTS

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    Dave R
    20th May 2020
    10:10am
    Inequalities will persist for as long as we don't have a Universal Basic Income.
    Triss
    20th May 2020
    10:39am
    Spot on, Dave R.
    johnp
    20th May 2020
    10:50am
    I agree, Spot On
    Old Silver Fox
    20th May 2020
    3:39pm
    However with a universal basic income we get the rest of the communist/socialist package...not a good idea; except for the uninformed and looney left. Be careful what you wish for...!
    Rae
    20th May 2020
    4:02pm
    There is a huge gap between communist/socialist and a social democracy. Just about every other OECD country has a universal aged pension including the US.

    The communist China has no aged pension so I'm not sure what you think communist, socialism and just plain being fair to everyone for a change is about.

    I worked for 45 years, raised kids as a widow and am self funded without any welfare except that $900 from Rudd. Food costs and extra expenses due to cover 19 are not supported in my case. Not sure why I'm punished for a life of hard work and sensible saving.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    4:09pm
    You shouldn't be, Rae. And Old Silver Fox is misinformed. A universal aged pension is not part of socialist or communist policy, but is a sensible, just and fair policy that recognizes and encourages responsible living and affords people the degree of comfort in retirement that they earned and deserved, whereas a stupid means tested pension rewards frivolous spending, laziness, irresponsible lifestyles, and manipulation and punishes those who do what's best for the nation and future generations. Needs-based pension systems CREATE need, because they reward those who can create the impression of being needy and punish self-sufficiency. Communists and socialists don't like self-sufficiency. That much is true. But they don't support the genuinely needy very well either.

    BTW. Old Silver Fox, the 'looney left' (Greens and Labor) are responsible for harsh means testing of the OAP. They OPPOSED a universal pension.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    4:18pm
    Nah we couldn't have a universal basic pension as those on welfare would whinge too much.
    mogo51
    20th May 2020
    10:26am
    Yes I agree many self funders have been left behind. I am on full pension with a small super fund, I have lost 20%+ also.
    Rosret
    20th May 2020
    11:27am
    Yes - in every aspect of our portfolios.
    However this will be over soon and we will all bounce back - fingers crossed.

    I really feel sorry for small businesses and young people with mortgages etc etc.
    The banks are only deferring loans. Interest is accruing.

    The sooner our Victorian Premier and Queensland Premier stop being so timid the sooner the economy will recover. If we don't there will be nothing in the bank for the next disaster. As older citizens we must be responsible for ourselves.
    Rae
    20th May 2020
    4:04pm
    A friend has lost half of her bank share portfolio and over two thirds of her dividend income. She's off to see Centrelink. I suspect there are quite a few in the same situation now.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    4:11pm
    Yes Rae. I'm hearing many SFRs say that they are not too worried about losses because they would be better off with part pensions anyway! What a silly system!
    johnp
    20th May 2020
    10:36am
    Yep, Self Funded Retirees are discriminated against esp considering $2 million is needed in order to generate equivalent in aged pension. Also can YLC please remove georgewilson as it is a scam as well as being illiterate
    Sceptic
    20th May 2020
    12:11pm
    Of course john, you overlook the fact that a couple with $2 million dollars could draw the equivalent of the pension every week for 32 years, without including any interest earned on the principle. Whereas the full pensioner couple without capital just has the pension.
    hyperbole
    20th May 2020
    2:07pm
    Of course you could over look the fact that there are "pensioners" sitting in 2 million dollars plus homes as well which is not included in assets test and which will be a will be a wonderful gift to their children at some time in the future.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    4:14pm
    Yes, Sceptic and Hyperbole, and you COULD overlook the fact that the million+++ pensioners get to live on is TAXPAYER FUNDED, whereas the money SFRs have to live on is their own savings. Would you sacrifice holidays, nice clothes, a new car, restaurant dinners, etc. to GIFT $1 million+++ to the tax man?

    And I don't think many SFRs are sitting in 2 million dollar homes. Lots are struggling with quite modest homes and less than $500,000 (per person) in assets, but still have to gift their savings to the tax man while pensioners get free handouts.
    hyperbole
    20th May 2020
    6:32pm
    As a fully self funded retiree I am living in a unit worth $297K
    veepee
    21st May 2020
    11:13am
    How is taking a pension or part pension after paying taxes for 40 or 50 years different from accumulating wealth by using every tax minimisation perk available to businesses or high income earners including very superannuation concessions?
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    2:59pm
    What tax minimisation? That's nothing but a myth but welfare is real.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    10:06pm
    veepee, you make a lot of wild and totally unsubstantiated assumptions. I am a self-funded retiree, but I never earned a high income and certainly never used tax minimization 'perks'. I didn't even have superannuation until the last few years of my working life and my contributions were never enough to benefit from tax benefits. Actually, I'm noticing that most of those in my circle who earned high incomes and used tax minimization schemes ALSO manipulated to qualify for full aged pensions. They learned early in life how to work the system to line their pockets at other people's expense and they continue to do ensure they get every cent on offer.
    Golden Oldie
    20th May 2020
    10:47am
    Canberra has put forward the same procedure of reducing the standard rate for superannuation drawdown by 50%. However that can also have adverse effects where a single person goes from a pension just covering the cost of living, to half of that. On top of that, the pension is based on the value at end of financial year, and value of investments in super has also dropped dramatically. So then you have to drawdown on savings, which generate virtually no interest, so expected finance streams are severly shortened.
    Rosret
    20th May 2020
    11:35am
    That just means while pensioners are getting a temporary increase self funded retirees are reducing their allotted weekly pay as the unit share price has dropped. No winners for people in the self funded superannuation contributor funds.
    It appears a pandemic is a good time to work for or to be dependent on the government purse. No job losses, using up holiday leave and reduced hours for them.
    Rae
    20th May 2020
    4:10pm
    Yes Rosret someone on Newstart commented how lucky they were to be already in the system even though just two months ago they were desperately searching for work.
    Padmi
    20th May 2020
    10:49am
    Yes. I feel we are overlooked. We have done are best to be self funded retirees and even when a crisis like the Pandamic hits we are not provided with any assistance.
    Tood
    20th May 2020
    11:45am
    And this is the sector that the govt will come after to replenish their coffers when this pandemic eases off.
    Discontented
    20th May 2020
    12:36pm
    Exactly Tood, Hoping they will overlook me, but got a feeling they will looking for me when the dust settles.
    Discontented
    20th May 2020
    12:36pm
    Exactly Tood, Hoping they will overlook me, but got a feeling they will looking for me when the dust settles.
    Travellersjoy
    20th May 2020
    11:04am
    The system is designed to ensure that only retirees who need pension concessions get them. The parameters are very generous and retirees with millions in assets still get access to age pensions. Often much too generous. They are getting a little help from the government because mostly they will have to spend it and keep the wheels of the economy turning.

