Age Pension - asset threshold changes

Asset thresholds and the pension taper rate will change from 1 January 2017.

Retiree sitting on his age pension funds

In a move to address the fairness of the Age Pension, asset thresholds will change from 2017, with 170,000 pensioners expected to receive an increased pension payment.

At the same time, the threshold at which you will no longer receive an Age Pension will be reduced

The asset free thresholds and pension cut off thresholds will be as follows:

Homeowner

Asset free threshold

Pension cut off threshold

Single

$250,000

$547,000

Couple

$375,000

$823,000

Non-homeowner

Single

$450,000

$747,000

Couple

$575,000

$1,023,000

You can view the current asset thresholds here

The pension taper rate, the rate at which pension payments reduce for assets held over the asset free threshold, will double. For every $1000 of assets over the asset free threshold, fortnightly pension payments will reduce by $3, up from $1.50 currently.

Anyone who is receiving an Age Pension prior to 1 January 2017 and subsequently loses this payment due to these changes will remain eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or Health Care Card.

How do these measures benefit retirees?
Addressing the fairness of the Age Pension is a noble aim, however, for someone retiring at age 65 who is expected to live for another 25 or 30 years, having assets of $547,000 to draw on is hardly a fortune. However, the good news is that more people will be eligible for a full Age Pension, or a greater rate of part Age Pension, which could result in an increase of $30 per fortnight in pension payments for those who need it most.





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Peterrj
    13th May 2015
    11:24am
    "In a move to address the fairness of the Age Pension ..... " more people will be excluded from receiving Part of the Aged Pension. Yeah, right! that sounds pretty fair, who could object to that? Maybe, to be even fairer, let's keep on reducing the threshold each budget, what a good idea. And just as bracket creep impacts upon the actual amount of tax you pay eventually no one will receive the Aged Pension except those without any assets what so ever. Makes me wish I was back at work to help pay for the needy out of my taxed income.
    Sum1
    14th May 2015
    9:44am
    You are a real trooper Peterrj..Appreciate the satire but the lefties will be looking to you as their next messiah.
    MICK
    14th May 2015
    11:46pm
    You are a paid government troll Sum1/Frank and anyone who exposes the deceit from this government is branded a "lefty" by you.
    You are on the money Peterrj. This government is indeed trying to push people off the pension and inflation as well as reduced thresholds will achieve that outcome in time. What we all need to do is watch the money trail. As always it will lead to this government's backers: the rich. Never much changes.
    Rae
    9th Dec 2015
    4:12pm
    Nothing fair about it as far as I can see. Opposite of fair really especially when our local RSL takes $500 000 out of pensioners pockets every single week. Superannuation and retirement saving is now a non event for any rational worker. If you are salary sacrificing or putting post tax dollars in you are a mad person.

    It is also very stupid in a recession with the world experiencing negative interest rates and up to it in deflation. Some one should explain the Great Depression and Keynesian economics to the poor deluded darlings.
    HarrysOpinion
    27th May 2016
    3:21pm
    A dreadful thought, whether any single cash poor home owner aged pensioners will commit suicide because the high reduction to their aged pension will mean that they will not be able to sustain their livelihood and home expenses or they are too old to contemplate the sale of their home which was meant for their children or grandchildren. One, has to wonder, whether the government gave reasonable consideration to home owner age pensioners becoming severely mentally depressed and despondent on realising that they are being crucified with blame, made to feel guilty because of all of the national media, government and centers of study, blatant attacks against them belittling and humiliating them for living longer then 65 years.
    I hope this does not happen but if it does, and it becomes public then all the anti-age pensioner and the intergenerational advocates will have blood on their hands.
    More and more genuine cash poor age pensioners are becoming desperately confused and fear the worst.
    Brissiegirl
    13th May 2015
    11:43am
    Are current qualifications for pensions and part-pensions "grandfathered" or will all those who planned ahead for their retirements suddenly find, to their distress, that the goalposts have been moved?
    Never thought I'd see the day that a Liberal government would play tricky dicky's with the hardest working, hardest saving demographic in the country. Not much incentive to work save and be sensible, imo. There will be lots of people doing expensive world trips so their miserable 3% bank interest won't be commandeered to pay for those who never worked, never saved and didn't plan ahead.
    KSS
    13th May 2015
    1:14pm
    Brissiegirl my understanding is that no, there will be no 'grandfathering'. Those singles who have more than $550,000 and couples with more than $823,000 in assets other than their home, will lose their part pensions altogether. However, if they also had a health card they will keep that. So yes any other concessions they may have received that were linked to having a part pension, they will also lose.

    The Government is not taking the extra assets off you exactly. They are simply making you spend it on funding your retirement as it was intended and not amassing large sums to leave to the kids.

    But just to make it even more 'fair'. These 'wealthy' people will be unable to generate the same income as a full pension in todays climate of low interest rates. Assuming their assets are liquid i.e. super or cash, this means they will have less money to live on so will need to make up the difference from their assets so reducing the capital. This results in even less ability to generate income so more capital is needed until eventually they will end up with no assets and on the pension quicker than originally planned. If the assets are non-income generating e.g. the investment property, the artwork, the boat etc these would need to be sold as needed. Actually I have no issue with that bit.

    This is why for the past week I have said whilst I do not disagree with the basic policy, after all what is the purpose of saving for retirement if you don't then spend it on exactly that - funding your later years, but that I think the thresholds have been set too low. That's what makes it unfair, not the policy per se.
    Alexii
    13th May 2015
    2:13pm
    Brissiegirl, that's exactly what I expect from a Liberal government as they don't care less about those in difficult circumstances. They have little understanding as shown by the fact t they consider ppl with $825K are wealthy. What a joke! What we can earn on investments with that money is absolute peanuts compared to what they get in salary and then parliamentary pensions. It was just a devious means to make it look like they were being fair but instead it will make life much more difficult for a large number of people on part pensions. Obviously such people need to spend it all on home improvements, holidays and so on and then they can enjoy a full pension.
    Anonymous
    13th May 2015
    4:44pm
    It's a stupid policy, as well as being unfair. It victimizes those who were responsible and planned their retirement, but were not rich enough to achieve self-funded status. It's a huge disincentive to younger people to save for retirement. And it will cost more in long run for younger retirees because they will be forced to drain their savings and in later years of retirement they will have to claim higher pensions. Savings that might have lasted 25 years with a small part pension will now run out much earlier, meaning a full pension will be required. It's dumb economics. And it attacks those who have already suffered most from the economic mismanagement of successive governments, because they have lost more than half their income due to falling investment returns. Now, having worked hard and gone without luxuries for 40 years to save for retirement, they will be worse off than people who squandered their money and put their hand out for a full pension. Guess it's time those affected let their belts out and took that long-dreamed of world cruise. Might as well enjoy spending the dough. Then come back and claim the pension like all the others who spend up big in earlier life. Being responsible clearly doesn't pay!

    BTW. To all those who claim it's reasonable to stop people amassing money to leave to their kids, let me put a question to you. X makes a spending choice to gamble, drink, eat in expensive restaurants and take expensive holidays. Y makes a spending choice to put money aside for old age and to help his children be better off. Why should X get a government-funded pension and not Y? How is X's spending choice any more valid or deserving of taxpayer support than Y's?

    I totally support looking after the disadvantaged, but hundreds of thousands of aged pensioners with minimal assets are in that situation because they lived the high life when working. Now those who were frugal - many of whom were heavily disadvantaged in younger life, but planned and scrimped and saved to improve their status - are suffering unfairly. And it IS GROSSLY UNFAIR.
    Peterrj
    13th May 2015
    6:44pm
    Hey Rainey. I hope that others read and digest your comments above! You run a sound and logical argument.
    Brissiegirl
    13th May 2015
    8:26pm
    Rainey, send that to Smokin' Joe please. Especially your logic on why one type of spending choice is acceptable, yet a more sensible and thoughtful spending choice is of lesser value. You got it.
    sirmikd
    14th May 2015
    9:35am
    BrissieGirl said " There will be lots of people doing expensive world trips'

    Did you know that the Libs got that covered too ? Now if you holiday overseas for more than 6 weeks [ previously 26 weeks] your pension WILL or MAYBE stopped !
    Not sure about this exactly as the move is a sneaky one and not well explained.
    Sum1
    14th May 2015
    9:57am
    Rainey...well said....only solution I see is to ensure your assets are between $375000 and $451000...that way you will get the full pension at the lower amount and be no worse off than before at the higher limit. $33000 pension + benefits + $19000 to $22500 draw down on Super at 5% = $52000 + per yr tax free.
    MICK
    14th May 2015
    11:59pm
    KSS's comment is the official government line. What it says is to not save. Just spend everything you have saved.....and hope there is a pension left when you have.
    Whilst I support the rich paying tax and I strongly believe that those with SIGNIFICANT assets should not get a pension I find it inherently unfair that this government is coming after Australians who are on the cusp rather Tha rich Australians who would fund their own retirement anyway. It is distasteful that those who have saved hard and now earn less than the pension are now targeted. A sick gesture from a morally devoid government......and KSS and a couple of other Frank avatars are their spokespepole advertising this government's propaganda.
    Want to make a difference and change the future? Then vote independent with a Labor preference so that this bunch of misfits never again sets foot in the parliament. If not the enjoy more of the same, and worse.
    Sundays
    9th Dec 2015
    12:33pm
    Well said Rainey. I agree completely. It's a 'quick and dirty' policy which will only have short term savings
    peedee
    9th Dec 2015
    12:37pm
    Spot on Rainey, KSS and Sum1. I cannot believe that the super funds are not onto this. Do they not realise that all those future retirees in the $425-$1 mill. bracket of savings will work out that it is pointless saving beyond $425,00. The nett result will be less money going into the super funds and more people going onto full pension which the changes were supposed to stop. Reasonable policy, dumb thresholds. By the way I wonder if smokin Joe will give up his pension now he is a highly paid ambassador!!! When the pollies play by the same rules I will stop whinging.
    Rae
    9th Dec 2015
    4:22pm
    Rainey you are right. I hope those frugal do use the savings to do up the house, update the car and take that world cruise. They certainly deserve it after all that saving and scrimping.

    Hockey was not clever nor were Treasury dreaming up this one.
    I do believe the current government sacked a lot of treasury people and only kept the neoliberal believers.

    It might have worked at another time but not when investment returns are pitiful and deflation is at the door. Besides which if the markets keep falling by 2017 most of those savings will have disappeared anyway and won't that be causing a lot of angst.
    Renny
    9th Dec 2015
    4:47pm
    Sorry Brissiegirl - not aimed at you but at some of the replies. What right do any of you have to assume that people who don't retire with $800k in the bank are spendthrifts? Many work their whole lives, paying tax, never avoiding it, and on wages close to the minimum wage. I'm married to a former mechanic. Lousy pay for a tradesman, but he loved it and was brilliant at it. It's only because I earned reasonable money in the last ten years that I have some super (about 200k). We were never profligate nor did we waste money but there was not much to spare. How dare you get on your high horse and criticise everyone else who needs a pension. You deal in sterotypes, not real people, because that makes you feel good. I could stereotype you as typical wealthy leaners, but I won't because I think the age pension is an entitlement for all and good luck to you. But if you made good by avoiding tax and helping yourself instead of meeting your responsibilities to our community - them stop and think about all the working people like us who are quite happy for you to get a fair deal in retirement. PAYE tax payers are the ones lifting this nation. Frankly you make me sick. Boo bloody hoo.
    Rae
    9th Dec 2015
    7:46pm
    I think the minimum wage paid to car mechanics is appalling Renny.
    My mechanic keeps me safe and I pay $80 an hour to the owner knowing the mechanic gets less than $20 of it.
    I make sure he knows how much I value his experience and diligence.
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    3:36pm
    Renny, I am well aware that some folk genuinely couldn't save for retirement despite not being spendthrifts. The majority, however, who don't have much in a retirement nest-egg could have saved a lot more if they had reduced their lifestyle.
    Please don't tell me about struggle. I was an orphan and my husband was raised in an institution and hideously deprived. Neither of us got any education or skills training. My husband's first two year's wages were taken by the state and he never saw them.
    Hubby would have given his eye teeth for a mechanic's wage! He earned far, far less.
    We know all about doing it tough. Few would have done it tougher than we have. Our story reduces most who hear it to tears, and makes them very, very angry.
    We know some Aussies have endured hardships that were impossible to overcome. We also know that the vast majority had far, far more opportunity than we had.
    As for avoiding tax or helping myself instead of meeting my responsibilities to our community - you couldn't be further from the truth. Hardly ever earned enough to pay tax, and I think the community shirked it's responsibilities to us rather than the other way around. Not the tiniest bit of assistance of any kind to overcome the hurt we suffered because the state failed it's duty of child protection. And the stolen wages were never recovered. (And no, my husband is NOT indigenous. 96000 white children were stolen too, but the Government doesn't want to admit that.)
    Please don't make assumptions about people you know nothing about. Assumptions make an ASS out of U and ME.
    HarrysOpinion
    27th May 2016
    2:50pm
    KSS- Basically any single pensioner-home owner with total assets over $250,000 ( I presume that includes value of the residential home?) and any pensioner couple-homeowner with total assets over $375,000 (including residential home?) will be CACTUS!
    A single non-home owner can have up to $450,000 free threshold and a couple non-homeowner can have up to $575,000 free threshold for the purpose of the Assets Test. However, where they will " kick in the guts" the non-home owner is by the deeming income rule where they've dropped the first $45,000 down to $31,000 ? (or $35,000 at 1.75% and the excess at 3.2%? or
    higher?). Apparently what they will be doing is comparing whether the Deeming Income Rule provides the lower amount in pension payment or the Assets Test and they will pay the lower pension based on the assessment outcome of one or the other.
    I am hoping the residential home is not included in the free thresholds. Correct me if my assumption is wrong.
    waikune
    13th May 2015
    11:53am
    I'm lost. If we lose the pension what concessions are we entitled to. The SHC covers medical but not rates etc. So do we end up with a Pension Card with $0 payments and current concessions or a Senior Health card with out the utilities concessions?
    Chat
    13th May 2015
    12:53pm
    Not sure where you live waikune but in Queensland anyone over 65 gets the Seniors Card and that allows concessions on electricity, car registration and public transport. Along with the Seniors Health Care card we end up only missing out on Rate concessions (and they are determined by the local councils and don't always apply even to pensioners). We do not get any Pension and our main complaint is with the lowering of the interest rates which means less money to live off.
    Assets we have to produce an income to live on are now providing an income for us of less than those receiving the Pension.
    KSS
    13th May 2015
    1:20pm
    waikune: "Anyone who is receiving an Age Pension prior to 1 July 2017 and subsequently loses this payment due to these changes will remain eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or Health Care Card".

