Retirement planning disconnect

There is a clear gap between our retirement dreams and income reality.

Retirement planning disconnect

Industry superannuation fund REST has released a new report reinforcing current research which reveals a major gap between pre-retirees’ dreams and reality.

The research, conducted by Lonergan, through phone interviews with 1167 Australians, aged over 50 and working full or part-time, contained little that could be termed ‘news’. It does, however, underscore the sad facts of retirement funding. Namely, that the median value of older working Australian’s superannuation is $125,000 and with ASFA’s current estimates of what is required for a comfortable retirement for singles, $545,000 and couples, $640,000, there remains a significant gap which is unlikely to be filled by a burst of late-career saving.

Of those surveyed, three in five stated that a modest retirement income would not be sufficient to fund their retirement plans, and that holidays, private health insurance and new cars may be the first things to be sacrificed.

One third of respondents felt they would need to work longer, with a preferred retirement age of 65-67 being pushed back a couple of years to 69 in order to afford a more comfortable retirement lifestyle. Interestingly, 29 per cent did not wish to retire at all.

Read more at www.rest.com.au

Opinion: Is it your fault?

Everyone wants a comfortable retirement, but it’s your fault if you didn’t save enough to get one. Or is it? It’s time to question this industry fallacy.

So here comes another report on the retirement funding shortfall. And before we all beat ourselves up about what we didn’t do, let’s allow the facts to get in the way of this (not so) good story.

REST super is an industry super fund. It stands to gain from encouraging more people to join the fund and to invest more money for REST to manage. It is not a charity trying to help those in need. The report it has commissioned only interviewed 1167 people –hardly a huge number when you are trying to gauge something as important as retirement funding for those Australians aged 50 and over which is about 8 million people.

The executive summary starts with the statement that advances in medicine and healthcare mean ‘Australians are living longer than ever, placing increasing pressure on our pension, aged care and health systems’. This is arguable. Spending on overly generous tax concessions on superannuation places pressure on our budget and is about to overtake the Age Pension as a percentage of GDP. The spending on items such as the aforementioned tax concessions, negative gearing, diesel fuel rebates for multinational mining companies and so on is entirely at the discretion of the government of the day. Most sober economists note our Age Pension spending is the third meanest in the OECD, and entirely sustainable, despite the ‘bulge’ in the population representing the boomer cohort.

In discussing ‘how much is enough’, the report goes on to state that ‘the reality is many people do not save adequately for retirement…’. This gobsmacking generalisation does not take into account three important facts of life:

  • Many people do not EARN enough to save extra for retirement
  • Those who earn more, save more, by virtue of the Super Guarantee Charge (SGC). So the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, by virtue of our current unfairly skewed superannuation system
  • Women, carers and the self-employed are particularly marginalised by inadequate earnings and opportunity to consistently save.

And whilst the report does pay lip service to the fact that compulsory super has not been around long enough to help older Australians, it notes that it is reasonable for 50 per cent of respondents to expect to rely on an Age Pension – although the official Treasury projection for 2055 is 67 per cent (Intergenerational Report #4).

What is not needed is another inaccurate industry report, spouting assumptions about what ordinary Australians should do. Such reports are usually designed to grab headlines and win the PR battle for the funds that pay for the research. It should be seen for what it is, a commercial message and it is fair to deconstruct it as such. What is badly needed is more comprehensive research which uncovers life-course disadvantage and the way in which someone’s gender, education, occupational status and ability to stay employed shapes their ultimate retirement income. People are not necessarily underfunded for retirement because they laughingly blew all their money on the pokies. Those who earn less have had less opportunity to save and this is the sad fact of retirement income in Australia today.

What do you think? Is it your fault if you don’t have enough saved for retirement? Is the Age Pension still a ‘reward for service’? Or is it just a safety net for fewer people over time? What do you think the government should do to boost the superannuation balances of the less well off?





    COMMENTS

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    29th Oct 2015
    7:51am
    If you know you are going to retire surely you can save something or at least try I know everyone has different circumstances etc.
    My thinking is that the pension is only a safety net for those who cannot feed themselves or get by.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    10:05am
    robbo: this is a complex issue. You need to carefully read the above. Perhaps the biggest issue is that most Australians SIMPLY DO NOT EARN ENOUGH to put more than a few pennies into super. The cost of living normally consumes MOST of the family budget. Having said that there are the normal calls from industry to lower wages.
    The author is spot on when she also states that the rich have had a wonderful superannuation scheme set up FOR THEM. This group have the money to put in and avoid the real tax system to squirrel away large sums of money whilst average Australians are forced to consume almost all of what they earn.
    There is however also the issue of our expectations. My wife and I have made a fist of it due to self deprival, an out of fashion concept these days. Most Australians want it all: lifestyle AND a plentiful retirement. This is an unrealistic view and there is room for some of us to put away more than we do, but that would not be the majority in any case.
    A difficult issue clouded by privilege for a few, living it up for some and no chance to save for many. We used to be better than this.
    Jannie
    29th Oct 2015
    10:42am
    Robbo that is in a perfect world, you have not accounted for the hiccups during our working lives eg redundancies.
    Anonymous
    29th Oct 2015
    10:20pm
    With the recent removal of incentives to save and harsh treatment of many of those who struggled, worked hard, and sacrificed much to accumulate a retirement nest-egg - but couldn't quite manage to accumulate enough to compensate for a global economic crisis and the collapse of investment returns - it's hard to have confidence that more folk will save for their old age. Savaging the retirement plans of those who DID save for old age is hardly likely to stimulate increased savings.
    tisme
    29th Oct 2015
    8:23am
    ive spent most of my adult life as a carer for family , car crashes , cancer , autism so i have no retirement fund , who is to blame???
    Peterrj
    29th Oct 2015
    11:43am
    tisme to blame? No, you are not to be blamed for your circumstances but you are to try and make the most of your life as best you can. Life is not fair and we all have to make the most of what we have. I wish you well for now and the future.
    Star Trekker
    29th Oct 2015
    4:39pm
    I am the same tisme. Carers always get the rough end of the stick. We save the govt. a fortune in hospital, rehabilitation, hospice & nursing home fees and all we get is a pension. If we are lucky we get the Carer Allowance and the Carer Supplement. I look after 3 people but I don't get 3 times the income.
    jjjadams
    29th Oct 2015
    8:40am
    Those figures quoted as needed for retirement look grossly exaggerated.
    Concessions to those who never needed them have skewed benefits away from those who do and will.
    Will any Fed. Government act to rectify ? No sign in the past.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    10:06am
    Both sides seem to have their fingers in their ears. I often wonder if pollies are feathering their own nests with the superannuation system set up to benefit the rich.
    Star Trekker
    29th Oct 2015
    4:46pm
    Of course they do mick, they squirrel away all those lovely allowances. :P
    Travellersjoy
    29th Oct 2015
    8:49am
    Very well said.

    We are well provided with gross generalisations by governments and every big business with a barrow to push, as well as writers on pages like this who generalise their personal situation to the rest of the population.

    I like that you have shown the huge differences in potentials and outcomes for different people, and pointed to the government that presides over a seriously inequitable system on behalf of its clients i.e. not us.

    It is true some people have unrealistic expectations, but anyone seeing the propaganda for "retirement living" could easily imagine we can all have it all. I get ads for 'retiree travel' and 'seniors travel' that I would need a well paid job to pay for - or a whacking great super pot, and this is marketed as very achievable.

