31st Jul 2017

Beware governments bearing gifts for downsizers

Downsides to downsizing
Olga Galacho

The Federal Government recently revealed what is ‘in’ and what is ‘out’ to induce those aged over 65 to downsize, for the theoretical purpose of helping young Australians buy a home.

The draft legislation prohibits retirees from contributing extra non-concessional funds to superannuation if they move in with their adult children, buy near a school or employment hub.

Everyone has an opportunity to comment on the draft legislation flagged in the May Budget but only until Friday 4 August.

Back in May, the Government announced an incentive for those aged over 65 to sell a family home and downsize, with any excess proceeds of up to $300,000 per individual ($600,000 for couples) to be paid into superannuation free of some tax limitations.



In its Reducing Barriers to Downsizing fact sheet, the Government states that after selling a home you and your spouse have owned for a minimum of 10 years, it is not mandatory to downsize into a smaller home in order to qualify for the super exemptions.

“You would not be required to make any subsequent purchase. You can move into any living suitable for you, including into retirement communities, aged care or smaller properties,” according to the proposed legislation.

However, the new law would prohibit those wanting to take advantage of the relaxed super laws from moving in with their kids.

If you live in a caravan, houseboat or mobile home, you are also disqualified from taking part in the scheme.

So long as you or your spouse have owned the home to be sold for at least 10 years, you need not have lived in it as your main residence for that period.

The consultation draft “provides that if you receive a partial or full main residence exemption for capital gains tax purposes, then you qualify” to take part in the downsizing scheme.

“If you had moved out of your home for several years prior to selling it, you would still be eligible,” according to the draft rules.

The Government’s scheme would begin on 1 July 2018, with contributions to super to be made within 90 days of a sale. Sales before that date will not be eligible for the downsizer bonus.

According to the Government, those without a super fund who want to take part in the scheme are encouraged to open a superannuation account with a fund manager.

The draft legislation allows for the extra contributions to be made regardless of the other contribution caps and restrictions that might apply to making voluntary contributions.

Interested parties are invited to comment on the consultation papers either publicly or confidentially. The closing date for submissions is this Friday, 4 August 2017. You can email your thoughts on the draft legislation to superannuation@treasury.gov.au or write to Manager, Accumulation and Savings Unit, Retirement Income Policy Division, The Treasury, Langton Crescent, Parkes, ACT 2600.

 

Opinion: Don’t pull up stumps yet

The proposed rules around who can downsize and contribute to their superannuation with tax concessions are murky.

On the one hand, retirees over 65 who sell a family home are blocked from the super scheme if they want to buy a smaller dwelling in their suburb of choice, should that property be close to a school or an employment hub.

That sounds discriminatory. As does the ban on the option of selling and moving in with your adult kids.

Yet, if you want to move into aged care – a measure that other government policies discourage in favour of supporting the elderly to remain at home – you’ll qualify for the new super laws. No wonder retirees are confused about the Government’s seemingly conflicting intentions.

But the really bizarre thinking in the draft legislation is the attempt to encourage just about anyone – other than those who live in a houseboat, mobile home or caravan – to pull up stumps and move down the food chain.

The draft legislation also states that it doesn’t matter if your spouse is on the title of the home to be sold in order for them to also be given the privilege of making an after-tax contribution of $300,000 to super.

According to the Government’s wisdom, so long as the couple have owned the home for a decade “if your spouse was not on the title but you were, both you and your spouse could make downsizer contributions”.

But wait – there’s another discrepancy. On the question of whether the house a retiree is selling has to be their principal place of residence. The Government says “nope”.

The house needs only to have been your main residence “for some portion of your ownership period. The consultation draft provides that if you receive a partial or full main residence exemption for CGT purposes then you qualify. For example, if you had moved out of your home for several years prior to selling it, you would still be eligible”.

Essentially, you can be away from your residence for up to six years, lease it out to make money and still get the non-concessional super tax benefits if you sell.

If you are away travelling, living overseas or living in aged care for several years, and your principal place of residence is producing income, it should be classified as an investment property.

But the draft laws have written in a loophole to allow the owners of these properties to benefit from two big tax breaks – capital gains tax exemption and non-concessional super contributions.

That’s all very nice for the homeowner/investor, but it does appear to be robbing Treasury of tax revenue … which means we are all being robbed.

And even if you are lucky enough to tick all the above boxes, the proposed Bill states that whether your superannuation fund “will accept the downsizer contribution is a matter for the fund’s trustees according to the fund’s rules. You should check with your fund and consider opening a separate account if your fund will not accept downsizer contributions”.

So, it seems downsizing to capitalise on non-concessional payments of up to $300,000 into your super after selling your ‘castle’ is not so straightforward.

What the Government fails to advise is the bleeding obvious: you must speak to a financial adviser before you put your home on the market.

Joint analysis by YourLifeChoices and AA Financial Planning shortly after this year’s Budget revealed that under the proposed measures, not all retirees stand to gain a better outcome from downsizing.

In fact, many retirees would be financially worse off if they fell for this Government’s poorly thought-out downsizing incentive.

Be aware of the downside to downsizing before you speak to any real estate agents.

Do you have an insight into the downsizing policy that you would like to share? What flaws can you see in this policy that will disadvantage retirees? Or maybe you think you will be better off financially throughout your retirement if you sell the family home. If so, tell us why.

Editor's note: we are currently seeking clarification on the wording of this policy. This may, or may not, change information presented here.

Related articles:
Crunching the downsizing numbers
Will downsizing affect your Age Pension
What to ditch when downsizing





COMMENTS

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MICK
31st Jul 2017
10:22am
I suspect anybody who downsizes their home in the belief that this government is in their corner will be sadly repaid. The scheme appears to be no more than getting retirees to pay for their own retirement using the equity in the family home.
Why should people sell the family home when there are more compelling reasons to keep it? The claimed reason of freeing up housing is the next piece of propaganda from a government which has had no credibility from day 1.
The current government needs to talk about the unbridled importation of people and why it is permissible to sell houses to foreigners doing land banking in our country. That is where the issue lies.
If this government wants to lay blame then it as well as Labor need to look in the mirror as it is they who created the current situation. It is not as though taxpayers are not already paying large (ongoing) sums of money for infrastructure upgrades replacements to accommodate out many new citizens but then blaming older Australians for this as well as attacking their pensions is off the scale.
If this community as a group does not see WHY it should be kicking the current batch out and voting for Independents whose preference flows to Labor rather than Liberal then God help it. We all need to fix the political problem rather than throw fuel onto the fire.
Rosret
31st Jul 2017
12:04pm
Yes Mick - what is the matter with them. Maybe this is not for real - just a bit of journalist liberty??
Let's wait for tonight's news
KSS
31st Jul 2017
12:25pm
"The scheme appears to be no more than getting retirees to pay for their own retirement using the equity in the family home."

What is so wrong with making people responsible for their own retirement Mick?
MICK
31st Jul 2017
2:16pm
KSS: my answer to you is NOTHING is wrong with getting people to save for their own pensions, but do not come after them to sell the family home as this never has been and never should be a part of the pension system.
ex PS
31st Jul 2017
2:32pm
They have already paid for their own retirement, it is not their fault that successive governments have mismanaged the funds provided through taxes, that should have paid for Pension Entitlements.

Maybe if Little Johnny Howard had not used surpluses to buy votes from the sheep, we would have money to pay for Pensions.

It is not a case of not having enough money for Pension Entitlements, it is more a case of looking after retirees not being a priority for this government.

Downsizing is a false saving, downsize to an apartment and depending on the size and location you end up paying more in corporate fees than you would in rates and maintenance. I have provided for my retirement and still have a home of my own, but I do not begrudge someone who has not had the opportunity to do the same the right to own their own home.
We need to ditch this government that seems so keen to reduce the living standards of retirees in order to provide their supporters in big business with billions of dollars in tax cuts provided with money stolen from us.
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
3:29pm
Why should looking after retirees on welfare be a priority of the government? After all it is welfare and should only be available to those without any other means of support. Government may not have it's priorities right but it has this one right.
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
3:32pm
OG put a scok in it. Your fallacious diatribe is tedious and boring.
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
3:46pm
Why? How do retirees on welfare help our economy? What do they produce?
AutumnOz
31st Jul 2017
4:39pm
OG, retirees pay taxes therefore they help produce money for our government to try to justify spending on legislation to ensure the high end of town gets more and more tax breaks.

By the way OG what do you produce to make yourself worthwhile as a retiree??
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
4:41pm
OG, the expert on all things known to man.
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
4:52pm
For a start I don't ask the taxpayer to support me which is a lot more than most retirees do today.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
5:12pm
Your view of what is welfare is well known OG. I'm sure you accept Medicare money and choose not to call that welfare and subsidised travel and do not call that welfare either.
It appears you want to call pensions welfare because you are self funded. Sorry old son but pensions have never been welfare and nor are they in any other first world country.