    But you should not confuse State and Federal concessions, e.g. travel cards are a State concession as are rate rebates and the like. These already differ in each jurisdiction with some states and territories offering more or fewer concessions than others.
    Anonymous
    13th May 2015
    4:46pm
    What rubbish! Most specialists and many doctors don't honour the Health Care Card and only discount/bulk bill for pensioners. Lots of private businesses discount for pensioners but not Health Care Card or Seniors Card holders. Ultimately, those hit by these changes will be far, far worse off than pensioners. It's a pretty lousy way to treat people who have saved all their lives to try to reduce the burden they impose on the state.
    MICK
    15th May 2015
    12:01am
    KSS: the official government sponsored line. Please take your employer's propaganda elsewhere.
    Radish
    15th May 2015
    3:32pm
    Those who were getting a pension or part pension prior to 2017 and subsequently lose it will still be able to keep their Health Care Card or the Seniors Health card.

    I dont know why they just dont give all seniors the health care card as there will be a bit of sour grapes from some.
    Anonymous
    18th May 2015
    8:26am
    The problem is that the health care card is worthless in many situations compared to a pension card. The Government is, once again, deceiving the electorate, pretending that those who lose their part pension won't lose benefits - but they will!
    Kato
    13th May 2015
    11:57am
    By 2017 there should be quite a few less pensioners around. swings and roundabouts.
    MICK
    15th May 2015
    12:02am
    Just the opposite. Baby boomers are just beginning to retire.
    Anonymous
    18th May 2015
    8:30am
    But people are increasingly retiring with savings or superannuation. We have a massive pool of superannuation savings nationally and it's growing fast. The reality is that the claim that aged pensions are becoming unaffordable and there will be too few taxpayers to support the old in a few years is a huge lie. Australia has among the LOWEST aged pensions in the developed world and close the the LOWEST spend on the elderly in the developed world. Our spending on aged pensions is very low relative to GDP and we do not have an affordability problem. With compulsory superannuation, more and more people will be retiring on part pensions or none at all - WITHOUT changing the assets test.

    The problem with the proposed assets test change is that it creates an incentive for people to save less and for those with savings to spend more. An assets limit that recognizes that those over it should be better off than pensioners ensures that people have a maximum incentive to strive to maximize savings, but lowering it so that those who aren't eligible for pensions are often worse off than pensioners makes no economic sense at all.
    Rae
    9th Dec 2015
    4:25pm
    Rainey the ASX is down 9% already this year and falling. People think they have savings but it is entirely dependent on the markets and right now the markets are in big big trouble.
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    3:37pm
    All the more reason not to compel retirees to cash in their assets right now and crystalize losses, Rae!
    poor
    13th May 2015
    12:21pm
    why don't they transfer the concession allowance to the senior health care card and still give pension age people the allowances without paying them a pension that would certainly help
    MICK
    15th May 2015
    12:05am
    You fail to understand the mean heartedness of this government and it's only interests: transferring wealth to the rich and their business interests.
    andromeda143
    13th May 2015
    12:34pm
    I love the fairness of these measures. Politicians will continue to receive obscene amounts of pension money funded by the taxpayers. "Wealthy" pensioners with between $500000 and $1000000 in assets will receive cuts which may lead to their losing the pension altogether, but will certainly lead to their small nest eggs disappearing more rapidly than they would have. Then they could spend more time on full age pension and will cost taxpayers even more longterm. Nice one Joe!!
    Alexii
    13th May 2015
    2:07pm
    If government can change the rules of the game for people on part pensions they should also, more as a matter of principle change the rules of the game for all those retired politicians on their fantastic pensions - i.e. reduce them, and on retired PMs and so on who rate such luxuries as offices, cars etc etc - just wipe those luxuries as they can well afford to pay for these things themselves from their high pensions and other income they earn while using these publicly funded perks.
    Brissiegirl
    13th May 2015
    2:36pm
    Alexii, couldn't agree more. The last time I saw Julia Gillard being chauffered to appear before the Royal Commission into trade unions, knowing about her past friendships with union crooks, I thought why not cut her perks and assets, the ones directly derived from leeching off taxpayers as an example for the rest that you get kicked out of your job so find another one. Instead what do we have; people who work hard and save so they can achieve good level of financial security (private health cover with excess costs for accessing it, holiday, gardener, maintenance worker, reliable car etc.) over the old age during possibly 25-30 years, being treated like horrid "wealthy" retirees. I know a successful woman whose taxes are supporting more than one pensioner and/or welfare recipient and by the time she retires, she will be penalised for thrift and for working hard and paying other people's benefits. And I don't think people save their money to give to their kids. Their house maybe as that represents the life-time of doing without, it is a family investment, but money - no they keep the money they earn as they were told to do - grow a nest-egg for the rainy days ahead, pay your health cover so you won't be a strain on the public hospital system. Anyway all these wealthy people will soon be dead and the rest will be on superannuation so the government is shooting itself in the foot a bit early.
    MICK
    15th May 2015
    12:10am
    Brissiegirl: sounds like government sponsored propaganda to me. Why did you both singling out Julia Gillard, who has been shown to not have a case to answer, when ALL POLITICS ANZ enjoy the same perks.....including John Howard.
    Please take the propaganda elsewhere and discuss the issues here.
    Linda
    9th Dec 2015
    1:17pm
    I think Julia worked hard all her political life. To target her seems unfair in its self.

    The current low interest rate, poor return environment, and rising costs, threats of increased GST, paying more for health services will cause some to go broke. Then they will be accepted for old age pension and become very expensive.

    These days, the full implications of any move are not considered, just the bit that achieves something that looks good during a government's term in office.

    Staying in power is the main game, running the government is the hobby.
    Linda
    9th Dec 2015
    1:25pm
    Then, with the oldies and their discretionary money gone, no private health cover, no money for aged care services when they are needed, no money to buy goods and services.

    This will contract the economy. When the economy contracts then those very ones who may have resented the 'leaners' might find themselves with out a job to go to, to make a living of any kind. This is all bad for Australia.

    Again, old people spend for services that younger folks tend to do themselves in many cases.

    I think the ideology is poor, and certainly this government has been wasting money hand over fist and really making a mess of our fiscal situation. Then to point a finger at Labor is simply mean and creepy.
    The sarge
    13th May 2015
    3:05pm
    What a joke all of a sudden seniors who have saved and scraped all their lives are the enemy whilst others who have made little or no contribution benefit again. Without protest this mob will continue to reduce seniors entitlements until none exists. Lets form a Seniors party. If the sex party can get a senator we can. Voted Liberal all my life but no more
    Brissiegirl
    13th May 2015
    3:16pm
    Someone here gave the example of making everyone equal until everyone is equally poor. Where's the incentive to pay one's way while battling to save for some level of comfort for what will be long and possibly difficult old age? Saving is a hard thing to do whilst raising children at the same time. Yes people are living much longer but their quality of life isn't any better. That's why they need to build a nest egg for the bad times. Well people don't bother, just let the government do for you what it is doing for those who didn't plan for their future at all. No wonder people are fed up with being sanctioned for saving. Anyway what is the definition of "wealthy", certainly not $1M which is only half that in what my mother used to call quids. You were only a millionaire when you had a million quid in those days, now you are a millionaire with half that much and everything is 20 times the price.
    Alexii
    13th May 2015
    4:43pm
    There is one in NSW called the Seniors United NSW, The Sarge. You can find contact details in Hotfrog. http://www.hotfrog.com.au/Companies/Seniorsunited- You might like to join - write a letter to get more info.

    Seniors United held a well attended meeting in Stanmore yesterday.
    Alexii
    13th May 2015
    4:43pm
    There is one in NSW called the Seniors United NSW, The Sarge. You can find contact details in Hotfrog. http://www.hotfrog.com.au/Companies/Seniorsunited- You might like to join - write a letter to get more info.

    Seniors United held a well attended meeting in Stanmore yesterday.
    MICK
    15th May 2015
    1:22am
    Alexi: I made a point of contacting the 2 parties who claimed to be seniors parties. Both were shell parties and were simply fronts for this government. These so called seniors groups will just filter votes to this government. AVOID.
    What is needed is a genuine Party formed through a seniors association. I'd be prepared to vote for it in that case.
    Hawkeye
    15th May 2015
    4:28pm
    Mick, did you look at the MAP (Mature Age Party). Very new and still under development, but on the surface they seem to have merit. With enough support they may be able to push the major parties in the correct direction (was going to say "right direction" but stopped just in time seeing that both the LNP and the ALP have already moved too far to the right of what used to be the centre).

    While I don't agree with the whole concept of political parties, there comes a time to realise that perhaps we can use their system against them. A good start has already been made in the Senate, due to its more democratic "proportional representation" election system.
    Linda
    9th Dec 2015
    1:28pm
    In my experience Mick, I mostly agree with you, re exisiting parties or groups supposedly representing seniors. I am going to look into the Mature Age Party.
    Carol
    13th May 2015
    4:02pm
    Where's the equity in being able like my friend to have a house worth a million which is nothing fancy but in an area close to the city and she has no Super. She will get a full pension for the rest of her life. But another friend has a little over the freshhold in Super and a house worth $300,000 and will get no pension now. So one friend can leave her child a million and the other nothing as her Super may not even last her lifetime. So much for trying to support yourself in old age.
    Anonymous
    13th May 2015
    4:49pm
    I have two friends on full pensions. One inherited $500,000 but spent it going around the world. The other gave $750,000 to her kids before she turned 60 (so it wouldn't be counted by Centrelink in their gifting rules). Once again, the honest, responsible hard workers who ARE NOT rich, get slugged. What's the point of working and saving? Might as well take that world cruise now and at least enjoy spending, then come back and claim the pension.
    Sum1
    14th May 2015
    10:05am
    Carol I do see your point....Friend 2 will get nearly the full pension when her Super drops to $451000 (if married) plus the house at $300,000 in value and rising.
    I would certainly not call that Nothing to leave her child,
    MICK
    15th May 2015
    1:25am
    Carol: Rainey has not mention the 5 year test. Not sure if that applies before people hit pension age.
    Sum1: so who are you posting for?
    Anonymous
    15th May 2015
    4:54pm
    The five year test doesn't affect anyone who gifts their money before turning 60, because the five years have elapsed before they claim the pension.
    NGE
    18th Jan 2016
    1:11pm
    Well said Carol. The forthcoming changes are grossly unfair to single pensioners. I am on a part pension which I look like losing completely just like the second person in your blog. I am only just over the threshold and will end up earning less than the pensioner on the full pensioner yet my husband and I went without for years. Since my husband passed away I am finding it very hard to exist on the pension and now I find I am going to lose my part pension. The article on euthanasia in this issue is very interesting. I reckon the only honest politician out there is Nick Xenophon.
    Dongers
    13th May 2015
    4:14pm
    Can Your Life choices please run a campaign against the unrealistic lowering of the assets test to $823000 so the consolidated voices of those unfairly targeted be be heard by this liberal government.
    The campaign against Indexation was well run and very successful - well done team!
    waikune
    13th May 2015
    4:44pm
    Ditto
    Alexii
    13th May 2015
    4:45pm
    I fully support your request, Dongers.
    Anonymous
    13th May 2015
    4:50pm
    And ditto again!
    sirmikd
    14th May 2015
    11:15am
    Yes I support it too - and whilst we are about it scrap the restriction on overseas travel - pension penalties if you are away more than six weeks - how absurd is this rule
    MICK
    15th May 2015
    1:31am
    $823 000 ain't what it used to be. Better to have GENUINE reform: stop rich people from using the superannuation tax shelter set up for them, stop lowering taxes for the rich and get rid of the blatant tax minimization tools with which rich folk reduce their taxable income to zilch. That is where the real game is. Not by torpedoing those who have gone without so that they can have a reasonable retirement.
    Mamacrystal
    9th Dec 2015
    12:03pm
    I also support Donders call
    NGE
    9th Dec 2015
    5:15pm
    Ditto again. Please ....someone needs to give us a voice. The assets test
    is far too low. I am a widowed pensioner, worked hard all my life, went without new cars, holidays etc to bring up my family, send them to university and pay off my modest home. I even paid a little extra into my super each payday once my mortgage was paid in the hope I would have a more comfortable retirement, and now I find I will be just over the threshold and will lose the part pension, and not only that, I will end up with less than the full pensioner gets. What a waste of time super has been.
    Fliss
    9th Dec 2015
    5:19pm
    It is so not right NGE! According to those new thresholds, let's say we have Couple A & Couple B. Couple A own their home worth $1,000,000 & have $370, 000 in savings - they will get a full pension - i.e about $30,000 p.a. plus the interest on their $370,000 which at today's dismal rates would be about $11,000. So they have $41,000 to live on without touching their savings. Couple B who also own their own very modest home & have saved like hell to amass $1,000,000 for their retirement will have just the earnings of that million dollars to live on - i.e. $29,000 to live on. NGE, you will be like couple B. Not right or fair!