    The complainers are mostly well off retirees who want to preserve capital to pass down to their children. Why should tax payers subsidise your children's inheritances when hundreds of thousands of hard working Australians never had jobs that gave them the luxury of generous superannuation? Do you want an extra $1700 to add to your capital? or to reduce your draw down? or to make a payment on a luxury cruise? If you are really a self-funded retiree you must already have a whacking great dollop of assets, including superannuation, and don't need such a small amount. The government has halved to compulsory draw down rate so your capital is preserved through the crisis. Why are you whingeing instead of spending some extra capital to support the economy?

    Anyone who has superannuation and is not eligible for the age pension is free to either live more frugally and prioritise their kids' inheritance, or reduce their capital over time to improve their standard of living. Your choice. Perhaps you could spend some on a good therapist to better manage your poverty fears. None of you are within cooee of real poverty such as experienced by the pensioners getting a little extra help from the government - to support the economy, not because the LNP is suddenly humane.

    Millions of people with superannuation will never have that choice because they will need to spend what small capital they have to supplement an age pension. Tough luck for their kids who get no inheritance, but probably didn't expect one, and might even be resourceful enough to support themselves into adulthood.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    11:21am
    That is a great argument for people paying back any age pension received as a debt when they die.
    Mariner
    20th May 2020
    12:01pm
    Ret. Well - you keep saying the same thing but you are against an inheritance/death tax. How do they repay without being forced to by a tax upon departure. You cannot reach into the coffin to pull the notes out as the funeral home will have gotten to them first. Just let us know how YOU would get the pension money back. I am sure the Govt would be more than a little interested.
    Fedup
    20th May 2020
    12:35pm
    “retirees with millions in assets still get access to age pensions”

    No they don’t. A single home owner with over $578,250 in assets can’t get an age pension.

    And I know people who are on the pension, but they shouldn’t be, because they gave their children their financial assets just before they reached age pension age. There are many pensioners who are much better off than self-funded retirees, and now they are getting these bonuses as well.
    veepee
    20th May 2020
    1:23pm
    Well put. As part pensioners we consider ourselves fortunate but we are also less gungho with our investments than those who have lost 20% of their super. The choose to forget how much they have made over the last few years with their money in high risk investments, which surely isn't a wise strategy for retiree.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    4:26pm
    Travellers Joy, the system is deeply flawed, as it encourages and rewards irresponsible living and punishes harshly those who do what's best for the nation and future generations. I can gamble and drink my money away and the taxpayer will hand me $1 million or more in retirement funding. But if I choose to live a little more frugally and invest to leave something to help my grandchildren get a better education, or to pay for my own aged care, I am deprived. That is NOT a good system. And no, people with millions do NOT get pensions. But pensioners get an average of $1 million handed to them from the taxpayer purse, while those who saved a million get kicked in the teeth and required to live on their savings until they run them down to about half.

    I get a rich reward for gambling and dining out, or taking expensive holidays before retiring, but if I am not so lucky and have to wait for retirement to buy that caravan and trip around Oz, I suffer deprivation. If I dump Mum in aged care and trip off around the world, I am rewarded, but if I give up my time to look after her in my own home and save the cost of that trip of a lifetime, I am punished. If I earn a fat salary, the taxpayer dumps huge amounts into my retirement kitty so I can retire in luxury, but if I am a battler I get sweet nothing, or next to nothing, to build my super and then am cheated out of a pension if I saved anyway. I am punished for putting money aside to pay for medical or dental care in later life, or to ensure I can repair my home and remain in it - with a carer if required - instead of going into aged care. But if I spend up frivolously, I can have taxpayer-funded medical and dental care and free aged care accommodation.

    Halving the drawdown rate does NOTHING to help a retiree struggling on returns well below the OAP level and not getting any concessions. They can't afford to reduce their draw down rate. They would starve. So their only option is to cash their assets at a massive loss and spend the proceeds, then claim a pension. Anyone who thinks that is good for the nation has cotton wool between their ears!
    Fedup
    20th May 2020
    5:56pm
    Young again, I agree. Also, self-funded retirees have to pay more for essential services than pensioners. They don’t get cheap medicines, free rego and discounts off their utilities, phone and council rates. Nor do they get the energy supplement or bonuses that governments give out from time to time to pensioners.

    You’re exactly right when you say that those who do the right thing and plan and save for their retirement are punished. I know people who were on a higher income than me throughout their working life but never saved and are now on a pension, whereas I won’t be able to get one.
    Viking
    21st May 2020
    7:38pm
    Mariner, no need to pay inheritance tax, no need to leave an inheritance to your kids. Keep it all, Morrison told us at the beginning of the virus that he was setting us up to be better off 'on the other side.' We know he's got a proven record for miracles so get those arms swaying.
    Ted
    20th May 2020
    11:14am
    The minimum drawdown has been reduced.
    Rosret
    20th May 2020
    11:47am
    That's not a benefit. :)
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    4:29pm
    Yes, it has, Ted. So struggling SFRs who had incomes of way less than the OAP, with NO concessions, are now very lucky. With reduced income from their investments and reduced asset values, they are allowed to try to live on $15,000 a year per couple instead of $30,000 so that they don't have to sell so many assets. I wonder how you pensioners would respond to the government halving YOUR income?
    Gemini
    20th May 2020
    11:21am
    That is definitely true! My husband & I are in this group - what I termed 'The Grey Zone' because there has just been no consideration given in this time of need. Whilst rent reduction will help renters, who is going to compensate the rent difference for those partially dependent on rental income for their retirement? Income from super is also being eroded - we are all well aware of it. It has got nothing to do with luxury cruises, inheritance for kids or having 'a great dollop of assets' - note that when we were working, we also paid a 'great dollop' of income taxes, worked long hours to keep companies going as part of our jobs. We only asked to be given 'fair consideration' in current circumstances. Just because we exceed the asset threshold test for govt. pension does not mean everyone is a millionaire. It is a statement of fact, not a whinge.
    veepee
    20th May 2020
    2:08pm
    I agree that the rent reduction for renters with no compensation for landlords is unfair, whether retired or not. Exemption from paying mortgage payments only increases the burden later on, and in any case owners have to spend all their savings before banks will consider that option.

