Australia ranks high for retirees

Australia has been ranked as one of the top countries in the world for retiree welfare.

Australia ranks high for retirees

Australia has been ranked as one of the top countries in the world for retiree welfare, with New Zealand not far behind in 10th spot.

The 2015 Global Retirement Index (GRI), which is published by Natixis Global Asset Management and Core Data Research ranks countries based on the following:

  • Material Wellbeing: examines retirees’ ability to live comfortably in retirement
  • Health: evaluates retiree access to quality health services
  • Finances in Retirement: considers access to quality financial services and the ability to preserve savings
  • Quality of life: focuses on whether a country can provide a clean, safe environment in which to live


Largely due to their mandatory retirement savings schemes, Australia and New Zealand are the only non-European countries to have made it into the top 10, with Switzerland topping the list, followed by Norway. While Australia sits in third spot, it shares the position with Iceland, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark and, as with all countries in the top 10, has the following features:

  1. a well-developed and growing industrialised economy with a strong financial system and regulations
  2. public policies that provide broad access to healthcare and other social services
  3. substantial public investment in infrastructure and technology.


Australia scored well in all categories and particularly in the areas of health and quality of life. Our economy performs well and according to Natixis Global, Australia not only has low levels of public debt and inflation, it also has strong bank balance sheets. Furthermore, it was noted that the country benefits from a strong welfare system and high income equality.

Australia does, however, have a black mark against it when it comes to tackling climate change and its levels of carbon dioxide emissions.

In its third year, the GRI assesses and ranks 150 countries worldwide and the results from these reports can be used to highlight:

  • What can be learned from the factors separating top-ranking countries from the rest of the world.
  • A wide range of risks that pose a threat to maintaining retirement security in any country.
  • A growing expectation that no matter what country they come from, individuals will need to take on a greater share of the burden in funding their retirement.


Read the full report at ngma.natixis.com.

Opinion: It all depends who you ask

News that Australia ranks third in the top 10 countries for retirees may surprise those who are trying to manage on an Age Pension, so should we believe what we read?

Even the most thorough review of a country’s economy, health and welfare policies can, at best, only provide a picture of the average standard of living for retirees and the reality is often far removed from the tables and graphs contained in reports.

Ranking behind only Switzerland, an incredibly wealthy country often used as a tax haven by the rich and famous, and Norway, which has an advanced social security system, a future fund and a flat 36 per cent personal income tax on salary, on paper everything seems rosy for Australian retirees. However, given the reality is:

  • a full single Age Pension is $1200 less per annum than the amount recommended for a modest lifestyle (ASFA Retirement Standard)
  • the fees on our superannuation are some of the highest worldwide,
  • our financial planning industry is one step away from descending into chaos due to the systemic conflict of interest amongst the major advisors and the succession of failed investment company collapses
  • hospital waiting lists are alarmingly long - and getting worse


and the government is currently trying to pass legislation through the Senate that will only make the above worse; it would be foolish for us to accept this report as gospel.

There is no doubt that, in many aspects life in Australia is pretty cushy, but maybe we should ask some of the 46 per cent of retirees who are trying to live on a fixed income from an Age Pension. These retirees, largely through no fault of their own, often struggle to buy fresh food, can’t afford dental treatment, have to choose between filling a prescription and filling the car with fuel and simply can’t cut their utility bills any more due to ridiculously high service charges. Perhaps we should ask them if Australia deserves its third-place ranking on the latest GRI.

Do you think such reports are useful? In your opinion, does Australia actually compare favourably to the other countries on the list? Does it comfort you to know that Australia ranks third in the world?





    COMMENTS

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    dougie
    2nd Mar 2015
    10:20am
    Wait for the screams of derision from all and sundry. I think we do OK we may not be the richest but then we are far from the poorest retirees in the world. Some European countries are better but by gee there are some much worse off. Enjoy what we have, celebrate in being an Australian and enjoy the time we have left.
    Rob
    2nd Mar 2015
    11:01am
    Good note Dougie.
    Macey05
    2nd Mar 2015
    11:10am
    Well said.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:24pm
    Yep !! :-)
    Reeper
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:28pm
    Being this website I expected a tirade from the professional complainers who frequent it - miserable buggers who expect something for nothing. But, I take my hat of to dougie with a short and sweet comment.

    Of course no sooner did dougie show the calm rationale we need but the whingers and those Socialist and ACTU acolytes who have to put a political swing onto everything started.....Social welfare is a privilege not available to all countries and rorted by most. If you are going to blame government for everything, then start with the one that doled out millions to keep government and show some respect (begrudged if necessary) to the government trying to patch up the system
    Daffoir
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:31pm
    concur Dougie
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:42pm
    I guess I am one of the wingers. No I do not get the age pension but I do believe that those that have not able to prepare themselves usually because of no fault of their own should be looked after and not be downgraded is non lifters while those who have benefited by their work throughout life are considered lifters forgetting they were lifted by the work these pensioners performed. Then these so called lifter perceive they should get benefits, tax reduction, assisted super subsidies and so forth.

    You people make me sick.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:53pm
    I concur.
    Wstaton: nice to see a kind bone in your body mate. Whilst I fully agree we all have to be careful of the MANY leaners in our country, and growing. It all comes back to not paying rorters whilst giving people enough money to live on.
    FrankC
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:02pm
    There are many leaners now, you can see them almost every day, just go down to the beach when the 'surfs up'.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:14pm
    Its better on the Board than home being Bored !! :-)
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:22pm
    Yes Mick off course there are leaners but branding everyone as such is like saying there are criminals thus everyone is a criminal.

    Whatever the area there is always those who take advantage yet the emphasis always seem to be on those supposedly at the bottom yet very little for those at the top.

    A typical area is where enquirys are undertaken there is rather a lack for example on those that has dramatic effect on those who are trying to spurt themselves. Where is the enquiry on the banks that put many into centrelink and on the pension. I guess some of these poor people are some of the wingers.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:09pm
    Inquiry on the banks???
    Don't you realise that this government went out of its way to kill off the legislative protections the previous government put in place to stop the banks cannibalising their customers and then walking away? So who do you think matters: the public or the banks? A no brainer!
    Anonymous
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:32pm
    One needs to experience other countries and then people will realise that we do indeed live in the "lucky" country. We are not perfect but by hell we treat those less fortunate a great deal better than others.

    Try being a retiree with little assets/money in the USA and see how you are treated.
    Precious 1
    3rd Mar 2015
    11:39pm
    Quite right there Dougie...some I know travel to countries new most of the time, some live permanently in hotels, some enjoy backpacking and no incumbrances.......I live well and within my means love it...cutting back to a really simple life which has never stopped opening new doors for me to peek thru......
    Anonymous
    10th Mar 2015
    8:50am
    But I think the issue is keeping things better than abroad and not letting Australia sink to the level of those less fortunate countries. The proposals to change indexation and eliminate concessions for pensioners is going to drive many into poverty. We may think we have it pretty good, but many are struggling, and statistically our aged pension is poor in comparison to most developed nations. What we need to do is rally to stop it being eroded, not sit on our hands and say ''it's all fine because we currently have it better than most''.
    Personally, I'm appalled at the vile insults being thrown at the most disadvantaged, and at the fact that ONLY the disadvantaged are suffering reductions to their life style. The rich aren't paying their share. Battlers have a right to complain about that.
    particolor
    10th Mar 2015
    10:36am
    Well according to what I saw this morning the Indexation was 3.7 % BUT ! Our chances of getting that are just about ZILCH !! :-( ( Roughly $30)
    We will probably get a Jonny Jackboots Pay Rise ? of $1.80 !! :-(
    = 1 Packet of 2 Minute Noodles ! :-)
    Rosscoe
    2nd Mar 2015
    11:26am
    You have to take these ratings and the polls conducted by Australian newspapers with a big pinch of salt. Take the latest increase in health fund subscriptions, for instance. Health fund subscriptions in Australia have risen by 35% in the last 3 years. I know my pension hasn't increased by the same amount - nowhere near that amount. We're all lucky to live in Australia, but we're being ripped off from all sorts of organisations and decisions made by governments. Wake up, Australia!
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:18pm
    Pollers skew the way polls are done to show an outcome they want. How can one trust newspool in the latest poll that supports T. Abbott. Who owns newspoll Guess?

    Murdock.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:28pm
    Settle Down there !! : I can smell about a 2 Buck a fortnight Increase coming Shortly !! That's bound to Cheer You up ? :-)
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:00pm
    You make a very valid point Roscoe.
    I hear this morning that a media poll puts Abbott back in favour. Well that is not what I am reading on this website. My prediction has been that the media is still going to push the man they put into office but have attacked Abbott so that they cannot be accused of bias in the next 12 months. We'll see if the next 12 months is going to be another propaganda campaign run by big business FOR this government.
    The point you make about health care has parallels in the public service as a whole. There has been a continual push for above CPI increases and local councils have been at the head of this list with health funds not too far behind. I fail to understand how governments think that a wages push is not going to happen to play catch up at some time as the effect of costs rising much faster than wages is people slipping further towards the breadline. And when a wages push comes I can see employers standing in front of the cameras with the normal speeches: "jobs will be lost", "hours will be cut" and "we'll be ruined". As predictable as night following day.
    KSS
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:12pm
    Ummm this rating was NOT done by a newspaper!
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:10pm
    Correct.
    Anonymous
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:35pm
    This websit.