    13th May 2015
    4:52pm
    Hockey is hoping the interest rate will fall even lower. Assets levels should be RAISED, not lowered. Those with no way of earning income for the rest of their lives need to be able to achieve a return on their savings. Anyone who is unable to earn a return at least equal to the maximum pension + benefits should be receiving a part pension to ensure that anyone who was responsible and frugal enjoys at least the same standard of living as those who were not.
    Brissiegirl
    13th May 2015
    6:15pm
    Ditto. The threshold is absolutely unfair. Hockey should stop babbling drivel about fairness. This will come back to bite him on the bum, before the next election.
    Fliss
    9th Dec 2015
    5:19pm
    Yep Rainey!!!!
    recyled
    13th May 2015
    7:03pm
    Taking the politics out of the equation, I concede that decreasing the asset threshold to $823,000 is one way to cut back on pension expenditure. Whilst this will affect my own circumstances and is a bitter pill to swallow, helping the nation to tackle our financial dilemma does provide a benefit. However, there are two issues relating to the reduction of the asset threshold.

    Firstly, I resent being looked on or classed as “Wealthy” pensioners who have somehow been genetically gifted to enable the generation of large superannuation nest eggs with little or no effort. We have spent a lifetime ‘doing without’ so we could bring up our four children on a single wage, and along the way have taken some gambles both on the employment front and the investment front which has resulted in having a nest egg over what is now the asset threshold (but could have equally ended in financial disaster. I have looked after my elderly mother who does not have any meaningful assets, have helped our children along the way to enhance their employment prospects, and now look after a number of our five grandchildren to allow our children to continue working. All in all a history of contributing to the economic growth of the country.

    Secondly, and the main purpose of this post, is to protest at the savings achieved by excluding me from the pension being reassignment, not to the nation as a whole but rather, in part, to others on the pension who may have taken different decisions to us (SUV’s, caravans, regular holidays, latest clothes/iPhones/gizmos etc) resulting in them having less assets. One scenario is myself (and spouse) having a $900k home and $850K in other assets and therefore now excluded from receipt of a pension, and a neighbour who also has a $900K home but who’s assets total $374k. The neighbour now receives a rise in their pension whilst we have lost any access to the pension. The bottom line is that in the above scenario, of the money we forfeit under the new structure, approximately 30% is donated to the neighbour who has done nothing to earn this whilst only 70% goes towards ‘fixing’ the nation.

    I have had a gut full and will now plan some exotic holidays, upgrades to the home, lots of expensive dinners, upgrades to cars, purchase of a caravan, movies, theatre tickets, fine clothes, the latest and largest 3D, 7 channel surround sound TV with curved screen, full functioned mobile phone plans using the latest iPad handset, landscaping of the yard by experts, all to bring me down to a level to which I am earning at least a minimal pension. It seems a silly thing to do, but I would rather spend a load of money on myself prior to 2017 rather than make a donation to my neighbour. Had it been a case of all of the potential loss being a general contribution to the nation then I would have accepted it, however unpleasant.
    Dongers
    13th May 2015
    7:10pm
    Well put "recycled" probably how most of us feel, it's the retrospectivity of this decision which is hard to swallow!
    Anonymous
    15th May 2015
    4:58pm
    Well said, recycled. I'm planning to take a world cruise and spend a lot of money outside Australia so this greedy government doesn't benefit, then I'll come back and claim benefits. Why not? Relatives who earned three times as much as me are getting an extra $30 a week to put through the poker machines (where all their previous income went - which is why they have no savings). Why should I subsidize their lifestyle while having a lesser income than they?
    antonvs
    9th Dec 2015
    3:52pm
    I too have worked hard to obtain a a better life in retirement and agree in principle of the three people in this thread, but can't believe that you say on the one hand that you have done without all your life and then say that you can now go and spend it all and live on a pension. Anyone who knows how to save also knows they do not want to live on $500-800 a week.
    antonvs
    9th Dec 2015
    3:56pm
    So although I'm not happy if these changes go through, I will not throw it all away, but will do what it takes to make what I have saved last as long as possible and get on with living a better life than if I had to just live on the pension.
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    8:39am
    Antonvs, the problem is that now the pension is far,far more than anyone with $800,000 in assets can earn. And effectively the government is ''taxing'' their assets at 160%, so you either spend it now on luxuries or home improvements, or you lose it very unfairly and with no personal benefit.

    You might live a better life than on the pension if investment returns improve dramatically, or if you don't live much longer. But if things stay as they are and you live another 30 years, living better than pensioners will mean your money runs out completely at least a decade before you die. If you saved for particular special needs, you are totally screwed.
    Hardworker
    13th May 2015
    7:39pm
    Spot on "Recyled". Aren't tradies going to be busy with all the household renovations that have previously been put off. By the way make sure you book your tours and cruises early as the travel and cruise companies are going to be very busy. See you there!
    MICK
    15th May 2015
    1:35am
    The sting in the tail is that when it's all gone there may be no pension anyway. Then they'll be coming for your house. This is because of bad governments onf both flavors who have brought this nation to its knees through mismanagement. Its coming readers.
    Chris B T
    14th May 2015
    10:01am
    My understanding that superannuation was to replace or reduce age pension payments.
    By buying a type of pension fund privately. The use of the tax saving benefits accumulated over the past years was to help fund the retirement and reducing need for age pension.
    Funds over this requirement then used for what ever you want or have I got this wrong.
    The need to be on age pension or part pension and the asset tests would be greatly reduced.
    MICK
    15th May 2015
    1:38am
    Superannuation is one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated on the Australian population. Only high income earners and politicians can put away enough to be fully funded for a decent lifestyle. The statistics s tell the story.
    MacI
    15th May 2015
    7:05am
    Mick - really. I made a decision from the first day I entered full employment at age 17 to contribute to Super. In the early years I was an electronics technician on relatively low wages. Struggled as a single income family for the first 15 years to pay the mortgage on a modest home but still contributed 5% of my income to Super. Admittedly in the latter years of my working life I was on a good income but it was the decision to contribute in the early years that made the difference.
    Radish
    15th May 2015
    3:37pm
    No, that is not correct Mick. The highest income I ever got was $35K a year. It is not what you earn it is how you utilise it. Some spend it, some invest it. The choice is up to the individual.
    I do not think super is a fraud at all.
    Anonymous
    15th May 2015
    4:49pm
    I wouldn't call super a ''fraud'', but it's presumptuous and arrogant to suggest that everyone can accumulate enough to fund their own retirement, and only a selfish fool would suggest that a couple who save $850,000 to last them for the next maybe 30 years is ''wealthy'' and doesn't need some taxpayer support. Many of those affected will now have their incomes slashed to $26,000 or less with no pension benefits, while pensioners collect more than $34,000 PLUS benefits, and people with $400,000 in savings pick up more than $32,000 in government benefits PLUS can earn $12000 on their investments and a little extra for their labor. Others - under the income test- will collect pensions while earning $70,000 a year.

    The system is grossly unfair and unnecessarily cumbersome, and the changes to the asset test victimize a group who worked and saved to try to fund their own retirement but haven't enjoyed the same advantages and opportunities that the super-rich (who continue to reap $10 billion in tax concessions) have enjoyed.

    There's NOTHING here to applaud or celebrate unless you are either selfish and lacking decency, or too ignorant to understand what's happening.
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    3:43pm
    And actually, Chris, the need for an aged pension will INCREASE, because the incentive to save has been replaced with a strong incentive to spend up big on luxuries and claim a higher income than you can generate from investment. Even if you don't do that, your savings are going to dwindle quickly without that part pension and in no time at all you'll be on a larger pension than you would ever otherwise have needed. When our collective savings have all gone, what then? Those savings ARE our national wealth. When they are gone, who will the Government bleed then to pay its way?
    MacI
    15th May 2015
    6:56am
    I note that the reaction by some in this forum to the proposed change to the asset test is to spend some of their accumulated Super to reduce their assets and thereby increase their aged pension entitlement. Given that the new asset test reduces the pension by $78 per annum for each $1000 above the threshold this makes sense if it is spent on the home. In my case if I spend $50K on home improvements I will recover more than half of the money in increased aged pension within 7 years. Not a bad return since the improvements will add to the value of my home. It's a decision that I've been putting off for some time but now it's a no brainer.

    I've even thought about upsizing to a more expensive home. At some point in the future I would downsize to realise a capital gain to fund my later years of retirement. Prudent people will work this out and rearrange their finances to work the system to offset some of the downside of the changes. I wonder if governments see the potential consequences of policy changes on people's behaviour.
    Radish
    15th May 2015
    3:35pm
    This has been going on for years; people buying large homes to get the pension. All it will mean now is more people will do as you suggest KCI.
    Rae
    9th Dec 2015
    4:44pm
    Solar panels to reduce energy costs would be sensible.

    15th May 2015
    4:51pm
    It's rumoured that the Labor party want to abandon the assets test change, which is grossly unfair, and replace it with a system that assesses income on the assets and allows anyone with less than $70,000 in income to receive a part pension, and those earning over $75,000 will pay a small tax. Sounds much fairer to me, and eliminates a lot of the complexities in the current system.
    Circum
    9th Dec 2015
    10:45pm
    Labour party say they disagree with assets test,but they wont stop it.They will allow the assett changes go thru and then blame government for changing it.Then,in addition to that they want to tax income over $75000.It should be either or not both.So yes it sounds good but they are all too greedy.Pity
    MacI
    15th May 2015
    6:10pm
    What bugs me the most about these changes is that they make it impossible to make long term plans for retirement. And lets face it if there is anything that you need to make LONG term plans about its about funding the remainder of your life in retirement. You get financial advice, do your own due diligence, and determine that you have finally accumulated enough to fund your retirement with a little help from the government through a part pension and so you drop out of the work force never to be allowed back into paid employment because you are too old. What happens? Then comes a double whammy. First your Allocated Pension is counted as an asset for the Income Test. Second the taper rate for the Asset Test is doubled from $1.50 to $3 per $1000 over the Asset Threshold. If the Asset Test doesn't get you then the Income Test will. The long term average deeming rate is around 3% up to the threshold for Income Test and 4.7% for the remainder. Do the sums. If over time your assets are diminished to $375000 (the proposed threshold for assets) and the deeming rates for the Income Test return to long term trends then you will still be well short of the full pension when your assets get below $375000.

    The outcry has been about millionaires getting the pension. This is a deception. They were never going to get a part aged pension except for those on the fringes of the current asset test. Most of will be knocked out by one or the other of the Asset or Income tests. Those that do get a part pension only get a very small amount. The ones who are hit the hardest are those in the middle. In my case my part pension drops by nearly $10000 per annum and I'm a long way short of having a million dollars in assessable assets.
    MacI
    16th May 2015
    10:19am
    Further to my comments above. Over time this change to the asset test is going to put more pressure on future governments to include the family home in the assets and income tests for the pension. Why? Because there is an even greater incentive to plough money into the family home to reduce assessable assets and less incentive to downsize to fund retirement. Why would you downsize when for every $10000 you add to your assessable assets reduces your annual aged pension by $780?
    Fready
    15th May 2015
    7:53pm
    There is an obvious and simple way for people who have been adversely affected by the new asset limits, divorce. !! Twice the single amount is way higher than the rate for a couple.!!
    Anonymous
    18th May 2015
    8:45am
    I'll bet there are couples out there considering doing just that. I know a couple who divorced but officially live side by side in a duplex, except on side is nearly always empty!
    Supernan
    18th May 2015
    12:19pm
    Agree with all who say that those who lived the high life & spent all their money will be better off than those of us who saved & went without to have a nest egg on retirement.

    Agree that people with massive assets should not need the pension.

    But what is an Asset ? Thought it was something you could sell & so you could use the cash ! ! So why is household furniture counted as an asset. Are we supposed to sell it & sleep & eat on the floor ? Why is a car an asset ? If you dont live near public transport & you sell the car, what are you supposed to do ? ? ?
    Circum
    9th Dec 2015
    10:49pm
    Walk.Poor people dont own cars.Joe tells me so.Everybody should get the pension.
    Fair Go
    14th Jun 2015
    5:19pm
    Guys, how do you work out that there will be more "for those who need it most"? I am a single pensioner with nowhere near the amount of $450,000 (0h how I wish) but I am not to receive any increase. I am struggling to pay bills etc. on just the pension, with very little to fall back on, and this "little" is rapidly decreasing when something unexpected comes up. I would be singing if I had that amount.
    Anonymous
    9th Dec 2015
    12:33pm
    Correct, Fair Go. The genuinely needy got nothing out of this disgusting deal.
    Fair Go
    14th Jun 2015
    5:23pm
    PS - and by the way, I did not "squander" my money and have holidays etc. I was busy bringing up 2 children by myself, paying a mortgage, I had no holidays, and didn't always have a job,hence not much super at all. So please don't judge people who receive a full pension and are struggling on just that amount.
    Anonymous
    9th Dec 2015
    12:34pm
    Not judging all, Fair Go. But a large proportion did squander their money or just spent it living very well. Why should those who went without a great deal with the goal of accumulating money for later needs be punished and deprived of the benefit of their sacrifice?
    Anonymous
    9th Dec 2015
    5:15pm
    Rainey, the age pension is a safety net and not an entitlement. If you have saved diligently over many years, all power to you but as you went without back then, you now have enough to splash out. Those who spent their money having a good time must now go without a lot.
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    8:34am
    What utter BS, Old Man! Consider this. Retiree A can work and earn $1000 a fortnight. Still gets a part pension and all benefits. B owns a $1 million house and has $300,000 in the bank. Can still get a pension and all benefits. C spent $500,000 on a world cruise and has $300,000 left. Still gets a pension.

