10th Mar 2017

Age Pension increases miss the much-needed income mark

Age Pension increases miss the much-needed income mark
Debbie McTaggart

Indexation means that Age Pension payments increase on 20 March 2017. While any increase is welcome, will the extra $10.40 per fortnight really make any difference?

Twice a year, on 20 March and 20 September, the Age Pension is indexed in line with the consumer price index (CPI) and then benchmarked against the Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE). And it’s the benchmarking that really makes the difference.

As part of the 2014/15 Federal Budget, it was proposed that pensions would only be indexed in line with CPI, a change that would have taken effect from 1 July 2017. When economic modelling was done on this move, it was estimated that over 10 years it would cost age pensioners $80 per week. Hardly surprising then that there was uproar and the move was eventually scrapped. However, the trade-off was the much-maligned rebalance of the asset test thresholds that occurred on 1 January this year.

So for those pensioners who have managed to hold on to their payment post-January, the March indexation will increase a fortnightly full single Age Pension by $10.40 and the couples’ rate by $7.80 (for each eligible member). This will take the fortnightly full Age Pension to $808.30 (plus Pension Supplement of $65.90 and Energy Supplement of $14.10). Each eligible member of a couple will receive $609.30 (plus Pension Supplement of $49.70 and Energy Supplement of $10.60).



While the increases are probably not worth writing home about, it’s important to note that they are considerably more than the September 2016 increase of $3.10 for singles and $2.40 for each member of a couple.

So, with an annual full single Age Pension totalling $23,095 (including supplements), is this enough on which to live a dignified life? Most people would respond in the negative and if they have to pay rent or a mortgage, then the chances of this being enough are considerably reduced.

As part of our recent YourLifeChoices Retirement Insights survey, we asked our members how much they thought was enough to live on and, of the 6700 responses we received, only 11.7 per cent thought that between $20,000 and $30,000 was enough. Between $30,000 and $60,000 seemed more realistic to almost three quarters of respondents:

 

Annual income required

Percentage of respondents

$20,000 to $30,000

11.7 per cent

$30,000 to $40,000

23.7 per cent

$40,000 to $50,000

24.5 per cent

$50,000 to $60,000

20.15 per cent

 

However, with 34.08 per cent of respondents who currently do, or plan to, fund their retirement with a full Age Pension, few will have the amount they believe to be enough. Perhaps the 36.27 per cent who will fund it with a part Age Pension or the 29.21 per cent who will be fully self-funded will have a better chance of meeting their income expectations.

Time and time again we state that a full Age Pension of $23,000 is simply insufficient to live on in retirement, yet there seems to be little political appetite, on either side of the House, to tackle this fundamental problem?

What do you think? Is the Age Pension enough? Would you, if you don't already, be able to live a dignified life on $23,000 a year? What measures would you like to see announced in the upcoming May Federal Budget to give Age Pension payments a boost?

Related articles:
Pension increases – 20 March 2017
Age Pension less than minimum wage





COMMENTS

To make a comment, please register or login
Raphael
10th Mar 2017
6:30pm
The pension is generous
It's people's expectation that pension should keep them in comfort that's unrealistic
Nan Norma
13th Mar 2017
10:39am
Raphael, See how generous the pension is when you have to call in a tradesmen, especially if its urgent on the week. Your weeks pension could be gone in the wink of an eye.
grounded
13th Mar 2017
10:53am
I need my car to travel to various Doctors. It broke down. It cost me the equivalent of three pension income weeks to repair it....and I don't even receive a pension.

Thank god I had the good sense to plan younger in life for the time I could no longer work....without expecting that the Taxpayer will pay for all my incidental running costs.
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
3:20pm
It's not only good sense that goes into the mix, grounded - a heap of other things do too. So you would prefer that car-reliant pensioners get sick and have no transport etc?

Thanks for coming.

Rafe - go live on the pension for a month without frills and extra cash and get back to us...

Like any politician who tried to do that - they wouldn't be able to even eat and they'd be gasping after a week.
Raphael
13th Mar 2017
4:34pm
Nan Norma

Do you not put aside some funds for a rainy day

A lot of pensioners who need a full pension lived this way all their lives, never caring to put aside anything

Old habits are hard to break I suppose

Trebor - I have lived on less than $18k a year with no rent . Its not hard
And if you're married thats $35k even easier to live.
Rae
13th Mar 2017
4:54pm
Yes Raphael it is certainly doable if you are well and frugal so you can pay those odd maintenance bills.

I'm assuming you may be young.

On that $18 000 you would have maybe a $100 000 in Super after 40 years. If Mr Market is kind to you.

That is the problem though. Those very low wages for a lifetime coupled with very high inflation through the 80s and several recessions and 17% interest rates while you had a mortgage.

Anyone who could buy bonds has been living like Riley.

Those 30 year bonds are almost done. No one will buy at 3% for a 30 year term except the pension funds that have to.

You can blame low paid workers all you like but they are the reason times have been rosy.

Nurses like redxdingo paid the price of the productivity gains and profits that were not shared fairly with some workers. Mainly women in caring roles, sold the compassion guilt trip and promised a good retirement, education seen to for the grandkids and a decent public funded health system.

Nobody said anything about bringing tens of millions in so quickly without infrastructure builds to cater for them, selling off all the income producing assets we paid high taxes for and only because the cushy well paying job was the payoff for those fees and charges a heap of high income dudes were paid.

When those workers finally figure out the promises have been wasted through ideological idiocy and greedy heartedness there will be trouble. Lots of anger then Raphael.
JAID
14th Mar 2017
11:56am
Perhaps I should put my hand up as the only one to agree with you Raphael. In the context of this country's production, the pension is generous. It would be wonderful if all could be paid more and particularly those who have dutifully worked all their lives paying tax to build the nation we have around us.

All divestment of government income needs to walk a very fine balance between:

-fiittering away our future reserves by flogging off natural resources at bargain basement prices. Mode of access to resources.

-poor purchasing logic which allows wide and unfettered profiteering. All of us whether it involves the chocolate at the check-out, the financial advisor or a report to government.

-overpaying employees in a response to supposed need rather than worth. Government and wage tribunals.

-encouraging true productive and creative work, development and output.

-maximising the health and welfare and the broadest available enrichment of all Australians

-maximising our international responsibilities.

We collect, one way or another, massive tax income. Every dollar of that is time out of peoples lives toward the fine balance above. Time out that we mandate. From this massive haul, the largest portion by far goes toward social security, social development, health and administration. The balance may not be right and may never be right but while that must be its aim you can be sure there will be 25 million different opinions as to the details.
Raphael
14th Mar 2017
4:46pm
JAID
You're right
We pay our politicians to govern in the best interest of this country
And they should stand up to the gimme gimme who gets who want to rob future generations so that they can have a cushy retiremet
TREBOR
15th Mar 2017
1:51am
You mean, Rafe, they are overdue to stand up to themselves?

I have to agree.......
TREBOR
15th Mar 2017
1:54am
Whether we pay them to 'govern' in the best interest of the nation or not is irrelevant - we have the right, on paying them, to see actual results.

You can pay any fool of the street to run a power station - but will he do so?

THAT, my son, is the entire problem with 'management' at all levels these days - no genuine ability but a big pay packet and an ego to go with it.

