Age Pension: Industry Super Australia calls tempered changes

ISA has called for the May 2015 budget pension changes to be wound back.

Age Pension: Industry Super Australia calls tempered changes

In a 43-page submission to the tax review, Industry Super Australia (ISA) has called on the Federal Government to temper the changes to the Age Pension that are due to come into effect on 1 January 2017. The ISA believes that winding back the Age Pension changes, along with drastically reducing annual superannuation contribution limits, will make the retirement system more coherent and should encourage low- and middle-income earners to save.

"It would be a serious mistake to think that significant short-term budget savings are available from the super system. Without careful thought we could make the system worse not better. Short term savings could come at a long-term cost," said Industry Super Australia Chief Executive David Whiteley.

The ISA has said in its submission that the January 2017 changes to the means testing regime for the Age Pension would achieve savings for the Government in an untenable manner. The ISA is suggesting that the taper rate, which is due to increase to $3, needs to be increased by a lesser amount, to $2.

The ISA’s proposals contained in its supplementary submission to the tax review include:

  • a 25 per cent rebate for all income earners on contributions (capped at an appropriate level) and limiting total contributions to $50,000 per year, rather than $230,000 currently
  • A targeted Superseed contribution paid into the accounts for younger workers, particularly women to maximize the magic of compound interest
  • a fairer Age Pension asset test with a taper of no more than $2 per $1000 of assets
  • level earnings taxes of 15 per cent in accumulation and the retirement phase with a rebate for earnings under $50,000 per annum in retirement.

Read more from www.afr.com

Opinion: Uncertain retirement landscape future

The last three years have seen significant changes to the retirement landscape in Australia, but even after all these changes, the future of the retirement system is still uncertain.

The latest submission by Industry Super Australia (ISA) has thrown another difference of opinion into the ring. The suggested changes make a lot of sense, but a Federal Government struggling to rein-in a budget deficit may not see them in the same light.

The retirement system is too important to the economic success of Australia’s future to simply accept changes on face value. We should be encouraging organisations such as ISA to work alongside Government in preparing a sustainable model that focuses on the big picture for all Australians.

What do you think? Is the Federal Government too focused on reducing the budget deficit to ensure there’s a retirement system that will have an outcome that’s better for the country and those in retirement? Are you feeling uncertain about your future because of the confusion over the future of the retirement system and the constant changes?





    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    15th Dec 2015
    10:19am
    Limiting the amount contributors are able to make into super will limit the rorts. Average Australians are not able to make contributions of $200 000 plus pa and one needs to understand that people who can DO NOT NEED THE SUPERANNUATION SYSTEM OTHER THAN TO AVOID PAYING FAIR TAXES. That is the game.
    It sounds like the super is just protecting its patch. What else is new for.
    Gazza
    15th Dec 2015
    10:32am
    Ditto, Mick!
    Happy cyclist
    15th Dec 2015
    10:33am
    Must agree with Mick. If you can afford to put more than $200,000 pa into super then you do no need tax breaks. If I HAD $200,000 pa I would be retired and enjoying my freedom.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    10:47am
    Agree absolutely. I've been saying this for a long time. The system needs to be focused on enabling battlers to be at least substantially self-supporting in retirement. We should not be directing benefits to the rich.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    10:48am
    And yes, the taper rate change needs review. At $3 per $1000 it amounts to a tax of approx. 160% of investment earnings, which is unacceptable by any fair standard. Punishing people for saving will be seriously detrimental in the long term as it will remove any incentive to strive for self-sufficiency.
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    11:50am
    I don't think you people understand what you're agreeing to?
    Do you understand the difference between a tax deduction and a tax rebate?
    Where does the $230,000 come from? Is that a combined total of $180,000 non concessional and $50,000 concessional limit for the over 55s?
    If that's the case then under this proposal from ISA we would see the $35,000 concessional limit for the under 55s raised to $50,000 with a 25% rebate?
    Why should a high income earner receive a 25% rebate on $50,000???
    Is the 25% rebate to replace the 15% contributions tax?
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    1:11pm
    Frank, you kill me! I have no idea re the questions posed by you. I have no idea of the full implications of the suggested proposals. Yet, all posting above agree with mick ie. Limit the 'rort's' ( which would be what exactly) and 'super is just protecting it's patch' (how?). But they all agree with mick even though his posting is all but meaningless???

    This is yet another great topic that will end up in a slinging match of baseless ideas!!!!
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    1:31pm
    Peter, now that I can agree on :)
    MICK
    15th Dec 2015
    3:18pm
    Frank the voice of the Liberal Party strikes again. The only thing that matters at the end of the day is what is costs taxpayers. The way the rich structure their affairs may seem fair to them but if the result is avoiding the tax system then I beg to differ. Maybe instead of throwing figures from all over the park concentrate on working out the savings a wealthy person enjoys compared to a person on an average salary. That way you compare apples with apples.
    Hasbeen
    15th Dec 2015
    3:57pm
    One could be excused for thinking that this site is being paid to promote the super industry propaganda.

    This is the third similar article posted recently.

    Time to start doing your own research, & provide untainted information rather than publishing industry press handouts, unexamined.
    LiveItUp
    15th Dec 2015
    5:18pm
    If you don't allow these lump sums to be put into super you deny those inheriting wealth to use that wealth to fund their retirement. Instead people are likely to spend more of this inherited wealth on the big four wheel drives, caravans, luxury trips etc and then rely upon the pension.
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    5:33pm
    Bonny, I agree with that. A $250,000 investment on a 4WD and a Caravan would be valued at $150,000 after a few short years.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    5:54pm
    Bonny, you contradict yourself. You just can't make up your mind, can you?

    On the one hand you want the wealthy to retain the right to put big lump sums into super - because otherwise people are likely to spend more of this inherited wealth on the big four wheel drives, caravans, luxury trips etc and then rely upon the pension. But on the other hand you support effectively ''taxing'' less well off retirees at 160% of earnings - forcing them to dip into savings to live, which of course will tempt them to spend on travel, boats or caravans or over-invest in the family home to avoid the very harsh punishment for saving.

    Appears you are just one of the privileged elite who want to crush the middle class and stop people moving up in the world, but keep lining the pockets of the rich and greedy.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    6:42pm
    guess what, the first four to react to this article are the normal labor stooges, labor mick and his mates, fast eddy must be slowing up or did not receive the instructions of labor comrade mick in time, love to see them for just once to understand the question asked, but that be asking if there is a brain between them, as for the comment of peterrj, just try to read the question asked in this article before you agree with comrade mick's statements, just because his labor stooges and trolls agree, show some leadership and start thinking for yourself, there are enough drones in this world not to add more to them!
    LiveItUp
    15th Dec 2015
    6:54pm
    No I disagree Rainey I want a decent future for our kids not one where they have to pay for those who can look after themselves. I want those who get the pension because they are entitled to but don't need it to be stopped. Why should our kids struggle to pay rates, insurance and other things while these people get big discounts? It simply does not make any sense to me.

    These are not less well off retirees if they own a house and have over $1 million in other assets. Our kids now need two income just to make ends meet as they struggle to pay full price for everything.

    I'm not stopping anyone moving up in the world but these ridiculous pension rules are stopping our kids moving up in the world.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    7:15pm
    Bonny, I think you have a major comprehension problem. If you punish people for saving by taking $1.28 of every dollar earned they will NOT save. They WILL put their hand out for the pension. You cannot reduce the aged pension bill by forcing 560,000 people who would otherwise be nearly self-funded to spend up big to avoid being severely penalized for being frugal.

    As for your kids struggling to pay rates, etc. PLEASE! The young today are a thousand times better off than we ever hoped to be. Let them reduce their expectations a little - go to restaurants less often, take local holidays instead of overseas, buy an older, smaller home instead of a new brick mansion as a first home... Furniture, household items, cars, appliances,clothes, travel - all way cheaper in proportion to wages than when we were young. Interest rates a tiny fraction of what we paid. The young ARE NOT doing it tough by comparison. They just expect a great deal more than we did.

    And these ''ridiculous rules'' that you support will certainly stop our kids moving up in the world because they will remove the incentive to work and save, make it impossible for retirees to leave a little to their offspring or to give them a helping hand, and ultimately drive the cost of aged pensions through the roof as fewer and fewer people strive to be self-funded because the punishment if you don't quite make the grade is just too harsh.

    Obviously you flunked math, Bonny. Offering retirees an extra $78 a year for every $1000 of their savings they spend, when they can only currently get between $30 and $50 return on that money CAN NOT SAVE THE GOVERNMENT MONEY. Even expert advisers are waking up that the taper rate change was dumb and destructive!
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    7:51pm
    Heemsy I agree Fast Eddie is slowing down a little. Ha ha ha ha!! But happy cyclist is still full of energy. I think mick may have some skills we are unaware of? They all agree with Labor mick even though he didn't say anything???
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    8:22pm
    Rainey, looks like I also flunked maths as I am totally lost with your assertion,'If you punish people for saving by taking $1.28 of every dollar earned they will NOT save.'

    Where do you get 'every dollar earned', the rate '$1.28' and the $1.28 is taken from where exactly'????
    LiveItUp
    15th Dec 2015
    9:00pm
    OK I guess I flunked maths but not too sure what that bit of wall paper is that says something about a bachelor of maths and quantitative methods.

    Even with that under my belt I can't work out your maths either.

    All I know is that the day is fast approaching whereby some pensioners that should not be pensioners will have to do some fancy maths to keep their pensions. Maybe this is where this fancy maths has evolved to master.

    My ordinary maths says that it will save the taxpayers some coin in fact quite a bit of coin. Sorry folks you will need to spend some of your money to get the pension back.
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    10:28pm
    Rained and Bonny, OK, I think I get the Govt $78 bonus/$1000 -v- the less attractive $30/$50 self invested earning concept. But I am still working on the $1.28 figure????

    Bonny, put on your strictly quantitative maths hat: Is the Aged Pension a good deal or not?
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    10:33pm
    Bonny, Rainey explains the $1.28 figure this way:

    The new taper rate is $3 per $1000 per fortnight, or $78 per year per $1000. But the investment return is only $50 per $1000 saved. So savers with over the threshold are losing $28 per $1000 saved per annum. In effect, they are being ''taxed'', because they are being denied a pension others get in order to save tax dollars. At that rate, the effective ''tax'' rate is 78/50, or 156% of the investment return. It has been rounded up to 160% because there are administrative costs to run the investment, and a portion of the assets will be non-returning (car, furniture, personal possessions and liquid cash for living costs). And we haven't yet factored in the value of pension benefits, which further compounds losses to retirees hit by the new taper rate.

    Of course the scenario is worse if the retiree is only getting 3% bank interest. But regardless, it seems ludicrous to ''tax'' someone more than $1.28 for every dollar saved, and then suggest that the way for Australians to get out of the economic doldrums is to save!!!

    Who would work if they were taxed $1.28 for every dollar earned? Who will save when they lose $1.28 in pension benefits for every dollar saved?

    Bonny, What do you say about these calculations???? Is Rainey right???
    LiveItUp
    15th Dec 2015
    10:55pm
    It really doesn't matter because it's just a case of where the line is drawn for the cut off. If someone is now outside the assets test then they could say they are losing out because their savings deny them a pension. So should they still save?

    So now the line is to be drawn at a lower level and anyone above this is losing out because they are now denied a pension.

    So with the new tapering rate a pension loses more of their pension faster. This is a good idea in that it forces people to spend their assets to qualify for the pension in the future. This also stimulates the economy.

    Pensioners are in fact their own worst enemy because they only spend the interest received not the capital. The governments sees that this capital is not being spent so use the new tapering to try and force people to spend their capital. To them if a person is not reducing their capital then they must be getting too much income so the result is to reduce the pension for these people. So stop being so fugal start spending your capital.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    5:20am
    ''It really doesn't matter''? No wonder the world is in a mess if the ''educated'' think it doesn't matter.

    Someone should tell the dimwits who concoct these idiotic rules that people can't be duped into behaviour that is against their own interests - not even with BS claims that it's good for the country so they should ''think of the common good''.

    The solution is simple enough. Do the damn math and construct the means test to recognize the realities of saving and investment and provide incentive and encouragement. It needn't cost any more to be sensible and logical. In fact, it would cost a hell of a lot less. But the current system is all over the place, catering to privilege. Looking after the high income earners with their fancy degrees that mean nothing other than they sat in a classroom for a few hours and regurgitated stuff other ''educated'' people claim to be fact. (I saw a classic example of the value of university degrees. A friend of my daughter obtained one in sociology - with honours. She wrote a paper that completely misrepresented history. When challenged, she said ''I know it's wrong, but if I wrote the truth I'd fail. My professors don't want the truth acknowledged.)

    Pensioners are NOT their own worst enemy because they only spend the interest on their money. They are smart planners who assess their priorities and lifestyle choices and set saving goals accordingly, and they save their capital for the things they saved to acquire. They don't go without luxuries for someone else's benefit. They go without luxuries in working life to enable them to achieve their goals later. Later might be at 65, or 70, or 80, or even on death - by providing for loved ones who may otherwise be unable to achieve their own desired lifestyle.

    It's funny. Bonny thinks the retirees who, despite often having low incomes and little opportunity, managed to save enough to be almost self-sufficient (and would have been self-sufficient if economists hadn't stuffed up and caused a global collapse!) are dumb and don't know how to make the right spending decisions. So how did they get to have those savings? Well, she's probably right, actually. They are the people who don't manipulate the system and put pressure on the budget by lying and cheating to get more than their due. They are the honest folk who live frugally and plan carefully, and then get screwed over by idiots who peddle stupid nonsense like ''you can live on your capital. You don't need income.''

    If you take away the right to plan and make choices and force people to sacrifice the rewards of saving, they stop saving. Simple. When they stop saving, the cost of the aged pension rises. The economy slumps further.

    The fools in power are happy enough to only take 50c in the dollar from the more privileged who can continue to earn - even those earning quite substantial incomes - AS LONG AS THEY DIDN'T BOTHER TO SAVE MUCH. But screw the less fortunate who have to rely on their savings because they wrecked their bodies in physical work and they weren't fortunate enough to be given a taxpayer-funded education or to inherit wealth from someone the taxpayer subsidized to accumulate a huge superannuation fund.

    DO NOT SAVE, FOLKS. IT'S A SIN (unless you can save more than about $1.5 million). Bonny says it's okay to do it as long as you accept that you will be forced to spend your savings according to her edict, ''for the common good'', but don't you dare save so that you can achieve your personal lifestyle goals. That is simply NOT permitted unless you are privileged enough to get over that magic mark where your investment income exceeds the aged pension plus benefits plus allowed earnings. We can't have the working class improving their lot and enjoying retirement, can we now?

    Let's watch the economy go to hell in a basket, rather than use common sense and contest the rubbish peddled by the ''educated experts'' who are really only looking after their own interests at our expense.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    5:24am
    BTW. Bonny says ''This is a good idea in that it forces people to spend their assets to qualify for the pension in the future. This also stimulates the economy.''

    So she's admitting the policy might create a short burst of economic activity at the cost of much greater expense to support pensioners later. Exactly the reverse of what Morrison says the Government is trying to achieve and exactly the reverse of what she says she desires. In fact, she is supporting transferring a massively increased financial obligation to the next generation! Growing the cost of supporting retirees by ensuring that far fewer can be self-sufficient in old age.
    Rae
    16th Dec 2015
    8:22am
    Rainey once again it is short sighted policy aimed at retaining power and privilege by winning the next election. Yes Bonny has fallen into that belief. Perhaps we all should. Personally I think the sooner this neo liberal ideology crashes and burns the economy the better the rebuild will be. At the moment it is a long slow train wreck waiting to happen as money is sucked out of the economy into corporate coffers and asset prices.

    Savers have been disadvantaged for at least a decade unless they were fortunate in asset allocation and timing.

    I managed to be entirely self funding although I never drew more than $43000 take home salary after full tax and super contributions.That included periods of running rural enterprise and retail businesses.

    Two people had to work during the 70s and 80s and 90s to purchase a home, pay childcare without rebates and raise a family.
    And only the high income people could buy in the trendy inner city suburbs. Same as now.

    This current indulged generation with high salaries, low taxes, government assistance for childcare, baby care, home purchase, private schools etc so they can buy the big SUVs and caravans, and holidays and brunches and coffees and designer everything that opens and shuts need to suck it up and try the frugal saving for a year or three.

    The savers probably do need to spend a bit but rather than leave the money to the grandkids to go to Disneyland, I say take them yourself. Forget being frugal as it is now a mug's game and enjoy some well earned experiences while you can.

    Draw down the savings and live a little. As Bonny says you can't take it with you and if you want to help your kids give them some money now if possible.

    The mobile home might be the best thing you could buy as this Great Recession rolls on.

    The hard working Boomers have been had big time here for at least 40 years. Peace, love and brown rice just doesn't cut it anymore.

    Yes Rainey that is entirely what she suggests except ration out those savings for a continued frugal life. I say to hell with it join the gen X and Y and have a lifestyle.
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    9:17am
    I like your post Rae.
    Interesting thing is that genY has whinged for many years about 'poor them' whilst spending like there is no tomorrow.........and then blaming their parents for the fact that THEY cannot get a house. I wonder how this miserable bunch would feel if boomers dod spend it all?
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    9:32am
    I notice Bonny didn't answer Peterrj's question. She can't respond to the numbers. She can only waffle with an idle and irresponsible claim that ''it doesn't matter''.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    9:35am
    Guess what, Bonny? It DOES. It matters greatly to the taxpayers of tomorrow. It matters greatly to the savers who are being denied the comfort they worked so hard for and now fear the rising costs of health and aged care because they have to erode their savings long before they reach the end of their lives. It actually matters greatly to the intelligent here who understand that the future of our society depends on doing what is right and fair and economically responsible. And it matters greatly to the genuinely needy and those who care about the needy, because there will be less and less resources to meet their needs as these ill-conceived policy changes begin to really bite.
    Peterrj
    17th Dec 2015
    1:29am
    You are all doing my head in. I can't keep up with all these wild assertions being sprayed about as fact. And you keep on jumping from one concept to another without pausing for breath. It's almost impossible to join in on this rant as half truths are blended into falsehoods and political speeches!!!!

