12th Apr 2016
More Australians than ever are too poor to retire

There has been a dramatic change over the past decade in how Australians view the retirement age, with more than ever before intending to work beyond 70 years of age. While the fact that this generation is ageing in a much healthier way than previous generations will influence many to remain in work for longer, financial uncertainty is still the bigger influence on working beyond 70.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data reveal that in the last decade the number of over 45s who say they will not retire before turning 70 has increased from eight per cent to 23 per cent.

The data shows that financial security is the key influence in deciding to work beyond 70 for 40 per cent of men and 35 per cent of women. Personal health, physical abilities and reaching eligibility age to receive the Age Pension were the other key influences.

The ABS survey produced similar results to the recent MLC Wealth Sentiment Survey, in which it was revealed that nearly one in five Australians believe they will work past 70 years of age. The research shows a direct link between a person's accrued wealth and their expectations of retirement age.

Read more from www.abs.gov.au

Read more from www.theguardian.com

Opinion: Where has the safety net gone?

The Age Pension has always been an entitlement for a life of hard work and paying taxes to build a better Australia, but the Age Pension is also an important safety net on which retirement in this country is built.

This safety net is slowly being ripped from underneath our ageing population, with the Age Pension qualification age increasing to 67 by 2023 and further conservative government legislation ready to raise it to 70 by 2035.

The research shows that many Australians are expecting to work longer to save a little more money in order to supplement their retirement income in addition to receiving an Age Pension. But not everyone will be so lucky to be physically fit past 65 – or be able to find a job. Whilst there are fewer unemployed older workers that younger ones, the time out of work before becoming re-employed is more than 12 months for 70 per cent of these mature age workers. The average time for an older worker to become reemployed is a disheartening 483 days. For all jobseekers, the average is 294 days.

There is also the issue of planning for retirement, the onus of which has been placed firmly in the hands of individuals. This is all well and good but the reality is that, due to ever changing retirement income policy and legislation, and uncertainty about which changes will be introduced in the intervening years between work and retirement, makes it incredibly difficult. In fact, the impending Federal Budget 2016/17, which will take place on 3 May, is likely to deliver a change to superannuation taxation, at the very least.

What do you think? If the Age Pension qualification age increases to 70, will there be enough jobs for the 65–70 year olds to gain employment? Are you planning to work until you are at least 70? And how will this older cohort adjust to the ever increasing rate of technological change the in the workplace?





    COMMENTS

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    John
    12th Apr 2016
    10:18am
    Yeah you've got to be joking if we have to work till we 70 sure should be MPs what's good for the goose is good for the gander and there shouldn't be able to click the pension tell the 70 just like the rest of us but that won't happen because you've got one Rules for them I'm still living in my car after three years gonna get any housing due to the politicians ripping off the tax system 10 flights are you 116 to 250,000 superit is at York let's get somebody with some balls to stop stop the government rip it off the taxpayers can anybody started off with a pair of balls I don't think sure that all bastards
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    10:58am
    We are heading to a US style retirement environment where people work till they drop and are kept poor so that they can never retire. At least in the US there is no 'retire at 70' policy in place....but circumstances force them to work on.
    "Safety net"? Come on, there is no real safety net any more. This big business owned government has no interest in ordinary Australians as it repeatedly seeks to gain tax cuts for the rich and plunder the rest of the nation. Never changes.
    I see a Labor government coming. There seems to be no other option unless voters throw out coalition MPs by the truckload and put in Independents.....with a Labor preference lest votes flow to this mos dishonest of all governments.
    Richied
    12th Apr 2016
    1:35pm
    People have always 'worked till they drop'. The safety net age pension was there for people who lived years past the average life expectancy, but is now available to people 5-10 years before the average life expectancy.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    1:57pm
    So what is life all about Richied? Are people simply slaves of the rich to be abused for a lifetime and then buried with not even a few years to sit back, relax and enjoy the gift of life? Apparently not.
    Richied
    12th Apr 2016
    2:25pm
    I guess we are, and have been since before the feudal system. :-)
    John
    12th Apr 2016
    10:23am
    Government want to save money let's start saving money stop the free flights for the government stop the enormous pension which is ridiculous not we are the only good wage of all the fantastic super which comprises of $180,000 a year to $250,000 a year for the rest of our life's with a pensioner legs on 870 on the television not entitled to that cause that's a Government handouts you rip it off the Australian public a lot of them
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    10:30am
    Problem is topping all this will have little effect on pensioners. It is a very small percentage of the welfare budget.

    These are the working conditions of being a pollie just like other jobs in society. People put themselves up for election just as they do any other job for the pay and conditions.

    I'm over all this pollie bashing. If you want their entitlements then become a pollie yourself.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    11:53am
    It'll have a lot of effect on pensioners if the current government supporting the tax evasion corruption at the top end of society does something to stop it other than waving a finger. We all know that the coalition is 'owned' by the big end of town and conducts business in the interests of the rich. Ordinary citizens, including retirees, are simply there to vote and provide taxes. The rich are permitted in many cases to cheat their way to more wealth.
    Scrivener
    12th Apr 2016
    3:18pm
    Bonny, I wonder if you missed the fact that the pollies gave themselves the benefits they now enjoy - they are not an entitlement given by the taxpayers of this country. They are simply 'hand in the till' perks given to the takers by the takers - mostly the top hats.
    Scrivener
    12th Apr 2016
    3:20pm
    Oh! And the bit about pollie bashing - if they were decent, honest folk who actually fulfilled their promises and acted in the interests of the nation and its people no one would even think of 'bashing' them.
    Happy cyclist
    12th Apr 2016
    3:57pm
    I have to agree with Bonny. If people don't like the existing politicians then do something yourself. Get involved at the grassroots level, get pre-selected, get a seat in Parliament and change the system! Or, on a more realistic scale maybe, just get involved in making positive change. There are many good groups in our civil society trying to do just that. I suspect they don't have time for all the whinging that goes on here. They're out there making a difference.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    4:04pm
    Happy Cyclist: Bonny was likely a politician. Is Bonny really Bronni? Methinks that she may be. The question is was Frank in his past life?
    Happy cyclist
    12th Apr 2016
    4:16pm
    Mick, do you REALLY think the real Bronni would converse with the likes of us? Do you know how much time it takes to keep your nails and hair in such condition!! But you may be right. Bonny may well have been a pollie.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    5:18pm
    Ha ha I'm trying to visualise myself with a beehive sitting in Parliament listing to all that super ego stuff (I'm being nice here). Nope not for me.
    roy
    17th Apr 2016
    8:50am
    It's union corruption and bullying that has caused most of our problems, stand up Bill Shorty and take a bow.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    10:37am
    The age pension is no longer a reward for hard work and paying taxes I agree. Reason being is that not all those who have work hard and paid taxes are entitled to it.

    The age pension like any other welfare payments should only be given to those who need it not to those entitled to it if they need it or not.

    I have no problem with the age pension not being available to 70. You can still retire at any age you wish. In fact I know of many people retiring early to use up their assets so that they will be entitled to the age pension when they get to age pension age. Others upsize their homes so they receive it whereas they should be downsizing instead. This is how stupid the whole age pension system has become.

    Meanwhile our kids have trouble getting jobs because mothers will not stay home and look after their kids.

    What a crazy society we have become.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    10:44am
    Agree with much of what you say, Bonny, but ''You can still retire at any age you wish.'' is rubbish, because most people can't afford to retire before pension age. As for working to 70, how STUPID can the government get, with technology taking jobs and massive unemployment and underemployment plaguing us?

    Let people retire earlier and pay a decent pension. They will then spend to generate economic activity, and there will be more jobs for younger Australians. Support mothers to stay home with kids instead of funding childcare, or support parents who enter job-sharing arrangements so they can spend time with their kids.

    We need to end the greed. Yes, slash politician's wages and benefits, as an example to the rest of Australia. Leading means showing the way. Leaders should be first to sacrifice for the common good.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    11:14am
    Pollies are actually very poorly paid compared to the people running public companies and those at the top of the public service. If you think the perks of pollies are good think again. That's where the real greed is.

    I can never understand why people in cities travel hours a day to sit in front of a computer to work. Why not make one trip and take that computer home instead? More cost effective for everyone concerned.

    People have to wake up and realise that they don't have to work from pay check to pay check. One does not have to do and buy things to impress others they don't really like anyway.

    I think sacrifice starts with the individual no matter their status in society. Small things forgone today can turn into big things for tomorrow. My kids get it but their peers don't. These things should be taught at school so people can laugh at ads instead of taking notice of them. Sign up and do some online surveys and as they are a real eye opener to what vulnerabilities our advertisers target and take advantage of.
    Retired Knowall
    12th Apr 2016
    11:38am
    Who is going to teach the teachers?
    Most get into Uni to with a FAIL HSC mark.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    12:00pm
    Most teachers never leave the school system so are ill prepared to teach these sorts skills of life.

    I was asked to give my opinion on a course backed by a charity a few weeks back that taught people how to save money. I was just dumb founded with what they had to say about credit cards. Credit cards are good for emergencies. Hello emergencies for a lot of people happen every second day. No wonder they get maxed out.
    Hasbeen
    12th Apr 2016
    12:00pm
    Well said Bonny. Most people waste so much money, they certainly don't deserve higher pensions.

    I always wanted a few very expensive things, a racing car, a yacht, & wanted them enough to forgo many of the things many spend their money on. I did not smoke, drink or gamble, rarely went to a restaurant, & bought a small house in a less popular area. A simple economical life, but I got my racing car, then the yacht, all with my own effort.

    I even managed a cruise of the Pacific islands in that yacht. A year in my own yacht cost little more than 10 days in a cruise ship.

    Now way past my 3 score plus ten, with this training I live very comfortable on the pension, partly because I had most of the things I'd ever need before retirement. I can even afford a classic car, of the lower cost kind. Yep, life can be great, if you don't waste your money.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    12:22pm
    Agree it is the little things that add up and make the big things unaffordable. Just forgo enough little things and the big things are there for the taking.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    1:02pm
    What's the point of sacrificing, Bonny, when those who don't get a pension and those who do are made to live on less than those who didn't?

    The system is broken. And the welfare mentality is driven by flawed government policies that are made to indulge the privileged.

    Stop blaming the victims and start acknowledging where the problem lies. Until we do, it can never be solved.

    It's so easy to talk about foregoing little things to buy big. Little things like $500 a month for life-saving medicines for your spouse? Like $100,000 for medical treatment for your disabled child? Like food for the year you are out of work due to severe illness? Try living on a basic wage with those sorts of impositions and see how much there is for the ''big things''? They are NOT there for the taking for many people - only for the fortunate.
    Eve
    12th Apr 2016
    1:51pm
    "Meanwhile our kids have trouble getting jobs because mothers will not stay home and look after their kids." Bonney, that old chestnut was proven ridiculous in the last century!
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    2:55pm
    I have never sacrificed I have always got what I needed. That said I didn't waste much on what I didn't need either. I have lived on less than the basic wage all my life and still do. What I didn't need got put away for a rainy day. Had quite a few of those but they were mere inconveniences not disasters because I had planned for them.

    I agree the system is broken because of the high level of welfare mentality in this country. This needs to be addressed and people need to stop relying on others for their needs (welfare).

    Why have kids if you farm them out for others to raise by working and putting them in childcare?
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    4:02pm
    Yeah right Bonny. And why not collect taxes from the rich? Ask your employer about that one.
    There is a high amount of welfare mentality in Australia. Agreed. But there is also a culture of 'taxes are for the poor to pay' mentality from the rich so please do not pontificate unless you address both sides of this ledger.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    5:25pm
    Now as I haven't had an employer for about 3 decades I think I'll have to use the royal telephone to heaven to ask him that question. Or I could ask myself that question instead since I've been self employed all those years. Yes I still pay tax so not sure what you are on about mick.
    Anonymous
    13th Apr 2016
    8:21am
    NEW FLASH, BONNY: Not everyone in the world is you. We didn't all have your opportunities or experience. Not everyone was born with your mental capacity (whatever it might be). Not everyone had the same positive reinforcements and encouragement.

    I'm so sick of the arrogant egotists who purport to judge everyone else and who continually rant on about their successes as though everyone who didn't do as they did deserves misery. I also moved into self-employment, Bonny, after years of hard work and struggle. I saved and invested. I did a lot of good things. But I know how hard it was and I know hundreds who, having started where I did, had no hope of doing what I did, because they simply didn't have the mental capacity and moral support I had.