I prefer results myself - you may choose to differ.....
TREBOR
18th Mar 2017
1:09am
Simple then - increase national production and genuinely create jobs for all those willing to work....
Rainey
11th Mar 2017
4:47pm
I don't think it's nearly enough, but I wonder why so many need a full pension? If there were more incentive to save and reward for saving instead of penalties, we'd have fewer aged pensioners and therefore be able to pay at higher rates. Honestly, I doubt many had it tougher during their working life than my partner and I did, yet we saved enough to be nearly self-sufficient when I quit working. But nearly everyone I know who was well off during their working life has manipulated through gifting and over-investing in the family home and using other devices to get a full pension. And those who didn't manipulate suffered in the assets test change so many of them are now engaging in manipulation or just spending up big because saving didn't benefit them. It's crazy. The government needs to wake up and stop grasping at half-baked 'quick fix' policies.
Frank
13th Mar 2017
11:36am
I see, so its the government's fault that so many people need a full pension?
Rae
13th Mar 2017
12:58pm
Yes Frank. It was called the Accord and kept wages contained for decades in return for a safety net, education and medical funding. Howard stuffed it up by selling off the taxpayer assets needed and lowering taxes needed to provide those items that government supplied so wages would stagnate and business gain huge productivity and profit rises.

You know those on the median wage can save about $3900 less 15% tax and the fees and charges each year in super.
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
3:21pm
Why do politicians, and their mates, need remuneration at an incredible rate when they go on to other highly paid jobs? Are they somehow more deserving?
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
3:36pm
Yes, Frank - and we see this nowhere more clearly than in the present day with escalating under and un-employment for at minimum one in six of the workforce.

Think for a moment - how does anyone in that position become 'self-sufficient' in retirement? By robbing banks of being an Underworld capo or something?

So we have, at this moment alone - and under an escalating semi-employment paradigm - a MINIMUM of two million people EXTRA who will inevitably end up on full pension. With good old Jobson Growthe, in play, and the Growthe definitely in small letters and getting smaller - there will be MORE people retiring on full pension in the future, for the simple reason that they will not have the opportunity to accumulate super and assets etc.

Yes - perhaps the criteria for pension should be reviewed - but a far better answer is to pay everyone pension, and tax them on income and fringe benefits over and above that.
Frank
13th Mar 2017
3:41pm
Rae, my memory must be failing. I was sure it was a Hawke policy.

TREBOR, why? Because they deserve it. Who would want to sacrifice their life for a bunch of ingrates?
Rae
13th Mar 2017
5:02pm
Perfectly correct Frank. Hawke/Keating signed the Accord. And it worked right up until the income earners were sold starting with Keating and then Howard having a field day of sales and tax breaks.Rudd/Gillard were no better. Giving tax breaks to workers so business could pocket record profits and the GDP circus could roll on.

They all brought in far too many people without the money to pay for them to keep the GDP looking good.

I don't have a team Frank. I'm not a team player at all. We need a decent Statesman who cares about this country and It's people first and foremost.
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
6:22pm
What ingrates - who's sacrificing their life? Your commentary is truly Delphic at times..
Rainey
14th Mar 2017
12:16pm
Yes, Frank, it IS the government's fault so many are on a pension. They have stuffed the economy. (Or is that the fault of low paid workers somehow????). They have devised STUPID policies that punish saving and reward over-spending and over-investment in family homes. (Or did the low paid battlers devise those DUMB policies???)

Honestly, I can't see how anyone could be bat-eyed enough to suggest that it's the fault of anyone BUT the incompetent governments we have had to tolerate for decades - and MOSTLY the current one.
Old Geezer
14th Mar 2017
12:21pm
Rainey as I have said many times I live on the return from my $400,000 invested and have done so for many years. So anyone with more than $400,000 in assets simply does not need the OAP.

Thank goodness the government has made a start fixing the welfare burden by hanging the asset test. I am looking forward for more to come in the May budget.
Old Geezer
14th Mar 2017
12:40pm
Rainey it is not the fault of the government at all. It is that people want tomorrow's things today and now have way too much debt.

Is it the fault of the government we have too many people now on welfare? Nope it's the welfare mentality of people today. There are factories full of foreign workers because people don't want the jobs and prefer to stay on welfare. Farmers are calling out for labour to harvest their crops but no one wants to do it.

Today we have half the number of apprenticeships that we had four years ago and people prefer to go to uni instead. Soon we will be a highly educated people with no one trained to do all the menial jobs that need doing. No one wants to clean your house today unless you pay them cash. That's right they want to keep their welfare. Try to get a tradesman and if you don't pay cash they simply don't come. Had a fellow do a job for me last week and I didn't have the cash to pay him so he came back a few days later to pick it up. Would accept a electronic payment or even a cheque.

Until we change that welfare mentality we are stuffed in this country. The government is doing what it can to stop people accessing welfare but there is a long way to go.
Misty
14th Mar 2017
12:55pm
I do agree that if you have invested $400.000 and are getting a good return then you don't need welfare.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2017
1:58am
But you don't vote and have never taken any tax concession, OG... you must live in Madagascar or the Caymans. If your $400k is from super, you've received tax concessions - if it's from investments, you've received tax concessions - if it's from property ownership, you've received tax concessions - if it's from inheritance, you've received tax concessions - if it's from a trust, you've received tax concessions.

No Way can you avoid receiving some tax concession from hoarding $400k in this country. You suggesting you saved it all? Or won it from Lotto?

Get with the program here.....
Old Geezer
15th Mar 2017
11:59am
Nope it is not in super. My super is additional to my $400,000 living account. I used to put it back into super but they won't let me any more so I just invest it elsewhere. No inheritance, no lotto just good investment management over the years.

Actually it is now one of those rare times when I have money to invest when I find the right opportunity.
Rainey
19th Mar 2017
5:52pm
OG, just because YOU are privileged enough to get a good return on $400,000 DOES NOT MEAN that everyone can live on the return from $400,000. The average return rate today is 5%. That's treasury figures. Many are getting as little as 2.5%. Even at 5%, that's way less than the aged pension - almost half a married pension with benefits added in.

Your ME ME ME ME ME and STUFF EVERYONE ELSE attitude is as vile and disgusting as it gets!

And YES THE WELFARE MENTALITY IS THE GOVERNMENT'S FAULT - and the fault of fools like you who keep harping on with BS assumptions based on what YOU (with your accounting degree and privileged working life) can achieve and with no consideration for the challenges others face.

The welfare mentality is created by bashing strivers and knocking down responsible savers, denying them the benefit of their hard work and sacrifice. When incentive is removed, people stop trying. There will be tons more on welfare as a result of the stupid assets test change. It actually PAYS people to dispose of their assets. Only an idiot supports such dumb policy. But sadly we have a lot of idiots in this nation - and far too many of them in places of power.
AnamCara
13th Mar 2017
4:07am
In removing the old indexation to wages this Govt again showed it's meanness under the guise of pretending to provide for a growing aged population.
I figured when they changed it there was about 5 years before it kicked in & began affecting my kitchen/house budget.

It's ideological of course and I have no time whatsoever for this mean ideology which has brought into our lives a growing super rich class, a new poor class, religion in schools, prison for legitimate asylum seeker, continual obeisance to coal (new energy will provide so much employment eg see Californian figure), ignorance of our physical environment & utter disrespect for honesty & fairness.
No it's not fair to treat human beings & fellow Australians this way (why not reverse Howard's tax deductions given out from the sale of Telstra & Syd airport...clearly they are unsustainable). Those who claim the age pension is generous have little appreciation for the actuality, they are conceptual, idea views & probably lack any close relative who is on the age pension.

may all be well where you are
Paulodapotter
13th Mar 2017
9:01am
Well said AnamCara, but you will draw a lot of criticism from the rich right wing quarter of ignorance, prejudice and self interested.
Roby
13th Mar 2017
9:27am
AnamCara just another loser on the pension
Frank
13th Mar 2017
10:22am
AnamCara, its not ideology. Currently the OZ aged pension is the second highest in the world. Only that of the Caymans is higher and I think they only have about 1,000 OAP. It is a fact that if you provide luxury for people free of effort then those free luxuries become the expectations of future generations, inevitably leading to low productivity, which has the knock on effect of welfare unaffordability. If you want to live the high life on welfare, then OK fine, but how do you propose to keep it a secret from the hardworking taxpayers?
Farside
13th Mar 2017
11:56am
AnamCara says "Those who claim the age pension is generous have little appreciation for the actuality, they are conceptual, idea views & probably lack any close relative who is on the age pension.".