    D struggled and sacrificed for a lifetime to pay off a very modest little home and save $780,000 (plus pay for furniture and a car) so that he could have some extra comfort in old age. His income now is less than $25,000 a year with NO benefits. He has to drain his savings.

    E was injured at work and has ongoing needs for expensive specialist treatment, disability aids, and home help. To pay for that, his employer's insurer granted him $800,000 compensation. But now he has to live on that instead of using it for what it was intended for.

    Which person needs a safety net, again? Oh, that's right. A, B and C, because they were less responsible than D and much more fortunate than E!

    And obviously you have no grasp on economics or you would know that $800,000 isn't nearly enough to sustain a couple through 30 years in retirement, let alone enable them to ''splash out''. But sure, they could now go on a world cruise or two and then come back and claim the pension, and thus drive the nation's costs for funding retirement UP UP UP. In fact, that's precisely what many are doing. Wait for the next cry from the Government that pension costs are rising and unaffordable - followed by a CUT to pensions for those who need them most!
    Gilgaloth
    9th Aug 2015
    9:52am
    how many income-producing investments should I keep outside of super to make the most of the income tax-free threshold of my spouse and I, before the tests start to bite into my age pension?
    Gilgaloth
    9th Aug 2015
    11:20am
    My question above, happens to feature as a key consideration in financial advisor qualifications, so any advisor shouldn't hesitate to answer it
    Jen
    9th Dec 2015
    10:42am
    "However, the good news is that more people will be eligible for a full Age Pension, or a greater rate of part Age Pension, which could result in an increase of $30 per fortnight in pension payments for those who need it most." I think this was down to the Greens who saw a need for the poorest to receive more. Correct me if I'm wrong.
    LiveItUp
    9th Dec 2015
    10:57am
    I agree it's good to see the pension going to those who need it not those who get it because they are entitled to it and have arranged their assets accordingly.
    Rodent
    9th Dec 2015
    11:40am
    Jen

    Its true to say that there are some winners in the changes to the Pension, however unfortunately there are many more losers in real terms. The Greens saw an opportunity at the 11th hour to support the changes, even while the Senate committee was still sitting. The attempted to justify their decision saying it was "fair" however it was clearly a political decision , because Labour was fiddling around

    If you go to the Greens website you will see their published reasons for the decision, one of which is they believed there would be a comprehensive Retirement Incomes review, we will see if that happens.

    There Doc can be accessed this way
    http://greensmps.org.au/content/materials/better-pensions-fact-sheet, it has some TABLES that are very useful at the bottom of doc for Home Owners and Non Home owners ( based on Govt Info)
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    8:24am
    The ''good news'' isn't, because not one cent of benefit is going to those who need it most. It's all going to those with a few hundred thousand in savings.

    It is NOT going to those who need it most, Bonny. It's going to the cheats, the lazy, the spendthrifts, and the manipulators. And to give it to them, the government is effectively taking about $1.28 of every dollar saved by battlers who tried to be self-sufficient but had their goals thwarted by falling investment returns. And that's not counting the loss of non-cash benefits.

    Now please tell me how you induce people to ''work, save and invest'' to improve our economy by taking away $1.28 or more of every dollar they save - or, in other words, applying a 160% tax rate to savings?

    Read http://theconversation.com/why-pensioners-are-cruising-their-way-around-budget-changes-42544 if you don't understand those numbers.
    Rodent
    9th Dec 2015
    11:26am
    Good to see some more discussion again re the Pension changes , some of you might like to try this -enter www.cuffelinks.com.au
    this will bring up home page of this company, on Right is search box- , just below where it says Register for free- in that search box enter Rebalancing the assets Test - press search/Enter
    Up will come another page that has what you need
    On this page the doc you are after is - Sponsor White Paper- by Accurium Aug 26 2015
    access this a DOC some of you might find the way its presents the data useful
    Hardworker
    9th Dec 2015
    12:02pm
    Thank you Rodent for that very helpful reference to cuffelinks. It is, as you say, presented in a much more useful way.
    Mez
    9th Dec 2015
    12:15pm
    I think that the changes are fair enough although I do believe that the existing pension ought to be increased much more to keep abreast with the phenomenal rent increases!
    NOT EVERY PENSIONER OWNS A HOME!
    Rae
    9th Dec 2015
    4:52pm
    Good thing rents are falling then for the renters not so much for the self reliant saver I'm afraid.
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    8:19am
    I agree, Mez! We should double the pension and rent assistance, remove all incentives to work hard and save, and just give everyone who claims hardship (validly or otherwise) a free ride... paid for, by whom exactly? Oh, that's right. By taking all the savings away from those who did choose to work hard and sacrifice to accrue a modest nest egg for old age.

    I'd love to see the pension increased for those who have nothing else. But let's do it in a way that is responsible, logical, fair, and maintains incentives to get off your backside and have a go! I have great sympathy for those who genuinely couldn't pay off a home. But the very vast majority of our age group who rent CHOSE their situation. And I'll warrant very, very few had anywhere near the struggle in life that I had. A little more effort and a little less self-indulgence in earlier life would have enabled the majority of renters to own their home AND have a decent savings nest egg.

    And no, I'm not being callous and unfair. I'm being realistic. The disabled, those who suffered devastating illness or had chronically ill children, those whose partners ran off with all the money, etc. MAY be hard up through no fault of their own, but tens of thousands of poor pensioners are where they are now because of their earlier lifestyle choices, and for no other reason. Sorry, they don't win my sympathy. I'll save it for those who genuinely deserve it.
    Mez
    9th Dec 2015
    12:15pm
    I think that the changes are fair enough although I do believe that the existing pension ought to be increased much more to keep abreast with the phenomenal rent increases!
    NOT EVERY PENSIONER OWNS A HOME!
    Anonymous
    9th Dec 2015
    12:37pm
    Fair that people who went without luxuries and worked overtime because they hoped to live comfortably in retirement and perhaps leave a little to their children should not suffer BOTH a massive drop in income due to falling investment returns AND exclusion from the pension, despite earning way less than the pension, while those who enjoyed a more lavish lifestyle or didn't work as hard are looked after better by the taxpayer?

    If that's your idea of ''fair'', Mez, I don't think you understand the meaning of the word.
    Fliss
    9th Dec 2015
    2:35pm
    Spot on Rainey!
    Rae
    9th Dec 2015
    4:58pm
    You do realise that 30% of your rent goes on government charges, insurance, agents and maintenance. Then there is the interest if the property has a mortgage. The landlords are not doing so well right now I'm afraid. And then there is a worry free pension and rental assistance. What is not fair about that.

    It costs me $140 a week to live in my own home and I get no pension, rebates or assistance at all.
    Mez
    9th Dec 2015
    12:56pm
    Rainey - A pension is NOT a wage!
    It is a supplement for those who have not been fortunate to have inherited property or assets or who are not lucky enough to have inherited the genes to acquire a university degree and a higher salary than others so for those reasons, it would be very fair to say that those who still cling to large houses with empty bedrooms ought to sell their homes to downsize and allow more housing into the market.
    It may be said that it is the babyboomers who have caused the housing shortage and they are the biggest complainers of increasing council rates for properties and which are yet to sky rocketbecause it takes about 6 years before they normally increase.
    By downsizing, people are then able to travel or whatever after buying a smaller home which is easier to clean and maintain.
    It only makes sense!
    Therefore people with large assets should NOT be receiving any pensions at all until these steps have been implemented, keeping in mind that there are increasing numbers of homeless people of which the MAJORITY OF HOMELESS ARE OLDER WOMEN!
    Phil1943
    9th Dec 2015
    1:40pm
    Mez, you have my total agreement. Mostly. My wife and I own our own home and it usually has one or two empty bedrooms. It all depends on how many of our children and grandchildren happen to be here at the time.
    We didn't cause the housing shortage, however. Look instead at the greed of councils and their developer mates. Affordable housing could have been required in every new development of more than, say, 50 units, but it wasn't.
    Punitive stamp duties mean we're better off staying in our abode than flogging it and having to find some other accommodation in Sydney that's going to cost nearly as much, and the two transactions would've generated about $50K in stamp duties. What a waste.
    We will downsize and we will have to relocate in two years' time when my (younger than I) wife reaches her retirement age. But our house will sell for lots more than the majority of first homeowners can afford. That's life. We bought a house and worked hard to afford it. I accept that it's tougher now but am not about to sell for less than market value.
    By the way, we also have no chance of getting the pension because we worked long and hard and put away enough savings to hopefully keep us fed, clothed and yes - even travelled, in retirement.
    So Mez, I know there are approximately 10,000 homeless people in Sydney looking for a bed each night. I know that more than half of them have mental health issues that aren't being adequately addressed. But there are better ways to work on this issue than simply forcing people to sell their big homes and move out of the area they've lived in for 50 years.
    Linda
    9th Dec 2015
    1:47pm
    Sweeping generalizations leave out some of the circumstances some people face.

    Moving a partner with dementia means they very likely will have an abrupt decline as their surroundings are and remain for them strange.

    Finding another place to move to that meets the needs of some can be very difficult.

    Moving includes lots of costs, stamp duties, real estate commissions, and moving costs, not to mention the work of down sizing contents in their homes.

    Some people see a home as an asset, others consider it their safe haven in an uncertain world.

    Some people people bought homes at a low price and then values shot up, not because of anything they did, but because of the market and government incentives to invest in property by being enriched via equity growth while avoiding taxes.

    It can be a money situation to stay in one's home or it can be simply an emotional decision.

    Before any homes are touched, the real estate bubble and the high prices for homes needs to be addressed. Our young people will have a hard time buying a home unless we change the current circumstances. It won't be any easier for the young folks if people in very costly homes sell out, as they will cost too much for them to buy.

    Everyone's ideas come from the experiences they have had. Folks are not all the same.
    Circum
    9th Dec 2015
    11:06pm
    I think Mez is having a bit of fun trying to get a response to his comments.There is no logic to his ramblings and what a home owner decides to do with their home is not anyone elses business.Suggest Mez concentrates making life better for himself rather than to try and drag other people down.As for the pension..give it to all people in full
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    8:07am
    Mez, your assumptions about people who saved are offensive and totally wrong. Many are like me and survived horrendous hardship and huge challenges. No inheritance. Not $1. No windfalls. No education. No skills training. No opportunities. Minimal wages. Extensive periods out of work due to sickness. Sick husband. Special needs child. Acquired assets by slogging it out 7 days a week, 15 hours a day, and living on the smell of an oily rag. Not a single luxury. Why? Because my childhood left me terrified of poverty in old age and desperately determined to give my kids and grandkids a better life. And now you support the government forcing me to use those hard-won savings to support people who lived far more lavish lifestyles and had far more opportunity than I did.

    The changes DID NOT benefit anyone who is genuinely hard up - but helped pensioners with a few hundred thousand in the bank. Worse, the changes are NOT economically sustainable and will result in higher costs to the government and less capacity, over time, to help the genuinely poor.

    As for the ''housing bubble'' - few who are impacted by the changed pension assets test are likely to have been contributors. Those who invested in real estate - other than a modest family home - are already self-funded retirees or capable of being so.

    But when it comes to the young complaining how hard it is to get a home, I have little sympathy. Their expectations are far higher than ours ever were. They want it all now. They pay far, far less for clothing, car, furniture, appliances and household necessities than we did. They pay a tiny fraction of the interest rates we copped. And they either start earning decent adult wages (and equal pay for women) much earlier, or they get a good education and can earn far higher salaries than I could ever dream of.