    The bottom line is that the rich in this country make the rules, and the rules are wrong. The rich in this country don't pay taxes because they can afford fancy accountants and lawyers and elaborate minimization schemes that ARE NOT available to the ordinary man in the street because they are COSTLY.

    The bottom line is that there is $22 trillion in Panama belonging to the corrupt, criminals, tax dodgers, people who inherited wealth, etc. etc. etc. while society can't afford education, health care and a decent welfare system to support the masses. And you can't blame the masses for that! It's the rich and powerful to blame. 100%. And no amount of ranting about how good you are or about people ''claiming entitlement'' or having ''a welfare mentality'' can fix the problem - because it's ONLY the rich and powerful who can change anything. We battlers can work and save, but then the government pulls the rug out from under us and cheats us out of all the rewards we worked and planned for. And now ACOSS wants to take even more of the rewards away, and won't be satisfied until the workers and savers are as poor as those who did nothing. But Bonny will keep on claiming the rich aren't responsible for the problems. (Heads of ACOSS, I'm sure, are dirt poor and terribly disadvantaged!!!!)
    ex PS
    16th Apr 2016
    5:13pm
    Bonnie, you choose to compare the salary of politicians to those in big business. This comparison makes no sense, in big business if you don't perform you are sacked, in big business only the best get salaries of $150k or more.
    If you look at the base salaries of minor non-performing politicains you would see they were overpaid, if you look at the base grade pay and benefits of average politicians they too are overpaid.
    By all means pay the performers a decent wage but just getting elected should not be enough to set you up for life.
    Politicians should be paid just like the rest of us, set KPIs' and if you don't meet them get a pay reduction, meet them and keep your ministerial position.
    Vote MAP.

    12th Apr 2016
    10:48am
    What a sad indictment of our selfish society and our inept government! In a prosperous nation, vast numbers of people can't afford to retire, regardless of their health, regardless of job opportunities (or rather, lack of), and regardless of how many years they have slogged away to pay taxes that SHOULD have been set aside to fund their retirement (given that they had no superannuation, but paid to a government-devised tax program that was supposed to fund pensions).

    And while masses live in poverty and older Australians living standards fall lower and lower, the politicians who are responsible for this appalling condition give themselves bigger and bigger pay rises and more and more benefits. What an utter disgrace!
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    11:20am
    That's the problem are society is not prosperous but a welfare state now with people having a welfare mentality. Why work when you get paid not to. The age pension itself puts the brakes on people working.

    People are living in poverty because people now have a welfare mentality and are welfare dependant. This has led to a nation of fat and obese people. Just look at the old films for the 50's and you see what I mean.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    11:56am
    So average people have a "welfare mentality" and the rich are to be admired for their ways of cheating their way out of contributing to the nation? Yeah right Bonny.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    12:06pm
    Disagree the welfare mentality has nothing at all to do with the rich.

    When people of age pension age are frowned upon because they are not on welfare something is very wrong in a society. I know people who now tell others that they have left their pension card at home rather than tell people they don't have one.

    The only way I can see to fix this problem is change this mentality. Sadly the only way may be to make it harder and harder for people to qualify. People are their own worst enemy.
    Adrianus
    12th Apr 2016
    12:24pm
    Bonny you are making a lot of sense. Australia is losing it's reputation as a nation of "doers and achievers" to a nation of "whingers and bludgers."
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    12:46pm
    Spoken like true elitists, Bonny and Frank, who have never known the crippling disadvantage that many face.
    I've done reasonably okay, despite enormous disadvantage and hardship, but for anyone to assume that everyone can do as well as they have is to display a complete lack of empathy and compassion and a total inability to understand the real world. Judgmental people disgust me.

    Yes, we need to change the mentality. We need to recognize that there must be incentives and rewards in the system, and GENUINE support for those who face major disadvantage or crisis. We need to stop the wealthy hoarding and tax dodging and depriving the community of the services that are ESSENTIAL for a healthy society.
    If we want a reputation as a nation of ''doers and achievers'', we need to stop over-indulging the privileged and start acknowledging the challenges our society faces and dealing with them, instead of blaming the victims all the time. Sure, there are some no-hopers and bludgers out there, and some who exploit welfare, but they are the small minority. They just give the ''holier-than-though'' an excuse to bash all the downtrodden and blame battlers for the problems a cruel society inflicts on them.

    ''There but for the grace of God go I'' is a motto some of you should learn.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    2:00pm
    Rainey: I might suspect that Bonny and Frank are not unknown to each other. You always get the same right wing nonsense from these posters. Now we see the tag team in action.
    Tigers
    13th Apr 2016
    5:53am
    Good old mick, if you're losing an argument, insult someone. Nothing ever changes.
    Anonymous
    13th Apr 2016
    8:11am
    Bonny, the ''welfare mentality'' you complain about is the result of government policy that fosters it, and YOU encourage making the problem worse. YOU supported changes to the aged pension that send a strong message to battlers that it's pointless to save for retirement, because you will be deprived of income given to those who don't.

    It's the POLICIES made by the RICH AND POWERFUL that create welfare mentality. Stop blaming the victims. Why not be fat and lazy when the government punishes you for being healthy and hard working and rewards the obese bludger? Why struggle against a system that pushes you down every time you try to get up?

    Yes, many got up in spite of the cruel and stupid policies that sought to keep them down, and now most of them are arrogant, egotistical and judgmental and refuse to acknowledge that they succeeded DESPITE the best efforts of the privileged, or because they enjoyed advantages that others didn't have.

    If you want to end welfare mentality, support policies that encourage and reward behaviour that benefits the nation, and a demand to stop the damaging simplistic approach currently being taken. We need a society that helps lift people up, rewards them richly for effort, maintains incentives for having a go, and still offers generous support for those in genuine difficulties. And we need a much broader understanding of disadvantage and much more compassion for those we wrongly see as ''making poor choices'' or ''claiming entitlement'' and appreciation of WHY people make bad choices and how to help them make better ones.
    Mez
    19th Apr 2016
    11:05am
    Well articulated again, Rainey!
    You are a wealth of knowledge!
    Curious to know what your occupation and interests were?
    Retired Knowall
    12th Apr 2016
    10:51am
    If people plan their retirement around the Pension and the subsequent Sovereignty Risk then that's the rules that they have to deal with.
    It has been common knowledge that the current welfare system will become increasingly difficult to maintain as the population ages with less people working to support the welfare budget.
    I hope to be working into my seventies, mainly because it gives me an outside interest and I am able to utilise the skills and knowledge gained over the years.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    11:27am
    Well said.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    11:28am
    This 'plan you retirement' crap is nothing more than indulgence of the selfish privileged. We would all like to be in a position to ''plan retirement''. On the one hand, we have the powers-that-be telling us we have to work for less, pay more for health, pay more for education, pay more taxes, etc. etc. etc., and on the other we have them telling us we have to save money we don't have because of all this extra spending they force us to do. How do you have it both ways? The battling worker has no hope, in today's world, of raising and educating a family, paying off a home, and saving for retirement. But the government expects them to not only do that, but pay through the nose in taxes as well.

    Health issues, the physical exertion related to some jobs, mental stress in some occupations, etc. etc. etc. impact on people's capacity to work longer. Yet in a world where job opportunities are shrinking and technology is displacing workers, we have a greedy, irresponsible, inept government trying to force people to work beyond their capacity - or live in abject poverty. Why? So the rich can stash more wealth in tax havens where they already have trillions. The social cost of this stupidity is likely to be horrendous. It's predicted up to 40% of jobs will be replaced by technology within 15 years. What does society do then? If the LNP has its way, by then there will be no dole or pension. Do they really think the starving masses will let them keep their hoarded wealth?

    It's past time for a revolution. We need a complete change of thinking at the top. We need LEADERS whose focus is the national good, rather than their own selfish and self-serving ends.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    11:39am
    Rainey you have just successfully outlined the welfare mentality of people in Australia today. You blame everyone but yourself for why one can't plan their retirement.

    Of course anyone can plan their retirement all they have to do is take responsibility for their own actions and do it. I know of many people that have overcome all sorts of obstacles but with the right mind set they have done it. Why do you think so many people want to come in live in Australia today? It's as simple as it's is one of the best countries in which to succeed and have a great future. What do these people have that a lot of Australians lack. A work ethic in that they will do what it takes to get ahead.

    So forget about retiring on welfare and plan and provide for your retirement yourself.
    Retired Knowall
    12th Apr 2016
    11:41am
    There are those that Make Things Happen.
    There are those that Watch Things Happen.
    And there are those (Like You Rainey) that wake up one morning and Wonder What Happened.
    Then they get on sites like this and bleat on about how unfair life is.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    11:47am
    Agree.

    I like the other another one too.

    The opportunity of a lifetime comes around at least twice a week.

    Most people are too busy blaming others or tied up in their own self pity to even notice them.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    11:59am
    Good luck working until you drop Retired Knowall. I am more of the opinion that the last years or decades of one's life should have the ability to have a few treats rather than poverty and uncertainty. But then the big end of town all around the planet are of the opinion that we are servants and need to be kept hungry and lean whilst they indulge on the spoils. It sort of leaves a bad taste.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    12:57pm
    Bonny and Retired Knowall, your ''holier than though'' egotism is offensive. And your assumptions are WRONG. I don't BLAME anyone for the fact that I have done moderately well, compared to most retirees - in spite of huge disadvantage. But I do acknowledge that a large portion of the population don't have the health, educational opportunity, or natural ability to achieve as I have. I don't ''wonder what happened'', Retired Knowall (who obviously knows nothing and is full of himself and very rude!). I KNOW what I MADE happen, and continue to MAKE happen - although a disgraceful government is making it much harder by its illogical and unfair policies and outright deceptions.

    I also know that society makes it incredibly difficult for many to make anything good happen. Life IS hideously unfair, and many have every right to bleat. And anyone with reasonable empathy and compassion recognizes that, and acknowledges that the class structure, entrenched privilege, and an increasing inequitable society is causing great hardship for many, while the disgustingly greedy privileged steal, defraud and hoard obscene amounts of wealth that they can never use. It's sick, and anyone who justifies it is equally sick.

    The fact is that many Australians HAVE NO HOPE of planning a totally self-funded retirement. They simply don't earn enough over a lifetime to save the more than $1 million needed. And that's NOT their fault. It's the fault of the greedy exploiters who benefit from their cheap labour and then beat their chests and boast about how well they did by exploiting.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    2:41pm
    Just excuses Rainey if you want something enough it will happen.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    5:11pm
    Utter CRAP, Bonny.
    Tigers
    13th Apr 2016
    8:40am
    I agree with everything you've written Bonny. Anyone thats fit enough to work, should work, regardless of age, if they dont have enough to support themselves in retirement. I often wonder why someones tardy lifestyle and lack of planning should make them a burden on society. The old "I paid my taxes" whine, dosent cut it.
    Anonymous
    13th Apr 2016
    8:24pm
    The elitist mentality is alive and well, Tigers. Nobody born into hardship deserves any rest or relief from the tedium and pain of hard, unfulfilling work after a lifetime of slogging their guts out so others can get rich off their labour. Only the privileged are entitled to any quality of life. Greed is infinite, and the privileged love to blame the victims of their selfishness for the hardship that the greed of the rich created. (Well, of course they have to blame the victims, don't they? They would never want to bear the burden of guilt for their own sins.)

