How over 55s would fix the Age Pension and Centrelink

How would you fix the pension system? Here are your ideas …

How over 55s would fix the Age Pension and Centrelink

On Friday, we asked our members a few questions about how they would fix the Age Pension system and how they would tweak Centrelink payments to be fairer for everyone.

Unsurprisingly, the poll was one of the most popular for the year, with 2224 responses and comments ranging from inspired to downright angry.

Of those who responded to the poll, 55 per cent were male and 45 per cent were female, the majority of whom were aged between 60 and 79.

Most respondents were on a part-Age Pension (30 per cent), with 22 per cent on a full Age Pension and 26 per cent saying they were fully self-funded. Only one per cent said they received Newstart payments.

Just over three in four (77 per cent) fully own their home, with 11 per cent still paying off their mortgage. Seven per cent of respondents were renters and four per cent live in retirement villages, aged-care facilities or in public housing.

Despite the low number of respondents who receive Newstart payments, almost half of all those surveyed said a $300 per fortnight boost to Newstart is fair (47 per cent). Only 24 per cent said it was unfair and 30 per cent said they were unsure.

“One thing to consider is Newstart recipients cannot save money, it all gets spent helping investors with rentals (paying rent), helping supermarkets get richer (buying food), helping energy investors (buying power) helping telcos get richer (phone and internet costs, without these you have no hope of even applying for jobs), so in fact all their money is being reinvested into the economy, and will help a lot of people who own business. And don’t start on the drugs, alcohol, smokes thing; only a small percentage are like this,” wrote YourLifeChoices member musicveg.

Least surprising was the small number of people saying a paltry $11 per fortnight boost to the Age Pension was enough to reduce the pension poverty gap. Just six per cent were in agreement with the meagre raise and a whopping 84 per cent said it was not enough.

“So, pensioners who have paid taxes all their life get an $11 increase, Newstart recipients get $300 but the average worker, if they are lucky, might get a 50-cent increase a fortnight/week, every so many years after taxes. Seems about right – NOT!” wrote Ted Wards.

When asked how much would be enough to reduce the pension poverty gap, 18 per cent said $51-$75 would suffice, with the same number saying between $101 and $150 would be better. Around 14 per cent believe $76-$100 would be enough. Just five per cent don’t believe there is a pension poverty gap – most of whom were fully-self funded retirees.

As for helping renting age pensioners, 61 per cent believe a boost to Rent Assistance is well in order.

We also asked our members which group most needed an increase in their payments. Over half of respondents think age pensioners need the boost more, with 26 per cent saying it should go to Newstart recipients, followed by disability pensioners (eight per cent), renters (seven per cent) and carers (six per cent). Many think that everyone deserves an increase.

One suggestion some commentators say would make the pension fairer is including the family home in the assets test. While it has not been an issue raised by any political party lately, we wanted to know if you thought it was a way to level the pension playing field.

A whopping 81 per cent said no, with just 15 per cent saying the family home should be up for grabs.

If the family home was to be included in the assets test, 29 per cent said a threshold should be set between $1,000,001 and $2,000,000, with 14 per cent saying it should between $2,000,001 and $2,500,000, six per cent saying between $2,500,001 and $3,000,000 and only five per cent saying the threshold should be set at over $3,000,000.

“I believe that there is something wrong when a person with $1,000,000 in assets can get the full pension when another person with the same amount gets no pension just because the assets are different – the first has a $1,000,000 house, the other has $1,000,000 cash in the bank. So, increase the asset test amount significantly (by an amount ‘equal’ to a house) and then include the home in the test. This way ‘downsizers’ are not penalised and those with the same total value of assets are treated the same,” wrote KeWi.

Jackie agrees: “Pensions should be for the poor not people that own properties worth over a million dollars, super and more.”

When asked who should foot the bill for any Centrelink payment increases, 57 per cent said the best source of funds would be from a crackdown on corporate tax evaders. The second most popular response was syphoning from politicians’ pensions and wages. Seven per cent said it should come from increased taxes on the wealthy, six per cent said taxpayers should pay for it and just three per cent said it should come at the expense of other Centrelink payments, as was suggested by the Australian National University’s Centre for Social Research and Methods.

“This country would be better off if all bloody governments were to chase the ‘big’ tax evaders for the money sent offshore to avoid paying their fair share. If money is made in Australia then taxes should be paid in Australia regardless of where their headquarters are. There are several pollies who are avoiding paying tax here also, if one believes the rumours,” wrote Ronioby.

Through your comments we discover how older Australians really view the pension system and retirement in general. So, we’ve included some other suggestions and opinions from our members, that may provide further food for thought.

“The article question was “How could the Government fix the pension system”. The answer is: “Universal Age Pension without any tests except age (65) and residency (say 15 years),” suggested GeorgeM.

“Increase the asset threshold for pensioners. It’s way too low. It should be at least $600k. You see? We’re encouraged to put money into our super only to find that some of that money ($3 x every $ 1k) is taken away from us when we’re over the existing meagre threshold. That would reward those hard-working Aussies who worked, paid taxes and saved some super to build a better retirement nest,” wrote Blinky.

“People with mortgages receive no help, no rent allowance, no help with insurance or repairs. They are worse off than young people on Newstart where maybe three to four share a house and each get rent allowance, which would cover the total amount due,” wrote YourLifeChoices member Dabbydoos.

“We need a strong pension system. We also need to reward work and responsible living. The only way to do that is to stop beating up on people for striving to be as self-supporting as possible. Unfortunately, both parties are currently doing the same thing – greedily buying votes by appealing to the selfish and pretending it’s somehow ‘fair’ to take from people who don’t rely on taxpayer support.

“We do have different classes of retirees. On the one hand, we have SFRs who’ve had a lucky run, and on the other we have SFRs who have successfully battled extreme hardship. We have SFRs who are very well off and SFRs who are really struggling not to drain their savings too quickly. We have pensioners who have had very little opportunity to be anything but pensioners, and we have pensioners who could be self-supporting but chose to spend up in their working life and rely on the taxpayer later. We have folk who had good super and folk who didn’t,” wrote OnlyGenuineRainey.

“I believe a good way to help pensioners would be to exempt them from GST – just pay the basic price of everything,” wrote Moke.

And we’ll leave you with Trood’s idea to fix the pension system.

“The only thing that needs priority fixing is the bloody government!” wrote Trood.

What do you think needs to be done to fix the pension system? Is the system we have as good as it gets, or is there room for improvement? Which party do you think has the ability to make the pension system – and retirement – fairer for all Australians? Is there a way to remove the politics from pensions?

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    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    17th Dec 2018
    10:49am
    Bla bla bla.....the eternal circular door which boils down to the have nots vs the haves. Play it any way you like but that's the real game playing out.
    Retirees are in the same boat as working Australians being pushed into poverty as the top end of society has more than doubled its wealth since the GFC, received large personal tax cuts and been crying into the cameras because they did not also get Company Tax Cuts on top of that.
    Those who argue the toss need to look at what is being done to average citizens and retirees. This is how the top end of town and its political arm, the LNP, operates. The rest is just chatter.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    11:22am
    I just tweeted Bro shorten on Labor's plan to fix the lack of fair go in Oz - one point I gave him was to fix DI and ensure protection for those on genuinely low incomes.

    I have no problem with retirees as a group - just rorters in retirement who skate across the 'rules' and get benefit from huge gaps.