    The real gauge I believe is how people in the workforce think.
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:07pm
    And this government is trying hard to topple us off the list
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:30pm
    Did Cokky drop off His Perch ?
    Tomaso
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:13pm
    Totally agree with Rosscoe.
    tisme
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:14pm
    finances in retirement , ive 'worked 24 /7 for 30 odd years and have no superannuation im a carer not a worker it seems
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:02pm
    A tough call. A bit like labourers saying they should be paid the same as CEOs (no offence intended). The point is people (often) choose their way in life. The reason why you often get shortages in some areas is because the pay is too bad and workers find better jobs. So the pay eventually increases because it has to.
    Nobody said life was fair. Just full of choices most of the time.
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:28pm
    That may be so Mick but it only works when there is full employment doesn't work when there are no other jobs to go to.

    Do you really think that people at the bottom think they should be paid the same as a CEO. Mind you I think there are a lot of CEO's that are overpaid for what they do.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:14pm
    I was trying to give meaning to the idea. There is currently not full employment but I understand that the teaching profession is not able to replace its most technical people like 3U and 4U maths, physics and chemistry. Why? Part of the answer lies n the fact that teachers have been pushed down the payscale for almost half a century and they have been going into professions which offer, amongst other things, proper remuneration.
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:26pm
    And teachers going to UK to find jobs.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:39pm
    As Migration Officers ?
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    3:26pm
    Which teachers? English teachers who are in over-supply?
    Anonymous
    10th Mar 2015
    8:16am
    Friend's son is 45, in the IT industry. Over supply of IT workers so is deciding to change course now (looking to his future) and is going to do an apprenticeship to become a tradesman; probably a plumber.
    This is the way of the future; don't stay in the same job, look at other possibilities.
    particolor
    10th Mar 2015
    10:45am
    I hope He passes the B Crack Test ! :-)
    jjjadams
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:17pm
    http://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/time-for-debate-on-superannuation-tax-says-treasury-secretary-john-fraser-20150227-13qvu0.html?promote_channel=edmail&mbnr=NTM1NTQ3NQ
    Too much middle class welfare. Asset rich too readily able to access OAP.
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:31pm
    Interesting. One line it it says all:-

    Concessional tax treatment of super cost the budget about $29 billion this financial year

    And add to this the tax breaks given to the top end of town and the tax avoidance by salting income overseas.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:04pm
    And who do you think has the income to take advantage of this Wstaton? Yep, the rich. And governments refuse to close the door on these people. So who do you think owns governments? Us?
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:38pm
    Yes the government is supposed to be owned by us but unfortunately it is owned by the parties.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:15pm
    No Wstaton. IT IS OWNED BY BIG BUSINESS.
    I have for many years understood that if you follow the money trail then you always find the culprits.
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:27pm
    Sorry I should have added "And Managed by big business"
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:44pm
    If you had a "big business" then you would have paying into Liberal Party coffers to get your way. The further up the chain it goes the worse it is. And you wonder why our pollies are little more than 'prostitutes' being directed as to how they should act...or else!
    LiveItUp
    2nd Mar 2015
    5:28pm
    Unfortunately big business multinationals now run Australia and not the Australian people. Haven't you noticed how all our tiers of government just seem to decide what we want without even asking us. Many people just take what is given as it's seems better than nothing. Australians are waking up and people are starting to protest more on various issues.
    KSS
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:31pm
    There are some in this world who only ever see their glass half empty. Unfortunately Debbie is one of those it seems. Debbie and other contributors to this site seem to take pride in running Australia down. I am surprised only by the fact that there is no 'I am ashamed to be Australian' attached to this commentary.

    In 2013, Australia was placed 11th on this same table. And that after 6 years of Labor Government. In 2014 Australia was placed 5 and now a year later 3rd on the same table. So Wstaton, your assertion that the current Government is trying to "trying hard to topple us off the list" just isn't reflected in the results!

    This clearly demonstrates that no matter what people have, there will always be those with their hands out who think they deserve more.

    dougie, I agree with you. It is time that people took a few minutes to think about what they do have and what Australia is able to give us and be just a little more grateful for it. Sure, there is always something that can be improved (after all we are 'only' number 3 in the world) but that should not detract from the fact that we don't have it so bad here and there are many, many places where retirees are much worse off.
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:51pm
    I do not think that anything this government has done has contributed to the raising in the list. If you remember that some of the things they wanted to do has not been passed. Anything that that has that will affect the pension has yet to come into affect.

    As mentioned previously it's what segment of the community a poll or survey is taken can effect polling outcomes.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:07pm
    "Running Australia down"? Really? What do you call total ignorance by the flag wavers as the nation goes down the gurgler KSS?
    The people with the biggest hands out are the rich. That is why the concessional treatment of superannuation needs to be closed about a modest income.
    As usual KSS I have to hold suspicions that your posts are paid political advertisements as you are towing the government line...again.
    KSS
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:21pm
    Mick I note your rant about me being a paid political advertiser yet again on the sole basis that you disagree with something I wrote. As I have given you permission in the very recent past, why have you not published the information you claim to have that proves it beyond all doubt?

    Put up or shut up Mick once and for all.
    Hawkeye
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:24pm
    KSS
    Yes we are moving up the list. That is because we are still reaping the benefits of of policies put in place by the previous government.

    Our democratic processes have not allowed the current Nazi government to sabotage the welfare system to the degree that they intend in order to "topple us off the list", and I congratulate the Senate for protecting us from the Nazi's as they continue in their role as a house of revue.

    I see that you do not make mention of the reports findings that Australia has "low levels of public debt" and that "Australia does, however, have a black mark against it when it comes to tackling climate change and its levels of carbon dioxide emissions". Could it be that this is evidence that THE REPORT FOUND THAT ABBOT IS A LIAR!!!!

    And YES, on numerous occasions over the past 15 months, I have found myself to be ashamed to be an Australian.
    BeezNeez
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:15pm
    You can please some of the people some of the time KSS, but some of the people on this site never it seems!!! The whingers gonna whinge, whine, whinge, whine, whinge, whine, whine. Whatever it is they are whinging about this time.....it's all Abbott's fault. It's too boring, I didn't bother reading most of their comments, it's all been whinged before.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:16pm
    It is what it is KSS.
    Anonymous
    2nd Mar 2015
    3:16pm
    KSS - I agree with you - mick has some good points but spoils some of them by making some extreme comments - mick please accept that in many of these issues we debate here there is no right or wrong answer - some of use see something one way others the other way and some either don't care or see both sides.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    5:40pm
    I always respect a personal opinion from an individual who is giving his or her view bob.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:39pm
    No Third Dividend !! :-(
    I'm not going to the Races ever again !! :-)
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:07pm
    If you want a dividend buy some shares particolor.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:28pm
    I rather eat a Chinese Berry Pie !!
    KSS
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:33pm
    Or what about a nice Thai tuna salad particolor?
    heyyybob
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:36pm
    :)
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:37pm
    No Way !! and Yanky Onions are on No Bitey list now too !!
    Young
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:39pm
    Love your comments Dougie.Had enough of the whingers.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:48pm
    The Land of the Squeaky Wheel ! :-)
    KSS
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:35pm
    Agree Browny. Some Australians are world class whingers.
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:43pm
    Wow! we must be catching up to the poms
    KSS
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:46pm
    Nah Wstaton, Australia is now in pole position!
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:53pm
    The recent arrivals did that !! They don't like ANYTHING We Like !! :-(
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:51pm
    I guess this will come as bad news for many pensioners who have unrealistic expectations of any government. It is always good to get your facts by comparing with overseas before complaining and I have said for some time that a couple on the pension can live a very comfortable life if they own their own house, have no debt and do not have significant and ongoing medical conditions. Anything past that is just whinging and we all need to look at Greece to understand where we as a nation do not want to go.
    Precious 1
    3rd Mar 2015
    11:51pm
    Mick addendum to one of urs...can never compare with anyone as all countries are different. their mentality, amount people actually on voting rolls, attitudes to life and history......we do things in Oz cos that's the way things have worked out for us......warm climate so not many warm clothing needs and none of us require cars only for seeing one parked outside........lol that won`t go down well......
    Trish the fish
    2nd Mar 2015
    12:58pm
    I'm with Roscoe. We who exist, not live, on the Age Pension with no superannuation through no fault of our own deserve better after both contributing 50 years of Income Tax each.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:13pm
    What do you expect Trish? I get NO PENSION and NO OTHER GOVERNMENT ENTITLEMENTS. I earn around the pension and yet seem to have enough money to live well, albeit within my means, and take an overseas holiday every year. AAnd I have no superannuation.
    I agree with a couple of other posters that people need to put themselves out, live modestly (cheaply if you can) and do well. You won't catch me at the coffee shop 3 times a week, a restaurant every week, the club bending the elbow, the opera or other expensive shows or running a V8 car. Sorry if that offends but we achieve what we do by being frugal....and that includes a rates bill of $2600 pa.
    I suggest you sit down and work out how you can NOT SPEND rather than start from a WHAT YOU WANT basis.
    Rob
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:15pm
    Why do you deserve better, if you want better you should have provided for it. The pension is designed as a safety net only.
    Hawkeye
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:41pm
    Rob
    YOU MAKE ME ASHAMED TO BE AN AUSTRALIAN
    You forget that superannuation, for the vast majority, is only a recent thing. Most current retirees were not in it for long enough to reap the benefits, unless they were rich or in "executive" type jobs.
    The vast majority were forced to design their retirement strategies around the age pension, which is both a legislated right, and has been "bought and paid for" by their taxes.
    And now the Nazi's want to take it off them and hand it to the rich.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:18pm
    Rob: even without $1 of superannuation AUstralians can live a wonderful lifestyle in retirement if they own their own house and live modestly. I have to agree with Rob who is on the right track.
    Anonymous
    2nd Mar 2015
    3:32pm
    Hawkeye - back off on the Nazi comment - totally and utterly offensive and WRONG - otherwise the rest of your post was fine. Folks - its true that compulsory super has only been in since 1991 and appears to be failing lower income earners. However super (while no ever talked about it) has been around since after WW2 - all public servants, military, politicians and judges and government owned bodies - such as PMG (Telstra), ABC, Defence Industries (ADI) and others all had an opportunity to get a defined super benefit ( pension for life) - for some it was easier to get than others (eg military people had to do 20 years but a politican only had to get elected 3 times (say 9 years). So today we have hundreds of thousands retired on some benefit and some also get access to part aged pensions. It is those who did not have a chance to get this that are doing it tough. While Rob is right that aged pension was originally designed as a safety net and when it was introduced in 1907 only 4% got it today we are all living longer - my view the debate has gone well past a safety net issue - it is now an entitlement and all Australians should accept senior citizens should be well looked after - that is why I do not agree with coalition policy to change indexation of aged pension (let me also say I do not get the aged pension I hold a SMSF) Also I think it Is inconsistent for coalition to give DFRDB military pensioners fair indexation only to remove same from aged pensioners.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    3:47pm
    bob: the defined benefits pension scheme is a very generous scheme from what I understand. It has been phased out for all but the top of the tree. Not unsurprising is it.
    Rob
    2nd Mar 2015
    5:46pm
    Hawkeye superannuation is not the only means to provide for retirement. I did not challenge the right to an age pension just the expectation ignorant people have that the pension should provide more than it is designed for. You don't support your argument by using terminology like nazi's. It's fairly childlike.
    Rob
    2nd Mar 2015
    6:28pm
    Bob we need to be careful here. By making the age pension too generous you take away the incentive for people to provide for themselves. I would say our experience with the dole is a good example. For some it is just a beneficial to stay on the dole than chase employment. esp those who breed large families
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    8:56pm
    No-one is saying making pensions more generous although politicians don't mind make theirs so. But! It should be fair and move with the rise of every others pay not slowly degraded like this government has put into play.
    Hawkeye
    3rd Mar 2015
    12:22pm
    Bob and Rob,
    I make no apologies for use of the term NAZI's.
    It simply represents the extreme right wing of the political spectrum, just as communism represents the extreme left.
    All parties in Australian politics have shifted substantially to the right over the last 30 years or so, and the current ALP is now more right wing than the Liberal party was under Frazer. IMHO the Nationals are now pretty well as extreme right as the NAZI's were, and the Liberals are not far behind.