    The big lies of superannuation is that we are all capitalists, that few of us will need a pension, and that as tax payers we should be subsidising the retirement of the rich instead of our own super savings.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    10:09am
    What a great post. Very well said and so true.
    Adrianus
    29th Oct 2015
    11:15am
    nonsense!
    Peterrj
    29th Oct 2015
    11:38am
    Agreed, 'ads for 'retiree travel' and 'seniors travel' would need a well paid job to pay for'. We travel a lot, all the time but we can't afford those retired seniors deals!!!! Generally they are a rip off!!!
    dippity
    29th Oct 2015
    5:13pm
    my husband always says that we are our own best travel agents. We have had several trips overseas and have already booked cruise numbers 8 & 9 for next year. We do everything we possibly can online before we head overseas, including hotel bookings and car hire. We shop around for the cheapest deals we can find and we have never had a problem on any of our very affordable holidays. Even guided tours can be booked online, usually more cheaply than a travel agent
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    9:11pm
    Should have slowed down a bit. I agreed with the last paragraph, not the bit in the middle. Sorry.
    Peterrj and dippity; You are both spot on.
    Batara
    29th Oct 2015
    8:54am
    An issue that seems to be getting scant attention is the bid by the Big End of Town to take over industry superannuation schemes. These are the schemes in which ordinary people have roles in the fund's management, and they exist to benefit the members. The other part of the superannuation fund world is "professionally managed" funds - read those that exist to make a profit for shareholders and big business. The fact of this dichotomy is that the industry funds have consistently outperformed the big business funds. Despite the superior performance of the industry funds our Governmnet wants to move the goal posts so that all funds must appoint directors from the banking industry.

