Australia’s retirement welfare ranking has a way to go

Australia rates highly on the Global Retirement Index, but there’s room to improve.

Global Retirement Index rankings

A new study has revealed the countries where retirement welfare is highest, and while Australia may have ranked strongly, experts say there is still room for improvement.

Australia was rated sixth out of 43 countries measured in the global ranking of welfare in retirement.

Our cross-ditch neighbours, New Zealand, came in ahead of us at fifth, while Nordic nations Sweden, Iceland and Norway came fourth, third and first respectively, sandwiching Switzerland in second.

The Natixis Global Asset Management 2017 Global Retirement Index (GRI), measured countries on indicators such as finances, material wellbeing, quality of life and health.

It also examines these factors against the performance of each nation’s economy to produce an overall annual ranking.

Australia rated highly in the quality of life and finances sections, but was dragged down by low scores in material wellbeing and health. Overall, Australia scored 78 per cent, the same score as the previous year.

global retirement index top 25 countries 

Kevin Haran, Australia managing director of Natixis Global Asset Management, says we could do better in the material wellbeing category.

"This can be boiled-down to income equality. The Nordics have a lot greater income equality than ourselves," he says. "We are a rich nation, but we are drifting towards being less evenly spread.”

And while the overall scores look good on paper, the reality for many Australian retirees is quite different. A survey of 600 retirees and 400 pre-retirees revealed that about half have no investments apart from super.

It also revealed that one in 10 who are still working don’t know how much they have in super and 60 per cent are still confused or have no idea about how the latest round of super changes affects them

"What's clear is that many Baby Boomers – though reliant on super for their retirement – don't understand it and don't have a plan for their retirement," says Australian Unity Wealth Chief Executive, David Bryant

Many pre-retirees framed their goals in terms of financial comfort and security, wanting to be able to maintain their standard of living, enjoy a few treats, and not have to worry about money.

The most commonly mentioned specific "treat" was travel, with many pre-retirees talking of wanting to explore Australia, visit dream holiday destinations overseas, take an annual holiday, or visit family.

The report showed that the biggest factor when aspiring to a high standard of living in retirement is owning their own home.

Although the current crop of retirees is in pretty good shape with home ownership, future retirees will struggle, with skyrocketing housing prices keeping many out of the property market. This will have a negative effect on Australia’s Age Pension system, and could potentially cause future Budget blowouts.

Census data shows that the proportion of households that own their house outright has dropped from 41 per cent in 1991, to 31 per cent in 2016.

Here’s a presentation of how the measured countries fared in the GRI. The cooler colours represent countries that performed highly, while the warmer colours represent poor performance.

global retirement index map 

How do you feel about your retirement? Are you happy?

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    COMMENTS

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    inextratime
    21st Jul 2017
    10:52am
    What this index does not take into account is the vast difference in the cost of living in different areas of Australia. Sydney followed by Melbourne are two of the most expensive cities in the world and the index would be significantly different if just these two cities were scored independently of the rest of Australia. Even so we are not much higher than the Czech Republic. But lets not let the facts get in the way of statistics.
    Old Geezer
    21st Jul 2017
    11:21am
    If you think Sydney and Melbourne are expensive then you haven't been to the remote areas of Australia where food and other things cost 3 times as much for much poor quality. We won't even mention freight and waiting time to get something needed urgently which is available readily in cities but not in the outback.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jul 2017
    6:48am
    We found food and essentials to be cheaper in Alice Springs than anywhere else in Australia. Cost of living is high in some outback places, but the cost of housing is usually cheap which partly compensates for high costs for other things. I don't know much about Sydney and Melbourne, but in Brisbane we found huge differences in costs of essentials across different suburbs. Prices were much higher in more affluent areas and lower in the poorer suburbs, which I guess is a response by supermarkets to customer demand. I assume they have to lower their prices in poorer areas in order to get people to buy, but in affluent areas the price is not such an issue.

    I wonder to what extent the index considered cost of living at all? The cost of living in Australia is very high relative to many other countries, and in particular essentials are very costly, making it tough for many who rely solely on pension income. Also, I wonder to what extent the index considered the wide variation in Australia between battling pensioners and very wealthy retirees who have big superannuation balances, lots of investments, and/or generous government pensions. There's such a big disparity in Australia that might not be so apparent in countries where pensions are considered an entitlement for all.

    For me, there's always a burning question of where the data came from and how it was assessed. It's hard to take reports like this on face value.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jul 2017
    11:56am
    Alice Springs has a Woolies and Coles but anywhere without a Woolies or Coles are double or more the price.

    How many OAPs take advantage of those food shops? I was tslking to the lady at the local one and she said that the more people that use it the better it gets. I donate lots of excess produce to them which they give to their customers for free.

    21st Jul 2017
    11:14am
    I'm very happy in retirement, but I'm among the lucky ones. I have a decent savings nest-egg, a nice home that I own outright, near-new car and caravan that I own outright, and a part-time job with extremely flexible hours that provides me a nice income doing work that I'd almost be tempted to do unpaid because I love it so much. I'm also in reasonably good health apart from major dental problems, weak eyesight, and chronic digestion issues and pain due to scars from past surgery (though a Naturopath helps me keep that under reasonable control). I care for a partner with significant health issues and disabilities, but our relationship couldn't be any better and I don't find caring any imposition at all.

    I do have some concerns for the future given that I have maybe another 3+ decades to live and I'm observing scary suggestions of further changes to pensions and continuing huge increases in the cost of living. The current attitude toward retirees disturbs me. If my savings don't last for 3 decades, what then? Of course if I find myself struggling, tens of thousands will be enduring a much worse struggle, but that only creates more concern - concern for society generally rather than for myself. I see greed and selfishness threatening to destroy a great country.

    When I consider my situation relative to that of other retirees, it does make me wonder. I suffered major disadvantage and many years of extreme hardship, repeated crisis, serious illnesses, and family illnesses and disabilities. Others who earned good incomes and had none of the challenges I faced don't have a fraction of my assets. Why? Is it a case of ''easy come/easy go?'' Certainly I saved whatever I could because I was terrified of poverty in old age. Young folk can make, mend and make-do to get by on a budget. It's much harder when you are old. That's why - although it doesn't impact me personally and might not ever - I object to the punishing assets test. If someone saves for their future, it should benefit them, not others who didn't strive as hard. But that's our society. Totally misguided welfare system that keeps people down and punishes those who strive to escape the welfare trap! I think our overall rating would be much higher if the OAP were reformed to remove the disincentives to save. And there would be more people owning houses if the media and government stopped ranting about how hard it is and started encouraging people to modify their expectations and try harder. It was VERY hard for me to get a home. All this carry on about it being easier for our generation is rubbish, and it's giving the young an excuse to stop striving and just whinge.
    Old Geezer
    21st Jul 2017
    11:32am
    Maybe you should go on that expensive cruise and spend those assets you have that stop you from getting the OAP as you planned under the old assets test? It would save you worrying if you could get welfare some time in the future.

    Let's face it since you miss out of the OAP due to asset changes then you are one of the lucky ones and should be grateful for what you have and not whinge about it. Stop regretting saving your money and enjoy it instead. Buy a better house or what ever it takes so you get welfare if it is so important to you.

    Only thing wrong with our welfare system is that it is too generous and has created a country full of people with a welfare mentality just like you.
    Rae
    21st Jul 2017
    12:34pm
    Rainey the stats list 64% as not caring about next week so 3 decades from now isn't on their radar.

    Your worrying for them isn't going to fix the problem.

    You have sorted your life. Be happy about that. You've done well.
    GeorgeM
    21st Jul 2017
    12:44pm
    Good summary, Rainey. Nit sure about this survey by a French company, as they claim the situation this year jus same inspire of the destructive Assets test introduced from Jan 2017. Also, another survey just recently noted that UK was No. 1 in Health, but it is way down in the list here. Usual garbage from OG, who ignores reality, hence ignore it especially the need for incentives for savers.
    Old Geezer
    21st Jul 2017
    1:22pm
    Good thing the old assets test will soon be forgotten as more people retire so it won't matter and any mention of it will fall on death ears.

