Budget pension changes announced

Wealthier pensioners to lose pensions.

Budget pension changes announced

Plans to change the way in which pensions are indexed have been dumped and replaced by a proposal which will see wealthier pensioners lose their pensions.

As noted by YourLifeChoices on Tuesday, the asset thresholds will be lowered and the pension taper rate changed. Announced by Social Services Minister Scott Morrison yesterday, the key points are as follows:

  • couples who have more than $823,000 in assets, reduced from $1.15 million, (excluding family home) will lose their eligibility for the Age Pension
  • for homeowners, the asset threshold for a full Age Pension for singles will rise from $202,000 to $250,000 and from $286,500 to $375,000 for couples
  • couples who own their own home and have additional assets of $451,500 will receive an increased pension
  • couples who don’t own their won home and have assets of up to $699,000 will receive an increased pension
  • pensioners who don’t own their own home will be able to hold $200,000 more in assets than those who do

The result of the changes is that:

  • 50,000 part pensioners will qualify for a full Age Pension
  • 170,000 pensioners with modest assets will be about $30 per fortnight better off
  • 91,000 part pensioners will no longer qualify for a pension
  • 235,000 will have their part pension reduced.

Those who have been affected by the scaling back of the maximum asset threshold ($1.15 million to $823,000) will be guaranteed eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) or a Health Care Card (HCC).

If this legislation is passed, the changes will take effect from 1 January 2017.





    COMMENTS

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    Tinker
    8th May 2015
    10:52am
    The pension increase for couples and singles will be reduced because of the income test.Given with the right hand and taken away with the left hand.
    It would be marvellous if they stopped making changes so that we can budget properly and know how and when we can spend our money.
    It seems that this government wants all retirees to end up with low incomes or fit the stereo type of bingo playing, inactive pensioners who can not travel, replace the worn out car or fix the leaky roof and gutters.
    nena
    8th May 2015
    11:20am
    You are right Tinker, I´m own a modest home and have no other asset whatever. Therefore, living on the full pension as it is now the only alternative will be as you stated, ..." [exist] as the stereo type..." and soon kick the becket. Well, that is what they expect LOL...
    Chris B T
    8th May 2015
    12:26pm
    Forgive my naivety, as I don't fit in any of these.
    The amount of assets within the allowed ($286.5K/ new $375K) assets if earning an income is tested under the income test dosn't seem right.
    My undrestanding is that those assets are excluded below ($286.5K/ new $375).
    What you do with your assets was up to you and how you use them.
    I'm excluded from all of this, so my naivety.
    Golden Oldie
    8th May 2015
    2:49pm
    To get a pension or part pension you need to be below the asset or income cut off level.
    If you are fully retired and not earning an income, your assets are deemed to be earning a certain income, eg from the shares you hold, bank accounts, etc. Included in the assets are cars, houses (not family home), furniture, art work, etc. I think Superannuation funds in pension phase are now also included since January this year. It is complicated and I have been on a part pension for about 8 years but I can not work out the rate I should get without knowing the criteria the DSS use. I'm still wondering how cars and furniture can be counted as an asset when they do not create an income, and depreciate in value at an alarming rate.
    Don't feel naive. You are not alone. Basically, the only asset excluded is the family home you live in.
    MacI
    11th May 2015
    4:30pm
    Golden Oldie - non income generating assets such as cars, furniture etc are included under the asset test but not the income test. For the income test only assets that produce (or should produce) income are included e.g. superannuation, cash, property, etc.

    You should make sure that you update the value of your assets periodically to take account of depreciation. A new car depreciates up to 20% when you drive away from the showroom and 15% per annum for the next few years. After that around 6-8% per annum.
    Jurassicgeek
    8th May 2015
    10:56am
    ha ha ha what a joke...2017...they wont even be there then...things will change with whoever is in at the time...
    Peterrj
    8th May 2015
    11:43am
    LOL but the joke is on us ie. Those who have actually taken steps to plan for our financial retirement and have a few extra dollars which took many years of denial of while trying to save a nest egg. And now we find out that the Govt calls us wealthy if we are on a small Part Aged Pension???? Wealthy???? In the words of a famous female former Politician, "Please explain?" So Jurassicgeek predicts that 'they' the Libs won't be there in 2017. Guess who will be targeted even more under a Labor Govt???
    Kato
    8th May 2015
    12:27pm
    Yep blinky and his mob have these and more planned for pensioners and welfare. It actually started under there governance. Two bob and the kip team are sitting back allowing the changes to be made and if they do manage to get in come next election the lifting will have been done for them. What will you get oh the Liberals changed all of that our hands are tied.
    DebbieP
    8th May 2015
    11:02am
    $823,000 in assets might seem like a lot to some, but with an average return of 5% (and that's what the experts tell us to budget for) is $41,500 per annum income. Might as well hide the money under the bed and qualify for the full pension!! A lot of people with this amount are people who have had average jobs with salaries well less than $80,000p.a. but who have saved hard and not had new cars every couple of years and overseas trips or refurbed the house every 5 years but just were good savers and put money into super early because they wanted to have a comfortable retirement. Now they still have to do it the hard way and watch every cent.
    trired
    8th May 2015
    2:16pm
    You describe myself and my husband perfectly and we are watching every cent we spend
    CindyLou
    8th May 2015
    3:49pm
    5%....I don't think so, more like 2.5%... $823,000 @ 2.5% gives a mighty amount of
    $20,575.
    Nice
    CindyLou
    8th May 2015
    3:51pm
    Further, if money was drawn down from the principal so as to top up the $20k per annum, naturally the principal would erode.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2015
    5:26pm
    It's a stupid proposal by any standard. It means many retirees who worked hard and saved hard will be worse off than most pensioners and forced to draw on their capital to live, which will quickly put them back below the assets level and drawing pensions. Govt. savings will disappear. Many will take that long-dreamed-of holiday or invest in a better home to reduce their assets so that they don't lose entitlements. Whoever decided a couple with $820,000 is ''wealthy'' is a fool!

    The Health Care Card is next to useless because many doctors and specialists won't bulk bill holders - only pensioners. It doesn't qualify anyone for the many discounts and concessions pensioners enjoy.

    Ultimately, those who worked and saved hardest to earn a comfortable retirement will wish they'd spent freely, because their reward is being forced to live on less than a pension while many who spent like drunken sailors enjoy handouts financed by the more frugal.
    Dotty
    8th May 2015
    8:49pm
    Well Cindy Lou, $20 575 is about all that I exist on all year and no assets and no home !! I don't drink,smoke or go to Bingo as I can afford it and the Car I drive is a 29 yr old Camry ! So am I Niave or what ?
    Dotty
    sirmikd
    9th May 2015
    8:25am
    Quote CindyLou - "Further, if money was drawn down from the principal so as to top up the $20k per annum, naturally the principal would erode "

    BUT more importantly so would the BUYING POWER of what was LEFT. This seems to be something ignored by the Govt. Let me explain. If you have say 500,000 in the bank today and you do nothing [ ignore interest received ] after say 15 years you still have 500,000 - right? But it wont buy you the same amount of goods or services it will today. If discounted at 2% average [inflation] it will only be worth around 370,000. My arithmetic may not be exact but the thinking is. Correct me if I'm not because this is something ALL part pensioners need to consider when trying to project their future financial position.
    CindyLou
    9th May 2015
    8:27am
    Hi Dotty, your post got me curious about the exact $ of a pension as I thought it was a little more than you noted.
    It appears a single pension as at March 2015 is $860.20 p/f ($22,365.30 pa) and a couple $648.40 each p/f ($33,716.80 for couple pa).
    Dot
    8th May 2015
    11:21am
    Heard on the radio that a former Labor Politician Kristina Keneally says that the family home should be included in the assets test because the Governments can't afford forking out for pensioners. Now here is a American telling our Government how to deal with us. I say we as Australians cannot afford to keep all Politicians in the lap of luxury and we cannot afford to have all migrants from over seas living off our welfare system. We as displaced persons after world war 2 received nothing, had to work to survive.
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    12:30pm
    I agree the family home should be included in the assets test.
    vanda
    8th May 2015
    1:03pm
    I agree, these rules should also apply to politicians, after all the age of entitlement is over!!!!!!!!
    No the house shouldn't be included. Can you imagine the hassle and arguements of valuations.
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    1:22pm
    No problem valuating investment properties so why would their be a problem with houses?
    Kato
    8th May 2015
    1:28pm
    I thought Keneally was Canadian. And she did a real good job at the helm NOT.
    Sum1
    8th May 2015
    2:02pm
    Bonny
    So anyone with a home worth $1m would exceed the assets test of $823.000 and not qualify for any pension...tell posters what they are supposed to live on.
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    2:23pm
    $823,000 excludes the house so there would only be the no home owning rate. Currently there is only a difference of $146,500 between the two rates. Most pensioner homes would be worth more than this. This just shows how inequitable the non home owing rate is too.

