28th Jul 2016

Age Pension: why pension age should vary

It’s time access to the Age Pension was tailored to your circumstances
Kaye Fallick

As access to the Age Pension is tightened, a generation of older Australians’ retirement prospects are reduced to rubble. The 300,000 who will lose entitlements on January 1, 2017 due to asset threshold cuts, with 100,000 losing the pension entirely are proof of this restricted access. But how fair is this new legislation? And why should we adhere to the century-old proposition that the one pension age remains fair to all?

These are the questions raised by visiting academic Professor Chris Phillipson from the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing at the University of Manchester. While visiting Australia, Professor Phillipson has presented at a superannuation conference hosted by CEPAR at the University of New South Wales and, more recently, at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Victoria.

Professor Phillipson is a sociologist and world expert on the transition from work to retirement as well as an advisor to the British Government on matters related to work and retirement. It is his contention that less well-off retirees are actually subsidising those from a higher socio-economic level. And that this may be inherently unfair.



How could this change, you may ask?

It comes down to life expectancy, a subject recently highlighted by YourLifeChoices where we confirmed that the rich do indeed live longer than the poor.

So when a discussion of life expectancy is linked to pensions, Professor Phillipson maintains that this is where problems of ‘one size fits all’ state pensions are revealed.

Not only is employment becoming more precarious, largely due to an increasingly casualised workforce and the automation of many jobs, but the long-term health challenges of older adults reduce the possibility of secure income.

With less chance of maintaining longer term full-time work, many older adults are not able to remain employed until 67 (the planned retirement age in Australia by 2023), let alone 70 (current Coalition government ‘zombie’ legislation due to be re-presented in the Senate).

If you are in the highest socio-economic group, your life expectancy after 65 is 85 for males and 87 for women. If you are in the lowest socio-economic group, your life expectancy after 65 is 81 for males and 84 for females. So for every year the lower socio-economic group is not claiming an Age Pension, these funds are available to continue paying a pension to the longer lived – the better off.

And this is why Professor Phillipson suggests it may be fairer to consider varying the age or access to state Age Pensions, based upon professional or occupational history and sectors.

He maintains that raising the pension age unilaterally may reinforce social inequalities, as those with the least need for such a pension are most able to remain in the labour market.

It may also reinforce health inequalities, with ‘job lock’, where those with health and other problems are forced to remain in the work place.

Income inequalities may also occur when extended working lives creates a larger labour pool, with subsequent lower wages, contributing to a wider income gap between the rich and the poor.

When Australia legislated a universal Age Pension in 1908, it was described as a ‘reward for service’. It remains a major pillar of retirement income, but is increasingly under assault from governments keen to balance the books at any cost.

So maybe the answer is not to restrict access for all to a later age, instead to lower the age of access to match the ability of manufacturing workers and those with chronic health conditions to secure employment? To make the Age Pension a real safety net for those in need.

What do you think? Is a one size fits all pension still the way to go? Or should the access age be tailored to individual circumstances?

Related articles:
How do I start my retirement
Retirement ages and stages
Retirement planning disconnect





COMMENTS

To make a comment, please register or login
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
10:41am
I remain cautious of any changes, since the moment you hand the decision-making over to a faceless bureaucracy, they will automatically be subject to the will of their political masters, meaning the thin edge of the wedge will be in place for any changes at all.

And that's dead, buried and cremated..... (for those among us blessed with subtlety)...

The Trebor Party will revert pension to 65, bring politicians into line over theirs, will pay everyone a pension and tax all income and deemed income above that (no more free flights), and will isolate Social Security funding from the greedy hands of politicians who are incapable of solid policy and who simply cannot count where it counts, by placing those funds into a sovereign account, which, unlike theirs, will NOT be off-shored to The Caymans to save tax, but will pay its way.

If a government cannot operate with principle, it cannot operate at all.
MICK
28th Jul 2016
10:54am
"When Australia legislated a universal Age Pension in 1908, it was described as a ‘reward for service’."

I thought a pension was an entitlement? That's what the current government has been peddling.
KSS
28th Jul 2016
12:35pm
And don't forget that 'back in the day' few people actually reached 65 to claim their 'reward' and when they did they died within a couple of years unlike today when there is a strong probability of retirees living another 15-25 years after retirement.

That so called 'reward' never materialized for most and for those lucky enough to receive it, it was scant reward short lived.
MICK
28th Jul 2016
12:59pm
Fair enough but you miss the point I was making: entitlement vs right. The pension was never an entitlement until the Abbott government hit town.
Farside
28th Jul 2016
1:29pm
@Mick, you need to move on with your hangup over entitlement and right to the pension. From dot it was always means tested and any living recipients have had a century to get used to the idea. When all is said and done the pension is about ensuring a basic quality of life is available to all. Super and provident funds were intended to supplement the pension so that the retired could live a more comfortable life. It's not a huge stretch to consider that a means test could be used to cut the pension to those who had sufficient means to fund a higher quality of life without receiving a pension. The only useful discussion is around the values at which entitlements begin and end.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
1:57pm
I too wish people would get over the hangup over the entitlement and right to the pension. There is no entitlement or right to the pension. All you have to do is show you don't have enough resources to fund your retirement and you get the pension. If you can't there is no entitlement or right. The pension was bought in to stop people living in poverty who could no longer work so if you are not living in poverty then why should the taxpayer fund your retirement.
MICK
28th Jul 2016
5:30pm
The normal government comments I see.
Easier to avoid discussing the facts and stick to the script eh.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
5:48pm
No they are the facts of the matter not any sort of script. If you cannot accept that the age pension is welfare then you are dreaming.
Retired Knowall
28th Jul 2016
6:09pm
We are all Entitled, Entitled to whatever the Govt. of the day legislates. The amount and who gets what will always be contentious and I believe will get less and less as the ratio of worker to welfare recipient gets worse.
HS
28th Jul 2016
6:27pm
Entitled to pension only if people qualify Retired Knowall. The 77,245 people who will be booted off the pension are people who planned their future retirement living based on past government legislated laws which made these people qualified and entitled for pension payments. To boot them off on 1 Jan 2017, is like ripping their hearts out. No wonder this government and state governments are currently throwing in millions into suicide-prevention. If this government or any other government can not manage a society with a population of 24 million, how will it manage when the population of Australia gets to 240 million people ?
Farside
28th Jul 2016
7:14pm
Chill @HS. Nobody's heart is being ripped out. The safety net is still in place. Some people will lose some pension but pick up on the tax cut. It is folly to think the social security environment would be constant for your entire working life.

The only thing that is constant in life is change and that is just an undisputed truth. This government will never have to manage a hypothetical population of 240 million souls without doing something like conquering Indonesia in the next 2.5 years and that is not going to happen.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
7:18pm
Rubbish they all knew that it was so good it just couldn't last. Anyway they are no worse off as once they spend their capital down they qualify for the pension again. All it means is that their heirs have to go to Disneyland economy class instead of first class as their lottery win will be less. If you have mental problems over this then all I can say is you must of had a hidden problem all along.

People will just have to overcome their welfare mentality and get up off their posteriors and lift a finger or two and do something for themselves in how they will manage. The party is over now it's time to clean up the mess.
particolor
28th Jul 2016
7:45pm
Yes the party's over ! And they even stole My paper plate. :-)
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
9:04pm
Shame on you for even using a paper plate!
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
10:12pm
What has 'means testing' got to do with the Right to a pension? Changing the goal posts around to suit any passing ideology is simply not a good enough reason to suddenly decide to say that Right is some 'entitlement' under 'welfare' that is somehow amenable to change without or even with notice.

You can means test all you like - but you must before doing so, since MEANS means the opportunity to derive income, most emphatically NOT include the home base from which some vague possibility of deriving income may eventuate.

People have to LIVE first, before they can derive 'means' by which to profit.
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
10:15pm
NO! We are Entitled to a return on the moneys we have inputted into Government Incorporated for our Retirement Scheme over a lifetime of work and attempting to avoid every stupid and ill-thought out pitfall they have derived for us over the past forty odd years, with their self-centred, navel-gazing 'policy thrusts' of 'equalising' everyone at any price (as long as they themselves do NOT bear the cost), and of attaining at the same time a controlled society, in which the government of the day can dictate, literally, whether you live or die.

Not Good Enough!
Rae
29th Jul 2016
9:24am
Only a paper plate particolor.

They stole my bank, airport, electricity providers, school campus, local park, port, local council etc etc and now tell me after a lifetime of not getting any of the going give aways that they have blown the lot and I can continue to fund myself.

Not sure who is the idiot them or me.

Retrospectivity could be great.

A retrospective childcare rebate, first home owners and all the other nice money being thrown at other people would be nice.Haha And I used to vote for them. I'm ashamed of myself about that.

But I do understand that we are now a developing revenue depressed nation as I saw it coming back when Howard started selling and giving away and lowering taxes.

With organisations like IPA and ACOSS trying to destroy the middle class any sort of party is out of mind. They wouldn't approve.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2016
7:20am
All this debate about entitlement misses the point.