    Show me a young couple who are genuinely doing it anywhere near as tough as most of my generation did it and I'll eat my hat!
    Curious
    9th Dec 2015
    1:02pm
    My husband and I became permanent residents in 2012 after arriving to live in Australia mid March 2010. We became citizens January 2014. We have invested al we own into a home and hubby works full time earNing $103K pa. In 6 yrs we have ploughed every cent available into our mortgage reducing the term from 25 to 8yrs and continue to exceed our monthly required repayment. We are 60 and 61 respectively. Can someone please explain when we are eligible for a pension? We plan to sell our house and live off the small amount of profit and super, probably totalling $235,000 for 3-4years while we are grey nomads. Any advice would be welcome. We will continue paying private health if possible as I have a crook back. ALL constructive advice and info is welcome, thank you.
    Couldabeen
    12th Dec 2015
    9:06pm
    You essentially have three hurdles to get over to receive the Age Pension, first is age, female eligibility is 60 and male 65 (though this will change, on a progressive scale for those born after 1960). The next two hurdles are income and assets.
    Your best course of action now is to go and talk, face to face, at Centrelink.
    There is quite bit of incomplete and misinformation on this forum and really it is quite simple. As the article says, if your income and assets are below a certain level, you would be eligible for a full Age Pension with the associated health care card assistance, but your pension would be reduced, on a sliding scale until your combined income and assets reached a determined level.
    Yorkie
    13th Dec 2015
    2:04pm
    You will only be eligible to claim the Australian age pension after 10 years of permanent residence, so in your case, 2022. Five of those years must be continuous residency. Your previous time spent in Australia on a Temporary visa will not be counted. I know this because we are in the same situation. You should be eligible for the Seniors Health card age 65 and if you receive the British pension that will be included as part of your income assessment, along with all your other assets.
    Phil1943
    9th Dec 2015
    1:25pm
    "...the good news is that more people will be eligible for a full Age Pension, or a greater rate of part Age Pension"

    Uh huh. Sure. But for how long? One more term most likely.
    cyclonesally
    9th Dec 2015
    2:00pm
    If one is single, does not own their own home, has (bush) land under $100,000 and has approx $56k in the bank where does one stand re the age pension? I understand that the bank money will be taxed (Deeming) even though there is bugger all interest paid on that & the land yields no income whatsoever. Would one be penalised for owning land?
    Circum
    9th Dec 2015
    11:20pm
    From my understanding the land is just an asset treated the same as money in the bank.You should easily qualify for the full pension but check with your accountant or bank manager.Not sure about the wisdom of owning a bush block.Talk to someone about that.
    cyclonesally
    9th Dec 2015
    11:34pm
    It was initially purchased as an inheritance for my kids seeing as I rent. Don't own my own home & never have done. However, I believe we are not "allowed" to leave any inheritance to our children. Is that correct? I suppose there is now such a thing as inheritance tax? Wouldn't surprise me.
    martel49
    9th Dec 2015
    2:04pm
    I agree with Rainey, my wife a I have worked hard all our working lives to pay off our mortgage and bring up our family as well as paying our taxes an saving for a comfortable retirement, we have to be self funded retirees and still pay taxes on the little interest that we earn, I don't see why as baby boomers we are blamed for the mess that politicians have caused, everybody has the same opportunities in life so we should be all entitled to a pension if you have worked and paid taxes.
    Fliss
    9th Dec 2015
    2:40pm
    Like your thinking martel49.
    Am so tired of hearing "poor me" stories from people who had the same opportunities as everyone else. Sure, some people suffer severe hardship for one reason or another, but funnily enough they are not usually the ones whining loudest.
    Fliss
    9th Dec 2015
    2:34pm
    So according to those new thresholds, let's say we have Couple A & Couple B. Couple A own their home worth $1,000,000 & have $370, 000 in savings - they will get a full pension - i.e about $30,000 p.a. plus the interest on their $370,000 which at today's dismal rates would be about $11,000. So they have $41,000 to live on without touching their savings. Couple B who also own their own very modest home & have saved like hell to amass $1,000,000 for their retirement will have just the earnings of that million dollars to live on - i.e. $29,000 to live on. Huh?
    particolor
    9th Dec 2015
    3:39pm
    YEP !! :-(
    Rae
    9th Dec 2015
    5:06pm
    Couple B should up date the house right now and get into the position of couple A.
    Fliss
    9th Dec 2015
    5:06pm
    How frickin' crazy is that!!!
    How can any sane person say that is just & fair?
    Couldabeen
    12th Dec 2015
    9:16pm
    Fliss, any sensible person would be drawing down on the $1,000,000 as required. With a life expectancy of about 30 more years from when they became eligible for the Age Pension, they could easily draw down in excess of $30,000 p/a. So with Term Deposit interest rates, they could easily generate $50,000 p/a. And if this bothers you, after a few profligate years, they would be eligible for the Age Pension and associated benefits.
    Afterall, the aim is to leave nothing in the bank on the day the last of the couple shuffle off to meet their maker.
    How they spend it is their business, but that is what they saved it for.
    Incidentally, anyone who wandered into their local bank or building society with a million to invest in Term Deposits will find that they will be offered rates not mentioned out loud in public. Seek and ye shall find.
    Anonymous
    13th Dec 2015
    6:58am
    Firstly, Couldabeen, we are not talking about people with a million in the bank. Many of those affected have considerably less than $750,000 in returning assets (after car, household possessions, personal items, etc are counted). Some have way less than that because certain ''assets'' that may be unsaleable in the current economic climate and don't return much or anything are counted.

    Secondly, returns are claimed by the government to be averaging only 5% and many are getting much less. 5%of $750,000 is LESS than the age pension and benefits. So saving makes the saver worse off, thus discouraging saving. Yet Morrison says the only way out of our economic woes is to save. Make NO sense!

    Thirdly, many DID NOT save to live on in retirement. Many saved (by going without a lot - NOT by having super or getting an inheritance or earning a big wage) to ensure a disabled child or grandchild could be looked after adequately, or for a huge medical expense they know or suspect will arise in later life, or because they have special disability needs that incur substantial costs, or because they are unwell or disabled and need home help (but don't necessarily fit the government criteria to get it). Many saved to help their grandchildren an education because their children are battling and can't afford to send their offspring to university. Some saved to take that once-in-a-lifetime overseas trip that they could never afford during their working life.

    And you seem to think it's okay to now deny them what they saved for and force them to reduce their standard of living dramatically, just so the comfortably-off pensioners with a few hundred thousand in the bank can get more - and the truly needy can gain nothing.

    And who said the aim is to leave nothing in the bank on the last day? Who the hell are you to dictate that someone has no right to want to save to leave their children a little, but someone has the right to gamble and drink and then live off the taxpayer? That's rather presumptuous and grossly unfair.

    9th Dec 2015
    4:28pm
    1/1/2017 is a long time off so don't spend up too big as these bozos are very liable to change their minds, again.
    Watchful
    9th Dec 2015
    4:33pm
    The real people responsible for this attack on our savings is the AUSTRALIAN GREENS PARTY as they voted with the coalition government in the senate to implement this policy. You expect the Liberials and Nationalist to do this kind of treacherous act but since the Greens changed leadership they have become the coalitions lackey.
    I have over the past six months emailed their leader Di Natale and their spokesperson Siewert numerous times to get an explaination why the voted this way . Two weeks ago I had a call from Siewerts office from a office worker two months in the job who gave me the Goverments line
    Watchful
    Rae
    9th Dec 2015
    5:09pm
    Did they explain the reasoning Watchful because none of it makes much sense unless you wanted the Superannuation system broken or had no idea of what you were doing?
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    3:51pm
    I got an ''explanation'' - a ''fact sheet'' composed by Morrison's team that was full of absolute BS, and a stupid claim from Di Natale's assistant that they had to do something to help the poor but it's okay because they will do a full retirement income review next year and they want to introduce a minimum guaranteed income for all retirees. Don't hold your breath!

    9th Dec 2015
    4:45pm
    I've had a gutful of self funded retirees whinging about everything that happens. Oh woe is me! Get a grip you people and look around at those who need support from government, you know, the ones with 1 house, assets less than $935,500 and an income of less than $948 per week. If your assats and income exceed the above, can you honestly expect taxpayers to stump up to support you?
    Watchful
    9th Dec 2015
    4:53pm
    Please Old Man go to the top of the page and at least get the $$ figures correct before commenting. The majority of part self funded pensioners have one house and their meager savings that they have accumulated over their working life
    Anonymous
    9th Dec 2015
    5:09pm
    As greedy self funded retirees are on about the new thresholds, I have used the new figures. Either way they are being too, too precious.
    Watchful
    9th Dec 2015
    5:17pm
    Still have the figures wrong, they are all at the top of the page. Also people are discussing part self funded pensioners . The key been in the word part.
    Anyone got a comment on the Green Party's treachery
    Anonymous
    9th Dec 2015
    5:23pm
    Oh OK Watchful, that's how you do it. Ignore what has been said, put your spin on it and change the rules. I stand by what I said about self absorbed, greedy, self funded retirees who want more of what they are not entitled to. I am not discussing part pensions.
    Fliss
    9th Dec 2015
    5:32pm
    Hey Old Man (hate calling you that . . . ) According to these new thresholds, let's say we have Couple A & Couple B. Couple A own their home worth $1,000,000 & have $370, 000 in savings - they will get a full pension - i.e about $30,000 p.a. plus the interest on their $370,000 which at today's dismal rates would be about $11,000. So they have $41,000 to live on without touching their savings. Couple B who also own their own very modest home & have saved like hell to amass $1,000,000 for their retirement will have just the earnings of that million dollars to live on - i.e. $29,000 to live on. Do you honestly think this is fair?
    Anonymous
    9th Dec 2015
    5:55pm
    It's not fair if you choose to put it that way Fliss but you haven't said how the $1M is made up. If it's super then a minimum amount has to be taken. If it's cash surely it can be used to improve a lifestyle and if it's real estate, how can someone with 2 homes expect help. Please provide more information so a reasonable answer can be formed.
    Fliss
    9th Dec 2015
    6:17pm
    Hi "Old Man" - still have trouble calling you that.
    In my scenario I was assuming the $1M is in cash earning 2.9%.
    Rae
    9th Dec 2015
    8:03pm
    To be fair Fliss the couple with the million dollars could draw down $52000 a year for a very long time without using up the capital.
    There will be investment returns one would hope along the way.
    If the money is in real estate they are in trouble with the crazy prices and yields falling but can always sell.
    One million in a bank term deposit should get $35000 or take it elsewhere.
    Bank shares will return about $69000 in dividends and a very nice tax rebate on the top of that.
    If they had bought international shares with the very high Aussie dollar they would have made $335000 in the last couple of years.
    How big a gambler and how much risk you can stomach plays a great deal in how well you create an income.
    Circum
    9th Dec 2015
    11:43pm
    The example by Fliss is straight forward which even an Oldman couldnt argue with.The value of the house is an assett and should be taken into account to be fair.Regarding pension entitlement,This was legislated many years ago and taxes increased so that all retirees would receive their ENTITLEMENT when they ceased work,Sadly succesive governments have managed to stuff the system up.
    Anonymous
    10th Dec 2015
    12:24am
    Sorry Circum, a home should never be considered as an asset providing it's the only piece of real estate owned. My son has a lovely 4br brick home on a ¼acre block but it's only worth around $350K because of the location. Our home is timber on a smaller block but is worth more than twice our son's home because of location. To deprive someone of a pension because of an accident of location is unfair. Again, I stress that regardless of history, an age pension is a safety net not an entitlement.
    martel49
    10th Dec 2015
    7:04pm
    Sorry Old Man, are you a self funded retiree, a multi millionaire or a pensioner? Do you think that it's ok for one person to work and scrimp and save all his/her life to fund a pension for someone who only lived for today didn't care about the future? I bet that if politicians made decisions that would impact their hefty lifetime pensions they would think twice about making them.
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    7:53am
    The bottom line here is that a retiree above the threshold is likely to be losing $1.28c for every extra dollar of savings. It's not about whether or not you should have to live on your savings - and I maintain that those who sacrificed greatly to achieve savings for something they want to spend on later in life should be entitled to use their savings for their intended purpose, and not to prop up someone who didn't choose to go without and save. It's about maintaining incentives to work and save so that Australia's economy can improve.

    If you said to workers you can earn $700 per week and over that amount the government will take $1.28 for every dollar you earn, nobody here would endorse that policy. Why then do some of you support the government effectively taking $1.28 for every dollar someone has saved - possibly over a lifetime of sacrificing the lifestyle those who retain the pension might have enjoyed?

    Since the green-eyed can't accept the argument for fairness, forget it and focus on economic sustainability. Destroying incentive to work and save will ensure we NEVER recover from the current economic crisis. Effectively taxing retirees at the rate of 160% of their earnings kills incentive.
    Renny
    9th Dec 2015
    4:59pm
    Hey Rainey. You really are insulting people. It is possible to work hard all of your life and never earn much. Many, and most of my family, did not have the opportunities or the education you had. Many women were at home looking after the kids with never any employment but part-time. So just stop pretending you're so hard done by. Some people still have to pay rent. Imagine that. The changes are wrong. But attacking the people who might support you isn't helping any.
    Anonymous
    9th Dec 2015
    5:20pm
    You know Renny, some people are so involved in themselves that it becomes all about me, me, me. They have no idea what is going on around them nor do their close circle of friends who are the same types of people.
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    7:41am
    Renny, I have great sympathy for those who are hard up. That's why I oppose strenuously a change that hurts battlers who worked and saved hard but couldn't achieve self-sufficiency, while giving NOTHING to those worst off.

    Think I don't understand struggle? I was an orphan. Hubby was raised in an institution where he was hideously abused and deprived. Neither of us had either education or skills training or opportunity. We worked for peanuts in shit jobs. We had to support a special needs child who cost us over $100,000 in medical and special education costs. We suffered chronic ill-health due to deprivation in childhood and workplace accidents. But we worked three jobs at a time and lived on the smell of an oily rag to save, because we were so afraid of being hard up in old age when we might have extensive health needs or need home help.

    I'm not attacking anyone. I'm speaking out against gross unfairness and illogical thinking that results in long-term economic harm to this country. And in support of those who are genuinely needy and for whom the best reforms are those that are truly economically sustainable and fair.
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    7:42am
    PS. I apologize profusely if my posts create the wrong impression.
    Anonymous
    13th Dec 2015
    7:00am
    Old Man, I'd say you are one of those you are describing. Can't see past your nose and have absolutely no idea of reality, let alone respect for people whose circumstances you know nothing about. You just trade on your wild and completely inaccurate assumptions.

