Pension gap widens

Pension changes place further pressure on Australian retirees.

Pension gap widens

Two new reports reveal a worrying trend for Australia’s retirement income gap. Pension changes and retirement affordability mean longer living Australians are even more at risk.

Although the two reports measure different aspects of retirement income, both are equally negative when it comes to long-term retirement affordability.

First up the quarterly Association of Super Funds Australia (ASFA) Retirement Index has shown an alarming increase in savings required to fund a ‘comfortable’ retirement. According to ASFA, couples will now need $640,000 up from $510,000 at retirement – a massive 25 per cent increase. Singles now need a 27 per cent increase in savings, up from $430,000 to $545,000.

The second report, the Australian Retirement Vision Survey, released by actuaries Rice Warner, analysed responses from 1200 super fund members. It revealed the very unrealistic expectations Australians hold for their retirement income, with 60 per cent of those surveyed expecting to live on the same income after retirement. Another interesting finding was that 40 per cent of respondents saw possible changes to superannuation as the greatest concern regarding retirement savings. The two major political parties remain diametrically opposed on changes to super. The Prime Minister has declared there will be no changes to super legislation in this, his first term, and most likely none if he is re-elected. By contrast the Labor Party has put forward a policy that would reduce the generous tax concessions on superannuation currently enjoyed by high-income earners.

Read more at www.professionalplanner.com.au

Read more at www.superannuation.asn.au

Read more at Sydney Morning Herald 

Opinion: Retirement income hopes dive

There is very little good news when it comes to retirement income. So fasten your seatbelts – and get ready for an even bumpier ride

The fact that most of us are living longer means savings are under even more pressure. Living longer should be great news – but not if our circumstances are so reduced that our existence is actually miserable. The two reports highlight very different aspects of retirement income. The ASFA retirement standard shows the very real impact of the changes made in the last Budget – retirement is essentially 25–27 per cent more expensive. This adverse effect for relatively low income earners, while tax concessions on super remained unchanged, was clearly inequitable and so it is helpful to see what the real numbers are when it comes to living a half way decent life in retirement.

Secondly, the somewhat more problematic Australian Retirement Vision Survey conducted by Rice Warner raises some interesting questions. It is always useful to ask, ‘Who benefits?’ when a company commissions a report. In this case the beneficiary is financial services company State Street Global Advisors. So the conclusions shared in this report must be read in the context of a financial services company that stands to benefit from Australians seeking financial planning advice. Interestingly, the report notes that those who sought financial advice have found it ‘very worthwhile’.

Hmm. Really? More to the point is the Shadow Shopping research conducted by ASIC in 2010, which found the exact opposite – those seeking advice were usually given poor, if not downright damaging, advice. The percentage of ‘adequate’ advice was 58, poor advice 39 and ‘good’ advice was a miserable three per cent. The statement that ‘many Australians remain unsure about the benefit of financial advice and the best way to access it’ is true, and for a very good reason. Too many advisors have been found to be unethical and they have actually managed to reduce rather than increase their clients’ nest eggs.

So where does this leave those planning their retirement income? Not very well off, to be brutally honest. The 1 July 2017 changes to Age Pension entitlement mean many middle income Australians will be ineligible for a part pension, despite years of saving. The fact our government has stalled the mandated Superannuation Contribution Guarantee at 9.5 per cent makes a huge ($20,000) difference to the super balances of the average Australian. Finding trusted advice is like locating a needle in a haystack. So as I said, fasten that seatbelt, given the current conditions, Australian retirees are in for a REALLY bumpy ride.

What about you? Have you found the amount needed for a comfortable retirement is now out of your reach? Have you sought retirement income advice? And if so, was it helpful?





    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    10:33am
    Thanks Debbie. Readers need to read this sort of research to balance out the push by the current government to throw pensioners into poverty.
    Whilst we were all sold the lie of massive retirement benefits by the superannuation industry 30 years ago the reality is now clear: we will not have enough. The $1 million+ plus super we were promised, for those of us fortunate enough to amass such an amount (few have!), is still going to be a struggle as inflation again takes another bite out of it and as returns diminish because of low interest rates.
    Like many of the readers on this site I have no idea of whether or not my family will manage on what we have. Currently we are ok but I can see governments (the current one in particular) sizing up to take a lifetime of planning and sacrifice for them to misuse or waste.
    "In God we trust". QED.
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    1:00pm
    mick, many of us have not accumulated $1m plus, so stop rubbing it in. We don't need you to tell us how tough we are doing it! So keep your gloating to yourself!
    QED
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    9:06am
    Many have. I haven't.
    Adrianus
    20th Aug 2015
    9:07am
    The AFR reported that the Treasury had findings showing that most retirees had roughly 50% of their superannuation left over when they died. When you realise this then you can better understand government policy without the politics. So mick, the picture may not be as bleak as you paint it.
    Waiting to retire at 70
    20th Aug 2015
    2:37pm
    Frank don't know what "Treasury" you speak of here. But it is NOT the Australian Treasury - we have zero empirical evidence on such a statement, "roughly" or otherwise. As this column is used by many to share their views it is important it be factual.
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    8:42pm
    Research indicates that only a small percentage of retirees have sufficient super. I do not understand how they can "have some left over" when they die. Just know that many have a basic existence. Maybe not a wonderful thing to look forward to if you have worked for a lifetime in a hard job and that is what you get. Sad.
    thommo
    19th Aug 2015
    10:35am
    Well who do you blame for this widening gap? The politicians of course, especially Abbott and his mob, who adversely changed the age pension assets test in the last Budget. They should have increased the pension, not reduced it.
    (check if Labor will restore the assets test if they win govt at the next election)
    These politicians have their snouts in the trough, sponging and spiving on the taxpayer with their super high salaries and travel rorts, while at the same time telling US to tighten OUR belts. What a bunch of morons they are. Get rid of Abbott and his mob
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    10:52am
    To add insult to injury Australians are now going to have to wait until they reach 70 before retiring.
    KSS
    19th Aug 2015
    12:21pm
    Well No Mick. Australians can retire at any age - there is NO mandated retirement age in Australia. People will have to work until they are 70 only if they want to claim the Government age pension. If you can support yourself, you can retire whenever you want or indeed never work a day in your life.
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    1:04pm
    I blame the unions. They are as much to blame as Tony Abbott. And even more so if they screw up this FTA with China. How on earth did we let them get their own political party?!
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    2:32pm
    KSS: MOST people retire when they can afford it. Given that most have woefully insufficient super what choice do they have?