I say rubbish. My father is 85 and my mother-in-law 86. Both have received the age pension for more than 20 years. Neither has a car these days although my father did until his vision became inadequate to keep his license nor do they have an expectation of luxury. Both live independently in comfortable granny flats they built on a child's property and the pension covers their needs and wants leaving a small surplus for occasional treats. Both vote conservative and are the one's telling me the pensions are generous.
Misty
13th Mar 2017
12:20pm
What sort of a person are you Roby to make a comment like that about AnamCara, I have no time for people like you Supercilious, holier then thou, you know nothing about AnamCara so why make such a derogatory comment about this person, do you know what her/his life history is?, how can you make judgements about people you know nothing about?
Misty
13th Mar 2017
12:28pm
Farside you are another one who has no concept about how most people on a full aged pension live, how many pensioners have children who would allow them to put granny flats on their property?, I don't know if they are paying rates etc or what their circumstances were before they retired so that is all I have to say but anyone on a pension owning their own home is struggling to pay rates, electricity, gas, petrol, dr's fees, medicines, food etc on $800.00 a fortnight + a pet if you have one.
grounded
13th Mar 2017
12:45pm
@Misty...Just a respectful question. Do you expect the fortnightly/yearly Pension amount to pay for every outgoing cost a Pensioner Couple or Single has. Just asking....in a bid to understand what others expect from the Pension.
HS
13th Mar 2017
1:05pm
The current Old Age Pension rate is a touch above the poverty line. Grateful for the $10.40 fortnightly increase which is better than the $3 increase on previous increase last September and the previous mean increases since the Liberal party formed government. A single pensioner without a home can apply for Rent Assistance of $130.60 per fortnight ($3,395.60 pa ) on top of their normal pension (couples $123) So, how come, single pensioner owning a home can't get $130.60 per fortnight extra on top of their pension to assist with ever increasing utilities and rates cost of managing and maintaing their own home? If you account for the level of utilities and council rates discounts offered to pensioners they do not amount to $3,395.60 pa.Such discounts are provided by State governments and State Councils not the Commonwealth government. There are many pensioners owning their own homes that have a value of less than $150,000 especially in country and regional regions.
Misty
13th Mar 2017
1:09pm
Grounded to answer your question, Yes, if that is the only income you have owing to your life's circumstances.
Misty
13th Mar 2017
1:15pm
Roby I know nothing about you so I am judging you soly on the comment you made about AnamCara, correct me if I am wrong but that is the way you come across in that comment above, as one other person has also noted.
Farside
13th Mar 2017
1:31pm
@Misty, just as I do not know the number of pensioners who live in granny flats, as far as I can tell you also do not know that number; if you do please let me know and cite the source. Suffice to say there are enough folk living in granny flats to warrant an industry supplying them to house retirees and pensioners for the last 50 years or more. You asked what outgoings they pay – food, utilities, telephone, maintenance, taxis, medical, personal items. As far as I know they do not contribute to rates. My pensioner father has a small companion dog. Both have daily carer visits and weekly visits by a nurse.

Many pensioners not able to enjoy a granny flat would be receiving financial and other assistance from family, community support groups and charities to supplement the pension. My grandparents were on war pensions and did not live in a granny flat; they were helped out by their children and lived comfortable lives. No doubt there are some who experience hardship for various reasons but it is definitely not a universal condition applicable to all pensioners. AnamCara claimed anybody who thought the pension was generous probably lacked any close relative who is on the age pension; this is plainly not so.

As a matter of interest how much do you think the pension should be relative to Newstart allowance?
Misty
13th Mar 2017
2:06pm
Farsidei already said I do not know how many children allow their parents to stay in granny flats, I don't know of any in our country town but I have never felt the need to find out either and as for family members helping out don't make me laugh, what planet are you living on?, not the same one I am on that is for sure.
Rae
13th Mar 2017
2:10pm
Yes Roby AnamCara should have sold that bridge to the Chinese and pocketed the fees and charges. Gone to work for NAB and be paid millions in bonuses for selling a silly taxpayer built bridge better off in private hands.
Farside
13th Mar 2017
2:35pm
@Misty, I am not sure why you would find family support a laugh. There is a big world outside your country town and much of it relies upon family assistance to support the aged, disabled and infirm. Your country town must be unlike other country towns I have lived where many had multiple residences on one property. Even my town has a population of 630 and there are several homes with flats and downstairs apartments (Queenslander style).
Misty
13th Mar 2017
2:55pm
Farside unless you have a large property or are a property developer I don't think council rules allow for multiple dwellings on one property and if you own this large property the law of averages would say you can afford to put multiple dwellings there and can afford to help out family members but this would not be the norm, at least I don't think so, but if anyone knows differently please feel free to correct me on this subject..
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
3:22pm
Roby - watch your tongue.

Farside - you said it all - they have no car etc.... thus no costs of car.
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
4:36pm
'Ere ya go :-

http://nationalseniors.com.au/be-informed/news-articles/oecd-report-reveals-how-pensions-compare-across-world

http://www.challenger.com.au/group/Documents/Attachment_A_ChallengerInternationalComparisons.pdf

"The differences between Australia’s partially
favourable projected retirement income
versus unfavourable actual retirement income
performance during the late 2000s can be
explained, to some extent, by the lack of
maturity of the compulsory superannuation
system. It will be some decades before all retirees have been through the compulsory
superannuation system so that its full impa
ct will be felt on retirement outcomes. "

This passage in the second link should help - clearly the current situation is unsatisfactory, due to the fact, as I've oft repeated here and elsewhere, that the super system has not had a full chance to kick in, and will not do so until around 2045-2050.

Government of this 'right' kind has hit the panic button and instead of saying 'chop the Howard Profligacy' - they say 'chop the pension'.

They've (and that includes their predecessors) been offered here and elsewhere many options for resolving THEIR problems with budget.
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
4:40pm
Add to that the already mentioned escalating un- and under-employment - and it is plain to see that this situation is becoming worse by the day - with more and more people likely to have woefully insufficient superannuation in retirement.

Massive Overhaul of retirement package scheme needed -for ALL... I suggest cutting the top dogs first and then we can see what there is available for the peons... and never forget that the public 'top dogs' have their retirement fund securely packaged away in the Caymans under the guise of the Futures Fund.... over $126Bn and counting of YOUR money stashed where a politician or senior public servant's retirement will be innoculated from any economic disaster here, while it pays no tax here as well.

.. and none (but me) dare call it treason.....
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
6:34pm
Well, Jeez - sorry to throw a little cold hard fact into a fine rhetorical argument here.... I deeply apologise if I've inadvertently shot down anyone's ideologically based stance here with some researched facts and figures...