    The joke on us all is that the tapering of $3 for every $1,000 IS the law! It has passed legislation and will come into effect in 2017. What we say here will NOT change the law. The heading topic above is but a minute extract of the full submission yet most are talking about these proposals as if they really knew what they actually meant??? I seriously doubt that. In any case, it's all twaddle ... by all of us. It's hard to have a serious debate as we all only push our own wheel barrows and ridicule those who dare think differently.

    I am only here to review Rainey's assertions re the figure of $1.60

    I have to get out of this particular posting due to the enormous ill will that is floating about and I will try and be polite and start a new posting at the current very end of this topic.
    Dot
    15th Dec 2015
    10:21am
    I'm fed up with Governments. Since arriving in this country in 1950 after WW11 as refugees we've saved and lived within our means, no holidays, no 4 wheel drives, no squandering, we paid for private health, we did without and paid for our sons private schools, and it goes on, yet todays refugees receive benefits that would blow your mind, take for instance the 12,000 that are to be brought in apparently to cost $7 hundred million.
    Those that have arrived here in the last decade plus have received more in welfare than I have after 65 years.
    Happy cyclist
    15th Dec 2015
    10:38am
    Dot, this is just nonsense. You were very lucky to come her in a time of full employment which enabled you and your family to do what everyone did then -- to work and enjoy the modest benefits of that work. The world is a different place today. Refugees DO NOT receive benefits that would blow anyone's mind but if they cannot get employment then of course they must be supported as anyone else should be so their children can be educated and become high-tax payers in their turn. It does society as a whole NO GOOD to have people unable to enjoy a basic level of survival. That is not the society we should want. Stop being so selfish and share like we were happy to share with you when you arrived.
    GoldenOldie
    15th Dec 2015
    11:23am
    Well said Happy cyclist! Too many folk, perhaps carried away with their own emotional resentment, start to utter untruths as proven facts or merely pick the bits that seem to fuel their resentment. For example, Dot refers to the 12,000 refugees costing $7 hundred million - over how long a period? how does this compare to the benefit costs for non-refugees? how much will the work and income of those resettled refugees bring to our economy? This negativity and resentment is surprising coming from a self-confessed former refugee. Surely we can continue to offer what was offered to you - a second chance?
    maelcolium
    15th Dec 2015
    11:43am
    It's seems bizarre that someone who benefited from migration would seek to deny others the opportunity. This envious perspective is why we have divisions in society. Quite disturbing actually.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    11:50am
    I have to sympathize with Dot. I don't know what benefits today's refugees get, but I do know that a whole generation of refugees and immigrants came here with nothing and worked very hard to assimilate into Australian society and contribute to this nation's growth. Today, too many gripe about everything and demand we change our ways for them, and it is a fact that certain nationalities are exploiting our welfare system (by ''child swapping'' and claiming child care benefits dishonestly among other methods). My sources suggest they are also getting excessively generous handouts, and if not, there is something seriously wrong with the way the government allocates funds for their support and processing.

    There is far too much welfare misdirected in this country. I have a personal gripe about the money that goes to Aboriginals (yes, I know, I'm racist! Actually, it's my accusers who are racist, not me.) There are huge handouts based solely on race and without any consideration of circumstances or need (and some who benefit are privileged, well educated, earning good salaries). Meanwhile whites who were stolen get nothing regardless of need. (Yes, thousands of white Australian children aged 3 and upward were stolen from good but poor homes and abused and deprived in institutions). Care leavers needs are ignored despite recognition, now, that they suffered years of abuse that damaged them irreparably. The genuinely disabled and chronically ill get very little. And people like Dot who worked hard and saved are now suffering grossly unfair dealing and denied a fair reward for their efforts.

    I agree we need to be compassionate, and realistic about the capacity of people to find employment. We must afford people a basic level of survival. But we need to stop putting people in boxes based on race or country of origin etc. and distribute welfare fairly according only to need and circumstance, while at the same time acknowledging that hard work and frugal living must be fairly rewarded if we are to encourage it, and if we don't encourage it, there is no hope for the future. It sounds good to say we'll take money from the have-a-little's to give to the have-nots, but it simply does not work. It's NOT selfish to expect to be permitted to enjoy a fair and well-earned reward for years of effort. And it's NOT selfish to expect that the welfare system be properly managed to be genuinely fair and to maintain incentives.
    Pablo
    15th Dec 2015
    11:54am
    I agree totally with you Dot. People of your generation who migrated to Australia in those days came with the desire to work, the desire to assimilate into Australian society, and the desire to become Australians! Unlike today where so-called refugees (otherwise known as country-shopping economic migrants) just want everything while giving nothing! They want to come here because we have a good welfare system and a good standard of living. As Australians, if we were being attacked we would stand up and fight back because no one has the right to attack us without expecting retaliation - these so-called refugees are just using the turmoil in their country as an excuse to leave and come to Australia rather than standing up for their country.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    11:54am
    I don't think Dot is speaking from an envious perspective. Nor is she denying anyone opportunity. She made good use of her second chance and contributed to the nation that extended her that privilege. She is merely asking that today's refugees do the same. Many do, but far too many do not. And it's not the ''envious perspective'' creating division in our society. It's unfair demands and unrealistic expectations from select groups of people who want to trade on sympathy to claim far more than their due.
    Charlie
    15th Dec 2015
    1:02pm
    If dot came here just after the war, I don't think there was a welfare system. There was something called "dole" but it was far from a welfare system, It may have been something more akin to food vouchers.

    If there was plenty of employment it was because wages were low and there was a lot more hard manual work to be had. It was post war rebuilding time and time for having children to replace those lost in the war. A war so horrific and on such a large scale that it would make todays refugees look like pussies.

    Many migrants made their way to north Queensland to cut sugar cane by hand in tropical heat. There were no harvesters. Others bought little stores and opened 7days a week sometimes working 12 hours a day. I can understand why Dot thinks the refugees "demanding" sanction in this country have got it comparatively easy.
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    1:26pm
    Wow, would the real Rainey please put up his hand? At last commentary without a totally biased political perspective and no name calling? Has someone hijacked Rainey's avatar???? Would this Rainey please keep up the good work.

    Dot, well done, welcome aboard! One of my relatives came here in chains and, a few years later, one jumped ship from a foreign Navy to settle in Australia. Welfare handouts for these relatives of mine did not exist. I am not against refugees provide they come here to assimilate ..... Which means that I am a racist in some eyes!
    tj
    15th Dec 2015
    6:44pm
    Dot my sentiments exactly,another very valid point to bear in mind is that after WW2 a lot off the incoming people were in fact our former enemies. My father fought in the British navy but i remember going to school in the early fifties with a kid whose father was in the german army, he still wore his traditional clothes he wore back in his homeland but we used to socialize together at school and visit each others homes.Every body was on the whole all equal ,but now new ball game .Minority's rule the roost

    15th Dec 2015
    10:27am
    Lets face it the welfare system is always going to change at the moment this country can't afford to pay all those that seem to think they need it.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    10:53am
    Robbo, if it changes to punish savers by effectively taxing them 160% of their investment earnings and making them worse off than pensioners, it will prove a strong disincentive to endeavor and ultimately drive welfare costs sky high. Already, large numbers of those affected are planning big spending on travel, home improvements, etc. It's clear the claimed savings won't materialize.

    The Government and Greens took a simplistic view and sold it with gross misrepresentations and idle claims of savings that are not achievable this way. And their claims of fairness can be clearly demonstrated to be false and cruel. They need to think again and structure the system to be fair and retain incentives. Otherwise, it will definitely NOT be affordable.
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    1:41pm
    Rainey, have you had a personality transplant because to a large extent I generally agree with your conclusions and your comments have grave implications for everyone ranging from young tax payers all the way to those in nursing homes!

    However, I am really only interested in stats. I agree that the pension changes have the potential to do punish 'savers' but can you please explain how this is 'effectively taxing them 160% of their investment earnings'? How do,you calculate this 160%???

    Note, I also agree with you conclusion that those with attractive Super balances could be worse off than pensioners.

    Those pensioners who think that they are getting a bad deal from the Govt please read and then re-read Rainey's comments above.
    It all boils down to three competing issues: Pensioners don't get enough, Self Funded retires can get less than the Pensioners and the Govt is broke! Now where is the way forward.

    OK, I know, I can't prove that the Govt is broke and that Labor does not accept that we have a deficit to worry about so they will spend more when next in power! And that's a real worry for future generations????
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    6:20pm
    The 160% is an estimate, Peterrj, because it will vary depending on what returns someone gets. But the government is saying returns average around 5% p.a. Many get much less, but we'll put that aside for the moment. We'll also temporarily ignore the fact that many retirees will be paying around $5000 pa in management and audit costs to manage their investment.

    The new taper rate is $3 per $1000 per fortnight, or $78 per year per $1000. But the investment return is only $50 per $1000 saved. So savers with over the threshold are losing $28 per $1000 saved per annum. In effect, they are being ''taxed'', because they are being denied a pension others get in order to save tax dollars. At that rate, the effective ''tax'' rate is 78/50, or 156% of the investment return. It has been rounded up to 160% because there are administrative costs to run the investment, and a portion of the assets will be non-returning (car, furniture, personal possessions and liquid cash for living costs). And we haven't yet factored in the value of pension benefits, which further compounds losses to retirees hit by the new taper rate.

    Of course the scenario is worse if the retiree is only getting 3% bank interest. But regardless, it seems ludicrous to ''tax'' someone more than $1.28 for every dollar saved, and then suggest that the way for Australians to get out of the economic doldrums is to save!!!

    Who would work if they were taxed $1.28 for every dollar earned? Who will save when they lose $1.28 in pension benefits for every dollar saved?

    There's a strong incentive for affected retirees to spend up big or over-invest in housing, and for younger workers to limit their savings so that they don't exceed the new thresholds and can eventually claim full pensions and benefits.

    Bonny claims superior knowledge of investment, returns and budgeting, yet endorses this absurd scenario which is clearly counter-productive and destined to cancel out saving, reduce investment in superannuation, and drive pension costs UP UP UP.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    6:22pm
    Read https://theconversation.com/why-pensioners-are-cruising-their-way-around-budget-changes-42544 for more detail.
    LiveItUp
    15th Dec 2015
    7:01pm
    I can't see a problem with pensioners cruising their way around these budget changes. Isn't that what retirement is all about? The odd thing about this is that cruising is about the cheapest way to travel these days whereas a land based holiday is considerably more expensive. Compare the cost of an Alaskan cruise against the cost of a tour for a similar time in Canada itself.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    8:22pm
    I am blown away by the sheer idiocy of your comments, Bonny. First you want to save money in the budget so the young can improve their lot, by stopping some people getting the pension. Then you can't see a problem with those people cruising around the pension changes so the government savings disappear and the budget is in worse shape. Meanwhile, you want the government to spend or forego taxes to encourage saving for retirement, but then you want to punish savers so harshly in retirement that they go and blow a few hundred grand to avoid an effective 160% tax on their savings, and despite the incentives nobody with a brain would want to save because it means you pay a massive penalty for every extra dollar you put away.

    Why would you want to give people incentives to save and then penalize them for doing precisely what you urged them to do?

    You seem to have a gripe about someone saving to give a little to their offspring or grandchildren, but no problem with them wasting money and claiming the pension. Someone who saved to ensure they could afford laser eye surgery and dentures when they need them or to ensure they can afford quality aged care should be forced to give up those goals and live on their savings so your kids can pay less, but someone who blows their life savings on cruises should be rewarded with a generous pension plus benefits, and it doesn't matter whether or not the next generation can afford to pay for it.

    If people invest in a home, they should be punished. But if they gamble or cruise they should be rewarded.

    Just as long as someone makes spending choice YOU approve, it seems, they are ENTITLED. If they make choices that differ from yours, they should be robbed of everything they worked for.

    And people like you are voting and helping decide who is fit to govern. God help us all! No wonder we have blinkered fools in parliament.
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    8:30pm
    OK Rainey, thanks for the explanation. I'll have to study it later and get back to you. That is an interesting conclusion! I have asked elsewhere re the $1.28, consider those questions answered.
    Rae
    16th Dec 2015
    8:46am
    Rainey I am beginning to think Bonny is quite young. As any experienced traveller knows land based independent travel in the US and Canada is the cheapest way to go. The only cruise necessary is the one dayer out of Seward to see the glaciers and wildlife.

    Buy the Amtrak and Canada rail early bird cheaper tickets with a sleeper. Car hire is cheaper online from here too.

    Although a Caribbean cruise is good value at $130 a day each.

    All done on that $43000 take each year over a lifetime.

    I'm over the young whining they can't have it all right now.

    It is as simple as saving $1 out of every $10 that crosses your palms for about 35 years and investing those $.

    And don't forget to spend some on memories.

    My conclusion on the cost of saving matches yours Rainey. It proves Treasury have no idea at all.
    mogo51
    15th Dec 2015
    10:55am
    Of course this would be the sensible road for the Government to travel, but we know that common sense is not very common in Canberra
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    9:19am
    A prerequisite to being in politics methinks.
    mogo51
    15th Dec 2015
    10:55am
    Totally agree Mick
    Perthite
    15th Dec 2015
    10:58am
    The whole point is missed. Chifley and Menzies set up a scheme where people paid an extra 7% in income tax (Up to 47%) and this was put in a TRUST FUND saying that it would never be classed as welfare but entitlement. In 1977 Malcolm Fraser, Liberal Prime Minister, took that TRUST FUND into general revenue saying that we would cross the pension bridge when it came. Well, it is here. Yes, income tax has been reduced drastically BUT today's pensioners paid for their pensions and should be recompensed instead of threatened all the time.
    Hobbit
    15th Dec 2015
    11:42am
    Exactly Perthite. Our age pensions are NOT welfare, it's the Super we paid into via the Tax system.
    And pensioners still pay taxes via GST, rates, licences, stamp duty.
    Personal Income tax is only about 30% of the government's income stream.

    Most age pensioners are no longer able to work full time, so start the cuts among those who can work, the unmarried mothers who have more children just increase their payments.
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    12:16pm
    There's another more valid point. Fraser followed Whitlam who like Rudd almost destroyed us. He was that bad he had to be sacked by the Queen.
    Do you recall he secretly tried to borrow money from a Pakistani broker by the name of Khemlani?
    This last Labor government has almost destroyed us too. You are forgetting about the hard work required to clean up the Labor mess each time.
    I was embarrassed to hear about the Khemlani Affair back in 1975 because I voted for Gough.
    mangomick
    15th Dec 2015
    1:15pm
    In the end, no loan was ever obtained and no commissions were paid.
    But what was the purpose of these loans?
    The loan was to be used to fund a number of natural resources and energy projects, including the construction of a natural gas pipeline, the electrification of interstate railways and a uranium enrichment plant.
    Rex Connor proclaimed the funds were for the defence of Australia’s mineral resources .
    They didn't go ahead with the loan and where did all our natural resources wealth go to ?
    And how many petro-dollars have Governments since borrowed ?
    His words of "Give me men with creation in their brains " was apt.
    I
    MICK
    15th Dec 2015
    3:28pm
    Frank: tell me when the Liberal Party ever did anything for the nation. If there were no financial gain in it for rich Australians then projects were shelved. The Liberal Party would NEVER have brought in superannuation for all Australians, a fair wage, the Carbon Tax, the NBN, etc. All you ever get under Coalition governments is calls for less tax for the rich and calls to turn average citizens into destitute citizens.
    Tom Tank
    15th Dec 2015
    4:58pm
    Frank you are trying to rewrite history.
    yes Whitlam's government was naïve in economic matters but the fact is that at the end of Fraser's reign the budget was in worse condition than when he took over from Whitlam.
    The Queen did NOT sack Whitlam it was John Kerr acting on the advice he received from two Liberal High Court judges.
    Money was never sought from Khemlani he put himself forward as a broker and the LNP and the media latched onto him to beat the ALP over the head about him.
    Rex Connor's project was to buy up Australia's mineral wealth for the good of the nation and just imagine how well off we would be now if that had happened.
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    5:21pm
    Tom you're not going to tell me it was a conspiracy contrived by the old boys of Fort Street? You don't think Sir John asked her Highness for advice on the matter? And what if she said no don't do it John!??
    Would he have had another 2 scotch's and did it anyway??
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    9:21am
    You are getting desperate Frank. Never acknowledge the truth or the facts do you. So it is with the LNP.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2015
    9:29am
    Is there some hypocrisy going on among the privileged and government? ''Superannuants'' are said to be living off their own money and untouchable, despite the fact that they built their retirement funds substantially with taxpayer dollars, enjoying huge tax concessions. Those with no super paid the full rate of tax, including the 7% levy to pay for pensions, yet the money they contributed to cover the cost of their retirement is ''not theirs'' and their pension is ''welfare'' granted grudgingly and with a perverted and unfair ''means test'' attached.

    The cost to the taxpayer of supporting a so-called ''self-funded retiree'' in retirement is said to be, on average, many times the cost of supporting an aged pensioner. One gets a little taxpayer help in retirement (maybe - if they didn't save much and can't earn much), the other get a lot of taxpayer help before retirement, without the onerous conditions. So how is one ''welfare'' and the other ''their money and an entitlement''?
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    11:34am
    I doubt very much if we can afford to increase the tax concessions on Super?
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    12:01pm
    I don't see anyone suggesting we increase them, Frank. The suggestion is that we redirect benefit in a way that will result in budget savings while being fair and retaining incentives. It makes good sense. Sad that the current LNP seems more focused on increasing inequity and lining the pockets of the wealthy than on common sense budget measures that will drive economic growth.
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    12:31pm
    Rainey can you explain that in a mathematical way? :)
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    2:51pm
    Hi Rainey, nice words but what do they actually mean? Frankly, I don't know??? Can you demonstrate that with figures to back up what you have asserted????
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2015
    9:58pm
    The figures are quoted in the article, Peterrj. And there are copious articles on the Internet estimating the potential savings from various different approaches to reforming superannuation tax concessions. The bottom line is that currently it costs far more to keep a so-called ''self-funded retiree'' in retirement than it does to keep an aged pensioner. The ''self-funded'' receive overly generous tax concessions despite having absolutely no need of them, then enjoy a tax-free income (often very high) in retirement. Meanwhile battlers can't accumulate enough to be even substantially self-funded in retirement because the system is skewed to favour the rich.

