14th Mar 2018
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Age Pension increases fail to make a difference
Author: Kaye Fallick
Pension rises fail the vulnerable

The Age Pension rates will increase on March 20 by $6.10 per week for a single, full Age Pensioner. They will receive a base pension of $826.20 per fortnight (previously $814).

And if renting, the full rental assistance has been increased to $134.80 per fortnight, yes 90 cents a week. Seriously? What difference can less than a dollar do in our overheated housing market?

To get some context, about 70 per cent of Australian retirees receive a full or part Age pension. The other 30 per cent live on private savings and investments. As of 20 March, the full single Age Pension, with supplements is $907.60 and couples will each receive $684.10, also including supplements. The couples’ maximum rental supplement is $127 per fortnight if they live together.

YourLifeChoices partners with The Australia Institute to measure retiree household expenditure to better understand issues such as Age Pension adequacy across the six retirement tribes:

  • Affluent couples or singles (own home, private income)
  • Constrained couples or singles (own home, full or part Age Pension)
  • Cash-strapped couples or singles (renting, full or part Age Pension)

Our most recent data, due to be released in early April, shows just how tough it is for those who do not own their own homes. Renting singles (cash strapped) typically spend $868.96 a fortnight, while renting couples (cash strapped) spend $1384 a fortnight.

 

Cash strapped singles

(renters on a full or part pension)

Cash strapped couples

(renters on a full or part pension)

 

Expenditure Dec qtr. 2017

$868.96

$1382.86

New Age Pension rates

Per fortnight

$907.60

$1368.20

‘Savings’ after expenses per fortnight

$38.64

-$14.66

Full rental supplement if applied per fortnight

$134.80

$127.00

The Australian Age Pension system is one of the most finely calibrated, so it is difficult to discern the level of financial stress actually experienced by those on a part Age Pension. For couples who live in their own, mortgage-free, home, with good health the part pension may provide a useful supplement to private income. It is not difficult, however, to do the sums for those on a full Age Pension and see the resultant level of stress.

This has also been recognised by a Benevolent Society study, conducted by the Per Capita think tank and the Longevity Innovation Hub, The Adequacy of the Age Pension in Australia.  The study concludes that the Age Pension fails to provide a decent source of income for the 1.5 million Australians who rely on the pension as their main source of income. It points to the ‘profound levels of deprivation experienced by this group of pensioners, with many going without hot water, health tests, dental care and medication to stay financially solvent.

In YourLifeChoices most recent research – Retirement Income and Financial Literacy Survey 2018 – we asked our 250,000 members who are living on a full or part Age Pension, if they were struggling to live within their income and what they forgo to make ends meet.

The number one cut was holidays – it seems these members don’t enjoy breaks away from home because they simply can’t afford them.

Next came social activities, eating out, heating and cooling, entertainment – many of the things most of us deem to be essential are cut from the list as they are now rarely enjoyed luxuries.

And then there are those who have reluctantly given up health insurance, travel to visit family, eating meat and drinking alcohol. Many have also sold their cars as it is too expensive to cover running costs including insurance.

But there are problems with such saving strategies. Not having a car can often can lead to social isolation. Not having health insurance can lead to missing vital tests or having a choice of doctor or specialist. And fewer holidays and social activity can be very depressing.

What is the answer? A higher base rate for the full Age Pension.

Yes, let’s remember that we remain the fifth meanest nation in the OECD when it comes to the public expenditure on older people, as a percentage of government spending (Pensions at a Glance 2017). We are simply not even in the race when it comes to striking a decent rate for older Australians who do not have enough to live on. In many cases this is because they were caring for other people during their lives. As we approach Budget 2018 (Tuesday, May 8) YourLifeChoices will feature interviews with all the major political parties, asking them how they plan to look after Australia’s retirees.

What do you think? Are you happy with the indexed increase? Or do you agree that the base rate is simply too low for a dignified life in retirement?

Are you eligible for an Age Pension? Do you know your rights? The RetirePlanner tool has all the information your need.

