Centrelink push to stop fraudulent claims

Centrelink has put on notice welfare recipients trying to defraud the system.

woman inspecting fraudulent paperwork

Centrelink has put on notice welfare recipients who, in order to receive a higher benefit payment, claim to be single, despite living as part of a couple.

Taskforce Integrity, which investigates fraudulent claims and retrieves over-payments as a result, is taking aim at those who lie about their relationship status in order to claim the higher single person dole payment. While the current push to stop fraudulent claims based on relationship status is aimed at those who are unemployed and claiming the dole, being part of a couple also affects the assessment and payments rates of benefits such as the Age Pension and Disability Support Pension.

Sharing of information across government agencies means that it is now easier to discover when a person claims to be single for one payment, yet part of a couple for another in order to receive benefits paid to couples.

Running in the Sydney suburb of Rockdale last year, a pilot program of Taskforce Integrity netted $2.2 million in Commonwealth debts, with 36 cases of suspected fraud investigated. The taskforce now operates across areas of NSW, Victoria and Queensland where high levels of fraud are suspected. Nine officers from the Federal Police, who have expertise in fraud detection, have bolstered the taskforce.

Human Services Minister Stuart Roberts put on notice those who seek to abuse the system for financial gain. “The message is simple – if you are a member of a couple you must declare this if you are receiving welfare payments. The majority of welfare recipients do the right thing, however, the reality is there are those who deliberately try to game the system,” he said.

According to projections given in the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), such revenue recovery through data sharing between agencies will save $1.3 billion over three years. 

Read more at Heraldsun.com.au 

Opinion: One rule doesn’t suit all

Defrauding taxpayers for financial gain is never acceptable but as we at YourLifeChoices are continually reminded, not everything is black and white.

The discrepancy between the Age Pension for singles and a single member of a couple is $213.50 per fortnight, once you factor in supplements. And while the saying may be that ‘two can live as cheaply as one’, the harsh reality is that this is not the case.

Pension payment rates 

In the last week we have received emails from two of our members who are living as part of couple and assessed by Centrelink as such, despite having no access to their partners money. Bills such as rent, utilities and food are expected to be halved in such instances, with the financial burden often greater on the member of the couple that receives the lower rate of Age Pension.

A blanket rule is applied to such couples, with no consideration given to those who, while linked romantically to another, stand very much alone financially. Gone are the days when couples stayed together for life, building their nest eggs and retirement savings together. Second marriages or relationships often bring with them the burden of reduced financial status for at least one member of the couple.

By all means track down those who deliberately defraud taxpayers but perhaps it’s time to address the lack of flexibility in the assessment of the Age Pension for those who are very much single when it comes to financial issues.

Do you suffer financially by being part of a couple? Do you think that the means of assessment are fair for members of a couple? Have you encountered anyone who has lied about their relationship status for financial gain?





    COMMENTS

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    tisme
    11th Jan 2016
    10:09am
    i was accused of living defacto and not declaring it years ago , and the only males on the property were my brother and father ( just because id kept my married name ) of course centrelink didnt bother to investigate , someone in the office just pushed a button.
    MICK
    11th Jan 2016
    1:33pm
    Personally, I don't think that this crack-down, like many others, is anything other than the next scare campaign. Will believe it when I see it and when the statistics from Centrelink show results. Until then.....dream on. Rorters and crooks know the system.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2016
    2:02am
    Why the hell does any gove3rnment want to scare it's most vulnerable people?

    Simple answer:- Because they want to control those people by fear.

    Every petty potentate in history did it - why would our very own not follow the same path - as long as it returned a profit to them???

    Wake up, Australia - you've been asleep too long.
    student
    16th Jan 2016
    12:43pm
    mick, I have to agree with you 100%. If the gov wants to crack down on cheats, go after the BIG cheaters. The people and corps. that cheat on their tax. Or those in the 1% top income bracket that still want, and expect it as their God given right, more tax incentives.

    OK, stealing is wrong and we all do it in one for or another, but why spend $m's harrassing a few bad pensioners when they can spend the same on $m's tax avoidance and reap more rewards?

    Once again, I hear "I'm not going to pay taxes to support bludging penioners ..." yet these same people pay taxes to support big Corps. and business people who usually send the profits gained from Australian taxpayer/people, overseas. We live in a global economy but we are still Australians.
    particolor
    16th Jan 2016
    3:44pm
    Good Grief !! Is this still going ? I thought they would have all the Bludgers in Jail by this ! :-(
    Hobbit
    11th Jan 2016
    10:36am
    All our lives we were taxed as single people, no discounts for being a couple. Why then is our pension discounted on the basis of being a couple. Further more, what business is it of any government who you are having sex with. I realise sex is not the only test of what constitutes a couple but it seems to be the 'gold standard'.
    Peterrj
    11th Jan 2016
    10:54am
    LOL, if no sex was the gold standard then the queue to change from a Couple to a Single Pension would be a mile long!!!!
    ray from Bondi
    11th Jan 2016
    3:41pm
    as far as I am concerned the government has sold all the cash cows telstra, the Commonwealth bank and the like for a trinket, now that there is no business generating income, and with entities like banks the ability to control costs, the only way the politicians trough can be kept full is to attack the vulnerable, do you remember the pension rise a few years ago for singles, a lot of noise was mad about their benefits increasing, the money cam from reducing the the pensions of partners, it used to be 100% for one 45% for the other it is now 100% and 50%, no political party brought that up.
    Rae
    11th Jan 2016
    4:27pm
    A story on the weekend quotes $81 million in rent for NSW government buildings previously owned by taxpayers. The frustrating element was the opposition politician bemoaning that He, Mike Baird had sold off his assets.

    These clowns believe that they own these public assets.

    The Commonwealth government has given up billions of dollars of dividends annually by selling income producing assets.

    It should be illegal.

    Now they have no more of the people's money to spend they are crying poor.
    mogo51
    11th Jan 2016
    10:50am
    At what stage has the Government's attitude towards pensioners ever been fair. Inevitably, we are the first in their sights each budget year. It is logical that the pension for 'married' couples etc. should be twice the basic rate, plus once for add ons ie. rent assistance.
    It is not rocket science.
    eggles01
    11th Jan 2016
    9:28pm
    mogo51 idiot wingers with non operating brains come and go so now you have come PLEASE GO
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2016
    2:05am
    eggles - that is totally uncalled for... get back to the subject..................... TURKEY.

    Hurts, doesn't it?
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    11:16am
    Good thing I'm not on welfare as I would have to disclose my toy boy. Then again if sex is the yard stick I think not. Maybe I'd have to tell them about my cleaning lady instead.

    That is just how stupid it has all become.
    Rae
    11th Jan 2016
    4:30pm
    If having a partner for sex s costing welfare dollars perhaps you could claim him as a tax deduction Bonny.

    I hope he isn't living on your property or if he is you have a legal agreement because otherwise he is a dependent and that can get very tricky in a court case.
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    5:28pm
    What about my cleaning lady?
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    5:30pm
    You are assuming my sexual preference is for men. This may not be the case so you can't make assumptions like that.
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    12:41am
    Bi-Bonny?
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    1:21am
    Bonny, I have heard of big, fat, ugly, middle aged, balding, male coppers posing on the Internet as mere 13 year old girls looking for some fun.

    So I trust no one on the internet and don't even assume that you are a female. You do have some male traits, like unashamed bragging!!!

    However, you do have a distinct 'tease' trait which you deliver to perfection then you run away. That may be a clue to your sex?

    Me, I follow the rules of a doubting Thomas!!!! Nothing shocks me except that I am still reading these posts on YLC hoping to find some useful information!

    And what do I read, Bonny has a toy boy, a house keeper, lives on an estate, does not claim the Aged Pension but say's he/she could easily do so and has an opinion which is easily expressed knowing it won't be universally endorsed. Plus Bonny finds it easy to tell half truths deliberately painting one picture knowing it is not the full story.

    I'm guessing that Bonny is not completely satisfied and is seeking intellectual stimulation that is missing from her toy boy and house keeper.

    And then Bonny turns out to be a 'big, fat, ugly, middle aged, balding, male copper posing on the Internet as a female' ... LOL!!!!

    It's true, I used to drink beer with a 'dyke on a bike' in a Paddington Bi Pub ... so my sex would be??? Red blooded male!!!! Double LOL!!!

    Enjoy the game, I think that I will soon retire!!!
    student
    16th Jan 2016
    12:52pm
    GO GIRL!!!! You jump the fence if you want and when you want.!!