    Also tax on cash shifters who offshore and onshore their cash...
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    11:26am
    Well, thank you Trebor, for supporting a fair go for struggling SFRs. I doubt Bro Shorten will take any notice. He already made the arrogant declaration that he would not EVER change his mind, no matter what evidence was presented of unfairness. But it's nice that some here show respect and empathy and support demands for fairness.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    12:13pm
    Always do, Rainey.... your life story is a lot like mine - literally rags to small riches via Hard Road Highway... no free rides for me ever, but then, we're the best so we can handle it with ease.. it would likely kill many of our detractors.
    MICK
    17th Dec 2018
    12:43pm
    Good posts guys.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    2:53pm
    Again, MICK, lots of meaningless words joined together to spit your bile and vitriol on those who are "rich". You blame those who have money because others don't have as much. You offer criticism but never any solutions. How do you think a tax cut should be made? Is it not fair to give everyone a percentage of their income back? If that means that those on $1500pw get back more money than those on $600pw then so be it.

    You bitch and moan about the "top end of town" but you refuse to give details about which ones you mean. Where can we find the proof that they have doubled their wealth? You must surely mean that you are speaking of company directors as they would be the only ones who can expect a personal income tax cut and also want a company tax cut.
    Rae
    17th Dec 2018
    3:44pm
    It is the States that will need funds and that means a higher GST and possibly a land tax.

    I prefer a straight out transaction tax, yes I trade indexes so it will cost me but it seems with globalisation and cyberspace businesses that taxing the money as it is created by banks and as it moves will catch all that untaxed profit. No deductions and all other taxes bar the lifestyle ones like tobacco, gambling, alcohol could just be stopped.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    3:46pm
    Raise the royalties - better still.. resume the utilities and raise the royalties or run the resources business yourself....

    17th Dec 2018
    11:05am
    $300 extra for the dole
    Bloody hell - liquor stores will make a killing

    And greedy pensioners who want more are happy to support labor shafting modest SFR’s.

    Shorty will send this nation bankrupt
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    11:23am
    Liquor stores are the backbone of the economy...... like any small business... local liquor stores pay their taxes.... the big boys haff zeir vays off meking it talk zeros...
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    11:24am
    I agree with your last two paragraphs, Lothario. The first was cruel and uncalled for. I think $300 extra is too much, but to claim it will go to liquor stores is disgusting. There are certainly some drinkers and drug-takers among the unemployed, and no doubt a small minority who don't want to work, but most are decent people who have suffered in some way and just want a chance to get their lives back on track. A little compassion and respect wouldn't go astray.
    Mad as Hell
    17th Dec 2018
    11:51am
    I just want my entitlements which were stolen by the LNP and Greens with the changes to the 2017 Pensioner Assets Test.
    maelcolium
    17th Dec 2018
    11:57am
    The LNP cheer squad in full flight. So sad.
    Rae
    17th Dec 2018
    12:06pm
    Pretty sure we are almost bankrupt anyway. The NT is. NSW will be next. Let's sell some more revenue producing contracts to those overseas companies that give us big bribes oops donations and make sure we spend billions more than we earn each month. She'll be right.

    If it doesn't work out they can go back to whatever country they came from leaving us here in a new third world quarry.
    Old Geezer
    17th Dec 2018
    12:44pm
    I agree. Statistics tell us that the number of grog shops is proportional to the welfare given out in a community. There are double the number of grogs shops compared to supermarkets in the area where I live. It is an area that people retire to and unemployed love to come so they don't have to work. Most of that $300 will go on grog or to the many drug dealers that inhabit this area. OK it will get spent in the economy but also on the black market.

    If something is not done to support self funded retirees then we won't have any as it will be just too hard.

    Agree Rae NT is in trouble financially already and NSW has its own financial difficulties. With less stamp duty form housing sales it is not looking good. I wont be long before home owners will be paying a property tax to make up the short fall instead.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    1:39pm
    Gotta drown their sorrows somehow - and over the counter is too expensive...

    How about a comment on all those on Unemployment Benefits skolling down bourbon and cokes at the bar all day every day while playing pokies day and night? That's the standard delusion thrown up about those out of work... and Christmas time wouldn't be complete without one of you guys making that outlandish statement....
    Rae
    17th Dec 2018
    3:52pm
    Yes OG you can see it coming. I commented above about a transaction tax. I know you have said it wouldn't be good but I can't see why not. The UN did figures on 0.05% and every dollar transferred from all these corporations earning billions and sending it away untaxed would finally be charged a bit. No deductions, no other taxes. There must be a catch but I can't see it. I pay transaction fees now on foreign index trades of various types depending on currency and it's not that outrageously expensive. More than a straight out 0.05%.

    Should be charged on created money by the banks as well.

    Interesting that some of the new trade agreements are specifying no transaction taxes so it must be rattling the never pay tax corporations a tad.

    17th Dec 2018
    11:34am
    There is only one sensible way to fix the pension system, and that is to make the pension universal and tax retirement incomes. Means tests drive greater need and manipulation to appear needy. They discourage endeavour and responsible lifestyles and reduce saving for retirement, thus creating more dependency that adds to costs. But there is no reliable gauge of how much cost these cruel means tests are imposing because there's no assessment of a person's capacity to achieve self-sufficiency - only a measure of what they CHOOSE to hold onto after that magic birthday or retirement party.

    The current system is grossly unfair and cannot ever be made fair while it discriminates against workers and savers and favours pensioners. Every change makes it much more unfair, and much less economically sustainable.

    The good news, I guess, is that the LNP apparently expects to deliver a surplus and to announce that the deficit has halved from that predicted. The question we have to ask is 'at what cost, and to whom?' I think many of know the answer. Certainly 300,000 or so retirees of very modest wealth made a massive contribution - but it wasn't enough for Bro Shorten and his crew. They won't be content until those 300,000 have everything they worked for over 4-5 decades confiscated and there are stiff penalties for anyone not extremely wealthy to dare to strive for self-sufficiency in their winter years.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    12:14pm
    Yup!
    Karl Marx
    17th Dec 2018
    12:50pm
    Universal pension seems to be working for many countries including NZ. I doubt if LNP or ALP have even looked at the overseas models that seem to be working far better than our current system which is very complex & labour intensive, about time we reintroduced the KISS method.
    Angelique
    17th Dec 2018
    2:32pm
    I agree the current system is unfair. There needs to be incentive to work hard and save and not take from SFRs. It is not fair to keep changing the goal posts when SFRs have planned for their retirement and no longer have any other means of income but their own savings.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    3:43pm
    I'm a little confused OGR, you want to make pensions universal and tax incomes? Do you mean people like Sir Frank Lowy should get a pension then pay tax on it? Surely retirees with an income, apart from any pension aspect, who earn more than $18000pa are already taxed? I apologise for my lack of understanding.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    3:48pm
    Frank Lowy (I abhor this business of knighting business people) will receive his pension, then pay tax on his other incomes, gifts from companies and imputed earnings... to make it real for a change .....

    Only the overfat would suffer from such a scheme, and that would only be a return on the countless deductions and dodges they've employed in the past..... they've had their free run - time now to pay the piper....
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    4:00pm
    Bob, are you saying that Lowy doesn't pay tax already? Those countless deductions and dodges that have been employed in the past are, in the main, legal. With humble apologies, you're starting to sound like MICK, blaming those who avoid tax legally when the answer lies with the legislators, not the taxpayer. The laws need to be altered to plug the loopholes.
    Rae
    17th Dec 2018
    4:03pm
    No old Man retirees can earn around $33 000 tax-free and a couple $58 000 tax free with senior offsets etc now outside super and nothing in pension mode on that $1.6 billion.

    If everyone received a pension then the other income could be taxed possibly even super income.