    If your income is $37,000 per year or less, your tax concession on super is a mere 4c in the dollar. But if you earn more than $80,000 per annum, you enjoy a concession of 12c in the dollar.

    Sensible advisers are now saying that we should be giving larger concessions to those who most need help to accumulate a retirement nest egg - the lower income earners. High income earners are going to be self-funded in retirement anyway. They don't need either an incentive or help to build an adequate superannuation balance. So why are we giving them 12c in the dollar, and low income earners only 4c? It should, quite obviously, be the other way around.

    Also, why aren't we placing tighter limits on the amount that can be contributed at concessional tax rates? And doesn't it make sense to allow those whose earning might be interrupted (e.g. by pregnancy and early child care) to contribute more in years when earnings are higher to make up for the years when earning are less?

    The ISA proposal suggests substituting a 15c discount that applies to all income-earners equally, and thus clearly benefits higher income earners far more than lower income earners, with a 25% rebate, which means that all income earners get an equal benefit. Someone earning $37,000 pa would get $832.50 pa help from the government, as opposed to $133.20 now. Someone on $80,000 a year would get $1750 as opposed to $864 now, but those earning more than $80,000 would receive that same $1750, whereas currently someone on $250,000 gets $2700 a year benefit. By capping the amount on which rebates apply, the cost of assisting people to build their super is reduced substantially, but low income earners are far better placed to build a decent retirement nest egg.

    The above examples relate only to the 9% employer-funded contribution. Those making voluntary additional contributions (the high income earners, as few low income earners could ever afford to) are claiming 12c in the dollar on thousands more of contribution. Than there's the concessional tax on earnings in the fund. And then there's a tax free pension from it on retirement. Again, someone with a $80,000 a year income from their fund is enjoying a $17547 benefit in retirement, while someone with a $37,000 income gets only $3572.

    Now, aged pensioners are paid some $32,000 a year (homeowner couple) from the public purse and that's tightly means tested. The more you have, the less you receive from the taxpayer. But super is currently working in the reverse. Those with greatest wealth (lowest needs) get the most. The ISA says this should be reversed to match the pension system, where the neediest get the most. Many experts agree, and it's clear that such a reversal of the current approach would cost the government a great deal less - if only by ensuring more people could save to fund their own retirement.

    Mind you, they would also have to reverse their stupid and economically devastating taper rate change, because it cancels all incentive to save unless you are rich enough to get well above the current (not the new) thresholds.
    peedee
    15th Dec 2015
    12:05pm
    Those changes look pretty reasonable. Winding back the taper rate to $2.00 is a good compromise. Re introduces the incentive to save. How about smokin Joe. Does he pass the asset and income test with his new job. What a joke. The current asset cut off for part pension is only 1.8 years of his new annual salary / pension. Talk about leaners and lifters. Another high profiler that gets rewarded for mediocracy.
    Mygasheater
    15th Dec 2015
    12:05pm
    Perhaps an income and asset test should be applied to former politicians who pick up their parliamentary pension from the day they leave office. For a backbencher that's currently just under $100,000pa. As former Treasurer, Joe Hockey's pension is a piffling $180,000pa in addition to his pay as Ambassador. Tea money or pocket money for these fine, upstanding, people of the highest calibre

    Oh and that pension is indexed for life, ie when current pollies get an increase, the former pollies get one too.

    Don't forget to email your local federal member on 1 January to congratulate them for their pay rise.
    Perthite
    15th Dec 2015
    12:29pm
    I so agree Mygasheater. How can they justify all of this and say that we are a drain on the country. They find the money to fight other people's wars, foreign aid which never seems to alleviate the problems in those countries, middle income welfare, etc. etc. One unfairness with the asset test now is that interest is so low that even $200 000 (which I don't have!) will not last long as the pensioners have to live off their actual money will no reimbursement. At $22,000 for a single pensioner, you would be lucky to have enough for 10 years!
    MICK
    15th Dec 2015
    3:31pm
    Better than that they should not get a cent if they pick up another job. Better known as double dipping. Outlawed for the rest of the population and allowable for politicians.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    4:00pm
    Why are we so worried about Joe there is another fat slob named Beasley who he is replacing double dipping as we speak. Not hard to tell who the lefties are.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    11:21pm
    Wrong once more mick. Everyone is allowed to access their super as well as working for pay once they reach a certain age. They can also salary sacrifice their pay to pay back the super they are accessing and pay bugger all tax. Hockey is working within the rules, same as Bomber Beazley has been doing. Gee mick, please get your facts straight.
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    9:25am
    Not too hard to see right wing posts.
    I have my facts straight. Both sides are rorters. You know that. I do not want to hear the dishonest attempts to justify the right getting their rorts whilst at the same time putting it on the left. Stupidity!
    robbo: Jesus was quoted as saying: "what defiles a man is what comes out of his mouth, not what goes in". That might be lost of you. Maybe you'd like to refer to your colleague Hockey in a similar manner. I think that if you had a vote Hockey would come in a long way below Beasley as Beasley did not betray average Australians. Hockey did.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    9:27am
    True, Old Man, but those who benefit from the rules make the rules for their own benefit, and they are immoral, unethical hypocrites because they apply the opposite rules to the less privileged. Sure, the privileged with super can access it at a given age as well as working. But we are still talking about the privileged. Those who never had the benefit of super, but paid into a tax fund for retirement and worked damned hard (unlike the privileged politicians who wouldn't know what work was!) are not allowed to earn a huge salary in retirement and still draw their pension, are they? No. They are different, because they are on ''welfare'', and ''welfare'' is only for the needy. Odd. Many of them contributed far more than those whose taxpayer-funded benefits are NOT called ''welfare'' but are claimed to be their own money.

    Once again, it's a case of the privileged indulging the privileged and bashing the under-privileged, then excusing their vile behavior with illogical rhetoric and lies that are sadly phrased cleverly and expressed eloquently, so that a significant proportion of the misinformed masses believe the crap.
    Not a Bludger
    15th Dec 2015
    12:28pm
    Dot is correct and "politically correct" Happy Cyclist is entirely wrong.
    Like Dot and as a new Australian have never sought or received a cracker from the government but government must be stopped from getting in my wallet and super which I earned and is mine.
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    1:07pm
    I'm getting fed up too, Not a Bludger!!
    Everytime we have a high spending high taxing, out of control Labor government the mess has to be cleaned up and we all pay the price!!
    I'm sick of all the taxes.
    Happy cyclist
    15th Dec 2015
    1:20pm
    What do you mean you never received a cracker from the government as an immigrant? You probably arrived on an assisted passage, then you had access to all the social and physical infrastructure that previous governments had put in place before you arrived. You used hospitals when your family was sick, you sent your children to schools and universities, you drove on roads, etc etc. What do you mean you never benefitted from the government? You immediately were welcome to share all that tax payers already here had provided and now you resent new immigrants doing the same. Its is selfish beyond belief.
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    2:03pm
    Not a Bludger and Frank, are you not ashamed as Happy cyclist highlights your unlimited selfishness??? Funny that, I totally missed that point till I read the last posting above.

    LOL Frank, didn't I say earlier that this debate will get down to a slinging match of baseless ideas??? We are getting close ....
    MICK
    15th Dec 2015
    3:36pm
    Sorry Not a Bludger. We have a thing called the Tax System in Australia. Pays for things like the roads you drive on, the hospitals you visit, the schools you send your children too and the wages of the public servants who do your bidding. Only scumbags and some/many (??) of the rich amongst us seek to avoid their responsibilities.
    Good post Happy Cyclist. Maybe Not a Bludger needs to go back to where he came from. Sounds very much like a whinging Pom. Yes?
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    6:04pm
    Frank, LOL, I thought that mick was doing well till I read the words 'scumbag', 'go back from where you came from' and 'whinging Pom'!

    To Not a Bludger, Happy Christmas and NO you don't have to go back from where you came from!!!! Thankfully there are not too many mick's in this world, but unfortunately they seem to have gravated to this web site!

    Ah mick, you are so predictable. And a Happy Christmas to you as well.
    *Imagine*
    15th Dec 2015
    8:57pm
    Not a bludger, I am a tad embarrassed at you being told to go back to where you came from, wherever it is. I too have suffered outrageous insults based on my ethnicity from thong wearing drongos with an IQ that they wear on their footy jumpers. Fortunately the vast majority of Aussies are lovely people who wouldn't dream of such insults (now illegal?). They fall rather into the camp of:- as attributed to Voltaire "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".

    Happy cyclist and Mick would realise, with a little expansion, that all Australian residents including those born here benefit from infrastructure provided by those who came before them. Must we all keep quiet lest we upset those who disagree with us? Imagine that world and you are in the land of where most refugees come from.
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    11:34pm
    *Imagine* I like the way you put that!. I've no idea what happened to dislodge his chain from the socket but Happy Cyclist should not have reacted that way. And as for mick........well he has a constant wedgie. It would take a lot to make him positive about anything.

    Not a Bludger, feel free to drive on any road you like. :)
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    9:29am
    The comment made was because of the original comment which implied that some folk should not have to pay tax. They do.

    15th Dec 2015
    12:34pm
    Uncertainty is the only thing which will be consistent to 1/1/2017, but I doubt if the government's current stance on the issue will soften in favour of retirees. If you are asset-tested and really want something, GET IT, if you can afford to and still be able to maintain your satisfactory life style. Fireproof, easily hidable boxes for retiree cash assets I would think will be selling well if the government does not lessen the crunch due on 1/1/2017. The more you can hide the more pension you get.
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    2:13pm
    Alas, I think you are right Fast Eddie, the Govt won't amend these proposed changes! However, a word of caution, not just to you but to all of us ....'hide cash assets' and claim a higher part Pension Payment? Sorry to say but wouldn't that be a criminal offence?

    Can you indicate for all of us how one can lawfully hide some of our cash assets, presumably from the Govt eyes, for greater financial gain to get a higher part Aged Pension???

    You can spend cash on yourself or give it away but then the gifting 5 year rule applies. But how do you hide the cash???? I don't know how to do that lawfully???
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    2:26pm
    Peterrj, quite possibly, but if you cash assets from which you pay bills in a household running manner such as shopping, utilities, petrol, meals out, emergency cash, etc. No, I don't mean unlawfully. Super providers advise Centrelink yearly in March and September, but my wife and I also go in to Centrelink with the latest super and bank account information, as well as the latest depreciation of cars' values twice a years. The last time we presented statements of our dwindling accounts our pension ALSO went down - ? Can't win a trick!
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    2:47pm
    Fast Eddie, not to be picky, but that is hardly 'hiding cash assests' is it?

    It does not make a great deal,of sense that if you have less assets then you received a smaller pension payment??? My 'mantra' is 'Spend and Get More Pension'. But you did that and you got paid less???

    Curious, do you know why you got paid less??? Something seems to be missing in this picture???

    Ah, maybe you got 'caught' with the 'deeming' income rules???

    The Aged Pension is a two edged sword of assessible income and assessible assets!!!!

    Damn, I have just realised that my Mantra of 'Spend and get More Pension' is defective as one has to also factor in the deeming income rules!!!!

    May I ask, do you think that you will get paid more or less pension money when the new assets test is applied on the 1/1/17??? If less then what are your options .. to get more????

    15th Dec 2015
    12:56pm
    I think people need to understand that any change in legislation will adversely affect some people. The trick is, and always has been, to limit the number of people adversely affected. One glaringly obvious error in this thinking was perpetrated by Roxon when she increased the excise on RTD's to stop binge drinking by teenagers. The percentage of binge drinking teenagers was thought to be just under 9% and that meant that just over 91% of drinkers were penalised. My favourite treat was Bundy & Cola which went from $32 per slab to $73 per slab. Oh, she always denied that it was a revenue colecting exercise.
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    2:24pm
    Bundy and Cola, that brings back memories. A significant Bundy and Cola night for me was my last day in my Army Unit pending my discharge. I ended up in the Colonel's flower bed in the early hours of the morning. I don't actually recall any of the event but others have pictures of me rolling in his flowers???

    Perhaps it's not such a bad idea to keep away from the Bundy and Coke???

    And yes, the price increase was cruel for most!
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    6:31pm
    EVERYONE is ultimately affected by the taper rate change, Old Man, because if you punish savers by taking at least $1.28 off them for every dollar they save, savings reduce. Morrison says we need to save to get the economy back on track. So if you implement a change that stops people saving, you prevent economic recovery and thus you hurt every Australian.

    It's DUMB DUMB DUMB. And only people who can't see past their noses will endorse it. If you can do math, you'll see that it's a change that MUST BE VEHEMENTLY OPPOSED and we have a duty to write to politicians and the media pointing out how stupid those who implemented this were and how ridiculous it is to claim it will save money in the budget.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    7:31pm
    As I see it Rainey, the taper rate adversely affects the people who need less government assistance and benefits the people who need more government assistance. I have said this before and I'll keep saying it, the age pension is a safety net, not an entitlement. I couldn't care less about how much anybody has paid in the past in taxation, I care about how much is needed to sustain the payments made.
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    8:09pm
    Rainey, I have no idea and I am not criticising you, but how do you conclude that you lose $1.28 for every dollar saved???? It's such a precise figure so it comes from somewhere???
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    5:40am
    Old Man, you are dead wrong. The taper rate selectively disadvantages people who save but can't attain a level of saving that allows them to be self-sufficient, while greatly advantaging those who save less and allowing the income test to greatly advantage those who can earn good incomes after retirement and don't need to save. And it creates a massive disincentive to striving to be at least partly self-sufficient unless you happen to be able to attain wealth above about $1.3 million (which is where the pension SHOULD cut out for a homeowner couple, given current rates of return. The threshold should relate sensibly to current investment return rates).

    I'm not suggesting people who don't need pensions should get them. But need should be realistically assessed based on the long-term and in a way that does not unfairly disadvantage a select group while unfairly benefiting other groups. The means test should respect people's right to make lifestyle choices and save for personal goals.

    I find it astonishing that people can read the facts and not ''get it'', but continue with this waffle that the government regurgitates and the crap that Bonny spits out claiming that people should just spend their savings. That means denying themselves the benefits they saved to attain - effectively saying ''you went without holidays and restaurant dinners and entertainment so others who lived the high life can be better off than you in retirement. You are not permitted to enjoy any reward from your sacrifice. You must give it to people who didn't make that sacrifice.''

    It's stupid to think people will save to give their money to others. If you don't allow them to benefit fairly from saving, they won't.

    Would you try to tax workers $1.28 for every dollar earned and then expect them to work? No, of course not! Then why tax savers $1.28 for every dollar earned and expect them to save?

    It's about creating incentive for people to do what is necessary to get the country back to financial health. It would cost far less to structure a fair and logical means test that retained incentive and reward. The savings would be much greater and would be long term. As it is, the savings will be very short term and the long term cost of retirement - the cost the next generation has to bear - will be far, far greater.

    It's good to see people like Peterrj ask questions and consider the facts - try to educate themselves so that their opinions are informed and they vote in a way that's productive. Sad to see that so many just swallow propaganda or work on wild and unsupported assumptions. No wonder we are in this mess when people vote based on illogical assumptions and gross misinformation.
    Peterrj
    18th Dec 2015
    12:26am
    Rainey, no, I am only considering the stats at this stage. If I ever understand the stats then I may start considering the facts! I note that you have no respect for stats or fail to understand the stats you sprout!

    For example, you cite 160% of 1 dollar is $1.28??? In one posting you say that for every dollar saved you are taxed 160% and in another posting you say that for every dollar saved you are taxed $1.28. Yeah, right!!!!

    And when I pointed out the gross error of your stats you ignored that fact and gave, yet again, another political speech ignoring your defective methodology.

    I note that you don't deny that you calculated 160% of 1 dollar as $1.28!

    If you so want to claim that there is credibility in claiming 160% of 1 dollar is really $1.28 then please do so at the posting where I pulled your stats totally apart!!!
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    1:00pm
    I'm not sure that this is a wise move......A ‘Super Seed’ Government contribution of $5,000 a year to lower income earners aged 27-36, which includes many parents taking time off work or working part time while caring for children.
    This is discrimination and although I have not checked, I imagine this would be a very strong demo of Labor voters.
    It reminds me of Shorten's "Innovation Plan" whereby those entrepreneurs who have been doing well overseas get sent a truck load of money in the hope that they would return to Australia one day.
    So .... Industry Super wants $5,000 cash deposited each year into the super accounts of low income earners in the hope that they will use that as retirement income in 35 years time.
    I think the government should put that money into a "welfare fund" because it will surely be needed 35 years from now.
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    1:09pm
    We don't need any more reasons not to work.
    Perthite
    15th Dec 2015
    1:44pm
    A welfare fund would not work as they took our pension trust fund when they felt they needed the money and would do the same with any other welfare fund.

    The Liberals promised to reduce the deficit at the last election but it had trebled last I heard. Also, what is it costing to keep people in detention in Nauru when they are supposed to be sent to Papua New Guinea, etc. and what is that also costing us. I think that pensions are an excuse and pensioners are an easy target. $400 a week for a single pensioner is not much to cover the cost of food, clothes, home maintenance and, as they get older, the cost of having their gardens done and homes cleaned. If they go into care, they have to sell their houses and pay at around $30 000 a year to have it. If you did not struggle to pay a mortgage, you get rent allowance and care is free.
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    2:28pm
    Frank, is that you talking to yourself once more or are we dealing with two different Franks??? I note that we now have two different Rainey's!!!
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    3:12pm
    That is the same me. After considering Not a Bludger's "selfish outburst" my thoughts are that it is a consistent theme. People are shouting enough ! We have had enough!! Gone are the days of a simple life of working hard to support your family. We now need to work harder to support the neighbours as well. The neighbours have also become accustomed to a certain lifestyle.
    I cant say for certain? But I would think many welfare recipients are thrilled at the idea of taxpayers tipping $5,000 pa into their super account.
    MICK
    15th Dec 2015
    4:18pm
    Everything on the planet is a Labor contrived scheme Frank. Spoken like a true troll.
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    8:01pm
    Frank's last post is saying that we are ALL cranky for lots of reasons and we are all pointing our finger at each other getting nowhere. He asks, 'Why is it so?" (Who can forget those words of the mid 1960's??)

    He boils it all down to the fact that we are all shouting 'ENOUGH!!!'