    9th Dec 2015
    6:42pm
    Self-funded retirees are not only funding themselves they are, in fact, funding the government and those who are less monetarily endowed. This is becoming a Socialist society.
    Rae
    9th Dec 2015
    8:07pm
    I'm afraid I disagree. We were a socialist society with a mixed economy of public and private enterprise. Appropriate taxes, income redistribution that was the best in the world for a stable and sound economy. That was before now unfortunately.
    Watchful
    9th Dec 2015
    7:56pm
    Rather than an endless discussion on who deserves how much. What we should be doing is writing to our Coalition and Greens members of parliament pressuring them to reverse this decision in the next budget.
    If the believed that their snouts were going to be removed from the trough then their self interest would benefit pensioners that saved and planned for retirement
    Peterrj
    10th Dec 2015
    12:58am
    Watchful, yep it is an endless discussion as to who deserves more as is what is and is not fair. You have come up with a pragmatic solution ... Put Pollie's self interest first and they may just happen to come on board to reverse these decisions. But it won't happen will it? A great idea but try and get consensus out of YLC readers????
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    7:35am
    It might help to point out the math that they clearly do not understand. Investment returns are currently averaging below 5% per annum. But the new taper rate effectively taxes savings at 7.8% per annum. So Morrison's urging to work, save and invest will only elicit response from those too dumb to work out that a tax of 2.8% more than you earn makes it totally futile to work, save and invest and you are better off taking a few world trips and getting rid of your excess assets, then going on the pension!

    Already, surveys indicate that spending by retirees likely to be impacted by the change is up substantially, and Morrison's claimed savings will NOT eventuate, as more an more older Australians recognize the futility of saving and the benefit of rapid disposal of any assets over the threshold.
    *Imagine*
    9th Dec 2015
    10:03pm
    I wrote to the Dept of Social Services, pointing out the anomalies and possible unintended consequences of the proposed increased asset taper rate and consequent reduction in the upper asset limit for pensions. I provided several scenarios where couples with the same net wealth will be paid different levels of pension depending on where those assets are held. One example I provided was a couple living an alternative lifestyle on a 100acre bush block that cannot be subdivided. (Centrelink count all but 4Ha as an asset) They have limited income from selling produce and drawing on a small super fund. Their present part pension will be further reduced and their total income will be well below the present full pension. Their only real choice is to sell up their life's dream that they have slaved so hard to establish and move into a conventional home, then claim a full pension.
    I was informed that the Government is sympathetic to such cases and there is a loan scheme that this couple may be eligible for to bring their income up to the level of a full pension couple. NOTE LOAN SCHEME. Now what do you imagine might happen to those who think the million dollar plus home is never going to be counted in the asset test. Hex was introduced for those who couldn't afford a tertiary education, maybe a similar scheme could be introduced for those who cannot afford retirement. The only certainty is change. I imagine that there will be a few surprises around the corner, starting with expensive primary residence included in the asset test, then moving on to loan schemes for any person claiming public funds for any reason.
    Rae
    10th Dec 2015
    7:38am
    The economy of the developed world is running on debt.

    There has been 57 trillion US dollars created as well as untold amounts of Euros.

    Unfortunately because wages everywhere have declined for the past 40 years people are unable or unwilling to borrow this money.
    Business don't want to either as consumers are spending less.

    It is a deflationary debt trap or liquidity trap. This has been described and discussed. It is very hard to get out of once an economy is in it as deflation just grinds on and on. Lots of money but no one has any of it except a very few at the top who speculate like crazy distorting markets.

    The cause is ideologically driven so has a way to go yet before realisation of failure sets in. A bit like communism which took nearly 100 years to fail spectacularly.

    This attempt to force people with assets that can be security for loans is a last attempt to prop up the financial system.
    Most of us have been burned by loans however and will be very cautious.

    I think you could very well be right Imagine.
    BB1
    9th Dec 2015
    10:09pm
    No matter what is done, a lot of you have forgotten who put Australia in the mess and it is up the Liberal Government to TRY and reverse it. Gee, you all have very short memories. As I said, we know to blame for this. the Labor Party
    for spending, spending, spending to put us into debt. A lot of the projects had merit, it was the putting them into practice that stuff everything up.
    If you can manage on you salary to buy shares then you are doing OK. You are not short of a quid. Kids in Private Schools, you both belong to the local golf club and manage a game each week. Then you are doing OK.
    It is those who are on the lower end of the pay packet, those earning less than $500,00 a week who are the battlers, paying rent, never to own their own home, they and the pensioners are the ones who one should be worrying about, not someone on $850K per year, you are doing OK as long as you don't try and keep up with the Jones, years ago you didn't have wine with your evening meal, hubby may have had a beer, the wife a shandy, kids water or lemonade if you could afford it. You don't know what it is like in comparison to after and before the war, wages were low, and I mean low. You couldn't even think of sending you child to a private school, you had enough trouble in getting a school uniform and shoes for your kid. Don't see much of this today, Yes there are those who are on the breadline but that breadline is much better than it was in the 1940's -70's. People forget to go and read up on what it was like in those days. Too busy reading and twittering on the I phones or pads. Nothing of this sort available then. So wake up and enjoy what you have not what you don't have.
    Circum
    10th Dec 2015
    12:04am
    BB1 it is not a question of what you have or have not.It is a question of what is fair pension wise.Most people have shares directly or indirectly thru a super fund..it doesnt mean they are OK.You have obviously tackled the many challenges in the past and came out OK.

    I disagree with your comment about the Labour party.They really stuffed up (I voted for them then),I have lost faith in both parties.I do have one philosophy..anyone who plans to vote for the same party always..shouldnt be allowed to vote.
    Watchful
    10th Dec 2015
    5:11pm
    BB1
    You seem to have forgotten that Australia escaped the world recession thanks to the Labour Party and while not all of the money was spent wisely it was better than sinking into a recession.
    While we are having this endless discussion our members of parliament are lining themselves up for a hefty salary increase.
    People can make a difference if they are willing to put in the efford
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    7:29am
    You are so sadly misinformed, BB1. The LNP put Australia in this mess, during the Howard years - by cutting taxes and giving generous concessions and benefits, 80% of which benefited the wealthiest 20%. They created ongoing spending obligations that the country could not afford.

    Now, as to the changes in the taper rate. We can't afford them either. See, Morrison says the only way for Australia to get out of the current economic doldrums is for people to work, save and invest. Please tell me precisely who is going to do that when savings are effectively taxed at a rate of 160% in retirement. Don't believe me? Do some study. Current investment returns are generally below 5%. With a taper rate of $3 per $1000, savings above the pension threshold are effectively taxed at 7.8%. So a retiree whose savings exceed the new threshold is LOSING 2.8% of every dollar saved. Why on earth would anyone want to work, save and invest in these circumstances?

    Surveys are already indicating that the government's claimed savings WILL NOT materialize, because retirees who had conservative spending habits are now booking expensive cruises and planning lavish home renovations to avoid being effectively taxed 2.8% or more in excess of what they earn on their savings.

    WAKE UP AUSTRALIANS.

    Only those as short-sighted and tunnel-visioned as our politicians or as green-eyed as ACCOSS could possibly endorse the grossly unfair, totally illogical and economically devastating changes to pensions that will come into effect in January 2017. You, your children and your grandchildren will pay dearly if this change is allowed to come into effect.

    The LNP created today's economic mess by being short-sighted during the Howard years. They are ensuring we cannot recover by being short-sighted and tunnel-visioned today, and by focusing on bleeding battlers to increase revenue rather than taking back some of the benefits to the wealthy that drove massive increases in inequity and a huge budget deficit.
    Chris B T
    10th Dec 2015
    9:51am
    These Changes come in 2017, an election might see a change in Government/Makeup of Government.(Balance of power in senate)
    Will ALP make a pledge to make a fairer system or go with this system.(Policy Platform)
    Need more convincing statements from ALP to opposing these changes.
    Hardworker
    10th Dec 2015
    11:15am
    Next time "Imagine" write directly to the Minister who holds the portfolio, not to the Government Department as they do not have any control over the changes. They are only instructed to deliver them and I don't think letters like yours get passed on to the correct person, they just get answered from the perspective of that Department and filed in the compactus. Hence the answer you received.
    Sundays
    10th Dec 2015
    1:57pm
    Sorry to disappoint you Hardworker but all letters to the Minster go straight to the relevant Department to answer on his or her behalf. I once wrote hundreds of letters from the public which started with: thank you for your letter to the Minister of ......., I have been asked to respond on their behalf. I would then have to include the words the Ministers office had given us to use as standard in most cases
    *Imagine*
    10th Dec 2015
    8:26pm
    Thanks for the advice Hardworker but that is exactly what I did. Similar letters were sent to Minister Morrison, Shadow Minister of SS, and my local member. I also sent letters to the Greens and Senator Xenophon (because they supported the legislation). I only mentioned the one to DSS because they told me that those who have assets wrapped up in areas other than their primary residence and consequently are living off less than the pension, may be eligible for a loan to bring their fortnightly income up to the maximum pension. The same pension that people with similar or indeed more assets are able to access if they have those assets in their primary residence. I found the response worrying and frankly out of touch, so shared the response.

    11th Dec 2015
    8:41am
    https://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/news/13998/20151208/age-pension--asset-threshold-changes#comment-339578#comment-339580#comment-339581#comment-339582#comment-339583#comment-339585#comment-339589#comment-339590#comment-339592#comment-339594 makes interesting - and potentially alarming reading. Anyone who approves the changes to the assets test should read it carefully.
    Rodent
    11th Dec 2015
    11:40am
    Rainey

    Please explain you last post, what is it, how do you access it? I assume these may be your postings, perhaps others
    What are the numbers
    Sorry to be dumb, but as you may know I am a new poster"
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    4:24pm
    You are not dumb,Rodent. It's complicated and it's even challenging specialists in retirement planning. But it's like this:

    For every extra $1,000 an affected single retiree has in savings, he is likely to earn between $30 and $50 per annum in investment returns. But he will lose $78 per year in pension benefits for the year ($3 per fortnight x 26 fortnights). So every $1000 he saves costs him between $28 and $48 per year. That's equivalent, I'm told, to paying 160% tax on your investment income. (I think there would be a massive outcry if anyone had to pay 160% tax on their income!)

    It's actually worse than that because he also has administration costs to manage his investment portfolio, which could be around $5000 per annum, thus increasing his loss by a further $6.66 per $1000 of savings if he has $750,000 in invested assets.

    Put another way, if an affected retiree spends $100,000 between now and Jan 2017, and thus moves below the new threshold, he will secure a nice reward of $7800 in extra pension benefits, and he after taking into account his lost investment income, and depending on the rate of return he's getting, he's likely to be between $2800 and $4800 per year better off. He can enjoy a lavish world cruise and the government will pay him to do it!

    Now, over 10 years, his savings will dwindle because he has to draw on them to live, but pensions rise with the cost of living.

    By my calculations, a couple with $823,000 in assets could be as much as $178,000 better off over ten years by spending $100,000 than by keeping it. And they get their world cruise into the bargain.

    Now, tell me again how this is good for the country, will reduce the cost of pensions and leave more for the genuinely needy!

    Morrison says we need to work, save and invest to get Australia back to financial health. And he's paying people NOT to, and applying a 160% tax to those who do. Who is going to do as he suggests?
    Rodent
    11th Dec 2015
    4:39pm
    Rainey


