Relief in sight for pensioners

The Federal Government is considering changes to the pension taper rate.

Relief in sight for pensioners

The Federal Government is considering a revision of the pension taper rate as an alternative to the proposed indexation changes to the Age Pension suggested in last year’s budget.

Increasing the pension taper rate for wealthier retirees may be a way for the government to achieve much-needed savings that could make the pension more sustainable in the future. The current cost of the taper rate is estimated at over $1 billion per year – savings the government would be able to spread throughout the budget should the rollback occur.

The current system of payment rates came about during the Howard era almost a decade ago, when the budget was in a surplus of $17.2 billion. The previous reduction rate of $3 for every $1000 in assessable assets over the threshold was halved to $1.50. It was created as an incentive for retirees to keep working and saving for their retirement, and therefore, receive a bigger part Age Pension once in retirement. However, there’s evidence that the increased costs of Howard’s plan may be outweighing its intended benefits.

The proposed rollbacks would reduce part Age Pensions for retirees with assessable assets amounting to more than $1 million. This, in turn, would mean that those receiving full Age Pensions would not be affected as a result of scrapping of the changes to proposed indexation of payments for all of Australia’s 2.4 million age pensioners.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said that the government is open to negotiations on making pensions more sustainable.

“We believe in a decent, social security system, we believe in a strong retirement income system, we want to encourage people to save for their retirement, we want to ensure that the pension is adequate for people who need the pension,” he said.

Opinion: A proposal worth considering

Whilst this is another proposal in a long list of ideas to make the pension system more sustainable, it seems as though the government is finally on the right track when it comes to deciding how best to fund pensions in the future.

Amending the pension taper rates to target those with substantial private assets means that those who can least afford it should be safe from future pension reductions, whilst allowing retirees who have invested their life savings into their family home to still be able to qualify for a part or full Age Pension. It should also protect full pensioners, who have little or no assets, from being victimised by an overall reduction in pension payments.

This reform may also obviate the need for the government to introduce the increasingly unpopular plan to match the Age Pension indexation to CPI only, in order to create savings from within the pension system.

Finding a way to make the pension system more sustainable has been a thorn in the side of the government ever since it introduced its unpopular proposals in its first budget. The proposal to apply a broad cut to all pensions was never well-received by pensioners – especially when there are so many retirees receiving a pension who could otherwise afford to fund, or at least partially fund, their own retirement.

If the government is looking for a sustainable outcome for funding pensions, then focussing on retirees with assessable assets of over $1 million seems a good place to start.

What do you think? Will you be affected by this proposal? Do you think increasing the pension taper rate is a fairer way to make the Age Pension more sustainable? Is the government on the right track with this proposal?





    COMMENTS

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    NGE
    9th Apr 2015
    10:15am
    Solution for part-pensioner recipient...Sell my modest home, use sale proceeds and most of my allocated pension to buy a better home, then receive a higher Centrelink pension
    ourjeffie
    9th Apr 2015
    10:35am
    That sounds a bit rash, and may not leave you better off overall. Have you done the sums? I suggest talk to a financial advisor, or one of the very helpful financial information people at Centrelink.
    Chris B T
    9th Apr 2015
    12:06pm
    ourjeffie
    The last time I went to Centerlink sat around for 2 hours for 5 mins of their time, becuase of their mistake. 2 hour turnaround drive, couldn't do it over the phone helpfull is not the word that comes to mind.
    LiveItUp
    9th Apr 2015
    2:35pm
    Easy solved. Make the family home part of the assets test. Why should someone with a home worth millions get the same pension as some one with nothing more than a shack? This is very unfair.
    wally
    9th Apr 2015
    3:36pm
    If people are worried about making housing fair for everyone, consider this. When people go on the pension, the government rents them a flat. Each pensioner is entitled to one bed room. After all, you can only sleep in one bed at a time anyway. If the pensioner owned their own home prior to going on the pension, the government buys their home and pays them market value for their home. Then the government uses the amount the government has paid for the home to calculate the rent they will charge the pensioner. A married pensioner couple might be eligible for a two bedroom flat at a higher rental rate. Considerations for exemptions to the rule would exist, for example, on medical or disability grounds, where live in carers require accommodation.

    This would free up housing for young families that would otherwise be unable to purchase their own homes and would need the extra bed rooms for their children.
    Triss
    9th Apr 2015
    5:07pm
    And would young families take on and struggle with a mortgage knowing that they would be at the whim of a government department when they retired?
    Justsane
    9th Apr 2015
    6:26pm
    Wally, No. No-one should be forced to sell their home in retirement and live in a rented flat. No.
    mangomick
    9th Apr 2015
    8:56pm
    Wally, I'll give you my experience with Government Departments . Not long back the Government bought out a swag of farming properties for State development. The said the property would be fairly valued and if we wanted we could rent back for about 5 years at rental market prices. Yes we could get an independent valuer and arbitrate if we really wanted but the Government value would be totally fair and above board.
    So like a pair of mugs we accepted the supposedly fair Government valuation only to be told by a Government Department Senior Officer after the deal was completed that if we had gotten an independent valuer to arbitrate the deal we could have gotten $50k to $100k more. And then to add insult to injury we found that some property owners who rented back their properties were paying $1 a year in rent whereas many others including myself were paying weekly rent at full market prices despite everyone being told any rental agreement would be at market value. So don't think I'm being rude when I say your plan of dealing with Governments or Government Departments stinks. They just cannot be trusted.
    wally
    9th Apr 2015
    10:45pm
    From the responses I have gotten from my earlier, (above) suggestion regarding "fairness" in determining whether homes should be included as assets, it would seem that the notion of what is "fair" is a rubbery beast indeed. I shudder to think that Mango's experience with the bureaucracy could be typical of what we all can expect in our dealings in matters like this, but it is a possibility that must be taken into account.
    In my dealings with Centrelink employees, I am left wondering if it is more of a "Lucky Dip" when seeking advice or other services from them. This could also "translate" in dealing with bureaucrats in other government agencies as well, depending on the degree of experience and expertise the person on the other side of the desk might have. I would suspect that the more you know about what you are hoping to achieve, the better your chances of getting a satisfactory outcome.
    dougie
    10th Apr 2015
    8:15am
    Mangomick,
    All I can say is Barnum. There is one born every minute.
    Anonymous
    10th Apr 2015
    7:52pm
    NGE
    Yep…. that is what is available but most wealthy do not worry about this as the pension is not even pocket money for them. It is just those that are a little better off… they are not our target.
    Anonymous
    10th Apr 2015
    7:53pm
    Making the pension system more sustainable?

    FACTS:
    - ordinary taxpayers put money in the govt coffers, so effectively are the ones that provide our civilisation with hospitals, roads, schools, pensions, services and benefits, infrastructure, etc.;
    - ordinary taxpayers put money in the govt coffers by paying their fair share of income tax and grossly paying way above their fair share in GST (inequitable or unfair tax that hits ONLY consumers and grossly taxes those with small or no income but the wealthy pay very little when comparing their income to the gst they paid);
    - corporations & wealthy do NOT pay their fair share of income tax which is due to their power over our govts who allow these groups to have access to unfair tax avoidance which are legally allowed to prevail;
    - corporations may earn BILLIONS but ONLY pay 30% whereas the top individual rate of tax is 45%;
    - the tax that ALL corporations pay goes into the govt coffers and then is removed immediately by the shareholders who are allowed to CLAIM BACK the tax the corporations pay, in the form of 'dividend franking credits'. Hence the net effect of corporate tax on govt coffers, is NOTHING
    - ordinary people still have to pay tax on interest earned, even though investors pay nothing on dividends earned - biggest advantage is to the big boys, of course.

    SO, it is the ORDINARY PEOPLE of AUSTRALIA who built and paid for the civilisation that we currently have.

    That is why it is disgusting for those currently in power to say that we the ORDINARY people can no longer afford to look after our own because those that pay very little or nothing at all, use their power, money and influence to syphon off OUR money, into their own pockets. You only need to look at the BILLIONS that are going into PRIVATE education and PRIVATE health. Not forgetting the millions we pay to cover enormous mining corporations water and power outlays.

    Now, on to the FACT that WE the PEOPLE already are contributing to OUR retirement in the form of SUPERANNUATION. The only thing needed to be covered in the future is those people who missed out on the new superannuation regime or it was available in time to provide adequate retirement.

    The money that is taken as superannuation is OUR OWN wages increases that we have forgone, in order to provide for our future. To allow this superannuation rate to remain so low, is something that should be fixed immediately, as this is what is will cause problems in maintaining our future liability in this area. That is why the previous govt. outlined are rapid rise over the years.

    Then we have the problem whereby we the people did NOT get a voice as to where we wanted our SUPERANNUATION to go. We were told that we had to place our VALUABLE RETIREMENT money with PRIVATE CORPORATE INTERESTS…. MOST SUPER FUNDS FIND THEIR WAY BACK TO BANKERS AND INSURANCE COMPANIES. Fees and costs were and still are very high, eating away at the smaller super funds of ordinary people and WORSE still the WHOLE of OUR actual FUNDS could be jeopardised by the world financial system… controlled by PRIVATE bankers and megacorps.

    The wealthy are able to create their OWN superannuation funds (SMSFs) but the rest of us have been FORCED to place our funds in to the hands of PRIVATE ENTERPRISES. WHY are we not allowed to be able to use a GOVERNMENT run fund whereby, we are guaranteed that our funds do not simply disappear due to mismanagement and that we can obtain a minimum guaranteed earnings each year. Singapore have done this and their nation has thrived accordingly. The government handles the massive amounts of money and has been able to reduce taxes and increase the standard of living of their citizens and still provide pensions to its people, even after the GFC, etc.

    So….. your statement that the current govt is on the right track is utter rubbish…. it is all a fallacy, to allow the wealthy to take OUR money and rip us off with OUR superannuation, whilst WE are paying them to have a better and more healthier life style, and then to have the GALL to tell us we do not have enough of OUR money left in the coffers to pay for our OWN, those most disadvantaged in our society!