    Frank: more anti union propaganda. If you had your way workers would have no unions and their rates of pay would be $5 an hour. The FTA is a real real worry to every Australian whether they are interested or not. If this government signs off on letting in unrestricted foreign workers and permitting multinationals to sue our government then our way of life will change forever, or until there is a revolution.
    niemakawa
    19th Aug 2015
    3:14pm
    Labor will most definitely not "restore the assets tests". So don't bank on them to do so.
    Gra
    19th Aug 2015
    4:36pm
    Frank you need to open your eyes. How can you even begin to think the FTA with China is a good thing? If it is signed by our politicians you will see this country bled dry by China. If it was going to be good for Australia there wouldn't be so much secrecy behind it.
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    4:45pm
    I well remember watching both Abbott and Shorten praising the FTA deal when the President of China was in our Parliament.

    Shorten is now backing away. A man not to be believed.

    Taken from the SBS news:

    "Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has welcomed the deal.

    Mr Shorten says Labor will examine the details of the agreement with interest.

    "A decade of hard work has gone into creating this opportunity for Australia, from Prime Minister (John) Howard, to Prime Ministers (Kevin) Rudd and (Julia) Gillard, and now Prime Minister Abbott. We look forward to examining the detail of the final agreement. We believe in open markets and liberalised trade, driving economic growth, creating jobs, expanding the middle class, raising living standards and eradicating poverty."

    As well as completing the deal, President Xi is only the second Chinese leader to ever address the Australian federal parliament."
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    8:43pm
    Who knows niemakawa.
    DC
    19th Aug 2015
    10:42am
    Oh for heaven's sake, Thommo, stop blaming everything on the current government. It is obvious you do not like Abbott and that is fine but both Labor and Libs are the bloody same as far as our pensions and liveability goes. We are being screwed over one way or another by either.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    10:56am
    You have to look at the facts DC.
    Under Labor pensions were raised.
    Under the current government the assets test threshold has been lowered a fair bit and the retirement age pushed out until 70.
    I'd prefer to stick to the facts rather than sabre rattling and emotive comments which in the end only create an internet war. Ok, who am I to talk......
    I agree with your sentiments though.
    ray from Bondi
    19th Aug 2015
    11:26am
    yep Mick you are right, .. somewhat, I think we are being screwed by both parties, BUT the liberal DNA can not help but take from the poor and give to the rich, so people without much are going to have less while those whom are very rich will laugh all the way to their overseas accounts while still taking whatever they can.
    thommo
    19th Aug 2015
    1:57pm
    DC - Abbot promised that there would be no changes to the age pension (among other things) at the last election, but he has broken all of those promises. You only have to look at his 2014 Budget to see what his plans were - to tread on the old and vulnerable and leave the big end of town alone.
    Just what the Republicans do in America. Abbott is not to be trusted. He is also the bloke who said "shit happens" in reference to the Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan. That just shows how sincere he is.
    Sceptic
    19th Aug 2015
    3:07pm
    There is no law that says that individuals cannot contribute more to Super out of choice. If they choose not to do so because it is not compulsory do not blame the Government of any colour for not forcing you to contribute more.

    Abbot promised there would be no changes in this Parliament. The proposed change will take place after the next election. If it is not acceptable vote for another Party. Mind you there is no guarantee that a change of Government would mean a change of policy.
    niemakawa
    19th Aug 2015
    4:06pm
    It seems to me that many people believe that ALP will restore the asset tests to its previous level. Of course this will never happen. Even if the LNP are successful in having the family home included as well, again the ALP would never repeal it if they ever regain power. It is all about political will, which the LNP has, but unfortunately the ALP does not. A fine example is the CT. This shows fine leadership and that is what this Country needs.
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    4:46pm
    You would have to believe in the tooth fair to think Labour will reverse the Assets Test.
    PlanB
    20th Aug 2015
    7:54am
    No Skeptic --there is NO law that people can not put more into their super ---HOWEVER so many can not afford to do that
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    9:10am
    Skeptic: the issue is not that people can contribute more. The issue is that wealthy Australians have the option to do so and to avoid paying a fair amount of tax, only to take it out after preservation age (retirement) is reached. This is fundamentally wrong and is bleeding our tax system badly.
    lucy
    19th Aug 2015
    11:01am
    stop blaming the current government - that's such an lazy way to look at it. They inherited a huge deficit and are trying, for the sake of all of us, to set things right. Having said all that, don't know why self-funded retirees (especially those who have only JUST managed to save enough for their retirement, and not cost the government anything) should always be the first to be 'screwed' when the going gets tough. We saved like crazy during our working years to be independent. We should be rewarded not penalised at every turn!
    Lookfar
    19th Aug 2015
    11:08am
    Lucy, wake up, the deficit is now much greater, but whatever your economic opinions are, generally speaking, labor tends to be more humane, usually, (but not always) giving a higher priority to everyday people rather than their multinational pressure groups/controllers?
    retroy
    19th Aug 2015
    11:13am
    You are right Lucy. I am in the same category getting no pension from the Government after working hard and saving all my life. Now if I need a part pension because of poor interest rates and inflation, I will be denied because of the new cut off threshold. I too will be penalized while the big spenders who did not save will be on the full pension.
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    11:20am
    This govt has raised the pension every six months , has allowed the carbon tax credit to be kept and is increasing it by 30 bucks..
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    11:23am
    And have increased the deficit. Have a look Lucy.
    retroy: We are all suffering. Blame BOTH sides of politics for flogging off everything we own and spending the money and for closing down manufacturing because of economic rationalism. Now we have to export to pay for imports.....and when exports prices are low, as they now are, we borrow. This is not the fault of one side of politics, and WE let it happen by continuing to vote the bastards in. Make a difference: vote for an Independent!!!!
    greatgolly
    19th Aug 2015
    11:59am
    Will you all get off your high horses, and who the hell put this government in, according to votes, not the people! We all know that no matter who gets in, they (Politicians) will always have their snouts in the trough, and don't ever expect tat to change!

    If, and I say if, all companies domestic and international were forced to keep their profits in Australia and pay all their taxes, our national debt wouldn't be there anyway! All governments have allowed the companies to take profits offshore and then claim a lower dividend, subsequently avoiding tax, less tax means less money for governments so, they do what they always do to make up the shortfall, steal from the poor and make sure they and the rich get richer; it's as simple as that.

    We all can moan and groan till the cows come home and nothing will ever change, I joke not based on emails I have received from politicians present and past, and with one telling me I'm an old fart and it's time I left this world!
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    2:03pm
    If your emails to politicians have been anything like your above comment I can why you received such a response.
    Sceptic
    19th Aug 2015
    3:14pm
    Of course the deficit has increased. Until the country produces a surplus after interest has been paid, the debt cannot be paid down. The screams, and objections that come whenever a measure is proposed to cut spending (just look at this site every day), and the failure of the Senate in general, and the ALP in particular to recognise that we are in a precarious position with our debt, means that the debt will continue to grow.
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    9:13am
    Sceptic: I remember that this government came to office on the (broken) PROMISE that it would repay the deficit. So what did it do when it got on? Removed the debt ceiling so that it could borrow like on steroids. Then repealed the Carbon Tax which meant that taxpayers had to come up with $8 billion every year to make up the lost revenue. And so the story goes on.