    As a person deeply involved in all this Pension nonsense believe me I understand all about the Pension changes very well. My intention in joining these posts was to add what I had learned and share it with anyone who may find it helpful , even by private post if necessary.
    Its clear to me you have a really good understanding of all the NEGATIVE impacts of these changes. I was not asking for your well informed comment , although its useful, thanks, I was ONLY after an explanation of your post will all the numbers ie this
    I dont understand this, what are the numbers, ie are they specific posts, if so how do i access a specific post etc etc

    https://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/news/13998/20151208/age-pension--asset-threshold-changes#comment-339578#comment-339580#comment-339581#comment-339582#comment-339583#comment-339585#comment-339589#comment-339590#comment-339592#comment-339594 makes interesting - and potentially alarming reading. Anyone who approves the changes to the assets test should read it carefully.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2015
    5:20pm
    Sorry I misunderstood you, Rodent. I think the numbers are references to particular articles and comments, but it also appears the link pasted incorrectly somehow. I'll try to find the article again and give you a more helpful route to follow.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2015
    5:22pm
    Not sure what happened before:

    http://theconversation.com/why-pensioners-are-cruising-their-way-around-budget-changes-42544
    Cooky
    11th Dec 2015
    1:15pm
    Is our Home [house] included in our Assets yet?
    Anonymous
    11th Dec 2015
    4:25pm
    Not yet, but it will be. Count on it.
    Couldabeen
    12th Dec 2015
    9:32pm
    Not under the Coalition plans, but almost certainly under Labor and the Greens. If the Greens maintain the balance of power in the Senate, they will almost certainly be pushing for "wealth distribution" in future re-alignments of the various pensions.
    Anonymous
    13th Dec 2015
    7:02am
    Not under Coalition plans? Don't count on it. They've broken EVERY promise they made and their assurances have been proven to mean nothing, And did you happen to notice the latest pension rate change hurt homeowners far more than those who don't own a home? I wonder what precedent that might be setting?
    Mez
    12th Dec 2015
    10:25am
    I totally expected almost all the comments following mine because of the political persuasions they adhere to as well as those lucky and hardworking to be able to live in large empty bedroomed houses.
    Sad how unfair society has become due to greed and corruption.
    I noticed how no mention was made of the large number of women who are divorced and fortunate enough to leave their abusive partners but are battling to get food on the tables or who ARE HOMELESS.
    MOST HOMELESS ARE ELDERLY WOMEN THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN yet most commenters are bleating and wingeing about how they can avoid losing money. HOW PATHETIC!
    Look around you and open your eyes!
    Us women have worked hard all our lives whether it be in the home looking after the family or like me have earned a salary all my life since 17 but our wages are up to about 28% LESS THAN MEN so super funds are ALSO LESS and even less if they looked after kids part of that time!
    Labour AND Liberal parties have their pros and cons so wouldn't it be good if we had a political party that was both humanitarian as well as wise and astute in its financial dealings! These may emerge with the present government under the new leadership hopefully as it already has shown some glimmer of hope.
    Myself.....I am a divorced mother who rents and does not own any homes although I had in the past but could not afford to keep them although I was a professional worker and my kids' welfare came first.
    As an age pensioner, I am still able to work minimally on the Work Bonus scheme which keeps me young and healthy although my back already has osteoarthritis as a result of my early nursing years when there were no lifting machines before I went into teaching.
    It IS possible now to sell your empty nest without having to pay for stamp duty with the new legislation and if one monitors their super funds every month and change their asset classes accordingly depending on performances, one may still earn and save on taxes and still be able to withdraw on part of their funds and still keep helping the economy in a useful manner.
    Chris B T
    12th Dec 2015
    3:39pm
    Mez.
    One reason why there are more women on single age pension, is most men died.
    Even before reaching and just after age pension age.
    Early years OH&S didn't exsit, poor working conditions generaly.
    As you have discribed about lifting.
    If where the other way around you would have more old men.
    Before reaching age pension age there was in past widow/seperated womens payment. Not for men so there was some financial help for women.(Depending on Birth Dates).
    My understanding there is a rental assistance of $60/week, additional to the age pension. Which a home owner doesn't receive.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2015
    5:18pm
    Mez, while I don't disagree with your comments, I don't think you are grasping what the changes really mean and how they impact on some of those affected. Nor do I think you appreciate the unfairness of them. There seems to be a ''green eyed'' mentality that drives a view that the only thing that matters is giving more to the poor - regardless of why they are in that situation. But the problem is that if you grind everyone down to the level of the poor, there is less money to help anyone - including the poor.

    We need sound economic management and no,there is no glimmer of hope under this government because what they are doing is going to send the cost of funding retirement and age care skyrocketing, while dramatically INCREASING the number of people who are poor in old age and reducing the number of younger folk who save.

    If you take from those who work hard and go without to save, then people won't go without to save. Those you take from will be forced to spend less, so economic growth reduces. The economy WILL suffer.

    Everyone here, I think, understands the struggles of women and the disabled and the sick etc. We want to help them. But you CANNOT do that by selecting some 560,000 battlers who worked damned hard and sacrificed to accrue a little savings and saying ''you have no right to benefit from it no matter how hard it was to acquire, because some other people don't have as much''. That's communist policy, and it has been proven to fail. The current policies WILL destroy Australia.

    We DO need to tax the rich fairly. But we need to retain incentives to work and save and rewards for doing so and we need to allow those of modest means - but not nearly enough to be self-funded - to benefit from their efforts.

    Your last paragraph is wrong. Those affected by the new pension regime CANNOT EARN AND SAVE ON TAXES AND WITHDRAW ON PART OF THEIR FUNDS AND STILL KEEP THE ECONOMY IN A USEFUL MANNER. Their earnings are LESS than they need to live on, and the ''tax'' is effectively 160% per annum, and there will be NO long terms savings to help the economy because people who would other wise need only a small part pension will now go a few years with nothing and then need a great deal more government help. It's WRONG. And as for suggesting anyone should now be forced to sell their home that it took them a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice to acquire - sorry, that's grossly offensive, unfair in the extreme, and a suggestion that could only be made by someone who considers they have a superior entitlement. So you weren't as successful in life as others? That DOES NOT give you the right to demand they hand their savings to you in preference to using it for their own comfort in old age.
    Mez
    12th Dec 2015
    10:06pm
    RAINEY...I found your comments generally were quite sensible and realistic, however, what I said in the last paragraph IS CORRECT and I was not saying that drawing from super was for living on but as extra for travelling or otherwise.
    I worked damned hard very year since the age of 17 but I am renting because I choose to although I have bought and sold 2 houses whilst divorced.
    It is totally stupid AND unrealistic to live in a large house when your kids have flown the nest so instead of complaining bitterly, why don't you sell to downsize and you'll be a lot happier for it.....nothing to do with me but with you lot who sit at home feeling smug and sorry for yourselves.
    Lighten your loadz off your shoulders and feel free to be happy with life which is oh so short.
    Anonymous
    13th Dec 2015
    7:11am
    Again, you work on assumptions based on personal circumstances, Mez. Many want to stay in their home because of location near the people they love and the conveniences they need. A smaller, cheaper home may not be available in that location. Many still need their larger home because they are providing accommodation from time to time for children or grandchildren or other relatives. It may be that they have certain hobbies they don't want to give up that require substantial space to pursue. Or that their garden is their life. Or maybe they shared their home with a loved spouse for 50 years and can't bear to leave the home that meant so much to their loved one.

    There are a thousand reasons why older people would be traumatized or devastated at having to sell their home and move. For us, it's a simple matter of we worked very hard to find and afford a house in a particular very special location and this is where we want to spend the rest of our days. And we can't cope with the trauma of moving again. We've done it too many times and we just can't deal with the packing and unpacking. We can't deal with having to shed things of great sentimental value because they won't fit in a smaller home.

    I am so sick of the people on this site who PRESUME to tell others how to live their lives and demand that people who worked their guts out and saved for a particular goal forgo everything they worked for and suffer being totally screwed over just because a few of you didn't do quite as well and can't accept that those who achieved better - but are far from rich or privileged - are entitled to a reward for their effort.

    The rich aren't being asked to sacrifice a little of what they have that is far, far more than they need. Only those who have worked hard and sacrificed much but couldn't quite reach the goal of self-sufficiency are being denied the lifestyle they worked so hard for.

    13th Dec 2015
    8:22am
    Can someone please explain the ''fairness'' of this:

    Someone with a $100,000 in savings who is privileged to have good health and a relatively easy job can keep working after age 65 and earn above the income threshold but still receive a pension. Centrelink, however, takes 50% of his earnings above a certain level.

    Someone who suffered lifelong disadvantage and is in poor health, needing a higher income to meet the costs of medical care, pharmaceuticals, disability aids and home help, cannot earn anything but has $100,000 dollars the new asset threshold thanks to receiving a compensation payment for injury at work. He earns $96 per week investment income, and Centrelink takes $150 per week - 156.25% from Mr Unfortunate as opposed to the 50% they take from Mr Privileged.

    Well, I guess that's consistent with giving $180,000 in non-means-tested pension to a multi-multi-millionaire who is still working and earning $360,000 a year, just because he happened to be Mr Super-privileged.

    What I DON'T understand, is how some people can call this ''FAIR''.

    The age of entitlement is over. Battlers are not entitled to the benefit of their savings - no matter how hard won. But the privileged are entitled to more than ever before. Apparently, Mr Hockey just forgot to finish his sentence!
    Mez
    13th Dec 2015
    11:20am
    RAINER.....Again, much of what you say makes a lot of sense but again, I say that it makes more sense to downsize homes despite all the sentimental reasons you stated for not selling a large empty house.
    Life continues to prent these challenges and the needs to make sacrifices as most people do for a variety of reasons which are usually because of children, finance and health. Reasons why sole parents of whom most are women have had to make sacrifices and are not in the same fortunate positions as others who do end up with large empty houses. Life is not just about working and saving for that nor end up as such before one ends up in the grave as a bitter and unhappy soul. It is about continuing to be flexible to meet the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune"and the satisfactions derived from those processes. To live a happy and vibrant life is to be active both mentally and physically for as long as possible to prevent accelerated ageing and decay.
    Australia is the only nation in the world that has had the mentality of working towards a house to end up with in old age whereas overseas, people have been renting and investing in other ways in preference.
    It appears that you work in Centrelink as you seem to have certain figures at your disposal that most would not have and if so, it is good to see you air your views and opinions.
    As I had hinted in another comment re political policies and parties, the ideal solutions will never be met to satisfy everyone unless a government can arrive at a magic formula that is fair and workable to address many of the issues that you and I have mentioned.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2015
    7:13am
    Sorry, Mez, but that's self-serving crap. Some women do it tough. My mother was widowed 11 months after marriage, with a child to raise. Still paid off a home. And was devastated when she had to sell it to pay an exorbitant aged care bond. She wanted to leave it to her grandchildren.

    There is ABSOLUTELY NO NEED for the current cruel and unfair attack on retirees. Despite the nonsense being peddled, the young have it far easier than we did. Housing bubble? There was a housing bubble when we were trying to buy. Prices almost doubled in a year. They happen from time to time. But we settled for a tiny 2-bedroom run-down 30-year-old house and we grew vegetables and sewed and lived frugally and taught ourselves renovation skills and we got by. And no, I don't work for Centrelink. Neither my husband or I ever had the good fortune to have a job that paid decent wages or had benefits attached. Certainly nothing in bureaucracies where people are well rewarded

    The IS a sensible and fair solution, and that is to abandon the means test, acknowledging that people are entitled to save for whatever purpose they choose and to retain those savings for that purpose. Tax INCOME. Certainly, ensure income isn't artificially reduced in retirement by applying fair deeming rates to particular types of assets, with exemptions where people find themselves with money locked in non-returning assets through no fault of their own.

    NO retiree should be compelled to sell their home, and people who suggest that it's okay to make people sell assets or live on savings just because some green-eyes didn't manage as well in life make me sick. Sad that some do it tough, and yes, they SHOULD be assisted. And we CAN well afford to assist them. But that should NEVER be done by attacking retirees who have achieved modest savings and want to retain their home and some of their funds for the purposes for which they worked so hard to acquire them. NOBODY should be forced to hand 156% of their earnings to the tax man. Workers don't. Retirees shouldn't have to. It's UNFAIR and NOTHING can justify it.

    And no, I don't have access to figures others can't access. They are all on the web for anyone who searches to find readily.
    Mez
    13th Dec 2015
    11:34am
    There is not much incentive for most people to scrape up money for their retirement when it is used to pay for the cost of aged care facilities before they are subsidised by the government whether it be before they die or afterwards at estate settlements!
    Also many of the people who could be making counter comments are too busy working or are unable to access the internet due to poverty so please keep that in mind when thinking about yourselves here.
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2015
    7:27am
    Sorry, Mez, but I'm getting really tired of this ''poor people'' song. Very few had it tougher in life than my husband and I. I was a single orphan. He was a double orphan hideously abused and deprived in an orphanage. Went to work at 14 with total 5 years schooling and no qualifications. First two years' wages stolen by the state. We both suffered a lifetime of ill-health. Both worked in shit jobs for lousy pay - nowhere near what a mechanic earns. We'd have given our eye-teeth for a trade qualification -ANY trade. We had a special needs child who cost us the equivalent of 3 houses and prevented me from working for years because of her care needs.
    Don't tell me about hardship. And don't you dare suggest that after 50 years of slogging my guts out and living on the smell of an oily rag I should have to sell my home or live off my modest savings just so others who MIGHT have done it tough (most had it far, far easier than I did) can have a better life.
    My home - that I worked so hard to acquire - is to give my disabled grandson security, so he won't be dependent on a mean and selfish government or an uncharitable society. And I need my savings to pay for special needs I have because of childhood deprivation and for health care and certain special needs that my husband has as a result of abuse in childhood - for which he was never in any way compensated or given a single ounce of assistance.
    We worked for 50 years under horrendous hardship and nobody EVER supported the idea of us being given the tiniest ounce of aid. In fact, when the suggestion was raised a few years ago that people like my husband should be given some minimal compensation, there was a huge outcry that the country couldn't afford to do that. And now you want to take away what we earned to give to others - many of whom didn't have it a tiny fraction as hard as we did. Sorry. It's disgusting. The very thought that anyone could be so cruel and unfair as to suggest it makes me sick.
    Mez
    14th Dec 2015
    8:46am
    Rainey.......I am sorry to hear that you have had it so tough as indeed, I also have undergone a childhood of domestic violence abuse, racial discrimination (parents from N.E. Europe ) and was an unmarried mother for a while before becoming married and later with a child with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia so you are not alone.
    However, if you read my comments more carefully, you would have found that they were generalised and nonspecific. The system obviously needs to arrive at a better solution or formula to cater for a diverse range of needs like yours. I wish you well and a Merry Christmas as well as a Happy New Year. God bless.
    Rodent
    14th Dec 2015
    10:04am
    Dear Mez

    I refer to your post to Rainey, dated 13 Dec @11.20am where you say Rainey may have access to more info - etc. yes hes may but anything you may need re the Pension Changes, is freely available

    FYI in case you did not see it I add this as info from one of my earlier posts.

    ts true to say that there are some winners in the changes to the Pension, however unfortunately there are many more losers in real terms. The Greens saw an opportunity at the 11th hour to support the changes, even while the Senate committee was still sitting. The attempted to justify their decision saying it was "fair" however it was clearly a political decision , because Labour was fiddling around

    If you go to the Greens website you will see their published reasons for the decision, one of which is they believed there would be a comprehensive Retirement Incomes review, we will see if that happens.