    DO NOT LET IT HAPPEN! Protect your superannuation fund run by people who care for your interests.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    10:11am
    We have the commercial funds wanting to take over industry run funds (which are doing much better than the commercial funds) and also the government wanting to get its grubby hands on the huge pool of funds.
    Grumpy
    29th Oct 2015
    10:36am
    Mick & Battara, You have overlooked the consistent campaign of governments and the Finance industry over the last 5-7 years at least to make life as difficult as possible for those who chose to manage their "Nest egg" themselves i.e. self-managed super funds. Many are simply husband and wife trustee set-ups and the strategy is to strangle them in a web of ever increasing complexity so that they, and anyone contemplating an SMSF (amounts over $250K can be viable) to throw up their hands and walk away because the cost of compliance, financial and emotional just makes it not worthwhile.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    9:13pm
    I would have thought self managed funds have gotten heaps of help. Can even borrow money now. Are we kidding?
    I understand that the cost of compliance with an annual audit may be a bit rough though.
    buby
    30th Oct 2015
    3:02pm
    From what i have read of late about governments and those hoping to get their little greedy hands on the management of super funds.
    It look like they are getting greedier, and greedier, those at the top end.
    Many who i bet have lost millions of aussies money, that was invested in overseas markets...... INstead of investing in our own! There is the big loss.
    Self managed funds are probably the best things to do.
    I now i didn't have much to get from my super, i think i got all of 500dollars back from mine when i had to finish up work, because of illness.......and i've managed to increase that ten fold. better than most could have done. and i don't have to pay for management fees, or take a loss when the market goes down! and i'm sure centrelink, will be checking me over soon to see what they get take of me. Which i think sucks. but i don't control them!
    So how am i supposed to live off my meagre earnings!!! with great difficulty......What Super!!! and i'm sure many are in my situation, i'll bet........OH and i don't live in my own home :(. but i want for nothing except good health, but i deteriate, as the years go on, and i'm only 63. I obviously worked Way too hard in my younger years....?
    Adrianus
    31st Oct 2015
    12:42pm
    I think if you were a member of an industry fund and you could account for every "investment" then you probably wouldn't be a member for much longer. These industry funds often look more like union slush funds.
    MICK
    2nd Nov 2015
    12:16pm
    The next post from our own government troll.
    Jim
    29th Oct 2015
    9:00am
    Everyone has different expectations in retirement, personally I think that most financial advice is greatly overstated, we are told that we need over $1,000,000 to retire on, most people I know have got no chance of reaching that goal, I am not talking about young people, I am in my late sixties. I would like to live as long as these financial guru's think I am likely to live, when I retired I was told I had enough money to last me until I was 87 that was provided I received some pension, well 6 years since retirement I still have the same amount in my super, my wife and I have been on many holidays, we have bought a new car, admit I had a few shares which helped. I consider myself to be lucky, I believe I deserve some pension after working for 50 years raising two kids paying off a mortgage etc. Yes some might say I am one of the lucky ones and I would agree but I earned it.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    10:13am
    The 1 million figure is what the (dishonest) superannuation industry sold us all on. Now only a small handful of us ever got close. A con!
    Peterrj
    29th Oct 2015
    10:57am
    But Mick, the Super Industry is correct, you do need over a Million in Super if you want to do better than the Aged Pension! Whilst this won't win me many votes on this site, the Aged Pension is not a bad deal for Aussies doing nothing but spend your money, get old and stay in Australia!!!! However, Super for the average Aussie is a con job as explained by me below.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    11:27am
    Agreed.
    buby
    30th Oct 2015
    3:04pm
    I believe you absolutely right mick, it was a big sell.
    I remember when i was working how they came round, and told us all how much better off we would be ......... lol what a laugh
    fish head
    29th Oct 2015
    9:33am
    If there is blame to lay, try UNREAL EXPECTATIONS being fed to us from all corners. Retirement means no way of recouping any large unexpected outlay means assets reduced etc etc etc.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    10:15am
    Whilst retirees have no debt (should have!) people want the lifestyle that was PROMISED to them by industry spruikers and governments. This was never going to happen as both lied. No salesman EVER mentioned INFLATION when projecting the figures forward. Guess why?
    Peterrj
    29th Oct 2015
    11:16am
    What the Super Industry also 'forgot' to mention was that a Super Balance of a whopping $500,000 ONLY buys you a Super Pension of $25,000! The Aged Pension for a couple is more than $33,000 indexed to to CPI! And they forgot to tell you that Super balances can go down dramatically in a Global Crash!!!! Just think how different would have been you life without saving up a Super Balance of $500,000 to get paid less than the Aged Pension!!!!! The smart money is on 'gearing yourself up' (be debt free in your own home, decent car, holidays, hobby, assets, help children buy a home etc) to welcome the value of the Aged Pension!!!! Don't plan a Super Retirement but plan well ahead, 5 years at least, (yes 5 years is very significant re gifting) to get, at least, Part of Full Aged Pension!!!!! Sorry, if you have $1M in Super then you Should re consider your position!!!! Super is a con!!!
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    11:38am
    Whilst you are on the money Peterrj let's not forget that the government may have to reduce the pension to much less than it currently is. You should be aware that there is a $200 TRILLION debt hanging over the western world which there is no hope of ever repaying and that this is going to blow up sometime in the very near future. At that time brain dead Australia which has closed down almost every industry is going to feel the effects like few other nations and the chickens will be coming home to roost.
    Super is of course a 'choice', one which works for the rich who are able to steer their money away from the taxman and into super, thereby paying only 15% on entry (bargain!) and then 15% on earnings (bonus!). The rest of society SUBSIDISES our rich countrymen....as usual. We need a revolution!
    Jannie
    29th Oct 2015
    11:59am
    Mick perhaps you are right we need a revolution, I say something has to give and it could be mother nature will help or an outright war god help us if this happens. But we cannot continue to help other people from other countries that are so corrupt they cannot look after their own. We cannot continue to be helping so the do gooders need to think about the big picture, Australia cannot afford to bail out others from around the world. Wake up Australia get some guts.
    thommo
    29th Oct 2015
    9:37am
    KAYE. Who to blame for the retirement disconnect? The politicians of course. I, Like many thousands of others, retired in 2014 under the current centre-link rules, only to have the rug pulled from under us by Abbott, Hockey et al when they changed the assets test for the age pension in this years (2015) budget. This was a unforgivable act of betrayal and treachery, having promised at the 2013 elections there would be no such changes.
    We made the irreversible decision to retire on that promise, thinking we were covered by the current rules.
    But no, we got stabbed in the back and these retirees will kick this govt out at the next election.
    YOu keep on putting out these little stories about how to plan for retirement, but at no time do you or anyone else warn against the treachery this govt has done, and that they can unravel the best plans for retirement.
    Its a waste of time reading your articles. You should be getting stuck into the govt for being dishonest and untrustworthy.
    Anonymous
    29th Oct 2015
    10:35am
    I don"t think retirees have any say in Government thommo your only other choice is Labour and they are complete ratbags.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    10:40am
    We were all caught thommo. The reality of the Abbott government, and I suspect the current one as only the PM has changed, is that ORDINARY Australians were targeted for attack so that money could be sent to the big end of town and so that 'we' could repair the budget...not them!
    Whilst we are not at retirement age we had hoped to get a (small) part pension. Not going to happen now. Such is life.
    Grumpy
    29th Oct 2015
    10:44am
    robbo, you describe Labour as "complete ratbags". How would you describe the government which has perpetrated the actions described by thommo?
    Anonymous
    29th Oct 2015
    11:55am
    In my opinion Grumpy pensioners get way to much money and concessions and have this air of me give me more and bugger the rest of you.
    This is the reason pensioners are considered second class citizens by most.
    Batara
    29th Oct 2015
    1:16pm
    You are right on the money there Thommo. Throw out the silvertail grubiment. They have not changed, even though it is great to see an end to Abbott. However, it turns out Turncoat is no better. Ignore the rusted on silvertails like Robbo. Labor cares for people. COALition cares for big business.
    Oldman Roo
    29th Oct 2015
    8:20pm
    robbo , I think a comment like yours can only be made by someone in the wealthy class or someone who has never had to live off the Pension . You would soon be grumpy if you had to live off it and be very worried if you had to get by on the Pension cuts in the reforms announced for part Pensioners from January 1917 , when Pensioners with modest savings will be worse off than the ones who never saved a cent . So before paying Lip service to the Abbott , Hockey " take from the poor and give to the rich " philosophy , just read the introductory article quoting " our Age - Pension spending is the third meanest in the OECD ".
    Adrianus
    29th Oct 2015
    8:35pm
    Oldman, back in 1917 there were only a few people on the pension and the life expectancy was about 3 years.
    I think you are reading an old report. At $154 billion our welfare spend is around 24% of the budget. equal to any country in the world.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    9:16pm
    robbo is making a 'troll' comment which is little more than mud slinging.
    Make a suggestion, not a paid slogan.
    Peterrj
    29th Oct 2015
    9:38pm
    'This was a unforgivable act of betrayal and treachery, having promised at the 2013 elections there would be no such changes.' OK, retirees with some assets are being screwed by the Libs. Some then advocate Labor is the way to go to protect the assets that retirees have. Well think again on that ... It was Labor who made the Millionaire Pensioners the hot issue. They even suggested that those with assets over $750,000 were wealthy and not deserving of the aged pension. So what ever the Libs do to you Labor will do a whole lot worse! We now have politics of envy, the haves and the have nots are beginning to fight each other. But calling for a relevolution is not good politics!
    Oldman Roo
    29th Oct 2015
    10:22pm
    Frank , I do not see any useful comparisons between 1917 and now except trying to support your biased philosophy . I also suggest you read the above Industry Superannuation fund Rest before you try to bring your own conjecture into the argument .
    Jannie
    29th Oct 2015
    10:40am
    In a perfect world our super should be enough, but what is not taken into account is the hiccups throughout our lives eg marriage breakdowns with unfair payouts, sickness, low wages or no wages due to redundancy, a tax system which is unfair, the list goes on.
    I am still working at almost 70 and will for as long as I can just to keep afloat, but I am penalised by a deduction in my pension when I earn over $250 per fortnight, it gets back to why am I working? Also the balance of outstanding mortgages are not counted, all the government wants is to take take and take. What needs to be done is a crackdown on what the pollies get when they retire, grossly over paid for the rest of their lives, this is so unfair.
    Peterrj
    29th Oct 2015
    9:49pm
    Jannie: "I am penalised by a deduction in my pension when I earn over $250 per fortnight." Please explain how come??? I am of the view that at pensionable age you can earn $162 if single or $288 for a couple plus a 'concession' of an extra $250 each fortnight before your full Aged Pension is reduced by 50c for every $1 over these amounts. Please advise if I am wrong? And can we get off the Pollies Pension plan and add some comments where we can learn how the 'system' can work better 'for us'?
    Lyn
    29th Oct 2015
    10:42am
    Fortunately I had a reasonable income to save in Superannuation for my retirement.
    My suggestion is that rather than providing a pension to all in the future, the govt could pay a bigger contribution into super for lower paid workers. This will be an investment that will grow for when they retire age 67 plus. As we know it cannot be touched until at least age 60.
    With a sustainable retirement income there will be no need for aged pension. However I guess there will always have to be a safety net for those unemployed etc. Going into the future will be financially more difficult for the next generation as many good jobs eg manufacturing will have gone.
    Jannie
    29th Oct 2015
    10:48am
    Even harder for the tax payers of the future as they will have to fork out more to cover greater centrelink payments to the unemployed and the refugees who will be on benefits forever as they will not be easily employed, they cant even speak english and keep breeding, so how on earth can this be rectified, there will be escalating government benefits paid to people with no chance of contributing to our tax system.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    11:41am
    What you give with the one hand you have to take with the other Lyn. If the Superannuation Tax Shelter set up for the rich were closed then there would be a huge sum of money available....providing the government did not set up another tax loophole for the rich to escape. This is how it normally works.
    Peterrj
    29th Oct 2015
    10:44am
    Super is nothing but a con job deluding middle class workers into a false saving plan. Anyone upset set over my assertion so far? You should be but the stats are on my side! Super is sold to the middle class workers as their path to having 'enought' cash in retirement to live on. BS! How many middle class workers have a Super balance of $700,000? I suspect none! Or, at most, very few. At pensionable age you draw down a Super pension at 5% and 5% of $700,000 is $35,000/yr. And what is the Aged Pension for a couple? Ans: $33,000 plus a few benefits. So boys and girls, do you want to save i.e. go without during your working life to amass an almost unattainable amount of $700,000 in Super to get a Super Pension of $35,000 OR get the Aged Pension indexed to to CPI for FREE???? And Super is not a con????
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    11:44am
    Many advisors these days say only pay in the minimum (mandatory) payments made by employers. The trick is that you INVEST the difference, not blow it on lifestyle..........which is what most Australians do. This money could be used to pay off your own home or buys shares and property to see you through retirement. Too hard for most though and too little money available to average workers to achieve as evidenced by the average super balance which Kaye has given.
    SUper is essentially a con. The casino always wins Peterrj!
    mangomick
    29th Oct 2015
    2:37pm
    Peterrj I know many middle class/blue collar workers who are in their very early 60s who have in excess of that amount. Some have done it while basically being a one income family while putting 3 kids through uni. Bottom line as i said earlier is living within your means and getting as much as you can afford in early so compounding has time to work.
    What you fail to mention is that you draw down 5% but investment earnings may be 7 or 8%. What you draw down is also tax free.
    Peterrj
    29th Oct 2015
    3:07pm
    Yes, I don't criticize employer contributions into Super. And if you can afford it Salary Sacrifice up to the max limit on dollars that are taxed more than the 15c. As you approach retirement withdraw all Super cash. If you don't know financially why you do that the. You had better find out the Super rules! Then Think carefully if you need to redeposit more than the minimum amount back into Super so as to maximize the generous Aged Pension payment and collect, tax free, interest on Super if in the pension phase. The lolly in Super over the Min amount to get the full Aged Pension can now be recklessly spent on luxuries .... Thanks largely to the Australian Tax Payer who has given you extra cash as you avoided paying tax on SS contributions and having paid no tax on the interest gathered in your Super fund. However, remember the deeming gift rules! Cash in Super between $400,000 and $1M is a wasted effort and can be used on luxuries etc. Cash in Super between $400,000 and $1m is denying you free Aged Pension money!!! I have used these figures so you get the general idea, the precise numbers are a bit different .... And I am referring to the rules for couples owning their own home. Also consider that the rules will soon change ..... Just watch those Part Aged Pensioners with a Super Balance of $1m scream with the new changes!!! Hands up all those who think that Super is not a con job???? Best part, it is a legal con job encouraged by the Govt. Disclaimer: it is true that I have not factored in deemed income from a Super Balance which makes a modest cash balance in Super even more unattractive!!!
    Peterrj
    29th Oct 2015
    10:02pm
    Mangomick, you draw 5%, the fund grows at 7 to 8% (if you are lucky)while inflation travels at a current low of 2 to 3% ... What's your point? And I am glad that you said that many blue collar workers have in excess of $700,000 ... Don't think I would get away with that assertion???
    KoalaBlue
    29th Oct 2015
    10:48am
    Most politicians can't get their head around where everyone is at. We are in our late 50's in the last 6 years my husband has been retrenched twice due to company take over. Now even with 2 university degrees and 20 years of knowledge people looked at his grey hair and said they wanted someone younger. The government then decided to put up the pension age we missed out by 6 months and ended up with an extra 2 years wait. We have superannuation but had to draw on it to live now as you get nothing from centrelink to save it for the future. We get a discount on nothing. unless you are on a pension there are no concessions. I stayed at home with my disabled daughter. I have no super. There are so many variables its impossible for them to take it all in account. Fortunately for us I have a very smart husband who could see the way the world was going and decided we need a back up over 25 years ago that when we started working on retiring as self sufficient as possible. Providing for our own retirement the old fashioned pioneer way with setting our small house in the suburbs up like a small farm. For those living in an apartment check out Indira Naidoo's book on balcony gardening. Also look up permaculture there are groups in North Sydney, Northern beached, Western Sydney. We support each other
    Jannie
    29th Oct 2015
    10:53am
    Great idea KB but what is kicking most people in the guts is high council rates, electricity, gas, water/service fees, communications, running costs on our cars the list goes on, rent for those that dont have a house or mortgages, how do we survive when all of these are going to soar in the future.
    Jannie
    29th Oct 2015
    10:54am
    My super is dropping at present due to the bad performance on the share market about to take it out and just put it in an investment account at the bank seems it is the safest option.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    11:46am
    You assume that pollies CARE. They don't. The talk is all about tricking voters into thinking they do. Then they look after themselves and sell out the nation so that they can stay in power.
    Is it any wonder why I keep saying VOTE INDEPENDENT rather than keeping this losing game going which will hurt us all in the long term.
    Anonymous
    29th Oct 2015
    11:56am
    Put it into a term deposit with your super provider.
    Peterrj
    29th Oct 2015
    10:07pm
    Jannie, before you take out the cash from your Super Fund check out the advice of Fast Eddie.
    Jannie
    29th Oct 2015
    10:59am
    Why have my comments got remove below them??
    Adrianus
    29th Oct 2015
    11:10am
    click on the remove radio button and see what happens?
    Peterrj
    29th Oct 2015
    11:31am
    Frank, I clicked the remove radio botton but nothing happened? What next?
    Anonymous
    29th Oct 2015
    11:58am
    Go straight to jail, do not go past "Go", and no not collect $200.
    Adrianus
    29th Oct 2015
    12:23pm
    mick, do you know about the "remove" radio button? You need to click it after every post. (mick only)
    Anonymous
    29th Oct 2015
    12:27pm
    Frank, that brightened my morning!
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    9:18pm
    Frank: YOU need to be removed from this forum.
    This forum is not a mechanism for printing Abbott style 3 word slogans. It is a place where issues are debated.
    Adrianus
    29th Oct 2015
    11:01am
    Who is to blame??
    Well everyone else but us posters of course :)
    The question is really "what is a better way of doing this?"
    KoalaBlue
    29th Oct 2015
    11:02am
    And one more added thing. So much is thrown away in the bin. You can refurnish your house for nothing build your garden without going to Bunnings and eat quite healthy without visiting woolies. We just have to start looking at what is available to us without trying to live on the governments handouts. They really are only good at lining their own pockets anyway.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    9:19pm
    Do you extend this to rich Australians stripping huge chunks of wealth out of the economy........for their own greed?