    19th Aug 2015
    11:18am
    There is no retirement age in Australia . To qualify for a tax payers funded pension the qualifying age is 67 for those born after 1957.,
    The problem is to make it easier for all not to need a state pension so we need to increase the savings , stop taxing savings and let the future fund run super..
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    11:24am
    You miss the point Pete that governments have run the nation into the ground by flogging off all that is worth anything to foreigners. Now we have to pay for what was once free.
    ray from Bondi
    19th Aug 2015
    11:35am
    yep mick, I agree, if the government had a controlling interest in, qantas, the commonwealth bank and telstra, just how many billions is that in profit helping fund our country, not to count the many other farms sold like the lotteries, insurance, and many others I can not think of at the moment, owning these business's also gave the gov. control over the costs which brings up other questions. all the farms have been sold now and the only way government can keep their trough full is by crushing the underprivileged, but do not worry we will jot go hungry we can eat cake when we cant get bread. we have been taken down the garden path and well and trully f$$k$d with reform and after 40 years of reform our masters are still talking about reform, when will be reformed, when we are living under bridges.
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    1:26pm
    ray, trouble is the government is just not good at running businesses. Not good at setting them up either. Remember Kevin Rudd's GP Super Clinics?
    There is something not quite right about a government which wants to compete with the private sector instead of assisting it. China is making the right move in getting its people to stand on their own feet.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    2:36pm
    Funny Frank, they did a pretty good job of running the Commonwealth Bank, and it was profitable.
    Your anti Labor and anti union propaganda is just nonsense. Have a real conversation and put up some solid facts. Super clinics? Yeah right. The determining argument of the day.
    marilyn_anne2004@yahoo.com.au
    19th Aug 2015
    11:19am
    May be if the tax office chased all the money the big companys are sending over seas the pensioners just might get fair go, the pension is an entitlement not a benefit, I am sure the government would rather us all work till we drop
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    11:25am
    That would help. And close down the superannuation tax shelter for the rich which both sides refuse to touch.
    ray from Bondi
    19th Aug 2015
    11:37am
    a very good idea, but the people whom the government would have to chase are running the goverment
    disillusioned
    19th Aug 2015
    12:57pm
    Marilyn - it would be a good idea if we had anybody let with such expertise in the ATO. The best have gone to work for the big companies you talk about in order to show them how to avoid paying tax!
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    2:39pm
    There is no will in governments or the ATO disillusioned. Governments are either serving the vested interests or refuse to act because of the backlash. LEGISLATION called "Arms Length Amendment" would end the rorts because multinationals are transferring profits TO THEMSELVES. Companies with other names but part of the same entity.
    It can be done.
    niemakawa
    19th Aug 2015
    3:18pm
    Maybe it is time to bring back "Exchange control". Billions of Government dollars are also be sent overseas by individuals.
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    9:14am
    Good call. And trade barriers so that we can again look after ourselves..
    mary
    19th Aug 2015
    11:23am
    we do have a voice when elections come around - but who to vote for, mmmmm!!!
    as of 2015 australians 64+ make up 15% of the population...surely within that demographic this group should be strong enough to have a voice in persuading the elected government in decision making that allows all pensioners an affordable and dignified life?
    we need a "pensioner party" to be formed with elected members sitting in Federal and State parliaments
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    11:27am
    Independents!!! Why? Because they are not controlled puppets and are now 'owned' by vested interests. Of course making it a jailable offence to take money from third parties whilst in (or out of) politics would also be a game changer. Imagine....politicians who were making decisions based on the country's future, not their own.
    ray from Bondi
    19th Aug 2015
    11:39am
    the labor part is a slight leaning towards the left, but sadly they are the L brothers, not a lot of difference these day.
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    1:05pm
    There has been quite a bit of talk on this site about voting for an Independent to help improve the plight of Aged Pensioners. What good in ANY way did the likes of Rob Upshott, Tony Whingsor, or Andrew Milkie do for the Pensioner or anything else for that matter. Nick Xenophon seems to be a straight shooter, but the others are power-mad with their "one little vote" to decide the destiny of the universe. They like the rest are only interested in themselves.
    greatgolly
    19th Aug 2015
    1:16pm
    Do you think so, believe it or not, many have tried, in the last 2 years, 3 parties have got that far but failed from then on due to lack of having enough interested to actually doing something to take part and take it further!

    Sadly, it's always left to the few to do what is needed for the many and then the many show little or no interest; remember the Grey Party, Party for the Seniors, the Pensioner's Party, and so it goes, nadda, nadda, nadda!!!

