Australia’s pension system ranks among the best in the world

Report compares the pension systems of 12 countries.

A report comparing the retirement outlook for a 50-year-old woman in major cities across the globe found that Australia’s pension system, including superannuation, ranks among the best in the world.

The International Pension Gap Index, compiled by wealth management firm UBS, examined the basic mandatory pension of 12 countries to see which would provide the best retirement income. It calculated how superannuation schemes, along with any government or state pensions, would pay out as a proportion of working income.

Singapore topped the table, with a pension system providing around 73 per cent of the income of a 50-year-old woman’s working salary. Australia came in second with 72 per cent and our system was deemed as one of the most sustainable.

Australia ranks highly because of our 9.5 per cent compulsory super scheme on top of the Age Pension. Compare that to the UK’s auto-enrolment scheme, which currently only pays one per cent of salary.

The Australian system means that a single 50-year-old female living in Sydney can retire at 67 with 72 per cent of her income, compared to UK female living in London, who would only retire with 41 per cent of her income.

The report also highlighted how women need to bridge the pension gap and showed how much they should save from the age of 50 to be able to retire at age 67.

A woman living in Sydney would have to save 37 per cent of her income each month from age 50 if she hoped to fund a basic retirement at age 67.

UBS frames a basic retirement as one which covers the cost expenses of groceries, rent and possible medical treatments, with some left over for a few activities a month.

According to the report: “People often don't think about retirement until they are nearing the end of their working life. But our analysis shows that relying purely on mandatory pension systems no longer makes sense, as they only insure a minimum income to cover basic needs in old age. No matter where in the world you live, you are likely to face a pension gap – in other words, your costs will exceed your retirement income.

“We conclude that private savings are crucial for retirement, no matter where in the world you live.”

Here are the top 12 countries designated by the major cities used to calculate the pension gap:

1. Singapore: 73 per cent

2. Sydney: 72 per cent

3. Paris: 69 per cent

4. Milan: 67 per cent

5. New York: 55 per cent

6. Tokyo: 55 per cent

7. Munich: 50 per cent

8. Zurich: 48 per cent

9. Toronto: 42 per cent

10. London: 41 per cent

11. Hong Kong: 41 per cent

12. Taipei: 32 per cent

The results of the report are a call to action, mainly for women who have been disadvantaged by shorter working lives and lower salaries.

Most Australians will, at some point, rely on the Age Pension to fund their retirement. So, the challenge for the Government is not to become indebted to a system that will require more payouts to more people who are living longer lives.

In the meantime, the onus is on Australians to start planning for retirement sooner than later.

“While it is never too late to start thinking about your pension, the earlier you start, the better your prospects for a secure and enjoyable retirement. Over the numerous years that you spend in the workforce and can save for retirement, the compound interest effect will be substantial,” states the report.

How do you fare? Are you worried that you’ll have enough to fund your retirement?

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    COMMENTS

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    30th Oct 2017
    9:58am
    I fare reasonably well, but it concerns me that this survey is so narrow. It ignores the fact that superannuation is a fairly recent innovation and that older folk were told they were paying a levy to fund an old age pension. It ignores the fact that many wouldn't have a hope in hell of saving 37% of their salary (if they even receive one!) for retirement. And it ignores the fact that those who do save may well end up worse off than many who don't, because of the illogical and cruel assets test that gives a pensioner couple with $300,000 in savings a higher total income and far more benefits and discounts than many couples with $850,000.

    Looking at a 50-year-old woman in the workforce doesn't reveal much at all about the situation for those who are retrenched in their 50s, suffer disability or illness that prevents them working to anywhere near 67, or are already retired having had minimal opportunity to accrue healthy retirement savings.

    The problem we face now, it seems to me, is that the government wants to base policies affecting today's retirees and very soon-to-retire on theories about retirement prospects for a future generation.

    Add to that the fact that organizations like the Grattan Institute are constantly peddling blatant lies about how life was for baby boomers and branding them ''greedy'', demanding the government steal their wealth to give to the ''poor hard up young folk'' who would rather enjoy restaurant meals, bought coffee and overseas holidays than save for a home, and we have a situation that is causing great distress for those who have neither healthy savings nest eggs nor the opportunity to build them before their earning days end.

    It seems to me that it's become trendy to peddle whatever skewed and misleading information can be used to excuse ignoring the needs of todays' retirees and the high levels of poverty among our aged.
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    10:50am
    I agree.
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    11:32am
    Even without all the benefits and discounts I'll have the $850,000 and no OAP any day as it's not that hard to earn a lot more than having the OAP and all it's benefits.

    Baby boomers did have it easy compared to the young people of today. They had the opportunity to buy a house and pay for it which most people today don't. I'd be a lot a happier being a baby boomer than being a young adult today.

    The government is doing a good job in that it is targeting those who have no others means of support for the OAP. OK some cheat the system and the government is gradually tightening all that up too. Big problem with OAP is that house is not included and the pensioner health care card should only be given tot hose on the full OAP.

    Biggest problem is Australia today is that most people have a welfare mentality and so why work when they can get welfare instead?
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    12:26pm
    Old geezer I disagree with everything you said and there is too much BS for me go through each point.
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    12:30pm
    No BS at all to me. It all makes good sense to me.
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    12:37pm
    I'm sure it does old geezer ..make good sense to you.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    12:39pm
    OG, your problem is you generalize based solely on your own experience and that of a minority of well-off you know. You have no interest in FACTS.

    The lifetime cost of buying an equivalent size and quality home is LOWER today than it was for most baby boomers, due to interest rates. But today's young aren't content with a 30+-year-old 2-bed, 1-bath cottage in dire need of renovation. They have to have new brick and tile, 4+ bed, 2+ bath, professionally landscaped, with 2 new SUVs in the triple garage and often a swimming pool as well. Show me one who sits on packing crates and sleeps on the floor for years!

    As for having it easy compared to young adults today - CRAP! You may have. I certainly didn't and neither did many of my friends and associates. Starting work at 15 with no education, no skills, no long-term prospects, and lousy ''junior'' wages until age 21 (and well beyond for women) wasn't fun. Show me a young person who sits up all night (after working all day) sewing clothes for the kids or building furniture and gives up their holidays to paint and renovate. Find me a young person who puts all their kids through university before ever buying themselves a store-bought item of clothing.

    The return for some of those with $845,000 may well be more than the pension, but for many it's considerably less, and just because YOU can earn good returns doesn't make it okay for others to suffer unfairness.

    I agree there is a welfare mentality in Australia, and I agree it's a problem. But it's exacerbated by an unfair system and a general lack of respect for the truth, and all this BS about baby boomers having it easy isn't helping. The government is NOT doing a good job. It is failing dismally to tax the haves and beating up on the have nots, while pushing the strivers who have worked hard for a good life down to the level of the have nots, depriving them of their well-earned rewards for effort. It has destroyed incentive completely and created an environment where it is far more beneficial to save less - unless you can get very wealthy.

    But my comment was about the International Gap Index, OG. It's a pity you lack the ability to stay on topic, but have to take every opportunity to repeat your tiring and inane rants that never vary, and never reflect any intelligent thought.
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    12:48pm
    Well done Rainey you have more patience than me. (But I suspect a temper ) ;)
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    12:56pm
    Whata lot of rubbish Rainey! For our kids today even buying a run down dwelling and sitting on packing cases is expensive. Many still live at home simply because even paying rent is out of the question. I regularly have young people live with me now as they have no where else to live so I do know how hard it is for most young people today.

    Anyone with $850,000 has more than ample to live on with the old age pension available as a safety net. No one is depriving anyone of anything and most self funded retirees with super are laughing their heads off as they have never had it so easy.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    1:25pm
    In 1970 my sister bought a basic but comfortable, nice looking, small, 3 bedroom fibro house on a quarter acre block in a Sydney suburb called Auburn for $13,000. She was a newly qualified secondary school teacher back then, and she was able to totally pay off the mortgage in 6 years with her lowish wages.

    Back then the streets were full of "proper" homes, not mansion after mansion after mansion like today.

    For people back then starting out it was WAY, WAY, WAY easier to fully purchase a starter house in a city compared to today. Getting that easy "start" made ALL the difference. We baby boomers back then had it VERY easy regarding jobs and houses compared to the young people of today.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    2:45pm
    Wow, Jim B. Must have been a huge jump in prices between 1970 and 1974, when we bought a run-down 2-bed 30-year-old dump at the noisiest point on a major highway in a small country town for $20K!!! And that was the cheapest house we could find anywhere. We were paying 60% of our net income in rent for a dump, and we had to borrow the stamp duty and conveyancing fees from the solicitor and pay him off. We struggled to get a 25-year loan approved.

    Jobs - yeah, it was real easy to get a job that paid the basic wage despite putting your life on the line every day and suffering conditions that today would never be tolerated. Out of a crew of 19, 3 were killed and 3 seriously injured in just a decade.

    There was no EASY start for us, or for most of our friends and neighbours. I am so sick of those who enjoyed better fortune ASS-U-MEING that everyone had it as good. I'm sure there are some who struggle today, and of course some had it easy back when - but life was very tough for others. This CRAP about it being easier back then is propaganda spread by people who care nothing for fact but base everything on their own very fortunate personal experiences (or those of people they know).
    moke
    30th Oct 2017
    3:08pm
    Rainey you got it 100% Many aged people thought, before superannuation came in, that some of the taxes paid would assist them in old age, but with the way the cost of basic food, medications etc,increases it's not possible. A rise of $10 in the basic pension disappears in the blink of eye as prices rise. Our big hearted Government can give tax allowances to big companies but don't worry about pensioners or the average Aussie, unless of course it's their own group. I personally believe that any retired politician, just like ordinary workers, get their final pay and super and that is the last the tax payers should have to fund for them.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    3:09pm
    Rainey wrote "This CRAP about it being easier back then is propaganda spread by people who care nothing for fact but base everything on their own very fortunate personal experiences".

    Rainey you just showed in your reply to me that **YOU** fall into that propaganda category.

    The **FACT** is that HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of baby boomer city youngsters **WERE** able to purchase cheap, city housing. My parents (pre baby boomers) even had a brand new fibro home built in Lidcombe in 1954 for one thousand pounds (2 thousand dollars) ... and DOZENS OF THOUSANDS of their contemporaries did exactly the same thing. Their mortgage debt was fully paid off 5 years later in 1959.

    City housing was FAR easier to purchase in the 50s, 60s and 70s compared to now. You can continue to delude yourself that it wasn't, but that does not alter the FACT that it WAS.
    Sundays
    30th Oct 2017
    3:57pm
    Jim B, thousands bought homes in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s because they saved hard and went without! In 1954 it would have taken a long time to save the deposit for a little one thousand pound house.