    29th Oct 2015
    11:25am
    A very good article in regards to the probable difficulties faced in retirement years by those who don't, or can't, earn enough to save for later life. The "comfortable retirement" figures I, too, would dispute. If a single or couple has a mortgage free, well maintained, fully furnished abode with reliable transport (if, in fact, this is the presumed scenario at retirement time) then these figures appear to be inflated for a retiree's remaining years unless, of course, they go on annual skiing holidays to St. Moritz after their nine months world cruises.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    11:55am
    I do go skiing every year....but not to St Moritz Eddie. Beyond us! You could not comprehend the 40 years preceding (early) retirement which got us to this point in time. Having said that this government is out to destroy even moderate savings and then there is going to be mass upheaval at an event which will make the GFC look like a children's party.
    Please don't begrudge me this pleasure as it has not been at your expense. Unlike the wealthy whose accountants and lawyers bleed every rort and unethical out they can out of the system we have reached our current final position the hard and fair way.
    Sorry....sounding like one of Frank's paid advertisements.
    jjjadams
    29th Oct 2015
    12:03pm
    A very interesting, recent and relevant article :
    http://www.afr.com/personal-finance/superannuation-and-smsfs/higher-taxes-on-super-capital-gains-would-raise-8b-deloitte-says-20151023-gkgy27
    Golden Eagle
    29th Oct 2015
    12:08pm
    What do I think? Is it your fault if you don’t have enough saved for retirement? From the time I have been able I have Salary Sacrificed - from as low as $50.00 per week to $200.00 per week. Is the Age Pension still a ‘reward for service’? I have never seen the Aged Pension as a reward for service, but as a co-payment towards my retirement years. Is it just a safety net for fewer people over time? Yes - less people will be able to access the pension and less people will live longer UNLESS they do more to maintain their own healthy lifestyle. NO drinking, smoking, gambling. What do you think the government should do to boost the superannuation balances of the less well off? START giving those people who eat, sleep and live well an incentive to keep going - through discounts through their health funds for the less times they have to visit doctors and LIVE on prescription medication. Do research for the healthier lifestyle websites. TRIM Healthy Mama, Changing Habits, Marcus Rothkranz, even Dr Oz has some good ideas. Living WELL and Staying WELL.
    KSS
    29th Oct 2015
    12:28pm
    Here we are again, banging the same old drum!