    How many of you have written to your MP or other MP's over you beliefs? I have written to them all, have you?
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    1:31pm
    Yes, both my wife and I have, as well as to the PM, and have received their perfunctory, sycophantic, pathetic letters confirming receipt and NOTHING else. (n.b. "nada", Spanish for "nothing",is spelt with only ONE "d")
    PlanB
    20th Aug 2015
    8:05am
    Yes I have also written and rung and yes I also get the RECEIPT and nothing else
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    8:51pm
    Eddie: you fail to understand that the reason WHY the country is stuffed is not because of Independents. It is because of the 2 Party system (your turn, my turn....) which has led to nil accountability. The problem with Independents is WE DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH and it is hard to achieve something without the support of either side of politics. Do you think the bastards are going to support anybody?
    I do need to point out that Wilkie went after the Pubs and Clubs (protection of gambling addicts and the killing of young men by other intoxicated hooligans on the streets). What support did they get? NIL!!!!
    You might like to give a bit of thought into HOW to fix a broken system. My take is that you get rid of as many Liberal and Labor members, replace with INdependents and see how they go. I suggest they will do nicely........and what other choice do we as a nation have?
    Cruiser
    19th Aug 2015
    11:52am
    We need to somehow get the message to the labour party that if they agree to backtrack on the 2017 asset test changes then a significant number of votes will be coming their way at the next election. These votes will come from the thousands of currently affected seniors and from those currently working and contemplating retirement in the next 5 to 10 years. We need to go viral on this....
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    12:02pm
    Agree but we need a package from whoever we elect. Given what bad governments have done to the nation over quite a period of time our problems are not instantly fixable.
    I do not think that the current bunch have a hope in hell of winning the next election....but never doubt the ability of the Murdoch Press and the local rags with their vested interests and frightened journalists to turn a lay down misere around. God help us all if this bunch of Howard left-over ministers get a second chance.
    tisme
    19th Aug 2015
    12:04pm
    try being a carer paid a pittance by the govt and have no retirement fund. we have to care for those we care for we have no choice
    PlanB
    20th Aug 2015
    8:06am
    Yes tisme, been there done that
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    8:54pm
    I don't mean to throw water on your comments but in many nations carers do their work for love and/or duty. Without knowing much about carer entitlements I would think that here in Oz we do help out those who need it.
    Fredklaus
    19th Aug 2015
    12:12pm
    when the changes july 2017 come into effect ,there will be many pensioners who will be shocked at their reduced pension .I don't think a large number truly understand the implications of the changes.
    KSS
    19th Aug 2015
    12:26pm
    And there will be many more who are better off!
    waggers00
    19th Aug 2015
    2:34pm
    You are dead right Fred. Kss is also right. But your point Fred, that many hundreds of thousands of part time pensioners just do not understand the effect of the 2017 changes. In my case we will lose $170 per fortnight in 2017. I do urge part pensioners to i vestigate the facts, that are now law. Even with a change of Govt. I do not see any hope of having this overturned. But yep KSs you are right. Many will benefit and that is acheived by playing one group of pensioners off against another.
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    2:49pm
    The new Aged Pension rules come into effect on 1/1/2017.
    stake
    19th Aug 2015
    12:47pm
    get rid of abbott
    PlanB
    20th Aug 2015
    8:08am
    YES GET RID OF ABBOTT --I agree
    Tigers
    23rd Aug 2015
    7:25am
    And Shorten. We dont need either!!!
    Rosret
    19th Aug 2015
    12:47pm
    While my heart goes out to pensioners very little consideration is given to the self funded retiree. While giving my utmost into making the retirement cache a livable option I see my fellow retiree entitled to discount rates, car rego, medicine etc. If the government of the day (it doesn't matter which party) is working towards self funding - can't we have the same benefits too. With minimal interest rate return, we need help too.
    niemakawa
    19th Aug 2015
    4:00pm
    I agree, although I cannot claim the same status as you . It seems that many people object to SFR receiving any assistance. At the very least they should receive all ancillary payments if not a part pension.
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    4:27pm
    Rosret, what you have witnessed is a sad, but true, fact of retirement life. To work and have forethought enough to save for your retirement years can put you in a very vulnerable position with the ever-changing Pension rules which you may have followed whilst planning for your Golden Years. To work hard, be conscientious and conservative with your lifestyle, and save with a view to be self-supporting in your post-work years is truly an admirable way of life, but with the way the government is in Socialist mode your efforts will show less and less return. Federal government policies towards Aged Pensioners are discriminatory, unfair, and provide great DISincentive for anyone conducting their working life like you have done. The more you have the less you will get from the government, even though you have paid your taxes and followed the rules. Yes, it IS unfair, but most of all hypocritical when you find what politicians get as their salary, allowances (and they are HUGE), and retirement packages - all exorbitantly inequitable for what they do, if anything. And this unjust renumeration of taxpayer-funded public servants is getting worse with time, with no effective checks and balances, just cover-ups by party cohorts in crime. It makes me sick and cynical to see what these gluttons are doing to our wonderful country and it's people. I have very little, if any, respect, trust, or faith in any of them. But, life must go on, so spend up and enjoy what you have worked so hard for, but maintain your self-respect and try to ignore that the bludgers (and politicians)seem to be the only winners in our society.
    niemakawa
    19th Aug 2015
    4:37pm
    Fast Eddie, well said. It is always assumed that those that do not own their own home or have no savings is because they were lowly paid workers or "disadvantaged".
    I am sure many of these people would have earned large sums during their working life, but chose a different route, and spent it all on "enjoyment" for the day. That is their choice to do so. The thought of putting some aside or buying a property never entered their minds. Now it is these same people who complain and whinge incessantly that they have nothing and those that have provided for their retirement are in someway "rorting" the "system".
    Captain
    19th Aug 2015
    4:47pm
    Rosret, we too are sfr's and worked very hard and saved where we could to fund our own future, unfortunately the pensioner discounts are state based so the federal politicians don't really care. With the lower asset limits due in 2017 some of the state govt are yet to decide if they will continue these discounts. My guess is that there will be a push to increase the gst to cover the discounts. However the self funded retirees will still get nothing, even after a lifetime of working, paying tax and saving.

    Oh the shame of being a saver.
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    5:03pm
    Thank you, niemakawa. Yes, it is their choice and it is this choice which brings about the "coincidental" direct correlation of the disproportionate number of unemployed and low income earners and smoking, drinking, drug-dependance, long term Centrelink benefit payment, and criminal activity. It's the "world owes me something" mentality, which only the government has the ability, through their policies, to change.
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    9:02pm
    Thank you gentlemen. Well said by all.
    I never gripe about what I miss out on but can relate to all of your posts as my wife and I worked bloody hard to get to this stage of life. Now that interest have been driven down and (this) government has decided to come after retirees lest they do anything more than survive we all find it a bit tougher. Most of all self funded retirees who have in most cases worked the hardest and sacrificed the most.
    As Malcolm Fraser said "life wasn't meant to be easy" but we all make the best of it.
    THE SOLUTION is to form a voting block and that retirees all vote the same way (fat chance of that). Once governments see that we will throw hem out they will back off. The reverse of that is if they see we are weak then they will continue to come after us.
    Young Simmo
    19th Aug 2015
    12:48pm
    Can anybody answer my question?

    If all politicians were executed with in 24 hrs of retirement, how much extra money would be left for all the HONEST people?