Your lament sounds more like sour grapes mate. And before you respond MY WIFE AND I ARE SELF FUNDED RETIREES also! We live within the rules force on us after a lifetime of getting to retirement. Many other Australians have been hit the same way as the current despots hand out our pensions to their wealthy supporters in the form of tax cuts. I suspect you are getting some of this money OG. Welfare?? That will change at the next election so make your financial arrangements now.
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
5:26pm
Medicare yes I pay a levy for that so that's not free. I'd rather make my own arrangements instead of Medicare as I'd be heaps better off.

Subsidised travel doesn't exist around here as there is no public transport.

Even a change in government won't bother me personally but I do worry the about how the Labor's parties ideas will affect the poor. Remember if you take for the wealthy the poor are the ones who get hurt.
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
5:37pm
KSS yet you see no problem with the irresponsible not providing for their retirements.
KSS
31st Jul 2017
8:08pm
Actually niemakawa I do see a problem with the irresponsible not providing for their retirement and I object to them getting welfare in the form of an aged pension as a reward. But we live in a state where the fall back position is the tax payer and devolution of all personal responsibility to the Government under the guise of 'entitlements'.
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
8:17pm
KSS. It seems you discriminate in favour of the irresponsible and discriminate against the responsible. The only fair way is to give all those who qualify an aged pension. The means testing is not only discriminatory but morally and ethically wrong.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
9:32pm
You pay the medicare levy OG? You tell this community you are hard up so how does that work? You must be earning a bit of brass to get into that club.
Rainey
1st Aug 2017
2:53am
OG, most retirees have contributed up to 50 years of hard work, taxpaying, raising and educating children who work and pay taxes, and spending to generate economic growth. A vast number of those on welfare in old age worked for a wage that was way less than the value they produced at work, so some business owners could be rich enough to be arrogant, nasty ''self-funded'' retirees who look down their noses and the folk they USED to get where they are.
Furthermore, most retirees on welfare in old age (and many of the less wealthy self-funded also) got none of the overly generous handouts labelled ''superannuation tax concessions'' (the poor got none, while the rich got hundreds of thousands), CGT concessions, negative gearing benefits, and a host of others. The wealthy have already claimed far more than the lifetime value of the aged pension long BEFORE they got to retirement age.

Payment of age pensions to those who didn't enjoy the rich rewards of being high income earners or business owners who could sell for huge untaxed capital gain MIGHT even the score a little, if the government wasn't so mean and unjust and the stinking greedy OGs of this world weren't so selfish and greedy.

It is patently WRONG that those who lived responsibly and struggled to save despite not achieving high earnings are now being harshly punished and discriminated against. It's patently WRONG that some pensioners receive pensions despite having been high income earners - because they manipulated, cheated or overspent. But for the most part, retired pensioners AND the less well off self-funded have contributed far more to this nation than the arrogant over-indulged rich turds who shun them. And they DESERVE a generous pension in old age, and a lot of other benefits besides. After all, decent societies RESPECT their elders, and care for them. And decent people in society lobby for governments to acknowledge that society should RESPECT AND CARE FOR elders.

It's clear from your posts, OG, that you are among the selfish arrogant over-indulged who contributed far less than your share, and the fact that you claim to be classified now as ''disadvantaged'' evidences that you are still cheating the system to pay less than your share. Probably among those paying $1.1 million to a fancy accountant to ensure the tax bill on your mega millions is $0 - since every post you make applauds the cheats and takers and disrespects the hard workers who are the backbone of this nation.

Back to topic - once again, the legislation appears to be carefully framed to unfairly benefit wealthier investors. It does NOTHING for strugglers. Sell and put money into super and then live on that instead of getting a pension, and in many cases your income will be less than the pension until you drain all those super savings away benefiting others who are as well off as you will be in a few years, but lived a much richer life and didn't bother to save as well. It's typical LNP BS that will ONLY benefit the very well off, giving them yet another tax dodge and imposing more hurt on the struggling majority. And it will worsen the housing affordability crisis because it will increase demand for affordable housing. Screw the poor working class who have no hope of affording the mac-mansions the down-sizers sell, but were thinking they might afford the little cottage that's going cheap because it's a long way from schools and employment centres. Typical stupid brain farts by rich idiot politicians who have no idea how the real world works.
Old Geezer
1st Aug 2017
9:49am
Interesting Rainey as when did super become available to everyone? In the early 1990s. Since I retired in early 1992 I didn't have much chance of getting any of those ''superannuation tax concessions''.

Please get you facts right before you judge.
ex PS
1st Aug 2017
10:35am
O.G Super was available to everyone at least back to the seventies when I signed up to a scheme with National Mutual, I was a Shop assistant at the time so you could not say i was on big money. It was just a matter of being aware of what was available. Just because you did not know about it does not mean it did not exist.
Old Geezer
1st Aug 2017
10:44am
All I am saying is that I didn't get any of those ''superannuation tax concessions'' nothing more.

Yes I did know about those super schemes. Those 4 year bonds were a great tax saving vehicle too.

I also remember that if you had super you could just withdraw it when you left your job too. Many people did that especially if they were made redundant. What a great way to pay off your mortgage.
Rainey
1st Aug 2017
12:07pm
OG, you've told every lie in the book - claiming to be ''disadvantaged'' yet pay taxes and Medicare level. How could anyone believe a word you utter?
elephants
31st Jul 2017
10:52am
I wouldn't trust the government as far as i could throw them. Yes we down size put our money into super & then they change the super as they have over the years. They don't do anything for the pensioners now only say we are a drain on them. This country is going to the dogs sorry no to the refugees & to much overseas. Our farmers are still doing it so tuff, the floods we have had....have other countries helped us ect ect. No look at the 2011 floods the recent cyclone. It's a total disgrace.
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
2:05pm
This proposed scheme is for the benefit of the Government, they want to downsize the pensions that is their one and only aim.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
4:58pm
All but removing the pension system altogether will give out governments more money to give away to vested interests, the rich and to waste. Some things never change.
For the uninformed the current government has more than doubled the national debt. No GFC anywhere to be seen. What do we have for it?
Not Senile Yet!
31st Jul 2017
10:55am
This is Crap!
Not what was asked for at all.
People want to be able to downsize without Penalty and be given rewards for doing so!
Putting money in Super that is Controlled by Govt Legislation is Dumb regardless of incentives!
With both Parents working....buying near Grandchildrens schools for convenience should not be excluded!
Stupid MPs always stuff up every new chance to Improve our Societys Structure by trying to give 1 but take 2 later
Dumbarses.
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
5:39pm
Nicely put. Don't mince your words I commend you for that. Pensioners will be shafted once again if this proposal gets of the ground.
marto
31st Jul 2017
11:00am
great thought mick
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
11:12am
Looks to me like this is the first step in adding the house to the assets test. Good idea.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
12:01pm
A strange comment coming from you Geezer but spot on the money.
Old Man
31st Jul 2017
11:27am
This is a proposal full of holes. The wording is subjective when legislation must be objective. What is the definition of "near" when assessing how close to schools and an employment hub? There is sure to be a ridiculous position where buying on one side of a street will be allowed but not buying on the other side.

The amount in a super fund becomes an asset on retirement and may affect the age pension if the balance is above the threshold. This has not been addressed. As regards giving part of the reasoning being to solve the housing market, I must disagree. Housing is, and always was, a state government matter. Sydney and Melbourne are booming (albeit slowing), Brisbane is slow, Adelaide is static and Perth is on a slump so how does a federal government come up with laws to assist housing that will cover all of these scenarios.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
12:02pm
My wife said she read that there were 1 million empty houses. Not sure where that came from though.
Old Man
31st Jul 2017
12:10pm
Thanks MICK, I haven't seen that statistic but I'm sure there is a number of houses vacant in Australia. We lived in a small country town for a time and because of a lack of employment in the area, a lot of families were forced to move elsewhere. That little town had quite a few empty houses waiting for sale, some more than two years on the market.