    We married in 1971 and it took 6 long years of saving to get the 20% deposit to buy our first home in Fairfield which was not very salubrious, even then. It definitely was not easy and many young people today, would just give up. A sacrifice they are not prepared to make. It means, no holidays, no nights out, no bought lunches, basic clothing etc. We even backtraded our car to pay legal fees and sold unused wedding gifts to buy a lawnmower. Worth it though
    john
    30th Oct 2017
    4:16pm
    Agree, saving 37% for a retirement fund is not going to be easy for the majority of 50 year old women for the next 17 years , until they are 67.
    When their incomes may find them having a financial battle to keep up with living costs when they are still 50.

    The world sure has changed, how is it that there was a "pension" fund set up under both major parties for old age pension availability for all?
    Yet both major parties , so I read, were in agreement to raid the pension fund set up , and use it, this is what I am led to believe reading some of the things on here.
    It went into consolidated revenue? I guess that means for the powers that be, to use as they saw fit. As they saw fit?

    But I would imagine it was a fund for the people who the governments had already predicted would be in great numbers (retirees!!!)and needing a guaranteed OAP set aside for everyone when they retired. Where is that?
    If its that simple, then it is criminal!.
    But it was always something that I thought the government was obliged to have, set aside and the deal set in concrete.
    Since the start of the times when looking after the elders of every community became something that all decent societies did!
    I see this Australia in the next few years with a huge population of people over 60 /65 and probably 80% of them will be struggling, governments fiddle with the retirement and super rules, especially this changing of age brackets where you can or cannot get a pension, my wife will not see a pension until she is 67, she is 62 and has a reasonable super savings, nothing to brag about though, and sacrificed much needed money in earlier times of normal living of life while trying to save it , and build that, and it won't last very long.
    I have a super scheme that pays me a wage, for life , that too is not large, but I see a future where we would need to have part or full pensions to stay close to what life style we have had, which is far from extravagant , but we live in the lucky country, but we are run by people who manipulate , all things to gain from using OTHER PEOPLE MONEY, if the stock market and investments make lots of money well and good , but they don't always, and investing in housing can be brilliant or disaster, in Western Australia for some Mum/Dad investors it is quite a substantial disaster, financially.

    So the lucky country may have been run for too long by either unlucky or more than likely stupid governments. Or worse???

    It still makes me wonder , is this pension fund thievery true, or what?

    After all that I'll say this , it seems unless you are one of the fairly well off people with plenty to put away, then will be one of the average Australian couples who tried to be ready for retirement , but are clobbered at every turn of the corner, by rules and regulations, and forms you can barely understand.
    When after 65 you should be treated like a deserving king, instead of having to prove how low your income is , just to get a little help. What should be is that Australian citizens should have what they deserve the minute they turn 65, they don't, they have to fight for it, I know I had to.
    Is that deliberate, is the Prime Minister really Tony Soprano, and all funds flow to the top!!!!!!!!
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    6:39pm
    Sundays, I'll bet it was hard for you in 1971, but there was a property boom in 1972-3 that really hit those who hadn't yet secured a home very hard indeed. I saw land costs in a country town nearly quadruple in just 2 years.

    You are right, John. Manipulation and changes in the rules threaten even those with moderate nest-eggs. Unless you are VERY well off, or have insider secrets to achieve outstanding investment returns, you have plenty of reasons to worry about the future. Retirees deserve better after all they have contributed to this country. They deserve security, at very least. Certainty that the rules won't continue to change in ways that make all their careful planning and saving futile.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    8:14pm
    Jim B, I can't find a Gen X or Gen Y who doesn't have a newish 4+ bedroom home PLUS an investment property by the time they reach 40 - except for one high income but very irresponsible couple! All the young families I know have 2 near-new SUVs. And the money they spend on electronics and kids' toys is mind-boggling. Don't tell me it's tough!

    The majority take overseas holidays and they eat Friday and Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast in restaurants and buy coffee several times a day. That's a lifestyle my friends and I couldn't have dreamed of! We grew our food, made our clothing and furniture, worked multiple jobs... Furniture, appliances, cars, clothing, household necessities were all many, many times today's prices when measured in hours you had to work to acquire them. I recently paid the exact same ticket price for a refrigerator and lounge suite that I paid in 1972! I was 589 before I could afford to buy a new car. Until then I drove cars more than 10 years old - one I rebuilt from a wreck!

    So your parents and sister had it easy! Good for them. They were among the lucky ones. Everyone I knew had it VERY hard indeed. And the stories on this forum regularly evidence surviving great hardship. And having raised deposits on homes in the 70s, vast numbers were slugged with 18%+ interest rates that in many cases resulted in repossessions. Plus, there were plenty who struggled through long periods of unemployment in the 70s and 80s. Nor did we enjoy first home owner grants, generous family allowances, maternity leave, childcare subsidies, etc.

    Between 1984-85 and 2002-03, the average floor area of new houses in Australia rose by 40 per cent (from 162 m2 to 227.3 m2) Right there is clear evidence that buying a house today isn't so hard. If it were, people would settle for the smaller dwellings that most of us bought in the 60s and 70s.

    And your sister was clearly very lucky, because in 1971 - BEFORE the 71-74 property boom that sent prices soaring - the average house price in Sydney suburbs was $21,200.By 74, when I first bought, the average Sydney price had soared to $31,800 - an increase of a whopping 51% in just 3 years. (So you see, it's NOT me peddling anecdotal crap. It's you quoting irrelevant isolated personal examples instead of examining fact). During that same period, average wages for women, and for men who did not have a college education, remained stagnant or actually fell.

    Now factor in the interest rates - starting around 7.5% in the mid-70s and rising to above 18%, and it's clear my generation had a very tough time indeed acquiring and paying off a house. Wouldn't we have loved to be paying the low rates prevailing now? I, for one, would be knocking myself out to pay off my loan as fast as possible before rates rise again!

    Sure, there are young folk doing it tough. There have always been people doing it tough, and there have always been lucky folk. But any claim that baby boomers had it easy is arrogant, contemptuous, and dishonest in the extreme.
    Chris B T
    30th Oct 2017
    9:21pm
    I agree Rainey
    What about wages in the early 70s around $40-50 a week.
    Banks requireing 20% deposit onthere valuation and banking with them for two years before giving a loan IF THEY LIKED YOU.
    Ease of transport getting to and from work train and bus not cheap fares and very slow crowded hot in summer, cold in winter.(Don't start on Comfort or Breakdowns). Very Very limited Services So Long Walks were needed. Saturdays No Services At All in industrial areas.
    Expected to be on time at work, nearly always transport delays at peakhour going home.
    Goat track roads with unreliable cars/buses trafic lights changing to quickly (If your lucky to have any at all).
    Very lucky babybommers, it was so easy back then "PLEASE" Hardware stores expensive, basic electric drill cost a weeks wage.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    11:46pm
    Ha ha ha ... Out of touch Rainey thinks the current generation has it SOOOOOOOOOOO easy. He boasts about each of them "having their million $$$$$$$ 4 bedroom huge houses + an additional investment house + 2 mighty SUVs per household and when they're not busy earning their MULTI MILLIONS they are taking amazing overseas holidays and eating out at expensive restaurants THREE times a week and they spend MIND BOGGLING amounts on toys and electronics". Ha ha ha.

    Yep folks ... that's what our dear Rainey "believes" to be the current generation's lifestyle. He "believes" it.

    He also "believes" the baby boomers were poor, disadvantage strugglers at the bottom of the rung, who lived in extreme hardship and hopelessness compared to the "current" generations who are MULTI MILLIONAIRES, living in MANSIONS that they can EASILY afford....... WHOOOOOOOOPIE!!!!!!!!!!

    Nice "try" Rainey. Ha ha.
    LiveItUp
    31st Oct 2017
    7:17am
    I agree Jim. Lots of young families today just able to stretch their pay packet from week to week. Rent takes a big chunk of tneir pay and a disaster such a bigger than normal power bill due any day. With our youth and young people unable to gets jobs with 30% real unemployment.

    Oh well they must have great dreams and that's where they will only find Rainey's lifestyle.

    Things were tough at times growing up but babay boomers today due live in the lucky country. Unfortunately there are too many of them oer head of population and they are living longer than ever before. So even the governments resources have to be stretched further to accomodate them. Living on the OAP shouldn't be a luxury but just for the basics of life. If you wanted more then you should have saved for them.

    Even under the current system anyone with too many assets to qualify is in a far better position than anyone who does qualify.
    Retired Knowall
    31st Oct 2017
    7:50am
    FACT CHECK " It ignores the fact that superannuation is a fairly recent innovation" Wrong, Superannuation was available back in the 1960's when I took out a policy, it wasn't compulsory, but I didn't wait until a Govt told me I had to do it like most of the polulation.
    FACT Check "older folk were told they were paying a levy to fund an old age pension". Quite correct and that is exactly what they have.
    Sundays
    31st Oct 2017
    8:24am
    Agree with everything you’ve written Rainey. Just to clarify, we married in 1971 but had to save for 6 years to buy our first home in 1977. We saw prices soar in that time but persevered with savings regardless to get the 20% deposit banks insisted upon, with the loan based on one wage of course
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    11:08am
    The blindness and arrogance of the privileged is mind boggling! Yes, superannuation DID exist in the '60s, for the privileged few. Most working class never heard of it and if we had there was no way in the world there was enough income to contribute. It was tough enough just keeping food on the table.

    And NO, Retired KnowNOTHING, the levy paid to fund old age pensions is NOT being used to fund old age pensions. That money was misappropriated for other purposes. Today's taxes are funding pensions because the fund - which by the way would have been adequate to give EVERY retiree $500 a week - was misused.

    Yes, Bonny and Jim, some young folk are doing it tough. There have always been folk doing it tough, and some prospering. The difference is that today a far greater percentage are prospering and the prospering are doing far better than the baby boomer generation. But you rich and privileged have no interest in fact. Maybe it makes you feel guilty that you had it so good when others struggled, so you have to deny the reality? That's common among the wealthy folk. They can't deal with reality because it evidences their greed and selfishness.

    Well done, Sunday. It sure was hard, wasn't it? That property boom after 1971 really knocked a lot of battlers who thought they were getting close to fulfilling their dreams. I guess I was lucky. I was able to raise private loans that weren't disclosed to the bank. But paying those loans back required years of 80 hour working weeks, and I have permanent disability today as a result of the back-breaking labour in dangerous and unhealthy conditions.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    12:16pm
    Rainey wrote "but you rich and privileged"..... that's HILARIOUS. Umm Rainey my boy, I'm on the full age pension, I have $39,000 in my super fund to last me for the next 30 years, I bought the cheapest brand new car available in Australia 10 years ago for $12,000 and I bought my tiny, old 1945, tin country house for $50,000 5 years ago. That's all I have.

    And Rainey thinks THAT is "rich and privileged"??? Very funny indeed.
    Retired Knowall
    31st Oct 2017
    1:53pm
    WRONG AGAIN RAINEY, Super was available to anyone that had half a brain. I was an apprentice when I joined earning just over 6 pound/week. You wrote that you left school with little knowledge or skills....well nothing seems to have changed.
    GeorgeM
    31st Oct 2017
    2:12pm
    Agree with your several posts on this topic, Rainey, and join with Tib to commend your patience to respond at length to looney right-wingers such as OG (and a few other misguided ones living in bubbles).

