Is the Age Pension under pressure?

The future of the Age Pension: Is the family home safe from assets tests?

Is the Age Pension under pressure?

Financial experts have weighed in on the future of the Age Pension, with most agreeing that the government may have a tough time funding the Age Pension of the future, but, by and large, it seems to be safe.

A rapidly ageing population coupled with a diminishing workforce means Australia’s Age Pension system is under pressure, says Anthony Keane.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that around 80 per cent of retirees received a full or part age pension in 2016-17, and only 21 per cent were fully self-funded.

But the number of self-funded retirees is rising along with the maturity of the superannuation system.

The Actuaries Institute estimates the cost of funding the Age Pension in its current form should actually reduce as a percentage of the economy, from around 2.7 per cent of GDP in 2017 to around 2.5 per cent of GDP in 2038.

“This reflects recent tightening of means testing, later retirement ages and further growth in superannuation balances,” says the institute.

This could mean that future governments will have the ability to manipulate the pension system to ensure money goes to those who really need it.

However, in what would be bad news for retirees, the first ‘tweak’ to the pension system would most likely come in the form of putting the family home on the block.

The Government already tightened up the assets test in 2017, and if this trend were to continue, it indicates that the family home may not be safe from the assets test in future.

“A lot of people became self-funded retirees, not because they wanted to but because the government reduced the benefit,” says Planning for Prosperity financial adviser Bob Budreika.

“People will have to be more self-reliant. I believe that ultimately the government will assess a person’s home as an asset as they do for aged care. They will nibble away at the benefits – I think they will be forced to.

“It does become ridiculous having someone with a substantial asset and relying on a source of income from the government, so the kids end up with the house tax-free,” he added.

Mr Budreika also suggested that there could be stricter super access rules, such as a mandatory setting aside of a portion of retirement savings to provide a steady retirement income stream.

There have also been suggestions that a portion of super savings could be set aside to pay for any health or aged care needs in retirement, further reducing the reliance of older Australians on the public purse.

Do you think the family home will be safe from the assets test for the foreseeable future? What do you think of having portions of your savings taken from you to pay for aged care and healthcare? Would you be happy to have your super doled out to you to ensure a steady retirement income stream, or would you rather have total control over your retirement savings?

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    COMMENTS

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    Alexii
    3rd Jun 2019
    9:54am
    Yes, foe sure. They'd probably like to see us living in hovels.
    ozrog
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:03am
    Yep. I guess noone voted LNP on here. They were always going to come after retires super, home and yes here's the topper, franking credits. Good luck folks.
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:43am
    Cue Old geezer to say that the Pension should be a loan against future liquidation of assets, just like drawing for incapacity on Defence Force Superannuation is a 'loan' against the future payout to the recipient (grrrrrrrr)......

    I recommend two visits to the guillotine for each supporter of that kind of theft, and then mandatory remedial psychology if symptoms persist.....

    Time to tear these political and PS swine some new ones....
    MICK
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:26pm
    What, an election just dusted off and already talk of bringing in franking credit reform, capital gains tax reform and now bring the family home into the assets tests? I never.
    Whilst the government nobody wanted to have is back in I find it strange to read about all of the above. Is the government softening us up for what is coming? I know....this lot will never bring in the above. And the pope is not a catholic either.
    jackie
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:31pm
    Alexii, Unfortunately, that may happen while corporate machines continue to run the Government and Australians continue to buy shares in them.

    No Australian politician would ever give up their pension and perks like the then 83-year-old ex-President of Uruguay José Mujica did back in 2015 when he retired.

    Our rich politicians are too busy serving those that provide them with financial kickbacks instead of the taxpayer.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-45195188
    roy
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:29pm
    Cue MICK to come in with some pearls of wisdom, thought so!
    GeorgeM
    4th Jun 2019
    2:16pm
    This is just a ridiculous article - meant to stir up Retirees by throwing controversial (mostly unacceptable) suggestions from a couple of non-entities (suffering Relevance Deprivation) up in the air? This is not from the Govt.

    However, the focus of such ideas must have a deliberate bad intent, as the Govt is planning a Retirement Incomes Review very soon. Maybe the Business interests, such as Financial companies, behind these non-experts wanting to push ideas where they can gain more business.
    Blinky
    9th Jun 2019
    1:44pm
    Yes , so-called economist experts go x the easy way out.
    How come they always find money x asylum seekers, migrants, dole bludgers, foreign aid and politicians high salaries and pensions?
    ozrog
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:04am
    We are easy targets.
    rtrish
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:21pm
    Yes, sob.
    Alexii
    3rd Jun 2019
    6:53pm
    We certainly are.
    *Loloften*
    18th Jun 2019
    4:30am
    Pollies hoping we die early.....not happening yet. They need to their act together, financially disabling majority of OAPs from spending & we're now almost 20% of population.
    Whistleblower
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:04am
    After the recent federal election scare campaign about the retiree tax ( franking credits ) this will never happen over the next one to two election cycles unless the government of the day wants to be voted out. it would be hypocritical of the Liberal government to introduce any more changes affecting retired Australians.
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:44am
    Bit late after what they've done already - it seems the retiree community is very forgiving.... not me though. I'm magnanimous in victory ONLY.
    etnorb
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:07am
    Savings, what bloody savings? Good luck trying to get any money from me or my wife, we have almost zero savings now. We will not be moving to an old folks home or whatever, our somewhat newish home is ok with us, minimal gardening & upkeep, so no need to go anywhere, at least until we are forced to by circumstances beyond our control. As for Super savings, good luck trying to get any of mine, about $1000 is all I have left now!
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:48am
    Just down-sized to suit disability and now renovating to suit disability for my ex (when do I get to retire?) - but up-priced due to position (near heated pool and facilities)and market. Does that mean we're bludgers and taking money from the government's coffers for nothing?.. I get carer allowance, but it should be an extra full pension due to the real costs etc.

    Are any of those factors included in calculation of value of a house? Special steps to suit older people, special carpet over hard tiles, new bathroom (again), security so she feels safe at night .... all these add value - so that means we need to pay the Guv for them?

    Tell 'em from me to get stuffed....
    in2sunset
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:51pm
    So sick of hearing 'down size'...I couldn't down size much more unless it was to a caravan, or perhaps tent. There are enough homeless people now.
    Farside
    6th Jun 2019
    1:52pm
    you may be surprised to learn the downsize message is not personally directed to you in2sunset. Nobody is suggesting you exit the much loved hovel for a caravan or tent, tho it remains a choice in principal. It is a very real option however for those that bought homes in the burbs in the 80s and 90s that now find themselves with assets in the seven figures. This provides a real opportunity to downsize to a place with less garden, reduced maintenance etc and have enough left in the tin to be comfortable. Yes, the kids inheritance takes a dent but they will get over it.
    Trevine
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:08am
    Of course they want to take control of our money. What about their money? Nn rules and regulations for them. Bloody mongrels
    MJM
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:07am
    Their money is our money
    Oldchick
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:08am
    Totally agree with you Trevine. They keep looking towards the general pensioners instead of taking a long hard look at themselves. Look how many politicians jumped ship prior to the election because they wanted to get the higher rate of pension. Abbott and Turnbull alone will be pulling in about $210k per annum each and they can continue to work and collect the Pension at the same time. Turnbull is already in a top job. It’s so wrong. Not to mention all the added perks, free high class travel, paid medical....the list is endless.
    libsareliars
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:56pm
    Yep it makes me sick too at their unbelievably generous pensions, rorts etc. Yet they have the gall to go after pensioners and those on welfare. It's time they looked into their own endless pensions and perks before they rob us any more.
    Triss
    3rd Jun 2019
    4:26pm
    We need a Royal Commission on politicians past and present. The whole pension and perks thing was a corrupt process.
    Farside
    6th Jun 2019
    2:01pm
    Most retirees are ok with the government and conservative ideology, at least while the alternative is progressive ideology or a ragtag of wannabes.