    I do know a lot about reality and that change in the assets test was a good thing as those who had their OAP reduced or cancelled it was nice to have but they had more than enough assets not to need it. After all OAP is welfare not a luxury. Those people have now joined the rest of us who pay our own way in society even in old age.
    Rae
    21st Jul 2017
    1:56pm
    The really bad one was the income test changes that have devastated a lot of defined benefit pensioners unable to do anything about it. As the deemed amount was about twice the real lump sum handed over they should have been allowed a one off opportunity to take bah their money and hand in the annuity. That was they could have had some control.
    Triss
    21st Jul 2017
    3:03pm
    It’s not only the pension that’s too generous, OG. I believe the pension costs around $44 billion and tax concessions, which are of benefit to the wealthier retirees, add up to around $36 billion.
    According to the SMH report the bill for these concessions is projected to rise at 12 per cent annually and will soon overtake the pension to become the single largest area of government expenditure.
    Old Geezer
    21st Jul 2017
    7:25pm
    Well those wealthier retirees deserve tax concessions as they are paying their own way in retirement and not asking for welfare handouts.
    GeorgeM
    21st Jul 2017
    8:40pm
    No amount of repetition of your rubbish, OG, will change the fact that the Assets Test changes from Jan 2017 were not only highly unfair but totally stupid as it destroys incentives to save, and Rainey & others have repeatedly fully explained this to you. Also, the wealthy are wealthy because they were given / took massive tax concessions from the taxpayer. Your views are repeated ad nauseum (obviously paid for by the Liberal party) but will not change the views of the remaining 99.9% of people who disagree with you and who will remember to give payback to this rotten LNP Govt.

    As I have said before, I do think the best solution for the current mess is to pay all citizens (including spouses) who have paid taxes here for say 20 years with full pensions irrespective of any Assets or Income tests and tax all income above that, as they have paid their taxes to support their pensions. This will save huge amounts of money for Centrelink admin costs. Further, paying for pensions will be a breeze if they simply made all the Large Companies and the rich pay a Minimum Tax based on Gross income similar to Buffet's rule (35% for Individuals).
    LiveItUp
    21st Jul 2017
    9:25pm
    OG is right that change in the asset test was long over due and it should not have been increased in the first place. Also it was another bad more to give the pensioner concessions to anyone on the OAP as it should only be available to those on the full OAP.

    Many people agree with OG especially those working hard and getting no where while others do nothing but complain and collect welfare.

    Not all of us have had tax concessions and have paid more than our fair share of tax. We also help out those in need in many ways. Many of us think that welfare has gone beyond where welfare should go in this country which has created a welfare mentality. I went to a family furneral recently and in a gathering of over 100 I was the only taxpayer with the rest being welfare takers. I can really emphasise with those who are concerned about the futre of this country with so many people thinking the world owes them a living without lifting a finger.
    niemakawa
    21st Jul 2017
    9:29pm
    George I agree and am a strong advocate of aged pensions for all those that qualify. It is the only sensible, logical and moral solution to the massive inequity of means testing pensions.
    GeorgeM
    21st Jul 2017
    9:46pm
    Bonny, you are clearly quite dense and in a tandem team with OG with your mission being to post pro-Liberal views (still only part of the 0.1%) - attacking OAP and favouring the crooked schemes which enable most wealthy to get there. Not sure what the problem is with your "family", I haven't see that as normal anywhere. You also did not seem to read the solution I proposed - non-political, that makes it too hard for you.

    Thanks, niemakawa, at least many others can read.
    Eddy
    21st Jul 2017
    10:08pm
    Very strange Bonny, I have been to many funerals and I don't recall at any of those sad events ever hearing anyone discussing their financial affairs. Seems inappropriate.
    TREBOR
    21st Jul 2017
    11:02pm
    HOW are the fat retirees paying their way, when it is demonstrably clear that the lower paid retirees input all of their income back into this nation, while the fat cats take cruises and such, and pay some foreign nation for that?

    The lowest paid retiree - on a pension - is a much more active and positive contributor to this nation's economy and general well-being than the fat cats ever will be, and are deserving of respect and perhaps a little extra.

    Even the NAZI party had it right - they ran cruises for people as a reward for contribution to the nation.... pity about some of their other rather odd areas of governance....
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jul 2017
    12:03am
    Nothing in this life is truely free at all. Life was designed so effort is required for one to servive. Darwin called it the survival of the fittest.

    Yes I get it self funded retirees live on fresh air...of course they more than pay their way with not only their expenses but are taxed to pay the way of others as well.

    Not too sure what those on welfare do with their time but the clubs and pubs are full of them. Gee they love the pokies. Pokies had handles last time I played them myself. Next thing they will want extra welfare to pay for their pain and sufferring causing by repetative strain injury from pushing poky buttons. Ooops shouldn't give people ideas.

    Of course NAZI party looked after those who did their bidding...just look what happened to those who didn't.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jul 2017
    1:50am
    It is so disgusting that the arrogant well-to-do keep bashing pensioners and lying about where wealth comes from and who contributes to national wealth. But I guess it's not lying really since these poor immoral arrogant privileged pigs are so messed up in their pathetic little brains that they aren't capable of grasping reality.

    Very few people get to well-to-do status without using a huge amount of national resources and exploiting workers by paying them far less than they produce (which is how the capitalist system works!). Having made use of resources and people, they then claim massively expensive tax concessions as a right, thus refusing to pay for what they used. The progressive tax system was designed to bring balance into the capitalist economy by making those who used resources and people pay for that use, and providing welfare benefits for those who gave their labour at less than its worth and made lesser use of resources. But rich pigs are far too greedy these days to allow the progressive tax system to function to create the equity that is needed for a healthy economy and society. They have stuffed it for all of us with their massive greed. And now they come here and gloat and rant with their self-serving nonsense!

    Bonny, you and OG are the nastiest people I have ever encountered, and the most self-serving. Totally vile! Most of the pensioners I know spend their time doing community service and charity work. I know a few who frequent clubs and pubs, but they are a tiny minority. On the other hand, I can point to thousands who have made major contributions to society. And plenty of well-off people frequent clubs, pubs and restaurants and live it up in resorts on ill-gotten gains from fraud, tax evasion, and exploitation of workers.

    Your comments is just plain disgusting and vile and demonstrates a complete lack of human decency.

    OG, I said I was very happy and I probably won't ever qualify for any pension, and that's fine. Unlike you, I care about society as a whole, and unlike you and Bonny, I think objectively about what would represent genuine improvement and what presents risks for the future of Australia. Unlike you and Bonny, I am able to think past STUPID SIMPLISTIC ASSUMPTIONS motivated by greed, selfishness and jealousy. I research. I use logic. I think. And I have respect and empathy for others. And I READ what is written, rather than jumping to stupid conclusions about people I don't know without paying an ounce of attention to what they actually say.

    Seems most here agree with me anyway, and there appears to be very little sympathy for your self-serving points of view and very little appreciation of your nasty rants.
    Rae
    22nd Jul 2017
    9:07am
    Years ago Rainey a little friend of my youngest son often missed school. I decided to pick him up and make sure he got there each day. Three adults lived in the house. All on welfare. They would sleep in but be up half the night drinking and doing drugs.

    They went clubbing frequently and ate out a lot. Fast food was easier than actually getting up to cook. The ability to sit around doing nothing for whole days blew me away.

    I was working two jobs and running a business to get ahead and raise my kids.

    Now I really liked these people. Became friends with the boy's mum and delivered him to school for years.He often stayed with us while mum was off partying hard.

    Damned if I know how you fix it. I don't think you can. Giving these people more welfare would just mean more booze and drugs being bought.More junk to be trashed as nothing seemed important or worth caring for.

    If we could fix society it would be terrific but just bagging savers and investors and high income earners seems a bit unfair.

    My young neighbours here in an affluent area leave home at daybreak and return after dark 6 days a week. Their kids go to school and then get jobs at 15 to provide pocket money and Uni study.

    At the end they will own their homes and have savings to retire on.

    Should those unwilling to participate in the hard slog be subsidised to live the same lifestyle? What would be the incentive if your hard work was simply taxed to pay for less motivated?

    Howard stuffed the tax system up. The fact that most of us over 60 pay no income tax if using a super fund vehicle is ridiculous.
    Tradies remind me of Greece whining about the tax. All 29.5% less deductions. They are lucky to be paying 11%.