    Another point to keep in mind regarding this foolish report is the statistics revealed by YLC a few days ago - that 48% of over 45 year-olds are retired (9 million retired people), with at least 25% of those (i.e. over 1 Million) giving the reason as Work Not Available. So, how do they expect 50 year-olds in general to find work and save for retirement???

    The only sane idea for Australia is to provide Age Pension to all who have lived / paid taxes here for say 20 years without any Assets or Income tests and tax all income above that. That will save huge Centrelink admin costs, and also remove stress in this area for all.
    GeorgeM
    31st Oct 2017
    2:15pm
    And, I should add, scrap all special Pensions for all past and present Politicians, who can then also avail of the same universal pension - more savings!!!
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    2:58pm
    Golly, Jim B. You must be a really bad manager! if Baby boomers ''had it easy'' and buying houses in the 60s and 70s was so easy, how come you aren't well off then? Seems to me you contradict yourself.

    Thanks George. You are spot on. The ONLY sane idea is universal pension for all who paid taxes for 20 years, with no assets or income test, and levy taxes on all income above the pension. And give the SAME concessions to every retiree. After decades of contributing to the growth of the nation, a few benefits are well deserved.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    4:22pm
    I'll take that as an admission you're wrong about me Rainey. Thanks for your admission, it must have been painful for you.

    By the way, you've never heard of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll and having a good time? THAT'S why I didn't buy a house when I was young. Gee, you must have been a Bob Menzies voter Rainey.

    I'm VERY comfortable now, can save THOUSANDS of SSSS per year on just my age pension, my car NEVER breaks down, ZERO debts, no mortgage, no rent, pensioner discounts everywhere, no stress, low crime country town. I'm in PARADISE. And certainly not a well off whinger like you Rainey. You should donate much of your mega SSSSSSSSSSSSS to charity Rainey .... ya don't "really" need it.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    4:48pm
    This country needs a universal pension WITH a strict assets and income test (and ALL loopholes closed). The ONLY exclusion should be the home the pensioner lives in. That way rich oldies/baby boomers can't "arrange" their mega SSSSSSSSSSS so they get a government pension as well.

    Age pensions should be ONLY a "safety net" that provides the basics for a sustainable existence, and in addition to that ALL age pensioners on FULL age pensions should have to pay no more than 20% of that pension for rent (if they are renters).

    The problem with the mega rich oldies/boomers is they want to continue with their mega indulgent lifestyle (meaning average 1st world lifestyle) "AFTER" they quit work, and will try every immoral (but legal) tactic they can to get as much of a pension payment as they possibly can, in order to prop up their mega savings/investments. They are bludgers.....what I call "house bludgers". They buy houses, then sit on their backsides, then sell those houses 20 years later on for **MEGA** profits. It's the *BLUDGERS PROFIT*. Even bank robbers work harder than that to get their robbery profits. House prices should ALWAYS be government controlled, so that profit is NEVER made from selling a house/unit. Houses should be 100% for LIVING in, and NOT for mega profit making. Yep, the bludgers just LOVE their "bludgers profit".
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    7:21pm
    I get it, Jim B. You think those who fritted away their incomes living the good life should get $845,000 each decade (per couple) handed to them by the taxpayer, and those who sink millions into a fancy house should also get that handout, while those who struggled to save a little nest egg that doesn't return as much as the pension should be forced to give it all to the bludgers who didn't bother to save and live frugally.

    Sorry. BS! People who saved are ENTITLED to a better lifestyle than those who didn't. We don't live in Communist Russia.

    I suppose you also think the investors who sacrificed holidays and other luxuries to buy rental properties should now give up their income so those who didn't bother to save can have cheap rent?

    What we need is a universal pension WITHOUT means testing, and any additional income to be taxed, plus concessions for ALL retirees. Stop punishing people for striving and achieving and you might just find they stop manipulating to get more than they need.

    It's not good that house prices rise so rapidly, but they SHOULD rise in proportion to the cost of living and wages, otherwise we would have a serious economic problem. And good luck to those who profit from smart property investment. Most of them DO NOT get that profit for nothing. They renovate. They maintain. They work to find tenants and manage rental agreements. They work hard to find the right property and negotiate the right price, and then to present it well and find the right buyer.

    You sound like a green-eyed monster to me. And one who has no idea of reality.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    9:42pm
    Hello little Rainey, I actually believe the **OPPOSITE** of what you just wrote. Green-eyed monsters like me are wonderful people.

    I believe if you save huge amounts of dollars, then reach pension age, then decide to retire ..... you are 100% LEGALLY ENTITLED to EVERY SINGLE CENT of those huge savings .....and should NOT be forced to give even 1 cent of that enormous nest egg to anyone. Do you comprehend that my Rainey boy? Please read it 100 times ..... no, make that 200 times, I want to be sure you comprehend it.

    What I DON'T believe is that the same person should "also" receive the age pension. If you save enough money to live off, and retire at pension age ..... then 100% LIVE OFF YOUR SAVINGS and NOT the taxpayer. And if you run out of your own money 5, 10, 20, 30 years later, you should then be entitled to the age pension. **THAT'S** what I'm saying.

    I also am **NOT** saying people who own rental properties should give up part of their rental income in order to house people with cheap rents. Clearly you despise age pensioners who get rental subsidies from the government ..... those subsidies come from a country's general revenue and are **NOT** directly **fully** financed by house/unit investors. Those owners would STILL get their full rental income.


    What you're "trying" to do Rainey is called a "strawman argument". You are implying that I'm stating things that I have NOT stated, then you argue against what I have NOT stated. Ha ha .... nice "try" Rainey.

    What we need is age pensions paid to people who **NEED** age pension support in order house or feed or clothe themselves etc (plus a wide variety of concessions), and to NOT pay age pensions to people who **DON'T** need the age pension for those life basics.

    Rainey, I'm going to now say something that will likely give you a heart attack (so make sure your butler is nearby); are you ready? Here it is ....... "Well off people who worked hard all their lives to accumulate MEGA wealth (excluding the house they live in) should NOT be entitled to the age pension, and should live off those MEGA dollars until they near run out of money and thus qualify for a basic age pension. Then they can live off the age pension."

    Oh shock, shock, shock!!!!!! I'm suggesting the rich NOT be given age pensions. Have you picked yourself off the floor Rainey? Maybe you should get your butler to drive you over to the hospital ..... just in case. How dare an evil commie like me even think about rich folks like you not getting your "entitlements".

    Love you Rainey. Bye, bye. oxoxox
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2017
    8:47am
    So, Jim B, you think those who spend up big on rock and roll and world cruises and fancy houses should get taxpayer-funded handouts, and those who struggle to save - and would not know what ''mega rick'' meant, but do accumulate a healthy nest egg to cover costs they know the aged pension won't extend to meeting, should be screwed over by the system and forced to spend that money they saved for their eye operation or to fix their teeth on daily living costs, and to hell with their savings objectives.

    Geez, what a great world you envisage. Stuff the poor sucker who knew he'd need expensive dental work at 70, or who knew his wife was losing her strength and would need household help in their 80s. How dare he assume he could use the savings accrued by avoiding restaurants and working through his long service leave for his OWN benefit or his wife's benefit. No. Taxpayer money is there solely for the few genuinely needy and the millions of spendthrift bludgers. Definitely NOT for those who worked their guts out and went without to try to achieve a slightly higher standard of living in old age or to meet some of the expenses the aged pension doesn't stretch to.

    I couldn't give a fig what policies affect the ''mega rich''. What I care about is the serious inequity that is leaving some who saved and planned far worse off than if they hadn't, missing out on the benefit they rightly earned, and incentivizing over-spending and over-reliance on pensions because there just isn't enough benefit in sacrificing to save when you can be better off with less.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2017
    9:00am
    Jim B, I get that you are an idealist with good intentions, but if you had any education in economics and social welfare, you would understand that ''needs-based'' welfare CAN'T WORK. What it does is precisely what it has done in Australia. It creates a welfare mentality. If you reward irresponsible behaviour and punish responsible conduct, you get more irresponsible behaviour. Needs-based welfare sadly achieves precisely what it is meant to eliminate - more poor people. Why do you think our welfare bill is soaring? Do you understand that the recent tightening of the assets test caused tens of thousands of part-pensioners to spend up big on home improvements or world cruises to get BACK ON THE PENSION? Of course it had to, because it left many with less income than full pensioners, and all with way less than part pensioners who had some half-million in the bank.

    The problem with needs-based welfare is that it creates a huge incentive for people to imagine and create need! And it crushes endeavour. Time and time again, I've seen someone reject an offer of low-paid or casual work because it would reduce their Newstart entitlements such that they'd actually be worse off, or it would position them to have to go through complicated re-application processes and waiting times. In my own experience, I suffered hideously - ending up with $120,000 debt for medical services for a child - because I held my head up and WORKED at a low paid job instead of just giving up and accepting charity.

    Our aged worked and paid taxes (most of them, anyway). Many delivered valuable community services. Some risked their lives or health for the nation or community, and for the most part they were paid pathetic wages for doing so. But they kept their end of the bargain. The other end of the bargain was that they would be looked after in old age. Now, the mega-rich can look after themselves. Granted. I don't for an instant think we owe the mega-rich any debt. But we are NOT talking about the mega rich. You are NOT mega rich having $845,000 between two people aged 65 with no future earnings prospects other than from interest or dividends on investments (the latter of which they may not have the knowledge or confidence to achieve). $845,000 is about the amount the government gives to aged pensioners over a decade, so to suggest that wasters should get $845,000 handed to them by the taxpayer and workers who saved should be told to ''get stuffed and use up your own money'' is insulting to me, and grossly inequitable.

    If someone saves to meet extraneous costs or because they have particular needs that the pension doesn't accommodate, they have every right to use those savings as they planned WITHOUT SUFFERING PENALTY OR LOSS FOR HAVING ACQUIRED THEM.

    And when society recognizes that right and affords it, hundreds of thousands will increase their saving and our welfare bill will fall dramatically.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2017
    12:50pm
    Rainey, visit a 3rd world area and see what "real" disadvantage is. You are **NOT** disadvantaged with your near MILLION dollars in investment savings and your million dollar house.

    People like you (MEGA rich) do *NOT* deserve to be supported by hard working taxpayers with age pensions. You have a handout mentality towards "yourself" Rainey. Get out into the "real" world and discover what real poverty and real disadvantage is Rainey ...... but you won't will you.

    With nearly a million dollars in savings, plus if you live in a city a million dollar house, you are VERY WELL OFF Rainey. So don't expect a taxpayer funded, government pension handout as well.
    Support yourself Rainey.