Wait for my Christmas message to all.... the time of giving and forgiving.. you know the drift....
redxdingo
13th Mar 2017
9:43am
Its not enough to live a dignified life It is barely enough to scrape by I have worked ALL my adult life ..Nursing for the most part so hard work I have raised a son without claiming any entitlements or any other financial support Superannuation came in just as I was leaving Nursing and studying and working at Counselling I have raised a clever capable contributing son who has also worked hard and now has a Renewable energy Business.So not "AnamCara just another loser on the pension"a crass comment made by Roby in reply to AnamCara ' thoughtful remarks .I think teh pension needs to be looked at seriously and upgraded to afford people a decent life where we can pay our basic bills & live a life with meaning & well-being ....This government is so way behind where the pension is treated like pocket money in Ebner Scrooges day " We will give you as little as we can possibly get away with
redxdingo
13th Mar 2017
9:45am
There is nothing Generous about the pension
inextratime
13th Mar 2017
9:53am
Raphael. This is how unrealistic it gets. Rent $390 per week. Pension $430 per week. You're absolutely right. Why should they be allowed to live so comfortably on $40 a week.
Frank
13th Mar 2017
11:28am
How much is the rent allowance?
HS
13th Mar 2017
1:22pm
Frank- $130.60 pf for single pensioner and less for couples $123 pf.
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
3:24pm
Oh, well then (sticks tongue in cheek for the uninitiated who do not understand sarcasm) - they're living it high on $170 a fortnight after paying rent.... that should just about cover the power bill and the petrol for the car.

Frank - the fact that you have no idea what rental assistance amount is shows your understanding of the issues.
Frank
13th Mar 2017
4:19pm
TREBOR, the fact that I could not recall the exact amount of rental assistance proves nothing but 2 things. Firstly that I could not recall the amount and secondly that you need to slip into the service centre for an attitude check up and possible oil change.
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
4:42pm
Oh - I just get toey with the nay-sayers here at times... gotta keep 'em on their toes lest they get carried away with this 'pension bludger' rhetoric. If I mistook you, I apologise.
grounded
13th Mar 2017
10:09am
Undoubtedly the 'gimme, gimme' brigade will be hollering how badly done by they are with such an 'insufficient pension rise'. The pension in this country is more than equitable and generous. Try living in anyone of a 100 other countries I can cite.

Of course, the suggestion of the like of Sweden will be thrown up. Check what the average rate of weekly paye taxation is in Sweden and countries similar ....upwards to 70%.

Can you just imagine the 'gimme, gimme - I want everything' brigade going off their brains at paying such 'scandalous' rates of taxation through their working lives.
Tommo
13th Mar 2017
1:15pm
Hi grounded, yep the gimme gimme brigade, they are - petrol companies, power companies, gas companies, meat etc. We live in country Victoria,because our daughter has young children we travel to her from time to time, we also have a 40min drive for the nearest hospital, we are a long way from specialists - we decided to live where we are, we do not expect hand outs, but we do expect fairness. The increase that the Government has given us DOES NOT cover the increases to the before mentioned companies. No doubt you are in a position where you can survive on or without a full pension, some of us have circumstances that do not allow this, so my friend, try to understand other peoples circumstances before you go off, oh, and I paid taxes on my earnings applicable at the time.
grounded
13th Mar 2017
1:19pm
Fair comment Tommo...I will take heed of it.
Misty
13th Mar 2017
2:10pm
Good on you grounded I am glad you are starting to realise that many people may not be as fortunate as you and those you know, and acknowledge that fact in good spirit.
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
3:26pm
Hope there may be for this one - calling may be The Light Side....
dstark
13th Mar 2017
10:12am
The greater the pension in order to provide a better standard of living for pensioners, the more the grandchildren will have to pay by reduced standard of living when the world economy stops supporting Australia living beyond its means. That is what is happening in Greece right now.
Nan Norma
13th Mar 2017
10:44am
dstark, Well my grandchildren certainly have a better standard of living than I had so I think I'm entitled to a decent old age.
HS
13th Mar 2017
1:30pm
dstark- It's all proportional in the evolution of life - When I was a young working adult my tax paid for some one's grandparents too. Huge difference between my generation and today's is that we did not complain and did not blame the older generation - We did "with out" and just got on with making our living better as best as we could until our fortunes of whatever proportion turned to better.
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
3:30pm
Rubbish - our children will need to be supported more because of the failures of government and business in this country to do their share of the real lifting, not because pensioners should be offered, without argument after a lifetime of contribution, a decent life.

You're long behind this argument - people have been contributing to a Social Security fund for much longer than my lifetime... pension is an Entitlement - not a privilege to be trotted out and bandied about by political lackeys.

Don't bother trying to tell me it comes from consolidated revenue - the stream that enters that dam is still called the Social Security stream and is for the use of those pensioner on irrigation downstream, just as much as it is if it comes directly from the stream.
Raphael
13th Mar 2017
4:38pm
Trebore - you have to be one of the most negative persons on here. And all you want is to steal from those who have worked hard and saved to pay for those you blew their paycheck
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
4:45pm
I'm not the one 'stealing' anything from anyone - it is your government doing that. Get a reality check..... if you care to read what I post, I always defend both pensioners and self funded retirees, and I have never suggested that SFR should pay up to make things balance.

If you feel that you would be worse off under my proposal of pension for all, and then income tax on any income and fringe benefits above that - you already have too much.
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
4:47pm
Oh - even suggesting that anyone who doesn't have a heap in retirement 'blew their paycheck' is one of the most negative and unrealistic statements ever. You make it sound as if there are only the 'good' people (like you it seems) who saved etc - and the rest are just ne'er-do-wells who spent their life on piss, pokies, porkies, ponies, puppies and ... pussy chasing or its equivalent, or just lazed around the beach or the shopping centre as is the popular myth these days.

Perhaps you need to get out more.
TREBOR
14th Mar 2017
9:09am
Oh, Rafe - I said not one word about those fortunate enough to have the opportunity without all of life's ups and downs to put something aside - - you on the other hand, went after pensions as too generous, obviously because you don't get one since you've got heaps, and you feel entitled.

Politics of envy. YOU are the one wanting to steal food from the mouths of senior citizens.
Frank
13th Mar 2017
10:27am
I think $23,000 is a good level for a safety net. However, I do think that it should be based on number of years of citezenship.
HS
13th Mar 2017
1:52pm
Frank- No citizenship unless one passes the competency exams in-

1) English grammar -spoken, written and comprehension-
2) Competency exam on understanding, State and Commonwealth laws. Citizen’s rights, the Australian Constitution, the judicial court system traditions and the Australian system of Democracy
3) 5-years of residency of which 3 years must be full time or part time regular employment.
4) Proof of Tax Assessments and Superannuation over the 5 years.

Until then if they need welfare, it should be half that of what the normal citizen can get.
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
4:49pm
Meaning, Frank? Should everyone be entitled a pension with or without a residency period?

(not an issue I've considered before, really)...

Discuss (will be marked on academic merit and will accrue up to 40% of final mark)....
shaper
13th Mar 2017
10:35am
Well as one of those who are on a pension let me tell you our tale. My husband was a self employed tradie and the only super we got was one we paid for ourselves,. which we did each year we put in as much a swe could afford, ther was no such thing as the government paying us towards it then. We thought we had some until the year my husband had to retire Ithis was due to my ill health and he is now my carer er) he at the time just under the retirement age of 65 . The company we had the most of our super with went under and we lost the lot! NO fault of ours as we were directed to this company by our then accountant. My husband then started doing part time work as and when he could to try and put more into our super but I took a turn for the worst and he had to leave work. So we had to apply for a pension . So Raphael dont go making assumptions on people on the pension we never did think we would be entitled to an unrealistic generous pension, just enough to live on...which I assure you It Is NOT
Rae
13th Mar 2017
1:08pm
This superannuation theft from tradies happened a lot. When my husband died I found out the Construction Industry Super Fund had been robbed and I don't think anyone went to gaol. Apparently $3.9 billion dollars a year is stolen from wage earners by their employers and nothing is done about it.
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
4:51pm
Hmm - that's a bad tale, shaper.... sorry it happened to you. They ought make an example of some of these corporate robbers. Say .... twenty years in max?
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
6:38pm
... plus confiscation of assets including fancy home....