    The whole thing needs redesigning in my opinion but I also have no hatred for the wealthy either. Most deserve the fruit of their labours and saving and investment. Provide jobs for others and create wealth.

    We need more wealth creators not to strip them of any incentive to do so in my opinion.

    Yes we must also care for the disabled and ill and aged. That requires much more than just flinging money at them though.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jul 2017
    12:04pm
    It was a great move to have anyone over 60 not pay tax on super in the pension phase. I for one would not have any super without it as it's simply not worth having a super fund and paying tax on it. I'd have taken the lot out years ago. Many others would have as well and spent it instead of it being used to fund their retirement.
    Rae
    22nd Jul 2017
    1:10pm
    Well Bonny my investment is directly into the markets and I do very nicely without any tax concessions and paying a fair tax.

    I don't get welfare or tax concessions. Can't see the difference though and the cost to the taxpayer is shaping up as 50/50.

    Strange how people will happily pay interest and fees and charges and balk at taxes that support the society.
    Theo1943
    22nd Jul 2017
    5:54pm
    Tax concessions OG? In your dictionary wouldn't that be "welfare"?
    Anonymous
    23rd Jul 2017
    3:34am
    Rae, I couldn't agree more with your comments. I also know some dishonest people and ''no-hopers'' who rort the welfare system. There will ALWAYS be some. A needs-based welfare system encourages ''lame ducks'' and manipulation, and actively discourages responsible living and endeavour. That's why our welfare system is such a mess. If only people would stop and think logically instead of clutching at simplistic ''solutions'' using the ''big stick'' approach and deprivation, we MIGHT be able to solve some of the problems.

    I admire those who work and earn. I don't have any problem with anyone who gets wealthy honestly except that most over-use tax concessions and too often fail to acknowledge the extensive welfare and benefits they enjoy, and they tend to bash the less fortunate based on cruel and unfair assumptions and greed. That's not all wealthy, of course, but most! I admire those few who acknowledge their good fortune and display respect and empathy for the less fortunate.

    I believe we have to support the old, the sick and the disabled and we should be generous in doing so. We should also provide adequately for the unemployed. But the current pension assets test rewards the irresponsible and the manipulative and punishes anyone who strives to be self-sufficient but can't quite make the grade. Our welfare system offers a ''hand out'' but not a ''hand up'' and is suppressive. It actively discourages endeavour. That's dumb.

    I don't agree with Bonny's comment at all. Taking money out of super doesn't prevent retention and investment and most who have a saving mentality will continue to save, in super or out. If super gives more tax concession in retirement than private wealth, then you are VERY WELL OFF, because taxes on retirees private income are minimal. Anyone who would lose enough to discourage saving by taking money out of super doesn't need tax concessions and is greedy to claim them. They are WELFARE FOR THE WELL-OFF and they are way too costly for this nation in its current situation. We should be prioritizing welfare for the needy (according to the greedy hypocrites who claim rich-man's welfare and then complain about the cost of the OAP!!)

    There are sensible ways to reform the OAP so that it acts as an incentive to live responsibly and strive for self-sufficiency, and doing so would slash the future costs of providing for retirees and improve the quality of life and the economy overall. Better off retirees mean more jobs for the young, more help for younger folk to buy homes and raise families, and inheritances that increase the capacity of future generations to fund their own retirement. Bashing the aged who saved today only means greater financial hardship for future generations and more economic problems tomorrow. If we stopped bashing workers and handing out way too much to the wealthy, we could build on the superannuation system that exists to ensure that a comfortable retirement was accessible to everyone, opening more jobs for the young, and that strong incentives were available for people to be as well-of in old age as was possible given the opportunities and income they enjoyed in working life.

    We will never completely stamp out cheats, manipulators, lame-ducks and no-hopers. Every society has to live with the costs a percentage of these types impose. But we CAN reduce the number to a tiny percentage. We CAN drive more endeavour and responsible living to reduce welfare costs and improve the quality of society. The current government is going about it all the wrong way and is causing welfare costs to skyrocket. Past governments have been equally irresponsible.

    I think a lot of the problem is that the well-off and privileged make the rules and they simply can't comprehend the problem because they've never experienced disadvantage and struggle, can't understand it (look at Turnbull's warped view of what constitutes disadvantage, and OG's!) and simply blame the victims of social disfunction and look for ''quick fixes''. They need to listen to people like me who have really walked the walk and understand the challenges the disadvantaged face and how they think, and why. Taking advice from John Daley and his ilk guarantees making things worse!

    But there is no hope. Goodness, the LNP trolls here even whinge and attack when I say I'm well off and happy, but I care about the future of the nation. Obviously their only concern is preserving the status quo that lets them enjoy superior wealth and status and continue to claim entitlement, while denying the underprivileged anything more than crumbs under the table, and making it all but impossible for most to rise above their underprivileged status.
    LiveItUp
    24th Jul 2017
    8:35am
    Why do we have a thriving RV and caravan industry? Super is to blame. People reitre take their money out of super and buy a big 4wd snd nice new caravan or RV. Spent test on thier bucket list travels and shout the grandkids on a cruise or two. Maybe built a new retirement house while away travelling as well. Bucketlist done and dusted so now they can live well on the OAP indeed with a few hundred thousand for extra treats.

    Sounds like the good life to me.

    Unforunately I'm paying for it and it's not my life.
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2017
    7:51am
    I think a minority are doing that, Bonny, but if you really think that and object to it, then why on earth are you endorsing and applauding the system that drives it? Punishing people who can't get good returns on their investments - for whatever reason - drives the ''spend it'' mentality, because many are better off spending than keeping their hard-won savings and copping the cruelty.

    You rant about people not needing a pension, and object to anyone getting one if they are not poor, but on the other hand you are quite happy to take advantage of an unfair tax concession system that lets someone getting 15% on $1.5 million escape tax free, while the poor old battler getting 3% on $750,000 (after furnishings, car, etc. are counted in the assets test) has to drain their savings away to live as well as an old age pensioner who saved half that amount.

    So in other words, you endorse taxpayer-funded welfare for the wealthy - on incomes of $150,000 a year or more, and for those with less than $500K in assets and income of maybe $50Ka year) but not for the responsible middle-class saver who may well be struggling to get an income of $25,000 per annum. That's discrimination, and it's disgusting!
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2017
    7:54am
    BTW. As you say you draw your retirement income from super, you are NOT paying for anything. You are among the takers. Those who are paying are those who lost part-pensions in the assets test change but are NOT getting good investment returns. They have been slugged over and over again while the rich took massive tax concessions during working life and pay no tax in retirement, and the poor at least get a pension - however inadequate it may be.
    Dave V
    21st Jul 2017
    11:53am
    If my understanding is correct the Nordic countries also have much higher tax rates, and they don't necessarily mind paying more for the increased social benefits. If we want to support our older people better then we need to educate our people that someone has to pay for it. I'm not sure how that's going to happen.
    Old Geezer
    21st Jul 2017
    12:30pm
    You have to wonder with the number of them we have in Australia now.
    Theo1943
    21st Jul 2017
    1:46pm
    OK OG, how many?
    Triss
    21st Jul 2017
    3:06pm
    Specifics please, OG, generalisations are not much use.
    Theo1943
    21st Jul 2017
    3:52pm
    I got tired of waiting so looked it up on ABS.
    The highest I found was UK with 911,000
    Lowest was Egypt with 17,000, that's .07%
    Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland - so few they didn't bother to publish.Yes they did ask.

    Any comment OG?

    Something else you made up on the spot?

    :-)
    marls
    21st Jul 2017
    6:55pm
    in some of the nordic countries they have a lot of free other things like education is free and so is childcare
    niemakawa
    21st Jul 2017
    9:31pm
    marls, that maybe the case but in exchange the people have given up their rights to free speech, especially in Sweden.
    Eddy
    21st Jul 2017
    10:14pm
    Niemakawa, from where did you get that one. Do we have free speech? What about our libel and slander laws and various vilification laws. We only have free speech within specific legal restraints.
    niemakawa
    21st Jul 2017
    10:30pm
    Eddy, Governments give nothing for free, there is always a trade-off somwhere along the line. Free speech is gradually but surely being eroded in Australia. All because of a certain group which is totally alien to our way of life. Look at Canada they now have laws that forbid people to say anything against such groups. The same is happening here in Australia. Yes we have lible and slander laws which need to be proven to have effect, everyone is protected. As for vilification again those laws are in place not for the protection of all Australians only for certain groups. The proof of innocence lies with the accused. The accuser does not have that burden. That person merely has to make a complaint and action is immedaitely taken against the accused, without question.
    TREBOR
    21st Jul 2017
    11:04pm
    They pay higher taxes.. it's all free......

