Pension changes get Green light

Changes to pension asset thresholds and taper rate will pass through the Senate.

Pension changes get Green light

Opposition leader Bill Shorten may have announced that the Labor Party would not support proposed pension changes but a deal with the Greens means that the changes to the asset thresholds and pension taper rate announced in the Federal Budget will pass through Parliament.

In order to secure the Greens’ support for the measures, which are forecast to deliver $2.4 billion in savings over four years, the government had to agree to extend the consultation period for the tax white paper. The agreement came despite the Greens initially demanding a review of retirement incomes in return for agreement on the pension measures.

“Support for the single largest savings measure in this year’s budget, following passage of the government’s cornerstone small business measures, demonstrates the Abbott Government is successfully getting on with the job of implementing our ‘have a go’ budget,” Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison said. 

“As a result of these changes it is estimated more than 170,000 pensioners with low and modest levels of assets will have their pension increased by around $30 a fortnight from January 2017, when these changes take effect.

“Those who lose access to the part-pension as a result of the increase in the taper rate, to the settings that were in place prior to 2007, will be guaranteed access to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.”

The changes are an alternative to the more contentious measures announced in last year’s Federal Budget that failed to gather any support and pass through the Senate. However, the abolition of the Seniors Supplement, paid to self-funded retirees who qualify for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), will go ahead, with the Labor Party supporting the move. The payment of $894.40 for single CSHC holders is likely to cease after the June 2015 quarterly payment.

The Opposition has also committed its support for the capping at 10 per cent the level of income from defined benefit superannuation that can be excluded from the pension income test. This measure is likely to take effect from 1 January 2016.

Read more at TheAge.com.au 

Opinion: Not all good news

Changes to the asset threshold may well mean that part age pensioners lose their pension, but it’s the change to the taper rate that is likely to have the greatest effect for those entering retirement in the next 10 to 15 years. Many pre-retirees have based their retirement planning on the taper rate being $1.50 for every $1000 of assets over the threshold, so the increase to $3 will have a substantial affect on expected pension payment rates. The resulting shortfall will be difficult to address over this limited timescale.

Also, if you believe what the government is telling us, it should be good news across the board, with the increased thresholds before the Age Pension is affected resulting in around 50,000 part age pensioners being entitled to a full Age Pension. However, the Combined Pensioners & Superannuants Association disputes this claim.  This is largely due to those part age pensioners with few assets having their pension payments limited under the income test and not the asset test. As the income thresholds are not being increased, many of the 50,000 pensioners will see no increase in their pension at all.

The impact on retirement incomes as a result of the changes to the pension asset thresholds and taper rate only serves to highlight that the initial call by the Greens was correct – a comprehensive review of retirement incomes is indeed an urgent necessity. An extension of the consultation period on the tax white paper is unlikely to help the growing number of pre-retirees and retirees facing a retirement income shortfall.

Do you think the changes to the pension asset thresholds and taper rate are a step in the right direction? Do you expect to gain or lose from such changes? Is a review of retirement incomes necessary?





    COMMENTS

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    jamesmn
    17th Jun 2015
    10:00am
    darn greens again when will they ever learn its because of them we all are paying gst wait for the next election abbot and greens will suffer if the greens go through with it its the greens fault a lot of people lost their houses with the big bushfire in Victoria a few years ago they still have not learnt they are still a pack of idiots.
    Stretch
    17th Jun 2015
    10:56am
    It was John Howard who brought in the GST in the late 1990's. The Coalition did not get or depend on the Greens vote to bring it in. The ALP also opposed the GST.
    notelle
    17th Jun 2015
    1:29pm
    Stretch; It's true that Howard didn't depend on the Greens, but it was the former Australian Democrats leader Meg Lees who brokered the deal to pass the GST to start on the 1st of July 2000.
    UNCLE FESTER
    17th Jun 2015
    2:51pm
    Wasn't it the Australian people who voted for the GST? It was a clear election commitment.
    When you vote take responsibility for it - if you don't like what they do, vote them out next time.
    KSS
    17th Jun 2015
    3:23pm
    Actually the Australian electorate voted for John Howard who went to the election with the clear promise he would introduce a GST if he won the election. Well he did (by a landslide) and he kept his promise aided by the Democrats who presented a list of GST exemptions which were accepted.

    The Greens are guilty of many things but bringing in the GST is not one of them.
    MJM
    17th Jun 2015
    10:01am
    Well isn't this all confusing... All I know is my pension age is 67 not 60 my super is not enough to exist past 70. And now I will have to be poor to get anything even though I've contributed in tax since I was 14.
    Stretch
    17th Jun 2015
    10:59am
    I think that's the point - a person has to be poor to get anything. I would rather not be poor and not get anything from the Government/taxpayer.
    Happy cyclist
    17th Jun 2015
    12:08pm
    MJM you have not read the detail. While certainly not an apologist for the current government, I note people in the lower brackets for savings and super will do better, people who have over a million dollars in assets and a house will receive slightly less. Sounds very fair to me, the pension was only ever supposed to be to support those who actually needed it -- not people who have been lucky enough to accumulate sufficient. And it is luck. We may have worked 'hard' for decades but we are lucky because we have been employed and paid well. In many countries people want to work but there is no work for them. So lets all take a chill pill and count out blessings!
    Can't eat bricks
    17th Jun 2015
    12:18pm
    Hi happy cyclist, mate it's not just over a million any more it's $800.000 there a bouts, so start spending it. Wisely tho
    mangomick
    17th Jun 2015
    1:06pm
    Happy cyclist. Luck has nothing to do with accumulating enough to retire on. It's more about austerity and living within your means for your entire life.
    There's no luck involved in being prepared to up-root your family or self and moving to where the work is nor is it luck in working hard , doing every bit of overtime available, studying and doing every dirty job available so one can get a decent income.
    Hasbeen
    17th Jun 2015
    1:23pm
    Just how much did you contribute MJM, & how much are you getting now. The pension today is a much higher percentage of the basic wage, than in the past, thus our kids are paying a much higher percentage of their wages to keep us, than we did to keep our oldies.

    I remember my first pay packet, [remember them, when we got paid in real money], after the change to dollars, I noted the figures. I was earning about the average wage at $79.40 & paid 7.5% tax on the money above the threshold. That was the grand sum of $5.23. Yep 3 years of that tax would actually pay one fortnight of my pension today.

    Time to stop bitching about being hardly done by I think.
    Happy cyclist
    17th Jun 2015
    2:46pm
    Mangomick, the luck is in living somewhere where work is available, where you have good enough health to be able to do that work, where we have good healthcare and clean water unlike many countries, where we can work hard and we can accumulate. Many people live in countries where no matter how hard they work they get paid a pittance and when they get sick -- bad luck. I too have worked all my life and lived within my means, my current car is 16 years old! But I feel very lucky to have a car and to be able to afford petrol, etc. etc. The luck is in being where we can do well.
    UNCLE FESTER
    17th Jun 2015
    3:15pm
    We differ from the UK system because there it is a "right" as everyone contributes through the National Insurance (NI) system. When employed the employer had to put a NI stamp on your employment card every week, and you took this card with you to your next job (hence the term "getting your cards" when sacked). There was no "shame" in getting a pension as it was earned through work. I can remember a front page picture of Harold Wilson drawing his pension and the commentary was all positive as it was his right to receive it.
    In this country the pension is welfare as it is not directly contributory but is paid out of general revenue and all taxpayers contribute. If the superannuation scheme had been set up in the same way ie contributions go into a Government Fund (God forbid) and the pension paid out of that, given the earnings would have allowed for a full pension, then it would be a much fairer outcome. Because Super is personal it encourages people to try to retain as much for themselves whilst trying to get as much as possible out of the welfare system.
    Welfare is for people who have been unable to work or have insufficient funds.
    Superannuation is to provide funds for retirement so it would be fair to require people to draw on their super before becoming entitled to a welfare pension. If they wanted to invest over and above the amount paid by employers then they would have to do so through other channels.
    mangomick
    17th Jun 2015
    3:17pm
    Living here for a lot of people isn't called luck either. It's called migration.
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    1:33pm
    Happy cyclist, you obviously have no understanding of economics. The measures are cruel and unfair to those with modest savings, but don't touch the wealthy. Now possibly some of those with modest savings were lucky, but many struggled on very low incomes and with all kinds of disadvantages, but managed to save because they went without things others consider essential. Yes, we are lucky to be in a country where we can do well, but that doesn't justify unfairly victimizing people who battled to save, but are NOT wealthy and do not have anywhere near enough to be self-sufficient in retirement.

    Please tell me where the fairness is in allowing a couple with $275,000 in the bank and earning $30,000 a year to inherit $100,000 and only lose $1625 a year from their part-pension, while the asset-tested couple with modest savings earning only 3% interest, and NO other income, loses a massive $7800? How is there any fairness in that?
    World Prophet
    22nd Jun 2015
    12:53pm
    This might interest Uncle Fester, it was a comment made by someone a little while ago:

    1944 Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley introduced three Bills to establish the National Welfare Fund, to be financed by a compulsory contribution levy of 1 shilling and 6 pence in the pound on all personal income.
    Opposition Leader Robert Menzies stated that the compulsory contribution levy should be kept completely separate. That it should be shown separately on the taxation assessment and paid straight into a “Trust” account, and not mixed with the general revenue. Menzies said, “The stigma of charity should be removed from the Age Pension. It should be an entitlement earned by the person's personal contribution to the fund.”

    Prime Minister Chifley agreed and established, as from January 1 1946, the National Welfare Fund – a “Trust” fund with the Parliament as “Trustee.” The compulsory contributions levy commenced on January 1 1946. It was shown separately on the personal tax assessments for 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950, and the compulsory levy was properly paid straight into the special “Trust” fund, and welfare claims were paid out of the fund. The balance in the fund for 1950 was almost 100 million pound.

    In 1949 Robert Menzies became Prime Minister, and he introduced Bills to amend the Acts governing the National Welfare Fund. The compulsory social contributions levy was then grouped with the taxation assessment and appeared as one amount on the taxation assessments, and was paid as one amount straight into Consolidated Revenue. The sabotage of the National Welfare Fund had commenced. The opposition Labor Party had collaborated in this sabotage by remaining silent instead of opposing Menzies' action.

    From 1951 to 1985 the compulsory levy of 7.5% (now included in the tax) continued to be collected and placed in Consolidated Revenue, and treated as general revenue and spent, until 1985.

    Labor Leader, Mr. Whitlam, abolished income tests for all persons 70 years of age and over, and paid pensions to all people over that age.

    In 1976 the newly-elected Coalition Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, cancelled the Whitlam achievement of abolishing the tests for all who were 70 years and over.

    In 1977 Malcolm Fraser, with Treasurer Philip Lynch, transferred the balance in the Welfare Fund account (approx. 470 million dollars) to the Consolidated Revenue account.

    In 1985 the Hawke-Keating Labor Government repealed acts Numbers 39, 40 and 41 of 1945 (the National Welfare Fund Acts). Thus the funds finally ceased to exist.
    Yet the 7.55 levy continues to be collected as a proportion of the Income Tax Revenue. It also introduced the much-maligned Income and Assets Test, thereby excluding millions of levy and tax-paying Australians from receiving Social Services pensions.
    This money – these self-funded contributions – paid as a percentage of the total income tax collections – are to-day worth more than the amount of means-tested pensions paid out. Actuaries have calculated the non-means-tested ENTITLEMENT due to EACH retiree to-day is in excess of $500 per week.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    10:03am
    Certainly a step in the right direction but the house needs to be included in the assets test as that is most inequitable part of the age pension. People should use up their own assets before accessing the pension.

    The superannuation pension rules should not be changed as these people are not a drain on the budget in fact help the budget in that they provide for their own retirement.
    rtrish
    17th Jun 2015
    10:15am
    The house needs to be included, maybe in some sort of graduated scale. To stop the 'house millionaires' getting the pension.
    Patriot
    17th Jun 2015
    10:20am
    Bonny
    IF we are "Short of Money" (the Govt that is) Why not have the "Well-to-Do" repay the TAX-CONCESSIONS accrued by those who "Tucked-Away" a nice nest-egg in Super. This money should be repaid to the people who did NOT earn enough to benefit from this LURK and therefore were FORCED TO PAY MORE TAX to make up the (at that time) shortfall because of the extended Super concessions for the "Well-to-Do".
    Why not cancel the "negative gearing" mechanism ans so- once again" stop supporting the RORTS for the "Well-to-Do" & STOP Stealing from the "NORMAL PEOPLE".
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    10:46am
    It would not effect me personally because I have only a small percentage of my wealth in super and don't use negative gearing.

    It would hurt the middle class and the renters. Negative gearing would stop people buying houses to rent and the rent supply would dry up causing rents to rise significantly. The super tax concessions are also mainly used by the middle class with high wages income. The wealthy use other ways to accumulate their wealth.

    At least these people contributing to super more than likely will fund their own retirement without using welfare to do so.
    Patriot
    17th Jun 2015
    11:20am
    Bonny
    It would also drop the price of housing and many young people might NOT be required just to: "Find be Better Job".

    May be the TAX Lurks of the wealthy should be also stop and they, as the corporations, should pay their "Fair Share of TAX!"
    Can't eat bricks
    17th Jun 2015
    12:21pm
    Hi Bonny, your kidding aren't you!! Leave the house alone, why should we be made to spend everything, I do not know about you but I would like to leave my kids SOMETHING!!
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    2:38pm
    Most people will not sell their house for a loss unless they really have to so house prices rarely fall. House prices might not rise for awhile but I very much doubt they would fall. House prices today are not more expensive than they were back when I first bought my first house and what a struggle it was to get a loan back in those days.

    If you are on welfare then why not make you spend down your capital. Welfare is for the needy not for those who have other means of support. If you have capital you have other means of support.

    My kids are much better off than I was at their age and they don't expect me to leave them anything.
    jeansievers
    17th Jun 2015
    3:26pm
    Good for you Bonny you can give your house away but stop advocating others would like to do so. It's stealing from ordinary people who have worked all their lives just for a decent roof over their heads. Why don't you advocate that the mega wealthy pay their fair share of tax instead of robbing the ordinary working people of Australia to give to the extremely wealthy. These changes will only benefit the 1%.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    3:56pm
    Sorry I can't give my house away as I just don't own it. However many pensioners would be better off if their house was included in the assets test. I have been campaigning for years now to have it included for that very reason. Most wealthy people do pay their fair share of tax and contribute a lot more to the economy.

    Change can be a good thing as well as a bad thing.
    Retired Knowall
    17th Jun 2015
    4:51pm
    Bonny i believe you are the most ill informed person posting on this site.
    Earnings inside Super need to be taxed the same as any other form of income, e.g. savings, rental income, shares. If it's income regardless of where it comes from it should be included in the annual income statement.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    5:33pm
    Then why have super with all the rules that go with it? I certainly wouldn't bother with it. As it is now I only have a small part of my wealth in super even though tax wise I might save a bit more if I had more. Too many rules and future changes could soon erode any gains made now. If that's being ill informed then so be it.

    One certainty in life is change.
    Retired Knowall
    18th Jun 2015
    7:43am
    You don't seem to have any grasp of financial principals.
    Earnings from all sources should be taxed to have an equal playing field. Why should Super earnings be exempt?
    And please explain how pensioners will be Better Off if homes are included in the Assets Test as you have posted here a number of times.
    I await to be educated.
    Misty
    18th Jun 2015
    11:52am
    Bonny I saw a graph about the effect of Negative Gearing on house prices and rentals and it seems getting rid of it will have a negative effect, pardon the pun.
    Grateful
    18th Jun 2015
    3:57pm
    Bonny. If negative gearing was only allowed for NEW houses it would have two very beneficial repercussions.
    Firstly, it will take the investor out of the established home market which has eliminated the first home buyer, as HAS happened. Secondly, it would create MORE houses, increase employment for the building trades people and suppliers and vastly increase the SUPPLY of housing which will solve that problem and add to choice for all prospective home owners, or, renters, thus keeping both the prices of houses and rents down!!
    Buying existing houses as investments does NOT increase SUPPLY, therefore supports high rents and ever increasing house prices, also as has happened!!!
    This government only blames SUPPLY for the rise in house prices, sure, that certainly has an impact, but, a far more sinister, and one requiring urgent attention, is the DEMAND and who are represented in that demand. At the moment it is dominated by negative gearing by over 1.2 million INVESTORS with cheap money and all competing against each other for the same properties, making it impossible for genuine first HOME buyers to compete with them. Why do governments ignore that glaring problem? Ask all of those members of parliament who themselves have around 500 negatively geared houses as investment properties !!!!
    World Prophet
    22nd Jun 2015
    1:00pm
    Grateful, you are spot on in my view.
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    1:37pm
    Grateful I agree also and it should have been that way from the start. The problem is though, You would have to be mad to build a house now when it is so much cheaper to buy existing. The high cost of building is slowing down supply.
    dougie
    17th Jun 2015
    10:09am
    What can we do but wait and see as to how each of us is affected by these changes. I am not wealthy so I do not have a great deal of fear or trepidation. I will wait before I condemn all and sundry.
    Polly Esther
    17th Jun 2015
    1:30pm
    Good thoughts, yes I'm with you, but I would like to say if I may please, "but I wish the Greens would just concentrate more on hugging trees".
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    3:20pm
    Seems like hugging trees works for them.
    Radish
    18th Jun 2015
    9:55am
    Yes, they need to get back to their roots.
    Kali-G
    17th Jun 2015
    10:19am
    Sadly our government is myoptic and too timid to really make our lives better.
    Instead of screwing pensioners and fiddling with all this, they should be bolder and take real initiatives to make our lives better:
    take a lesson from Lee Kwan You see how he built Singapore into major economy
    so:
    cut out foreign aid all together, just restrict it to humanitarian materials
    cut out funding mega billions for all aboriginal causes...they already earn billions from mining royalties
    stop spending billions on submarines we dont need
    cut out all funding for UN compliance
    cut out huge cost with old politicians maintanace
    close our borders completely , stop funding vaste illegal immigrant centres and send them all back
    Australia should be for Australians.....and Australia needs a leader, not a CEO...
    Patriot
    17th Jun 2015
    10:22am
    Kali-G
    And that should be "Just for Starters" only.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    10:42am
    agree Kali-G . . . .
    marls
    17th Jun 2015
    12:24pm
    kali-G
    with you on alot of the above
    and of course cut politician benefits and accessing their super early
    gilstamp
    17th Jun 2015
    12:47pm
    You lot have not learnt anything from history.
    Stoker
    17th Jun 2015
    1:25pm
    Well done Kali-G & Patriot & Fliss, and we should cut out the first homebuyers deal, all that did was increase the builders prices, and baby bonus. All the cries about the GST costs, look back at what the tax was on so many items before gst some, including womens needs, was up around 35%.
    Stoker
    17th Jun 2015
    1:28pm
    Sorry to all, I got off the track with comments, at 76 I am allowed to aren't I, fortunately we cope with pension and some disability allowance, gave up smokes and grog and just have fun nowdays.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    3:23pm
    OK let's make pensioner's lives better and raise interest rate so that that risky investment earns a bit more and all retire at 50.

    Then we can change our name to Greece.
    Radish
    18th Jun 2015
    9:57am
    Yes, Greece did not take heed and now look at how well off the pensioners are in that country. I think they took a 25% cut in pensions if my memory serves me correctly.
    A country cannot live beyond its means...a warning to all countries.
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    5:20pm
    Well, we are certainly headed down the Grecian path with a stupid government that kills incentives to save and rewards people generously to blow savings that should have covered their health and aged care costs in later life on a world trip so they can get the pension this stupid measure is denying them.

    It's the most idiotic thing I've seen in a long time, unless the Government's desire was precisely the OPPOSITE of what they claim and they WANT pension costs to skyrocket.

    How many others here will be taking that world cruise and coming back to claim their pension reward?
    Arthur
    17th Jun 2015
    10:26am
    Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
    As an older person approaching the exit I have to vacate my position for the next generation.
    Nature arranges things so that the pleasures of life are removed from the top of Maslows pyramid downward, progressively, until the lights go on.
    I would be more than content if I have food, shelter and a warm bed.It is understood that I have no "right" to these things.
    Adrianus
    17th Jun 2015
    12:23pm
    Arthur, I think Maslow was more concerned with the removal of hindrances to a peek performing individual not us near death oldies.

    17th Jun 2015
    10:29am
    Richard Di Natale got it right and made the right call in relation to this policy decision....