    Also, I am actually one of the lucky ones to be on a Government defined benefit scheme and, yes it is quite generous (although not in the same league as the politicians give themselves).
    This does not stop me from "pushing the barrow" for those not able to be in the same position and therefore relying on their "bought and paid for" age pension. I have parents and (until recently) grandparents among those, and (unlike Rob) I will not sit back and denigrate them for being in that position either by choice or by circumstance.
    mangomick
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:04pm
    If they are struggling to buy fresh food then maybe it's time they started to help themselves and go back to the days of simple living where every one had a vege garden in their back yard and grew a lot of their own fresh produce. The Wife's old uncle was well into his eighties and was always tottering around the garden and he managed quite well just on a pension.Mind you though, he still watched every cent he spent at the supermarket which made taking him shopping quite an ordeal.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:11pm
    And now Ill have to Grow My Own Onions ?? What's Next ?? No Fish ! No Berry's !!
    heyyybob
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:15pm
    :)
    mangomick
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:23pm
    Don't grow onions Parti. Hate seeing a grown man cry............
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:01pm
    I think that the more pertinent point is people have sometimes in life put themselves out. In Australia we are blessed to have a pension system and almost all pensioners can survive if they own their own home. If they don't then it is harder but we have a friend in public housing who does well also.
    It is not good enough for people to squander their pension and then cry poor.
    wally
    3rd Mar 2015
    3:27pm
    parti, you could always try a Tennessee Pizza after it has been run over a few times and flattened on the road. Then you cut off its tail and blowtorch the fur (or feathers) off it and throw it in the fire until it's ready to eat.
    Paddles
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:06pm
    It is an article of faith with me that I never completely believe anything that appears in our press and that extends to the day and date.
    heyyybob
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:15pm
    :)
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:22pm
    :-)
    Hawkeye
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:03pm
    Paddles,
    Good sense.
    I will add that to my creed of "Never believe a word said by anyone wearing a tie"
    A tie means "I tell lies for a living"
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:20pm
    Blue or Red ??
    Hawkeye
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:46pm
    ALL, particolor, ALL
    heyyybob
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:14pm
    Well done Debbie and team. Last week it was SEX, this week it will be GREED & APATHY !! Well done team, you are on a roll. Certainly know how to rattle cages, dontcha ;) At least people are being animated. Good stuff :) Can hardly wait for next weeks subject :O
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:55pm
    NOT Standing up for the National Anthem at School in the Western Suburbs of Sydney ??
    Hawkeye
    2nd Mar 2015
    1:57pm
    Heyyybob, who forced you here?

    :)
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:03pm
    Auburn particolor? Don't think that many in this part of town can speak English yet though so the words National Anthem might sound like a call to arms.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:15pm
    I only heard it this Morning Mick ! And it was more than that ! They said it is NOT in their Religion to do so !!.. I wonder who put them up to that ??
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:20pm
    People with uninquiring simple minds bound together by a toxic religion are little more than robots and drones. That is the real tragedy of Islam. These people have enslaved themselves and are a danger to everybody else.
    heyyybob
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:37pm
    No one Hawkeye. I come here for a good laugh and I DO contribute. Enjoy the rest of your day, mate :)
    heyyybob
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:45pm
    Hey Mick. My Son, on yet another tour of duty in Afghanistan was talking to an articulate and well educated YOUNG Afghani. He asked him for his opinion on how the Taliban mentality could be diminished. The reply was ... "Honestly ? Get rid of the Grandparents!! That would be a big start". WOW :O
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:51pm
    WOW ?? Goody Bye Granma Good Bye Grandpa !! :-( Your going to Paradise !!
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    3:31pm
    Good call heyyybob.
    wally
    3rd Mar 2015
    3:23pm
    Maybe the Afghani oldsters would care to volunteer to become suicide bombers. As long as dementia hadn't gotten the best of 'em. Thanx heyyybob for your 245 post above.
    heyyybob
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:32pm
    Got to say.....the photo of the two (65 yo plus?) chardonay sipping women at the top of the subject matter is a bit of a poor choice. They do seem (for 65 yo plus pensioners?) to be doing it a bit tough ;)
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:36pm
    They wouldn't eat their Thai Tuna Salad Bob !! And decide to get SLOSHED Instead !! :-)
    heyyybob
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:38pm
    Yep, I'll drink to that, works for me ;)
    Anonymous
    4th Mar 2015
    2:01pm
    At my local coffee shop there are always tables of pensioners having breakfast and coffee and on Thursday nights the place is packed again when they dine out at $19.95 each for a roast and sweet.
    Things cannot be that bad.
    particolor
    4th Mar 2015
    2:21pm
    BULLSHEET SENOR !! That's lumping ALL Pensioners into the same Basket ! I'll bet they are the ones that Family pay their Rent, Light, Phone and Green Slip Etc...
    Never had it Better :-)
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:39pm
    I despair, Been watching question time and the antic of our highly paid politicians. I this what we pay them for to provide us with such amusements during our latter years.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:43pm
    Yea Wst !! :-) I said something similar the other day ! And WE PAY THEM FOR THAT ??
    Its a Pantomime !!
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:47pm
    As I said above Wstaton the public does not own politicians because WE DO NOT pay for their election campaigns. Big business and to a lesser extent unions pay for that. So who do you think the pollies work for?
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:55pm
    Ah! but we partially do Mick. Don't they get a sum from the coffers depending how many candidates are elected?
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    2:56pm
    The Big Bopper ?? :-)
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    3:33pm
    Correct Wstaton. The difference is that this amount is set whereas election funding from vested interests will stop IMMEDIATELY if the vested interests are not being paid off.
    Anonymous
    2nd Mar 2015
    3:41pm
    Mick - your partially right and Wstaton alludes to the missing bit - I don't have the facts of the top of my head but it goes something like this for a federal election - if someone stands and gets 4% of the vote then they get something like $1.90 per vote - last election for liberals that meant they got $22M from taxpayers (consolidated revenue), labor got about $16M and Greens and PUP also got money because they got more than 4% of the vote - I think some independents might have as well. While on this topic I understand that if a sitting member submits for re-election but loses but gets 4% of vote - he or she gets a one year payout - eg about $195K - good money if you can get it BUT I don't agree it should come from taxpayers money
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    3:57pm
    I can't remember the exact figures but that's it in a nutshell.
    The question we all have to ask ourselves is should the public foot a limited bill for a scaled down election campaign and outlaw the vested interests or would we be happy for the current corrupt system to continue. I know what I'd be advocating!
    You know how NSW state Liberal got caught out and I'd put money on the fact that if we had a federal Ombudsman's Office then we'd catch out the Abbott government. If you don't think that the coal industry and miners in general plus the banks put money up, big money, then I'd suggest you might be sniffing the wrong flowers.
    The problem with election campaigns is that the major parties want to advertise their propaganda on prime time TV so that they saturate the minds of simple minded folk. It works. Perhaps we need to limit the allowable spend to say $50,000 advertising spend per candidate and let our pollies go back to getting up in front of an audience and give their spiel. AT least that way the audience can give them instant feedback, something which seems to have disappeared in the land of political thin air these days where pollies do not even know what the tax free threshhold is.
    dougie
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:58pm
    And do't some so called pollies work for this. So many votes achieved and a payment is made for each vote that pollie achieves. The payment is generally enough to live on until another election either state or federal is held. Not bad work for 6 weeks have your name in the media be controversial and live well on the proceeds.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    5:44pm
    dougie: the 'rebate' from the government does not go into the pockets of the elected member. It goes to the Party to reimburse it for spending on the candidate. You may also like to know that 10% of salary also goes to the Party but I cannot remember which parties are involved.
    dougie
    3rd Mar 2015
    8:50am
    Mick,
    What happens when you are a party of "one" as is the case with some. When the cash is doled out who gets to spend it? Who gets to say what was spent and how it was spent? There should be an accounting of all expenditure for the time the election was in place and only that expenditure which was made is reimbursed up to the proscribed level. I reiterate my statement!