    Oh… please, wake up and think! Sorry, that is a bit strong BUT just remember that the CORPORATE media are NOT going to tell you the above FACTS and will continually provide you with THEIR outlook on what should happen to OUR money. You the people would certainly stop a lot of OUR money going into the PRIVATE POCKETS of the wealthy and the corporations IF we were made aware of what is really happening.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2015
    5:38pm
    many already do that....buy the most expensive home they can afford and then get the pension...quite legal.

    millionaires are not the only ones who do this. i would suggest there are some on here who have done the same thing.

    the problem is when you move to a more expensive home the rates are more expensive and many find this is a struggle...unless of course they have children who are prepared to help out with the expenses in the knowledge that when their parents die they will inherit the property.

    my solution is where this occurs the government should be able to get back the amount paid in pension plus interest when the pension recipient passes on. why should the taxpayers be funding childrens' inheritances.??
    Pictonian
    9th Apr 2015
    10:17am
    This does seem a lot fairer way to make pensions sustainable for the future. Totally agree with this proposal. A lot of people on the pension now have now way of easing or changing their situations. Whereas people who have had the opportunity to work and plan for their retirement future needs will have no need to worry about their retirement and will be able to enjoy it.A lot of pensioners as myself did not have the ability to put away superannuation due to a variety of reasons , Having a family not being in the workforce until later in life breakdown of marriage etc.
    Dotty
    9th Apr 2015
    2:30pm
    I agree with you totally, been there done that ! so no the Super came in too late for me, and being a woman on lower income and raising three children on my own , "Who " could save for retirement ?
    Dotty
    Dancer
    9th Apr 2015
    10:22am
    This is definitely a much fairer way to create savings. I am sure many "cashed up" retirees will object, however fairness is a hallmark of our country and must be adhered to. Although most full aged pensioners have worked hard all their lives, their personal circumstances may have been such that they couldn't accrue superannuation sufficient to fund their own retirement. Women in particular fall into this category, although I am sure many men who have worked full time all their lives are also struggling on nothing but the full age pension. And after all, many of those cashed up retirees will leave their substantial wealth to their families, who probably don't need it either!!! Where is the sense in that? Thank you, Tony Abbott and co, for finally bringing some common sense and fairness to the equation.
    Cap
    9th Apr 2015
    10:45am
    Dancer

    What is your interpretation of "cash up" retirees. If the Government were to take notice of the ACOSS report then a retired couple would receive $33,500 pa, a couple with $150,000 in Super would receive $33,500 plus $7,500 from their Super whilst a couple with $400,000 would receive $20,530 plus $20,000 from their Super. That would make the couple with $150,000 better off than a couple with $400,000, why would people out money into Super if the more they have the less they get to live on. Just for the record when a couple have $794500, they would have only $39725pa to live on $1,305 less than the couple with $150,000.

    Your thoughts on that.
    MICK
    9th Apr 2015
    12:05pm
    Dancer:

    If you believe that Estate Duties are not coming to get folk with assets in their estates then you are ignoring the fact that this country has been sold down the drain by governments who have turned us into importers of everything we need.
    Our exports to pay for our imports: coal, iron ore, a bit of agriculture....and not much more. So have you seen what we are now getting for the above? Give it time....it has to come This willbe the price for useless big business and deadbeat governments.
    For folk who think that things are not going to change all I can say is continue to ignore the facts.

    Cap: good analysis....the system really is broken!!!!
    TREBOR
    9th Apr 2015
    12:55pm
    I think that many of those who are in the position of $1m+ assets have not necessarily 'worked for their retirement' but have been fortunate enough to arrive at their retirement unscathed. The question is - should we be reducing those people to the same level as those who have been on the front lines of social and economic changes in so many ways and have taken all the hits (as it is obvious many here, including myself, have) - or should we be attempting to bring everyone up to a reasonable level for retirement?

    The issue of reducing pension per se v assets is only one issue. Taxation of working pensioners (earned income PLUS pension is taxed) is another, and I am sure there are many other issues as well.

    Thoughts anyone?
    Anonymous
    9th Apr 2015
    1:34pm
    If we (a married couple) had a million in cash and at the current interest rate of around 3% the most I would get a year would be $30,000 which is less than the married pension. Would be paying full price for everything as would not have a concession card.

    And I would not have the concession card and they could not touch the capital either as that would lower their income.

    So to say someone with a million dollars would be well off is not correct in the current low interest climate.
    Theo1943
    9th Apr 2015
    2:53pm
    Radish, someone with $1M invested at 3% can take out $70,000 per annum for 25 years at least before the money runs out. Or do you think they should still have the $1M when they die?
    Anonymous
    9th Apr 2015
    3:09pm
    Most would want to hang onto the million I would think Theo....judging by most people on this site they want to leave money for their children. Personally, I belong to the SKI club ;)
    TREBOR
    9th Apr 2015
    5:17pm
    I think the cut-off limits for pension are pretty fair - the ones I posted. A single should be able to live on $49k and a couple on $75k quite reasonably.... if they have that much. They therefore need no pension, which does not preclude many from holding a pensioner card with its extra Entitlements™.

    These figures, of course need to be properly indexed so as to prevent future poverty.
    Anonymous
    10th Apr 2015
    5:16am
    Trebor, I think you make wild assumptions about how people arrived at their situation in life. I suspect many who have $1 million in super might have worked very hard and made great sacrifices of lifestyle to achieve it. Also, Radish is correct that at 3% interest, the ''millionaire'' would be worse off than a pensioner. Drawing on the capital would quickly reduce the assets so that the person was eligible for a part pension and negate any Government savings. I don't know where you get your figures from, Theo, but assuming someone draw $60,000 a year (increasing with inflation at an assumed 3% per year), the money would run out completely in 18 years. Of course long before that time, the person would be eligible for a part pension.

    All that said, I agree with the proposal, PROVIDED the income test is also adjusted and the assets and income test are merged so that people can't double dip as they can now. The income test is far too generous and the assets test is much harsher, but people who have both substantial assets and a healthy income are only tested on one or the other, not both. That's seriously unfair!
    ourjeffie
    9th Apr 2015
    10:27am
    Sounds good to me!
    bebby
    9th Apr 2015
    1:50pm
    I agree, Imaybe ourjeffie hasn't realised he could take a few dollars from his million to get by.
    Stof
    9th Apr 2015
    10:29am
    If I saw the Politicians cutting back on their own gold-plated system, I would be a bit more inclined to agree to the belt tightening. I thought belt tightening applies to everyone....including the pollies.

    No one seems to be including them in the budget "emergency"! They sold off our asset (Telstra ) to pay for their extremely over-generous Super Fund. They called it the Future Fund (?)...Whose future....ours...I think not!
    particolor
    9th Apr 2015
    12:49pm
    Do You think they should Taper Off a Tad ? And get a Bucket for their Pay Rises instead of a Front End Loader ?? :-)
    TREBOR
    9th Apr 2015
    12:58pm
    As someone said - that's no way to treat Royalty! Their Future Fund is an Entitlement™, and gold-plated and stashed in the Bahamas or similar, and pays no tax.

    Good God, man - you can't expect a Third World Banana Republic to do it any other way, can you?
    particolor
    9th Apr 2015
    1:19pm
    It was Polly wants a Cracker once ! :-)
    Now its Polly wants Caviar !! :-(
    evelynne
    9th Apr 2015
    10:45am
    It does sound much fairer! I who paid my taxes all my life, saved so I can have a bit of a better life when retiring, I will be penalized, while most of the other people who never bothered or couldn't or what ever their reason is they will get the full pension. It was stupid of me to save, while working three jobs, having my mother looking after my three children while my ex has cheated on his taxes, so he won't have to pay child support. For all that I will be penalised. Very fair, I must say!!! And to "Dancer" just because I have a slightly better circumstances by hard work then others, doesn't mean that my children are better off and won't need the inheritance when the time comes.
    Every person who worked all their life should get the pension! People who didn't should get a lower pension. Just like everywhere, if you work, you get paid, if you don't, then you don't get paid..... simple. I am talking about people who can, but just won't because there is always the unemployment benefit to fall back on and you can be on it for all of your life.
    MICK
    9th Apr 2015
    12:07pm
    I know how you feel. Who ever said life was fair?
    TREBOR
    9th Apr 2015
    1:00pm
    I trust, Ev, that you consider home maker a working career.. I do.. and I'm a man. Does a lifetime housewife get a lower pension?

    What about the disabled for life?
    Anonymous
    9th Apr 2015
    1:39pm
    Everyone who has worked has paid taxes but not all get the pension so to me it is not an argument to say because we have paid taxes we are entitled to the pension.

    Once upon a time, yes, people did get it when they retired, but that was a long time ago. It is now income and assets tested as we all know and that is how it should be as far as I am concerned.

    Those who can look after themselves should and those who can't should be looked after.

    But what gets up my nose is the rorting that goes on; it is ok to be indignant about companies using loopholes to avoid taxes (which is legal) but what is the difference with pensioners who "arrange" their finances in order to get the pension, also legal.

    There is no difference!
    TREBOR
    9th Apr 2015
    4:39pm
    Radish - I say those who've worked etc are Entitled™ to a pension - but the amount they actually derive is dependent on the rules for whatever income/assets they have.
    Anonymous
    15th Apr 2015
    4:35pm
    Trebor, yes you are entitled IF you pass the assets and income test. What I was referring to are statements people make that they are entitled because they paid tax all their working life. That does not entitle you to a pension...passing the assets and income tests do.
    dougie
    9th Apr 2015
    10:46am
    At least it is an alternative for discussion within the Government. Perhaps each of us who contacted our local member a couple of weeks ago may have caused this new discussion point. Maybe the power of the grey vote has been and will be heard.
    It shows that perhaps there can be some gain by a fair minded and open approach rather than by name calling and insults to both the people trying to solve the problem and to those who submit fair and open posts to this site.
    TREBOR
    9th Apr 2015
    1:01pm
    They, both sides, have flunkeys who view this and other forums, and garner a feel for the pulse of the people from them. That's one reason I post ideas here.... it is amazing when you hear a politician occasionally state the same idea in the same words......
    andromeda143
    9th Apr 2015
    11:14am
    This proposal is a complete disaster. It will hit the middle level people worst, people who currently have a part pension to supplement their insufficient super. They will lose huge amounts from their age pension and have to use up their super more quickly. Then their super will run out much earlier and they will be forced to live on the full age pension for much longer. The net result is that it will cost the government more in the long term and these poor pawns will spend a much longer time living on only the age pension, which is hardly a comfortable income.
    The very wealthy will put large amounts into their home as non-assessable and will avoid the huge cuts.
    MICK
    9th Apr 2015
    12:17pm
    The rich have been rorting the superannuation system for decades WITH THE APPROVAL OF BOTH SIDES OF POLITCS who know what has been going on.
    The scam: money into super taxed at 15%......not the 48% marginal rate applying to these folk. So rich people are being funded by taxpayers (us).
    Work it out. Somebody on a salary of $300 000 pa (a lot less than the real rich earn) saves $99 000 pa in tax. After 20 years this is $1.98 million....before even getting investment returns. Add those in and this individual has more like $6 million......courtesy of the taxpayer.
    And readers wonder why I routinely assert that governments are 'owned' by rich interests who fund election camaigns. VOTE INDEPENDENT!!!
    Sceptic
    9th Apr 2015
    12:32pm
    I am confused mick. Please explain your calculation. Where is the saving of $99,000 per year coming from?
    KSS
    9th Apr 2015
    12:54pm
    I agree Sceptic. Mick's figures assumes the entire salary amount is placed in super and taxed 100% (not even allowing for the tax free threshold we are all entitled to). Mick is not known to be accurate in his allegations and accusations. He simply declares them to be true.
    TREBOR
    9th Apr 2015
    1:04pm
    Mick is discussing, I believe, politicians, who receive all found at the public purse as tax-free support money - and thus have a huge swathe of salary to invest in their Future Fund.