    Let the rich retire in luxury while the battling workers who knock themselves out educating kids who pay taxes and enriching their bosses slave for a lifetime and never get a break. But DO NOT ask the rich to pay their share of taxes so those they exploit for decades can have some quality of life in their later years. OMG NO!
    ex PS
    20th Apr 2016
    7:56pm
    I think all those that get on their high horses and criticise our welfare system should take a tour overseas to countries that don't have a welfare system. I have seen old women prostrating themselves in the street not saying a word just begging for coins. I have seen old people standing on the sidewalk with spray bottles and squeegies trying to get people to pay for a windscreen wash. And this was not in third world Asia, it was in Europe. If Australia stoops to this level we will truely be a third world country.
    Society should be judged by how it treats its disadvantaged and if we follow the dictum of some of the right wing wantabes on this site, we will be judged at a very low level indeed.
    I am fortunate I am a self funded retiree and will probably never have to ask for a pension, but then again the way this government is wasting money and resources, I may be talking too soon. But I do not begrudge a pension to those who have worked hard and earned the chance to rest and enjoy the last years of their lives.
    I don't understand the people who say they are content with their lives but seem to think it is a good thing to make it their mission to pry into other peoples lives with the sole objective of creating missery. I don't think their lives could be as good as they say.
    Debstar26
    12th Apr 2016
    11:26am
    If you are able to be gainfully employed until you are 70, then that's wonderful, but what everyone seems to be forgetting or don't realise Workers Compensation stops at 65!
    So what happens if you have an accident or become ill from the work you do?
    And realistically even if your job was of a sedementry nature you still have to factor in travelling to and from work often using public transport which is difficult enough for an able bodied person.
    And we are the generation that unless you have had were a professional worker your Superanuation benefits on retiring are quite inadequate for today's cost of living.
    Generations after us should hopefully be placed in a better position financially as they have been able to contribution to their super over a longer period, so they should have access to larger lump sums or be able to convert their money into a type of pension that should provide a decent standard of living.
    Our generation had very little governmental assistance in raising our children, purchasing a home or access to benefits that are available to families/people of this generation.
    Many of us 'oldies' have been fortunate enough to have never needed assistance from Government benefits, we just battled on with what we had and we lived within our means.
    I personally didn't know anyone who had a dozen credit cards that were all maxed out and had a mortgage that would have made us live in constant fear.
    If only the government would lead by example and 'live within normal everyday means' then I don't think this country would be in such a mess with the poor old Age Pensioner who has battled all their life to provide for their family from living in constant fear of what this government is going to do next!
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    12:03pm
    So what is life all about? Working until you die on the job with nothing more than living hand to mouth? Or is it right and proper that once retired there should be the ability to get a few years of enjoyment after a lifetime of deprival and effort? I guess the answers to the above depend on whether you are a 'worker' or one of the ruling rich who avoid paying taxes and seek to drive wages down to a level where average people cannot even put food on the table. Welcome to class warfare!
    Jolly
    12th Apr 2016
    1:10pm
    Well said Debstar this is from the etienne lawyers website
    The general rule is that an injured employee’s entitlements to workers compensation cease when they reach retiring age. Section 52 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW) defines the retiring age to the age which a person is eligible to receive the age pension under the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth). The retirement age; the age when a person is eligible to receive the age pension under section 23 of the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth) the age is currently 65 years of age. From July 2017, eligibility for the Age Pension will rise to 65.5 years then by 6 months every 2 years to age 67 by 2019.

    So this will depend on your entitlment to WC. I am 67 and still working so by this definition I am no longer entitled to WC. Great we are screwed again.
    Jolly
    12th Apr 2016
    1:32pm
    So I have mentioned this on some other sites. Why can't a Federal Politician(s) ask us to pay into a fund to provide a living wage at age 65. We pay into it not the government - they just do the administration of it. We can put as much in as we like, or as less as we like. This has worked in the UK and Finland I think. In the UK you get the pension just after retirement date. You can still earn other money with out being penalised - also not asset test or income tests. It is your money. We are the most ripped off country in the world.

    Paul Keating introduced the Superannuation Levy in something like 1994. So what happened we all has x amounts taken from our pay and put into super funds we had never heard of. These funds became Retail and Industry - run by the Big End of town and the Unions. All were based on investing in the SHARE Market!! The returns are pitiful and the costs and financial Planners fees are exhorbitant. When the GFC hit I lost about $30 000. Not long after I got back about $20 000, Kevin Rudd opened his mouth about something to do with the economy and I lost $10 000 of the $20 000 I had regained after the GFC. So we have no control over our investments and the Super companies do not tell you that you can move your money around. You have to dig deep and find out all on your own. Now getting back to SHARES - not a good investment vehicle too skittish, but that is all you have in these Companies. So a government run scheme sounds the best to me.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    1:58pm
    Jolly, we DID pay into a fund to provide pensions, and the government let the fund build up to billions, then stole it all and put into consolidated revenue. If left as intended, it would provide a pension of $500 per week for EVERY current retiree, non-means-tested. I'd call that a ''living wage''.

    Personally, I don't want to see yet another government-run scheme that a future government will raid, leaving us, again, with nothing.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    5:32pm
    Jolly set up your own self managed super fund and manage it yourself. That's what I did a couple of decades ago. It now has many times it's value back then.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    9:28pm
    There you go again, Bonny, assuming that everyone is as fortunate as you and has had the education to be able to manage their own fund. You really don't know much about the real world, do you? It's not full of privileged Bonnys and Franks you know. There are millions of people who have struggled due to lack of opportunity, no education, no guidance, abuse and deprivation that broke their spirits and convinced them that it was hopeless trying to rise above their station in life.

    Heaven help us if tunnel-visioned elitists like you are advising COTA!
    Glen48
    12th Apr 2016
    11:33am
    I doubt there will be to many people able to work a 38 hr week at 70 as most will have some sort of health prob.,,plus no one wants to hire any one over 50,,will there be jobs around or will they be watching Robots
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    1:01pm
    Robots are coming. Not science fiction. So what will the ruling class do to demonise average citizens when THERE ARE NO JOBS. Already happening.
    old-age worker
    12th Apr 2016
    11:34am
    I see quite a lot of pollie-bashing on here - (In my view it's justified).
    Maybe they dont get paid (notice I didn't say "earn") as much as their rich mates (well, I am sure Talk-Bull gets a heap from "investments"), but it's because they get paid a lot more than us citizens, they cannot begin to know what it's like to live on the average wage/pension/superannuation. And they are supposed to represent US. OUR interests.
    How can they? Hence justified pollie-bashing.
    The mega rich dont run the country (although, right now it could be argued that they do..) so they dont count.
    old-age worker
    12th Apr 2016
    12:01pm
    What bugs me is that I stared "planning for retirement" at 17 years of age. I went without a lot of the instant fun my mates had, I saved.
    I also saw what was happening with the GFC, in time to "only" lose about 10% of my super pool. (If I could see that, how come the banks and super funds didn't? I think they did see it coming but held on, just that little bit longer...)
    Now that I do have a nest egg that will see myself and wife and possibly one child into retirement, AFTER YEARS OF HARD WORK AND GOING WITHOUT, the Government and their rich mates want to take it off me.
    BTW, my wage now is around 68K. Highest its ever been, AND I raised a family on one income.
    Oh, and I wont need a pension - hopefully.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    1:03pm
    That's the nature of governments like this one owned and controlled by the big end of town. Morally corrupt bastards. But average people are too stupid for the most part to understand the game and do not understand that WE ARE ENGAGED IN CLASS WARFARE.
    Play Fairly
    12th Apr 2016
    12:16pm
    Really, Bonnie? Most of us would be too honest to be politicians and collect the obscene salary, superannuation & travel expenses!
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    12:26pm
    If you think pollies are well paid what about the head of Aust Post. $5million a year plus perks. Build his own church and donates $2miliion a year to save tax. Now it doesn't take much to realise that the collections of that church are also tax free as well. So who really benefits the most from that church?

    I now try not to send any letters.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    12:36pm
    That's an absolute disgrace, Bonny. Shows how inept our government is that they allow it to happen.
    HarrysOpinion
    12th Apr 2016
    12:41pm
    A $2 million personal donations is a tax deduction but it's $2 million the government doesn't have to hand out as charity, same goes for church tax free collections. The collections are gained from people's disposable income after tax. Parishioners in need get the benefits when they need it most. Quite frankly, Bonnie you are such a 'know it all troll' that all you can contribute is your kind of garbage.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    1:05pm
    Methinks posters like Bonny (and Frank) are ex pollies who trot out the tripe whilst enjoying the benefits none of us have any say in setting.
    Eve
    12th Apr 2016
    2:03pm
    Wow, "donates $2miliion a year to save tax". Good thing Bonney is here to protect us from this evil bastard!
    Richied
    12th Apr 2016
    2:35pm
    Just a clarification Bonney. Mr Fahour donates to a musem (which is charitable), and not a church. Yes, the museum is owned and run by his brother, his wife is a director, and his sister runs the cafe. So effectively, his tax-deductible donations are funding a income tax free entity that pays wages to his wife, brother and sister (among others), so can be seen as a way of sharing his income while minimising tax.

    Personally, I don't agree with a museum being charitable.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    2:59pm
    It really doesn't matter whether it is a museum or church same outcome.
    Halwes
    12th Apr 2016
    12:27pm
    I think the age limit for old age pension was about right at 65.

    I am 63 and have been trying to find work for two years and have given up and pulled my superannuation. My wife is in the same situation.

    I recently applied for a job at Cairns Council and was surprised to see a question asking my age. I was a suitable applicant with relevant experience and more relevant qualifications than required but was not shortlisted for an interview.

    I have no doubt my age was the factor.
    KB
    12th Apr 2016
    12:41pm
    Age should not come into it,
    KSS
    12th Apr 2016
    1:20pm
    And it is illegal for prospective employers to ask about age - or even information they could use to work it out e.g. date of birth.

    I have even reworked my own CV in the past to eliminate the need for dates such as leaving off graduation date. The fact I graduated is enough not when. It makes for a different type of CV but does get you in the door. After that well, yes sometimes you won't get the job because of how you look (but then that could be true if you are very overweight too for example.) but at least you get the chance to wow them with your suitability first.
    Richied
    12th Apr 2016
    1:25pm
    I believe it is actually illegal to ask a person's age for a job, unless age is material (for example, a person cannot be under 18 to work in a bar; companies can claim a $10k - I think - payment for hiring someone over 50).

    I'd suggest write to Council and ask specifically a) why was age asked, and b) what were the reasons you were not accepted.

    You may have a case for age discrimination.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    2:05pm
    Age discrimination is rampant and the legislation there to stop it is not enacted.
    The only way to play that game is for ALL RETIREES to boycott any business which refuses to hire a fair amount of people between 50 and 70. That would end the game immediately but then younger workers would not have jobs. The real crisis is that THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH JOBS TO GO ROUND, an inconvenient fact which governments, employers and the big business owned media never talk about.
    Eve
    12th Apr 2016
    2:12pm
    Serious age discrimination exists, and it's used liberally against workers over 50.

    If you are well qualified and know you have put in a good application for a job, but don't even get an interview, call them back and make them explain why you weren't considered. Don't be angry. Explain to them they need to tell you where you went wrong so you won't make those mistakes when next you apply for a job. It's illegal to say you didn't get an interview because you are too old, so listen to their feedback, learn what you need to (they may have a point after all) - but mostly, expect to hear some squirming because they probabl6y barely looked at your application after they saw your age.

    The sooner people start lodging complaints with their respective Equal Opportunity authorities regarding age discrimination, the sooner idiot recruiters will start recruiting for talent (not just a smaller shortlist) and learn the laws against discrimination.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    3:44pm
    I can't recall ever being negatively discriminated against because of my age.

    Positively discriminated yes. Don't we all like those who recognise us as Seniors and give discounts without asking for proof?

    If it was me and I didn't get an interview or the job I would call them back and ask them why? If not satisfied I would then tell them that they have only got the second best person for their job. I did this years ago and within a month was offered a job with that organisation. I always believe if you don't ask the answer is no but if you ask you have a chance of getting a yes.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    3:58pm
    Bonny: another post from our current government? Almost every post you make points in that direction.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    4:22pm
    So you vote LNP then mick?
    HarrysOpinion
    12th Apr 2016
    12:30pm
    If the Age Pension qualification age increases to 70, will there be enough jobs for the 65–70 year olds to gain employment?
    - Answer is NO!
    - So what will these unemployed people over 65 years of age do? Go on Newstart? Join the homeless? Starve?
    - Or, if they are lucky enough to hold on to their employment what happens when they die during work hours? How much more will that cost the Superannuation Life Insurance in payouts?
    - Will the same rules of retirement apply to the mindless politicians?
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    12:39pm
    If you have a look at the projected stats you will see most people will live well into their 80s and 90s so dying on the job is statistically low.

    Also if you check your super statement at 65 you will see the difference between your retirement payout and life insurance payout is not much compared to that of a younger person.

    Pollies elected today are now on the same age rules as everyone else.

    Use your super to fund your lifestyle until you get to 70 if you can't get a job. you will have less assets and get more pension. No super or assets then worry about Newstart. Last time I looked at Newstart you didn't get it if you had a decent car or other assets.

    Looks like a win-win to me.
    KB
    12th Apr 2016
    12:43pm
    I agree with you HS No enough jobs for people under 65.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    1:06pm
    More like employers actively discriminate against workers over 50. There are supposedly laws against that but everybody in government turns a blind eye.
    Play Fairly
    12th Apr 2016
    1:10pm
    "HS" All good legitimate questions to ask. Also "Debstar 26" made the point that currently Workers' Compensation only covers workers until they reach 65. Joe Hockey's scatterbrain idea of workers not being eligible for an Aged Pension until age 70 is morally bankrupt. Most Australians do not want to see aged citizens working till they drop.