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    COMMENTS

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    tisme
    14th Mar 2018
    10:21am
    $6.00 rise ?? lets paaaaaaaaaaaaarty ( sheesh what a joke ) polies should be made to get such pay rises.
    HS
    14th Mar 2018
    11:31am
    The Age Pension rates will increase on March 20 by $6.10 per week for a single, full Age Pensioner. They will receive a base pension of $826.20 per fortnight (previously $814)

    This is double than the previous September 2017- $3 per week increase.

    But the Rent Assistance increase is a bloody insult.
    Mez
    30th Mar 2018
    7:26pm
    PATHETIC!
    Polly Esther
    14th Mar 2018
    10:38am
    I'm always grateful for small mercies and will never look any gift horse in the mouth.
    I am also thankful for being born here in Oz. I will survive :-)) It really is a great world.
    The Sheriff
    14th Mar 2018
    11:00am
    Wonderful attitude, Pol. I'm sure you're having a full and rewarding life with a multitude of close friends!
    TREBOR
    14th Mar 2018
    11:28am
    If a timber feller is caught and crushed by a falling tree - is that surrender? No - it is fate....
    Puglet
    14th Mar 2018
    12:33pm
    Just think Polly, you’ll be able to afford half a cappuccino and if you save for a couple of weeks a smashed avocado on toast and a cup of tea!!! Australians do have a lot to be grateful and i am so glad you can see positives in everything - not everyone has the wonderful attribute.
    Marten
    14th Mar 2018
    1:33pm
    To Polly, one should not consider the pension as a gift; in fact it ought to be considered as a tax rebate, as one has paid tax or should have during their working career, part of which is allocated to a pension fund by the government.
    mogo51
    14th Mar 2018
    10:46am
    Of course the pension is manifestly inadequate but that has been the pensioner's lot long before I qualified for it.
    Add to the list of budget choices to survive, I left the country of my birth and the one I love, no matter how hard pollies try to ;bugger it up;. I now live in a country that calls me an alien, I have no rights there and the living standard leaves quite a bit to be desired. But at least I can live with a little dignity and have the odd beer and a decent place to live. But I will always be a proud Aussie.
    grego
    14th Mar 2018
    12:41pm
    Same here mate,cant afford to live in Australia now when i was paying $390 a week in rent,i am in thailand (not in any resort towns)where my weekly ourgoings are rent,water,electricity,internet around $80 per week at least here i can enjoy my retirement.
    john
    14th Mar 2018
    12:47pm
    Thailand? You will never own anything there.
    TREBOR
    14th Mar 2018
    1:04pm
    I know a country where I can buy a summer house cheap and well set up... not sure about the neighbours though.....
    The Sheriff
    14th Mar 2018
    10:57am
    Using your column as a guide I am unashamedly an affluent single with a private income and I sincerely sympathise with those pensioners going through financial stress, some of whom have not had the opportunity to build up wealth or be a home owner. However there are others who squandered their opportunities to do so and I suggest they should take responsibility for this. In my case I went without luxuries to pay off my first modest home. Later on I salary sacrificed to the maximum and made extra contributions to Super whenever I could as well as building up a portfolio of Bank shares. So now I can enjoy my retirement and travel whenever I wish with nil financial worries due to my early efforts. Australia is a wonderful country and those with limited resources can still enjoy a rewarding lifestyle. We have superb public libraries with gratuitous courses offered along with others for a small fee by local councils and there are numerous community organisations who offer multiple social contacts. The trick is to realize you can only play the hand you're been dealt and to do so with a positive and altruistic outlook.
    Grateful
    14th Mar 2018
    11:16am
    God has blessed you The Sheriff, be grateful, but, don't generalize.
    That plays right into the hands of sinister politicians who see that "division" and "dis-unity" as opportunities for them to ignore EVERYONE who are genuinely in need through no "fault" of their own
    United we stand divided we fall!!!
    Triss
    14th Mar 2018
    12:32pm
    Never spoke a truer word, Grateful.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    15th Mar 2018
    11:59am
    I too am unashamedly comfortable due to having worked very hard and lived very frugally, struggling to overcome serious poverty, ill health and enormous hardship. Most pensioners around me had very high incomes compared to mine, but lived it up or manipulated to dispose of assets and qualify for the pension.

    When I finally quit work, I will have a very small income - much less than the pension - until I drain away most of my savings and then qualify for a part pension.

