12th Feb 2018

Increasing the Age Pension could solve super problem

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Tax breaks could make super worse

The Grattan Institute has suggested that increasing superannuation tax breaks could actually worsen gender equality in retirement and has instead proposed changes to the Pension system as a possible solution.

Grattan Institute fellow Brendan Coates explained that Australia’s superannuation system is failing Australia’s poorest, who are “disproportionately women” and explained why the push to increase the caps on pre-tax super contributions would make the situation worse.

“Women save less via superannuation because they earn less. The current generous annual caps on pre-tax contributions are predominantly used by older, high-income men to reduce their tax bills,” Mr Coates said.

The Grattan Institute’s research paper proposes two reforms that together could help close the gender gap in retirement incomes and provide a boost to the savings of Australia’s most vulnerable women.



Pension increase
A targeted boost to the Age Pension for retirees who do not own their own home, delivered as higher Commonwealth Rent Assistance, would do the most to alleviate poverty in retirement.

Single women who are retired and do not own their own home are the group most likely to rely almost solely on the Age Pension, and are at the greatest risk of poverty in retirement.

This proposal is affordable: a targeted $500-a-year boost to Rent Assistance for Age Pensioners would cost just $250 million a year.

Better targeted tax breaks
Better targeting super tax breaks to the purposes of superannuation would reduce the gender gap in superannuation savings.

Super tax breaks provide the greatest boost to high-income earners, who don’t need them. Most of these high-income earners are men.

Better targeting of super tax breaks could free-up revenue to provide more targeted support for retirement incomes for people who need it most, and to reduce marginal effective tax rates for low- and middle-income earners to encourage greater female workforce participation.

Industry response
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) attacked the Grattan Institute’s research, calling the proposals “Victorian era”.

ASFA Chief Executive Dr Martin Fahy said the Institute’s paper, canvassing the best way to close the gap, adopted a fatalistic view of the future earnings of women and low paid workers and condemned them from an early age to poverty in retirement.

“This is simply Grattan having another go at super, urging abandonment of legislated increases in the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) and ignoring the reality that lifting SG and in fact, doing it faster, is the real solution to improving women’s retirements,” he said.

“This paper adopts a set-and-forget view of class and income inequality. Proposals to fix the Budget by substantially cutting back on super entitlements and then giving a relatively few older, low income, retired women in rental accommodation less than $10 a week, are insulting and demeaning.

“Instead, we should be lifting women’s long term prospects with more money in super. Dignity in retirement requires a decent retirement income.

“There are around 270,000 Age Pensioner households on rent assistance and giving each of them the additional rental assistance proposed by Grattan would cost only around $140 million a year. Such a measure is affordable within the overall Budget context and should be considered on its own merits.

“The Age Pension and rent assistance alone cannot provide an adequate or acceptable retirement for Australians. The paper misses the reality of retirement living costs in Australia and the aspirations of the community to live comfortably, not just survive, in retirement.”

Read the Grattan Institute’s report.

What do you think? Do you support an increase to the Age Pension for pensioners that don’t own their own home?

 


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COMMENTS

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SuziJ
13th Feb 2018
10:04am
Why should it be just for the Age Pensioners? I'm single, in my 60s and have to survive on the DSP and I still have to wait for just under 5 years until I'm eligible for the Age Pension. I still have all the same bills as one on the Age Pension, yet I wouldn't be eligible for any further breaks. Why don't the government increase the DSP, Carer & Age Pensions by $100 pw for singles & $75 pw for couples. We could then live comfortably. I have no Super.
Charlie
13th Feb 2018
11:43am
A person is allowed to draw their super at 55 if they are not returning to full time employment, but it is worth looking into any alternatives to drawing the whole lot.

I had to leave work at 58 with chronic illness and despite drawing my super, I found myself quite disadvantaged on disability support pension, as it provided no incentive to reinvest a portion of my super.

Instead I was treated like a person on the dole who had a lot of money in the bank.
MICK
13th Feb 2018
6:45pm
Typical Grattan rich man's spiel.
The Grattan Institute now wants to bring back the greatest tax dodge ever invented for rich Australians where they can launder their income to avoid the correct rate of tax. What a bunch of crooks this so called 'Institute' is! None of us should be giving it the time of day.
arbee
15th Feb 2018
1:41pm
Mick, I am surprised by your comment on the Grattan Institute as I always thought they were much more left leaning than right. I guess no-one from either side of politics likes them that much then. I don't agree with more tax breaks for high income earners but I do see there could be some good out of more rent assistance for struggling pensioners, (providing of course that it didn't go straight into a poker machine). The issue of raising the SG is something that has to happen soon, but though by doing that may help in the more distant future, it doesn't help the pensioner who is struggling now.
Travellersjoy
13th Feb 2018
10:06am
Absolutely agree.