    20th May 2020
    11:23am
    The most disadvantaged retirees are those couples with $1 million as they have no chance today to earn enough to live on. These people need help now.
    Rosret
    20th May 2020
    11:45am
    So what you are saying - if people didn't save and have led the life of Riley then the government will help you but it you have saved, studied hard, worked long hours and been really cautious as you have done the future projection sums then its OK to have your portfolio drop by thousands of dollars?

    How much have you lost from this Pandemic so far?

    I don't actually want anything from the Government but it does hit hard when people have salary sacrificed for years to draw down less than what the Government has allocated to those who haven't.

    However, I would still rather be in my position than beholden on the Government coffers.
    Mariner
    20th May 2020
    12:11pm
    If I had a million bucks, I would upgrade my place, get everything new and qualify for a part pension. Or I would certainly not belly ache in these columns. Agreed, a million is not sufficient to self support unless you start eating into it, i.e. $40'000 per year. Enough for ca 20 years and then have nothing to leave behind. This "leaving money" is behind not wanting to spend the funds for most people.
    Mariner
    20th May 2020
    12:14pm
    Rosret - it works the same with insurances, the people without house insurance and a burnt down house are on Current Affair wanting money or anyone else to pay for their misfortune but putting a few $100 in a year to protect themselves no way.
    panos
    20th May 2020
    5:39pm
    The most disadvantaged retirees are those couples with $1 million


    My heart bleeds for you, you may have to crack that million to live for a while....

    oh gosh
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    3:01pm
    I certainly wouldn't like to try and live on the return on $1 million today. Good luck to you if you can.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    6:42pm
    Retiring Well, it's pretty obvious why some people here DON'T have $1 million. No comprehension of economic reality!
    Fair Dinkum
    20th May 2020
    11:31am
    Thank you for bringing this to your newsletter I only hope that the politicians read it and take notice.
    They were very keen to take our franking credits and cut the negative gearing Now that we have lost most of our dividends and getting very little on term deposits I presume they are rubbing there hands together especially labour and the despicable Greens. Us self-funded retires are finding it harder to survive than the pensioners we don't get the concessions pensioners get we still pay full price for everything like rates rego licence ect ect .We are now living on less than the pensioners get and no thanks from the government for providing for our selves and saving the government millions
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    3:04pm
    You'd have to be a complete fool today to save for your retirement is the message now being sent. So only put what you have to into super and enjoy the rest of what you earn to the fullest.
    Horace Cope
    20th May 2020
    11:38am
    SMSF owners who are ineligible for any government pensions are, by any definition, well off and if hardship is being felt then perhaps some of their assets can be converted to the cash needed to get through this current period. Remember that there is a group of SMSF owners who want to manage their own super and are still eligible for an age pension or part age pension.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    11:47am
    How is it faire that if a person has $1 million in super and no job they get nothing. But a person with $1 million in super and a job gets Jobkeeper or Jobseeker?
    Horace Cope
    20th May 2020
    11:53am
    Because, RW, any legislation passed by any government will always disadvantage a group of people. Good legislation is when the disadvantaged group is very small. BTW I find your question puzzling; are you talking about retirees or people still working?
    Rosret
    20th May 2020
    11:55am
    Its not the time to be selling property.
    Remembering some people use their property portfolio to fund their retirement income. There is a moratorium on tenants having to pay rent at the moment and no moratorium on having to pay rates.
    While those who may not have had the opportunity to acquire these sort of assets in their life may think - so what - it does not help the economy one IOTA to collapse our economic structure for government handouts.
    Horace Cope
    20th May 2020
    12:06pm
    I agree, Rosret, but the article is about whingers who want their cake and eat it too. Let those with an SMSF support themselves the best way they can; sell something, borrow against assets until things improve but don't keep everything you own and also ask for a government handout.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    2:21pm
    It will take a lot of whinging to get anywhere near that of what I hear from those on welfare (age pension). I certainly would not want to be a couple with $1 million in assets trying to live on it now.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    4:37pm
    Horace Cope, it's a greedy person who suggests that people should be allowed to spend up big and get $1 mil+ from the taxpayer but if they live more frugally and save $1 mil they should not be allowed to benefit from it but should have to forego the benefits they would have received if they hadn't been frugal.

    Nobody should be deprived for having saved. That's not in the interests of the nation, as it leads to far more people being dependant on the taxpayer.

    People who have income less than the OAP because they saved and tried to be more responsible and benefit the nation HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO WHINGE. They are being abused and bullied, unfairly discriminated against and deprived, while the less responsible who are a burden on the public purse not only take handouts, but make nasty remarks about the SFRs whose hard work has helped enable the government to afford to pay pensions and rent assistance.