    As for toy-boys ... mine keeps me alive and kicking :)

    And Peterrj, don't hang up the tools or store away the thoughts ... live!! Don't retire. Life is too good. :)
    Mike
    11th Jan 2016
    11:25am
    Someone has to pay for Hockey's Canberra house Bronwyn Bishops personal splurges and now Julia ( aka Bronwyn the second) Bishop. It is believed an estimated 560000 part pensioners will never vote for the Blasted Liberals ever again
    Goodbye and good riddance
    libsareliars
    11th Jan 2016
    12:01pm
    Spot on Mike - can't wait for them to be turfed out.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    12:21pm
    You forgot Sir Joes Washington Residence ? :-)
    ex PS
    11th Jan 2016
    2:25pm
    And that pretty much hits the nail on the head. We all see politicians shamlesly pushing rules to the limit in order to gain a monetry advantage and it is always the same answere, "we are only claiming things that we are entitled to".
    Is it any wonder that pensioners push the envelope when claiming their rightful pensioner benefits?
    I will never get sick of saying, the elderly citizens of this country have a lot of power, all we need do is get organised and make sure that all governments know that if they get too greedy we will boot them out.
    I don't particularly care what the flavour of the government is, we need to let them know that we are not a soft target to be milked whenever their mismanagement leads the country into financial difficulty.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    3:36pm
    Just put ALL Old Age Pensioners on a DECENT Single Pension and solve Half of the Problem ! Then they can set their Head Hunters loose on the Fraudsters !! Not a problem !!
    roy
    11th Jan 2016
    3:38pm
    At least Craig Thomson and his ilk don' spend taxpayers money, he pays his hookers with the union credit card allegedly, a lovely guy it seems. That's the sort of "honourable" person we want to "rule" us.
    ray from Bondi
    11th Jan 2016
    3:45pm
    here here, once again the Orwellian liberal party is telling us what we think, Howard learned the lesson the hard way, when he told us We Loved thier Work Changes and EVERBODY wanted it to happen, lets hope the public is not suckered by the media before the elections.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    3:52pm
    I don't think anyone reads the Syrian Moaning Herald or Telefibs anymore ? :-)
    jackie
    11th Jan 2016
    11:27am
    This is all about diversion through division to control the masses while the rich keep getting richer for their NWO.
    Mygasheater
    11th Jan 2016
    11:33am
    Gee, imagine how much the government would recoup if the pursued businesses that minimised or avoided paying tax? They would recoup billions not millions.

    Yes I know companies can write off "losses" against tax but if they lose money how are they able to pay dividends to shareholders? If they make "losses" year after year, how are they able to stay in business?
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    12:35pm
    Give My Tax Consultancy a call Mygasheater and Ill fill Your tank with
    Knowledge.
    Yours Sincerely.. Lou Pole.
    ray from Bondi
    11th Jan 2016
    3:46pm
    they probably spend as much as they owe on creative tax to accountants, what you mention is the truth.
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    5:25pm
    They cost shift to low taxing countries. Pay no tax here but tax in Ireland, Singapore etc.
    Paddles
    11th Jan 2016
    10:00pm
    Mygasheater

    I have yet to see a dividend declared by any publicly listed company in a period when they recorded a net loss!
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    1:28am
    Paddles, you are being 'picky', give Mygasheater a fair go!!!

    Why try and spoil a good fairy story!!!!
    phantom
    11th Jan 2016
    11:39am
    It's abused all the time, couples live together and claim singles is rife. It and the Invalid pension. I know a bloke high in treasury and he said abuse of welfare benefits is getting out of control and we can't sustain it. There might be some genuine complaint but not many, just whingers that want everything for nothing. How many have actually contributed to society at all, I see people with disabilities get a job like everyone else and not complain.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    9:57pm
    The return of Mediterranean Back ! I knew that Disease would return !! :-(
    clembo
    22nd May 2017
    12:03pm
    Yes I agree , Just look in the central Queensland area where highly paid miners have their their wives living on the coast claiming single status where in fact they are still a couple reaping the rewards of a double income. Something has to be done. The genuine tax payer always suffers as a result of this. Come on ATO do something about it as it is out of control !!!
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    11:52am
    NO !! Leave it alone !! :-( I'm going to convert to Islam ! And My new name will be Mohammud Mohammud ! I will be getting at least 4 Wives, And they will all be living in Govt. Housing Separately. I will do as ordered by Our New Grand Mufti and convert or lose My head !
    This works fine for the Imports, So if you cant beat them Join them !! :-)
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    12:04pm
    Sorry, parti, but it is this kind of "joking" which turns a blind eye to the vicious, inhuman intentions of the Muslim population to control the world. These people are insane zealots and must be stopped committing atrocities or their blood-thirty prophecies will be attained.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    12:38pm
    Lets not Change the subject but someone Mentioned NWO on here but they forgot to say in Conjunction with the Coming Caliphate !! :-(
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    1:45pm
    parti, YOU changed the subject with this Mo Mud guy and the Hufti Dufti Mufti.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    2:04pm
    I did not !!! I was on the subject of Welfare Fraud !! And I've worked out a ME solution to the Problem !! Appeasement Payment ! My name is Mo now leave me alone or I'll put a Fatwa out on you ! You you Infidel Government !! :-(
    Saalbach
    11th Jan 2016
    4:03pm
    Yes Fast Eddy, you can' t joke about the vicious inhuman intentions of people who post stupid comments like yours. You clearly want to drive a wedge between different parts of our society, when clearly we need everyone to treat each other well. I must thank you, though - if what you say is true, you will be the first one in their sights, and I won't be. Good luck with that.
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    5:39pm
    Saalbach, you are type of person who would HIDE from your aggressors, be afraid to give witness to a crime, and generally be friendly to all because you are a two-faced hypocrite do-gooder who wouldn't say "shit" if you had a mouthful, and want to be friends to everyone even though you dislike them. The world has a lot of toady sycophants like you, unfortunately. You probably have never been in the military service and were spoils in your childhood, as well. Pathetic!
    Bazbee
    11th Jan 2016
    7:44pm
    The Fast Eddies of this world have played right into the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists by inciting the great divide within our society. If you disagree with Fast Eddie's point of view, then you are wrong and he will demonstrate this by subjecting you to a tirade of abuse which passes for logical argument in his world. He sounds like a sad, angry old man; somebody give him a hug but non-Muslims only please as Fast Eddie might subscribe to that peace-loving, non-invasive, socially and sexually-inclusive, share-the-wealth religion i.e Christianity.
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    7:52pm
    Bazbee, both you and the other "case" above, Saulbach, must BOTH be heathens.
    particolor
    12th Jan 2016
    3:17pm
    Great Heathens Above ! What did I do to Deserve this ! :-(

    11th Jan 2016
    11:56am
    I will only believe Centrelink is going something positive to discourage, catch, and prosecute benefit payment cheats when I see believable figures of their successful efforts. I.T. capabilities within Centrelink is forever being mentioned, but it's success in exposing the cheats is seldom heralded.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    12:18pm
    Its not even Telegraphed ? :-(
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    12:21pm
    Or even Morse coded, got that matter.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    12:40pm
    Just saw some Smoke Signals on the Horizon ! :-)
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    12:49pm
    And the faint sound of a jungle drum.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    12:50pm
    Here Comes the Pont Express ! :-)
    jeffr
    11th Jan 2016
    1:29pm
    If you both close your eyes you will find it's Telepathy
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    1:42pm
    If I closed my eyes I would fall asleep.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    1:48pm
    Your On Notice ! They are coming around to see if Your getting any !! :-)
    ray from Bondi
    11th Jan 2016
    3:48pm
    do you mean employ people to check, my good what are you suggesting, let the computers spit out everybody living as a couple and send them notice, would be more like what will happen
    niemakawa
    11th Jan 2016
    7:49pm
    " I hear the sound of distant drums...."
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    1:38am
    Talk about twoddle of the fuddled?
    particolor
    22nd May 2017
    5:55pm
    And they are still checking on Who people are Shacked Up with !! :-) :-) What a waste of Taxpayers money !! :-( :-(
    Hillbillypete
    11th Jan 2016
    11:56am
    I know somebody that's been ripping off Centrelink for over 10 years, They don't want to know about it, have you ever tried to contact them about something like this? don't try you are wasting your time as they never ring back.
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    12:00pm
    I received a call from Centrelink and from the conversation it appeared some one had dobbed me into to them. The strange thing was that Centrelink were concerned that I wasn't getting anything so then asked me lots of questions to see if I was entitled to anything.
    Hillbillypete
    11th Jan 2016
    12:48pm
    That would be there way of checking you out!
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    12:54pm
    Why would they want to check me out if I claim nothing? I told them nothing of my financial affairs or my it's complicated relationships.
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    1:28pm
    Your TFN follows all your money trails anyway - unless you are flying below the radar - in which case they may well be looking at you.....