    Please note, this is just a question, not a suggestion.
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2015
    1:08pm
    If Kevin Rudd gets that job he's chasing as Sec Gen of the UN, will we still have to pay his pension?
    Tzuki
    19th Aug 2015
    1:24pm
    Ha Ha Young Simmo. Or another question - if all politicians lost their lifetime benefits at retirement and were treated like "normal" people, how many millions $$$ of taxpayers' money would be saved to help the govt. treat pensioners and future pensioners live a half decent life?
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    2:42pm
    Haven't heard Frank: Tony Abbott only appoints LNP cronies to foreign affairs posts. Rudd did a 50/50 when he came to office. Oh that's right....the UN is not under the control of our wanna be dictator.
    The answer to your question is a no brainer. Of course we will....just like John Howard, Peter Costello and all the other rats.
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    9:04pm
    Simmo: r u an ISIL rep?
    Marigold
    19th Aug 2015
    1:18pm
    Oh boy I'm getting sooo sick of all the whinging and government blaming. All of us Australians don't know how well off we are compared to so many countries all over the globe. I grew up in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with welfare and education standards second to none. And yet in my 40 years of residing in Australia I don't understand the dissatisfaction of so many. OK bear with me and I will make some points.
    The pension is not a right, it is a privilege. No, our taxes paid over our lifetime do NOT entitle us to an age pension. The years of citizenship and permanent residence DOES! (working or not). It is for the needy and it is called welfare. Our taxes are solely to keep the country running and yes that includes welfare.
    Here is my point: in my country of origin employed people pay APART from tax, a percentage of their pay into the national pension fund ( for your old age). People can also set up also a private superfund ( which is voluntary, except in my case as a government employee, it was compulsory. ( worked for the education dept). So I had 3 deductions and a 4th one for Union fees ( compulsory for teachers)before my take home pay! Point is everyone who has been employed have actually paid into this national fund ( and that mounts to the welfare coffin)and therefore are ENTITLED to an old age pension and therefore is not "means tested". Every one who lived and/ or worked in that country gets it!! Now some people may not have worked sufficiently to pay into this national fund. Eg. Women, because of children and doing less paid work, the sick and disabled, the unemployed etc. These people will also receive the same pension but would be more in the line of support payments or in other words WELFARE which is paid from the national pension fund also. So EVERYONE gets a pension, rich or poor. Of course the big earners paid the most as the deduction is a percentage of your gross income.
    Ok next point: here in Australia, we only have one compulsory deduction and that is our TAX which goes into a general coffin to pay for everything, roads, schools, hospitals, Medicare, overseas aid,welfare etc etc etc.
    Luckily the government introduced compulsory SUPER!! I do admit the Aus gov is a bit slow and lacked having a foresight to plan for the future.
    But they did eventually and the rest in water under the bridge. We have to move on from that.
    Next point: Because the gov realised that for a percentage of the working population this SUPER has come a bit late (and yes this is OUR money and is not in the national coffin) they realised we may not have sufficient funds for our retirement and that there is a need to supplement this with a payment and that is called the Age Pension. It is WELFARE. Not a Return-pay from our taxes. And that's also the reason why the age of entitlement is going up for younger generations, as they have more time to accumulate super. Of course you can retire earlier but don't expect handouts before that age.
    So WELFARE payments are available to us whether partial or full, depending on our financial status, available for the people that need it,( that is for people who are below the income and asset tests) and believe me our income and asset limits are quite generous!!
    But now the gov wants us to save for retirement and you know what it's still OUR money and we can withdraw it as we please and there is where the problem lies. So many people here know of so many loopholes to " spend" their super on oversized indulgences and then say oh I'm broke now I want the pension.
    And that is what is crippling our country. Yes we are spoilt here and sooo free to do what we like and get away with it and whinge and want more and we are loathe to take responsibility for our own old age. Why do we expect that we are supplementing our pension from interest earned on principal only? What happened to our savings' and super's principal sums? We can use them freely to supplement our pensions! ( we can't take it with us to the grave!
    What if our pension deductions over a lifetime go into a national fund here like in Europe and you happened to kick the bucket upon retirement. Their go all the deduction payments over the years because the gov is not going to give it to your descendants, it is staying in the national pension coffin for welfare purposes. So see how lucky we are! Upon dying our remainder of our super goes to our beneficiaries. So stop winging because you might give the gov ideas!!! Let sleeping dogs lie!
    Captain
    19th Aug 2015
    5:03pm
    Marigold, the aged pension in Australia was implemented in the early 20th century soon after Federation. Australian workers were promised a pension after a lifetime of working and paying taxes. This pension is part of the govt/worker social contract and is now being withdrawn by the present govt on a whim and with no grandfathering. Those of us who have planned our retirement and saved accordingly are now going to be condemned to reviewing our retirement some years after we retired.
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    6:47pm
    Captain, like you said, the rules have been changed for those of us playing "life in retirement" after the game has started, in that no consideration whatsoever was given to ANY grandfathering for the already retired or period of transition for people close to it. These government superannuation changes are not too dissimilar to enacting retrospective legislation on an already completed strategy which was legal then, but not permitted now. Unfair, unjust, unsympathetic, and un-Australian.
    niemakawa
    19th Aug 2015
    6:59pm
    Fast Eddy, so true. Governments say one thing and do another. The only reason they want people to have long life is to extract all their wealth before they die. God forbid if you leave anything to your family. It is a game for them and caring about the health and well being of seniors is just "lip" service. This applies to ALL parties. They have no sympathy and less empathy.
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    9:17am
    Yes niemakawa. Australia is starting to look not so good when compared to other countries on the planet. It seems that OUR governments want everything we have. And I keep suggesting that Estate Duties are coming back to clean up the rest. God help our kids!
    jackie
    19th Aug 2015
    1:34pm
    If no pensions then scrap superannuation and taxes. Australians don't need a government that costs them money and governs nothing.
    Young
    19th Aug 2015
    1:46pm
    It sounds as if many of the writers here want Australia to go down the path of Greece.
    We are living beyond our means.
    We all have to make sacrifices,and this includes politicians.
    We get too much ,too easy.
    For the sake of all let's live within our means.
    We are well looked after in this country.I have just returned from Vietnam,where a lot of the population live in squalor compared to us.And yet they always seem to be happy with life.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    2:45pm
    The top end of pollies in Greece and certainly the rich and their bureaucrats were totally corrupt. Under the previous Greek government there were many many billions of euros taken off-shore before the new government was elected. By that time the coffers were empty.
    Australia has not yet reached the Greek tragedy stage....but it is a work in progress.
    Sophie
    19th Aug 2015
    3:00pm
    Well said Browny...too many whingers...people just take a look at some countries...the Australian pensioner is very well looked after.
    niemakawa
    19th Aug 2015
    3:39pm
    I have a friends who lives in Europe. They have to pay the equivalent of our medicare levy of around 10-15% from their pension. It is automatically deducted from the payment.
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    10:31pm
    What happens in other countries should not be regarded as a pretext for grinding Australians down. We survived the GFC very well. We are an affluent country. We have a manageable deficit, at present. Yes, we need to be mindful of the risks of rising debt, but we SHOULD NOT be screwing the most responsible and prudent Australians and removing incentives to save and plan. That is precisely what will send us the way of Greece. We need to stop over-indulging the rich and privileged - not attack battlers.