    Of course the solution is easy. Spend up big and put your hand out for that $1 mil+ that pensioners get, with all the concessions that go with it. And when the public purse is empty because we all do that, what will the pensioners do then?
    Gemini
    20th May 2020
    11:42am
    Whilst I feel that we have been overlooked, I offer a couple of suggestion to what might help:
    1. Offer discounted health medication - if you are healthy, it is best to continue to keep healthy. Discount to vitamins, supplements, medicated ointments (and I don't mean Chemist Warehouse discounted products only). Most of us would prefer to stay healthy as prevention is better than cure.
    2. Possible remote/online work for those who would like to or are able to work from home to subsidise their income & have interaction with community. This in itself will stimulate the economy, pay the incumbent & gives some self-esteem instead of just having 'hand-outs' - as we are not use to having 'hand-outs',
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    11:49am
    If you are healthy no amount of cheap medications is going to help you as you simply don't need them. I don't take anything myself.
    GrayComputing
    20th May 2020
    11:56am
    The solution is simple
    PASS LEGISLATION FOR NO ASSET TEST FOR PENSIONERS!
    The many billions spent (so wasted) by Centrelink on the overheads for tracking and spying on millions of pensioners can be used better to rebuild the economy and jobs
    johnp
    20th May 2020
    12:09pm
    Agree 100% GrayC
    Mariner
    20th May 2020
    12:17pm
    Yes, GC, you seem to have done your sums.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    4:40pm
    Not only that, GC, but rewarding people for living responsibly would mean hundreds of thousands more would try to save for retirement, invest more, and increase their retirement spending. People could save to leave their grandkids a nest egg to get a better education and buy a home, improving the position of future generations and reducing the need for welfare for them. The economy would gain enormously.
    Alan
    20th May 2020
    12:15pm
    I am a self funded retiree. This supplements my supperannuation payments. I have a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and so received the $750 May payment. Most of this I have given away and will do the same with the next payment. When the government allowed me to take 2.5% instead of the 5% of the value of the fund I have stopped my monthly payments for the time being. They will resume in January of next year.

    I have been unable to get my systemn to work out the drop in the value of my funds post the Pandemic crash. However when I take the value of the fund from 1 July until the present time there has been a significant increase in value even after management fees and the monthly payments to me for nine months of the year.

    I am in it for the long haul and have a well balanced fund - both in respect for different classes of assets and exposures in different countries and so have not been significantly affected by the current downtown.

    To consider six months in isolation paints a false picture of reality. Good planning and not panicing certainly helps remove worry about the immediate future.
    dabi56
    20th May 2020
    12:17pm
    Universal Basic Income for everyone with no means tests and make earnings in Superannuation taxable as well.
    veepee
    20th May 2020
    2:03pm
    That would put the cat amongst the canaries. :) These are the self funded retirees who fight tooth and nail for franking credits they shouldn't be entitled to because they haven't paid tax.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    4:43pm
    What a load of bollocks, veepee. They save the nation tens of thousands annually by self funding their retirement. They are far more entitled to franking credits (a small top up to help them survive without a pension) than the TRIPLE DIPPING PENSIONERS who demand to keep their franking credits + $1 mil or so in pensions + concessions and benefits.

    Why do you think a worker who pays $5000 a year tax is more entitled to franking credits than an SFR couple who saves the nation $40K a year by living on the miserable $30K a year their investments return and not asking for taxpayer-funded handouts to fund their food and shelter?
    dabi56
    20th May 2020
    12:17pm
    Universal Basic Income for everyone with no means tests and make earnings in Superannuation taxable as well.
    PC 63
    20th May 2020
    12:18pm
    I 've worked hard and gone without all my life to become a self funded retiree. lost my commercial tenants and just about all my dividend income due to Corona Virus.I may be selling shares cheap to live ,but too many commercial properties on the market to be able to sell. It's just life . I guess as many self funded Retirees may fall over , the burden of extra pensioners will hit the economy even harder. Would it be better to get some short term help and stay afloat or be funded for the rest of your life ?
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    12:23pm
    There is virtually no where to get a return on your money now so unless you have a considerable cash buffer the you will have to sell at fire sale prices to live. This only shifts the burden of funding your later life onto the taxpayer. These people need help now so that the taxpayer does not have to pay a lot more to look after them later in life.
    Joyful56
    20th May 2020
    12:23pm
    I am 64 and a bit and retired to look after a family dementia sufferer who didn't qualify for a carer. I am drawing down my limited super at just on age pension rate without any of the "freebies" and discounts which come with the pension. I do have a Low Income Health Care card, but this gets me very little in the way of discounts and my super balance looks very grim indeed.
    I wonder what is the point of others who are older than me, trying to support themselves?
    Yes, I feel very forgotten.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    12:26pm
    Many in your situation are getting Jobseeker so check it out.

    If you have a Low Income Health Care Card then you will qualify for Jobseeker.
    Joyful56
    20th May 2020
    12:23pm
    I am 64 and a bit and retired to look after a family dementia sufferer who didn't qualify for a carer. I am drawing down my limited super at just on age pension rate without any of the "freebies" and discounts which come with the pension. I do have a Low Income Health Care card, but this gets me very little in the way of discounts and my super balance looks very grim indeed.
    I wonder what is the point of others who are older than me, trying to support themselves?
    Yes, I feel very forgotten.
    Bakka
    20th May 2020
    12:30pm
    A ticking time bomb developing with so many relying on dividends and those controversial franking credits ....take those away and then add ~ 20% fall in asset value ..For many life span ratios will not allow full recovery iand many will now qualify for part pension ...So here we go again ...more strain on the public purse...Totally agree with others . We need a complete overhaul with a universal pension as the cornerstone.
    Triss
    20th May 2020
    3:32pm
    The banks will remove franking credits to boost their $billion profits.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    4:45pm
    the banks are not removing franking credits at all. They are just paying reduced or no dividends.
    KSS
    20th May 2020
    12:46pm
    This is another scaremongering fluff piece which is based on out of date figures for most people.

    In my case the current fall in my superannuation is just over 3% from the starting high point in mid March. Yes it fell 20%+ on about 21 March but since then it has recovered also the entire loss to the point it is only just over 3% off that high. Now I am not special, ans I do not have an industry fund, but let's keep things a little bit real. Just because people have retired (or are close to retiring) does not mean they are all at the poorhouse door.
    braddybear
    20th May 2020
    12:59pm
    I have applied for a part pension and filled out 60 pages of useless crap to attempt to qualify, they keep asking for even more information and centrelink is making it as hard as possible, this federal government is absolutely heartless and I find it hard to understand why so many older people continue to vote and support it and its cruel policies.
    cupoftea
    20th May 2020
    3:40pm
    BB as they say once an idiot always an idiot
    veepee
    20th May 2020
    1:14pm
    Sounds to me like these self funded retirees have had their money in pretty high risk investments. If they still have enough money in their accounts to disqualify them from receiving even a part pension or health care card then they are hardly poor.
    These are the people who think they should be able to live off the earnings on their super while retaining their capital. This is not what superannuation was meant to do. Tax on contributions was low, there are generous tax benefits on franking credits and Income Accounts and now they want more government handouts. No wonder we retirees are considered greedy by the younger generations. We lived entirely on our super for several years and now qualify for a small part pension. We consider we are in a very fortunate position compared with many who, often through no fault of their own, are totally dependent on the pension.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    1:39pm
    $1 million in the bank gives at the most 1% now so I'd agree if a couple could live on $10,000 a year. You need a very risky investment in this market to get a return equal to the pension on $1 million. With many companies now not paying dividends there is little or not franking credits to be had.