    Just saying........
    MICK
    11th Jan 2016
    1:37pm
    Bonny: in previous posts you boast about how well you are doing financially. So either you are fibbing or you are a cheat. Which is it?
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    1:42pm
    I'm not claiming any welfare because I am not entitled to claim anything. I'm not cheating anyone of anything or telling any lies. It is you that simply doesn't believe me because I'm not your idea of a normal person living a normal life.
    ray from Bondi
    11th Jan 2016
    3:52pm
    Mick, I would like to point out that bonny said HE/SHE DID NOT CLAIM ANYTHING, it is exactly this that causes problems, lets hope you are better at making informed decisions at the only time we have a semblance of freedom, on voting day, that should be a holiday ha ha
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    5:31pm
    I don't like either political party so I don't vote.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    6:45pm
    therefor you are voting for the Incumbent Party !! :-(
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    6:49pm
    the same a drawing a picture of Goofy on your Ballot Paper ! Not that the Picture means that's what you want !! :-)
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    1:49am
    Ha! I know that Bonny is telling a version of the truth and that, for sure, Bonny does not have to vote in any elections as inferred above!!!!
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2016
    2:10am
    No comment required, Bonny - you know the drill.....
    I(damn - we need emoticons here)....
    Rosret
    11th Jan 2016
    12:01pm
    I agree totally with the comments made about partnerships formed in later life. Share is not part of the vocabulary in many instances as each respective partner often has a family who is dependent on them in some way. Most have the wish that their children should inherit their wealth and dividing their assets could be considered an unfair split so late in life.
    There is a need for a rethink on the allocation of benefits. Surely each individual should receive the single pension.
    Rosret
    11th Jan 2016
    12:07pm
    Also - if you are a self funded retiree and seek out a partner who is on a pension they will lose all their benefits and you will find it significantly harder to support another person during those retirement years.
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    12:19pm
    Rosret, I think we all got your point after the FIRST repeat.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    12:27pm
    Round an round the Mulberry Bush the Mulberry Bush The Mulberry Bush !! :-) :-)
    Blossom
    11th Jan 2016
    5:21pm
    For Goodness Sake, Rosret, How may times did you push the reply button. Comments sometimes take a short time to appear in the appropriate place.
    .
    Paddles
    11th Jan 2016
    10:08pm
    Repeating Rosret

    "There is a need for a rethink on the allocation of benefits. Surely each individual should receive the single pension."
    Won't quibble with that as long as the amount is 50% of the couple's pension.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    10:19pm
    Paddles .. The more things that change with you the more they stay the Same !! :-) :-)
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    1:54am
    Rosret, a point well made. I can just see that finances and red tape can get in the way to happiness later in life.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2016
    2:19am
    I get a single Age pension, as does my ex for whom I am carer, and paid for doing so - and I have a job....

    Explain to Colonel C'link people what exactly your situation is - at the moment the government is cutting their jobs out, and putting them on the bread line......

    You reckon they won't bend over backwards for you? Present your case fully and properly and they are very accommodating....

    We could not survive, with all the medical costs, without being single and so forth.

    EVERYONE should get single pension rate... then tax income above that on the same basis..... without loss of pension.

    On that basis (being honest) - I would have a paid for through taxes pension + ---- last fortnight I earned (that's EARNED, kiddies) nearly $800 extra.

    I am happy to pay tax on that according to the formula, just like people who get $1M super without tax (hello) ... but why should I lose Pension bought and paid for as well?
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    7:33am
    Trebor, both you and your 'ex' get the single pension. Yes, that is possible if the 'ex' is an ex.

    But you also say that you get a Carer's allowance on top of your pension. Yes, again that is possible under certain circumstances.

    BUT you are the 'carer' for your 'ex' and both of you get the Aged Pension??? tHat I don't get.

    Agreed 'honesty' is the best policy and because you get the Carer's Allowance then you probably have fully disclosed your situation to Centrelink and then get paid these three forms of income ... As well as still working for an income.

    I'd have to say that your post comes as a surprise and yes, I have learned something from it. The couple pension payment is '34,000 but the combined single pension payment is 2 X $22,000 = $44,000.

    Being single once more is jointly attractive. If you can get it 'lawfully' then good luck to you. Why the hell not???? It's not rorting the system but merely using the system to your advantage.
    particolor
    12th Jan 2016
    9:02am
    Yep ! Just like a Helicopter Joy Rider ! :-) :-)
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2016
    12:37pm
    Thing is we both have our own cars and I am about to rent out again since property sale - when the big move is on I'm buying a bolt-hole in a caravan park, so I'm close enough but not too close. Going to be tight for a while but it'll work out.

    Thing is it's Carer Allowance and not Carer Pension - there's a difference and you have to apply for the right one. The money all goes on petrol for doctors and pool and physio anyway - not like I get a free beer out of it.
    smiffy
    11th Jan 2016
    12:02pm
    I turned 65 last July and applied and received my aged pension. My wife is 59 and unemployed (retrenched in 2014) and has no income. I receive half of a couples pension of $616.80 including supplements per fortnight, and a very small super pension 0f $300 a month. If I was single I would get an extra $213.50 a fortnight. As I am the only one claiming any benefits. I should receive a singles pension.
    tj
    11th Jan 2016
    12:45pm
    Know where you are coming from smiffy ,exactly same situation here except it took me about 18 months from my 65 th birthday to get the OAP ( i still do not know why but just quit while i was ahead) When i raised the unfairness of this system the reply was simply that ''you have a partner'Also what i struggle with ,is trying to understand the asset and income tests for ''one of a couple'' as it seems to me to be different than combined or single
    KSS
    11th Jan 2016
    12:47pm
    Smiffy, surely if your wife is unemployed and you now claim the pension, wouldn't she be able to claim unemployment benefit now if not before?
    Rae
    11th Jan 2016
    2:15pm
    That doesn't make any sense. Then again nothing the government does lately seems to make any sense. Total incompetence.
    Paddles
    11th Jan 2016
    10:13pm
    smiffy

    I have nothing but praise for the way I have been treated by Centerlink on a face-to-face basis.
    The situation you outline is manifestly unfair and I am confident that, if you sat down across the desk from a Centerlink consultant and spelled out your details, you would do better as a couple.
    greatgolly
    11th Jan 2016
    12:04pm
    Honestly, what's the point? I spoke to a member of Centrelink years ago about a couple cheating the system while he was earning so much money on the side, so much he was shoving it in the freezers to hide it rather than it show up in his bank account! I even left the note with names and address, but no sooner had I left the counter, that paper was thrown into the waste basket! So I say again! They had a room set aside so that if anyone called, he could show them his room, all the while they were sharing a bed! So, what's the point? Centrelink couldn't find a sheep in a pack of wolves, and that's no joke!!!
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    12:49pm
    Live close by
    And Visit Often ! :-)
    tj
    11th Jan 2016
    12:58pm
    How true ,i knew of a married couple both on the disability pension ,living in housing trust place ,got divorced ,left daughter in the housing trust place ,got one of the parents to put up money for deposit on 2 houses lived in one each ,renovated both then sold them for thumping profit .Then moved out to country buying cheaper properties.Eventually the ''husband '' lost his bad back disability pension but went to a doctor said he was suicidal and lo and behold was diagnosed with bi-polar so back in business.Was center link interested ? NO . The only time they worry is when the media gets involved as they did with kid swapping scam
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    12:07pm
    There is no welfare inherent in the Social Security Network - which is a bought and paid for Right. Welfare is going to a charity for an optional handout in need - Social Security is expecting your Right from government - the two are not interchangeable.

    Now that we've resolved that verbal chicanery.... let me address the issues raised.

    My personal experience is that - having reconciled with my ex to some degree now that she is incapacitated - though we share the same premises through necessity - I receive Carer Payment as well as single pension.

    This was all organised upfront with no obfuscation or sneakiness - my response is that people with complicated situations should go to Colonel C'Link and lay out all the cards honestly - and you will have no problems.
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    12:15pm
    Social security is welfare. It is a handout from the government because you are unable to pay your living expenses.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    12:28pm
    HANDOUT ! :-) :-)
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    12:44pm
    Not a handout - been explained to you countless times already, with links to government publications that explain it all to you.