    It's not hard to see that many rich people would be in the same position. You don't actually think that a newspaper magnate pays out of his declared income for his car, do you? It's provided by a company and written off by them on tax.
    Polly Esther
    9th Apr 2015
    1:35pm
    Mick hasn't called anyone a troll today.
    Must be off colour.
    Yet it is still early.
    particolor
    9th Apr 2015
    1:44pm
    Maybe the Blood hasn't reached Boiling Point yet ? Where's Frank !! :-)
    Alexii
    9th Apr 2015
    10:15pm
    Well put, Andromeda. It's going to become very difficult for people in that position. These middle income people have planned for their future survival based on what they believed was an entitlement granted by government and so would have a combination of draw down from their lump sum, a part pension, and the concessions they get due to having the card. They may well be well and truly stuffed with these proposed changes.
    Barney
    9th Apr 2015
    11:26am
    Yes, do the sums. If you are a retiree couple with $400,000 in total assets (a modest amount which includes superannuation and savings), look what will happen if you (a) change the taper rate AND (b) reduce the threshold to $150,000. Without confusing things with my calculations, I estimate that their part pension will be cut by nearly 50%!!!
    This seems like a pretty drastic change for someone I wouldn't have described as a "wealthy" pensioner.
    MICK
    9th Apr 2015
    12:18pm
    What's a part pension?
    particolor
    9th Apr 2015
    12:54pm
    The difference between what a Pensioner gets and what they should Get !! :-)
    TREBOR
    9th Apr 2015
    1:08pm
    People with a certain amount of income or deemed assets (assets deemed to incur income) receive part of pension. It's like my good self - I work and when I exceed a certain amount, my pension is cut according to a calculation. Same thing except it relates to assets.

    The big difference is that when I work, both my income and my pension are taxed, whereas the deemed income from assets is not.

    As an aged pensioner striving to have some little thing for genuine retirement after a lifetime of damned hard work for nothing, I feel this to be completely unjust. My work and pension ARE my superannuation and should be taxed the same.

    Not Taxation without Superannuation! (in one way or another)....
    sexeebear
    9th Apr 2015
    11:41am
    EVERYBODY WHO PAYS INTO THE PENSION SCHEME THRU THEIR WAGES IS ENTITLED TO THE PENSION REGARDLESS OF THEIR ASSETS OR WEALTH... WHAT IS NOT FAIR IS THAT THESE PEOPLE LEAVE CONSIDERABLE ASSETS TO OTHERS.. SURELY WE COULD SHORTEN THE PROCESS AND FAIR IT UP WITH A CONSIDERABLE TAX ON ASSETS AND WEALTH WHEN THE PERSON DIES???? NO ONE NEEDS AN INHERITANCE EVERYBODY SHOULD PADDLE THEIR OWN BOAT... I EDUCATED MY 4 THAT WAS THEIR LOT NOW IM SPENDING AS MUCH AS I CAN OF MY MONEY.. HOPEFULLY THERE WILL BE NONE LEFT FOR THEM AND SO IT GOES ON .. ITS LIKE SAYING WE PAY CONSIDERABLE AMOUNTS INTO THE SUPER AND BECAUSE WE HAVE ASSETS OR RESOURCES WE CANT HAVE IT. SOME OF US PISS OUR MONEY AWAY AND OTHERS SAVE IT.. SEEMS TO ME NEXT TIME ROUND IM GOING TO BE A PISS HEAD AND BE BETTER OFF.
    MICK
    9th Apr 2015
    12:25pm
    I can see Estate Duties a comin'. Don't agree though. I think that people have a right to leave their children and grandchildren something. Personally my wife do not get $1 in pension because we saved for our retirement. Our fault! We live on about the same money as the full pension and get nothing from the government despite having put heaps into the taxation system.
    Your spiel might work for you but it is manifestly unfair on many who get nothing from the system. There needs to be fairness.....something governments care nothing about as long as they can get their grubby hands on money.
    particolor
    9th Apr 2015
    1:01pm
    Sexeebear.. Worked for Me! :-)
    LiveItUp
    9th Apr 2015
    2:54pm
    Just because you can't leave your kids anything please don't shout. Estate duties are wrong and anyone especially the rich can easily get around them by using a structure that does not die.

    A better idea is to include the family home in the assets test and then people won't upgrade their home so that they can get the pension.

    Does anyone know where I can buy a multimillion dollar home so I can get the full pension? Need something in the bush not the city.
    Alexii
    9th Apr 2015
    10:20pm
    my wife and I live fairly frugally and thus do not waste money. We like to think that our lump sum, or at least a part of it, will last us out and in fact, through our frugal nature, be there to benefit our kids when we pass on. Imagine what the wealthiest can leave their kids!
    sexeebear
    9th Apr 2015
    11:42am
    sorry about caps so incensed didn't look at what i was typing and dont know how to take it back to lower case
    particolor
    9th Apr 2015
    12:57pm
    Tap the Caps Lock Key :-) LOL
    Alexii
    9th Apr 2015
    10:22pm
    Just hav to learn to touch type, won't you. Ha ha - easier said than done and I wish i could touch type.
    Blossom
    10th Apr 2015
    4:02pm
    Alexxi, I wish it was that simple. I recently got a new keyboard and it's different to my previous one. My old one a small light came on when I had numbers lock on, this one doesn't, neither does caps lock. Different brand keyboard (both good brands, not cheapies) but this new one is wireless.
    Blossom
    10th Apr 2015
    4:04pm
    The keys on this one are smaller too. Cap locks is next to "a" which I use constantly.
    Judy in the hills
    9th Apr 2015
    11:45am
    Yes it now seems like a fairer solution is looming to me. There are many of us in the group of 70 plus year olds who never had the chance to accumulate much if anything in a superannuation scheme. I received a small payout on retirement - it would have lasted me about 18 months if I'd had to live on it alone! These days you almost automatically do have super. available with your employment and you can opt to increase contributions to make the aged future brighter. I think if your home and your savings exceed $1,000,000 YES you can certainly afford to be unable to claim the pension. When your funds are running close to the mark, you can go to the Centrelink and see if you are eligible for more help then. We certainly cannot afford to give money away to those who really are reasonably comfortable already. You could even sell your million dollar home and buy something more reasonable. Its not all that hard! And these extreme pensions for ex-politicians need cleaning up too - what's good for the goose is good for the gander (politicians that is of course!)
    sexeebear
    9th Apr 2015
    11:50am
    good point there judy the polies and bureaucrats need their wings clipping in more ways than 1.. do you know there are blind trusts available to those in the know which means no one can look at who the trusts disbursements go to and subsequently would be easy to forget you have income from there if you were busy or otherwise...
    MICK
    9th Apr 2015
    12:29pm
    You can't eat your home Judy. And pretty unfair to tell people whose house value has increased over decades due to demand to p off and move into a lesser house in the western suburbs.
    And if you think workers have a lot of money intheir super then media reports disagree and state the opposite.
    Chris B T
    9th Apr 2015
    11:48am
    The Government might be on the right "Track" when politicans can only access their Gov Funded pension at 65. Caped to exiting income level, then indexed or cpi rise.
    After that implementation, we will proceed with the tapering proposal for pensions.
    The budget needs fixing, not enough funds to go around to some.
    While there are Liffters & Shirkers, way target one group.( All Tax Dollars ).
    MICK
    9th Apr 2015
    12:30pm
    70 Chris.
    particolor
    9th Apr 2015
    1:31pm
    And now that life Expectancy is 150 YO (Joe) Shirking will become a Life Style Choice !
    Chris B T
    9th Apr 2015
    2:14pm
    Mick
    Baby steps or they will spit the dummy!
    Cruiser
    9th Apr 2015
    12:24pm
    Read the small print, reduction applies to ASSESSABLE assets over $1M which excludes the place of residence, sounds reasonably fair ??
    MICK
    9th Apr 2015
    12:31pm
    Yes.
    Probably need to put a limit on house value to stop people buying $10 million+ homes.
    Barney
    9th Apr 2015
    12:44pm
    I've read everything I can my hands on. Can you tell me where this is detailed, please?
    Barney
    9th Apr 2015
    12:56pm
    Under the current system, the pension (in theory at least) cuts out completely when assets reach $1.1m. So if you only introduce the changes for people with assets over $1, the only people who are going to be impacted are those with assets between $1m and $1.1m. Doesn't make much sense to me.
    Mak
    9th Apr 2015
    12:28pm
    While we have the 'Great Political Con' of their 'we're NOT servants',attitude, short annual 'sitting' hours, 'the freebies' while in office, the high salaries which should be equal to a trades-person's wages, or vice versa, and a fat, obscene pension & perks until they die, nothing will change, ad infinitum, unless WE force changes to be made IN FAVOUR OF THE NON-POLITICIANS.
    Why should senior citizens who worked hard for all their working years have to suffer under our political dictatorship, the Democracy title is a joke!
    particolor
    9th Apr 2015
    1:09pm
    They didn't even give DEMOCRACY a State Funeral !! :-(
    Travellersjoy
    9th Apr 2015
    12:35pm
    Not having to live on $20000 per year should be sufficient incentive for people to keep working and manage their super well.

    Expecting tax payers to underwrite an indulgent lifestyle or the kids inheritance is just too cheeky for words, but it bought Howard an election, so I suppose that is alright.