    Who remembers the movie The Network:

    I am as mad as hell and I am not gong to take this any more
    I am sad that I can't do anything about it
    I am sad that I have no power whatsoever

    In our frustration we then bicker amongst ourselves.

    We collectively are not the enemy, the enemy are the politicians who keep on changing the ground rules all the time and none of us know where we will financially stand in the future. BUT we also have to accept that it's the politicians who are our friends, it is they who control legislation, they have the power to protect us.

    All we need no to do is convince BOTH sides of politics to look after our interests. Let's not hang, draw and quarter the politicians but favour them, butter them up and get them on side, our side.

    But how you do that I don't really know? But this consistent bickering is 'not helping the cause' ... our collective well being is the cause. Remember, we need all political parties to be on side.

    This topic is a classic. We don't really know what these proposed rule changes actually mean??? Yet we have an avalanche of comment about them???

    What we should be saying to YLC is .... Please explain these proposed rules changes in clear and simple easy to understand language. And what are some of the unintended consequences that might flow from such changes? Why are these changes better than other proposed changes???

    Another thing we could do is write to your local Politician and simply say, "Hi, I'm a pensioner/self funded retiree and I am doing it tough. Do you propose to make my life tougher than it already is? I exist but only just. I could not take a pension cut. Do you propose to cut my pension OR My Super money is not going as far as it should, do you propose to tax my Super ... If you do the I'll end up on the pension and that will cost the state more in pension payments!!!! Taxing my Super will be counter productive. Through in 'the house' as another bad outcome for you!!!

    There is no need to call them names nor make stupid statements that make you look like a looney. Just simply. 'Do you intend to cut my pension payments.' 'Are you going to make life tougher for self funded retirees.' That will get the message across 'Enough': Leave us alone, hands off OR else!!!!.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    5:50am
    Peterrj, you are absolutely right, but I think we need to let politicians know we are not as stupid and gullible as they would like us to be. I think we need to tell them we understand that the new taper rate means people are effectively ''taxed'' about $1.28 for every dollar saved, unless they can achieve over that magic balance of about $1.3 million, where returns can equal the pension.

    I think we need to let them know they are discouraging saving and encouraging a short-term spending spree that will drive up the cost of pensions over time and impose a huge extra burden on the next generation. It might make the budget look like there's been improvement - just long enough for the next election to be done with! And then the damage will become apparent.

    We need to tell them we are onto them. We can provide clear examples of how grossly unfair the changes are and how they impose huge disadvantage very selectively on some 560,000 retirees who tried to be self-sufficient in retirement, while greatly advantaging those who saved less and retaining huge comparative advantages for those privileged enough to be able to continue earning in retirement. And while there may be short term savings that make a few inept or corrupt politicians look good, there will be long term suffering.

    We need to tell them we know what they are doing, and why, and we will vote them out unless they withdraw from their damaging objectives and start pursuing a logical, fair path to better economic health.
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    9:32am
    Peterrj: not often I agree with all that you write but on this occasion I do.
    What I do not agree with is the solution. The best way to send a politician a message is to vote them out. AS I keep saying VOTE FOR AN INDEPENDENT. That is the strongest message available. Then watch the bastards on both sides fix their cesspits. Guaranteed.
    Scrivener
    15th Dec 2015
    2:09pm
    Morrison is not Robin Hood, he is the Sheriff of Nottingham. Amused at his own capacity for cruelty. Thank goodness the election is less than a year away and we can clean out these thieves who have docked their vacuum cleaners to our retirement savings and bank accounts.
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    2:32pm
    I like how you have painted the picture .... but can you guarantee that Labor won't simply do the same??? I think that retirees are going to get screw no matter who is elected into power!
    MICK
    15th Dec 2015
    4:20pm
    More like the smiling assassin Scrivener.
    Peterrj: you have a point and who knows? Bet on one thing and that is as the money dries up for (our) governments to waste then they will come after the easiest targets: us
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    6:07pm
    mick, agreed ....as the money dries up, as it will, they will be looking for an easy target to raise more money. The odds are shortening, we are in the cross hairs!
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    6:34pm
    Problem is that the money will dry up fast because the idiots in power are implementing changes that will reduce people's desire to work and save (since there are harsh punishments for doing so and no gains) and when folk stop saving and current retirees spend up big instead of leaving money to their offspring - what then?
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    7:01pm
    The money has already dried up. They have held a meeting and decided to introduce some new taxes and reduce others. Let's hope there's some incentive to increase productivity. I hope businesses are latching onto the opportunities of these FTAs.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    9:21am
    The money hasn't dried up, Frank. We have trillions in superannuation. We are a very rich country. We just have a government that wants to keep the wealth in the hands of the rich and won't tackle a regressive taxation and welfare system so that we take wise advantage of that wealth.
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    9:37am
    The money has dried up but there are options. The trouble is that the current government is a 'government for the rich' and instead of going after multinationals to pay their taxes in Australia ($75 billion a year) and closing the superannuation tax shelters for the rich (half of all goes to the top 20% income earners) they are coming after average citizens. But that is what right wing governments do.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2015
    9:31am
    The latest worsening of the budget deficit, to be revealed by Treasurer Scott Morrison on Tuesday, could be plugged by abolishing a handful of what the Greens claim are "unfair tax breaks".
    Research by the independent Parliament Budget Office, conducted for the party, found the government would be $38 billion better off over four years if four entrenched tax lurks, including negative gearing, capital gains tax discounts and public subsidies for fossil fuels, were abolished.
    The PBO's projection was also based on a scenario where Australia's flat rate 15 per cent tax on superannuation contributions was replaced with a progressive system in which the top rate would be 30 per cent on contributions above $150,000 a year.
    The $38 billion that would be raised over four years by dispensing with tax breaks would almost exactly cover the latest blowout, to be announced by Mr Morrison on Tuesday.


    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/ending-four-tax-lurks-would-deliver-38-billion-budget-relief-for-scott-morrison-budget-office-finds-20151213-glme15.html#ixzz3uWcTQJ38
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

    The money hasn't dried up. It's just being given to the wrong people!
    Peterrj
    18th Dec 2015
    12:35am
    Rainey's stats can be highly suspect BUT he cites, perhaps from the hip, a vey very scarey stat, "The money hasn't dried up, Frank. We have trillions in superannuation". We (retirees and those who will retire) have TRILLIONS in Super!!!!!!

    How tempting would it be for a politician, of any party, to tap into these trillions of dollars. Whatever the real stat it's a very very high figure just waiting for the tax man to take a much bigger slice!!!!

    I feel the pain already!!!!!
    Adrianus
    18th Dec 2015
    6:55pm
    This news just in from the ATO.
    Statistical highlights from the 2013-14 overview include:
    • SMSFs account for 99.5% of the total number of funds and 29% of the $2 trillion total super assets in Australia
    • Average assets per SMSF reached over $1 million for the first time in 2014
    • It is estimated that SMSFs experienced return on assets of 9.8% in 2014, and was the fifth consecutive year of positive investment returns for the sector
    • SMSFs directly invested 83% of their assets, mainly in cash and term deposits and Australian listed shares
    • Majority of SMSFs continued to be solely in the accumulation phase (53%) however over the five years there was a shift of 8% of SMSFs moving into the full pension phase.
    These Funds are holding 29% of the $2trillion. They are cashed up with almost half out of accumulation phase.
    This is the battle field. Not the Federal budget $650b.
    crazy one
    15th Dec 2015
    2:38pm
    over the years the government has shown that they do not care about the Australian People but only for them selves and the refugees that come to Australia. As long as they get their high paying pensions which the people pay and giving money out to these refugees as well so why should they worry as Australia will not do a thing about it as long as they enjoy themselves when they retire thats it.
    Renny
    15th Dec 2015
    3:08pm
    Geez. The constant whining of people about refugees makes me think most contributors here must be Aboriginal, when I used to think most of us were, disgustingly, economic migrants or the children of the same. At least that's the insult thrown round until illegals and refugees became convenient targets for the mean of spirit.
    MICK
    15th Dec 2015
    4:26pm
    If you feel that way crazy one then stop voting Labor and Liberal and start voting INDEPENDENT. Send a message rather than lie down, complain and continue doing the same thing.
    You are right about "refugees". These people are huge in numbers and bringing them to Australia will achieve little other than making folk feel good.......until they need to be taxed heavily to pay for housing, roads, hospitals, schools and the like. And let's remember that 50% never work and get unemployment benefits + all the other handouts.
    Australia may well be the Lucky Country but it is also a stupid nation. This is obvious from what we allow and how we are groomed to think and act. Don't worry though future generations will pay the price for this generation's stupidity.
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    6:49pm
    crazy one, you can say that again.

    mick, what's wrong, every now and then you hit the nail on the head:

    "... Future generations will pay the price for this generation's stupidity!!!!"

    But the assertion does contain an assumption, '... They will pay ...'

    Will they 'pay' to keep us retirees in a respectable manner when we need expensive medical treatments and expensive nursing homes???? These 'young voters' may say stuff the oldies they have squandered the nation's riches and now we're are burdened with their massive debt and our taxes are rising .... What then, predict the welfare bill 20 years from now and predict the attitude of young tax payers who also vote ???? Future shock is only just around the corner!!!!
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    9:20am
    You are so right, Peterrj, sadly. Which is precisely why we should be speaking up to condemn the stupid changes to the taper rate and demand that saving and responsible planning be encouraged and properly rewarded, and that means tests be restructured to be fair and equitable. It's NOT about paying pensions to millionaires. It's NOT about feeding need, not greed. It's about structuring the system to encourage behavior that will grow and strengthen our economy and improve the lifestyle of Australians across the board, instead of the current short-sighted policies that discourage work, saving and investment, punish those who saved and planned harshly, and reward the least responsible - while giving nothing much to the genuinely needy.
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    9:41am
    My prediction: estate duties will be brought back aimed squarely at boomers. And then no assistance for Australians entering nursing homes. Expect it to be brutal: the revenge of genY after having been given everything during their younger years. Everything other than understanding the value of money, being frugal and the fact that rights do not mean that their parents hand it all over to them. Oh for the generation gap!
    Peterrj
    18th Dec 2015
    12:57am
    Rainey,you make the claim, 'It's not about paying the pension to millionaires.' Can you define who is considered to be a 'millionaire' who should NOT be paid the pension???.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2015
    10:15am
    Firstly, Peterrj, the new taper rate doesn't define ''millionaires'' and doesn't discriminate between millionaires and those who have less than a million. It allows someone to have a multi-million-dollar home and still get a pension, but not (in the case of a single) to have a little over half a million in the bank and a tiny old worthless shack in the bush.

    Secondly, we have to accept that a million dollars isn't what it once was and it certainly won't be much at all two decades from now if inflation continues as it has. So the term ''millionaire'' is being thrown around carelessly, but it really has no meaning.

    I don't think we should pay pensions to people who are able to achieve incomes adequate to support a comfortable lifestyle. But certainly we should pay some pension and grant benefits to anyone whose net income, without dishonest manipulation, is less than the net income of the wealthiest recipient of pension and benefits. It is seriously detrimental to the economy to punish savers by leaving them significantly worse off, in income terms, than someone who saved less.

    It is thoroughly stupid to say, as Morrison has, that someone can be better off than a pensioner by drawing savings. You don't become better off by depleting your assets! You become poorer. And requiring someone who lived frugally to live off their savings while their spendthrift neighbor gets a pension is denying people freedom of choice of lifestyle and spending patterns and discouraging responsible planning and saving for old age. It's dumb and destructive, both economically and socially.

    The pension means test should be INCOME based, with a deeming factor built in to ensure people don't lock up their money in non-returning assets to qualify unfairly.

    If assets are to be considered, there should surely be some differentiation for how assets are acquired. Currently, for example, someone who had a cozy job with generous superannuation and enjoyed significant tax concessions to build a retirement nest egg is treated no differently from someone who had a serious work or motor vehicle accident and was granted compensation to cover the costs of treatment, home help or care, and disability aids. The accident victim can no longer spend their compensation payout on what it was intended to provide, but must suffer the loss of somewhere around $1.28 for every dollar of compensation received! What point is there in compensating them in the first place?

    Similarly, the person who went without a great deal and worked two or three jobs at once or extensive overtime to accumulate savings to cover expenses that might arise in their 70s or 80s or to leave money to a needy grandchild is treated no differently than the rich superannuant whose nest egg was acquired through employer contributions and tax deductions.

    And the worst aspect of the current pension system is that it is so discriminatory. It allows someone to earn money without it reducing their pension, but not if they use their own initiative and work in a business they own. It allows someone who retains their health and can continue to work to earn and lose only 50c in the dollar (after a threshold) but takes around $1.28 in the $1 from someone whose health precludes working but saved for old age and earns investment returns. It punishes savers who struggled to save because they lived in poverty in earlier life and those whose lack of opportunity denied them the knowledge and confidence needed to earn good investment returns equally with the privileged who acquired their nest-egg easily and have the ability to earn healthy returns on it. It differentiates between assets, allowing someone to grossly over-invest in the family home without penalty but not to put savings aside or gift to children. But then it differentiates between gift-givers as well, allowing those who gifted before they turned 60 no penalty while those who gifted after that age suffer heavy penalty.

    Goodness, it even allows multi-millionaires who are still earning high salaries to shift all their assets into a younger partner's name and claim a full pension and benefits for years after turning 65!

    In summary, it's a grossly unfair and discriminatory system that needs a total overhaul to both reduce the total cost and to be fair and equitable and provide a decent standard of living for all who need financial help in their old age.
    Renny
    15th Dec 2015
    3:15pm
    And then there's the majority of us, living on small super and minimal age pension, getting our age pension adjusted if we get even $10 in interest. All while we watch our superannuated and self funded friends buy a new car, caravan, overseas holiday just to avoid losing benefits test they don't use or paying any tax. Current super contributions are a rort for the wealthy leaners so they can avoid their taxation responsibilities. It should be cut. I don't understand the other new rules but no one should ever be forced to live in retirement on less than the age pension. I paid taxes all my working life to ensure, in part, that that didn't happen. I believe in the welfare state, and I thin age pension is a right according to your means. If I was earning my previous salary I wouldn't ask for anything from the government. I'm not a leaner. Most wealthy people are that and greedy.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    6:38pm
    Renny, ''no one should ever be forced to live in retirement on less than the age pension''. Well, the new taper rate ensures that many are. And it will do huge economic damage when people cotton on to the fact that it punishes them by taking $1.28 or more of every dollar they save.

    SOME self-funded retirees are doing well. Some are doing it very tough indeed and after working very hard for decades and going without a great deal to save, they are nowhere near as well off as pensioners. And some will certainly be tempted to buy a new car or caravan or take an overseas holiday in order to avoid having the government take $1.28 or every $1 they earn!
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    6:38pm
    Renny, I did not know that you lose some of your pension money if you get only $10 in interest?? I genuinely would like to hear how that works??? Can you explain that some more please??? Surely that can't be right????

    However you do raise another interesting issue, 'no one should ever be forced to live in retirement on less than the age pension.'

    My understanding is that some 'rich' Self Funded retirees do just that.

    Are there any Self Funded Retirees out there who do get less than what the Aged Pension pays???? As someone once said, 'Please explain?'

    Regards to all.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    6:03am
    Renny has the facts a bit skewed, Peterrj. Actually, those who have around $375,000 in savings (for a homeowner couple) are better off than any other retiree (in the same homeowner couple category, that is) with less than about $1.3 million (excepting those few who somehow manage to attain high investment returns in the current adverse climate).

    The taper rate change has hit those who have suffered most due to economic downturn - those who planned for a comfortable retirement and saved a sum that SHOULD have generated around $60,000 a year, but that now generates less than half that amount. It couldn't be more unfair, because it took up to $14,500 a year plus benefits valued at thousands from 560,000 people who had worked and planned for retirement and had suffered seeing their income halved already.

    Conversely, it gave more to those who saved about $250,000 to $375,000. It gave NOTHING to those in real need. It did little to disadvantage those who can continue to earn, as long as they have limited savings.

    Yes, if you earn and are income tested, you lose half of each dollar earned. But if you are asset tested, you lose $1.28 for each dollar earned. And some people call that fair!!!

    Those doing it toughest now are those who worked hard, saved hard, and planned for a retirement income of around %60,000 a year, but did so based on returns at the time they were planning and saving. Yes, they probably are buying cars and caravans they don't need, doing costly home renovations, and taking expensive holidays, because doing so will give them a few thousand extra per year and the pension benefits they so desperately need now that their income has been slashed so drastically.

    We are being told the change was to save $2.4 billion. It wasn't, unless Morrison is a total idiot. It was to create a short burst of economic activity that will bluff ill-informed voters to put these corrupt and dishonest mongrels back in power. Once they are back in power, watch them then claim the savings magically evaporated and pension costs have actually risen (as they inevitably will if people are forced to spend their capital) and they will make further cuts. And all you pensioners who gained from this dirty dealing and are claiming it was a good thing will be crying!
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    10:15am
    Rainey: In my humble opinion Morrison is a total idiot. One with a large amount of front.
    I think that voters will see last night's drum roll as the same BS which continually came from the Abbott ministry. We may have a new PM but the party machine is the same, so it will pursue the same objectives. Even worse than that is if this crew is reelected then it will be game on with the biggest attack on average Australians coming immediately after the election. And as anticipated taxes for the wealthy will drop at the same time.
    This is all up to average Australians. If they are duped by the Murdoch Press and 7 and 9 media with their propaganda 'news' then we are done for. We'll see.
    Peterrj
    18th Dec 2015
    1:15am
    Rainey, sorry, how do you know that Renny has the facts a bit skewed???

    And you know that your claims about this $1.28 are totally wrong!

    You lost me after the $128 claim????

    And mick, I did not know that you has a humble opinion on anything!
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2015
    10:19am
    $1.28 claim is wrong? Then some of the nation's best actuarians are wrong. It's their claim, Peterrj, not mine. But whatever the actual amount (and it will vary depending on individual circumstances) the bottom line is that those who lose pensions due to the new taper rate are quite likely to be losing far more than the income they can earn, and have suffered massive income loss over the past few years - first having their incomes slashed by falling rates of return, and now by loss of benefits.