    Many are quick to make judgements about those reliant on welfare payments etc. through no fault of their own, labelling them as 'bludgers' and 'leaners' with frequent inferences to these people consistently rorting the system...

    High time 'middle class welfare', 'pollie perks' and 'millionaire pensioners' came under the same close scrutiny re: how the taxpayer dollar is spent....
    Patriot
    17th Jun 2015
    11:23am
    Shetso1
    So right!
    Unfortunately, just "Talking about it" ain't going to achieve it!!!
    Anonymous
    17th Jun 2015
    12:02pm
    Shetso, you are believing the government's propaganda. The people this affects are NOT the wealthy. The wealthy get off scott free. This is hurting working class Australians who battled to save a little for retirement and don't have nearly enough to fund their own retirement. Many are quick to make judgments about welfare recipients, and far more are quick to make judgments about those who will be hurt by this stupid, unfair, discriminatory, and economically destructive policy. Di Natale made a grave error. He failed to do his research and consider the true facts. He has swallowed government propaganda - as you have. The move is going to push pension costs way UP UP UP UP UP over the medium to longer term, and will grind many people unfairly into economic hardship.

    It's time people stopped relying on the politics of envy and wild assumptions and started dealing in FACT.
    DJM
    17th Jun 2015
    12:50pm
    I'd be interested to know if you are aware of how little a return you get from safe investment of a workers lifetime of superannuation contributions or do you believe that these funds should be gambled on the stock market to make enough to live on?
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    3:29pm
    Interest rate investments are a much bigger gamble than the stock market. At least with the stock market one gets real returns no so with interest investments. If you had bought CBA when it listed at $5.40 today you get $5.94 in grossed dividends per year plus it is now worth $84.35. What's the $5.40 worth if it was invested in interest rate investments?
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    4:47pm
    LOL! "Interest rate investments are a much bigger gamble than the stock market. Sorry . . but what a stupid response Bonny. And to then quote the dividend return of ONE share - and that's a bank share AND Cwth Bank at that! One of the ONLY well performing blue chips out there!!!! LOL!
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    4:47pm
    LOL! "Interest rate investments are a much bigger gamble than the stock market. Sorry . . but what a stupid response Bonny. And to then quote the dividend return of ONE share - and that's a bank share AND Cwth Bank at that! One of the ONLY well performing blue chips out there!!!! LOL!
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    5:53pm
    I can give you many more examples of such shares. Can you give me some good examples of interest rate investments? OK I'll admit getting 17-18% interest on my bank deposits back in early 1990s but I hope we never get back to those days.

    If you invest in penny dreadfuls then your chances of bagging a ten bagger are about 60 to 1 with most of them losing you money.
    World Prophet
    22nd Jun 2015
    1:07pm
    Bonny is right. Shares are a good investment. Even those who bought (for instance) CBA in the GFC at around $ 22 are now laughing all the way to the bank with the shares at around $ 90.00 and a yield of well over 10%. Only one thing really irks me. That is the fact that I didn't buy any when they were low.
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    1:43pm
    World, I wouldn't worry too much. Australia's banks are far too pricey.
    wheels
    17th Jun 2015
    10:43am
    I'm a supposedly better off retiree but I'll tell you why it is unfair. I HAD to have my wife retire 8 mths ago so as to lock in my super pension and g/father it (leading to preserving C'Link benefits). Loss of her income. Then comes this latest story. I will get virtually zero c link pension. We're in our first full year of retirement and straight away it's changed. Now my super fund, often fails to give any interest for sometimes two mths and although it's maybe the market I wouldn't mind changing some. Can I change funds? Well, if I do, I lose that g/fathered status. More loss of income. All that I planned for is slipping away......................
    Patriot
    17th Jun 2015
    11:25am
    rusty1
    They'r after our money !!!STUFF THE REST!!!!!
    Can't eat bricks
    17th Jun 2015
    12:28pm
    Hi Rusty, mate with everything that is going on in the media it's hard to think straight. Mate if you slow it down a study it (what's been said) you can use a lot of it to your advantage, believe me. Use their rules against them!!
    Phil1943
    17th Jun 2015
    10:50am
    I'm disappointed in the Greens. They had a chance to stand up for retirees but seem to have rolled over for the Libs and given them a victory at the expense of thousands of pensioners. A comprehensive review of the overall framework for retirement, including taxation of superannuation deductions and pensions generally, should be conducted before any more fiddling is done. Yes, the government gets savings, but thousands of Australians will be hurt by this deal with the Greens and that hurt will continue for the rest of their lives. Bad move di Natale!
    Anonymous
    17th Jun 2015
    12:05pm
    Correct Phil. And the Government WON'T save. If you send a strong message (as the Government is doing) that responsible planning and saving for retirement is futile and will be punished, but if you simply spend up big then put your hand out, you'll be rewarded, what will people do? Spend up big and put their hands out, of course!

    Only an idiot would support this stupid, short-sighted policy. and Di Natale just lost a hell of a lot of support. Greens will be cancelling their membership in droves. I've talked to many who have already made the decision.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    4:21pm
    The problem with this deal is that it just doesn't go far enough. The pension is welfare and should only be available to people who have no other means of support. Anyone with $800,000 has plenty of means of support.
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    7:47am
    Yeah well Rainey from what I'm hearing and reading rather than Greens cancelling their memberships in droves as you say, believe most are applauding Richard Di Natale for his stance in relation to improving the quality of life for 170,000 of Australia's most vulnerable seniors by increasing their pension by a fairly modest $30 a fortnight....

    However think a lot of this comes down to how you regard the Aged Pension. Personally I see the pension not as an 'entitlement' because I worked hard and paid taxes for many years, but as a 'safety net' and 'right' for those living in a decent and humane society, should they fall on hard times ....And no idea what the future holds, but which at some time may even include myself...a sort of there if I really need it type measure....

    Similarly always uncomfortable with claims like 'People should have saved for their retirement' with the inference of irresponsibillity or laziness, which on some level seems fairly simplistic given that there are all sorts of reasons why people may not have huge amounts of superannuation, assets or other personal savings.

    For instance homelessness amongst older women is on the increase in Australia, due mainly to things like family breakdown, domestic violence etc. Sadly many of these older women because of family responsibilities have had sporadic, often casualised and disrupted work patterns resulting in only small amounts of superannuation being accrued, and with few significant assets i.e. a house ...but also illness, disability, redundancy, unemployment, under-employment etc. may also impact on financial reserves to the point where the only means of income for some older Australians being the pension and nothing else...
    Radish
    18th Jun 2015
    10:09am
    I heard the Social Security Minister refer to pensions as "welfare" quite a number of times during Question Time this week.

    Some believe it is not welfare...that is incorrect. It is a welfare safety net for those who cannot look after themselves and is there for anyone when they fall on hard times. We all paid taxes but we all do not get the aged pension and we all do not regard it as our entitlement.

    I fully understand the frustration of those who have gone without and provided for themselves but the country could not afford to pay a pension to everyone and that is why compulsory superannuation was introduced to enable less reliance on the aged pension. Yes, there is a bit of envy in the community when some see their friends getting the concession card and they are not but that is how it is.

    Personally I would like to see the Health Card available to all over the age of 70 but I doubt it will ever happen.

    Those coming behind us will have been in the superannation system long enough to be more self supporting than those of us who are already in retirement mode.
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    1:48pm
    Shetso, you obviously have less understanding of facts than the dumb Greens who agreed to this and the fool who had the thought bubble. I fully support doing more for the disadvantaged, and I would never refer to them as ''leaners'' or ''bludgers''. But what I don't agree with is taking away all the benefits responsible strugglers who worked for 40+ years to accrue and making them worse off than those with very little. And I don't agree with a stupid change that is going to send aged pension costs through the roof - which can only result in more calls to cut payments to everyone.
    A person who has worked hard and gone without necessities for years to save for retirement is not punished to the tune of $7800 a year for every $100,000 they saved. Now, most of them won't be able to earn $7800 a year on a $100,000 investment. Many will only earn $3000. So they are $4800 a year better off if they spend their $100,000 on a world trip and come back and put their hand out for a higher pension.
    Meanwhile, someone who is lucky enough to be able to keep working and earns $30,000 a year (for a couple), can inherit $100,000 and lose only $1625 a year of their part pension. Ultimately, the latter could have more than $300,000 invested and a very high total income, and still get a part pension + benefits, while the couple with no income who struggled for a lifetime to save $825000 have an income potentially as low as $22000 a year and get NOTHING - not even the valuable pension benefits. $825000 may sound like a lot, but consider that some will be in non-returning personal assets, and what is left has to last a couple potentially through 35+ years of inflation, rising health costs, and rising living costs due to increased incapacity. If they are now disabled or sick, their living costs may be much higher than those of most retirees.

    The Greens got it very wrong, and those supporting them are wearing blinkers and believing government propaganda. The result of this change will be a massive increase in overall pension costs and a huge increase in the number of aged who cannot pay for their own health care and aged care, plus a huge reduction in the savings of younger Australians now that they see that saving isn't rewarded.

    Radish, if the country can't afford to pay pensions to everyone, address the income test inconsistencies and introduce taxes on very high retirement incomes achieved by the real millionaires, because attacking those with only very modest means will only increase pension costs and make LESS money available for those who really need it. It's not about envy. It's about fairness and common sense. If the measures were fair and sensible, and promised genuine savings, most would support them.
    DJM
    17th Jun 2015
    10:53am
    As a 62 year old on the threshold of retirement these changes make it very hard to plan for a comfortable retirement. To make a return on average superannuation that you can live on you have to expose your life savings to the share market and the risks involved there.I don't think those who drafted and voted for these changes have any idea of the amount of money you require for a comfortable retirement.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    11:14am
    The most risky investment today is bank interest. It goes backwards every year with inflation and taxation. Other than the pokies I can't think of a worse investment myself.
    Patriot
    17th Jun 2015
    11:27am
    Bonny
    Packer recons that the POKIES are just doing FINE!!
    SO??????
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    11:35am
    So true DJM.
    Bonny, I see your point re inflation, etc dure to current low interest rates . . . but think 'risky' is the wrong word. Bank deposits are the LEAST risky investment. The principal is guaranteed unlike say shares.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    2:47pm
    Principal is only guaranteed if you have less than $250,000 now.

    I too love the pokies as my investment in companies owning pokies have done well.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    2:48pm
    I also love credit cards. Just booked myself a nice holiday on reward points.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    10:54am
    Don't understand how these changes can be passed - unless my understanding is incorrect. Please tell me if I'm wrong.
    For example, take 2 home-owning couples.
    Couple A can have up to $375000 in assets & still receive a full pension, while Couple B will receive no pension at all if they have over $823000 in assets.
    Since currents fixed term deposit rates are around 2.5% this means couple B will have just $20575 p.a. (assuming all the $87300 worth of assets are income producing), while Couple A will have $9375 plus pension of about $31000 = $40375.
    How come a couple who have saved & contributed to their own super'n have just $20000 to live on & a couple who haven't have double that?
    DJM
    17th Jun 2015
    11:08am
    I think you've hit the nail on the head. That's my understanding of the changes also.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    11:10am
    Couple B also have the capital of $823,000 to fund their retirement. 40375-20575 = 19797. There are lots of $19797 in $823,000 (over 41 in fact). If you get to pension age and live for 40 years you aint doing too bad.

    Also when couple B get to $375000 they will get full pension too.

    Sorry couple B can't pack a bag and take their $823,000 with them when they leave this mortal world.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    11:17am
    Thanks DLM . . . . although I was sure I had to be missing something, but sadly it seems not. :(
    Bonny, why shouldn't people who have worked hard to save for their future & retirement not be able to leave an inheritance for their children? And you are suggesting couple B spend their principal while couple A save theirs??????
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    11:19am
    No I'm suggestion both A and B spend their money. Why leave an inheritance? It's your money so why not enjoy it. That's what most beneficiaries will do with it. Depending where this money is invested it may be taxed on your death as well.
    Anonymous
    17th Jun 2015
    12:07pm
    Bonny, one reason I'd like to leave an inheritance is that I have a disabled grandson who, if I can leave him an inheritance, won't need a pension for life. If I can give him enough, he might even get the help he needs to NOT be disabled. But your stupid theories suggest I shouldn't be allowed to save my money and leave him a little. I should be compelled to spend it and left to be poor if I don't.
    marls
    17th Jun 2015
    12:33pm
    rainey
    well spoken, its our money we worked for it and saved and we should be able to do with it as we please. and my share of taxes were paid.
    Can't eat bricks
    17th Jun 2015
    12:36pm
    Hi Fliss, as I said earlier, you have to use there rules against them to suit yourself. Just work it out they are giving us enough info to do just that, study it.
    Adrianus
    17th Jun 2015
    12:40pm
    Fliss, I think you and others are getting too tied up in the bank term deposit rate.
    Adrianus
    17th Jun 2015
    12:41pm
    marls, I think your share of taxes went toward pink batts.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    1:06pm
    Hi Can't eat bricks. :) Thank you . . . . I like your advice. :)
    Paicey58
    17th Jun 2015
    1:21pm
    I'm with, can't eat bricks.
    Make sure you get your savings down to the 375000 mark.
    Use or hide the other 445000 so you can draw on that money when you need it.
    It's time to look after yourself.
    Mork
    17th Jun 2015
    2:23pm
    I don't know why you would be quoting Term Deposits. If that's where you park your money you should be getting better financial advice. I am 61, working casually, with little hope of increasing my total amount of super (which is relatively low). However, I am currently drawing a minimum tax free income from Transition to Retirement account to supplement my income. This impossible because my super fund is paying between 6.3% and 15% return (tax free) depending on the type of risk you are willing to take for 1 year. Over 3 years it ranges between 7.2 and 16.9%! So why you would be quoting interest rates of 2.5% is beyond me unless you are borrowing from the Reserve Bank.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    9:22am
    Mork, that's the whole point of the issue and why the proposal is so seriously flawed. The disadvantaged - sick, disabled, educationally challenged - are going to be hurt most. They are the people who will be getting low investment returns and unable to achieve higher returns. The privileged won't be hurt much because they can achieve higher returns. So this is going to slug those least able to bear the pain.

    It's elitism to suggest that people who can't achieve high returns should suffer. An income-based test would achieve the same revenue (or more) without hurting the disadvantaged and without the cruel unfairness.
    Fliss
    22nd Jun 2015
    9:38am
    Mork, as you say "between 6.3% & 15% depending on type of risk." Sadly I need to say to you, don't get too comfortable, because with the state of Australia's economy the risk is VERY high. Don't know for how long you have been following the super'n returns but for many years they are NEGATIVE in those investment areas. The only risk-free investment is capital in the bank - i.e. the capital is guaranteed. And that should answer your question of "I don't know why you would be quoting Term Deposits."
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    9:54am
    Fliss, nothing is guaranteed. During the last Labor government 2 of our big 4 banks had to be bailed out by the US Reserve Bank because the government had cleaned out our RBA reserve fund. All we can do is hang on to a good fiscally responsible government.
    Squirrel
    17th Jun 2015
    11:18am
    Debbie, have the changes to how defined benefits will be treated gone through. Due to be in place Jaunary 2016. It doesn't affect a lot of people I know but it has a huge effect on our income. Nobody's talking about it.
    jeansievers
    17th Jun 2015
    3:30pm
    Squirrel do you have any information about how the Defined Benefit Pensions will be treated? If so could you inform this thread. The devil is in the details of any changes this government brings in. Thank you
    wheels
    17th Jun 2015
    11:18am
    Well...Bonny is right in a sense. But why save, if you can put it all into your home. Still get the full pension and sell/spend down if required. Counter productive for the Govt & a future aged pension and takes us back to where we were. I heard that everyone in the UK gets the pension but your income is taxed. Maybe that would be fairer. Maybe not? All I know is that your aged retirement should not have the rules changed and usually legislation is not retrospective and this is retrospectively affecting existing retirees.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    11:30am
    You have a point rusty1, yes Couple B could use a chunck of their capital & buy a more expensive home & then get a full pension. But should the gvt be encouraging this by these stoooopid rule changes? p.s. agree entirely with your last comment.
    MITZY
    18th Jun 2015
    10:16am
    The government would love you to sell and buy a home of bigger proportions, think of the current house prices in Sydney and Melbourne and surrounds and the huge Stamp Duty windfall to the state governments from the buyer as well as the seller on buying again. However, one can't eat a home if one needs to feed and clothe oneself with no other means of income-support other than the current full single-aged pension. A lot of pensioners in this situation through no fault of their own (and there are many) are probably just thankful this heartless government (in so many directions) didn't manage to get passed the legislation to change the method used to calculate their twice-yearly pension rises. Yesterday my two local (Coles/Woolies) service stations were showing $1.29.9 a rise of 2 cents from the previous $1.27.9 two weeks' prior for unleaded petrol Today just two weeks later, they are showing $1.47.9! So up goes the cost of everything else. The Greens are still cogitating on whether they will allow pass the excise legislation too. If they are true Greens, they will give this "unfair" government the "green light" on this too. Just a little bit more bleeding, spoon feed it out a dribble at a time so many don't notice their dwindling finances.

    17th Jun 2015
    11:23am
    Pull you pant's pocket inside out, it's the new Aged Pensioners' flag.
    thommo
    17th Jun 2015
    12:14pm
    Excellent.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    6:58pm
    Mine are a bit holey...need a bit of mending.
    Radish
    18th Jun 2015
    10:14am
    LOL Fast Eddie...talk to some of the younger people in society....their views are quite interesting on how they view pensioners!
    thommo
    17th Jun 2015
    11:37am
    This is a disgraceful move by the Abbott Govt, which promised no changes to pensions at the last election. This is clearly a broken promise, aided and abetted by the Greens, both of whom will rue the day at the next election.
    Current part age pensioners got into the system via legitimate means, obeying the current rules, and now their retirement plans are torn to shreds without any recourse. How can this govt just expect us to change horses mid-stream. Why not at least 'grandfather' the current rules for those already in the system.
    This is just not fair and we won't forget the treachery by the govt and the Greens.
    NGE
    17th Jun 2015
    2:19pm
    I agree thommo..if they don't look ourt Abbott and Greenies come election time
    Radish
    18th Jun 2015
    10:18am
    The current term of government expires in November 2016.

    The changes take effect (if they get re-elected that is) in July 2017.

    So no election promises have been broken.
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    10:48am
    Thommo a lot of people are going to be hurt by these changes the devil is in the detail. I agree people made decisions on the information they were given at the time when they were planning their retirement. To change it now when they are in their retirement is criminal. This is the time of life when you need to have security and peace of mind. It is heartless and cruel.
    Captain
    18th Jun 2015
    4:37pm
    Do you remember Mr Abbot saying when he was in Opposition that he told lies when speaking about election promises? All politicians tell lies or not directly answer questions on purpose.

    I do agree with you that those already in the system should continue within the system as they planned their and deserve whatever they currently get. Phase in the changes over a period of years. Most retirees born before 1949 had very opportunity to accumulate super as the super guarantee did not commence until about 1989/90.

    My wife and I do not receive a pension (both over 65) and don't want one, however we do not agree with ANY government being able change rules for people who are already retired.