To imagine private enterprise, or employers of any kind have an interest in improving the wage and retirement outcomes of women, is naive to say the least.

Nothing will change until we have a government with gumption enough to shoulder its responsibilities to all its citizens, not just the fortunate and fully employed.
e
13th Feb 2018
10:12am
Home owners need a supplement to pay rates and taxes to enable them to stay in their own home not just non home owners and some of those are by choice as they get rental assistance etc and have the maximum dollars invested.
Mojobomber
13th Feb 2018
12:46pm
Exactly. Hubby has just gone to pay our rates, $2500.00. He is almost 67 amd I am only 63 and will not be eligible for the aged pension until 66. He only gets a part pension because I opted for a pension from my Federal Government superfund which although is deemed as a pension on Federal Government letterhead, is deemed to be income by Centrelink. It is not equivalent to an aged pension and we draw money from our super to make ends meet.
Tib
13th Feb 2018
10:33am
I agree with the ASFA the Grattan institute is using so called gender equality to stop an increase of the super guarantee. It's not an either or question. They are trying to stop Australians getting a 2.5% pay rise that goes into their super by making it all about gender. It's an easy target feminists throw themselves on the ground and foam at the mouth at the first opportunity and they're as thick as bricks. Women generally get into trouble once their husband dies and they are down to one pension especially if they rent , it's very difficult to live on and many don't manage it well.
Increasing the SG won't help them much unless they work, even today there are many that don't work or only work part time. Depending on your husbands super may not get you a nice retirement and you can't expect him to work till he's dead for your comfort. Increasing rent assistance will help single pensioners and believe me there are some men as well but most die earlier than women. The only thing that will fix the problem is for women to get a job and keep it, the days of living on your husbands wage are done.
missmarple
13th Feb 2018
10:59am
Tib it sound like to me that you are a "Male Chauvanistic" sorry if the spelling is wrong but I'm sure you getthe idea
Tib
13th Feb 2018
11:28am
No not at all as far as I can see this is the only way to solve this problem. Unless you can suggest a better solution. But I wouldn't expect the government to pick up the tab, just won't happen.
Tib
13th Feb 2018
11:30am
By the way I don't think it's chauvinistic to suggest women get a job isn't that what feminists have been demanding, well here's your big chance.
AutumnOz
13th Feb 2018
1:49pm
It would be ideal if all women could get a job and therefore have superannuation when they retire.
The truth is that many can't get a full time job because there are no jobs, or they have children and older relatives to be looked after. Expecting women to solve that problem themselves is a bit much of a stretch.
If stay at home mothers received the same assistance from the government that child care facilities and working mothers receive then that assistance from the government could be paid into superannuation for the stay at home mother's retirement package.
Tib
13th Feb 2018
1:58pm
Autumn Men have to find jobs whether there are jobs or not. Men have older relatives and children. But we don't use them as an excuse to do nothing. Men don't get money going into their super when they don't have paid employment. All they get is the dole or are suggesting that men should get superannuation when they are on the dole?
OnlyGenuineRainey
14th Feb 2018
6:31pm
It would be far better for society to enable women to stay at home with children and reduce demand for jobs. A one breadwinner per family rule would eliminate unemployment and greatly conditions for children as well as overall mental health and well-being. Pushing women out to work was the stupidest thing ever done both in social and in economic terms.
Dave R
13th Feb 2018
10:39am
If rent assistance is to be increased for non-homeowners then how about rates assistance for homeowners. After my pension discount my rates are still around $3,000 a year or $60 a week.
Hasbeen
13th Feb 2018
1:14pm
Having just paid my rates, now costing $3400 a year, I added the cost of just house insurance & found it costs me $109 a week just to own & insure the house.

To live in it I have a rapidly increasing maintenance cost. Increasing as it is now 40 years old, I am too old to do a lot of what I always have done, & costs of paying for work are increasing rapidly.

I have averaged another $75 a week on things like new guttering, new stove, 2 water tanks a pressure pump, & a grey water pump out pump over recent years.