    Stop bleating and displaying the politics of envy over your confusion that someone receiving a pension is getting something you aren't but should.
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    12:52pm
    I'm more concerned about where my taxes are going. I wouldn't want to be on welfare at all.
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    1:29pm
    The only Welfare component going out in your taxes is the gifting to charities by governments........ the rest is Social Security.....
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    1:38pm
    Social security is welfare.
    ex PS
    11th Jan 2016
    2:46pm
    Bonny, The government does not give anything to anybody, it has no money of its own, the government takes money off the taxpayers and allocates it to areas that need it. Of course it makes sure that it gets more than its fair share for the politicians and their hangers on.
    The monmey that is paid to pensioners as an entitlement is money that they have paid over the years in taxes to provide such services. By your interpretation you are taking a handout every time you go to hospital, call for police assistance or contact any government department.
    Welcome to the welfare family.
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    5:34pm
    So because I have paid taxes over the years I get a pension. That is an entitlement. But since I don't qualify it can't be an entitlement so it must be welfare.
    ex PS
    11th Jan 2016
    6:08pm
    Bonny, if you have met your obligations as a citisen over many years and meet the criteria you are entitled to a pension, simple really. Playing with words doesn't change the facts. Governments might play with words in order to make their policys more palatable but the facts remain the facts. For example successive governments have managed to stave off public criticsism by placing the word illegal in front of certain activities but that does not in fact make those activities illegal. Luckily for them some of the public is easily controled or gullable. As for instance in all of a sudden calling pensions welfare.
    I would think that other than people who are incapable of working you would be hard put to find someone who has never paid tax. That is other than those rich enough to hire a load of tax laywers that is.
    Captain
    11th Jan 2016
    7:44pm
    Bonnie, so my father and hundreds of thousands of others in that generation who fought in WW 2 (possibly including your father) and those same people who were injured saving this country for future generations that returned and continued working until 65 then claimed their aged pension were welfare recipients? I am glad my father is not alive to see and hear people like you who have no idea about the social contract those older people and the baby boomer generation had with the government.

    By the way I am well over 65 and receive no pension or concessions from the state. I do not want it and will not take it, however I believe that the people who do receive it are not and never will be guilty for claiming their entitlements.
    Captain
    11th Jan 2016
    7:46pm
    Sorry for the double entry - Internet dropped out and I accidently sent twice.
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    7:56pm
    Dear Bonny - I do hope this helps you out of your dilemna...

    You are as Entitled to a Pension as everyone else.... you just don't meet the income standards to actually get it...

    Should your investments in 'payday loaners' (loan sharks) fall down - as they inevitably must.... and you find yourself needing a payday loan... THEN you may qualify for a Pension since your income does not provide the equivalent.

    Hope that helps....
    niemakawa
    11th Jan 2016
    8:03pm
    Bonny, Social Security is a return on one's investment in the "system" Welfare is for those that have made no or minimal contribution to it.
    Paddles
    11th Jan 2016
    10:35pm
    niemakawa

    You don't quite hit the same notes as some (and there are plenty of them) who seem to believe that their tax contributions are sequestered in a separate account with their name on it and used to fund their pensions.

    In reality, the Government is more like a business and their principal source of income is the various taxes that are levied on the populace, principal among them being Income Tax.

    Pensions and other payments from the public purse are just part of the social contract and bear no relationship to input of the individual.

    Bottom line is, as in any business whether public or private, if costs routinely exceed income, then action is called for. Just where that action is directed goes to the heart of this thread and the many others like it.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2016
    2:27am
    Paddles... BABY! How many times must you be advised that regardless of where in 'consolidated revenue' government draws its payments...... the undeniable reality remains that a portion of income tax has been dedicated to social security?

    I get paid..... does that mean that I have no obligation to pay my mortgage or my bills as they come due?

    If 'government' were a business (as so very many 'righties' seek to claim) - LET THAT GOVERNMENT FLOAT ITSELF ON THE STOCK MARKET) - then running a perpetual 'deficit' - in reality a projection of future income/spending - supported by endless loans and no dividends.....

    How do you think they would go?

    OUR dividend is OUR pension Right!

    Come back, spinner....
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    8:04am
    The Aged Pension is a welfare payment to which one is entitled to be paid 'provided' that they are eligible to be paid this welfare payment!

    There is no unconditional right to be paid this welfare payment is there???

    In fact, for one of many unfortunate reasons, if an individual has been on Unemployment Benefits for their entire life and have paid NO taxes ever then at pensionable age they then automatically graduate to another form of welfare payment .... the Aged Pension!

    One is paid the Aged Pension regardless of fighting for our country (when did that ever happen) and totally independent of any taxes ever paid.

    But does it really matter, what's the big deal .... It's still a large sum of free money paid by the Govt to the 'have nots' that the 'haves' don't get. Get it???
    Anonymous
    5th Feb 2016
    7:32pm
    Actually, Peterrj, lots of ''haves'' DO get it and lots of ''have nots'' 'DON'T. It all depends on (a) the random and perverse rules the government imposes - which change unreliably from time to time, denying people the ability to plan; and (b) the savvy of the people to manipulate their affairs to appear to comply with those random and perverse rules.

    The honest are far less likely to get it, whether they are ''haves'' or ''have nots''. The dishonest will always find a way to get it, no matter what they have. And those who operate in the grey area will generally get much more than their due and will inevitably claim it as an entitlement, regardless of their circumstances.

    It would be far too complicated, but I think fairness requires that a person's circumstances earlier in life should be examined. Someone who has saved despite low earnings and huge disadvantage shouldn't be denied the ONLY real benefit they could ever hope to receive from the taxpayer's purse while people who enjoyed privilege continue to enjoy privilege and the spendthrifts and irresponsible are propped up by taxpayers regardless of their forfeiture of earlier opportunities. But never accuse the privilege of having a social conscience, empathy or compassion. They are motivated solely by greed and selfishness, and it will ever be so.
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    12:07pm
    There is no welfare inherent in the Social Security Network - which is a bought and paid for Right. Welfare is going to a charity for an optional handout in need - Social Security is expecting your Right from government - the two are not interchangeable.

    Now that we've resolved that verbal chicanery.... let me address the issues raised.

    My personal experience is that - having reconciled with my ex to some degree now that she is incapacitated - though we share the same premises through necessity - I receive Carer Payment as well as single pension.

    This was all organised upfront with no obfuscation or sneakiness - my response is that people with complicated situations should go to Colonel C'Link and lay out all the cards honestly - and you will have no problems.
    Charlie
    11th Jan 2016
    12:22pm
    Think this is a problem. See how complicated it gets if the government approves gay marriage.
    KSS
    11th Jan 2016
    12:50pm
    Charlie, it already acknowledges same sex relationships in all but the word marriage! De facto rules apply.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    12:58pm
    Her! Her !!
    ER ? I meant HEAR ! HEAR !! :-)
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    1:18pm
    And now the "gays" are "happies".
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    3:48pm
    I heard a rumour about Happy and Grumpy and Snow White is not at all Impressed !! :-(
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    3:58pm
    Did you hear the rumour about Sinderella?
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    4:06pm
    She lost her Glasses at the Ball ?
    Charlie
    11th Jan 2016
    5:56pm
    De facto is ok. Start using the word marriage too loosely and it multiplies all of the problems. Very soon people wont know if they are Arthur or Mather
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    6:39pm
    Or Arthur after Arthur ?
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    7:20pm
    Or Martha or Martha.
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    7:59pm
    Adam and Steve have always been covered under de facto... a gay friend of mine had to pay out his live-in boyfriend - that was back in the early 1980's.....

    All this faux fur and feather tickling over 'gay rights to marriage' is a nonsense..... as much content as a spangled dress.....
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    8:00pm
    Edits:- not 'always' - but for a very long time...

    I think we would all be better served just forgetting all about 'gay rights' - and concentrating on the social wrongs of today.
    KSS
    11th Jan 2016
    12:43pm
    "Defrauding taxpayers for financial gain is never acceptable but as we at YourLifeChoices are continually reminded, not everything is black and white."

    Give it a rest. Only facebook has a relationship status of "its complicated!" Centrelink doesn't.

    "By all means track down those who deliberately defraud taxpayers but perhaps it’s time to address the lack of flexibility in the assessment of the Age Pension for those who are very much single when it comes to financial issues."

    Oh please! Fraud is fraud, it doesn't change with the age of the applicant.

    No-one has mentioned the 36 cases that netted $2.2 MILLION. Or the projected $1.3 BILLION that could be saved (perhaps re-directed to better pension for those who truly need it) over three years if the fraud is ended. The solution is quite simple; don't tell lies and you won't be caught!
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    12:48pm
    Traditionally over 90% of claims of over-payment etc are restored to the social security recipient - so the figures given are nothing but pie in the sky and propaganda.