    "Rainey" I agree wholeheartedly with all you have said earlier in your 11.28 am post. I would like to add that most of our everyday ordinary Australian workers/taxpayers are truly fed up with our present government.

    12th Apr 2016
    12:35pm
    Some of you may be interested in COTA's initiatives. They are calling for people to register to contribute policy suggestions. They sent me this mail to circulate to other interested retirees:

    Hi there,

    I've just registered for the 2016 COTA Federal Election Panel.

    And COTA would love to hear from you too!

    COTA Australia is the peak national organisation representing the rights, needs and interests of older Australians.

    They are establishing a panel of older Australians for the 2016 Federal election. The panel will be involved in helping COTA develop asks for all political parties and will provide feedback on issues and policies that impact older Australians.

    To participate simply complete this easy form: http://olderaustraliansvote.org.au

    Election panel members can participate a range of ways – through surveys, providing information sent about areas of interest or being kept informed of events in their area.

    COTA would love for you to be involved! The more voices we have, the bigger our impact.

    Simply click here: http://olderaustraliansvote.org.au and add your voice today.

    Thanks,
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    1:11pm
    Thanks Rainey. Please run this by repeatedly over the next few weeks so that others get to see it. WE ALL NEED TO GET INVOLVED SO THAT RETIREES ARE SEEN AS A GOVERNMENT CHANGING GROUP RATHER THAN BEING SEEN AS OLD VILLAGE IDIOTS.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    1:40pm
    I just hope everyone who sees it signs up, Mick. If we don't speak, we can't expect to be heard.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    2:35pm
    I registered awhile back and have spoken to them about a lot of my ideas.
    Jolly
    12th Apr 2016
    2:38pm
    Just jumped on to COTA and am now a member. I urge you all to get there------http://olderaustraliansvote.org.au
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    3:21pm
    I hope you have all read this submission.

    http://www.acoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/ACOSS_Budget-Priorities-Statement_2016-17_web.pdf
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    3:49pm
    Straight from your government employer Bonny?
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    3:51pm
    With a comment like that mick you obviously haven't read it. Pretty scary stuff in it even for you.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    3:56pm
    Done Jolly.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    9:23pm
    I agree with the objectives of ACOSS, but some of their proposals are pure lunacy. Restricting the Seniors and Pensioners tax rebate to pensioners only, abolishing the Medicare rebate, and taxing super income in retirement phase at 15% is going to drive many very low income self-funded retirees into hardship and create a powerful incentive for people to avoid saving for retirement. A 30% increase in rent allowances, combined with the much more generous means test for non-home-owners, is going to make it uneconomical to own a home in retirement. It's not sensible. If people can't benefit from their savings, why would they bother? If they don't save, the cost to the government rises and everyone is worse off.

    It's all very well to suggest that only the needy should receive benefits, but the welfare mentality many here complain about is a result of removing the rewards for endeavour and making it to comparatively hard to be self-sufficient and too comparatively easy to simply claim welfare. We should be offering a hand-up, not a hand-out, but ACOSS seems determined to ensure those who try to get up and stomped on and crushed, and to date it appears the LNP and Morrison are only too eager to support that destructive endeavour.
    KB
    12th Apr 2016
    12:39pm
    The Aged Pension should only be for people who really need it when they retires. There are wealthy retirees on the pension that should not be on it. If people need to work beyond 70 maybe older people could be utilised to train younger people in jobs. There are not enough jobs now for people of any age. If people need to retire for various health and personal reasons before 70 then 65 is a good age to receive the pension. Not one size fit all
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    12:47pm
    The issue is how you assess need, KB, and whether you reward irresponsible spendthrift behaviour and punish savers, thus creating an incentive to be irresponsible.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    1:16pm
    Yep. Set a fair and reasonable limit including ALL ASSETS no matter how they are held or where and under which structure. Simply need to properly weed out the crooks who can shift assets and income and not accept this when hidden. Also need severe rules to claw back money from those caught out including a hefty compounding interest bill.
    That'll fix it Tangles!
    Richied
    12th Apr 2016
    4:56pm
    I agree, everything except the family home. The challenge is where the value of someone's home has increased through no fault of there's (eg. a suburb has gentrified in the 40 years since they bought).
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    5:15pm
    Richied, the family home SHOULD be included. It's patently unfair to exclude it. But there should be a generous threshold set and then a concessional loans program created for those whose assets are non-returning and unsalable. There's no fairness in differentiating between a home that someone doesn't want to sell and a block of land, for example, that they CAN'T sell.

    It's not anyone's ''FAULT'' that their shares or investment property increased in value either, much less than political changes diluted returns. The only fair solution is a test that includes everything, but provides a generous threshold and loans for the asset-rich/cash poor.
    battler
    12th Apr 2016
    12:52pm
    All this talk about retiring at 70, a lot of people dont even get the chance. I worked for a government industry and got made redundant at 61, try getting a job when your over 60??. Also the management at this facility have have made redundant scores of people in there 50's
    This govt are sending older workers down the gurgler??
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    1:17pm
    The lie of unemployment routinely IGNORES the fact of either no jobs or blatant age discrimination.
    strikey
    12th Apr 2016
    12:53pm
    Lets look at things from a different perspective. The Australian elderly are not poor by global standards. Actually we are quite rich. The real problem in Australia is that basic essential services have been hijacked by greedy corporates with the support of the govt.

    Electricity and water services have been sold off purely to make profit. Not to provide a cost effective essential service.

    The food chain has been devastated by two of the biggest thieves (Moles & Foolworths) in corporate history. Australians pay the highest food prices in the world.

    Housing for the elderly has also been hijacked. Retirement villages have become a means of ripping off the entire savings of the aged pensioners in Australia. Unscrupulous greedy individuals using corporate entities are just legal thieves.

    If the basic necessities of life were not treated as profit gouging exercises in Australia, then the aged population could live quite comfortably.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    1:18pm
    We may be 'rich' when compared to the third world but just like the US there has been and is a fast growing divide between rich and poor. Equity mate!
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    1:30pm
    I agree, Strikey, but Bonny and Retired Knowall would say all that is the fault of the poor basic wage earner, who struggled to feed a family, not PLANNING for his retirement and going without ''little things'' to save!!!!

    No doubt that poorly paid road worker or public toilet cleaner who battled to educate kids who now pay taxes and who paid the full tax he was obliged to pay (because he couldn't afford fancy tax-dodging investments or an expensive accountant) is also responsible for there being $22+ trillion hoarded in Panama and not enough dollars in government coffers for essential services? How dare he now put his hand out for ''welfare''? We all know it's his ''welfare mentality'', and not the tax evasion that enables people to hoard billions in Panama, that is the cause of this nation's woes.
    Richied
    12th Apr 2016
    1:10pm
    Someone born in 1916 had a life expectancy of around 61 or 62. The age pension was 65 for men (60 if incapacitated), and 60 for women. That is, generally a person would get the old age pension (as it was called) if they survived longer than the average person. The implication is that the pension is for people who lived longer than the average 'productive' life (I know, that sounds harsh, but it is pragmatic).

    Someone born in 1956 has a life expectancy of around 73. The age pension is 65 for that same person. That is, a person can now get a pension for 8 years of their 'productive' life.

    If the same rules were applied today as in 1916, pensions would not be available to people until they reached 75 for someone born in 1956 or 87 for someone born today.

    In other words, we have it WAY better than any generation before us, and government moves seem to be trying to rebalance the needs vs the wants.

    People have an expectation that they will live longer than before, and that they will be supported by society even if they have the capability to continue being productive. We constantly hear of 60 being the new 40, or 50 being the new 30, however people (yes, me included) still want to retire at 55 or 60.

    Additionally, people start being productive much later in life (it is common now for people to do one or two university degrees and enter the workforce fulltime in their mid 20s).

    One big challenge is for those working in manual jobs - how can the body sustain trauma from lifting and moving things for 40 or more years? But those (like me) in cerebral jobs (requiring thinking not manual work) actually improve our health by working longer and using our brains longer.

    I still want to retire before I'm 60, but that will be my choice, and one that I will (and should) fund myself if I can.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    1:20pm
    Those who are the most productive are generally well paid....so businesses sack them and put on snotty nosed young people who have no idea about their jobs or often much of anything else....but they are cheap. That leaves more money to flow into corporate pay packets.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    1:38pm
    The facts you quote aren't disputed, Richied, but these facts can't be interpreted and responded to in isolation. The fact is that technology has reduced the demand for labour and increased profits, and that has to be factored in to policy changes. Also, as you point out, there has to be consideration for varying physical and mental strain on workers in different occupations reducing their capacity to keep working in old age.

    The problem really is greed and selfishness. That's it in a nutshell. If we shared the benefits of technological innovation fairly, we wouldn't have a problem letting people retire when they need to and maintaining services that are needed for a healthy society. But all the money required to sustain a healthy society is hoarded in tax havens ($22+ trillion in Panama!). I wonder who put it there? Could it have been the poor battling welfare recipients with them problematical attitudes?
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    1:55pm
    What Rainey, expect the big end of town to share the wealth of their nation with anybody? That ain't a going to happen. The only way to get a fair share is to take it from them and close the ability to shift money to low taxing countries. Deregulation may have been a wonderful catch cry but it is the reason why the wealthy are now able to escape the taxation net.
    ALL TAX SHELTERS NEED TO BE CLOSED AND RETROSPECTIVE TAX AVOIDANCE LEGISLATION GOING BACK 30 YEARS NEEDS TO BE ENACTED. Only then will the game end. Try and get ordinary Australians to ignore the media propaganda blitz if you tried that one on. no hope!
    Richied
    12th Apr 2016
    2:15pm
    I agree Rainey. Quite a few jobs I've had over the years no longer exist or are on the verge of extinction (from the basic newspaper run when I was a kid, typesetter, lithographic printer, film projectionist, railway ticket collector, railway goods clerk, rostering officer, timetabler, and a range of computer-related roles which generally have had a life expectancy of 5-10 years). And I've been lucky to have been able to retrain into other roles/careers before the demise of a role.

    There are many more jobs now, they are just different than 20 or 30 years ago (who would have dreamed of a social media manager, or market research data miner, or sustainability specialist, mobile app developer, or drone pilot). And there are upcoming jobs we've not seen yet (one I heard the other day is urban agriculturalist - apparently that's already a thing).

    I fully agree that it boils down to greed and selfishness. Although we point at the greedy capitalists (as opposed to the more socially-inclined capitalists), greed and selfishness is at all levels of society. One just needs to read the comments on these articles to see the undercurrent of greed and self-centredness. Alas, it is our nature to be self-centred (and we're encouraged to be - 'plan for retirement', 'continue self development', 'look out for #1', 'charity begins at home'. The challenge for all of us is to know when we have enough to get by, and refuse benefits that are available that we don't really need.
    Richied
    12th Apr 2016
    4:32pm
    Sorry, I go on statistics. The participation rate (the number of persons who are employed and unemployed but looking for a job divided by the total working-age population) has trended around the 63.1% mark for the past forty years (and is currently at around 64.9% - ref: tradingeconomics.com). In fact, in the early 80s the participation rate was near 60%. The unemployment rate is also relatively low (but I don't have much faith in that, because it doesn't reflect under-employed).

    There is no doubt that manufacturing jobs have declined - this has more to do with free trade, and one could argue that it again has to do with people's self-centred attitudes (how many people on this forum have bought an Australian-made refrigerator in the past ten years? Probably not many because they are more expensive than imported ones.) And the government has actually worked hard to keep those jobs with Electrolux - it was announced in October 2013 that the plant was no longer financially viable and the government subsidised its operations for 2 1/2 years.

    The media is good at publishing scary headlines like '500 jobs lost at Optus' (and not indicating that these are low value jobs), but no so forthcoming to publicise that Optus employee numbers are fairly stagnant (with currently 69 higher value jobs currently advertised on their website). Note that this is 69 currently - go back in a month's time and there will be a different 60 or 70 jobs. So over 6-12 months there will be 500-800 new jobs, offsetting the one-off job losses.

    There is no doubt there are job losses, where jobs have been 'flogged off to the third world'. These are generally jobs that can (or have been) commoditised - where the procedure to do the job is well documented and for the most part can be performed by a semi-skilled rather than a higher skilled person.