I think renters have it easy actually, when I consider finding $13000 to paint the place. Time to stop crying for those who dis not try hard enough when younger.
AutumnOz
13th Feb 2018
1:55pm
Agreed Hasbeen, our house is approx. the same age as yours and now needs some work done on it. That will only happen with a lot of planning and going without other things, we have no luxuries unless running a car is considered a luxury in a rural area with no public transport.
I find that it is necessary to find another $50 per week or fortnight over and above the cost of rates and insurance just to stay abreast of the repair bills when they come in.
I agree renting has a lot of recommend it as once the rent is paid there are no further expenses except for the telephone if it is a landline.
solmon52
13th Feb 2018
10:46am
This is a general comment about our complete welfare and pension system.
You say an increase of 252 million to the budget.
Do you realise that if the government put in one million for every man woman and child to the comsuper system then devise a system that caters for all the fund should normaly return over $50,000 a year. I dont want to say how it could all be done as there is so much to consider. But by doing this all social welfare and pensions would be covered. No more dipping into the budget.
Move a large percentage of centrelink to the super system and or to border protection and fraud against the govt.
Its not simple as we dont want bludgers collecting what they dont deserve but we could reduce taxes to workers, decrease gst and have funds to build the best infrastructure ever.
Daisy
13th Feb 2018
10:52am
I dont believe an extra $500 a year will really make much difference, in reality its probably only a week and a bit in rent payments. It would be nice if the government built housing for seniors, not "StateHousing" but retirement type villas. Part of the agreement to rent there would be tenants maintain gardens, make meals available to others in the complex by way of a large kitchens (or for the local primary schools for charity events or the homeless) and eating area if required etc. A large workshop on the premises for hobbies and the opportunity to offer services to the public such as mechanical repairs, fixing of push bikes, these are just ideas. My reason for this is simple, there are many retirees and over 55's who are unable to find employment, yet have many skills available to share with the community. Productive and socially people are healthier if engaged with others and their community.
Anonymous
13th Feb 2018
11:10am
Daisy, I like your thinking, well thought through and eminently achievable, if we can get someone with some vision into public office who might realize what a valuable resource we have in the over 65s in this country. Sadly, I wont hold my breath waiting!
missmarple
13th Feb 2018
11:10am
sounds good in theory Daisey, but not in reality, cannot see the Government agreeing to anything like that they are too busy linning their own pockets and handing out benifets hand over fist to those who come to our shores and take take take but don't contribute in any way, not even learn English let alone abide by our customs etc
Linda
13th Feb 2018
11:30am
Daisy, what a great idea. It is true that we gals do lose out on super because of family responsibilities. I agree that 500. is a token and there must be better ideas. I like yours. I have said this before and will say it here again too. We must insist and demand that the housing issues for young families starting out and for those who are retired and want to downsize can find affordable options. For way too long there are too many incentives for investors and developers to speculate in the housing market and the result is what we have now.

It must be so addictive for local and state governments that have been able to cash in on these high high property values and so far, only weak attempts have been made towards the housing problems. We need an approach that has several sound strategies that will work in tandem to make living in a home possible for all Australians.
Tib
13th Feb 2018
11:35am
Perhaps you would like an Olympic swimming pool and a live in maid. Sorry ladies the government isn't going to take over from your husband. But nice try. Ha ha
Anonymous
13th Feb 2018
1:02pm
Tib, your demeaning attitude towards women doesn't go unnoticed. One can only assume 'the little wife' got the better of you, with your built in bitterness and antipathy towards the fairer sex -what a nasty little fellow you are!
Tib
13th Feb 2018
1:49pm
Oh dear Big Al what a white knight you are. Wifey got you under the thumb. Don't forget to do the washing and make dinner tonight and if your very very good you may get some. But probably not. Ha ha
HS
13th Feb 2018
11:12am
I support an equal increase in Pension equivalent to the rent assistance amount of $163 per fortnight for all home owners and non - home owners and discontinue the rent assistance program. It's about time all OAP were on level playing field.
Kosmo
13th Feb 2018
11:23am
Yes. I do, pensioners have worked very hard all the lives, they deserved better!
mac
13th Feb 2018
1:30pm
I live soley òn the age pensioon as no super duing my working days
Charlie
13th Feb 2018
11:34am
I heard that "equality" word again which is the first indication to me I am reading something that is not all it seems to be.
An increase in age pension sure, but finding an excuse to tie it to gender equality is to me a bit far fetched.
AutumnOz
13th Feb 2018
2:03pm
Agreed Charlie. Somehow each time an increase in age pension is mentioned, or superannuation discussed that word "equality" does rear its ugly head and manages to deflect and discussion into a gender "war" rather than a discussion as to the best way for pensions and super payments to be handled.
floss
13th Feb 2018
11:34am
I for one would like to see a better deal for all females.As for myself after Mr.Hockeys attempt at super reform I have lost faith in superannuation .
Tib
13th Feb 2018
11:39am
I'd like to see a better deal for all men. I think we should make demands for equality we are sick of paying for every little problem a women has.
gillham
13th Feb 2018
1:00pm
Yep, it is women again who have the focus. Keep gender out of these matters.