    I'd agree with you if a couple had $3 million plus but not too many have those sort of assets. Most are now struggling and very fearful of their future.
    veepee
    20th May 2020
    1:50pm
    Retiring Well - having your money in the bank is not really a good investment strategy - this is not the late 80's/90's. But if you are relying o the share market you have to take the good with the bad. Why can't you draw on your capital for a while?
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    2:19pm
    Because it is time to add to your share market investments not cash them in. Better to have the cash than sell at fire sale prices. The higher the market gets the more cash I have and the lower the market gets the less cash I have. It would not surprise me that I came out of this mild cold problem wealthier than when it started. I actually love this market and looking for bargains.

    However most people don't do what I do because as you say it is a poor investment strategy. I'll admit I had more money in the bank than invested when this mild cold so called problem began.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    4:50pm
    Veepee, many SFRs got nothing from the public purse, and are now contributing tens of thousands annually by not drawing pensions, yet are living on less than the pension. Many had little or no superannuation. Don't just everyone by your circumstances. And please ease off on the 'through no fault of their own'. There are very, very few in that category. Most could have bought a home and saved for retirement if they had made a little more effort. But those with healthy savings and nice homes are now pulling nice incomes from the public purse, topped up with their own super or investment income, while SFRs with very little are really struggling. I suspect many never wanted to have to deal with share markets investments, but were forced to by low bank interest rates. Life is hard for them now. Have a little more respect please. If they throw up their hands and spend up enough to go on the pension, the nation will feel the pain. Some sensible help now would save a great deal in the future.
    veepee
    20th May 2020
    6:01pm
    Young again I think you would be surprised the number of people there are in those circumstances - people who are made redundant in their 50's or who become physically unable to carry out the work they are trained for and jobs are hard to find for that age group. I am talking nurses, trades people, paramedics and other emergency service workers - people on better than median incomes. They have worked hard all their lives and may find themselves using super to pay off mortgages. Many are on Newstart for years - an absolutely soul destroying position for people who have worked hard for decades. Many of those 'Volunteers' at charity shops, Meals on Wheels etc are doing so for 15 hours a week as a requirement of Newstart when the employment agencies eventually tell them there is no hope of work for them so no point in applying for 20 jobs. They live in poverty until they are 60 and then start to access their super to supplement Newstart. I find it very hard to understand how so many people on this forum are so totally out of touch with reality.
    Ahjay
    21st May 2020
    9:25am
    Anyone with 1 million getting 1% interest can draw $1000 per week and it will be 22 years before the cash runs out.
    Bear in mind, as the balance drops,you will become eligible for the age pension at an ever increasing rate, $3 for each thousand below the threshold until full pension is reached. Reduce the draw down as the pension rises to extend the life of the term deposit. Life's Good!
    With smart budgeting most people would live reasonably well and would love to be in that position.
    johnp
    21st May 2020
    12:13pm
    Problem is Ahjay is that if everyone goes to centrelink every week to advise them of their $1000- drop in assets then that will increase the bureaucratic processes and jam up the bureaucracy in further than is already happening. Creates a much larger govt dept than already exists. The assets test is bogging this country down !!
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    2:41pm
    johnp Services Australia now just press a button and seconds later your assets are revalued.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    6:48pm
    Veepee. My partner and I had to retire at 55, after NEVER earning anywhere near an average wage and having spent 4 years earlier on living on sickness benefits. Both of us had high health costs due to injury early in life. So please don't tell me about people who are struggling on pensions 'through no fault of their own'. We still paid off a home and saved. I can't find a single pensioner who did it tougher than we did. But my neighbours divorced and lived together to be asset tested as singles. Another neighbour HAD to go to Europe for 8 months, buy a new car and a $1.5 mil house to keep their FULL pension. Another HAD to take a 5th cruise around the world to avoid being caught in the assets test.

    Less wealthy SFRs are the most discriminated against, abused and unfairly treated species in Australia today. And it's disgraceful that pensioners, who are getting on average around $1 mil or more from the taxpayer purse, don't support demands that SFRs be treated with more respect and fairness.
    Tricky
    20th May 2020
    1:30pm
    Deeming rates of 2.25% of bank fixed term deposits investments. When current rate available is 1.35%. Straight out hypocrites when fixing rates robbing self funded retirees and part pensioners.
    veepee
    20th May 2020
    1:43pm
    That is true.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    6:39pm
    Effective deeming rate for the asset tested is a whopping 8%, but some here think that's okay, yet whinge about 2.25% on fixed deposits. A case of give to me but take from him.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    6:39pm
    Effective deeming rate for the asset tested is a whopping 8%, but some here think that's okay, yet whinge about 2.25% on fixed deposits. A case of give to me but take from him.
    Saver
    20th May 2020
    2:35pm
    I agree with Graycomputing, pension for everyone turning pension age, if you happen to have saved for your retirement that is great and you deserve the extra income. The Goverment/taxpayers would save a lot of money without policing all the rules and regulations regarding who is entitled. Look at other European countries were they have these rules in place!
    johnp
    20th May 2020
    3:11pm
    Interesting comment Saver re. "Look at other European countries were they have these rules in place!". Can you expand on that and which european countries ??
    veepee
    21st May 2020
    10:43am
    More socialised countries such as Sweden have excellent health care, and a liveable pension. But unlike our tax system, where tax liabilities can be reduced by negative gearing, generous superannuation tax breaks, family trusts and the like and retirees receive franking credit even if they don't pay tax (Australia is unique in that generous perk I believe) higher taxes are required to support a system which provides reasonable living standards for all. Sadly we seem to be increasingly following the greedy US mentality where it's every man for himself, to the detriment of a large proportion of the population. There is the assumption on this post that if you haven't accumulated wealth sufficient to support yourself then you haven't worked hard - I am absolutely disgusted by some of the privileged and selfish comments on this page. I would love to know what many of you did for a living - not too many health workers, social workers, or the like I'll guarantee.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    6:36pm
    US has a universal age pension and free health care for all senior citizens. Try telling an American their system is socialist or communist - especially a homeless American living on food stamps!
    Anonymous
    22nd May 2020
    8:17am
    Health and social workers are paid well, veepee, (despite them thinking otherwise) and so are tradesmen - many of whom work very hard. And nearly all of them, as far as I can see, are pensioners. My partner was an unskilled labourer until an early-life back injury forced him to take early retirement, and I ran a takeaway food store - cooking and washing dishes from 7am until 7pm. So I guess I must have made my money easily????