    Which form of government do you want? One that takes more and gives more, or one that sits back and lets its mates take more and give less?

    A hard call.... either you are owned by the government.................... or YOU own IT!!
    Anonymous
    22nd Jul 2017
    2:02am
    Countries that have the highest taxes also have the happiest people. Also, in many countries, paying tax is considered an honour and a privilege and anyone who tries to reduce their tax is shamed. Those countries have happy people. They have got it right. They appreciate that in a healthy society, people need to pay fairly for the resources and benefits they enjoy - not milk the nation for all the goodies and hoard them in tax havens while making those who work for the national good suffer hardship and abuse.

    Australia used to be the nation of the ''fair go'', but it's become a nation divided, and the division will continue while the greed and selfishness of the upper class continues to drive more handouts to the wealthy.

    The wealthy get their wealth by exploiting national resources, including paying far less for labour than it is genuinely worth. They then gloat and claim to be ''superior'' and claim they pay their way in society by providing jobs. Somehow, nobody ever seems to remind them that the capitalist economy is a two way street. Without people willing to work for less than they produce and access to national resources at far less cost than is fair, nobody would be able to create jobs or generate wealth.

    It's time the elite pulled their self-serving heads in and recognized the function and justice of the progressive tax system and started paying their way.

    As for the welfare system, yes, it's expensive, because the economy is failing. The more tweaks made to make the system oppressive instead of supportive - to remove incentives and rewards and simply bash those in hardship - the more expensive the welfare system will be. There will be more crime, more mental illness, more family breakdown, more abuse, more addiction.... etc. etc. etc.... because the system is working to create a healthy society. And the arrogant STUPID rich will just keep assuming they can whip the battlers into submission, until the situation reaches real crisis point and the victims of this stupidity finally revolt. Bill Shorten is already making speeches recognizing the change that is needed. Global leaders and economists have been shouting about the need for reform for a long time. It's coming. It's just a question of when, how, and how much hurt the self-serving elite eventually suffer to restore enough equity to achieve moderate social health.
    TREBOR
    21st Jul 2017
    11:58am
    I'm fairly content, but never enough money - though money isn't the only issue in a quiet and civilised retirement.

    As for the bickering created by endless government headless chook running around over retirement packages for all - I don't know what I'd do without the fun...
    Old Geezer
    21st Jul 2017
    1:23pm
    Even the super rich have that problem Trebour...never enough money!
    MICK
    21st Jul 2017
    5:03pm
    The super rich always look after themselves really well OG. You would know that. Why do you think they have all sorts of outs which average citizens are locked out of.
    niemakawa
    21st Jul 2017
    5:45pm
    This quote fits perfectly with our current Government. Labor or Greens would fair no better IMO, should they ever get their hands on the Government reins.


    "Government is not the solution, government is the problem."-Ronald Reagan..
    Anonymous
    23rd Jul 2017
    3:50am
    Yes, Government and the greedy pigs who support governments that pandy to greedy pigs and constantly ignore what's good for the nation as a whole.
    LiveItUp
    23rd Jul 2017
    4:07pm
    Rainey you sound like you want more than your own fair share from the trough with comments like those. Yes they smack of greed and envy.
    Anonymous
    24th Jul 2017
    5:08am
    No, Bonny. I have never had a fair share but I'm totally content with what I do have. It's the rich who continually whine about taxes who want more than their fair share. They simply refuse to acknowledge how much benefit they receive, and how little they pay for it.
    niemakawa
    21st Jul 2017
    2:52pm
    Please note the Aged Pension is not welfare, but paid for during a person's working life. It is a given right in all the the countries listed, but Australia stands alone by not acknowledging this fact. Pensions for all who qualify regardless of income/assets , Australia needs to learn a quick lesson.
    Old Geezer
    21st Jul 2017
    2:56pm
    Unfortunately the OAP is actually welfare and paid for out of the welfare budget. If we had pensions for all regardless of income/assets then it would be entitlement as anyone over a certain age could get it. Until then it is welfare I'm afraid.
    niemakawa
    21st Jul 2017
    3:05pm
    OG did you read what I said? I doubt it. You just spout out your same endless rhetoric without engaging your little brain. The sooner you snuff it the better. You are of no use here.
    Old Geezer
    21st Jul 2017
    3:19pm
    If the OAP was paid for during one's earning life then I would have paid for it many times over so where is my OAP? Just shows you how that's utter rubbish!

    I intend to out live many people here so I'm in for the long haul.
    Retired Knowall
    21st Jul 2017
    4:34pm
    niemakawa, if it's paid during a persons working life, how come we pay the OAP to those that have never worked a day in their life?
    niemakawa
    21st Jul 2017
    4:38pm
    I use the term "working" loosely. I have paid my dues which the Government has absorbed into its general revenue. This is not an excuse by the Government to deny me or others full pension rights.
    MICK
    21st Jul 2017
    5:02pm
    I agree with you niemakawa. Sadly the right wing posters only look after their own interests and fairness & honesty seldom is of any interest as long as THEY are not in the sights of the government they are funding for re-election.
    marls
    21st Jul 2017
    6:59pm
    agree eg in New Zealand every single person over the age of 65 is entitled to an age pension regardless of wealth and they can continue to work its not means tested, i have family in italy and germany there is no means test for aged pension its only australia
    GeorgeM
    21st Jul 2017
    8:47pm
    Agree, niemakawa. I think this survey seems to be unaware that the OAP is means-tested here unlike most of the other advanced countries listed. Or else, is the survey saying it doesn't matter anyway if they gave pensions to all here, and saved massive Centrelink admin costs. Now there's food for thought for policy makers!
    TREBOR
    21st Jul 2017
    11:09pm
    You are suggesting that someone born with cerebral palsy and limited to a wheelchair for life should be left out on the frozen hills for the wolves?

    Are you suggesting that those currently unable to find a job under this current 'global economy' regime - let alone one that gives them massive discretionary income and permanence so they can ensure their own retirement - should be abandoned and left to become a criminal underworld (again)?

    What they hell is wrong with some of you? Aren't you fed well enough etc, even on a pension, to consider those with no advantages in life?

    Do you have no idea what your 'policies' are leading this nation to?
    Anonymous
    22nd Jul 2017
    2:10am
    Yes, the OAP is welfare, and so are the massively expensive tax concessions wrongly given to the well off. ''Welfare'' is anything that improves the health, happiness or well-being of a person or group. By that standard, the well-off in this nation get far too much WELFARE and the battlers get far too little.

    OG, you are nothing but a greedy leech, sucking on the blood of the less fortunate. You have had so much WELFARE that you are now able to wallow in riches and sneer at the less fortunate. You have been far too indulged at the expense of the rest of us.

    Yes, all aged should receive a pension, because decent societies respect and care for their elders, and because nobody should suffer penalty for having worked and saved. When you make welfare a tool of suppression, as our nation has done, you destroy both the economy and the society and make pensions unaffordable. Guess what? That's exactly what the stupid powers-that-be have done in Australia. And now the idiots think they can fix it by beating up on the victims of their arrogance, They have a shock coming!
    Rae
    22nd Jul 2017
    9:15am
    Yes all should get the OAP and taxes sorted out to be fairer but also encourage wealth creation.