    If citizens are choosing between new schools, hospitals and trains, or subsidising well off pension claimants, I know which most would prefer.
    particolor
    9th Apr 2015
    1:13pm
    Id love a ride on a Train !! :0>
    quietguy
    9th Apr 2015
    12:42pm
    While it is said that the change in adjusting pension rates to only CPI would mean a reduction of $80 week in 10years, which is terrible, but no one seems to have thought about those that have to go on the Disability Support Pension at (say) age 20. Those poor buggers would be incredibly poorer after 20, 30, 40 ,50 years. I have been a Liberal voter all my life, but never again after seeing this government attack the poor, the sick, the disabled, the young in education. I'm shocked and horrified as previously we could always count on a Liberla Gov to look after the disadvanted in our society
    Grateful
    9th Apr 2015
    12:45pm
    Sounds like a desperate government with no other plan and trying to become "popular". Who would have ever thought that a Liberal Coalition government would be running very hard on an ACOSS proposal???!!! Desperate times demand desperate things.
    Meanwhile, there is no doubt that this is FAR, FAR more reasonable than the indexation idea, but, never ever forget, indexation is the way they would prefer, but, would certainly cause Tony to lose his job!!!
    This idea is only PART of what has to be done. It's not the AMOUNT of pension being paid to pensioners, it is the amount of RECIPIENTS who shouldn't be receiving it in the first place!!! Not only adjust the taper test, but also significantly reduce the overall eligibility criteria.
    TREBOR
    9th Apr 2015
    12:47pm
    I believe I've established to my own satisfaction that any changes should be worked out to cut pension at the rate at which it currently cuts out with extra income, and not at current pension rates per se. That means at $48890 pa for single, and $74817 for a couple at current rates.

    http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/income-test-pensions

    What is under consideration is the rate at which income derived from assets/assets themselves as deemed are reduced to bring a person/couple to that level at which pension cuts out.

    It seems to me that anyone with income and assets above those levels does not need pension at all.

    A person with assets of $1m has 1000 thousands, and loses therefore $1500 pf or $39k pa. At 3%, or double, that is $78k pa, thus cutting person/couple out of pension entirely.

    Interesting as a budget measure, but humane? What do people live on?

    I think there will need to be 'loop-holes' for those with ONLY assets and no cash - and that will mean some will sneak through those 'loop-holes' who do not deserve to.

    Still a fine tuning effort needed.
    bobby
    9th Apr 2015
    12:53pm
    The Australian Age Pension was introduced in 1909 with the aim to provide an adequate an adequate safety net to older people unable to support themselves financially in their retirement. Its' primary objective therefore the alleviation of poverty.

    It seems to me then that wealthy people should have limits place on their access to the pension. John Howard reduced the penalty on excess in the Assets Test from $3 on every $1000 of excess to $1.50. Maybe people who upgrade their homes in order to gain more pension, will think twice. After The aim of the pension is to alleviate poverty, not to sustain wealthy lifestyles.
    Jackie
    9th Apr 2015
    12:55pm
    he proposed cutbacks would reduce part Age Pensions for retirees with assessable assets amounting to more than $1 million. This, in turn, would mean that those receiving full Age Pensions would not be affected as a result of scrapping of the changes to proposed indexation of payments for all of Australia’s 2.4 million age pensioners. I DONT UNDERSTAND YOUR 2nd SENTENCE. Surely the INDEXATION of pensions is nothing to do with assets or liablities? I understood they tried to change INDEXATION from current "average wage" to a less attractive "CPI" Or are you talking about a different indexation???
    sexeebear
    9th Apr 2015
    12:58pm
    not just federal govt queensland state govt too.
    my son lives in share house housing commission and gets a dsp for aspergers ..can't work ... gets a payment to help with his cooling heating costs and a cost of living increase and a rent allowance... bloody campbell newman decided after forever of having these funded by the federal govt he would take 25% of these allowances as rent as in the rent on housing is 25% of income.. allowances were exempt till recently .. david lost $50 per week to idiot man newman... with his non pbs medication and heating and cooling requirements hes living in poverty and having to go to the charities for electricity and food... thanks god this moron was voted out but i don't see the incumbent changing anything.. all happy to be well feathered at anyones cost.. how governments waste money??? how many aircraft do they all have now?? and cars everywhere as well as allowances not taxed for everything as well as the overseas jaunts does it ever stop??? do none of them have a conscience
    Pat
    9th Apr 2015
    1:03pm
    There is an issue with the assets test. If you had $700,000 five years ago, it has increased in value to over $1000,000 by today. The aged pension amount has slowly deceased but the income from the asset has only gone up a small amount. It looks like you are better off but in reality it is only a paper change. But you have lost most of the pension. Changing the taper only makes this worse....
    I feel that a better system would be to give everyone a basic pension. Nobody required to work out how much you get, so much cheaper to maintain. Automatic once you reach a certain age. Use super if you want to get a better pension but don't subsidise it to the extent that it is now. Probably cheaper overall and certainly easier to understand.
    Pat
    9th Apr 2015
    1:08pm
    Also it would get rid of the stigma that is written on the Centrelink website that the aged pension is for those who have not provided for their retirement...
    Mike
    9th Apr 2015
    1:04pm
    I have worked hard all my life and saved hard, now I receive a small part pension which I need to offset medical expenses. Now I am told that because I worked hard and saved a bit I am a wealthy bastard and will lose my part pension. On the other hand, Mr Hockey a multi millionair, still claims his $288 travelling allowance for every day the Federal Government sits as his primary address is Mosman, but he just goes round the corner to his $1.5 million mansion that is in his wifes name in Canberra. Is this fair?
    particolor
    9th Apr 2015
    1:37pm
    I love them Polly Perks !! :-)
    Sydstan
    9th Apr 2015
    1:11pm
    They still have not 'got it' - they need to stop their own pensions till they turn 65 years of age - the same as everyone else - every politician that fails and is thrown out gets full pay and conditions no matter how successful or unsuccessful they were in their job - we are paying so many redundant politicians - it must be also the only reason some of them stay in politics till they qualify then they walk away with it all for ever.
    KSS
    9th Apr 2015
    1:19pm
    What you (and others say) is only partly true. Politician's pensions were changed in about 2004. Those who entered politics after that date already have to wait. Eventually as the older ones go, accessing pensions will be under the same terms as everyone else (albeit at a better rate). And of course the extras such as travel, staffing and offices will remain.
    Chris B T
    10th Apr 2015
    12:23pm
    KSS
    Yes it changed but they can access their pensions at what age ?
    I belive it was how long ( 9 years ) or 3 elected terms that changed. Not the accessable age. Not what you would say an equal to normal people.
    dweezy2176
    9th Apr 2015
    1:19pm
    I think it's only fair, that we, the OAPs, should be prepared to take a hit to ensure the "troughers" continue to receive their full pensions! After all, all we ever did was work,go to war (in some cases), raise families & pay taxes whilst those on the "gravy train" struggle to ensure we are, fairly, governed, all equal except those that are more equal than others ... all the while making sacrifices so we the "proles" can enjoy a better lifestyle ........ Damn another flock of pigs overhead!!
    KSS
    9th Apr 2015
    1:30pm
    To those with nothing $100 is a great deal of money. $1m in super is not that much as others have already pointed out, it only provides for a very modest funded pension and none of the 'extras' those with a lower amount could claim e.g. that most prized possession - a health card. If this is the way to go then make the cut off for part pensions around say $1.5m a small increase but more realistic especially if the super will have to last 20 years or more.

    Also I have absolutely no problem with requiring people to sell 'the family home' to help support their retirement. We currently have people in multi-million dollar mansions drawing a full pension. This is absurd. Sell up, move to more modest accommodation and add the difference in proceeds to your pension. The kids, (or cat, dog, charity) will still reap the 'rewards' of selling the more modest home when you are gone.
    LiveItUp
    9th Apr 2015
    3:09pm
    Under the current scheme of things if a person sells their family home and buys a smaller one for less money the difference if not put into that person's bank account can just disappear. What you are doing is replacing one home for another neither of which has no value under Centrelink. So sell your multimillion dollar mansion and buy a shack and get your solicitor to give the difference to your kids, dog, cat or whoever. Kids get their inheritance now and you get the full pension. If you think you can't do this then ask a FIS officer or your solicitor.
    Chrissy L
    9th Apr 2015
    1:34pm
    I agree with your opinion column at last some common sense is coming into the discussion, however, I would like to see more detail before sanctioning this approach. The detailed policies for the next election from both sides of government will make interesting reading, but can we trust them to keep their word once they get into government? After the last few elections broken promises, I am still very sceptical.
    AlbertC
    9th Apr 2015
    1:48pm
    time for the national country party to pull out of the liberal party and stand against them maybe then we might get some form of justice after all it is the liberal led gove that is willing to fracture the alliance with the nats to allow coal seam drilling on farm land as well as land that some pensioners own and live in in the country.look at wa at the moment if an election were to be held tomorrow the libs would every federal seat because abbot is still on the nose when he retires he will be entitled to $200.000 thousand a year in pension plus every prek known to to pollies for the rest of his life if god lets him live that long.time to revolt against dictators and time to introduce a panel to wipe out the perks and lerks this breed of people always give themselves as if they were a god have a nice day.

    9th Apr 2015
    1:50pm
    Solution:
    Rise up!
    Rebel against the government corruption protecting the richest from paying their fair share of taxes. Elect the righteous people into government who will not be afraid to stand to up to those intimidating lobbyist and corporation executives.

    Exposed: corporate tax dodgers hiding $32 trillion in tax havens
    https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/57594

    About $540 bilion wasted on advertising globally
    https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/58635

    Welcome to Tax Justice Network Australia
    taxjustice.org.a

    http://taxjustice.org.au/…/tax-dodging-within-multinationa…/

    Treasurer Joe Hockey allowed the Tax Office to withhold names of
    corporate tax dodgers
    http://www.abc.net.au/…/treasurer-hockey-allows-tax…/6378372

    Crack down on corporate tax dodging
    https://www.getup.org.au/…/crack-down-on-corporate-tax-dodg…

    TIME TO RISE UP FROM YOUR KNEES AUSTRALIANS!!
    STOP BEING SLAVES!

    THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW THEIR RIGHTS HAVE NONE!!
    Triss
    9th Apr 2015
    5:52pm
    Yes, time to get off the Lib/Lab see saw. Before the next election everyone needs to check other parties' policies to see which one is Pensioner friendly and will trim away politicians' perks. Up to now the only one I can find is One Nation. Doesn't matter whether you like the party and its leader or not, it has the policies.
    TREBOR
    9th Apr 2015
    10:32pm
    My party does all those things...
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2015
    6:40pm
    HKW
    Good comment and supplying avenues for people to take part….excellent.
    roy
    9th Apr 2015
    2:04pm
    The Australian Government could save umpteen millions per annum if they would only put pressure on the British Government to unfreeze the State pensions of the British pensioners who live in Australia. British State pensions are frozen from the date that a British pensioner becomes a resident of Australia. These are pensions that were paid for over the working lifetime of the said pensioners, they are not a welfare payout, they are a paid for pension. This is a very unfair system and is costing the Australian Government and the Australian taxpayers money that the British Government should be paying instead. Come on you Australia taxpayers, don't stand for this, contact your MP to get this sorted out forthwith, don't let the British Government take you for a ride any longer. If these pensions were unfrozen, then the Australian Government would not have to top up the pensions of British Expats in Australia.
    KSS
    9th Apr 2015
    3:42pm
    If these 'British expats' have taken Australian citizenship they are Australians not British expats and are entitled to be treated the same as any other Australian. If they are only permanent residents, why are they able to claim an Australian aged pension at all?
    roy
    9th Apr 2015
    8:20pm
    Perhaps I should have said British ex pats but now Australian citizens. Some are low income, are entitled to an Australian pension having worked here for a number of years and paid taxes accordingly. but because the British Government have frozen their State pension then the Australian Gov't tops up their income. This happens here and Canada and South Africa but not the USA or any European country, the Australian taxpayers are paying out good money to save the British Gov't money, this cannot be right can it?
    pb tom
    9th Apr 2015
    2:07pm
    I am a self funded retiree. I worked hard, started my own business and employed 14 people who all paid taxes. I get no pension because of my savings. Once a year we take a cruise and on this cruise meet dozens of pensioners who work the system by taking their pension in cash so that it does not appear in their bank accounts, and live on the income from their investments. Aren't these poor pensioners the ones the government should be after ???
    LiveItUp
    9th Apr 2015
    3:23pm
    I thought all pensions were paid into bank accounts now so not sure how they take their pensions in cash.

    9th Apr 2015
    2:24pm
    Provided the family home is not considered an asset and cuts to part pensions don't begin until after other assets of one million dollars this "appears" to be a good starting point and one which should not be lessened.
    retroy
    9th Apr 2015
    2:40pm
    That is the current situation as I understand from previous posters(please correct me if I am wrong) so FE presumably you are not saying the family home should be in the assets calculation.
    I do not get any pension from the Govt having been in the saving game all of my hard working life.
    I do not think people who live in expensive houses that have appreciated over time should have to down size. This could be very traumatic for older folk and would be grossly unfair.
    Now people who buy expensive houses as a asset minimization strategy just to rort the system should get harsh treatment.
    LiveItUp
    9th Apr 2015
    3:26pm
    The family home should be included in the assets test. People can still live in expensive homes and get the pension but this is taken from the proceeds of their house when they die.
    Triss
    9th Apr 2015
    6:01pm
    Bonny, why discriminate against age pensioners? This country is a democracy so surely if age pensioners are subjected to asset testing before they can have a pension then shouldn't police, teachers, government department pen pushers, etc go though the same procedures? But they don't. Their pensions are paid out at a lower age and they can have any amount in the bank and any number of houses. Their pensions still come from the same taxpayers' pockets.
    LiveItUp
    9th Apr 2015
    10:25pm
    The age pension is welfare and is very different from those pensions paid to teachers, police etc. The pensions paid to public servants are part of their job and is paid accordingly depending on their position etc. These people would have paid into their super funds as well as paying their taxes. The age pension is basically the same for everyone and should only be able to those who have no other means of support. If you are on welfare then all your assets need to be tested including your family home.
    RJ
    9th Apr 2015
    2:30pm
    Currently a couple can get a full pension with $286,500 worth of assets not including the family home. As part of this plan the govt are going to decrease this asset limit to $150,000.
    Assets include any super that you own. Is this fair? $150,000 soon gets eaten up with a few things like a car, caravan and furniture and this doesn't include your super's value.
    retroy
    9th Apr 2015
    2:45pm
    No Ron it is ridiculous and just why should any one save what they can, if it is to be ripped off them when they retire.
    They might as well be one of the legion of spongers who hold their hand out at every opportunity expecting the government to keep them in smokes and TAB money.
    NearlyRetired
    9th Apr 2015
    2:47pm
    I don't agree with million dollar plus homes being exempt so that it can be left to the kids, but meanwhile taxpayers are funding a pension? This seems very unfair. I understand about not wanting to leave a family home, (and not being able to eat bricks and mortar) but there is the option of reverse mortgages for those people who really don't want to sell up a valuable asset. They get to stay in their nice house, they can draw down on the mortgage and then when the time comes, the kids do get the inheritance minus the mortgage.
    KSS
    9th Apr 2015
    3:46pm
    A million dollar home is all relative. In Sydney that would be a modest home in a reasonable neighbourhood. In Tasmania something completely different.

    I have a problem with one or two people living in a huge house worth a significant amount and claiming the pension. Moving to more modest accommodation and using the residual amount to live on I agree with.
    Triss
    9th Apr 2015
    6:05pm
    We moved to a smaller, more modest home but by the time stamp duty, estate agent's commission, removal expenses and one or two necessary alterations there was very little left of the difference between the two house prices.
    tepo
    9th Apr 2015
    3:00pm
    It is my opinion that people that have high super accounts should use most of that up till a nominated minimum amount is left before they can apply for a pension. There are pensioners that earn up from $30000 to 50000 per year on their super and still receive nearly full pension. I am a pensioner and even I can see that the system needs reform.
    RJ
    9th Apr 2015
    3:47pm
    At the moment Tepo, you can get a full pension provided that your income is less than $7384 per year, and that income can be from an employer, bank interest or superannuation stream.
    Income over this amt starts to eat into the pension.
    Of course if your assets are greater than $286,500 (or the proposed $150,000) then this will also eat into the pension by $1.50 per $1000 over the ceiling.
    KSS
    9th Apr 2015
    3:51pm
    Add a zero to the $150000 and I have no problem with people losing the aged pension.
    RJ
    9th Apr 2015
    4:18pm
    Either do I but under the current plan the wrong people are going to be targeted. Sure, target the people with the big dollars, but people with $150,000? They are hardly wealthy.
    nena
    9th Apr 2015
    3:25pm
    Why is it that some people get very selfish and blind greediness when they get richer. They probably got wealth because their parents provided them with education and a good star. Or because they are fortunately intelligent...smart...or because they have not been totally honest in their affairs. I talked about SOME...those who expect hands-out even if they have a lot to live on.
    LiveItUp
    9th Apr 2015
    3:37pm
    Unfortunately a lot of people in our society now have a welfare mentality and out their hand out for whatever they can get from the government. My mother moved into a nursing home and my sister refused to rent out her house even though it was going to take some time to sell it because it would of effected her pension.
    KSS
    9th Apr 2015
    3:48pm
    Bonny in the UK if you go into a nursing home or aged care you MUST sell your house to pay for it. This is happening to my Mother now. I have no issue with it. It is her house and should be used for her benefit. No-one else's.
    downunder
    9th Apr 2015
    4:12pm
    How does this sound?
    Cut politicians rate to the normal person's pension rate and starting age 70yrs. Stop paying all ex PMs and pollies these insane lurks and perks once they are out of parliament. That would be a starting point
    Triss
    9th Apr 2015
    4:58pm
    I'd vote for that.
    roy
    10th Apr 2015
    9:57am
    I'd vote for that as would my wife.
    Gee Whiz
    9th Apr 2015
    4:29pm
    It's now been revealed that multi national companies operating in Australia have escaped paying $60 billion in taxes. But the Abbott government is still chasing pensioners to reduce the deficit. $60 billion would clear the entire debt without hounding the less well off in society. Goes to show just how stupid and shallow this government is.
    Alexii
    9th Apr 2015
    10:39pm
    no, it's much easier for government to unfairly tax lower income people, reduce pension payments and concessions (again on lower income people) than it is for government to take on big business and the wealthy. Apart from that, who are their friends? Big business and the wealthy.
    Sceptic
    10th Apr 2015
    2:59pm
    The debt is substantially greater than $60 billion. It was more then three times that when the previous Government lost office, and since then we have been running a deficit and paying interest on the debt, All of which has to be borrowed, thus increasing the debt.
    Mar
    9th Apr 2015
    4:43pm
    Can't believe that people with a million or more in assets would expect to get any pension.It makes sense that you need some super to increase your pension because the age pension is not enough to live on adequately in today's society, but a million or more!!!!!!
    Triss
    9th Apr 2015
    4:53pm
    I can believe it. Kevin Rudd and his wife sold her business for over $200 million. He still receives his taxpayer funded pension of $200,000 a year plus car, office staff, phone bills, magazines and newspapers, free business class travel and the list goes on.
    dougie
    10th Apr 2015
    8:22am
    Triss,
    And so does Julia and Bob and Paul and John. However the pendulum at this time seems to swing largely towards Labor in benefits to past pollies as PMs.
    Triss
    9th Apr 2015
    4:45pm
    Why are age pensioners expected to foot the nation’s bill it really does seem as though only the age pension is being targeted as unsustainable. The pensions of politicians, teachers, police, etc don’t seem to be seen as unsustainable and none of them have had their pension age raised to 70 either.
    Age pensioners are being threatened by the Liberal Party with having their house assessed in order to lower their pensions but that proposal is never suggested for public sector pensioners who are given their pensions as of right with no means testing or any kind of intimidation by government. In fact many ex politicians own two or three houses.
    If you’re serious about fixing the nation’s debt, Joe, leave the age pensioners alone, start at the top end first and slash the loopholes and fancy accounting practices that allow multi- millionaires and big foreign companies to avoid paying tax in Australia.
    Alexii
    9th Apr 2015
    10:43pm
    Triss, it's because age pensioners are easy to hit. And it's also easy to hit those on part pensions because they have a lump sum super from working as teachers, nurses, police, etc.
    Sceptic
    10th Apr 2015
    3:02pm
    The age pension makes up the largest percentage of welfare payments.
    eggles01
    9th Apr 2015
    4:48pm
    the cut should be implemented as the pensioners you are talking about are the rich variety,what about the pensioners that worked when superannuation was not there to get into,my uncle who started working for the Waterboard when he left school now retired some 18 ago has a multi million super pension, he receives a fortnightly pension from it and takes out $150 that covers everything apart from the utilities and then rolls the rest back into the super, he owns at least 2 houses and the rent from his first house pays the utilities and what ever amount is left from the rent he ploughs that into his bank account do pensioners that well off really need more????
    eggles01
    9th Apr 2015
    4:48pm
    the cut should be implemented as the pensioners you are talking about are the rich variety,what about the pensioners that worked when superannuation was not there to get into,my uncle who started working for the Waterboard when he left school now retired some 18 ago has a multi million super pension, he receives a fortnightly pension from it and takes out $150 that covers everything apart from the utilities and then rolls the rest back into the super, he owns at least 2 houses and the rent from his first house pays the utilities and what ever amount is left from the rent he ploughs that into his bank account do pensioners that well off really need more????
    moke
    9th Apr 2015
    4:49pm
    Everyone is talking about what pensioners should do. I think it would be a good idea to educate the unemployed, retire the aged at a reasonable age and make the unemployed go to work. If this is not seen to when these people reach retirement who will pay them a pension. There will be no superannuation not taxes paid when on unemployment so where will the government get the funds to pay pensions. I live in an area where there is a great many unemployed and single parents what is their future for old age.
    Mar
    9th Apr 2015
    5:02pm
    Spot on Triss. What's good enough for the goose should be good enough for the gander!,
    Gee Whiz
    9th Apr 2015
    5:04pm
    I know of pensioners who bought their modest first house 40 years ago in a coastal village and struggled to pay off the mortgage. During this time they paid their taxes and a saved for a rainy day. But the modest house they bought has now been overtaken by progress and greedy developers. That 4000 pound house in today's dollars is probably worth $800000 because it has Ocean views. But the original owners still live there and don't want to move.