    I will guarantee that nothing like $1.3Bn will be found from persecuting pensioners etc, but I'll await the totally open and honest figures the government of the day will offer us (ha ha ha).
    KSS
    11th Jan 2016
    12:58pm
    So TREBOR, lying and cheating at Centrelink is OK with you then? As long as 90% (your figure) still get the money they lied and cheated for?

    Whilst at the same time you are never backward at calling out this (or any) Government or representative for lying!
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    1:20pm
    Double standard?
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    1:34pm
    I didn't say lying and cheating was OK - it is the government agencies that determine what is fact and what is not about a claim or about a claim of a false claim...

    That is an amazing leap to suggest that I would condone cheating by anyone - including my own government (the one set up to protect from all enemies, domestic and foreign.... and most specifically.... from the excesses of government itself).....

    My quoting historical failings in the area of actually getting money out of stones is not condoning anything - but it is showing that the crying of wolf by self-interested parties is nothing but crying wolf in most cases and will NOT resolve the issues at all.

    Softly, softly, catchee tiger....
    Pamiea
    11th Jan 2016
    12:47pm
    Ha. I have been considering approaching my local member regarding the single
    pension being raised. Apart from food, clothing and a few other bits and pieces singles have the same or similar outgoings but receive about $4-500 less than a couple. Now is that fair??
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    1:08pm
    NO ! :-( But keep pointing it out ! I don't get half a Power Bill, or half a Third Party Insurance Certificate, or only use Half the Petrol, Etc.. :-)
    quietguy
    11th Jan 2016
    1:02pm
    I think those complaining are only telling half the story - for example with the following items the cost is no more for two than for one

    Rent - saving at least $200 week
    Rego - free rego for a second car or caravan/boat etc saving at least $10 week
    Daily supply charges for water/gas/electricity saving at least $30 week
    House insurance - saving at least $20-40 week
    Contents insurance - saving $????? week
    Depreciation of items such as fridge/washing machine/TV/furniture etc $$$$$$
    If need only one car then saving on new car $100 - 300 week
    Health insurance for family cheaper (each) than for singles
    House rates - saving at least $20-50 week

    All the above savings based on not having to each pay for the item as us singles do

    Geez, writing this have made me wonder why I dont get married

    David - single so has to pay all that stuff from his own pension
    Star Trekker
    11th Jan 2016
    2:09pm
    I live in Govt housing, therefore our rent is double of that if I were single.
    I don't get free Rego. We have a car each and pay for both.
    We go to bed at different times so our Utilities are higher than what it would be if I were single.
    Contents insurance would be cheaper if I didn't have to cover his stuff as well.

    We have few luxuries but we manage as I was a bookkeeper and I budget for everything.
    KSS
    11th Jan 2016
    2:24pm
    Star Trekker I doubt your Govt housing rent is double that of someone in private rental property given that your rent would be capped at a set percentage of your (joint) income and private rentals are generally not!

    As for the rest, that would depend on where you live and the State/Territory arrangements in place there. As a couple though there is no 'his' or 'my' stuff only 'our' stuff and it still needs to be insured. Also I assume if you go to bed at different times you get up at different times? Then the costs amount to the same just at different ends of the day haha.
    Star Trekker
    11th Jan 2016
    2:37pm
    His stuff is not mine and I don't want it. Just as my stuff isn't his. We have our stuff as well.

    We do not get rent assistance as this would reduce it to almost the same as Govt. housing.BTW, I pay full market rent.

    My son who is on a Single DSP and lives by himself in private rental and gets rent assistance is paying less that what he would pay in Govt. housing.
    KSS
    11th Jan 2016
    3:32pm
    Like I said Star Trekker, it depends where you live.

    In NSW Government housing is generally costed as a percentage of total income with a maximum cap. That's why when the pension goes up so does rent on Government Housing. But the amount paid is still far less than the equivalent accommodation in the private sector.

    And for assessment purposes, ownership is irrelevant in a couple relationship.
    gin52
    11th Jan 2016
    1:15pm
    15 to 20 year,s ago when i was married centrelink know about it yet did nothing till we got a let 1 week before Christmas that my ex was getting a single pension lucky we did not have to pay it back then
    disillusioned
    11th Jan 2016
    1:25pm
    This LNP government doesn't want ANYONE on the pension, except the politicians of course, and will do all in their power to denigrate those on age pensions, despite our paying taxes all our working lives. I've been able to put a bit into super, courtesy of an uncle's will, and am just under the limit at present. This will change to just over the limit in Jan. 2017, set up by our failed former treasurer who's gone to his reward in the USA, courtesy of Turncoat et al. I'm disgusted with this LNP mob with their exaggerated sense of entitlement, and disgusted with Centrelink for their rules and regulations aimed at making things difficult for the elderly. Roll on next elections! I'm voting Labor!!
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    1:36pm
    Labor won't change it for the better but may do so for the worse.
    KSS
    11th Jan 2016
    2:01pm
    Disillusioned, I actually have no issue with the goal of eventually no-one being on the aged pension. Those born in the late 1980s and early 1990s should be in that position in 50 years time.

    At the same time I acknowledge that there will always be a few who were unable (NOTE: unable not just 'unwilling') to look after themselves. However, they should be in the very very minority and it should not be a lifestyle choice. When those cases do arise they should be adequately provided for. But it MUST be a safety net only not a choice.

    Unfortunately I agree with Bonny. I cannot see Labor reining in welfare spending at all.
    Rae
    11th Jan 2016
    2:30pm
    What happens to all those women forced to resign work when they married prior to 1960s? Perhaps a class action could make them self sufficient. There is a reason all female high school teachers are still called miss.

    My mother had to give up nursing when she married but then started her own business after retraining as a hairdresser.

    This aspect is never mentioned but should be and compensation offered to those who suffered this discrimination if we refuse them the pension.

    As to no one being on the aged pension the rate incomes are going down, financial fees going up and markets losing savings I doubt the Superannuation system is going to help any ordinary worker.

    In fact superannuation is starting to resemble a scam designed to part workers from 10% of their hard earned wages and allow high income earners to avoid paying taxes.
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    8:03pm
    Some very valid points here... point is - never trust your government when it has its hands on the money reins..... they will always manipulate and massage the figures to suit whatever agenda is current.....
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    1:26pm
    Now if we were to pursue the policy put forward by my good self and certain others - that since Social Security and thus Pension is a bought and paid for out of income tax etc Right - we should pay everyone the Pension at single rate and then tax all additional income in the same way.

    Simplifies the system no end, and makes the only rorting potential the area of paying tax on income - ATO's job, and one they can handle standing on their head (as well as on our heads) with their current system that recognises all income strands attached to a TFN.

    Big Bruvva 'as go' us all by t' shor' 'n curlies.... I and I bin too lorng in Babylon - time to go horme to Jamaica...
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    1:34pm
    So I can have millions in assets and get a pension at the single rate. I think I can arrange that and not pay any tax.
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    1:40pm
    I think you would find that the ATO is very seriously on the track now of tax evasion..... be careful. They are upgrading their IT systems constantly and are on the watch for evaders, and governments are back-room working on curtailing the ways people can hide income..... even through company structures.
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    1:46pm
    I would be doing nothing illegal, hiding any income or evading any tax payable. Everyone is entitled to minimise tax and to set up their affairs to do so.
    Rae
    11th Jan 2016
    2:35pm
    The Italian government was clever when they started stopping luxury cars and boats and sending the tax agents to investigate thoroughly the owners. They caught plenty of people who could not explain where the money for assets had come from. Should be done here too.
    Linda
    11th Jan 2016
    2:56pm
    The folks who were able to have expensive homes, cars, assets galore, and still get a pension also played by the rules, via financial advice on how to work the existing system. it is no different than reducing tax payments via sound tax evasion advice. Both systems allow for this if one has pockets deep enough to fiddle things. I do not see one being different than the other.
    KSS
    11th Jan 2016
    3:35pm
    Linda there is a world of difference between tax evasion and tax minimisation.

    In your mind maybe not but the law says differently.
    Sam
    11th Jan 2016
    1:27pm
    My husband (81) and I (71) were married 5 years ago. Whilst we share all living costs, we do not have a joint bank account. Because of my financial situation, my husband lost all his service pension. This seems unfair to us, particularly as our wills leave nothing to the other.
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    1:33pm
    Such wills can be challenged after death.
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    1:38pm
    Refer my post immediately above. Under that regimen your husband would continue to receive his Service Pension... if he has claimed Disability and receives a Disability component on top of basic Service Pension - that payment is compensation and should not be touched even if he loses all else (except his Gold Card I trust).