    Too many now avoid tax because they get very little benefit from paying it.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Jul 2017
    12:34pm
    Agree Rae as I see like benefit from my tax contribution every year.
    Anonymous
    23rd Jul 2017
    9:54am
    Yes, OG. Think only of yourself, and then accuse those whose focus is national well-being and social improvement of ''greed''. It's you who is greedy and selfish. And you get a thousand times more benefit from your ''tax contribution'' than you pay for. Like all the well-to-do, you take far more than you give but you are too arrogant to recognize the benefits you receive - benefits provided by people far worse off than you.
    niemakawa
    21st Jul 2017
    3:16pm
    No I am not happy having to subsidise those that failed miserably to take account of their repsonsibilities in saving for their retirement. Instead they expect to be paid more pension than those that made the right choices in life. Pensions for all regardless of income and assets . The term welfare regarding the aged pension is banded about as if it is true, when there is no official Government manifesto that states such.
    TREBOR
    21st Jul 2017
    11:12pm
    Sometimes your rhetoric lets you down.... there are billions of reasons why someone would 'fail' in life and not 'provide for their own retirement' .... and unless you've been there, you have no right to say otherwise - as the judge will say after the revolution when sending you to the firing squad....

    Often you and I are on the same wavelength - but then you fall down by becoming another Pauline Hanson dreamer who thinks that all those 'unemployed bums who never worked a day in their life' should open a fish shop in Ipswich, thus destroying the market for fish shops in Ipswich.
    niemakawa
    21st Jul 2017
    11:34pm
    Billions of reasons , somewhat an exagerration. Yes there are some truly needy in our society and they should be given all the support necessary to improve their lives. Unfortunately it seems that all and sundry have jumped onto the bandwagon, exploiting any excuse as to why they did not prepare themselves adequately for retirement. One Nation has some very good policies , have you read them? I will always vote for a party that has a Nationalistic view, not one that is Globalist in outlook. As is life we will not always agree
    niemakawa
    21st Jul 2017
    11:34pm
    Billions of reasons , somewhat an exagerration. Yes there are some truly needy in our society and they should be given all the support necessary to improve their lives. Unfortunately it seems that all and sundry have jumped onto the bandwagon, exploiting any excuse as to why they did not prepare themselves adequately for retirement. One Nation has some very good policies , have you read them? I will always vote for a party that has a Nationalistic view, not one that is Globalist in outlook. As is life we will not always agree
    Anonymous
    22nd Jul 2017
    2:35am
    I agree with both of you. The vast majority of old age pensioners in Australia are where they are financially in retirement because they spent too freely during their working lives and didn't take responsibility for financing their retirement. That's a fact. I can't find a single pensioner in my neighbourhood who didn't earn many times my family's total lifetime earnings, yet none have anywhere near my savings. A high-paid journalist couple who inherited $500K are living in government housing on full pensions after cruising the world many tines over. An immigrant couple who inherited $2 million worth of land in Serbia gave all their wealth to their kids before turning 60 so they could live in a $1.2 million house on full pensions and benefits. A couple who enjoyed well-paid jobs and ran a lucrative business on the side put every cent they have through the poker machines and claim a full pension. People like this are everywhere.

    On the other hand, there are people who suffered hardship, disability, chronic illness, etc. who, in a caring society, we must recognize need support and care. There are people who didn't work because they suffered mental illness. There are addicts and alcoholics whose addiction was a genuine illness that, despite great effort, they were never able to recover from. In many cases it began as a result of suffering hideous hurt and injustice.

    The problem we face because of misguided leaders with warped views of reality and an arrogant sense of superiority and entitlement is that we can't be fair to one group without being unfair to another. A pension for all is the common-sense solution. It eliminates the suppression that makes our current system so expensive and socially destructive. We should also make welfare for the sick, disabled and unemployed easier to access and far more generous and remove the penalties currently applied for striving, Give these people room to improve their lives without risking the loss of the miserable little bit of sustenance they are currently given. When people have genuine incentive and support to strive, most will. There will always be a small percentage of useless no-hopers. That's a given. But they are a small percentage. Just as the shop keeper who puts goods on display to invite buyers must budget for a small percentage of loss to shop-lifters, societies have to budget for a small percentage of loss to the genuinely lazy no-goods. But in our society we have designed a welfare system to be so suppressive that it drives most of those who want to escape the welfare trap to give up. We've made it just too hard. And then we point to the small percentage who have succeeded as ''proof'' that it's possible.

    I recall going to a presentation by a wealthy successful businesswoman who claimed she had started with nothing and made millions. I learned afterward that she came from a family of very wealthy lawyers and her lawyer brother orchestrated a massive government contract and grant for her.

    In every success story, there was a mentor or helper or stroke of good fortune that is usually not properly credited - or left out completely. In almost every story of failure and hardship, there is struggle and suffering that is beyond the comprehension of anyone who hasn't shared the pain. The holier-than-though in this society are quick to judge and condemn, but have no real interest in examining what is wrong and finding valid and compassionate ways to fix it. It's far too easy to just blame the victims and beat one's chest and claim superiority.

    I guess my viewpoint comes from having experience extreme hardship and ongoing crisis and hurt, and working extensively with others whose stories should move us all to endless tears. I managed to rise above hardship and do moderately well. It took decades and was an unbelievable struggle, and I readily recognize that very few are blessed with the strength, intelligence, skill and guidance that enabled me to achieve.

    I had to cheat the system to escape the suppression it applies. I didn't want to, but I had no choice. While we continue to use the welfare system as a tool of suppression - claiming it should be strictly ''needs based'' - we will never fix what's wrong with it or society, because nobody can accurately determine someone else's need, much less what represents fair entitlement.

    Fact is, we all paid for our retirement through taxes, and if that money hadn't been stolen by a corrupt government, there would be plenty to pay retirement benefits to all today. But the crime was committed. The damage is done. How to fix it? Pensions for all would be a cheaper solution in the long term, and a far healthier one both for the economy and society. It may create a short term strain, but in the medium to long term it would prove a cheaper way to go. The only difficulty I see is integrating it with an as yet immature superannuation system that will ultimately deliver generous tax-payer-funded pensions for the well-off and very little benefit for the lower paid who receive no tax concessions to help them save for old age.
    Rae
    22nd Jul 2017
    9:22am
    Yes Rainey and it would end the discrimination now against savers.

    A universal OAP and reasonable taxes on other income above a fair threshold. Cut the tax concessions for super and negative geared investments as that wouldn't be needed.Sort out the capital gains tax and the GST.

    I think such a move would be revenue positive and actually save a lot in administration costs.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jul 2017
    9:58am
    Great idea Rainey I could do with some nice to have money to spend on a luxury holiday at the expense of the taxpayer.
    Anonymous
    23rd Jul 2017
    3:52am
    Self-interest is disgusting, Bonny. We were talking about a benefit for the NATION.

    21st Jul 2017
    4:12pm
    6 out of 43
    Bet the whingers will still keep complaining
    MICK
    21st Jul 2017
    4:17pm
    I bet you would too if your ability to live was under attack or your retirement plans were scuttled like many people have had done to them by the current rich mans government and their class warfare.
    Lucky you are rich Raphael. Contributed to the re-election coffers yet?
    Anonymous
    21st Jul 2017
    5:18pm
    I'm not rich but I do resent the fact that the pension is not universal
    But Mick
    Being 6th best means that our pension system is very generous
    Old Geezer
    21st Jul 2017
    5:52pm
    Retirement plans scuttled? Whose? I haven't seen any evidence of such a thing at all.
    TREBOR
    21st Jul 2017
    11:14pm
    Forgive Rafe - he simply has no idea and just talks through his hat..... as long as he can make out he is morally superior to some dole bludger, he's happy....

    OG - you haven't been around much, have you?
    Anonymous
    22nd Jul 2017
    2:42am
    Raphael, pointing to deficiencies and potential for improvement isn't ''whinging''. And pointing out possible errors in reports isn't ''whinging'' either. It's constructive debate that hopefully enables all of us to recognize that there is scope for improvement and to see who has been disenfranchised and missed out on their fair share of the good life and why.

    OG, if you haven't seen any evidence of retirement plans being scuttled, you are blinded by over-privilege.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Jul 2017
    12:32pm
    Only ones that are whinging about losing their OAP are those who didn't need it or got themselves unstuck due to their greed in organising their affairs just to get the OAP. Sorry folks you will just have to join the rest of us and pay your own way instead.
    Anonymous
    23rd Jul 2017
    3:48am
    No, OG. Those complaining about the changed assets test are the INTELLIGENT THINKERS who see the flaws in a change that was patently unfair, dishonest, and economically damaging. But you keep chest-beating and gloating and taking MASSIVE WELFARE from those who need it more by claiming excessive tax concessions you don't need. Like all the greedy, selfish over-privileged in this nation, you can't think past what boosts your own bank account and how to take more from those who have less.