    Super is really NOT rocket science. If you are in work and you want the same (or better) lifestyle you have now then you will need the same (or better) income you have now. The ONLY exception MIGHT be that you could be mortgage free. If you rent though, your expenses will not drop, and in reality are likely to rise.

    Why then is it so hard for people to grasp that the age pension, for the vast majority, will not allow them to maintain (much less better) their current lifestyle? Why does this come as such a surprise?

    So here we are again, whining the same whine, blaming everyone but ourselves, and every single person thinking they have 'special' mitigating excuses as to why they chose not to listen to the messages that have been made loud and clear for decades.

    Can you please find something else to talk about other than the evils/perils/inadequacy of the age pension and the evils/perils and inadequacy of all Government representative and the 'wealthy'?
    KoalaBlue
    29th Oct 2015
    12:41pm
    Hey Jannie, Just to give you some ideas that might help. We have gone off grid solar and solar hot water , and have several water tanks, and we went without a car for 6 months and quite liked it. Only got a car again when my husband went back to work now no job again will hang onto it for while. But if we have to get rid of it we will. I pay my stuff online and many things can be delivered if need be. But I have kids with cars. You can minimize your electricity by making a solar oven, plans are on a website we run its an information site my husband put together on our journey towards self sufficiency to help anyone who wanted to try it. There is no such thing as total self sufficiency you can't get away from the land rates but going as far as you can is a challenge and rewarding. Our website is www.underthechokotree.com Hopefully you will find something that will help.
    Oars
    29th Oct 2015
    12:56pm
    The simple reality is that the tax that we paid into this retirement and other welfare coffers over the 40 odd years has been devalued over time. But the reall attack of that fund is from the huge increase in damand on such assistrance that include: 1. immigration that create more social debt than pay taxes, 2. poor use of the funds by a series of badly organized politicians ( both sides and greens too) ; and that there is a larger population requiring assistance in 2015 than the "pension" planned for. All in all we have got less funds but more causes to spend it on. We are ALL to blame for letting our imagination run away with reality. Apples grow on trees not money.!
    Old Fella
    29th Oct 2015
    1:13pm
    Currently many employers contribute up to 10% to employees super. Without consideration of accumulating income to that super value, simplistically doing some mental arithmetic , most workers fortunate enough to be employed all their working life- say 18 to 68 this would represent 50 years x 10% =500%/100% = 5 years paid retirement. Less value of inflation and or time between full employment. Not enough for a comfortable retirement nor for any more than 5 years. For those with broken employment, nil capacity to save extra for retirement or family issues along the way that mitigates against earning a decent living , thank goodness for the current protection net provided by Government. Bottom line - Retirement will be no 'Dance in the Park" for most of us.
    KSS
    29th Oct 2015
    1:49pm
    You forget about the compound interest which is what makes the regular savings in super increase so much. It only takes a small amount say $10 a week to make a substantial difference to the amount in super. And that is the point. Then you are meant to use that lump sum to generate income for retirement.
    Oars
    29th Oct 2015
    6:19pm
    Hi KSS- look a bit closer at your figures and seriously take into account the following factors: 1. Devaluation ( by banks) of our dollar over 40 years. 2. loss of purchasing power of our wages over 40 years 3. Major increase in living costs over 40 years ( cars in 1970 = $3 K in 2015 $40K.;;;;; housing in 1970 $10K now $600K. . If you go through the details over 40 years we were better off in 1970 than now. So what do we have going for us now? Yeah that's right- the internet- that saves all the problems of the world doesn't it ?????
    Adrianus
    29th Oct 2015
    6:32pm
    Oars, not only internet, we have pink batts as well!
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    9:21pm
    Next advertisement paid for by the current government? You missed TURC and Unions this time Frank.
    Florgan
    29th Oct 2015
    1:37pm
    I would like the government to allow the self employed to put into super the same amount as emplyees are at 15% tax.
    mangomick
    29th Oct 2015
    2:41pm
    Sorry but employees aren't at 13%. The Australian Government determines the Super Guarantee rate which, in 2015/16, is set at 9.5% of regular income.
    Sundays
    29th Oct 2015
    2:01pm
    Retirees fall into 4 categories. In 3 of those categories there is choice. The five minute millionaire who spend all their super immediately before going on the pension, the starving millionaire who go without so their kids can inherit, Those who work out a plan whereby their super can subsidise a part pension to allow a reasonable lifestyle and the others who life has dealt a curve ball. The full pension should be for this last group and in the case of single non homeowners it s not enough.
    Paulodapotter
    29th Oct 2015
    4:12pm
    Then there are those who die leaving a fortune because they thought they would live longer. We spend too much time agonising over how much we should save for our retirement. Just get on with it and do the best you can while living a full life. Poor mate of mine finally got himself out of debt, sold a mine for a million and dropped dead. He set up his long suffering wife who worked like a slave to keep the house and home together while he struggled and worked himself to death. I can't say he had a bad life, just a short one.
    mangomick
    29th Oct 2015
    2:28pm
    Bottom line is that for the majority of people , and i know many wont want to hear this, is if you don't have enough in your super to retire on by now you have probably been living above your means for the last 45 years. Sorry to be so blunt but in reality that is the bottom line.
    Paulodapotter
    29th Oct 2015
    4:06pm
    The poor, by definition, are forced to live beyond their means. This makes your statement meaningless Mangomick.
    Oars
    29th Oct 2015
    6:09pm
    I look at my dog who has everything going for her. Food ( a great variety) shelter( she has the choice of 4 beddies) and me ( the last survivor of walkers- I don't need a car to get up to the shops and buy bread and paper). She has no income, no pension, and couldn't care less about tomorrow. She is loved by everybody - even the postie!!
    "sometimes I wish I was a dog and live like her".
    Adrianus
    29th Oct 2015
    6:30pm
    mango you may be blunt but it is a very accurate way of describing the situation. It isn't hard to hang onto a small amount of your pay and invest it.
    mangomick
    29th Oct 2015
    7:32pm
    Paulo not to get into a slinging match but sometimes the poor do have themselves to blame for their own predicament but choose to blame everything and everyone else for their plight. I have moved my family all around the country chasing work and doing all sorts of menial tasks while continually trying to improve our situation.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    9:29pm
    mango: there's many flavours in the nation. All one can do is try and pick the trend knowing full well that somebody will say they are different. Normal human behaviour.
    I think that the issue of superannuation needs to be FAIR. When you set up a system whereby wealthy citizens get a free ride whilst the poorest in the country get nothing then this is plain wrong.
    Your position describes those who are doing their best. There are quite a few of us...and there are also many who always have the hand out and where no amount is ever enough.
    If the system were fairer then perhaps the media would ignore those who choose to be poor.
    Sceptic
    29th Oct 2015
    4:29pm
    Anyone who says that they could not have saved extra (in or out of super) when they had the opportunity are just lying to themselves. I know that I could have done so, but when younger my priority focus was not on what I would need for retirement. in fact if the truth were known I probably did not think that I would live long enough to even reach 65. at 20, 30, and even 40 it was an age well out of reach. At 50 it was starting to become significant, but I was still enjoying other things too much as an outlet for my earnings. It wasn't until I reached mid to late 50s that I really focussed on retirement income, but the changes to super rules during the 1990s really messed with my plans. Now at almost 77 (two month's time) I recognise the wasted opportunities when much younger, but I do have the excuse of, "ïf only I knew then what I know now." However, I have no cause to complain, and am comfortably off, but not rich, in retirement
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    9:35pm
    Welcome privileged one!
    Please explain how 2 incomes consisting of the popular 4 hour shifts with no holiday pay, sick leave or long service leave can pay off a house, provide food for a family, run a car, provide clothing and the many other necessities of life.
    Given that lower wage Australians are being pushed into temporary employment please direct your attack at those who do earn decent money, not those who are living hand to mouth.
    Sceptic
    30th Oct 2015
    3:01pm
    mick, for your information my family was poor. My father often out of work but too proud to apply for the dole. As a schoolboy I was shod and often clothed by welfare. If that is privileged, then I completely misunderstood the meaning of the word. After leaving school I undertook extra education to improve my position. This was all done after hours. I worked many hours of overtime, even if it was often unpaid. This had me recognised as being industrious. I was eventually headhunted to manage a start-up company. I became CEO of an international listed company, which involved me working 7 day weeks and 18 hour days.