    I'd pay more tax and have less income I suspect due to tax free super and generously taxed investments held outside super. I'd be taking my accountants advice and possibly incorporating into a family business at that point. Corporate tax has just dropped for those earning under $10 million. The average corporate tax rate is around 12% according to the AFR.

    Mr Lowy would have corporate structures in place and use cashflow and capital gains benefits. Rich people don't earn income like the rest of us.
    Mr Loy has done very well and should be congratulated. I suspect he would donate that aged pension if ever offered it.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    5:10pm
    Legal perhaps, OM - but legal is always bound to change with the times. The Ancien Regime of squirreling away squillions into 'superannuation' are no more, as an example, and should be applied to older accounts over a specified limit as well.. not just allow those to get away scot free...

    There's a world of difference - as big as the reality gap between politician entitlement claims and what is genuine government business - between paying proper tax and hiding taxable income in a complex of inter-company transactions etc while still enjoying its benefits to the full.

    It may be theoretically within the rules - but is it genuine? that's the question, and one that the ATO should be applying itself to, as well as legislators applying themselves to cutting out the rort they themselves enjoy.. oops.. I knew there would be a catch...
    Jtee
    17th Dec 2018
    8:53pm
    Agree OGR. Don't know why we went without in saving for our retirement only to have our savings seen as excess to be taken by the government by way of reduced pensions. We are also contributors to the balancing of the budget.
    Thoughtful
    17th Dec 2018
    10:03pm
    OGR you have put this very well and while this system may not be perfect it seems to be the fairest and most simple way to address the pension system. Also the extra complications of the tax system within retirement. I would also extend the scheme to be the same pension for everybody ie no difference whether single or part of a couple. This would encourage senior people into relationships without the worry of losing money. The benefits of living as a couple rather than alone are many and well documented. Would also free up housing and go a long way to address the housing shortage. Real incentive for people to save for their retirement as well. Money saved = money spent in the community in retirement. Surely a win win for everybody ( except that a few Centrelink and Tax Office employees may be forced on to Newstart for awhile. )
    Thoughtful
    17th Dec 2018
    10:07pm
    Actually, the Tax Office employees can be freed up to investigate tax avoidance where it is really happening.
    GeorgeM
    19th Dec 2018
    11:55pm
    Absolutely correct comments, OGR. Universal Age Pension is surely the best option now.
    There are Budget surpluses on the way, and it is necessary for the Liberals to reverse their bastardly Asset Test changes if they don't want to be decimated. The better way for them to save face and also get a win would be to implement Universal Age Pension which would be a win for all people especially Savers without punishing anyone.

    OM seems to be jealous of Lowy. What if he did get the Age Pension - surely he has paid enough taxes to be at least given this tiny reward? If you really want to make it hard for such wealthy people, simply make Universal Age Pension approval subject to an Online Form in which they have to declare ALL income & wealth in ALL countries and taxes paid. That would be sufficient disincentive to prevent all such wealthy people as applicants!
    Jacka
    17th Dec 2018
    12:05pm
    Jacka here, very short and to the point. I leave you with the parable of the Ant and the Grasshopper. That says it all. It applies the human behaviour, the pension and social security payments should be made. Have a good day, Jacka.
    Rae
    17th Dec 2018
    12:10pm
    Except in that story the grasshopper did not steal the ant's hard earned and saved stash.

    Nor did a government come bail the grasshopper out while making the ant feel like and idiot for even trying so hard.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    12:15pm
    **falls about laughing** Thanks, Rae - I needed a laugh... very apt.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    3:03pm
    Spot on, Rae.
    Ted Wards
    17th Dec 2018
    12:15pm
    To me the pension is not an entitlement, if you've worked all or most of your adult life, it is a right. You have paid taxes and invested in your future and those with houses and other assets should be able to enjoy them, not be taxed and not be made to feel like their whole working life was a waste of time.
    For those over 60 on Newstart, this is a very different scenario. Newstart is supposed to be a payment to get you by whilst you look for work. However, there is the issue of age discrimination in Australia where anyone over 40 - 50 is seen as too old to be useful. Then we have the real issue of cheap labour being imported from Asia on these work visas who potentially take the jobs of people that could of been employed who are over 50, especially in areas like aged care and disability where age and experience is a definite bonus.
    The whole system is well you know.... I don't have to say the word for us all to think of it. One can only imagine the future of the super system when there is no pension for people in my age bracket who have worked for years but not necessary had access to super all that time.
    I honestly don't think any party has the interest to fix the system, and I am not sure it can be fixed. Politicians are clearly only interested in feathering their own nests whilst they are in the party. There are no long term vision or bipartisan agreements so that this can be repaired over a longer period of time than 3 years. They tell so many lies that it's impossible to really be sure they can be trusted. If the politicians mouth is moving, it's usually telling lies or platitudes so they are seen to be doing something.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    12:16pm
    Too true.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    12:28pm
    If cheap labor can be imported from Asia why not importing politicians from there as well? Rodrigo Duterte from the Philippines comes to mind, he would clean the place up for sure and I am convinced he would be cheaper in salary and associated perks.
    Old Geezer
    17th Dec 2018
    12:47pm
    The old age pension is welfare paid to those who have no other means of support. It has nought to do with how much tax you paid, how hard you worked or anything else.

    That said the pension system is wrong it that it supports those who have not saved for their retirement and punishes those who have. This is a recipe for a disaster.
    OnlyDaughter
    17th Dec 2018
    1:29pm
    Ted Ward, I can only agree with everything you posted, especially your comments about our inept, greedy politicians. We work all our lives and are treated with contempt if we are unable to completely fund our basic standard of living. In the UK, there is the basic Aged Pension and everyone is entitled to this, millionaire or pauper. It is not enough to live off. However you can pay additional money into the pension scheme during your working life and this will provide retirees with a reasonable standard of living. In the case of my late Dad, he did this and received a very nice UK pension, here in Australia, for many years, and this has flowed through to my Mum, albeit at a very reduced rate, following his death.
    As far as the assets test is concerned, it is very unfair and would be horrendous if the family home was to be included. My 93year old Mum has a very ordinary brick house on the Gold Coast which she and my late Dad purchased, new, in 1974 for $34,000. Because of the land on which it sits, it is valued at 1.3million and if it was sold, developers would buy it, knock it down and put three, jammed in, over-priced town houses on it - all thanks to Tom Tate, the Gold Coast Mayor and BFF of developers.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    1:41pm
    Put the jobs out for tender...... why not.. only short-term casual temporaries anyway... politics should not be a career, but should be restricted to no more than two elections, so they can be regularly replaced with people who are not out of touch.
    johnp
    17th Dec 2018
    1:47pm
    Amazing, for once I agree with OG !!
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    2:16pm
    Totally wrong as usual, OG - the pension is a right drawn from the Social Securities Fund drawn from a contribution from income tax direct plus levies from other strands as required, and is given without consideration of input during a lifetime.

    If you have a problem with not getting it in your politics of envy - go discuss the assets and incomes tests with your politician... they set it all up.

    The point is the Fund was never abolished - it was simply rolled over into consolidated revenue and was then spent like a slush fund for political wet dreams, as if there was no tomorrow.

    Well - tomorrow is here today - and the bills are falling due from Consolidated Revenue.