    2nd Mar 2015
    3:27pm
    The Global Age Watch Index rated Australian seniors very poorly off in the world in terms of income security, so there's a huge question here of how data is collected and processed. Under the GAW Index, we rate 61 of 96 countries, behind Thailand and Ecuador.

    35.5% of our retirees live in poverty. The average income for over 60's is only 65.4% of the average income for the rest of the population.

    I think the issue in Australia today is that there is a huge division between those who have nothing but the pension and those who have other assets or income. The pension is, I believe, too low. At the same time, means tests are perhaps too generous. But whenever tightening the means test is suggested, we hear outcries - quite justifiably - from those who went without in their younger years to save for retirement.

    I think we need to tighten up on superannuation concessions for the wealthy and adjust the means tests at the upper end, but not tamper too much with the low end, because those who struggled to achieve modest savings SHOULD enjoy a better standard of living than those who spent it all. We perhaps could also introduce measures to give special consideration to people who were clearly disadvantaged in earlier life. For example, it's criminal that Forgotten Australians have never been given any kind of compensatory benefit or special consideration. Disabled or chronically ill retirees need more income than healthy retirees. People who started work at 15 and worked in menial jobs because impoverished families couldn't afford to educate their kids should get special consideration in their final years. Overall, Australia is still the ''lucky country'', but the direction we are heading is alarming, and there are options to make the system much fairer. We should be working to eliminate poverty among the aged. No elderly person should live in poverty in such an affluent nation.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    3:38pm
    What you fail to mention is that retirees who have NO MORTGAGE to service can live well off the pension. The other thing you do not look at is that some of our citizens never work a day in their lives but the hand is out there for a big pension.
    Whilst I support your view that superannuation concessions for the rich need to be stopped (the biggest rort out) I am not sure about your comment about making Australia "fairer" because that my dear boy is in the eye of the beholder and what is needed is a 'pub test' which cuts out the predatory rats on both ends of society.
    Anonymous
    2nd Mar 2015
    3:54pm
    Rainey - you make some excellent points but I fear it would be too complex to develop legislation to make it workable. Mick also makes good points. We might need to better understand "rich" - the really rich have family trusts and other mechanisms outside super to minimise tax - according to ATO one person has $100m in super (if true that person should pay more as Keating did not have this in mind when he set up super in 91. WRT to aged pension - I think there is room to tighten up assets test side but income test side seems reasonable (except that there are transitional rules that been there is more than one set of rules for income tests so in mind its too complex. So my proposal (which neither liberal or labor want to touch) is that anyone whose home is valued at more than 3M should not have access to aged pension or if they do then what they get is deducted from their assets when they die before redistributed to family - however I have no issue with all getting access to CSHC.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:04pm
    Quite so bob. What is rich? Some people think a salary of $200,000 pa is rich but the reality is that the word entails more than income. It encompasses assets, tax shelters and trusts which redistribute income.
    I think that your $3M family home criteria misses the point, which is that many rich folk have structures to not only get their superannuation but also get a full pension. This is what needs to end immediately as it is a dishonest rort which governments have ignored. The real question is WHY do governments ignore the rich plundering the system?
    I have no issues with folk who have done well not being skinned. I do have a significant issue though with folk who have done well being set up to live the life of Riley at the expense of the rest of society.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    6:48pm
    Riley said Thank You !! :-)
    wally
    2nd Mar 2015
    3:41pm
    Debbie's " It all depends on who you ask" is especially true when analysing poll results. This is why I think the polls saying that those (who have been polled) prefer to see Malcolm as preferred PM over Tony are misleading.
    Of course any Labor supporters worth feeding will say they prefer Malcolm over Tony. But would those same Labor supporters switch from voting Labor to voting Liberal should Malcolm become the Liberal's PM candidate in the 2016 election? Well, would they?
    That is the question left unasked. All the media outlets that go on and on about the poll results are doing so to increase their radio and tv ratings and newspaper sales. If the pollsters were to only ask the Liberal supporters who they preferred to see as PM you might get a different poll result. Or maybe not. If some of those polled lied about being Liberal supporters in the first place.
    So the politicians' favourite remark about the only poll worth considering is the one on election day might be the only true thing any of them has ever said!
    mangomick
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:05pm
    I for one would.Can't honestly say that Shorten really impresses me as Leadership material but I think he would be much better than Abbott but I think a Turnbull/Bishop or even a Turnbull /Morrison leadership team would be a positive for the Country as long as they can stamp their own thinking and policy into the Party.We need people on both sides who are prepared to sit down and flesh out the hard decisions. We need Politicians who aren't happy just to sit back and watch our Country being dug up as they wave good bye to manufacturing jobs as they head overseas. Otherwise we are really going to be stuffed when the minerals run out.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:09pm
    Polls are supposed to be unbiased. This is why you have to be careful of a media outlet conducting a poll.
    A properly conducted poll is almost always spot on. That's why election results are given before the election and why they are rarely wrong.
    When you start wanting to sample biased groups (Labor supporters or Liberal supporters) then you have a problem: invalid outcomes. The general population works and the nature of randomness is why it works.
    wally
    2nd Mar 2015
    8:29pm
    Again, it comes down to separating the sheep from the goats. We can hope that the ratbags from one side will balance or cancel the input from the other side's ratbags but you just can't be sure. The wording of the questions posed to the respondents can "steer" the responses they make if they do not carefully consider the question in the first place. This is called "Push Polling". Those hoping to get the poll results favourable to one side's agenda or another are not interested in conducting an unbiased poll. And a lot of interviewees the pollsters contact don't really care and just want to finish the interview as soon as possible so they can get back to what they were doing.
    Mar
    2nd Mar 2015
    3:51pm
    Well said Rainey. The problem is that life is not fair. That's the biggest lesson I have learned in my lifetime. Life is still better in Australia than anywhere else in this world, as far as I am concerned.
    Mar
    2nd Mar 2015
    3:57pm
    No mortgage and no rent Mick.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:10pm
    Good on you Mar. Yes life is "not fair" (tell me about it) but I am assuming you are doing ok.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:00pm
    I'd love to earn what pensioners got myself. We are a family of 4 and earn about half the pension rate and have no problems making ends meet. If a pensioner has enough to go the club regularly and play the pokies then in my opinion they are getting too much. A pension should be only enough for the basics in life and I can see the day fast approaching when this will be the case.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:12pm
    It is coming Bonny. Just wait for 2 years worth of bad trade figures and it will be here. The key indicators to watch are the prices of coal, iron ore and oil/gas. As I have said before this is a tsunami waiting to hit as it plays out.
    mangomick
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:20pm
    From what I've seen as i was touring around Oz , pensioners usually go to the clubs because they have really cheap pensioner meals and they can usually sit there for a few hours in air conditioned comfort ,sipping on a shandy putting $2 through a 5 cent machine.
    If you are getting half the Pension rate you should see Fair Work Australia because your employer might be paying you well under the minimum wage and if he isn't, see Centrelink, as you could be eligible for some sort of family payment I would imagine.Think your figures are wrong because Min wage is $640.90 per week and pension for couple is $1288 per fortnight.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:25pm
    I agree Mick we have become too dependent on welfare in Australia now and we just can't keep borrowing money to fund everything. Basically our luck has just about run out as our resources boom comes to an end. What do we have to replace the resources boom?
    mangomick
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:39pm
    We could have been leaders in solar thermal and renewable energy but unfortunately we missed the boat when the LNP went with Abbott instead of Turnbull and now we will be roasting our meat over fires with the other Neanderthals that backed Abbott.
    We should have spent the money on Genetic Research Centres and Medical Science labs instead of backing Bush and following him into Iraq .We should be a World class leader in Stem Cell research and plant and animal Genetics. Instead Abbott got rid of the Science Ministers Portfolio. he's been like a catholic Heretic hunter getting rid of any one and thing that agrees with Global warming and Climate science.With our stable Geology in the Kimberlies we could be the world leader in nuclear storage but unfortunately the only thing Abbott can see is digging the place up and selling our resources cheaply.We have got plenty to replace the mining boom, plenty that is except for Leaders with vision.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:45pm
    My figures are right and why should I ask for more money than I need to live well? That is why many Australians have become too welfare dependent they take whatever they can get for nothing even if they don't need it.
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:49pm
    Well said Bonny but you should still check if your employer is flouting the law by paying you under the minimum wage. This is a law not welfare.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Mar 2015
    5:21pm
    Work for an employer good heavens No I'm not a slave.
    Wstaton
    2nd Mar 2015
    5:28pm
    Sorry Bonny I misinterpreted your situation.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Mar 2015
    5:34pm
    Very understandable given our schools now turn our imaginative little kids into factory workers.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    5:54pm
    mangomick: your observation shows a great deal of understanding. Abbott abolished the Carbon Tax on the pretext that it would cost jobs. The truth is more like the coal industry stumped up the money to get this bad crew elected and the repeal of the Carbon Tax was simply repayment of the debt. So now AUstralian taxpayers throw in $8 every year to coal, oil and gas. That is the cost to us. Just imagine the real jobs we could have created or the debt we could have repaid with this windfall.
    Your thoughts about developing renewable energy demonstrates the poisonous pill the country has been sold as we had a solar panel company here which moved to America after pleading for a bit of assistance to government. One has to wonder if the deaf ear was because of the coal industry dons threatening to not fund the government of the day.
    But don't worry mangomick. Governments have a solution: sell off our best FREEHOLD farming land to the Chinese government. ANd for those who do not appreciate what the word "freehold" means it means GONE FOREVER as once sold it can only be either bought back or taken back with new legislation....which would lead Australia into a war with a highly armed, mechanised and cash rich China. Not what any decent politician would....but then I continue to refer to these people as 'prostitutes'.....they'll do anything as long as they get their needs met. And this is what I have agains both sides of politics!
    mangomick
    2nd Mar 2015
    10:29pm
    I've heard the Greens talk about leaving Stategic reserves of Coal , gas , Iron ore and other minerals in the ground. Obviously Coal and gas for Environmental reasons but also minerals for future Generations of Australians to benefit from, but I have heard nothing from labor and LNP. It pains me when I hear BHP talk about opening up new mines and upping production at low prices just to send junior miners broke so they are forced out of the game.
    Allowing Cubby Station to be bought by foreign interests was a disgrace, as well as allowing large tracts of the Ord to go to foreign investors . We have some of the best farmers in the world and yet we are allowing foreign nationals to come in and become the landowners and Australians to become the serfs.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    10:39pm
    Well said Mango !!
    pate
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:07pm
    Yeah these reports are all very well eept that they are judging by what shoukd happen in the future not necessaruily what is happening now for instance my husband always worked for the NSW Govt and was supposed to end up okay except we were locked into their superannuation fund which was paying us the grand sum of 3 and one half percent interest when they were actually earning up tp 17 & 18 %. My first question is what happened to the difference ? And certain Poliyacians now whinge about us pensioners being a drain on society,
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    4:14pm
    My understanding of a defined benefit scheme is that those on this scheme get a multiple of their final annual salary. Perhaps one of the community with a better understanding of this sort of scheme can offer some clarification.
    Hawkeye
    3rd Mar 2015
    1:25pm
    Mick,
    I was in the Commonwealth PSS (Public Sector Super), which was a defined benefit scheme. It is has been closed to new members for some years now, and I have no idea or interest in how it's replacement works.
    In the PSS your contributions purchase a number. The higher the contribution, the higher the number. On retirement (at 55 or older) your accumulated number is used in a calculation with your FAS (Final Average Salary, which is the average of your salary on your last 3 birthdays) to arrive at your Retirement Benefit, which can be taken as all lump sum, all pension, or a combination of both.
    The FAS element was to stop the rort which was common in the previous CSS scheme, where someone about to retire was given a promotion, then retired almost immediately with retirement benefits based on that higher salary.
    The only time interest rates came into it was if you resigned, I think you could withdraw all your contributions with interest.