Statistics are often misleading. I recall a government promising childcare for all and stopping the program because there were more vacancies than applicants. The vacancies were all in the eastern suburbs and parents in the western suburbs could not get children into childcare because there were no vacancies in their area.
Rosret
31st Jul 2017
12:15pm
This reminds me of Scotland in C18th when they knocked down all the Crofters houses and put them on boats to America and Australia.
Lucky we now live in a democracy and there are more baby boomers than little young twerps in the government bureaucracy forcing old people out of their homes.
Mick - re empty homes - it probably is true. There are a lot of holiday homes along the coast and a lot of investors riding the real estate boom by just sitting on a property.
Then of course there are our northern friends who are economically invading our nation - at least its a peaceful takeover.
However it won't be their initiative to move oldies away from schools - they all go to private schools.
Honestly - I doubt the information in this article is factual.
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
12:45pm
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/census-snapshot-one-million-homes-left-empty-across-australia-20170717-gxcpiw.html
KSS
31st Jul 2017
12:46pm
The NSW Government has moved to tax empty properties more if they are uninhabited for more than 6 months. Most empty properties fall into one of a few scenarios; first, investment property owned by overseas investors (both Australian and foreign); second, deceased estates where ownership is unclear; third Australian owned where the owners are away temporarily (e.g. work or holiday); and finally the family 'holiday home' only used a few weeks a year.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
12:54pm
Agree Rosret. Not sure if these places are going to be taxed for remaining empty though. That would be interesting.
Rosret
31st Jul 2017
1:18pm
Was there a question on the census that said, "Do you have another home that you are not living in?"
I can't see how the census would give anyone this data.
It would have to be cross checked with energy bills and home ownership titles. A much more complex analysis than the census data gathering - especially with so much foreign ownership.
Not that this is relevant to this topic really as its not investors under the gun - its people's super investment funds.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
2:01pm
What's a Census?
Given the level of information demanded it was clear the latest Census was information profiling rather than a information gathering. I am not interested in completing such a document and didn't. Neither did many other Australians.
sunnyOz
31st Jul 2017
2:13pm
Old man - I currently live in a rural town where there are is an over supply of empty houses. Many selling for less than $200,000, and perfectly liveable. They may not be 'McMansions' but Town has airport (one leg back to capital city), hospital, govt departments, and jobs. At age 64.5 - I was recently offered a full time permanent govt job. There are jobs here if people WANT them. I could not get a job in city - came out here 3 years ago and have been employed from day 1.
But on the main subject of this article - I have recently been to a financial adviser and was most definitely steered away from this - so the money goes in to super where it is classed as an asset, and can reduce pension. I own a small, comfortable 'suits me' (& is only me) - house, and will not be down sizing for anything.
Agree with Patriot - beware of those bearing 'gifts'....
Rosret
1st Aug 2017
1:31pm
SunnyOz - I just might have to move to your neck of the woods. The rates just came in. Ouch! The Federal Government doesn't need any Alice in wonderland schemes - the State government has got it sorted - just ask the Valuer General.
Thank you all those greedy people paying $ms for their homes and thinking it was such a good idea.
Patriot
31st Jul 2017
11:28am
Beware of "Strangers" bearing gifts?
tams
31st Jul 2017
11:37am
The biggest concern is Super is an assessable asset. Putting $600,000 into Super for a couple would dramatically cut the age pension or eliminate it completely
MICK
31st Jul 2017
12:03pm
No...... I never!
Rosret
31st Jul 2017
12:20pm
Do you not think you should be responsible for your own retirement. If you have a spare $600K then surely it should be used before relying on the government for handouts.
That $600K anywhere but in your home is assessable right now. Invested in super it is a tax free asset giving you a tidy $30K per year to live on.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
12:51pm
We are responsible tor our own retirements Rosret and the current government does not give us one dollar of assistance despite not being a burden on taxpayers.
What galls me is that the current government comes after retirees who are not a burden with a vengeance to deny them everything as well as throw them out of their own homes. No fun but it's a game.
Knight Templar
31st Jul 2017
12:51pm
Tams and Rosret. You both have valid points. However, at the very least, the article above should have mentioned that the increase in superannuation will be assessable for pension purposes and could result in a cut or total loss of pension. Pensioners can then make an informed decision whether to sell or not.
Rosret
31st Jul 2017
1:28pm
Scenario: Gran has to move back in with her son and daughter-in-law as she can no longer pay the bills. She loses the pension and absolutely all her independence. She begs for new clothes, shoes and medical attention and yet is denied any of her requests.
Her freedom gone, her ability to communicate with the outside world gone and she will live a slow miserable life in the flat out the back until she dies.
Knight Templar I have seen this happen to oldies - just by a signing power of attorney.
We must protect the elderly from the greed of the young and this article reflects just that - the greed of a group of young bureaucrats who believe this will never happen to them.
Triss
31st Jul 2017
2:08pm
That is so right, Rosret.
Knight Templar
31st Jul 2017
3:35pm
Yes Rosret. Selling up, moving in with the children and losing any title to property can prove financially disastrous for elderly parents particularly if relationships with the children sour. Equally, precarious is signing an enduring power of attorney without considering the risks involved should the 'attorney' prove to be less than ethical or honest.
GrandmaKathleen22
31st Jul 2017
11:54am
There are empty houses/units all over Australia. There is no need to do this to pensioners. Address the empty places debacle. Why are investors being allowed to do this?
This offer to pensioners by the government does not help people living in modest homes out of the big cities without any super anyway.
A trap!
MICK
31st Jul 2017
12:04pm
Yep. A load of BS to deflect attention from bad government and scapegoat the retirement community.
Triss
31st Jul 2017
2:17pm
Yes, GrandmaK, there are scads of highrises where I live and a good 50% of a lot of them are not lived in. Let the government move the young families into those and leave the pensioners alone.
In fact Malcolm Turnbull is 62, shunt him into a two-bedroomed unit and turn his $52 million house into flats for the young families he's trying to find accommodation for. Let him lead by example.
Rosret
31st Jul 2017
12:02pm
Ouch - is this for real? Mr Trudge certainly doesn't like us does he or he is making sure his in-laws don't move in!
Well Mr Shorten - want to win the next election? Because if this is true the Liberal party will be O U T out.
Can't buy near a school! Do they not realise we are the parent's daycare and children's school delivery agents. Do you want us off the road or not?
If this was April 1st I would think you are pulling my leg. Still thinking that!
MICK
31st Jul 2017
12:06pm
It's a no brainer Rosret but still expect the right wing controlled media to try and push this government back into office. There are some things which never change.
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
2:25pm
MICK more like inert complacency of the Australian people. Most only prick up their ears at election time, waiting to hear what's in for me.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
3:58pm
Apathy actually and the delegation of government to those who serve vested interests. The public truly gets the government it deserves. And you wonder how some countries get taken over by despots.
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
4:34pm
MICK. Exactly.
Raphael
31st Jul 2017
12:04pm
Opportunity for some
But most won't bother , because taking the pension and preserving their assets seems like the way to go for most
Rosret
31st Jul 2017
12:31pm
Only if you want the government as your master. So much better to stand on your own two feet and not have to bend to the whim of Centrelink.
When did we become a nation of gimme gimmes?
Raphael
31st Jul 2017
12:51pm
If we had universal pension many pensioners would downsize
Rosret
31st Jul 2017
12:58pm
Raphael - a universal pension would be the best move yet. It would stop the big brother attitude of Centrelink and stop all the money shifting and hiding.
Anything an individual saves along the way is yours for a better retirement.
Rae
31st Jul 2017
1:23pm
A universal pension and all other income taxed would be fair though and this government doesn't do fair unlike the rest of the OECD.
Triss
31st Jul 2017
2:24pm
The ridiculous thing is that that was how the pension was worked out at the beginning.
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
5:03pm
Got too expensive and government tried to change it but Senate made it unworkable.
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
5:11pm
Rosret, I am an advocate of pensions for all who qualify , regardless of income or assets. Just because our oension contributions have been locked up in general revenue is no excuse. It is inconceivable and naive to believe that other countries with pension schemes have quarantined all the contributions by their taxpayers and not used to fund other public services.

We have been hoodwinked on this point.
Rainey
1st Aug 2017
3:03am
WRONG, OG. Pensions NEVER got too expensive. The problem is that the handouts to the wealthy are too generous and the nation can't afford both, so greedy privileged pigs decide to bash the defenceless poor to continue handouts to the over-indulged wealthy. We can afford tax cuts to companies making millions, when the same cuts in the US have proven conclusively that they DO NOT DELIVER BENEFIT TO THE NATION. We are still giving the rich 30c tax concession on every dollar put into super while the low-paid get NOTHING for contributing - and in some cases are actually suffering higher taxes on their contributions than they would pay if they received the money in wages.
Rainey
1st Aug 2017
12:05pm
Actually, the biggest single factor in the budget blowout was an $882 million payout to Rupert Murdoch by the ATO. I wonder why our eminent Lieberal treasurers haven't ever disclosed that fact in their whining about pensions not being affordable?

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/feb/17/rupert-murdoch-receives-882m-tax-rebate
KSS
31st Jul 2017
12:34pm
Like all financial matters, careful consideration for the individual's own situation is paramount. For some this will be a good deal (should it ever become law as it stands) for others may be not so much. Each to their own.