    A royal commission is unnecessary and will achieve nothing until there is consensus among the pollies and encouragement from the public. it is not a top of mind issue.

    The sooner a government promises to reset on pollie remuneration the better but there is little chance of that happening any time soon. How good would it be if pollies received a one time adjustment and then going forward identical superannuation and benefits arrangements as other civil servants?
    On the Ball
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:10am
    "There have also been suggestions that a portion of super savings could be set aside to pay for any health or aged care needs in retirement, further reducing the reliance of older Australians on the public purse."
    What? So the sick and needy HAVE to spend their hard-earned (it comes from OUR wages) retirement dollars while the healthy dont?
    And THIS: " and if this trend were to continue, it indicates that the family home may not be safe from the assets test in future."
    From the heroes who said they wouldn't touch pensions and retirement savings! Remember, only a few weeks ago? And they had the gall to accuse Labor of wanting to have a RETIREMENT TAX?
    It seems a lot of older voters were hoodwinked by the Ad Man.
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:53am
    Hmmm .. "take from the super ... rely on the public purse... take from the super ... rely on the public purse..." ... it's a tough one, Eddie... thanks for giving me the one out of two chance ........ Lock in B) Eddie - rely on the public purse...

    Stupid non-thinking as usual from government, its agencies and its paid advisors - taking from super means less money in hand and thus further reliance on social security - but I'll bet they've got that one sewn up well in advance. One thing you can guarantee is that no step is taken without their having worked out every move, like a chess game, well in advance - that's where Shorten fell short with his franked dividends game play... instead of being well in front of the game, he appeared to make up changes on the fly....

    I say hang ten a week until the rest get the message.
    On the Ball
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:20am
    There IS a way through this.
    Firstly, there WILL be enough money to provide a pension for those in need. Any talk of the contrary is just LNP scare tactics.
    The compulsory Super scheme was designed to cope and so far is coping. It will only get better as workers who have had the benefit of it ALL their working lives come on stream. I have only recently retired, and I started work at 17. But had 13 years work before the compulsory super scheme came into effect. And I wont need a pension, (assuming no unfortunate events, continued ill health of me of my family). I have only ever earned the average wage OR LESS (mostly less!). We have our own home (only one since we married).
    No extravagant lifestyle, only a few holidays. It can be done - for the average person/couple. For the less fortunate, there is the pension.
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:57am
    That's exactly how it should be working, OTB - governments screeching that the budget is in disaster mode due to toe 'costs' of pension just shows how utterly incompetent and out of touch - and what liars they are in reality - governments in this nation are.

    Plenty of money for every pet project that comes along - plenty of new 'social science' commission and star chambers to be created to employ party favourites etc - never enough to pay the bills that fall due as anticipated and paid for in advance.

    As before the entire gamut of government spending needs to be fully reviewed and the dead wood cast out. No more 'commissions' and such to suit women's whines, same for ethnics, same for Aborigines, same for gays and weirdoes - we're declaring equality right here and now.... now get on with life and stop leaning, you lazy bludgers.
    AussieTuca
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:21am
    Well, I'm safe. There is a nice bridge in my area and I am saving to buy a nice tent. The creek near the bridge will be my loo and a few card boxes will build a nice mattress. A couple of supermarket nearby will supply a couple of trolleys to keep things in order. The Library is not faraway so I will have all the entertainment that I need (though I think I will have to bath before going inside).
    The Salvos will provide some dodge soup once a while and some old clothes for the winter. I live in a lucky country after all. Who needs more?...

    Bring it on Scomo!
    libsareliars
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:50pm
    lol! Well said AussieTuca - it could well get to that soon! We have approx. 130,000 homeless already in Australia.
    McGroger
    3rd Jun 2019
    2:06pm
    Worked with a bloke years ago who was often late for work in winter because he said he had to chip the ice off the creek before he could have a wash. Not a worry if you're retired though, Aussie Tucca.
    CoogeeGuy
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:27am
    If the information in this article is correct, and that the cost of funding retirement is going to reduce from 2.7%, down to 2.5%, then the Government should not need to introduce any significant changes. Especially including our residential home as an asset. Should they decide to use our home as an asset, the dollar value as an asset will diminish, and we will have no assets when it comes time to enter into retirement living. Who is going to pay for our nursing care then? Oh guess what? They now want to dig into our savings account to pay for our aged care. There goes the holidays and entertainment money! It appears retirement is no longer something to look forward to, following our extended years in the workforce and paying high taxes. Does this really pass the PUB-TEST?
    AverageJoe
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:32am
    So with a focus on these types of negative incentives why would anyone try to build up their super. I have always strived to save and invest in my super so that when I retired I would be able to use that money to buy what I wanted or to do the things I have been foregoing for 30 years. My advice to my children will be to spend like today will be your last and tomorrow will take care of itself.
    Cowboy Jim
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:50am
    Good advice for the kids, Joe. Certainly would not work any more as diligently as I did from the 60s onwards. Scare tactics will always be with us like the Mediscare one from a few years ago. As long as Super is used for wealth generation for future family members it will not be enough to give a living return for the people concerned.
    Inheritance taxes would solve a lot of problems, the current aged people would be cared for by getting the full pension - only the heirs of the estate would get less and they should be able to make their own income. I know that is not a popular solution but Super should be for the contributors not for the next generation.
    Paddington
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:54am
    Cowboy Jim, mediscare? Heaps has been done to Medicare to water it down. It is not announced but it has happened. GPs need the payment they get unfrozen. Many have to pay for tests like scans which used to be covered. I have witnessed people not making appointments because they cannot afford the tests they need. LNP don’t broadcast they just do. Every month it is a struggle to get our meds because they have been removed which never used to happen. It goes on and on.
    libsareliars
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:48pm
    So true Paddington - the LNP/IPA hate Medicare and have wanted to get rid of it since Fraser's time. They are killing it slowly and surely.
    in2sunset
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:56pm
    I thoroughly agree with you AveragJoe. I am single, have worked bloody hard to own my little house outright. My car is 19 years old. Just gone on the pension with minimal super - facing a retaining wall bill of nearly $12,000, which will have to come out of that super.
    But I look at my bludger of a sister - lives in a 3BR govt house (no kids at home any more), has been on DSP for over 25 years (lung damage due to smoking). Takes a cruise every year with her friends. I haven't been on a holiday for 6 years - and that was only interstate.
    I really think I have done it all wrong. Why anyone would work hard to buy their home, and put money into super - I really don't know why. I tell younger ones I know - Live it up, spend it, because you will be bloody penalised in older age for trying to look after yourself.
    I FIRMLY believe that in future years the govt will control people's super, etc and dole it out. My only consolation is that I will be long gone and won't need to care.
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:08pm
    Trouble with that and with things like dictating that pensions be a loan etc, Cowboy, is that only the fatter cats will be able to preserve their 'superannuation' and assets and such with the Usual Suspect chicaneries, and thus only the fatter cats will be able to pass on a meaningful inheritance - and the gap between wealth and poverty will grow and grow. That is a lot like the increasing cost of a tertiary education - soon only the fatter cats will be able to afford it and thus we will revert to the situation I was in back in the 1960's - slated for medical school, but being on the wrong side of the family meant I would not get any help at all, and it was simply not viable without a solid family support network at the home I did not have. Some on the 'right' side of the family went on to uni - I had to wait until it was free.....