    Once again, if that is privileged then it has a new meaning.
    Adrianus
    30th Oct 2015
    4:31pm
    Good for you Sceptic! I got a lump in my throat reading your post because your story is similar to mine.
    Well done Sceptic, a true legend mate! I mean that sincerely.
    MICK
    2nd Nov 2015
    12:48pm
    Sceptic: I did not have rich parents either and I have worked the same hours you did. Never got anything from governments (not first home loan leg up and not Kevin Rudd's helicopter money).
    My position is not about getting their. What I find truly obnoxious is that people who make it have a whole pile of rorts put in place so that they pay a smaller PERCENTAGE of tax to poor people. That is totally wrong!
    FYI - do you not think that sweeteners are enjoyed by all who consume them. Whilst I play the game IT IS WRONG and we need to level the playing field. Of course I doubt you would agree with such perceptions of fairness.
    Whilst one has to listen to trolls like Frank trying to downplay his employer's corruption by accusing Labor of all things bad I come from a position of fairness.....from both ends of the entitlement spectrum. That is where we differ.
    Libby
    2nd Nov 2015
    8:17pm
    Sceptic: I totally agree with you if we knew about putting money away for retirement but we were young and never even thought of the word "retirement" because we were having too much fun!
    I can say I am comfortably off as well but not rich and thankful I invested my Superannuation when I was made redundant, not spend it all on something stupid. It's thanks to my mother who encouraged me to manage my own funds in the term deposit. With MLC I couldn't believe I was paying high admin fees so I decided to get my funds out of there.
    I say hard work doesn't hurt if you want to be a success at something, we have to start from the bottom. Y Gen think they can get straight to the top after university, not always, hard work comes into play first, then the ladder to climb. I did a lot of voluntary work as well and that's how you acquire other skills. We've done our share!
    ph
    29th Oct 2015
    4:46pm
    If someone paid attention, as soon as the superannuation system was put in place for the masses by the then Labour government of the day, it was obvious that the government pension would slowly be retracted. The writing was on the wall. I don't necessarily agree with this but it was a reality. With a bit of luck we paid some attention and made plans accordingly. I am hoping to retire within the next 5 years and also hope the plans I made will be enough to support me through a 25 plus year retirement. Some people will not have had the available funds, or the foresight, to put in place an alternative and I hope for them there will be a government pension to support them.
    Peterrj
    29th Oct 2015
    10:22pm
    ph, I think that you are missing something? '... it was obvious that the government pension would slowly be retracted.' But no, pension payments have never been higher. Super saving have been hit by the GFC and those left with Super cash now find themselves the new potential milking cow for the Tax Man. The Aged Pension is way too generous and very attractive to those with considerable wealth! d
    mareela
    29th Oct 2015
    8:48pm
    More acts Frank;
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/shocking-joe-hockey-admits-the-budget-emergency-was-a-lie,6711
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    9:38pm
    Don't waste your time on Frank mareela. Frank ticks all the boxes of a troll sent here by the current government to trash the Opposition. That's what you get most of the time.
    MICK
    29th Oct 2015
    9:43pm
    Interesting link. Comment from Frank please!
    The article bears out what most Australians suspect: that the Abbott government was after average Australians to hit their bank accounts. This money was going straight to the rich end of town. What else does one expect from a government put into power by money from the rich?
    Adrianus
    30th Oct 2015
    9:55am
    mareela, I couldn't get past Abbott's Maxwell Smart shoe phone :) that was a real hoot!!
    I think Hockey handled the interview very well with a very aggressive interviewer. She was doing nothing for the relationship we have with the Kiwis. I couldn't see where Joe said there was no budget emergency? Australia is NZ 2nd largest trading partner and it is right that Joe tried to ease any fears that Australia's economy was washed down the drain by Labor. They should be more afraid of OZ as a competitor rather than talking down the OZ economy. They cannot supply enough milk to China at the moment and when milk prices drop their economy feels it. Australia will now compete for this market thanks to the unions giving Shorten the nod.
    But the Kiwis shouldn't be too worried because the Central Committee has given the go ahead for an extra child. So there should be a very strong market.
    Adrianus
    30th Oct 2015
    10:35am
    mick, I only know of one person who emptied my bank account and it took 6 months to get it back.

    29th Oct 2015
    10:15pm
    Among the reasons for inadequate savings, please add ''ripped off by cheating super fund managers''. A large number of retirees DID save enough for retirement but lost it through fund managers being either through incompetent or dishonest. Others have lost through good-faith investments that have gone bad due to economic downturn. Many would have plenty to retire in comfort if interest rates hadn't fallen through the floor. How can anyone blame retirees for problems resulting from a global financial crisis and economic mismanagement by our leaders?
    jjjadams
    29th Oct 2015
    11:19pm
    Hawke and Keating introduced the basis of what we have.
    Under Keating it became a rort for the wealthy.

    http://www.afr.com/personal-finance/superannuation-and-smsfs/higher-taxes-on-super-capital-gains-would-raise-8b-deloitte-says-20151023-gkgy27

    You really need to enter the above link into a search engine to see the best I've seen to remedy the current situation. Unfortunately for our PM, regardless of what he might see as reasonable, his ultra-right wing would decline the opportunity.
    Paulodapotter
    29th Oct 2015
    11:19pm
    Don't you love it when the privileged state that the poor bring their poverty on themselves. It's the only time I feel like banging heads. Of course there are always a few, a very few who prefer to be poor. Most of those drop out of society completely and go and live in isolation fending for themselves and living a quality of life better than most. The rest live on the streets by choice or because they are mentally ill. However the overwhelming poor do not remain poor by choice. I feel very privileged that I have the capacity not to be poor, but I do not believe it's because I deserve it. I'm just lucky and so are you Mangomick, you bloody ingrate.
    mangomick
    30th Oct 2015
    8:36am
    Sorry Paulo but you are taking to someone who as a kid lived in Victoria at the back of a car yard in an old decrepit bus with just a cold water tap outside to be used as everything. And then in a rented single room ,with my parents and siblings, Don't talk to me of privileged and don't talk to me about Luck. I've made my own luck.
    I've worked besides many of these poor that many refer to and many have had the exact same opportunities as myself ,but they are poor because they have been lazy and spendthrift. Not caring about tomorrow as they believed they would get the pension, telling me that is all they required, all the time smoking and peeing money against the wall . That could have gone into super or the bank for their own retirement . Being poor for the vast majority is self inflicted.
    mangomick
    30th Oct 2015
    9:46am
    Also Paulo the article is titled ...