    Also as I have said elsewhere, it does not matter which Party you vote for we will all be shafted sooner or later.
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    4:50pm
    Exactly Thommo changes horse in mid stream is a very accurate description of what is happening. It should be illegal to do this if someone did this to a company they would sue them.
    Rosscoe
    17th Jun 2015
    11:44am
    Well, Stretch, John Howard brought in the GST, but he had to depend on Meg lees and the Greens to do it!
    Cruiser
    17th Jun 2015
    11:45am
    OK this is a game changer so need to adapt. Immediate options appear to be spend a chunk of any surplus on home reno / big holidays or upsize house. If upsizing house make arrangements with bank to access house value through lending facility, if funds spent on non asset item then pension not impacted, result less assets counted by assets test/more pension used to pay amount drawn on lending facility, result same pension received prior to govt change. Beware the cunning Lib, anything can happen, no guarantees, election promises meaningless, what will they change next?
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    11:52am
    Crazy that we need to think like this, eh?!!
    fastbucks
    17th Jun 2015
    11:47am
    Abbott and the Greens should have done something about all the dole bludgers and excessive ongoing payments to a multitude refugees who contribute nothing to this country but hatred. All he is doing is penalising the people who worked all their lives, paid their way and saved.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    11:54am
    yep!!
    marls
    17th Jun 2015
    12:40pm
    pongping
    never a true word has been spoken. and all the people on disability pensions that are in better health than you or i, and the carers these people have supposedly looking after them so that they dont go on the dole
    gilstamp
    17th Jun 2015
    12:57pm
    Beware of generalisations.
    Adrianus
    17th Jun 2015
    1:12pm
    Don't know if you've noticed but there is a lot of opposition to anything as harsh as giving advice on "getting a well paid job."
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    5:27pm
    Nobody opposes advice to ''get a well paid job'', Frank. What they oppose is the blatant arrogance of a rich man who takes way too much from the public purse, very unethically, and then quotes doing something that only the fortunate can do as a solution to a problem faced by the unfortunate. Take off your big black LNP blindfold and start seeing the world as it is for a change!
    Adrianus
    19th Jun 2015
    8:49am
    Rainey, I don't think I could describe Joe in those terms and sound intelligent and unselfish. So I will adopt a more analytical approach to problem solving. OK sure, I take your point that it does sometimes appear that I support the government. I cant help that.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    11:57am
    Frank, it's widely agreed that Joe is arrogant and unethical, and a lot of very intelligent people concur. Problem with your reasoning is that it isn't reasoned. To claim people object to being told ''getting a well paid job'' is sensible just shows how illogical you are. Clearly, you are totally incapable of reason - which is the only possible explanation for your supporting a stupid government proposal that will cost taxpayers money.
    disillusioned
    17th Jun 2015
    11:51am
    I have a medical disability and could have accessed the DSP years ago; instead I chose to study and work, pay my fair share of taxes and put any extra money I could spare into my super. At present I live in a small home unit, have a little bomb car and am just under the limit for a bit of pension + benefits to supplement my income from super. I'm sure there are more in my financial position than the so called "millionaires" in retirement. Now I weill lose the part-pension I am ENTITLED to, having paid for it in my taxes all my working life. This government hates the elderly, the vulnerable and the mentally ill of our society. They "slash and burn" services and benefits, and now the Greens are into it too. I WILL NEVER VOTE LIBERAL OR GREENS AGAIN!!!
    marls
    17th Jun 2015
    12:42pm
    so true
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    9:47am
    Disillusioned my husband has lymphoma and some other health problems and we are going to be really hit by these changes. We have an income from define benefit pension and no other income, except the top up, which it seems we are going to lose. We are not rich people we don't have any other assets only a modest house. I totally agree with the sentiment of your comments. There are too many government trolls on this thread demonising people who have done the best they can under circumstances beyond their control.
    Fredklaus
    17th Jun 2015
    11:55am
    The numbers affected will be a lot higher in a few tears time.the super rich &politicans get richer.Middle class join the poor.I will either upgrade to a more luxury house after having already downgraded or put excess funds into my wife's super
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    12:06pm
    don't think transferring funds to wife's super will work. As a couple all assets are combined. The more luxurious house will work . . . . but so wrong that we must even consider such moves!!
    marls
    17th Jun 2015
    12:43pm
    your so right, a couple assets are combined
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    1:31pm
    You can't eat your house so what's the point of buying more expensive one?
    Fliss
    18th Jun 2015
    1:37pm
    Not to eat . . . silly ;) To reduce assessable assets so enable access to some gvt pension . . . .
    wheels
    17th Jun 2015
    12:04pm
    My friend just got his first part pension last night. $350 ft/night.
    After trying hard all his life he has his house and $600000. He'll lose some of that of course in 18 mths.
    He just went down $10000 in his Balanced market alloc. pension (not g/fathered) all in the last couple of weeks. He's not feeling like a richer part pensioner.
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    5:30pm
    Tell him to cheer up, rusty1. The government will pay him $7800 a year to spend $100,000 on a world trip. If he takes 4 world trips, he'll get a full pension plus all the lovely benefits. Oh, and the $100,000 he went down - that gets him an extra $7800 a year, so it's not such a disaster, except for the taxpayers who have to fund the increased costs of aged pensions because of the stupidity of this short-sighted change.
    joed
    17th Jun 2015
    12:11pm
    Well there goes another party killed off by agreeing with the Liberals.

    Meg Lees sold the Democrats out for the GST now we have the Greens selling out for their "30 pieces of silver".

    Only thing that wasn't announced was the pay off for the existing Greens.

    Shameful really especially after TA's promise never to touch pensions.

    Where will it stop - after they issue us with a bucket to kick!
    notelle
    17th Jun 2015
    1:45pm
    It will stop when Abbott and his government are voted OUT at the next election.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    2:45pm
    Abbott will win the next election there is no doubt about that.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    4:50pm
    no one can say who which party will win/lose . . . 'tis crystal ball stuff
    Justsane
    17th Jun 2015
    6:04pm
    Bonny, I also now feel that Abbott might win the next election. It is the only thing I have ever agreed with you about. God help the country! But it will come about partly because the Greens' vote will diminish due to their getting into bed with the Libs. (Look what happened to the Democrats.) Their second preferences will thus not be enough to help Labor across the line, as has been the case up till now in so many seats at election time.
    joed
    17th Jun 2015
    12:13pm
    Don't forget that they have also doubled the deeming rate so existing pensioners will have their savings reassessed at this time as well.

    Safer to put it all under the bed!
    Sceptic
    17th Jun 2015
    2:51pm
    The deeming rate was reduced in March.

    There is no mention of the deeming rate in the new legislation, which does not come into force until after the next election.
    Theo1943
    17th Jun 2015
    2:56pm
    Where did they double the deeming rate?
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    5:38pm
    They didn't double the deeming rate, they reduced it. An income-tested pensioner couple loses $1625 if they inherit or are given $100,000. But an asset-tested pensioner couple loses $7800 if they are given or inherit $100,000. That's what some fools call ''fair'' (despite the fact that the income-tested pensioner couple might be earning $60,000 or more a year, and getting $30,000 or more return on their investments, while the asset-tested pensioner is maybe trying to survive on $22,000 a year, or draw down on savings.)
    bohemian
    17th Jun 2015
    12:14pm
    If you start drawing down on super savings for daily living expenses, there may not be enough left to fund future aged home care and accommodation care fees, when you need it most. Cost of accommodation fees are around $550.000- $750.000 plus other costs.
    Without the assistance of a part pension, most people in this group will before very long be back on the pension. There is no long term budget benefit in this proposal.
    Muggins
    17th Jun 2015
    12:47pm
    This is exactly the situation we are in, my partner has dementia and will be entering an aged care facility at sometime - it may be a few years away or happen quite quickly. I thought we had settled our financial situation when he was first diagnosed but now I will have to make the decisions (as he has now lost the capacity to understand the situation) - as our assets are right on the cut-off for our small part-pension. I am very upset at this turn of events despite our planning to fund aged-care.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    4:53pm
    Very valid point bohemian.
    I think many people commenting here are not aware of the extremely high cost of aged care & accommodation.
    So sorry Muggins . . . hope all works out well for you & your husband.
    jeansievers
    17th Jun 2015
    12:16pm
    The family home should never, ever be included in the assets test when determining the amount of pension a person should receive. The home is something most of us work for our entire lives and it is much more than a mere asset. Is your bed an asset it's what you sleep in at night? The family home is a representation of the life you have lived and to force people to sell it, or re mortgage is like people having to sell their piano before they could get unemployment benefits in the depression. It is a heartless and cruel suggestion.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    2:55pm
    I'd be surprised if most people weren't better off if the house was included in the assets test.
    andromeda143
    17th Jun 2015
    12:16pm
    With due respect to the author of this, it is as usual, wrong. The fact is that about 200000 holders of part pensions will have their pension amount cut, over and above the 90000 who will lose their part pension. The journalists who contribute to this newsletter seem to swallow the typical government lies about fairness, hook, line and sinker without giving thought to the deception being perpetrated. People who have assets between $450000 and $823000 are not wealthy retirees living in luxury. They are people who have worked hard to save for their retirement, but have not managed to save enough to be totally independent. This is largely because during their early working life the superannuation guarantee did not exist. I had no super for quite some years and then toward the end of my working life I tried to put as much as I could away (about $25000-30000 per year). The downturns of the markets ate more than half of what I saved. Therefore I ended up with some super, but not enough to be totally self-sufficient. Now the tax system which I supported for more than 50 years has to help me with a small supplement to make my super last till I die. Charlatans like Hockey, Abbott, Morrison and now the Greens as well, all want to reduce that so my super will run out earlier. They have the effrontery to call us wealthy. It is as they did with the mothers and their parental leave. This is a pack of lies. The saddest thing is that the Greens (Di Natale & Co), who profess to care about the most vulnerable in our community are willing to do a shabby deal and sell us out. Shame on you All!!
    DJM
    17th Jun 2015
    1:02pm
    Well stated, I agree completely.
    Captain
    17th Jun 2015
    2:12pm
    My wife and I made a decision many years ago that we did not want any government monies (child endowment, pension etc) and structured our finances accordingly, however we sometimes wish that we could share in the concessions that pensioners get. We paid our fair share of tax and went without and now will continue to receive not a cent in help and at the same time will be vilified by others as being rich retirees.

    I think we all need to beware as the changes are affecting people who have planned their retirement and are already in retirement. As the economy picks up and interest rates increase more retirees will be adversely affected. Perhaps the crazies in Parliament need to think further ahead than an election term and consider the long term effects of their policies.

    Who to vote for in the next election? Does it really matter as we will all lose again.
    Sceptic
    17th Jun 2015
    2:55pm
    Super always existed, it just was not compulsory. So it was in your own hands if you made the decision not to start to save to fund your retirement.
    jeansievers
    17th Jun 2015
    3:15pm
    Which bit of 'wilderness' did the Greens save ie deal done with Liberals, to support impoverishing future aged pensioners? Austerity is a scam it is not necessary. It is sold as necessary so multi national corporations and the mega wealthy don't pay any tax at the expense of the ordinary citizens of Australia. To run and maintain any house and maintain your health would cost by my reckoning at least $8000 - $10000: Insurance, electricity, rates, private healthcare, medicine, running one car..then to eat working on $200 per week x 52 weeks it's about $10,000. I haven't factored in eye tests, unexpected health issues, medicines that have been taken off the concession list etc. and unexpected repairs to cars and the house, clothing, fuel for the car..this is not a luxury existence I am explaining, and going ahead into the future things will go up, so from my understanding if you get $25,000 per yr you could lose quite a bit of your government pension. These changes are hideous, cruel, and unnecessary. And Bonny you are absolutely off the planet trying to convince people they would be better off most of your comments are out of touch with the reality of most people's lives.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    11:00pm
    Correct Jeansievers! With new changes, if you get $25,000 per year you will most likely receive NOo gvt pension, since $1,000,000 of incoming producing assets is needed @ 2.5% to produce $25,000 at current interest rate of 2.5%, & one million will now be over the allowed asset threshold. (and p.s. I think Bonny has her head buried in the sand considering the majority of her comments. ;) )
    Adrianus
    17th Jun 2015
    12:29pm
    I think the Greens have surprised everyone with their new found desire to become involved in the process of finding solutions. This could be a sign that the Greens are no longer content to be just part of the problem.
    jackie
    17th Jun 2015
    12:35pm
    The Greens have never surprised me. A population explosion goal not environmentally sound.
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    2:02pm
    The Greens have just become a major part of the problem. They are fools who cannot see the woods for the trees. There is no solution in this dumb stupid change. It will drive aged pension costs through the roof as people realize that they are going to be punished to the tune of $7800 a year for every $100,000 they save, and getting a consistent 7.8% return in today's environment is NOT easy.
    Adrianus
    19th Jun 2015
    8:58am
    Ah, so 7.8% is now "not easy?" Your previous comments have indicated that it is impossible?
    Rainey, you need to see a good Financial Planner. That is if your Labor buddies haven't put them out of reach financially by loading them with mountains of compliance issues and costs.
    jackie
    17th Jun 2015
    12:29pm
    A $15 a week increase for poor aged pensioners? They paid taxes all their lives with their minimum wages, never got much super and benefits. These people are genuine battlers that had it hard all their lives and pay rent.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    11:59am
    True, Jackie. But wait for the huge reduction when the Government realizes that by screwing people who saved a little, they are going to REDUCE the tax take and INCREASE the cost of pensions. They've got the economic reasoning wrong on this one. Don't believe their propaganda.
    Retsel
    17th Jun 2015
    12:45pm
    My wife and I presently enjoy the advantage of a part pension and the related benefits.The existing asset thresholds should never have been put in place by the Howard Government, it was an over generous vote catching ploy but now that we have them it will be difficult to revert back to the previous conditions, those of us with assets above $823,000 will now lose our pension and all the benefits, however most will revert back to ''seniors healthcare card
    Retsel
    17th Jun 2015
    12:45pm
    My wife and I presently enjoy the advantage of a part pension and the related benefits.The existing asset thresholds should never have been put in place by the Howard Government, it was an over generous vote catching ploy but now that we have them it will be difficult to revert back to the previous conditions, those of us with assets above $823,000 will now lose our pension and all the benefits, however most will revert back to ''seniors healthcare card
    Roger W
    17th Jun 2015
    12:53pm
    This new arrangement will lead to an increase in pension drain on the budget. It is a massive incentive to spend rather than save. At best any extra savings can earn 5% with any degree of security in the current market so if a pensioner saves and invests $1000 he or she can at best earn $2 per fortnight but his or her reward for doing so and trying to reduce dependence and thus drain on the public purse will be a loss of $3 fortnight. Better to blow the $1000 and depend on the pension. I still don't recommend this because to do so assumes that you can trust politicians.
    Adrianus
    17th Jun 2015
    1:06pm
    Roger W, I cant see that but I hope you are right. It could just be the fillip our economy needs. Awe gee, if the economy starts to heat up the RBA will ease monetary policy. I guess at that point you will be disappointed with your decision to spend, spend, spend, with an interest rate of say 8%?
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    5:51pm
    He's right, Frank. But if interest rates do go to 8% he'll really only be marginally worse off, since the government is offering 7.8% to retirees who spend up big and then claim a bigger pension. Since it will take some time for rates to rise back to anything like 8%, if they ever do, I think it's probably a saver bet to take the government's 7.8% offer. Not so good for the taxpayers who have to fund aged pensions, though.
    mangomick
    17th Jun 2015
    1:18pm
    Government supports Private Schools with massive subsidies as they argue that they are taking the burden off the Public System. Well aren't self funded retirees taking the burden off the welfare system in the same way. Why shouldn't Self funded retirees at least be entitled to a Commonwealth Seniors Health card. They also are taking a burden off the public purse.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    2:30pm
    I agree.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    4:55pm
    Yep . . . agree too
    fedup
    17th Jun 2015
    1:30pm
    I think anyone who worked their butt off to own their own home should be left alone nobody gives us a house for nothing we all work hard to pay off our house. As far as the rich people go they should not get a pension but keep whatever they own
    Phil1943
    17th Jun 2015
    1:54pm
    Australians for generations have worked to purchase their house. It meets one of our basic needs (shelter) and is also our most expensive purchase. But we make it for ourselves and our families, and for most of us it's not an investment. It's a home.
    There's a big effort going on right now, and it's resonating with younger generations, to make it sound as if all homeowners are the same as investors, rolling in the unrealised profits of rising house prices. We're being called 'greedy' just because we've been thrifty and acquired a home, and the federal government is eagerly looking for ways to tax it.
    Watch out for more tradeoffs (and I hope the Greens aren't again so foolish as to aid and abet the Libs in their rapacious money grubbing) when the government offers to drop such things as state stamp duties in exchange for a 'broad based land tax'. It will be pitched as 'fairer' and 'more equitable' when it's simply an easy way to target sitting ducks and rake in the money.
    Sure, it might force retirees, especially pensioners, to sell their homes so they can pay these taxes, but that will 'free up' properties for GenX and GenY who seem to be having problems finding suitable accommodation to match their lifestyles.
    I'm fedup too. I don't begrudge anybody their home. They've worked for it and they've earned it. But I do oppose any attempt to tax home owners further. We've paid enough already and have to be prepared to toss out any government that wants to apply any form of taxation to our properties. Draw the line in the sand while we can. Once taxation of family homes begins, it's all over for us.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    2:40pm
    Do you have a house that is now too big for you? A lot of pensioners now do. Problem is that if they downsize they lose the pension. Wouldn't it be good if that wasn't the case? Adding the house to the assets test would fix this problem in most cases.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    4:10pm
    So true "fedup" - absolutely.
    And "Bonny' - downsizing doesn't mean losing the pension.
    Downsizing mean just what it says - reducing the physical size of he home. Buy a more modern home/in a better area/etc can easily cost more than the current home. So difference made by adding the home to the assets test would be negligible.
    Leave the home OUT of the assets test.
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    5:55pm
    True, Fliss, plus with stamp duty and relocation costs it could cost tens of thousands to make the move. A lot of pensioners would downsize if they could afford to.
    stake
    17th Jun 2015
    1:54pm
    get rid of abbot
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    2:28pm
    Why?
    Patriot
    17th Jun 2015
    6:56pm
    Bonny
    Because he's a CRIM!
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    7:01pm
    That makes two of them then.
    Kaz
    17th Jun 2015
    3:06pm
    Sorry Bonnie
    I cannot agree.
    While we live in our own home, we pay land rates, maintain our home, renew rooms when needed and don't receive rental assistance. Leave our house alone - I worked from 17 years old and have a nice home, not lavish, but bought from hard and consistent work. We will stay in it until the end if we are lucky enough.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    4:11pm
    Agree Kaz. Leave the home out of the assets test.
    worker
    17th Jun 2015
    3:13pm
    I agree the next election the Australian citizens should make shore the greens and libs suffer a loss to their employment but in the main what should be removed in full is the life time forms of pensions and perks given to MP Australian citizens employee after they have served but a few year in parliament. What employee other then MP is payed by his her boss perks such as holidays or forms of pensions after they have left that employment.
    Such arrangement put in place by MP means they need not be concerned about the age pension
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    3:18pm
    More pensioners will be better off with these changes so the government is likely to gain votes. Greens are the only real alternative party and could also gain votes because people no longer like or trust the major parties.

    MP pensions have been changed and are now more like those of other employees.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    12:00pm
    Bonny, you are not really dumb enough to believe that crap are you? How will pensioners be better off by screwing people who saved a bit and offering them a massive taxpayer-funded reward for taking a luxury holiday. Obviously you can't do simple math, and you have no financial savvy at all.
    Fliss
    22nd Jun 2015
    12:04pm
    Ditto Rainey.
    almost midnight
    17th Jun 2015
    3:32pm
    I just wish we had a system like Sweden - excellent pension - if you have worked for it! Your pension is based on how you long have worked and therefore contributed to the country. those who have lived on welfare all their lives receive the bare minimum, and those who have worked for many year receive a very good pension
    bohemian
    17th Jun 2015
    3:39pm
    There is a question mark about the Commonwealth Seniors Health card, as apparently it is up to the states to agree to fund it. Could someone please clarify with factual information.
    jeansievers
    17th Jun 2015
    4:36pm
    The aged pension is NOT welfare. Very wealthy people get lots tax breaks ie negative gearing and superannuation. If you really want to slug it to the really wealthy you make changes to the taxation laws not the aged pension. The aged pension in Australia is actually very miserly by world standards. What about tax evasion by wealthy individuals and corporations? Everyone is caught up with what can we cut and that's the government game. The real question is where can you get more revenue and who is avoiding paying into the system? Global and Australian austerity policies are a scam.
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    5:27pm
    Tax evasion is illegal and if you do it then you deserve to be punished.

    Pension is welfare as you are supported by taxpayers. It is not a reward for hard work or paying taxes. If it was the wealthy would be entitled to such a pension.

    Negative gearing and superannuation are not tax evasion or even tax breaks they are an legitimate part of our tax system. Without negative gearing rents would be a lot higher and put more pressure on the needy. Without super our pension system would not be able to cope. Take both away and our government has real problems.