    The incentive to save and plan has been demolished, and that's a bad thing for the nation. And yes, Mick, Morrison is a total idiot. Only an idiot could write to a voter making a deadly serious (but stupidly flawed) claim that drawing on your assets makes you better off than someone whose pension gives them a higher income than you have. Any fool knows drawing on your assets makes you poorer, not better off!
    Green frogs
    15th Dec 2015
    3:48pm
    It's easy to fix the country's financial crisis and solve the pension problem at the same time
    Just scrap politicians current pension fund and put them on the same as every one else wait till 65 or 70 yrs, means test the same and annual payment the same as everyone else
    older&wiser
    15th Dec 2015
    7:47pm
    Another way to really fix up the country's Financial crisis?? - stop all these handouts to FAMILIES. Three out of every 10 families end up paying NO tax - what they get back in rebates, handouts, subsidies and benefits, cancels out any tax they do pay. There is absolutely one thing that nearly makes me want to throw up - it is hearing politicians talk about 'working families'. What about working singles (the most discriminated and penalised of all). What about couples with no children (whether by choice or not). I personally know of one couple who refuse to contribute to the cost of a border fence because 'they earn too MUCH now and are not entitled to any Govt rebates or subsidies'. Cut politicians obscene pensions and freebies, cut all payments to families (why should we have to pay for their lifestyle choices?) - and stop punished the elderly who are getting so tired of being the financial punching bag.
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    10:17am
    A drop in the bucket Green frogs.
    We need the rich and their multinational business interests to PAY TAX. And then there is ending superannuation hand-outs to wealthy Australians who do not need it.
    Don't expect this government to do either of the above as its mantra is to come after average citizens and the poor. That is what the ballot box is there to stop!
    Cooky
    15th Dec 2015
    5:10pm
    What does all this mean to those ALREADY on the Aged Pension?
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    10:19am
    You're in the sights. Pretty obvious. And it will only get worse as this government gets less and less revenue from mining.
    LiveItUp
    15th Dec 2015
    5:13pm
    If you limit super most people will just spend it instead and then rely upon the age pension. Tax super more and it becomes less attractive as well. Sounds like a silly move to me. I already have only a small amount of my wealth in super because quite frankly it doesn't allow me to invest my money efficiently.

    The taper rate to me doesn't go far enough as people are leaving behind money that they should have used to fund their retirement not for a trip to "Disneyland" for their grand kids when they die.

    The house is currently the most inequitable part of the pension. This needs to included in the assets test the sooner the better.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    7:03pm
    You really are confused, aren't you Bonny? Don't limit super because people will just spend and then rely on the pension. Don't tax super for the same reason. But DO punish those who have saved by taking $1.28 for every $1 they earn, giving them huge incentives to spend up big and discouraging younger folk from saving.

    So, by your rules, we should drive everyone to save by giving them big super concessions and tax reductions, then when they have saved we should punish them and take it all away again. And that will generate a nation of savers? I think not!

    Please make up your mind which side of the fence you are on and stop peddling nonsense arguments that totally contradict your previous statements.
    LiveItUp
    15th Dec 2015
    7:25pm
    I'm not confused at all. Unfortunately one can't extend the habits of pensioner welfare recipients to those who don't qualify for the pension. Big super concessions and tax deductions would not encourage me to invest more in super. Let's face it the current ridiculous assets limits should never have been allowed and all the government is doing is putting a stop to this rort. Once you get above this threshold it has no effect on people's savings so why would it have any effect on young people's attitude to savings?
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    8:33pm
    Again your waffle makes no sense, Bonny. I think it's futile talking logic to someone who clearly will never get it.

    The $3 taper rate PUNISHES anyone who saves by taking $1.28 of every extra dollar they save away from them every year. Who the hell cares what concession or deductions encourage YOU to do? News flash. It's not all about YOU. YOU are not the population. YOU are one person - one person who clearly doesn't have the capacity to understand economics.

    '"Once you get above this threshold it has no effect on people's savings''. CRAP! Once someone gets above $375,000 (for a homeowner couple), they start to lose big time for every extra dollar in savings. Those with $823,000 are likely to be far worse off than a pensioner and definitely way worse off than someone with only $400,000. And you make the absurd claim that ''it has no effect on people's savings so why would it have any effect on young people's attitude to savings?''

    Duh! If I save $400,000 I'll have a healthy income and lots of freebies. If I save $823,000 I'll have a pittance income and no freebies. Why would I sacrifice lifestyle to save $823,000?

    Oh, of course! I get it! So Bonny's kids can enjoy the benefits of me going without holidays and entertainment and working my guts out growing vegies and sewing clothes to minimize spending. I made all that sacrifice to give to BONNY'S KIDS. Bugger my own wants or my offspring and grandchildren!

    Only an idiot would agree that the new taper rate is sensible, Bonny. Sorry if that offends. But seriously, would you expect someone to keep working if the government took $1.28 for every dollar they earned? No? Then why the hell would they save when the government takes $1.28 for every dollar their savings return?
    LiveItUp
    15th Dec 2015
    9:30pm
    Government is not taking anything from you Rainey it is just not going to give you as much as it generously did. Why? Simply you don't need it as you have funds of your own you can use instead.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    6:11am
    Of course people can use their own funds, Bonny. And then they have none and have to draw fatter pensions. And because they can't benefit from their savings, they stop saving and start spending and then the next generation cops a massively increased cost to fund retirement because the savings are gone.

    But keep supporting the corrupt liars who are destroying this country with their self-serving trickery. They are looking after themselves and their privileged mates, and bugger the rest of us. We are in this mess because past governments pursued these short-sighted policies designed to bluff the ignorant populace into re-electing people who knew full well that their policies would have major negative impact in the long term. But not until they retire, so they just don't care!

    (And I'm condemning politicians generally, not any specific party. They all do it, to different degrees and in different ways, but with the same objective - repeated re-election until they qualify for an obscene retirement package that will keep them in luxury for the rest of their lives and enable them to pass on huge wealth to their offspring - at our expense.)
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    6:14am
    The tragedy, Bonny, is that a large proportion of the population is too easily bluffed, and a further proportion - like you I suspect - knows exactly what is going on but lies to endorse it because they, personally, benefit from it. So they try to influence the ill-informed gullible masses to allow the wrongs to continue.
    Rae
    16th Dec 2015
    9:02am
    Well Bonny why then pay generous childcare rebates to families earning very high incomes? They have the money to pay it themselves.

    We managed to do so on much lower incomes than now with no government assistance for childcare costs.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    9:12am
    Well said, Rae. And we didn't get the big family tax rebates either. Many of us struggled on one income. We paid hideous interest rates on housing loan. Furniture, appliances, cars, household necessities, clothing, travel etc. were all far more expensive relative to income. But we got by. And now we are being told we have to live on our hard-earned savings and be worse off than pensioners as punishment for all that productive endeavor.
    ex PS
    16th Dec 2015
    10:38am
    Bonny, how generous of the government to give us money that it has taken from us in the first place? Always remember, the government has no money,it all comes from the tax payer. This is how John Howard conned the voters to win election after election, he overtaxed us in the early years of his term and gave us "tax breaks " just before the election. He gave us our own money back and we thanked him for it.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    1:25pm
    I am confused by what seems to be hypocrisy in the extreme, and vile elitism.

    If you are fortunate enough to have superannuation (most of us didn't for most of our working lives) then you are ENTITLED to a non-means-tested retirement pension because it's YOUR money. But if you paid tax into a fund that was set up to fund retirement for those with no super, then your pension is means tested and is WELFARE.

    But here's my confusion. Those with superannuation were privileged to have the taxpayer substantially build their super fund through generous tax concession. So it's NOT really ''their money'', is it?

    Conversely, those who weren't privileged got no such concessions and paid the full rate of tax, so the money they contributed to the retirement fund IS really THEIR MONEY, and it can't possibly be welfare. Surely the reverse is true? A superannuation pension is substantially ''welfare'', because it comes substantially from the taxpayer's purse. (Not referring to the current super scheme - but rather to the retirement funding system that existed before the 1990s - though many superannuation schemes today are still heavily funded from tax, including politician's retirement benefits.)

    I think we should get things straight and correctly call the pension for those who had no superannuation prior to the '90s an entitlement, and superannuation pensions ''welfare'', and apply the means test to at least that portion of the super pension that is paid from money acquired from the taxpayer.
    Saalbach
    17th Dec 2015
    9:26am
    C'mon, Bonny, think before you comment. On the one hand you complain that the proposed changes will impact on someone who inherits a large amount of money because they can't immediately put it into super and get a tax benefit. Then you believe that people need to stop relying on the Govt for a handout. Why not just put the windfall into your super and not worry about a tax rebate. You do realise you can do that don't you? (accepting that there are some restrictions on the amount you can put in depending on your age). This should appeal to you as it means you wouldn't be getting a handout from the Govt. You could always make extra contributions out of your tax (up to the allowed limits) each year and live off the windfall. I think you need to revisit your views on people not getting any pension until they use up all their assets - that won't necessarily save the Govt anything as people would spend everything early in their retirement, then go on the pension. We really need to find a balanced approach to the issue, one where everyone has the opportunity to put something extra into their super without allowing the system to be rorted. I believe the ISA's suggestions go a long way to achieving this.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2015
    3:25pm
    It's obvious to me that Bonny is among the privileged who selfishly claim they are entitled to all the benefits in the world at the expense of battlers. The well-to-do should get it all and the strugglers should be left to starve. A common attitude, but sick!
    Cooky
    15th Dec 2015
    5:13pm
    Me again, I meant the Aged Pensioners that don't have Super to worry about, what are the changes for us already on the Aged Pension?
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    6:27pm
    I have no idea as I don't understand these proposed rules BUT I am going to go out on a limb and say ..... You have no Super, probably no real savings to speak about and you are on the Full Aged Pension .... My totally unqualified point of view is that you will get more in your pension payments than you recieve today!!! That is your reward by the Government for having 'nothing'.

    For having no or limited assets and no real income then you will get more in the pocket for free from the Government.

    The challenge for mick and Rainey is to deconstruct my unsubstantiated claim!!!! 'Have nothing, get more'!!!!

    Come on, it's a free kick I have just given you. It's time for you to get 'even' ... if you are good enough.
    Anonymous
    15th Dec 2015
    6:40pm
    No Peterrj. Actually those with nothing get the same as before. Those with a few hundred thousand but well under the new thresholds get more. Those who slogged their guts out to save and tried to be self-sufficient get totally screwed - losing more than $1.28 for every $1 of investment return.
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    11:53pm
    mick, you turn, where's mick when you need him??? I want to shoot two ducks with the same bullet!

    Rainey, your response was a bit disappointing. A blatant 'you are wrong' is hardly an upper cut with any real force??? Where is the LNP troll and name calling??? Rainey have an other go and don't hold back this time. Hint: I don't think you will like my answer!!!

    Any one else out there who wants to say that I am wrong? Please feel free to do so. The more the merrier!!!
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    6:28am
    I am not a supporter of any political party, Peterrj, and I try not to name call (though I sometimes yield to temptation when intensely frustrated!). What I try to do is put forward sensible, logical argument that informs people whom the politicians (and the likes of Bonny) are trying so hard to dupe.

    I spend a lot of time analyzing policies, reading, and discussing with politicians, financial advisers, etc. I write to politicians regularly. It might interest some to know that on the morning the Senate voted to approve the new taper rate, an eminent LNP Senator phoned me at 7 am, in response to a letter I had sent to all Senators, asking me to explain the math to him. I did, and he responded that he and his colleagues had misunderstood the facts and needed to reconsider the policy in the light of my explanation. Sadly, it still got across. Too much self-serving dishonesty and corruption, I'm afraid. And confidence that they could deceive the public.

    I participate in discussions here seeking to ensure that people understand what is really going on, and why, and that I understand how others think and feel so that I can formulate arguments that might hopefully drive policies in a direction that is more favourable to the nation and more palatable to the majority of the population.

    I don't push personal interests. Some here have made assumptions about my circumstances. They are actually quite wrong. But I rarely correct them. (I did reluctantly expose a little of my background in a fit of total frustration when falsely accused, but I generally prefer to keep my personal situation private).

    Unfortunately, I'm human. I get frustrated, angry, upset, and confused sometimes. I make mistakes. I am sorry for that.

    But I do strive to put forward solid fact-based argument that will hopefully make some people question and re-think, and will counter the lies and propaganda that is being peddled by some to support their preferred politician mates in a very dishonest and corrupt program to undermine the interests of the nation for short term personal gain. (And again, I have no political allegiance. Both sides of politics do it, and so do the minor parties and some independents, though independents are less well placed to succeed with corrupt motives and more likely to have sincere intentions.)
    Rae
    16th Dec 2015
    9:10am
    Rainey I enjoy reading your contribution and did not label you partial to a particular party.

    I feel for the defined benefit pensioners who paid high taxes, contributed substantial after tax contributions, never received the tax incentives or 9% guarantee, handed over all those savings at retirement and are now screwed with absolutely no recourse to amend it. Only a few tens of thousands but they are the police, firies, nurses and teachers who spent their lives serving the community earning pretty ordinary salaries.

    The LNP have attacked them because of hate for the public service and unions and it is very sad indeed.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    9:15am
    Yes Rae. But I think the current leaders of the LNP hate anyone who works, saves, plans, and makes a responsible endeavor to contribute to the community and to provide for themselves and their family as best they are able. Plus, of course, they detest the genuinely disadvantaged. ''Leaners, a burden...''. It's sickening.
    Peterrj
    18th Dec 2015
    1:29am
    Peterrj: ' ...... you will get more in your pension payments than you recieve today!!! That is your reward by the Government for having 'nothing'.

    Rainey: 'No Peterrj. Actually those with nothing will get the same as before."

    Rainey, did you read my assertion before you replied? I am sure that Cooky's pension payment will go UP. Between today and Jan 2017 Cooky's pension payment will increase if he does nothing in respect to his financial situation. Surely you do not doubt that????
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2015
    9:09am
    We'll see, Peterrj. But what is guaranteed is that the system will become progressively more unfair, and retirees (as a group) will be made progressively poorer. The Government has made that very apparent.
    Adrianus
    18th Dec 2015
    2:58pm
    Rainey, I will not make any assumptions here about your position, but it may seem to others that you are not happy with Cooky getting a pension increase?
    Oldman Roo
    15th Dec 2015
    5:35pm
    There is absolute certainty that the shortsighted thinking and quick fix approach for the Pension reform commencing January 1917 will lead to a record blow out in payments . Keeping part Pensioners where they are would be the much wiser step as many of them receive small amounts in Pension payments but combined with the reduced Bill benefits just make that difference to getting by .
    Under the new rules part Pensioners would be foolish not to renovate their homes , take expensive luxury holidays or buy a more expensive home to live like the Politicians . As a consequence the part Pensioner will return to Centrelink for a much bigger share compared to what he has been getting and the quick fix savings in Pensions will not eventuate . Not to forget the bad example it is for the young , when it is better to live life to the fullest , do not save , do not work hard and the benefits will be great at retirement age .I certainly would not do what I did just to find myself struggling because I have some savings that are simply not enough at the low returns in these days and high costs of living , which were only a fraction at the time , just like the low salaries , when I was in the work force and saved . A big mistake indeed .
    peedee
    15th Dec 2015
    6:12pm
    Spot on Old man roo
    Peterrj
    15th Dec 2015
    6:15pm
    Oldman Roo, you speak the wisdom of the Old Bull when correcting the young bull!!!! Do you all remember that story?

    However, I am not convinced that saving is a big mistake. Saving up to the lower threshold for assests seems like a good idea. However assets over the minimum threshold ... well that's another story.
    Oldman Roo
    15th Dec 2015
    6:41pm
    Peterrj , Thanks for your comment . No , I do not know the story of the Old Bull correcting the young Bull and would be interested in hearing it. I can certainly relate to an Old Bull considering my age .

    Of course , I agree with you that saving to the lower threshold is perfectly ok , but not the mistake I made in trying to live without welfare , which turned into a failure because the cost of living and low returns in these days are just too high when the money was earned 20 to 60 years ago .
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    10:22am
    Oldman Roo: you may be correct in your thoughts but remember that there are always more ways to skin a cat. I suggest that estate duties will be a given. No escape on that one and the casino wins.
    LiveItUp
    15th Dec 2015
    7:12pm
    ****** Scam Alert ******

    Today I received a call from Jessica form the Department of Human Resources ( Centrelink) asking me why I hadn't replied to her letter sent to me back inn September. She told me it was about some information they needed to do with my aged pension. My call display gave the phone number as 0364372749.

    I said to her that I was not going to give her any information as I didn't know who she was and she was calling from a noisy call centre. She immediately hung up.

    I then rang the number and was told it was a disconnected number. A search then revealed that it was a scam and had been reported a number of times.