I'm sick of it to the extent I am losing respect for the beneficiaries. Sorry 'lost respect'.
Rae
13th Feb 2018
3:20pm
A better deal for all minimum wage earners would be good. A car mechanic is on the same wage as a lot of women cleaners, childcare workers etc. So it's not really a gender issue but an unfair wage situation. Not the governments job either but the companies raking in very good profits year after year and not increasing wages in line with productivity.

If you do the maths at least half the working population on median wages or less won't have much super anyway. They will be really really lucky to have more than $200 000 depending on the markets being very kind.

In my opinion that money would be better spent going into the families kitty while the kids are being raised.

As I've said before a conservative government with the main aim of keeping wages very low and destroying unions only works for the high income earners and business owners. That's why the gap between income and profits is becoming a chasm.

Check the graph out it's there to see quite easily.

All low income workers are being given a raw deal and the economy is riding on their backs these days.
Tib
13th Feb 2018
6:00pm
Rea a very balanced comment but I can't stress the importance of superannuation. Though I understand the difficulty low wage earners have trying to accumulate any real super.
Triss
13th Feb 2018
10:15pm
I agree superannuation is important, Tib, but at the end of the week/month if there’s no money left...there’s no money left and you can’t put into super money that you don’t have.
Rae
14th Feb 2018
10:05am
Triss the secret is to save first. So put that 10% away when you get it and only spend the 90% that's left. It means an aged pensioner should put $80 a fortnight away for those unexpected events or breakdowns.

Of course currently renters can't. They will need to move to cheaper lodgings or find a housemate if it goes on much longer.
VeryCaringBigBear
13th Feb 2018
11:36am
The OAP is only for the basics of life and if you want more you should save for it. If they increase it for comfortable retirement why would people bother to save for the extras they need.
Triss
13th Feb 2018
2:41pm
VC BigBear and CoogeeGuy and Trebor together seem to have a solution that would work perfectly.
Trebor’s universal pension for all with BigBear’s pension covering the basics would make sure everyone could live and eat properly whilst CooGee guy wouldn’t be penalised for owning his own home or folk who went without sometimes to put a bit by for a few luxuries in retirement would also not be penalised.
VeryCaringBigBear
13th Feb 2018
6:53pm
Take w couples on same OAP living in identical houses next to each other. One couple will struggle whilst the other will be doing very well. Difference is lifestyle choices how they manage their money. Maybe Laps should be required to do a test on living on the OAP before they qualify and given guidance if they fail the test. Most of the problems are gambling and alcohol so the winner they give everyone the welfare card the better. I would have no problem using one myself.
Triss
13th Feb 2018
10:06pm
I would have a problem with a welfare card. I object to being treated as a third class citizen and a half wit who has to have some government department to tell me where to buy my groceries. I object to being told that because 10 percent gambles, smokes and drinks their money away then I obviously do the same.
Also I’m vegetarian and shop at organic farmers markets and you can bet your last dollar that welfare cards will be made out to supermarkets and there’ll be a few brown paper bags handed out to make sure.
I’ve no wish to eat the inferior stuff that comes out of supermarkets.
CoogeeGuy
13th Feb 2018
11:36am
Hang on a minute. I was on a modest income when I worked. I made sure I purchased a home, and paid a mortgage all my working life, so I would have my home paid off before I retired. To pay off that a mortgage, meant making a lot of sacrifices and doing without. No attending cafes, but coffee at home, very rarely attending restaurants, but eating mince and chicken meals on a budget, never owning a motor vehicle because frankly I could not afford to purchase one, nor could I afford to run one, making my clothes last 5-10 years at least, and the list goes on.