    Our country is in debt and somebody has to pay that debt back. We can't continue to spend more than we receive. People with assets need to spend some of those assets and not rely upon government handouts. That is what this is all about.
    Grateful
    18th Jun 2015
    4:05pm
    Bonny. If negative gearing was only allowed for NEW houses it would have two very beneficial repercussions.
    Firstly, it will take the investor out of the established home market which has eliminated the first home buyer, as HAS happened. Secondly, it would create MORE houses, increase employment for the building trades people and suppliers and vastly increase the SUPPLY of housing which will solve that problem and add to choice for all prospective home owners, or, renters, thus keeping both the prices of houses and rents down!!
    Buying existing houses as investments does NOT increase SUPPLY, therefore supports high rents and ever increasing house prices, also as has happened!!!
    This government only blames SUPPLY for the rise in house prices, sure, that certainly has an impact, but, a far more sinister, and one requiring urgent attention, is the DEMAND and who are represented in that demand. At the moment it is dominated by negative gearing by over 1.2 million INVESTORS with cheap money and all competing against each other for the same properties, making it impossible for genuine first HOME buyers to compete with them. Why do governments ignore that glaring problem? Ask all of those members of parliament who themselves have around 500 negatively geared houses as investment properties !!!!
    LiveItUp
    19th Jun 2015
    11:51am
    So you deny young people buying negatively geared investments properties so they can get a foot into the market? I know lots of young people doing this so that one day they will be able to trade up to a family home.
    Mark
    17th Jun 2015
    4:41pm
    The changes to the pension are an absolute breach of faith. There are many people who have planned their retirement on the basis of the rules established by government (both Liberal and Labour). For them now to be changed at such short notice is deplorable. When there is money to spend on people smugglers and little is being done to collect tax that is being avoided by multi nationals you really have you really have to wonder where the country is headed. You have to be heros to take money off older people!!!!
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    5:01pm
    Well said!
    You can't change the rules part way through the game!!!
    jeansievers
    17th Jun 2015
    5:26pm
    Totally agree Mark people can only make decisions on information they know at any given time. It is disgusting to change the 'game' when someone is elderly. This is a time when you have enough problems to worry about ie health issues, caring for a partner etc What they are doing should be against the law. Aged pensioners should be able to sue the government for breach of social contract.
    thommo
    17th Jun 2015
    8:50pm
    Spot on Mark. Abbott has broken another promise, but remember that this LNP govt is not about fairness. They are looking after the big end of town and slug those on the lower rungs of the ladder, like the age pensioners. This particular Fed govt has all the trappings of a Fascist regime - Autocratic and authoritarian. I can't understand why people can't see it and kick them out.
    But they will be gone at the next election.
    Nascar.
    17th Jun 2015
    4:53pm
    No more R-ABBOT-ING around get on with an election-Where's Dick?
    edly
    17th Jun 2015
    5:42pm
    The Green's Meg Lee moment, will lose voters especially older ones who have supported them.

    Perhaps the Green's and LNP should read a recent report by the IMF (a neo-liberal organisation) that stated that when Governments increase the income of the lowest 20% in the income scale of a country GDP per head increases and when they transfer income to the top 20% of earners then the GDP per head decreases. This makes sense as the lowest 20% will spend their money on goods and services, while the top 20% will not spend on goods and services but use it to further increase their wealth.
    MITZY
    18th Jun 2015
    10:48am
    Meg Less belonged to Don Chipp's democrats, I wonder what he is thinking looking down on the party he departed from. He did it to keep the bastards honest, but the crooks managed to dispense with honesty quite quickly.
    Agree with the statement you reiterate here re the IMF. Whenever a stimulus to the lower end of income scales occurs, they spend.
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    10:56am
    The level of level of income growth over the past thirty years is quite extraordinary and really reinforces how well the elite have done compared with the working class. Real income for the bottom 90% of income distribution rose by just 34% between 1980 and 2010. By comparison the top 1% income growth is around 178%. Think about how that transfers into what people are living off now they are aged pensioners.
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    5:43pm
    Think what it means for those retiring today if it continues, given that they are being forced to run down their meagre savings because some fools think a couple with $823,000 to last them through 35+ years of inflation and rising health care needs are ''wealthy''!
    LiveItUp
    17th Jun 2015
    6:10pm
    Warning this is important and has nothing to do with the pension.

    The so called windows microsoft scammers are doing the rounds again. I just got a call from them telling me the hackers have got into my computer and they wanted to get access to my computer. So I said the hackers had already got to it and it was dead. They then said to leave it on for one hour and to fix it was a one time fee of $49.

    When I said NO they said "You bitch **** off".

    Do not let these people have access to your computer and don't pay them anything. They are not from microsoft but are scammers that just want your email address book for future prospects and your credit card details so that they can clean it out.

    I have previously rang microsoft and it is not their policy to ring anybody about such matters.

    I hope this warning helps you.
    Radish
    18th Jun 2015
    10:20am
    I had the call yesterday.

    Once you say "I dont have a computer" they hang up on you.
    Squirrel
    17th Jun 2015
    6:51pm
    For jeansievers information. Those on a defined benefit will suffer come Jan 2016. The amount not counted by centerlink will drop to 10%. Personally mine goes from 22.5% down to 10 with a resultant drop of $400 a fortnight less pension. Although I'm not getting anymore from my defined benefit.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    6:57pm
    I didn't know what a "defined benefit" was, but just googled it . . . the result of that drop from 22.5% to 10% that sounds terrible! :(
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    9:33am
    Oh dear thanks for that piece of information Squirrel hmm more soup on a daily basis better get ready far out. Some of these people of this thread have absolutely no idea what it is like to live on a 'average' income when everything is going up or being taken away. We did the best we could when we were young & 4 those who criticise me I haven't even got a car & can't afford to travel overseas. Some of u disgust me with your lack of empathy and compassion 4 people u look down on because u think u r so special because 4 whatever reason u don't have 2 have a gov pension..well lucky u..

    17th Jun 2015
    6:59pm
    great to see the comments of Bonny, Shetso 1, mangomick, etc, these are the people we need in this great country, instead of putting our country down, they put up reasons showing how we should run our country to get it up and running. So easy to put a bad picture up or think how to fleece the Government, e.a. the taxpayer, to give us a better pension or as Mark, Fliss, Jeansievers, still waiting for Mick, probally on another worldtour, to show their hatred towards our present government, especially our prime minister, I am on a full pension, I paid taxes all my life, did not get any super, came in after I retired, but I am grateful for the assistance I am getting from this government so I am able to live a great life.
    Fliss
    17th Jun 2015
    7:39pm
    Huh??????????????? What you on about?? Naming me as someone showing "hatred towards our present government, especially our prime minister . . . " Are you on drugs?? I voted for our gvt & our PM. My comments have been about the MATHEMATICS of the proposed changes. And the fact you shouldn't change rules part way through a "game". Am happy you live a great life Heemskerk99, so do I, but please don't misquote me. Cheers!
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    9:58am
    How can anyone not have distain for the Abbott government? Their whole agenda is to attack the marginalised and vulnerable in our society. Our democracy is under attack and the idea of a fair go has disappeared. You obviously identify with the wealthy and elite, which is probably not in your interests. You have bought the lie that we are all 'Middle Class', this only gives more power and entitlements to the rich and powerful. We are living in a Fascist Democracy, sure we have elections, but in reality politicians are told what to do by the Multi Nationals. There is a rising elite in Australia with financial clout to dominate and capture government decision making to the detriment of everyone else.
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    6:00pm
    It's sad to see comments from ignorant people who can't do math and can''t understand logic. Bonny, Shetso, Mangomick, etc. are sadly deluded by the Governments lies and propaganda and cannot understand the facts, heemskerk99, as are you apparently.

    Thankfully, there are a few, like Fliss and jeansievers, who get it, and I sincerely hope they are writing to MPs and lobby groups with their concerns. I received a very heartening letter from the head of National Seniors, who is working hard to try to get people to understand how harmful these changes are and why they are both unfair and economically unsustainable.
    LiveItUp
    20th Jun 2015
    5:06pm
    Yes I can do maths. $800,000 will give a couple atleast $50,000 a year for 16 years without it having any earnings. That's a lot more than pensioners get.

    I too received a letter from some senior organisation with a draft letter to sent to MPs etc. I reworded it and asked them all to vote for the legislation.
    Fliss
    20th Jun 2015
    5:16pm
    I'm sure you can do basic maths Bonny, since you point out that $800,000 will give a couple $50,000 a year for 16 years. Correct! But then what have they got? I don't know how old you are & therefore whether you have looked into the costs of Aged Nursing Home Care . . . . but for a start you need between about $400,000 & $800,000 just for the bond to get in the door & then $48 per day plus another $29 per day if extra services are required. This is just for ONE person - not a couple. So if the couple you are talking about can't live on the earnings of their savings & therefore spend all their principal as you are suggesting, what do they then do?? Obviously you personally are not yet or do not know anyone currently dealing with this situation.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    12:03pm
    But Fliss, if the affected retiree spends $100K on a luxury cruise, the Government will reward them with an extra $176,000 over the next ten years. That's got to be something to cheer about? (Unless you are one of the young taxpayers who will cop the bill, or the disadvantaged pensioners who will surely ultimately lose when the Government sees that they have blown the budget, not helped it.)
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    4:23pm
    Not a bad return on $100,000 I'll have to work out how many luxury cruises I can do and if I have enough time left to do well out of it.
    forbes
    17th Jun 2015
    7:11pm
    No reward at all for working hard, saving, doing wthout lotto tickets, smokes and drink. Always told our taxes were partly going towards providing a pension when we retired. Might be partly fair if the big wigs were also being cut back with their perks. No wonder the pollies don't want to touch the superannuation. Won't ever have my vote again. Income on 800,000 at current interest rates gives about 24,000 a year. Might go on a spending spree, rice and noodles.
    annette
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    5:15pm
    Say thank you to the Greens and Govt., Forbes. They are generously offering you a $7800 a year reward for spending $100,000 on a world cruise! At current interest rates, you'll be $4800 a year better off for every $100,000 you spend on those indulgences you denied yourself in earlier life. Watch retirees go on a spending spree and come back to claim a higher pension, so pension costs will skyrocket. And some blinkered fools actually think the changes are a good thing!
    Squirrel
    17th Jun 2015
    7:18pm
    Yes Fliss it is, but as it only affects a few so it will pass. Trying to organise retirement is difficult enough without them changing the rules. The last few years of my working life nearly a third of my wages went toward my defined benefit pension. I could have taken some as cash and spent it but we decided to take the pension and with a little centerlink help. We would be comfortable. We will survive but I feel for the pensioners that have no assets at all they get nothing.
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    9:37am
    We did exactly the same we could have taken some cash but didn't, we can't access the capital, we don't have any assets except a $10,000 caravan, one car and a few sticks of furniture, and just enough money to bury us. I think this government would like to line us up the wall and shoot us and charge us for the bullets.
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    1:23pm
    jeansievers, then you will get an increase on your pension, so why are you so angry? Or are you getting paid by Getup to fake it?
    Min
    18th Jun 2015
    9:24am
    Hi Can someone please help? Does this mean that as a single Pensioner on a part Super and part Pension combined of $30,000pa I will lose my part Pension?.
    It seems a bit rough when a Single Pensioner/Mum (or Dad) who has worked most of her life to support her kids through University and life (without any help from their father and now pays 100 per cent of Electricity ,Rates, Insurance, phone, house repairs bills that takes up most of my Income( remembering women have only had Super for 20 years) yet we get 50percent of these discounts now has to live solely off a small Super Income. The Greens need to research more before voting for something so unfair or what deals have they made?. I used to like them.
    Fliss
    18th Jun 2015
    9:28am
    Hi Min, it depends on what percentage of your $30,000 comes from super.
    Basically if you have more than $873,000 in assets (that is the total of ALL assets except your home) then you will not receive any pension payment. Will just receive your super payment.
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    5:20pm
    Here are the facts Min:
    The very first act of the new Greens leader has been to sell out pensioners.

    It is clear there is no intention by this Government to seriously review the retirement income system and consider any changes to superannuation arrangements.

    The Australian Greens have been completely conned.


    They have sold out middle and low income pensioners who have worked hard and saved their whole life.

    The very fact that the Greens are willing to deal with Tony Abbott hurt Australian pensioners is a disgrace.

    Senator Richard Di Natale is happy for Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison MP to rip money away from part pensioners on incomes of less than $25,000 a year without abolishing tax concessions for high income superannuants on incomes of more than $75,000 a year.

    Because of this deal, 330,000 pensioners will lose in 2017.

    Within ten years, half of all retirees will be affected.

    Some single pensioners will lose as much as $8,000.

    Couples will lose as much as $14,000.

    And whilst the Government argue that all these pensioners are rich, the reality is pensioners with $289,000 in assets or less than $15,000 a year in super income, will be left worse off because of this deal.

    This filthy deal sends an unequivocal, unmistakable message to every pensioner in Australia – never trust the Abbott Government or the Greens again.
    Fliss
    18th Jun 2015
    5:39pm
    Whew . . . bit of a hateful speech there jeansievers.
    Why do you say pensioners with less than $289,000 in assets will be worse off?
    My understanding is that couples with assets between $286,500 & $375,000 will be better off since they will receive a full gvt pension instead of only a part pension.
    While those couples with assets between $1,150,000 & $825,000 will be worse off since they will lose their part pension.
    Same for single pensioners - those with assets between $202,000 & $250,000 will now receive a full pension instead of just a part pension.
    And those singles with assets between $775,000 & $547,000 will lose their part pension & receive nothing.
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    6:03pm
    A lot of disadvantaged people will be very hard hit by this, Fliss, but the jealous can't see past their noses. The real losers, though, will be EVERYONE, because the cost of aged pensions will soar as people realize they are being harshly punished for saving for old age and it's better just to spend it all then put your hand out for a pension.
    Fliss
    18th Jun 2015
    6:09pm
    That's how I see it Rainy!!! That's why it is beyond my comprehension that the gvt would make such changes??! They are in effect encouraging retirees to spend those extra few hundreds of thousands to get themselves a part pension - along with the extra perks that come with it. Crazy!
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    10:48pm
    If people want the real facts about the deal done by the #LNP and the #Greens make an appointment with a Financial Services Officer at Centrelink and they will tell you the truth about your situation.
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    10:38am
    Yes negative gearing is part of the tax system in Australia but it is a way of avoiding paying tax. This system does not lead to any kind of equality in our society, it just turns one part of our society into renters, whilst others enrich themselves at other people's expense. We need a system where affordable housing is readily available. The problem with Liberals is they attack Unions, workers, workers pay and conditions and then expect them to have enough money to live off when they retire. This is putting ordinary workers in a situation where it is impossible to be 'self sufficient' when they leave the workforce. There is a campaign of demonization of ordinary men and women of Australia making it sound as though it is their fault they haven't horded huge amounts of money. To add to the problem the Liberal Party now wants to make it virtually impossible for ordinary people to get a tertiary education which everyone knows gives you access to higher wages/salaries and better work conditions. The only people who would vote for a party that sets up a system which totally enhances the prospects of the already wealthy are people who are already comfortable or have rich parents. Is this the Australia we want for our grandchildren?
    maxchugg
    18th Jun 2015
    11:20am
    The present system where people with $800,000 in cash or other liquid assets is attributable to current low interest rates. No action is warranted from the government because the situation will automatically correct itself when interest rates rise.

    The real problem is this (with apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan:

    A has a house worth $5,000,000 and $50,000 in the bank. A can have a pension.

    B has a house worth $300,000 and $100,000 in the bank. B can't have a pension.

    So, in the words of Gilbert, "A is happy, B is not. Yet B is worthy, I should say, to get a part pension than A."

    Logic says that what the government should do is make a ruling that the value of the family home, up to, perhaps, $1 million, is not included in the assets test. Anything above that is included as an asset.
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    1:17pm
    And Joe Hockey can still receive $18,000 per year to live in 'own' house.
    Teddyb
    18th Jun 2015
    11:53am
    The greens were nearly sidelined at the last election (Fed) and also in the state election (Qld). I used to vote for the democrats in the Senate to keep up Don Chips saying and After they went defunct I chose the greens to keep them honest. Now they have neatly kicked pensioners in the teeth. Far as I am concerned they can ROT IN HELL.
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    5:11pm
    Yep, Teddy. I joined the party, but I've just cancelled my membership and I know several others who are doing the same. The party is run by fools.
    MITZY
    19th Jun 2015
    12:05pm
    The new Greens leader used to be a GP. Probably not many GPs would either be Greens or Labor supporters. After the next election he may not be around anymore even though he is currently stating he considers the Abbott government will not be around anymore. More chance of either Labor or Coaltion being around a lot longer than Di Natalie.
    Adrianus
    19th Jun 2015
    1:12pm
    MITZY, how can you logically come to that conclusion? I mean, "Probably not many GPs would either be Greens or Labor supporters." ???
    I would have thought many GPs to be caring, nurturing types who would mostly be lefties?? However, they do have a common thread. They are all highly intelligent?
    Stoney
    18th Jun 2015
    12:04pm
    Why do people expect to be kept in luxury because they've 'worked hard' in the past - most people wouldn't understand a day's HARD work. I've worked 100 hours a week most of my life running pubs, motels, shops, etc., made plenty, been shafted and lost plenty, and now live OK on $30.00 a week for food. Who cares - no-one of course! I'm 73 and hoping to find another job. If not, I'm fit and reasonably healthy, so I'll survive. Last resort is nitrogen.
    Pardelope
    18th Jun 2015
    1:03pm
    "The Devil is in the detail", and we don't know exactly what that is as yet. It is too soon to panic - but not too late to contact your local MP with any concerns you may have.

    No two pensioners have exactly the same circumstances, but in my experience when working with DSS (now Centrlink), the vast majority of pensioners were sensible and not greedy. There were a small percentage who had expensive properties (big houses or farms) who tried to manipulate the system to get everything they could (tax avoidance, smart accountants, trusts, hiding income etc) - and they do need to be reigned in.

    There are a lot of things to consider e.g. how many people will lose their concessions? Concessions and the availability of cheaper medications are vital to many older people - especially those with chronic diseases.

    What about people who have a modest home and little income - but the value of their property has gone up due to real estate values escalating in their area? Are such people to be forced to sell up and move to the outer suburbs, country, their kids, or a nursing home?

    I think the assets test should only include the residential home if it is valued above the upper price for similar homes in that area - or if it is officially valued above one million (at todays prices).

    I think the income test should be relaxed - to make it more attractive for pensioners to save or get paid work.

    Superannuation can be treated under both the assets and income test. The idea of super was to reduce the dependence on pensions - and I think this should be encouraged.

    Only my thoughts at the moment. They may change when we here the final detail.
    Pardelope
    18th Jun 2015
    1:11pm
    I mean't "hear"
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    1:56pm
    Paredlope, you say the income test should be relaxed, but a couple can get a pension while earning as much as $74,000 a year. That's huge for retirees! If a couple earning, say, $60,000 a year has $275,000 in investments, they could potentially earn another $27500 of which only $7743 would be counted, and their pension deduction is only half that. They lose only $3871.50.
    Yet under this unfair new test, a couple who are asset tested and cannot earn any income other than returns on investments (potentially because they are sick or disabled) will lose a whopping $7800 for every $100,000 they have in assets, but they might be earning only 3% return ($3000 a year). Clearly, their best move is to spend their money quickly, because they will be $4800 a year better off for every $100,000 spent. Pension costs will naturally rise as more people recognize this ridiculous inconsistency and decide that saving for old age is futile.

    What about incentives to save? They have always been lacking, and have now been abolished completely. Not all CAN work and earn.

    The existing means test system is absurdly cruel and unfair and just plain wrong. And what Scott Morrison has cooked up, and the stupid Greens have agreed to, makes it far, far worse.
    Priscilla
    18th Jun 2015
    1:11pm
    TRILLIONS FOR PENSIONS! How many people realise that in 1952 Australia had a pension fund similar to the UK. This fund had built up to a good amount of money, but the Liberal government decided to use this sum, and pay future pensions from taxation.
    Just think what that fund would have been worth today, with the weekly payments from people's pay packets.The money would pay everyone a pension and would not be means tested.
    The Pension Fund in UK is now worth trillions and governments are unable to touch it. So this government here hasn't a let to stand on when it moans how much the pensions are costing taxpayers. It could have been so different if they hadn't been so greedy. This appears to be a well-kept secret!
    Pardelope
    18th Jun 2015
    1:23pm
    True!
    Radish
    19th Jun 2015
    3:42pm
    63 years ago...things were a lot different then...things have moved on. We have to accept it and move on.
    Adrianus
    19th Jun 2015
    5:28pm
    I didn't hear many complaints when Rudd and Gillard were providing the so called "stimulus" to the economy. I think too many people were taken in by their colourful language and the money used to buy votes.
    Pardelope
    18th Jun 2015
    1:26pm
    Governments in Australia can't resist taking from any pot of money they can get their hands on.