    Get with the program or leave the country... I've explained it for you before - if a dam is built across a river from which farmers downstream are entitled to water - and other streams are channeled into that single huge dam - the entitlement of the farmers downstream does not alter one iota.
    Sundays
    17th Dec 2018
    2:16pm
    Yes, OG but let’s not forget that for many, retirement savings were built through generous tax breaks ie through superannuation, or negative gearing which were beyond a lot of peole on low income. The only equitable system is a universal pension for all
    Triss
    17th Dec 2018
    2:40pm
    I’ve always thought that, Trebor. Get rid of the idea of career politicians. Politicians should have 1 four-year stint or 2 three- year stints and then out. Not allowed, either, to congregate in a back room and give themselves perks, etc for when they leave.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    2:56pm
    Yes - politics in this nation MU*ST become a service to the people - not a fat sinecure for life while sucking off 'the fattest in the land' *

    * (I borrowed that phrase from a comment by a WW II digger who was talking about wharfies not loading ships etc, and the failure of government to uphold promises to stop that kind of thing - the bully beef and biccies boys KNEW that politicians then didn't give a brass razoo, since they were living off the fattest of the land ... not one thing has changed since)...
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    2:57pm
    Wow! After many months of arguing in defence of a rotten system, OG has finally conceded that punishing people who work and save is wrong. I lost count of the times he ranted that the assets test needed to be tightened. Has he finally seen a tiny shred of light? Maybe if we keep educating him... I wonder!
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    3:37pm
    He's an ace at the Canberra Three-Step - one step forward and two steps back... only we're discussing his mental acumen...

    He occasionally shows a glimmer of The Light Side, but lapses back to The Dark Side very rapidly.... heavy is the weight of darkness in this one!
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    3:43pm
    OG is 100% correct . OAP IS WELFARE

    It is irrelevant that once upon a time in Trebor's prehistoric times there was once a big bad blood sucking dragon called Social Securities Fund

    That dragon was slayed and in its place came a kinder gentler dragon, who provided succor to the most needy . This kind dragon was supported by the people of the village who had extra food and clothing to contribute to the needy

    And they all lived happily ever after
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    3:51pm
    Nonsense - the Dragon was amalgamated into a larger Dragon, the Consolidated Revenue Dragon, but still has to put out the same amount of fire... the Social Securities Dragon provided succour etc to the needy etc... its functions were simply taken over by a larger Dragon - not materially altered.

    You can't win......
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    4:34pm
    No, Lothario. The blood sucking dragon now sucks the lifeblood out of battlers who work hard and save well to hand fat cheques to manipulators who exploit the system to appear needy, and there isn't enough for the genuinely needy. And very few are happy, as evidenced by the gripes on every forum I come across.

    The system is broken. And only those who exploit it unfairly seek to defend it. Perhaps you'll see that as an insult, but if the cap fits...
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    4:37pm
    Not insulted Rainey
    I pay my fair share of tax

    Looking forward to the $1.40 fully franked dividends BHP just announced today

    Shame I wont be getting any Franking credit refund this year . Unless I can find some more expenses I can put through the books. Might need to prepay a few costs perhaps
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    4:58pm
    There you go, Lothario. You manipulate to avoid tax liability. And THAT'S the problem. The average battling worker doesn't have the luxury of such opportunities. He just has to pay his way. The wealthier one is, the more opportunities exist to avoid the required contribution to society. No wonder we have a huge national debt. The rich expect workers to bleed stones to pay for the excesses of the wealthy.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    5:13pm
    3.49% return on investment....you might earn it back in thirty years plus a few for inflation......
    Old Geezer
    17th Dec 2018
    5:43pm
    Lothario yes you will get your franking credits refunded this financial year as Labor's retiree tax doesn't start to at least the start of next financial year but with 9 and one unknown senator on the cross bench against Labor has buckleys of getting it through the Senate. Labor needs 4 to support it and they have got maybe 1 if that.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    6:06pm
    3.49% ?
    Wow - what a financial moron
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    10:51pm
    Lothario, that comment reflects poorly on you. It's rude, and it shows lack of integrity. Bottom line is that people work all their lives in this or that occupation and earn a wage or salary, and put money aside for their retirement. Most of us did this - and planned - in a high interest environment. For my part, I never saw interest rates below 7% from the day I first had a dollar to save - until I was very close to retirement. We should not have to become financial wizards in old age in order to survive.

    Lucky you if you can achieve healthy investment returns. OG boasts constantly about his. Other folk are expert at building or designing or marketing or computer technology. We all have different strengths and talents. It's disgusting that some think the only people entitled to dignity in retirement are those whose talent happens to be high finance.

    This is why the assets test change was so dreadfully wrong. We planned and saved in a world where the 7.8% you had to achieve to match the pension loss was reasonably attainable for most people. That world is no more. The assets test - if one is to exist, which I don't agree should be the case as it's a fake test of wealth - should NEVER result in pension loss being higher than the rate of return readily available to the majority. In old age, people suffer health problems, loss of mental capacity, sickness, physical disability... It is not reasonable to burden them with having to master complex new skills and knowledge in an area of learning that may be completely foreign to them.

    The government should be guaranteeing financial security in retirement for everyone - without any requirement for expertise or skill in finance. After 4 or 5 decades of contributing to the nation in all kinds of ways, that should be an entitlement. And under no circumstances should any policy EVER make someone worse off for having worked and saved than they would be if they hadn't - no matter how lacking they may be in financial savvy.
    Karl Marx
    17th Dec 2018
    11:00pm
    To add to the argument OGR, if pensioners had more disposable monies by lifting the pension payments & abolishing the deems & asset testing then 99% of pensioners would spend it in the local community, maybe a trickle up effect sort of thing, Same goes for Newstart payments. We know that a trickle down effect from the rich & multinationals never ever happens even though the governments of the day will tell you otherwise.
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2018
    8:09am
    General prosperity will obviously drive growth, 1984. But I have to wonder if maybe the upper class are so attached to their elitism that they fear general prosperity and growth - and rather prefer to suppress spending as long as their hoard is adequate and makes them feel superior and powerful?

    Trickle up does work, but only to the extent that the extra welfare payments can be funded without unsustainable debt. There has to be a balance. The problem is that the unsustainable debt is ALWAYS put down to welfare - never to other spending. And excessive curbing of welfare has been evidenced to be harmful. Austerity hasn't worked anywhere. Trickle down has NEVER happened and never will. Human nature guarantees that when the glass is full to overflowing, the holder will get a bigger glass.

    The worst aspect of a means tested pension system, though, is the disrespect it shows for older Australians. After decades of contributing to society, people who entering their winter years suddenly have to adjust to spending their lives looking over their shoulder - in fear of being found to have $1 more than some arbitrary limit, or being caught buying grandchildren gifts, or worrying about yet another random shift of goalposts wiping out all the benefits of decades of hard work and saving. Name me a single person who looks forward to that kind of existence? Everyone who endorses a system that inflicts that kind of misery on seniors is guilty of elder abuse and should be put in stocks! Likewise, dictating that an older Australian not yet eligible for the pension should suffer the loss of dignity and the poverty associated with being on Newstart is elder abuse.

    It's time for all Australians to unite in a demand for reform to end this abuse. And we must demand an end to academics and upjumped advisory groups made up of people who have never lived in the real world telling the government how to make the system worse - because that's really all these over-educated and over-paid idiots do!
    inextratime
    18th Dec 2018
    11:21am
    OG.

    Have you ever, ever considered, that due to circumstances that some people have never had the opportunity to save money. Health issues, family responsibilities, there is a multitude of reasons that some people do not have enough savings to live on. And again I will quote you the definition of the word 'pension' from the Meriam Webster Dictionary
    " a gratuity granted (as by a government) as a favor or reward ". No mention of welfare.