    There is also no doubt that there is tremendous job creation, and these new jobs generally require higher skills, which aligns to (fairly closely, but not completely) with Australia's more skilled and educated workforce.

    12th Apr 2016
    1:19pm
    The whole country is going down the toilet due to inept management by the federal government and the politicians' only concern is filling their own pockets as much as they can whilst in office - nothing else.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    1:39pm
    Yes, Fast Eddie, you nailed it.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    1:50pm
    Remember that governments are not the idealistic instrument of society as is made out. They are elected by election funding from vested interests and this is never free. Coalition governments in particular are really wholly owned subsidiaries of the big end of town. Obvious once you 'follow the money trail'.........which always ends up at the bank accounts of the wealthy.
    Tony D
    12th Apr 2016
    1:53pm
    I keep reading stats about the number of Australians who "intend" to work to 70. I was out of full-time work at 50. Try getting a decent, full-time, knowledge sector job at age 50 even with a master of business degree. I managed to survive until 60 with consulting, short-term contract work etc. at which time the reality of the "organic workforce" seriously set in. Management bubbles formed at the highest levels at the expense of experienced, dedicated staff who knew the business.

    This article touches on the difficulties of securing work at age 65 or older but I certainly wish to see more facts and figures on those who succeed and less on those who intend.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    2:11pm
    The irony is Tony that the older workers have a lifetime of experience and knowledge. The problem is that you cannot pay them a low low wage. So business gets rid of them and then you get a third rate business which is competitive. Having just got to the other end of a 2 month battle with Optus I can attest to dealing with imbeciles in both foreign Call Centres as well as local ones.
    The reality of life is we live with the lowest common denominator. So highly paid jobs are only available to those who business cannot do without and those who have connections and are unable to be let go, unless of course you work in the Public Service and are a protected species no matter what you do.
    Richied
    12th Apr 2016
    2:21pm
    Actually Mick, even public service is no longer a protected species. I've been involved with federal and state government and over the past few years seen large percentages made redundant. And with coalition governments hell-bent on trying to reduce government by selling everything off (ironically to save money but instead generally the cost of services goes up), that means even more public service jobs on the line.

    And I agree with your view of businesses getting rid of highly paid and highly experienced older workers to get younger, cheaper, less experienced workers. My brother, one of the most experienced in his field, was let go and replaced by two graduates - who could do the mundane part of his job but failed miserably when there was anything that required more than just following a process.
    Campbell
    12th Apr 2016
    2:03pm
    I paid super all my working life. Some private and some State Government funds.
    I am now 73 and most of my income is from the super funds (I struggled at times to pay into them) but I sure glad that I did now.
    Life's good and I want for nothing really.
    I don't feel sorry at all for those on the centrelink pension alone because we all had the same chance to plan ahead.
    Don't say it was not available because private funds have always been there if you were prepared to budget them into your life style.
    I worked until I was 68.
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    2:13pm
    The only question is were you a highly paid executive who had the opportunity to minimise tax and engage in dubious tax minimisation schemes to get your nestegg? If just an average citizen I understand. Which is it?
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    3:47pm
    Everyone has the opportunity to minimise tax. All you need is education. There are some real gems on the ATO website alone.
    Richied
    12th Apr 2016
    4:36pm
    It all depends which way you look at things. Everyone who puts in a tax return and claims any deduction or rebate is minimising tax.

    'Mick - when you say 'dubious', do you mean unethical (and therefore the legislation is wrong to allow it, but still legal) or do you mean illegal (and therefore the ATO should hunt those people down)?
    Rosret
    12th Apr 2016
    6:04pm
    Let them eat cake - huh? I can give you so many examples of where misfortune has put people in a position where they need assistance. I am proud that we live in a country where everyone matters - not just the fortunate.
    Remember Campbell, there are a whole group or people who are paid minimum wages just so industry can thrive. 9% of nearly nothing is still nearly nothing.
    Campbell
    13th Apr 2016
    6:43am
    I was just a worker and at times I worked 3 jobs at once to get ahead.
    I was a chef and worked in restaurants/hotels and hospitals.
    At the end I had my own business selling my own produce at markets.
    Believe me I know what work is and I'm really happy being retired at last.
    Keep moaning and bleating if it makes you feel better.
    Anonymous
    13th Apr 2016
    7:40am
    Campbell, I made similar choices, but I know people who simply couldn't not achieve what you did - through no fault of their own. The opportunity was there in so far as private funds existed. What too many don't understand is that vast numbers of people never get the opportunity to learn how to use these devices, how to manage money, or even why it's sensible to work and plan ahead. People who grow up abused and deprived or desperately poor with uneducated parents are often educated to believe they are useless and don't deserve better than the deprivation they were born to. They fulfil a prophecy that was made when they were born because they are indoctrinated to believe that is the only life available to them.

    Goodness, a large portion of the population wouldn't even have known what a ''fund'' was before compulsory super, let alone how to find one with trustworthy management!

    Then there are those who CAN'T work multiple jobs or hours of overtime, or study for a better job, because they suffer a disability that holds them back or because they are charged with the care of a disabled loved-one, or because they are plagued with chronic ill-health. There are those who could never hope to run their own business, but will be exploited by unconscionable employers all their life because they don't have the mental capacity to do better.

    There are vast numbers of reasons why countless thousands CANNOT even remotely hope to do what you did, no matter how willing and eager they are to work hard.

    I'm glad you are enjoying your life. You deserve to. But please be a little more open-minded and empathetic. There are many out there who ARE ENTITLED to a lot more consideration of the hideous challenges they faced and to a far better standard of living in old age than they currently enjoy - courtesy of those of us who have been fortunate enough to BE ABLE to work and elevate our status.

    The problem with our society is that more than half those on the pension SHOULD be where you and I are, Campbell. More than half squandered and were irresponsible, and two classes of people are suffering for that behaviour: the genuinely disadvantaged, who had no opportunity, are getting too little, and the nearly-got-there battlers who have just been unfairly slugged with the stupid and destructive assets test changes are being denied fair reward for their efforts. Sadly, an idiotic treasurer is rewarding the lazy and irresponsible and punishing the responsible strugglers and the genuinely needy. No wonder we have a burgeoning welfare bill!
    Campbell
    13th Apr 2016
    11:31am
    Rainey you are a deep thinker and a very compassionate person.
    You should work for Centrelink or the Salvation Army.

    I sort of know that there are only two types of people in the world.
    The Quick And the Dead so thank God I was able to use my brain.
    Tomaso
    12th Apr 2016
    2:16pm
    Totally agree fast Eddie, god help us all if the likes of Bonny and Frank were in power too, !!!!
    MICK
    12th Apr 2016
    3:08pm
    I think they may have been Tomaso. Some of the information links they come up with reeks of inside information. And they always tow the coalition line.
    KSS
    12th Apr 2016
    2:43pm
    I have to agree with Bonny about the 'welfare mentality' of many Australians. Think about the squawking over single mothers getting handouts from the Government, child care rebates, maternity leave benefits, health care rebates, baby bonuses, 'entitlement' of school leavers to receiving unemployment benefit, family tax A and B, and the list goes on and on. Just about everyone at some stage thinks they have an ENTITLEMENT to money from the Government.

    People around the age of 45 have had compulsory super for almost their entire working life. If the decisions they have made to date lead them to think they will not have enough money in retirement or that they will HAVE to work until they are 70, that is a matter for them. Some may have to continue on to 70 if the age pension application age is raised. But they should also be saving for themselves. Unfortunately there are clearly many who expect the Government to fund their retirement regardless.

    As to all those complaining that poor health means some won't be able to work past 55, 60, 65 (or pick any age) I might also point out that most of these illnesses people may suffer from are lifestyle diseases and can be avoided in many cases. However, that means making different choices and people are just not willing to do that.

    There will always be cases where people will need the rest of society to take care of them, (for some at least temporarily; for a few permanently) whether that be in sickness, disability or old age, and so we should. But these must be and remain the minority in our society and not the result of a lifestyle choice of a majority.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    3:35pm
    I sometimes wonder if these Telcos use these people just to annoy us enough so we give up. First you have to understand their English and because English is not their first language everything then gets lost in the translation. I just tell them what I want and then tell them I don't understand them until I get some one on the same wave length.

    I had a telco problem that lasted over 3 months and I spent hours on the phone to overseas call centres. It wasn't resolved until I put in a complaint to their complaints department that it got sorted.

    I can't see why they can't employ Australians even if they do it on some sort of commission basis. That's right we have minimum wages here which don't allow this.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    6:04pm
    ''People around the age of 45 have had compulsory super for almost their entire working life. If the decisions they have made to date lead them to think they will not have enough money in retirement or that they will HAVE to work until they are 70, that is a matter for them.''

    So, KSS, those who earn so little that the admin fees gobble up nearly all their contributions, and those whose careers are interrupted by illness, disability, or having to care for a disabled loved ones... well, they can go to hell. ''That's a matter for them''????!!!!!

    What a callous attitude.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    6:07pm
    Or maybe you are not callous - just blind!

    As was said earlier, 9% of nearly nothing is nearly nothing. Compulsory super is only of value to those who earn a decent salary.
    KSS
    12th Apr 2016
    8:10pm
    Yes Rainey, life is all about choices. people cannot whinge about the 'nanny state' on one hand whilst holding out the other for welfare.

    And I suggest you go back and read exactly what I said before calling me - or anyone else names. In case you have difficulty I wrote in the same post:

    "There will always be cases where people will need the rest of society to take care of them, (for some at least temporarily; for a few permanently) whether that be in sickness, disability or old age, and so we should. But these must be and remain the minority in our society and not the result of a lifestyle choice of a majority."
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    9:35pm
    KSS, what people who rant about ''choices'' don't understand - because they don't understand genuine disadvantage - is that a large portion of the population 'DON'T HAVE ANY REALISTIC CHOICES, and a much larger portion have never been given the opportunity to learn how to make good choices.

    If people stopped being judgmental and tried to be compassionate and understanding, and educate themselves about real disadvantage and how to address it, we might make some progress improving society. But the privileged are just way too arrogant, self-opinionated, and self-serving. And there are a million lovely-sounding slogans out there like ''life is all about choices'' that they can use to excuse their arrogance and selfishness and pretend all is as they wish and claim it is.
    KSS
    13th Apr 2016
    6:40am
    And others, Rainey, expect everyone else to pick up the tab for the decisions they make because they will never escape the victim mentality and sense of entitlement they self perpetuate.
    Anonymous
    13th Apr 2016
    7:58am
    I'm sure there are many in that classification, KSS, and the policies of the current government encourage and reward them richly, while removing incentives and rewards from the system and bashing anyone who tries to elevate their status. My problem with your comments is that you are doing what the government does. Instead of acknowledging people's circumstances and offering encouragement and a hand up, you make comments that are judgmental and condemning and foster the ''hand out'' mentality.

    It's NOT ALL ABOUT CHOICES, KSS. It's about THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE and THE CAPACITY TO BE ABLE TO CHOOSE. There's a massive difference. When the arrogant egotists stop claiming ''it's about choices'' and judging and blaming, and start focusing on how we can OFFER CHOICE and help people understand HOW TO CHOOSE, we might make progress in society.
    Richied
    12th Apr 2016
    4:45pm
    How unfortunate people on these forums reduce discussion to personal attacks. Yes there are left wing and right wing (and moderate) people on these forums, and it is this exchange of ideas that make the discussions interesting.

    Do you think we can get through one day without personal attacks?
    strikey
    12th Apr 2016
    6:57pm
    I was thinking the same thing. In an age where everyone is allowed to be an instant expert on everything and anything, its a shame that some abuse the privilege because they can hide behind anonymity.

    Some are definitely trolls for the labour party as the tactics are akin to the old fashioned preacher on a soap box. We have come a long way since the population was fed on propaganda and believed it.

    Now everyone has an opinion and a few self-righteous soap-boxers hi-jack every damn forum on earth to blow their trumpet.