    Just saying..... has he an advocate at the RSL?
    KSS
    11th Jan 2016
    2:09pm
    Not all married couples share a bank account these days. Or de facto couples come to that. The sharing of a bank account does not define the definition of 'coupledom' as you have discovered.

    Presumably your husband 'lost' his pension because you have more than enough money for the two of you according to asset tests regardless of who you intend leaving it to. Assessments are not about the next generation, they are about the here and now!
    Paddles
    11th Jan 2016
    10:48pm
    Sam

    All other things aside, that adds up to be a strange and sterile marriage.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2016
    2:34am
    81/71 sounds very sterile to me - unless you include companionship and a little gentleness in old age...

    A friend at 80 just took up with a lady friend - you reckon they don't deser4ve and haven't earned a little companionship and a warm cuddle and the feel of someone of the opposite sex - even if nothing happens?

    You must be twenty years old and have no idea......
    Radish
    11th Jan 2016
    1:40pm
    Take the time to read this and you will see that the welfare bill will eventually be unsustainable...it has to be reigned in and the aged pension is where it will occur....no matter which party is in power.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-14/jericho-aged-pension-and-welfare/6852860
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    1:53pm
    Unlike other people I planned for the day I would retire on the assumption there would be no pension available by then.

    I think the changes coming in in 2017 are only the start of more changes to come. There are too many people entitled to the pension that don't really need it. I visited a couple last week in a multimillion dollar house with 2 new BMWs in the garage who were telling me that they now get the pension. This is not sustainable.

    Personally I think Labor will tighten up the pension rules quicker than the LNP and if ACCOS has any say in it then it has a long way to go.
    Rae
    11th Jan 2016
    2:44pm
    There should be no salary sacrifice for high income earners nor other middle class welfare either.
    Like Bonny I sought the freedom of self sufficiency and I did it without childcare rebates,baby bonuses, home grants, superannuation tax rorts and earning a very average salary.

    Last week I visited a couple in a mansion who both have high paid jobs and the childcare tax money they get and salary sacrifice arrangements are unsustainable in a poor country like Australia with the elderly living below the poverty line worse than every OECD country except South Korea. Put up the GST and we might even beat them.
    Linda
    11th Jan 2016
    2:46pm
    I am happy for you Miss Bonny, to have been able and smart enough to look after yourself so well. I think you are correct in your predictions, partly because, in the future less people will need to rely on the pension. It is, I gather, said in the law that the pension is not welfare. So your idea is just that, your idea. It is not backed up in actual fact.

    There has been so much spin and lies that many folks are now unsure where truth lives in all this. We can all say anything, what the law says is another matter.

    The folks you speak of likely had financial advice that delivered these conditions, as the system allowed it. I do not know anyone like that.

    I believe we are transitioning from most relying heavily on help via the pension, to a time when our own super will be adequate for most people.

    I do not trust our current government to tell the truth, as it looks to me like they are telling lies to us and serving themselves and their wealthy owners.

    If we should get a better government, then perhaps a sensible plan can be made, otherwise some bad things, things nobody wants, will prevail.
    ex PS
    11th Jan 2016
    4:52pm
    Hi Linda, I agree the current government is ruled by big business just as the opposition is influenced by some of the more powerful unions. I started a super fund at the age of twenty with the view of retiring from the workforce by 55 and it worked out well for me. This government seems committed to destroying the Super system by constantly changing the rules and undermining the super system, it is almost as if they want people on welfare so that they can manipulate their votes.
    I am lucky in having a wife with similar views as my own who also has a healthy Super account that will add to our financial security.
    It is allright to say I have planned for my retirement and am doing fine, but the fact is many people are not in a position of being able to put more money into super and with a government that is overly willing to change the rules to disadvantage super customers I would not encourage young people to put any extra into that area.
    I think we all have to think about what constitutes better government maybe it will not be found within the two so called major partys.
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2016
    2:37am
    We all invested in Social Security via our taxation for many years - of government failed to ensure that the bill could be paid - why are we employing them at all?

    OUR contribution will not exceed expenditure - theirs will... not our problem...

    (reality sucks, doesn't it?)......
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    3:02pm
    I find myself agreeing with Bonny, "I think the changes coming in in 2017 are only the start of more changes to come."

    So ask yourself what is the next big change to hit retirees????

    And how do you prepare for the unknown???
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2016
    3:47pm
    You place the government of two parties in perpetual orbit around the earth....
    Linda
    11th Jan 2016
    2:29pm
    At some stage, people who have had super their whole working lives, especially a couple, who have put in all those years, may not need the pension. Problems are, that same couple may not have enough to also pay off a huge mortgage. I see so many similarities between far right and corporate owned politicians in the usa and in Australia, at the moment. Meanwhile, Joe Hockey is over there, on our most generous tab, perhaps selling off our way of life to Corporate America. Rip off med prices, rip off health care costs, banksters corporations are maybe in line to set up the new playground here, as folks in the usa are wising up. We now have health management instead of health insurance in the names of our health cover services. These kind of things happen slowly, we barely notice till it is all sewed up. A good investigation into Monsanto in Australia could prove very interesting. I gather one planned consequence of the global trade agreement is to downgrade all of our lifestyles, to enrich global business entities, and offer trading blocks that are political in nature. We must be careful when we get our next change to vote in a government. We very much need leaders who are interested in generating new and exciting businesses that support a good way forward. it can be done. This crack down talk is all part of a larger plan. One that serves our current wealthy class, who are maybe too lazy or stupid to think of changing what they do. There is heaps of unfairness about. There needs to be a push back. Intentional fraud is one thing, scare tactics is another. We need to have a way for young folks to get in on the chance to find a decent place to live and raise their families. Affordable decent housing will help people retire on their super and sustain themselves. This will not be achieved by kicking old people out of their homes.
    ex PS
    11th Jan 2016
    4:59pm
    Unfortunatley what young people these days see as a decent place is two bathrooms , media room, fully lanscaped and central airconditioning. None of the buy something we can afford and do it up and sell it after 5 years and get something better for them. They want everything now.
    I am quite willing to sell by home to a young couple starting out, but they don't want to buy it. So it will become a rental and I will be labled a selfish property investor taking advanof renters, sometimes you just can't win.
    particolor
    12th Jan 2016
    3:15pm
    Care not what people think of Ye ! Enjoy the Rent !! :-) :-)
    Dors
    11th Jan 2016
    2:54pm
    A person I know salary sacrifices a large portion of his fortnightly pay. This reduces his fortnightly income and what is shown on his group certificates and he claims low income. Which gives him better benefits for him and his family - such as health cards, part parenting payments and reduced child care costs. I tell him he is doing the wrong thing - he says he tell centrelink what they ask when they review his situation. Go figure. It makes me angry but he is a friend.
    Rae
    11th Jan 2016
    4:44pm
    Salary sacrifice should never have been allowed. It is a way for high income earners to pretend to be low income earners for tax and welfare purposes.

    Besides which locking up all that money in the markets cannot be of any benefit to the real economy and local businesses.
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    5:43pm
    You can only salary sacrifice so much into super now so that loophole is now restricted. You can salary sacrifice a car but only up to a certain value provided you do the kilometres. So not too sure how is salary sacrificing a large portion of his salary unless he is not on a salary. If he is running a business then it's a whole different ball game.

    If he has kids the family income has to be over $50,000 before he loses his health care card and his assets are not counted. He can't be negatively gearing as that is counted back in to his income for his health care card.
    Dors
    11th Jan 2016
    5:45pm
    Salary sacrifice is suppose to be included in the calculation of earning but centrelink must not do a through check. Notwithstanding this person has lots of property (overseas) and money in foreign banks.

    He looks for lope holes to get more out of the system. He has told me he always gets all his tax back or close to it.