    So climb down from that high horse of yours, admit that you are peeved and slightly jealous of people struggling to survive off the pension, stop sucking on the lemon and pontificate from some other platform. The record has got stuck in the groove and needs to be turned of at the switch.
    Karl Marx
    17th Dec 2018
    12:40pm
    The LNP trolls will be out on this one lol.
    The whole system is broken but the government just bandaids the problem with no real fix.
    The people are the best source of information as they are the ones that have to live with a broken system not academics who mostly haven't experienced the real hardship etc.
    MICK
    17th Dec 2018
    12:48pm
    The system is broken because politicians sell us out to foreigners and other vested interests which have NOTHING to do with what is good for the nation. 'More money' is the cry from governments which want to take from the poor and give ever more to the rich so they plunder the nation and flog off valuable dividend earning assets for cents in the dollar. The overseas recipients could not rub their hands together fast enough. And then they put up the prices and we are forced to pay!

    17th Dec 2018
    12:49pm
    The pension is an entitlement and should be available to those who have worked all their lives and paid taxes. The stuff up began when decades ago tax money allocated for pensions was snavelled into consolidated revenue.
    Old Geezer
    17th Dec 2018
    1:01pm
    It is now welfare that is paid to those who have no other means of support.

    It should be renamed Seniors Welfare Payment as that is what it is.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    1:44pm
    Social Security is not welfare, OG - if you want welfare go to the Salvos... they might help you out...

    Double The Pension NOW! Every Pensioner deserves a TPI for putting up with years of battle in the field against government idiocy.... and all SFRs must receive the same as Pension as a minimum by top-up where their cash organisation is found to be kosher by PROPER rules, not just 'within the rules'.... Rules? In a knife fight?
    johnp
    17th Dec 2018
    1:45pm
    Agree 100% with trood !!
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    1:47pm
    Every man on this bitch of a system deserves a Purple Heart.. and TPI....

    Jesus God - chatting with two old.. very old sailors coupla days ago about asbestos in ships and those suffering... they're still trying to recruit me to advocate for Vets etc... when I've finished here.... one's brother - a chopper pilot - has asbestos cancer - pilot's quarters were next to some machine that banged and rammed,and dust fell from the ceiling and walls. The other guy, an old medic, said he came in one day while some work was going on, and found white dust over everything - had to close the sick bay down.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    3:15pm
    Now you are contradicting yourself, OG. You want something done to support SFRs, yet you claim anything handed out by government is ''welfare''. So now you want SFRs to be reliant on ''welfare''? I know that's Shorten's goal, but I thought you had more sense.

    We may be currently forced to live with the wrongful definition of the pension that the stinking corrupt powers-that-be try to force on us, but if we want to FIX the nation, we have to somehow communicate the proper message that funding to support an adequate requirement is A UNIVERSAL ENTITLEMENT OF EVERY AUSTRALIAN. We will never fix it while we require people to be poor in order to qualify for support. All that does is create more poor.

    The ONLY viable solution is a universal pension. Other nations have recognized that. Their people work and save because doing so brings rewards. Our people will increasingly avoid it, because it doesn't.
    Retired Knowall
    20th Dec 2018
    12:49pm
    "The pension is an entitlement and should be available to those who have worked all their lives and paid taxes."
    TROOD, can you explain why we pay the OAP to those that have never worked?
    johnp
    17th Dec 2018
    1:44pm
    Re. where it said "remove the politics from pensions"
    have a better suggestion
    "remove the pensions from the politicians"
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    1:49pm
    I tweeted Bro Shorten this morning that under a on-roof retirement scheme, politicians would be brought under the same scheme as everyone else... and long overdue. No way should we be paying short-term contracted employees riches for life.... nobody else gets that treatment on termination of contract....
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    1:51pm
    Under the one-roof stop you will receive your Pension plus super up to a limit - and pay tax on all above including gifting and excessive pre-retirement expenditure to avoid tax.... if you deliberately wind down your total cash assets over the preceding ten years, you are taxed on that.

    We'll get this country off its knees yet.. despite the politicians in it.
    johnp
    17th Dec 2018
    2:17pm
    Trebor
    Re. where you said
    "politicians would be brought under the same scheme as everyone else"
    Can you advise please - Was this your request/demand to Shorten or have the pollies actually said they are committed to that - or is it published anywhere ??
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    2:59pm
    My Tweet to Shorten as one measure to 'restore the fair go' that he currently is promoting as his basic (unreferenced) platform... I said bluntly "that'll bring youse lot under control!"

    Elect me, Trebor, and I'll restore the fair go better than Shorten... anyone can make promises in a general sense..... so let's elect a Labrador who understands where his feed is coming from and is loyal to his bosses .....
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    3:05pm
    Bro Shorten will now mark your communications ''to be ignored'' Trebor. Nobody who challenges his superior entitlements could possibly have any credibility. Goodness, man. Don't you understand that he's a POLITICIAN - and that puts him on a par with GOD.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    3:39pm
    Yes - I'll go on the list of radicals and be reported to ASIO - trouble is they already know me.... should be a good laugh...
    Old Geezer
    17th Dec 2018
    6:05pm
    They are also censoring what you post on Facebook too. If they don't like you comment they comment with dreadful comments but they have you block so you can't see the reply. If you have 2 Facebooks accounts you can see what they say with the second one on another device. It is fun to comment and see their replies because they think you can't see their replies and don't know how you can comment on them. Their replies are then quickly deleted.

    17th Dec 2018
    2:28pm
    It seems that there will be no fix for pensions or Newstart. The current government has made no moves to altering the half-yearly increse to the pension and "reviewing" Newstart. The Labor conference has seen the CFMMEU placated on its push for an increase of $75.00pw with a promise by Shorten to "review" it if elected.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    2:59pm
    Promises.. promises... if only we could live on promises......
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    3:29pm
    You know Bob, one thing that was said to me in the past rings true today. We were having a stop work meeting and the union secretary was there listening to the workers. When one guy complained that he had to work two jobs to get by, the union secretary told him; "Lower your lifestyle". I'm not saying that this epithet applies to all but I'm sure it applies to more people than it doesn't apply to.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    3:40pm
    Oh, dear... any lower and we'll be jumping without golden parachutes.... just step out the door...
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    4:29pm
    I doubt older folk on Newstart can lower their lifestyle much further, Old Man. And I frankly don't see why struggling SFRs who worked and paid tax for 50 years, and saved well, should now have to lower their lifestyle to well below that of a pensioner, just because selfish and inept politicians keep moving goalposts unfairly.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    5:35pm
    You've hit the nail on the head OGR. Politicians need to be taken out of the equation and to do this there must be a sensible set of legislated rules put in place to protect the members of the various super funds. Add to those acceptable rules is the need to have any changes made to be supported by 2/3rds of both the Reps and the Senate to ensure that any changes are done to advantage the members, not as a tax raising venture.
    Retired Knowall
    20th Dec 2018
    12:57pm
    Yes lets increase the Welfare payments to the minimum wage.
    What are you going to do when you can't fill jobs paying the minimum wage because you can get the same staying at home? Oh I see, raise the minimum wage by some 20% to incentivise the unemployed to get a job. another good Idea.
    But wait, goods and services start to increase due to the increase in Labour costs and we have to Import more overseas workers to fill the job vacancies. Our Entitled Welfare recipients again cry out that they can't manage and demand an increase to the Pension and Newstart.
    Corporations move their operations overseas and our manufacturing jobs disappear..sound familiar?
    But our experts on this forum, most on welfare for obvious reasons continue their dribble.
    Animal Farm In Action.
    Karl Marx
    20th Dec 2018
    2:16pm
    Knowall, most people on this forum just want a fair go & with the current LNP top end of town kiss arse government that doesn't happen.
    Animal farm, you one of Napoleon's little piggies with your snout in the trough
    Retired Knowall
    20th Dec 2018
    3:42pm
    No 1984, I pay my own way, always have always will.
    At 71 I still employ 7 guys and have done for over 18 years.
    Most people want and get a fair go in Australia.
    What part of my comment above don't you agree with?