    Must lead sad lonely lives methinks!
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    9:32pm
    Several LNP trolls here too, and some of them are unbelievably rude and offensive in their comments.
    Observer
    12th Apr 2016
    5:25pm
    Im 74, still working, and enjoying it very much. Although I have terminal cancer (given 2.5 years 7 years ago) I am still healthy (thanks to herbs),and I believe working helps to keep me alive! And of course so far Alzheimers is not on the horizon. People tell me I look like a 60yo. But I believe in exercise, good diet, supplements and a positive mental attitude. And I do all I can in that space. Life is great! And I spend my life helping poor farmers. Whats not to like, Except the Labour Party....
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2016
    6:09pm
    All good for those who can find fulfilling employment. For some, work is hell, and they just live for the day when they can give up and do something that makes them feel good some of the time.
    Rosret
    12th Apr 2016
    5:55pm
    I seriously beg to differ about the health of the retiring cohort. So many are only alive due to medical intervention. There is a need to retire for many as some jobs are just too stressful or physically strenuous to continue. There isn't a simple pencil pushing job to be moved into - they are highly sort after and unlikely to be given to a semi retiree. I tried doing my same job part-time but had to go to work 5 days a week, face the early morning alarm, and peak hour traffic, attend all the meetings - just do a similar day an hour short for a lot less pay. No reduction in stress, no reduction in overheads costs of actually going to work. Part time work for the retiring cohort is not a solution. There was a time when the person with the most experience got the managerial promotion and the heavy work was left for the junior. Now the fast burning 30-40 year old gets the promotion and the experienced person is left on the floor.
    Tiny
    12th Apr 2016
    7:23pm
    Firstly they need to stop moving the Goal Posts, and changing systems just when you are approaching the current system they change it, and pull Pyne rug out from under you. The big problem is people will not have enough Super, and if in the older generation Super did not start early enough for most.

    Try telling also those leaving School and young who cannot get a job, because all the older need to keep working.

    All the other posts have hit the nail on the head, especially these Politicians who get $180,000 pensions and get nowhere near 65 or 70.
    Bonny
    12th Apr 2016
    7:50pm
    Here is some freedom of information about pollies pensions.

    https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/retirement_age_for_politicians
    mangomick
    12th Apr 2016
    8:51pm
    Multi National companies and the very wealthy use every little loophole available to minimise their tax burden. Well it's time pensioners did the same. As some one said to me recently why shouldn't my wife and I say we are separated. We are sleeping in separate rooms anyway. That way we can now increase the amount of Pension we earn by both getting a single persons pension. .Another couple said why keep all our money in the bank getting lousy interest and no pension. We can store it under the bed and get no interest but both get the full pension. That's a far better rate of return anyway. Another couple sold their house and stashed the money away and bought a big caravan. Now they get rental assistance and the pension and are living the life of Reilly. Is it morally right? Maybe not but is it morally right for the mega rich to use off shore bank accounts in the Virgin Islands and family trusts to hide their wealth and minimise their tax obligations. Work till I'm 70 I don't think so. After 40 years of shift work I figure I've done my heavy lifting........
    FM
    12th Apr 2016
    9:26pm
    Many people are simply not well enough to continue working in their particular jobs until they are 70. Rates of diseases such as osteoarthritis, cancer, cardiovascular and other debilitating diseases rise dramatically by age 65. You cannot raise the onset age of these diseases to 70 just by dictating that that must be the case.
    FM
    12th Apr 2016
    9:49pm
    Hi Mick, Even in the US everyone receives an aged pension social security payment. You get a higher benefit if you defer taking it until age 70. As it is not means tested many people work on after starting the pension. Only in Australia, of the developed countries, is the aged pension grudgingly given and defined as welfare.
    REALAUSSIE
    12th Apr 2016
    10:02pm
    G'Day fellow geriatrics!
    As a 76 year old self-employed Australian, still working, primarily in order to help my children, and a new viewer to these columns, it would appear that a large number of correspondence proudly qualify themselves as "typical, well balanced, salt of the earth little Aussie battlers, with a chip on both shoulders!" For goodness' sake "GROW UP" and help yourselves instead of blaming everyone else. There is a huge amount of talent out there with the older generation and wouldn't it be great if we were to work together to benefit society (and ourselves) through positive action instead of moaning and complaining about life's injustices. If anyone has any ideas/interest/suggestions as to harnessing our many years of experience/knowledge/skills, I am sure many of the readers would love to hear from them.
    Anonymous
    13th Apr 2016
    7:50am
    The problem, I think, Real Aussie, is that the powers-that-be DON'T want to hear good ideas and are doing everything possible to ensure they aren't heard or responded to. They are destroying incentives, punishing those who work and strive, rewarding irresponsible behaviour and laziness, and doing absolutely nothing to encourage the use of the wealth of capacity that exists among older Australians.

    This ''work until you drop no matter what'' mentality isn't going to solve anything. Harnessing experience and skills requires a compassionate and empathetic approach to people whose bodies are worn out from physical work, or who are exhausted from stress, or who are simply tired of mundane and unfulfilling labour that paid poorly and NEED A REST.

    To harness experience and skills, we need a more flexible attitude to work. There's a huge gap between being able to work a few hours here and there when you are feeling good and being able to hold down a full time job, but the law says if you can mow your lawn or do an hour of carpentry, you can work 38 hours a week. What utter rubbish!

    Ultimately, the solution is to recognize differences in circumstances and capacities and end the greed and selfishness. But it will NEVER happen. The arrogant privileged will always structure the world to suit their wants, and lie about ''opportunity'' and ''choices'' and ''personal responsibility'' being the cause of others not achieving as they did.

    What is sad is that the government is bashing anyone who ''has a go'' but doesn't make it to the rich elite class, and rewarding those who choose to do nothing to help themselves, and the victims of that policy will always be the genuinely needy, because there will never be enough to go around while that dumb approach continues.

    And to be clear - I'm not ''moaning'' or ''complaining''. I have nothing to moan about. I'm objecting to STUPID and DAMAGING government policy and the arrogance and ignorance of those who repeatedly insult me for lobbying for a more sensible approach.
    Jannie
    13th Apr 2016
    10:50am
    I have medical issues that make it hard for me to go to work, but I struggle at 68 to actually face the workforce. It is harder to keep up with learning new things ie technology is changing daily.
    All the smart arses who have inherited or had it lucky with good jobs are not thinking of others who have medical conditions, no inheritance from parents and superannuation which would not last too long. Have a think about the ones who have not been so lucky.
    Take a trip into Melbourne and have a look around you at the number of homeless people and beggars on our streets. We are no longer the lucky country.
    FM
    12th Apr 2016
    10:24pm
    Traditionally in the US the full benefit age was 65. Currently, the full benefit age is 66 for people born in 1943-1954, and it will gradually rise to 67 for those born in 1960 or later.
    REALAUSSIE
    12th Apr 2016
    10:43pm
    Nice to see not all of us haven't taken the proverbial cup of cocoa and gone to bed! - Pray tell, what relevance has the US pension system got to do with Australia and the future of its citizens? Are we about to become the latest Yankee state?
    FM
    13th Apr 2016
    9:06am
    Hi Realaussie if you read all the posts you would have found that someone said we were almost as badly off as Americans having to work into late old age. The point is we are much worse off than Americans. They have a guaranteed Aged Pension at 66 we do not, yet we stupidly think we are somehow superior and have a good system here. As one of the respondents said it is disappointing that people do not use the posts to advocate a reasonable, reliable retirement system for Australians because at the moment we do not have one. This is not just for those who are currently retired but for those coming after us. NZ, Europe, Canada the US and most Asian Countries are able to provide a pension to retirees. A levy was and is collected in Australia to do that but people are told they have no entitlement to a pension, that it is welfare, charity and not to be paid if at all possible. Many of the self satisfied respondents who have assets for their retirement seem bent on ensuring that those who do not are left well below the poverty line or destitute.
    Anonymous
    13th Apr 2016
    8:40pm
    I agree with most of what you say here FM, but your last sentence raises question. I don't believe it's fair at all. What most respondents who have assets for their retirement are saying, I think, is that they want a system that doesn't unfairly discriminate against battlers who saved a moderate amount - but not enough for them to be self-sufficient. They want incentives retained. They want rewards for effort retained, so that society as a whole becomes more prosperous and more ABLE to support the genuinely needy.

    If we keep attacking those who struggled to achieve moderate savings, and discouraging saving and responsible planning, the number of people on pensions will increase and the capacity of the nation to support the needy will fall.

    It's far too easy to make ASSUMPTIONS about other people's circumstances, and sadly those assumptions are generally based in envy. But the reality is that many who have assets are being dealt a very cruel and unfair hand. They feel aggrieved that their years of hard work are giving them no benefit - but the benefit is going to people who were not disadvantaged (often were much more advantaged, in fact) but didn't bother to work and save for their own future.

    Do you understand that people who went without luxuries to save a modest nest egg - and DO NOT have enough to be self-sufficient in retirement - are effectively being ''taxed'' (by deprivation of pension) $20,000 a year as ''punishment'' for saving? Do you understand that every $1000 someone saves can cost them $78 a year, although they may only get $30 or less income from that $1000. Sure, they can drain their capital. So Joe, who cruised the world at age 64, gets a pension, while Jack, who earned far less than Joe and worked harder, but delayed his travel until age 70 so he and his wife could care for his aged mother-in-law, suffers loss of pension for 5 years. Fred, who bought a $2.5 million home is rewarded, while Ian, who owns a $400000 cottage and has $825,000 in the bank, but massive medical bills and costs for disability aids and home help, gets NOTHING.

    Yes, some who have assets are complaining- and rightly so! And if anyone here is genuinely keen to see the nation look after the really needy better, they will support those complaints and demand an overhaul of the system that restores fairness and incentives and rewards.
    Chris B T
    13th Apr 2016
    1:41pm
    Retirement is a frame of mind as well as financial.
    Late 60's to 70's even beyond may be alright for some.
    Until you actually are in retirement, you will never know just how well you can cope.
    Adjustment of mind and spending, if you think I will not have enough thats how it will be for along time.
    Enjoy what you have as it may not be around to enjoy later.
    Gammer
    13th Apr 2016
    2:45pm
    Let's not forget that the future generations of workers will have much more superannuation put away (my son already has way more than I retired with a couple of years ago) which means they won't qualify for an aged pension anyway and will be able to retire whenever they feel ready too. I'm sure there will be plenty who retire earlier than the current retirement age!
    Anonymous
    13th Apr 2016
    3:38pm
    All the more reason to get it right now, Gammer. There will be many who can retire when they please in the future, but there will be a great many who have too little super to be self-sufficient at any age - and THEY will be the ones who most NEED to retire younger.

    Raising the retirement age will hurt those who are already have it hardest in life. And as the benefits of compulsory super cut in, the discrepancies will INCREASE. But greed and selfishness seems to be the key driver of policy, and nobody seems to care much for the health of society.

    13th Apr 2016
    3:39pm
    I think it's past time to recognize that work and money are NOT the be all and end all of everything. We need to shift our focus back to family, community, society and lifestyle - and THAT means LOWERING the retirement age, not raising it, and reforming the pension system to ensure that everyone can afford a comfortable retirement after decades of hard work and paying their dues to society.
    Anonymous
    13th Apr 2016
    5:44pm
    Lower the retirement age? Yep, that's ok if you fund your own retirement.
    Anonymous
    13th Apr 2016
    8:46pm
    Actually, Ray, it's quite possible for the government to fund retirement of those who need support. If they taxed fairly and efficiently, there would be ample money in the coffers to support all who need help. And early retirement would reduce unemployment and underemployment dramatically, so it may well actually be a revenue neutral or even a revenue positive change. It's too easy to ASSUME consequences, and overlook the whole picture - as Morrison et al did with the changed assets test. It APPEARED to save dollars by throwing thousands off the pension FOR NOW. The fool didn't bother to consider either the long-range consequences of discouraging savings, or the impact of reduced consumption on GST revenue, profit growth, employment growth, etc. It will ultimately prove a hideously expensive decision, and I believe raising the retirement age will prove equally costly - both in financial and in social terms.
    MD
    14th Apr 2016
    12:38pm
    " There are three kinds of men; the one that learns by reading , the one that learns by observation and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." Thanks Will Rogers.

    Whatever the future retirement age will be largely determinate as a result of technological improvement. I seem to think this may be considered evolutionary development. As has been mentioned, the workforce will continue to diminish, lifestyles ease - longevity increase and machines perform more of the mundane tasks. Looking ahead 30 years hence may even now be considered by some as frightening, although most on this forum will either not be around to bear witness or non compos. Looking back for much the same number of years and we then had the likes of Paul, Bob, and Johnny considering much the same set of circumstances we're confronted with today. Well it may seem to most that they got it wrong - perhaps because they didn't have the benefit of this forums' collective/accumulated wisdom (?) Yes, as somebody mentioned, "today everyone's an expert on everything " seems all too apt. The Government; or at least my simplistic understand of it, makes a policy determination based on varying factors that have been sought or proffered from interested parties, the info then statistically linked, passed to actuaries, social scientists (and their ilk) for fine tuning and at some point thereafter a draft proposal is put up for further consideration prior to advancing for votes in the house.
    So what I'm endeavouring to convey is - given the immensely positive feedback herein, will the politicians decisions made today prove to be equally as beneficial to the population 30 years hence ? A veritable crystal ball, the benefit of hindsight is a most wondrous thing indeed - the benefit of foresight no less astounding !