    She sounded quite genuine until she asked about my pension. I believe their is also a fellow using this same scam. What they are after I can only guess but have been told that they know everything about you except your date of birth so it could be identity fraud.
    Adrianus
    15th Dec 2015
    7:42pm
    I too had a scam call a few days ago. The call was from Russia and the caller said he was from the Australian Federal Government. My first thought was a labor party joke???
    The No. was +7 (4581)20-22.
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    10:24am
    Sounds like YOU are a scammer Bonny. You continually claim that you live nicely on your investments.......and now we find out you are taking a pension. Please explain.
    niemakawa
    16th Dec 2015
    7:23pm
    Bonny, you did the right thing. Mick seems to be making an accusation against you. He needs to be careful!
    Petey
    15th Dec 2015
    9:53pm
    I agree that a bit of belt-tightening is a tad overdue in ths country, but when politicians put out their hands for a 2% pay rise (for the P.M. that's about $10,000 a year!), whilst at the same time they are costing my wife and I a loss of more than $550 per fortnight because of the doubling of the taper rate, I tend to get just a little bit upset!
    To make matters worse, the pollies are spending all their energy justifying the 'increase in the Age Pension' and, as usual, ignoring the most important people, those that have worked hard all their lives in an attempt to be self-supporting and not a drain on the country's finances.
    It looks like I'll have to join the 'big spenders' and enjoy living it up in the remaining years of my life, at least that way I may see some benefits from my lifetime saving plan, otherwise it will only be 'wasted' on unnecessary things like food and living expenses!!
    The really interesting thing for me is that our son is accumulating investments outside the superannuation environment specifically because he does not trust this or any future government to leave things as they are. Oh, to be young enough to have the time to do that!
    niemakawa
    16th Dec 2015
    3:36am
    Spend big you only live once. You earned and saved . Once it has all gone and you have had a great time then you will have access to your right a full pension.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    6:49am
    Your son may be being very smart, Petey. Did you know there have been rumblings in government about making a law that any superannuation balance remaining in someone's account on death goes to the state, and superannuation assets cannot be willed to a beneficiary? I suspect it's a way off yet. There's no way they could sell that to voters at this point in time. I'll be accused of wild scaremongering etc., I know. But things change. They are working up to the really big hits, slowly conditioning voters to accept the unacceptable.
    Rae
    16th Dec 2015
    9:16am
    Your sons diversification plan is sensible, has much less sovereign risk and far more flexibility. Even after ordinary tax I suspect his private investments will return much more than funds in superannuation.
    That has been my experience.
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    10:27am
    Petey: rules for some.....different rules for others.
    The rules regarding INSTANT pensions for pollies when they leave the parliament are special rules which get up the noses of averag Australians too. Worse than that these mental midgets can take another job and get their pension on top of that. Double dipping of the worst kind. Corruption dressed up as politics.
    What can I say...........
    niemakawa
    16th Dec 2015
    3:33am
    There should be no assets test, whatsoever. The income test should remain as is and that used as the only criteria for a pension.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2015
    6:45am
    Agreed, but there would have to be sensible policies on deeming to discourage deliberate over-investment in non-returning assets. The system could, potentially, be designed to better respect people's right to make spending and planning choices by including the family home in deemed assets if the policy were well constructed. That would remove the unfair advantage for those who deliberately over-invest in real estate, while avoiding the very negative impact of including the family home in an assets test.
    MICK
    16th Dec 2015
    10:30am
    No niemakawa. There needs to be an assets test to keep those who have considerable assets off the public purse. I might suggest that putting the assets test back where it was would be about the right figure.
    Sorry if you fall outside of the above but the pension system needs to not be available to those who have sufficient funds to pay their own way.
    ex PS
    16th Dec 2015
    10:51am
    I am self funded at the present time and do think that people taking a pension entitlement should be Asset Tested. I do however feel that the residential home should be exempt. A home in some of the more exclusive areas may be worth a million dollars today but may have been bought for considerably less when originally purchased. It is not the fault of the owner that property markets are so volatile. Quite apart from that, homes are generally purchased privatley without a lot of help from government, it is up to the owner to decide when and if they want to sell it.
    niemakawa
    16th Dec 2015
    7:19pm
    Mick, many on the pension spent their "assets" en- route to the pension age. So when they retire they can claim the full age pension. Others who have been a bit more careful or frugal during the "working" phase put extra aside so that they could enjoy their retirement. Assets are assets and when and how one spends them should not be taken in consideration for receiving an age pension. So if a retiree wants to give some of his/her assets to a family member or spend it on cars, holidays etc. that is no business of The Government.

    16th Dec 2015
    6:42am
    Just to be very clear, I actually don't think the proposal the ISA has put forward is the best solution. I think there is scope for improvement. 25% rebate seems a lot to me. We need to do the math to figure out the cost, and to consider whether the rebate should maybe reduce for those with very big incomes. And I think an annual cap on contributions is unfair to those who have to take time out from the workforce or who struggle on low incomes for periods. A lifetime cap is fairer.

    Also, I don't think the taper rate should be $2. I don't even think it should be $1.50. I think the means test should be totally income based with a fair deeming rate applied to assets above a given generous threshold, and the family home should be included in the test but the threshold set to a fairly high level so that nobody is forced to sell a family home, but there is no incentive to over-invest in the home. If someone chooses to own a boat or artworks instead of a house, or just have more money in the bank, that should be their choice and they should not be disadvantaged for it. A loans scheme could be offered for those who find themselves with excess non-returning assets that they don't wish to sell.

    I don't claim to have the expertise or access to data to determine exactly where the limits should ideally be, but we need to abolish the favoritism and unfairness in the current system and we need to ensure that incentives and rewards are maintained to encourage saving and planning for retirement, as well as continuing to work where feasible. (On that note, we should do something about the ludicrous notion that people working for someone else should be advantaged and those who continue self-employment should be denied the benefit of exempt income!)

    What I like is that the ISA is putting forward some ideas and some constructive criticism of the current system and the recent very foolish and unfair changes to the taper rate. I like that they are contributing to debate that might hopefully lead to sensible reform.
    Adrianus
    16th Dec 2015
    11:34am
    Rainey the 25% rebate is only on the first $7,500. The proposal allows for a $5,000 cash injection each year that a person has low income between the ages of 27-36 inclusive. This is supposedly to encourage women to have their babies at those ages.
    worker
    16th Dec 2015
    12:27pm
    Again get at the poor age pensioner because of the over spending of MPs Lets remove the so called life time pensions and perks of former members of parliament when they are no longer employed by the citizens of Australia.
    Holdens, BHP and other businesses do not pay for life forms of pensions and perks to there former employees why should we the citizen of Australia.
    Rodent
    16th Dec 2015
    5:50pm
    I am noticing some questions about the Age Pension impacts post Jan 2017

    This following GENERAL SUMMARY may help- but first some customer Categories
    SHO means Single Home Owner
    SNHO means Single Non Home Owner
    HOC means Home Owner Couple
    NHOC means Non Home Owner Couple

    The WINNERS are SHO with assets between $250k and $275k
    and SNHO with assets between $500k and $550k
    and CHO with assets between $350k and $450k
    and NHOC with assets between $600k and $700k

    The LOSERS are
    SHO with assets above $300k
    and SNHO with assets above $575k
    and CHO with assets above $475k
    and NHOC with assets above $725k

    And the UNCHANGED after Jan 2017 are
    SHO up to $225k
    and SNHO up to $475k
    and CHO up to $350k
    and NHOC up to $575k

    Can somebody in Govt please explain how that's FAIR or Equitable?
    Rodent
    16th Dec 2015
    5:53pm
    Opps where I wrote CHO (3 times) it should be HOC sorry !!
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2015
    9:34am
    I sent a Greens politician and Morrison 5 pages of specific scenarios where the changes are clearly grossly unfair and very flawed and challenged them to respond. Neither answered.
    Bitte
    17th Dec 2015
    7:56am
    Before the Feral Government discusses and makes changes to the super and retirement entitlements of the average (powerless) people in Australia I think that we should discuss the overgenerous super and retirement entitlements of Australia's politicians.

    Take Hockey as one example among many. He has just retired from parliament so he now receives (is entitled to?) a $90,000 per year parliamentary pension for the rest of his life. He doesn't have to wait until he's 65 to get this, he's got it already. It's not means test like the pensions of the plebs, so he can take the reward job he's been handed which earns him $360,000 per year. on top of all that, because he's one of the elite he can access his superannuation immediately.

    Hockey is just one of the many who hold themselves above the common folk of this country. These kind of conditions and entitlements create divisions in the society and create a bloc of the entitled who hold themselves apart from the rest of us. We, the people of Australia, need to get serious about holding our parliamentarians to account. If these entitlements are deemed suitable for our leaders then they should also be granted to the rest of us.
    Peterrj
    17th Dec 2015
    9:12am
    I have summed up Rainey's mathematically assertion this way and he has not objected to it in an earlier post:

    "The new taper rate is $3 per $1000 per fortnight, or $78 per year per $1000. But the investment return is only $50 per $1000 saved. So savers with over the threshold are losing $28 per $1000 saved per annum. In effect, they are being ''taxed'', because they are being denied a pension others get in order to save tax dollars. At that rate, the effective ''tax'' rate is 78/50, or 156% of the investment return. It has been rounded up to 160% because there are administrative costs to run the investment, and a portion of the assets will be non-returning (car, furniture, personal possessions and liquid cash for living costs). And we haven't yet factored in the value of pension benefits, which further compounds losses to retirees hit by the new taper rate.

    Of course the scenario is worse if the retiree is only getting 3% bank interest. But regardless, it seems ludicrous to ''tax'' someone more than $1.28 for every dollar saved, and then suggest that the way for Australians to get out of the economic doldrums is to save!!!

    Who would work if they were taxed $1.28 for every dollar earned? Who will save when they lose $1.28 in pension benefits for every dollar saved?"

    Phew, that's a mouth full and I am particularly concern about the assertions: "it seems ludicrous to ''tax'' someone more than $1.28 for every dollar lsaved" and "the effective ''tax'' rate is 78/50, or 156% of the investment return. It has been rounded up to 160%". But does Rainey's maths 'add up'???


    Dear Rainey

    I have taken in board what you have asserted and even Bonny with a degree in quantitive maths avoided trying to solve this problem because it is almost impossible to solve unless you make it precisely clear how you arrive at the resulting answer. I take no issue with rounding your calculation to 160%.

    Every person of pensionable age feels the result of this vexing equation in the hip pocket and generally those with cash and those without the cash are not necessarily happy. At least you have attempted mathematically to solve 'the rason why'? As Frank states, 'We ALL have had enough' and we are all like ducks in the shooting pond.

    I give you 10/10 for attempting to solve this equation but your assumptions are very very rubbery and I think that your answer has been miscalculated.

    Ist you have to set up your assumptions before you can even attempt to do the maths ... A step you have not explained. It would take me about 10,000 words to outline all to assumptions need for this equation to have some limited merit in the answer and I am going to make that same mistake.

    One thing we all know is that for every $1,000 extra above the minimum threshold to get the Aged Pension the full pension payment will be reduced by $3 per fortnight up to the maximin asset threshold. After that one is no longer paid any Aged Pension money and they then become 'fully self funded'.

    Over one year your annual Aged Pension, be it the single ($3) or couple ($1.50 each), is reduced by a total of $78 for every $1,000 held as an asset.

    Yes, I accept that, I would effectively be 'penalised' less income from the Part Aged Pension payment for every $1000 cash I have within the minimum and maximum thresholds.

    Yep, I get that message but here it starts falling apart.

    Now if I add cash to my assets then what is my investment return on the extra cash over the minimum threshold?

    I now have to make multiple assumptions: I assume that I invest that cash and I get a return on that money invested (some don't as they just keep the cash with no investment return) and what will be my investment return on the money invested? That's a great unknown!!!! My money is in Super and it returned more than 8% last year. BUT many only have returns of about 2%. (There are some very good reasons for the low return on cash by retirees ... too many to indicate at this stage.)

    Rainey you assume that the return on our $1000 cash in Super is $50 for the year ... that's a 5% return on your investment. Everybody's investment return is going to be different. Many may even think that the $50 aka 5% return on $1000 at the moment is generous?

    Plus if the cash is in the pension phase it is tax free but if in the accumulation phase the the investment return is reduced by 15% tax. And if invested outside a Super fund then it is taxed at the marginal rate.

    Plus, as you say, one has to also consider fees associated with the investment return which will be different for everyone?

    That's why it is all but impossible to do the 'maths' and get the correct answer that is relevant to everyone.

    Whoa, we can all see that this assumed $50 return is a very very rubbery figure making the calculation of the maths highly suspect. Perhaps it could even be too high??? Interestingly, if true, then a lower return would actually strengthen your argument!

    But I still give you 10/10 for attempting this mathematical equation as it does have a real life impact upon all retirees with cash who get part Aged Pension.

    So I am going to go forward and I will accept your assumptions and figures to demonstrate that if one even accepts your rubbery suspect figures then you still have made some critical and fatal mathematical errors.

    Your Assumed Facts: I have $78 less pension money for every $1,000 invested which gives me a return of $50. 'You' then divided 78 by 50 to claim that effectively you are taxed close to 160% or $1.28 for every dollar you save.'

    Stop the Press: There is the first glaring error. 160% of $1 is not $1.28 but $1.60??? So how did you calculate it was actually $1.28 for every dollar saved and not $1.60??? I think that you added the 78 to the 50 = $1.28???? I can't see any mathematical justification for doing that???

    Plus, 'this penalty' it's not a "tax" so I would not use that term as it is unhelpful.

    And NO, it's not relevant to EVERY dollar earned from your investments as dollars earned under and over the asset thresholds do not fit into this equation!

    And more importantly I don't really get penalised be it $128 or $1.60 for every dollar saved (within the thresholds) do I? Think about it. Keep the maths simple.

    The reality is, when using your own figures, is that at the end of the year I have $50 from MY investment return on the $1,000 but if I did not have that $1000 asset then I would be paid an extra $78 pension money which is $28 more in the pocket over my $50 return.

    Effectively I am 'taxed', using your words or 'penalised' only 28c and NOT your 160% aka $1.60 for every dollar saved because I still pocket the $50 in both situations .... it's just that the Aged Pension pays an extra $28 on top of this $50.

    So, on your figures, if you have an extra $1000 cash invested you get $50. But if you spend that $1000 then your pension payment is $78. Meaning that you get $28 more in the pocket for every $1000 spent between the thresholds!!!!

    Rainey, even though you did the wrong calculations on rubbery figures, your message is STILL the same:

    "For many Part Aged Pensioners with cash .... that cash in hand maybe denying YOU more cash in the pocket. But if you spend that cash on yourself, therefor, you are paid more part Aged Pension Money!"

    If so, does that the encourage others to save cash over the minimum threshold??? That is an answer that only the individual can answer but on these stats the answer is, perhaps not!

    This is a fact known by 'those that have' and a fact often overlooked by 'those that don't have'! (Is that a generalisation or not?? It is but it gets the point across as does your attempted maths even with the wrong answer!)

    Rephrased: This is a fact known by part Aged Pensioners and a fact difficult to accept by some on the full Aged Pension !

    So Rainey, re do you maths? Did you do the correct calculations on your own figures? I don't think so?

    In fact I would abandon your equation as it is impossible to calculate with any real degree of credibility due to the numerous uncontrollable variables.

    But all is not lost:

    Can I suggest this is how you do the maths to prove 'your point': Assume a couple with their own home. Assume full Pension Payment plus benefits of say $35,000/yr (big figures look more impressive). Assume you are just over the max threshold in assets and therefor miss out on any Aged Pension Payment.

    Now work out, 'How much income will that 'big bag of cash' reasonably earn for the year? Now look at the difference in annual incomes between full Aged Pension and the Self Funded investments and tell me what would pay the best annual income???? (Emphasis on the words 'annual income'.)

    Do the same for calculations relevant to receive the single Aged Pension.

    Then do a reverse calculation: How much 'cash' do I reasonably need to invest to give me a return on my money that is EQUAL to that of the full Aged Pension annual payment for singles and couples. That could produce a staggering surprise result?

    OK that is my view, I am no expert and I could easily be wrong. If so then I accept that.

    Now back to you Rainey and any others who wish to comment on the stats???

    Would YLC like to weigh in on the stats??? Feel free to do so. And if I am wrong then good, I have learned something!

    Regards
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2015
    9:46am
    I believe I said at the outset, Peterrj, that the figures were estimates/averages based on certain assumptions. The first is a 5% return. That's Morrison's figure, actually. He says that's the average return at present. Many are getting less. Some are undoubtedly getting more. Which is another reason why the assets test is grossly unfair. It doesn't allow for the fact that some people can't earn as much on their money - possibly due to being underprivileged in earlier life and having less understanding of investment, or greater fear of risk because they lived in poverty for years and acquired their savings through being very, very frugal and hard working.

    We have to consider, also, that not all assets return. Some are household and personal items and cars etc. Some is liquid cash held for day to day living costs (given no pension at all). Some people have ''assets'' that are assessed, but are technically worthless - unsalable and non-returning. We were in this situation a few years ago when the local council blocked the driveway to a block of land. Centrelink said the land was worth $300,000, but we couldn't build on it and it couldn't be sold because it had no access. Fortunately, we resolved that - but at a legal cost of $180,000. Centrelink took none of the difficulty into account in its calculation of our claimed ''means''. Farmers are a common example of people with ''assets'' that, depending on location, may have become worthless over time and aren't returning but are still assessed.

    Yes, the stats are averages. Which is all the more reason to review the new taper rate, recognizing that it IS unfair to some people and may cause great hardship, AND it may create a massive disincentive to saving given that many will lose far more than they can ever earn on their assets. The income test takes 50c in the dollar over a threshold. It is grossly unfair for the assets test to take more than that, and to ignore the real achievable value of the asset, with consideration for the capacity of the owner to realize that value.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2015
    9:49am
    The other issue of gross unfairness is that the source of assets is ignored. So the privileged who got generous tax breaks to acquire a healthy superannuation balance suffers no greater loss than the poor battler who acquired personal savings with no tax advantage, by working overtime and making major lifestyle sacrifices.

    Nor is there any different treatment for the victim of an accident who was granted compensation because he needs costly disability aids, medical care and home help. No, how his compensation payment is to live on because there's no pension, and he goes without those extras it was meant to provide.
    Adrianus
    17th Dec 2015
    11:05am
    Peter, thank you for that in depth factual analysis of Rainey's claim. I was too lazy to drill into it because it looked on the surface to be a turducken (walking and quacking like a duck but not 100% duck). :)


    Rainey your message is a lot clearer than your math, and it is a valid message in my opinion. However, what could send us all back to the white board with the duster is the example of Peter's couple on the limit or above at 1/1/2017. What if they decide to renovate the $800k home by using $100k of their savings on a granny pad and thereby increasing its value to $1m? That's more than a 5% return?
    I also find it hard to understand how your " poor battler who acquired personal savings with no tax advantage, by working overtime and making major lifestyle sacrifices." has come through the system without tax advantages or welfare?
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2015
    3:30pm
    Frank, of course SOME people will be able to make more than 5% return. The point is that many won't do that well, but will still suffer the same unfair test. SOME people can earn $1000 a week or more in retirement. Why don't we just assume EVERYONE can and set the pension accordingly? Unfair, isn't it?

    I know plenty of poor battlers who have received no tax concessions to speak of, despite working overtime and making major lifestyle sacrifices to save. With no super, they don't get the 15c concessional rate, and they pay the full tax rate on the earnings on their savings. Where do you think struggling workers who had little or no super, and are now in the age range 65 to 80 got tax advantages or welfare from?
    Peterrj
    18th Dec 2015
    8:39am
    Whoa, don't run away so fast Rainey. I have just destroyed your 'made up stats' and exposed your 'flawed methodology' how you used those stats. I have invited you to re do your maths and to then either agree or disagree with my analysis of your statistically assertion about the 'cost' of savings to retirees.