... and regular waterboarding treatment....

... ritual shunning person and family ......

.. exclusion of their offspring from the best schools...........

.... and a $10 fine.....
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
6:38pm
... plus confiscation of assets including fancy home....

... and regular waterboarding treatment....

... ritual shunning person and family ......

.. exclusion of their offspring from the best schools...........

.... and a $10 fine.....
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
6:39pm
... plus guaranteed internet dropout to their prison cell.... so they repeat repeat themselves....
floss
13th Mar 2017
10:54am
Rainey a very good comment we are in the same boat.It seems that if you are dishonest you beat the system but the example set by our Federal Government is that dishonesty and greed is the way to go, a bit confusing really.
Pamiea
13th Mar 2017
12:11pm
Its a basic existence on the pension. As a single parent for many years I never had much and learnt to budget. I own my unit, I have set up my bills to save for them fortnightly and often pay for them fortnightly or monthly. At the end of the day after banking about $360pf for these anticipated expenses such as insurances, water and land rates, body corp fees, medical fund, car registration, a little for presents etc I am left with about $32 per day to put fuel in my car, feed myself, clothe and entertain myself. Needless to say its certainly not lavish. Stop all political rorts ie pensions after they retire, family trusts which avoid tax, richies with farms that they run at a loss thus reducing their tax. There are tons of ways we could make things fairer but will it ever happen. My heart goes out to those who have to pay rent. .
Radish
13th Mar 2017
9:14pm
It is never about how much you earn it is how you manage it.

There are plenty examples every day on TV of how people can feed a family of four on $50 a week etc....

It is all about budgetting and planning...it can be done...if people wish to put their mind to it.

There are some on here who have often said they are doing well on a pension.
TREBOR
14th Mar 2017
9:11am
Sure they can, Radish.... TV is TV - get used to it.

Pray enlighten us on how to feed a family of four for $50 a week.
Frank
14th Mar 2017
9:51am
Absolutely Radish! Thank you for bringing some logic to the discussion.
More education is required not more money.
Frank
14th Mar 2017
9:54am
Pamiea, does your heart also go out to those who are struggling with the high costs of maintaining a house? Rates, insurance, etc. To get a sparkie in to replace an air conditioner can set them back $thousands, with replacement of a faulty light switch not far behind. It is much cheaper for a pensioner to rent compared to the cost of owning a house.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2017
2:01am
Haven't yet been told how someone on TV feeds a family of four on $50 a week.....
Rainey
19th Mar 2017
6:07pm
I think what these ''holier than though'' preachers mean, Trebor, is that the fortunate few who enjoy great health and don't have challenging family circumstances (like a widower son who brings 4 kids to stay for holidays, or a disabled grandson with struggling parents who need regular help and live on the opposite side of the country, for example) can get by okay on a pension. But like OG with his arrogant waffle about his returns on $400,000, these self-opinionated know-alls fail to comprehend that people's circumstances differ and some people wouldn't have a hope in hell of getting by on an income that is more than adequate for another - not due to poor management, but due to personal circumstances. Just as some were able to save despite low incomes during working life and others, who may have earned healthy incomes, suffered misfortune that resulted in loss.

Try living on $50 a week if you have major food allergies. Checked the price of gluten-free breads lately, compared to the 99c a loaf white bread in Aldi? Look at some of the costs of essential medicines. Check out the cost of specialists for those with chronic health issues. What about transport costs for people whose family live a long way away? (Or are they supposed to just not visit and die of loneliness?)

What about folk who need household help?

A little empathy and compassion would go down very well in our society, instead of the arrogance and self-serving attitude of so many of the well-off.
Misty
19th Mar 2017
7:02pm
Totally agree with your comment Rainey.
Misty
13th Mar 2017
12:13pm
For once I agree with you Frank, why blame the Govt for people claiming a full pension?.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2017
2:06am
Ummmmmmm..... because they aren't keeping proper track of incomes for a long enough period to actually see who is rorting the system?

It's a funny business - you can be bust at 45 and start again, and make a motza (maybe a few can).. does that mean that if you then retire with a nice home you are 'rorting the pension'? On the other hand - if someone has had a nice income for fifty years but has nothing but a fancy home at the end of it..... maybe you need to ask questions.

I could manage a system to keep such track... I already know, from a rather open doctor who asked me if I was (different name) who grew up in MY street as a kid, that my medical records are held back to my childhood.....

No - I'm not a woman who changed name at marriage - I'm a bloke entitled to three different names..... none of your business...
seagirl
13th Mar 2017
12:58pm
The Government of Australia should be a shame of them self $10.40 it should be $50 some Pensions can't not put there Air Conditioning on because of the power cost....
Charlie
13th Mar 2017
3:28pm
test
Charlie
13th Mar 2017
3:32pm
Rental assistance does not cover the whole rent so there will be differences in cost where people live.

Cost of heating and cooling is not considered. My summer electricity is $600 quarter.

Car registration and insurance is still too high for age pensioners.

I need about an extra $3000 a year.
Westie
13th Mar 2017
3:56pm
Charlie - $600 a quarter for your summer electricity? How many rooms are you cooling? I certainly believe that in the 21st century we should be warm in the winter and cool in the summer so perhaps you should be looking at ways to manage your utilities more efficiently.
Misty
13th Mar 2017
4:35pm
Westie I live in the Snowy Mntns and our power bill is usually around $800.00 a quarter and that is after our solar credit of about $290.00 that will drop now it has gone back to 6cents.
Rae
14th Mar 2017
7:52am
Something wrong there Misty unless you are running pumps, pools, air con and a whole heap of other electronics.

My bill is around $200 a quarter and I'm nowhere near hydro. My son runs a huge house, pumps, pools, and every Apple device known for under $600 a quarter with solar credits.

You should get a check as something must be draining a heap of power.
Rae
14th Mar 2017
9:35am
And why denigrate Russia. I've had three memorable nights out with different Russians during travels and all were just fun to be with and happy. The way they tell it Russia is a great country and they love it very much. The really crazy ideologies of our governments have not been adopted so readily judging by the conversations.

Their GDP isn't shabby and they didn't need ten million new immigrants, holes in the ground all over, foreign labour and a housing boom to achieve it.

Sure they stuffed up with far left ideology and made a mess of the natural world but they are trying to fix it. Not putting fences around it, ignoring the running off and then wondering why everything around the downstream sites is suddenly dying.
Frank
14th Mar 2017
12:45pm
Rae, a night out with a Russian or even 3 doesn't make all Russians model citizens. I think there is something wrong when the political opposition leader is killed. Or when a commercial airline or 3 is shot out of the skies with leadership hand prints on the missiles. Do you see a problem with that? Probably not something you may raise over a candle lit romantic dinner I imagine? :)
TREBOR
18th Mar 2017
1:17am
Tovarish - is in wodka drinking much losing of memory of what being said, nyet? We drink to this, nyet?
Charlie
20th Mar 2017
12:18pm
In a tropical climate it is not unusual at all, to be running an air conditioner all day and all night for 6 months. Hence $600 for the summer quarter, there are 2 of these each year. I have had the premises checked by an electrician.

The other thing impacting on energy use is the lack of roof insulation in buildings in the bottom end of the market where age pensioners (those actually living off the age pension) rent. The place where I live, has no insulation under the iron roof or on top of the ceiling.