    Is Joe Hockey going to slug them extra taxes just because the live in a house that has increased in value.

    My house is in the same circumstances. We bought the house 30 years ago for $11,000 dollars. Over time the area has become highly sought after and our house is now valued at $400000.

    Is this my fault? Should i be penalized because of rising real estate prices? And how many other people are in the same boat?
    Gayrama
    9th Apr 2015
    5:11pm
    why am I suspicious of whatever his government wants o do with our pensions?? You can bet your left testicle that what ever is being planned is much better for the Government than it would be for pensioners...
    roy
    10th Apr 2015
    9:58am
    Hear hear.

    9th Apr 2015
    5:33pm
    Yes I heartily agree with the tapering of the pensioner rates with retirees with an assessable assets of 1$mill. We all have to understand we all have to be responsible for the less fortunate...what ever their story.
    Tax the larges cheating companies fairly. Sal
    Dot
    9th Apr 2015
    9:10pm
    The way the real estate, Government and local Government are operating a chicken house would be valued at a 1$mill, so I say they keep their grubby hands of our family homes.
    cdbstock
    9th Apr 2015
    6:16pm
    Assets test - include home/principal place of residence above, say, $1M
    Davymac
    9th Apr 2015
    7:14pm
    A better proposal and one that does not affect those who can least afford it. Personally I would drop the assets to $700,000 and not $1 million.
    KSS
    9th Apr 2015
    9:00pm
    Did you not read the post above that gave the calculations in what that would yield for a pension? If you drop the amount too low people will stop saving for super and then everyone will be worse off than now.
    roy
    9th Apr 2015
    8:13pm
    Wally, are you a communist or what, you're saying, take peoples houses away from them and force them to live in a flat because they haven't smoked or drank their money away but invested it wisely? I think you should consider moving to Moscow maybe.
    Dot
    9th Apr 2015
    9:02pm
    The family home should not be asset tested. Purchase our home in 1966 at a high interest, previous owner father in-law who passed away so had repay the other family members. Carpets need replacing, home needs some work to it, termites are for ever attacking but it's our family home. Everything we own was purchased through blood sweat and tears without any assistance from any Government body yet we are an easy target when it comes to taxing us. Contributed taxes not like those who have arrived here in the past 20 years and receive every damn thing on sight. Drive bigger cars, live in new homes and who the hell is paying for all this we are. No money in the kitty no more bloody refugees or migrants living off us.
    nena
    9th Apr 2015
    9:32pm
    There is only one planet and no body should be above anyone else who have worked in this planet or, have been unable for whatever reason. No body owns the planet...flags and religions divide and create prejudice in some selfish people. How is that some people gets really well off while others hard and honest workers only own their home?
    Anonymous
    10th Apr 2015
    5:30am
    I agree, Dot. There are plenty of areas to make savings without punishing hard workers.

    Nena, let me tell you how some people get well off while others only own their home. Some people work a lot harder - multiple jobs, build or renovate their house themselves instead of buying a home or hiring labor (often despite having no skills or training - but teaching themselves on the job), sitting up all night sewing clothes for the family while their friends dine out and play poker machines, foregoing holidays completely, living on stews and soups instead of steak, growing their own vegetables, etc. etc. etc.

    Many of those who are now on full pensions and not nearly as well-off as I am earned far, far more than I could ever hope for and inherited money and received gifts. I had none of that. But they spent their money - not necessarily on a lavish lifestyle, but a much, much more comfortable one than I enjoyed.

    I get really angry at wild assumptions about how others may or may not have achieved their situation in life.

    That said, I do believe cutting pensions for that those with a million or more in super and a home of their own is far more reasonable than attacking full pensioners. But the income test needs adjusting too, and the way the assets and income tests operate is unfair. And before ANY part pensioner is required to make sacrifices, politicians need to adjust THEIR obscene pensions and those of senior public servants. They should be means tested in the exact same way as all the aged pension. Why should the privileged be excluded from the fairness test?
    Not Senile Yet!
    9th Apr 2015
    9:25pm
    Most on this site are missing the point!!!!
    Penalising someone who has a house that has increased in value over 30-40 yrs is a disgrace!!!
    All Australians are entitled to a Pension of retirement BECAUSE they have worked and paid tax for ALL their working lives! Whether they are rich or poor...black or white....immigrant or native born!!!!
    This Government has a Penalty Mentality as did the previous Government with regard to Pensions and Pensioners.....whilst they feed at the public purse (taxed income) and take all the perks they can grab!!!
    They need to tackle the reason why their Tax base has been eroded by the Big Corps in avoiding paying a reasonable tax to Australia from their businesses!!!
    If that means lowering the Company tax Base to 20% instead of the now rude 30% then so be it.
    20% to Australia is better than 18% to Singapore or Elsewhere!!!!
    They need to get away from Cutting the Pension to How can they sustain it at a reasonable level for ALL....rich or poor!!!
    The Deeming or Assets test needs to be dumped completely...AGE & Retirement from work should be the ONLY necessary Qualification!!!
    Remember....the Baby Boomers have all replaced themselves in the workforce...average 2.5 Children...some 4 or more...NOW ALL paying more tax than ever!!!!
    Remember also....we are only 30Million.....a small town in most developed Countries....so why are our Politicians playing KEEP UP WITH THE JONES (Yanks).....they simply cannot afford their extravagant outlays on Defence and Infrastructure with such a small Tax Base!!!
    This why we are UNABLE to Balance the Budget....Both Parties are living beyond the Countries ability to pay/provide the Leaders in society such large salaries and benefits!!!!
    Aus Post...prime example....Highest Paid CEO of a Postal Service IN THE WORLD!!!! Ludicrous.
    Super & Bank Leaders....paid the same as Countries with 300million.....really???? Why????
    Because the Fat Cats at the top are not being controlled or REGULATED by our Parties!!!! Why???
    Because if that was done...then the same rules would be applied to our MP's.....Biased viewpoints.....they do not want to loose THEIR unwarranted Perks and Freebies !!!
    No....until our Governments decide that when it comes to SUPER....the rules apply to ALL...NO Exceptions......everyone looses!!!
    As for downsizing in retirement....it is the Government who has set up the Obstacles that prevent people from doing so!!
    They need to reward those willing and provide and easy transition of no penalty by allowing No Stamp Duty...No GST...and minimise the cost to encourage same!
    Why should someone be slugged to downsize or be then penalised by taking away their pension because they then have access to the liquidated funds.....that is their LIFE savings...be small or Large!!!!
    I repeat THEIR lifetime of savings...not the Governments!!!
    Same old CRAP from CRAPPY Governments feeding at the PIG PEN!!!
    Take , Take and more Take!!!
    A 5% tax on all Companies who operate in Australia would remove any necessity to attack the Pensioners completely!!!
    A 10% tax would put us in the Black!!
    A 20% minimum with the loop hole to sub-contract work to overseas closed would return us more than enough not to cut anything from our Pensioners....in fact it might supplement our struggling Medicare System....which is for ALL Australians.
    Time to Vote the Party Puppets into Oblivion...seeing how they refuse to listen to anyone!!!!
    The Grey Army is about to double from 2.4 to 4.8Million....and the Parties better BEWARE.....neither are safe bets from here on!!!
    Anonymous
    10th Apr 2015
    5:33am
    You are absolutely right, Not Yet Senile. Aged pensioners are seen as an easy target, and the Government is cultivating an attitude of disrespect and selfishness in the young, telling them the aged are to blame for the current economic situation - which of course is total nonsense. It's time for a complete overhaul of the ridiculous tax and benefits system we operate under and for the application of logic and common sense to make the system both fair and sustainable - and that can be done without attacking pensioners. We already have the most efficient and best targeted welfare system in the world. Improve it if you can, but not by attacking the people who built this nation and who have earned their retirement and ARE ENTITLED to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
    Grateful
    10th Apr 2015
    9:34am
    Further evidence that this government has gone into "populist" survival mode with no chance of any reforms this term with Christopher Pyne coming out with this statement
    "Speaking on Friday, Mr Pyne said the Coalition remained opposed to increasing the GST.

    "If the states and territories want to increase that tax that will be a matter for them. The Commonwealth certainly won't be doing it on their behalf, and taking the political pain" he told Network Nine.