    I don't know what "pate" is referring to because (although I don't know any details) I have always been told the NSW Gov Super was better than the Commonwealth version, unless things have changed dramatically in recent years.
    particolor
    3rd Mar 2015
    5:38pm
    See what a Bunch a Crooks we are Paying Now ?? :-(
    LiveItUp
    2nd Mar 2015
    5:36pm
    It looking like we will get another interest rate cut tomorrow.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    6:05pm
    And that will be another nail in the coffin for those who fund their own retirement.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Mar 2015
    6:15pm
    Only those who have their money in income investments that are not safe as they are eroded by both inflation and tax. The stockmarket seems to like these interest rate cuts so those in the less risky sharemarket investments should do well.
    MICK
    2nd Mar 2015
    7:56pm
    The rule is: when returns on bank interest drop investors look elsewhere. This normally means real estate and the share market. It is sad that governments around the world have joined a bidding war to the bottom and those on fixed incomes (retirees) are stripped of their assets because they have to spend their capital, not the interest earned from the capital. This unfortunately is the difference between poor people and rich people. The rich do not spend their capital. The poor do.
    Life wasn't meant to be easy and is rarely fair.
    heyyybob
    2nd Mar 2015
    8:01pm
    Spot on Mick. It MUST be extremely hard for some, especially those who didn't have enough time to build a small super.....then the bloody medical problems start coming :(
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    8:02pm
    Life wasn't meant to be Deemed !! :-

    2nd Mar 2015
    7:02pm
    I get impatient with people saying ''I'm doing okay on the pension'' or ''it's enough if you don't waste it'' or ''you should have saved more. I'm doing okay, and I know a lot of people who chose to travel or gamble or party and now whinge about not having enough. One couple I know gave everything to their kids five years before being eligible for the pension just so they'd get a full pension. They reason they can ask for cash from their kids for anything they need, but no way the Government is going to reduce their pension because they saved. These types are out there. But there are also people how have suffered horrific injustice and have never had a chance, and these are the people I feel need a better deal somehow. I'm not sure how - but somehow. My husband is a Forgotten Australian. We are doing okay, fortunately. We had an incredibly hard slog and lived in poverty for 25 years, but we dragged ourselves out of by hard work and being frugal. Many of his friends are in dire situations. One was born with Cerebral Palsy. He struggled through life - very alone and horrifically abused as a child - and then at age 55 was diagnosed with Leukemia. Believe it or not, at 64 he was declared disease free. Treatment worked. So Centrelink told him to go get a job. He's not ''sufficiently sick or disabled'' to qualify for benefits, despite having a missing hip, walking with a limp, and having been too sick with a cancer to work for the last 9 years. It's not good enough for us to just declare that the pension is adequate because we can live on it okay. People like this guy can't. Medicines are expensive. He needs surgery on his hip again. He has no savings and no home - and it's NOT his fault. With more than 35% of our retirees living in poverty, I think it's a stretch to suggest ALL of them are responsible for their situation. For that reason, I don't think we indexation should be changed. It's not reasonable for people to make judgments about others who circumstances they don't know about. Needs vary depending on health, family, skills, and a whole range of other variables.

    We need to look after the neediest. I think the income test is way too generous. Nobody earning $900 a week needs a part pension. I think the assets test, in today's environment, is rather harsh. Many with just over the limit will struggle to achieve a decent income from returns at today's rates, and why should people who went without a lot to save a little nest egg not be allowed to enjoy a higher standard of living in old age? That is what they saved for - not so we could give it all away (except perhaps to our offspring). But ultimately, I think we have to prioritize caring for the neediest - whether their need is due to misfortune or to foolishness, because it's not for us to judge which. As the saying goes, ''walk a mile in my shoes''.
    vincent
    2nd Mar 2015
    7:29pm
    One little comment on Free-hold this can easily be sorted out by legislation. Do away with those silly 99 year leases and convert them to a perpetual lease system. Other countries do this and it works fine.That way a government will always be in ultimate control and it seems no impediment to people buying property or doing business.
    Young Simmo
    2nd Mar 2015
    7:39pm
    I have just had some fantastic news.
    All Aussie pensioners are going to get another $50 per week, But.
    Only

    Only


    Only


    Only


    Only


    Only


    Only

    If you live for another 50 years.
    SORRY.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    7:58pm
    I hope an Elephant treads on Your foot at the Circus You work for !! :-)
    heyyybob
    2nd Mar 2015
    8:05pm
    :D
    vincent
    2nd Mar 2015
    7:46pm
    On my previous comment I meant no freehold everything in a perpetual lease system. As far as pensions is concerned $900 is only for a single Rainey a couple can earn $1400. I wish I was so lucky. The threshold should be set much lower for couples and should include all property above a certain total value, own house included. After all the taxpayer should not have to provide for the offspring that pockets the proceeds after the real estate is sold.
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2015
    6:59am
    Yes, Vincent, a couple earning $1400 can get a part pension, and that's absurd. In terms of assets though, I have mixed feelings. I agree that taxpayers shouldn't have to provide for offspring to pocket their parents' savings, but if people aren't encouraged to save and allowed to pass on their wealth, how do future generations prosper? If people can't pass on their earnings to their offspring, they are more likely to spend it. Is that good or bad for the economy? On the one hand, it increases pension costs because people will save less and thus have less in old age. On the other hand, it stimulates employment and consumption so it increases tax revenue. Economists are split over whether saving is good or bad for the country, but the fact that governments introduced compulsory superannuation and encourage voluntary contributions suggests they generally think saving is good.

    While I agree the taxpayer shouldn't have to support those who can support themselves, I see it as grossly unfair that X, who got a good education and earned a good salary and inherited money gets a full pension because she spent up big on world trips and parties, and Y gets a full pension because he gave all his money to his kids before he turned 55, but Z gets nothing because he worked two jobs and lived very frugally to ensure he had a home and some savings to fund a better lifestyle in old age - and getting nothing, he's now actually no better off than X or Y, or even worse off in many cases.