Going back a couple of years to the Rudd government it was a matter of national importance to have houses properly insulated in order to save electricity. They were right on track with this but it didn't help people renting. If the landlord didn't want to outlay the money to tear off the 1950's shallow iron roof and put in insulation then nothing happened.
Westie
13th Mar 2017
3:47pm
I agree Raphael - we're very lucky to receive such a generous pension and am heartily sick of the "self-entitlement" comments. I've worked hard all my adult life too but thanks to an idiot ex-husband who thought he was the financial whizz kid of the 21st century, have ended up with not very much. But I am very grateful for my fortnightly pension - I receive a very small monthly interest payment from my tiny nest egg, so my Age pension is pretty much my sole income and any increase is more than welcome. I also manage to live debt-free, and consider myself to be very lucky to have what I have. However, I don't blame anyone for my current financial status - it's called "Life". Please stop the self entitlement attitude - go live in Russia - you'd soon hotfoot it back to Australia.
grounded
13th Mar 2017
4:05pm
Thank you Westie....There is hope yet for Australia. If I thought it was economically possible/responsible, and within my power, I'd give you a $50 per pension raise.

Obviously you are switched on, and responsible enough to understand that the 'money pond' is only kept buoyant by the GDP of a country, and the amount that Taxpayers can literally pay to Government for overall disbursement...as good as some causes are, or are needed.

Yes, there are two other options....(further) tax the backsides off the those paying the taxes...or try the Rudd/Swann method...just spend until you near bankrupt the country.

'Gimme, Gimme'....my term for Entitlement, has become well and truly entrenched within Australia over the past 30 odd years...

Well said Westie...

(Now I'll be accused of being uncaring, insensitive and a 'tory')
Misty
13th Mar 2017
4:38pm
Yes grounded, I take back what I said before you have blotted your copybook I am afraid.
grounded
13th Mar 2017
4:55pm
I'll still like ya Misty....(like yourself and Trebor do, I also like banging the can occasionally. Cheers)
Misty
13th Mar 2017
5:47pm
Hope for you yet grounded.
Raphael
13th Mar 2017
6:14pm
Westie - you are credit to Australia and our pensioners

Only wish more people were like you.

You show up the whingers on here for what they are - just plain greedy, and ungrateful
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
6:25pm
Greedy? I'll show you greedy, you whipper-snapper!

DOUBLE PENSION NOW!
grounded
13th Mar 2017
6:42pm
Lol....good to see you still have a sense of humour Trebor....p.s. why don't you just revert to your name Robert, and be done with it. (In our lighter moments, we could call you 'Bobby')
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
8:26pm
Truly the Force wavers in this one.... see can I not if he is Dark or Light...
Rae
14th Mar 2017
7:58am
Good on you bestie.

grounded you certainly have a point.

When I don't have enough money I go out and create more somehow but unfortunately our government is into having to cut back the poor people's benefits to cope.

That's the difference. You'd thing a business led government would be able to create wealth but they never seem to be able to do they?
Rae
14th Mar 2017
8:00am
Sorry Spell Check. It was Good on you Westie. Managing well through adversity shows a strength of character.
TREBOR
14th Mar 2017
9:15am
Sorry, Westie - we live here - not Russia, and have the right to expect fair treatment HERE. We all have our stories to tell, but you need to be able to contrast what you are entitled to with what others entitle themselves to before you criticise those who are prepared to speak out.
thommo
13th Mar 2017
3:50pm
The age pension should be $1000 per week person. This LNP Govt will rue the day they changed the assets test. Just wait till the next election with several million age pensioners will reek their revenge on this miserly lot.
Raphael
13th Mar 2017
4:18pm
Wow - $52k per year?

talk about being greedy

Who will pay for this ?

So the extra $29k is to spend on what - holidays and parties ?
Retired Knowall
13th Mar 2017
4:50pm
Didn't your mother tell you if you don't stop it thommo, you will go blind.
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
6:26pm
A solid argument for a total insulated from grasping hands, either of government or of 'fund managers', of a national retirement scheme for all.

Thank you all for coming.... your comments are much appreciated.
floss
13th Mar 2017
4:12pm
Speaking of pensions , after applying for a Health Care Card having lost our pension I was more or less told that C.Link staff have had a gut full and their system is stuffed.Be warned the issue of a H.C.C is not issued without a long drawn out process and when asked for a sit down interview I was told I don't like your chances sad but true.
Raphael
13th Mar 2017
4:20pm
why did you lose your pension looney?
Misty
13th Mar 2017
4:40pm
I would say too many assets Raphael and too much income, don't know of any other reason do you?.
Raphael
13th Mar 2017
5:06pm
I think so too. Just wanted to hear it from looney :)
Rae
13th Mar 2017
5:14pm
I know the answer to that Raphael.

The government broke it's promises first to defined benefit pensioners and next to self funded retirees.

They broke the promises made to workers for wage restraint.

They deemed them too well off.

They deemed ( made up) this after numerous policy decisions designed to feather the nests of their masters and provide benefits after politics.

Corruption and miss management has done savers in and they pay the price.

Don't feel bad though because your turn will come.
Old Geezer
14th Mar 2017
12:23pm
Looney you have too many assets and should never have got the pension in the first place.

Anyone with defined benefit pensions was double dipping and it's good that this has now been fixed.
floss
13th Mar 2017
4:47pm
Raphael because I worked hard and put money into super I now have too many assets under the Hockey judgement. I can't change the rules so why worry but I may have to change my voting intension at the next election.You have a top day and thanks for asking.
Raphael
13th Mar 2017
5:07pm
but you are well off

so why abuse the system. let those on the safety net make use of the health card
TREBOR
13th Mar 2017
8:29pm
Perhaps there is a need to look at net value of retirement package after including all the same costs - an OAP gets free HCC etc... I assume Looney has to pay private... how much does that reduce his 'take-home pay' after deductions?

I think the whole area of retirement package needs to be looked at carefully.
TREBOR
14th Mar 2017
9:19am
You could leave that at 'put as much as possible into super', looney - many have worked hard to be ripped off or taken to the cleaners in nay of many ways - read some of the stories here.

If you were lucky enough to put that much away, good on you - but it has nothing to do with simply working hard, or its opposite face, being a bludger instead, which is the implication.

Politicians and business people reckon they 'work hard', too - you can believe that if you wish.
Westie
14th Mar 2017
1:23pm
For crying out loud - I give up. I've read all the hard luck stories and I feel sorry this has happened to so many of you - but please stop and look around you and try to appreciate what you have. If you're hard up and can't live on your pension because you own a big house or a small unit - then sell the bloody thing and enjoy living off your hard work - it's called "Skiing" - spending the kids inheritance. I'm not financial enough to own my own home any more due to circumstances well beyond my control but I'm not looking to anyone to help me out. I live within a budget - anyone one of you heard of that word? I've only just joined this web site and quite frankly I'm dismayed by what I read. It's hardly surprising we have such a "disposable society" in our young generation (our kids) if they're being taught by example that our government owes us a living - it doesn't. I've got a hard luck story like a lot of you - so just suck it up and get on with your life. Your bad attitude stinks in my book and I don't really want to read any more of this drivel - coming from supposedly adult people. Very disappointing indeed. Please stop insulting each other and start to enjoy life - it's not that difficult. And you could be dead tomorrow - end of ..
Misty
14th Mar 2017
1:52pm
I am sorry you feel this way about the comments here Westie, but we are all cut from a different cloth and so there will always be people with different points of view that is what makes life interesting don't you think?, imagine how boring life would be if we lived the same life, had the same thoughts and opinions.
Frank
14th Mar 2017
2:36pm
Yes well said Westie. There's only one thing I will add.....
story.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2017
2:11am
So a hard luck story of massive positive contribution is not the equivalent of some jerk-off masquerading as a politician with all those lovely 'entitlements'?