    The well off should support themselves and NOT expect taxpayer funded government handouts as their "entitlement".
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2017
    3:46pm
    Jim B, you are deliberately misreading my comments. It's not about me. I am happily self-supporting. The issue is about what's good for the nation and what's equitable. The mega rich currently collect millions in superannuation tax concessions. Those concessions are very generous to the wealthy, moderate to the middle class, and nil or negative to the lower income earners. Now, those of the lower middle class and lower class who save for their retirement get NOTHING from the government- EVER. While the rich get millions (imposing a cost greater than the aged pension), the lower middle class get very little, and the bludgers and spendthrifts get millions in pensions and concessions. So what do those who got nothing to? They spend up big and put their hand out for their share. Fair enough!

    What if I said ''bugger off, Jim B. Who the hell are you to expect the government to give you nearly a million dollars over the next 10 years just because you chose to live the high life and not save? Starve. That's what you deserve''?

    Simple ''stuff you'' remarks from jealous folk and ''easy fix'' ideas from people who can't think logically will never work. The proof of the failure of the current approach is that the national debt just keeps climbing. Young folk are threatened with having to work until they are 70. Strugglers in difficult situations are having their pensions slashed with no consideration of circumstances or needs. Somewhere along the line, we have to wake up to reality, stop the green-eyed rants, and recognize that where there is inequity, there is resentment and manipulation to circumvent the unfairness. And that's what we are seeing in Australia today.

    It's got nothing to do with me and how much I might have (or not! You make a lot of assumptions with no access to data). It's about fixing a broken system for the benefit of all. And yes, I know what real disadvantage is, Jim B. I've been there. You have no idea what I've seen and experienced. But unlike you, I don't have a ''handout mentality''. I pulled myself up and worked my guts out and saved furiously to NOT be dependant on the taxpayer. You are the one with the ''handout mentality''. You blew it all living it up and now you expect others to support you while you attack them and insult them. All I want to see is SENSIBLE policies that recognize the realities of life in this country (not in the third world because we don't live there!) and make the very best possible use of taxpayer funds to support the aging in ways that are fair and equitable, respect their varying needs, and don't punish folk for doing what is good for the nation.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2017
    4:46pm
    Ummm Rainey you said that the government gives an age pensioner like "me" a million dollars over 10 years. You're sooooooo out of touch with your MEGA dollars Rainey. An age pensioner gets $23,244 (including supplements) per year on the full age pension. And you think that's a million dollars over 10 years? Gee Rainey, can you give me the phone number of your maths teacher? I need to talk to him.

    Rainey, you possess a handout mentality where you seek to deny age pensions to people who need it to buy basics and you denigrate them, yet at the same time you advocate for *YOU* to receive the age pension even though you have nearly a MILLION dollars in your investment accounts.

    Yep Rainey, you think it's all about YOU, YOU, YOU. With your house you'd be worth nearly TWO MILLION DOLLARS yet in your posts you advocate for people in *YOUR* position to receive the age pension. YOU want the taxpayers to support YOU ..... yep YOU. It's all about YOU, YOU, YOU.

    YOU have a handout mentality when it comes to YOU. In every post you write you show this to be so. You clearly despise age pensioners who are not wealthy people, and time and time again you have written they don't deserve the age pension.

    But, but, but, YOU write continuously that wealthy people like YOU deserve the age pension.

    You hang yourself with your own words Rainey. But don't worry Rainey my boy ..... I still love you oxoxoxoxoxoxox.
    Old Geezer
    1st Nov 2017
    6:21pm
    I'm B if you haven't worked it out yet Rainey has lost out in getting the OAP and it's concessions due to the change in the asset test earlier this year. That is why it all about Rainey!
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2017
    8:53pm
    Firstly, OG, I have NEVER qualified for an age pension and wouldn't under the old rules (a) because of assets, and (b) because I am still working and earning a salary.

    It's NOT about me. You must be very thick and pig-headed to keep harping on with your BS after being corrected again and again. But sadly it's arrogant, stubborn fools who work on wrong assumptions who are stuffing up this nation.

    sorry, Jim B, COUPLES get nearly $1 million over a decade, taking inflation and concessions into account. But I get it. You think people who work their guts out and save should get nothing but their kids should pay tax to give bludgers who pee all their money up the wall fat handouts in old age. Frankly,. I think those who had decent incomes and wasted their money should be told to go jump in the lake. Reap what you sowed. I'm sick of my kids being robbed to reward selfishness and irresponsibility.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2017
    11:58pm
    Oh Rainey, Rainey, Rainey there ya go with your old "strawman argument" tactic again. You say I said something that I didn't say and then you argue against what I didnn't say. Ha ha ha, well at least you're consistent regarding that ... makes it easy for me.

    I think "people who work their guts out and save" are entitled to ALL of the millions that they have accumulated, the good life of luxury, their yachts, their mansions, their butlers, their SUVs, their bank accounts ..... hey LIVE IT UP!!!!!!!!! Whoohoooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

    What these well off people (like YOU) are not, I repeat **NOT**, entitled to is the age pension. You have NO right to it, don't deserve it, and should be 100% denied it. If at any stage in the future you end up not possessing your mega $$$$$ after retirement, then you should be 100% entitled to the age pension. Is that too difficult for you to understand Rainey? Probably, ha ha.
    Anonymous
    2nd Nov 2017
    10:04am
    So, Jim B, you think the father handing out pocket money to his kids should tell them that if they put last week's allowance in their piggy bank, they don't get any this week, but if they spent it on Coke and chewing gum, well here's more to spend rotting your teeth son? That's what you are proposing. It's STUPID. It's greedy. It's selfish. It's unconscionably unfair. And it's precisely the mentality that is destroying our economy. And I can't imagine how anyone could be moronic enough to agree with such obviously green-eyed, selfish stupidity.
    Anonymous
    2nd Nov 2017
    12:22pm
    You're hilarious dear Rainey, I haven't laughed so much in ....... minutes.You love your "strawman arguments" don't you. You imply I say something I did NOT say, then argue against what I did NOT say. Ha ha ha.

    Here's some some hugs and kisses for you oxoxoxoxoxo ..... now do you feel better about yourself? I really, really, really hope so.

    Lots of love from your hero Tony Abb... oops I mean Jim oxoxo.
    Rae
    2nd Nov 2017
    5:18pm
    Rainey it's only a problem for the honest savers.

    A lot of Gen X are now hoarding their cash. They aren't stupid.

    If you are still working there are ways to get around the asset/ income test thing.

    Sell your toys for a start. No point buying caravans and boats and such now, they cost way too much in lost retirement income.

    Leave your money in accumulation and it's not counted.

    We'll beat this government by avoidance means.

    No point not flying business Rainey as at the point the money is gone you'll get your OAP and concessions.

    That's got to be worth spending up with the Joneses.
    Anonymous
    2nd Nov 2017
    6:21pm
    Precisely the point the Jim B's of this world can't grasp, Rae. If you make the system unfair, people will manipulate to get what they consider their dues and the costs will skyrocket.

    We have a broken system, and the best some fools can do is defend it aggressively because it benefits THEM, and their jealousy and selfishness prohibits considering anybody else's interests.

    The nation is doomed because of these dumb policies. I know fancy economists would claim it's not as simple as the father and pocket money example, but it really is! If Dad deprives one son for putting money in his piggy bank, he might save $500 over a year, but he ends up with two obese kids with rotten teeth, whereas if he is fair to both, he ends up with at least one healthy kid who has a stash to kick him off in adult life and good habits, and quite possibly he might influence the other to trade his bad habits. It's EXACTLY the same in the wider world. And the proof of that is that the more the government rips off the responsible, the more retirees we see cruising, lounging in casinos, bars and restaurants, and buying bigger houses.

    Poor Jim B just doesn't get it at all. And nor do any of those who think chasing a pathetically small saving at the expense of killing incentives to be responsible is in any way smart.

    Sadly, leaving money in accumulation mode doesn't work after you turn 65, and there are many whose honesty has already locked them up tight. But you are right. Gen X will hoard and cheat, and pension bills will soar. They've had fair warning, and you can bet they paid heed.
    Anonymous
    2nd Nov 2017
    7:16pm
    Poor Rainey writes "the nation is DOOMED".

    Rainey's mates Cory Bernardi, Tony Grabbit and Pauline Hanson must just LOVE our sweet Rainey.

    OH NO!!!!! Doom and destruction and utter decimation lies ahead "unless" we adhere to "Rainey's" ideology.

    He is the one, true Almighty Rainey and we must bow down in worship ....OR ....WE ARE DOOMED for all eternity (the End Times are near).

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:07pm
    Oh dear! Was it stress over trying to comprehend logic and common sense or have you always been a raving lunatic, Jim B? Sorry, you poor creature, but you sound like you need psychiatric care urgently. Perhaps a holiday in a mental institution. You are raving like a lunatic! I'm so sorry if presenting facts and logic contributed to your stress.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    8:56pm
    Our little Rainey doesn't comprehend what "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha" means.

    HILARIOUS.
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    10:56am
    Save 37% at 50years old. If you start saving super at 50 you have missed the boat. Seems a ridiculously short time frame and very late in life to be discussed seriously. But if you have left it that late save what so can, every dollar counts. Apparently it can still be done, but I don't know anyone who lives on 72% of their working income.
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    11:33am
    I live on much less than 72% of my weekly income and have done so all my life.
    Bren
    30th Oct 2017
    12:17pm
    63+37=100
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    12:30pm
    Ok Bren what is your point?
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    12:35pm
    Old Geezer read the article .....it claims you can make enough super so that you can live on 72 % of your working income. Do you have a retirement income that is 72% of your working income?
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    12:50pm
    No my retirement income today is a lot more than the income I ever had when I had a job. It is not that hard to earn more than you need even being retired.
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    12:54pm
    OG ...in super. I believe the maximum you can have is 1.6M now.
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    1:00pm
    Yes the maximum is $1.6m but that can grow well beyond $1.6m and at 15% plus which most super earned last year that a nice retirement income. Many self funded retires also have money outside super which provides some tax free income as well.
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    1:08pm
    The article is discussing super only and I believe once your super is more than 1.6m it can no longer remain in your super account. Yes we had a good year last year but over time it usually averages around 5%. Which is only $80000 a year as a maximum and most people won't be getting that.
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    1:13pm
    No you can put $1.6 m into a super pension fund but it can then grow well beyond $1.6m. At 15% pa it will double in under 5 years to $3.2m. Most long term investments if invested well will grow an average of 10% or better per year.
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    1:18pm
    The bigger the returns the bigger the falls. I don't believe you can have higher than 1.6 m in your account.
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    1:24pm
    OG
    https://www.superguide.com.au/retirement-planning/liberals-1-6-million-cap-pension-start-balances
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    1:25pm
    Rules are you can only have $1.6m (indexed) in your super fund when you change over to pension status. It can then grow as long as you take out your minimum pension each year.

    Any good investment will grow well over time so only become risky if you don't have the mentality to own good investments. I can never understand why people love bargains until it comes to investing their money myself. It has never made any sense to me.
    Rae
    30th Oct 2017
    2:18pm
    You can save outside super and only pay tax after earnings of around $32000 for a single and $56000 for a couple.