    It certainly needs further changes including adding the house to make it more equitable.
    sirmikd
    9th May 2015
    8:39am
    BONNY - where are YOU coming from ? Are you a homeowner ? Do you receive any state pension ? do you receive any other benefits? Do you receive any superannuation.
    If you are not retired do you contribute "extra" to your super. If you can answer these questions I might better understand your comments and so might others who read them.
    MITZY
    9th May 2015
    6:45pm
    Kato: Kristina Keneally was for 19/12/1968 in Las Vega-Paradise, Nevada, USA but lived other States also. She comes from an Australian Mother and American Father. She married Ben Keneally in 1996. She joined the Labor Party in 2000 and at the same time became a naturalised Australian and prior to standing for election, renounced her U.S. citizenship, as required by Australian Law.
    She was first elected in 2003 and then was Premier of NSW (the first lady premier for NSW) from 2009 to 2011, I think she took over from Nathan Rees? She didn't win for Labor at the next State election, when we had a change of govt. to Barry O'Farrell's leadership.
    Brisand
    9th May 2015
    7:36pm
    The family home is already included in the assets test. It is currently assessed at $147000 rising to $175000 in the new rules
    The difference between the homeowner and non homowner.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2015
    3:14pm
    I am quite happy to support myself without the government's help. I will spend my money on having a darn good time and if it even gets to the stage where I run out of money then I have the "safety net" of the pension there for me.
    joni
    8th May 2015
    11:21am
    This is just the start of the government raiding our pension. Financial experts tell us that we need at least $1,000,000 in superannuation (or similar) to get a modest yearly income. Having now devalued the amount of assets we can have to receive pension means that as retirees use up their assets, they will eventually be on the pension anyway. All this new scheme does is to delay the inevitable. Retirees who have done the right thing and scrimped and saved all their lives are now paying the price! The publicity behind this campaign has been totally one sided and has not shown how much revenue the government receives from investment properties etc. How come we, the people (including retirees) pay for politicians little jollies, their superannuation, forever, once they have been in politics for a few years. I bet they will be giving themselves yet another big pay rise this year as they always do. Their misappropriate use of 'our' money seems to go unanswered. To them, the only good retiree is a dead one.
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    12:33pm
    I agree a person should use their money up first before getting the pension.
    sexeebear
    8th May 2015
    12:42pm
    why bonnie..
    theyve often scrimped and saved all their life as well as paid tax no justice
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    12:47pm
    I didn't scrimp but invested and no pension for me. Ooops maybe I could just trade up my million plus home for a much better one and take a couple of world trips first class.

    That is how silly and inequitable these pension rules are with the family home exempt from the asset test.
    KSS
    8th May 2015
    1:53pm
    But sexeebear, why did they scrimp and save? Surely it was so they wouldn't have to rely on the pension?
    Sum1
    8th May 2015
    2:20pm
    Ah!..Those responsible people who got an education..worked hard...paid there taxes...purchased a home...paid off the mortgage...reared their children without handouts...and salary sacrificed along the way to pay for your retirement. According to Bonny you are greedy...mean spirited...and have no right to your achievements or your home in later life.
    SUGGESTION...Lavish yourselves on overseas trips...reduce your Super to $451000..that way you will receive nearly all the Old Age Pension of $33.000pa plus reduced costs on Elec.. car rego etc.
    Your $451000 at min 5% draw down after 65 will give you another $22500 pa.
    ALL UP..$55,000 tax free and you can be labelled a BATTLER instead of one of those MEAN SPIRITED wealthy retirees who don't care about the "forever needy".
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    2:28pm
    A person living in a multimillion dollar home on a full pension is not "forever needy".
    Sum1
    8th May 2015
    2:38pm
    Multi Million now....How many Multi Million $ home owners get the OLD AGE PENSION?... you do have a penchant to exaggerate particularly when your argument is nearly threadbare.
    Adrianus
    8th May 2015
    2:54pm
    A person living in a $2m home in Sydney probably became $200,000 richer in the last 12 months. Why should the government take additional money from a hard worker who is struggling to repay a mortgage and give it to that homeowner?
    I find it interesting how only a couple of months ago everyone on this site was crying poor me and had the seat out of their pants. Now it would appear that we all have a $million in the bank? Some of you are willing to spend a few hundred thousand dollars in order to get a full pension. Do you realise how silly that sounds?
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    3:08pm
    Exactly Frank. Spending that couple of hundred dollars is not going to get the full pension if you are now just below the upper limit. Everyone needs to work out how much they are really losing.
    Aussiefrog
    8th May 2015
    5:16pm
    By reading Bonny's comments, I believe Bonny doesn't own a home and is bitterly jealous of those that own one, probably has had a life of living on the dole, never providing for oneself, just subsisting on hand out from the government.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2015
    5:31pm
    Joni is absolutely right. A homeowner couple with $82000 in assets will struggle to earn the equivalent of a pension from their investments. They certain won't be able to keep topping up their nest egg to keep pace with inflation. In no time at all, they will have eroded their capital and be on a part pension. It's stupid economics. In the long run, the cost of aged pensions will rise as a result. And it's grossly unfair to suggest that people who struggled to save for retirement should now hand their savings over to folk who didn't.
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:20pm
    FSS - anyone whose income derived from assets does not equate to pension should receive a part p0ension to top up.

    Not that hard...

    All this argument about the value of the family home is specious and meaningless - people need and deserve to eat at - a the very least - the bare minimum that is the same as everyone else's.

    Just because you are fortunate enough to live in an areas where your home is worth heaps - doesn't mean you are 'wealthy' enough to eat.

    Not that hard.

    I have virtually nothing to show for a lifetime of very hard and dedicated work - I still work at nearly 66 with multiple health problems - but even I can see that.

    "A person living in a multimillion dollar home on a full pension is not "forever needy". "

    How do you work that out? They can't eat the house.

    As I've said - pensioners and self-funded below a certain level of INCOME - not assets - are in the same boat.

    Why do you have such a problem working out the difference between income and assets?
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:20pm
    FSS - anyone whose income derived from assets does not equate to pension should receive a part p0ension to top up.

    Not that hard...

    All this argument about the value of the family home is specious and meaningless - people need and deserve to eat at - a the very least - the bare minimum that is the same as everyone else's.

    Just because you are fortunate enough to live in an areas where your home is worth heaps - doesn't mean you are 'wealthy' enough to eat.

    Not that hard.

    I have virtually nothing to show for a lifetime of very hard and dedicated work - I still work at nearly 66 with multiple health problems - but even I can see that.

    "A person living in a multimillion dollar home on a full pension is not "forever needy". "

    How do you work that out? They can't eat the house.

    As I've said - pensioners and self-funded below a certain level of INCOME - not assets - are in the same boat.

    Why do you have such a problem working out the difference between income and assets?
    sirmikd
    9th May 2015
    8:45am
    TREBOR said - "Just because you are fortunate enough to live in an areas where your home is worth heaps - doesn't mean you are 'wealthy' enough to eat."

    Trebor you just dont get it do you. You are expected to sell your house and go down market A] to put cash in the bank to live ob and B] so you dont leave so much wealth behind when you go !!!! Thats what the Govt and the less well off want you to do.
    PlanB
    9th May 2015
    10:21am
    I own my home and have been saving up to have maintenance down on it AND my self -- Medically
    TREBOR
    9th May 2015
    11:14pm
    Oh, I get is, sirmikd - you are absolutely right.

    Now I'll say this again for those who cannot keep up.

    Pension is a bought and paid for in advance Right, bounded ONLY by the rules on how much income you may derive from other sources. It is fully taxed already, unlike super with enjoys a nice little haven of 15%, and in the event a Pensioner earns more - their Pension is included as taxable income. i.e - double dipping by tax - something the government goes into shock over with income from dividends and from super.

    I intend to see that last point rectified and brought into line with the sweetheart super deal - i.ed. NO tax on income in total until you reach the ordained amount - be it $75k or whatever.

    Not only that - but again - you cannot eat a home, and it, too is a bought and paid for life investment that does not return you money.

    In any case - the end of all this is that under no circumstances should a person have to spend down to their last dollar to get a pension. that Pension is a Right, and available where they have an income and assets below a certain amount - an amount that needs to be set in concrete to prevent any further fiddling by morally and economically bankrupt governments who simply cannot handle their paid for responsibilities to the people.
    Peeved
    8th May 2015
    11:23am
    So this is the proposed changes to the pension. So doe's that mean it applies to everyone including Politicians Pensions.
    KSS
    8th May 2015
    12:45pm
    Well yes Peeved, but politicians were not getting the aged pension because their super alone would be too great anyway.
    Kato
    8th May 2015
    1:23pm
    KSS when a politician retires after having served the required terms do they receive a parliamentary pension indexed. A question. yes or no. or do they lose that upon retiring.
    KSS
    8th May 2015
    1:51pm
    Kato as you well know the parliamentary pension IS their super. They are in the fortunate position of having a very good pension fund. Frankly I don't begrudge that. There have always been jobs with better or worse pension funds and good luck to you if you are in one of them.

    What I do object to is the extras they can claim over and above their generous pension - the offices, the travel, the staff costs, and the rest for life in many cases. Their pensions are good enough for them to pay those things themselves, if they are needed, because they are still working. And IF they are working, those things become tax deductible business expenses especially if they set themselves up as a small business with an ABN. If they are not working, why do they need them?
    TREBOR
    9th May 2015
    11:16pm
    That is why the sweetheart deal needs to be changed to fit with the rest of the community. Whooever said - apart from them - that politicians should get a sweeter ride than those they represent?
    Carol
    8th May 2015
    11:37am
    It's so frustrating all the changing of the goalposts. They were wanting us all to put our money into Superannuation not so long ago so as not to be a burden on the aged pension, now it's not worth putting money into Super as it won't amount to anymore than on the full pension. But you can still have a million dollar home.
    The media seems to be one sided on this.
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    12:35pm
    That's why the house needs to be included in the assets test.