So why should I get less pension or benefits than anyone else? Or someone else receive more pension or benefits because they chose not to make sacrifices during their lives leading up to the OAP? The only reason I would imagine this would, or could occur, was the person could not work due to a severe disability, and/or illness. You reap what you sow! And quite frankly, gender should not be even considered as a factor. If you think females have been discriminated against, try a single, white, gay, male!
Tib
13th Feb 2018
11:43am
Could be worse you could be a single white heterosexual male. Then no one would give a rats arse about you and on top of that they would blame you for every problem they had. Even if it's their own stupid fault.
Tib
13th Feb 2018
11:49am
And by the way at least you would be able to spend your wages on yourself. Instead of watching the wife spend it all on herself when she hardly made a dollar. Being gay you don't know how lucky you are.
Grateful
13th Feb 2018
12:01pm
Grateful
13th Feb 2018
10:28am
On a previous forum "Jim" made a comment that is just as relevant to this topic. Jim hit it right on the head with these words.

"It's hard not to agree to most of the comments on this subject, I don't think there is a simple answer, from a compassionate point of view the pensioners that are struggling the most should be given the most support, but how do you identify the ones that are in the most need".

Jim, that is exactly the problem for age pensioners who depend entirely on the age pension for all of their needs. That's why the government pays scant attention to age pensioners and how much they are paid.

There are simply too many who do receive the age pension that don't even spend any of it and just leave it in the bank.
There are also age pensioners who have over half a million dollars plus their own home, who receive part of the age pension.

And reading these forums, whenever the rate of age pension is the topic, we see an outpouring of resentment, bias, prejudice, racism, dissatisfaction, selfishness, greed, even hate from the variety of people who are involved with the age pension in any way. There are clearly several classes of "age pensioners"!!! MILES apart in thinking and in wealth. So, how can the government decide for all of them? They'd rather ignore them!!!

The answer to you Jim is that they CAN very simply identify the ones in the most need, they are, by definition, those that are already deemed to be the most in need by being paid the full rate of pension as their ONLY source of income. THEY are the one's who NEED it.

That is where the lines are smudged in defining whether the age pension is welfare or an entitlement.
Until that is clarified absolutely, we will continue to have the confusion that makes it so easy for governments to ignore age pensioners.

Age Pensioners are massively DIVIDED, yes, united they stand divided they fall is exactly the acronym that keeps genuine age pensioners under the poverty line.
No responsible government nowayadys will be increasing the age pension when it must flow through to thousands of people who don't NEED it and claim it as a "right" or an "entitlement". It should not be determined simply on "age".
Just compare the backgrounds and current circumstances of a 65 year old, a 70 year old, an 80+ year old, to see that age is literally impossible to determine "eligibility" and "needs" for assistance from the government.
If it is determined that the Age Pension is an "entitlement" there should not be anybody who is "partly entitled".
NEED is the only common and logical factor.

So, either fight to have the full rate of age pension as the basic guideline in determining who are those in most NEED, or cop it sweet. We cannot have it both ways and never will.
Until we do, we will have huge sums of money being paid to extremely well off people while thousands live in poverty. Greed is great rules again!!!
gillham
13th Feb 2018
1:01pm
Leave the 'gay' out of the discriminated against.

Against the straight white male discrimination is endorsed.
Tib
13th Feb 2018
2:11pm
I agree with you gillham. I totally disagree with you grateful your comments about part pensions are plain wrong and your comment about pensioners putting pensions in the bank and never touching them just sounds ridiculous.
Rae
13th Feb 2018
3:28pm
The whole deeming, pension on merit of having little doesn't stack up in a deflationary world.

A universal pension with all other income taxed according to formula would be much more equitable and solve all sorts of problems.

It might even result in people saving a bit for the future instead of this spend it all as soon as possible and do not save anything habit going on now
Old Man
13th Feb 2018
11:40am
The Grattan Institute comes up with wonderful ideas on how to spend other peoples' money and this is no exception. There is a casual mention of women earning less, which is a fact, without bothering to mention the reason. Women earn less than men because they work less hours, it's as simple as that. All awards over any industry in Australia has equal pay but it is always hinted that women earn less than men because of a disparity in the base rate.