    Yes, a lot of folk make their money easily - but most of them retire wealthy. The battling SFRs with lower asset balances are mostly folk who worked very hard and made sacrifices to try to ensure a more comfortable retirement. And now they are worse off than if they hadn't done that.
    JP
    20th May 2020
    3:07pm
    Good article Will.
    Question, has AIR lobbied the Federal Govt regarding this
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    3:50pm
    Last time I looked not many people in AIR were self funded retirees.
    counting pennies
    20th May 2020
    3:42pm
    Heres another angle.Im not retired but was "stood down" by mycemployer a major player.Business in another sector has skyrocketed.Therefore no Jobkeeper.I have a second casual job,in retail.Its income overall has increased but hours are sparse.As above,not eligible for Jobkeeper.
    Can I get Jobseeker? No because I intended to be self funded and acquired investment prooerty,yhat puts me over the limit for Jobseeker.
    So I am 59 single female
    johnp
    20th May 2020
    3:49pm
    Hi Pennies. Do you have an ABN number ??
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    3:49pm
    There is now no asset test for jobseeker. There is an income test but it is very generous so you must be quite wealthy and have a good job if you are over the income limit for jobseeker.
    counting pennies
    20th May 2020
    3:50pm
    I can access the 20k of my super,my wage has gone down 95%.I can support myself on this until work resumes assuming theres a place for me,or I am left with living off my funds til I dont know when
    BigAl
    20th May 2020
    4:11pm
    Self funded retirees have been forgotten. No rewards for working hard all your life. All we do is encourage more dill brains who don’t have enough sense to save and invest during their life. So what are getting - more welfare. The dilll brains and that’s 50% of the population don’t even have enough savings to last 3 weeks without a hand out. Our education system is so dumbed down. Our political systems have become corrupted. We need some tough love to sort out this mess but it’s not going to happen. Socialism is great until you run out of other people’s money.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    4:20pm
    Agree we are now on a race to the bottom not the top.
    Anonymous
    20th May 2020
    4:20pm
    Agree we are now on a race to the bottom not the top.
    David
    20th May 2020
    5:29pm
    Could not agree more as SFR’s have been & continue to be shafted. To be abandoned & ‘forced’ to draw on savings due to next to zero interest rates & pathetic dividends is totally unreasonable. We are not ‘wealthy’ SFR’s by any means but zero actual support from this Govt speaks volumes. We worked & paid taxes for decades, lived to a budget, paid off a modest house & salary sacrificed & now we have been cast adrift. Should have spent freely & upsized our home thus reducing our super balances to qualify for a part pension & all of the associated benefits. The Feds been pushing us Baby Boomers to be self sufficient & look what resulted. Our taxes paid for a universal age pension years ago & those monies were quietly incorporated into the consolidated account. Us SFR’s are sacrificial lambs.
    Happy
    20th May 2020
    5:46pm
    Hard to see the true. Not posting my comments.
    Chef
    20th May 2020
    7:07pm
    As a self funded retiree I believe no allowances should be made. It has highlighted to many self retirees they should be more active in the management and investment of their SMSFs. With a change of focus from relying on Dividends too much to looking for quality growth stocks my portfolio is now 30%higher than the high before the virus. People in general must take responsibility for their own destiny, do not blame governments or others. If a person is not willing or not capable of doing that then join a super fund.
    veepee
    21st May 2020
    11:07am
    Well said. Few financial advisers would recommend that a retiree have all their eggs in one high risk basket. It amazes me that more people don't join superannuation funds where they can readily adapt their investment strategy to the economic climate or combine high and low risk options.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    11:13am
    SMSFs out perform other super funds by a long way so even one not well managed does well.
    veepee
    21st May 2020
    11:28am
    In that case Retiring Well you should have made a brilliant return on your investments over the last few years. The problem is to get those returns you need to invest in high risk assets like shares, so have to be prepared for a negative return every 5 years so should be putting money aside to counter that. Your franking credit rebates are also a tax payer funded perk, only available in Australia by the way.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    2:39pm
    I don't get any taxpayer funded perks and one thing franking aint and that's taxpayer funded perks. I just can't stop laughing that someone could be so stupid to think they were. Stop making an ass of yourself.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    6:34pm
    What a disgracefully self-serving attitude, Chef and veepee. It's okay for people to take $1 million or more in handouts from the taxpayer because they didn't save for retirement, but those who did save are supposed to become investment gurus in old age or suffer hardship. Some had very bad experiences in super funds. Some never even had the opportunity to invest in super - and certainly can't after retiring. And now, having lived responsibly and put money aside for old age, you want them cheated out of even a fair refund of tax that was taken from their dividends - money that they NEED to make up a liveable income if they are battling on assets only marginally over the assets threshold. But it's fine for them to have to burn through their hard-won savings and then collect a pension and TRIPLE DIP, taking pension, concessions AND concessions and benefits.