    He plans to send his two children to private schools.
    Dors
    11th Jan 2016
    5:47pm
    Bonny

    He earns approx. $72,000 and salary sacrifices enough to get him under $50,000 figure. I have read up on low income benefits and as mention it says salary sacrifice is counted an income but he has been getting away with it for years.
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    5:48pm
    Sounds like he is sailing very close to the wind to me.
    ex PS
    11th Jan 2016
    5:54pm
    Rae, sorry but I disagree, at 55 I was offered a redundancy and took it, mainly because I was given to believe that my job was no longer available. At 55 I am unlikely to get another lob, and would
    have had to go on welfare (not a pension but welfare).
    Because I had a good amount in Super, (because I had salary sacrificed) I chose to use my super and retire early.
    If costs the tax payer nothing and have more than enough to last well past retiremenr age.
    Unhappily I have never been a high income earner, but I have learnt over the years to manage what I have wisely, hence the salary sacrificing.
    As for locking money up in the so called markets, super is invested in a very diverse market and is used to develope many commercial assets, including loans to local business.
    Sandman
    11th Jan 2016
    3:01pm
    Ok so if a person is proved to be fraudulent, do they get to say I'm sorry and get to pay it back with no other penalties like the politicians do?
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    5:46pm
    It depends on the rules on where they were wrong. Estimating income usually has no penalties if you get it wrong. All you do is pay back the over payment.
    TREBOR
    11th Jan 2016
    8:10pm
    I work and have a pension, and more times than not I over-estimate my income, especially over the holiday season ... I don't hear the Guv offering to pay it back or work out a balance at year's end and saying:- "Oh - you overpaid us a total of $189 causing your pension to be reduced inequitably by $62.53 more than the law mandates. Here is a refund of $62.53."
    Mags
    11th Jan 2016
    3:09pm
    There is quite a lot of people claiming single pension who are actually living with someone.might be fairer if you could claim the pension individually....after all they didn't mind taking tax from both of us when we were working
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    3:29pm
    Can I live in My Lovers Granny Flat and Claim Rent Assistance ? :-) :-)
    Rae
    11th Jan 2016
    4:45pm
    Well Hockey did so I can't see why not.
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    5:50pm
    Depends how many lovers you have.
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    2:22pm
    Bonny do you have a recommended number at the same time???

    I'm guessing that you would like Sense8???
    Wombat
    11th Jan 2016
    3:33pm
    Couples who claim to be singles within a relationship in order to claim the higher pension most likely do it because they have no choice financially, and live extremely frugally, not because they are nasty little bad-guy cheats trying to make a private stash. And the lower rate for couples based on the 'two cheaper than one' line is erroneous and not true. The pension rate even for singles is not liveable, let alone for couples. It is simply a way of the government saving money, while as a reader commented, allowing earners in the seriously wealthy income bracket to have tax breaks or not pay tax at all. Plus ca change...
    Sundays
    11th Jan 2016
    4:08pm
    There are fixed costs eg rates, car registration, housing costs that are easier to pay if you are a couple. Not sure those who claim to be singles when they are a couple have no choice, plenty of other honest people manage. I would prefer a rise to the single pension rate .We also don't measure poverty correctly when we disregard the value of the family home.
    Rae
    11th Jan 2016
    4:49pm
    Or value the cost of the family home in rates, insurance and maintenance. Some councils are greedier than others when it comes to rates. It costs over $100 a week in a lot of places to live in your own home.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    4:54pm
    The Council is Your Land Lord !! :-) :-)
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    2:25pm
    You may be a Wombat but you are not slow, "... the lower rate for couples based on the 'two cheaper than one' line is erroneous and not true."
    Confused
    11th Jan 2016
    3:51pm
    I have a partner but we are living separate lives, we do not live as man & wife, due to a breakdown in our relationship, but due to high rents we still live together, we receive partner pension,I have money from my first marriage of which I have always kept in a separate account, but due to his ill health, he might have to go into a retirement home, & I feel it is very unfair that any money I have is taken into account, so of course the charges will be a lot higher, & that would leave me having to not only pay the rent on my own, but use my savings to just live, very unfair
    Gammer
    11th Jan 2016
    4:31pm
    And this is why singles need more benefit than each member of a couple. When my mother had to move into a care facility my father received the single rate of pension, as did she..... It is totally logical.
    KSS
    12th Jan 2016
    8:30am
    But you are a couple Confused. Leave or divorce him, settle your affairs then you will not be 'responsible' for your 'partner'. You can't have it both ways.
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    2:29pm
    KSS describes you as a confused couple, KSS might be right. Take a deep breath, file for divorce and do a property settlement! But you don't necessarily have to 'leave' ..... Find Trebor's Centrelink advisor and take that advice!!!!!

    I'm sure that your situation is not unique.
    Sundays
    11th Jan 2016
    3:55pm
    Why live with someone who is not sharing their finances. You are a couple regardless which is why you get the couple rate. My sympathies are for single pensioners who are like Bing below the poverty line. Also no sympathy for others living together but one is claiming single rate of pension and pretending they are a flat mate and the other is working and sharing the income. In relation to people in expensive homes with flash cars, no need for financial advice. Our very generous asset and income thresholds legitimately allow for them to get a part pension. No rorting needed.
    Sundays
    11th Jan 2016
    3:57pm
    I meant living below the poverty line
    Rae
    11th Jan 2016
    4:52pm
    The neighbours renting next door consist of a young couple. He works and she is on a single parents pension. Happens all the time.
    What is this attack on the elderly all about? Bullying?
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    5:53pm
    And she also claims a carer's allowance for the old fellow down the road.
    LiveItUp
    11th Jan 2016
    5:55pm
    I has a couple like that wanting to rent a house from me. I told her that she couldn't afford it on just her single parents pension so she told me what else was happening. No I didn't rent her the house as I had others to choose from at the time.
    KSS
    12th Jan 2016
    8:35am
    Rae the original article was NOT about pensioners it was about the unemployed claiming welfare and changing their status depending on who they were making a claim to in order to get the maximum amount regardless of their true situation. YLC made it so! But the same rules apply to anyone claiming welfare payments. Age is no barrier to fraud.
    Gammer
    11th Jan 2016
    4:08pm
    Singles do need more income than each member of a couple - when I run my reverse cycle air con the cost is the same as if there were two (or more) people in the house; my car expenses are the same even though there is only me in it, not two to share the cost; my rates are the same not discounted because there is only one person in the house.

    I find it hard to believe that a couple on the pension or 'welfare' doesn't combine their incomes to pay the domestic, living together costs, then halve whatever is left for their personal expenses. Aren't couples supposed to love, care and have respect for each other? Maybe my husband, God bless his soul, was just the exception but this is how we always worked things out when finances were tight.
    Blossom
    11th Jan 2016
    5:33pm
    Don't work under a false name then sign statuary declarations stating your income - only pension and very little bank interest - wouldn't have any if Rates & Taxes were paid on time.
    What's more, the employer knew that they were both working under a false name - this was a few years ago. Never heard about him being fined. The married couple were put in gaol, then a small amount deducted from their pensions each fortnight after they were released. The people who took care of their children then had to apply for what was then child endowment because of the cost of education, compulsory high school uniforms and food. What they were given barely covered the difference in their food bills.
    niemakawa
    11th Jan 2016
    7:13pm
    Two people may want to live under the same roof and split expenses. Many do so and have separate financial arrangements. Even if Centrelink in all of its wisdom decides that such an domestic situation constitutes a "couple" it has no right to define the relationship as DE-FACTO. Yet this is exactly what it does, the implications of which can be far reaching.
    niemakawa
    11th Jan 2016
    7:28pm
    The real fraud is occurring from the abuse of our generous social security payment system, not by pensioners, but by "newcomers" having many offspring , making false claims about their status and having several identities. Unfortunately the Government is "reluctant" to touch these fraudsters.
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    8:07pm
    No, the government doesn't want to admit their are any problems by stepping on the toes of the "newcomer minority", just like Angela Merkle, and look what's happening there!
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    10:16pm
    Did You see the Abusive Clown on 4 Corners I think it was ? He's on a disability Pension with 2 Wives, all living in separate Top of the Range Public Housing !! He got stuck into the Camera Crew and Reporters for even daring to check him out !! We are Stuffed in Australia now with that lot !!
    Anonymous
    12th Jan 2016
    12:09am
    There are a lot more than them, parti, believe me, and a blind government eye is being given to them all. God help us!
    niemakawa
    12th Jan 2016
    12:23am
    Fast Eddie, Mr Turbull has agreed to a similar number coming to Australia, but the information has not been revealed to the Australian public. All agreed at the UN convention held in Paris last November/December.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/633370/refugee-crisis-Syria-Iraq-Germany-Gerd-Muller
    particolor
    12th Jan 2016
    9:31am
    Head Em Up ! Move Em In RAWHIDE !!
    Plenty of Empty Houses here ! Great Welfare and Freebies for Er? Um ?
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    2:39pm
    The golden age of Black and White TV:

    All the things I'm missin'
    Good vittles, love an' kissin'
    Are waitin' at the end of my ride
    Move 'em on, head 'em up
    Head 'em up, move 'em on
    Move 'em on, head 'em up
    Rawhide
    Radish
    11th Jan 2016
    10:06pm
    I have no problem with a crackdown on people who are defrauding the system and I think any fair minded person would think the same (unless they are doing the defrauding)!
    TREBOR
    12th Jan 2016
    2:40am
    No argument... but when it becomes an avenue to reduce ALL on suspicion...... EAT MY SHORTS!
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    2:41pm
    Trebor, no offence but may I decline your generous offer?
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2016
    3:49pm
    Certainly - it was intended for the fooliticians....
    Franky
    12th Jan 2016
    8:40am
    Would have been useful to know exactly what the criteria is to qualify as a "couple" - does anyone know exactly?
    particolor
    12th Jan 2016
    8:43am
    1+1=2 :-)
    particolor
    12th Jan 2016
    8:55am
    I cant use that Flamin Letter Box for some reason but the Volcano is in Vanuatu I think ? :-)
    Peterrj
    12th Jan 2016
    2:46pm
    Franky, having just read what seems to be over a 1000 posts and I was just thinking the same B question!!