In Australia, you are ENTITLED to fat taxpayer handouts to fund your retirement if you are relatively wealthy and privileged (massive tax concessions)

You are entitled to the aged pension if you have suffered real misfortune that has left you genuinely poor (a very tiny portion of the population fit in this classification)

or
If you struck serious crisis in later life and became poor (also a tiny portion of the population)

or
if you are a spendthrift who lived the good life and didn't bother to save for retirement (a very large section of the retired population)

or
If you saved but realized saving was futile in a society where the responsible are persecuted, so went and spent it all (a sector that will increase in size rapidly now that savers have been unfairly slaughtered and denied the benefit of their own money)

or
if you are a manipulator and gifted large amounts to your kids or pumped millions into a luxury home (another sector that will increase in size rapidly under STUPID new rules that punish the honest who save)

or
if you are dishonest and willing to cheat (eg. hide your money) - another sector that will increase rapidly under an increasingly unfair system that punishes the honest and responsible harshly

You are NOT ''entitled'' to a pension if you worked your guts out for modest pay, lived frugally, saved responsibly, planned sensibly, but were then screwed over by corrupt world government that smashed return rates and a dishonest and unfair Australian government that changed the rules mid-stream, in direct contravention of election promises, and with no regard to the seriously detrimental long-term effects of persecuting responsible savers to give more to the irresponsible moderately well-off (NOT to the poor, who got $0 out of the assets test changes!)

Now, this UTTERLY STUPID DESTRUCTIVE policy is pretty much in keeping with the ridiculous notion that we should have ''reverse discrimination'' in favour of anyone who isn't of white Anglo-Saxon descent, people of weird religions, people with unconventional sexual preferences... anyone who ISN'T a sensible, hard-working, responsible native-born white Australian.

The latest BS is apparently a special scholarship program that only homosexuals and trans-genders qualify for, forcing high school kids to make choices and advertise them before they even turn 18, and favouring those who are brave enough (or stupid enough) to publicly claim to have non-conventional sexual preferences. What is this society turning into? And approving same sex marriage is apparently more important to most Australians than fixing the economy that is wiping out the hopes and dreams of most of the population and threatening to end reward for effort forever.

When there are no sensible, moral, hard-working Australians left to prop up a nation of bludgers, irresponsible spendthrifts, radicals, deviants, perverts, and ''poor-me'' types always finding reasons why they should get handouts, what then?

If Australia is to prosper, we need to restore incentives and rewards for hard work and responsible, moral living. We need to stop indulging the greedy right-wing extremists and the tax-evaders and the whinging overpaid company directors and CEOs, raise taxes on the well-to-do, increase aged pensions and abolish or drastically reform stupid means tests that punish saving and planning, stop tax evasion, stop immoral rorting of the populace, and restore a world in which ethics and morality and decency and integrity are valued and rewarded.

We need to facilitate YOUNGER retirement, not older, with a system that genuinely rewards years of endeavour and demonstrates respect and care for our older population, respect for their right to enjoy the proceeds of years of struggle, and respect for their ENTITLEMENT to benefit, and to allow their offspring to benefit, from their own efforts - rather than being forced to hand the proceeds of their endeavours to people who didn't work as hard or save as well.
Retired Knowall
2nd Aug 2016
8:09am
Or you could get a job and stop posting your dribble.
Or you could spend your excess wealth and stop relying on the current taxpayers to fund your retirement.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2016
8:21am
I have a job, Retired Know-NOTHING. And taxpayers will NOT fund my retirement.

And you obviously lack basic comprehension. The point is that the system is encouraging and rewarding precisely the type of behaviour that will place a massive and rapidly growing burden on taxpayers, and punishing the behaviour that leads to economic prosperity.

It's not about ME. It's about the IDIOTIC FOOLS who are stuffing the nation's economy by changing the rules to reward laziness, greed, selfishness, dishonesty, manipulation, and irresponsible spending - ensuring that more and more retirees will have less and less savings and will be more dependant on taxpayers for support.

But of course the fools who benefit from this stinking and destructive system will be dead before the real pain kicks in, and most of them are either too selfish or too dumb and short-sighted to care about the future of the nation.
Blinky Bill
28th Jul 2016
10:47am
I must agree that one size does not fit all for retirement, but find it difficult to accept that this should be based soley on a socio-economic foundation. There are other factors which need to be taken into consideration, which I'm sure will be mentioned in the comments to this article. My mother died at 73, whereas my father died at 85, both lived in the same socio-economic group. I could give many more examples where individuals did not fit the statistics. My question is; "who will make the final decision and based upon what?" However, I must admit that this is a good starting point for a worthy discussion, which needs to be based upon as many facts as posible and not just opinion.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2016
7:28am
Maybe using number of years in workforce rather than age would be fairer? Why should someone who started work at 15 be forced to slog it out for 55 years - most likely in low-paid, physically demanding jobs - while the privileged who don't start work until 20+++ work in easier, higher-paid jobs for less than 50 years (often much less) and qualify for exactly the same amount, but receive handouts for much longer?
Retired Knowall
2nd Aug 2016
8:10am
Because they paid far more TAX than you ever did.
GrayComputing
28th Jul 2016
10:55am
Why can't we put our super into the Australia future fund?
Instead we are loosing or have lost 40-80% of our super in (legal) robber baron schemes that have no guarantees at all.
Are we stupid timid sheep? Instead we need to horn our politicians into looking after "we the people" instead of helping themselves and their rich friends get even richer
Rosret
28th Jul 2016
11:53am
Agreed. However, I used to trust the government. It seems I have grown up.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
9:07pm
Australia future fund is about on par with super funds.

http://www.futurefund.gov.au/investment/investment-performance/portfolio-updates
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
10:17pm
Why do we not all get the same opportunity to input into the politician's super scheme as they do? Open it up.. make it a real level playing field.. let the peasants choose to put their super money into a scheme that offers the same benefits......

Too hard?

Then give it up for yourselves!
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
10:21pm
OG - the difference between the 'futures fund' and YOUR super is that the government ladles massive amounts of cash from 'consolidated revenue' into that 'futures fund' - it does not play on the open market as do all other super funds, and is simply filled up from your tax revenue.

Any time the 'futures fund' looks like falling short - an impost is made against 'consolidated revenue' to bring it up beyond par.. just in case politicians and public servants might need a raise in retirement pay.... already a reality since theirs is INDEXED for life, while yours is not!

Hello? Where you bin, Laden, for the last fifty years?
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
10:27pm
That Australia future fund assets show that it is a market player like a lot of super funds. Most in invested overseas which is wrong as why not invest it into Australia so that Australians benefit.
TREBOR
29th Jul 2016
12:00am
Good point, OG - that fund, which is regularly supplemented by handouts from YOUR 'budget', does NOT invest in the country which carries it.

Never forget though, that it is not based, as most super funds are, on market profits from investment, but is backed by YOUR tax dollar, and if there is a shortfall - that funding will come from somewhere else in the 'budget'.

That, my son, is the reality of the current ''future fund' which is designed to cater ONLY to the self-appointed elite who we, The People, are stupid enough to elect over and over again.
TREBOR
29th Jul 2016
12:01am
It also does not pay tax in Australia.... 'nuff said....
TREBOR
29th Jul 2016
1:26am
About two years ago I suggested that it was not outside the realm of possibility that our 'government' would do a classical Third World Dictatorship move, and salt away a few 'lazy' billions of OUR funds in some place like the Caymans, etc... just a little fund to draw on in case of The Revolution.......

Well, well..... out of the mouths of truthsayers.....

You can guarantee that those on The Last Plane Out Of Cambra will have the keys and the codes to access those funds... just as the People's Outraged Army storms Parliament House...... taking a symbolic stronghold rather than the real ones.....
Rae
29th Jul 2016
9:33am
Old Geezer we do benefit from overseas investments. If you take a good look most of our services, big stores etc are overseas owned corporations so buying their shares makes sense.

For example 83% of mines are internationally owned.

Our toll roads, prisons, nursing homes, childcare centres, vocational training centres, employment agencies, telcos, etc all have exposure to overseas corporations.

The LNP has been working diligently for the overseas corporations and the property developers. Look at property. 23.9% profits in one year. Thank you Mr Baird.

Not investing with them is unwise as they will win.
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2016
7:55pm
Why isn't the money in the future fund used to build our infrastructure and invested in Australian assets? That has nothing to do with overseas people investing in Australia.
Cowboy Jim
28th Jul 2016
11:06am
Agree with Trebor. My mother lives overseas and is now 93. Has been on the pension since 62 years of age. She has to pay income tax on all her assets and earnings including the pension payment.
Politicians are treated the same way and no gold passes etc. It does make for a happier population and makes all these funny avoidance schemes being peddled here rather unnecessary.
Rae
29th Jul 2016
9:37am
Lucky Mum. Living in one of those civilised countries where people pay taxes and share services.
Jurassicgeek
28th Jul 2016
11:07am
I guess the dropkick government will try to make us work till we drop so there is our retirement age already decided...
KSS
28th Jul 2016
12:48pm
Jurassicgeek back in the day few people ever reached 65 pension age and those that did died soon after. So perhaps you have the right idea; the pension age should be RAISED to 80 to stay in line with the original intention of the pension people here are so attached to.;-0
Rae
28th Jul 2016
6:41pm
The aged pension is a piddling little 3 % of GDP.