    As the gentleman I know you to be, you could not countenance such things as robbing the poor again?
    Cowboy Jim
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:28pm
    &Trebor - the inheritance tax would take the fat cats down a peg or two but would not force existing people out of their houses; it only would apply to the heirs who would get less than they expected and so would help the one who do not inherit anything.
    Talking about the problem of forcing people to downsize because of asset increases should the family home be included in the test. Yes - I meant the pension to be a loan against the estate in preference of cancelling the pensions of people in houses they have always lived in and thus forcing them to downsize against their wishes.
    AussieTuca
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:39am
    !
    Cowboy Jim
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:31pm
    AussieTuca - does that mean (!) that you do not understand, disagree or are you just out of breath??
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:40am
    So we oldies have got the pension on the ropes? The poor bastards..... and the government has got our family home surrounded? The poor bastards... (liberal use of a quote by a US 101st Trooper at Bastogne (the Germans have got us surrounded? the poor bastards...)

    They will need to be VERY careful about how they work out what 'value' that family home has and that value will need to be worked out over a multitude of factors.... and then those of us with a mortgage can get a top-up, eh?I mean - what is the ACTUAL value of your home to YOU if you pare paying off half of it?

    Now what will be the stance as regards SFRs? Part-pensioners - will they have part value tested? On another note, will some of those continue to whine that pensioners are better off for being bludgers all their lives etc, and they as 'savers' should be treated as a better class? Well, they will be since their family home is not included.

    I can smell a new Bureau of Second Class Retirees coming along.... time I started laying into these politicians again for real....
    OlderandWiser
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:46pm
    The family home is currently valued at $207k for asset testing by centrelink
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:13pm
    Yeeee-uush - but The Good Colonel does not clearly state it is somehow income generating. I've long said that only income-bearing assets should be included in any assets test. A home, a boat, a car, a campervan, a tent - are not income bearing assets, they are cost items - and The Good Colonel (Kommandant off der Konzenstrationslageren Auschtralia) loves to play the game of saying they are worth money in lieu - and then charging the pensioner for selling them off, since they now have cash.

    It's a rort pure and simple, so adios assets test.
    Paddington
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:42am
    Ha ha, so much for this lovely government keeping all the secrets until after the election.
    What Labor threatened with the franking credits would have hurt a lot less than what this government is about to do. We would have gotten dental instead!
    Cowboy Jim
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:54am
    I always had to pay for my own dental procedures; of course there always were more attractive ways to spend the money, just saw too many blokes with bad or no teeth when I arrived here 50 years ago. Have seen the dentist every 6 months for a clean and if people do that the costs are much less.
    Paddington
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:16pm
    They are testing the waters for sure and watching the reaction.
    Why not go after the tax dodging big companies by closing all the loopholes?!
    One thing for sure is that the LNP have never been for the poor or the lowly paid worker.
    roy
    3rd Jun 2019
    8:46pm
    Shifty Shorten should have been elected and we would have been living in a land flowing with milk and honey.
    Paddington
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:33pm
    roy, you can lay off him now, (Bill Shorten), you won, so be gracious!
    KSS, really, you are on their site, and you dare to call this piece scaremongering!
    It is called reporting and because you don’t like it and it pushes your buttons in some way you slam it. Who is Mr Budreika? What are his credentials? Maybe debate without being derogatory!
    Much has been suggested and proposed. Your lovely LNP will take care of you I am sure.
    Paddington
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:04am
    It is a bit like Brexit and Trump, regret later!
    Paddington
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:04am
    It is a bit like Brexit and Trump, regret later!
    MJM
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:05am
    How dare anybody put the home into assets test. Especially when the actual sale price is well below the actual amount( interest over 20+ years) that has been paid. Elderly folk actually become too old to move sell and readjust. Many 60-70 are keeping homes to help with grandchildren and sometimes divorced adult children. Nobody has a right to force us to downsize so the government can reduce their responsibility. Pensions are generally just giving back to pensioners their work taxes they gave governments over their working life !!!! So others who never bought homes get more? Sick of that too.
    OlderandWiser
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:53pm
    And the government will care, I don't think they will give a toss personally, their attitude is, suck it up sunshine. Just like in Jan 2017.
    in2sunset
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:59pm
    Agree - and what if we need some funds? - sell off a bedroom? Or take a reverse mortgage? They can go jump! I agree - worst of all, HOW would it be controlled? It scares the hell out me just thinking about it! Billions will be spent on a new department, how will homes be valued? Stupid, stupid idea.
    *Loloften*
    18th Jun 2019
    5:04am
    SFR - "suck it up sunshine" is what we're facing. Hope a huge rebellion will follow. I'm happy to walk the streets waving a banner markered "fairness for all" with hopefully many 10,000s of retirees. OAP for singles is $463/wk - Basic Wage for singles is $761/wk.....so is that basic wage for survival? If so, how can another single survive on $463/wk?
    Jim
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:27am
    It is not the government that is suggesting this change, more fear mongering I hope anyway, sometimes people dip their toe in the water to see the reaction, I guess we will know soon enough, if it happens who do you think will be game to put it as part of their policy manifesto?
    Paddington
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:58am
    Well, there is a surprise review happening now. That was not announced during the election.
    Imagine retirees knowing about this when they voted! Their imaginations would have gone wild. It would have made the franking credits a minor threat.
    Paddington
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:24pm
    KSS, no, wrong! They have expanded that, so maybe Labor should have been screaming about it like the LNP was screaming about franking credits. This is far worse as it will take in everything. Do you doubt for a moment that some are going to lose. If the review says franking credits have to go the government will use that as an excuse to do so. This is justification for saving money. People are afraid because it is usually the ones with the least who have to pay. The generational thing is also a problem as young ones perceive the oldies as costing them getting into a home and getting ahead. Some retirees are going to lose for sure.
    Paddington
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:25pm
    Oh and LNP do it by stealth.
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:18pm
    ... and already rejected by the vox populi.....

    There endeth the lesson, and beyond here be dragons.
    OlderandWiser
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:28am
    The family home will become part of the assets test, currently the government value the family home at just $207k under current asset testing. So just about every pensioner that owns their own home will LOSE the OAP completely and be forced to sell & down size or rent & spend their savings from any sale of tneir homes.
    This government has ALL home owners in their sites.
    Discontented
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:16pm
    Hope u r wrong SFM. My home is my castle, I would be devastated if I was forced out.
    Discontented
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:16pm
    Hope u r wrong SFM. My home is my castle, I would be devastated if I was forced out.
    OlderandWiser
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:54pm
    So do I
    Paddington
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:37pm
    Our home is a refuge for the whole family. They come back when they are sick and unable to work. They come back when their world falls apart either through divorce or illness.
    It is not a mansion but it is all we have.
    Jacka
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:34am
    People should always be in control of how they use and spend their own money. I do believe the family home is safe for the foreseeable future. Labour losing the unloseable election proved that attacking retirees can be fatal. The fallout regarding franking credits should show all Governments, take care of the aged who are attempting to look after themselves or suffer the consequences. We may be old and somewhat frail but we do wheel a big stick. Governments beware. Have a good day, Cheers Jacka.
    Arvo
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:40am
    What do you think of having portions of your savings taken from you to pay for aged care and healthcare?
    A:- For those on government pension, it's a great idea and they can pay for their own state funeral.