The proposition to increase rental subsidy is flawed as it won't help a lot of people who live in cities and pay a much higher rental against those who live in smaller towns with rental accommodation readily available. If there is to be a change to the rental subsidy, it should be along the lines of a percentage of the average rental for the area. This would be of more assistance to those who live in higher rent areas but may mean that the subsidy is reduced for those who live in a low rent area.
Sundays
13th Feb 2018
11:47am
If they really want to help women in retirement make sure the employers pay the superannuation they are supposed to. Too many emloyerd especially in cleaning, small retail shops and hospitality which have predominantly low paid female employees do not pay super. The ATO are supposed to follow up but they don’t. Many employees say nothing for fear of losing employment
Tib
13th Feb 2018
11:51am
You're right there Sunday.
Rae
13th Feb 2018
3:33pm
Yes. The government got rid of unions and unionised workplaces so it is now their job to protect vulnerable workers. They are doing a lousy job of it though.
Old Man
13th Feb 2018
4:22pm
No Rae, the government didn't get rid of unions, they are just much lower in member numbers than they used to be. A law was passed outlawing compulsory unionism so that people could work without being forced to join a union and the membership halved almost overnight. Then a union took an employer to court because the employer refused to deduct union fees from the pay and forward on to the union. The union lost and union membership lost even more members. During my working life I was always a member of a union but, thankfully, not one of those unions which allow people to be bashed and break the law to stop workers going about their business.
gillham
13th Feb 2018
4:56pm
What about she when we wish to help men.

Ah sorry. Forget it.
KeWi
13th Feb 2018
12:07pm
The fairest first step would be to lift the asset test threshold by a significant amount (say $500K or more) and include the owned home in the test.
It is totally unfair that someone can have assets of $1M and get the full pension because their house is worth $1M, while another can have the same level of assets and not get any pension at all.
It means that if a pensioner moves to a smaller house (because they don't need a big one anymore) they get a pension cut even though their overall asset position has not changed. Surely it is not in anyone's interest to economically 'force' pensioners to stay in their large house when they don't need it?
TREBOR
13th Feb 2018
1:30pm
No. The family home is what it is - the family home, and has no place in an asset. This has been done so many times it is tedious to go over it again.

i) many modest family homes are worth over a million due to the false market created to drive the economy.

ii) a home does not derive income - it costs.

iii) starving pensioners out of their homes to feed that false market leads to a catch-22 situation - if they remain there under a home included in the assets test, they lose - if they sell and gain some extra - they lose.

iv) in the event that lead at gunpoint sale of family home becomes the norm - ONLY the wealthy will be able to pass on any inheritance to their descendants, leading us to a renewal of the old and long outgrown kind of society which is massively divided between rich and poor forever. Such a move would undo centuries of upward social movement for ALL in a society - as opposed to a few.
TREBOR
13th Feb 2018
1:34pm
The ONLY solution is a universal pension and carefully designed rules about what constitutes additional (taxable) income, fringe benefits, and gifting (Harry Fudger getting a free ride in the Fudger Chocolates company plane or car; Harry being gifted a lazy mill or so to bet on the races, etc, etc, etc).

Such a move should also abolish perks such as dividend imputation, subsidies to any business including serial house ownership (a house is not a home), and other government subsidies.
Rae
13th Feb 2018
3:39pm
It hasn't bee centuries TREBOR. It was a short sharp rise of the middle class due to Social Democracy, the rise of unions and redistribution policies in some developed Nations.

Fascism was overcome finally in WW11.

The danger now is we are voting for fascist governments once again and they are undoing the last 50 years of increased equality pretty damn fast.

A lot of voters would be horrified if they could visualise the consequences for their grandkids of life in a full blown Corporate State.
Triss
13th Feb 2018
5:14pm
You’re not thinking logically or sympathetically, Keewi. When you say a smaller place have you researched that? A smaller place is very often not a lot cheaper than a pensioner’s original house. Then there are extra costs, stamp duty, conveyancing costs, removal costs. Can’t move into an apartment if you’re on a pension because of body corporate fees. If the pensioner has to move further away to get a cheaper house then is alone without the physical and social support of family and friends and depression sets in.
It’s just a plain fact of life that some young couples bought a modestly priced house in one of the not-very-popular suburbs which, over the years became a popular, high priced suburb. It is not their fault that prices have gone up and you can’t set the dogs on them for it.
jennyc355
13th Feb 2018
12:07pm
Do the same for those who own their home..we have rates and maintence costs and get little help .We pay if the hot water service needs replacing , electrical work, plumbing . Need I go on as there is little help if we decide to nt sell the family home .
KSS
13th Feb 2018
1:58pm
Don't forget the Strata Fees and Levies, home insurance, water and sewage costs for which renters do not pay on top of the basic rates and maintenance jennyc355. I don't include contents insurance since renters can opt for that expense too.