And by the way, not all Grandparents are happy to be the fallback unpaid babysitters they are often expected to be. Personally I can't see an issue with not being able to downsize to either a school area or employment hub. I personally would have no need of either after retirement!
Rosret
31st Jul 2017
1:04pm
What is an employment hub? Shops, doctors, hospitals, train stations, THE capital city itself.
Think very carefully before you say this is OK.
KSS
31st Jul 2017
1:17pm
Shops, doctors, hospitals, train stations even Centrelink offices are all found in the 'suburbs' too Rosret, but few employment opportunities compared closer to the city centre.
Rosret
31st Jul 2017
1:30pm
They are still an employment hub. It didn't say city.
Triss
31st Jul 2017
2:26pm
Probably in the middle of a desert you would be OK.
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
3:47pm
Many are already out in the desert through choice now.
Rosret
31st Jul 2017
12:55pm
This draft proposal is illogical. Governments have known for decades that schools have a use by date as the population of the suburb matures. That's why 40 years ago they started building demountables instead for symbolic brick structures.
It is far cheaper to build a new school than move everyone out of town for the next generation.
The old schools will not be the future of education. Its time to build rooms with solar provisions for heating, cooling and lighting - and lift the roof of these austere industrial GIGO education houses. Classroom design needs to change to make the rooms more teacher/student friendly in the light of our new evolving technology.
If the Australian government is truly interested in making life easier for our young then start looking forward not working on destroying the final years of the retiree.
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
1:08pm
I guess one could sell the holiday house and contribute it to super to save tax.

Sounds to me like it's for the pensioner with no other assets other than the house or the wealthy with less than 1.6 million in super selling rental properties.
Raphael
31st Jul 2017
2:04pm
Selling rental property makes no difference to their assets outside principal residence
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
3:31pm
But it makes a difference to their income since super income is tax free.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
3:55pm
Putting any money into the superannuation system voluntarily is a real gamble. It is already understood that governments of both persuasion want some of this money and sooner or later they will get it. I suspect that will happen after superannuation savings are nationalised.
Rae
31st Jul 2017
4:09pm
At the moment OG but you know you can't trust them. Just because super pensions are tax free now doesn't mean they can't change those rules like all the others they've changed. Forget grandfathering too as that idea has been betrayed as well.
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
4:28pm
MICK. I have been saying this for a long time. All major parties will support such a move. Super funds will be incorporated into general revenue, what a nice place to be. Lump sum withdrawals will be abolished. People wii still have to pay the SGC, probably at a higher rate, as the Government will own the funds. Goverment pensions will be paid to everyone from general revenue and means tested as now.

We have been stuffed.

Plus ca change plus c'est le meme chose.
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
4:54pm
Lump sums already have been abolished!
ex PS
31st Jul 2017
7:18pm
I wish someone had told me, I just took out a lump sum tax free to replace an asset.
Sundays
31st Jul 2017
7:23pm
No they haven't OG, you can take a lump sum from super once you reach your preservation age. There is no requirement to turn it into an income stream. Why do you think otherwise?
ex PS
1st Aug 2017
5:19am
Just another attempt by O.G to win an argument by ignoring the facts. But it is something that this government would love to bring in. It seems intent on destroying the credibility of the Super Industry as far as being a good choice for retirement planning. After all who is going to use a planning strategy that has rules that seem to change every six to twelve months?
Rae
31st Jul 2017
1:14pm
Sounds like yet another piece of discriminatory legislation. Why am I not surprised as "fair" means something very evil to this group of politicians.
Chrissy L
31st Jul 2017
1:30pm
I think this is a real con by the Government to get older peoples pensions reduced as they increase their assets when they downsize. As well as this, if you are considering entering a retirement village, that is also fraught with danger as seen recently on 4 Corners.
This current Government has done absolutely zilch for older Australians since it came to power, other than reduce our part pensions and try to get us into smaller homes, where they again can reduce our pensions via the asset or income test on any profit. Oh, I forgot the one off payment of $75.00 to help pay our power bills! Sorry, not happy about that either, it is from money they have taken off me already. They are only interested in the wealthy. Look at their response to the water theft situation on the Murray River - shameful. I agree with Mick, let's get rid of them as soon as we can. They are a disgrace.
Vote for someone who has some moral values and will get some equality and fairness back into Australian Government.
Grandma Dee
31st Jul 2017
1:39pm
Am confused as to why the proximity to a school is forbidden. The residence we want to downsize to is an Over 55's complex and it is opposite a school. This may preclude us from buying our preferred option. I think the idea of putting house sales proceeds into super is a good one, as one can be self reliant and not need extra Government assistance.
Hawkeye
1st Aug 2017
1:57am
Yeah Grandma Dee, it's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of (except, perhaps, for some of OG's views on life)

In the town where I live, the furthest homes from the schools are only 1200 metres away, but they are in the middle of the Industrial Area (an employment hub).
And the furthest homes from the Industrial Area are the ones right next to the school.
My house is right in the middle, and is only 600m from the High School, 600m from the Industrial Area, and 800m from the Commercial Area (another employment hub).

So possibly, pensioners will be excluded from living in this town after downsizing, which seems to be a real pity when retirement villages is one of the chief industries in the town.
PlanB
31st Jul 2017
1:41pm
WTF would a person of say 80 want to be looking around for another place when they worked long and hard to be where they are in their retirement!

I am darn sure an older person in not the best health would NOT want to be searching for another home and have others traipsing in and out of theirs to sell it either nor want to be moving ^&#@*&^! furniture etc to move either, and as far as I am concerned they can go to hell!
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
1:47pm
Given the dire track record of Governments on pension rights , I would not trust them regarding this proposed scheme. It is a trap so the Government of the day can not only reduce pensions but have access to a person's super, one way or the other. Is this the thin end of the wedge to eventually force everyone to downsize or lose all or part of the pension? A covert attempt to include the family home in the assets test one way or another.What if a person having used this scheme, then wants to reverse it in at any time and channel all their super back in to a principal place of residence. Will that be allowed ? Keep the family home unless there are extenuating circumstances not to do so.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
2:05pm
Maybe my memory serves me incorrectly but I seem to recall the Gillard government gave pensioners increases in the pension and never came after retirees in any way.
It is the Abbott and Turnbull governments which made retirees fair game and brought in a whole raft of changes to asset strip them. Am I correct?
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
2:22pm
MICK. During the time of the Rudd leadership, it seems.

The Labor supported the recent asset test levels , resulting in thousands losing or having their pensions reduced.

As you well know I have no allegiance to either party and they will not receive my vote.

Sept. 2009
“When Kevin Rudd announced the weekly rise to base pensions in the May budget, he wrote to all premiers and chief ministers demanding that state housing authorities allow the entire extra benefit to flow onto pensioners.”

July 2010
“A leading seniors advocate says Prime Minister Julia Gillard was not the only Labor politician to raise questions about the increase to the age pension.
It has been alleged Ms Gillard opposed the pension increase because "old people never vote for Labor".
She rejects that, but has confirmed she questioned the increase during Cabinet discussions because she wanted to ensure it was affordable.”

The rest is history as they say.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
3:51pm
Interesting report. What never happened under Labor was an all out and sustained attack on retirees like we have seen from the Abbott and Turnbull governments.
Retirees should not have to start worrying about their ability to survive and this is the case at present.
There may have been differing views from within Labor about pensions but the fact is Labor did not come after retires whilst the coalition have made a sport of it.

Like you I support neither side. Whilst I am certainly left leaning I expect to discuss the facts rather than run propaganda and apply the same rules to myself.
Thanks for the enlightenment.
mike
31st Jul 2017
1:52pm
Turnbull called the disabled rorters whilst he himself was filling his back pocket with NOT one but SEVERAL lots of rorted $288 /night travel allowance he was using to pay of his Canberra $3million mansion. He attacked the working class retirees who worked and saved for their retirement under the then current centreling guidelines. Julia Bishop says we have no money for the sick, the poor, the disadvantaged , the pensioners, yet gives away several hundred million dollars to the muslim dominated UN and various muslim countries that hate us and want us dead. Any wonder we cant trust this Government, who lie through their teeth and fill their own back pockets.
PlanB
31st Jul 2017
1:56pm
This lot has really got me puzzled -- they lie and lie -- and rob us blind but make us pay for their greed
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
2:01pm
Because the Liberals,Labor and Greens are all Globalist parties and hence play to the tune of the piper, the UN.

Do not trust any of the aforementioned parties to look after the best interests of Australia and its people. They have lied to us, deceived us and continue to do so.