    Previous governments also took money out of the COMPULSORY super fund for Commonwealth Public Servants. The result being that the lower paid public servants eventually received a very poor super - compared to those on similar incomes in the private sector. The higher paid ones (a very small percentage) received sufficient in their pay packets to put aside money themselves.

    I get very cross when people talk about the elderly or pensioners being an undue drain on society. We still are consumers, we still pay taxes (GST etc), we provide employment for others. What we need is an effective political party of our own - which may even get the balance of power and be able to have our concerns at least considered. (End of rant).
    Pardelope
    18th Jun 2015
    1:46pm
    Oh - and I forgot - what if we all stopped doing voluntary work?

    18th Jun 2015
    1:27pm
    I predict the Greens have just lost half their member base! What a stupid move! They clearly have no understanding of economics, much less fairness.

    Can someone tell me why a couple who can earn, say $30,000 a year, and have $275,000 in the bank will lose only $1625 of their part-pension if they have a $100,000 windfall and add $100,000 to their savings, but an asset-tested couple who can earn NOTHING will lose a whopping $7800 a year for adding $100,000 to their savings. How can anyone deem that fair?

    18th Jun 2015
    2:19pm
    Watch for a massive surge in retirees taking expensive holidays, followed by screams of pain from the Government when aged pension costs skyrocket!

    Do you realize that asset-tested retirees are being offered a $7800 a year reward for every $100,000 they spend cruising the world? Given that many will only be getting $3000 interest on that $100,000, the Government is offering them $4800 a year for every $100,000 they spend. Nice! What's to complain about - unless you are genuinely worried about the federal budget? Obviously the Greens and the Government are NOT.
    Grateful
    18th Jun 2015
    3:34pm
    Answers. 1.Yes, long overdue but haven't gone anywhere near far enough.
    2. Irrelevant.
    3. Yes and sooner the better. Government pensions are for the needy, not, to pay for European river cruises.
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    3:41pm
    Grateful your comment does not reflect the reality of these changes. They are going to hurt many. People made their financial decisions years ago and now they are going to be punished in a callous and uncaring way. I don't agree with the changes but at least the government could grandfather the changes. People make decisions about finances with the knowledge they have at any given time and should not be treated in such an awful way because they did the right thing at the time they were planning for their future. Many took advice from financial planners who were spouting their financial wisdom of the times. You have no idea what you are talking about.
    Grateful
    18th Jun 2015
    4:13pm
    jean. I'm sure thousands of Australians would just LOVE to be "hurting" with a $600,000 average house and hundreds of thousands of dollars of other assets to draw from. There will be grandfather clauses and "means" that will most certainly be devised by financial planners!! This is a sham AND another broken promise.
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    5:01pm
    Grateful, you are clearly, like many others,speaking from envy instead of rationally and with objective thought. Many of those affected worked very hard and sacrificed a great deal to achieve what they have, and it may have to last them through 35 years of not being able to earn - other than small returns on their investments, which are likely to total only half the pension and won't increase every six months as the pension does. They may be facing high costs for health care, aged care, home maintenance (which they can no longer do themselves due to disability), etc. You have no idea of their circumstances, yet you are quite happy for the government to victimize them in order to give more to wealthy people who are able to continue to earn good incomes AND have modest investments as well and to those who have a few hundred thousand in the bank and possibly a multi-million dollar home, or who gave their millions to their kids before they turned 60.
    This change is just plain STUPID, as well as being unfair. As I pointed out earlier, it will pay an asset-tested retiree $7800 to spend $100,000 on a world cruise. Since they may be only getting $3000 return now on that $100,000, they will be $4800 better off by spending up big and asking the taxpayer to give them more.
    It's a seriously unfair measure that discriminates heavily against retirees in certain situations, while favouring many who are far better off and asking the very rich to sacrifice nothing at all. And it will drive pension costs up dramatically as people realise there is no incentive to save. Recognising the harsh punishment applied to anyone who plans for and saves for old age, younger folk will see no point, and many already retired will go on spending sprees.

    You say pensions are NOT to pay for European river cruises. That's precisely what this change is doing - rewarding retirees for taking that cruise and running their assets down. There was never a more powerful incentive to take that luxury holiday, then come back and put a hand out for a bigger pension.
    jeansievers
    18th Jun 2015
    4:01pm
    The very first act of the new Greens leader has been to sell out pensioners.

    It is clear there is no intention by this Government to seriously review the retirement income system and consider any changes to superannuation arrangements.


    The Australian Greens have been completely conned.

    They have sold out middle and low income pensioners who have worked hard and saved their whole life.

    The very fact that the Greens are willing to deal with Tony Abbott hurt Australian pensioners is a disgrace.

    Senator Richard Di Natale is happy for Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison MP to rip money away from part pensioners on incomes of less than $25,000 a year without abolishing tax concessions for high income superannuants on incomes of more than $75,000 a year.

    Because of this deal, 330,000 pensioners will lose in 2017.

    Within ten years, half of all retirees will be affected.

    Some single pensioners will lose as much as $8,000.

    Couples will lose as much as $14,000.

    And whilst the Government argue that all these pensioners are rich, the reality is pensioners with $289,000 in assets or less than $15,000 a year in super income, will be left worse off because of this deal.

    This filthy deal sends an unequivocal, unmistakable message to every pensioner in Australia – never trust the Abbott Government or the Greens again.
    Anonymous
    18th Jun 2015
    5:07pm
    You are spot on, Jeansievers. Pity some here are too short sighted or blinkered by envy to see the reality of what the Government has done. Eventually, they will all be hurt by the measures they are currently supporting.

    And the worst of it is that it doesn't help the genuinely disadvantaged, who will suffer a great deal as a result of cuts to health and aged care services. They are just shifting benefits from people with a little more savings (but nowhere near enough to be self-sufficient) to people with healthy savings, but a little less. All it will achieve is to grind more people down to a position of risking poverty in their later years. Oh, and possibly give travel agents a boost, as many will see benefit in taking that luxury holiday now to reduce their assets.
    LiveItUp
    19th Jun 2015
    11:48am
    I congratulate the Greens as this is a very sensible move. If a couple has assets then why do they think they are entitled to the pension? I don't. The pension is welfare that is for the needy not for the greedy. What you going to do with your assets when you die if you don't spend them during your lifetime? Kids off the disneyland etc.

    What this about people thinking their capital is frozen and they can't spend it. $800,000 buy itself will give you an income of $50,000 a year for 16 years.

    Present pension system is ridiculous in that a couple with over a million dollars in assets is putting their hands out for more.
    Captain
    19th Jun 2015
    12:57pm
    Bonny, some of us do not want a pension, however after a lifetime of working we would like the concessions that pensioners get.
    Fliss
    19th Jun 2015
    1:14pm
    Valid request Captain. :)
    I agree that after a lifetime of working & paying taxes, then even without any gvt pension just the concessions would be nice.
    Adrianus
    19th Jun 2015
    1:39pm
    I also agree with you Captain! But I also think it should be means tested and have a 20 year residency test.
    Radish
    19th Jun 2015
    3:45pm
    I have always believed that those who have provided for themselves and get nothing from government should be offered the Health Concession card from say the age 70.
    Governments may find that there would be a marked decrease in those "arranging their finances" in order to qualify.
    It does cause envy amongst a lot of retired people; especially when they hear someone say (as I did only this week) oh we are off on a European cruise as we want to stay below the cut off point to make sure we get the concession card.
    Adrianus
    19th Jun 2015
    4:52pm
    Don't know if I heard Morrison correctly today on 3AW, say those who have the concession card are guaranteed to keep it. He was asked if the limit was the same to which he acknowledged in the affirmative. My understanding is that the current limit remains.
    Captain
    19th Jun 2015
    4:55pm
    Radish (F), Why wait until 70? All pensioners get health/medical benefits but the Health Concession Card gives subsided medicines only. I am talking about the State based concessions eg: electrical, gas, council rates, registration that pensioners receive. Self funded retirees (those people who have decided to not be a burden on our federal finances) will not receive those with a Health Care card. As for a cruise etc we will spend our savings according to our desires and we will continue to monitor our finances to make sure that (hopefully) we never have to ask the got for a pension/part pension. By the way we are not rich just careful and money savvey. Perhaps more financial info needs to be taught to our children. My children were taught by me how money works and how to save. Simple to include financials in schools.
    LiveItUp
    20th Jun 2015
    4:57pm
    Do you realise that for people to get concessions the rest of us have to pay full price plus extra to pay for these concessions? Is it fair that a young couple struggling with a young family and a big mortgage should have to pay extra so that people better off than them can get a concession? I certainly don't.

    Every time I pay for something that others get a concession I feel that I'm paying more than my share. I now point this out and ask for a discount.

    I have also taught my children how to handle money and to be financially well educated so that they can avoid the tricks businesses play with finance.
    Fliss
    20th Jun 2015
    5:02pm
    Do you seriously ask for a discount - hope you don't get one because then the next person has to cover your share as well!!! Where has the good Australian way gone of helping the next person? Disappeared entirely it seems with you Bonny. :(
    LiveItUp
    20th Jun 2015
    5:29pm
    Why shouldn't I get a discount if others get a concession? Nothing ventured nothing gained.
    Fliss
    20th Jun 2015
    5:37pm
    Simple answer: (I'll keep it simple for you) . . . BECAUSE the DISCOUNT is given after the people have been means tested! They are deemed to be entitled to a discount. Jeez Louise! Head slap!!!
    LiveItUp
    21st Jun 2015
    12:04am
    Why should a couple with over $1m in assets get a concession because they have been means tested where a young struggling family couple with very few assets have to pay the full amount? It seems to me the more one has the less one has to pay in our society.
    Fliss
    21st Jun 2015
    12:40am
    That doesn't warrant a reply since it is soooo obvious - but I will . . . . . the young struggling family would be getting a discount as well by way of family allowance, etc. Head slap again . . . . doh!
    Adrianus
    21st Jun 2015
    9:22am
    Yes sad but true. We have become a welfare state and Labor has transitioned from the worker's party to the welfare party.
    Fliss
    21st Jun 2015
    9:46am
    So true Frank. :( And unfortunately, as if it isn't bad enough, it appears that people who do not qualify for welfare think it's their right to demand a discount because they think it's unfair hat others receive welfare concessions & they don't. Can't believe Bonny Said : quote . . . "Every time I pay for something that others get a concession I feel that I'm paying more than my share. I now point this out and ask for a discount." unquote. (about 8 comments up this post. :(
    LiveItUp
    21st Jun 2015
    6:52pm
    I'm also surprised that I now get discounts without even asking just because I look like an old age pensioner. Other times one has only to ask and most don't ask me to prove anything before discounting. Just shows how much we have become a welfare state in that anyone with grey hair is assumed to be pensioner unless they decide to prove otherwise.
    Fliss
    21st Jun 2015
    7:05pm
    That's fraud . . . .
    I prefer to act & look young & pay my way. LOL! :)
    LiveItUp
    21st Jun 2015
    7:10pm
    So I should embarrass them for their poor judgement by telling them otherwise.
    Fliss
    21st Jun 2015
    7:14pm
    What's embarrassing about being a self funded retiree??
    I guess looking 70 when still just 50 may be . . . . .
    But be honest Bonny, you're not concerned about embarrassing anyone - you just want the discount. You said yourself you ask for discounts all the time. Lol
    Fliss
    21st Jun 2015
    7:15pm
    this is getting/has got WAY off the topic.
    Saying no more . . . . . . :) :)
    Captain
    22nd Jun 2015
    8:31pm
    Bonny, I am having trouble following your logic. Perhaps you don't understand. My wife (both over 65) do not get a pension therefore no concessions. However we know that we may never receive them.. After 90+ years working and paying taxes we would like the concessions. The concessions are state based and have nothing to do with how much your assets are worth.

    All seniors in Victoria (and possibly other States) who are over 60 and meet the work criteria are entitled to a Seniors Card (that the state govt issues) that gives them a discount at various shops, but no concessions as they are asset tested by Centrelink. If you don't want the card don't apply or tear if up if the discount offer offends you. Please do not mix up concessions with discounts.

    As for young couples with families do you remember when you we buying your first home and interest rates were upwards of 17% and beyond, and did you get child care support when the children were in care other than with you? I know we had a high interest rate on our home loan and child endowment was the extent of any got assistance. So please do not muddy the waters with then and now unless you introduce the argument based on income and expenditure percentages.

    Frank, both major parties have contributed to the making of a welfare state.
    Captain
    22nd Jun 2015
    9:23pm
    Oops concessions are commonwealth based (and centrelink means tested) and seniors cards are state based discount cards.

    18th Jun 2015
    6:31pm
    jeansievers, don't show us how your hatred for T.A and his government cloud your thinking, has more to do with your personal hate towards T.A, just get your facts right, your home does not fall under the asset test, regardless if it is worth $100.000.== or 1.000.000.==, amazingly you never complained under the rudd-gillard regime, oblivious their decisions were in your favour, we are now paying for their reckless attitude of spending our, the taxpayers money, our kids and theirs , our grandchilds, will have to pay for the LABOUR PARTY'S CRIMINAL spending spree for many, many years to come, where they gave everybody money to buy flatscreen t.v's, of course imported from china, etc or money, which was put through the poker machines, clubs had their best Year profits ever or the greatest dud of them all, the pink batts!!! , where workers died and houses burnt down, we are still paying compensation of millions to those affected, because LABOUR had no clue how to run a safe and competent regime, were more interested in stabbing each other in the back, then looking after the interest of AUSTRLIA.
    As for the payments in the early twenties every worker was making towards their pension, ask yourself who took the money's and put it into consolidated revenue, was no other than whitlam, so jeansievers, have a go at them, clean your ears, eyes etc, money does not grow on trees, instead of blowing your hatred over this country, start thinking clearly, you'l never will live in a better place or at least, get your facts right.
    MITZY
    19th Jun 2015
    2:46pm
    heemskerk99: It seems you have a hatred also to all things Labor?
    I had a read of an ABS government paper on taxation and pensions some time ago and how age pensions changed on and off from about ten years after Federation to more modern times. There was a time when pensions were first brought in that workers paid $1 about 7.5% of their earnings into a special fund for their future pension income on retirement but it was found to not cover the amounts to be paid out and was supplemented from payroll taxes and other taxes. So the moneys went in and out of general taxation revenue over many decades. The last more modern Social Services Levy took place from 1946 to 1952 following which it was merged into general income tax. So, as Gough Whitlam was Prime Minister of the Labor Government from 1972 to 1975 how is it possibly his fault? The Prime Minister from 1949 to 1966 was Robert Menzies. Could we possibly blame him for transferring the funds into general taxation revenue? One part of what I was reading also indicated in earlier times(I think around 1947) when again there was a problem with age pension funding being separate from general taxation revenue, a referendum was held to merge to general taxation revenue and believe it or not the referendum succeeded (not many do).

    Many of your assertions in your post here are not backed up by facts and although the pink batts roll-out was rushed and not well thought out, there were 4 deaths (4 too many of course) and two of the four were found to be the negligence of the licensed tradespersons employing persons to work for them who did not provide proper training in their eagerness to make a lot of money during the stimulus period. After one of these accidents there was shown on national t.v. a young Indian school age child with no shoes on his feet lifting tiles off a roof in order to insert pink batts under the roof with no visible means of OH&S equipment attached to him. How is this the Labor government's fault? OH&S should have been provided by the contractor/tradesperson, shouldn't it? There are many things you can blame ALL governments for in their time of being in charge of our country, but during the GFC I don't think anything the Labor Government tried to implement to keep the jobs of Australians and stimulate the economy could be called CRIMINAL.
    After statistics are compiled several years after events, it was portrayed by the IMF that the Howard Government was the biggest spending government ever. Middle income loved him for it, the Abbott government (of course presently unpopularily) is trying to partly cut back on middle income welfare now via pensions, via family tax benefits, by baby bonuses etc. The Morrison pension agenda is currently trying to revert the situation to what it was before Howard changed it to benefit us all as it currently stands. Just a pity this government couldn't try the top end of the ladder and the company/multi-national area to pay a little more tax, after all they partake of all the benefits the genuine taxpayers pay via the PAYE system every day of their lives. How do we build Australia, to Tony Abbott's promise of being the "Infrastructure Prime Minister" of this country - an election rhetoric he seems to have dropped, if the taxation system is skewed to favour those who have plenty of wealth, profits, etc. and so many of which then send those profits overseas to tax havens.

    As an addendum to your statement that we are still paying compensation of millions to those affected re the pink batts, I know compensation was paid to the four people who died and I guess the house fires, some only minor, were covered by home insurance policies etc. how many houses actually burnt down completely? It would be good if you could enlighten us on this.
    Adrianus
    19th Jun 2015
    5:23pm
    Like I said before, if the pink batts stopped us from having a recession why don't they have a pink batts program in Greece. MITZY your love and adoration of Labor is clouding your thinking.
    jeansievers
    19th Jun 2015
    2:47pm
    Some people are missing an important point. If someone has an annuity or defined benefit pension you cannot access the capital and when you die it goes into the system and your children have no inheritance. In our situation we have no assets accept one car between us. I have no superannuation just a small amount for burial purposes or emergencies. If my husband's pension is treated in the way I understand I will have no aged pension and he will lose his top up. We were offered money at some stage in his career but decided to put it into the super system thinking it would cover our expenses when we retired. We have never had any properties or assets that made money or gave us any tax advantages. We have not been people who concentrated on increasing our wealth we just wanted to bring up our family by providing them with what they needed like education, support with cars, and occasionally living expenses. Now we feel let down by all parties if they start messing about with our income that we set up years ago with the knowledge we had at the time. It is like changing horses in mid stream and there is nothing we can do to change the situation. My husband has a life threatening illness and we really don't need all this worry. The vitriol I have experienced on this page is beyond belief. I just want to live a simple life and love my family while I am still alive. They don't expect a huge inheritance from us. We have a modest home and if we still have it when we die when split the proceeds three ways it would provide them with maybe enough money to educate their children if they are lucky. We have never based any decisions on wanting handouts from anyone just a bit of social justice.
    Squirrel
    19th Jun 2015
    3:28pm
    Hi Jean, the changes to defined benefit look like going through both parties agree. Your DB pension will be affected by the tapering changes but by what Ive read I doubt you'll lose your pension. When it's passed I guess we'll hear more then. Damn all politicians, I'd like their DB pension. We could live well then.
    jeansievers
    19th Jun 2015
    4:32pm
    Thanks Squirrel it is such a worrying time I have tried to find out about the tapering changes but can't find any information. Yes politicians hmm what a lot..I know things have changed and someone said we all have to move on and we all will in the next 15-20 years in a box. Punishing people for making decisions based on 20th century information why would anyone do that to an old person? Why can't they grandfather the changes? I belong to another century with totally different values and expectations.
    Adrianus
    19th Jun 2015
    5:18pm
    Morrison said in some cases, couples getting up to $120,000 a year from their superannuation are claiming half of that income as tax-free capital draw-downs, allowing them to qualify for a pension. In this example, the couple could declare the remaining $60,000 as their income and claim a $7500 pension. The government will be closing this loophole by applying a 10 per cent cap on the amount that can be deducted for these purposes which would be a fairer assessment of these types of arrangements.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    9:18am
    Morrison works on a lot of wrong ASSUMPTIONS, Frank, and that makes him - and his supporters - ASSES. What about the INCOME-TESTED pensioners who earn over $85000 a year (for a couple) and still get a pension because the returns on their investments (which might be at a high percentage if they are educated and privileged) are only deemed at 3.25%, while the poor old retiree with just a little more savings but NO INCOME has his investment return deemed, effectively, at over 16% and is ground into poverty.

    The whole pension means test is flawed, cruel, unfair and inefficient and it needs a total overhaul. This stupid stab-in-the-dark approach that gives no consideration to the real long term effects and the obvious unfairness of the consequences is just plain bad policy, and will do huge damage to this nation.