    Would you be happy to have your super doled out to you to ensure a steady retirement income stream, or would you rather have total control over your retirement savings?
    A:- That depends on the matrix and your mental capacity but in general no, rather have total control over my retirement savings.
    KSS
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:56pm
    The fact is that super is meant to finance retirement so what is the problem of making people use it for that and not upsizing houses or world cruises or bequeathing it to the grandkids?
    Arvo
    3rd Jun 2019
    2:10pm
    KSS- nothing. And, my first answer meant parliament pension.
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:20pm
    State funeral, you say? Never had a State funeral offered to me... yet... unlike
    Bob Hawke and Co .... I see your second answer sets the record straight, Arvo - well said.
    sunnyOz
    3rd Jun 2019
    6:12pm
    Arvo...'state funeral'? Gee, didn't think I was that important.
    Tom Tank
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:59am
    This topic and raised some anger but perhaps a cooler look at the situation might be worthwhile.
    Given that despite claims being made during the recent election Australia is not in the black and, provided all things stay the same as 6 months ago, we won't get there until next year or the year after. The world situation is real cause for concern and our economy is facing a serious situation and appear likely that getting into the black is a pipe dream.

    This creates issue re maintaining a reasonable level of aged pension and it could be that the family home is included in the assets test. If it is done sensibly and fairly so that only those living in properties well above the value of the average home would be affected. The problem with that is that would mean the current government would been attacking their own constituency and they have never done that before.

    It defies all logic to have someone living in a luxurious home, or on a property, worth millions (plural) and drawing on the taxpayer funded pension. It is literally preserving wealth for the next generation. Another way around that issue would be an inheritance tax set at a fair level. Pigs might fly.
    Discontented
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:30pm
    TT the problem is you could buy a house that you live in the best part of your life becoming for various reasons very valuable. Well above the limit to give a pension. To an older person the value of the house is not important, to feel secure that you can stay in it is. This talk of asset testing the family home will in itself cause a lot of angst. I hear talk, people saying " they have a million dollar house they should not get the pension" are missing the point.
    Discontented
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:30pm
    TT the problem is you could buy a house that you live in the best part of your life becoming for various reasons very valuable. Well above the limit to give a pension. To an older person the value of the house is not important, to feel secure that you can stay in it is. This talk of asset testing the family home will in itself cause a lot of angst. I hear talk, people saying " they have a million dollar house they should not get the pension" are missing the point.
    Triss
    3rd Jun 2019
    4:38pm
    I will keep on saying “Don’t put multimillionaires in position of power.”
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:23pm
    Add it to the set of 'trigger words/terms', along with dividend franking ........ bound to start a junkyard dog fight....

    Triss - I've long advocated that people OVER a certain net worth should not be permitted to stand for parliament/senate, for simple reasons of conflicts of interest, insider trading, and prurient self-interest - government is not a self-fattening exercise - it is a duty and service to the nation and its people, and thus the remuneration should be slashed by 50%, and the perks rigidly controlled. Those with added incomes over and above their 'retirement' perks from parliament etc, should be means tested (and meanly tested as well) and their income and perks cut to suit.
    Tom Tank
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:59am
    This topic and raised some anger but perhaps a cooler look at the situation might be worthwhile.
    Given that despite claims being made during the recent election Australia is not in the black and, provided all things stay the same as 6 months ago, we won't get there until next year or the year after. The world situation is real cause for concern and our economy is facing a serious situation and appear likely that getting into the black is a pipe dream.

    This creates issue re maintaining a reasonable level of aged pension and it could be that the family home is included in the assets test. If it is done sensibly and fairly so that only those living in properties well above the value of the average home would be affected. The problem with that is that would mean the current government would been attacking their own constituency and they have never done that before.

    It defies all logic to have someone living in a luxurious home, or on a property, worth millions (plural) and drawing on the taxpayer funded pension. It is literally preserving wealth for the next generation. Another way around that issue would be an inheritance tax set at a fair level. Pigs might fly.
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:28pm
    We will not be 'in the black' - ever. The 'surplus' was a budget forecast - pie-in-the-sky forward possible estimate of what might happen if all goes strictly according to the plan laid out - and you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men ....

    Please do not confuse a 'budget forecast' with money in the bank, now or at any time ..... guaranteed in twelve month's time the red will be deeper, not black at all... and the excuses will come thick and fast...not their fault in any way - that pesky global downturn wrecked things.. the 'welfare' budget blew out.... Labor did it... the cost of aircraft and subs went up and there were cost over-runs... Labor did it ..... the global market suffered a downslide .... and Labor did it... all those years in opposition and the bastards still manage to stuff up the budget.... what can a responsible fiscal manager government do under those conditions? (LMAO) ....
    Brin
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:29pm
    I believe the rules need to be tightened, when a couple with up to 2.6 million in super pay no tax on earnings, and a 25yr old with wife 2 kids and a mortgage earning the average wage has to pay tax. They could also look at the fact that the day you retire you can spend all your super on a world trip, and then go on the pension. all I want is for the system to be fair to everyone.
    in2sunset
    3rd Jun 2019
    2:09pm
    Don't agree...the seniors would have paid tax on the money that got them that super. Young so called 'working families' - get a stack of tax benefits, child care rebates, etc. that we did not have when we were working and earning.
    Also - nothing wrong with spending it when you retire. You have forgone doing that whilst working it - when you take it has got nothing to do with it. Good on them - it is THEIR money. I have forgone holidays, new cars, bigger houses, etc to get my miserly super - and now they want to hit me for it. NO.
    Discontented
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:30pm
    Too right Sunset
    Discontented
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:30pm
    Too right Sunset
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:30pm
    Agreed that super should be limited to an amount adequate to provide a good lifestyle, and the rest is savings and income derived from it is taxed.

    Keating's grand scheme had several faults from the outset - allowing fat cats to 'contribute' to a mega super pie without let was one of them .. and the business model, which offered a sop to the banks and also gave the Unions a chance to make money, was another......
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:31pm
    If someone is getting $2.6m in super they can afford to pay tax on the excess ....
    tams
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:33pm
    Logic goes out the window when self-interest is involved

    1) For those who are lashed-on Labor voters, it was the Labor Government in 2013 that introduced the value of the family home into paying for aged care. The policy was called Living Longer. Living Better and introduced by Mark Butler, the current Climate Change and Energy opposition spokesperson.

    2 )And who knows what Government may introduce a cap on the owner occupied home in future years. It might well be Labor again with a policy to reduce age pension over a certain threshold, as they try to address the wealth balance and spread increasing outlays
    tams
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:33pm
    Logic goes out the window when self-interest is involved

    1) For those who are lashed-on Labor voters, it was the Labor Government in 2013 that introduced the value of the family home into paying for aged care. The policy was called Living Longer. Living Better and introduced by Mark Butler, the current Climate Change and Energy opposition spokesperson.