This scheme is another of those lies. I will not have a bar of it.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
2:07pm
Chicken feed mike when you consider how much tax the Turnbull empire has evaded using offshore tax shelters where the tax rate is nil.
Turnbull defies belief when he attacks ordinary citizens and is the literal teapot calling the kettle black. I despise hypocrites.
marls
1st Aug 2017
3:52pm
mick
so true, bishop just cant help herself she thrives of giving taxpayers money away to overseas than tell us we are broke
niemakawa
1st Aug 2017
4:03pm
marls for every so-called refugee Australia , regrettably, accepts against the will of the vast majority of Australians, then 1 million dollars should be sliced from the foreign aid budget . Preferably stp all FA it is a scam and certainly the intended recipients see very little, if any of the donation. The money is used as part of the propoganda machine by the UN for its NWO. We are paying a tax for our own demise, wonderful!!!
Triss
31st Jul 2017
2:22pm
Encourage pensioners to sell their homes supposedly freeing up houses for younger families. I assume the pensioners also have to pay the stamp duty on any new home they buy. Not only that but legal fees, removal costs and you can almost guarantee that the house you move into has something, however small, that needs to be altered or upgraded. The pension assessable increase in superannuation will probably result in the government shaving off the pension entitlement so the pensioner will be living in a smaller house, possibly far away from friends and family and trying to exist on a lot less money.
I'm guessing that the government worked all this out before penning the legislation but made a mistake by thinking that we wouldn't work it out.
Puglet
31st Jul 2017
2:36pm
This 'downsizing' plan offers little for most older people and won't help first home buyers either. In the early 1960s my Perth suburb was 'rural' and the only people who moved there were the post-war migrants. They built the houses and created the market gardens at the same times as working 7 days a week. The suburb is now a much desired location. Most of the Italian migrants have died but a few are left. In my street there are 3 indomitable widows aged between 93-104 who have lived in their houses pretty much from the time they disembarked as teenage brides. Each one lives on land worth 2 million and gets the pension. Every week developers try to get them to sell. As one says 'ring me when I am dead and ask again'. For them and many old people their houses represent their lives - births, marriages and deaths. They tended gardens, walked to mass and the Italian community centre. They made pasta and homemade sauces for the neighbours. They have no use for a million dollars and they aren't going anywhere and why should they?
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
2:47pm
That's how it should be. Expect to see "forced"relocations within our lifetime.
Thinker
31st Jul 2017
3:07pm
At last the Government is offering something to self fuhded retirees who do save the Government (really taxpayers) a lot of money
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
3:32pm
I agree we save them heaps and still get taxed as well.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
3:53pm
Sorry Thinker but I missed what the current government is offering retirees???????
Old Geezer
31st Jul 2017
5:04pm
Those on welfare lots but those self funded zilch.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
9:34pm
And vote buying in between.
Rainey
1st Aug 2017
3:10am
Yes, more handouts to those who got wealthy taking more than their share during working life - claiming superannuation tax concessions, CGT concessions, negative gearing benefits, business ''grey area'' tax deductions, and a host more. And STUFF the battlers who saved, despite getting none of the handouts, and managed to pay off modest homes and put aside a little nest egg that they hoped would keep them in comfort in old age and allow them to leave a little to make their children's and grandchildren's lives better. Just keep giving to those who need it least!
downunder
31st Jul 2017
3:58pm
You got to be bonkers if you fall for that trap, unless there is a serious health or family reason.
MICK
31st Jul 2017
4:55pm
Bait for the mentally challenged who actually 'believe' the lies they are told. Sadly there is one born every minute.
heemskerk99
31st Jul 2017
6:39pm
and so are you mick!
MICK
31st Jul 2017
9:35pm
Put up facts heemsjerk. That is something you routinely are unable to do and that is why you have no credibility.
AverageJoe
31st Jul 2017
6:21pm
I don't understand a lot of the whole thing but I am totally bewildered why owners of investment properties i.e. property is being rented and/or not the primary residence should be in this proposal at all.
Also Spouses not on the title should not be included except if living with the title holder in this the primary residence.
Rainey
1st Aug 2017
3:13am
Looking after the wealthy LNP supporters to buy votes, Joe! There's NOTHING here for battlers. It's a scam that will increase housing affordability problems by increasing demand for lower cost housing in less desirable areas - the areas where the struggling young CAN buy - while dumping unaffordable mac-mansions into the market to benefit the wealthy already self-funded with yet another handout to boost their fat incomes, while the strugglers LOSE by taking up the offer.
JoJozep
31st Jul 2017
9:01pm
Well, well. Since when did the government ignore and never mention the real reasons we are in such a mess. They have failed to allow for the most obvious reasons even blind Scotty should have seen it.

What are the reasons?

1. The population is getting older
2. The population is living longer.
3. The present seniors are the result of the post war baby boom.
4. Present living emphasis is to have a good life, and fewer kids
5. "El Dickhead" minister for all things stupid, virtually banned all refugees and young
families, why? because of his arrogant and imperious stand, with the con that they are
saving lives at sea. Why did we allow mass immigration in the 50's, have these migrants
suddenly aged? Did they do us harm? Did they bring wealth to a country when the norm
was to eat fish and chips every Friday wrapped in newspaper? Only today's elderly can
remember in the late 40's when wagons on Princess Pier (Melbourne's premier pier) were
pulled by horses. Could we benefit by an increase in population?

This government is hell bent on doing nothing, taxing the commoners, and offering no
plan for the future. "Down sizing" is their popular cry.

In these circumstances, the rich prefer to stay rich as the poor get poorer. The government is a lapdog to these chosen few. It's the start of a dictatorship. It's time to turn up the heat and throw them out of office before it's too late.

Has anyone a good word for them? I would kike to hear it.
Triss
31st Jul 2017
9:15pm
I've got a good word, JoJozep, but my post will be blacked if I repeat it.
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
9:42pm
Immigration is at record levels, just have agood look around your environs. Don't know if these newcomers will be much helpful though. Most are on one Government benefit or another. Australia should reduce this type of immigration, to zero would be a good start. Only allow people to come who have the required professional qualifications, a job lined up, smaller families, no "baggage" and most of all will integrate in society.

I agree the Government is a a dictatorship in all but name, that is brought about by the UN, which has plans for all Western civilisations to be replaced with those of colour. Australia is a lap dog of this criminal organisation.

BTW fish and chips the greatest of all culinary foods.
JoJozep
31st Jul 2017
11:02pm
I like fish and chips, but only from our local Greek shop. The point I was making was that in the 50's, before immigrants took over the fish business from locals, standards in Australia were not even third world. I remember receiving a parcel for the family dinner and the fish and chips were wrapped in newspaper. Because of the "lard" or stinking used oil, the newspaper ink would transfer onto the fish after the oil used would dissolve it, so you could read the weather forecast on one fish, death notice on another and football scores on the third. This was the norm, showing how backward Australia was after the war.

Migrants made this country what it is today. We are not admitting anywhere near the number of migrants we need for expansion and generating demand for jobs and purchasing power. Remember NK, migrants work hard and pay taxes, probably towards your pension.

This is where the Government believes in the "trickle down policy", that making the big end of town and their grossly overpaid CEO's pay less tax, will lead to more expansion and create new jobs. Pig's Arse to quote one famous beer drinker and maker, will a rich person spend money to employ someone unless he can screw the system for all its worth.

Many CEO's pride themselves on sacking workers in the belief the company will improve profits, forgetting two important things, its usually the working man/woman that buy the products a company produces, and its the working man/woman that pays the most taxes to support the lavish lifestyle of these blood suckers and politicians.

If fewer people are working, who do you sell your goods to? So what happens-, the company downsizes, the same stupid mindset as our present politicians. So Scotty comes up with telling hard worked seniors to downsize, forgetting older people have spent their life scrapping and saving to own their own home. It takes the average family 30-40 years or more now to pay off their house. Does the sinister Scotty understand the transfer costs and upheavals involved? Does he know what small houses cost these days?. Try this as an example.

Three bedroom house with single garage in Camberwell Victoria, $1.4 million. What do you get for this? A lousy cheap paneled "modern" house of 15sq. set on a standard 750m2 block, shared with two other houses and a common driveway, all concrete, garden size 2x3 metres. and your nearest neighbour close enough to spit on. And what do you give up? a house valued at $1.3 million, brick veneer and solid brick, 5 bedrooms, on acre block with triple garage. Who's rutting whom? Who will pay up to $100,000 in transfer costs, I bet fat Scotty won't. The sad part of this is that many seniors are of the old school and have pride in their political leaders and believe them, they also believe in some rubbish put out as propaganda in the news papers. Once they go to a lot of trauma and stress in selling and buying their tiny new house, they can't change their mind and go back, not without another huge loss anyway. What a shemozzle!

