We recently received an anonymous letter at YOURLifeChoices, addressed to all retirees
We recently received an anonymous letter at YOURLifeChoices, which was addressed to all retirees in Australia. It discusses one Australian’s frustrations with the asset-test based Age Pension in Australia, and argues that other countries around the world are successfully supporting all of their retirees, no matter where they would fall in an asset test. What do you think? Is Australia looking after its retirees? Or do you agree with Anonymous that we have a very long way to go?
To all retirees in Australia,
At the outset we live to work or work to live in order to satisfy what we ought to want and need. We enjoy the beauty our country has to offer and, at the same time pay our taxes, as is our moral obligation to this country of ours.
We enjoy a peaceful serenity across the wide shores; the quite mountains, the land so wonderful, its beaches, lakes, rivers and inlets teeming with all sorts of fish and wildlife. This vast landscape, its lakes and seas, dictates its beauty with lush colours surrounded by views beyond description to anyone’s eyes. It is unique, its culture and land so vast with plains and valleys spread across as far as the eye can see. We truly appreciate what the beauty of nature has given, the sad thing is when you retire everything changes. Pensioners like us will learn to tone down, we struggle and all of the above beauty which nature has given to us means nothing if you can’t afford to live, its beauty and culture is wasted for we live not getting our exact entitlements due to the asset test.
In Germany there is no such thing as asset test, which means less office work and less hassle for everyone. Everything has been done accordingly without affecting Government assets – funding for every citizen has always been part of the obligation to pay their dues.
Not giving the pensioners a pension unless they pass an asset test is how the Government gets off the hook of their moral responsibility to us. I’ve notice that being one of the best economies in Europe, such as Germany, didn’t cause it to disregard its obligation – it expects the young and the old to pay their taxes but, at the same time, include tax subsidies to cover pensioners and so the cycle goes on and on.
Most of us (retired) are willing and able, healthy and willing to continue to do so for as long as it takes.
One change I feel would help improve our economy is to give pensioners support, incentives and guidance to whoever would invest in Australia. We should also offer these things to pensioners who create jobs for the younger generation and generations to come, with tax offsets or incentives to those retirees who engage in business. For me it’s about time Australia accepted a change to make this country a better place to live for everyone, both psychologically and morally.
Many years have passed, but never has this issue been debated until now. We pensioners must wake the sleeping government, shake it to act properly so that if we work all year ‘round, tirelessly, then we must be given chance for a change to better our lives, rather than becoming bitter as we watch them get worse.
If funding shortages is another problem, one change is to cut down hard on charity intended outside our shores and redirect that amount to focus on pensioners who were once the forefront of our economy as taxpayers. The saying goes that charity begins at home. Not giving us a fair go is complete neglect. This opinion is arguably one sided as it strives to prove we pensioners are neglected, however, it has been done without a hitch in other countries which are now enjoying the benefits of helping pensioners live life to the fullest.
Editor's note: It is worthwhile noting that countries such as Germany and the UK, which don't have means tested pensions, do require the majority of citizens to pay a type of national insurance based on their earnings. This is over and above any income tax paid and goes towards the provision of pensions.
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