    I agree with The Sheriff, and I'm grateful for the strength and resilience to have overcome hardship and now be moderately well off - temporarily. But yes, his attitude does play into the hands of politicians.

    What bothers me most is the ''them and us'' attitude of those who don't have savings of assets and support attacks on those who do. When there are no incentives left to work and save for retirement, because having assets doesn't pay (and we are getting close to that point now for vast numbers who are NOT wealthy), there will be far more cheating and manipulating and spending up big and far more people needing pensions - and thus much less to go around.

    The BEST thing pensioners can do is to support the complaints of the self-funded and part pensioners and demand that they be allowed to enjoy the lifestyle and benefits they earned. Then two things will happen:
    (1) they will support pensioners demands for a better deal, because they will not feel angry and resentful that they are being denied fairness; and
    (2) there will be fewer needing pensions when saving is well rewarded, and therefore the cost of a pension rise will be much less and it's more likely to happen.

    Those claiming to be ''needy'' (whether genuine or not, and whether through their own failings or not) would be far better served to start supporting demands by those who saved and invested to try to be self-sufficient, instead of letting envy addle their brains and drive a position that is to their own detriment.
    Grateful
    14th Mar 2018
    11:10am
    "It is not difficult, however, to do the sums for those on a full Age Pension and see the resultant level of stress.
    This has also been recognised by a Benevolent Society study, conducted by the Per Capita think tank and the Longevity Innovation Hub, The Adequacy of the Age Pension in Australia. The study concludes that the Age Pension fails to provide a decent source of income for the 1.5 million Australians who rely on the pension as their main source of income. It points to the ‘profound levels of deprivation experienced by this group of pensioners, with many going without hot water, health tests, dental care and medication to stay financially solvent.

    What IS the answer? A higher base rate for the FULL Age Pension.

    Yes, let’s remember that we remain the fifth meanest nation in the OECD when it comes to the public expenditure on older people, as a percentage of government spending (Pensions at a Glance 2017). We are simply not even in the race when it comes to striking a decent rate for older Australians who do not have enough to live on."

    This is Australia remember!!!!

    Says it all.

    Yet, we have people who begrudge those on the full pension and often use very nasty generalizations against them, even defend the payment of Billions of dollars in imputed credits to those who have engineered their investments, some with $millions in value, yet DO NOT PAY ANY Tax.

    Greed and selfishness are still rife but someone has to pay. Yes, those who can least afford it.

    ALL pensioners should unite, not squabble among themselves, to get that base rate of the FULL pension raised to restore dignity to those who are most in need and remove that blight from our otherwise wonderful great community.
    Anonymous
    14th Mar 2018
    1:08pm
    One of the things that irks me about comments such as this, is that I will be one of the losers under a Short-on regime, because I had the audacity to not smoke, drink or gamble to excess, and instead, save my pennies for my senior years and purchased shares, in order that I can enjoy a comfortable retirement. This now looks like being ripped away from me by these pathetic socialists who want to reward the spend thrifts in society. I have worked damned hard to not be a burden on the tax payer (current generation), whilst so many of your contributors whinge and moan about not being 'supported' to the extent to which they feel entitled, even though they had every opportunity in their working life to make decent provision for the golden years. Time to grow up you moaners!
    Grateful
    14th Mar 2018
    3:38pm
    Big Al, have you actually worked out how much you will "lose" from those imputed credits? I think that you might be very, very pleasantly surprised.
    Do so instead of getting uptight and disrupting your "comfortable retirement".
    Note how very "uncomfortable" many age pensioners are through absolutely no "fault" of their own and wouldn't even know how to be a "spend thrift".
    We are talking about the amount of the age pension increase here and certainly nothing to do with the "current generation".
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    15th Mar 2018
    11:39am
    Grateful, I would lose $7500 a year if I were not still working. When I retire, I will have a total income of $22000 a year to support myself and a disabled partner until I blow all my hard-won savings compensating for not getting a pension, and then qualify for a pension. Honestly, that's IDIOTIC. If people who saved were treated fairly and allowed the comfortable retirement they earned, there would be far fewer pensioners and more money to pay decent pensions to those who need them. By persecuting those who saved, the government is creating a huge incentive to dispose of assets, gift, cheat, manipulate, or whatever, and ensuring there is no incentive for the yet-to-retire to strive to be at least partly self-sufficient.