    17th Dec 2018
    3:19pm
    More good news from the LnP
    Too bad Shorten will turn the surplus into a mind boggling trillion $ deficit

    Australia is on track to return to the black for the first time since the global financial crisis, almost doubling the size of its projected surplus in fiscal 2020.

    The underlying cash deficit will more than halve from May’s forecast to A$5.2 billion ($3.7 billion) in the 12 months through June 2019, before swelling to a A$4.1 billion surplus in the following year, Treasury said in Canberra Monday. The bottom line has been bolstered by higher company profits and commodity prices and falling unemployment.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    3:41pm
    Where are your workings on that mythical $1 trillion? Still waiting.... Winter's coming....
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    3:44pm
    Ive posted it a number of times. But youre too lazy, stupid or just plain dishonest to read and understand
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    3:54pm
    You haven't - where are the figures?.. or are you too lazy, stupid or just plain dishonest to post them?

    I've asked you countless times... all you do is utter meaningless gibberish like the above:-

    "The underlying cash deficit will more than halve from May’s forecast to A$5.2 billion ($3.7 billion) in the 12 months through June 2019, before swelling to a A$4.1 billion surplus in the following year, Treasury said in Canberra Monday. "

    Where are the FIGURES, man, that clearly show Labor will blow it out to a trillion???

    You do understand the difference between empty quoted phrases that most likely will end up nowhere near the truth, and figures, don't you?

    ...or are you too lazy, stupid or just plain dishonest to post them?
    Karl Marx
    17th Dec 2018
    3:55pm
    Fake news based on contorted figures that no one can understand (especially 99.9% of the population) & will be contested by the majority of the .01% that say they do understand.
    Just more political BS from the LNP & trolls as they are fighting for their political life which will all come to an end at the next election.
    The way Australia is being & going to be run we'll be a 2nd or 3rd world country before we know it
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    4:36pm
    Well if it comes to an end at the next election, heaven help us all. We'll have a nation of pensioners and unemployed and no hope of a future. We will CERTAINLY be a 2nd or 3rd world country when work is punished and dependence is the only viable option for survival - except for very rich.
    Rae
    18th Dec 2018
    8:52am
    You do realise how budget surpluses work?

    I fail to see how stripping money from public goods and services and forcing the private sector into more debt when there is already excessive private sector debt is a good thing.

    Of course the economically illiterate think it's good because Murdoch told them so.

    So we increase private debt and head towards either a massive recession or a banking crisis with a bail in law sitting like a land mine just waiting.

    Bloody brilliant NOT!

    Australia never has defaulted on sovereign debt but this last LNP Government is doing a valiant effort to strip so much income from revenue bases that we just might get to see an Australian Sovereign Default in our lifetime.

    Using stupid Nazi economic policies defies belief. Whatever were they thinking?

    17th Dec 2018
    3:24pm
    Meanwhile .....

    Probably under directions from the very top of the labor leadership

    An ex-union boss has been found guilty of dumping and burning tonnes of documents that might have been needed at a royal commission.

    At the beginning of his trial in the District Court in Brisbane last week, former CFMEU president Dave Hanna pleaded not guilty to deliberately destroying documents sought by the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    3:43pm
    Gotta love that 'might' .... 'might' have been needed at a commission..... ROFL.....

    Sounds like a Queenslund trial to me.. they do things diff'runtly up there, you know... no.. no.. there's no truth in the lie that it is a police state..... none, you mark my words.... regardless of what those cockroaches in the media might say...
    Rae
    17th Dec 2018
    4:13pm
    Yes of course he did. I bet the banks did too. And also government departments and Parties and who knows what the IPA has been up to over the decades.

    Why our local council has missing $46 million and wrote down 1.3 billion and no records because they burned up.

    My mum was part of the early fertility trials and those records were also burned when questions were asked.

    Then there are the worker's unions and the employer's unions( called other things).

    It's a minefield of avoiding responsibility.

    This is a Convict Nation after all. What else do you expect?
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    4:18pm
    Seems to me the convicts joined unions and the labor party, while the good guys joined LnP or became businessmen, providing taxes and jobs for the masses
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    4:46pm
    I'd rather befriend the convicts any day. A man who stole a slice of bread because he was starving is far less risk to society than a governor who condones beatings and starvation.

    The ''good'' men who joined the LNP stole children from their families, denied their disabled war veteran fathers their pension, stole wages from exploited child workers, lied on statutory declarations to break good people's strength and spirit.. I could write volumes on their crimes, Lothario. And not just financial crimes, but vile acts that destroyed the lives of innocent people for nothing more than a few meagre pennies or a case of whisky.

    The abuse of power in every society has been horrendous. But it's all okay, isn't it? Because they provide taxes and jobs for the masses - exploiting those who have no options because they were the victims of past crime and corruption and abuse of power, and excusing the exploitation by telling themselves they are doing the battlers a favour giving them a job.

    Yes Rae. The records of stolen children were destroyed also. Some are now coming to light, but with huge black smears covering the evidence of the worst of the crimes - blacked out to ''protect the privacy of third parties''. Medical records that should have entitled veterans to compensation and pension were ''lost''.

    There are very few ''good guys'' in the LNP, Lothario. But then, where there is power and money there is usually little or no good.
    Karl Marx
    18th Dec 2018
    1:32am
    Meanwhile .....

    Probably under directions from the very top of the corporate leadership
    More of your top end of town mates facing criminal charges, might be Malaysia but with operations in Australia wouldn't surprise anyone if the whole bunch are corrupt & rotten. Greed is what drives these corporations & isn't restricted to one country.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-18/malaysia-files-criminal-charges-against-goldman-sachs/10629132
    Rae
    18th Dec 2018
    9:02am
    Yes 1984 and Landbridge is in financial strife and may force the NT government to bail out Darwin Port with no money.

    Corporate debt is outlandishly high everywhere. They have been gorging on cheap debt and the party is winding down.

    I'd like to see the goldman sachs Murray Water deals exposed. Also the Port of Darwin sales and the NSW Electricity grid deals exposed.

    It seems placing dealmakers from banks and corporations into LNP safe seats for specific sales of public owned assets has made millions for those involved.

    A Royal Commission into Privatisation with no commercial in confidence allowed would be worth making popcorn.

    Yep corrupt union officials can grift a hundred thousand or so but by goodness the grifting done through asset recycling other people's tax built stuff is in the hundreds of millions.
    KB
    17th Dec 2018
    3:27pm
    People should be full time residents living in Australia to be able to access the pension. Living overseas to live cheapy is a choice for people who can afford to dos so. Pensions should be given to people who are really struggling to make ends meet
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    3:45pm
    Once you are pensioned on your own money, you can live wherever you wish. By your standard nobody retired can leave Australia - all must be treated equally, so any retiree is bound to the nation's sacred soil...
    Sundays
    17th Dec 2018
    3:56pm
    In lots of ways our system is very generous. In the survey 30% were on a part pension and likely owned their own home. They would be relatively comfortable, and that’s great. However, where we fall down is that the strugglers especially those who rent, don’t get eneough money to get by. SFRs are OK especially those who earned high wages and availed themselves of generous tax cuts through super, salary sacrifice, negative gearing and good for them too. Again, some SFRs have slightly too many assets to qualify for the pension but not eneough to be truly comfortable. There is a whole industry offering advice on how to maximise your savings. My point being that retirees are not a homogenous group and without a reasonable universal pension there are too many inequities which will always pit one group against another
    Karl Marx
    17th Dec 2018
    4:01pm
    Your so right KB, Spending my part pension where I want is a choice that is made by ME & ME alone & not YOU or ANYBODY has the right to TELL ANYONE else what choices they have on where or how they can spend their money.
    Apart from that KB,your post belongs to another topic from last week & has nothing to do with this topic.
    Maggie
    17th Dec 2018
    4:05pm
    A lot of people really struggling to make ends meet would like to live overseas in countries where the cost of living is very much lower than here. Why on earth should they be deprived of their pension for doing that?