    Also we have be told for years that the pension was not sustainable when the baby boomers retired and as such we need to provide for our own retirement. The pension should only be a safety net not a right.
    retroy
    8th May 2015
    12:45pm
    Gee Bonny you are bitterly opposed to people who have saved hard and have a few dollars, and now you want to make them suffer more. This latest change is a kick in the guts for many folk, and your jealous rants are so un Australian.
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    1:21pm
    Jealous rant? If I'm not entitled to the pension myself why would I be jealous.

    The asset test covers cars etc so why not make it more equitable to cover houses too?
    Fred
    8th May 2015
    2:23pm
    Bonny so in your opinion a couple who bought a house when they first married, in a place that they could then afford and was not classed as a high class area. During this time they had their kids who grew up in that same house got married and moved on and the by now old couple still have the same house. The difference being that the area has now become very trendy with multi million dollar homes all over they place and this couple have been offered big bucks for the house but it is the land that is worth the money they after their life time together in that modest house should have their possible asset taken into account in relation to the Old aged pension. Their house alone may exclude them from any pension but nah stuff all their memories in that house you want them to sell it. You didn't work for the Tax office did you.
    Sum1
    8th May 2015
    2:33pm
    If it not a jealous rant Bonny.. then at best it is a very callous and indifferent appraisal of productive citizens who have contributed greatly to our society and now you wish to steal their life's work. The Communist Party or their namesake in Australia The Greens have a platform very commensurate with your absence of thinking.
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    2:34pm
    Maybe I am that person who bought wisely all those years back. As the pension system stands to get the pension I now need to upgrade my house and lose those memories too. This is why excluding the house from the asset test does not make sense to me.

    What the difference between one who just fails the asset test and one that just meets it? Lots of benefits.

    This is why the pension system is so inequitable.
    Sum1
    8th May 2015
    2:46pm
    Bonny ...You seem to want all those pensioners in their Multi Million Mansions to live off nothing or alternatively SELL UP. I guess losing their memories is not as important on their way down as you losing yours on your way up?
    Grumpy
    8th May 2015
    5:57pm
    Bonny you are looking at the house asset too simply. What value do you place on the house? The only way you can properly value it is when you have a buyer prepared to pay your price. We are trying to sell our modest house in a rural location which real estate agents value at between $350K and 400K. We have advertised on the web within that range. 2 hits in 6 months. So what is our house really worth? And you want to base our pension on that?
    Added to which the higher the valuation the quicker we will get down to full pension.
    What about an elderly couple who bought their house in a then modest suburb 60 years ago and that suburb has become very fashionable with the paper value of their home skyrocketing. By dint of factors beyond their control are you going to take their pension off them despite them qualifying on every other count for a full pension? Or are they supposed to sell up and move from the home which contains all the happy memories of their long lives simply to satisfy the government's view of sustainability of pensions?
    Oh, by the way, we lived on our own resources in retirement for 8 years without a sou from the government.
    Turn again Bonny!
    Adrianus
    8th May 2015
    6:23pm
    Grumpy in these proposed changes your house will be valued at $200k the same as a pensioner living in a $2.5m house in Sydney.
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:23pm
    Bonny has never borrowed for a car and only once for a house, which he/she repaid in six months. I'd say Bonny has no idea what reality is.
    sexeebear
    8th May 2015
    12:40pm
    well guys after this fiasco about pensions im advising my well paid professional kids to spend all their income and not to have super or contribute to it... reason.. in their old age their 40s now the govt will exclude them from getting anything so if they have nothing but a good time between now and their retirement age they will at least have a pension which is more than they will have otherwise and they and their kids will have had the best of everything no saving no scrimping leased luxury cars etc seeing the world first class with their kids.. another thing most of the assets are deemed to earn 5 % but rarely if ever do and then you pay tax on that income... were becoming a country of workers just working to keep the govt and immigrants in luxury. spend now while you can.. rent a house and stash your cash away where no one can find it and have a great time. worked for me who paid top rate of tax for over 40 years and now treated worse than an illegal immigrant
    Anonymous
    11th May 2015
    6:09pm
    I agree, sexeebear. What is the point of saving, unless you are rich enough to accrue $1.5 million+ (indexed to inflation) by retirement age. People who lose their pensions under the new assets test are being victimized for struggling to save a modest sum. They are NOT wealthy and they will struggle to avoid being far worse off than pensioners, so most will blow their money quickly to get back on benefits. Stupid Government proposal that will cost more in the long run!
    KSS
    8th May 2015
    12:41pm
    As I said earlier this week, I don't disagree with the policy per se, but the thresholds have been/may be set too low. For a single person, $550,000 in super i.e. income generating, will barely match the full single pension. And yet they will not be able to receive any of the other benefits that come with a part pension, they will have to pay the full amount as non-pensioners for everything. Ultimately they will end up on the full pension because they will not only spend the income generated but also the capital thus reducing the capacity to continue to generate sufficient income.

    However, I do think that if there are assets other than a modest home (i.e. you may have to downsize from a 5 bedroom house to say a 2 bed unit) and super, then the assets should be sold to fund retirement as necessary. After all isn't that what an investment property and other assets are for?
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:27pm
    Yes - it's a stupid short-term policy, and inevitably many who miss out and are required to down-size their nest egg in some way, will end up on the pension, thus totally negating the thrust of superannuation. Nothing new in Oz - both sides of government - what I call The Tag Team - are the same... no vision... no insight... no heart... no nothing but pure self-interest.
    jackie
    8th May 2015
    12:42pm
    Many young people will never have job security, will ever own a home and will probably never get a retirement pension. Let's thank our blessings. All politicians should be means tested for the pension too and qualify for the same amount.
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:28pm
    YES!
    Supernan
    8th May 2015
    12:49pm
    Agree with everyone who suggests those who saved the hardest & went with out to have a few pennies to retire with are always the ones attacked ! Disagree with those who say Pensioneers are always worse off under Labor. This is untrue & any amount of research will prove it. But so few people who comment on theses topics care about facts.

    One thing the Politicion dont seem to realise is our savings are our future - like someone said - affording a new car, maintaining our homes, providing for funerals, health care, etc. If they cut the Pensions so we have to drain our savings to survive, we'll be on full pensions sooner - not part Pensions, more of us will be in retirement homes sooner & our health care will all come out of the Public health System sooner. How short sighted !
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:29pm
    100%, Supernan.
    Fredklaus
    8th May 2015
    12:57pm
    I have not seen any figures for couples where only one is retired.i am retired but my wife can not get enough hours but all our assets are counted.I dont get a single pension and she is not entitled to any thing because she is regarded as employed.Time to upgrade to a more expensive house to get rid of assets.
    Alexii
    8th May 2015
    10:52pm
    I'm in much the same position except that my wife lost her job two weeks ago. With no income for her it makes no difference to the level of our part pension. When it comes to our home, we are on a small rural landholding and if we were to sell it, we then have to pay capital gains tax on the land outside of the 5 acres of our house area. Please no one tell me that we are lucky in having this land - people in town have smaller blocks but they are worth more than our piece of land and in town you don't have to pay capital gains tax on the land component of a house sale. To buy a place in town would cost as much or more than our place is worth (and then it's worth less because of the capital gains tax).So we are in a real no-win situation. Our part pension will go down; if we sell up then we lose some of our money because of the capital gains tax and we have less money to buy a place. But government apparently considers people such as we are as "wealthy". by the way, we'd love to be able to move to the coast, say at Wollongong but can't afford to do so.
    vanda
    8th May 2015
    12:57pm
    I'm a bit dumb!! Can someone please enlighten me -
    The asset threshold for couples owning own home is to be $375000
    but the next sentence says
    couples owning their own home with additional assets of $451,500 will receive and increased pension.
    Does this mean those already on a part pension will receive extra if under $461,500.
    I just can't get my head around it!!! What figure is used to calculate ones entitlement?
    KSS
    8th May 2015
    2:16pm
    anniemac, the lower figures are for those claiming a full pension. For a part pension couples can have up to $823,000 in assets in addition to their home.
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:32pm
    Depends, as I said, on what those assets are and whether or not they produce INCOME. Without INCOME you cannot eat.

    OK - you can have an argument with a $30,000 golf club membership.. but a caravan, a boat, good furniture, a new car? What are these 'assets' that are under scrutiny so very much?