The money isn't worth the plastic it's printed on either.

The UK actually lost 4.6% of GDP permanently just by going with austerity measures recommended by the IMF.

Greece followed these ideas too.

We are headed the same way. It seems idiotic to deny your retirees and local businesses money just to placate a nutty Central Bank with strange ideology.

Cut pensions, cut jobs, cut wages, raise the GST, cut taxes to the wealthy and watch our GDP fall over. They are doing this everywhere and destroying whole Nations.

Better to give the money to old people to spend as far as I can see.
Rainey
28th Jul 2016
8:44pm
You are so right,Rae. They are stuffing the nation with stupid, selfish policies. Having squandered the nation's wealth, they are now stealing personal wealth to squander. But notice the attack is on the upper working class and lower middle class - not the privileged, who just keep screaming for more and demanding more is taken from the less well off.

Aged pensions are highly AFFORDABLE. We DO NOT have a problem funding them - but the cost of them will go up with asset test changes that punish saving. Dumb move! What is happening is that more is being taken from the have-nots to give to the greedy haves. The real burden on the economy is excessive superannuation tax concessions, but like Old Geezer, those who benefited from them squeal like stuck pigs at any suggestion of reform in that area, and continue to applaud theft from battlers who have only half as much.

The nation WILL go broke, because you can't take from the workers and savers and expect prosperity.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
10:33pm
It's a good move as if people are not spending their capital on their retirement then they do not need the pension.

Pardon me with very little in super I hardy benefited at all from any super tax concessions so not much of a squeal out of me.

I agree the nation will grow broke paying welfare to those who saved for their retirement and now get more than enough welfare so that they are not spending their savings on their retirement. Time to spending those savings for what they were saved for and not hoard them. So stop being greedy and taking for the tax payers.
Rainey
31st Jul 2016
6:35pm
Old Geezer, you couldn't be more wrong. Your illogical crap confounds me!

Forcing savers to sacrifice the benefit of their saving and telling people ''you are better off poorer'' is a certain recipe for economic collapse. You can't reduce a pension bill by forcing more people to be poorer.

When IDIOTS wake up that people need incentives and rewards to WORK AND SAVE, and stop rewarding the spendthrifts and cheats, we might have a hope of economic recovery. But this STUPID government is sending the nation broke with it's short-sighted greed, and fools who endorse stripping people of the benefit of their work are helping to destroy a nation that SHOULD be economically prosperous.
poorwomanme
28th Jul 2016
11:10am
I wonder if a Pom would get that we live in an egalitarian society here in Australia, our politicians certainly don't. They think that because it only takes them 6 years of service to get themselves the entitlement to their pension, that somehow this magic wand applies to us all. The surprise and not a good one about my 2 and a bit years of retirement is how my mind is sharp( as well as my tongue) but my body has degenerated somewhat in such a short time and I am not enjoying that at all, not one tiny little bit so to ask of a worker that they continue to work till they are 67 or 70 is going to be physically impossible for many and that's not even taking into account the fact that older workers are quite often 'unemployable,' according to Management of Companies and statistics so is it any wonder that people get upset that Liberal Governments want to alter, ''tinker'' or generally screw around with pensions.
There are arguments against some who abuse the system sure but do not entertain the thought that people who are required to live with nearly 30% less money than the minimum wage should be further penalised by a Government who has continued with a policy of favouring those least in need against those most in most need.
Pensioners got ignored in the election with many figuring that a Liberal Government would not do that to a demographic group that has, by and large, been a mainstay support of them for generations but the straws are wearing down and more and more are seeing themselves with the short end of the straw.
Rosret
28th Jul 2016
11:57am
Here here. Maybe they could find us some pencil pushing work from home jobs? It can't be telemarketing because it hurts to hold the phone. Actually it hurts to turn pages. ...mmmm....hence retirement.
Rae
29th Jul 2016
9:52am
Great idea Roscret.

Apparently our ousted local councillors are being paid $2000 an hour to write reports for Mr Baird's new administrator.

We had a doosy of a council that could do nothing but hold community meetings , collect and collate data and write reports.

Job done at that point.

Nothing much has changed with the administrator except to raise rates and water corporation charges.

They are too busy selling off campuses, parks and look outs to actually do anything else. Except for property development applications. They are good at passing those.

Now I'm pretty good at data collection, analysis and report writing myself. Possibly better than those sacked councillors.
Spitfire
28th Jul 2016
11:51am
Claiming a pension in any form has become ridiculous, to the extent whereby it would be a better option to abolish the entire pension scheme. The entire welfare system in Australia is at a stage where it is corrupted beyond recovery. Start by abolishing Centrelink and the entire Department of Human Resources.
particolor
28th Jul 2016
12:42pm
What's it like living in Simple Land ? :-)
Rae
28th Jul 2016
6:47pm
I actually think the plan is to destroy the welfare states so doing that might get whoever is running things to go away for a while at least.

Australia ,was , a very bad example to the world of a strong mixed public/private economy with excellent wealth distribution, great services and strong public assets delivering great dividends. There was a growing middle class increasingly well educated.

You can see how that had to be destroyed. Not what they want at all is it?
Rosret
28th Jul 2016
11:51am
Life expectancy does not equal ability to work. Men and women still go through the same milestone changes at the same time as their parents. The body and mind does decline and it declines at different rates for different people.
The medical profession has done a remarkable job of keeping us alive. Are we living better or just longer? For many its the later. I have worked with people who are carrying on into their 70s because they love their work. The rest of us carried them. They couldn't run from A to B, they couldn't think quickly and some became unduly irritated by negative events. I am sure there are lots of jobs where being fit, friendly and responsive are not a necessity but they are usually filled as they are very desirably positions to hold. There are some that still have all those wonderful qualities with a brain and all the experience to match - and people will often remark on their abilities as most of the population are surprised. I am not running down the elderly - just stating how it is. People on a pension are often from poorer, more labour intensive jobs, or are in unfortunate circumstance. It seems very cruel to me to up the pension age for these workers.
Farside
28th Jul 2016
11:53am
"So for every year the lower socio-economic group is not claiming an Age Pension, these funds are available to continue paying a pension to the longer lived – the better off. And this is why Professor Phillipson suggests it may be fairer to consider varying the age or access to state Age Pensions, based upon professional or occupational history and sectors."

This is an interesting perspective,especially given the difficulty many experience finding work after mid-50s. There is room to make for a graduated access to pension based upon the amount locked away in super. Access to super is allowed from mid-50s while the prospect of pension is a decade or so away. This result is a faster depletion of accumulated super. A graduated pension entitlement would slow super depletion and enable it to supplement the pension for longer. A half entitlement at age 60 increasing to a full entitlement at 65 would go some way to addressing the equity issue for the less well-off raised by the Professor.
MICK
28th Jul 2016
5:18pm
If older workers are locked out of work by a system biased against them then pension age needs to be brought forward. It is ludicrous pushing the pension age out to 70 when all the pollies know full well there is no work for older Australians and that this is just a ploy. Disgraceful.
Rainey
28th Jul 2016
8:55pm
I agree, Mick. I'm not sure the ideas put forward in this article are all valid, but it's good to see someone acknowledging that one size doesn't fit all.

People who were forced into menial, unsafe and unhealthy work environments at a very young age should be allowed to retire earlier than those who enjoyed higher education and started work much later, in easier jobs with higher pay rates.

Why should someone who was slogging their guts out for miserable pay at 15 continue to work until age 70 - meaning they work for 55 years in all - while someone who didn't start working until 24 and enjoyed a much easier work life only serves 46 years before retiring?
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
10:27pm
Does any politician 'slog their guts out from age 15', and then expect to not be rewarded when they 'retire' into another lucrative position at age 35 or so?