    As regards the "battlers'' and "disadvantaged" that require "society to lift them up" & we've to "stop blaming the victims" etc & etc. For the poor sod whose answer to the likes of these inanities was met with " indulgence of the selfish priviledged (sic)" what then can any one offer by way of post if it's to be countered with such replies or "Stop blaming the victims".
    I question the number of regular posts that substantiate their blurb by quoting 'personal hardship/experiences to bolster the trite claims/accusations or their bile spray.
    The "rich, wealthy, big business, politicians, fat cats" are very obviously the prime target for the under achievers and are therefore harangued for their (undeserving ?) success.
    And that so many of these successful folk started out their life in much the same circumstances as the "rest of us" and yet because they achieved therefore makes them targets, right ?
    Was their success due to a WILL to succeed, did they back it up with DRIVE ? Granted, a few of them may have had "advantages that others didn't have" but it does not diminish their personal characteristics and strengths that MOTIVATED them. To put it into perspective we are probably talking about less than 10% of the populace and yes, before I have the dogs set on me, they do control the bulk of the wealth. So what ? Can the same characteristics that define the successful be applied to the 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation welfare recipients ? "Cruel, stupid policies (keeping people down)" Are you suggesting that the collective; unemployed/newstart/disability support/carer, welfare recipients acquaint themselves with any policy whatsoever affecting their lives but the same said people certainly 'know their rights', entitlements and what's required of them to realize same, or maybe I've got it wrong, again, right ?
    I seriously doubt that were a govt review to double the $ presently received by all welfare recipients that the resultant outcome would find half their number achieving a fulfilling life but they will have a bigger/flasher car, more $ to feed the pokies, buy grog, smokes &/or dope plus an extra 'treat' (or 3) compliments Maccas.
    If, as some might suggest, although circumstances vary, each of us is born equal; then schooled in much the same system and post schooling are expected to stand on our own 2 feet, has gone with the wind. So nowadays we're witness to the' handout mentality' and yes this is being underscored by peers, parents and like minded parasites. Spare us the "There but for the grace of god" - it does nothing to substantiate or justify the case. Let's leave the charitable undertakings to the professional Charities, most the remainder of us are busy getting on with our lives regardless of whether we're happy or content.

    Politicians do not and certainly should not receive comparable remunerations to their corporate counterparts. 'Suits' that do not perform satisfactorily can be shown the door whereas we're stuck with Pollies and their associated stuff-ups for their term, The fact that both parties often realize unconscionable gains at the time of (or after) their demise is despicable.

    In closing (phew), I'd suggest that no one of us is compelled to either contribute or digest the contributions herein however in the case of a few contributions one seriously wonders just what lies back of the onslaught/tirade. It bears remembering another of Will Rogers quotes, "If you're on the right track you'll get run over if you just sit there". Peace
    Anonymous
    14th Apr 2016
    8:25pm
    MD, you obviously know nothing about the lives of those who were born to serious disadvantage, and it's obvious you lack any tolerance or compassion. Personally, I find them far less offensive than those who, despite having apparently earned enough to own a yacht and luxury car and take a cruise, are now claiming a pension and boasting about being able to manage comfortably on it thanks to learning to manage money efficiently. Why are so many who earned so much now bludging on the taxpayer? And how are they less offensive than people who genuinely endured poverty and weren't able - for whatever reason - to lift themselves out of it?

    Sure, many succeeded despite challenges, because they had a will to succeed and drive. What you clearly don't get is that they had the GOOD FORTUNE to enjoy an early life that allowed them to build will and drive, and belief that what they sought was possible. When people suffer real disadvantage, they are often indoctrinated to believe they are neither worthy nor capable of better than the miserable lot they were born to. They often CANNOT move past that entrenched lack of self-belief.

    We are NOT born anywhere near equal. Nor are we ''schooled the same''. The people I refer to might have had three or four years of schooling in an environment where they had no hope of learning because they were constantly tormented for their poor clothing, lack of necessities (or for stealing necessities they were deprived of), and about their parentage. They were indoctrinated to believe they were ''the scum of the earth'' and not worthy of life. They were forced into menial jobs at 15 with nobody to give a damn if they lived or died, much less to offer guidance or support when they needed it. I sympathize with them, because I was one of them - but I was very fortunate to have a mentor who taught me to believe in myself and that what I dreamt of achieving WAS possible. It was an incredibly hard slog, and I was often tempted to give up. Far too many I know who faced similar challenges were knocked down once too often. One I know who slogged for years to put a deposit on a home lost it when interest rates soared to 18%. With no education,3 kids to support, a chronically ill wife, and a job that paid lousy wages, he simply couldn't make the increased payments. That last blow destroyed him mentally. Until then, he was a decent, hard-working, frugal, honest family man to be greatly admired for overcoming incredible hardship. Now he's a drunk who puts his hand out, and you condemn him - but you have no idea what pain he has suffered that drove him to where he is now. And all he needed was a little compassionate help in a crisis and he'd be a proud homeowner with money in the bank today. He came so very close!

    We have a diverse population. There are scum at EVERY level. But the worst scum are those who judge and condemn, while smugly benefiting from the hard work of those they look down on.

    Yes, we do pursue cruel, stupid policies that keep people down. And yes, many respond to that by pursuing lifestyles that you and I disapprove of and that are ultimately self-destructive. And no, I would not for an instant suggest doubling their welfare cheques. What I suggest is pursuing a system that rewards endeavour fairly and gives people a ''hand up'' in preference to a ''hand out'' - incentive to strive, and fair rewards for striving, plus access to support (both monetary and -psychological) when it's genuinely needed.

    Utlimately, though, the Panama Papers tells us what is wrong with our world, and anyone who seeks to claim it's not the privileged wealthy causing our social woes is either blind or incredibly bigoted. Trillions hoarded in foreign tax havens while societies struggle to provide decent health and education services and adequate pensions to keep people out of poverty.

    Go ahead. Blame the poor. Accuse them of laziness, lack of motivation, lack of drive... That's the standard cop-out of the arrogant privileged. Rant about a ''handout mentality''. Nobody has a greater ''handout mentality'' than the wealthy tax-evader or the businessman who exploits workers - but somehow they win praise for their initiative and enterprise! Who has a greater ''handout mentality'' and ''sense of entitlement'' than our policitians? There's not a welfare recipient out there who could hold a candle to them in the greed stakes!

    There is a fundamental difference between the privileged who claim more than their due and attack the poor, and the poor who ask for handouts and attack the wealthy. The poor have no power to change the society they live in, and hence the changes ALWAYS favour the greedy privileged, pandying to their ''handout mentality'' with yet more and more tax cuts, concessions, rebates, and legal tax reduction devices.

    Of course you claim that anyone can reach those lofty heights with ''drive'' and ''will'', and I reply, show me a rich man who claims to be self-made and I'll show you a liar! There is no such thing. Every successful person had a major leg up from somewhere. And most of those who you condemn would likely have succeded if they had taken just one or two fewer knock-downs, or just once been given a hand up.

    I am often dismayed at the bad choices people make over and over, and at their seeming lack of self-respect and initiative, but having walked in their shoes and seen what they have to overcome to have a hope of being offered even the most minimal opportunity, I can't condemn them.

    I sincerely apologize that it offends you to read posts from people who care where this country is headed and hope to maybe influence some positive changes in society. My ''tirade'' is driven by a desire for a better world for my children and grandchildren, and yes, I do say ''there but for the grace of God go I'', because only the grace of God saved me from the cruelty of arrogant, heartless men who presume to judge and condemn.
    MD
    15th Apr 2016
    9:58am
    I checked to confirm the Subject question, thus: "If the Age Pension qualifying age increases to 70, will there be enough jobs" & etc.

    For the record.
    My "lack of tolerance and compassion" may well be obvious to you however this is merely a matter of your opinion.
    Although you failed to explain how many folk are "now bludging on the taxpayer" it would seem you know of and are acquainted with a good many of the downtrodden and "seriously disadvantaged". It would also seem as you claim, there exists "so many" in this demographic and that you have taken it upon yourself to represent them.
    "Good fortune" - whatever you perceive this to be is an intangible consideration as one persons good fortune may well be anothers' parking meter change.
    Your assumptions presume far too much. Whereas your extant accounts of those less fortunate is conveyed with empathy, in so doing you imply it's something I lack. You then go on to explain convincingly (?) that these same said poor souls "self belief" has been "indoctrinated", which explains everthing, not !
    Para 3: Other than the irrelevant fact that I was one of those that also entered the workforce at age 15, the remainder has little bearing on this issue. Let's agree that the leaves on most trees are green is just as relevant.
    Equally, you might agree that the Panama Papers are yet another 'axe to be ground' for the eventual be-headings of the "priveledged few".
    IF we were to accept the definition per your suggested "fundamental differences" between the "poor (and) greedy privileged" then maybe you should have offered a suggestion/solution to rectify the imbalance.
    I did not "make a claim" re the "drive and "will", I actually posed the question! Your resultant reply is yet another preposterous assumption.

    I have a strong conviction that you are a kind and considerate person and that you may well have "walked in their shoes" indeed, however this is not in itself a qualification.
    I commend you for the expressed heartfelt support you convincingly convey.
    I did NOT condemn "them".
    The comment of "scum at every level" cannot be simply corrected by a couple of well meaning folk thrashing out their respective points from behind the sanctity of a PC. It far surpasses the comprehension or understanding of any single well meaning soul or for that matter any (purported) charity or institution.
    Admirable indeed are these same parties that 'fly the banner' in support of a cause however, when dealing with our fellow man our limitations are restricted by the degree of comprehension each party brings to bear and try as we might we can never claim to actually KNOW one way or the other, who is right.
    I wish you well in your personal crusade. For my part - I rest my case.
    Anonymous
    15th Apr 2016
    10:16am
    The topic was actually ''Australians too poor to retire'', MD, and I think the reasons for some being too poor to retire are extremely relevant. And I stand by my assertion that the removal of incentives and rewards for those who struggle to rise above hardship is the key reason why vast numbers struggle to afford retirement.

    This society over-indulges the rich, gives the poor (quite deliberately) just enough to keep them down, and bashes those who struggle to rise above disadvantage until they give up.

    There IS a sensible solution that would deliver major improvement - though certain not a total remedy. That is to stop the attack on the upper working class and middle class (eg. recent pension changes that bashed anyone who struggled to save but didn't quite make it to self-sufficiency, and the current obscenely unfair superannuation tax concessions) and to end the ridiculous paranoia about university degrees and ''formal training certificates'' and start acknowledging abilities and giving people who didn't have the opportunity to gain formal education and training a chance to show what they can do and gain documented qualifications through demonstration of ability. There have been some moves in that direction, but not nearly enough.

    Pay the unemployed a decent living wage to undertake training in the area of their choice and a great many of them would cease to be unemployed. Force them into unsuitable work where they feel desperate and exploited, and of course they will try to avoid obligations.

    The ''blame the victim'' mentality is supporting a social attitude that elevates the rich and crushes anyone struggling to overcome disadvantage.

    Just one obvious example of the STUPID mentality currently driving social policy is the recent change to the pension assets test. The message is quite clearly ''Don't save more than about $300,000 unless you can acquire enough to earn more than $40,000 - indexed to inflation - per annum. If you dare to save more than $300,000, we will FINE you $78 a year for every extra $1000 you saved.'' What will the government do with the extra revenue it hope to raise (but of course won't - because fewer will try to be self-sufficient!)? It wants to give it to people who have saved only around $300,000! So the message is: If you are in the elite, fine. If you are not among the elite, you must stay at a given level and you'll be rewarded for doing so, but try to rise above it, and we'll bash you down.

    The policy has similar effect in most areas of income support and taxation and in most areas of social services.

    There is a fix. It's just that the selfish elite don't want to see it implemented, because it would enable people to fulfil their potential in life and remove the power the elite hold.