    Honestly, if pensioners who are struggling were smart, they would be supporting every demand for a better deal for those who took responsibility for their own retirement and are a little better off, instead of letting envy addle their brains. It's NOT about who has what. It's about FIXING THE SYSTEM so WE ALL HAVE MORE.
    Suze
    18th Mar 2018
    5:05pm
    Totally agree Rainey
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    19th Mar 2018
    7:14am
    Grateful, if people like you woke up to the reality that politicians claiming to be attacking the ''wealthy'' are actually ripping off strugglers who are barely managing to continue to be self-funded, and that doing so will push more onto the pension, you would recognize that opposing Shorten's proposals and others like it is actually in YOUR BEST INTERESTS.

    When there are millions more pensioners because the self-funded were attacked until they could no longer get by on their savings, where will the funds come from for increased pensions?

    Please wake up to reality. We all need to unite to fight against the stupidity that is wrecking this country.
    Concerned
    14th Mar 2018
    11:17am
    The $5 for married couple is totally inadequate. This does not even cover the cost of our health insurance increase again this year, let alone electricity, water, rates, food, etc, etc. We are going backwards fast. We sit in the dark at night with no fans, air-con or anything else to try and make ends meet. Perhaps our illustrious politicians should try taking a $5 week increase, instead of increases equivalent to our whole pension.
    TREBOR
    14th Mar 2018
    11:32am
    Doesn't cover the latest rise in house insurance.....

    It costs around $2.5M a year per politician to run them - THAT is their effective salary, and 92% of it is tax free.

    Are they worth it?

    No Falcon Way!!
    TREBOR
    14th Mar 2018
    2:47pm
    Let's expand on this a little - imagine they are paying top marginal tax rate on their $200k direct salary.... let's for the sake of argument and ease of figuring say that means they pay $100k in income tax annually. On an Effective Salary of $2.5m that is 4%.... repeats 4% income tax paid by politicians. For a minister it may be a little more, but that is offset by a minister's higher tax free benefits.

    Repeats.. 4% .... 4% ....4% ... 4% ........
    TREBOR
    14th Mar 2018
    2:48pm
    Truly your education is proceeding, Grasshoppers - what WILL you do without me during the summer months when I'm laying over in my European house or my boat?
    Cowboy Jim
    15th Mar 2018
    10:40am
    Labor does not believe in us having health insurance, Concerned. So obviously they will side with the Libs and agree with the $5 increase.
    Just paid our health insurance 2 days ago for the next year. A little
    short of $5000 - $100 a week for 2 people. Can not afford to drop out at our age!
    maxchugg
    17th Mar 2018
    4:12pm
    Jim, you are right. I am insured, needed eye surgery to prevent glaucoma, had it done in a few weeks.
    A friend who could not afford to keep his insurance that he had maintained through his working life needed the same surgery. He waited three years for one eye to be done, around 2 years for the second.
    But the politics of envy has ensured that there is pressure on the government to reduce the rebate for pensioners because it costs a few millions a year. This completely ignores the savings that have come to the government by insured people meeting their own costs for decades rather than using the public system.
    The current rebate for pensioners retaining health insurance should be 10% for each year the person was insured prior to retirement.
    patti
    14th Mar 2018
    11:32am
    The increases, while welcome, will make no difference. The only reason I can manage is because I no longer pay a mortgage, was really stressful then, as no assistance, unlike those who rent. I would hate to have to rent in this overpriced market. There comes a time when there is no longer anything to give up, I have done it all and the only way I would save now is if I get rid of my car. But then I would be isolated, and have to pay for taxis etc so no real saving. Come on, politicians, get real......could you live on what we get?
    Triss
    14th Mar 2018
    1:17pm
    Not, they couldn't, Patti. In fact plump, well-fed, well-pensioned [80,000 a year according to reports] Senator Humphries said so in public. He said "it was a good thing many of them [pensioners] had lived through hard times in the past as," he said, "he could not live on the single aged pension of $268.85 a week and it was fortunate the elderly were used to the kinds of conditions that some of them now face".
    He apologised later in a letter to to the Courier Mail for his insensitivity but that didn't get pensioners a more liveable pension.
    Hasbeen
    14th Mar 2018
    11:42am
    My 28 year old daughter just put the house they built 3 years ago on the market. They were stupid enough to have a baby.