Not On Your Nellie!
buby
9th Aug 2016
8:52am
Thats exactly right mick it is a play, while the Pollies go on wasting money hand over fist, and its not only the Gillards that need to be put into their place, but check out the new current party, the treasurer Mr. Morrison, wasting money hand over fist, I mean much of which could have been put back into Health, into education. OH but NO they needed to Party. and Party they did they even spent more than the last Treasurer Mr hockey. 11.000 dollars a post party budget bill. Thats fricken Shocking. Thats so unfair, to be sticking it to women the nation over who are budgeting and just trying to get by, and the sick that need to be taken care. Where are their brains???
i know where but i dare not mention, they might Kick me out for ever out of this forum if i said it!!!
check it out
if you don't believe me
http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/08/08/23/38/scott-morrison-racks-up-11000-postbudget-night-dinner-bill
particolor
28th Jul 2016
12:46pm
Just put it back where the WISE Old People put it ! 60 for Women and 65 for Men !!
One Pension for ALL !!
Including Politicians !!
If you want more have it Privately if you can afford it :-)
Farside
28th Jul 2016
1:31pm
Why should women receive a pension at an earlier age than men?
particolor
28th Jul 2016
2:13pm
It was always that way until Gillard I think ? moved the Goal Posts !!
Do you begrudge Women retiring earlier ? I don't :-)
I had a friend who was dropped from Deserted Broads Pension to the Dole and it Stung and Stunk in my opinion. She was 59 and had given 6 Kids to their Tax Paying System !! Shot down in Flames :-( :-(
Farside
28th Jul 2016
2:37pm
Equal employment opportunity is one of the reasons women should not receive preferential treatment. Further, given women are living longer than men then there is no reason to bring it forward. Just because it was once that way does not make it right.
Janran
28th Jul 2016
3:38pm
Make it the same age for everyone - it's only fair.

I have read that one of the reasons women live longer is because they usually continue to work more (unpaid work) into their retirement years. Meanwhile, their husbands have worked longer in paid work but are left aimless and dissatisfied after they retire from paid work. Their work has defined their worth, in their own eyes and society's.

There is also risk-taking and the trauma of war injuries and deaths that reduce the average males' life expectancy.
MICK
28th Jul 2016
5:20pm
Come on particolor. What about 60 for men and 65 for women. I can hear the howls already.
The fair thing is THE SAME AGE I might think! But then what is fair in the war of the sexes.
particolor
28th Jul 2016
5:39pm
I only said what it was, Not what I think really, The same age is fine with me !! But not 70 !! :-( :-(
Arisaid
28th Jul 2016
8:04pm
Brian "equal employment opportunity" what cloud are you living on? There is no such thing in Australia. Maybe on paper but certainly not in practice.
TREBOR
29th Jul 2016
12:10am
'Equal Employment Opportunity' is defined as "preference will be given to women, those from a non-English speaking background, and Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders".

Now how the Shaitan is that "equal treatment"? I resigned from the Commonwealth Public Service over that issue, stating, in writing, that any 'preferential treatment' should be on a case-by-case basis, and NOT on defined social groups.

How is 'equality' attained when a non-English speaking woman who is from Thursday Island had a father who was a doctor and a mother who was a doctor, meaning she never missed out on anything, is employed and promoted over a poor white boy who grew up without shoes and adequate food in 50's-60's Australia, and who has an IQ and work value into the top 1%, but who is refused 'opportunity' because he is White and can speak English and grew up here and didn't come from some mythically defined 'deprived' background??

You're looking at him...... for enlightenment read my books.
Farside
29th Jul 2016
8:22am
Cry me a river. There is no justification for women as a group to have earlier access to pension than men in the absence of other unequal changes to offset the advantage to women. To do so would mean males are subsidising the longer living females.
mangomick
30th Jul 2016
12:56pm
You can leave it the same for men and women and just lower it for shift workers if you like. Thanks, I'll be forever grateful. The way science is going ,In a few years there will be a Genome test. You will have to work up to the last 5 or 10 years before of your genome predicted life span.
Radish
30th Jul 2016
4:50pm
I dont think women should get the pension earlier either. Want to be treated equally in everything else so why not the pension...seems very fair to me.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2016
8:16am
Trebor, ''How is 'equality' attained when a non-English speaking woman who is from Thursday Island had a father who was a doctor and a mother who was a doctor, meaning she never missed out on anything, is employed and promoted over a poor white boy who grew up without shoes and adequate food in 50's-60's Australia, and who has an IQ and work value into the top 1%, but who is refused 'opportunity' because he is White and can speak English and grew up here and didn't come from some mythically defined 'deprived' background??''

I hear you mate. By way of specific example, (and this is only one group of seriously disadvantaged whose needs have been ignored) some 96,000 native-born white Australians were ''stolen'' in the 40s, 50s and 60s (at ages between 3 and 15 - I'm NOT counting forced adoptions at birth here) They were kept apart from family and denied even minimal communication with loved ones, abused and deprived in hideous institutions, denied education and opportunity, forced out to work before their 15th birthday with no home and nobody to give a damn about them, let alone to guide or support. They struggled through adult life confused, frightened of authority, unable to trust, and suffering PTSD, anxiety disorder and depression. And they have received NO recognition, compensation or aid of any kind. They have suffered ongoing lack of opportunity throughout their entire lives. Yet if they had been born with even a minimal drop of Aboriginal blood, they would have been indulged with all kinds of benefits and compensations, regardless of whether they were ''stolen'', poor, or grew up in a wealthy, privileged family, graduated university, and became a well-paid professional. (I have great empathy for the struggles of Aboriginal people. I am merely trying to point out the neglect of disadvantaged non-Aboriginals here.)

The problem with our society is that we put people in boxes and label them, then allocate opportunity, aid and benefit according to the label, not the contents. If you are a single parent you get this. If you are over a certain age and have X dollars in the bank, you get that. If you have X or Y disability, you get this - but only if some random test applied by someone who may or may not have a clue what they are assessing determines the disability fits a certain criteria. If you are Aboriginal, you get this. If you are a supposedly ''healthy'' white, you are automatically ''privileged'' and disqualified from most benefits - no matter how underprivileged you may actually be. In career matters, pieces of paper and letters after your name matter and belonging in certain ''boxes'' matters, but ability and work ethic often don't matter at all (possibly because they are much harder to assess).

Where can I find your books, mate?
buby
9th Aug 2016
9:02am
Because women work harder than most men Brian so get your head out of the clouds.
Although now there are hardly any jobs left they have all gone off shore. I wish you would follow :)
Daffoir
28th Jul 2016
12:55pm
Hey Mick and the rest of you why don't you have a browse of the 1908 Act and see what it really offered and how it was asset tested. No mention of reward for service at all. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C1908A00017
MICK
28th Jul 2016
1:14pm
That you Frank?
We also used to have a 60 cents in the dollar tax bracket for rich Australians (now effectively zero for many) and no GST, amongst others.
You miss the point about the pension NEVER being an 'entitlement'. I seem to recall that the first time we heard that was from Joe Hockey with his statement of 'facts' which were quickly shown to be nothing but lies. Am I wrong?
HS
28th Jul 2016
2:03pm
Actually, The Aged Pension and Invalid Act does state that if an applicant is qualified the applicant is ENTITLED to age pension payments.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
2:06pm
That doesn't stop the age pension being welfare.
HS
28th Jul 2016
4:49pm
Can you show me the "Welfare Act" Old Geezer ?
I can show you the "SOCIAL SERVICES CONSOLIDATION".
HS
28th Jul 2016
4:53pm
Of course there is the ANIMAL WELFARE ACT 1992 -
Is this what you meant? Age Pensioners are animals?
MICK
28th Jul 2016
5:21pm
Good one HS.
Unfortunately Geezer is representing the government so what else does one expect other than towing the official line.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
7:19pm
No I'm not representing the government but all those who pay tax so that people can live better than a lot of us do ourselves.
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
10:31pm
For the umpteenth time, OG - we ALL pay tax every day one way or another. You are confusing income tax with taxation.... many do that.

The Effective Tax Contribution of someone on Unemployment Benefits is 100%,sine they spend every dollar back into the economy.

What percentage do YOU pay back into the economy?
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
10:36pm
Nil as I don't get any welfare.
TREBOR
29th Jul 2016
12:16am
You make no sense.... you mean you never buy anything and thus never pay tax on purchases? Never buy clothing and pay import tax on it that your retailer imposes? Never pay a power bill and thus pay no GST? Never buy petrol and pay taxes on that? Never buy food and pay all the taxes inherent in moving and marketing it?

Write a book about your secret - it will become an instant best seller.

We are ALL taxpayers - and the percentage of your income paid into the tax system increases the lower you level of income.

Social Security is a government safety net - every week/fortnight they can guarantee that the amount paid into Social Security goes back into the economy.

Can you say the same for all the rich people?

I don't think so..... so the proportional contribution to the taxation system via input into the economy falls most on those with the least - who are paid merely to exist.
Old Geezer
30th Jul 2016
8:39pm
Don't pay for power as I use solar. Buy little food as we grow a lot more than we need. Buy clothing for op shops. Don't drive so don't buy fuel. I only buy what I need and at my age it is very little.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2016
8:38am
If you are ''self-funded'' in retirement, you enjoyed far more taxpayer-funded benefits than most Australians, Old Geezer. If you ever ran a business, you made MASSIVE use of national resources and taxpayer services. If you were educated, or ever used public or subsidized health services of any kind, you benefited hugely from taxpayer-funded services.

NOBODY in this nation got to any level of retirement comfort without consuming a vast array of taxpayer-funded resources and services, and probably also claiming huge tax concessions that are only realistically available to the well-to-do. (Battlers can't afford big superannuation contributions, investment properties, etc.)