    If it doesn't earn you some dollars - it is not a productive asset... argument ends.
    Fredklaus
    8th May 2015
    12:58pm
    All the people losing will have to find the cash to live.What will that do to markets?
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    1:39pm
    I can't see the market s be effected myself as most pensioners invest in cash products with low returns.
    gillygally
    8th May 2015
    2:22pm
    We will tighten our belts, spend a lot less and probably supermarkets will notice it first. Those at the top end of the asset levels will simply make excess money "disappear" until they find a new comfort zone.
    Grumpy
    8th May 2015
    6:01pm
    Bonny, Bull dust! To achieve a reasonable rate of return to prop up a part pension it is necessary to accept a degree of risk some way away from low risk.
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:35pm
    Grumpy - don't feed the trolls. anyone who claims with a straight face that they never borrowed for a car and paid off a house loan in six months is either a drug dealer or a certified lunatic, or a troll, though I cannot see the difference between a troll and a lunatic.
    gillygally
    8th May 2015
    1:03pm
    By my calculations - single pensioner asset level has been raised by 23.76% but for couples it is raised by 30.89%. Why a higher percentage? Appears to me that again singles are being targeted. All couples, hang on to your partners even if it means shoving them on life support. I'd be much, much better off giving a disadvantaged person a home and calling him "partner". Also think twice about downsizing because my new pension will not cover monthly village fees. Thanks Tony, won't be lighting any candles for you in church and I hope that other b... chokes on his cigar.
    Any takers!!!
    Sum1
    8th May 2015
    2:50pm
    So two people can live as cheaply as one. Try for some credibility when posting.
    Golden Oldie
    10th May 2015
    11:03pm
    A bit hard to hang on to your partners when they leave you to take up with new partners, or if they happen to die. I do't think digging up the bones is very productive. Taking up with a new partner is also fraught with danger. If rhe relationship does not work out, they can strip you of half your assets with a divorce or separation, and once you have retired it is impossible to rebuild your financial situation.
    Golden Oldie
    10th May 2015
    11:03pm
    A bit hard to hang on to your partners when they leave you to take up with new partners, or if they happen to die. I do't think digging up the bones is very productive. Taking up with a new partner is also fraught with danger. If rhe relationship does not work out, they can strip you of half your assets with a divorce or separation, and once you have retired it is impossible to rebuild your financial situation.
    bartpcb
    8th May 2015
    1:11pm
    So the changes won't come in till 2017?? So plenty of time to change it to something that will skim money off the pensioners then. Let's see, that will be Superannuation then won't it and a further lowering of the assets level. Then it will be a 'wealth tax' so that the kids get little or nothing. This is a right wing government, they don't believe in anything other than the 'money grab philosophy'.
    KSS
    8th May 2015
    2:01pm
    bartpcb, personally I don't care if the kids get nothing. Why should they? Retirees and nearly retirees who have saved and squirrelled away savings have done so for their retirement so they don't have to rely on the pension. Well OK then. Now use those savings. My only issue is that I think the cut off levels are too low. If you only have $550,000 in super or the bank, own your modest home and nothing else, you will not generate even the same income as a person on the full pension. You will lose two ways, your income is less, so you use your capital to make up the difference so generate less income. And second you pay full wack for everything because you cannot get any of the concessions available to those on a part pension. That's why I think the levels are being set too low.
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:39pm
    My kids have already been recession-proofed - and it cost me dearly. When I sell up the property etc, that is for me....

    See you on the Trans-Siberian Express...... on my way to my German/French property portfolio
    sirmikd
    11th May 2015
    10:10am
    This will be in my will.
    " Being of sound mind - I spent all my money while I was alive."
    Anonymous
    11th May 2015
    3:12pm
    Put in your will "I believe in reincarnation and I hereby leave all my money to myself to use on my return to this mortal coil."
    Tom Tank
    8th May 2015
    1:16pm
    It seems to me that those with significant savings and super expect to be able to live on the interest only from those. They do not take into account running down the capital as well over their retirement lifetime.
    According to figures published recently a significant proportion of retirees do increase their wealth each year.
    I am not trying to prove a point apart from highlighting some of the complications that exist in this debate.
    Many "self-funded" retirees benefited greatly from the benefits of salary sacrificing which was not available to the majority of the work force. There are other benefits that those on higher incomes received that were simply not available to those on average wages.
    Many people rely on the aged pension to exist while many have a small amount of super from which they receive a small top up to their pension.
    Reading this blog tends to suggest that many contributors simply do not understand the situation many people are in.
    The old saying of not understanding someone else's situation until you walk in their shoes applies.
    sirmikd
    11th May 2015
    10:27am
    quote -According to figures published recently a significant proportion of retirees do increase their wealth each year.

    That is to some extent necessary because your "fund" depreciates over time - that means $100,000 wont buy as much in 10/20 years time as it will today. Did you take that into account in your thinking. Not many people do.

    Salary sacifice is available to everyone just the same as putting a little into the bank every week is - if they want to.

    quote -Reading this blog tends to suggest that many contributors simply do not understand the situation many people are in.

    Many understand very well but it depends on exactly what situation you refer to. The average healthy worker has to make the best of things and plan for their future - obviously some will come out on top. I don't have a million dollars but I don't object to those who have.How do you think they got it ? Most will have worked hard. I know of people who have worked 70 hours a week year in year out running a small business which they have sold at retirement. I don't deny them that pension top up at all .
    Anonymous
    11th May 2015
    6:21pm
    And many retirees who are now forced to be self-funded DID NOT benefit from salary sacrificing or tax concession on super or negative gearing,or any other benefits. Many DID NOT have high incomes. Our weren't even nearly average. But we managed to save a small nest egg through being very frugal, and now we are to be forced to erode it to survive, and we'll be substantially worse off than pensioners - many of whom had much higher incomes than us but chose to spend their money living it up.

    Where's the fairness?
    Grateful
    8th May 2015
    1:20pm
    WE wonder why we are called the lucky country. Imagine having $1.15 million and no government pension, but, still receive a Health Benefits card with all the huge benefits that provides.
    Not surprising either that nearly 50% of people who retire and receive the Age pension, continue to ADD to their savings and assets after they retire. What does that tell you??
    Yes, too many people who do not NEED financial assistance are unnecessarily still receiving WELFARE!!!! These changes are certainly welcome, but, for mine, only a very modest start to what should be a major overhaul of the tax system AND the pension eligibility criteria. Now, who will have the guts to do that? Bet it won't be under Tony's rule while he continues to fight to retain HIS and Joe's jobs.
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    1:35pm
    Agree pension system needs to be overhauled as far too many people are now on welfare. Pension savings could then be used more productively in making the country better for everyone.
    adbob
    8th May 2015
    2:31pm
    I'm never sure whether you're shilling for the Spongers' party or the Liberal Party - oh - hang on - they're the same.

    The notion that Age Pension is welfare has been gradually spinned by both major parties. When we were all paying taxes (48.5% top rate on a fairly modest salary I recall at one time) we were told not to compare it with European countries (eg the UK) because they had to pay social security (eg NI in the UK) on top of that.

    The difference was that Age Pensions were and still are ring-fenced in those countries. Only in Australia (the spongers' paradise) have governments had the gall to renege on a whole generation of workers and savers in order to cover up for their ongoing current overspend.

    Up until 2007 there were breaks in the assets test for income streams which had the express intention of letting modest savers top up their Age Pension with income from their invested savings. Changing that was the start of it.
    Grateful
    8th May 2015
    4:19pm
    Not ANY "party" adbob. In fact, THAT is THE problem. Politics must be taken out of the welfare argument. All that needs to be done is to have a joint agreement on the definition of "need" and for everyone to abide by it. The Age pension IS a safety net for those who, for whatever reason, NEED help, just to survive. And as we see that nearly 50% of recipients of the Age pension continue to ADD to their assets AFTER retirement, they clearly do not NEED ANY safety net. There is still a HUGE opportunity for governments to make massive savings to the Budget by reducing that current $21 Billion being paid, probably HALF of which need not be paid!!!!!!! Think of the hospitals, schools and roads that could be bought with that?? Will take courage!! Where is that going to come from????
    Aussiefrog
    8th May 2015
    5:20pm
    Adbob you're spot on.
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:40pm
    adbob - 100%. You are first in line for the MA course....
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:43pm
    ..and that's 'social security' bought and paid for in advance - NOT 'welfare' which has become a swear word in the mouths of the conservatives of both sides who pretend to run this country.
    Adrianus
    8th May 2015
    1:28pm
    What I read from these possible changes is that 91,000 part pensioners will lose their pension but hold onto Commonwealth Seniors Card and Health Care Card.
    A further 235,000 pensioners will not get quite as much.
    However, the really great news is that the pension will increase for all other pensioners.
    Considering that the total aged pension recipients number 1,952,700 that means a whopping 1,626,700 pensioners will be better off.
    Now what's not to like about that?
    Anonymous
    8th May 2015
    5:37pm
    Yes Frank, it's great that those who scrimped and saved for a lifetime, going without luxuries to fund a comfortable retirement, will now be MUCH WORSE OFF than full pensioners unless they raid their capital, which will put them back on the pension and negate all the Goverment's savings. Taking from Peter to pay Paul. Or, put another way, taking from savers to give to big spenders. Stupid economics!
    Adrianus
    8th May 2015
    6:03pm
    Rainey the reality is that people like you can accrue more wealth. You have been smart enough to do it before, you can do it again. People who save more spend more because they have more to spend.
    On the other hand many in our community cannot hang on to a couple of bucks if their life depended on it. These are the people we need to help. It would be nice for our government to be more generous but there is no money and a look into the future isn't pretty. It's a tough climb out of this hole. Please don't be too hard on people for their ignorance or inability to succeed. We need to support those who are less fortunate, whatever their circumstances. I cannot let my neighbour starve simply because he didn't save some of his wages. I know many on here are threatening to destroy their wealth in an act of dumb obedience but I know that will not happen. Let's just be happy that we have a government which cares for those who cannot keep up.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2015
    6:28pm
    Frank, you are ignorant and ill-informed. I saved by living frugally and my hubby and I spent our evenings, weekends and time off building our own home around us, living in appalling conditions with 3 kids for 5 years, then selling and doing it again and again. I made all our clothes - can't now because my eyesight isn't up to it. Hubby made our furniture. Can't now because his body won't tolerate physical work. We kept old bomb cars going. Can't now - they are all computerized and he can no longer find his way around them. We CANNOT do it again.We are aging and in ill-health now. We have heavy health costs. Conversely, people all around us on full pensions lived it up in earlier life, took expensive holidays, gave money to their kids, invested in expensive houses, etc. I don't want anyone to starve, but it's grossly unfair that we now have to sacrifice our hard-saved nest-egg just to get by and we are going to be far worse off than pensioners. I am not hard on anyone, but the system is victimizing people like me, and depriving us of the benefit of years of going without to fund a better lifestyle in later years.
    Adrianus
    14th May 2015
    9:54am
    Rainey, do you think you and your family are the only ones who have done it tough?
    Do you honestly want to convince me that those who have nothing and live on a full pension have not had a hard road to retirement?
    Rainey, I may be ignorant and ill-informed but not so much that I cannot see large scale selfishness beyond belief. If you wanted middle class welfare you should not have supported Labor and the Greens. You believed all the lies about the Coalition favouring the rich. Suck it up Rainey and use your "nest-egg" for it's intended purpose.
    chertl
    8th May 2015
    1:55pm
    Not only will a lot of pensioners with assets lose out but we all will when Mr Abbott stings us for 1.3 billion dollars when he cuts our utilities like power, rates, transport and water. Always a hidden agenda behind that smirk of his.
    KSS
    8th May 2015
    2:05pm
    chertl, blame Mr Abbott for the things for which he is responsible. Those things you list are state based concessions. Witness the QLD government withdrew them, the NSW Liberal government guaranteed to keep them.
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    2:40pm
    That's why the health care card needs to be not linked to the pension.
    carvets
    8th May 2015
    2:02pm
    Does anyone know if these changes only apply to the Age Pension or is it applicable to the DSP as well. Just wondering if that extra $30/fortnight might be available to DSP recipients .
    KSS
    8th May 2015
    2:10pm
    Tune in next Tuesday, all will be revealed then!
    trired
    8th May 2015
    2:15pm
    Joe Hockey took $85 off me and now I'm supposed to be thrilled that I may get $30.00, whoopee.
    My mother didn't own anything and had next to nothing in the bank but when we applied for assistance for her to enter aged care $2.00 was taken from her pension and this was two weeks before she died, thanks JOE
    KSS
    8th May 2015
    2:58pm
    trired, how did Mr Hockey take $85 off you? If you are referring to the indexation of the pension, that has not and will not be changed under these new proposals. So you would be $30 ahead from 2017.
    Tom
    8th May 2015
    2:30pm
    In the Government proposed Budget the people most affected by the reduction in allowable assets are the Baby Boomer who would have started work in the 60s and at that time wished to pay into superannuation to build up funds so at the end of their working life may be able to have a reasonably comfortable life in retirement; minmising the provision of Government pensions. Not all people wanted to do this; some wished to party and “P..s. their income up the wall” rather than to save for the future and that’s Ok, each of us has the right do make their own decisions.