    Retiring well is right. Franking credits are a refund of tax taken from income. If they are to be cancelled, so should refunds of tax taken from interest and refunds of excess tax taken from wages and salaries. It's time this nation showed a little decency and respect for people who are still contributing to the economy long after retirement age, because they worked hard, lived responsibly, and didn't manipulate to get pension benefits. If the system doesn't change, there will be lots more pensioners placing a lot more stress on the economy.
    Pammy
    20th May 2020
    7:31pm
    Once again those on the welfare gravy train taking free money from the public purse for years on end not wanting to see SFR who worked went without to have a little bit better retirement. You welfare takers had the same opportunity as we did and sorry but if you didn't make an effort to buy a house or save then you should not be allowed to take hundreds of thousands of dollars from taxpayers.
    veepee
    21st May 2020
    10:59am
    The voice of privilege - what a truly out of touch opinion based on ignorance. Do a bit of research Pammy, if you are capable. Many hardworking people in full employment all their lives still end up requiring some government assistance, and have paid taxes so shouldn't feel it is a handout. How do you think the underemployed in a casualised workforce or the contract workers who are paid less and pay their own sick pay and superannuation while earning less than permanent employees are going to be able to support themselves or ever own a house? Lots of people with trades and in white collar work find themselves made redundant in their 50's never to find work again. Many less fortunate women who have raised children and worked hard find themselves widowed or divorced with superannuation on average half of males. As for 'those on the welfare gravy train taking free money from the pubic purse ' - how is taking a pension more a drain on the public purse than the many tax minimisation schemes available to businesses and the wealthy or the franking credit rebate available to retirees not paying tax?
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    11:12am
    No not the voice of privilege but the voice of fact. Put simply many people are too stupid to save for their own retirement and expect those who do to pay for them instead. Those requiring government assistance ie welfare as in age pension should only be 10% not the 70% plus that do.
    veepee
    21st May 2020
    12:59pm
    How many are on on a full pension Retiring Well? And how does even a full pension for a retired couple compare with the 30% taxpayer funded rebate on franking credits which people who rely on dividends for their income receive?
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    2:35pm
    You obviously have no idea what franking credits are as they are certainly not taxpayer funded by 30%. I just can't stop laughing at such a uninformed statement. Maybe interest earned should be taxed at 30% at it's source and then I'd need ear muffs to tone down the screams. Light bulb moment franking credits are the same as taxing interest 30% at it's source.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    9:51pm
    Veepee, "how does even a full pension for a retired couple compare with the 30% taxpayer funded rebate on franking credits which people who rely on dividends for their income receive?"
    I can answer that. A full pension for a retired couple is well in excess of $35,000 a year (possibly around $38,000 when concessions and benefits are counted).

    A retiree couple with around $1 mil is likely to have well under half in shares paying franked dividends, but let's be generous and say $700,000. At a generous 5% average return (and few would be doing that well) the couple would be getting $15000 max in franking refunds, and would have a total income of about $55,000 pa., and be paying full price for everything.

    Now, as I said, that is worked on VERY GENEROUS figures. Very few could hope to get 5% average dividends and $700,000 would be a very high amount to have invested in shares paying franked dividends. Most of those my financial adviser deals with have around $250,000 to $300,000 in direct shares of which maybe 70% pay franked dividends, and 40% of those don't carry 100% franking credits. The majority of his clients - SFR couples with between $1 mil and $1.5 mil - would be lucky to collect $6000 per year in franking refunds, and most are struggling to achieve total incomes equal to the OAP with concessions.
    Anonymous
    22nd May 2020
    8:53am
    I might add that I a survey of his clients, my financial adviser says he found that the majority of those over 80 were happy to spend their savings, but those in their sixties and early 70s were extremely nervous about eating into savings because they believed they could potentially live for another 25-30 years and would need their money. They cited concerns about rising health care costs, the need for home help, a desire to arrange the kind of aged care they preferred rather than that the government pays for, and a desire to help their children fund a good education and a good start in life for their grandchildren (which HELPS taxpayers by ensuring fewer of the next generation are needy!). Most described a quite frugal lifestyle and had no desire for luxuries or to leave large estates. They merely wanted to be able to cover medical, dental, optical, council rates, care and home help costs and remain in comfortable accommodation in the area where they had friends and/or family for as long as they might live. That's what they saved for, and they felt it was patently unfair that the system denied them the right to use their savings as intended but instead deprived then of income those who didn't save received.

    It was also noted that most of those who had modest wealth had worked in areas where pay was less than the average wage, had encountered more than their fair share of health and circumstantial challenges (which typically made them more cautious in their spending) and were deeply sympathetic to those who had less, but felt that the fact that some had less (for whatever reason) should not justify deprivation of people who had earned their more comfortable position.
    Viking
    21st May 2020
    11:23am
    We seem to have a polarisation of views that all those on the pension pissed their money against a wall and all Self Funded Retirees are wealthy tax dodgers. Neither are totally true. The fact is though that most SFRs have worked hard, paid a lot of tax and made a disproportionate contribution towards the wellbeing of this nation. Governments ignore and penalise SFRs because they can't be bribed by handouts. They have planned to fund their old age based on a reasonably predictable environment. The pandemic and its economic consequences was not part of that plan.
    The government and its Central Bank have instigated measures like record low interest rates to protect the nation at the expense of retirees. The drop in the value of superannuation and retirees income is unpredictable. If this is fair for SFRs then why isn't it equally fair that as government income falls, pensions should fall too? If pensioners need a special payment during these exceptional times (for what?) then why don't SFRs qualify too? After all more than anyone they have contributed towards it.
    Not only do SFRs get screwed over by the the Fed with the lack of healthcare concessions but the State governments are even worse. The numerous concessions available only to pensioners and not SFRs is bad enough but then when we have in NSW an LNP government which at the last election promised ALL regional Seniors a $250 annual travel card and then when they got back in deliberately changed the rule to Commonwealth pensioners only, you know you are being screwed.
    I maintain that if we continue to reward failure and penalise success then we as a nation will all suffer in the same way. If the government had encouraged personal financial resilience instead of its mantra of spend, spend, spend, we would not be in the unbelievable financial mess we are in now.
    PeterD
    21st May 2020
    1:46pm
    Fully Agree. We worked and saved hard to be self funded in retirement, including not doing lots of things we could have done to enjoy more of life along the way. Unless you could retire seriously wealthy, I would not advocate striving to be self funded in retirement, rather I would recommend people still be responsible and sensible with their savings etc, however do everything they want in life along the way including holidays, travel, caravans, boats, nice cars, nice home, etc. The governments give no thanks to those who do with less along the way. The incentive to take responsibility and provide for yourself throughout your life is greatly diminishing, moreso becoming rewarded for doing otherwise.
    Anonymous
    21st May 2020
    2:37pm
    Five years before retirement pay off all your grandkids houses and ask them to fund all your overseas trips etc instead of paying the bank.
    mike
    21st May 2020
    5:56pm
    We lost our pension a few weeks after Hockey's changes but were promised we would have the concession card reinstated. However numerous correspondence to our federal MP, Mr Gee, all we got were lies, insults and gobbledygook. Mr Gee even inferred that self funded retirees were of no account, and the Liberal party didnt need their vote

    21st May 2020
    9:39pm
    “I’d like to see Canberra repeat the precedent set during the global financial crisis and decrease minimum pension requirements. Give pensioners the opportunity to sit on their investments until market conditions (eventually) recover.”