    I am sorry it offends you for someone to seek to promote genuine solutions to social problems.
    REALAUSSIE
    15th Apr 2016
    8:22pm
    What a lot of hot air!!! Sadly as expected, none of the contributors/readers to this self-satisfied pretentious forum is in the least interested in my suggestion of uniting "Third Generation" skills.
    Anonymous
    16th Apr 2016
    8:30am
    I'm very interested, RealAussie, but eager to know what you propose, because it seems to me that society in general is more intent on bashing and blaming retirees and telling us all we are ''past it'', and dismissing our knowledge and experience as outdated and irrelevant.

    I have been a keen supporter of the Men's Shed in our community, which does precisely what you suggest. But most seem to regard it as a club for old men who can't cope with the idleness of retirement, or want to escape their wives for a few hours a week.

    How many businesses show any interest in harnessing the skills of older workers? Age discrimination is rife, and often commented on here by victims of it. Has anyone seen any evidence of government dictating that many older workers need more flexible working arrangements, because their health has begun to deteriorate or they tire more easily, or they have an emotional need to spend more time supporting family and indulging grandchildren? We hear demands that people work until age 70, but not a word about changing work conditions to accommodate the special needs of older workers. Technology is replacing human labour, yet we have a government focused on insisting humans must work more and seemingly totally disinterested in sharing the benefits of technology equitably to improve society.

    What about education programs for older Aussies to update their skills. How much is the Government investing in providing them? What is being done to make education programs more accessible and more appropriately designed to meet the needs of older Australians?

    I know older folk who have volunteered to run educational programs at schools on topics such as public speaking (an accomplished Toastmaster with many big wins to her credit), creative writing (an elderly novelist) and music (a former military musician who conducted town bands for many years). Every offer was rejected because either ''it's not part of the curriculum'' (it SHOULD be!), or ''the person lacks appropriate FORMAL qualifications'' (i.e university degree).

    To harness ''third generation'' skills, we need a major change of attitude among the X and Y generation, I fear. We need to abandon the obsession with formally documented qualifications (which are often not really worth the paper they are written on) and start to value proven real-world experience and evidenced ability. And we need to recognize the different lifestyle needs of older Australians and accommodate them. How do we drive a campaign to achieve that?
    ex PS
    16th Apr 2016
    5:21pm
    REALAUSSIE, unfortunatley you can have all the skills in the world but when a potential boss sees age 55 or over on the application you will be disregarded.
    I have worked with training organisations for many years and can attest to the sad fact that completing training courses has little efect on gaining employment if you are within a certain age group.
    Observer
    16th Apr 2016
    11:56am
    Extraordinary how many Australians think of the Age Pension is an entitlement "for a life of hard work and paying taxes". From the time of its origin in 1909 it was a safety net, a meas of support to those who cannot support themselves. It may have grown to be more in the understanding of many who expect to receive slabs of welfare, but it was never an entitlement. And I speak as a 75 year old who is still working to support myself and cannot afford to retire.

    But retire I must, not too far away, and I will be thankful for the safety net.

    We pay taxes in our lifetime for the many services we receive, the roads we drive on and so on, not to build an Aged Pension entitlement. That is superannuation, not the Aged Pension. For goodness sakes Your Life Choices, get it right!
    Anonymous
    17th Apr 2016
    5:29pm
    Actually, Observer, that's not quite true. A fund was established specifically to ensure the aged and disabled could be supported, and taxpayers paid a levy that was put aside in that fund. Many working Australians who had no superannuation were told that that fund would provide for them in old age. Had the money NOT been misappropriated by a past government, there would be enough to pay every aged pension $500 per week - non-means tested. And today's workers are STILL paying that levy, but sadly the money was stolen by a past government that could not or would not manage the economy properly.

    Those who did not have superannuation ARE entitled to the pension they were promised. They paid for it and they have every right to claim entitlement to it.
    ex PS
    16th Apr 2016
    5:29pm
    I fell for the old con about planning for retirement and found that as soon as I retired the government decided to move all the goal posts. I went from being confident about self funding my entire retirement with the knowledge that if anything nasty happened down the track I would have a safety net in the form of a part pension in place, to actually thinking about moving all my assetts around to make sure of a pension.
    I am sure that there are a lot of retirees about in the same situation, it is simply because the government can't seem to keep its sticky bloody fingers out of peoples pockets, unless of course those people are giving them substancial campaign donations.
    Anonymous
    17th Apr 2016
    5:31pm
    Yes, ex PS, but the privileged smirk and claim you didn't work hard enough. What a sick society we live in!
    REALAUSSIE
    17th Apr 2016
    6:04pm
    Although aware that my opinions are just that, and nothing that will revolutionise society, I am driven to respond to Observer, Rainey and ex PS’ comments.
    As Observer quite rightly states: The Age Pension is not an entitlement "for a life of hard work and paying taxes", but a safety net, a means of support for those who cannot support themselves. There are, without doubt, a large number of elderly Australians who fall within that category and civilised society is duty bound to care for these people. However, the Age Pension was not designed to provide retirees (tax payers or not) with an extra overseas cruise etc.
    By the same token, there is also a large number of elderly Australians who through sheer weariness/ill-health/family commitments etc. are neither able nor willing to continue working, feeling, quite rightly, that they have done enough. Conversely, there is also a large number of elderly citizens of “The Third Age” who feel that there is more to retirement than Bowls/Grey Nomads caravan trips around Australia etc.
    Quite rightly, Rainey states “How many businesses show any interest in harnessing the skills of older workers?” and Ex PS “Unfortunately you can have all the skills in the world but when a potential boss sees age 55 or over on the application you will be disregarded.”
    Purely for the purpose of clarifying “where I’m coming from”, I, like most Australians of my generation, starting off in the 60’s workplace when jobs were abundant to anyone with the six pence for a Sydney Morning Herald, left school, poorly educated at the age of sixteen confident that “the world was my oyster”
    I, like many of the readers of this column have been extremely fortunate in the succeeding years and, although not amassing notable wealth as the more canny ones amongst us did, have been able to live a life where, as a self-employed I have not been a slave to either governments or employers – It’s called “F… you money!”
    In closing this rather long-winded comment, my suggestion in harnessing the skills of older workers is basically to gather “Third Generation” experience/knowledge and form businesses to provide that experience in the market place. We don’t need government financial support – regardless of our pleas of poverty, many of us “retirees” could afford to invest something in a new business opportunity – All we need is the guts to act before we completely lose our marbles!
    Observer
    17th Apr 2016
    7:14pm
    Rainey my friend, whatever the actions of successive Governments, the fact remains that the Aged Pension, established by the "Invalid and Old Aged Pension Act" of 1908, following the UK Act of the same year, was a safety net, and was established in 1909 by the Deakin Government who was PM in the forerunner of the present day Liberal party. It was intended to be a poverty relieving mechanism, a safety net, and certainly not an entitlement.
    You can construe actions subsequent to that all you like, and in the many unfunded measures that have been enacted by some including the last Government (Rudd/Gillard/Rudd), you can construe them as a change of principle if you will. Unfortunately, I suggest the reality is that measures that are pure hypotheticals ultimately revert to their origins. To then propose without even naming the underlying twists and turns that you suggest get us to an entitlement level because we contributed our tax to some imagined pension scheme is deception, deliberate or otherwise. The origins, and conceptual foundation today, of our Aged Pension, remain the same, obfuscation notwithstanding.
    Stalin's principle increasingly used today: " a lie told often enough becomes the truth..." is part of our increasingly devious popular "opinion leaders" populism diatribe, regrettably. No, pensions are not an entitlement, nor for that matter is any welfare measure as we will come to understand as the pork barreling handouts of the near past and our wasted mineral boom fade and the purse strings are tightened perforce of encroaching National bankruptcy. Do you know Australia is 180% GDP in debt? Can we service that with GDP growth of 2.8% at best? No way.... High tax and low welfare, if we are able to survive at all. Is this the Australia our forefathers fought two World Wars for? Profligate Governments have wasted our heritage.......
    REALAUSSIE
    17th Apr 2016
    8:56pm
    Dearie, Dearie me!
    Sadly, this forum is one for wafflers and whingers. Witness Observer's quasi intellectual ravings which bear no relevance to the subject of harnessing the skills of the "Third generation". Obviously, I have been over-estimating communal intelligence. Goodbye
    ex PS
    18th Apr 2016
    11:07am
    Sorry, I must have taken the wrong medication, I thought the subject was, about whether by constantly moving the goal posts the government is making it increasingly difficult for retirees to plan for their retirement, and the difficulty of staying employed into your seventies?
    As far as pensions being an entitlement or welfare, who cares, they are only words, what the Australian retirees of any age are entitled to is a society where they have a roof over their heads, three meals a day and the right to live with dignity.
    I apoligise for getting it so wrong.
    Observer
    18th Apr 2016
    11:58am
    To Ex PS et al. Perhaps time to have a re-read of the Choice article. Indeed the question posed at the end of the article was about working post 70, and adjustments needed.
    But the article begins with the preposterous proposal that since we all pay tax, that entitles us to an Age pension. Inferring entitlement without other qualification than age?
    So first lets realise that is totally incorrect, the world does not owe us a living, whether we paid tax or not.
    Secondly, we need to take responsibility for our own decisions. And if we arrive at old age without enough to support ourselves, as I have, we work until we no longer can (or it is genuinely unavailable), we may be fortunate enough to avail ourselves if a safety net paid for by our fellow Australians.
    But until we get that straight, I suggest we are not in a position to propose answers to the post 70 work issue.
    I am expecting to work until I'm 77, if my health allows. But if I wanted to find work post 77 Im sure I could, albeit at menial tasks perhaps. Maybe Im in a better position than most, having striven to keep my skills like IT up to date. Many if my compatriots seem to have just sunk into a slough of despond and given up on life, let alone keeping their skills up.
    MD
    30th Apr 2016
    5:04pm
    Heartfelt thanks Observer for your contributions which, in my humble opinion, brings some small degree of balance to this subject, which it seems is vexatious to some, ho - hum to a few and hot air to others. Although I'm disappointed to hear that you would like to continue working till age 77, conversely I am encouraged by your apparent intestinal fortitude. I would like to think that others 'on-site' would join me in wishing you well.

    For my part; I acknowledge that, to some, it may seem a little pompous of me to be proffer kudos however, for what it's worth - you have my best wishes.
    ex PS
    1st May 2016
    1:11pm
    There are those that work to live and those who live to work. it's a free choice issue.
    Civilizations are examined and judged on how they treat the disadvantaged amongst their population, and Australia has been, up to now amongst the most respected for how we treat those people.
    There are some amongst us that truly believe that what we do is indicative of who we are and they find it hard to picture a life that is not controlled by the wants and needs of a second party.
    I, like MD respect your right to work until you drop and wish you every happiness.
    But I also respect and support those who have worked for over forty years,who are worn out physically and mentally or both who wish to take some time for themselves and just enjoy the remaining years of their lives.
    They have an expectation of being able to retire with a pension at a certain age, how it is financed is of little consequence to them as it is an expectation that has been reinforced by successive governments for decades.
    If it must be changed, so be it, but to even contemplate doing so without notice to those affected so that they can in fact plan for such an event is barbaric.
    I do not and probably never will qualify for a pension but I do not begrudge my tax being spent on providing for those who need it.
    *Loloften*
    30th Apr 2016
    3:31am
    Age pensioners are poorer now than were their parents, thx to:-
    - now paying tax, GST
    - pension being increased only by CPI.
    - lack of jobs due to technology & competing with younger & more tech savvy applicants
    - superannuation only starting in 1985, not enough time to accumulate for possible decades
    - age increases for women especially (used to be 60 so they could mind their grandkids, taxpayers are now paying for that
    - savings eroded by huge 18% mortgage interest rate when buying their homes in 20s, as used to back then
    - interest on savings now approx 2.5 - 3% average, eroding their meagre savings, etc etc
    Really annoys me that illnesses, especially cancers which appear to plague "baby-boomers" have lost me more than a few close friends prior to their pension age, needed to use up all long service leave/remaining annual & sick leave to accommodate Chemo/Radio/ops/tests etc etc - prior to passing away, leaving their spouses, if eligible for age pension, with minimal savings left. Cancer is often inherited.
    Remaining spouse is not a bludger on the system - sadly left to live in poverty if & when of eligible age/recovers from the trauma of supporting a finally death of a beloved spouse.
    STOP bashing age pensioners as most often they have no choice - could u live on approx $435/wk in an average home with ever increasing council rates/elec/gas/water/insurances/car costs/probable health care costs/food/small birthday & Chrissie pressies for your children, their spouses & grandkids/home repairs/appliance repairs etc etc? It's the greedy Pollies we need to "bash," costing age pensioners heaps as well as everyone else.


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