    The Government has the “Robin Hood approach to take from the supposedly rich and give to the poor , the people who have assets of say $5-600,000 are not rich by any test, they have been the middle income hardworking people who have in early life saved that little bit extra to put into super. If they are fortunate to have some disposable income (after the Global Financial Crisis and now cash investment providing almost nil) this being spent on a holiday or refurbishing of their home and in many instances helping out their children and grandchildren all a further contribution to the economy. No doubt pensioners on the breadline need help, however please do not penalise the people who have contributed so mush over many years, the middle income families who just wanted to save that little bit extra
    Hawkeye
    8th May 2015
    7:32pm
    Tom, you are obviously only a youngster who wasn't around in the 60's and so you don't have any clue as to the norms of those times.

    Super was a perk of office reserved for the businessmen, executives and politicians (yes, that's correct, only the rich). It was simply not available to a normal PAYE worker.

    The normal worker's future was tied up in the pension, which was paid for from a proportion of taxes (and still is). It is not, and has never been "welfare".
    It was imperative that retirement planning was based around maximizing access to that pension. There was no other alternative. If one could pay off all debts (including mortgages), and put away a little extra before retirement, then this made life on the pension a little easier.

    Successful retirement takes a lifetime of planning, which is not possible when governments keep moving the goalposts to suit their own ends (whether they need more cash or more votes). To this end, any changes made today should only apply to those who start work tomorrow or after.

    Also, perhaps your circle of friends includes people who “P..s. their income up the wall” but I certainly do not know any.


    But anyway, we need to put this and all the sudden changes of attitude by by Tony and Joe into their true perspective.

    THIS BUDGET IS A TRIAL ELECTION BUDGET.
    They are trying to get us to think they are not as bad as we thought.

    IF THIS BUDGET IS WELL RECEIVED THEY WILL BUG ON A DOUBLE DISSOLUTION ELECTION TO TRY TO GAIN CONTROL OF THE SENATE BEFORE REVERTING TO THEIR TRUE COLOURS AGAIN.
    Then we will really be in for it.
    Anonymous
    9th May 2015
    6:31am
    I did not have a lifetime of superannuation but I did save something every payday and when superannuation came in I paid into that and five years befoe retirement I upped my contributions to 10% as I became aware that I would not have enough in my fund. There was a lot in the press at the time that people would have to plan for their retirement. I took heed.
    adbob
    8th May 2015
    2:35pm
    When the current government spun the line "the age of entitlement is over" many might have thought "watch out you spongers - they're coming to get you".

    Wrong.

    They should have thought "watch out you hard workers and savers - it's you they're really after".

    Spongers and spendthrifts - not to worry - here - have a bit more.
    Super rich - your tax breaks are safe - they won't be touched.
    SteveR
    8th May 2015
    2:46pm
    I think the proposals are really tough on certain types of pensioners. For instance, my mother is 95 and in aged care. I've had to sell her home to raise money to pay off the bond (or whatever it's called now) and to raise money for her to live on (house wasn't much of a prospect as rental property). With these changes she'll lose all her pension (although she has bugger all in assets outside of the money from the house. $750,000 seems like a lot of money until you try and live off it via conservative investments. For example, if you put it in term deposits at 2.5%, that's an income of $18,750 - not exactly a King's ransom. People have a very distorted view of what makes you wealthy these days.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2015
    6:15pm
    Sorry,Steve. Your broad statement is right, but if your mother is in aged care and has enough money from the sale of her house to be excluded from a pension, she's wealthy. A pensioner in aged care has all their needs met for 85% of the pension. If they have a little cash, and they've paid the accommodation bond, they are well off. On the other hand, someone aged 65 with just over the threshold is not well off and will struggle to be as comfortable as pensioners. You are right that people have a very distorted view of what makes you wealthy. And the Centrelink tests are seriously unfair. The proposed changes make things much worse and victimize the most diligent and responsible savers while rewarding the extravagant and obscenely indulging the super-rich.
    Juris
    8th May 2015
    2:56pm
    My wife and I virtually don'. t have'any assets worth any fortune and our house which we own is not in the million dollar class. We are thankful for what we have and have adjusted our lives to live within the pension we received. Of course we would like more so we can go on overseas holidays, have flash cars, a tv in every room including the outhouse. We are most grateful for having the opportunity to live comfortably in our old age without being greedy, remembering that greed in the past has got us all in this financial strife as a nation. We must learn to stop whinging and be thankful for what we have got. Always blame the pollies, not the unions and the greed of the 70's etc.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2015
    3:31pm
    Yes I agree good comments
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:53pm
    I think the issue is that many pensioners and self-funded would just like to be able to view their situation as solid and reliable in their retirement.

    For instance, I could plan a nice holiday overseas once a year - IF I KNEW that the goal posts would not forever be changed to suit every government that cannot handle our money, but see is as an endless slush fund for their ideologies and their mates and selves - and all this other guff is just that - guff to cover incompetent management of the economy.

    As it is - since I have no idea what next week will bring in terms of 'government policy' - I might as well drink and gamble, and hope for the best, rather than taking the long view I took for so many years, and provide for a future in which I can have no faith.

    People retire with the expectation that things will remain stable and there will be no or less stress.... government in this country run on stress management - if there is no problem, find one to justify your own existence.

    Dumb As....

    PROMISES made by government - I will remind you again - are promises o GOVERNMENT - not of 'party' .... and are to be kept by government no matter its colour.

    There endeth the lesson.
    Anonymous
    9th May 2015
    6:33am
    well said Juris!
    Teunis
    8th May 2015
    3:07pm
    Bonney, it seems to me you would like to see the pension system way more complicated. How does one value the house? A milion dollar house in Sydney might compare to a 250k house in Hobart or Wagga Wagga which could translate to even less in some other bush town. Do folk in different regions therefore have different pension rates?
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    3:22pm
    No it's not that complicated. If a house is over a certain value with rest of your assets then you can still get the pension but it is deducted from you estate when you die.

    Is it fair that a person in Sydney is able to leave an expensive house to their children after collecting the full pension whereas someone in the bush leaves very much less?

    Is it fair that I can live in a cheap house or caravan and claim an expensive one as my main residence?