    The fear of paying tax is bizarre in my opinion.
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    2:23pm
    That's not the advice I have been given , good luck with that.
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    2:29pm
    OG I've seen your mentality in your comments. Good luck.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    2:48pm
    The Federal Treasury says the average return on investment is 5% per annum. Lots of people are getting less than that. 15% is extremely high in today's environment and few would be getting that. It's a nasty, cruel, selfish person who proposes that policy should be based on the high returns that the fortunate can get and ignores the realities for the majority.
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    3:54pm
    Tib do you really think that it is practical to make everyone have their pension fund under $1.6m at the end of each financial year. Most don't know their super balance until about April the following year.

    Rainey the average return for investments is about 10% per year and many super funds last year returned 15% or better.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    6:59pm
    Tell that to the Federal Government, OG. Their figures are based on tax returns that show the average return is FIVE PERCENT. And a lot of retirees aren't even getting that. This ''some people are getting lots so stuff the rest'' argument is very offensive.
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    7:54pm
    Rainey that's rather amusing considering the ATO don't even know what assets I even own - a critical element required to calculate this percentage. As with all Federal Treasury calculations they are just an estimate based in surveys.
    johnp
    30th Oct 2017
    1:03pm
    What about all the countries that pay their citizens the OAP irrespective of what they have saved in such as super etc. I am not saying pay the OAP to the rich but surely $850K is not considered rich ? Or am I wrong there ?
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    1:10pm
    It's probably seems rich for those on OAP. But no it's not
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    1:15pm
    $850,000 is not rich but one can live quite comfortably on about half that in retirement.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    3:00pm
    What utter rubbish, OG. Firstly, that's for a couple. Secondly, needs vary depending on health, family circumstances, etc. Thirdly, returns vary radically. And fourthly, it depends on longevity - how long the money needs to last.

    To put it in perspective, particularly for green-eyed OAPs and self-serving well-offs, a full pensioner receives about that amount over approximately a 10-year period, so it really begs the question why you would knock yourself out to save that much and merely miss out on the handout.

    More to the point, a couple with around $375,000 can enjoy an income of well over $50,000 per annum, PLUS full benefits and concessions, whereas a new retiree couple with $845,000 might be getting only around $40,000 a year with zero benefits and concessions. Yes, the wealthier couple can drain their savings, but why bother to sacrifice to accumulate them if they don't yield any real benefit? The couple who sacrificed the European holidays and new cars to save an extra $500,000 did so in order that the government can gift those savings to the guy who spent his extra income on world cruises! Anyone who supports such idiotic policy is brainless.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    3:08pm
    Thinkers in our society will recognize immediately that the changed assets test will result in an increased drain on the taxpayer, because it completely eliminates the incentive to save unless you can accumulate well over $1 million. If, as a couple, your net savings on retirement are likely to be only around $850,000, you are well advised to spend a few hundred thousand, because if your returns are around the national average, you will be much better off with far less savings and a nice government handout.

    Sad that folk like OG are too self-absorbed to understand these simple facts. If we care about the Federal Budget, we should be lobbying the idiots in power to wake up to their stupidity.
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    4:10pm
    Yes I did put it into prospective. The amount of the OAP works out at less than 4% return on $850,000. However with average returns around 10% one would be so much better off than having the OAP and all the benefits. Bet part is that you will still have your capital as well at the end of the 10 years fully indexed for inflation. So spending your capital to get "free money" is just being stupid.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    7:04pm
    OG, you didn't bother to consider the return on assets up to the threshold, which gives pensioners with less better than $50,000 a year plus concessions and discounts, while those with more will not get as much as the pension (given that some of the assets will be non-returning, such as furniture and cars) unless they can achieve well in excess of 4% pa. And then there's risk to take into account.

    No, you WON'T necessarily still have your capital at the end of 10 years, fully indexed for inflation. That's nonsense. You may lose it. The value of investments may go down. If you can't live on less than the pension - bearing in mind that you get no concessions - you have to draw on your capital.

    I'm glad you are not my accountant, because clearly you don't have much grasp of financial realities.
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    8:27pm
    Return on assets up to the threshold? Only place I know that happens is with bank interest where they borrow from pensioners at a very cheap rate and invest it themselves for a return many times over. None of my investment have such thresholds as I don't see any sense in using such accounts. Furniture is valued at $1000 so not much in non-returning assets there. Cars wholesale value so not much there either.

    As I have said many times one of the riskiest investment is cash in the bank as after tax and inflation it gives a negative return nearly every year. That is real risk!
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    10:55am
    Your ranting makes no sense at all, OG. Virtually EVERY pensioner with assets gets some return on assets up to the legal threshold. Nothing to do with cash or banks. It doesn't matter where they put their money. There are legal thresholds below which assets are not counted. If your assets fall below those thresholds, you can earn investment income to top up your pension. If you knew how to do math, you would understand that there is a ''sweet spot'' at which pensioners reach maximum income, and you have to achieve well over 7% (much more given investment costs actually) on $845,000 to get anywhere near that sweet spot. So vast numbers - probably most - couples with $845,000 in assets are WORSE OFF THAN PENSIONERS.

    But you are too stubborn to even try to understand the facts. You'd much rather continue with your BS political rants trying to justify the unjustifiable. You have no interest in fixing a broken system, because it wouldn't benefit you. And that's all that matters to you.
    Old Geezer
    1st Nov 2017
    10:29am
    Unfortunately your calculations don't take into account the $845,000 itself only the least it can earn. Even at 5% interest and 2% inflation rate it will give a couple the same as the OAP for over 32 years. The OAP pension is additional to this as well.

    I'll take the $845,000 instead of the full OAP thankyou if I did have to choose.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2017
    9:40pm
    OG, the $845,000 was saved specifically to cover expenses that the OAP doesn't stretch to - but if those expenses arise later in life, the saver is screwed because they had to use the capital to compensate for being denied pension income that they would have received if they hadn't bothered to save.

    It's not a question of which you or I would prefer. It's a question of what psychological, social and economic consequences arise from creating a perception (correct or otherwise) that it doesn't pay to save

    You really are stubborn to continue to rant as you do and deliberately ignore the point. IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU OR ME. It's about the NATION'S ECONOMY, and how those impacted by pension policies react to them.
    johnp
    30th Oct 2017
    1:18pm
    So a couple can live quite comfortably on about $21K p.a. ??
    Kathleen
    30th Oct 2017
    7:03pm
    Many Australians have not had overseas holidays so generalisations like that are unfair.
    Some derogatory terms like “green eyed old aged pensioners” is unnecessary and cruel.
    People believed they were contributing to their retirement in their taxes.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    7:14pm
    GrandmaKathleen22, I apologize for any offence. That statement was aimed at the small minority who claim that people who saved shouldn't benefit from their savings but should have to live on the same income as aged pensioners. Sadly, there are some green-eyed monsters out there who begrudge hard workers who went without a great deal to accumulate some savings any reward for that effort. My point is simply that those who sacrificed to save SHOULD be allowed to enjoy a better standard of living.

    Yes, we did believe we were funding our retirement through taxes. And we've all been short-changed very unfairly - especially those who lived frugally. But the reality is that some would have been far better off taking overseas holidays, and that's a silly situation for the government to create.
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    8:17pm
    I was told the day I got my first job that there would not be a pension available for me when I retired. So they have know that for decades now so I can't understand how anyone would think otherwise.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    8:28pm
    Well that's definitive, then, OG. You knew something so clearly everyone in the world must have had the same knowledge. Odd how so many say they believed the exact opposite! Your arrogance really is sickening!
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    8:29pm
    Or maybe you were told that because you were so privileged it was obvious you would never pass a means test, no matter how liberal?
    Retired Knowall
    31st Oct 2017
    8:12am
    When I first started work back in the early 60's my father gave me an article from the local newspaper that analysed Australia's looming predicament of funding the OAP. Our population would not be able to sustain a pension payment that would enable a pensioner to maintain a reasonable standard of living as the number of people in the workforce would decrease due to technology and aging population.
    I was advised to start a Super Fund ASAP which I did.
    To say no-one knew is blatantly FALSE, I knew, my friends Knew, some acted on the information, others kept their heads in the sand and now complain that the system is unfair.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    10:49am
    Or maybe many weren't fortunate enough to be as educated as you, Retired Knowall. We are not all Knowalls', sadly. Without the benefit of education, and with far less communication back then than we have today, many simply didn't have access to information. In particular, information about finances was restricted, generally, to the very well educated. Labourers and cleaners just worried about how to make their miserable wages stretch far enough to keep the kids fed and clothed and a roof over their heads.

    Honestly, the arrogance and rudeness of the privileged is sickening.

    Even if we had known there would be no pension, vast numbers of us hadn't a hope in hell of saving for old age. It was tough enough just getting by week to week. We didn't ''bury our heads in the sand''. We believed the government of the day when they told us our taxes paid for pensions and we would receive an aged pension when our time came. And yes, the system IS unfair. Because money was put aside for our retirement and it was misappropriated. And because the rules are stupid and encourage and reward manipulation and cheating, and punish those who try to save.
    Retired Knowall
    31st Oct 2017
    4:58pm
    My Father was a labourer, raised 4 Kids but knew Basic Maths.
    Basic Maths told him that as the aging population went into retirement mode there would be less people working to support the Welfare System. You say you started without the benefit of education, I believe you, many have the same problem and like you it's still holding them back. Others educated themselves, worked harder and smarter and now are no longer a drain on the Public Purse.
    You really need get over the Victim mentality and stop blaming everyone and everything for the current situation ***No One Else Cares***
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    7:10pm
    I am NOT a drain on the public purse, Retired KNOWNOTHINGATALL. Nor do I have a ''victim mentality''. Despite great hardship, I educated myself and my family and I am now self-sufficient with very healthy savings, a nice home, AND still working (and planning to continue).

    Unlike you, I DO CARE about those who haven't managed to be as successful. And unlike you, I appreciate the reasons some struggle and see it as desirable to improve the system to better help them, while hopefully also reducing the drain on the public purse (which is currently struggling to support cheats and manipulators far better than it supports the needy!)

    I DON'T CARE how smart you think you are or what you THINK you know. What I see is a contemptuous egotist with no empathy and no capacity to deal in realities - but interested only in anecdotal evidence gleaned from personal experience.

    The fact that some were able to overcome hardship does NOT make it okay to treat those who didn't with contempt or cruelty. Nor does it justify a flawed system.

    To those who are still held back, by whatever challenges life threw at them, I DO CARE. And I'm sure many others do too. And you are not a ''drain on the public purse''. Most of you contributed far more than you will ever be properly rewarded for - unlike the fat cats who milk the system to avoid taxes at every turn and then boast.