    We lived 'self-funded' for 9 years after being forced (due to health issues) to take early retirement. We lived in poverty and reduced our capital substantially, despite starting out with assets that would have disqualified us for a pension. The returns on $1 million are just pathetic at present, and getting worse. Why should someone who struggled all their life to accumulate what is really a very modest nest-egg, and a comfortable home, have to give it up in retirement while those who prospered but lived the high life live off the taxpayers?
    I'm glad I'm not the one responsible for making policy on pensions, because it's really not a simple issue, and it's impossible to be fair to all. Personally, though, I would include the family home but set the assets limits quite high, so that savers were fairly rewarded. I'd exclude a lot of personal items and memorabilia and furniture and cars up to a fair limit. I'd set the income limit much lower, because if people can work and earn they don't need a pension.
    I think the solution is to look at the opportunities people had in their younger years and examine why they are in the situation they are in when they retire, but unfortunately that would be far too complicated and open to corruption.
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2015
    8:47am
    Rainey I agree with what you have said in general. One size does not fit all and there will never be concensus on what is fair or unfair where pensions are concerned. Yes, there are people getting part pensions who I believe should not but that is how the system is set up and they can access

    The welfare system will prove to be unsustainable if something is not done to stop it getting out of control. The problem is that people have come to expect that government will give them whatever they want without any thought to where the money is going to come from. It is not a bottomless pit. We need more people in the workforce to provide the taxes needed and the crackdown on tax avoidance by multi nationals by Hockey hopefully will produce results.
    particolor
    3rd Mar 2015
    9:37am
    I'll Swap You a 5 for a 50 ?? :-)
    bartpcb
    2nd Mar 2015
    8:28pm
    I have grave doubts about the accuracy of this report, and have to wonder who compiled it and what their political agenda is. Below are the facts.

    A full single Age Pension is $1200 less per annum than the amount recommended for a modest lifestyle (ASFA Retirement Standard)
    The fees on our superannuation are some of the highest worldwide,
    Our financial planning industry is one step away from descending into chaos due to the systemic conflict of interest amongst the major advisors and the succession of failed investment company collapses
    Hospital waiting lists are alarmingly long - and getting worse.

    I have not spoken to a pensioner yet who considers the Aged pension adequate.
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    8:51pm
    Well My Fortnightly Pension lasts Me a Week !! :-) And it sure beats living in Bangla Desh !!
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2015
    2:29am
    I agree, its difficult to live on the current pension without being super careful and having to think twice about every spend is no fun. I'm sure the pension in the Netherlands is higher than ours, the other advantage is that they have heaps more public housing, they have never had the Aust deam of owning your own home.
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2015
    7:04am
    This report completely contradicts another that rated Australia 61st out of 96 countries in terms of income security in old age, behind Thailand and Ecuador and way behind the US, UK, Canada, and the Scandinavian countries (which led the world). The poor rating was based on survey results that showed 35.5% of our retirees live in poverty, and the average retiree income is only about 60% of the average income for other sectors of the community.
    Which report is correct? How do two different groups gather data and get such contradictory results?
    particolor
    3rd Mar 2015
    9:40am
    The answer to that is easy !! Its Election Time !! :-(
    Mar
    2nd Mar 2015
    9:37pm
    Good to see your in top form particolor!!!
    particolor
    2nd Mar 2015
    10:06pm
    Sorry I was busy on another Site where they were getting Rather Hostile about that letter to Jacy Lanby !! They want to Deport Aircraft Carrier loads of them Back Home !! :-) Before they do something Stupid !!
    Paulodapotter
    3rd Mar 2015
    1:18am
    I guess I'll find out whether or not the pension is adequate when I run out of my own resources, if I live long enough that is. I intend to continue working until I get so old that just getting through the day is full time job. Is there anyone else out there doing the same thing? I seem to be a lone sample.
    mangomick
    3rd Mar 2015
    8:12am
    Paulo.......... That's really sad.......work to live not live to work.I would prefer to live so long that it is a full time job just making it through the day
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2015
    8:39am
    Paulo I know of many people who would love to still be in the workforce as they find they have too much time on their hands. Retirement for some is not all it is cracked up to be ;)
    particolor
    3rd Mar 2015
    9:32am
    Paulo, I've never been busier in all My life than when I retired, this computer is only a Sideline and Information Station to Me ! :-) Get Yourself a Mountain of Hobbies and You wont know where to stop ?? No Not Her !! :-)
    Precious 1
    3rd Mar 2015
    11:36pm
    Its certainly good to hear about our level of heaven in our land here.I think it all depends where your heart lies...I have friends from all over the world and they never cease to amaze me with their stories re their homelands etc and what they all do...I have travelled myself and seen some wonderful places and met same in people ......I have had a very privileged life and still finding much happiness in the oddest places..
    Precious 1
    3rd Mar 2015
    11:47pm
    There was a discussion once years ago that they had one big worry and no one could come up solving it...It was divorcees who were suffering in silence who never had much to start with men disappearing and leaving them with many children,,long before the CentreLink han douts etc...I had many years working as a single and was told by C Link that I would be much better off finding a husband........if a job didn't appear to be what it was advertised...very complex...I had interviews and asking or telling me that if I moved close by the job and carry on an affair I would have the job and a good salary......these are the hidden no nos that higher ups do not want people to know.......
    Young Simmo
    4th Mar 2015
    1:38am
    OK, once again I apologise for the change of subject, but this rubbish has gone far enough, Oop's.
    This is what gets up my nose.

    Australia has a population of about 23 Million people, almost microscopic when you consider,
    China has 1.357 billion people
    India has 1.252 billion people
    Indonesia has 250 million people
    South Africa has 53 million people
    Total 5.998 Billion who are spending how much on saving Afganistan?????
    And Australia is spending who knows what on sending soldiers to Afganistan for a well paid holiday?????
    How much would it cost to give the Aussie pensioners free dental treatment????
    Yes, I can see why the average Aussie wants to see the end of Tony Abbott.
    Feel free to correct me, as I am just an armature at this political BULLDUST.
    particolor
    4th Mar 2015
    9:34am
    What Teeth ?? :-(
    wally
    4th Mar 2015
    9:34am
    To add to your list, Australia's entire population is about half of that of the US state of California.
    As for sending our troops overseas (again) on another fool's errand in Iraq, I would like to know what good will come of this? considering the successes that the Sunni based ISIS forces have had over the Iraqi Army so far, the efforts to train the Iraqi armed forces has been a dismal failure. If Iraq's young Shi'a men lack the guts to grapple with ISIS and avenge their murdered brothers in arms, (considering the ISIS inclination to murder and behead the Iraqi soldiers unlucky enough to fall into their hands) then we would be throwing good money after bad. The only bunch in Iraq that appear to be willing to take on ISIS head on are the Kurds. If you want to send help to exterminate ISIS, send that help to the Kurds And maybe the Jordanians.
    Having gotten that off my chest, I agree that the money spent on overseas posturing exercises for the sake of public relations (like Australia's Middle Eastern adventures) would be better spent providing expanded preventative health services, including the above mentioned dental treatment.
    particolor
    4th Mar 2015
    9:46am
    Id rather Jump into Junk Yard and pat their Rottweiler ! :-)
    Bob
    5th Mar 2015
    1:06pm
    I would like to comment on your reference to ridiculously high service charges, sometimes called access charges, facility charges,service to property charges etc. These are a relatively new charge. An invention of greedy CEO's. They are making the customer pay for the running expenses of the company in addition to the cost of the product which also contains a profit margin. These expenses should be factored into the retail price. Often the service charges are greater the the cost of the product. When I go to the supermarket I am not charged for using the facility they provide to enable me to shop.
    Wstaton
    5th Mar 2015
    1:50pm
    To true Bob. Everything should be bundled in the cost per unit. Use more pay more.

    Trouble is if the usage overall went down then they would be hit.

    If I use 10 units @ 20cents/unit and pay $50 service charge then if another used 100units and paid $50 service charge or whatever they would like to call it, then I would pay $5.20 unit and the other would pay 70cents a unit. This means anyone having low usage is subsidizing all those with a high usage above them.
    particolor
    5th Mar 2015
    4:16pm
    The Chief Executive Officer said Thank You Very Much for the Cigars Bob :-)
    We have the same thing here ! A block of 12 Units each paying 130 Bucks a Quarter for Service To Property ?? $6,480 a Year !! Thank You Very Much !! Its Half My Bill ??
    Cut Down on usage they say ? Get Knotted I say !! :-(.. And when everyone does that They put the Price UP to Compensate !! You Cant Bloody Win :-(
    Fready
    5th Mar 2015
    2:33pm
    Yesterday I enquired about term deposit rates and was quoted 2.7% per annum. At this rate a self-funded married couple would need to have saved $1,250,000 to receive as much as the pension, so stop whinging.
    Young Simmo
    5th Mar 2015
    2:47pm
    Well Fready, If you retired at 65 with $1,250,000 in the bank and live for another 35 years I reckon you are on easy street. You will be on $41,666 per year or $801 per week. That doesn't include the 35 years of diminishing interest which you could throw at the casino.