Also, and most importantly, a lot of people these days develop some form of dementia. Anything unfamiliar upsets these people as they become confused about their new surroundings. Why would anyone go through this trauma and for little or negative benefit? Another sinister, confusing and stupid plan dreamt up by the desperate government trying to appear generous to old people to get their vote and at the same time robbing them blind of their life savings. Boy, does Scotty think older people are that gullible.
niemakawa
31st Jul 2017
11:37pm
Thank you for your comment, enjoyed reading it. You have made some excellent valid points relevant to what the older citizens face in their retirement years. The Government(s) has little idea of the trauma and unpheaval of moving home.

I have the utmost respect for the contribution post-war migrants have made to this Country, without them where would we be. I will take your word about the Fish and Chips wrapped in newspaper.

I am not opposed to migration per se but it has to be balanced so society as a whole benefits.

The quality of leadership in this Country is not helping the cause.
Rainey
1st Aug 2017
8:44am
Thank you YLC for alerting us to the opportunity to comment on the proposed legislation. I hope everyone here who is seeing the flaws will make a submission noting their concerns. Here's a copy of what I submitted:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on draft legislation evidently designed to encourage retiree homeowners to downsize accommodation by allowing them to contribute to superannuation.

I regret to say that I find the logic behind this proposal confounding, unless it's intended as yet another concession to wealthy retirees, funded by less well off taxpayers.

While I can see how a wealthy person who has never lived in the real world of retirement might imagine this proposal is a good thing for the nation, I wish politicians and senior bureaucrats would make it their business to learn a little about the reality of retirement for working Australians. The glaring flaws in this proposal ought to be obvious.

1. Downsizing is costly and emotionally stressful. Stamp duty, estate agent commissions, advertising and marketing costs, conveyancing costs, moving costs, upgrades and special fittings to the new residence may well eat up most of the savings achieved by downsizing. Then there is the emotional trauma of relocation and getting accustomed to life in a new neighbourhood. The real costs may well exceed any benefit this proposal purports to offer.

2. Downsizing, for some, might mean moving into a home unit or retirement village. The problems unit owners face with body corporate levies and group decision-making will shock many who have not experienced this kind of living before. Retirement complexes have been in the news for their unfair contracts. It's a minefield out there for an elderly person, and one we should NOT be encouraging older folk to try to navigate without a lot of expertise and help. Tempting them with promises of tax-free money and increased income - promises that may well never be fulfilled anyway - is cruel given the hazards they may encounter.

The proposal may also encourage earlier entry to aged care, which is surely not a good thing either for the still-active retiree or for a nation that is struggling with the hideously high costs of aged care and battling to maintain acceptable standards of care across all facilities.

3. Downsizing, for vast numbers, will result in pension loss that will leave them worse off. Sure, it might help the nation to throw yet more responsible savers off the pension, but its cruel and unfair to mislead people into believing they will benefit when in fact they will suffer loss. And I question what benefit it is to the nation to fund tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations by reducing the wealth of those retirees who worked hard and saved, hoping to leave a little behind to help their children and grandchildren. Sure, those who have been forced to use their assets to survive while the less responsible live off the taxpayer may save the taxpayer a little. The long term result is that they may need more support in old age - having drained their assets - and their children and grandchildren are likely to be more needy, while the government hands out more to pensioners with $500,000 in the bank and wealthy ''self-funded'' superannuants. This is wealth redistribution, not budget improvement. And it's patently unfair and sends a strong signal to the working class that it's futile working and saving much for retirement, because you are favoured if you have a few hundred thousand less and you end up with a higher income than if you save more.

Even the self-funded who have limited assets and will qualify for a pension in future years, having been forced to spend their capital, will suffer loss from downsizing rather than benefiting from this proposal.

4. So who does the proposal potentially benefit? Clearly the wealthy self-funded who will never qualify for a pension will pick up a nice saving by being able to downsize their million dollar home and contribute more to superannuation to generate more tax free income. Investors who lived in a house for a short time and 'couples' who became couples recently to cash in on benefits might do well, provided they are never likely to need a pension. Then again, these psuedo-couples can take the booty and then split and one keeps the house and the other ends up on the pension anyway, so goodbye budget savings! To extend the legislation to allow make-believe couples and investors to gain demonstrates total hypocrisy and contempt for the struggling pensioner retirees who are finding themselves constantly challenged just to pay for essentials like electricity and gas.

5. What about the housing affordability crisis? Well, given that a pensioner or potential future pensioner would be foolish to take up the government's offer, it's unlikely that a lot of very modest homes will come onto the market. No. It's far more likely that owners of million+ dollar mac-mansions will sell up and downsize. Logically, owners of small and modest homes are unlikely to want to downsize anyway because they don't have more space than they need, and few will want to move into cheaper neighbourhoods - away from family, friends and everything familiar - for a very small cash yield (after meeting all the high costs of relocation), even if the cash benefit didn't reduce their pension entitlements.

So we have well-to-do owners of very expensive homes benefiting from the legislation and maybe selling homes struggling young folk can't afford to buy, while competing with struggling young folk to buy the more affordable smaller home in the less desirable location!

Add to that, the proposal is saying ''well, you can't buy near a school or employment hub'', so cashed up retiree buyers will be competing with the working-class battlers whose only hope of buying a house is to accept a modest little cottage in an area where prices are lower because of remoteness from employment opportunities and facilities. Logically, the housing affordability crisis will get WORSE. And for beating a struggling young couple to the punch in the auction of that affordable little cottage out in the boon-docks - which might present huge problems for the retiree couple when they lose the capacity to drive - the well-to-do self-funded retiree is rewarded with a tax saving, giving him/her an income boost that is not needed and will probably not increase spending and therefore contribute nothing to economic growth. All that will have been achieved is to give someone who didn't need help a tax-free bonus and to elevate the price of the kind of housing battling young people actually CAN afford!

Sorry, this legislation is utterly illogical and totally unhelpful either to the retirees who need help or to the nation as a whole. It's just more handouts for the wealthy - and perhaps more votes bought for the LNP, whose focus seems to be to indulge the greediest at the cost of the neediest.

Please go back to the drawing board and come up with something that actually makes sense. Maybe ask working class retirees for advice - you know, the ones who live in the real world and understand how the real world works!

Oh, and just one more point: If you talked to people who live in the real world, they would tell you they so distrust the government that they wouldn't believe even a hint that this proposal would benefit them, and they certainly don't trust the superannuation system. They would say (are saying) that this government is constantly fiddling with the rules for superannuation and pensions - to the point where retirees are living in fear and even the more affluent live with insecurity that makes them sick with stress and terrified of the reduced capacity that comes with increasing age. And as for the younger folk - they are shaking their heads in dismay and saying ''What do we have to look forward to? Why bother to work hard, when only the privileged get to enjoy the rewards and there's no certainty of anything tomorrow. The struggling savers are just constantly bashed, insulted and slandered and their living standards attacked so that multi-million-dollar corporations and the tax-dodging wealthy are relieved of any obligation to pay their dues to society. And now the government is killing off our inheritance, making mum and dad's retirement years tough, and wrapping their ill-conceived and over-generous concessions to the wealthy in a cloak of deception.''

Sadly, those saying this are right.
Old Geezer
1st Aug 2017
10:19am
Like everything Rainey it will work for some people but for those with a welfare mentality and want the old age pension no matter how the numbers stack up then it is not for them. Welfare is more important than anything else for some people.
Rainey
1st Aug 2017
12:00pm
Yes, OG. Like I said, it works for the WEALTHY. Not for the majority, and DEFINITELY NOT FOR THE NATION. It's a flawed scheme that only offers benefit to the well off, and it's got nothing to do with anyone thinking welfare is more important than anything else. On the contrary, it has to do with a STUPID government driving greater reliance on welfare by deliberately discouraging endeavour and saving. But I wouldn't expect you to have the intelligence to understand my submission, Old Greedy.

I don't believe ANY retiree things welfare is more important than anything else. What they rightly consider important is security and confidence in the system, and STUPID policies like this continue to erode that.
Old Geezer
1st Aug 2017
2:46pm
Good Rainey we need something that works for the wealthy as welfare certainly doesn't.
Old Geezer
1st Aug 2017
2:59pm
Let's face it Rainey the best solution is to add the house into the assets test and have any welfare OAP become a debt upon one's estate to stop all this double dipping.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2017
5:02am
Why don't you come out and say we need to murder all the less advantaged so the rich can have it all, your disgusting creep? Sure, we need EVERYTHING to work for the wealthy and NOTHING to work for the less advantaged, because the GREED OF THE DISGUSTING WEALTHY IS TOTALLY INSATIABLE.