    Those hurt by the assets test change ALWAYS paid their own way. Now they are paying twice so that people who paid less can have more than them, yet the genuinely needy get NOTHING from the change. Only those with hundreds of thousand in savings gained.
    MICK
    21st Jul 2017
    5:05pm
    There's a hole in the bucket dear Lisa dear Lisa. There's a hole in the bucket dear Lisa a hole.

    Pardon the poor singing. Never was a strong point for me.
    Anonymous
    21st Jul 2017
    5:19pm
    Neither is being grateful that we have a world clsss welfare system it seems like
    Old Geezer
    21st Jul 2017
    5:52pm
    Definitely Mick and it needs fixing badly as there are welfare leaks everywhere now.
    niemakawa
    21st Jul 2017
    6:14pm
    OG and the vast majority of the scams are coming from the refugees aka economic migrants being brought into the Country without hesitation bythe Goverment. Many take on numerous identities, no real backgorund checks carried out on them. No waiting period to obtain our taxpayer funded social security system or health treatments. Pensioners always being targeted to shore up the mess that this and previous Governments have thrust upon us. The future for Australia and its people does not bode well. Australia is doomed unless restorative action is taken soon.
    Anonymous
    22nd Jul 2017
    2:39am
    Welfare leaks everywhere because the system was designed by sick privileged idiots for the purpose of suppressing the less fortunate and keeping them ''in their place'', ensuring that it's so hard to elevate themselves that most simply give up.

    When IDIOTS realize that needs-based welfare that punishes those who strive is more expensive than sensible programs that offer support and a hand up, while rewarding responsible living and retaining incentives to strive, the welfare problem will be solved. The big stick never fixed anything and never will.
    KSS
    21st Jul 2017
    7:25pm
    Have to agree with Raphael. For the second day running we have some good news about Australia and yet still the whingers and whiners are lying their trade. Things are really not as bad as some would have us all believe.We in Australia are doing well by world standards so please people, at least acknowledge that there are clearly significant benefits to being in Australia, even if your very next thoughts return to what you can demand more of next.
    Old Geezer
    21st Jul 2017
    7:27pm
    Agree enough is never enough for those on welfare.
    TREBOR
    21st Jul 2017
    11:16pm
    .. or for those who have fed off them for a lifetime and now feel they are entitled to continue to feed handsomely off their starved corpses.... there is no welfare in this nation, OG - it's Social Security...... and is totally supported by good reasons that benefit all...

    Dump it and you will find someone will rob you or possibly kill you for a meal...

    What kind of lunatic would advocate that kind of society?
    Anonymous
    22nd Jul 2017
    12:21am
    Raphael
    22nd Jul 2017
    12:20am
    remove Trebore
    All government assistance falls under the generic term "welfare"
    It's there for to ensure the wellfare of those who cannot fend for themselves
    Pension shouldn't be welfare
    It should be a retirement benefit for all who have worked hard and paid taxes to build the nation
    Not just to those who didn't pay taxes or who did not save for their retirement
    Anonymous
    22nd Jul 2017
    2:48am
    Anything that improves the health, happiness or overall well-being of a person or group is WELFARE. The most expensive WELFARE in this nation is the WELFARE for the rich - obscene tax concessions that enable them to hoard riches in tax havens and beat their chests and gloat over having plenty to live in luxury in retirement, while the pathetic token paid to the genuinely hard up won't cover the cost of essentials.

    Yes, aged pensions should be paid to all, not just in recognition of their nation-building contribution, but because needs-based pension programs are both suppressive and economically unviable. It's far less costly to encourage and reward responsible living than to drive people to manipulate, cheat, or simply live irresponsibly knowing that doing so results in payouts from the taxpayer and doing what's good for the nation results in being force to erode your savings or live on lower incomes than those the taxpayer supports.

    Using a pension system to suppress is not just unconscionable in the extreme, it's economically and socially irresponsible. And we are seeing how economically harmful it is now, with continually rising welfare costs. The sad thing is that the idiots in power and the stupid elite who support them continue to assert that the solution is more suppression!
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jul 2017
    12:10pm
    Welfare enhances society. Think again as in it's current form it provide the money to fund the drug trade in both illegal and legal drugs. How it us possible that a town can havevtwice as many grog shops as supermarkets? Why do we have a ice problem? Welfare money funds this. Have you noticed that the places with the biggest drug and crime problems have the high number of welfare? I certainly have.
    Anonymous
    23rd Jul 2017
    3:45am
    Bonny. Needs-based welfare suppresses and suppression drives addiction. Stop the utterly STUPID AND CRUEL suppression and provide strong incentives and rewards for responsible living. Make welfare a ''hand up'' instead of a ''hand out''. The addiction will reduce. It isn't ''funded'' by welfare. Welfare isn't enough to pay for food let along drugs and grog! It's self-funding, but driven by desperation. There would be no market for ice and limited market for alcohol if people had fair opportunity to lift themselves out of disadvantage and resolve frustration and hopelessness.

    Yes, of course the biggest drug and crime problems are in areas where there are high numbers on welfare - because those on welfare are the socially and economically disenfranchised, the frustrated, those without hope... and that drives addiction. They can't strive legally and responsibly without suffering punishment, so they resort to illegal and irresponsible means of improving miserable lives.

    Give them hope and opportunity and show them respect instead of constantly bashing up on them and you will start to resolve the problem.

    YOUR ATTITUDE IS WHAT CAUSES ADDICTION AND LETS THE DRUG TRADE PROSPER, BONNY. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. YOU, AND PEOPLE LIKE YOU.
    Anonymous
    23rd Jul 2017
    4:38am
    Let me tell you about someone I met recently who is an alcoholic, Bonny. I asked him why he drinks. He told me a long story. He recently contributed information to an Obmbudsman's inquiry into abuse and bullying in the Australian Army. He told of how he was forced into the Army - out of an orphanage - at age 15, despite not wanting to join. He had to sign on for 8 years. He told of how he was bullied and abused in the army, suffering a jaw injury from being punched in the mouth and a serious back injury that a negligent medic didn't even record in his medical records so despite suffering pain and restricted movement for life, he could not claim compensation. His stories went on and on, detailing 8 years of suffering hurt and injustice and total frustration. Because of an overseas posting, he ended up serving 10 years. He did complete courses in the army to qualify for a trade on discharge. When discharged, he was told he was entitled to retraining, but then he was denied retraining by a corrupt bureaucrat who told him he ''lacked the necessary aptitude'' based on an ''intelligence'' test that questioned him about the length of the Tigres/Euphrates river and the height of the highest mountains in the Himalayas. He was told the courses he did in the army were worthless as military qualifications were not recognized in civilian life. He ended up in a dangerous physically strenuous job where he struggled with endless back pain until he had a major accident - caused by employer negligence. Having no family or advisers and being terrified of authority because of past experiences, he didn't sue for compensation but moved on to other unskilled and low paid jobs. He worked until he was 55 when his body finally gave up on him and then he was diagnosed with PTSD and the military accepted full responsibility for his condition and paid him the grand sum of $39,000 compensation.
    So back to why he drinks? To relieve the pain, because he finds alcohol more effective than pain-killing drugs and even his doctor agrees his drinking is probably less harmful than taking medication. To deal with the anger and frustration and bad memories of abuse and injustice.
    To deal with the anger and fear resulting from reading suggestions that laws should be changed to make pensions repayable from estates, because the bastards who didn't do their jobs and who abused their power won't have their estates confiscated. They all live nicely on fat government pensions and big retirement savings, while he struggled for a lifetime to overcome the impact of their abuse.
    That's an example of what drives addiction. Think about it, and stop being so self-opinionated and judgement. A lot of the population got to comfort in retirement by abusing power, failing to do highly-paid jobs, and exploiting good people. A lot of hard-working, honest people suffered a great deal to contribute to society as best they could, despite cruelty and injustice, and deserve to be cared for in old age and to be allowed to preserve their estates for their offspring.
    Anonymous
    23rd Jul 2017
    7:01am
    BTW. This is a clean-living, quiet, non-violent man who gets on well with his neighbours and family, keeps his home and yard neat and clean and bothers nobody. He draws a part-pension, having saved well during early working years and paid off a home. He rarely sees doctors and takes only blood-pressure medication. He engages in charity and community service work. He has never been accused of any crime - not even driving offences. His family adore him.
    LiveItUp
    23rd Jul 2017
    4:04pm
    Rainey we all know people like that but they are far and few between.
    TREBOR
    23rd Jul 2017
    9:47pm
    Perfectly correct, Social Security's AIM is welfare and well-being.... but they are not the same... one is a policy of intent, the other is the direct provision of social security under established and paid-for conditions as a direct means of sustenance.