    19th Jun 2015
    10:24pm
    Mitzy, I can tell You, I don't hate anybody, I go on facts. You only try to twist the truth.
    By your own words, labour government rushed the pink batts through, so they could be seen as doing something, but did not think it through. I have seen the kid on the roof and expected direct action of the government, who put this scheme up, but as usual nothing happened, you can't let anybody know you was wrong, as for stimulating the economy at the time,You must have been to busy spending the $ 750.00 on the pokey's or a flat screen T.V, to not see how good we were doing with the mining boom.
    As for saying the Howard Government being big spenders, after taking over of the Hawke-Keating labour government, who left us with a enormous debt, we were all better off and to top it off, when they were voted out they left us, Australia, with a nice nest egg of about, give or take, a surplus of 300 billion dollars.
    Labour came in and as usual were stabbing each other in the back, Rudd versus Gillard, and so as it was with the previous labour government, Hawke versus Keating, at the same time sending Australia nearly broke, to the tune of about $ 400.00 billion in debt!
    They call the labour party the workers party, what a yoke, just listen to what comes out of the royal commission at the moment, how they screwed the lowly paid hospitality workers, labour should be known as the deep pockets party!
    And now you are complaining because to-days Government is trying to get this once great country back on track. Please get Your facts right for a change, maybe you now can understand why I am not impressed with Your labour party.
    ,
    Fliss
    19th Jun 2015
    10:35pm
    What you say is true Heemskerk. History repeats. Liberals gets the country into surplus. Labour comes in & not only spends that vsurplus but runs us into deficit. And so it repeats again & again. It a bit of the topic of the proposed changes to pension asset thresholds, but yes true.

    19th Jun 2015
    10:24pm
    Mitzy, I can tell You, I don't hate anybody, I go on facts. You only try to twist the truth.
    By your own words, labour government rushed the pink batts through, so they could be seen as doing something, but did not think it through. I have seen the kid on the roof and expected direct action of the government, who put this scheme up, but as usual nothing happened, you can't let anybody know you was wrong, as for stimulating the economy at the time,You must have been to busy spending the $ 750.00 on the pokey's or a flat screen T.V, to not see how good we were doing with the mining boom.
    As for saying the Howard Government being big spenders, after taking over of the Hawke-Keating labour government, who left us with a enormous debt, we were all better off and to top it off, when they were voted out they left us, Australia, with a nice nest egg of about, give or take, a surplus of 300 billion dollars.
    Labour came in and as usual were stabbing each other in the back, Rudd versus Gillard, and so as it was with the previous labour government, Hawke versus Keating, at the same time sending Australia nearly broke, to the tune of about $ 400.00 billion in debt!
    They call the labour party the workers party, what a yoke, just listen to what comes out of the royal commission at the moment, how they screwed the lowly paid hospitality workers, labour should be known as the deep pockets party!
    And now you are complaining because to-days Government is trying to get this once great country back on track. Please get Your facts right for a change, maybe you now can understand why I am not impressed with Your labour party.
    ,
    jeansievers
    20th Jun 2015
    4:46am
    'I'm not impressed by your Labor Party'. The Labor Party belongs to the people of Australia. It is not perfect but there is more chance of getting better social policy outcomes when Labor is in power. I can always spot a Liberal troll when they try to bring in another issue to change the subject about what is being discussed on a thread. It's the oldest debating trick in the world.
    This 'Liberal Party' now in power are not true Liberals. Their policies are not in the interests of Australia and the people of Australia. The LNP policies are certainly not in the interest of aged pensioners now or in the future. Pity Malcolm Fraser wasn't around to give you a piece of his mind at least he was principled and had Australia's interests at heart. You might like to read his book 'Dangerous Allies' it is brilliant you can get it out for free at a Public Library.
    Adrianus
    20th Jun 2015
    9:04am
    heemskerk99 you have described the situation perfectly. Labor are always playing politics with people's lives. The welfare system is another example of politics taking priority over good policy. There is certainly no celebration from posters here knowing that poor pensioners are getting an increased pension? Just whinging that millionaire pensioners should remain on welfare.
    Another example of Labor's political games.
    Bill Shorten was due to front the trade unions royal commission to explain how the AWU and the Employer benefited financially at the expense of the low paid worker. Well Shorten's lawyers have argued that his appearance should be brought forward. Now what would be a more suitable date? How about during the running of the Melbourne Cup? No that would mean a delay so how about during State of Origin football decider on July 8?
    Yes that could work. It worked for Kevin and Julia. I remember the night well. A huge crowd had gathered at the Daly Waters Pub to watch the game when talk of the game turned to rowdy booing at the sound of "we interrupt this match to bring you an important political announcement." Our PM Rudd was simply having another whinge, this time about being knifed by Bill Shorten.
    LiveItUp
    20th Jun 2015
    4:44pm
    Maybe this is how they get their flat screen tellie money back. I hope you kept it like I did just in case.
    Radish
    20th Jun 2015
    6:28pm
    There was a huge waste of money by Labor. Spray the money around and you well get voted in.
    So many voters just do not think things through.
    The piper has to be paid and we are borrowing huge amounts of money and paying a large interest bill.
    Heaven help us when the interest rates start going up...hopefully the current government can make some good inroads into bringing down the massive debt.
    Re Shorten my money is still on that he will not lead the Labor Party to the next election.
    Was listening to something on the ABC early hours and it was said that Labor only has Albanese who has any expertise. Most of the good pollies they had are gone. They have very little talent to put forward as an alternative PM.
    migmag
    20th Jun 2015
    9:54am
    All this anti Green sentiment, ill informed people talking about "hugging trees"! suggest people read a few of their policies instead of spouting nonsense.

    Most people seem to support this pension change and its about the only thing the present government have got right recently. Anyway the article says "Pension change gets GREEN light!"
    bohemian
    20th Jun 2015
    12:56pm
    Please register your objection to pension changes to the senators listed in the article below at: http://www.nationalseniors.com.au/be-heard/retirement-income/2015-pension-cuts-campaign.

    You may my use my letter if you wish

    Dear Senator,

    Pension cuts affecting retirees ability to fund future aged care costs, now and into the future, should be the focus of discussion and decision making.

    Without the support of a part pension, $823.000 savings will be quickly eroded for daily living expenses, leaving retirees with insufficient savings for the following:

    - To fund for Home Care fees and Packages for home support, prior to entering aged care, could come to $10,000 pa, and if extra care is required at commercial rates, could easily consume $50,000 to $100,000 of retirement savings.

    - To fund Aged Care Bonds for one person in Capitol cities around $550.00-$750.000 in 2015. There are also daily, means tested, and possibly extra fees required, apart from daily Bond payments if the Bond is not fully paid in a lump sum.

    - If one of a couple enters Aged Care, the other will be back on the pension, with insufficient funds for daily living and unable to self-fund their own Aged Care costs

    - Those with homes valued at less than $1 million, downsizing may still not enable them to fully self fund these living and Aged Care costs

    For this group of retirees they will soon qualify for the pension again within a few short years.

    Any changes to pensions should not be passed until a comprehensive whole- of-system retirement income review is completed.

    I strongly urge you to vote against this unfair legislation in the Senate next week.
    Fliss
    20th Jun 2015
    3:23pm
    Very true comments, especially regarding Home Care Packages & Aged Care Bonds along with the daily costs when in Aged Care.
    LiveItUp
    20th Jun 2015
    4:42pm
    I've rewritten the letters asking them all to vote for it outlining all my reasons.
    Fliss
    20th Jun 2015
    4:57pm
    That's bloody rude Bonny. :( To steal someone else's format & rewrite it. Bad form. :( And didn't you read the points made by Bohemian? You really did miss the boat when it comes to understanding these issues.
    LiveItUp
    20th Jun 2015
    5:15pm
    I understand that it is just silly for a couple with over a $1M in assets to be getting a part pension and have been lobbying the government to have this changed with a while now. Also when a couple gets under the $823,000 they will start to receive a part pension again and there assets decrease further they will get more pension. So I really can't see what the issues are here.
    Fliss
    20th Jun 2015
    5:23pm
    Are you wearing a blindfold or very dark sunnies? Must be to not see the issues . . . .
    Read what many people here have been attempting to point out to you.
    I don't mean glance over it, I mean read it & think about it.
    It's not as clear cut as "silly for a couple with assets over $1M receiving a pension . . . rah rah rah . . . . " You repeatedly say that a couple in this situation can live off their principal . . . . so then they will be on the street, or at least one of them will be when they need Aged Care? Where is your compassion . . . . very sad :(
    Radish
    20th Jun 2015
    6:29pm
    The issue is Bonny, that the people you are referring to "want to keep their cake and eat it too"!
    jeansievers
    20th Jun 2015
    7:58pm
    Totally agree Bohemian not one size fits all in retirement situations. It is highly complex as there are so many different situations. To some of you on this thread you seem to have a lot of assumptions about people who are retired. We have a global casino economy which is very unstable, low interests rates, very expensive healthcare, and for an older person all of this is extremely stressful. For some it is hard for them to just get through the day. Please show some compassion. The suicide rates of older people are going up because people can't face an unknown future and a society and government which seems to be attacking them. We must respect our aged population not make them feel guilty for breathing and being alive. They have made their contribution in many different ways and should be allowed to live in peace and security.
    Fliss
    20th Jun 2015
    8:49pm
    Hear! Hear! Jeansievers!! Complex it is . . . . and compassion needed.
    LiveItUp
    20th Jun 2015
    11:53pm
    I agree old people should be allowed to live with in peace and security however personally I've seen enough of nursing homes to know that it is really not living being in one of those. Hence my other big interest in lobbying for people to die with dignity. We don't let animals suffer and linger on so why should we allow humans to do so.

    Yes I've done quite a bit of research into nursing homes and aged care and disagree with a lot of what Bohemian has to say. The worse thing you can do is have a nursing home know what you assets are. I know of millionaires who pay small bonds and part pensioners who are asked to pay nearly all their assets.
    Fliss
    21st Jun 2015
    12:25am
    That's garbage Bonny. I suggest you do your research again because you have not done your research properly. A full disclosure of assets must be given to the Dept of Human Services. And anyone can pay a small bond but if the total bond is not paid, then the outstanding amount is paid in monthly amounts at a rate of 6.36%. If the full RAD is paid (usually between $450,000 & $750,000) then the daily fee is around $77.00. But if say just half the RAD is paid (for example in a facility where the full RAD is $500,000) then the daily fee would then be $121.00 per day. If the bond (RAD) of $500,000 were not paid at all then the daily fee would be $164 - that is $1150 per week!
    LiveItUp
    21st Jun 2015
    3:50pm
    A full disclosure of assets is only required by the Dept of Human Resources if you are a pensioner if not then the nursing home has no way of finding out what your assets are. That is what is wrong with our age care system.

    On your figures I'd personally pay the $164 a day and not any RAD. On the RAD amounts you quoted I would earn a lot more than that investing the money. I know of people and families who do just this. I think this RAD is very unfair as all it does is take from the elderly and benefit the wealthy nursing home owners.
    Fliss
    21st Jun 2015
    4:05pm
    Just so as you know what you are getting yourself into Bonny . . . If no disclosure of assets is given, then the daily fee is an extra $25 per day. Thus $189 per day -- $1323 per week -- $68,796 p.a. Good luck. ;)
    LiveItUp
    21st Jun 2015
    6:44pm
    Another good reason for dying with dignity so that nursing home owners don't keep people alive just to get their money. Did you know that nursing homes get a big bonus if people die in them and not in hospital? That's why they are reluctant to call an ambulance. Another area where big business and government are in bed together making money out of the people they should look after but don't.
    Fliss
    21st Jun 2015
    7:03pm
    Have never encountered reluctance from a Nursing Care facility to phone an ambulance. In fact quite the opposite. Wonder what state/planet you're in? ;)
    LiveItUp
    21st Jun 2015
    7:16pm
    Funny how things are different when the rellies are around. A friend of mine who works in a nursing home told me she had to do her six month resuscitation course. I was a bit surprised and said wouldn't it be better to just let the people die. She said that they attempt it when the rellies are around and in other cases just pull the curtain and leave them in peace.
    Fliss
    21st Jun 2015
    7:22pm
    What a disgusting place where your "friend " must be employed.
    And what a disgusting topic of conversation.
    Perhaps reserve a place for yourself there . . . :( NOT!
    Anyway, again getting very off the topic . . . am saying no more.
    jeansievers
    21st Jun 2015
    8:02pm
    Downsizing doesn't always mean what you buy will bring you extra money, in fact, properties which are suitable for older people are usually more expensive from my experience. If you want to live by public transport, old fashioned bus stops nearby, shops you can walk to, live without a car, very often these areas are more expensive to live in even though the property could be quite small. Our society is set up where 'affordable' housing is in the sprawling suburbs which are not always suitable for the aged. Perhaps it would be best to just jump off a cliff when you get to a certain age. Oh Bonny you seem to be so out of touch with the reality of people's lives. It is not as simple as you put it. The world has changed to the point where you would have to have immense sums of money to fund costs of living, healthcare and then nursing home accommodation. There are very few people who are immune to these problems and they are the mega wealthy. The system is set up for the elites and I just can't understand how you could think what you do unless you are one of them, or you are out of touch, or for some other reason that escapes my thinking.
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    8:01am
    jeansievers, you make a very valid point about housing and aged care facilities. I have noticed the expansion of regional centres because of aged migration. If you look at the average age of regional towns provided by ABS it should provide governments with an idea on the location of housing development for the aged. I think people need to begin planning for their retirement at a much earlier time. I know people who have toddlers but are in the preliminary stages of retirement planning. I was 41 when I seriously put pen to paper on retirement planning. The alternative is to do nothing and when you get to nowhere you can blame others.
    jeansievers
    21st Jun 2015
    10:32am
    https://vinceogrady.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/political-honesty-does-it-exist-in-australia-here-is-a-detailed-example-of-why-it-doesnt/
    jeansievers
    21st Jun 2015
    10:33am
    All the details about proposed changes and how they will effect pensioners. Cut and paste link into your browser.
    Adrianus
    21st Jun 2015
    11:11am
    If you are referring to the "no change to pensions" statement from Abbott I think you are overreaching. Abbott said there would be no change to pensions during his current term. He will take it to the people at the next election.
    This is the sort of honesty we have not seen from previous governments and is the very reason Abbott will become one of Australia's greatest and longest serving Prime Ministers!
    Grateful
    21st Jun 2015
    12:10pm
    Frank. I won't forget these statements from our Prime Minister.
    What I say is the whole truth is only when I put it in writing.
    We'll do whatever we have do "by hook or by crook".
    What if they get off"??
    The first statement speaks for itself and has been proven to be correct on several occasions.
    "By hook or by crook". What an example to our young, i.e. "the end justifies the means"??
    And that last one, "what if they get off". What happened to innocent until proven guilty? In espousing a law that will give sole power to a Minister of the government, who, incidentally, might also get it wrong, he is undermining the very basis of our civilization. In saying that he is also strongly implying that NO ONE who the Minister considers will ever "get off"!!! So much for "natural justice" "Guilt should not be determined by suspicion alone". Proof of evidence provided to a Court of Law!!
    And what hypocricy? Just a few weeks ago he was sanctimoniously supporting two people who had been found guilty of trafficking heroin, saying that although they had committed a "terrible crime", they had been "rehabilitated".
    Yet, for the hand full of foolish people who have gone overseas to, stupidly, so called defend their religion, no chance will be given for them to be rehabilitated?? Oh, they might have fought against Australians, yet, probably get killed themselves.
    How many thousands of Australians did those heroin traffickers kill or permanently damage before they got caught?
    Nothing but a sly politician playing for whatever is popular for the Polls!!! Leader???
    Fliss
    21st Jun 2015
    12:27pm
    Bit off the track Grateful . . . just my thoughts . . . the support for the drug traffickers was because Australia does not support the death penalty. The people who travel overseas to fight against Australians have committed treason but they are not being sentenced to death - again because Australia does not support the death penalty.
    Adrianus
    21st Jun 2015
    1:20pm
    Grateful, that's what we want from our leaders, leadership and determination. But I am against the death penalty for those who commit treason against Australia. I also think that if welfare can be reduced for millionaires while at the same time increased for battlers it will be a good thing.
    By giving our battler pensioners an increase Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison and their team are showing true leadership and compassion.
    LiveItUp
    21st Jun 2015
    3:57pm
    That millionaires should not get the pension.

    I agree.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    11:51am
    So do I Bonny. But we aren't talking about millionaires. The Government is attacking people with modest savings. But those being attacked should cheer up, because they are being offered a $146,000 bonus for every 10 years they live if they spend $100,000 now on a world cruise or some other luxury indulgence.

    Taking from battlers who saved is NOT stopping millionaires getting a pension, but it IS increasing the burden on taxpayers, and ultimately the aged pension will be cut further to cover the losses.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    11:53am
    Bonny, are you really dumb enough to believe government propaganda and ignore the fact that a couple with $400,000 in the bank are NOT millionaires? What's wrong with your logic that you make some wild statements? Didn't you go to school?
    Fliss
    22nd Jun 2015
    12:10pm
    Don't think she did Rainey . . . well she wasn't in any of the Maths classes I taught. ;)
    Grateful
    22nd Jun 2015
    3:15pm
    Fliss. Not meant to be a bit off the track. Intended to be relevant to questions about trust and faith in the people who are determining what income we pensioners are going to receive and how we an possibly make responsible decisions given those circumstances.
    "They" are also talking about playing with superannuation and negative gearing. Over 90% and 80% respectively of those that have such investments for their retirement are NOT millionaires. Our, so called, leaders are creating much uncertainty and insecurity for all who are genuinely trying to do as much for themselves.
    And, in saying that, we should all understand that the continuation of unaffordable payments of pensions from government is definitely not sustainable and will inevitably lead to ALL pension recipients being worse off. Just look at what is happening all over Europe with their far to generous and un-affordable pension systems. Start trimming now before that trim becomes a heavy pruning.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    3:20pm
    Nay I was never any good with maths after completing post graduate studies in mathematics.

    I guess you are right as logic tells me that with way less than $400,000 in the bank I'm not a millionaire. In fact my bank account balance has a negative in front of the number. So I must be very poor.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    4:04pm
    I agree Grateful.

    I know of lots of young people today buying real estate with negative gearing so that they can get a foot in the market. When it comes time to settle down and raise a family they will not be burdened so much with a big mortgage. It erks me when I see families struggling to make ends meet when we have the government handing money out to pensioners who just take the money because they can. Any couple with $1million have plenty to live on without getting the pension.

    All this talk about nursing home bonds is rubbish in that the nursing homes will only take what it can from one's assets not ask them for more. Sure there are big bonds but in the next bed may be a person that has not paid a bond at all. Both get the same care.

    Personally I think people are worrying themselves over nothing other than they are losing something they now have but in most cases don't need.
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    4:12pm
    What about some pensioners who may be negatively geared into property? They are going to get hit with a double whammy.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    4:38pm
    A few years back he who should not be obeyed decided to take advantage of a free session with a financial planner. Once the planner saw I had money owing on a property all they wanted to focus on was that and how bad it was for a retiree for the rest of the session. No amount of maths would convince him otherwise. We have since experienced a property boom. He kept telling me that he had much better investments and when I eventually got a look at their returns I had to bite my tongue so badly that it bled to stop laughing. (One could have done better with bank interest).

    He who should not be obeyed keeps finding more free sessions and I just laugh.
    jeansievers
    21st Jun 2015
    12:43pm
    On 17th June, the Prime Minister Tony Abbott repeated this rhetoric in parliament in answer to a Question in Question Time.

    That millionaires should not get the pension.

    As always the devil is in the detail. Going by the tables described above, the Governments own figures show that there are 34,323 people with assets greater than $900,000. These people are people who have worked their whole life to save up a nest egg and they are made up of Pensioner COUPLES who either own their own home (33260) or do not own their own home (1057). Single Pensioners who either own their own home or don’t own their own home do NOT get a pension at this level.

    The Press release also says there are 3.7 million pensioners. In their tables I counted up to 3,518,176, a difference of nearly 200,000 people.

    So these people who “do not deserve” a pension are hit hardest. Yet the number with a reduction or pension cut off is 362,523.

    Instead of being honest about the facts, the Liberal party has added another 327,000 people to the pain of a reduced pension.

    Yet they then say that 170,000 pensioners (4.8% of all pensioners) will have their pension increased by an average of more than $30 per fortnight.

    They go onto say

    All couples who own their own home with additional assets of less than $451,500 will get a higher pension.

    This is not a correct statement. Pensioner couples are allowed assets of $268,500 right now before the taper rate kicks in so that statement should have read.

    All couples who own their own home and have assets greater than $268,500 up to $451,500 will get a higher pension.

    Those below $268,500 will not get a pension increase at all.

    It is impossible with the data given to prove or disprove the statement.