    Please ignore Retired Knownothing's cruel insults.
    Retired Knowall
    31st Oct 2017
    7:20pm
    As I've stated a few times before, your sole purpose in life is to act as warning to others.
    Anonymous
    2nd Nov 2017
    4:58am
    You have no idea what my purposes in life are, Retired Knownothing. And you are a very nasty individual to make such insulting remarks about someone about whom you know nothing at all. But yes, I do warn others when I can about the injustice in the system. And one of my purposes in life is to help others where I can - even if it's only by showing empathy and compassion.
    Rae
    30th Oct 2017
    1:23pm
    I paid a huge amount into super from after tax salary and I still don't know if it was worth the effort. My own investment returns were far better and tax effective and the $22 000 I've given up as well as not getting a concession card and thus paying full costs for everything has to be considered.

    I can understand why people don't save for themselves.
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    2:37pm
    Why not before tax.
    Rae
    30th Oct 2017
    6:35pm
    Because it was well before 1992 and tax concessional super. The old super was based on post tax unit purchases.
    KB
    30th Oct 2017
    1:53pm
    There are many countries who do not have a pension system at all. While we complain that we can do better think of poorer
    countries who do not have any form of safety net such as super or pension.Let us all be thankful that we all have safety net .
    Rae
    30th Oct 2017
    6:36pm
    I'm getting a tad tired of the others are worse off so be grateful argument. It's an excuse for failure in my opinion.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    6:58pm
    It astounds me that some people seem to think that if either someone else is worse off, or if they personally are doing fine, that's a reason not to look for ways to improve things overall - or worse, to howl down anyone who points to a potential flaw or opportunity to do better.

    Our pension system has some very obvious and significant flaws. The Greens did a deal with the Govt that if they approved the assets test changes, the system would be extensively reviewed. Many recognized the need for that to happen. Surprise, surprise! The government did not honour its promise. It chose to leave what is widely known to be a flawed system as is, and continue to blame retirees for a burgeoning pension bill - ignoring the fact that analysis of the assets test change reveals it risks elevating the cost of pensions by greatly reducing incentives to save.

    Declaring our pension system to be among the best in the world no doubt inflates politicians' egos and might make some retirees feel good, but to ignore the obvious problems and renege on an agreement to address known flaws is not acceptable. And to continue to fund the Grattan Institute and others to constantly dishonestly harp about how the baby boomers had it so easy and should hand over their wealth to the 'poor younger folk' is certainly not acceptable. Older Australians deserve a lot more respect. I'm sure many did have it easy - as do many today. But life was VERY hard for a lot of our generation, and claiming otherwise is deeply offensive and grossly disrespectful.

    What astonishes me is that younger Aussies don't seem to understand that if they let the government screw retirees, they screw their own future. They will retire one day!

    Now, as for saving 37% of income - if a lady is on the minimum full time wage, that leaves about $400 a week to live on. If she's renting, good luck with that! If she is only working part time or casual, she's really screwed!
    johnp
    30th Oct 2017
    2:04pm
    Actually in the first half of the 20th century the feds levied a tax to cater for the OAP ! Later that was just absorbed as a tax increase; like into general revenue. So we have all been paying for our own OAP anyway therefore there is nothing to be thankful for !!
    Tib
    30th Oct 2017
    2:47pm
    That's why we shouldn't let the government become too involved in our super.
    Retired Knowall
    31st Oct 2017
    8:15am
    Or whinge about.
    floss
    30th Oct 2017
    2:20pm
    If the superannuation rules are clear and understood I don't have a problem but when some fat fool Joe Hockey for example comes along and grandfathers the rules then I get upset.
    MD
    30th Oct 2017
    5:39pm
    Lucky, lucky, lucky, at least according to Kylie and now confirmed by the findings of this UBS Report. Any wonder we're considered to be the 'Lucky Country'.
    If my recollection serves me well posts in recent similar topics, re pensions - both singles and couples - indicated their satisfaction with and adequacy of their pension (amount) received.
    Also regularly mentioned is the perceived disparity whereby those that have saved or made provision for retirement, whether up to or above an amount determined by govt can still claim 'eligibility' for a full/part pension payment.
    It would seem that govt considers 'one size fits all' and regardless of the why's, how's and wherefore of any persons' situation come retirement therefore is irrelevant.
    Fortunate indeed are those few that have reached retirement with adequate funds to sustain their lifestyle. The remainder simply need to make the most of what they've got (or get) just as the situation demands. Whether fortunate enough (obviously OG qualifies) due to luck, good management or battling - the result of any reason whatsoever, Govt is not responsible for any individual's retirement preparedness or lack thereof.

    The age pension; regardless of whether considered welfare or entitlement, exists to support any claimant deemed needy. That a few manipulate their lot to enhance their prospects is expected and factored in by govt actuaries. Those caught out generally cry poor ("Me").

    Neither govt or Boomers are responsible for millennials dearth of realty prospects. Millennials seem to think they have all the answers so how about we let them sort out their own grievances, in so doing they might even better prepare their own retirement.
    *Imagine*
    30th Oct 2017
    6:42pm
    OG Where do you get your 10% average returns from?
    Everything that I read indicates a long term average of about 7.5% e.g. I quote
    "July 20, 2017 by Trish Power. Since Superannuation Guarantee was introduced more than 25 years ago, the average long-term median return generated on a ‘balanced’ super fund account is 7.4% a year for the 25-year period to 30 June 2017, according to regular data released by superannuation ratings agency, SuperRatings."
    So if you make 15% in a specific year, then the probability is that there will be a zero or negative return in another year - that is the nature of averages.
    The fact is that the Australian pension system is not a system all, it is a collection of different rules for different people, depending on what assets you hold and where they are held, what type of income you have and where it is derived and the date when you retired. For example some have their super accounts deemed, some don't, some have annuities that are not counted as assets, some have only 50% counted and others the full amount is deemed an asset. Some have multi million dollar homes but receive a pension others have less wealth but receive no pension because their assets are held outside their home.
    I imagine that if you took any ten retired couples with the same net worth and analysed their Centrelink and ATO status along with their disposable income, they would all be different. Is that a proper retirement system?
    If the Government just provided everybody with a basic aged pension equal to the tax threshold (presently $16000) then tax all other income including superannuation pensions, then the system would be so simple and probably cheaper than the present mish mash.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    7:08pm
    You are right, Imagine. Which is why the Greens extracted a promise of a full review - a long overdue and urgently needed full review.

    A basic aged pension for all with all other income taxed would be far more sensible and much fairer.

    Just one area where there is a gross inconsistency - If a couple has saved $845,000 in assets, they may be receiving less than the pension in income, yet they get no concessions. Yet if Couple B has an income of $75000 a year, NOT tied to assessable assets, they get all the pension concessions. Clearly, saving is not encouraged! I'd like to understand why, because the government SAYS it wants people to save for their retirement. Why, then, doesn't it ensure that doing so is rewarding.
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    8:13pm
    Gee someone is certainly cleaning up with fees if the average is only 7.4% as if it was held outside super it would be 10% or more long term average. I'd be very disappointed if I only got those sort of return myself as one can get more than that with just franked dividends in our banks.

    By the way you don't pay any tax until you earn just under $21,000 with people over pension age a bit more.

    All I'll say is that couple with $850.000 and not getting more than the value of the pension plus benefits is very poorly invested. Couple B also have no assets to spend other than their $75,000 of they get the concessions. Good case for the concessions to be only given to those on the full OAP.

    Saving for retirement is very rewarding.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2017
    8:24pm
    What utter garbage, OG. Very few people would be getting 10% on investments held outside of super. So you are getting high returns. Good for you. Only a very selfish, self-serving individual rants as you do, bullying those who aren't as fortunate.

    And your math is hopeless. Couple B have an INCOME of $50,000+, whereas Couple A, with some $750,000 to invest after personal assets are counted, have to get well over 4% to get anywhere near the aged pension, and over 5% to equal the pension plus concessions. They need better than 7% return, risk free, to be as well off as Couple A.

    Saving for retirement is NOT rewarding unless you can achieve a very high level of savings. Many affected by the assets test changes will find they would be better off with half their savings - which is why financial advisers report that their clients are spending up big and reapplying for part pensions. It is patently STUPID to defend such a policy that creates such a ridiculously damaging environment - and YOUR returns are totally irrelevant to the discussion.
    Old Geezer
    30th Oct 2017
    8:42pm
    Rainey they are not my returns as I never tell anyone what I really earn as that is very bad manners indeed.

    https://www.marketindex.com.au/sites/default/files/statistics/historical-returns-infographic.pdf
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    2:40pm
    It's extremely bad manners to boast about getting 15% returns to folk who are struggling to get 5%. But your manners are appalling, OG, so why worry about telling anyone what you earn?
    Old Geezer
    31st Oct 2017
    7:44pm
    Rainey if you read my post correctly you will realise that no where have I said what rate of return I have been getting. For the record my return is not 15% either.

    This is what I said

    Rainey the average return for investments is about 10% per year and many super funds last year returned 15% or better.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:03pm
    No, OG. The average return over the medium to long term - which is all that is relevant - is 5%. 7% is a high return over the long term. Some years, returns are higher. Some years they are lower or even negative. The higher the returns in good years, the higher the risk and the longer the investment takes to recover from a crash.

    5% is the correct figure to use to compare self-funded retiree income with aged pensions. Any other figure is pie in the sky.
    Mad as Hell
    30th Oct 2017
    9:18pm
    I agree with posts from Rainey.
    OG your “facts” don’t stack up.
    ABE
    30th Oct 2017
    11:51pm
    Everyone will have a different view on how much they require to see them through their retirement. It all depends on your own personal lifestyle. Those who own their homes are in a very good position but to reach retirement age still holding a mortgage is a big handicap. If a person is due for retirement in a few years' time, cutting corners now is something they should think of doing. Party a bit less and put more into getting rid of the debt.
    Reagan
    2nd Nov 2017
    7:04pm
    Correct mate. The mortgage is the killer in later years. Trouble is too many want to party with money they don't have, so when the time comes for retirement, they have to rely on the govt. Not good enough.
    Virginia
    31st Oct 2017
    11:07am
    I worked till I was 34 then had children.... No super
    I then started work again at 50 and yes super was included
    BUT how far behind am I ; I am 70 and still working to fund a reasonable retirement.
    YET COUPLES EARNING $185,000 can get help with child care payments and they will have a very verycomfortable retirement saving 10% of 185,000 dollars
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    2:51pm
    Childcare is gender based, just like this article. If each couple gets 1.5 super between them that's OK. Normally the male does not have a break from work from 18 to 67. Half of all which he earns, including the Super goes to his wife in separation. Which is better for male or female. And why is the article about female. None have to work the same length of time as men, and men die earlier.

    31st Oct 2017
    11:46am
    Wouldn't it be nice if everyone recognized that our system doesn't work well for everyone and can be improved, stopped ranting about the poor young folk - who will benefit hugely if we can drive improvements in the retirement system - and worked together to identify and fix the flaws? Honestly, all these rants from the ''I'm okay stuff you'' brigade or the ''I was smarter than you'' egotists is doing nothing good for either today's retirees or the retirees of the future, who will inherit the hideous mess some fools are condoning (because it doesn't hurt THEM!)