    Opinion: Is it your fault?
    The initial statement and question asked was...
    Everyone wants a comfortable retirement, but it’s your fault if you didn’t save enough to get one. Or is it? It’s time to question this industry fallacy.
    So.....
    You can carry on with your rhetoric about the unfortunate poor in our society, and i have always been an advocate for electing Governments which portray a tangible social conscience but the sad reality is that many people who do not have sufficient in their superannuation fund, really ,if they look back on their lives they will/should admit that they only have themselves to blame. They are the same ones who would espouse loud to everyone who would listen ,"that we are here for a good time and not a long time" all the while not planning for the possibility that they may be here for a long time and trying to exist on the pension may not be a good time. The saying ,"There but for the grace of God go I should read, There but for the Grace of god, doing every dirty paying job I could find , not peeing my wages against a wall ,blowing it up in smoke or punching it into pokie machines ,go I.
    Luck, I don't think so Mate.
    Adrianus
    30th Oct 2015
    10:05am
    Well said mango. Your best post to date! Of course we need people like Paulo who feel good about handing out the fish as much as we need people like you who feel good about teaching people to fish. We only get one crack at this and it's a pity that some of us blow it. I wish there were some way of recognising those like yourself who triumph regardless of the very humble beginning life throws at them.
    Good on you mango, I knew there was something to like about you!
    Peterrj
    30th Oct 2015
    10:59am
    mangomick, No, I can't agree with your claim,'Being poor for the vast majority is self inflicted.'. Life can be cruel and unfair. Donkeys work hard ... And eat carrots. Some are not lucky and I don't point the blaming stick towards them. Those without a hearty Super balance know they have a fall back position: The Aged Pension. That's the safety net and they should be satisfied with it! Perhaps only those who are about to lose their part Age Pension realise it's true value. Back to the question, 'Is it your fault?' Sorry, but the question sucks big time as It promotes 'wishful thinking' and it is not productive!!
    mangomick
    30th Oct 2015
    2:18pm
    Peterrj....It's called life's choices. Any decisions a person makes along life's road has some impact on the direction he takes.Life can be cruel but that only really applies to the few who really need government help . But for many ,life may have been a little unkind and these are generally the ones who I refer to as the self inflicted poor. Just because they weren't born wealthy doesn't mean they couldn't have applied them selves more to get into a better financial position. They are generally the ones who rent properties all their life rather than living in a white ant riddled farm shack while they scrimp and save enough money to get a deposit for a place of their own (been there done that) or go on an overseas cruise instead of buying a cheap tent and heading to local National Parks or foresty park. (yep ,spent plenty of time in those as well). Is it their fault that they don't have a decent super balance. well it sure as hell ain't mine....
    Adrianus
    30th Oct 2015
    3:33pm
    mango, life can be cruel but misplaced kindness can be crueller.
    Paulodapotter
    30th Oct 2015
    10:50pm
    Mango if you had been born with specific learning disabilities or diminished capabilty for any reason, you would not be so lucky. You still can't appreciate the fact that you could do what you could do due to fortunate circumstances, which tells me you do have a disability that does not preclude you from making a comfortable living. It's called social understanding. The world is full of arseholes who can't see outside their own narrow experiences and think they are somehow superior and more deserving than those less fortunate. I note your mate, Frank, shares your limited view of the world. However, I agree that misplaced kindness is shortsighted. The less fortunate need a hand up, not a handout, unless of course, they cannot fend for themselves. I'd love to stick you both in Syria at the moment and see how you cope. N o doubt you'd find a way to side with whoever had the biggest stick.
    mangomick
    31st Oct 2015
    8:15am
    Paulo ,You can be as rude as you like mate but for some reason you are deliberately missing the generalised nature of the original question . Don't try to make the debate about certain minorities just to suit your own argument .No one has questioned whether the genuine disabled deserve assistance throughout their lifetime.
    My point is that I have worked with many able body men throughout many fields who have had the exact same opportunities and pay rates as my self and now as we approach the twilight years of our lives their carefree years are coming home to roost and you have the audacity to try to tell me it's not their fault.
    I've had no hand up in life, no inheritance left to me to give me a free kick along and yet through self motivation and living within my means I will be able to self fund my own retirement. If many who were in the same boat as me did the same the disabled and those who are genuinely worse off ,(through no fault of their own )would be able to live a better life with more Government assistance. But the Government can't give them more assistance because too many people have lived their life living beyond their means smoking drinking and playing pokes and generally frittering away money and are now wanting to suck from the Government tit .
    Paulodapotter
    31st Oct 2015
    9:10am
    There are always those who will take advantage of the system, wealthy or elective poor. However, to generalise that poverty is a self inflicted wound is simply wrong. In the same way, it's a mistake that the wealthy are wealthy because of greed and selfishness is also wrong. Many of us are self made millionaires, but that, like a dog that licks itself, is because we can. Born under different circumstances leads to different capabilities, attitudes and intellectual prowess. There's nothing unique about lifting oneself out of poor circumstances and therefore it's hardly worth patting ourselves on the back. It's what we do with that fortunate set of circumstances that counts. The Fred Hollows Foundation is a great example. Blind people with little hope of a comfortable future are given a chance at life. Surely that is where our sights should be set, not scrimping and driving ourselves nuts over how to get the best out of our super. Super is simply incentivised saving and is given too much emphasis in our society when we should be spending more time helping one another rather than bemoaning the fact there are layabouts. Every society has them and they represent a very small percentage. Hardship follows them around like a bad smell and quite frankly no one would want to swap places with them. They get their just rewards. I'm more concerned about those who don't need it, but get more than they need due to tax breaks they don't deserve.
    mangomick
    1st Nov 2015
    9:45am
    Sorry Paulo but we will have to agree to disagree. Everything you do in life comes down to Attitude, Behaviour and Results.
    If a person doesn't get the result he requires it is because his behaviour has been driven by his own personal attitudes. The thoughts and feelings (attitude ) a person has, drives his behaviour ,which gives the result he ends up with.
    Bottom line....it is only ourselves who are responsible for the end result of whether or not we have saved enough income to enjoy our retirement years.
    jjjadams
    30th Oct 2015
    9:07am
    This estimate looks closer.
    http://esuperfund.com.au/articles/latest/3-questions-to-ask.html?utm_source=Outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=one&utm_campaign=nativeOct
    Adrianus
    30th Oct 2015
    12:08pm
    I always thought industry super was designed with 2 goals. To create wealth for those who couldn't do it for themselves and to create power for those who wanted it so badly.
    Only a LNP government can clean up this mess and now that we have a PM with a good knowledge of the financial system it is our best chance to get an equitable and fair outcome. Particularly for those at the lower end of the wealth scale.
    jjjadams
    30th Oct 2015
    1:56pm
    Frank, are you joking ?
    Do you really think the right in the Coalition would allow rectifying the situation ?
    Malcolm should avoid the Rotunda when Senators are lurking.
    Adrianus
    30th Oct 2015
    3:29pm
    jjjadams, they are outnumbered now.
    Virginia
    30th Oct 2015
    2:25pm
    By God you live in the best country with the best circumstances for a good life before and after retirement. If you don't have enough for retirement you have had your head in the sand. too frightened to save for a rainey day or retirement. Perhaps you never thought you would live long enough and wanted to live it up all along. YOU CANT have it both ways.
    Jannie
    30th Oct 2015
    4:04pm
    Sorry to disagree with you Virginia but you negate the fact that we have hiccups along the way, eg redundancies, illness, marriage breakdowns, there are lots of factors that make it impossible to get ahead.
    Paulodapotter
    30th Oct 2015
    11:07pm
    If you rely on super to look after you in retirement, you are taking an enormous risk. What the government giveth the government can taketh away. Circumstances change with the wind. Super would evaporate along with financial disaster as witnessed overseas during the GFC. Super is not immune to disaster, nor is property ownership. Over history Semites learned this fact due to the precariousness of their popularity. This is why many learned that wealth should be able to be carried with you at short notice. Home ownership was not worth a brass raazoo to Jews how lived in Germany before WWII. Frankly, I'm sick of so many of my acquanitances whose conversation is dominated by the condition of their superannuation. You get more satisfaction out of making a difference to the lives of others than you ever will blaming the poor from being poor and holding yourself up sanctimoniously as the example of righteous living.
    Paulodapotter
    30th Oct 2015
    11:10pm
    You're quite right Jannie. Circumstances often circumvent choice. This is something that's hard for the santimonious fortunate to come to grips with.
    Paulodapotter
    30th Oct 2015
    11:13pm
    Virginia, you can have it both ways, but you have to be lucky whatever the circumstances. A big bus up the bum can end it all very suddenly.
    Libby
    31st Oct 2015
    12:00am
    Maybe when the younger generation start work, their Superannuation should start right from there with the right Super Fund you can trust? but when people move from job to job they don't bother to inform their fund of the change. But then on the other hand things do happen to lose it. I was nearly 40 when I went back to work and the compulsory superannuation started so I didn't earn enough to retire on anyway but invested it in bank self manage funds after drawing it out from MLC when I was 55! Unfortunately rates are low but still better than nothing! I would consider myself fortunate not to lose all my entitlements when I was made redundant after working with a charitable organization for 14 years and only 3% at the time. Why ARE WE PAYING for the greedy politician's lifetime retirement? TOTALLY UNFAIR!!!! Bet they'll run away with the people's money when Australia goes broke.
    Libby
    31st Oct 2015
    12:14am
    Wouldn't it be good if we did what the Scandinavians (I think) did? They got their lifetime savings from cradle to grave getting over $400 per week in retirement taken out of their wages when employed? If the parents worked then the children are protected until they are employed. The reason is they paid very high taxes to be able to retire on good income. I couldn't believe what I saw when it was on TV a few years ago. It was on the topic of how Superannuations in other countries worked and how our own was weak. Did anyone else see it or remember it?
    mangomick
    31st Oct 2015
    8:25am
    Libby if you go back a long way we did actually pay to the Government a separate amount to fund retirement . It was called a Social Services Contribution or some such thing. Unfortunately Governments being as they are they rolled that surcharge into the Generalised taxation rate. Any money that was still in the separate account was rolled over into Consolidated revenue by ,I think ,Phillip Lynch, the Treasurer at the time.
    So in effect the Pension should be an entitlement as the PAYG and the contribution are all rolled into the current tax rate. Governments however would have you believe it is not an entitlement but welfare because they have squandered all the money collected.
    Paulodapotter
    31st Oct 2015
    9:28am
    That must have been a long way back, Mango. For years I paid into a superannuation fund which was cashed out when I left teaching. It was so little, it would have supported me for about three months. Yes, it went back into consolidated revenue before payout. I don't think it was ever designed as an intitlement for the pension. The pension was an entitlement for all regardless of one's contribution or lack thereof. It still is for those who need it. The simple fact is that, with an ever-increasing aging population, we needed a different mechanism to support ourselves in retirement. Why we give tax breaks to those that don't need it, mystifies me. Retirement should be abolished as an outdated notion and I believe it will be regarded as such eventually.
    Oars
    31st Oct 2015
    4:29pm
    The difference between balancing our private household budget, and forecasting our future expenses, and that of the Government (of any ilk) is that we can't print money, and yet they can. They call it "Treasury budget balancing" for gods sake !!!
    mangomick
    31st Oct 2015
    8:40pm
    Paulo. The Chifley Government introduced an additional levy on personal income tax which, along with a payroll tax from employers, was credited to the National Welfare Fund. There was, however, no direct link between contributions and benefits and the pension. The National Welfare Fund, whilst set up as a means of establishing a base from which a national superannuation fund could be operated, was in practice merely an accounting device until its abolition in 1985.