Your arrogant assumptions are DEAD WRONG, OG.
China
28th Jul 2016
1:21pm
Concerns about the funding of pensions, the burden placed upon those in work by the retired and the rest of it, will soon be replaced by questions regarding the distribution of goods and services.

Within twenty years forty percent of the present jobs will be done without human input. Robots and other technology will be casting a large number of us out of work. But, and this is a big but, we will still be producing. The goods and services will be there just the same, even more of them.
MICK
28th Jul 2016
5:23pm
And that is the truth. If business and those lucky enough to actually have a job try on the 'get a job' rubbish which is currently demonising many Australians who simply cannot find work then there will be revolution. The rich cannot have it all despite what they believe.
HS
28th Jul 2016
1:21pm
Interesting but not a pragmatic idea. Too many variables and too complex to administer and manage. The age pension is subject to the income deeming rule and assets taper rule to streamline the administration and the process so, one size fits all.
The government 'zombie' legislation was created and legislated by thoughtless idiots who are privileged with their own set of government retirement rules which favour their prosperity and wealth at tax payer's expense.
At the age of 67 many workers begin to feel the pain of failing health.How is that of any benefit to the employer? Fair dinkum, I've been saying this for past few years. All persons wanting to become government members of parliament must pass an in-depth psychopath and sociopath tests before they are allowed to stand for election. Without such tests we have people with serious mental health issues running our government.
particolor
28th Jul 2016
1:33pm
A psychiatrist would make a fortune in Canberra ! :-) Only problem is we would have to build New Mental Institutions to replace the ones that are Closed !! :-(
heemskerk99
28th Jul 2016
5:39pm
is that you labor stooge and union organiser mick
HS
28th Jul 2016
5:45pm
Believe me heemskerk99, you wouldn't like me to be a labor stooge and union organiser... you really wouldn't...Count your lucky day that I am not.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
1:53pm
The pension is nothing more than a welfare payment for the basics of life so it doesn't really matter how long you live. If you look after yourself then you have a much better chance of living longer than someone who doesn't. So cut your risk factors out and then you will live longer and subsidise others.
particolor
28th Jul 2016
1:58pm
OK ! Thank You Mr TurnBull :-) :-)
Farside
28th Jul 2016
2:00pm
Don't you mean "So cut your risk factors out and then you will live longer and BE SUBSIDISED BY others.", which seems like good advice.
HS
28th Jul 2016
2:15pm
welfare
?w?lf??/Submit
noun
1.
the health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group.
"they don't give a damn about the welfare of their families"
synonyms: well-being, health, good health, happiness, comfort, security, safety, protection, prosperity, profit, good, success, fortune, good fortune, advantage, interest, prosperousness, successfulness
"local authorities have a duty to promote the welfare of children"
2.
statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need.

As you can see the part 1) applies to the rich and part 2) applies to the poor. The rich are also on Welfare.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
2:21pm
That's good as I missed out on both counts.
MICK
28th Jul 2016
5:24pm
You've got that one right particolor!
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
10:33pm
Been proven wrong so many times I will not recount it here. Pension is a bought and paid for entitlement.... welfare is the aim, intention or policy of giving well-being - Social Security is the moneys handed out to attain that end, and since a lifetime contribution has been made by every citizen towards Social Security, it is an unassailable Right.

How many times do you need to be told?
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
10:37pm
Rubbish the pension is welfare paid for by me and the other taxpayers.
TREBOR
29th Jul 2016
12:18am
We all pay tax and have paid taxes all our lives - keep reading, OG. One day you'll get there.
Sundays
28th Jul 2016
2:40pm
There would be too many variables in having different retirement ages, but I don't agree that people should have to work until they are 70. However, the age pension rules are a mess with everyone receiving differing entitlements. We also have to realise that there needs to be some tightening. I know many part pensioners who quite frankly do not need the extra while some on a full pension struggle. Getting a part pension when your income as a couple is over $70k, just because you are entitled!
MICK
28th Jul 2016
5:27pm
There will come a time (not in our lifetime) when mechanisation will be at a stage that NOBODY will have to work if they do not wish to. Whether or not that is a good option remains to be seen but when that time comes the top end of society will not have a slave workforce doing its bidding and it will be very very difficult to not provide people a living for little or not labour.
Our children live in interesting times and in their latter years they will be facing a whole new world.
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
10:38pm
Question then, Mick, is who benefits? Only those who 'own' the machines or everyone involved in the society in which those machines need to prosper through inter-action?

"Jar, Jazr.. I haff maken der machinen to produce Efferything and vill cost NOTHING to run!"

"How will you sell the products? Without sales how will you make money?"

"Oh... we did not think off zat!"

(the Simpsons De-Bigulator machine...

"Now Re-Bigulate me!"

"Arrrrrh.. we didn't think of THAT!")....
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
10:40pm
Agree it is really stupid giving a couple getting over $70,000 a part pension just because they are entitled. That is not what the pension was designed to do as this couple are not any where near poverty stricken.
ex PS
2nd Aug 2016
1:28pm
This discussion has made me rethink pensions, maybe all pension payments should be based on the actual income of the respective recipients. If a recipient has spent more than the national average wage in one year they should forfeit any further pension payments?
Jezemeg8
28th Jul 2016
3:48pm
I was deemed "too disabled to work" in my early 50's and was told that I would not be able to get work cover insurance because of this I didn't want to retire, I enjoyed my job...coincidentally, universal superannuation began to cover the type of work (I worked 3 casual jobs for the same company but I was classed as a contractor) in the same year I was declared unfit. My "Golden Handshake" after working 3 jobs, a total of 18 hours/day, for the past 10 years, was a whopping $1500!!! And that was what I had had taken from my wages during my working life, there was no contribution from my employer, and it most certainly hadn't been 'invested' in any super fund.
So, to me, even though I want to work, having no ability to get covered with Worker's Insurance means I am unemployable. Now I fill my time with volunteer work among the homeless and street folk. Raising the age at which one can get Age Pension will only leave a lot of people (mostly woman), with no income at all, through no fault of their own.
gillham
28th Jul 2016
3:56pm
This is a very good theory. Based on the assertion that groups that die younger for Socio economic reasons, this should also apply to groups that die younger because of a harder physical life or whatever reason.

So on that basis men should get a higher pension than females because men on a whole die younger than women. There is a saving from not paying men a pension after they die so women get that saving dispersed among women.

Apart from that my wife and most other women have a windfall when their male spouse dies younger because the wife receives the accrued assets. That's if she doesn't accelerate the process by termination of the male spouse via battered wife syndrome indemnity.
MICK
28th Jul 2016
5:28pm
That is likely genetic gillham.
Rodent
28th Jul 2016
4:29pm
Something interesting to ponder

If the March 2016 DSS Demographic Data Numbers were to be applied unchanged as at 1 Jan 2017 the following numbers would lose the AGE PENSION NOTE THIS IS AGE PENSION DATA ONLY-

53060 Couple Home Owners would lose the pension completely
21860 Single Home Owners would lose the pension completely

On the flip side
753 Couple Non Home Owners would lose the pension completely
1572 Single Non Home Owners would lose the pension completely

There is a message in these numbers!!!
HS
28th Jul 2016
4:42pm
WTF are you on about Rodent? So after the government removes 77,245 people off the pension and misappropriates the saving by giving themselves a hefty salary increases, wastes saving on air force jets that will be shot down in flames what other misery can the government innovate for age pensioners? The message in these numbers is "misery".
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
5:57pm
All these people should not be getting the pension anyway as they have lots of capital to live on. They can spend it down until they qualify for the pension again. Simple.
HS
28th Jul 2016
6:11pm
If they have lots of capital, which I doubt, except for the value of their homes as a result of their hard earned success of "jobs, growth and innovation" under past government policies and management, does that mean, that Malcolm's spill of " jobs, growth and innovation ' means that generations X & Y will be treated like a 'flash in the pan' in a similar manner that the baby-boomers are treated today?
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
6:22pm
Baby boomers today are extremely well treated in fact too well. Welfare should only be for those who need it for the basics of life not to live comfortably in luxury for the rest of you life.
Rainey
28th Jul 2016
8:50pm
So according to you, Old Geezer, work and saving should yield NO BENEFIT to anyone who can't get filthy rich. Those who struggled to save for old age should have it all taken back from them if they aren't rich enough to be totally self-funding throughout old age.

What a sick and selfish puppy you are!
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
9:20pm
Greed is the problem the more people get the more they want. Heaven help those who take something away from them even though they don't need it. If you saved for old age then why when you are asked to spend it instead of taking from the public purse don't you just spend it? To do anything else is greed and not spending your capital amounts to using the system for inheritance hoarding. It takes a sick and selfish puppy to think otherwise.
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
11:32pm
Interesting - so it is just fine that people should lose pension rights.... because they 'own' too many assets?

What are those people to do?

I've long advocated that pension be paid at the single rate to all n retirement, and that all income, including deemed income from benefits such as free planes etc, should be taxed.

The reason politicians will never come at that is because they, and their mates, ride not only on their free and indexed pensions, but also on their free perks.