    I agree the Australian pensioner is well looked after, but to slash the retirement incomes of those who have carefully planned retirement and made huge sacrifices during their working lives to ensure their comfort in old age is unfair, un-Australian, and totally unacceptable - and ultimately it will drive this nation down the path to destruction because it discourages saving and encourages dependence, which is precisely the opposite of what is needed.
    niemakawa
    19th Aug 2015
    10:40pm
    Rainey, I agree with your comments. The system currently disadvantages those that have prepared themselves for retirement through their own management. I mentioned earlier, you may or may not agree, but SFR's of which I am not one, should be treated more fairly and at least receive all the ancillary Government (Centrelink) payments should they not qualify for a full or part pension. I also believe that everyone working or not should make a contribution to medicare, regardless of their income, that includes all Centrelink recipients.
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    9:08pm
    I think that Australia must be leading the pack: high taxes and plenty of them, almost zero tax breaks, the now highest retirement age I am aware of and now the government of the day after those who just want to see out their last few days without financial stress.
    Australia is not looking like the wonderful place it used to be.
    Young
    19th Aug 2015
    1:55pm
    I love your comments Marigold.
    There are too many loopholes in our system and people keep using them to claim the pension and rip us all off.
    Wealthy people should not be able to spend up big so that they can get the pension.
    It should only be for the very needy.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    2:46pm
    And there lies the problem. What do you define as really needy?
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    10:39pm
    Rubbish, Browny. The aged pension is AN ENTITLEMENT for all those who did not have superannuation, because the tax system was specifically designed to provide a retirement pension for ALL Australians. It was legislated as a right. How can you possibly justify asserting that the privileged should be entitled to a comfortable retirement, the needy should be looked after (regardless of WHY they are needy - and how wasteful and irresponsible they were in their working life) but those who worked their guts out for 4 or 5 decades but were unable - through no fault of their own - to accumulate enough to fund their own retirement should suffer an uncomfortable old age struggling with inadequate means? That's a cruel and unfair assertion that is guaranteed to condemn a country to economic collapse because it totally removes all incentives for ordinary workers to work and save. Cruel, unfair and stupid!
    niemakawa
    20th Aug 2015
    2:12am
    And people should not be frivolous in their spending habits during their working lives, so that they get the pension. SFR and those on part pensions should be given fairer treatment by the Government and not be criticised and penalised for doing the "right" thing.
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    9:18am
    Fairness is of course the magic word. And also reasonable limits.
    Cheezil61
    19th Aug 2015
    2:28pm
    Let's hurt a little more those that work to support those that don't/can't or wont!
    As if there isn't enough pressure to afford cost to live already (making ends meet is depressing & difficult for most of us already isn't it? Constant money stress is not fun!) Who would want to live until retirement age? It is hard enough to afford to live now on a reasonable wage, especially if even a little is put aside for super - I've struggled to save $200k in the last 14years earning a half decent wage (was impossible before that to save any super with family to support & a very low income plus marriage breakdowns & payouts to ex-spouses etc) & now I'm still wondering how I will afford retirement EVER but also wondering how I my health/body/mind will withstand the alternating shift work I have to do to afford super & cost of living in the first place... thanks for another depressing storty tho...
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    2:48pm
    The issue is that we have too many people getting rorts of all sorts, not the Safety Net itself. We need a bipartisan approach to fixing the problem but unlikely that either side is going to meet in the middle. Vote for an Independent until the bastards get it.
    Snowwhite
    19th Aug 2015
    2:36pm
    A lot of people on this site amaze me. Some who think they are the only ones who have worked hard and are self funded. Well congratulations I am happy for you.
    But I also worked hard and was employed in nursing for 47 years while bringing up 5 sons with my husband. It so happens that he also worked hard all his working life but we have retired with our own home and a small superannuation pension plus we are getting a part pension. I'm sick of hearing that some people are not entitled to a part pension because they didn't save so didn't deserve any pension. We did save when we could but we also educated our sons on the way and superannuation was not available until the nineties. So stop putting all pensioners down we don't deserve it.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    2:53pm
    The problem with society is that there are so many flavours. Difficult. But respectfully a double income family in the days where most households were single income households should have saved money.
    My wife and I made it on a single modest income and we are now sitting pat albeit not rich.
    We need a solution rather than a bitch-fest. I think that there have some good suggestions above but don't expect the current government to listen as it is hell bent on going after average citizens whilst sending large sums of money to those who really have no need of it. Called the widening income gap!
    Christopher
    19th Aug 2015
    2:48pm
    What you, and many others, seem to have missed is that the change in the Age Pension will commence on 1st January, 2016, for those whose pension is based on their INCOME.
    Rae
    20th Aug 2015
    6:25pm
    Yes and the rules have changed considerably.

    Those that saved after tax and never got the 9% guarantee were allowed a 50% discount on centrelink rules because it was their after tax money coming back and the 9% everyone else got was denied them but that is now only 10%.
    Because of this some single people will be much worse off and be living on pensions far less than the current aged pension.
    niemakawa
    19th Aug 2015
    3:26pm
    Give everyone over the retirement age a nominal basic pension, say $ 400 a fortnight. The Government could then reduce the income and asset tests to a much lower level. Only those below these thresholds would be able to claim the right to a supplementary pension.
    Mike Omment
    19th Aug 2015
    3:33pm
    I sometimes think we are too quick to blame abbot and hockey for everything that is wrong .
    The ALP has to shoulder some of the blame. As I have said many times, give the Independents a go
    Snowwhite
    19th Aug 2015
    4:17pm
    Unfortunately Mick the independents don't have the power to make a real difference.
    niemakawa
    19th Aug 2015
    4:20pm
    Nor the policies. They only cause trouble in the senate and prevent the Government from doing what the majority want.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2015
    8:40pm
    Seriously niemakawa. You should be able to see that the "trouble" you claim they cause is because they do not cave in. And of course they are going to try and get the best deal they can for their own electorate.
    If you are objective you will realise that Independents try to fix things. Wilkie tried to do something about problem gamblers so that they did not destroy their own lives and that of their families. As he was trying his best you had both Labor and Liberal getting funding from the Pubs and Clubs, so they did not support this move.
    So what do you think of Nick Xenophon? If we had pollies like this man then our system of government would function. I am sick and tired of the major parties with their handful of decision makers and the rest of their MPs being puppets and stooges.
    The problem is not the few. The problem is that we need many Independents...which then removes the balance of power temptation.
    niemakawa
    19th Aug 2015
    10:01pm
    Mick, I did not agree with Mr Wilkie. Whilst I admit there are problem gamblers in the community, no sense in sacrificing the enjoyment of many for the sake of a few. Do you really believe that by imposing restrictions on how much a person can spend will stop those that have a problem with their gambling habits?. No his attempt to do so was rightly rejected. Clubs provide many other facilities which are enjoyed by seniors and young people alike. Yes there is of course a revenue factor but no different to any other type of business. What next stop people eating Pizzas or drinking because a very, very small minority can;t control themselves. Xenephon is of the same mould and really has nothing to offer the wider community.
    PlanB
    20th Aug 2015
    8:18am
    Thats why I vote for independents -- they keep the bastards in check can you imagine what Governments would do if they had full control!
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    9:20am
    Hang on. The bulk of gamblers could still enjoy their habit. The legislation was not targeted at them.
    Young Simmo
    19th Aug 2015
    5:20pm
    A new story just appeared in the west Australian paper and starts like this, Go figure.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    The cost of having a comfortable retirement has jumped a quarter on the back of Abbott Government changes to the age pension, the superannuation industry has claimed.
    The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia believes a couple now needs at least $640,000 in their nest egg to enjoy a comfortable retirement.
    It was a $130,000 or 25 per cent jump on ASFA’s March estimate. The situation is no better for single retirees with ASFA estimating a person now needs $545,000 put away, a 27 per cent increase.
    ASFA chief executive Pauline Vamos said most of the increase was due to the Government’s changes to the taper rates to access the age pension which were passed earlier this year with the support of the Greens.
    Anonymous
    19th Aug 2015
    6:50pm
    Thanks, Young Simmo. Let's hope that common sense will prevail for once with these government cretins and they don't just pass it on to THEMSELVES.
    Dukki
    20th Aug 2015
    7:37am
    Mary there is apolitical party that h been stated for pensioners, it is called the Mature Aged Party. I went to several of their meeting in the sunshine cost , but unfortunately they started to drift away from the pensioners n now they do include all walks of life. I suppose they felt thtantheynneeded timhave a broader base. Such a pity because the first couple,off meetings were every lovely. N showed a tot of. Promise?
    PlanB
    20th Aug 2015
    8:22am
    Also Rudd got us through the GFC --God help us IF the Libs had been in control at that time, we came through that very well.