    That has already been done, but it achieves NOTHING for the retirees this article refers to because they can't reduce their drawings. They are already drawing, in many cases, less than the OAP, and certainly far less than they should be able to budget to live on given that they saved well to fund a more comfortable retirement.

    The article is rather silly because it goes on about them needing help because their incomes have fallen and asset values crashed, then proclaims that the help they need is permission to slash their incomes (which has already been granted but which the article recognizes they can't do!)

    What I think is very sad is that many of the pensioners who are being supported by the taxpaying public (including the children of the SFRs who are suffering and getting nothing) are not supporting demands for fairness. All retirees should be uniting to demand a better deal for ALL retirees. While there is division, the government will take advantage of it to disadvantage all of us. There is no room for jealousy, envy or resentment if we want to drive improvement of retirement incomes across the board. We must all stand together, recognizing that we can't know the details of other people's circumstances and nobody is qualified to determine what someone else needs or deserves.

    A universal age pension would be far better for the country. Most other developed countries have a universal age pension - recognizing that means testing favours manipulators and cheats and irresponsible lifestyles, and removes incentives to save and invest. It also increases age poverty and restricts the spending by seniors that would drive growth and jobs. It denies people the right to choose how they spend their money and to benefit from smart choices. It is totally contra to the government's claim that people should be allowed to keep more of their own money. We should all stand together and demand the abolition of the means tests - or at least the patently unfair assets test which effectively deems income at around 8% and makes couples with $1 million worse off in income terms than aged pensioners with less than half that sum. Please, let's unite to demand pension reform NOW.
    braddybear
    24th Jun 2020
    9:11am
    Most retirees and pensioners think the Australian pension and welfare system are world-leading when in fact they are well and truly left behind by most European nations, there should be no means test and in fact a universal income scheme is the real answer to inequality especially in a time of automation to replace the jobs that are and will be lost as technology overtakes commonsense, it doesn`t matter how cheap a product is for the consumer if the consumer cant afford to buy it, unfortunately conservative ideology just cannot seem to grasp this and they still cling to their old world survival of the fittest policies.

    22nd May 2020
    10:56am
    Worth a read

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/retirees-facing-financial-as-well-as-health-risks-in-coronavirus-pandemic/news-story/70704986e9263d3f058baadeee38c731
    Anonymous
    24th May 2020
    9:16am
    Only it's restricted to subscribers, sadly.
    Anonymous
    26th May 2020
    1:01pm
    I could read it and I'm not a subscriber.
    Hairy
    22nd May 2020
    12:05pm
    I personally think you all should be worried what gov is up to while your distracted and ripping each other’s throats out,used to be youngies versus pensioners ,goverment Versus pensioners, now it’s different categories of pensioner against pensioner,ffs your being manipulated and have been since gov started the mass DISCRIMINATION against pensioners.together you conquer ,DIVIDED your like lost sheep And are easily manipulated.UNIVERSAL PENSION at retiring age,no couples pension .individual pension, if both of a couple work you pay single tax ,so you get single pension.if your earnings are above say above 35k you pay tax SIMPLE keep Centrelink for job seekers,TOO SIMPLE A SOLUTION FOR THE SELF RIGHTEOUS ACADEMIC F WITS IN CANNBERRA.
    Deshi
    22nd May 2020
    1:59pm
    Thanks for the article. Spot on.
    It seems our system is designed to reprimand those who have worked hard to study ,worked hard throughout till retirement, be frugal, be responsible, plan ahead and save for their own retirement.
    On the other hand those who have been irresponsible in spending their money are being rewarded at the end of the working life.
    A universal pension at at least after 75 years of age would definitely of great benefit.
    Happy
    24th May 2020
    2:39pm
    Agree,that's a good idea
    Happy
    24th May 2020
    2:36pm
    Your life choices, THE COMPLAIN CHANNEL
    Bulla
    24th May 2020
    4:04pm
    It seems to be a crime to save and live on the savings as compared to those who have come from England and spend whole of their monthly earnings +credit cards irrespective of their income and are the first to run for dole when losing employment.
    Mondo
    24th May 2020
    5:09pm
    Where do you get that crap from Bulla, I came from England, have no credit card debt, have paid my taxes here on an above average income from working hard starting three days after I arrived and am totally self funded even to the extent that if my super went down the tube to a zero balance I could still live quite comfortably for the next 20-30 years. So why does Australia depend so much on foreign investment and foreign loans - because so few local people save, they depend on the earnings and savings of other people from overseas, even Chinese peasants. Australia has one of the highest personal debts of any country in the world so how do you reconcile that with your racist comment?
    Happy
    24th May 2020
    6:06pm
    Reason why Australia has high personeel debt, because every Tom Dick ad Harry buying a house ,at least the try.In Europe more rental market.and the Poms spend their money on holidays instead.
    Viking
    24th May 2020
    7:56pm
    Well Happy, not sure what your point is? UK home ownership is about the same as Australia's, around 65%. Of course Australians don't spend money on holidays do they? No $80,000 caravans towed by $70,000 4WDs, no holiday homes, overseas holidays or cruises. Which planet are you on?
    Happy
    24th May 2020
    8:22pm
    Viking, you right.All these extras accumulate towards Australians debt.
    You smart knucklehead.
    Fair Dinkum
    24th Jun 2020
    7:41am
    I am a self funded retiree and get a little less that the oap all self funded retirees with incomes
    similar to the OAP should get the the same concessions that pensioners get example rates rego electricity medical and many others. There is no benifit for us to skimp and save during our working lives. LN P is bad enough but labor wanted to financial criple us completely like Barr in the ACT has done to the low income pensioners small businesses.
    veepee
    24th Jun 2020
    3:54pm
    So you are saying you shouldn't be subject to an asset test.


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