If all were taxed on income and perks, they would lose massively, and would feel most put out after their years of 'service' to the people of Australia - the same people they are dictating should tighten their belts if they happen to own too much on retirement.

Anyone else see a double standard here?
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
11:35pm
OG - I'm leaning towards the view that you are demented. that's OK - equal rights for those in that sad phase of life.... you are still entitled to your view....

But, mate.... you've lost it.. retire gracefully into the sunset and let the rest of us continue the good fight for as long as we can.

We have grand-children and sometimes great-grand-children to consider.
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2016
1:32pm
Many others are thinking like me too as we want our kids and grandkids not to have to subsidise those who don't need subsidising.

I think those who are whinging about the changes are greedy and have lost the plot myself. Ok your had it too good for too long so it's now caught up with you so that's life. Get on with it and stop whinging.

I've descided to retire disgracefully and campaign for those things that I think are wrong. My biggest campaign now is to get the house included in the assets test. This closely followed by having all pension payments paid back out of one's estate as well as those HECS fees that our seniors believe they will avoid paying.
TREBOR
29th Jul 2016
10:43pm
Does that mean your house will be included by your super fund as they determine how much you will be paid out?

After all - a retiree is a retiree, and you can't have one rule for one and another for another.....

If you are not in receipt of the Pension - how is it any of your business that the family home be included or not?
TREBOR
30th Jul 2016
8:45am
Can't wait forever for a response, OG - so here is my riposte.

Now HERE, Poppets, is where you see 'the politics of envy' in it's true, and in its lowest form! Every petty backyard Thatcherite Hitler is absolutely lividly green with envy over the possibility that someone of the 'lesser classes' - those who don't own and run a business but are subject to every failure and whim of those who do even up to and including having any right to earn to eat - might actually be getting something out of a system that potentially leaves them with next to nothing.

Envy indeed!
Old Geezer
30th Jul 2016
8:46pm
That's interesting as I don't own a house.
Rainey
31st Jul 2016
7:20pm
Old Geezer, what a hideous world it would be if you ran it. People would be PAID to squander their money, and punished harshly for working and saving. Nobody would be allowed to own a home unless they were willing to work their guts out for 30 years to pay it off and then GIVE it to greedy, lazy people who cruised the world and dined out and wore fur coats and diamonds while the homeowner worked overtime to pay a mortgage.

Nobody would be allowed to leave anything to their children or grandchildren, regardless of need. The sick and disabled and carers and educationally disadvantaged would wallow in abject poverty and beg for crusts while those who worked hard and earned a modest wage would have everything taken from them and be ground into the same poverty as the very poor.

And all so that RICH AND PRIVILEGED BASTARDS could steal all the wealth of the nation to stash in off-shore tax havens and GLOAT about how smart they are.

The nation would rapidly go bankrupt and then all pensions would be cancelled and we would have riots and terrorism.

What a sick puppy you are to want that kind of world.
Jannie
28th Jul 2016
4:53pm
It is a joke about how we loose our pension if we work, I am still working nearly 70 and it is hard yakka. I loose almost all of my pension due to not being able to earn more than $250 a fortnight before one looses 50 cents in the $ the system is crooked and the pollies should not be getting the large pensions they get. They have to stop saying it is the baby boomers that will be going on the pension that are breaking the economy. STOP giving handouts to immigrants or stop immigration, and stop sending funds to other countries, it is up to the governments of other countries to look after their people and not be so corrupt by putting their hands into the coffers for themselves. Sorry to say but it is starting to happened here.
HS
28th Jul 2016
5:40pm
We should be giving these foreign countries a lending hand but not money. Of course, the use of our own people and resources to help out other foreign countries does cost money so that's where the Foreign Aid Budget should be focused on. Tents, food, clothing, shoes, medicine, medical staff, excavators, fuel etc, etc but no money. If you send money as assistance it will get misappropriated by greedy selfish scum -ridden hands.
Jannie
28th Jul 2016
5:44pm
Agree with you HS they are corrupt scumbags so why give them money to use whatever way they want and usually not directed at the people.
HS
28th Jul 2016
5:53pm
And; our own teams should be allowed into those countries to distribute the foreign aid in order to avoid the hi-jacking of the foreign-aid materials by criminal minds who could profit by selling it back to needy people or to some other countries. We need to be in control how we assist.
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
11:42pm
Foreign Aid supplements the incomes of the dominant 'classes' in those countries receiving aid far more than it 'trickles down' to the people in real need at the bottom.

It primarily supports the middle and upper 'classes' without doing very much to alleviate the dire situations for the peons.

Not much different here, eh?
Rae
29th Jul 2016
10:16am
While we have pensioners here going blind and deaf waiting years for surgery no money should be going to any other country.

I think we need to get real. Admit our government has sold off the golden goose, declare ourselves a developing/third world country and ask for assistance.
Renny
28th Jul 2016
6:23pm
How about changing it to reflect what age you were when you started working? Many like me started work at 15. I couldn't go on after 61. Teaching was killing me. And I don't get how the govt doesn't realise that increasing our work luves is decreasing jobs for the young. Noise lots of women I've worked full time all my life. Thank heavens I have a small super pension.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
6:32pm
What about giving the pension to anyone who wants it but it becomes a HECS type debt that is to be paid back out of your estate when you die?

Those HECS debts should also be paid back when people die too as I'm over people going to Uni because they are bored and it wont cost them anything whilst our young kids have to pay it back once their income reaches a certain level. That is simply not fair at all.
Rae
28th Jul 2016
7:05pm
What a pity instead of selling 83% of our mines to international robber barons we didn't let Whitlam borrow that lousy little 4 billion to buy all the mines, build the gas pipeline and set up the uranium industry so that Uni would be free in Australia and we could have all had a pension.

Besides which you can't go to uni as an old person and not pay the ridiculous fees they charge.
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
7:12pm
You can go to Uni as an old person and defer it under the HECS system that is why it is so wrong. I know a fellow that has been doing course after course at Uni for years now since he retired. When I asked him why he said he would be bored if he didn't. So you don't pay any fees.
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
11:43pm
We've paid up front for our Pension in retirement... why should it be a 'HECS' burden in our Autumn years?

God - some of you need to live a real life for a change.....
Rodent
28th Jul 2016
7:32pm
Dear HS

The message I was trying to convey was two fold, Firstly was the actual numbers involved, Secondly was that in % terms the losses are heavily biased towards home owners, and the numbers of Non Home owners affected were very small.
At the top level the split of Pensioners is 75% are Home Owners 25% are Non Home owners.
I suspect like you, and many others we are all very annoyed about these changes. The Split of the numbers I provided is about 97% Home Owners verses 3% Non homeowners, quite out of kilter with other top level %
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
8:34pm
All the more reason to include the house in the assets test. That is where the unfairness lies not in the rates. Why should a couple with a $2 million house get same pension as a non home owner couple with only $200,000 more in assets. That's only 10% of what the home owners house is worth. That is where it is all so unfair.
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
11:50pm
Only a home that exceeds market value in the area in which it rests should be considered - i.e. a 'luxury' home.

Owning a million dollar valued home in which you live in an area where all homes are valued at a million dollars does nothing for your income - and under no circumstances should a pensioner be forced to sell his/her HOME to pay for an earned Pension.

If you own the $20m home in the area where all homes are valued at $1m - questions need to be raised.

What is it you Neo-Fascist types are demanding? That old ladies living on a meagre pension in the home their family unit of husband/wife bought and paid for, should be forced to rent out rooms to people? That they should be forced to sell their bought and paid for home to live in rental or, God forbid, a 'retirement village' in which they Never Own The Land On Which They Live, and are subject to arbitrary rules in intrusions at the hands of 'managers', when they have EARNED the Right to retire in their OWN HOME??

How about we do it to you? Happy now? Sell up or lose your income, laddy....
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2016
1:55pm
And what happens to these million dollars houses when people no longer need them? Sold up and a lottery win for those lucky enough to inherit the money. Why can't this money be used to fund people's pension instead? Makes a lot more sense to me.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2016
8:27am
So, Old Geezer, you propose that after someone has worked their guts out and paid hefty taxes for 40+ years, and gone without luxuries to plunge their money into paying off a mortgage, they should be forced to donate all the proceeds of their efforts to total strangers who probably didn't work as hard and didn't go without as much, and denied the right either to enjoy the benefits of their labour or to leave the proceeds of their endeavours to their loved ones?

And what happens when people realize there's no reward for effort and say ''stuff it then... why work''? Who will fund the pensions then? The rich don't, because they are evading tax and hoarding their wealth in off-shore havens. The poor can't. When you've succeeded in ensuring the middle class have no reason to want to - because there's nothing in it for them - the economy is totally stuffed! Good move! Mind-boggling how such dumb ideas actually get attention!
Rodent
28th Jul 2016
8:01pm
Old Geezer

You really have no idea do you about Equality or Fairness, clearly you are well off compared to many others- you said this
..............................................................................................................
All these people should not be getting the pension anyway as they have lots of capital to live on. They can spend it down until they qualify for the pension again. Simple.
.................................................................................................................