    Now if we could get Abbott and his mob to stop rorting and stick to his promises --of which he has broken every one
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    9:24am
    Think you may have left out a few words here PlanB.
    There are a few posters who continually attack Rudd for getting us into debt but never acknowledge that they and their extended family were not thrown out of work during the tough post GFC years. Sort of like having a bet each way.
    I deplore the debt we have but recognise what was done was necessary. A pity those who keep harping about the Rudd induced debt are not more balanced. This government on the other hand is into class warfare and the large amount of extra debt is not necessary.
    PlanB
    20th Aug 2015
    10:12am
    Yes Mick Rudd made a good move thats for sure
    carmencita
    20th Aug 2015
    10:36am
    There is never a guarantee in life. We may plan for something wonderful today but it may never be the same tomorrow since we don't hold the future in our hands. Our politicians are so engrossed in their game of making a wonderful view to entice voters to come to their point of view by not telling all the facts. Why do they care, theirs is guaranteed golden handshake because what never change and would never change are the benefits to them.
    JC
    20th Aug 2015
    11:49am
    I read with interest both on this site and in the press, the many comments re the Age Pension, who should get it, at what age etc. etc. and what is and should be happening re superannuation. I'll preface my comments by reminding us all that we have an ageing population and will have fewer taxpayers supporting all welfare recipients into the future. That's indisputable.

    A matter that seems to have escaped the attention of most is that when the Govt. decided to most rightly in my opinion, count super above a certain amount for the purposes of determining age pension entitlement, it grandfathered that arrangement. So not only will those self funded retirees, regardless of their super income, continue to receive the Age Pension, they will do so whilst not paying any tax whatsoever on their super. Compare that to the Govt's. recent non grandfathering decision to tighten the Age Pension asset test. How can that be fair???

    Not only will those with large super incomes continue to receive the Age Pension and pay no tax on their super, regardless of the amount, any non super income they receive will be taxed at a far lower tax rate than similar non super income earned by somebody whose super is taxed. That's because their super is not added to their non super income to determine the tax rate for the latter. This Government has clearly shown a most unfair and unsustainable bias towards those who are well off. Tony needs to be reminded of his election speech promise, "No Australian will be left behind."

    JC
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    9:17pm
    I believe that the previous Labor government had made provisions to tax those who received more than $100 000 pa from their super. Fair. And the tax was not all that much either. Of course when Tony Abbott and his cronies came into power that went straight up. No point asking those who get a big wack from their super to pay a few dollars in tax.
    And by the way your comment about an aging population and not being able to afford to pay retirees a pension misses the very important point that if governments closed the superannuation Tax Shelter which was set up for the rich and also collected the correct taxes from multinationals then there would be more than enough money for pensions as well as many other projects.
    JC
    20th Aug 2015
    11:50am
    I read with interest both on this site and in the press, the many comments re the Age Pension, who should get it, at what age etc. etc. and what is and should be happening re superannuation. I'll preface my comments by reminding us all that we have an ageing population and will have fewer taxpayers supporting all welfare recipients into the future. That's indisputable.

    A matter that seems to have escaped the attention of most is that when the Govt. decided to most rightly in my opinion, count super above a certain amount for the purposes of determining age pension entitlement, it grandfathered that arrangement. So not only will those self funded retirees, regardless of their super income, continue to receive the Age Pension, they will do so whilst not paying any tax whatsoever on their super. Compare that to the Govt's. recent non grandfathering decision to tighten the Age Pension asset test. How can that be fair???

    Not only will those with large super incomes continue to receive the Age Pension and pay no tax on their super, regardless of the amount, any non super income they receive will be taxed at a far lower tax rate than similar non super income earned by somebody whose super is taxed. That's because their super is not added to their non super income to determine the tax rate for the latter. This Government has clearly shown a most unfair and unsustainable bias towards those who are well off. Tony needs to be reminded of his election speech promise, "No Australian will be left behind."

    JC
    Young Simmo
    20th Aug 2015
    2:10pm
    Sorry to change subject, but how many big brave cops does it take to handle one lady??????

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/29307100/woman-stripped-beaten-in-police-lock-up/

    Pass it on, it needs to be seen.
    Warning, it could be upsetting for some people.

    20th Aug 2015
    4:36pm
    what a load of whingers australians have become, won't be long before we will take that title of the poms, being a pensioner of more than 15 years I can honestly say that I never had it so good, living on my government supplied pension, not having to get up at 5 o'clock in the morning or having to work shifts and as for our labor mick's information, guess who sold the commonwealth bank, none other than your beloved labor party under Keating. now the only problem I have every day is where I will dine, the R.S.L or the local hotels. saves doing the dishes. keep your whinges coming, they make for some good reading.
    Rae
    20th Aug 2015
    6:34pm
    Good on you.

    I think a lot of the savers will be spending up big on that world cruise of a life time and joining you. At least you get the pension each fortnight, don't have to worry about interest rates etc and all the other benefits.

    Self funding simply was a plan that no longer works for ordinary workers.
    MICK
    20th Aug 2015
    9:22pm
    And guess who let the world's third largest LNG deposit go into the hands of offshore investors? Answer: the Howard liberal government. And who is currently allowing the sale of AUstralian freehold farming land to the Chinese government? Answer: the current government.
    The problem with your posts heemskerk99 is that you have lost it. The internet age provides us all to change the future but saying nothing will achieve nothing. Perhaps that is how you live your life. I don't. And I don't support Labor. Have not for over 30 years.
    Rae
    20th Aug 2015
    5:47pm
    The point you make about retirement earnings is valid mick.

    I paid considerable after tax monies into compulsory super and the returns were terrible.

    Compounding just didn't seem to work as advisors said it would.

    I would have been far better off to have used that money to buy investment properties to rent out.