Get a life.... some of us have EARNED our solid retirement - I doubt many of that ilk have, looking at their track record.

I KNOW I've done more than you can imagine.... and just because I now take it easy, doesn't mean I always did that....
floss
13th Mar 2017
5:23pm
No not well off just not shy of hard work and we do have private health insurance and we don't have tax payer funded pension so where are you coming from Raphael you sound like a mean old bird.
TREBOR
14th Mar 2017
9:21am
He is - he is..... politics of envy - someone is getting something he doesn't get, and that means they are a bludger. Maybe he should look at politician and ceo perks etc, and then comment on people getting something he doesn't get........

Many are confused over this issue of 'envy' - they assume a righteous manner with any who have less than they do, but not with any who have more....

Amazing in this day and age - it seems the 'master and servant' idea persists even now.
TREBOR
14th Mar 2017
9:25am
I wonder why it is - when they have zero stake in the issue - that some here even come on to comment on other people's entitlements.... quite frankly, if you are living it up on your personal retirement package, what right to you have to even suggest others are just bludgers for getting a pension? How is it YOUR business?

Perhaps I should shut up about politician profligate use of public money for themselves, or the perks of a business person written off tax, such as running around in a private jet and similar.... or maybe not consider that a government minister flying an RAAF jet to attend a dinner 3000 miles away is profligate use of taxpayer funded privilege....

I don't get those things... so I have no stake in them? (the trap is baited - come in spinners).
bobby
13th Mar 2017
5:44pm
The current rate of age pension is not sufficient for a single person to live on if he/she has to rent accommodation.
Raphael
13th Mar 2017
5:50pm
how many single pensioners do you see living on the street?
Misty
13th Mar 2017
5:55pm
I don't know, I don't go looking for homeless people, maybe in the bigger towns and cities you would see them, ask Vinnies or the Salvos they might enlighten you.
Raphael
13th Mar 2017
6:10pm
youre confusing wino's and mentally ill with pensioners Misty
Misty
13th Mar 2017
7:01pm
You are the one confused Raphael, my comment in no way refers to wino's and mentally ill or are you insinuating that they are the people that Vinnie's and the Salvo's look out for?, after all you were the one who wanted to know how many single pensioners are living on the streets.
TREBOR
14th Mar 2017
9:39am
How many honest people who've honestly earned $18k a year do you see living in mansions?

Please explain how living on the streets is the criteria - many who pay rent get by on a very frugal diet and without many extras such as personal transport etc. A simple look at the figures will show you that. Someone posted a median rent at $390 a week - full single pension is $873.90 + full Rent Assistance $130.60 = $1004.50. Take out $780 = $224.50 per fortnight to pay power, phone, food, transport, extra cost of medical care now since this government put its stupid idea in of a co-payment ...... $16.03 a day..............

Repeats... $16.03 a DAY..... a politician can't survive in Canberra for one day on less than $273 a day plus all costs including travel and not including paying for power or rent etc of their home, a full $257 a day or $1,837 a fortnight more than that pensioner.

I think some here need to get out in the real world for a while, and start looking at where out bludgers in this country really are.
TREBOR
14th Mar 2017
9:40am
Sorry to throw the cold water of reality on some of the rhetoric going the rounds here.......
melbgirl
14th Mar 2017
8:27pm
Rent takes over 70% of income, public housing is at least 20 year wait despite already waiting many years; of course it's tough to live on a pension. Any assets built up are soon eroded by any unexpected expense. At least homeowners have the choice to sell up to provide sufficient income, lifetime renting means always struggling. Significant investment in public housing is needed, the only sure way of dealing with the issue.
floss
13th Mar 2017
6:15pm
A really good comment Rae if you have a government with this way of thinking this country is stuffed.
floss
13th Mar 2017
6:16pm
A really good comment Rae if you have a government with this way of thinking this country is stuffed.
AnamCara
13th Mar 2017
9:04pm
AnamCara
13th Mar 2017
9:01pm
remove
reply
From Roby "AnamCara just another loser on the pension"

Such terms "loser", "drop-kick" etc come from the over competitive US Corporate culture - they have no place in rational discussion.

What stands out to me is a fundamental misunderstanding and it is this:
It is the primacy of human beings which matters. Business would not last a moment without human society to purchase goods and services, provide labour, training, infrastructure etc. Humans of course have lived on the earth for millennia without business. It took till the mid 19thC for the Industrial Revolution to commence the modern modes of business.
Without a recognition that every individual matters equally we descend into barbarity. As Philo of Alexandria said long ago: "Be kind to everyone you meet for everyone is fighting a great battle".

Neo conservative ideology with its hypnotic false trance of 'trickle down' has seen our culture become corrupted. There is no need for homelessness of poverty in Australia (or anywhere) which is such a wealthy country. Pensions in a civilised society will address standard of living and te primacy of a human being. (remember different countries have different and often lower costs of living than Aus.
Rae
14th Mar 2017
8:22am
Nice comment Anam and very true.
TREBOR
14th Mar 2017
10:05am
Roby and one or two others sound like the kind of young twerp doing the rounds these days - "all them old bludgers get it all and we get to pay for it". AS if! Wait until things REALLY get tough....
TREBOR
14th Mar 2017
10:07am
Where's Old Geezer to offer us his pearls of wisdom? Did I shoot him down when I reminded him he didn't vote and had never received a tax concession etc? He must be all of fifteen years old and highly imaginative.... writes a great line of fiction.
BigBear
14th Mar 2017
10:23am
He might be having trouble posting to this forum like some others.
Misty
14th Mar 2017
10:35am
Yes Big Bear and Trebor, unless someone has actually had to live on a full pension only, they really have no idea how hard it is, or know someone closely as I do , my sister, who struggles from pay to pay and has to take out a CL loan if she has to replace a washing machine, fridge etc. My sister uses her electric blanket and multiple doonas to keep warm in the winter as she cannot afford to keep the gas heater going for too long in the winter, she lives in the Blue Mntns.
BigBear
14th Mar 2017
10:49am
Oh dear a person doesn't even have to comment about something here before they are crucified.
Old Geezer
14th Mar 2017
12:17pm
Tried to post a couple of times yesterday as I knew you would miss me Trebor but the "Post Reply" button would not work for me.
Misty
14th Mar 2017
1:03pm
Good to see you back OG, we missed your input here even if we don't always agree with it.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2017
2:18am
On the 20% proceeds ($80k) of $400k invested - you can't buy reliable internet? Don't blame you - I was told by my provider that I was on NBN - a check showed I was not and a tech needed to come here first (and hook up cable TV at the same time for free). I do hate being lied to about a service I pay for so I changed immediately to another provider.... which (being lied to about a service paid for) brings us back to the subject at hand here.....

... I just missed you, and like The Devil, say the name, and here you are..... now carry the can for a while - I'm off to bed.....
Old Geezer
15th Mar 2017
11:53am
Nothing wrong with my NBN. Believe me you would know if you were on the NBN as it is a completely different setup to ADSL. Mine doesn't even use the phone line. Phone was recently not working for over a week so used the internet to make calls instead. My TV is also hooked up to the NBN.
TREBOR
17th Mar 2017
7:40pm
BB - we reserve our crucifixions for the more deserving classes.... no point stringing up just anyone....
SuziJ
15th Mar 2017
10:39am
Why are you only quoting the basic pension increase of $10.40? The Supplement also increases by 80 cents to make a total of $11.20.

If you are also a renter and get Rent Assistance, there is another $1.60, making a total of $12.80 if you are paying over $294.07 per fortnight.
TREBOR
17th Mar 2017
7:25pm
Looxury! We used to rent hole in road, get up three hours afore we went t' bed, LICK road clean, and go to work and PAY.. PAY mill owner t' let us in, and when we'd coom 'ome, t' auld man'd beat us all t' death with beer bottle!