So the 21860 Single Home owners with assets greater than $500k all LOSE their Pension
BUT NO OTHER Pensioner at the same $500k LOSES their Pension- Its only when their Assets get to much higher figures do any of them lose any Pension at all. Come of it are you really that heartless, or are you just posting here to get others reactions.

Making statements like these people have plenty of capital are really ill informed. I note you never answered my question about what the Asset Figure should be to still receive a pension, clearly your answer must be therefore be $0.00
Quite frankly I don't even know why I am bothering re all this
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
8:12pm
Surely $500,000 is enough to live on for a single pensioner who owns their own home. I can make enough to live on with this sort of money myself. Anyway they only have to $250,000 to get the full pension and under $547,000 to get a part pension. I really can't see a problem with that at all as they have plenty of capital they don't need the pension.

What is their house worth over $1 million? Lots of capital in there too.
Rainey
28th Jul 2016
8:47pm
You can't SEE, Old Geezer. Clearly no amount of logic and common sense will ever penetrate your brain. Some people are just beyond educating. They are so stubbornly self-focused that they will NEVER see reality.
particolor
28th Jul 2016
9:10pm
Don't tell him they worked HARD for that ! Not like his Polly Pals !! :-(
Old Geezer
28th Jul 2016
9:15pm
That's the problem I can see through the fog and that doesn't take too much logic or common sense. Yes I am educated and I know what is really going on as I see examples of it every day and just shake my head in disgust. Yes I have a problem as I am one of those hard working tax payers who are paying for these people who don't need welfare. So stop the whinging and open your eyes to reality.
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
11:53pm
DUH - it's not 'money to live on' - it's the potential value of your home if you sell it... and choose to live on the streets, since you will never buy an home of equivalent value.

TF is wrong with some of you people? You sound like you'd throw your grandmother out of her house and force her to make her way in life at 93!

My god - but some of you people make me sick!
Retired Knowall
2nd Aug 2016
8:24am
Old Geezer, you really have to stop posting facts and logic.
rainey's logic is that semi literate people like them should be able to accrue wealth and pass it on to their heirs, funded by the taxpayer, but those of us who where able to accumulate enough to be self funded can do without until we spend our nest egg.
Oh the Horror of Horrors, being so clever and calling everyone that is self funded DUMB and having to rely on Welfare and screaming like a stuck pig when the Govt. attempts to fix a broken system and Welfare mentality.
ex PS
2nd Aug 2016
1:17pm
I think that OldBon has amply demonstrated that education does not always translate to wisdom or knowledge.
He still seems to think that if you are starving and have no money in the bank you can eat the tiles off the roof of your house. Marginally better than telling them ïf they have no bread, let them eat cake".
Careful OldBon, Madam Guillotine is looking a bit thirsty.
Macca
28th Jul 2016
8:55pm
Everything this conversation comes up the same people voice the same Lab/Lib opinions. Two people earn the same money over a life time.one saves one pisses it up the wall.One is means tested the other gets the benefits.Talk about discrimination. Both sides of politics need to come up with a proper plan to cater for both female/male age 65 and circumstances. Why should someone who has saved and gone without earlier be disadvantaged later in life?Why should someone who has fallen on bad times through no fault of their on be disadvantaged? We need to address these problems and not turn in to a class war or haves and have nots.I can no longer work at 64 as a tradie because of injuries but still drive and work as a Taxi driver part time.Have no intention to retire but go on more hols.We can blame government and those who abuse the system but in the end we all know someone who is doing something wrong just to survive.Does this say alot about us and our belief in entitlement or whats best for everyone.Lets have a superannuation system and pension system and stop changing the rules.Macca
TREBOR
28th Jul 2016
11:54pm
I fervently hope I never express any 'Lab/Lib' insanities.... here or anywhere else!
ex PS
29th Jul 2016
4:41pm
This government does not reward effort it prefers to steal off the worker to provide tax cuts to its backers.
ex PS
2nd Aug 2016
1:20pm
Macca, it tells a lot about our society that people are condemned to do the wrong thing just to survive. I don't blame them I blame successive inadequate governments.
Beeman
29th Jul 2016
1:26am
The age pension was not a hand out prior to means testing being introduced in the 80's. It was subscribed to at the same time as income tax was paid and the annual tax form was called "Personal Income Tax and Social Service Contribution form". Since the means test was introduced a vast army of employees has been set up to administer the testing. I wonder whether the cost of administering the programme is covered by the savings or whether the idea is to keep the unemployment rate down to a politically acceptable level.

Beeman
TREBOR
29th Jul 2016
1:35am
Correct... the Social Service Contribution NEVER disappeared from your tax - it merely became part of 'consolidated revenue' - which is apparently a slush fund for every political wet dream and not to pay the bills as they fall due, such as Pensions etc.

Once many here realise and accept that simple reality - surely their thinking will change towards reality...

We've PAID up front for Social Security..... it is NOT malleable or some 'welfare' to be taken away at whim, since it is not a gift, but a paid-for Entitlement.

Thank you for your contribution to this never-ending argument.
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2016
1:58pm
I paid tax not for my retirement so stop dreaming. There is no money pot with your name on it. It is welfare to be paid to those who would otherwise live in poverty nothing more.
TREBOR
29th Jul 2016
10:31pm
You certainly aid no tax towards your retirement if you did not fit the bill for receiving tax money in retirement... it's called a 'means test', and all it says is that those with enough do not receive.

The fact remains that a proportion of your taxes was paid into a pot for Social Security, and that has not changed with the re-badging of that funding into consolidated revenue.

How many times does it have to be explained to you?
TREBOR
29th Jul 2016
10:34pm
Oh - and that 're-badging' was designed to achieve the very end you are seeking so desperately to promote - the absolutely false view that Social Security is somehow a handout rather than a pre-paid Right. That move was caucluatedly made by a Labor government as a prelude to its doing precisely what its fellow Tag Team members, the LNP, are doing with it right now - trying to remove Social Security rights and replace them with a malleable 'hand-out' concept, in which the recipient will not only have no rights, but will be compelled to contribute in some way, despite having done so over a lifetime of work.
Retired Knowall
2nd Aug 2016
8:27am
How much a persons Tax is put into the Pension Bucket?
Lenny & the Jets
29th Jul 2016
10:03am
It would be fair to rate eligibility. People who have, for example, worked physically hard on a lower income, done night shifts, been exposed to asbestos and harmful chemicals etc. may have less time to enjoy their retirement. The question is who decides and how is it weighed up. I believe as a "Baby Boomer" and having contributed much to the economy I have earned my retirement at 65. Now they want to retrospectively tax my voluntary super contributions... Very Unfair!
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2016
1:57pm
No idea what you are on about as I'm not getting taxed any more.
ex PS
29th Jul 2016
4:47pm
What's your secret OldBon, you don't eat, buy petrol, go on holidays, drink or buy cloths? Because if you do any of those things, guess what, you pay tax.
TREBOR
29th Jul 2016
10:35pm
OG doesn't wish to understand that simple reality.
Rainey
31st Jul 2016
7:22pm
OG doesn't understand ANYTHING. He/she (Bonny, I believe) has no capacity to comprehend anything beyond ''take from everyone to give to me'''.
Old Geezer
1st Aug 2016
11:11am
So I should give back my award given to me for my generosity then? It's odd that I give many times more than I take from anyone. We grow more food then we need so a lot is donated to the poor through a church charity.

I know how people struggle but most of those with the level of assets that will have their pension reduced or lose it are not struggling but living very comfortably at the expense of the taxpayer.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2016
8:30am
''most of those with the level of assets that will have their pension reduced or lose it are not struggling but living very comfortably at the expense of the taxpayer''

Says the know-nothing arrogant expert who wouldn't have the faintest clue about the lives of half the people he judges and condemns.