    The system is a mess. It's an administrative nightmare. It's appallingly unfair. It's an evidenced fact that we have extensive poverty among the aged, and an aged person housing crisis. There's a lot of anger and discontent. And we are looking at stupidly narrow-focused irrelevant survey results that relate solely to 50-year-old women and ABSURDLY suggest that ALL of them can save 37% of their income. It's an established fact that many older folk cannot find work and are struggling on Newstart and draining any savings they may have long before retirement age.

    How anyone can defend this situation confounds me. And it seems to me to be an indication of gross and widespread stupidity (or utter selfishness) to suggest we can't do better.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to stop the egotistical rants and pay attention when someone highlights a problem or possible improvement, and work together to try to get the government to honour its broken promise to comprehensively review the aged pension system? If we worked together, instead of big-noting and howling people down and bragging about being smarter than others, we just might be able to suggest how they can make things better.

    Personally, I don't have much of a problem. Despite a very challenging start in life and decades of extreme hardship, I've somehow managed to move into semi-retirement with reasonably healthy savings and I'm still able to work part time, and hopefully will for many years yet. I managed, with great difficulty, to get all my kids through uni and into professions where they are doing very nicely. But I work with people who are doing it really tough, and for the most part these are people who have never had much of a chance in life - people who copped curved balls at every turn from birth to old age. And I know many who, despite being not too badly off, have been treated very unfairly. The most recent change to the pension system (the assets test change) was a clumsy and ill-conceived ''bandaid'' solution at best, and made with acknowledgment that the system needed complete overhaul and a BROKEN promise to ensure that overhaul took place.

    What do the arrogant egotists hope to gain by howling down anyone who points to a potential flaw in the system and tries to identify ways to improve it? What good can come of spreading myths about baby boomers ALL having it easy, when clearly a great many had it very tough indeed.

    The majority CANNOT achieve strong investment returns in today's world. In particular, the less financially educated struggle - and these are the people who most likely sacrificed lifestyle in earlier years to accumulate a nest egg. These are the people who have never had it easy. So STOP the nasty bullying and egotistical rants and acknowledge that they need and deserve a better deal. Recognize that the system is generous to the cheats and manipulators but cruel to the honest and diligent. And above all, acknowledge that it's failing those who are really hard up through no fault of their own dismally. And it's sure failing future generations, who are rightly scared of the prospect of bricklayers and labourers having to slog it out until they are 70.

    It's NOT a competition! I doubt anyone is impressed with OG or Retired Knowall and their boasts about being smarter than the rest of us. It's offensive and it reflects lack of empathy and respect. Sure, the better educated and those with great mentors might have had greater foresight. Sure those with higher incomes or less life challenges might have had the capacity to put more savings aside. And certainly those who had the chance to acquire financial education might have been able to invest profitably, and might now know where the best returns can be achieved without undue risk. Those who have never known the kind of poverty or crisis that drives real ongoing fear of being poor and those who have never struggled with expensive health problems understandably struggle to relate to the emotional challenges that make some people highly risk averse. Does that excuse cruelty and contemptuous insults?

    Let's unite to try to identify ways to make it better, and figure out how to get the right messages to the people in power. Just maybe, we have the ability to make a difference if we stop the sniping and one-upmanship!
    LiveItUp
    31st Oct 2017
    1:22pm
    Yes OAP system is broken as there are too many people wanting to access it and then living too long on welfare. It was great to see the government change the assets test which was a step in the right directkon as the OAP concessions shold only be given to those on full OAP.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    2:15pm
    No Bonny. These stupid bandaids just make it far worse. The assets test was NOT a good thing and cutting concessions will just make for greater unfairness. People who think logically rather than selfishly can see that a major overhaul is needed, and we need to stop thinking in terms of short-sighted quick ''fixes'' and examine the long term consequences of policy changes. Punishing people for saving is STUPID and will have adverse consequences long term.

    Destroying incentives will simply drive more people onto higher pensions. Few want to be on a pension if it doesn't offer significant advantage, because dealing with Centrelink is horrible. But the government has created a situation that drives more and more to apply for handouts because it's just not worth the struggle and sacrifice to save when you can get $845,000 handed to you over 10 years, or take a European holiday at the government expense + collect a bonus.

    What we need to do is examine how to streamline the system so that more people are incentivised to save and be self-sufficient and there is less opportunity for manipulation and cheating. The first step - which the govt sort of recognized recently - is to STOP the discrimination regarding concessions. People on low incomes need them and should have them - regardless of the source of their income. Just because someone manages to be self-supporting shouldn't mean they pay more for everything than someone on the same income from a pension.

    Living too long? Really? So you think the answer is to kill people off if they need financial help in old age? Get a life, Bonny! You are a classic example of the ''I'm all right stuff you'' brigade who are obstructing the kind of discussion that might lead to good reform.

    31st Oct 2017
    2:40pm
    Usually the husband dies first and as usual the woman receives all the assets. I am a self funded retiree and therefore receive no pension and no concessions, other than a Seniors.$2,50 public transport concession ticket.

    Others who have blown all their money receive every concession.

    And please del not make pensions a gender obligation like every other Social issue in our culture.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    2:48pm
    There you go, Gillham. Proof right there that the system is broken and needs a major overhaul. But hurting more who need and deserve concessions is the only solution some brainless folk can come up with. No wonder it's all such a mess!

    My grandmother used to say they should put a poor struggling housewife who raised kids through the Depression with an unemployed husband in charge of the nation's finances. I reckon she might have been onto something. I doubt anyone could do worse than the morons in power at the moment - and that includes the Opposition and minor parties. And certainly there'd be no gain paying attention to the selfish egotists who rant on here with their insults and demands for changes that will cause more pain.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    2:59pm
    Gee your comprehension is poor Rainey. There are heaps of people receiving concessions and payments that do not need them. Others that need payments and concessions and payment receive them.

    Id do not need concessions or payments but there are heaps that do receive concessions and payment when they do not deserve or need them. Yet we have others that need assistance but do not receive the concessions or publicly funded payments.

    I'll bet our PM and MPs do not pay the same tax as a $60,000 worker. I know our PM does not receive a PM salary but his other incomes would be taxed less than the $60,000pa worker.
    Anonymous
    31st Oct 2017
    6:59pm
    Gillham, I'm not sure what I said that caused misunderstanding, but you are repeating exactly what I was trying to say. Thanks. The rules are too complicated and inconsistent. Couple A earn over $70,000 a year and get full concessions and part pension. Couple B went without extensively to save a nest egg, have an income of $34,000 a year, and get nothing. Couple C have a multi-million dollar home and get a full pension and concessions. Couple D have nothing and get a full pension but because they went on it recently they don't get the energy supplement. Couple E have a lifetime concessions card despite inheriting $5 million when his parents died last month! On and on goes the inconsistency and stupidity. The system is stuffed! And tinkering at the edges can only make it much, much worse. It needs a total overhaul.

    As for the PM, we all know he has his millions stashed in the Caymans to avoid tax. But then, he thinks someone who went to the best private schools and inherited hundreds of millions was ''disadvantaged'', so we can hardly rely on him to have any understanding of justice, fairness, or good economic management - much less to have any common sense!
    MD
    31st Oct 2017
    9:00pm
    Gee Rainey you've got your knickers in a twist over this one. It seems as though anyone posting counter comment becomes your bete noire. Your defense of the needy is admirable and although you've disparaged as "selfish egotists" the few posing counter point(s) I seriously doubt their comments constitute (as you've claimed) - "bullying, insult(ing) or offensive - the jury is still out re "egotistical". Far better to posit your comment on the issue and try to ignore the personality, it seems to produce the same effect as does a red rag to a bull.

    Although not privy to the workings of the relevant govt dept responsible for administering age pensions, my guess is they determine a figure for payment based on a wealth of information/input from various sources - statistician, treasury, actuaries, charity feedback and the like. Certainly, they do not set out to address each and every claimants specific particulars, it's more a case of one size fits all and although pollies may have some insignificant degree of input, recipients have little to no say in the dept's deliberations.
    Which brings us to respective views and opinions. Regardless of any one persons opinion, whether for or against the suitability of a welfare payment is neither here nor there to bureaucrats.
    Where individual recipients feel unfairly treated there exists avenues for redress with each case being considered on its respective basis.
    Your comment indicates your dissatisfaction with the status quo and any change is highly unlikely to be bought about by venting your disappointment with counter commentators in this medium.

    Your ability to state your case and make a point is more that sufficient without the reactionary response to "egotistical" comment.

    I wish you well.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2017
    9:32am
    Thanks, MD. Your comments are noted and their substantial validity acknowledged with appreciation. I guess I let emotion rule my fingers when I'm repeatedly insulted by the likes of OG and Retired Knowall based on wildly incorrect assumptions that I have repeatedly corrected - though they pay no attention at all.

    And I do get fired up when people show no capacity for empathy or no recognition of reality in an often very cruel world. I've taken far more than my share of knocks and suffered a great deal of injustice, and it angers me to see how uncaring and disrespectful some of the more fortunate can be. But I guess I should recall the old adage - ''There are none so blind as those who will not see, and none so deaf as those who will not hear. '' In a world as cruel and inequitable as ours, it can be painful to hear and see. It's much easier to blame the victim than to acknowledge the crime. And it's just too damned hard for the comfortable to think about changes that might improve things for some but just possibly at some minor cost.

    Ultimately, what I would like to see is a united effort to present to the government some constructive suggestions for improvements to the system and some evidence of the current flaws. Grattan Institute - and others - keep peddling a lot of untruths that seem to be driving resentment of retirees and a very false perception of reality. Retirees clearly feel as if our generation is under continual attack, and the first target for budget savings, no matter how unfair. I think we, as a society, have lost that respect and sense of obligation to our elderly that was strong when I was young. Now, the aged seem to be targets of jealousy and resentment, and perceived to be a promising milking cow.
    Who is going to present a contra argument if we don't?

    Surely, the ultimate goals should be:
    (1) to reduce the cost of aging and the pressure retirees place on the budget
    (2) to reduce aged poverty and genuine hardship
    (3) to reduce or remove the incentives for manipulation and cheating and replace them with better incentives to strive for self-sufficiency
    (4) to reduce both inequity and the perception of inequity
    (5) to create an environment in which older folk feel safe and secure and can plan their future with certainty.

    None of that can be achieved by persisting with short-sighted band-aids. And I don't think the current politicians or advisers have the faintest clue how it might be achieved. Nor do I think they have a realistic understanding of what life has been like and is like for the majority of retirees. This notion that baby-boomers had it easy is offensive to the hundreds of thousands who didn't - and particularly to those who have suffered real injustice and extreme hardship.

    I guess I had a faint but rather ill-conceived hope that we might find some consensus here - some agreement to collaborate respectfully and constructively to present our views to the power-brokers in a way that might get their attention.