    All I know is that it is a criminal fence to claim a single pension when you are a couple ... So what is the fine print to define what a couple means????

    I'll try and look it up but the answer maybe evasive????
    particolor
    12th Jan 2016
    3:29pm
    I just had a look in there
    And how things have changed ?
    Sue + Sue + Couple :-)
    Peterrj
    13th Jan 2016
    2:09am
    Absolute Last Post, I did look up the meaning of the word couple as it applies to single and couple pension entitlements.

    The definition is not tidy, it's B enormous and dreadfully confusing!!!

    Can I say this, the meaning of couple is what you think it is. BUT, in any case, if you want to claim the single pension then have Centrelink first go over your personal circumstances with you very carefully. I believe that is practical advice that won't get you into any trouble.

    NOW get this and read it a couple of times (no pun intended):

    "A person is not a member of a couple if a determination under section 24 is in force in relation to the person."

    What the heck does that mean??? It means this, that even though you may, in fact, be a couple you CAN apply to Centrelink under Section 24 of the Social Security Act to have you classified for pension payments NOT to be a couple!!!

    Wow, so if you are in 'tight' circumstances and suffering health issues and for all sorts of other reasons you CAN apply to be 'not a member of a couple' and if approved you both can then be paid the single Aged Pension payment.

    I suspect that such decisions are not taken lightly by Centrelink. But if you are doing it tough for any reason go and GET an interview with Centrelink ... you just never know your luck.

    The buzz words are, 'You want to be classed as a non member of a couple under S 24."

    It might be best if you seek credible information and advice about S.24 before you are interviewed by Centrelink?

    Honesty, absolute honesty (in you favour), is the best policy!

    My brother in law was interviewed some time ago for a disability pension and was asked what do you do each week. He said, 'I play golf twice a week.' No he didn't get the DSP!!! Wonder why????
    particolor
    13th Jan 2016
    12:40pm
    that Foreign Poluka On the Disability Pension did More than Play Golf Twice a week, Both the wives had kids and were Pregnant !! Yes BOTH !! :-)
    TREBOR
    13th Jan 2016
    3:51pm
    Machiavelli says the Prince must be arbitrary about justice and fair play, lest the people become complacent. In the West we have perfected this capricious political style into a 'change' of government every few years...... thus permitting an endless range of capricious and arbitrary deals to be put out...

    In I-Slam, of course - they merely chop a few heads......
    Teunis
    12th Jan 2016
    10:04am
    I had one of these bills. It seems my wife's money is to be included with mine. She is not yet entitled to a pension and therefore at 64+ years is expected to find work. I get to lose extra off a part pension because we attempted to save a little. I find the whole thing is geared towards getting people to say why bother saving at all. Then again why not shoot the aged pensioner that would save money.
    particolor
    12th Jan 2016
    2:11pm
    "Blind Fold and Cigarette Senor ?"
    " NO! "
    "OOW ! We have Ze Brave one here Gonzales ! "
    Not Senile Yet!
    13th Jan 2016
    1:08pm
    The Centrelink Rules on Couples and their Payment schedules are designed to fraudulently screw over all the married couples!!!
    It is an out dated means that has been legislated to Directly Discriminate against Married Couples!!!!
    However it can not be challenged on those lines because guess what?
    Yep! The Government gave itself an exclusion from the Age Discrimination Act and the Actual Discrimination Act!!!
    So you and I have to obey...but they do not!!!!
    Time for everyone to get divorced in protest!
    Once divorced...split all your finances..bank accounts... etc.
    The challenge then would be for Centrelink to prove you are a couple!
    As for the cheaters.....who is keeping a close eye on how much is being saved against how much is being spent to catch them....that is the figure I want to see!!!
    WHY???? Because they are using our tax to pay for everything and still blowing all their budgets!!!
    particolor
    13th Jan 2016
    1:26pm
    Combine both Single and Married Pension then halve it ! And pay all eligible Old Age Pensioners this Amount ! It would stop all the haggling and Arguing and they could Halve their Staff and Spy Force !! :-)
    Lyn
    13th Jan 2016
    2:55pm
    I know of a couple (married) who separated. The wife continued to claim the carer's payment/pension, that had originally been granted under 'debatable' circumstances. Estranged even before separating, the wife was still receiving fortnightly payments for no care whatsoever. The husband was given a clean bill of health, played competition bowls and resumed part time work (still receiving his pension money) I have found it difficult to maintain a relationship as I do not relate to such dishonesty. They on the other hand tell me it is common and why should they be the ones to miss out.
    geomac
    13th Jan 2016
    11:56pm
    Every year it seems the same sort of " crackdowns " so they must have it down to a fine art by now. Staff cuts to the tax office and centrelink with multinationals etc paying little or no tax and welfare bungles taking ages to rectify. Somehow amongst all these staff cutbacks the size of pollies spin doctors and assistants never gets a cut. Hockey jumps ship and gets a gong as USA ambassador ? For work well done or going quickly ?
    Hairy
    14th Jan 2016
    7:52am
    If you pay single tax all your working life an individual should be entitled to single pension it's just another way for government to discriminate.
    helleen
    14th Jan 2016
    11:54am
    Why do they keep picking on Age pensions and disability pensions, what about the millions they spend on Sole parent pensions, I know from experience at least 5 young girls on single pensions who are living with the father of their child, in one case three children, yet claiming a sole parent pension and their partners work full time. How about looking into this instead of picking on people who have worked all their lives and paid taxes. It makes me so angry.
    particolor
    14th Jan 2016
    12:16pm
    It will now become an Offense to Direct a Person of Middle Eastern Appearance to the nearest Public Toilet, when they ask you for directions to Centrelink !!....

    5th Feb 2016
    7:05pm
    I know a couple who were planning to fraudulently claim separation to get higher aged pensions, and they are very well off. They invested in a multi-million dollar home and gifted millions to their children before turning 60 with an agreement (undocumented) that the children would pay all their bills for them in retirement.

    On the other hand, I know a couple who will lose their pension in 2017 and feel COMPELLED to separate legally, despite not wanting to, because they simply can't afford to stay together given the hardship these unfair new rules to come into effect in Jan 2017 impose. Sad!
    Maggie
    19th May 2017
    10:14am
    Let's just get back to basics shall we? Taking money that is not rightfully yours is theft. Honest people, taxpayers or not, pay the consequences of that, especially when government money is at state.

    We all know that a dripping tap can end up in a huge water bill, so the suggestion that the hunt should be directed at the rich dishonest instead of the poor dishonest makes no sense.

    Having pride and integrity is something that seems to be disappearing fast.
    particolor
    19th May 2017
    4:42pm
    I don't care now to be honest !! The Place is Stuffed !! When I saw the Islamic Gentleman on Disability Pension with 2 Wives and 14 Trainee Kids !! That done it for me !! Double Standard Appeasing Clowns for a Government !!
    APPEASEMENT... WEAKNESS & SURRENDER !! :-( :-( :-(
    And if I ever see any of that Politically Correct GARBAGE again, it will be Too Soon !! Australia NEEDS A Government for "ITS PEOPLE" !!
    Jan
    20th May 2017
    10:15pm
    I'd really like some tips on how to live more cheaply as a couple than as two single people living in the same house. The rules are outdated, each person should receive the same pension, no matter what relationship they are in. Couples are disadvantaged.
    Jan
    20th May 2017
    10:27pm
    If each person received an individual pension, the cost of looking into people's private lives would be greatly reduced - no need for the govt to be checking bedrooms or finding out who you might be sleeping with.


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