    Do try to resolve the difference..... ''welfare" is unacceptable to define social security for the simple reason that it implies that social security is a gift that may be altered or removed at whim of the provider.... and we do not have welfare as such in this nation.
    LiveItUp
    23rd Jul 2017
    10:50pm
    Yes we do Trebor and that's why people should be thankful for it. It can be altered or taken away at any time.
    niemakawa
    24th Jul 2017
    2:25am
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha
    Money, Money, Money, Money, Money
    Everybody's got a price,
    Everybody's gonna pay
    Cuz the Million dollar Man,
    Always gets his way
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha
    Money, Money, Money, Money, Money
    Some might cost a little,
    some might cost a lot
    But I'm the Million Dollar Man,
    And you will be bought
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha
    Money, Money, Money, Money, Money
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha
    Money, Money, Money, Money, Money
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha
    Money, Money, Money, Money, Money
    Anonymous
    24th Jul 2017
    5:11am
    ''we all know people like that but they are far and few between.''

    How would you know, Bonny? You have personally investigated the circumstances of all welfare recipients? No. You haven't a clue. You couldn't begin to imagine why people need a pension. You just make vile and nasty assumptions and baseless generalizations.
    LiveItUp
    24th Jul 2017
    8:10am
    All I have to say is I come from a family of such people Rainey so I know them well.
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2017
    3:07am
    So you judge everyone based on a few drop-kick relatives in YOUR disgusting family? STUPID, BONNY!
    Priscilla
    21st Jul 2017
    7:46pm
    How can anyone be happily retired when the governments constantly changes the rules and once you are retired you are trapped!!
    LiveItUp
    21st Jul 2017
    9:09pm
    Trapped by what?
    Anonymous
    22nd Jul 2017
    2:56am
    Trapped by a suppressive and punishing system, Bonny. You settle on a retirement home and set yourself up with a decent income, supplemented under the rules by a part pension, and then suddenly your income is slashed by up to $20K a year because you didn't buy a more expensive home or give a heap of money away before you turned 60. Those aged over 60 are trapped. They have nowhere to go unless its practical to upgrade their housing. Those under 60 are able to structure their affairs to get around the new assets test, so barring further fraudulent and destructive changes (which will probably happen) any savings from the changed assets test will disappear in a few years and the cost of pensions will skyrocket because more people structure their affairs to achieve the income they planned for.

    Priscilla is right. This unconscionable government is ensuring that retirement is a huge challenge. After decades of hard work and paying taxes to build a relatively affluent society, you would think we would all be entitled to the security of knowing the government won't continually tamper with the rules and keep pulling the rug out from under folk who took responsibility for saving as much as they were able and sensibly planning for their autumn years.

    What is really disgusting is that money taken from one group of savers was given to another group who saved less, but are still relatively affluent. The needy got NOTHING. Those who won are now generally far better off than those who were deprived! What an idiotically unjust way to modify a system!
    LiveItUp
    22nd Jul 2017
    9:05am
    Sounds like they used the rules for their own greed and have come unstuck. Lucky for them they have lots of caoital to use instead on relying on a part pension. Welcome to my world where I pay my own way and extra for things they will now get cheaper due to wrongly been given back their concession card. If that is what you called trapped then you have no idea what trapped really means. Bring it on trap me like that any day.

    As i have said enough is never enough for most people and heaveen forbid if they lose things they don't need.
    Anonymous
    23rd Jul 2017
    3:37am
    They were NOT greedy, Bonny. They were CHEATED by a cruel government. And they are lucky to have savings, but their savings are likely NOT enough to fund as decent retirement and they should NOT have to drain them to fund better lifestyles for those who didn't save as well than they, themselves, can enjoy.
    You are obviously doing fine with your abundant RICH PERSON'S WELFARE - exceedingly overgenerous tax concessions that you don't need by greedily claim, so stop pretending superiority and start showing some respect for others. It is NOT acceptable to take from one group unfairly while giving to others, and it is NOT greed or selfishness to complain about this very apparent injustice (apparent, that is, to anyone with a brain that isn't addled by greed and selfishness!)
    LiveItUp
    23rd Jul 2017
    4:01pm
    Rainey of tney can't live on $800k plus for the next 30 years then they are just living a very expensive life indeed. One thing is certain and that is things change so if they are not flexible enough to change they only have themselves and their greed to blame.

    Yes I have a SMSF and i have to draw down a certain amount otherwise it is taxed but that is nothing to those doubke dipping by claiming the OAP when they don't need it at all. That what is unfair and you have the hide to whinge as well about it.

    Count yourself lucky instead of showing your envy that you will no longer get the OAP. Afterall anyone with $800k plus should be getting better than 10% in these markets and that return is over twice what OAP hands out. Super funds earn't over 10% last year according to a recent article.
    Anonymous
    24th Jul 2017
    5:05am
    Your arrogance is showing, Bonny. Many who have saved aren't getting anywhere near 10% return - some as low as 3% or less - and NOT because of laziness, but because they simply have never had the resources available to them to learn how to invest or they have had their ability to trust destroyed by prior experiences.

    SOME super funds earned over 10% last year. Some who have assets don't have super. Some have very poor performing super. And you only refer to one year. Averaged over many years, super returns may be quite low. We've had some very bad years and some super funds incurred huge losses. Wild generalizations like yours lead to dumb policies.

    The issue isn't whether they have enough money to live on, though - and many won't given high health costs and the need for personal care. The issue is whether we want to send a message to savers that it's futile and we only reward those who are irresponsible, and thus send the cost of pensions skyrocketing because people recognize that there's no benefit in saving more. There's a sweet spot now, around $300K to $500K for a homeowner. At that level, they have a far higher income than those with more savings, full pension benefits, and a security to retain their savings. Why on earth would any IDIOT support encouraging all who saved/can save $800K+ to reduce their savings by $300K or more and put their hand out? It's STUPID.

    The message the government is sending with their IDIOTIC assets test changes is ''don't struggle to put away another $300K and be self-sufficient, because we'll take it off you and give it to people who didn't. But if you DON'T save another $300K, we'll treat you very generously and you'll be better off than if you did save it.'' That's a ridiculous way to manage a pension system when you are griping that it's costing the nation too much. But then, it's totally consistent with the IDIOTIC notion that you should subsidize high income earners to save for retirement and give low income earners NOTHING, but then whine that they need a pension and threaten to take their houses away as punishment.

    Really sad that people like you are too green-eyed and nasty to look at the national interest, rather than focusing on self-interest. No wonder this country is in a mess, with voters who can't reason logically even when the facts are laid out for them.
    Anonymous
    24th Jul 2017
    5:06am
    BTW. Bonny - Superannuation income is TOTALLY TAX FREE in pension mode, so you are not being truthful. If you are drawing down, the fund DOES NOT PAY TAX.
    LiveItUp
    24th Jul 2017
    8:08am
    You are either a spender or a saver Rainey and real savers don't earn 3% on their money. If you look at the averages over many years shares have earned 10% and property about 8%. Even most Sydney property prices are still below long term average but I doubt if they will even get there before they bust. So there is no excuse for earning 3% other than stupidity.

    With government debt running at such high levels and getting higher there is little xhance of them reinstating the assets test so you can get the OAP.