    More than 170,000 pensioners with modest assets will have their pensions increased by an average of more than $30 per fortnight

    The reason being is that they give the numbers of pensioners in ranges. For example there are 197,580 pensioner couples who own assets between $200,000 and $299,999. Only those above $268,500 assets presently are affected. We are not given that number. In the range $300,000 to $399,999, there are 116,281 who will get more pension. The cut of of $451,500 where no increase is seen is in the middle of the range $400,000 to $499,999, where there are 81,637 pensioner couples.

    This tells us that the people most affected by these increases are Home owner couples. These are described as Modest assets.

    An asset is only good for the level of return that it can give. The centrelink regime determines which assets are to be counted. So these include, collections, your household goods, your car(s), Caravan, boat and any other property such as a holiday home. As well as Assets which can generate a return such as cash in the bank, shares etc.

    The level of return is normally dependant on the risk. The more risk the greater return. Every pensioner I have spoken to wants a low risk investment such as a Bank term deposit, where they know they will get a return and the capital employed will be preserved.

    They do not want to do this so that they can count their money like scrooge Mc Duck. They want to preserve it to have an income to live off.

    The tables talk about the small percentage of “draw down” of assets required to maintain the income they have been deprived of. All that drawdown will do is to make the capital available for investment less. Another bad result because if people draw down their assets by just $400,000 they will be eligible for a full or part pension again.

    You may recall the ACOSS suggestion that Home owning Pensioner couples and singles should have their allowable assets cut to $150,000 and $100,000 respectively and the Taper rate increased to $2 per thousand over the allowable assets. They failed to take account of another of their reports which was about Poverty. They used an internationally accepted measure of 50% and 60% of median income. For a Pensioner couple the Poverty line is $600 per week and for a single $400 per week. (Both use the first measure 50%)

    So what I did was take Morrison’s tables and work up a spreadsheet which

    (The example is for Home owner couples.) The figures are for the Whole population of Pensioners.

    1/ Matched his figures exactly for 2017 with a taper rate of $1.5 ($20 rounding error per annum)

    2/ Matched his figures exactly for 2017 with a taper rate of $3.0.

    3/ Took 75% of the assets (see discussion of assets above) and put them out at 3% per annum and then added any part pension per annum. Divided this result by 52 to give a weekly income.

    4/ compared the weekly income result against the poverty line with the $1.5 taper rate and got figures of approx 41,502 pensioners

    5/ Compared the weekly income result against the poverty line with the $3.0 taper rate and got figures of 428,041 pensioners.

    6/ tabulated the results.

    Conclusions. (again using couple Home owner)

    1/ The simplistic $1 million argument is just that simplistic. If that was a problem why not just cut off the Pension at $900,000.

    75% of $900,000 is $675,000. Put out at 3% (deeming rate) the return is $20,250 (a risk adverse investment) Add the part pension of $11,465 and you have a total of $31,715 or $609.90 per week. The full pension without the Electricity supplement is $33165.60. This example is using a taper rate of $1.5.

    When this is done under the proposed changes the calculation is done without the part pension because it has cut out at $823,000 of assets. So the return is $20,250 at 3%. Or $389 per week. A reduction of $220 per week. AND UNDER THE POVERTY LINE.

    These people will have no choice but to live off their capital and then move back onto the pension as it depletes. Even using a figure of 100% of the assets invested (which is not possible) the return is $27,000 per annum and $519 per week income. STILL UNDER THE POVERTY LINE



    Just this example explains why the Labor party made the right decision to oppose the Pension changes.

    2/ My calculations are conservative. When I did my Poverty line calculation under the existing taper rate, I did not take into account living expenses which the ACOSS report did.

    Note: This research deducts housing costs (rent, mortgage payments and rates) from income before calculating the me­dian income on which the poverty lines are based (which reduces the poverty lines) and then deducts each household’s own housing costs from their income (which reduces household incomes) when calculating rates of poverty. The figures quoted above are before housing costs have been deducted. Page 9.



    ACOSS said that 15% of Aged pensioners in 2011-12 were in poverty. If this had not moved that figure would be 527,726 before the changes (15% of 3,518,176 persons in Morrison’s tables). My figure was 41,502 persons before the changes and 428,041 after the changes. But I did not remove the ACOSS amounts above. So the chances are that there will be close to 1 million pensioners (actually 914,265 pensioners.) under the poverty line. (If they just used their capital as an investment and didn’t draw down on it).

    3/ These changes allow 170,000 people to have more pension but reduce the pension or remove it completely from 362,523 pensioners. The majority of pensioners stay the same.

    4/ 62% of pensioners are home owners and it is this group who are affected most by these changes, even though they are the group who have arranged their own accommodation (during their life) by buying a house. Those people who haven’t done that in their lives need to be compensated more because they are allowed more allowable assets before the taper rate kicks in.

    5/ A million dollars sounds like a lot of money. But the reality is that it is not. And not all of the assets counted can be used to generate income.

    Below is the table I used to generate the overall figures. This comes from one of four spreadsheets.

    Assessable Assets Age Pension received at current $1.50 taper rate* Age Pension under rebalanced asset test measure * Number of pensioners with assessable assets in specified range Weekly Income from 75% of Assets and Pension @ $1.50 taper rate Weekly Income from 75% of Assets and Pension@ $3.00 taper rate Increase/Decrease in weekly income Number of pensioners affected with reduction in Weekly earnings Number of pensioners below poverty line 1.5 Number of pensioners below poverty line 3.0 Increase in number below Poverty Line
    Reduction (increase) in pension income received Assessable asset range
    $100,000 $34,923 $34,923 $0 $0 – $99,999 523,361 $714.87 $714.87 $0.00 0 0 0 0
    $200,000 $34,923 $34,923 $0 $100,000 – $199,999 291,978 $758.13 $758.13 $0.00 0 0 0 0
    $300,000 $34,865 $34,923 -$59 $200,000 – $299,999 197,580 $800.29 $801.40 $1.12 0 0 0 0
    $400,000 $30,965 $32,973 -$2,009 $300,000 – $399,999 116,281 $768.56 $807.17 $38.62 0 0 0 0
    $451,500 $28,956 $28,956 $0 $400,000 – $499,999 81,637 $752.21 $752.21 $0.00 0 0 0 0
    $500,000 $27,065 $25,173 $1,892 $736.83 $700.44 -$36.38 40818.5 0 0 0
    $600,000 $23,165 $17,373 $5,792 $500,000 – $599,999 59,992 $705.10 $593.71 -$111.38 59992 0 13500 13500
    $700,000 $19,265 $9,573 $9,692 $600,000 – $699,999 46,640 $673.37 $486.98 -$186.38 46640 0 15750 15750
    $800,000 $15,365 $1,773 $13,592 $700,000 – $799,999 36,528 $641.63 $380.25 -$261.38 36528 0 18000 18000
    $823,000 $14,467 $0 $14,467 $634.32 $356.11 -$278.21 18264 0 18517.5 18517.5
    $900,000 $11,465 $0 $11,465 $800,000 – $899,999 28,358 $609.90 $389.42 -$220.48 28358 0 20250 20250
    $1,000,000 $7,565 $0 $7,565 $900,000 – $999,999 21,865 $578.17 $432.69 -$145.48 21865 21865 22500 635
    $1,100,000 $3,665 $0 $3,665 $1,000,000 – $1,099,999 13,401 $546.44 $475.96 -$70.48 13401 13401 24750 11349
    $1,200,000 $0 $0 $0 $1,100,000 AND GREATER 2,830 $519.23 $519.23 $0.00 0 2830 27000 24170
    *based on projected pensin rates at 1 January 2017.
    265866.5 38096 160267.5 122171.5
    18.72%
    1,420,451







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    Related



    Summary of the Pensioner Asset Changes in the 2015 Budget – are they fair and balanced?

    In "ACOSS"


    How the Conservative Liberal party of Australia Abolished Disability.

    With 6 comments


    How much do you think your pensioner Mum and Dad are worth? ACOSS don't think it's much.

    .
    LiveItUp
    21st Jun 2015
    4:02pm
    Why shouldn't people use their capital in retirement as well as the income it generates? The capital is of little use to you when you are dead.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    9:14am
    Bonny, 65-year-olds are a long way from ''dead'', and if they are forced to drain their capital before they are 75, they could live in poverty and be a huge burden on the State for 20 or more years. That's just STUPID economics. When they need to go into residential aged care, room costs will have tripled or more (they already average $500,000) and they will have no money to pay for it, so the government will have to stump up. That's dumb. It's equally dumb to tell young Australians there is no benefit in working and saving for old age but a huge benefit in spending your wealth now and getting a pension later, or, better still, gifting to children before age 60 so the government doesn't get it's greedy hands on your savings. Taking from workers and savers in retirement will generate more desire by younger taxpayers to avoid tax wherever possible - to balance the patently unfair system that benefits the rich and hurts the middle class - and may lead more people into risky investments to try to maximize savings so they can live in comfort in old age. It strips hard-working older Australians of their self-respect and dignity by branding them ''not entitled'' to the lifestyle they worked and saved for. It punishes a select group of people who have already suffered more hurt - due to falling investment returns - than any other group of Australians. It's CLASS WARFARE on disgusting scale: give tax concessions to the rich, give sustenance to the poor, screw the middle class battlers for working hard and saving and deny them the right to enjoy the benefits of their efforts. This whole ''aged pensions are welfare'' lie and the accompanying ''pensions to millionaires'' lie is disgusting class warfare that strips older Australians of their due respect and dignity.

    There is a sensible proposal before the people to tax retirement incomes modestly above a given threshold. That proposal enables people to preserve their savings for when they are really needed and maintains incentives in the system, plus delivers long-term sustainable revenue to the Government to meet the costs of pensions and aged care. It allows all Australians a reasonably comfortable retirement and to benefit directly from their earlier endeavours, thus retaining incentives in the system, but it asks all who can genuinely afford to to make a fair contribution to the continued growth and prosperity of the nation and to ease the burden on younger taxpayers. Australians should be proud to endorse such a measure. Anyone earning more than they need to live in comfort in retirement should be happy to contribute a small amount to national prosperity, and the balance over and above their needs they can use to grow their savings so that more Australians ultimately achieve self-sufficiency. Set the asset threshold at the level that is required for a comfortable retirement, so that the rich don't get pensions but everyone who needs on to sustain their lifestyle does, without draining precious savings and putting their future at risk. We might even consider varying asset thresholds at different ages, so that we recognize that a 65-year-old will need more savings to sustain him through retirement than someone who is now 85.

    Attacking people who don't have enough to be self-sufficient but tried to save responsibly for old age - for short term savings only - is just plain stupid, and devastatingly damaging to the economy because it drives more aged people into poverty and increases the costs to the Government over time.
    Fliss
    22nd Jun 2015
    9:27am
    Correct again Rainey . . just want to add to your statement : You state . . . "65-year-olds are a long way from ''dead'', and if they are forced to drain their capital before they are 75, they could live in poverty and be a huge burden on the State for 20 or more years. That's just STUPID economics. When they need to go into residential aged care, room costs will have tripled or more (they already average $500,000) and they will have no money to pay for it, so the government will have to stump up. That's dumb."
    You are right that to think as Bonny has said is totally dumb & stupid. I just want to add that if retired people spend all their capital as Bonny advocates then it won't b just a case of the gvt having to stump up - you will be placed in the lowest of low aged care facility. :(
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    9:48am
    Fliss , and when that happens to you, rest assured you will be comforted in the knowledge that the aged pension has been increased.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    11:49am
    No Frank. When the Government realises that their economic rationale is back to front, and they see the LOSS the changes generate, they will have to further reduce aged pensions to compensate for their own stupidity. Get a grip! Only a fool supports a proposal that COSTS the Government money, and this one will - big time.
    Fliss
    22nd Jun 2015
    12:14pm
    Rainey, surely Frank was joking . . . . I hope.
    That increase of say $30 will be very helpful when that happens! NOT! ;)
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    1:18pm
    It's not a joke Fliss.
    We spent all our money and borrowed a lot more which we are now struggling to repay. It's time to make sacrifices and if that means taking millionaires off welfare then so be it. We simply cannot continue to borrow and increase taxes. Those who did the damage would have us believe there is no damage. But then say the way to repair the damage is to borrow more and introduce more taxes.
    No wonder people are confused.
    jeansievers
    21st Jun 2015
    7:42pm
    Hey Bonnie my problem with the dying with dignity argument is in these times it worries me that we could slip into a kind society that kills off it's old people to save money. The sanctity of life must be preserved at any cost. If a person doesn't want to live in pain and doesn't want to be resuscitated maybe one could do a legal document with the wishes of the person. But it seems to me there just might be some relatives that would inclined to hurry up the dying process if it was in their interests. Nursing home cost is a totally new area for me to think have no idea what the deal is there maybe someone could enlighten me. What happens if one partner has to go into a nursing home and the other stays in their home? How do they work the finances out on that one?
    Fliss
    21st Jun 2015
    8:51pm
    I can assist you with questions about the situation you describe Jeansievers.
    I have just done that exact scenario.
    Please don't be disillusioned by Bonny's uninformed, negative comments. She seems very cold & out of touch with many aspects of retirement/aging.
    What do you need to know? Let me know & I will assist in any way I can.
    p.s. I actually rescue dogs & save them from being euthanised so I certainly don't advocate Bonny's idea of . . . & I quote : "Hence my other big interest in lobbying for people to die with dignity. We don't let animals suffer and linger on so why should we allow humans to do so. "
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    3:44pm
    Personally I think my son summed up nursing homes very well. Playing bingo in God's waiting room waiting for your number to be called.

    I visit a nursing home every other week so have a bit of an idea of what goes on in them.

    There are couples in double rooms and some just have one partner in them. I know one fellow whose wife decided she had become too disabled to live at home and requested to be put in a nursing home. At first he hated the idea but now realises that it is better now for both of them.

    It's a while since I looked at the rules of being admitted to a nursing home but from what I remember there seemed to be a different set of rules for each one. I see this as just a negotiating point to start the process.
    Fliss
    22nd Jun 2015
    4:41pm
    I have stopped responding to many comments made on this forum, but will respond to this one for you Jeansievers. My offer still stands & I do a lot more than QUOTE: "visit a nursing home every other week" so know much more than just QUOTE : "a bit of an idea of what goes on in them".
    Just for a start, you can not simply & again I Quote : "request to be put in a nursing home." There are steps involved & the first step is to have an ACAT assessment done.
    The nursing home system is governed by many rules set in place by the Federal Gvt. There are not different sets of rules for each one. But there are different sets of rules depending on level of care offered, etc.
    Basically if you don't have the upfront cost (of around $500,000 then you pay a very high daily rate). I am speaking here about the privately owned nursing homes, not the gvt ones - which I would not want to see you in. (Perhaps this is where Bonny visits).
    Just privately contact me & I can explain all the details to you regarding your query. Best wishes Jeansievers.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    9:38pm
    Yes I too have read the nursing home handbook but what really happens is another story. One must realise that nursing homes are like any other facility in that their prime objective is to make money and not some form of charity for aged. I don't think you have any idea what really happens in a nursing home.
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    10:20pm
    How does this sound?
    Deposit $250,000
    Daily draw down $22.80
    Daily Fees billed $47.49
    On the $250k deposit I get 6.36% which should last 30 years. Many more years than I will.
    Fliss
    22nd Jun 2015
    10:38pm
    OMG! I wasn't going to respond to any more comments, but I must here befoer you make a BIG error Frank. (p.s. to Bonny . . . I am NOT talking about a handbook. I have done the entire exercise! to you can stand totally corrected when you say you don't think I have any idea, etc.
    Anyway, back to you Frank. PLEASE read this . . . . . your figures are wrong - see where you say you get 6.36% on your deposit of $250K? NO! NO! NO! You don't RECEIVE 6.36% on your $250K that you paid. You PAY 6.36% on the remaining $250K that you did not pay. i.e. Your daily fee will increase by $43.56. Yes an extra $1325 per month.
    Hope you understand what I am explaining. Contrary to what Bonny tries to say, I know exactly what I am talking about. Please ask again if you do not understand.
    Fliss
    22nd Jun 2015
    11:03pm
    Frank, just to make it a little clearer here is an example of what I am saying using a different breakdown of the $500,000 RAD. (Since your figures of exactly half made it a tiny bit confusing). I am doing this because it is very important you understand this for future calculations.
    You stated figures regarding Nursing Home costs & there is a HUGE error in your calculations.

    Basically you seem to be under the assumption that you will be PAID 6.36% on the deposit you give the Care Facility.
    NO! That is incorrect. You will PAY 6.36% on any outstanding amount of the accommodation fee.
    i.e. If the accommodation Bond (called the RAD) were $500,000 & you paid just $200,000, then you receive NOTHING on your $200,000, but you will PAY 6.36% on the $300,000 that you have not paid. That amounts to an extra $52.27 per day. Yes, will will need to find an extra $19,080 per year on top of the $47.49 per day.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    11:23pm
    Yes they take your $500,000 bond which they either invest and collect the interest or use it to save borrowing money against their nursing home thereby saving interest. You then get to pay them fees on top of that. Then when you leave they keep some of the bond so you are short if you decide to move to another nursing home. Yes I have looked at investing into a nursing home but decided against it mainly on moral grounds. I personally don't like the way it works at all.
    Fliss
    22nd Jun 2015
    11:43pm
    Bonny, wish you would stop cluttering up this forum with your "so missing the point" comments. :(
    Frank I have PM'ed you because the point I am making re the PAYMENT rather than the RECEIVING of the 6.36% is very relevant.
    While on the topic . . . . . . Nursing Homes do NOT keep some of the bond. It is TOTALLY refunded - thus referred to as RAD (Refundable Accommodation Deposit). And also, you have 6 months to chose how you wish to pay the RAD - i.e. the whole amount or just part of it - when you take up residence (but you will pay 6.36% on the entire RAD amount until it is paid).
    Adrianus
    23rd Jun 2015
    8:16am
    Fliss, thank you for your concerned response. I did get your PM but I don't have PM privileges or my operating system (windows professional) will not allow it? I am in the early stages and have not reached retirement age. Thought I should start the process because of my terminal condition. My understanding is; if the RAD is $00.00 the Daily Acc. Payment (DAP) is $56.63.
    Alternatively if the RAD is say $250,000, the DAP is $13.00, the difference of $43.63 is the interest earned on the RAD of $250,000 at 6.36%.
    Is there something they are not telling me?
    Fliss
    23rd Jun 2015
    8:57am
    Hi Frank, It is never too early to start inquiring & understanding. I am 58, retired & have a SMSF. I don't know if you are not being told or if there is just a misunderstanding. But the figures you give are incorrect. The RAD is the accommodation fee - payable in full or alternatively paid at $43.45 per day - then called the DAP. Added to this is the regular DAILY CARE FEES which is $47.49 per day plus any Extra Services Fees charged.
    I think what you are missing or has not been pointed out to you is that there is an accommodation fee (usually referred to as "Component B - Accommodation Payment" and there are daily fees (usually referred to as "Component A - Daily Fees". .
    Whoever has been explaining it to you had only been discussing the RAD & has not told you about the daily fees on top of that. Daily fees are made up of 3 parts. First there is the Basic Daily Fee of $47.49 (set by the gvt at 85% of the single pension). Everyone MUST pay this. Secondly there is a Means Tested Fee which is determined by a means test. And thirdly a Special Services Fee - only payable if the room includes special services.
    Hope this assists. :)
    Adrianus
    23rd Jun 2015
    9:14am
    Fliss, The $47.49 you mention is the Basic Daily Fee (BDF) everyone pays that you cannot avoid paying the BDF.
    Other charges are the DAP $56.63.
    And the Extra Service Fee (ESF) I guess the sky is the limit on this one?
    The total cost is $41,500 pa (excluding ESF) but is reduced by making a deposit of $250,000 which brings the annual cost to $25,500. This reduction is due to regular draw downs from the RAD at around $23 daily.
    I have a feeling they are only telling me half the story but I don't know what part is missing? Particularly if you say I should pay $500,000 RAD? I cant see where they will be charging me 6.36%. Oh, I see it now. I've just worked it out thanks to your help. If I make a full RAD of $325k the DAP being 6.36% x $325k = $56.63.
    They didn't tell me that.
    Thank you so much Fliss, you have been a big help.
    Fliss
    23rd Jun 2015
    9:24am
    You are very welcome Frank. I have just been through (earlier this year) this entire scenario for my parents. My Dad is still living in his home but my Mum is in Care. It took a long time & many phone calls & face-to-face discussions, but I am confident I now understand it. ANY time at all that I can help just click on my name where it is highlighted here on the forum & you should be able to send a message to me - even if you can only type in the subject line (which another member has done to message me. :) ) Very best wishes, Fliss.
    Adrianus
    23rd Jun 2015
    10:15am
    I had the info sent on a couple of spread sheets with third party backgrounding.
    Didn't even know what the full RAD was. I guess the RAD differs between locations?
    Fliss
    23rd Jun 2015
    10:38am
    Definitely it differs between locations - and there are different RADS at just one location. For example at one location there could be the options of a single room with private ensuite, a single room with a dual share ensuite, a twin share room with shared ensuite & a quad share room with shared ensuite. Each of those options will have a different RAD. The daily care fee will be the same though - except the single room will most likely have a "special services" fee added as well which is usually around $28 - again it depends on the location. Received your PM. :) Cheers! Frank.
    jeansievers
    22nd Jun 2015
    10:06am
    Jim Pembroke @Jim_Pembroke

    Super industry wants inquiry into pension amendments. Govt changes worse than claimed. #auspol
    smh.com.au/federal-politi…

    22nd Jun 2015
    11:45am
    Question: Do you think perhaps the real aim of the proposal is to reward all those who, like cigar-smokin' Joe, are smart enough to exploit the system and rip off taxpayers? Because unless those supporting it are totally stupid, the goal IS NOT to benefit the disadvantaged or to improve the budget bottom line.