You tell them politicians 'at these day - and they'll naught believe yer!
KB
15th Mar 2017
12:40pm
Disabilty and aged pension are both the same amount. It can be very tough on both. Withou the help of bulk billing with concession cards and Medicare card to help with medical costs then it would not be be possible for many pensioners to exist. Bear in the mind each state has different cost s lof living. South Australia has the highest costs which includes electricity. Another 2 thousand a year would be helpful
KB
15th Mar 2017
12:40pm
Disabilty and aged pension are both the same amount. It can be very tough on both. Withou the help of bulk billing with concession cards and Medicare card to help with medical costs then it would not be be possible for many pensioners to exist. Bear in the mind each state has different cost s lof living. South Australia has the highest costs which includes electricity. Another 2 thousand a year would be helpful
Old Geezer
15th Mar 2017
9:09pm
Slightly off topic but the following website has a graph that shows the difference in investing in Australian shares and term deposits.

http://www.motivatedmoney.com.au/mysay.php?iid=n9ppjxsctt
Frank
16th Mar 2017
8:36am
Old Geezer, those charts seem to explain why the financially illiterate want Keating back as Treasurer? It's a little unfair to compare the two because with TDs all the growth goes to the bank. Only the income is distributed to the investor. It's an orange and apple scenario. But your point is not lost. A term deposit is a short term, income only, secure investment. Leave it there too long and you lose.
Old Geezer
16th Mar 2017
11:56am
Agree Frank and TDs are not really an investment as they lose money nearly every year after inflation and tax. Yes the banks use your money to make the gains you should be getting if you had your money properly invested. If you are investing for income does it really matter whether the capital stays the same or goes up and down. CBA now pays nearly as much in dividends a year as the price it floated i's shares. Just worked it out and I was wrong. CBA paid $6.01 including franking credits whereas their float price was $5.40. That $5.40 in a TD with no capital growth would be looking like a terrible investment today compared to CBA shares at nearly $85 a share.
JAID
16th Mar 2017
10:18am
A little off track.

I would like to see some pressure encouraging part-time work in lieu of part pension. This in the hope that the growing proportion of part-time work in Australia can be shifted a little to the old in favour of the young getting more work. I know it is only part of the story but even if only a subtle gain each end the direction seems useful.

The idea that somebody at 65 (unless somehow debilitated) cannot make a worthwhile working contribution to their upkeep is just a bite far too large for me. The numbers may decrease at 70 or 75 but the same applies there in my view. I have seen family contributing quite well into the 90's.

We need to make an effort to build a society not of entitlement but of responsibilty and opportunity. Many who would like to work have little chance of that. (Government could start by stopping lavishing rediculous incomes, entitlements and early retirement/long maintenance on people who work short hours with average quality.)
Misty
16th Mar 2017
11:02am
Your idea does not make any sense JAID, older workers staying in the work force, even part time, must surely be at the expense of the younger generation obtaining employment and the unemployment benefit is about the same as the OAP so the Govt would not be making any savings there.
Frank
16th Mar 2017
11:57am
Its not that long ago that we were being encouraged to job share, now we are being told that the increase in part time workers is bad for the economy?
I was interested in something Pauline Hanson said the other day. Apparently there are 400,000 foreign students working here in part time jobs. I imagine these are the same workers (hospitality) Bill Shorten would like to see paid a higher hourly rate than the Ozzie kid working at woollies? Seems rather strange to then suggest he is strongly opposed to 457s and the like? We just don't get the facts do we?
Anyway, the point is JAID, why shouldn't unemployment always be around 4% or 5%? My feeling is that the economy would be too heated at a much lower rate and too slow at a higher rate? Again, we get incorrect facts because of politics. Roy Morgan puts the unemployment rate at over 9% with another 10% looking for more work.
Why does the ABS provide us with false data?
TREBOR
17th Mar 2017
7:31pm
4-5%... hmm - kinda reminds me of that line from The Light Horseman.. charge at Beersheba (mind you - you'd never charge a horse over that distance - he'd be blown a mile from the Turks)...

"We've only lost about thirty blokes! Pretty good!"

"Not so good if you're one of them."...
MacI
18th Mar 2017
12:52pm
I can't see how it could be anything but a struggle to survive for a couple or a single person who don't own their home. I also think a single person who owns their home would do it tough to live on the Age Pension.

Could my wife and I live a dignified life on the Age Pension? An interesting proposition. We live a fairly comfortable but not an extravagant lifestyle in retirement. For this exercise I eliminated from our budget (which we stick closely to) most discretionary expenditure, our Health Insurance, and reduced our budgeted savings. On the basis of a revised budget I think that we would find it very tight but not impossible to live on the Age Pension on a week to week basis. The problem is that Age Pension isn't enough to deal with the extra expenses that inevitably come along from time to time, like fixing the car or a leaky roof.

My parents lived on the Full Age Pension for many years supplemented by a small UK pension (about $60 a week). They saved the UK pension and that is what made the difference. It enabled then to cover the unexpected expenses when they came along. They lived a simple lifestyle and even enjoyed a couple of holidays each year - usually a coach trip or a week on the Coast - as well as dealing with the cost of frequent and regular visits to the GP and pharmacy in their latter years.

My conclusion is that a couple who own their own home could live a dignified life on the Age Pension provided that they live a frugal and simple lifestyle and have a buffer to draw upon for unexpected expenses. The buffer needn't be huge - maybe $50K to $100K.
Misty
18th Mar 2017
1:47pm
Good comment Macl but I wouldn't regard $50 k to $100k as a modest buffer, I don't know any person on a full AP who could manage to save this amount unless they had some super in an allocated pension.
Rainey
19th Mar 2017
11:13pm
Again, it depends on circumstances. Luckily, I can continue to work, but I have a partner who has high health care expenses due to childhood abuse and workplace accidents (for which he was never compensated due to lack of education and confidence in the system because of childhood abuse!)

We have high home maintenance costs because health now obstructs the DIY approach we took to save money earlier in our lives. And we have very high family costs because:

(1) we have a widowed son with four young children who needs constant help with childcare (It's not cheap feeding and entertaining 4 youngsters every school holiday - and we can't ask a struggling single parent to compensate us for the costs!)

(2) We have a child living abroad and just sending a small gift implies horrendous postage costs, plus there are high phone costs (yes, we do want to chat to our child now and again!) and when she comes home we have to accommodate, feed and entertain (and it costs enough for the fares without paying for keep!).

(3) We have a seriously disabled grandson whose parents struggle to pay for the treatments he needs and really can't compensate us for the costs of travelling across the country (his dad is in the army and posted to remote locations) to provide respite care and family support.

Too many arrogant folk just assume their circumstances or the circumstances of someone they know are common across the board. The reasons people struggle are many and varied. It's cruel and selfish to ignore the special challenges some face, or to just assume that hardship is the fault of the sufferer.

Have some empathy and compassion, folks! Human decency is surely not in the short supply that some of the posts here suggest?
Misty
19th Mar 2017
11:25pm
Rainey have you thought about using Skype to talk to your child overseas?, I use it all the time to talk to my in-laws overseas and costs so very little, I think there a couple of other ways you can also use but don't know their names but someone else commenting here may know what they are.
MacI
22nd Mar 2017
8:53am
Misty. I agree with your comment about $50K to $100K not being a modest buffer in the context of someone trying a accumulate it from the Age Pension. I had in mind someone retiring with a modest amount accumulated in Super or other savings.


Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

  • Receive our daily enewsletter
  • Enter competitions
  • Comment on articles