The on-costs of home ownership are extraordinary and can easily match a weekly rent. Yes home owners can downsize (and I support that) but what happens when you already live in a small 1 or 2 bed unit? There is nowhere else to downsize to yet the costs of ownership continue to increase.
OnlyGenuineRainey
18th Feb 2018
7:52am
The costs of downsizing can be prohibitive too. First, there's the pain of having people trooping through your home over and over again. Then there are legal costs for the sale, agent commission. Then there's the packing and moving cost and there are always costs of resettling. The new residence is never quite right - maybe needs more power points, repair of some kind, often professional cleaning, new floorcoverings, new window furnishings. Maybe your furniture doesn't fit and has to be replaced. Homeowners are more likely to have acquired furniture they expect to be permanent, rather than thinking about it being adaptable to different residences.

And then there's the issue of where do you move to? Downsizing might mean you are forced to move away from family, friends, support network, the hobbies and lifestyle activities that make life worthwhile.

Downsizing might mean having to go into a unit or townhouse where your life is governed by a body corporate or owner association, and that can be a recipe for disaster.

Renters have much more freedom to relocate if something goes wrong that makes their home uncomfortable or excessively costly to live in, whereas home owners are stuck.

Then there's the issue very few seem to consider fairly. The home owner sacrificed lifestyle to pay for their home. They may have given up a great deal - holidays, new car, new clothing, restaurant dinners, evenings out. Why is it that suddenly, when they retire, those who DIDN'T make those sacrifices are ENTITLED to all the benefits they chose NOT to sacrifice to acquire, and homeowners are ''lucky'' and should now be deprived?

It's the same with savings. If you work hard and save, you are ''lucky'' and it's appropriate to deprive you of income in later years, but if you bludge or overspend, you are ''needy'' and should get handouts.

I realize it's impossible to differentiate between bludgers/spendthrifts and those who suffered genuine disadvantage, and I support wholeheartedly the principle that society should look after the genuinely disadvantaged, but I get really sick of this ''lucky you should be deprived - poor me, I'm entitled'' nonsense that is peddled mostly by the bludgers and spendthrifts. Seems like the genuinely disadvantaged are more likely to be silent or acknowledge that people who strive and sacrifice are entitled to be better off. The irresponsible leaners are the ones screaming that homeowners and savers are too well off and should be stripped of the comforts they worked so hard for.

The pension should be universal and a fixed sum for all, so that there's a clear message: Work hard and save well and invest in a home, and you'll be better off in old age. Bludge or overspend, or choose not to make sacrifices to buy a home, you won't be as comfortable in old age. Suck it up! That's how it should be. This NONSENSE about need-based welfare for the aged is destroying incentive and productivity and creating a nation of leaners. It builds a welfare mentality. People now strive to have no more than the basic assets when retiring and to be broke before going into aged care, because there is no benefit to doing what is good for the nation.
hedi
13th Feb 2018
12:35pm
Why get only the politicians so much payincrease per year and keeping the full amount as "pensioners" plus all the properties they own and renting out and cashing in and the normal age pensioners getting only peanuts . We worked until retirement as well and a lot harder then the Politians.
gillham
13th Feb 2018
12:57pm
Why do we always target women on initiatives. Most older single women have the joint wealth from marriage to assist them.

That improvement mentality is based on gender is disgraceful.
Alexii
13th Feb 2018
1:16pm
Any increase should apply to all age pensioners whether they own their own homes or rent.

13th Feb 2018
3:40pm
"Single women who are retired and do not own their own home are the group most likely to rely almost solely on the Age Pension, and are at the greatest risk of poverty in retirement"

This is a LIE - perpertrated by feminists and dishonest lobby groups

Single men with no home are EXACTLY in the same position - sick of hearing of this b/s from liars and idiots
gillham
13th Feb 2018
4:51pm
Precisely Raphael. But men are not part of the human race, particularly the Community. It's the poor old fragile attention seeking and receiving species
codger
13th Feb 2018
3:52pm
I believe that all pensions should be increased, just doing it for people on rent assistance is discriminating towards other pensioners, the pension at the moment is inadequate for all as we are the ones living below the poverty line. Get a life pollies you are all living high on the hog while the rest of us wallow in poverty....
Anonymous
13th Feb 2018
3:54pm
Rubbish - the pension is more than adequate
Only problem with our pension is that it isnt universal
gillham
13th Feb 2018
5:18pm
The pie is only so big. It should be shared equally between men and women.

The Grattan Institute is supposedly competent.

Well not if it only focuses on one gender.