Why don't we require all those obscene handouts and tax concessions the rich got all their life to be repaid from estates, OG. Oh, that's right, because the BORN TO RULE are ENTITLED SCUM.
Kaz
1st Aug 2017
11:56am
FGS! Aussies have always considered the pension a part of our lives and never had an issue with it. We don't consider pensions for politicians in their current form ok (particularly when they can collect a big wage at the same time) and we don't believe in their pay rises when they try ti stem rises for the majority- ie workers. OG and your kind fall for pollies' elitism. We know trickle down economics is rubbish. We must be kinder in our acceptance of a better balance of equality as it is the mark of an intelligent nation and engenders fairness to others, as well as the environment.
Radish
1st Aug 2017
2:37pm
The Squirrel and
The Grasshopper


POPULAR VERSION

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
AND NOW
THE AUSTRALIAN VERSION


The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building 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.

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 while 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 in 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 squirrel's house.

The ABC, interrupting a cultural festival special from St Kilda with breaking news, broadcasts a multi-cultural choir singing ‘We Shall Overcome'.

Bill Shorten (leader of opposition) rants in an interview with Laurie Oakes that the squirrel 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, retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The squirrel's taxes are reassessed
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 the 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 squirrel's 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 retroactive taxes, the squirrel has to downsize and start building a new home.

The local authority takes over his old home and utilises 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 Australians' apparent love of dogs.

The cats had been arrested for the international offence of hijacking and attempted bombing but were immediately released because the police fed them pilchards 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 the mice.

The cats devise and start 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 still months away, while the Housing Commission house he is in, crumbles around him because he hasn’t bothered to maintain it. He is shown to be taking drugs.

Sarah Hanson Young (The greens) 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 drugs habit. He is imprisoned but released immediately because he has been in custody for 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 criticised by the government for failing to befriend the cats.

The grasshopper dies of a drug overdose.

The usual sections of the press blame it on the obvious failure of 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, the 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 that they will have to work beyond 65 because of a shortfall in government funds.
Old Geezer
1st Aug 2017
2:49pm
Gee when I was a kid anyone on welfare including old age pensioners were considered second class citizens.
Rainey
2nd Aug 2017
4:57am
In my view, the second class citizens are the greedy self-serving scumbags who quote the ''squirrel and grasshopper'' tale and try to make it relevant to modern capitalism - where it has ZERO RELEVANCE - using it as an excuse to denigrate good people.

In our capitalist society, the grasshopper works his guts out for a lot less than his effort is worth so the more privileged squirrel can make profit and get rich. Meanwhile, the squirrel gets huge tax concessions that are not accessible to the grasshopper and stores up his wealth in tax havens. Bear in mind that the grasshopper works for less than his worth because he was not fortunate enough to - like the squirrel - inherit wealth or privilege or natural intelligence or skill, receive a quality education, enjoy excellent health, have influential contacts, find a competent mentor, etc. Or maybe he/she suffered a tragedy, like the premature death of a spouse or parents or a severe disability. Then, having ripped off society for decades to build a fat retirement fund, the squirrel decides the grasshopper should live in poverty and shame as punishment for working for low pay for decades, and the squirrel should continue to rip off the taxpaying public with a huge tax-free income for the rest of its life.

In recognition of the gross inequity of opportunity in a capitalist society, our forefathers created progressive taxation and implemented social help programs to ensure that even the most disadvantaged could attain an acceptable standard of living in a wealthy society. They recognized that a decent society doesn't simply exploit labour and skill for the gain of the more fortunate and condemn widows and orphans (who may be such because their husbands gave their lives to maintain freedom for rich pigs to get richer!) and the sick and disabled - much less the old who have given decades to nation building and deserve respect - to a sub-standard existence.

Today, greed rules. The rich can never get enough, and the poor are fair game for every ''reform'' that will enable the wealthy to escape yet more of their social obligations. And if the poor complain, they are ''greedy'' for wanting to be able to afford food, shelter and warmth in their old age after working and paying tax for decades, and likely raising and educating kids who are now paying tax.

No, OG, pensioners were NEVER second class citizens except in the eyes of the most disgusting scumbags, OG. I know there WERE some vile individuals (and clearly they still exist) who looked down their filthy long twisted noses at widows and orphans and the chronically ill and disabled and the old who wrecked their bodies working for peanuts and paying twice the tax their rich boss paid. But those who regarded others with derision were the world's most disgusting
scumbags, and happily modern society is generally more enlightened and compassionate. Today, we have a much smaller minority of arrogant privileged scum who think good fortune and inherited privilege make you better than others.

Yes, Radish, a proportion of privileged people did party and waste their wealth and opportunity. A small proportion are lazy and irresponsible. And sadly, it's too hard to distinguish that minority from the genuinely disadvantaged who DESERVE the aid society affords them. So the lazy and irresponsible do get public housing and pension payments and free health care, along with the needy. But the majority who receive those benefits are decent individuals who are entirely deserving. And only the most UNDESERVING and CONTEMPTIBLE would ever imply otherwise.

BTW. The STUPIDITY of those who constantly want to make the welfare system more punitive and suppressive bear 100% of the responsibility for the fact that increasing numbers rort the welfare system - because you fools have supported continual changes to make it harder and harder for good people to pull themselves up from disadvantage. By punishing endeavour by the struggling and destroying hope, you have entrenched a welfare mentality in a percentage of the population - and that percentage will continue to grow until fools wake up that punishing and denigrating people for facing hardship will continue to kill initiative and diligence. When we start to show human decency and compassion and insist the system give people a respectful hand-up instead of a contemptuous and denigrating hand-out, we might solve the welfare problem.
ex PS
3rd Aug 2017
2:36pm
Yes O.G, parents can influence their children to believe the most bizarre things. Thankfully most of us grow up to have minds and opinions of our own.

Your parents have a lot to answer for, I will view your opinions with pity rather than scorn in the future.
Rainey
4th Aug 2017
2:33pm
Thanks ex PS. I hadn't thought of it quite like that, but clearly OG's parents do have a lot to answer for, teaching him such vile and bigoted notions. It's just very sad that he hasn't intelligence and maturity to form more valid opinions in adulthood.
Chrissy L
1st Aug 2017
3:57pm
Niemakawa, just to clarify a point the Labor Party did not support the recent asset changes to the Pension, it became legislation with help from the Greens.
niemakawa
1st Aug 2017
4:10pm
Correct. The Labor party did oppose it but Shorten the leader did not.
The Hon Alan Tudge MP
Minister for Human Services
Bill Shorten is trying to rewrite history again over pension assets test changes. In the dying days of the election campaign, Labor endorsed the changes to pensions so they could bank the savings in their financial costings.

We assumed that Labor had, finally, recognised that regardless of who is in Government, it is essential to take action to ensure the pension is sustainable into the future.

However, the Opposition Leader is still keen to walk both sides of the street and mislead vulnerable people over Labor’s support for these changes, once again denying their support with his weasel words on 3AW this morning:

“… the problem I think, which is exacerbated that decision, and Labor voted against that decision when the Liberals and the Greens were pushing it…”

Instead of explaining that the Labor Party now support the change, Mr Shorten endorsed the Union robo call campaign, which is specifically designed to scare pensioners unnecessarily and dishonestly, saying:

“Um, when does the ordinary person get a chance to find out the issues and also to, um, contact the government to let them know?”

Bill Shorten knows that the Department of Human Services wrote to 700,000 pensioners in late September and early October to fully outline the details of the changes.

He also knows my Department has, in the past 2 weeks, written directly to all those affected detailing the specific change to their payment, if they have one.

The facts are more than 90% of pensioners will be better off or have no change to their payment from 1 January 2017, but Bill is still determined to scare vulnerable people by refusing to distance himself from the Union campaign.

These changes are fair and critical to ensure that Australia's pension system remains sustainable into the future as our population ages. The changes effectively revert back to the taper rate that existed prior to 2007 and are supported by both ACOSS and COTA.
JoJozep
2nd Aug 2017
8:46am
Wow, I was impressed by Rainey's submission. It covered all issues affecting treatment of seniors by present politicians, especially as casting our dependent numbers as a "problem" that needed to be fixed. When these "dependents" were working for their 40-45 year working life and paying 30-45% tax plus 10% GST, plus high interest rates on mortgages (mine was 17.5%) what was happening to all this money collected. Where was it spent? How was it possible for a government to squander such wealth?

Well I can tell you, when Labor proposed some of this wealth should be invested for the future seniors, the Liberal coalition shot it down with the help of the crazy Greens. Live now while you can and reap the rewards when you can was the government motto.

So the rich got richer from this common wealth, and the poor suckers who had no say worked their butt off to support the government, who in turn supported the rich. This was a carefully planned scheme and executed almost to perfection. Who were these plotters do you say? For starters, I can point to the Menzies Foundation (Tony Shepard) and the Gratten Institute and all the mealy mouthed privileged few who could speak with forked tongue and get away with it.