    The GST would have to be the most significant universal tax imposed on ALL Australian's, yet, here's the government of the day doing the Pontius Pilate and washing their hands of any responsibility!!! Leadership or gutless??
    Spitfire
    10th Apr 2015
    10:15am
    The whole pension scheme as it currently exists is a farce, whilst people bang on about the wealthy receiving benefits.
    The bludgers who have squandered their income and not had the brain or incentive to save for the future expect others to keep them.
    Many of us have made sacrifices to contribute to having a future income from a superannuation and now are being whipped by the changes which will eventuate.
    If the government had any sense it would abolish the current pension scheme entirely and replace it with a national pension scheme like other countries U.K. and New Zealand; whereby all contribute and by the time they reach retirement will have made a minimum contribution to qualify.
    The pension would be payable only to those who have made the required contributions throughout their working life, irrespective of their personal assets.
    Currently this country is going broke from welfare payments and the government encourages this type of culture.
    It is time for politicians who are a bunch of self-serving idiots to be replaced by captains of industry to take charge before it is too late.
    The Lucky Country is on its way down thanks to the idiots’ socialist and LNP who have managed it since the demise of the Howard government.
    Cap
    10th Apr 2015
    11:34am
    How about we just pay everyone a pension and then tax them on what they receive from the pension and what their superfund makes each year. You would have to income split for couples and make an allowance for single pensioners state pension, but the government would then be making millions from the wealthy pensioners as they could be paying up to 48% tax on their investments and not tax free as now. The low income people won't be paying any tax the middle income people will pay tax but that should be compensated by receiving a full pension and the wealthy will be paying the bulk of the tax.

    This would also apply to public servants and politicians who receive an income based on their time and salary paying full tax on it instead of about 10%.
    Chris B T
    10th Apr 2015
    11:57am
    I belive that Reguardless The Value Of People's Homes Shouldn't be included.
    You can have Shacks worth millions and worthless as well.
    A what value would you take, purchase price or todays inflated prices.
    There are areas that have gone Down in value as well as up.
    The time in life a person purchased the property, 50 years ago or recently. The value for most has been and still is a lucky dip.
    Up rooting people to live in another area for most as prices would be still high in the sold area.
    This would only benefit State Gov"s and Realestate Agents.
    With the problems, mental well being, structured way of life,friends and knowledge of area.
    Poorly thought out Idea, with people who missed out on unexpected rises or for other reasons. More of a Thought Process Is Needed, then this one.(I Do Not Live In Sydney)
    None
    10th Apr 2015
    1:51pm
    Come on there are people out there who have worked hard all their life to get their own home Asset testing that would see a lot of people left very poor bringing up a family over years of hard slog sometimes did not leave you with enough money to save so when you get to retirement you should be able to draw a Pension not keep working until you drop off
    Shonga
    10th Apr 2015
    2:19pm
    Most unfair devaluing the only income that the vulnerable have to survive on, while millionaires go without paying a cent in taxes. This is the most unfair unAustralian suggestion that has arrived from this ultra right wing Abbott government.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2015
    5:34pm
    a very sweeping statement "while millionaires go without paying a cent in taxes". I do not believe that is correct.
    Shonga
    10th Apr 2015
    2:25pm
    Rather than concentrating on the pensioners how about the government shift its energy into making corporate Australia pull their weight and not subsidize them to the tune of billions of dollars oh and then we could collect the estimated $8.4 billion in tax avoided by same, when all that is complete come back and knock the millionaires off the pension, then see how we are travelling?
    roy
    10th Apr 2015
    2:52pm
    Hear hear.
    tactful
    10th Apr 2015
    6:49pm
    Let's all put aside the you've got more than me. What the Government needs to consider is the future. I'm 62 and have at least 20 years left baring accidents etc. I have a very modest super which I am living on due to ill health and no longer being able to work. OK, so I'm now partially taken care of.
    What of the future generations? When careers are being chosen over having children, by both single and married women, no decent increase in our population. So how is the Government going to fund pensions into the future. Those born from 1960 have had full and easy access to make payments into superannuation above the compulsory employer contribution. I personally think that anyone born from 1960 onwards should fund their own retirement.
    Let's think back to when we started work superannuation was not on the books when I started work at 15, it was not until the 1980's that I found out about it and put 10% of my gross earnings (after tax) into super.
    Those of us born in the 1950's, who have no tertiary education, not worked in high paying jobs will need assistance from the government in our old age.
    I can see a day when there will be no Age Pension until you have used all your super, downsied your home and lived off the excess money, investments (shares etc), then you will be considered. We must get away from the "leave something for my kids", they can take care of themselves. For those of us who have children who need a carer, the government of the day will need to have legislation in place for them.
    Yes, we all paid our taxes, these have already been used, do age pensioners pay tax now no, so how is your pension going to be funded into the future, say next 20 yrs, by those currently in the work force which is less than when we were all out at work. Less people in the workforce means reduced taxes, less money for government to spread around.
    Try to look at what is real without the emotion, how the heck does any government fund social security payments for example 40% of the population require payments due to age and 20% are paying taxes, the remaining 40% are not in the workforce. This is just an example, simple maths shows it will not work.
    So instead of whinging, why not try to come up with solutions to this problem, sensible, workable solutions. I have put pen to paper and sent off my thoughts all dot pointed with reasoning etc to the appropriate minister as well as all other ministers in power right now.
    What have you done to get your point across apart from this forum, think about it and take some proactive action.

    10th Apr 2015
    7:51pm
    Making the pension system more sustainable?

    FACTS:
    - ordinary taxpayers put money in the govt coffers, so effectively are the ones that provide our civilisation with hospitals, roads, schools, pensions, services and benefits, infrastructure, etc.;
    - ordinary taxpayers put money in the govt coffers by paying their fair share of income tax and grossly paying way above their fair share in GST (inequitable or unfair tax that hits ONLY consumers and grossly taxes those with small or no income but the wealthy pay very little when comparing their income to the gst they paid);
    - corporations & wealthy do NOT pay their fair share of income tax which is due to their power over our govts who allow these groups to have access to unfair tax avoidance which are legally allowed to prevail;
    - corporations may earn BILLIONS but ONLY pay 30% whereas the top individual rate of tax is 45%;
    - the tax that ALL corporations pay goes into the govt coffers and then is removed immediately by the shareholders who are allowed to CLAIM BACK the tax the corporations pay, in the form of 'dividend franking credits'. Hence the net effect of corporate tax on govt coffers, is NOTHING
    - ordinary people still have to pay tax on interest earned, even though investors pay nothing on dividends earned - biggest advantage is to the big boys, of course.

    SO, it is the ORDINARY PEOPLE of AUSTRALIA who built and paid for the civilisation that we currently have.

    That is why it is disgusting for those currently in power to say that we the ORDINARY people can no longer afford to look after our own because those that pay very little or nothing at all, use their power, money and influence to syphon off OUR money, into their own pockets. You only need to look at the BILLIONS that are going into PRIVATE education and PRIVATE health. Not forgetting the millions we pay to cover enormous mining corporations water and power outlays.

    Now, on to the FACT that WE the PEOPLE already are contributing to OUR retirement in the form of SUPERANNUATION. The only thing needed to be covered in the future is those people who missed out on the new superannuation regime or it was available in time to provide adequate retirement.

    The money that is taken as superannuation is OUR OWN wages increases that we have forgone, in order to provide for our future. To allow this superannuation rate to remain so low, is something that should be fixed immediately, as this is what is will cause problems in maintaining our future liability in this area. That is why the previous govt. outlined are rapid rise over the years.

    Then we have the problem whereby we the people did NOT get a voice as to where we wanted our SUPERANNUATION to go. We were told that we had to place our VALUABLE RETIREMENT money with PRIVATE CORPORATE INTERESTS…. MOST SUPER FUNDS FIND THEIR WAY BACK TO BANKERS AND INSURANCE COMPANIES. Fees and costs were and still are very high, eating away at the smaller super funds of ordinary people and WORSE still the WHOLE of OUR actual FUNDS could be jeopardised by the world financial system… controlled by PRIVATE bankers and megacorps.

    The wealthy are able to create their OWN superannuation funds (SMSFs) but the rest of us have been FORCED to place our funds in to the hands of PRIVATE ENTERPRISES. WHY are we not allowed to be able to use a GOVERNMENT run fund whereby, we are guaranteed that our funds do not simply disappear due to mismanagement and that we can obtain a minimum guaranteed earnings each year. Singapore have done this and their nation has thrived accordingly. The government handles the massive amounts of money and has been able to reduce taxes and increase the standard of living of their citizens and still provide pensions to its people, even after the GFC, etc.

    So….. your statement that the current govt is on the right track is utter rubbish…. it is all a fallacy, to allow the wealthy to take OUR money and rip us off with OUR superannuation, whilst WE are paying them to have a better and more healthier life style, and then to have the GALL to tell us we do not have enough of OUR money left in the coffers to pay for our OWN, those most disadvantaged in our society!

    Oh… please, wake up and think! Sorry, that is a bit strong BUT just remember that the CORPORATE media are NOT going to tell you the above FACTS and will continually provide you with THEIR outlook on what should happen to OUR money. You the people would certainly stop a lot of OUR money going into the PRIVATE POCKETS of the wealthy and the corporations IF we were made aware of what is really happening.
    Anonymous
    10th Apr 2015
    7:58pm
    Ooops….. forgot one more point:

    CORPORATIONS and BUSINESSES do NOT pay ANY GST whatsoever!!! They add 10% onto their bills to us and hence collect gst from us MUGS take off all the gst they pay on their cars, properties, stock, etc, etc and then remit the balance they have collected from us onto the govt.
    Peterrj
    11th Apr 2015
    7:56am
    "Relief in sight for pensioners" Maybe relief for Full Aged Pensioners but not for Part Aged Pensioners??? The bias by YLC against those who have worked and saved to qualify for Part Aged Pension is blatantly obvious ie. there is 'no relief' for them ... is there???
    NGE
    11th Apr 2015
    11:24am
    Well said Peterrj. I agree 100% with your sentiments
    jessej
    11th Apr 2015
    9:32pm
    Some pensioners never saved one cent towards their retiring years ,some drank,gambled,smoked away their money and are now yelling like stuffed cat we can't live on the aged pension I say bad luck you should of saved while working
    jessej
    11th Apr 2015
    9:32pm
    Some pensioners never saved one cent towards their retiring years ,some drank,gambled,smoked away their money and are now yelling like stuffed cat we can't live on the aged pension I say bad luck you should of saved while working
    jessej
    11th Apr 2015
    9:33pm
    Some pensioners never saved one cent towards their retiring years ,some drank,gambled,smoked away their money and are now yelling like stuffed cat we can't live on the aged pension I say bad luck you should of saved while working
    jessej
    11th Apr 2015
    9:33pm
    Some pensioners never saved one cent towards their retiring years ,some drank,gambled,smoked away their money and are now yelling like stuffed cat we can't live on the aged pension I say bad luck you should of saved while working
    Supernan
    12th Apr 2015
    2:21pm
    Not sure why everyone is talking about $1,000,000 assets being cut off point for part pensions. The proposed policy I read said maximum assets being considered were: Over $100,000 for singles & over $150,000 for couples. A very different proposition. Seeing assets include car, furniture & redeemable insurance policies, most of us with part pensions would be excluded from getting one.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2015
    5:31pm
    here is the answer:
    taken from another part of YLC. As you can see the million plus is in there.