    YEP, I could take that quite nicely.
    Anonymous
    6th Mar 2015
    4:04am
    You haven't factored in inflation, Young Simmo. 2.7% per annum return is unlikely to even keep up with inflation, and drawing on capital is theoretically an option, but $801 per week isn't likely to buy much 30 years from now. Then there's the problem of interest rates constantly reducing. Every year, the return gets less so you erode the capital more and that reduces the return further.
    I have mixed feelings about where the assets limit should lie (and I certainly believe there should be one), but I feel it's too low at present because someone who worked hard and saved their money SHOULD have a much better standard of living in retirement than someone who didn't, and someone who went without and saved specifically for the purpose of being able to leave their kids something when they die shouldn't be punished while people who gambled or drank their money away, or gave it to their kids before they turned 60, are rewarded.
    That said, I think we have an obligation to provide for ALL aged, sick and disabled and to ensure they have a reasonably comfortable standard of living and adequate affordable health care. That should be the first spending priority of any government.
    Where I see the current pension system as grossly unfair is that a couple can earn up to $1400 a week and still get a part pension, whereas a couple with $1 million in returning assets (plus their furniture, car, collectibles, etc. that don't return) is disqualified, even though they might only be receiving a return of $25,000 per annum. If they put their money into higher returning investments, they face risks. Many lost their life savings in the GFC because it was invested in shares. All very well to say the market bounced back, but if you needed to take money out while it was down, the bounce-back a few years later didn't help.
    It's even harsher if they happen to be in the position we were in a few years ago, owning a block of land that we tried to sell but a local council planning error rendered it worthless and unsalable, yet Centrelink still treated it as a very valuable asset. What of those who have valuable collectibles or antiques that they can't readily sell?
    Ultimately, the ''self-funded'' who saved for their retirement are punished while those lucky enough to have jobs with ongoing superannuation pensions that aren't related to their superannuation fund balance (like defence personnel, politicians, and many public servants) are richly rewarded.
    I'm not suggesting people with over $1 million in assets deserve any sympathy, but the current system is grossly unfair in its relative treatment of income and assets, and it offers little incentive to save for one's own retirement - or to keep working, for that matter. Yet it's obscenely generous to those fortunate enough to have an income in retirement that they don't have to work for (as long as it's not from returns on investments). Those the system favors are, generally speaking, those who were most privileged during their working lives.
    I'd hate to have the job of suggesting a fix for the system, but it's messed up at present, and the current government appears to have a very warped concept of why and what to do to fix it.
    Not Senile Yet!
    5th Mar 2015
    6:16pm
    KSS...the only thing worse than a Left Wing Moron is a Right Wing Idiot!
    Of course we are up on the scale that does not include the Monetary Value of the Pension Paid...ie the sustainability of income!
    Which by the way Your RW Mates want to deplete further....not to mention reduce concessions provided!!!!
    Did you not stop to think we moved up because other Countries have already adopted the very RW Policies your mob are proposing, thereby causing a de-valuing of their positions!!!! Remember for someone to go up someone has to go down in any system!!!
    Both Parties have not updated the Value of the Pension Payment with the increase of inflated prices caused by their Policies on inflation. Neither wish to do so either.....nor do they wish to adjust any other Policy to allow Pensioners the freedom to work part-time without Penalty. It is Govt Policy that restrict the Elderly from earning an independent Income....Yes Govt Rules that Penalise anyone who dares to do so!!!! Talk about living under a Mushroom!!!
    Adrianus
    6th Mar 2015
    1:56pm
    After reading a few comments above one thing becomes clear to me.
    Many people are upset that Australia ranks high for retirees. They seemed to prefer the report a few months ago on YLC when Australia was doing very badly on the world rankings.
    particolor
    6th Mar 2015
    8:32pm
    Yes the Folks in Power always have Much More Agreeable Figures !! I think I'll Retire !! :-)
    Riley....
    Anonymous
    8th Mar 2015
    8:14am
    I don't think anyone is upset that Australia ranks high, Frank. I think they are upset that this Government uses questionable claims and reports to justify cuts that will make Australia rank low in years to come, and changes that threaten the lifestyle of those who worked hard and went without a great deal to try to ensure comfort in their later years. Thankfully, Scott Morrison has now admitted that changing indexation will grind pensioners into poverty and has suggested the change be temporary. Let's see just how temporary it ends up being. As to freezing the indexation of the assets test - I guess whether that's reasonable or not depends what happens to the economy in the next few years. If returns remain at today's level, all is fine. But predictions of another crash are scaring many retirees.
    Adrianus
    8th Mar 2015
    9:00am
    I did notice a return to pension indexation to wages in the Intergenerational report.
    Christine
    6th Mar 2015
    4:07pm
    Australia may rank high for those with superannuation but is appalling for those reliant on the age pension. It is the worst of the OECD countries. I have read through a few of these comments, and find many objectionable. A few people need to learn the addage "there but for the grace of God go I". It is quite possible for really good people to end up in hard times, and to think that Australia has joined the ranks of those countries who say "who gives a damn about them" is really distressing. I thought we were better than that.

    6th Mar 2015
    9:51pm
    Reading all these comments re. the old age pension, one has to ask, have we any true Aussies left in this country.
    The likes of hawkeye, his comments to liken Australia to a Nazi Government, I lived under them, shows his absolute stupidity and lack of his knowledge of he past, oblivious was not born at that time, how lucky was he, then stating he is ashamed to be an Australian, may I give him or her my advise, go and find a better Country to live in, Australia will be the better for it.
    To mangomick, don't run this Country, Australia, down unless You got solutions of how to fix the problems.
    It is so easy to take this lucky Country down and yes I agree with Mick, having Your own home helps a lot, however for many years we went without luxurious and bringing kids up.' without money of the government', to save enough to buy our home, yes we went without many so called luxurious, dryers, double stories, t.v.'s etc, yet the kids played in the backyards, we had chucks, a cat and a dog, they knew where milk came from and sheep supplied the wool, a knowledge nowadays not many kids know. Yes, we can do better, but unless we all put our shoulders to the cause and stop winching, we be going down as has happened in countries the like of Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc.
    My advise to You, enjoy and love this Country, You can travel the world and never find a better Country, AUSTRALIA, may I never let You down.
    particolor
    6th Mar 2015
    10:12pm
    Ah just make fun of all the Doomsayers ! Its still the Best Country !! :-)
    MacI
    7th Mar 2015
    7:58am
    I hear so many complaints on this forum about how unfair it is that the government foregoes so much revenue through Super tax concessions to the rich I thought I'd do some research using the ASIC MoneySmart Retirement Planner. I used the following scenario to determine the net cost to the tax payer from age 65 to 85 between a single person who retires with $400K in Super and the same person who salary sacrifices an additional $100K thereby retiring with a net $485K in Super. The person salary sacrificing saves themself $22K up front if their marginal tax rate is 0.37c and $30K if their mariginal tax rate is 0.47c. If the person lives on $38K per year drawing a part Aged Pension then by age 73 the government has recovered $22K in reduced Aged Pension payments and $30K by age 83. All amounts are in today's dollars.

    I hope this at least demonstrates that it is simplistic to look only at the concessions side of the ledger. The net cost has to take into account the savings to the government through reduced Aged Pension payments.
    particolor
    7th Mar 2015
    8:08am
    Reduced Imports Leaner Payments would fix That !!
    Adrianus
    7th Mar 2015
    8:40am
    KCI, I understand your logic and agree with your point. I think what causes some angst for some is Doctors having $5m plus Super accounts and still maximising their salary sacrificing option each year or drawing welfare when in between jobs. I mention Doctors only because I've heard of a few, I don't mean to pick on them. Politicians are now starting to question wether the $50b yearly tax concessions are translating to savings in aged pensions at the same level. What they conveniently omit from their extrapolation is that the $50b today is an investment for future years.
    Wstaton
    7th Mar 2015
    8:41am
    Methinks there is something strange in the calculation. E.g. How does one salary sacrifice $100k yet only get an additional $85k back? Also this also presumes no growth in the super fund.
    Adrianus
    7th Mar 2015
    8:56am
    A $100k before tax contribution becomes $85k when the ATO takes their cut.
    MacI
    7th Mar 2015
    10:35am
    Frank - I'm certainly not making an argument that there should not be caps in place to limit the concessions to people with huge Super balances, merely to demonstrate that in general these concessions do reduce the Aged Pension burden. The Treasury's annual TES statement is an estimate of the value of concessions in the tax system. This is the billions of dollars figure banded around by people that takes no account of the impact on Aged Pension expenditure if the concessions are withdrawn. It also takes no account of behavioral change should the concessions be removed. Prudent people will always put their money where it best serves them.
    MacI
    7th Mar 2015
    10:45am
    Wstaton - Frank explained why $100K becomes $85K. As for growth in the fund $400K/$485K is what you start out with at age 65. The setting I used in the Retirement Planner assumes an average growth of 5.5% which is conservative over the long term. I would need to go through the exercise but I expect that a higher average growth would result in a quicker return in saved Aged Pension payment to the government.
    Anonymous
    8th Mar 2015
    8:04am
    There's a major problem with this simplistic example, and that is that this same person who put a voluntary $100K in to get an extra tax concession is quite likely to take a lump sum OUT in order to get the maximum pension, or more pension than they need given their superannuation balance. I could point to several who withdrew the maximum between age 55 and 60 and gave it to their kids so they would get full pensions. Their kids give them a bit back whenever they need it (cash in the hand, of course, with no record) so they are on easy-street at taxpayer expense.