    I just think the house not being included in the asset test is inequitable.
    Juris
    8th May 2015
    3:34pm
    Bonny, you're spot on!
    CindyLou
    8th May 2015
    4:12pm
    I certainly agree with Teunis, further, the person in a big capital city has greater expenses in elation to rates etc.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2015
    4:43pm
    I agree with that Bonny. Have said for ages that if a person is living in a home worth millions what is wrong with repaying the amount of pension they have received when they die.
    It could easily be worked out I think.
    Juris
    8th May 2015
    5:23pm
    Poor CindyLou should live in the country for a while and see how much the cost of living is compared to the city. Council rates are only a very small part of the cost of living CindyLou. Try petrol, food and the list could go on and on. City folk omg!
    CindyLou
    8th May 2015
    5:52pm
    Dear Juris, with the deepest respect I need to add that I am not a 'city folk' ...in relation to food, from my observation most country areas have supermarkets that are reasonably priced (travelled around oz last year), petrol is of course more expensive in some regions. In relation to other costs, my observations through conversations with city folk suggests that prices for tradesmen etc are very pricey in the city and that travel in the city via vehicle frequently incurs road tolls and heavy traffic.
    Alexii
    8th May 2015
    11:10pm
    Yes, a great idea to repay the pension when they die - you are talking about politicians repaying their fabulous pensions (and other perks) when they die, aren't you? If it's ordinary Joe blog/Jane Doe pensioners then NO, NO, NO!
    Anonymous
    11th May 2015
    3:18pm
    Politicians get superannuation not the aged pension.
    CindyLou
    8th May 2015
    3:58pm
    The old Aesop fable ... 'the ant and the grasshopper' is an interesting read in relation to this topic
    Anonymous
    9th May 2015
    6:27am
    very true CindyLou.
    Some may not have heard of the fable so I have included a link to read about it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ant_and_the_Grasshopper
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    4:13pm
    Further reading

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/budget-2015-age-pensions-reform-job-is-not-finished/story-fn59niix-1227344737211

    http://resources.news.com.au/files/2015/05/07/1227344/589652-150508pension.pdf
    vanda
    8th May 2015
    8:46pm
    Don't have access to the Australian but able to view the 2nd article which was brilliant.Thanx.
    vanda
    8th May 2015
    8:46pm
    Don't have access to the Australian but able to view the 2nd article which was brilliant.Thanx.
    CindyLou
    8th May 2015
    5:07pm
    A revised version of the ant and the grasshopper fable for a bit of light entertainment

    The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building and improving his house and laying up supplies for the winter.
    The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
    Come winter, the squirrel is warm and well fed.
    The shivering grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.
    The end.

    The Australian Version
    The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up for winter.
    The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
    Come winter the squirrel is warm and well fed.
    A social worker finds the shivering grasshopper, calls a press conference and demands to know why the squirrel should be allowed to be warm and well fed whole others less fortunate, like the grasshopper, are cold and starving.
    The ABC shows up to provide live coverage of the shivering grasshopper, with cuts to a video of the squirrel I. His comfortable warm home with a table laden with food.
    The Australian press informs people that they should be ashamed that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so while others have plenty.
    The Greens, the Labor Party, Greenpeace, Animal Rights and The Grasshopper Housing Commission of Australia demonstrate in front of the squirrels house.
    The ABC, interrupting a cultural festival special from St Kolda with breaking news, broadcasts a multi cultural choir singing 'we shall overcome'.
    Bill Shortan rants in an interview with Laurie Oakes that the squirrell got rich off the backs of grasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the squirrel to make him pay his 'fair share' and increases the charge for squirrels to enter Melbourne city centre.
    In response to pressure from the media, the government drafts the Economic Equity and Grasshopper Anti-Discrimination Act, retrospective to the beginning of summer. The squirrels taxes are reassess.
    He is taken to court and fined for failing to hire grasshoppers as builders, for the work he was doing on his home, and an additional fine for contempt when he told court the grasshopper did not want to work.
    The grasshopper is provided with a Housing Commission house, financial aid to furnish it and an account with a local taxi firm to ensure he can be socially mobile.
    The squirrels food is seized and re-distributed to the more needy members of society, in this case the grasshopper.
    Without enough money to buy more food, to pay the fine and his newly imposed retrospective taxes, the squirrel has to downsize and start building a new home.
    The local authority take over his old home and utilize it as a temporary home for asylum seeking cats who had hijacked a plane to get to Australia as they had to share their country of origin with mice.
    On arrival they tried to blow up the airport because of Australia's apparent love of dogs.
    The cats had been arrested for the international offense of hijacking and attempted bombing but were immediately released because the police fed them pilchard instead of salmon whilst in custody.
    Initial moves to make them return to their own country were abandoned because it was feared they would face death by mice.
    The cats devised a scam to obtain money from people's credit cards.
    A 60 minutes special shows the grasshopper finishing up the last of the squirrel's food, though spring is months away, while the Housing Commission house he is I crumbles around him because he hasn't bothered to maintain it. He is shown to be taking drugs.
    Sarah Hanson Young blames inadequate government funding for the grasshopper's drug 'illness'.
    The cats seek recompense in the Australian courts for their treatment since arrival in Australia.
    The grasshopper gets arrested for stabbing an old dog during a burglary to get money for his drug habit. He is imprisoned but released immediately because he has been in custody a few weeks. He is placed in the care of the probation service to monitor and supervise him.
    Within a few weeks he has killed a guinea pig in a botched robbery.
    A commission of enquiry, that will eventually cost $10 million and state the obvious, is set up.
    Additional money is put into funding a drug rehabilitation scheme for grasshoppers.
    Legal aid for lawyers representing asylum seekers is increased.
    The asylum seeking cats are praised by the government for enriching Australia's multicultural diversity and dogs are critised by government for failing to befriend cats.
    The grasshopper dies of an overdose.
    The usual sections of the press blame it on the obvious failure of the government to address the root causes of despair arising from social inequity and his traumatic experience of prison.
    The Greens and the Labor Party call for the resignation of the Prime Minister.
    The cats are paid $1 million each because their rights were infringed when the government failed to inform them there were mice in Australia.
    The squirrel, the dogs and the victims of the hijacking and bombing, the burglaries and robberies have to pay an additional percentage on their credit cards to cover losses, their taxes are increased to pay for law and order, and they are told they will have to work beyond 65 because of a shortfall in government funds.

    This then pretty much sums up what's happening in Australia today, Lucky Country ??
    THE END


    Above is a little light reading For a Friday afternoon, cheers !
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    5:54pm
    No wonder the squirrel has set up a trust owned by a company for all his assets. Squirrel now owns nothing.
    Patriot
    8th May 2015
    6:31pm
    CindyLou
    I LOVE the truth and You have certainly "served" it in a very humorous way.
    Love it! If you're an Old F*rt" you've missed your calling in life!
    CindyLou
    8th May 2015
    11:29pm
    Hi Patriot, I cannot take ownership of above 'story', am unsure of the identity of the author it was forwarded to me and I found it amusing.

    One of my favorite bits is the $10 million commission of enquiry that states the obvious.
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:59pm
    You amaze me, Bonny - you are an equal oppotunity knocker.. first you lambast those who have 'grasshoppered' then you lambast those who have trust funds to hide income...

    Obviously you have the pulse of every evil in society - yet you seem to err on the side of positing some as worthless peons and others are 'bornj to rule'....
    Chrissy L
    8th May 2015
    5:16pm
    Whether you agree with the Government proposed changes to the Aged Pension or not. The Aged Pension should not be looked at in isolation. It should be considered together with other major issues affecting older people including, but not limited to Aged Care Costs, Superannuation rules, Employment opportunities, Age discrimination in the workplace,Health care costs, rules affecting people in retirement villages and their ongoing fees. Some people receive Centrelink rent assistance, some do not.
    As older people reach retirement age, they need to have the correct information available to make sound decisions for their retirement. All these "thought bubbles" and "flip flop policy" on the run, I think is a sign
    of the caliber of Politicians we have on both sides of the political fence. Part of a good Democracy should be having a fair and equitable policy for its' older citizens and all Politicians should make it a priority to achieve this and give us some certainty, so we can plan with some peace of mind for our retirement years.
    *Imagine*
    8th May 2015
    5:53pm
    Fast forward to January 2017. Two Australian couples. The first couple live in a $1.2 million home and own a $150 000 yacht. They are driving their new luxury car with reduced registration fees. They have $25 000 pa income from their $500 000 annuity bought in 1999 (asset test free). Total income about $60 000. They are happy and all smiles, because their only Centrlink assessable assets are their car and boat, so their full pension has just increased at the expense of the second couple. Their concession card enables them to be bulk billed by doctors, and access concession tickets to events.

    The second couple have a 20yr old car on full registration. They bought a 100 acre bush block for $50 000 in the seventies and built a basic house on it. Centrelink value the property at $600 000 but allow the house and house block, worth $250 000 as asset test exempt. The remaining acreage is an asset valued at $350 000 even though it cannot be subdivided. They too have $500 000 in super, now assessed as an asset by Clink. The assessable assets of this couple are in excess of the $820 000 threshold and they are unable to access even a tiny part pension, despite having a fraction of the total wealth of the first couple. They also lost the concession card along with all the benefits that it provides. They must now live off 5% of their super ($25 000 pa) which is about 60% of the pension. They will be forced to leave their beloved property in order to survive, or wait until they have used up all of their capital until they get a full pension. Good job they know about growing vegetables or they would go hungry.

    Nick Xenophon, ACOSS and the Abbot Government believe that this asset test is fair and equitable. Strange indeed! Perhaps there would be a better argument for basing pensions on income not assets, I wonder why it is not being discussed?
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    7:15pm
    Well said and I'm glad I'm not the only one that sees how inequitable the current pension system has become.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2015
    7:16pm
    Smarter people than I who have more information re this are in agreement it would seem.
    Jude
    8th May 2015
    6:55pm
    How about waiting for the budget to actually be announced and seeing what the proposed changes are!
    Fredklaus
    8th May 2015
    7:38pm
    After reading all these posts,if this is a indication of feelings of retires , we are in for a massive correction
    Dotty
    8th May 2015
    8:43pm
    So does this mean that if you are only surviving on the Pension and don't have any asset's or own a home that you get nothing extra ?? Dotty
    LiveItUp
    8th May 2015
    9:04pm
    http://resources.news.com.au/files/2015/05/07/1227344/589652-150508pension.pdf
    Hawkeye
    8th May 2015
    9:23pm
    This is a repost of part of a reply I posted above. I think it needs highlighting in it's own right;

    We need to put this and all the sudden changes of attitude by by Tony and Joe into their true perspective.