    Those affected should stop complaining and enjoy their world cruise, then take the lovely $146,000+ bonus the Government is offering them to splurge on that luxury they denied themselves in earlier life. Such amazing generosity! Offering people $146,000 more than they can earn on their savings, over ten years, for every $100,000 they spend on luxuries.
    Those who think they are being persecuted should think again. Even if they don't like travel, there must be some nice luxuries they can enjoy to unload some of their assets and reap the gain.
    jeansievers
    22nd Jun 2015
    12:18pm
    There are too many assumptions in your comment Rainey. Do some research and check how this really effects ordinary pensioners. The Devil is in the detail of these changes and many ordinary people are going to be effected in a negative way. Until you see the figures, graphs etc you can't make assumptions about people taking world trips. It is so insensitive. One other thing you fail to mention is with interest rates being so low the return on investment isn't very much. People are losing their concessions on council rates, some pensioners don't use heating because of costs, water charges are always going, visiting the doctor costs money, I pay a gap of $25 dollars, then medicine costs, some medicine has been taken off the concession list, we pay private health insurance, food is getting more expensive etc. There are some on complex income arrangements set up years ago and can't be changed now so they cannot access their capital ie annuities. Are these people to be punished for following the advice of financial advisors? Most pensioners put their money in a safe environment because they have no way of getting any more money in the future. No one knows when they are going to die and need to feel they have all bases covered whatever the future delivers. Then there is the issue of care for the elderly who are frail in their last days. It is enormously expensive to go into a nursing home. The complexities of partners who are not ill and one partner going into care, then people who have lived together for 50 years being separated, living in different nursing homes because they can not be placed in the same one. Rainey I don't know what age you are but getting older is a very challenging time. It's not all about luxuries and cruises.
    Grateful
    22nd Jun 2015
    3:37pm
    Jeansievers. You are an asset to this forum, Sadly, the current rates of pensions and the eligibility criteria were determined when Australia was benefiting from great prosperity, and rightly so. It was sharing the benefits. But, we all know the old saying that you cut your coat according to your cloth.
    Sadly, that "cloth" has shrunk quite significantly and the insidious part of the "sharing" decision during those prosperous times, and, might I add, to try to get re-elected in some circumstances, we simply no longer can afford to continue to pay for those decisions. Hard decisions have to be made, like most of us have made over the years, income reduces, so must expenditure.
    Painful, but, much less painful than not by making those decisions at the prudent time, for, the alternative is very much harsher.
    What is being proposed is JUST a starting ambit, more MUST come when the political environment improves. These current cuts are still too "generous".
    Your argument certainly confirms the need for MORE to be paid to the lower levels, but, MUST be paid from somewhere and "welfare" being what it means and was intended to do, means, by definition, that the "less needy" will pay the higher price. Keep in mind that it is a Coalition government that is putting up this proposal, so, from long history, one would have to think that it MUST be getting VERY serious.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    3:51pm
    I agree Grateful but I also think that this is only the start of the reforms.

    We have huge bump of baby boomers retiring and a budget that is not growing enough to support them all when they eventually retire. The super system is also too young where most of these boomers would not have enough super for their retirement needs. So unless Australia can find something a lot more prosperous than the mining boom was at it's best then the pension needs to be only available for those who can't support themselves.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    5:24pm
    Yet you support changes that will be uneconomical and drive the cost to taxpayer up, Bonny. That makes no sense. And actually, it's not the pension that isn't affordable. It's the obscenely generous tax concessions on super for the super-rich. The richest 425 people are costing the nation mega-millions! The rich take an average of $500,000 from the taxpayer's purse to pay for their retirement, while the poor on a full pension only cost the Government an average of $260,000 over a lifetime. So why is the Government attacking pensioners and letting the rich off scott free?
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    9:30pm
    These changes will not cost the government. It will if they don't make changes to our over generous pension system that is now unaffordable.

    If there were as many rich people as pensioner then I would agree with you to some extend but further taxing these 425 people is not going to add much to the government's bottom line as put simply there are so few of them. I was checking some wealth statistics earlier and the HNWI (high net wealth individuals - those with a million dollars in assets excluding their home) only number about 400,000 in Australia today. Even further taxing them is not going to help the bottom line much either as there are not enough of them either. There in lies the government's problem.

    However we have millions of welfare recipients that have assets they could use to live on so why are we paying them a pension as well? A few dollars saved on each one of these pensions is millions of dollars.

    That is why the government is attacking the over generous pension payments of these welfare recipients.

    22nd Jun 2015
    5:17pm
    A response to my comments from an expert financial analyst:

    Lorraine, you are spot on in your analysis. It beggars belief that a government of any persuasion could enact such changes. Especially after all their “banging on” about millionaires. The fact is that couples with approx $1.15M and greater bear no pain at all. Those at the bottom end will enjoy a minor improvement. Those with assets between $375K and $823K will face a reduction in income unless their assets can earn (1) 7.8% to balance out the losses caused under proposed asset taper test plus (2) a margin of say 4% to make saving the money worthwhile in the first place. The $375K and $823K will become the financial “dead zone” from which people will either have to restructure their asset arrangements or be cruelled.

    Like many government “initiatives” and thought bubbles this one may have unintended consequences.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jun 2015
    5:20pm
    And the post confirming my analysis was correct was followed by four posts from affected pensioners asking for advice on how to best reduce their assets by $250,000 and one from someone saying he intended to take a world cruise AND make risky investments, adding that if his investments return he'll be self-funded and fine and if they don't he'll happily claim a bigger pension.

    The Government really is STUPID.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    9:09pm
    It isn't the government that is really stupid. I think the government actually wants these people to spend their money to help the economy. I think the government has finally realised that this money is under utilized and should be used up.

    I say it again I can't see any problems with spending down one's capital to make up the difference if one really needs it. What do these people the government to work out a way for them to take their capital beyond the grave?

    Anyway if they can't get 7.8% on their assets then there is something very wrong with how they are investing their money. The most risky investment today is having money in the bank earning interest. With inflation and tax you make negative returns nearly every year.
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    10:06pm
    Bonny you are wasting your time. Those who are reading don't understand what risk is.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    11:01pm
    I agree Frank. I guess I make what they call "risky investments" far too regularly now not to worry about them. Big Greek decision tonight so I'm shaking in my boots.

    I also thought I'd join the crowd in reducing my assets by booking a cruise too.
    jeansievers
    22nd Jun 2015
    7:47pm
    BREAKING: debate on Greens/Liberal pension bill gagged in the House. Being rammed through the Senate at 7pm. Scrutiny, #auspol
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    9:10pm
    Good the sooner the better and then they can work on the next phase of pension reforms.
    Grateful
    23rd Jun 2015
    9:37am
    Now, if it was so urgent that they had to crash it through the Senate, why wait until January 2017 to implement it? I bet those that are clever enough will all have their assets re-arranged to enable them to avoid these changes, or, worse, done something stupid like spending the, so called, "excess"!!!
    Grateful
    23rd Jun 2015
    9:37am
    Now, if it was so urgent that they had to crash it through the Senate, why wait until January 2017 to implement it? I bet those that are clever enough will all have their assets re-arranged to enable them to avoid these changes, or, worse, done something stupid like spending the, so called, "excess"!!!
    jeansievers
    22nd Jun 2015
    7:50pm
    FLISS tried to send a message to you but for some reason I couldn't send it. Thank you for your kindness
    Fliss
    22nd Jun 2015
    8:01pm
    Jeansievers, I will try sending you a private message now (8.00 pm)
    Hopefully you will receive it. :)
    jeansievers
    22nd Jun 2015
    8:12pm
    FLISS When I try to type in message box nothing happens can only get message into subject heading box and u seemed to have received that one? Am I doing something wrong? I am concerned about nursing home arrangement and it would be better to write about this in private.
    Fliss
    22nd Jun 2015
    8:36pm
    Yes, I've received your message.
    Under the subject heading box there is another box titled "new Message".
    You should be able to write in there.
    Have you received my reply?
    jeansievers
    22nd Jun 2015
    8:38pm
    FLISS I try to write in new message box and nothing happens. No new message just the one on the thread? Very strange.
    jeansievers
    22nd Jun 2015
    10:22pm
    I am extremely sorry for all the irrelevant tweets made a mistake just keep scrolling down to my intended message. Maybe the moderator of this thread could delete the irrelevant bits. My apologies.
    jeansievers
    22nd Jun 2015
    10:09pm
    Sorry for last post it contained some irrelevant detail for this forum. Must have copied and pasted incorrectly from twitter but here it is again without the rubbish I hope.
    Australian Senate
    @AuSenate
    The #Senate passed the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015 without amendment

    This will come back and bite the Greens wait until people find out the devil in the detail they are going to be very unhappy. This bill has nothing to do with sustainability it is all to do with unnecessary Austerity cuts which are being implemented ruthlessly globally. The world bank, and the IMF, and transnational corporations do not want to pay tax so social safety nets etc are going to disappear. Sorry to be the bearer of sad news.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    10:16pm
    I think it is good news and applaud the greens for making it happen. Let's see some more of the government's bills passed so that our country can moved forward.
    Adrianus
    22nd Jun 2015
    10:27pm
    Was Milne the bottle neck?
    jeansievers
    22nd Jun 2015
    10:36pm
    The country is not going to move forward because of this. We are going to go backward because of all the unnecessary austerity cuts. This is about global economic power and control over sovereign nations. We are having our wealth stolen from us by the corporate transnational fascist state which we are now a part of..you Bonny..don't get it at all. It will come back and bite you and your family in the future non of us will benefit from neo conservative politics of the lunatic far right.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jun 2015
    10:48pm
    Good heavens our previous government spending spree and you blame the bit fat trimming fixing it is part of some global plot to steal our wealth. Not I don't buy that at all. I do however get it in that some people have enjoying our over generous welfare system and now are crying foul because they will no longer get what they don't really need. If that's austerity then I think it's good not bad.
    Adrianus
    23rd Jun 2015
    9:25am
    If anyone was seeking global domination it would be Bob Brown and Christine Milne.
    jeansievers if it was as bad as you say, "unnecessary austerity cuts, taking " control over sovereign nations," our wealth stolen from us by the corporate transnational fascist state, " all this "from neo conservative politics of the lunatic far right."
    If it was of major global concern I'm sure the Human Rights Commission would have at least made a public statement.
    jeansievers
    23rd Jun 2015
    9:29am
    Frank not everyone spent their money throughout their lives, we didn't borrow money, we are not paying anything off now, we made our sacrifices throughout our lives being sensible and bringing up our family, and if we sent money we spent it on them ie education, sport, generally doing everything in our power to help them to become well rounded individuals. We didn't have much over to put away but when we did we put it in what we thought was a safe environment.
    The people not paying tax firstly are the transnational companies who as we have seen lately refuse to have their finances examined and act as if they have lost their memories and say it's their accountants that know about how their finances are arranged. This government even wants to protect their 'right' not to disclose the financial arrangements. Secondly there are those who have enormous amounts of money who don't pay any tax due to having off shore bank accounts etc. The average Australian across the spectrum of income pay tax and only has a certain amount of latitude deciding on how they arrange their finances and in the big scheme of global finance they don't have a lot to 'play' with. It's a lie that the previous government spent up the deficit is much higher now than when Labor was in power. The ordinary people of this country and other countries are being robbed by the super rich, there has been a massive transfer of wealth to the rich from the average people and it's getting worse. The aged pensioners of Australia and other groups in our society are being demonised, whist the real 'crooks' are getting away with 'highway robbery'. I suggest you stop reading mainstream media, turn off the TV and do some research about the global financial mess we are in because of corrupt banking practices and the criminality of very powerful, global financial players.
    LiveItUp
    23rd Jun 2015
    10:18am
    Not too sure where you are getting your information from jeansieveers but it's not criminal to play by the rules. Anyone can get the information the rich are using it called education and thinking outside the box for what is legal to do. You don't need enormous amounts of money to do this.
    Adrianus
    23rd Jun 2015
    10:26am
    "The aged pensioners of Australia and other groups in our society are being demonised"
    jeansievers, sorry if I sound flippant but at what stage should we call in a priest?
    Radish
    23rd Jun 2015
    1:10pm
    Bonny, did you happen to see an interview (on morning tv I think it was)..a young lady of 24 has a property portfolio worth $2.4 million. I did not see the whole interview as I was busy getting breakfast but the gist of what she was saying was that anyone can get ahead if they put their mind to it.

    She cuts her own hair, never has a manicure or pedicure, does not have lunches, holidays overseas, , etc, etc. Has her own small finance company I think she said. She has her goals for the future and is working towards them. I thought what a smart young lady. She will find it tough going for a while but I hope she gets there in the end and I am sure she will.
    Lashy
    23rd Jun 2015
    5:07pm
    In my early working career which started in the 1960s saving for super was not around. It was only in my latter years of working that I began seriously putting extra money aside in super. Now I am going to lose some of my part Centre Link pension which we rely on to top up my super pension. A big thanks to the Greens for getting in bed with Abbott - they must have gone back down into the bottom of the garden with the fairies if they believe he will honour their agreement.
    Adrianus
    23rd Jun 2015
    5:39pm
    No super around when you were young huh? Gee that's a good reason for not saving for your retirement, but it is not an original thought. Did you not realise that you would be too old to work one day?
    Fliss
    23rd Jun 2015
    5:59pm
    Frank . . . ."like" ;)

    23rd Jun 2015
    7:00pm
    to all your wincers, e.a. the likes of jeansievers, fliss etc. where were your complaints when the former government, labor, wasted all that surplus of not millions but billions, while the likes of your now leader, shorten, better known as bill the knive, only thoughts were on how to become your new labor leader, see to-nights t.v. program on, of all stations, the abc, a station who could not be more in labors pocket. Hope you enjoyed the $ 750.00 you received of mr. rudd and gillard, mine is still in the bank, however the time has come to realise money does not grow on trees, you borrow money, you have to pay it back. I worked over 50 years here in Australia, I always paid my taxes and am grateful to receive a pension. The super came in so as to make it easier for the future taxpayer, after all the employer paid, the worker did not have to put a cent towards it, unless they did so voluntary, to receive a fair pension, surely you do not expect to receive a full pension PLUS YOUR SUPER, in other countries not only your employer puts in but you also have to put in a certain percentage which comes out of their wages or salary, try that in this country and the unions will cut your throat.
    Be like me, get a caravan, I got a big sign on the back, SMKI, spending my kids inheritance, I did it the hard way and hope my kids will follow in my footsteps, yes, I have helped them to set up but now it is up to them.
    Oh jah, jeansievers, you can call me a liberal troll or whatever, I am happy with my lot, never better off being a pensioner. Wishing my parents had the same opportunity to enjoy their retirement as I do.
    Not Senile Yet!
    25th Jun 2015
    4:56pm
    The GREEN PARTY is just as corrupt as the BIG TWO!!!!
    They will do anything to stay in...keep their seats....including sucking up to the liberals for preferences over Labor!!!!
    STOP VOTING FOR PART PUPPETS......you control their future....you need to stop Voting for these Part Machines that sell you out to stay in control within the Parliament!!!!!
    Party Puppets are controlled by their Invisible (un-elected Leaders) Party Machine....stop voting for them!!!!
    Just as the Greens HAVE DONE.....THEY WILL ONLY SELL YOU OUT!!!!
    So get the Brain working....stop voting for them!!!!
    As for the Savings.....what a Lie!!!
    They keep spending everything.....buying 50 billion worth of Defence Planes & Boats....then brag about a measly 2.4 Billion savings scrooged off pensioners!!!!
    Just a bunch of Lying Wankers!!!!
    Adrianus
    25th Jun 2015
    5:07pm
    Cant say I blame the Greens after the way Labor treated them. Labor agreeing to the fuel excise indexation is just going to drive the wedge in further. The $50b should have been included in Labor's budget. They cut defence spending to its lowest level since the WW11. And when we needed it the most.
    Not Senile Yet!
    2nd Jul 2015
    1:14am
    Frank.....what planet are living on????
    We do not need to spend More & More on building our Defence forces just to send them to overseas wars......nor do we need to enlarge our Forces to protect us from invasion!!!
    We have already sold off our Land and property.....not to mention businesses to overseas investment.....privatised everything that the Government can sell.....and allow Holiday Visa holders to stay as long as they like......because not one is tracking them down.....too busy Stopping the Millions of Cue Jumping Assylum Seekers arriving in Boats!!!!
    What a joke we must be overseas!!!!
    You are a Right Wing fanatic.....who simply loves to blame anyone ....point the finger at others.....propagate Left & Right Wing hatred as a way of dividing the population from what the Party Machines are doing to Our Country for Their own benefit.
    All Parties are Corrupt because they ask each elected member to become Puppets....unable to have their own voice of dissent against the Party. That is Corruption!!!
    To sell a vote to a Party BEFORE you receive it is also Fraud!!!
    To promise to represent the elector when the intent is to represent Their Corrupted Party should be made illegal!!!!
    Your views are clear......they are all about Money before people!!!
    Australia does not want that...nor do they want the Leftist view either!!!
    Most want a fair and just Compromise......a bit of each view...balanced ......so people Matter.....so labelling everything Black or White ....Politically Blue or Red.....labelling people Lifters or Leaners......IS WRONG!!!!
    Most people are multilayered and the Black & White labelling of Blaming is not well regarded....it is divisive and Politically motivated to distract from proper debate.
    Not all people are dumb and not all over 50's are about to allow either Party to Dominate any longer!!!!
    Yes labor have screwed up.....but Yes your Party are also a bunch of screw-ups as well!!!!
    Neither have performed well in the past 25years and it doesn't look good given the insane Legislative changes proposed.
    As for Retirement Age changing from 65 to the 70......there is actually no goof reason to make it compulsory other that saving the Government money to fix Both Party Stuff Ups!!!!
    It should have been voluntary beyond 65.....with rewards for those who are able to keep working rather than collect a Pension.
    The population may be living longer.....but there is no facts to prove that they are able to work longer.....the opposite is true!!!
    Most are spending their savings on Medical procedures that were not available 20 yrs ago.....which increases their lifespan.....but not necessarily their Workspan!!!
    Total bunch of CROC and propaganda....from Both Parties.....to avoid paying the Baby Boomers their PROMISED PENSION.....simply because both parties spent the Savings Kitty for Pensions in the 90's.
    Funny how a working Nation with a total Population of only 30Million NOT 300Million can afford a Parliament House Bigger that the American Whitehouse isn't it??????
    Hitler still lives.....he was the Ultimate Right Winger.....who new how to manage Propaganda and win the idiot believer's votes!!!!
    Your Black & White ideology is the same game.....divide and conquer!!!!!
    Banning or attacking Unions....saying they are corrupt.....crooks...when the only difference between a Union and a Party is the NAME. They are both structured the same and have the same intent.....to forward their own Policies and Ideals!!!!
    Unions are a copy of a Party and allow too few too much power....that is why the Right Wing Political view is to remove/destroy them!!!!


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