    2 )And who knows what Government may introduce a cap on the owner occupied home in future years. It might well be Labor again with a policy to reduce age pension over a certain threshold, as they try to address the wealth balance and spread increasing outlays
    Old Man
    3rd Jun 2019
    2:08pm
    I agree that self interest is involved tams. When all is said and done, the voter usually looks at policies and how they will affect them on a personal basis. I disagree about any government bringing in a policy to include a family home because of the difficulties that would present. Would there be a cut-off point? If so, how would city values be assessed against small towns away from the city? Successive governments have had a difficulty with rental assistance thresholds and can't get that right and that's dealing with hundreds of dollars. Imagine the outcry if they got it wrong dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars. That's when self interest really matters.
    Old Man
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:39pm
    Who is Bob Budreika and what is his authority to speak on government policy? .Yes, the family home will be safe from the asset test. This topic comes up every year by the bureaucrats when the budget is in the planning stage and, regardless of which government is in power, it is roundly rejected. It will always be rejected because of the disparity in the prices of homes depending on where they are. People in Western Sydney are not rich although the family home may be valued in excess of $1M although the same home transplanted to a different area could fetch $400,000.
    Eddy
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:40pm
    Disclaimer, we do not draw an OAP, we live on my Defence and public service superannuation.
    Home to be included in the assets test seems a reasonable proposal to me, as long as there were appropriate safeguards to protect OAPs who have seen their modest home increase in value over the years. For instance a residency exemption where if you have been living in your home for, say, 35 years a nominal, rather than market, value will be applied.
    I know of one pensioner couple living in a $2 million plus home (5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, tennis court and swimming pool on about a hectare of land), bought with the proceeds of selling their previous home and all their superannuation so they would qualify for the OAP, thus preserving their wealth for their heirs. Legal but is it ethical?
    Discontented
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:53pm
    True Eddy
    Discontented
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:53pm
    True Eddy
    thommo
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:26pm
    Hello Eddy...You are very fortunate having a PS pension, but some of us are not...If the home is included in the pension assets test, then so should yours...That is called equitable fairness...
    MICK
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:36pm
    Eddy - sounds very much like jealousy that anybody would dare leave their descendants anything other than a funeral bill.
    As thommo said a bit hypocritical from you because you will be exempt. Sort of reminds me of the many good folk on this website who voted for the dictatorship in forming at the recent election to hold onto very few franking credits dollars.

    What sort of people are Australians becoming. No morality and no sense of fairness for anyone other than themselves.
    roy
    3rd Jun 2019
    9:04pm
    MICK, are you the Mother Teresa of Oz?
    Eddy
    3rd Jun 2019
    9:12pm
    Mick and thommo, I note your comments. What I was illustrating Mick is that some people who are independently wealthy use the home exemption for purposes for which it was not intended. Am I hypocritical, I think not, I do not own shares yet, like you, I have an opinion on franking credits.
    Thommo what do you mean by 'equitable fairness', I earned my pensions by paying 5.5% of my salary (as well as income tax) from the day I turned 18 until I retired 48 years later and placing my life and body at the disposal of the government for the 26 years I was in uniform. I am very aware of my fortunate position but when I see people flagrantly manipulate the system for their own benefit if feel some moral outrage rather than jealously.
    KSS
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:51pm
    For all those who hold up the UK and its universal pension as something to aspire to, you might like to know that in the UK if you go into permenant age care and there are no dependents (or your spouse) living in the family home, it must be sold to pay for your age care if there are no other assets.
    Discontented
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:54pm
    No real harm there I guess
    Discontented
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:54pm
    No real harm there I guess
    Grandpa41
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:51pm
    After recent election experience of labor on their Franking Credit proposal, in my view Liberals may not venture with any retirees entitlement changes.
    travelman
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:10pm
    It just goes to show that this government is a total failure, Liberals have been a failure in the past, the now and will be in the future. What bugs me is people continually vote for them knowing they are being ripped off by them. A government that has always locked them themselves into policies out of the late nineteenth century. When are we ever going to this lesson.
    The way forward economically has to be and always was in the past, a nation earning a reasonably income so that they spend it and Australian businesses being able to increase in numbers and productivity to meet the nations demands; we must reduce imports - the latter will soon bite us on lower back for our stupidity. A country so wealthy in every way to be brought down by a basically lethargic population and idiots for a government. I weep with despair. All pensions should not only continue but increased to meet the rising cost of living; pensioners who, all have worked their lives paying income tax which included deductions for their pensions and have had no real increase in pensions for nine years. They are abused and defiled by this government, the rich and certain members of our community who demonstrate they haven't a clue when they talk of pensions as welfare. You should all be ashamed of your meanness to your fellow Australians. I say again, this country is a wealthy country and it is about time we did something for our country to make strong and secure for all its citizens bringing hope to the future of the generations to come. WAKE UP AUSTRALIA - THERE IS NOT MUCH TIME LEFT.
    travelman
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:10pm
    It just goes to show that this government is a total failure, Liberals have been a failure in the past, the now and will be in the future. What bugs me is people continually vote for them knowing they are being ripped off by them. A government that has always locked them themselves into policies out of the late nineteenth century. When are we ever going to this lesson.
    The way forward economically has to be and always was in the past, a nation earning a reasonably income so that they spend it and Australian businesses being able to increase in numbers and productivity to meet the nations demands; we must reduce imports - the latter will soon bite us on lower back for our stupidity. A country so wealthy in every way to be brought down by a basically lethargic population and idiots for a government. I weep with despair. All pensions should not only continue but increased to meet the rising cost of living; pensioners who, all have worked their lives paying income tax which included deductions for their pensions and have had no real increase in pensions for nine years. They are abused and defiled by this government, the rich and certain members of our community who demonstrate they haven't a clue when they talk of pensions as welfare. You should all be ashamed of your meanness to your fellow Australians. I say again, this country is a wealthy country and it is about time we did something for our country to make strong and secure for all its citizens bringing hope to the future of the generations to come. WAKE UP AUSTRALIA - THERE IS NOT MUCH TIME LEFT.
    thommo
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:23pm
    They'll take the shirt off your back if they had half a chance, but include the family home in the assets test will be the last straw for any government...they'll get booted to kingdom come and never to be heard of again...
    Discontented
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:35pm
    Yes
    Discontented
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:35pm
    Yes
    libsareliars
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:36pm
    "Do you think the family home will be safe from the assets test for the foreseeable future?"
    It better bleeding well be exempt.
    purplejan88
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:39pm
    what a load of rot - this is a sovereign nation that issues its own currency and can never spend too much nor can we run out of money - the govt chooses to let its people live in poverty be it age pension or newstart, the govt chooses to have high unemployment and underemployment - they could have job guarantee quite easily and turn this country around. the govt has you all brainwashed that your taxes pay for everything in this country - rubbish!! taxes are to control inflation - nothing more nothing less. get educated people - start reading about MMT - modern monetary theory and Job Guarantee and see for your self how this country could once again be what most of us remember it being - we are being brainwashed by politicians who understand and know nothing about macroeconomics and continue to treat the federal and state budgets like household budgets - nothing could be further from the truth
    Arvo
    3rd Jun 2019
    2:05pm
    and continue to treat the federal and state budget surplus like corporate profit because they have a corporate mentality not government mentality.
    in2sunset
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:49pm
    Nothing makes me more angry than reading this. Just HOW are they going to police it? Spend billions on another department to supervise it? How and who is going to value homes? Or will it be across the board - just one rule 'if you own a home'. Some homes are valued at $200,000. Others at millions. House prices differ per area. In Bondi as opposed to back of Bourke? Just because you have worked hard to buy a house. So what if your area has increased in value? I bought a house in an area that people told me I was mad to even look at. Nearly 20 years later, it is a highly sort after area. I could not find a cheaper place in this area, and I do not want to sell to move to an area I am not familiar with, where my doctors, facilities, friends, etc are not there.
    All right for politicians to come up with this drivel - they will most probably have a few investment houses that they will expect us to live in.
    Leave our homes alone.
    Arvo
    3rd Jun 2019
    2:01pm
    it is a highly sort after area? or it is a highly sought after area?
    in2sunset
    3rd Jun 2019
    2:11pm
    Yes arvo - fingers typing too fast... did see that after I posted it.
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:40pm
    Raise the black flag - No Prisoners!!
    Old Fella
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:54pm
    I am curious! I accept the notion that employment today provides employees with less security of tenure, contract, casual or part-time over permanent employment. Additionally, further wage restraint is and has been the reality for many years and as consequence inflation also has been restrained. However, the supposition that aged pensions to retirees may be funded from existing sale and conversion of pensioner housing property seems a paradox. It assumes those currently in employment ( A diminishing reality) will somehow be able to have the resources to buy up all Aged/pensioner current dwellings to fund the current Pensioner's current retirement needs. I ask where will they live after selling their residence even if that asset conversion pays them a subsistence income for an 'X' period of time into the future they will no longer have a roof overhead. OR is the implication that families rather than the Government has the final duty of care of all citizens. God help those without family or with dysfunctional family ties. Perhaps a better suggestion might be for those retired or displaced Politicians/Political Official's Pensioners and lump sum payments be shared with those Older and retired individuals without any assets or family to provide assistance. I always find myself wondering where the product and profit of Mr and Mrs Average Lifetime of contributions to the Society/Community benefitted anybody. There seems lessor benefits accrue to Old age and retirement if you are not among the Profit shakers and takers or have not been fortunate enough to hold Political office at least one time or another.
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:41pm
    Just an opportunity for the property hoarders to advance their portfolios paid for out of the taxpayer's pocket. Boom time for the banks, lawyers, real estate agents and so forth....