    THIS BUDGET IS A TRIAL ELECTION BUDGET.
    They are trying to get us to think they are not as bad as we thought.

    IF THIS BUDGET IS WELL RECEIVED THEY WILL BUNG ON A DOUBLE DISSOLUTION ELECTION TO TRY TO GAIN CONTROL OF THE SENATE BEFORE REVERTING TO THEIR TRUE COLOURS AGAIN.
    Then we will really be in for it.
    Sum1
    9th May 2015
    11:21am
    Spoken like a true Labor Voter.
    Sum1
    9th May 2015
    11:21am
    Spoken like a true Labor Voter.
    PlanB
    9th May 2015
    11:54am
    You are so DEAD right there Hawkeye SO RIGHT!
    Hawkeye
    12th May 2015
    9:36am
    Sum1
    Spoken like a true Liberal voter.

    And how wrong you are about my voting. I am in fact a swinging voter. Unlike most, I don't just vote Labor or Liberal because daddy always did. I am one of the rare breed who actually think about the pros and cons of each parties promises, policies, and past performance before casting my vote accordingly.

    And how I do that is to take the "how to vote" card from the party I least want in, and vote in the reverse order of their card.
    And for the Senate I vote for all the independents first and the major parties last, because I can't see any form of democracy in a parliament where the same party controls both houses. I never vote "above the line" because that only panders to the corruption of the two-party system.
    PlanB
    12th May 2015
    9:53am
    Thats what I do Hawkeye
    Hawkeye
    12th May 2015
    11:14am
    Goodonya PlanB
    Now if the rest of the country would start thinking before voting, we just might do away with having Rupert and Gina running OUR country.
    eggles01
    8th May 2015
    10:21pm
    in 4 months time i turn 73 yrs i see in these comments that about 80% of them belong to the greed that goes with the richer than others,in my working days the only people that ever heard of superannuation was working for the government and those that were in the military,true we spent our money but think of what the economy would have been like if we (the non super) also had the opportunity of packing away our wages every week who would have kept the economy going the ones that only contributed a small amount to the economy it would have been like living in a minor depression, you sound like my uncle who was lucky enough to have a friend at school whose father worked for the Sydney water board and he got him and his son into there in the plumbing section as trainees he worked there into his 70s as he was a teacher there and when he retired he had a multi million super of which he drew equivalent to a government pension from it and he used $80 per week and the same for my aunt also paid the council rates on his 2 houses and everything that was left from their pension he rolled it back into the super and they screamed because they had to pay full costs of medicines and also their driving licenses and now they get their discounts, how can any of you wingers out there say that was not GREED
    Adrianus
    9th May 2015
    7:19am
    Good post eggles01. That is human nature. If only we had the kind of leadership in government which could prove there is no need for that selfish behaviour.
    TREBOR
    8th May 2015
    11:12pm
    Depends on what you define as 'wealthy'. I have nothing near the amount required to lose pension - but I can see very clearly the position of those who have enough to reach that position.

    As I've argued before - if the 'asset' is an income-bearing one.. fine.... that is already catered for.

    If it is NOT an income-bearing asset - why is it included at all?

    After retirement - ONLY income should be considered. You can't eat assets that return you nothing, and I would sincerely hope that we do not yet live in a country in which every person who receives a government ENTITLEMENT is forced to spend every cent and dispose of every asset before achieving it.

    We already have that situation with the unemployed - hello - unemployment just went up again and under-employment is about that times 2.5.

    Yet anyone wishing to go on No-Start is required to expend all avenues before earning the RIGHT to be paid for being unemployed in this modern age.

    Again - I am not in that situation - but I can see the very real evil involved in the current handling of it.

    Pensions and unemployment benefits are a Right - not a privilege - and are paid for already out of income tax.

    Why are we even discussing changes to pensions? All those who are self-funded already paid for their pension with levies on their income - why do they pay for it again - especially via assets that bear them no income?

    Again I raise the question - is it the aim of government here (party not included since both are equally blind to reality) to force pensioners to down-size home etc and thus push more properties onto the only market currently viable - the housing turnover market?

    That shows the sheer paucity of real government here and the audacity of those in it who pursue their self-interest6s over their sworn duty.

    Nothing new in Australia....
    Alexii
    8th May 2015
    11:31pm
    I think the aim is to keep people who are in the lower income brackets and lower middle income brackets poor and to make them poorer. Another aim is to ensure they have nothing left on their deaths to leave to their off spring unlike the wealthy who will always have plenty to leave to their off spring (the Gina types are at the extreme end of this of course). So in effect, those who are in the bottom half of the income levels leave nothing to their kids so they in turn will not be abe to accumulate much. This is why we are experiencing an ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor (and not quite so poor too) here in Australia - sounds like the USA.
    Like some one said earlier on in the comments, that opposition doesn't mind the government "lifting" in other words doing the "dirty work" as they will, when regaining government use the excuse their hands are tied. I've been saying this for years - the opposition (doesn't matter which party) claps it's hands in glee when government passes laws that are unpopular.
    Anonymous
    9th May 2015
    6:24am
    I believe the aim of the changes is to ensure the aged pension is sustainable into the future. Changes had to be made.
    Justsane
    9th May 2015
    2:29pm
    Yes, Radish, but you know that is just spin. The aging of the population is just an excuse. The government could make the same savings, even a lot more, by increasing the tax rate on Super for the wealthy who are never going to need the age pension. Also, in the future, more people will be relying more on their Super and less on the pension to fund their retirement, that is if the government doesn't keep stupidly lowering the threshold for the assets test.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2015
    12:57pm
    Why would a government, whether Labor or Liberal makes these changes if they were unnecessary.

    It does not make sense to me.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2015
    6:03pm
    Radish, it's not going to make the pension sustainable. It's going to INCREASE costs in the future because it's going to grind people down and destroy incentives to save. It's a stupid measure that will defeat the stated purpose completely and victimize those affected unfairly, making many worse off than their pensioner counterparts and driving them to spend up big to get back to receiving benefits.

    And the changes are NOT necessary. The Greens have urged sensible, fair changes to superannuation tax concessions that will minimally impact on all but the very rich but will generate huge budget savings, restore fairness, and restore incentives to save. Of course Hockey has rejected them, but his reasoning makes no sense at all. This Government is irresponsible and grossly unfair.
    Adrianus
    14th May 2015
    9:57am
    Rainey, if you think incentive comes in the form of welfare then you are ignorant and ill-informed.
    eggles01
    8th May 2015
    11:26pm
    THERE IS ONE BIG QUESTION,IS THIS REALLY GOING TO BE IN THE BUDGET OR COULD IT BE A TESTER FOR REACTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC,THERE IS STILL 4 DAYS BEFORE THE ACTUAL BUDGET READ SO WHO KNOWS THERE MAY BE 2 BUDGET PAPERS,GOVERNMENTS HAVE SENT THESE TEASERS OUT BEFORE TO FIND OUT THE VOTING PUBLIC REACTIONS,
    sirmikd
    9th May 2015
    8:48am
    Yes its what is proposed for the budget - you can read it all here on the Liberal website.
    http://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2015/05/07/fairer-access-more-sustainable-pension?utm_source=Liberal+Party+E-news&utm_campaign=519b297464-Fairer+Pensions+7+May+15&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_51af948dc8-519b297464-57838641
    sirmikd
    9th May 2015
    8:51am
    As this address doesn't show here as a link just copy all the text and paste it into your address bar and hit enter. Just thought Id clarify if someone wasnt sure how to get to the liberal site.

    http://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2015/05/07/fairer-access-more-sustainable-pension?utm_source=Liberal+Party+E-news&utm_campaign=519b297464-Fairer+Pensions+7+May+15&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_51af948dc8-519b297464-57838641
    sirmikd
    9th May 2015
    9:06am
    I posted this elsewhere but feel its important to highlight. Many people are pointing out that big bank balances dont earn a lot for them to live on. True . But they are overlooking what happens to their capital over time due to inflation. Example :

    Say you had 500,000 in the bank [ ignoring interest received for the moment] if you do nothing for say fifteen years you will still have 500,000 in the bank - right ? But it WONT BUY YOU WHAT IT WILL TODAY. Its future buying power will only be around $370 000 assuming a fixed inflation rate of 2%. This means your money has to earn much more than inflation to give you an income.

    Another thing I wonder about is the requirement to advise Centrelink any time assets rise or fall more than $2000 [ so they can adjust your pension.] Given that for many with super now being assessed, assets can fluctuate wildly with the stockmarket - should that be reported as a change in assets ? The markets can add/wipe off 10 or 20 thouaand to your assets overnight !!
    Anonymous
    11th May 2015
    5:58pm
    Centrelink staff tell me they will only accept an end of year audited statement as evidence if your money is in a super fund, so it could take up to 18 months after a fall in assets to below the threshold before a pension is approved.

    Given that advisers are telling me a couple currently 65 need $1.2 million to retire on an income equal to pension + benefits if they anticipate living to 85, how can someone with $823,000 be deemed ''wealthy''? Surely age is a major factor here. A 90-year-old couple with $825,000 would be wealthy. A 65-year-old couple have to find a way to make that money last through up to 30 years of inflation, and under the new rules they will have to draw on their capital when they should be topping it up annually to keep up with inflation. Ultimately, they will cost the government more than if they received the current modest pension and benefits for the first decade of retirement so they could keep up with inflation.