    I've driven two major changes in legislation - both to the enormous benefit of a lot of ordinary battlers who were being short changed under the law. I did it as an ordinary and somewhat poverty-stricken working-class citizen, merely by presenting a compelling argument to the right people. It can be done. I guess you are right though. It won't be achieved on this medium. It requires a lot more empathy and willingness to explore the circumstances of those who feel wronged and properly understand their point of view. And above all it requires a willingness to acknowledge that there is a major problem and it isn't one to which the answers are simple.

    I once received a letter from the Federal Treasury in which I was advised that while my argument made good sense, it was an argument based on consideration of human psychology, whereas the Treasury works on pure math and economics alone and does not consider the potential psychological response to policy. It's hard to believe the powers that be are that stupid! Their argument was that the changed assets test MATHEMATICALLY made sense and should reduce pension costs. True, of course, IF it didn't drive the obvious human response of driving people to reduce savings.

    Seems a lot here follow the same line of thinking, adding, often, that people SHOULDN'T respond in what they see as their own interests, either because they are wrong about what they think benefits them, or because they should put the nation first. News flash1 Neither argument makes sense. People ALWAYS do what they perceive to be in their own best interests. And for that reason, the assets test change was counterproductive and will drive costs up. And for that reason, abolishing concessions for part-pensioners will have the same adverse and grossly inequitable impact.

    We need to EXTEND benefits to those who strive, not reduce them. Give people greater incentive to strive and the striving increases and with it general prosperity. Get rid of the needs-based welfare that has driven welfare costs through the roof and created the welfare mentality so often complained about and replace it with a system that respects and supports people to improve their own circumstances, and rewards them for doing so.
    Old Geezer
    1st Nov 2017
    10:21am
    Looks to me that I'm the ideal person to comment as I do it for the good of the nation and it doesn't not benefit me at all.

    For the good of the nation our welfare is costing the taxpayers way too much and far too much is going to those to whom it is nice to have and is not needed as they have able available to look after themselves without putting their hand out for welfare.
    Retired Knowall
    1st Nov 2017
    12:16pm
    "Get rid of the needs-based welfare that has driven welfare costs through the roof and created the welfare mentality".
    Brilliant idea, let those in need look after themselves and support those that don't need it due to their past efforts or luck.
    Old Geezer
    1st Nov 2017
    1:50pm
    Good idea to get rid of needs based welfare. No need for welfare at all then.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2017
    3:31pm
    That's about what I'd expect from arrogant selfish people, OG and Retired Knowall.

    Of course we need welfare. I doubt many in this country would be so selfish and cruel as to suggest those with genuine need should be cast aside. But there ARE better solutions than welfare systems that drive the growth of a welfare mentality and encourage increasing need. Sad that so few have the intelligence and compassion to bother considering ways to make things better for all.
    Retired Knowall
    1st Nov 2017
    4:52pm
    It was YOU RAINEY that stated just above "Get rid of the needs-based welfare that has driven welfare costs through the roof and created the welfare mentality".
    So how would you go about it?
    Old Geezer
    1st Nov 2017
    6:37pm
    I was invited to a function recently put on by a well known charity. After spending a few hours listening to how the charity works and operates I came away with the impression that that charity was empire building itself but in doing so had all but forgotten those who it was set up to support. I asked the question now if I was the type of person you supported what was exactly in it for me? No one could really answer that question for me.

    Also I also recently was involved in arranging home care for an elderly lady. She was entitled to a package worth quite a lot of money but when it actually got through the hierarchy of the organisation concerned down to actually helping her she got very little of this money allocated. I asked why could she just be given the money and I would organised everything for her instead so she could get what she was entitled to. I was promptly told it didn't work that way.

    So I too would like to hear Raineys better way to.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2017
    9:22pm
    I'm not an expert on how welfare might work, but in the context of aged pensions I would suggest two potential approaches that would be much fairer and retain incentives. First, pay everyone of qualifying age who has resided in Australia for more than, say 20 years, the basic pension (say $16000 a year) and tax ALL income in retirement over that amount. Several have suggested that approach and it sounds fair, would slash administration costs, would stop overinvestment in housing and breaking up relationships to increase benefits, and make wasting money futile. A similar approach works well in several other countries.

    The second approach, and my personal preference, would be to means test income only, but add deemed income at the current interest rate on ALL assets (family home included) over a generous threshold (say, $845,000 per person perhaps). That ensures that nobody is disadvantaged by saving, but those who genuinely don't need help because their earnings are healthy don't receive anything.

    What we MUST do is stop punishing people for saving, stop treating high income earners more generously than battlers relying on low investment returns, stop favouring singles (because two singles can share expenses just as easily as a married couple - and do!), and stop the mishmash that is causing confusion, resentment, administrative headaches and cost, and disincentives to save.

    Unfortunately, the aged pension is the easier part of the equation. When it comes to Newstart, it gets very difficult, but the current harsh penalties for earning a little need to be abolished. Maybe average income over the year?

    I once read an article I thought rather brilliant that proposed abolition of all welfare and replacing it with taxation that included negative taxation. So if you earned less than $X per annum, you got a fat tax ''refund'' even though you never paid a cent in tax. There were some questions raised by the proposal that weren't adequately answered, but the principle was sound.

    The biggest problem in Australia right now is the patent unfairness that sees high income earners handed huge tax concessions that cost more than the aged pension, and the irresponsible spendthrifts and lazy (as well as the minority of genuinely needy) getting pension handouts, and those in-between who never earned enough to enjoy big tax concessions but worked hard and saved getting NOTHING AT ALL. That's causing serious resentment, and driving people to manipulate the system.

    Scandinavian countries seem to have gotten it right. They tax at high rates but provide everyone with a guaranteed comfortable standard of living, and reports (and my own surveys when travelling) indicate a very high degree of happiness in these countries. Not so here! I recall, also, that when Australian had much higher taxes on the rich, everyone was happier and more incentivized to work and save. I think the problem we have is that the overindulgence of the really wealthy (NOT the middle-class strugglers who put a bit aside for old age!) has driven anger and resentment. Combine that with a needs-based welfare system that suppresses battlers who try, and you create a welfare mentality.

    I've been in the welfare trap. I know how it feels. I worked my way out of it, but I had to cheat the system to do it. It would never have been possible doing it according to the rules. My kids would have starved! Every time I earned an extra ounce of skill, experience and respect that could lead to stable employment, I lost the benefit that I was reliant on to feed my kids. I had a choice. Give up and stay on the benefit permanently, or find a way around the cruel rules. I did the latter. I'm not sorry. I've more than paid my dues. My kids are professionals paying high taxes. I am working well after retirement age. At one stage, I ran a business employing several people who paid taxes. None of that could ever have been achieved under the current needs-based welfare system if I hadn't broken the rules. And I can point to a thousand others who can say precisely the same thing, and to another thousand who are on welfare today because they read the rules and gave up.

    The notion that needs-based welfare fails and places higher demand on the welfare system is well recognized by those who study sociology and psychology. It's NOT my contention. It's widely acknowledged by experts. As is the fact that inequity is threatening the stability of the capitalist world. The rich don't want to know, because they are prospering. Hopefully, when it all comes tumbling down, it won't be too devastating for those who least deserve to suffer the pain.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2017
    9:43pm
    BTW. I once would have agreed with many of the arguments in favour of our current needs-based system. I was first made aware of the problems when a friend who had his heart set on being a social worker dropped out of his uni course protesting that he'd realized he was training to KEEP PEOPLE DOWN rather than to help them. The system didn't aspire to improving the quality of life. It aspired to keep people in their place - to oppress the battlers and deter efforts to rise above the social strata they were born to. Sad, but I've come to recognize the truth in that. Needs-based welfare maintains the status quo reasonably effectively. And therein lies its fault.

    31st Oct 2017
    8:54pm
    This subject has been done to death on here...over it.
    *Imagine*
    1st Nov 2017
    6:04pm
    Hey Radish, I have enjoyed reading the comments because, like it or not, Rainey, who has a point of view that I generally agree with and OG and Retired Knowall who have a counter view are in fact AGREEING ON THE MAJOR ISSUE.
    All three are pointing out that the present system
    1 is not working as intended
    2 is inequitable
    3 is poorly targeted
    4 is in desperate need of reform.
    Perhaps they should drop the sledging and recognise that they are arguing the same points from opposite poles, then join forces to lobby for change, or at the very least a review.
    The very nature of the present 'treat it symptomatically' ' approach to retirement funding is destined to create division as we can all see unfairness. Blind Freddie and his dog can see that those deserving of support get little and those who refuse to help themselves, but are smart enough to work the "system" are screwing the rest of us. And worse - those who tried to look after their own welfare through frugality are supporting their peers, many of whom did nothing to plan for their future. Then those who were unable to plan for their retirement are still not adequately supported either by family or State. Unite and lobby for a review.
    Mad as Hell
    1st Nov 2017
    7:43pm
    I still like the comments from Rainey they are well thought out. Keep it up.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2017
    8:56pm
    Imagine, you got it! So refreshing to see a thinker with intelligence here. And your message is exactly what I was trying to convey (though not as succinctly as you, sorry!).The system is stuffed up. It urgently needs to be overhauled. Unite and lobby for a review.
    Rae
    2nd Nov 2017
    10:50am
    Brilliant Imagine. We should all lobby for the review needed.
    Retired Knowall
    2nd Nov 2017
    5:07pm
    Lobbying is a great idea, but, Lobby Who? Current Pollies on both sides are a dead loss, these are the people who are supposed to be representing us, instead they spend their time feathering their own nest. My thinking is to canvas all new INDEPENDENTS and support the ones that agree to a new charter which will include but not be limited to:
    1- Review all Pollies Perks and remove the excess rorts. e.g. being able to claim for accommodation expenses when staying in their own homes, excess travel to footy matches etc.
    2 - Review and adjust the salaries of the "Untouchable Bureaucrats" that set their own salaries and pay on performance.
    3 - Review and adjust Pollies Pension entitlements to bring them in line with industry standards.
    4 - Overhaul our Tax Laws to ensure ALL Businesses pay the correct share of tax.
    Only by breaking the 2 Party nexus will you start to see change, it's happening all over the world, you may not like TRUMP but look at USA markets since he got in, next election we will see more than the 50% out voting and hopefully for the better.
    Anonymous
    3rd Nov 2017
    6:01pm
    Have to agree with you there, Retired Knowall. Sad though!
    BElle
    2nd Nov 2017
    2:44pm
    Love to know where they are asking the questions. The average female in my age group is struggling to survive financially. Spoke with a lady yesterday who was eating noodle this week because she had had to buy a new lounge chair from an Op Shop and couldn't afford to buy the chair and eat properly in the same week or two. Hang your heads pollies these are the people your supposedly taking care of.
    Rae
    2nd Nov 2017
    5:39pm
    It was a huge mistake to make women dependents at any point.

    I think young women these days are more in tune to the need for long term savings even a small amount.

    Nothing better than having a bit of savings behind you for when you do need something.

    Unfortunately most people feed the wants for far too long and then it is too late.