    Who are you to make judgements about people you don't know, and about whose financial situation you have no real knowledge?

    Going to live overseas in south east Asia is not all a bed of roses and involves leaving family and friends behind, and adapting to foreign cultures sufficiently to make it practicable.
    Sundays
    17th Dec 2018
    4:15pm
    KB, you obviously see the pension as welfare and yes, if it was Newstart why should they get it if they live overseas. However, the Pension is not Welfare but an entitlement. This view is held in many countries which is why many pensioners who lived and worked overseas get a part pension from that country even though they live here now.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    4:26pm
    SFRs are NOT okay, Sundays. That's an invalid assumption. And the industry offering advice is nothing more than a terrifying minefield of corruption and deception. Finding an ethical and honest adviser is harder than finding a needle in a haystack. Were that not so, we wouldn't have seen a Royal Commission and attempts to tighten laws.

    For those who know their way around the finance world, it might be okay. But the battlers are more likely to be afraid of risk and to not have a good understanding of investments. It's very hard to match the income pensioners enjoy. Many don't even come close. And yet they are living in fear now of Labor's threatened attack on their already small incomes.

    On the other hand, my full pensioner neighbours are off to tour Europe for FIVE MONTHS because if they don't spend up big they will lose part of their pension. And are they selling their $3 million home to pay for the trip? Not on your life!

    Your last statement is correct though. Without a universal pension, there are too many inequities. Not only do they create social disharmony, but they make the system economically unsustainable, because people who CAN be self-supporting are doing just what my neighbours are doing. Instead of encouraging and rewarding the maximum possible levels of self-sufficiency, so that pension costs fall, the government is driving people to divest their savings and become dependant, because it's more profitable.
    Sundays
    17th Dec 2018
    4:53pm
    OGR, some SFRs are doing Ok. It’s not an invalid assumption it’s a fact. I also wrote that those just over the threshold are not necessarily
    Sundays
    17th Dec 2018
    5:24pm
    Having just told KB that your pension is yours and pensioners can chose where to live and how to spend, it doesn’t matter to me how your neighbours spend the pension Leaving aside the value of their home which would cost a lot in rates it is their right. Who knows, they might be great savers, going to visit family etc. none of our business. This is the problem where jealousy runs rife because of our unfair system and sadly I can’t see pensioners ever banding together
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    6:10pm
    It's not jealousy Sundays. Of course it's their right. My point is that when a system is designed such that this behaviour is encouraged and rewarded and behaviour that is good for the economy is punished, the pension system fails its objectives and the interests of the nation are not protected.

    If only people stopped making assumptions about the circumstances of others and recognized that we are ALL victims of a failed system. It's not a contest. The nation benefits when work and responsible living is fairly rewarded, genuine need is serviced, and the majority are incentivized to maximize their ability to be self-supporting. My neighbours could easily tour Europe AND have a $3 million home AND be self-supporting, but they don't want to. Positioning them to not want to is NOT good for the country.
    Gee Whiz
    17th Dec 2018
    4:29pm
    Rupert Murdoch's News Australia Holdings had a revenue of $2.8 billion and didn't pay one cent in tax.

    Then there are the other 722 corporations with a combined income of half a trillion dollars who paid less tax than the average Australian.

    And don't kid yourself that a change of government will alter this state of affairs. This has been going on for years under both the LNP and ALP.

    Want more of the same? Just continue to vote for the two biggest gangster political parties in Australia's history.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    4:35pm
    Just shows how ignorant some people are and quote absolute rubbish

    News Corp made a loss of $2 Billion

    News Australia Ltd made a loss of $330 Million

    Please learn to understand financials or stop commenting
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    4:49pm
    If any business made that level of loss, Lothario, it would close. Please don't treat us as fools. We DO know how to understand financials. We know how the numbers are juggled to make profit appear as loss for the purpose of avoiding tax. It's an age-old game and the very rich have it down to a fine art. And neither LNP nor Labor is ever going to make a serious attempt to stop it.
    jeffr
    17th Dec 2018
    5:09pm
    Sorry,Lostario,

    Fail to understand...how do companies loosing (as quoted) $2 Billion and $330 Million have not gone into Liquidation, Bankrupt and for stopped trading. ?

    Methinks it's a waste of time reading your comments.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    5:12pm
    Yep - you fail to understand

    say no more . stick to what you can understand , which is labor pork barelling and bankrupting the nation
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    5:18pm
    A loss you say? Did they manage to afford to pay out dividends and CEO and board bonuses?

    How many years in a row now have the posted a 'loss'?
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    5:20pm
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-14/why-many-big-companies-dont-pay-corporate-tax/9443840
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    5:22pm
    Goin' git me one of them businesses what runs at a loss and recoups millions a year for the bosses...... plus bonuses....
    TREBOR
    17th Dec 2018
    5:29pm
    Does... errr.. does Jo bloggs, having taken a year off due to a miscarriage and illness etc.... get to write off that loss into perpetuity? Does Joe Bloggs, thrown on the scrapheap from his mining job, get to write off that loss over the rest of his working life?

    I thought not.... one rule for some... total ripoff rules for the peasants......
    Old Geezer
    17th Dec 2018
    5:45pm
    OGR Murdoch business in Australia is not about making profits at all. It's about control over our political system whether it Labor or the LNP. He makes zillions with his other businesses so can afford to carry a few small losses.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    5:50pm
    Here's a link that might show some information to quell the masses; https://mediaweek.com.au/news-corp-revenue-h1-2018/
    A company can lose money and keep trading if it has a strong asset base to support the losses. The losses are generally "paper" losses in that no actual cash is paid out but things like contingencies take away from the bottom line. Again, it's governments that legislate laws to allow this to happen, not the corporations which take advantage of lax tax laws. It's wrong morally but not legally. Lobby your local Federal member and get it changed and good luck with that.
    GeorgeM
    20th Dec 2018
    12:08am
    Absolutely correct, Gee Whiz. BOTH major parties have let this happen - helps them to get donations as well as jobs after their MP stint is over! All Retirees MUST understand this and vote out the Liberal, Labor & Greens if they wish to improve this country as well as their own future. Never mind the trolls who keep denying the reality as they are paid to support these major parties.