How the hell would you know who is struggling and who is living comfortably and why, Old Geezer? Or what the future holds for people who saved for particular future needs and are now denied the right to preserve those savings for their intended use?
MD
29th Jul 2016
12:54pm
I seriously doubt anyone could begin to imagine the furore, the cat-awailing and hair rending were the pension "tailored to individual circumstance". The resultant cries of ; 'why them & why not me: what did they do to deserve more' (than me) - with barely a moments thought to those actually receiving less (than them). To introduce, implement and administer such a hair-brained scheme would necessitate a veritable army of yet more pubic savants, yes an army, appropriately armed to withstand the ensuing attacks and mayhem. Maybe that could even play into the hands of the powers that be ?
Although there does exist a few exceptions, the bulk of the blowhard responses within are predicated from selfish perspectives. Agreed; although the outcome of this subject yet remains to be seen, the ramifications will effect everyone, one way or another. A satisfactory determination (unlikely to satisfy every demographic) will require the profound wisdom of any number of mere mortals who, having attempted to achieve utilitarian findings will nevertheless be castigated for their attempt. Brute force or fear aside, nobody has yet found the means to appease the masses.
Were the Pollies to consider this matter seriously then ALL stakeholders should be involved; inter-generational, socio economic groupings and/or demographics. Even then group representation would be cause for complaint or challenge - left/right wing leaning.
The many and various media sources keep us informed of events worldwide and it seems apparent that, for various reason a phenomenon of instability is apparent and growing.
Nations' leaders (some purporting) exhibit shallow skills, seem bereft of ideas and collectively expound a dearth of solutions. Our 'www' has mankind so interconnected nowadays that even our leaders are looking over one another's shoulders in the hope of gleaning ideas. Therein lies the problem ? If they exhibited leadership: proposed, consulted, debated, drafted (policy) and ultimately enacted - then (& only then) the population senses a direction. As it is we've got entire peoples merely existing because their politicians have no idea and can't rely on their counterparts for solutions.
Doesn't it all come down to money ?
In closing this rant, haven't I come full circle to its very beginning ? I welcome the findings of my peers.
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2016
1:34pm
The pension is tailored to people's basic needs. If you wanted anything else in retirement then it was up to you to plan and do something about it. I did.
ex PS
29th Jul 2016
4:53pm
I agree OB, that's why I say if you have planned and worked towards a goal of providing a better retirement for yourself no one should be able to interfere with your plans unless you have done something illegal. And especially not be able to bring in retrospective legislation to take from you that which does not belong to you.
MD
29th Jul 2016
5:22pm
All good, Old Geezer, ex PS, thanks. Assuming we all start from a level playing field (which we don't) then most of your say is spot on. It is this very point that most do not seem to grasp. You/they feel happy - within your respective comfort zone(s) of satisfaction. Although I admire the fact(?) that you seemingly portray satisfaction with your lot, please consider whether you just MAYBE the exception, rather than the rule.
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2016
8:11pm
Well my whole family must be the exception rather than the rule too as we all follows the same ideals and investment strategies.

I started with nothing like nearly everyone else. It is not what you earn it is what you do with what you earn that counts. If you use only good debt rather than bad debt and save even a small portion of your income the magic of compounding will eventually kick in. There is not complicated with that.
ex PS
30th Jul 2016
4:37pm
MD, quite right, I will always be the first to admit that I have been fortunate. A wrong decision here or there and I would either still be working or on some form of social benefit.
My main concern is that governments are getting more and more used to retrospectively reigning in benefits from those who have done nothing wrong.
I will always look at people who have not been as fortunate as myself with respect and will never begrudge that which will give them an improved retirement. Some, but not most of my friends are in fact facing retirement on a pension.
Rainey
31st Jul 2016
6:40pm
The arrogance and ignorance of some people here is disgusting. What people with no capacity for empathy don't seem to understand is that it has NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT YOU STARTED WITH financially. - much less how hard you worked or how you tried to save.

It has to do with the mental state that was created by the circumstances you were born and raised in. Take someone whose self-esteem and confidence was destroyed by childhood neglect and abuse and they often CANNOT raise themselves out of poverty. Then there are those who devote their lives to caring for others, or who suffer crippling illness or disability.

To suggest that everyone has the same opportunity and should be treated equally is vile and selfish in the extreme - a narcissistic attitude that should be harshly punished.

Old Geezer, you are ignorant, cruel and nasty and clearly have no idea what life is like for others, and no interest in finding out. Your arrogance is unbelievable.
Johnny
29th Jul 2016
2:39pm
There should be an Australian Super National Fund established/administered by the Commonweatlh Government in the near future fiuure (soon) and any person stating work on or after that date MUST contribute fis/her super payments into this fund. This will eventually kill off the myriads of funds out there and the fund can be used by the government to build infrastructure. In 2 generations' time retirees will draw from this fund. This is not rocket scince.
Pensions must still be paid for the marginalized. This is a social justice issue.
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2016
3:05pm
What about those who like me don't work at a JOB (Just Over Broke)?
Might work for the factory workers but not for the people like me.
Rae
29th Jul 2016
4:26pm
There should be the same compulsory 9% from everyone. Even those that are self employed Old Geezer.

I don't see why PAYG workers are forced to put 9% of wages/salary aside and self employed and business owners get to keep 100% if they want to.

Too many self employed keep building up bigger and bigger homes and then get the full aged pension while PAYG have to save 9% and spend that forgone capital at retirement.
Old Geezer
29th Jul 2016
7:53pm
Most businesses don't make little if any taxable income so 9% of nothing is 0.
TREBOR
29th Jul 2016
10:39pm
OG - you're so fond of telling us all how wonderfully you've done and how low-life everyone who hasn't done so well is.... obviously you have no need for an Australian Super National Fund .......

If you have successfully hidden a portion of your income over the years, and I believe you said you ran a business meaning you certainly did, and your contribution into such a scheme is the less as a result - you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Not only that, but with such a system in place, the ATO will have no problem at all in identifying people who have unlisted sources of income and have thus evaded tax over the years.. all they have to do is look at your spending....
Rodent
30th Jul 2016
12:15pm
Just Testing where this comment ends up
Old Geezer
30th Jul 2016
8:35pm
I think the ATO must be thinking how I make ends meet with my low level of spending. I only buy what I need and I don't need much at my age.
old fart
29th Jul 2016
2:56pm
After reading most of the above opinions above, I conclude that life goes on as usual i.e. no gives a rats about any one elses's opinion
However, at least these days us old codgers have got more exposure to the BS then we did in the past without the good o'l Internet
Rodent
29th Jul 2016
4:35pm
Dear Contributors

what I am doing wrong? I notice that some comments here appear in answer to others comments that were posted at a much earlier date, how do you do this? If I post something now it appears at the End, Unless the other poster has a reply item (which many don't)
Please explain?
Kaye Fallick
29th Jul 2016
4:38pm
HI Rodent - all posts should have a reply button, i believe (on the top post of that comment thread?) But if you have trouble just call us in business hours 03 9885 4935 and ask Kathryn or Kate to help you? Your feedback is valued. warmest Kaye
particolor
30th Jul 2016
6:19pm
Rodent... If you don't sign in the REPLY isn't there either at times :-) Good Luck :-)
MD
29th Jul 2016
5:24pm
All good, Old Geezer, ex PS, thanks. Assuming we all start from a level playing field (which we don't) then most of your say is spot on. It is this very point that most do not seem to grasp. You/they feel happy - within your respective comfort zone(s) of satisfaction. Although I admire the fact(?) that you seemingly portray satisfaction with your lot, please consider whether you just MAYBE the exception, rather than the rule.
ex PS
2nd Aug 2016
12:58pm
MD, maybe it should be considered also that what one person sees as a comfortable lifestyle may be considered a life of hardship to others.
Does not everyone consider themselves to be exceptional in their own way?
It was not until I was thirteen and attending a High school outside off my socio economic area that I was informed that I was a disadvantaged student. If they had not told me I never would have known, kudos to them for recognising the fact and informing me of my social deficiencies.
Instead of taking this as a sign that I was not equipped to compete at the same level I took it as a challenge, this may or may not have improved my outcomes, we will never know.
Dallas1955
30th Jul 2016
12:07pm
Maybe suicide at a certain age will help the government.
ex PS
2nd Aug 2016
1:08pm
It possibly could, but it would certainly help those who have made a conscious decision to seek eternal rest.
I for one would like to be able to take the decision to die with dignity rather than be used like a cow to be milked of my assets to help solve problems created by successive incompetent governments.
I would much rather give my money to my son who has asked us for nothing, than to an incompetent government that thinks of nothing but winning the next election.
Rodent
1st Aug 2016
12:22pm
Dear ALL I will publish this apology more than one
YLC Editor will confirm to all soon that the Assets Test Threshold that was to be FROZEN as from 1 July 2O17 , as part of the 2015 Budget WILL NOT PROCEED.
I apologise for my error in earlier posts (both recently and in past months) this has turned out to be incorrect- some good news therefore!!!!
LUVCO2
2nd Aug 2016
11:58am
The reasons for this tightening of the pension assets test include importing many thousands of "refugees" who go straight onto, and stay on, welfare, MASSIVE subsidies for expensive, unreliable "renewable" energy, jacking up of the overseas aid budget (Think KRudd) plus numerous other items of MASSIVE free-spending.
And it's going to get much worse with politicians want to massively increase the intake of bludging "refugees"!


Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

  • Receive our daily enewsletter
  • Enter competitions
  • Comment on articles

you might also be interested in...

Is Centrelink checking your bank account?

Does Centrelink have the power to check your bank account? The answer may surprise you.

Income test limits for pensions

The CPI rise in pension payments is also reflected by an increase in the amount of income you can receive before you lose your pension completely.

Utility bills are on the rise

YOURLifeChoices shows how to reduce your power costs and make your life that little bit easier.

Increased asset test limits

Asset limits have been reviewed and increased in line with recent CPI pension increases.

Guide to Centrelink

YOURLifeChoices answer your questions on the Age Pension, Starting retirement and using Centrelink Online Services.