    There Doc can be accessed this way
    http://greensmps.org.au/content/materials/better-pensions-fact-sheet, it has some TABLES that are very useful at the bottom of doc for Home Owners and Non Home owners ( based on Govt Info)
    And this
    Good to see some more discussion again re the Pension changes , some of you might like to try this -enter www.cuffelinks.com.au
    this will bring up home page of this company, on Right is search box- , just below where it says Register for free- in that search box enter Rebalancing the assets Test - press search/Enter
    Up will come another page that has what you need
    On this page the doc you are after is - Sponsor White Paper- by Accurium Aug 26 2015
    access this a DOC some of you might find the way its presents the data useful

    Hardworker
    9th Dec 2015
    12:02pm
    report reply Thank you Rodent for that very helpful reference to cuffelinks. It is, as you say, presented in a much more useful way.

    14th Dec 2015
    10:04am
    It seems there are some here who are prepared to try to justify the Government's actions and suggest we should just accept and make the best of them. This concerns me, because there is no justification for changes that are fundamentally unfair and that have been 'sold' to the electorate on the basis of gross untruths.

    1. We do NOT spend excessive amounts on the aged pension. In fact, our welfare spending is very low by comparison with other countries, and our retirees are worse off than retirees in most other developed countries (and many somewhat underdeveloped nations too, actually!)

    2. The changes WILL NOT save money and WILL NOT make things better for the next generation. Quite the reverse. They will impoverish the next generation. They provide a strong disincentive to save. By reducing the wealth of savers who are now retired, they reduce wealth transfer to the next generation and redirect it to a wasteful government that has demonstrated gross financial mismanagement. And finally, the changes are targeted at those retirees who would otherwise most benefit the economy with their spending in retirement, so there may be a short burst of spending that will be beneficial (but reduce the claimed $2.4 billion savings on pensions) and then there will be a drop in GST revenue and economic activity that will be damaging to the budget.

    Given this, we should all be strenuously opposing the changes and demanding a review. Keep in mind that the changes didn't benefit the needy. Genuinely poor pensioners got NOT ONE CENT from the changes. The benefit all went to the pensioners with a few hundred thousand in the bank. And long term the changes are not only economically harmful, but they set a dangerous precedent. When the claimed savings don't materialize, who will the government attack next and how? If you don't speak up for those they came for unfairly in the last budget, there may be nobody speaking for you when they come after you and cut your retirement income, or when they start forcing us all to sell our homes and live on the proceeds.

    There are dozens of viable options for balancing the budget WITHOUT attacking retirees who haven't managed to save enough to be self-sufficient. I have absolutely no objection to giving up any pension entitlements if and when my investment income exceeds the value of the aged pension plus benefits, but savers SHOULD NOT have an income well below the level of the pension and to suggest that someone who saved for a particular goal should sacrifice that goal to give more to people who have a few hundred thousand in the bank and are getting a pension + benefits is unforgivable.

    Let's unite to demand a fair review and a more economically sustainable approach. Let's demand sound financial management, and an end to giving in to the greedy demands of political ''string-pullers''.
    Hardworker
    14th Dec 2015
    1:37pm
    A question for Rodent. My friend and I have read the Rebalancing of the Assets Test paper provided by Cufflinks that you refer to but do not understand something. On the first page there are two Tables. Table 2 refers to Higher Age Pension entitlements for certain pensioners from 1 January 2017. The column containing the figures for Higher Age Pension until assets reached in this table for a single, homeowner is $289,500. Can you explain who these "certain pensioners" are? In other words who falls into the category of being able to have assets to $289,500 rather than $250,000.
    Rodent
    14th Dec 2015
    3:31pm
    Hard Worker

    When I get a minute I will try to explain it in more detail, than this, but for now a Single Home Owner with assets of $250K receives an Annual pension of $20,670 (Sept 20th 2015 Rates) and for the SAME Asset figure in 2017 this pension will be at LEAST $22,542

    Where the assets are $275K the current Annual pension is $19,675 and this INCREASES as from Jan 2017 to at LEAST $20,592

    fyi There are OTHER increases in other Pensioner types across other Asset Values, the most noticable is the INCREASES For NON HOME OWNING Couples between $600K and $700k, the increase at $600k is APPROX $4500 pa. Eg at $600k Asset value a Non Home Owning Couple will receive approx $32,032 pa and Single Non Home Owner at the same $600k will receive ONLY approx $10842 pa in JAN 2017
    yes it STINKS and its NEITHER FAIR OR EQUITABLE.
    PLEASE NOTE some published calculations use assumptions for what the thresholds will be in 2017 compared to today.

    For all the information about the Specific Govt tables and the ASSUMPTIONS used go to the OFFICIAL govt website, OR Go To Super Guide by Googling -Age Pension Asset Test 300,000 Retired-----pull this up it has ALL the detail you may require INCLUDING the Govt Tables showing the Losses and Gains across all pensioner types for the various Asset Values
    Rodent
    14th Dec 2015
    5:00pm
    Hard Worker

    A more simple answer- based on JUNE 2018 ESTIMATED Rates.
    Why June 2018 - because it will be the first FULL year of the changes introduced in Jan 2017

    For Assessable Assets of $289,500 the estimated FULL Single Home Owner Pension (with both Supps) should be $24,227 and this Pension will be REDUCED by both the Income and Asset Test, however the ASSET test will apply the greatest reduction, therefore the reduced pension of approx $21,137 pa would be paid- In this case the ASSET TEST CUT OFF THRESHOLD should be approx $547,000, with the Asset Test Min Threshold being the $250,000 figure you often see quoted

    Hope this helps, they check out in my Plansoft Age Pension Calculator software
    Rodent
    14th Dec 2015
    6:03pm
    Hi Rainey, and others have you seen the Article By Daryl Dixon published in Yesterdays Age (Melb) and today's Canberra Times- Down Side to Strategy for Retirees, Its right on the money!!
    PlanB
    15th Dec 2015
    9:14am
    Rodent is this the one

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/money/super-and-funds/retirement-policy-muddle-puts-retirees-at-risk-20150618-ghqzi6.html

    from here

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Article+By+Daryl+Dixon+published+in+Yesterdays+Age+%28Melb%29+and+today%27s+Canberra+Times-+Down+Side+to+Strategy+for+Retirees&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=KD5vVr7ZJ4i30QTs6YiAAw
    Rodent
    15th Dec 2015
    9:56am
    Plan B, and others

    This is the Dixon article I refer to
    https://www.dixon.com.au/news/news-article/14-12-15/down-side-to-strategy-for-retirees
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    12:21pm
    Yes, it's right on the money, Rodent. I have written long letters to politicians (including Morrison) detailing both the unfairness of the new taper rate and the reasons why it's economically unsustainable and will likely drive pension costs UP in the medium to longer term, while it's unlikely to deliver the claimed savings even in the short term. It's refreshing to see some advisory groups already urging the Government to re-think their strategy and wind back the changes. What worries me, though, is that the government seems more focused on lining the pockets of the rich than on common sense measures that will help the economy.
    Watchful
    16th Dec 2015
    4:20pm
    As if I wasn't already angry and frustrated about the Government ripping into our part pensions I saw the Treasure and former Social Services Minister Scott Morrison on ABC TV defending his latest attack on those less well off members of the community and reminding the interviewer how he got the January 2017 cuts to the pension through the Senate with the support of the greens and he again will be expecting the same support. I sincerely hope that pensioners will not blindly vote above the line therefore ensuring that their vote does not go to the parties that accommodated Morrison before.
    Supernan
    18th Jan 2016
    1:18pm
    Totally agree Pensioners should be allowed reasonable assets. It makes them more independent & actually costs Taxpayers less !
    If you retire at 70, own a house & car & hope to keep it that way till you are 85 then it takes money to do it ! At some stage you must paint or fix roof leaks, clean septic tank & water tank out, lop overhanging trees, fix the drive, or need a plumber or sparkie. This keeps house saleable, so when you move on, you can you can financed the next stage of life yourself & not need a Government home or assistance.
    If you have a car you need to service it, get tyres, repair it & keep yourself mobile as long as you can.
    If you have a chronic illness, even after Medicare, each visit costs over $100 or even $200 or more. If you cant afford this, you have to use the Public Health providers, paid for by the Government & Taxpayers.
    This year our Priv Health paid Hospital fees of over $9000 - saving Public Health system & Tax payers all that cost.
    So by letting us keep enough assests to pay Health Insurance through the years, the Gov benefits !
    No we dont have anything like a million $$$. No, dont get a full pension, not even half 1/2. No, we're not extravagant - no holidays, dont smoke or drink, dont eat out or do shows. Just happy on our little acreage with trees & birds & garden & little above ground pool ! Doesn't seem much to ask to want to keep it !
    mogo51
    3rd Feb 2016
    10:45am
    A very relevant comment here about decreased interest rates, 1% or less in savings accounts.Super funds gone from 10% plus down to 4% if you are lucky, many losees in last 12 months.
    I have a small pension fund, just turned 65 and had budgeted for $10k a year to top up my pension and make life a lot more livable, now it is %5k if I am lucky. $559k i hardly living on the hog, which means the self funded retiree will receive $25k a year max return on his Super - not livable in Oz.
    I will live o/s as I can live a more dignified life standard but I would rather live in Oz. I am fortunate to be over 35 year criteria and am not affected by proposed new legislation.
    But what about the family that came here 25 years ago, maybe became an Oz citizen but will not be able to collect pension if he decides he wants to do the same thing as me.
    Rather unfair I would think - many other countries are introducing the same draconian legislation.
    Unless there is a concerted push to make well to do pay their equal share of tax, plus corporates made to pay tax on earnings in Oz, there will be no credibility for either party.
    Not Senile Yet!
    17th Mar 2016
    7:07pm
    Asset Tests are now being designed to save the Government money!
    This has nothing to do with being Fair......as the reason for this approach has everything to do with the fact that the Government raided the Tax Payer's Built Up Reserve Pension Piggy Bank in 1990's and spent the Lot......we are talking Billions!!!!!
    That piggy Bank was to subsidise the Aged Pensions for the Baby Boomers....who would all retire within a 10-15yr Window!
    That is the real reason why they can't afford to pay the Aged Pensions....the money (7% of tax) that was put in a separate account has been raided...blown!!!!
    Oh it was done legally......but Stealing is okay when Both Parties do it......they simply agree with each other and pass legislation to allow it!!!!
    Magically....the Party Mp's got a Brand New Parliament House.....not long after!!!!!
    As for you nutters that keep harping on that Aged Pensions are Welfare....do some more homework.....because Aged Pensions was always kept as a separate Department from Welfare Departments.
    It was never called Welfare until the Government combined it with Welfare depts. to save money on administration costs.
    When they did spend all the loot...they never reduced anyone's tax by the 7% that was supposed to be save for Aged Pensions.....oh No!.....they just put into General Revenue...you know ....the Black Hole that can never be Balanced!!!!!!
    Living longer does not translate to working longer....as many wisely know...but the Government still moved retirement to 70 knowing that most would never be still employed after 60 in our current society structure!!!!
    Why???? Because they do not care about that...what they care about is only paying the Dole/Unemployment from 65 -70.....which amounts to a huge Cost Savings!!!!
    Talk about dishonourable objectives?????
    Not Senile Yet!
    17th Mar 2016
    7:16pm
    Further to the above....think about this...
    Who would risk having a brickie who has worked 40yrs laying bricks and is physically past his use by date continue until he is 70????
    Or for that matter any physically demanding job?????
    Okay let's take a high profile pen pusher....after 40yrs...do you not see the possibility of Mental Burnout as well....given all wage rises are tied to productivity increases??????
    HHHHMMMMMPPPHHH.....and what about CHild care or Teaching fulltime at the age of 69 eh??????
    Get my Point.....totally unrealistic!!!!!!
    By the way where id the provision for someone to retrain even......nothing offered.....no subsidy whilst you do either eh????
    Please.....wake up!,,,,,,these are Policies that are unrealistic!!!!!
    No not just for the employee....but also for the employer!!!!
    HarrysOpinion
    27th May 2016
    12:57pm
    However, the good news is that more people will be eligible for a full Age Pension, or a greater rate of part Age Pension, which could result in an increase of $30 per fortnight in pension payments for "thsoe" who need it most

    SO HOW DID YOU WORK THAT ONE OUT MR EDITOR OF YOURLIFECHOICES?...and how are your spelling lessons going? ("thsoe"?????????)
    Tomaso
    27th May 2016
    2:26pm
    We all write on here about how unfair these lying r/bags are doing to us, but that, unfortunately, will get us nowhere, how about doing something other than complaining / arguing on here folks, just a thought... disgusted/disheartened pensioner. If only I could persuade my Mrs to go elsewhere to live a lot cheaper than here....?. Cos its only going to get worse with the idiot pollies lining there own nest eggs etc.
    Oz
    30th May 2016
    4:55pm
    With regard to the proposed asset test, you are peddling the same great lie that the government does. As you should know Centrelink assesses pensioners on the asset and income test. Based on the deeming rules, someone (single) having 250000$ would not receive the full pension. So would you please tell the whole truth .
    HarrysOpinion
    30th May 2016
    5:57pm
    Try this Oz: http://education.moneymanagement.com.au/course/centrelink-asset-testing-winners-and-losers