    And you reply, 'Oh, I said that these stats were estimates and they can vary.' Then off you go to reek havoc in other postings!

    I gave you full makes for effort to try and solve the impossible using stats. But you failed in the execution! (It was impossible because of the way you did it.)

    I acknowledged that the basis of your calculations were highly suspect AND I even accepted your many incorrect assumptions to demonstrate that the manner how you calculated your final figures was defective and wrong! I even did not criticise that 156% could be rounded to 160%.

    But Rainey, No amount of 'variation' can explain that the resulting 160% of $1 is anywhere near equal to $1.28 can it? 160% of $1 is actually $1.60 in case you dodn't realise.

    I then recalculated your rubbery figures and came up with the answer that the penalty/tax (sic) for saving money is 28 cents in every dollar. There is no way that my 28 cents is close to either your $1.28 or $1.60 is there? This variation in my answer to yours can not be explained any other way other other than to say you, yes you, did your own maths wrong and your methodology was also wrong!

    Yet you freely criticise and insult others for 'failing maths' BECAUSE they are also mystified how you arrived at your false and miscalculated statistical conclusions!!!!

    Even thou I gave you the 'encouragement award' I told you that your methodology contained too many mystery variables to make any resulting answer highly suspect and I told you to, to have some credibility, to abandon your approach to maths and then told you how, statistically, how to prove your point.

    But OH NO. You run of at the mouth with more contradictory rubbish and fail to acknowledge your own failings in maths and make no effort to re do the calculations.

    You profess knowledge in this area and talk a lot about vague concepts of fairness. Yet you did not even know that a pension payment of today will increase by January 2017 .... which it theoretically should. Now you will make up 1000 excuses why you said I was wrong in yet another, much shorter, posting by me in a Cooky avatar posting. You may rant and rave, as you are very good at that, and the only way you can justify yet another provable failing by you is that you misinterpreted what I said!

    Yep, I would accept that you did misinterpret what I said in just one sentence .... which only goes to demonstrates your ability, or lack of it, to process information!

    Rainey, back to the drawing books and re do your sums and think more closely about what you say ..... What I find staggering is so many YLC readers post blindly, 'Rainey, agree with what you say''???? Well, that may not be true so I will rephrase that sentence. Many make posts in YLC blindly agreeing with you? Why is that so .... when you get provable facts so clearly wrong????

    To the Rainey fan club, re do Rainey's stats yourself. What answer did you get? Did you also discover that Rainy was wrong making numerous mistakes? Mick, I bet you won't attempt to do the maths will you???

    Rainey, back to you. I don't dispute everything you say. You are close to some concepts that need to be exposed. I mainly disagree with the way you say it! So just ease upon criticism of others if you can. We are all entitled to our different views. Think more carefully about what you are saying and try not to use global assertions with concepts that are vague. Stick closer to the real facts and you will do much better!

    I am guessing that you won't take my advice will you????
    Anonymous
    20th Dec 2015
    1:35pm
    I certainly won't agree that the penalty for saving is 28c in the dollar,Peterrj, because that is absolutely incorrect. If it were correct, I would have no issue at all with the changed taper rate. But the fact is that the penalty is more than $1.28. In some cases, much more. The figures are hard to calculate accurately because returns differ from one investor to the next. Experts can't agree on the math. Politicians are confused, which presumably means their advisers are confused.

    The bottom line is that if you take more from someone in lost benefits than they can earn on their savings, it destroys the purpose of saving and discourages the behavior that Morrison says is needed to restore the country to economic health.

    I realize a lot of people would like to find a way to justify the inexcusable bungling by the LNP and the Greens, and many others will just blindly accept lying rhetoric because it sounds good or it suits their personal purposes. But the bottom line is that it is bad for the nation to punish people for saving.

    Sure, the pension will increase by 2017 and the threshold with it, but that changes very little really. It might mean fewer people are kicked off the pension completely, and Morrison's predicted savings will be less. But it doesn't change the fact that there's a massive disincentive to saving in the new taper rate unless you can earn far more than what the government says is an ''average'' return.

    As to criticizing others - I challenged the relevance of Frank's statement that ''some people earn more than 5%''. He is stating the obvious, but so what? Is he suggesting that because some people can earn a higher return everyone should be treated equally. Some people can earn more income than others too, but we don't assume every retiree can earn the same amount in retirement. I wasn't ''criticizing'' him. I was questioning the relevance of his statement.

    I have criticized Bonny because, quite frankly, I find many of her elitist comment insulting. I don't think anyone has a right to demand that others live according to their dictates. And her statement that the taper rate change was a good thing for the nation is clearly incorrect and made thoughtlessly, because she is claiming - as Morrison is - that it will save money. And you simply CANNOT save money by giving people a strong disincentive to strive to be self-sufficient.

    Of course people are entitled to their different views, as I am entitled to mine, and those who agree with me are entitled to do so. I would like to better understand why you are so keen to defend the rights of others, yet can't seem to respect my right to state my opinion.

    BTW. The figures I quote aren't mine. They are sourced from expert analysts who have invested considerable time and effort in studies and calculations and published their findings. I have invested considerable time reading varying points of view and studying reports to determine which I agree with. I don't claim to be a statistician, accountant, actuarian or economist. In fact, I have not been fortunate enough to have much education at all. And perhaps it shows? As does your intolerance and apparent belief in your superiority.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2015
    6:07pm
    Peterrj, I went back to sources and asked for clarification of their figures, quoting your valid concern that $1.28 in the $1 does not equal 160%. The reply was that some of the calculations allow for inflation, while others use only today's numbers. Also, there are different methods of factoring in varying investment return rates. Obviously, return rates have to be averaged. The government averages them at 5%, but some actuarians use different rates of return.

    The bottom line is that those affected by the taper rate change are losing more than they are earning. It's akin to being taxed more than you earn. That's not only patently unfair (since others are keeping 50c in the $1 of earnings, or being assessed on low deeming rates), but it's also economically unsustainable because it provides a massive disincentive to save for retirement which, over time, means increased old age poverty, increased pension costs, and increased aged care costs.

    However, those who think this is an LNP vs Labor argument, you should be aware that Labor - under Keating - began the assault on pensions, and both the Greens and Labor are supporting it.
    Peterrj
    30th Dec 2015
    8:44am
    "I certainly won't agree that the penalty for saving is 28c in the dollar,Peterrj, because that is ABSOLUTELY incorrect.

    Rainey, I have done the maths for all to see in the above posting based upon YOUR own figures. You can't simply say I am wrong because you have read somewhere else the true figure is $1.28 or 160% of $1 ($1.60).

    Think about what you have written, "Experts can't agree on the maths." Doesn't that mean that any answer is just as correct or incorrect as any other answer as even experts can't agree with what numbers to use to do the calculations???? Yet I am absolutely incorrect???

    "The bottom line is that if you take more from someone in lost benefits than they can earn on their savings, it destroys the purpose of saving ...." Agreed BUT this loss is not either your cited 160% or $1.28 per $1 based upon your figures.

    "... the bottom line is that it is bad for the nation to punish people for saving." On that I totally agree!

    "... there's a massive disincentive to saving in the new taper rate ..." I think that could be the case. "The figures I quote aren't mine." Really???

    "I went back to sources and asked for clarification of their figures, QUOTING YOUR VALID CONCERN that $1.28 in the $1 does not equal 160%." I think I meant more than 'valid concern'! I hope that you are not paying for this advice???

    Can I suggest this, copy this posting, all of it, and go back to your source of $1.28 and 160% and ask them to check my methodology.

    True it is that I have not factored in several variables that will slightly change my answer, but my answer will be closer to 28c than $1.60. What they should be looking at is my methodology, how did I arrived at the answer which is much less than theirs.

    In fact, I said that the maths equation was impossible to calculate due to there being just too many rubbery variables and I even suggested another way to get an answer to prove your (their) point. I think that my suggested method would give a more meaningful statistic to those with cash in Super between the minimum and maximum thresholds.

    We both agreed with the overall assessment of the new 'taper rate' ... we are just haggling over it's real economic impact it has on someone with assets between the thresholds. I just don't want to back a side with the wrong stats! I think that YLC readers should be told the truth as close as it can be estimated to assist them in making decisions on how they handle their assets.

    It seems that stats are not the strong point of YLC readers and no one else have challenged your stats except me and no one has give support to my calculations nor told me where I went wrong in doing my calculations.

    Yet the implications of this equation, "What are the hidden financial implications to possess assets between the min and max Asset threshold" are of vital importance to the financial welfare of retirees.

    So Rainey, I take my hat off you for trying to raise this important issue! Get the stats right, do away with emotive language, tone down wild assertions and we may even be on the same page!
    Adrianus
    30th Dec 2015
    12:15pm
    Rainey,
    “I believe I said at the outset, Peterrj, that the figures were estimates/averages based on certain assumptions. The first is a 5% return.” – Rainey.
    Then came a rather feeble attempt at clouding the issue with.......
    “The reply was that some of the calculations allow for inflation, while others use only today's numbers. Also, there are different methods of factoring in varying investment return rates. Obviously, return rates have to be averaged.

    The government averages them at 5%, but some actuarians use different rates of return.” –Rainey.

    Rainey are you saying that an actuary gave you these calculations? If so they must be able to provide each step in the equation with variables used? Or did they start with the human behavioral expectation outcome and introduce variables which, when extrapolated, substantiate that very same outcome?
    What rate of return did they use?
    Do you accept their reply as is?
    Peterrj
    5th Jan 2016
    9:33am
    Frank, "Or did they start with the human behavioral expectation outcome and introduce variables which, when extrapolated, substantiate that very same outcome?". I like the humour. You have just outlined the basis of statistical research!

    Rainey, don't go away, you are on to something very important ...we just need to get the stats right to be heard with some credibility.

    Copy this entire posting, go back to your source, ask them to check my methodology and come back with their answer. Yes, numbers can change but the methodology is the secret of the correct answer.
    bartpcb
    17th Dec 2015
    10:18am
    It's a Liberal government, their last concern, if any concern at all, would be the pensioners, those about to become pensioners, or those who will one day be pensioners. Standard Operating Procedure, target those who can't fight back.
    Adrianus
    17th Dec 2015
    11:17am
    I don't understand? I thought the LNP and the Greens increased the pension? I thought pensioners are getting a $30 f/n rise Jan. 2017? Has that now been scrapped?
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2015
    9:09pm
    They increased the pension for a select few who have quite substantial assets, while reducing/cancelling the pension for some 560,000, many of whom have less than half the income of those who got an increase. They did not increase the pension for those who have nothing. The changes were extremely unfair and discriminatory. Sad that some swallowed the LNP's lying rhetoric and focused only on the very deceptive claim that the changes made things fairer and gave pensioners a $30 f/n increase. The changes don't stand up to analysis, but so few bother to analyze.
    Rodent
    17th Dec 2015
    1:54pm
    For Frank - no the change has not been stopped, what the Greens and Govt agreed is SCHEDULED to go ahead on 1 Jan 2017

    PLAESE REFER TO MY POST OF 16 /12 at 5.50pm for more info
    Adrianus
    17th Dec 2015
    2:27pm
    For Rodent,

    Then why have you not mentioned that pensioners will get a $30 per F/N increase when the assets test is being rebalanced in your POST OF 16 /12 at 5.50pm for more info??
    Is that not important???
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2015
    3:31pm
    Which pensioners, Frank? Not those with no other income or assets. Not those with more than the new threshold. Only a select group with savings at a certain level. Check Rodent's figures.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2015
    9:14pm
    There have been calls for a review. Yes, the legislation passed, but it can always be amended before it comes into force. What is needed is for people to make it known to politicians (of all persuasions) that the change is unfair and unacceptable and that those who supported it will be voted out of office, because they got it wrong. We need to tell them how and why it is wrong. You get the government you deserve (in theory, anyway!). If you don't speak out against wrongs, you can't expect them to be addressed. But at the end of the day, those who approved these illogical, unfair and economically unsustainable changes want our vote. If they are alerted that they will be voted out if things don't change, we just might see amendments that make the test fairer and more economically sustainable.
    Adrianus
    17th Dec 2015
    9:46pm
    Rainey, the ones who really need it. Do you think that's unfair?
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2015
    9:05am
    Are you saying those who really need it are doing better, Frank? If so, you couldn't be more wrong. Obviously you haven't bothered to study the proposal at all.

    Those who have least are getting NOTHING. It's those with healthy savings, but below the new thresholds who are getting more. And many above the thresholds do really need it, depending on their circumstances. For example, if it's money granted in a compensation settlement because they have needs for expensive ongoing medical care, household help, etc. due to their disability, they may need it more than those who are getting it. If they saved it because they knew they would encounter expensive needs in old age they may really need it - like myself, knowing my spouse will impose very heavy costs for treatment of the issues that he struggles with resulting from horrendous abuse as a child and being deprived of the love of his family for 18 years.

    The problem with the assets test is it is based on a simplistic and totally wrong assumption - that everyone who has a given level of savings is the same, and affluent. The other problem is that it severely punishes responsible planning and saving, the very behavior we need to encourage.

    The system is NOT fair, and it's been made unfairer, and people like you have accepted the change because you swallowed the government's lying rhetoric that it benefited those in greatest need. IT DOES NOT.
    Rodent
    17th Dec 2015
    2:04pm
    For those of you than may be still struggling with the details about the Pension changes due on 1 Jan 2017 use this link for all the details
    http://www.superguide.com.au/smsfs/300000-retired-australians-to-lose-some-or-all-age-pension-entitlements

    This site has the Govt Tables that detail the Asset Values and pension to be paid pre and post Jan 2017
    Rodent
    17th Dec 2015
    2:46pm
    Frank go back and have another look at my post the pensioners that get an INCREASE are in the WINNNERS asset ranges- for more detail go to the Specific Tables I refer to that can be accessed via the Link I posted to see the "so called actual increases"
    Rodent
    17th Dec 2015
    4:52pm
    For Frank - and others a word of CAUTION about the Pension Tables I refer in a couple of recent posts.

    Its generally accepted and understood that these TABLES are ASSETS Test Tables- and do not take into consideration the full Potential Impacts of the Income test and its related Deemed income. Of Course as some will know Deeming Rates are very LOW at the moment, should these return to long term averages, some Pensioners may subsequently lose part of their income by the Income Test- not the Assets Test.
    It Is REALLY important that anybody attempting to get an ACCURATE picture of the Pension that will be paid as from Jan 2017 that they use one of the Pension Calculators that allows a person to put their OWN specific figures into the Calculator, especially where their Asset Figure is effected by both the Income and Assets test, the Result of which determines which test produces the LOWER resultant pension.

    There are many such Age Pension Calculators- HOWEVER the only one that I know of that you can input your own data into that reflects results as at Jan 2017 and beyond is the product made by Plansoft, all the others such as by MLC, Age Pension Solutions,do not yet reflect 2017 and beyond data figures

    If you want to have a PLAY AROUND and see TODAY how the Pension paid is changed by varying the Inputs, Whats counted as deemed, what is included in Assets, etc then use the MLC Age Pension Calculator

    Scott Morrison , supported by the Department (who crunched the numbers) and the Greens were very careful not to mislead people with extravegant claims, however we shall all see after Jan 2017, wont we.
    Peterrj
    17th Dec 2015
    6:56pm
    Rodent, a word of caution indeed. This topic really only deals with the assets tables. Hidden,well not actually hidden, but less spoken about are the deeming rates. And yes, which ever test, Assets or Income aka deeming income, gives you the lowest Aged Pension payment then that is what you will get. If you plan ahead on ONLY the assets tables then 'you' may get an unpleasant financial surprise in 2017!!!!

    So good a post and a handy reminder. And excellent info where to go to 'test' both new tables. Dont forget, these changes will commence in Jan 2017 and ARE the law. They won't be changed!!!!! The next changes I predict will be the inclusion of the family home into the assets table ... Which may come after the next election!!!!

    If you think that we are screwed now ... well you ain't seen nothing yet ... And that will come from both major parties!
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2015
    4:22pm
    I would not want the job of Treasurer. Would anyone on this site put their hand up to do it? I doubt it.

    18th Dec 2015
    9:24pm
    I'm in a bit of a quandary over something and I'm wondering if any of you who claim pensions are ''welfare'' and only for the needy can clear this up for me.

    Let's start by agreeing that a rose by any other name is still a rose. Whether you call a gift of money a pension, a rebate, or a concession, any return of taxpayer dollars or reduction in the tax someone is required to pay ultimately imposes costs on the taxpayer and benefits the recipient, so it's really no different - except that it may be paid in a different form. It all still comes out of the taxpayer's purse one way or another.

    Now, if someone pays into super they are given taxpayer dollars. The more they pay in (i.e. the wealthier they are) the more taxpayer dollars they are given. The gift (of course it's not called that, but it is a gift!) is deemed ''an entitlement''.

    On the other hand, if someone is less privileged and has no super, he may (if he's lucky!) get a gift from the taxpayer in the form of a pension. The LESS he has, the more he gets, and it's called ''welfare'' and given grudgingly.

    Now, we know that the average cost of this giving to the well-to-do is much higher over a lifetime than the average cost of giving to a pensioner.

    What is confusing me is why gifts from the taxpayer to the more affluent are given as an ''entitlement'', and the more they have the more they get; while gifts to the less privileged are called ''welfare'' and the more recipients have the less they get.

    Is this sounding a tad unfair? Or would one of the LNP trolls here like to try to justify it for me?
    Peterrj
    19th Dec 2015
    12:39pm
    Rainey, NO, it's not sounding unfair, it's sounds like a whole lot of junk words going nowhere to prove nothing.

    "Now, if someone pays into super they are given taxpayer dollars. The more they pay in (i.e. the wealthier they are) the more taxpayer dollars they are given."

    We have been retired for a couple of years and we are over 65. I am just about to put some cash from our joint Bank Account into my wife's relatively small Super account to allow her to draw down a regular very small pension from her Super account.

    I'm pretty confident that I/we won't be getting 'any extra tax dollars' as you so confidently promise will happen??? And if I double the deposit into her Super that will double the tax dollars give to me or is it to her??? Of course, double nothing is still nothing, isn't it????

    Transferring our own saved post tax dollars from our Bank Account into Super is going to make us more wealthy compliments to the ATO and the Australian tax payer???