    What we need is a Seniors Party to get up at the next election.
    Not Senile Yet!
    21st Aug 2015
    5:32am
    Oh My God!!!!
    Cannot believe how easy it is for all of you to not question the Governments Propaganda on this subject!!!!
    The Aged Pension was Never considered Welfare......it was a system of providing a retirement income to the worker by taking extra tax and putting it aside (invested) to provide and income in retirement!
    An income in the form of an aged pension paid for and managed by the Government!
    It was a part of a New Vision provided by OUR earlier MP's as a vision for OUR Society to care for the aged!!!!
    Bot only was it legislated but it was also agreed to by Both sides of Parliament and guaranteed by the Government!
    It was Never worded or called Welfare......it was called The Aged Pension!!!!!!
    Welfare was a separate thing altogether and included Unemployment Benefits, Disability & Single Mother's Benefit!!!!!
    They were Kept Separate until the Present Governments merged all the Departments into ONE....Human Services....as a cost saving measure with regard to Administration.
    Now they wish to label the Aged Pension as Welfare.......what utter rubbish!!!!
    The Aged Pension was properly funded by extra taxation that was segregated into a Futures Fund which invested the money to provide for the aged when they retired!!!!
    During the Nineties....BOTH Parties raided the Funds.....YES Both Parties Agreed......as it was structured so that both had to agree.....thinking they never would.....to access it!!!
    Around the same time the New parliament House was Planned and Funded as well.....what a coincidence you say????.....and it is bigger than the White House in the USA!!!!
    Back to the present......they spent the Money!!!!
    Now they are struggling to fund the Baby Boomers and want to Call it Welfare...label it Welfare....out of convenience!!!!!
    Yes ...you all have been Conned!!!!!
    They had the money all along......but spent it!!!!
    Remember....they (Our Pollies on both sides) cannot Balance the Budget!!!!!
    One side runs at a profit to fund big business via tax funded subsidies for big business......the other one overspends playing catch up on provision of social services/education and hospitals that the other cut!!!! Yep like a Yo Yo!!!! Up and Down.
    But the truth is more alarming......because in the meantime they are both spending up big on their own pay rises & perks without anyone to stop them....you see they make their own rules and oversee their own pay rises!!!!
    Both Parties have become so corrupt that they are only interested in their Own Ideals.....Right or Left Wing.....it doesn't matter!!!!
    But you the mug voter get divided and conquered by taking sides....Labour or Liberal!!!!
    Conned Again.
    For the last 25 years...Neither Party have kept their election promises.....they simply never intend to either!!!
    Conned again!!!!
    Still the vast unwashed and brain dead vote for the Party puppets...believing their election promises...only to be deceived!!!!
    My question is this......Why do you believe that the Party Puppet....who has sold his/her voting rights to a Party Machine (invisible unelected caucus)......is not corrupt?????
    They have sold your Vote Before you have even given it to them to the party that backs them ( or buys them via pre-selection)!!!!!
    Why would a sane person vote for such a Fraudulent MP?????
    Conned Again!!!!!
    As for Retirement Age now being 70 from 65-68 from 65 Originally.....well well well......rather obvious that when you loose your employment ......from being made redundant......or downsizing of the Company...or simply lack of performance due to ageing.....from lets say 50 to 55.....then instead of the Pension from 65 to 70.....5yrs.....its the dole!!!! Big savings in expenditure to the Government......especially now that the Baby Boomers all fall into that age group......the largest Number ever to retire in a ten year period!!!!
    Oh its not personal!!! It's just budgeting!!! So they can make the best savings from all that tax you have paid and they have blown!!!
    Yes.....your tax that they spent.....you know spent it!!!! No longer have it.....including the extra tax you paid to provide the Pension in the first place!!!!
    Conned Again!!!!
    I wonder if the baby Boomers will over react at the next election>>>
    Or are they too busy taking sides and repeating the propaganda of Welfare is not a Right anymore????
    Conned Again!!!
    Not me!....Stop voting for the Party Corrupt Puppets!!!!
    If you want change...Change the way you Vote!!!
    Captain
    21st Aug 2015
    1:54pm
    You are correct Not Senile Yet. Some people especially those who have joined the workforce after compulsory super was introduced know nothing of the govt/worker social contract that we, the workers of the 60 's to now grew up with. We paid tax and we're told we would get a pension when we turned 65. My wife and I saved extra so we would not have to rely solely on the pension. Now retired we get no pension, no concessions and come Jan 2017 we will never receive a pension. The major parties are both corrupt and untrustworthy and the Labor Party is now small L Liberal. Vote for the Greens and they will crumble and agree to anything. Vote Independent and generally they are nuisance value to the govt of the day. We really need more Independents so they are more than nuisance value and enough of them to ensure the Govt AND Opposition really begin to represent the people not just themselves!!!!
    JC
    21st Aug 2015
    4:00pm
    You're dead right Mick re the need for the Govt. to catch the big business tax evaders, (I think it's "evaders" rather than "avoiders"?) And yes again re super tax concessions needing to be reined in. I suspect that both major parties balk at making any changes to super in the present economic climate when returns are relatively low. However, no matter how low they are, not having them taxed is just far too generous and economically unsustainable. How can a Govt. expect the electorate to believe we have a budget crisis when they refuse to pursue the massive lost revenue. They seem to think that there is only one side to a budget, i.e. expenditure, when there are two. Both expenditure and revenue collection need to be properly and fairly managed. Instead, they attack pensioners, Newstart recipients, those on Disability Support pensions etc. They have just sacked over a thousand staff from the Tax Office, the Govt. agency that collects revenue!! I can' but help remember a car sticker I saw in the run up to an election many, many years ago - "Don't vote, it only encourages them!"

    21st Aug 2015
    4:57pm
    whinge, whinge, is that the best you pensioners can do, why don't you start enjoying your life, don't forget you are on the downward track as every day is a day closer to the end, all your comments assists the labor party's quest to regain government, life choises being a branch of them and may I say able assisted by labor mick, anyway keep it up, great reading while I enjoy a beautiful red and wait for my taxi to take me to the R.S.L, lambs fry with bacon and chips
    Tigers
    23rd Aug 2015
    7:31am
    Superannuation. The greatest con job I've witnessed in my lifetime. I starting paying only what I had to pay many years ago, and started my own investment plan. So so so far in front of the experts over the years its not funny and when I ask my, so called, Financial Advisor why, he cant explain.
    PlanB
    23rd Aug 2015
    8:01am
    Financial Advisors are cons, I preferred to decide about my own affairs
    Circum
    23rd Aug 2015
    10:26pm
    enjoy the feed
    worker
    28th Aug 2015
    2:55pm
    lets all get the same levels of life time perks and forms of pensions we give to how past employees members of parliament we can them go on payed holidays and live a good life not having to be to worried about the pennies.