    The simple solution (as opposed to plugging every loophole) would be to have Minimum Taxes on Gross Income earned here reduced by only LOCAL verifiable expenses, and disallow all other Deductions especially ALL foreign claimed (many fraudulent) expenses meant to create paper losses. Minimum Taxes should also be applied on the rich to ensure NO ONE ends up paying below say 30% taxes on Gross Income.
    johnp
    17th Dec 2018
    5:34pm
    If I had my time over again I would have just say $380K in financial assets and receive the OAP. Too late now; cannot really divest as centrelink would view that as deprived assets, income, gifting or such like.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    5:56pm
    Likewise johnp. Which is why the system is economically unsustainable. Advisers are telling folk this is how to plan. A ''needs-based'' system simply creates more need. Let people enjoy their savings and more will save.
    Sundays
    17th Dec 2018
    8:05pm
    Interesting Statistics from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare using ABS data. In 1997 there were 1.5 million people aged over 65, and 77% received some form of pension. In 2017 there are 2.5 million aged over 65 but only 66% receive a pension
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    8:31pm
    Logical, Sundays, since the capacity of workers to save for retirement has improved. The super system has been in place for long enough to have an impact. But 66% receiving a pension that is so tightly means tested is a shocking indictment of a failed system. That suggests that only 44% of the nation can achieve even a modest level of wealth after decades of working. That's absurd! Almost everyone I know had the capacity to be self-funded, but very few make that choice, and since the assets threshold was reduced, financial advisers are actively advising people to wind down their savings.
    Sundays
    17th Dec 2018
    9:14pm
    In a climate of low inflation, it’s harder to get adequate returns. That’s why people are being advised that unless they have around $1.2m, they can get same/similar by being on the pension without the stress. I understand why the aim is to top up super by also getting a part pension. The governments ridiculous deeming rates don’t help either. I think we both agree that a major overhaul is needed
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    10:33pm
    I kept arguing with OG when he said the assets test change was needed. I don't understand how any intelligent person could justify it with returns at their current low. It was made very public - and was quite apparent by simple calculation - that you had to get well over 7.8% on investments to make up for the pension loss, so naturally many were going to opt for the pension in preference - especially given the extra security and simplicity. It boggles the mind that we pay so much to politicians and they continue to bungle things so badly. They say ''pay peanuts and you get monkeys'', but we are not getting intelligence or competence for the king's ransom they think they are worth.

    Now we have Shorten threatening to totally decimate the less wealthy SFRs, but quite happy to keep giving tax breaks to those with huge superannuation balances. He says the problem he's addressing is that 53% of franking credit refunds go to folk with more than $2.4 mil in super - but he's letting those people KEEP their credits, offset against the $800,000 that is taxable.

    The Greens agreed to the assets test change subject to agreement to overhaul the pension system completely, but it never happened. They all just keep winding back past reforms or applying skinny band aids to huge wounds. This is one case where the baby needs to be thrown out with the bath water. We need a major restructure of the entire system. Unfortunately, I don't think there's a politician or a candidate with either the spine or the intelligence to even put a forward a proposal. And the replies I get to letters suggest they are there solely to tow the party line and regurgitate rubbish on instruction. They don't even seem willing to consider problems with their policies or possible alternatives. (And in fact Shorten was emphatic that he WOULD NOT, no matter what evidence was presented.)

    There has to be a way to remind them who pays their salary, but how?
    johnp
    18th Dec 2018
    11:40am
    Have to agree with much of what OGR says. Basically discrimination against the self funded retirees (SFRs) who made the effort to save during their working lives. It is a Kafkaesque, Catch22 situation for SFRs. In regard to franking credits. They do not seem to add much to my SMSF but maybe its a case that we dont have several millions to make that an issue.
    Anonymous
    18th Dec 2018
    1:44pm
    You don't need millions for franking credits to be an issue, johnp. $250,000 invested in shares paying franked dividends can add up to $5 -8K in franking credits, and that's certainly enough to make a huge hole in the income of a struggling SFR.
    Blinky
    17th Dec 2018
    5:51pm
    We should make it harder x newly- arrived migrants, and dole-bludgers to be eligible to receive the same, and sometimes more pension than those people who've worked in Au x say 10 years or more, paid taxes and maybe built a little super. This would save a lot of money.
    True Aussie pensioners ie people who actually helped build this country, should be rewarded, not punished, when they retire.
    That's why I still think that, to reward people who have salary-sacrificed their own money in order to build a small super should be exempt of the first $ 100.000 in the asset test, or the latter increased to $ 600.000. That way, people who havent bothered to work, wouldn't even have to worry about it!
    Don't include the home into the asset test. Pollies' homes do not affect their FAT PENSIONS, so why should ours?
    Spondonian
    17th Dec 2018
    6:59pm
    Universal pension same as UK , then add any other income and if in tax bracket you pay tax same as working . UK wont index pensions paid in Australia because of the pension sustem here which means they would be subsidising Australian pensions .
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2018
    8:27pm
    Way too sensible, Spondonian. Politicians are mean, inept and elitist. Not a brain between them.
    Karl Marx
    17th Dec 2018
    10:26pm
    Great idea but too simple a system & not labour intensive or confusing enough.
    Our system keeps centrelink confused to the point that they can't give the same answer tomorrow to the same question today. Have to keep pensioners on their toes & medicated for anxiety etc. Yep our system is up the creek & broken & neither party has the balls to fix it or even suggest a fix, just more complicated rules to keep everyone confused.
    DaveL
    18th Dec 2018
    8:53am
    This article show just how self centred retirees are.
    Chris B T
    18th Dec 2018
    12:03pm
    Paul Keating introduced in 1992 a compulsory superannuation to law for wage earners.
    When you go by a 15 year old in 1992 it will not be until 2044 before the full benefit is realized (new OAP age will be 67 now from 65).
    Not all have had the full advantage of this system, so why The Harsh Comments from some who Believe Themselves Better Than Others and OAP is only a Last Resort/Backup.
    Until 2044 at least, those comments are way out of line.

    20th Dec 2018
    11:44am
    'Reading all the comments on YLC, it seems there are many with a common very contradictory view:

    If you sat on your bum and watched your house rise in value, it' NOT YOUR FAULT you are wealthy, so you shouldn't suffer pension loss.

    If you worked your guts out and did what every government for generations has said is beneficial for both you and the nation, and you abided by all the rules and followed all the recommendations it's 100% your FAULT and you must be punished harshly for your CHOICE to do what was legal, ethical, responsible, and advised by having everything taken away in retirement.

    And some of you wonder why I can't help condemning those who are so consumed with greed and envy that their logic has flown completely out the window and they support this kind of gross hypocrisy and unfairness and try to blame people for making good choices.

    I almost wish they would take the family home into the assets test - at a very LOW level - so the greedy hypocrites who think people should be rewarded for being fortunate to see big house value increases and people who worked harder for their money should be deprived can suffer the punishment they deserve. Sadly, it would also impact a lot of decent people who respect the right of workers to enjoy a fair reward, and I don't want that.

    But YES, Misty, I WILL continue to blame those who ARE TO BLAME for gross unfairness and evil. The choices I made were the choices that everyone endorsed at the time as best for me and for the nation. They were legal, ethical, responsible, and proper. And I do NOT deserve to be persecuted by stinking vile greedy unfair people changing the rules to reward others who made BAD choices and punish those who made good ones. Only the most rotten selfish and disgusting individuals want to see people hurt for making GOOD choices that benefit the nation.
    Daryl
    22nd Dec 2018
    10:01am
    One thing that needs fixing is Centrelink, we applied for the aged pension in early July 18, took 4mths of fights and arguments to finally get it sorted, they claimed that we were earning too much, they stated that we earned $3850.00 a fortnight except they added an extra zero, our income was actually $385.00 a fortnight
    GrayComputing
    22nd Dec 2018
    11:33am
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Now is the season for discontent, so do something about it!
    It is time to kill off this insane hugely expensive pensioner whacking bureaucracy.

    It is time for all of us (yes that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules.

    Hiring more Centrelink staff will only increase taxpayer’s costs for processing the creeping insane red tape monster system politicians and well paid bureaucrats have created.

    Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly.

    Why worry that few million$ earners get it too. That is peanuts to them, not enough for a good vintage champagne.

    Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    We all (that means you) need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.