    Tell 'em to go to buggary...
    Old Fella
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:54pm
    I am curious! I accept the notion that employment today provides employees with less security of tenure, contract, casual or part-time over permanent employment. Additionally, further wage restraint is and has been the reality for many years and as consequence inflation also has been restrained. However, the supposition that aged pensions to retirees may be funded from existing sale and conversion of pensioner housing property seems a paradox. It assumes those currently in employment ( A diminishing reality) will somehow be able to have the resources to buy up all Aged/pensioner current dwellings to fund the current Pensioner's current retirement needs. I ask where will they live after selling their residence even if that asset conversion pays them a subsistence income for an 'X' period of time into the future they will no longer have a roof overhead. OR is the implication that families rather than the Government has the final duty of care of all citizens. God help those without family or with dysfunctional family ties. Perhaps a better suggestion might be for those retired or displaced Politicians/Political Official's Pensioners and lump sum payments be shared with those Older and retired individuals without any assets or family to provide assistance. I always find myself wondering where the product and profit of Mr and Mrs Average Lifetime of contributions to the Society/Community benefitted anybody. There seems lessor benefits accrue to Old age and retirement if you are not among the Profit shakers and takers or have not been fortunate enough to hold Political office at least one time or another.
    panos
    3rd Jun 2019
    1:56pm
    Amazing they can find $2 billion dollars for the solomon island fat cats to try to stop the chinese more fool us they will take the chinese money and ours and have a great old time.....

    While the pensioners on WELFARE here just survive.....

    All you old geezers voted liberal when will you learn......
    mogo51
    3rd Jun 2019
    2:00pm
    Why don't you all take a deep breath. This is not coming from Gov't but disgruntled labour journals and contributors to this site, who are mostly 'red hot' labor disciples, sitting in the corner and whining.
    Lucky Lady
    3rd Jun 2019
    2:06pm
    considering we have paid 7% extra tax our whole working life to fund our pensions ,most goverments talk crap about how hard it is to pay when it should be about $550 a week
    in2sunset
    3rd Jun 2019
    2:24pm
    Totally agree LuckyLady...I remember as clear as anything being told at my first job in the late 70's, that 7.5% of my tax would be set aside for my 'retirement'.
    When super came in in 1992, I thought - woohoo, I would have a nice little nest egg to go forward. But it was stolen from me - I was stunned to realise I had zilch. Had I known that, perhaps I could have been putting some away for future. To cop it off, just at that time I needed to give up work to care for an elderly parent. Getting back into the workforce - many low paying, casual jobs, one employer ripped me off of my super, so very little left when I did go on to Aged Pension.
    Cowboy Jim
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:54pm
    in2sunset - you have got it in a nut shell, was told the same story in 1970 (was 22) and believed it and that is why I still maintain that the pension is my right and not welfare like so many on these pages insist it is. If they did not put in then it is!!
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:44pm
    Wait for the nay-sayers to say that since your 7% was absorbed into consolidated revenue, the nest egg no longer exists. I beg to differ - sending the resources of one stream that supplied farmers downstream into a holding dam does not remove the obligation to pay the farmers downstream.... the nest egg still exists all right - if the dopey politicians spent it, they can find it back.....

    They should be liable for prosecution for that kind of chicanery.
    Bridgit
    3rd Jun 2019
    2:14pm
    Read the story - it is all supposition - what if! Scaremongering again.
    The shiny bums have a little think tank - a bit like BOM!
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:44pm
    Forewarned is forearmed..... better that the bastards see your bayonets glinting in the sunshine than that they see no opposition coming....
    Paul
    3rd Jun 2019
    2:20pm
    When it comes to assessing people's house for pension purposes, I think we have to be realistic and fairer to the younger generations. One possible compromise could be that a person's house is exempt up to a certain value, maybe $500k or $600k, but above that the value is assessed. I don't see why people should be able to own a house worth $1 million or more and receive a full pension, which is funded by younger taxpayers, many of who can't afford a house of their own
    Cowboy Jim
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:18pm
    Maybe you are younger Paul but we all paid for our places at the going rates at the time and we had mortgage rates of of up to 17% and because inflation has eaten the monetary value away does not mean all of sudden that we are rich. Time to put the Iphone away by the younger generation wanting to live where the oldies live, still wanting the modern car and really just waiting for the older generation to kick the bucket. Buying a house was never easy but we bought where we could afford not where we wanted to live.
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:47pm
    Do they incorporate past costs and payments on that home? In that case nothing left in the till.... what about those who've suffered divorce/illness/injury etc, and have re-started with another home? Do they get a discount based on number of years owning the home? What about divorcees being eligible for the first home owner's grants as well, eh, when they rebuild from the ashes of dead hopes and dreams??
    sunnyOz
    3rd Jun 2019
    6:27pm
    Piffle Paul...'fairer to the younger generation'? What rubbish! They have it far easier now. Family tax benefits, child care rebates, 1st home owners grant, life long superannuation, ease of facilities and technology. Allot of today's generation will also benefit from inheriting the hard earned super that their parents would not have received from their parents. I know quite a few young ones rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of inheriting a nice fat package.
    OlderandWiser
    3rd Jun 2019
    7:10pm
    The government has already a base value on the family home of $207k so if your home is valued at $600k then $393k will be added to your current assets so nearly all pensioners that own their own home will lose ALL their pension.
    What a saving that will be for this current government, OAP problem solved.
    Rae
    4th Jun 2019
    8:26am
    Rubbish.

    The younger generation has around 4 decades to build and buy homes. Exactly as we did.
    And they get childcare rebates and pay a whole lot less taxes and interest rates.

    If they were sensible and stopped buying overpriced mansions they would be just fine as we were.

    If you subtracted the interest, rates, insurances, maintenance and depreciation as well as inflation there isn't much value left in a house ownership.

    On average homes have increased in value in the last 150 years by very little and well under inflation in many recent decades.