    The proposed changes are unfair in the extreme and will leave many with modest savings worse off than pensioners - or drive them to spend, upgrade their homes, etc to qualify for the pension, thus defeating the Government's objectives. The proposal is seriously flawed and should be abandoned in favour of a proper, comprehensive retirement system review.
    DaveL
    9th May 2015
    9:49am
    For all the talk about this decision, it is just a one off. There is no announcements on overall retirement income planning and how it will fit in with the Tax Review. Dividend imutation, GST there is still a stone of silence.
    Under the new rules a couple with $325,000 in super as their ownly asset could end with the following Pension $33,716, super return 5% $16,250 and other beneifts say $2,500 for $52,466 p.a.
    A million dollar pensioner couple getting 5% would receive $50,000 and no benefits. This is simple stuff, but why not upgrade the house for comfort -lifts, electric doors and easier to use accessories.
    If the government was after a one off part solution, then reverse the 2007 tax cuts. More money in that.
    PlanB
    9th May 2015
    10:24am
    This Government seem not to have a clue and keep changing their mind and keeping us all hanging frightened to spend a cent
    sirmikd
    14th May 2015
    9:18am
    And we know why ! This is not a review of the pension system but a kneejerk reaction to cutting expenditure. The Government has claimed they are "spending too much on pensions" The question is "how much is TOO much ?
    The worst thing in my view is they have done nothing to limit the tax concessions on super contributions so those on high incomes say[ 200,000 PA and more ] Very convenient !!!
    SWK
    9th May 2015
    3:23pm
    Have a look at how Norway tackles the pension "problem" They do not demonise the pensioners an some of our politicians do, they actively encourages the people and employers to provide a scheme that will yield a living wage after work, Read on

    Pension System Design

    The Norwegian system consists of a public pension system, a mandatory occupational pension system and personal pension saving arrangements.


    The Norwegian pension market is a small market dominated by insurance products. About 75% of private pensions in the Norwegian pension market are funded by insurance contracts and the top five insurance companies control about 94% of the market.

    Public Pensions

    The state pension scheme provides a satisfactory pension level based on a flat-rate basic pension and an earnings-related supplement that covers all employed and self-employed persons. People employed in Norway or who have been living in the country for more than one year are required to join the system.

    Employee contributions amount to 7.8% of income whereas the employer pays 14.1%. In contrast to most European countries a maximum earnings ceiling does not apply, consequently total income is charged.

    The statutory retirement age is 67. Estimates by the OECD state a gross replacement ratio for average earners of approximately 60%.

    In 1966 Norway established the National Insurance Scheme Fund (NIS Fund), which was intended to be the funding vehicle for reserves stemming from a surplus in the social security system. To further strengthen Norway's financial position to meet future pension liabilities, the Petroleum Fund was established in 1990.

    Both funds merged in 2006 to make up the Government Pension Fund that consists of two parts, the Government Pension Funds - Global and the Government Pension Funds - Norway. The latter reflects the old NIS Fund.

    Occupational Pensions

    Pension provision is compulsory in Norway under specific conditions that are related to the number of employees and their working hours. The new legislation led to a strong increase in sales of mandatory pension products, thus encouraging new providers to enter the market.

    Traditionally, defined benefit (DB) schemes were the prevailing form of occupational pension provision. Large employers predominantly offer them. However, defined contribution (DC) schemes are becoming increasingly popular. A number of banks and investment funds have entered the market as potential providers for such schemes. But insurance schemes are still the dominating financing vehicle.

    Occupational pension schemes can be funded through a group insurance arrangement or a pension fund. Insurance is the dominating financing vehicle for occupational pension plans although the number of pension funds is growing rapidly.

    1. Pension funds

    There are no special regulations regarding the appointment of an investment manager for pension funds. The market is open for external financial service providers located and licensed in other EEA countries.

    According to the 2001 pension legislation, DB schemes have to be fully funded at all times.

    Employer contributions towards an approved DB pension plan are fully tax deductible with no limit on the level of contribution. However, total benefits from both first and second pillar pensions are limited to 100% of salary up to six times the basic amount plus 70% of salary between six times and 12 times the basic amount. In order to receive an approved status, a defined benefit plan must not provide pensions on a pensionable salary in excess of 12 times the basic amount.

    For DC plans the contribution rate is limited to 5% of salary between two and six times the basic amount plus 8% of salary between six and 12 times the basic amount. These contributions are fully tax deductible.

    Benefits paid from a tax-qualified pension plan are treated as taxable income of the recipient.

    2. Group Insurance Contracts

    Insurance is the dominant financing vehicle for occupational pension plans. About 75% of private pensions are funded through insurance contracts. Tax treatment of contributions and benefits is the same as for pension funds.



    Additional sources:

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) - http://www.oecd.org
    peedee
    13th May 2015
    10:58am
    Having recently visited Norway I was impressed how they manage their future funds. I think here are 5 pillars including health, infrastructure,pensions, education. What was impressive was that legislation required that only the interest in the funds could be spent thus preserving the integrity of the funds. All natural assets such as oil had to be marketed through Norwegian based companies thus ensuring profits were retained for the owners of the assets i.e the Norwegian people. Contrast that with the Australian model of how we treat profits on our natural resources. Unfortunately the stupidity of Australian policy and the short sightedness of our politicians will see us forever destined to be just a hole in the ground to be exploited.
    Brisand
    9th May 2015
    11:07pm
    My mistake the figures should be current $146500 new $200000.
    peedee
    13th May 2015
    10:27am
    This is a well thought out policy initiative not because it is sensible or fair but because it is a vote winning populist attack on those perceived to be rich. This was started by a misleading (apalling) submission by ACOSS purporting that persons with $1 mill in savings were earning $100k and getting a pension. This budget is a populist gutless attack on 250,000 retirees that do not have a voice as against 3 million so called hard ups that do have voting power. 3 million votes vs 300,000 votes. Work it out for yourselves. This is not about fairness this is about perceptions and votes. Note the savings in the program are relatively insignificant. Before I go on I need to state that these changes does not really affect me too much. This new system takes away incentive and as stated many will be spending down and come roaring back into the system (at a far greater rate and cost to the government) as was previously the case.
    Now for the maths. New system allows those with 375K to claim full pension which is around 37k with allowances, and is indexed. If you were to invest the income producing portion of the $375k at 5% leaving the principal alone ( assuming around 300k would be income producing) would allow the battler a tax free partially indexed income of $52k.
    Now the rich dudes with 823k. As the new system does not begin until 2017 the 823k will reduce due to inflation to around 780k in todays terms , 80k of which is non income producing leaving around $700k to invest. Returns on this @ 5% = 35k. If some or all of the investment is outside super then any earnings over $18,200 are taxable at the marginal rate. Depending on the investment the rich dudes could end up with around 30k. Their income is not indexed and is subject to risk ( persons with around 1 mill in super and stocks have seen their assets drop by around 40k over the last 4 weeks). So treating the scenarios equally the rich dudes are worse off than the battlers. This is clearly ridiculous.
    Result. Discretionary spending is reduced which has an effect on the general economy, those losing out may well drop out of private health insurance putting more pressure on the health system and incentive to save above 375K is severely diminished. Part of the problem here is that many of the commentators are relatively young and when you are young numbers like 1 million dollars seem off the planet. It is only as you get older that the real relativities become apparent.There is a real possibility that the new scheme could be more costly due to the unintended consequences.
    sirmikd
    14th May 2015
    9:23am
    Peedee says "This budget is a populist gutless attack on 250,000 retirees that do not have a voice as against 3 million so called hard ups that do have voting power "

    Exactly my conclusion!
    Adrianus
    14th May 2015
    10:04am
    Talk to your man, Bill Shorten. It seems logical to everyone I talk to , that if spending cannot be reduced and income cannot be increased in order to maintain welfare at a high level then only the necessary payments should be made.
    sirmikd
    17th May 2015
    10:48am
    I think the point here by peedee is that in choosing the cuts they have targeted a group who if they are discontent will have little influence on the polls due to relatively small number of people it effects.

    What is the fairness in stopping pensions for people who are outside ( on holiday or other reason )of Australia for more than six weeks /
    Rosy
    17th May 2015
    10:11am
    While ever the Government keep moving the goal posts, it's difficult to plan anything or budget properly.
    If I have worked since I was 14, saved, am single, own a home and am fully retired, have a modest super annuation, no other income, an aging car, furniture that is worth peanuts, then I'm entitled to an aged pension after reaching the qualifying age.
    If all the above remains the same except I DON'T own a house, I'm renting, I qualify for rent assistance and am allowed a higher asset level.
    So, am I stupid to think that saving for my future from my youth to protect and support me in my later years, paying off a mortgage to provide a secure home and not renting instead which had I done, may have given me more spending money years ago, all turned out to be the wrong thing to do. Certainly seems so since even my super only earns 2.5% while the deemed rate is 5%. CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHERE TO GET 5%?
    Dear Mr Morrison, please consider changing Government pensions and super annuation schemes, plus all the extras when you retire,try living like real people.
    Adrianus
    17th May 2015
    10:47am
    Blue Chip Australian Shares. For example Woolworths has a dividend yield (income) of 5% plus Franking credits plus growth. I have been working since the age of 10 because I had to. No Rosy you were clever to accumulate some wealth for your retirement. Continue to be clever.