    I am not one of these LNP trolls so I won't try to justify your posting for you!! (Did you really mean what you have written in your last sentence or did you get the concept mixed up??)

    Rainey, do you actually read what you post or is it a live stream of unconscious thought that you write???
    Anonymous
    19th Dec 2015
    6:46pm
    Peterrj, I'm not suggesting that everyone is treated equally or that benefits accrue in every situation. That's WHY it's unfair. But surely you can't argue the fact that someone on a relatively high salary gets a very nice tax concession for the 9% that is contributed to their superannuation account each year, and a further nice concession for any voluntary contributions and the earnings, whereas someone on a low salary gets a very much smaller tax concession? For example, someone on $80,000 a year gets a 12c in the dollar benefit from the taxpayer for every dollar contributed to super, whereas someone on $37,500 gets only 4c in the dollar. Thus, my statement is absolutely correct. ''The more they pay in, the more taxpayer dollars they are given''. Okay, there may be exceptional circumstances where the rule doesn't apply, but overall it is a truism that those who have the most get the most.

    Conversely, it cannot be disputed that those who have most get the least when it comes to pension distribution.

    Nor can it be disputed that pensions are being referred to as ''welfare'', despite being bought and paid for by many recipients who never had the privilege of having superannuation, and superannuation is referred to as ''an entitlement'', despite being heavily subsidized by the taxpayer.

    I certainly read what I post, and it's valid comment Peterrj. But unlike you I don't rely on anecdotal evidence or my own personal experience and situation. I look at the wider picture - and in the wider picture, there's a gross unfairness in that people who, being less privileged than others, paid for their retirement through a taxation contribution are now treated as third-rate citizens and told the pension they paid for is ''welfare'', while the more privileged who paid for their retirement through generously-tax-payer-subsidized superannuation contributions are lauded as ''superior and entitled''.

    Another unfair anomaly is that the aged pension is ''taxable income'', but a superannuation pension is not (at least not in retirement phase). Why?
    Peterrj
    19th Dec 2015
    8:33pm
    Rainey on 18/12 "Now, if someone pays into super they are given taxpayer dollars."

    That statement is challenged and less than 24 hrs later Rainey explains, "I'm not suggesting that everyone is treated equally ..."

    Ummm , a bald statement of, 'if someone' surely means 'everyone'???

    Rainey thinks not!!!!
    Peterrj
    19th Dec 2015
    8:54pm
    Rainey, "But surely you can't argue the fact that someone on a relatively high salary gets a very nice tax concession for the 9% that is contributed to their superannuation account each year ...." What???? I didn't know that.

    So those on a high salary receive a 'nice tax concession' on their employer's 9% payment into their Super fund???

    I was not aware that any individual received any 'tax concessions' for the employer's Super contribution????

    Anyone out there who can shed some light on this 'specific' tax concession issue???

    It's trite to say that someone on a higher income will get more Super paid by their employer than someone on a lower income but do they get a higher tax concession??? (Do they get 'any' tax concession???)
    Peterrj
    19th Dec 2015
    9:36pm
    Rainey, it's almost impossible to make comment on your posings because of your scatter gun approach tomnalf truths dressed up as Rainey dogma.

    You claim, "... high salary earners get ... a further nice concession for ANY voluntary contributions ... than someone on a low salary gets a very much smaller tax concession" Really?

    Partly true ... BUT Mostly untrue!!!

    1st we need to understand what is a 'voluntary contribution'? Super may consist of several different forms of contributions but two (2) types are generally considered to be 'voluntary contributions':

    Salary Sacrifice limit to $25,000 or $37,000 and such contributions are taxed at 15%. It follows that those on a high income compared to those on a much lower income do get a higher tax concession to use Rainey's terminology because they pay 15c in the dollar instead of 49c in the dollar. I get that!

    However, the OTHER form of voluntary contributions into Super is paid in post taxed dollars! That those on a higher tax bracket pay higher tax than those in a lower tax bracket. It follows that (Rainey's terminology) those in a lower tax bracket get a much greater tax concession than those on a higher income!!!! Those on a lower tax bracket only pay 19c in the dollar to voluntarily contribute one post tax dollar but those on a higher tax bracket may be paying 49c in the dollar to pay $1 into Super!!!!


    So what's your point Rainey??? Anyone else confused with what Rainey is trying to say????
    Peterrj
    19th Dec 2015
    9:45pm
    Rainey, "Another unfair anomaly is that the aged pension is ''taxable income'', but a superannuation pension is not (at least not in retirement phase). Why?"

    Why indeed!

    What is Rainey trying to say, "...but a superannuation pension is not (at least not in retirement phase).

    I Didn't know that you can have a superannuation pension that is NOT in the 'retirement phase'???

    Sorry Rainey but I have run out of time to 'discuss' all the other claims by You!!!! I'm off to get a life!!!!
    Rodent
    19th Dec 2015
    5:14pm
    Just something for "interested parties "to consider

    In the Senate Standing Committee June 2015- (before the Pension bill passed) DSS wrote a reply to several submissions to the Committee. The following is an extract from that Doc, it makes interesting reading

    "The Age Pension role in the retirement income system is a safety net payment that is designed to support a basic, acceptable standard of living, particularly for those with few other resources. Age Pension is funded from general revenue, in other words by current taxpayers, and targeted through the means test to those who need it most. As a non-contributory social security payment, eligibility for the Age Pension is not based on past income or contributions, or taxes paid during a person’s working life".
    Peterrj
    19th Dec 2015
    8:21pm
    Hey Rodent, I was going to rudley say to you, 'Tell us something we don't know'! Then I realised that many words have been wasted on this YLC site denying the most obvious that you have recorded above ie. "As a non-contributory social security payment, eligibility for the Age Pension is not based on past income or contributions, or taxes paid during a person’s working life"." Yep, totally agree.

    Now we will may hear that Queen Victoria 'once' said that the aged pension is a reward for paying taxes all you life!! Rodent, LOL!!! Well if Queen Victoria does not get a mention then you can bet that Bob Who Menzies will get a mention!!!!

    Ummm, isn't a social security payment from the Govt a 'welfare payment'???? Well it's not on this site!!!!
    Anonymous
    20th Dec 2015
    6:22pm
    Sad that it's actually NOT targeted at those who need it most, although that is quite probably the intention. Also, it's not quite correct to say it's ''non-contributory''. It is funded by current taxpayers, but only because the contributions made by current retirees were misappropriated by the Fraser Government. True that it is not based on past income or contributions or taxes paid during a person's working life, for the simple reason that the system was specifically designed to provide a retirement income for all retirees, regardless of means or contribution during their working life, and that income was intended to be regarded as an entitlement.

    Retirees have been cheated out of their entitlements by dishonest governments. Of course they now describe the Aged Pension in terms that are convenient for them. Interesting that their own pensions are regarded as an entitlement that cannot be withdrawn no matter how unaffordable they may become or what portion is funded from general revenue. Sad that some blindly accept the edicts of dishonest and corrupt governments rather than defending the moral rights of retirees.
    Peterrj
    21st Dec 2015
    12:07am
    Rainey, yes it is sad that I don't know what are the 'Moral rights of retirees'???

    I understand just the last two words out of 'moral rights of retirees'.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2015
    10:27am
    Peterrj, I think any decent person would agree that after a lifetime of work - often in dangerous and unhealthy conditions - and paying taxes, or after a lifetime of contributing to the community in other ways (such as caring or voluntary work, or just raising a family of hard-working, law-abiding taxpaying citizens) retirees have a moral entitlement to a decent standard of living and to be treated fairly and equitably and not in a discriminatory manner in the distributions of benefits supplied by the taxpayer. That's my definition of ''moral rights of retirees''. My apologies to any who disagree, but I'd venture to say it would be the rich and privileged who disagree, not those who broke their bodies in hard work for lousy pay and who are the real lifters of this nation.
    Peterrj
    30th Dec 2015
    6:43am
    Rainey, I'd like to say that I basically agree with your 'definition of moral rights for retirees' ie. That after a life time of taxpaying you are entitled to a decent standard of living complements of the tax payer.

    I assume that means:
    1 that tax payers in retirement deserve to be paid the Old Age Pension, and
    2 that the Age Pension payment should be enough, by itself, to allow one to live a decent standard of living.

    I agree that this should be the case. Probably the rich would also agree as that also includes them! The poor would also probably say that so long as they get the Aged Pension then who cares who else is paid the Aged Pension. Your proposition may have universal folk law support.

    However, is is not the law and it never has been so!

    This 'moral right of retirees' is nothing but a myth. Such rights, moral or otherwise, do not and have never existed here in Australia. My claim is easily disproven by citing when it was, in fact, the case in law and not just in nice sounding rhetoric, ie. When, give me a date, when did this moral right ever exist in Australia???

    The Aged Pension is, if fact, NOT a reward for a life time of hard and productive work with full taxes having been paid. I'd like to say that it should be ... but it isn't!

    You may think that this unfair but the reality is that has never been the case. If wrong then tell me when the Aged Pension was a payment for a reward for hard work? (It's actually the dead opposite but I'm not going there in the post.)

    The Aged Pension HAS always been 'means tested' ..... thou I keep on reading in YLC postings that was not once the case etc. (See my Avatar posting below.)

    And the basic reason for this 'means test' is that the 'rich' (YLC emotive and unhelpful language) do not need to be paid the Aged Pension to supplement their retirement income. Now the problem is trying to define who are the 'rich' ie. Who miss out on any Aged Care Payment? That has a simple answer based on mathematics and not emotion:

    "Those who exceed either the Asset or Income threshold are not eligible to be paid the Aged Pension or any of the side benefits" and they are generally considered by YLC to be in the rich class!

    And that is proposition that I violently disagree with!!!

    I have no doubt that many retirees have paid their fair share of taxes, tried to get ahead in life and are now being denied at least some Aged pension payment and that they are now struggling to make ends meet? Agreed, I think that is totally UNFAIR! Thee good tax payers now find themselves being financially screwed by ever changing rules and thresholds concerning the Aged Pension!

    That is not the fault of 'the rich' but of Government policy. In that regard both major parties will continue to financially screw retirees out their savings!!!! There is a financial Winter's storm brewing for retirees and it is now only Autumn.
    Rodent
    20th Dec 2015
    11:22am
    I joined this post to I hope offer some additional Information to anybody that might need it in relation to the Age Pension changes. I was/am not interested in the points scoring between individuals, like some posters I deal only in facts. I am hopeful that in the new year we may have another "informed discussion" about the changes. To that end I have provided the YLC Editorial team with some additional information that they MAY publish in 2016, which may provoke a further interchange of views.

    There are no simple answers to some of this, Pensions will change,my guess is that one or Both the Supps will also be targeted soon. The Clean Energy Supp is now fixed anyway, ie no longer indexed.

    I have deliberately steered away from commenting on the ISA submission, although parts of it may have value. My concern is the balance is not right.

    ISA and others have vested interests, and people often confuse different aspects of Super, Taxation, Contributions, the Accumulation phase with what happens after a person reaches Retirement and is paying them selves a Pension from the accumulated savings(no matter how they were achieved)
    Clearly no body likes to lose a partial Age Pension income stream, or in fact the whole income stream, however everybody's circumstances are different, we just have to cope.
    Hang on to something solid, there could be some even bigger waves ahead.
    Merry Christmas - take a deep breath, and research everything and then engage brain before writing anything
    Adrianus
    20th Dec 2015
    11:47am
    Yes, thank you Rodent.
    Merry Christmas.
    Not Senile Yet!
    20th Dec 2015
    8:36pm
    OMG!!!
    Most of you on this site are so brainwashed into the factional propaganda of Left or Right that it is completely believable that the Political Strategists behind closed doors are quite correct!!!!
    Say something ten times and they will believe.
    What a lot of Rot most of the arguments on here are!!!
    Pensions were never Welfare!
    They were something provided by the Australian Government as a reward for all those who worked hard and paid their taxes!
    Yes....it was worded just that way.....for ALL taxpayers....regardless of Assets or Income!!!!
    However, consecutive Governments ....both sides.....have mucked with this legislation just as they have with the Compulsory Super Legislation!
    By Mucked...I mean changed it bit by bit.....adding asset & income tests.....by stealth ....them changing them as they failed to Balance each budget!!!
    In short they attacked the retirees because they could and because.....1. they had the money or 2. they were costing the Government money (pensions)!!!
    Consecutive Governments...both State & Federal ......have consistently failed to Balance their Budgets.....and consistently blamed their predecessors for their inability to do so!!!
    No one on this site has quite the intelligence that you all assume you have......both sides of the argument over who is right or wrong or who is to blame fall well short of the Obvious!!!
    The Political Parties have a vested interest in deceiving everyone whilst they feed at the tax trough and prepare to feed at the Super trough next!!!
    For 20 years their have not been any MAJOR disruption that has succeeded nor has Union membership increased and the average worker has only received less than the CPI as a wage increase but it was however tied to productivity increases.
    Our Mp's now receive higher Salaries and Expense Accounts than any other Western Nation on the Planet......not to mention that per Population represented.....their Salaries exorbitant to say the least!
    Are you aware that Most State Premiers are paid more than any other Premier /Governor and when you see the difference in Population....it is astounding!!!
    We only have 30Million Population NOT 3,000 Million!!!!
    Australia spends more per head of population just on Defence....yes Navy Army and Air Force....than any other Nation on the Planet!!!
    WHY????
    Are we under attack????
    Our Pollies are playing keep up with the Jones's aka USA etc. etc.
    But to do so they have to dismantle Medicare....renamed the Pensions Welfare...which they are not!!!
    The Asset & Income Tests are simply a way to diminish that debt so they can give themselves more rises and buy more War machines that we Do Not Need!!!
    By the Way...the raiding of the Taxation Dept's Retirement Trust
    Fund that contained Billions preserved for the Baby Boomers Pensions by Malcolm Fraser was nothing short of Legal Robbery by BOTH PARTIES...for Labor had to agree to gain access.....Yes Legal Robbery!!!
    Then by Magic a NEW PARLIAMENT HOUSE arose from nowhere in Canberra...Larger than the USA's Whitehouse....and the Cost was Buried somewhere along with just how much was Stolen from the Pensioner's Taxation Fund!!!
    Seriously....you all think you so damn smart debating Left over Right Wing Points of View....whilst the Party System Colludes to change every piece of Legislation designed to allow a fairer democracy to exist and grow in Australia.
    The Compulsory Super Scheme was nothing other than out sourcing the Administration to the Private Sector...as has been done with everything else from Gas to power to water and all Government controlled Bills have now been attached to automatic increases with the CPI!!!!
    But not the Wages...hell no....and who do have being looked at by a Royal Commission??? Oh Yeah Unions!!!!
    Not the Politicians!!!!
    Not the Party Machines!!!!
    Not the Caucus of each Party that keeps Sacking their leaders for Foot & Mouth Disease!!!
    Oh NO!! You can't investigate Corruption at the TOP can WE???
    Good luck with your simplistic arguments about Left & Right Wing Policies and who is Right or Wrong!!!
    The Parties have long ago worked out that to add fuel to the debate is to distract the people while they fill their pockets and the pockets of their friends,
    Corruption is enacted by Humans joining together to outwit and out manoeuvre the gullible...
    And there are non more gullible than the Taxpayer!!!!
    Peterrj
    21st Dec 2015
    12:41pm
    Not Senile Yet, 'Pensions were never Welfare!
    They were something provided by the Australian Government as a reward for all those who worked hard and paid their taxes!
    Yes....it was worded just that way.....for ALL taxpayers....regardless of Assets or Income!!!!"

    Can you just give me one year just one year when retirees were paid the Aged Pension like you claim???
    Peterrj
    21st Dec 2015
    8:33am
    I have read many passionate postings claiming that the Govt of the day gave a solemn promise to the Australian public that the elderly will provide tax payers the Aged Pension without any means testing. If you challenge that view then you are labeled ignorant of Australian retirement history.

    It seems that I am one of those 'ignorant' posters as I have not heard of such promises outside of YLC.

    I have done a brief search for this Utopian promise and I can't find it?

    Yes, I admit it did not look too hard and ask to be pointed in the right direction. So hold off with the tar and feathers at this stage as I am admitting my failings and seek your guidance.

    What I did find was the birth of the Aged Pension and it was born 'means tested'.
    "The Commonwealth of Australia was formed on I January 1901 by federation of the six States under a written constitution which, among other things, authorised the new Commonwealth Parliament to legislate in respect of age and invalid pensions. In the event, the Commonwealth did not exercise this power until June 1908 when legislation providing for the introduction of means-tested 'flat-rate' age and invalid pensions was passed."

    From 1908 till 1961 the principles for this Aged Pension means test remained fairly consistent.

    But major change took place in the Aged Pension means test in 1961. The separate property and income tests, which previously had formed the means test, were combined into a composite whole called the merged means test under which means were calculated by adding personal earnings to 10 per cent of the value of property.

    A major liberalisation of the pension means test took place in 1969. The rate of reduction in pension was changed From 100 per cent to 50 per cent of the amount by which pensioner's means exceeded the maximum level not affecting the pension rate. The new arrangement became known as the 'tapered means test'.

    The pension means test has undergone several significant changes since 1970.

    AH!!! The 'means test' was ABOLISHED for pensioners aged 75 and over in 1973 and for pensioners aged 70 and over in 1975.

    HOWEVER it seems that this exemption and absolute entitlement to the Aged Pension ended for those aged 70 and over lasted only till 1978!

    After 1978 all retirees were again subjected to the means test to be eligible to receive the Aged Pension.

    The means test was replaced by an income test in 1976.

    An assets test on Aged Pensions was introduced in 1985. It operates alongside the income test. Assets test limits are increased in line with price movements.


    Means testing for the Aged Pension continues to be amended .... frequently.

    It seems that I have wrongly concluded that the Aged Pension has been means tested from 1908 till today.

    However there was a brief exception for those aged 75 from 1973 to 1978 and for those aged 70 from 1975 till 1978 when they were no longer subject to means testing.

    Further, I can not find a source output side of YLC postings where it is stated 'The Aged Pension is an entitlement to all tax payers???"

    So put aside any welfare assertions and try and not raise any fairness issues but can you point me in the right direction and tell me when did Australian taxpayers in retirement get the Aged Pension as an entitlement not subject to any means testing, except for those aged 79 and 75 as mentioned by me above???? And How many years did that absolute entitlement last???