If one gender gains a piece of the pie , the other gender loses a piece of the pie.
Chrissy L
13th Feb 2018
11:28pm
It really amazes me that in 2018 we are still having these type of discussions regarding Women and Superannuation. We still in Australia have a gender pay gap which is huge, which discriminates on the retirement income of Women. We have Widows on single pensions whose late husbands never had any compulsory superannuation and live on the poverty line or limited savings. We often have to care for elderly parents and help to support them as they are often financially worse off than we are. We help to support grandchildren. The list goes on, but there is still no equality in Superannuation for Women for who have to care for and nurture their loved ones. On a single pension or part pension, the only saving is a little bit on food, and power, everything else is just the same as if you were receiving a pension for a couple. Where is the equality in that? We are the new poor. Perhaps we should set up a "Me Too" site. If you are a migrant, you have the added financial and emotional stress of trying to bring your aged parent to live with you and try to support and care for them in their old age and all the associated immigration costs that go along with that which are very costly. We are the silent minority who just gets on with what we have to do because we know we are at the bottom of the heap for any support from this government. Have you ever watched Parliament Question time to see the limited number of women in government seated behind the Prime Minister, all grouped together nodding when he speaks, like puppets. All nodding when he speaks. Does this government really think we are all so stupid and naive? Women deserve a 'closing the gap' agenda too, because we certainly don't have one now.
Anonymous
14th Feb 2018
4:45am
Gender pay gaps huge - LIE . There is no gender pay gap for equal work and equal competence between men and women.

Widows in poverty line - not a discrimination. Issue , if those women died and left their husbands as widowers the poor blokes would be in the same spot

Caring for elderly parents - wtf ? How does that make you less financially well off then a man caring for his elderly parents

Yes and the list goes on - same for men as well as women

As for migrants - fuck that , if you can’t afford to bring your parents over , you expect to state to pay for them ???

As for the women in parliament nodding ? Men in the back bench do the same
All fucking puppets

You live in lala land sweetheart

There is no gap to close except the one between your ears - fill it with a brain
Anonymous
14th Feb 2018
10:01am
Raphael you have put a smile on my face what a great comment.
Tib
14th Feb 2018
11:30am
Well said Raphael I think we are all sick of women self entitled BS.
musicveg
14th Feb 2018
9:23pm
Here is a petition that might interest some people, the Government is handing out funding to companies that help others avoid paying tax!!: https://actions.sumofus.org/a/stop-funding-the-masterminds-of-tax-avoidance
geordie
19th Feb 2018
11:42am
Because SuziJ half the people on DSP are on a rort, spoiling it for the people that need and deserve it. The whole welfare system is flawed, too many swinging the lead.
solmon52
19th Feb 2018
1:17pm
Geordie, good stuff. We all need more and should scrap DSP. Mainly because all the ones I know on it can find and do work even if casual or four days a week. My bidy is worse than most that i know on dsp and soc wel.
If those got off there ass and the govt appoint proper doctors to assess if they can work and if they have a genetic or other disease.
True aged pensioners could be afforded moor.
solmon52
19th Feb 2018
1:17pm
Geordie, good stuff. We all need more and should scrap DSP. Mainly because all the ones I know on it can find and do work even if casual or four days a week. My bidy is worse than most that i know on dsp and soc wel.
If those got off there ass and the govt appoint proper doctors to assess if they can work and if they have a genetic or other disease.
True aged pensioners could be afforded moor.
solmon52
19th Feb 2018
1:17pm
Geordie, good stuff. We all need more and should scrap DSP. Mainly because all the ones I know on it can find and do work even if casual or four days a week. My bidy is worse than most that i know on dsp and soc wel.
If those got off there ass and the govt appoint proper doctors to assess if they can work and if they have a genetic or other disease.
True aged pensioners could be afforded moor.
Mez
21st Feb 2018
12:00pm
Definite need to increase the rental assistance because of the huge increases in property prices and therefore rents which take up most of our pensions, leaving very little remaining for the costs of living like food, utility bills, clothes, etc......
musicveg
21st Feb 2018
3:13pm
Yes rent assistance has not gone up for years, and also Newstart, how can anyone afford to rent anything decent. All that money going to investors.
*Loloften*
13th Mar 2018
9:38pm
How abt increasing all widowed women's pensions as many had to stop working for many yrs (9yrs for me) whilst my beloved battled cancer all those yrs, finally & most sadly passed away @ 61. I was devastated but stopped from being clinically depressed by thankfully asked to mind my then 4 youngest grandkids.....kept me happy & fit (+ saved the govn't heaps). The now 50 yo home we bought in our mid 20s (working our butts off) needs lots of costly repairs & appliance replacements. Really pee's me off that we single pensioners are being ignored by all relevant Parties.


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