    Here is a direct extract from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 1988 Yearbook article History of Pensions and other Benefits in Australia
    ‘There was a further development of specific relevance to social security in 1945. The Commonwealth split the personal income tax into two components. One, the social services contribution, was to be used exclusively to finance social security cash payments. Revenue from the contribution was paid into the National Welfare Fund, from which all such cash payments were to be made, but there was no link between personal contributions and entitlements. The fund was supplemented by subventions from payroll tax and general revenue. In the event, the social services contribution was again merged into a single personal income tax in 1950. All cash payments are now made direct from general revenue.’

    Yes, there was a brief five year period when the politicians decided to be accountable and provision for age pensions. That all ended in 1950.

    31st Oct 2015
    10:42am
    It's not my fault. It's Jeff Kennett's fault
    Libby
    31st Oct 2015
    11:54pm
    Mango, I don't know how far back you are going but when we started work at the age of 16 (1965) until I married and had children, went back to work in at age 39 (1987) Superannuation was NEVER mentioned in our employment and we didn't even know about it then. I think it was made compulsory in 1988? It also depended on how much we earned or can afford to voluntarily top up and that's what I did. Invest it and let it keep topping up with the interest rate you get from the bank, not much I know but still better than nothing. The higher the interest, the more tax you pay so I don't pay tax at all on my meagre investment but at least I can keep my head above water with the bills coming in!
    mangomick
    1st Nov 2015
    6:55am
    It was an additional levy that Chiefly put on wage earners that was on top of Income tax, to pay for Pensions and Social Security. it was eventually just added into your tax bill.
    Now the Government doesn't acknowledge that everyone has been paying a component of their tax towards a retirement payment and make out that you should be funding your own retirement.
    In actual fact though wage earners have always paid a portion of their tax towards a retirement income. It's just that Governments have squandered it.