    Yes super is tax free when in pension mode after age of 60 but you paid atleast 15% to put it and it paid 15% tax all those years it was in the accumulation mode. So it's not tax free at all.
    LiveItUp
    24th Jul 2017
    8:15am
    Savings outside super should earn considerably more than inside super as you get what's left after everyone has had their cut. The gross earning of a fund earning 10% would be atleast 15% and in most cases a lot higher.
    LiveItUp
    24th Jul 2017
    8:21am
    It truely amases me the welfare mentaliity of some people truely amazes me. Get the OAP no matter whether it is beneficial to do so or not. That's complete maddness.
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2017
    3:06am
    Bonny, your comprehension is pathetic. Nobody said anything about anyone wanting to get the OAP no matter whether it's beneficial to do so or not. Nobody SUGGESTED wanting anything that isn't beneficial. The discussion was about people who CAN'T get decent returns because they haven't had the benefit of financial education and don't have the capacity to trust, due to early hardship. There are many for whom 7% return is an illusion, and 10% is a wild and unachievable dream. And they are NOT stupid. They may be educationally deprived and psychologically challenged due to early experiences, but they are NOT STUPID. And only the most vile and disgusting people would carry on about them as you do.

    You obviously are so privileged that it's beyond your capacity to have an ounce of empathy for those who haven't had it as good as you, and you don't even TRY to understand that it's not stupidity that prevents people getting strong return - you nasty, vile woman! It's a complex mix of factors relating to psychological responses to earlier experiences, access to information, and understanding of investment data.

    You said you draw a pension tax free and pay tax on the rest of your super. That's not true, and you've now admitted it. Yes, superannuation income is taxed at 15% while the fund is in accumulation mode, but monies going in are taxed at concessional rates - giving huge benefit to high income earners and none to low income earners - and income is taxed at far lower rates than income earned outside the fund. That results in massive gain to the well-off that strugglers - and the nation - can't afford.

    What the government needs to do to resolve debt is stop bashing the hard up and start taxing the well-to-do fairly. Get rid of superannuation tax concessions, or better still, reverse the system to give the benefit to those who struggle. Then there would be more people ABLE to fund their own retirement and less hoarding piles of gold in tax havens to leave to their greedy offspring.

    Instead of gloating and scorning those who are worse off, maybe people like you should urge the government to provide better investment education, support and security for those who struggle to get decent returns? Maybe stop beating up on the less fortunate and start HELPING? But no, people like you just want to preserve the class system and be able to trample on others and beat your chest and feel superior.
    Old Geezer
    25th Jul 2017
    1:15pm
    Rainey if the asset changes don't affect you personally will you just stop regurgitating past history. It has all but been forgotten anyway now as the new asset test has been in now for many months.
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2017
    3:20pm
    It is not forgotten, OG, and it shouldn't be. It's grossly unfair and economically damaging and the wrong needs to be highlighted - again and again and again - until someone in authority wakes up to reality.

    We have high income earners getting $150,000+ per year income tax free - at huge expense to the nation - and retirees with $300 - $500K in savings netting around $50K a year tax free including pension receipts, plus getting discounts and concessions. But those who struggled to save $800K a year are punished harshly and made to forfeit all the benefits, often living on less than $25K a year, and rather than receiving a fair share of the welfare the high income earners and less diligent savers receive, they are having to sacrifice to give more to those who saved less. It's WRONG WRONG WRONG. And it destroys the incentive to save and be responsible, so it's ultimately going to impose huge cost on taxpayers. So NO, I won't be silent. It doesn't matter how long ago the change took place, if it's WRONG (and it is!) we need to protest and point out the error, and lobby for correction - whether it affects us personally or not (and it does, because what's bad for the nation affects all of us in the end!)

    And NO, OG, it's NOT ABOUT WHO CAN OR CAN'T AFFORD WHAT. That's a STUPID SIMPLISTIC approach by brainless fools who can't see past their noses and don't understand the more complex implications of a policy. So it's time you stopped arguing and educated yourself instead.
    Old Geezer
    25th Jul 2017
    4:16pm
    Well you will have to spend down your capital until you have your assets low enough to get the OAP as I can't see the decision being reversed with the country in so much debt. I can however see a lot more tightening of the assets and income for the OAP in the near future. After all the OAP is welfare and should only be given to those who have no other means of support. Let's face it anyone with more than $500K has more than enough to support themselves.
    Anonymous
    26th Jul 2017
    12:50am
    You continue with that short-sighted BS, OG, which just goes to show you lack the intelligence and capacity to think. Either you are as short-sighted or self-interested as the LNP politicians, or just a government troll.

    I have no intention of spending my capital, and I don't want an OAP, because IT'S NOT ABOUT ME, YOU OLD FOOL. It's about the national interest. Some of us have the intelligence to think past our own personal situation and consider what is good for the nation.

    Yes, the OAP is welfare. So are superannuation tax concessions, capital gains tax concessions, negative gearing, the right to pay workers less than they produce, the right to use roads and railways and shipping ports and hospitals and schools and communication systems for less than the real cost, the right to mine, the right to grow crops, access to water... it goes on and on and on.

    No, people with more than $500K DO NOT have enough to support themselves. That's a ridiculous statement. But those who exploit all those other expensive forms of welfare have more than enough and should pay for what they take. The ''welfare'' that needs tightening is the absurd handouts to the wealthy.

    Let's look at it sensibly for a change. The high income earner saves about 30% tax on every cent invested in superannuation for a lifetime, then gets over $100,000 a year tax free in retirement. Cost to the taxpayer is many times higher than paying a small pension to a taxpayer who got $0 concessions during working life because the 15% superannuation tax was equal to his marginal tax rate. It's the fat cat costing the nation money, OG. Not the poor struggling worker who gave his labour for 40 years at half it's worth so his boss could get rich!

    Put a sock in it, you selfish old man. Needs-based pensions DO NOT WORK. They suppress and discourage endeavour and cost the nation more, as well as doing social harm. Smart people have woken up to the need for a universal pension - or better still, basic income to all. It's past time to stop trying to mend an old and broken system with increasing meanness. Time to wake up and move to a solution that can actually work for the nation.
    Old Geezer
    26th Jul 2017
    10:55am
    So Rainey you want those who have the means to support themselves double dipping by putting their hand out for others to pay for them? Talk about having your cake and eating it too. No wonder us taxpayers feel stupid for letting such a thing go on.

    Welfare is needs based and should be too. So the sooner they tighten it up so that only those that need it get it the better. The welfare card is also well over due as the cash economy needs fixing as well. Stop the old dears from getting discounts from millionaire tradies for cash. Or worse still paying their gardener cash so it doesn't cut his welfare payments.

    Yes I'm a real mug as I actually pay tax!
    Anonymous
    27th Jul 2017
    3:14am
    You really are a MUG, OG, but not for the reasons you say. You are THICK and unable to comprehend plain English.

    Nobody is supporting ''double-dipping''. I am supporting FAIRNESS.

    What I want is to end the discrimination that sees the WELL OFF and the POOR being given taxpayer handouts and those in the middle suffering discrimination. The well off get massive tax concessions (that the nation can't afford) and thus use national resources at a cost far less than they pay, PLUS they get to use the labour of the less well-to-do for a cost far less than it's worth (measured by productivity). The poor get pensions. Those in the middle, WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES (despite your ill-informed ramblings!) are forced to drain all their hard-won savings for the benefit of others.

    Welfare SHOULD NOT be needs based for two very good reasons:
    (1) needs based welfare discourages responsible lifestyles and encourages dependency
    AND
    (2) NOBODY is qualified to assess need accurately. The level of assets one has does NOT reflect need. A vast range of other factors come into play - the main ones being age, life expectancy and health. Also past life experiences are very relevant in so far as they may determine a person's capacity to invest well and their ability to achieve an adequate income.

    The current system encourages and rewards single living over married and spending over saving, and rewards dishonesty over honesty. In a nation trying to save taxpayer dollars, that's STUPID.
    Old Geezer
    27th Jul 2017
    2:16pm
    I agree Rainey enough is never enough with many people. So what ones needs has nothing to do with what one thinks they need. Most people today live way beyond what they really need to live. One has only to look at the size of most of the people today. Too much food and much exercise behind the wheel instead of walking. It amazes me how many parking spots are available if one does a bit of walking instead of sweating on the spot right out the front. I go to town and park and walk everywhere just like I have always done. I save on fuel costs and get my exercise as well.
    Tomaso
    26th Jul 2017
    7:36pm
    We r penalised for doing well, here and they keep hitting us. They should get the same as us when the pollies retire. Not all the perks, and would defo help the economy. They just don't care imho.