    The housing boom prices are due to foreign buying that Rudd started and excessive immigration of mainly wealthy people. Retired Australians should not be hit upon to provide better lives for strangers from other countries in my opinion. It's not right.

    Young people need to buy where they can afford the same as we did.
    Paul
    3rd Jun 2019
    2:20pm
    When it comes to assessing people's house for pension purposes, I think we have to be realistic and fairer to the younger generations. One possible compromise could be that a person's house is exempt up to a certain value, maybe $500k or $600k, but above that the value is assessed. I don't see why people should be able to own a house worth $1 million or more and receive a full pension, which is funded by younger taxpayers, many of who can't afford a house of their own
    Mikko
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:32pm
    Can't see any government being brave or stupid enough to do it as it would be electoral suicide. Worst case scenario if one did given Labor's recent experience at losing the unlosable election, I think they would grandfather it.
    Jacka
    3rd Jun 2019
    3:50pm
    Totally agree with In2Sunset. Young families pay very little tax if any after all the handouts from the government are taken into consideration. The young should be able to fend for themselves as opposed to the far older Australians who have worked all their lives without such benefits. After going without many pleasures for many years while putting the children through university, looking after them etc. older Australians do deserve to be in a position to kick up their heels for a short time. If it appeals to you, the occasional overseas trip, eat out at a restaurant once or twice a week or regular beach holidays, go for it, good on you, you've earned it. Not my cup of tea, overseas travel that is, but to each their own. Enjoy yourself and don't let the moaners make you feel guilty . God bless Australia. Jacka.
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:50pm
    Abolish PPL and childcare subsidies, and the welfare budget would decline massively overnight...... how is it government or employer business to pay for childcare or for time off to develop a family, and why should government be any different from any other employer to its employees? (well may you ask when you consider the range of goodies on offer to government employees, including nice super)....

    One set of rules for all.... and that means in the case of PPL and childcare, back pay to all us old bastards..... nice tidy sum at today's rate and would cut back on pension costs ....
    GeorgeG
    3rd Jun 2019
    4:11pm
    As a source of retiree news, why do you always have to deliver worrying possibilities for retirees???
    moama jock
    3rd Jun 2019
    4:51pm
    Total control without a doubt.Who would pay for the management ?another layer of lazy/unhelpful/overpaid public servants ? .If some feel they need assistance then perhaps the government at a small fee.

    Moama jock
    Priscilla
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:03pm
    Leave my home and savings alone. I worked 3 jobs to be able to provide a home for myself and my children. Why is it that people who have not worked hard to provide for retirement get it so easy. It appears that the less you do the more you are rewarded!
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:51pm
    Hear, hear - did years of 100-odd hour weeks, on call 24/7, never a Christmas or New Year's at home with the family etc... they won't be touching mind.....
    Triss
    3rd Jun 2019
    8:40pm
    Yes, we had to train ourselves to get by on four hours sleep a night for a lot of years to pay for our house...and we’ve only one...unlike ex politician pensioners with multiple houses.
    OlderandWiser
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:47pm
    Triss https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-20/australian-politician-property-ownership-details/8453782
    mancub1967
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:16pm
    It should be remembered that the original assets test came from Labor for the sole purpose of ensuring those that had wealth could not access the age pension, in its self it was unnecessary as the people that had worked hard and had paid there fair share of tax's should have been treated this way, and to be honest a lot of those with a substantial wealth would probably not have bothered with applying for the pension. I would imagine that Labor at the time would not have thought a government would make such dramatic changes to the pension which would affect so many people retiring, the means test has been changed to a point of making it difficult for a lot of retiring people to be eligible for a pension, also the time it now takes to get a pension has increased to around 12 months, not a few months, also being eligible for the Pensioner Concession card has become harder and dependent on getting the pension. I have read a lot of information regarding how the pension has risen compared with our parents, and how this impacts on the government purse, what is forgotten is during our parents time on a pension power, gas, water, and food was more affordable but due to the globalization and privatization prices have risen hugely, big corporations have been the winners, along with the large supermarket and other large retailers, the losers have been the average Australian, so when you read such stupid remarks by the supporters and by the government bodies just remember when prices were proportionate to wages.
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:54pm
    Nothing wrong with those having wealth getting a pension, as long as their income over and above, plus all their fringe benefits*, are taxed at going rates. That requires a lot of changes to many current approaches to taxation and superannuation etc....

    *How, for example, does a billionaire with a taxable income of $25k p.s. get to give a waitress a tip that pays off her mortgage? How does Harry Fudger the Chocolate King still get free rides on Fudger Factory's private jet etc? Deemed a taxable component of overall income derived.... thanks, Harry.... the country needs you to keep getting free rides....
    TREBOR
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:55pm
    p.a ... p.a......
    roy
    3rd Jun 2019
    8:49pm
    Should have voted for Shifty Shorten (or MICK).
    OlderandWiser
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:49pm
    roy there was no one called MICK on any ALP vote card, Who are you talking about?
    mancub1967
    3rd Jun 2019
    5:16pm
    It should be remembered that the original assets test came from Labor for the sole purpose of ensuring those that had wealth could not access the age pension, in its self it was unnecessary as the people that had worked hard and had paid there fair share of tax's should have been treated this way, and to be honest a lot of those with a substantial wealth would probably not have bothered with applying for the pension. I would imagine that Labor at the time would not have thought a government would make such dramatic changes to the pension which would affect so many people retiring, the means test has been changed to a point of making it difficult for a lot of retiring people to be eligible for a pension, also the time it now takes to get a pension has increased to around 12 months, not a few months, also being eligible for the Pensioner Concession card has become harder and dependent on getting the pension. I have read a lot of information regarding how the pension has risen compared with our parents, and how this impacts on the government purse, what is forgotten is during our parents time on a pension power, gas, water, and food was more affordable but due to the globalization and privatization prices have risen hugely, big corporations have been the winners, along with the large supermarket and other large retailers, the losers have been the average Australian, so when you read such stupid remarks by the supporters and by the government bodies just remember when prices were proportionate to wages.
    Paul
    3rd Jun 2019
    6:18pm
    Trebor, you views on paid parental leave (PPL) are about 60 year out of date. When I was a boy (and possibly you too) men went to work and women stayed at home. Now 47% of the workforce are women and the Australian economy today would collapse without them. So PPL is necessary to keep women in the workforce. By the way, these women pay a fair chunk of tax, which helps fund the pensions, health care and aged care which older Australians need.
    Paul
    3rd Jun 2019
    6:19pm
    Trebor, you views on paid parental leave (PPL) are about 60 year out of date. When I was a boy (and possibly you too) men went to work and women stayed at home. Now 47% of the workforce are women and the Australian economy today would collapse without them. So PPL is necessary to keep women in the workforce. By the way, these women pay a fair chunk of tax, which helps fund the pensions, health care and aged care which older Australians need.
    GrayComputing
    3rd Jun 2019
    7:33pm
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Now is the season for discontent, so do something about it!
    It is time to kill off this insane hugely expensive pensioner whacking bureaucracy.

    It is time for all of us (yes that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules.

    Hiring more Centrelink staff will only increase taxpayer’s costs for processing the creeping insane red tape monster system politicians and well paid bureaucrats have created.

    Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly.

    Why worry that few million$ earners get it too. That is peanuts to them, not enough for a good vintage champagne.

    Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    We all (that means you) need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
    Paul
    3rd Jun 2019
    7:58pm
    Hi GrayComputing. you say "Most economists say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing." Is that right? Can you name these economists and give us references to where they actually say this? The idea sounds like rubbish to me. It would cost billions to pay everyone over 65 a pension, including lots of people who don't need it. Wouldn't it be fairer and cheaper to keep means testing and pay a bit more to those who qualify?
    OlderandWiser
    3rd Jun 2019
    11:40pm
    GrayComputing I think is referring to a universal pension which would be paid to all Australians at 66 or 67. If pensioners required further assistance because of hardship etc then they can apply to centrelink for additional welfare payments.
    A universal pension would also save 100's of millions of $s in admin fees, no more robodebt, 99.9% rort free. All income from shares, FC's, work, income streams, investments etc would be taxed at the current going rate, same as PAYE & self employed etc.. No more tax free super etc so everyone earning an income will pay tax of some sort.
    A far simpler & fairer system
    Rae
    4th Jun 2019
    8:49am
    It's the tax of other income and the cutting back of centrelink costs that would save money.

    That 21% self funded group includes a proportion of incredibly wealthy people.

    You could also cut tax concessions for Superannuation saving tens of billions each year.

    A universal pension would mean you save for yourself after tax the same as the original superannuation fund members had to.

    I find concessions for saving for yourself extravagant. And the high income earners are benefitted the most which makes no sense.
    GeorgeM
    4th Jun 2019
    2:14pm
    SFR is quite correct, Paul, and I support Gray Computing's advice in general.

    With only 21 percent retirees fully self-funded, it is clear that making Age Pensions Universal (say based on Age 65 and Residency say 15 years, with NO other tests) would be easily affordable - by shutting down major portion of Centrelink, as well as increased incentives to earn and save with no penalties.
    Further,it would help if they re-established a Future Fund (Independently controlled under the RBA) to put aside the 7.5% personal income taxes still collected which was meant to be used to pay pensions. Note that all (resident here for 15 years) SFRs would also have paid these taxes and do deserve this small return if they wish to apply for it - some wealthy would not even bother.

    Also, a Minimum Tax system is badly needed to ensure all the Rich and Large companies pay reasonable, rather than Nil or Negligible, taxes.

    Regarding Superannuation, since it is a vehicle established to encourage savings, I believe incentives to save (reduced tax on contributions) and tax free status up to reasonable limits for drawing down income from it in retirement must continue - to allow savers to use it for various large expenses as needed in retirement. Excessive rorts must be removed (partly done by the Libs in the last term), as Keating designed it badly and enabled the rich to gain massive tax benefits.
    Paul
    3rd Jun 2019
    7:58pm
    Hi GrayComputing. you say "Most economists say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing." Is that right? Can you name these economists and give us references to where they actually say this? The idea sounds like rubbish to me. It would cost billions to pay everyone over 65 a pension, including lots of people who don't need it. Wouldn't it be fairer and cheaper to keep means testing and pay a bit more to those who qualify?
    Cowboy Jim
    4th Jun 2019
    9:34am
    Countries with universal pensions mostly have a lower tax threshold, the pensions are fully taxed together with all your other assets including your house value. These places also have an asset tax as well as income tax. Their VAT generally is higher than our GST; in my old place in Europe health insurance is compulsory for everyone as there is no Medicare in place. Also the pension card does give you nothing apart from cinema ticket reductions on certain days of the week. Of course the pension at present is about $A3500 a month per person. All in all we are better off here unless we are millionaires
    Chooky
    3rd Jun 2019
    8:05pm
    The principle place of residence keeps coming up in relation to age pension and including the home in the assets test. If any government considers this they’d have a tough time while continuing to pay out in excess franking credits.
    Aussiefrog
    4th Jun 2019
    5:39am
    Maybe they should reactivate the gas chamber and gas us like they did in WW2 to save money?

    Sound drastic? They'll find a way to make it more subtle!
    Rae
    4th Jun 2019
    7:16am
    3.8 million over 65. over 6 million under 19.

    Several million workers added to the economy over the past decade.

    It's not the welfare depleting the GDP. It's tax cut after tax cut which our demographic didn't receive.

    All these experts are not truthful and Australia is not keeping it's bargain. We spend considerably less than the OECD.

    This Government needs to stop supporting businesses with tax dollars and get on with governing for the people who pay the taxes in the first place in my opinion.
    Murmur
    4th Jun 2019
    9:55am
    We got caught by this law. We could have bought a house for the same price on a standard block and received the part pension, but decided to move out a little onto a bush block. The extra land was valued at around $150,000 and added to our assets, meaning we no longer received the part pension. We cannot subdivide, farm, or make any money from this land and have challenged CentreLink to explain how they arrived at that value? One year later, nothing. I believe this law was brought about years ago for farmers, who could make some money from the land, but cannot see how it applies to us. At the very least a response from CentreLink should have occurred. If we had bought a house for twice the price just a few K away,on a small block, we would be getting the part pension. How is that fair?
    GeorgeM
    4th Jun 2019
    2:01pm
    What a ridiculous article, Leon - meant to stir up Retirees by throwing controversial (mostly unacceptable) suggestions from a couple of non-entities (suffering Relevance Deprivation) up in the air? This is not from the Govt. However, the focus of such ideas must have a deliberate bad intent, as the Govt is planning a Retirement Incomes Review very soon. Maybe the Business interests, such as Financial companies, behind these non-experts wanting to push ideas where they can gain more business?
    Beemee
    6th Jun 2019
    6:53am
    I would sooner manage my own money thank you. I have been doing it for years and manage to save some of it even with everything going up. No I do not have Super, it came in too late for us to really gain anything at all.
    Anyway the Government has proven repeatedly they are incapable of managing money, so I am better off doing it myself.
    Blinky
    9th Jun 2019
    1:39pm
    They have money for asylum seekers, migrants, dole bludgers, foreign aid n, politicians' fat pensions, but they dont have money x Aussie pensions? COME ON!!!
    AUSSIE PENSIONERS are ex-tax payers, they worked n paid taxes all their lives. LEAVE THEM ALONE!
    Some economists are just trying to take candy from a baby, and they call themselves "experts?"
    DanielTech
    9th Jun 2019
    6:47pm
    I certainly hope that the family home isn't included in the assets test, as my place isn't worth much, $250,000 maximum. By the time that we pay our living costs out of the OAP, there isn't a whole lot of money left. At least we are able to put $20 aside each fortnight as an emergency fund, but we have to hope that we don't get hit with multiple problems at a time. If we have to sell the home, we'll be doing it very tough.
    *Loloften*
    18th Jun 2019
    4:27am
    Get real YLC.....the family home will never be assessed as an asset unless it's valued ard $4+million, excluding vast majority of OAPs. Probably won't even happen then as may scare some Pollies & we wouldn't want that would we??
    *Loloften*
    18th Jun 2019
    4:49am
    Really pis*es me off that we pay for retired PM's holidays/fancy cars & chaffeurs/offices/secretaries etc when they retire on $200,000+++pensions (as apposed to our current OAP of bit over $24,000). Add lobster & Laphraoig current PM, his Ministers, Senators et al lunches/dinners that we pay for....yes, including we OAPs who supposedly don't pay any taxes - so what's the GST? Our whole system is wrong, needs urgent overhaul. Doesn't surprise me that we're financially floating to hell in a sinking ship.
    mountainman
    20th Jun 2019
    12:09pm
    when are we all going to realise that we are just peasants in there game, been happening for centuries they just throw enough scraps to keep us believing that they are a wonderful lot
    and it doesn't matter who you vote for


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