    There is also the problem we saw a few years ago, that a market crash can result in the money being lost. And in many institutional funds, all sorts of funny business resulted in losses to members. One fund my husband was in paid out only a tiny fraction of what members should have received, and one reason was they paid workers' comp insurance for members out of their contributions instead of the employer paying it (of course unknown to members at the time. Hopefully control and compliance has improved a lot in recent years).
    It also has to be recognized that those who can afford to put an extra $100K in are the same people as have the capacity to arrange their affairs to invest in negative gearing, setup family trusts, engage clever accountants, etc. to reduce their tax in other ways.

    No doubt many would be tempted to say lump sum withdrawals shouldn't be allowed and the withdrawal age raised, but that removes much of the incentive to invest, because people understand that they might have a genuine need for that money at some point in time. Many will need it to pay off debt on retirement or to help them through a forced early retirement due to ill-health or retrenchment.

    It would be nice if the issue was simple, but it isn't. What is simple to understand is that if you cut the basic pension, you exacerbate poverty and hurt some of the people who were disadvantaged all their lives. Conversely, if assets tests are too harsh in a low-investment-return environment, you make workers and savers worse off than bludgers and wasters and encourage cheating, and you encourage higher risk investing that might result in massive losses.

    Official figures reveal that ON AVERAGE, a self-funded retiree costs the taxpayer more over 20 years in retirement than a pensioner. These figures are looking at people who contribute enough to have more than $1.2 million in assets in addition to their family home - not people end up with less than $500K. Thankfully, the reality is that the super system means that more and more people are retiring with enough super to part-fund their retirement, and that's a fact that appears to have escaped Mr Hockey. We may have many more retirees in years to come, but they are likely to be costing the nation a lot less. Even today, retirees are costing less, because in past years there was little or no means test on the aged pension and workers were far more likely to retire with nothing but the family home.
    Adrianus
    8th Mar 2015
    8:56am
    Rainey, I agree that the issues facing the government regarding retirement incomes are not simple. I don't agree with the assertion that those who save throughout the years to provide their own retirement income cost the taxpayer more than those who need to rely on the aged pension over a 20 year period. I don't care if they are "official figures." If it were true what is the incentive for people to be self reliant? I guess in the past there would have been some creative financial planning with the kids involved, probably because of the 10 year gap between preservation age and pension age, but hasn't that loophole been closed with changes to the 'preservation age' and 'transition to retirement' rules?
    Anonymous
    8th Mar 2015
    3:56pm
    No, Frank. That loophole hasn't been closed. More to the point, though,

    "... Matt Grudnoff, the senior economist at The Australia Institute, calculates that over the seven years from 2005-06 to 2011-12, the federal government lost $169 billion in revenue as a result of the income tax cuts alone.
    “Of the $169 billion in tax cuts, 42 per cent of them, or $71 billion, went to the top 10 per cent of income earners,” he wrote in his paper “Tax cuts that broke the budget”. “The top 10 per cent got more in tax cuts than the bottom 80 per cent.”
    On Grudnoff’s figuring, this year’s budget would have been fatter by almost $40 billion had the cuts not been given ..."

    "... “The tax cuts Howard and Costello gave are now costing [the budget] about $30 billion a year, and the deficit’s $40 billion.”
    Without those cuts and the $9 billion Hockey gave – unasked for and against the will of treasury – to the Reserve Bank, says Hewson, “the deficit problem wouldn’t exist” ..."

    If that isn't enough to convince those who think pension cuts are necessary, or the rich don't cost the country far more in concessions than the poor do in pensions, consider this: In 2004, John Howard reported that the 200 top income earners in Australia declared just $19000 income for personal income tax purposes. Twiggy Forrester is banging on about containing the cost of the pension, but it's been revealed that he pays virtually no personal tax at all.

    Bottom line here is that the rich are NOT PAYING THEIR SHARE. Pensions are inadequate by world standards. The deficit is solely a result of top income earners claiming excessive concessions. It is NOT a consequence of increasing welfare costs (which actually are not increasing much at all as a portion of GDP. Our pension system is the most efficient in the world, and is impressively INEXPENSIVE)
    particolor
    8th Mar 2015
    4:14pm
    OK !! Tell our Newspapers to tell The Bloody truth of What's going on in this Country and Around us !! :-( .. After hearing something on the Radio This morning from a Disgruntled Phone In !! I went for a look Myself ! First I went to West Papua: Forgotten War, Unwanted people ( Google) Then to Pillage Papua New Guinea !! (Google) Happy Reading !! :-( :-(
    MacI
    10th Mar 2015
    1:15pm
    Rainey - I grant you that the rules do allow those who make voluntary contributions to draw out these contributions (minus the 15% contribution tax) but this applies to non-voluntary contributions as well. Anyone can draw down their Super and maximise their Aged Pension. However, to do so they either have to spend it or put it some where it is not counted by Centrelink e.g. renovating the family home. Furthermore using the particular example I provided, i.e. someone starting a 20 year retirement at age 65 with $400K versus someone with $485K, and assuming the same conservative investment returns in the MoneySmart Retirement Planner the former would generate an income of approximately $39K per year and the latter $42K. Some will no doubt choose the option to spend or otherwise dispose of some of their Super to maximise their Aged Pension but it will be at the expense of their standard of living. I don't know what proportion of retirees choose a lower standard of living to maximise their Aged Pension entitlement. I was merely making the point that it is simplistic to talk about the benefits (or otherwise) to the federal budget by removing or reducing Super concessions without considering the expenditure side of the ledger and the behavioral impact on Super saving. It frustrates me that their are so many half truths and spin by our politicians (on both sides) and sloppy commentary by people that parrots whatever side of politics they lean towards. (I'm not suggesting this in your case but much of the commentary on this forum in my opinion falls into this category). If you are interested the following article raises some of the issues that need to be thought when considering the removal of Super tax concessions - http://www.superannuation.asn.au/media/asfa-statement-28-may-2014.
    Anonymous
    11th Mar 2015
    4:16pm
    I agree, KCI, that much of what is peddled by politicians and reiterated by their supporters is ill-considered. The problem, I think, is that for every action, there is an opposite reaction. Ultimately, there are no right answers. As a wise man told me once, it doesn't matter what a Government does, people will find a way to get around the obstacles and create a negative effect that wasn't anticipated.

    What can't be denied, however, is that in Australia the wealthy aren't paying their share toward social and community services, and there are too many concessions and loopholes that benefit only the well-to-do. To suggest that we should cut pensions without addressing those concessions and loopholes is not just unfair, it's socially and economically destructive, and it's far more likely to inflate the deficit than to reduce it (by driving down confidence and consumption and thus driving unemployment up, tax revenues down and social service and health costs up, increasing family breakups and crime, etc.)

    It's all too easy to say people should save for their own retirement. Only the extremely ignorant and the selfish narcissist would make such a suggestion, because for many, it's simply not possible. And to make pensions so low that people can't sustain a reasonably comfortable lifestyle - relative to the rest of the community - is cruel.

    This morning, I read the Commission of Audit Report on aged pensions. I thought it made good sense. I disagree with their limit on the family home - which I think needs to be higher - but otherwise I think their recommendations provide a sensible, fair and workable solution and one the Government would do well to observe.
    Young Simmo
    8th Mar 2015
    5:28pm
    OK I have a problem that I can't seem to come up with an answer to. This is my Problem, EErrr question.
    Is Rainey trying to bore everybody to tears with his monster posts or, is he/she trying to convince everybody that he/she knows everything ????

    Yes I know it is Sunday, and I haven't even had a drink yet.
    No particolor don't get me started.
    particolor
    8th Mar 2015
    6:42pm
    I Know !! You fell asleep on the first Paragraph ! :-)
    Young Simmo
    8th Mar 2015
    7:50pm
    Watch it Parti, I just cracked a tinny.
    Bugger, that's what woke me up.
    Now where was I ?*?*?*?
    particolor
    8th Mar 2015
    8:05pm
    I only found out Yesterday that We have to SUFFER another Bloody Month of this Ridiculous Daylight Stuffup !! You wise People in the West said Stuff It !! :-)..
    I was wondering if those People that Pray 5 times a day are OFFENDED by it like EVERY Other Thing We Do ?? :-(
    Young Simmo
    8th Mar 2015
    8:21pm
    Yeh Parti, I would be happy with,

    Give an hour,
    Take an hour,
    And meet in the middle.
    particolor
    8th Mar 2015
    8:30pm
    America Starts Daylight Stuffup today !! :-( And I just read on another site... An American Indian said Its like cutting a foot off Your Blanket and Sowing it on the other end and telling Yourself Your Blanket is now a Foot Longer !! :-) :-)
    Adrianus
    8th Mar 2015
    10:39pm
    DLST is for the Greenies who live in Sydney and Melbourne. No one else understands it. They don't share the logic of American Indians. To them a TeePee is something you do after smoko.
    particolor
    8th Mar 2015
    10:57pm
    Like Howards Stupid Stuffup Fake referendum Years Back !! Do You agree that Daylight saving should Stay or go Tick Yes or No ?? WTF ??? :-(
    Fair Go
    7th Apr 2015
    1:50pm
    I'm afraid I can't understand how the conclusions to this report were sourced. I can remember looking at a graph on some international site which put Australia third from the bottom on a long list of developed countries for poverty in old age and retirement (govt) income. And knowing how the system works in most of Europe, I can see why we are at the lower end. While I think most Europeans pay about 19% of their income purely for their retirement income, they do get a lot of bang for their buck, in good, free health services and most importantly, entry into hospital if it is required, also dental services, physio etc. Struggling on our pension for the last 4 years, I know which I would prefer.