    "Centrelink asset test limits for part Age Pensions - effective from 20 March until 30 June 2015
    Situation
    Homeowners
    Non-homeowners
    Single
    $775,500
    $922,000
    Couple (combined)
    $1,151,500
    $1,298,000
    Illness separated (couple combined)
    $1,433,500
    $1,580,000
    One partner eligible (combined assets)
    $1,151,500
    $1,298,000 "
    Anonymous
    13th Apr 2015
    8:05am
    One thing no one ever mentions...will this country be able to afford paying pensions with the rules as they are now. Heaven help us if there is another GFC.
    AquarianIdealist
    13th Apr 2015
    1:50pm
    At least it is heading in the right direction. My only concern is those of us that invested in our future retirement are the ones who seem to pay the penalty every time. I know there are those who never had an opportunity and that is what the pension should be about. The Government should concentrate on the ones who have deliberately engineered their assets and super so that they qualify for the pension or increase the amount they receive.
    sirmikd
    14th Apr 2015
    9:30am
    I think one point being missed is that whilst someone with over a million assets gets SOME pension ,what they get is VERY little.
    Whilst some reduction at the top threshold might be justified the ACOSS recommendations do not address this but HEAVILY PENALISE those with MODEST assets SO how Life Choices or anyone could think this is a solution I don't know.
    Here are some simple sums

    CURRENT POSITION
    Assets Personal such as furniture ,car etc say 60000
    Super 210000 Total 270000
    less Allowed threshold (270000)
    Amount for pension assessment Nil
    Pension reduction NIL

    WITH THE PROPOSED TAPERING
    Assets Personal such as furniture ,car etc say 60000
    Super 210000 Total 270000
    Less allowed threshhold (150000)
    Amount for pension assessment 120,000
    Pension REDUCTION = 120 X $2 = $240 per fortnight
    = $6240 per annum - $120 PER WEEK
    This shows the impact of this latest crazy proposal on a retiree with very modest assets.
    Please correct me if my sums are wrong.

    I believe this whole attack on pensions is wrong. The government should be looking at ways of funding it - not cutting it.If anything they should be looking at increasing it.
    Anonymous
    14th Apr 2015
    12:01pm
    ACOSS has suggested to government that the cut off point for assets should be reduced from $1.1 million down to $794,250.

    The reason people try to keep just under the $1.1 million is to gain access to the Concession Card...the few dollars they get from the Aged Pension is immaterial.

    The Card is worth a lot more than the few dollars they gain as part pension and that is what they are after.

    I see nothing wrong with this suggestion by Australian Council of Social Services.
    sirmikd
    15th Apr 2015
    8:16am
    Raadish what you say is true- I agree with you regarding concession cards !

    But surely you cannot agree lowering the asset threshold at the bottom end from 270000 to 150000 is acceptable ? As my figures show [ if correct] people with modest assets wil be hit hard.
    Anonymous
    15th Apr 2015
    4:32pm
    Sirmikd...I dont know the figures you are talking about to be honest.
    I have copied and pasted this for you.

    Age Pension: Assets test thresholds from 20 March 2015
    Trish Power - March 20, 2015 3 Comments
    Contents
    What are the assets test thresholds?
    Assets test thresholds (effective from 20 March 2015)
    Assets test thresholds (effective from 20 September 2014)
    Assets test thresholds (effective from 1 July 2014 until 19 September 2014)
    The UPPER asset thresholds for the Age Pension assets test increased again on 20 March 2015, which means more Australians may now be eligible for a PART Age Pension.

    A single person can own more than $775,000 in assets (excluding his or her home), and still receive a small PART Age Pension, while a couple can own more than $1.15 million in assets (excluding the couple’s home) and still receive a small PART Age Pension. Tables outlining the assets test thresholds are set out later in the article."

    Can you tell me where you got your figures you mentioned?
    Anonymous
    15th Apr 2015
    4:38pm
    I cannot for the life of me see the assets test for a single pension dropping that far to be quite honest. i.e.from $775,000 down to around $200,000 or such.
    sirmikd
    16th Apr 2015
    9:55am
    Hi Radish
    My figures come from the PROPOSAL produced by the Australian Council For Social Services [ ACOSS} which was presented to the government about 10 days ago and attempt to show the effect if they are adopted by the government.
    They relate to a married couple.

    The asset test proposed reduces the single allowance to $100,000 - even worse than you imagined

    Quote
    ACOSS recommendations

    1. Tighten the Age Pension assets test
    • Reduce the assets test free area for home owners to $100,000 for singles and $150,000 for couples, and increase the taper rate for both home owners and non-home owners from $1.50 per $1,000 of additional assets to $2 per $1,000, so that the cut out point for the part pension for couples is reduced from $1.1 million in assets besides the family home to $794,250 in assets besides the family home - Savings: $1,350 million ($1,450 million in 2016-17).

    2. Abolish the Seniors Supplement
    • Abolish the Seniors Supplement (available to people who do not qualify for the Age Pension due to their income and assets) from 1 July 2015 leaving the Pension Supplement in place for Age Pensioners - Savings: $240 million ($250 million in 2016-1).

    ACOSS proposal comes as an alternative to the Governments recent plan to index pensions ( which I understand has been officially dropped )

    The web link to the full proposal is here

    http://www.acoss.org.au/media/release/drop_unfair_plan_to_lower_pension_indexation_reform_super_and_pension_asset
    sirmikd
    16th Apr 2015
    9:55am
    Hi Radish
    My figures come from the PROPOSAL produced by the Australian Council For Social Services [ ACOSS} which was presented to the government about 10 days ago and attempt to show the effect if they are adopted by the government.
    They relate to a married couple.

    The asset test proposed reduces the single allowance to $100,000 - even worse than you imagined

    Quote
    ACOSS recommendations

    1. Tighten the Age Pension assets test
    • Reduce the assets test free area for home owners to $100,000 for singles and $150,000 for couples, and increase the taper rate for both home owners and non-home owners from $1.50 per $1,000 of additional assets to $2 per $1,000, so that the cut out point for the part pension for couples is reduced from $1.1 million in assets besides the family home to $794,250 in assets besides the family home - Savings: $1,350 million ($1,450 million in 2016-17).

    2. Abolish the Seniors Supplement
    • Abolish the Seniors Supplement (available to people who do not qualify for the Age Pension due to their income and assets) from 1 July 2015 leaving the Pension Supplement in place for Age Pensioners - Savings: $240 million ($250 million in 2016-1).

    ACOSS proposal comes as an alternative to the Governments recent plan to index pensions ( which I understand has been officially dropped )

    The web link to the full proposal is here

    http://www.acoss.org.au/media/release/drop_unfair_plan_to_lower_pension_indexation_reform_super_and_pension_asset
    sirmikd
    16th Apr 2015
    10:33am
    Hi Radish
    My Figures are from the PROPOSAL recently submitted to the Goverment by ACOSS - Australian Council for Social Services.
    They relate to a Married couple situation.
    For a single person the Threshold is proposed to reduce to 100,000.
    The full proposal is available here as a downloadable PDF file

    http://www.acoss.org.au/media/release/drop_unfair_plan_to_lower_pension_indexation_reform_super_and_pension_asset

    Here is an extract
    ACOSS recommendations

    1. Tighten the Age Pension assets test
    • Reduce the assets test free area for home owners to $100,000 for singles and $150,000 for couples, and increase the taper rate for both home owners and non-home owners from $1.50 per $1,000 of additional assets to $2 per $1,000, so that the cut out point for the part pension for couples is reduced from $1.1 million in assets besides the family home to $794,250 in assets besides the family home - Savings: $1,350 million ($1,450 million in 2016-17).

    2. Abolish the Seniors Supplement
    • Abolish the Seniors Supplement (available to people who do not qualify for the Age Pension due to their income and assets) from 1 July 2015 leaving the Pension Supplement in place for Age Pensioners - Savings: $240 million ($250 million in 2016-1).

    Hope this clarifies why I posted my concerns.
    maczee
    15th Apr 2015
    12:08am
    All I know is I should have gone out and spent my money instead of working full time to buy my modest home and bring up five children , not many holidays , my husband died aged 66 now they want to my home, we didn't get super it wasn't available to my age group, we thought it was our security, HaHa. It is a struggle to maintain but my children assist me, I do wonder why we worried now, at the time it seemed a dream to own our home, if I was renting the government would give me rent assistance I would not have to pay insurance and rates ect. so tell me would the coffers be better off? These economic Gurus never think things through to understand the repercussions of their actions, It is about time the "Parties". Worked to gether for us all and stopped behaving like idiots always scoring points. And maybe cutting down the hundreds of MPS we pay for would be a good start in saving , let's make suggestions of how to save and maybe us seniors can sort it out fairly,
    sirmikd
    15th Apr 2015
    8:20am
    There are many many people disgruntled with government of any flavour but don't know what to do. But there is a growing movement to do something about it.

    http://velvetrevolution.crown.com.au/
    worker
    16th Apr 2015
    10:07am
    Australian citizens the employer of all MPs should consider the removal of self given life time perks and pensions of MPS (workers) after they leave or are dismissed by vote of Australian citizens.

    Such payments can go on and on for 40/50 years after MPs have left parliament (workforce) and employment of the Australian citizens unlike any other employee (worker).
    Savings may found the age pension for Australian citizens or medical and schools etc However, it would save some millions ,put MPs who are employees in line with all other employees across how nation and may stop their attacks on Australian citizens pensions
    start the movement and lets see if getup the community group will pick up such movement
    sirmikd
    17th Apr 2015
    9:03am
    I don't have the facts about what remuneration MP's get but perhaps what you should lobby for is an independent body that sets the terms. What I do find hard to swallow is that the government should pay extraordinary salaries such as to the CEO of the Post Office which I have read is around $500,000 a year [ more than most people have in their super after a lifetime of saving and more than is paid to the Prime Minister !! ]
    worker
    18th Apr 2015
    7:59am
    Well payed employees of the Australian citizens need to start with themselves by removing the life time pension and other perks they get when leaving there job as Employees MP, and bring their superannuation in line with other employees across this nation.
    the above may send a message they are employees and to get off the backs of pensioners .