How is it after paying millions in taxes, my part pension was wiped out because Scotty wanted to claw back my own money that I contributed over those long hard years. Shame on the grinning fat bastard. He is no better than the Sheriff of Nottingham, robbing the poor to support the rich. History repeats itself?

By the way racist Niemakawa, I was one of those 700,000 people who was written to telling me I would lose my part pension. Do you think I was overjoyed by that.

One thing I can tell you, I will be voting for Bill and when the rest of the down trodden wake up to the LNP and banish them for good.

Australia only really progressed when in time of need, (like WW2), Labor took the reins and provided steel-strong leadership. As far as unions are concerned, everyone has been told to hate them because they stand up to big business and government and demand a fair go, what's wrong with that? Their only sin is when bludgers take over the unions and give them a bad name by committing criminal acts. I wouldn't be surprised if it was found out disruptive union leaders where secretly paid by the rich business end of town.

Yes perverse! Look back in history to see that gold miners were hunted by the rich, then the Eureka Stockade, then women demanding equal rights and the right to vote. How dare they! Now the people who own this country, the original inhabitants, are slowly being allowed a say in their rights. So who are the bludgers?
JoJozep
2nd Aug 2017
3:44pm
To quote NK:-

"The facts are more than 90% of pensioners will be better off or have no change to their payment from 1 January 2017, but Bill is still determined to scare vulnerable people by refusing to distance himself from the Union campaign.

These changes are fair and critical to ensure that Australia's pension system remains sustainable into the future as our population ages. The changes effectively revert back to the taper rate that existed prior to 2007 and are supported by both ACOSS and COTA."

Boy, do you think we are that gullible to believe the above trash statements. Let's analyse the truth. The real facts are:

1. 90% of pensioners will be better off and 10% much worse off. So what happens to 10% of pensioners? Have they not already contributed their taxes for their retirement future? Were we not told year after year to contribute so our taxes would support us in the future?Is it the pensioners fault their money was spent on giving multinationals a free tax break, and the big end of town tax concessions? Get your priorities straight NK, we (the 10% unfortunates who were slashed of our incomes) have already prepaid our pension, so don't come telling us the pension scheme is unsustainable, and it's the pensioners' fault. That's utter rubbish and an insult to those who worked hard all their lives. Because of this government's stuff ups, it is becoming unsustainable, I agree, but it's Scottie's and poor Joe's fault, no one else's. LNP hate welfare systems. They fail the country dismally when it comes to looking after the less well off or less fortunate, as though these people are inferior and must be annihilated or treated as vermin. Nazi thinking perhaps? Superior races perhaps (though only if you are rich and famous)?

2. NK (Niemakawa), you wove the unions into the above statement as though the unions are to blame for the pension scheme failing. What have they got to do with it? You are the ones scaring pensioners by telling them the unions are to blame. That is a blatant lie.

3. "These changes are fair and critical". Fair to whom? Critical of what, giving people their own money they have already paid in taxes back to them in the form of pensions? Remember whose money we're dealing with here. Never ever, does the government generate money to give to pensioners (as this article suggests). All they do is distribute the money selectively, firstly paying themselves good salaries and pension schemes to die for at my bloody expense thank you, the rest to the wealthy business people Australia, most unfairly to those who contributed all their lives and get nothing in return. Shame on these blood suckers. (This has little effect for politicians were born with a thick hide and the only thing they're always scared of is getting booted out at the next election, so let's do it).

4. "These changes refer back to the pre 2007 taper rate." No they don't. The pre 2007 taper rates allowed for part pensions which have now been deleted. Also other pension scheme benefits that were deleted, for example if you worked a further five years you could delay your pension, but then get it as a lump sum of the amount you were entitled to had you retired are never mentioned. This was referred to as the "Deferred Pension Scheme". What Scotty has done in effect, by cutting my source of income by part pension, is denying me my own money not his, and to me that's robbery and a criminal act. Maybe we can start a class action suit against the arrogant LNP and all members in it.

So so much for the smooth talk from the likes of Scotty and the rest of the lapdog LNP. I wouldn't accept any of their smooth talk by glossing over the true facts. Just yesterday Scotty bragged about both business confidence and consumer confidence improving as a result of his budget measures, at the same time, learned economists are saying the general population is going backwards, with stagnant wage growth, unimproved long term employment, less money for pension and welfare. So again, whose the liar?, which end does he pull these figures from? How desperate he must be to try and find some good news, probably realising, Australia's prosperity lies in his hands and he knows the LNP will lose the next election by the way they're going.

By the way, if quoting the liberal propaganda machine, one needs to understand if the statements realised are factual and truthful, otherwise it shows a lack of foresight and clear thinking.
niemakawa
2nd Aug 2017
4:55pm
Good post. Just re: point 2. You must be confusing me with another poster. I have not mentioned the Unions in any of my comments. I have not a supporter of Unions in general and most definitely not a Labor fan.

If you would care to look at many of my comments on the aged pension I am an advocate for the Aged Pension to be given to all those who qualify, regardless of income/assets. This is the only fair, moral and ethical.

It is outrageous that the upper limit for assets has been lowered, resulting in people like yourself being denied your right, something to which you have made a life-long contribution. Many others are receiving reduced a entitlement because of the change in the taper rate.

Finally to confirm my polticial leanings. I will never vote for any Globalist party , Libs/Lab/Greens who do not care about our Country nor its people. Their allegiance is towards the UN, which in my opinion is a criminal organisation.
JoJozep
2nd Aug 2017
6:38pm
Dear niemakawa,

Here is what you posted in two submissions: 31st/July: --

"Immigration is at record levels, just have a good look around your environs. Don't know if these newcomers will be much helpful though. Most are on one Government benefit or another. Australia should reduce this type of immigration, to zero would be a good start. Only allow people to come who have the required professional qualifications, a job lined up, smaller families, no "baggage" and most of all will integrate in society. "

And then on Ist August_:

I agree the Government is a a dictatorship in all but name, that is brought about by the UN, which has plans for all Western civilisations to be replaced with those of colour. Australia is a lap dog of this criminal organisation. Instead of explaining that the Labor Party now support the change, Mr Shorten endorsed the Union robo call campaign, which is specifically designed to scare pensioners unnecessarily and dishonestly, saying:

“Um, when does the ordinary person get a chance to find out the issues and also to, um, contact the government to let them know?”

Sorry, but I can only interpret from these statements the UN is corrupt or evil because it's being represented by "coloured" races and the unions have taken control and scaring pensioners.

Am I misquoting you?

I know neither major party really has any solid backing, but in cases where there is little choice, I always lean towards the most democratic and fair party. This is the labor party. If you waste your vote by voting for John Woopwoop's party, because they support something bizarre and different to the major parties, you are effectively doing yourself a disservice. You are in fact wasting your vote. These minor parties are often "persuaded" to vote with the major parties and as a result, Bills are passed which benefit one major party but not the other. We have had industrial peace for a few years now, so why bring in the "big stick" the BCCA as the ruling arbitrator in building disputes? Their record of fairness stinks, and no wonder unions are up in arms. The Grollo case is one example. I remember when Grollo was a good subcontractor doing excellent work in concrete on big multi storey projects. Then after several generations, the young Grollos took over and began running a development business. They switched from a small subcontractor who supported union causes (they paid their men well and on time) to a business developer, often employing non union sub contractors and the plane shifted from a union supporter, to an anti union business, because they could make more profit being anti union then accepting all the union demands and conditions of labour they accepted in the past. The result was chaos in the building industry. So then the LNP, thought, why not set up a building commission that would wack the unions hard and bring them into line, after all, making more profit was the golden holy grail of big business. That's why the BCCA is so hated by unions. Unions stood up for the workers, even against the labor party, the pity being that their advertising campaign failed dismally to impress the major newspapers run by the major parties (LNP mainly) and the Murdoch press. Money the root of all evil?

Regarding the quality of the press, here is what one academic (Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Melbourne. University thought of newspapers in the early 60's)

While I was a Uni. student, I quote our Dean and professor of architecture, professor Brian lewis who said "I don't read the Age and I use the toilet twice a day and that takes care of the Herald and the Sun" (Note the Herald and the Sun were separate newspapers in the early 60's). This was an official lecture given in the new Architecture School Phillip theatre

Not much has changed since.
niemakawa
2nd Aug 2017
7:10pm
But I did not mention unions. I was referring to the UN ( United Nations)
I am a Nationalist and have no time for the UN. Australia and its people must come first and foremost. The 3 main Political parties, as I mentioned earlier are joined at the hip with the dysfunctional UN.

Globalism and all that it embraces is a destructive force, IMO.


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