    They did the math, & they could aford it they thought, but they did not allow for increasing costs out running increasing income. With the latest rates notice, increase in child care, & insurance, along with ridiculous electricity costs to pay for windmills, they have decided they just can't afford to pay for their own home.

    How much more tax do my fellow pensioners want our kids to pay so we can have a holiday. The kids can't afford one, but you think they should pay for ours.

    Get real people.
    TREBOR
    14th Mar 2018
    1:07pm
    Don't forget the privatised power supply, Hassie - don't forget the privatised power supply... it's not windmills that have entrenched the cost rises - they are an investment - it is the Hydra-headed 'private' supply network that requires plush offices, company cars and fat ceo's and board members and shareholders, all on the taxpayer's dime.

    (sorry for the Americanism)
    Triss
    14th Mar 2018
    1:33pm
    Hasbeen, please don't think I'm being awkward but at that age my husband and I couldn't afford holidays either whilst paying for our miniscule home but we paid our taxes which went partly to pay for the aged pensioners' pensions. When we had a baby childcare fees were something we never thought of and couldn't have afforded anyway.
    House prices seem to have more than doubled in the last 15 years it seems and that cannot be the pensioners' fault.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    15th Mar 2018
    12:27pm
    Gee, Has been, I wonder what type of home they had? At their age, we didn't have a hope in hell of home ownership, but a few years later, with two toddlers to support, we scraped up a deposit on a ramshackle old 2 bedroom shack that we renovated and sold for a small profit. We had only one income and high medical costs due to having a special needs child, and that income was minimal as neither of us had any education or job skills. We gave up every conceivable thing that we could do without, grew food, sewed our own clothes, built furniture, repaired our own very old car, took in ironing and sewing to earn extra dollars, worked weekends and holidays... on and on it went, until we sold up and bought land and then we spent 5 years living with young children in a shed with no plumbing or power while we built our own home on weekends. And we were still paying of debts for medical care and therapy for our child 20 years later. Holidays? Restaurant dinners? What are they?

    Sorry it's so tough for your offspring, but I'll warrant they didn't do it at tougher than we did. And now we are suffering the same huge costs they face, no concessions, no part pension (even if I didn't work), and soon probably no franking credits, because despite all that struggle and hard work - AND PAYING TAX and getting NO CHILDARE, no home owner grant, no superannuation - I am now working (in my 70s) to supplement an investment income of about HALF the aged pension.

    I don't think the young have it all that tough. I just think they ARE NOT TOUGH.
    Charlie
    14th Mar 2018
    11:55am
    It's the rent that really screws people.
    The low rent flats are places where the majority of people don't want to live and there are always reasons..... (eg) poor heat or cold insulation therefore high electricity costs or discomfort, noisy and inconsiderate neighbours, High crime area like damaged or stolen car. flooding or leaky roof, hot water system breaking down and things falling apart when property owner is always out of town. Inconsistent rent rises etc etc
    But if a person has been damaged by the system already to where their super is all used up, Nothing much can be done anymore.
    I am fortunate enough to have an owner who has stopped putting the rent up or I would be a lot worse off.
    TREBOR
    14th Mar 2018
    1:07pm
    You can buy a cheap house in Bourke.... plenty of work for them that wants it.... in what is becoming a ghost town....
    Grateful
    14th Mar 2018
    4:18pm
    Trebor, I really think that you are also generalizing. I'd bet that most who are on the full age pension and are paying rent would be those who were not in the work force long enough, or at all due to their age, to accumulate any sort of "meaningful" superannuation, had unfortunate life circumstances and probably too old or unwell now to work and to have to move away from their medical support and friends.
    I think you are either being rather cynical or downright cruel.
    TREBOR
    15th Mar 2018
    12:22am
    I'm roasting the idea of people moving out, Grateful - not supporting it. it's called subtlety.....

    Who in their right (or left) mind would want to move to Bourke?
    shaper
    14th Mar 2018
    12:20pm
    My husband and I both get a part age pension and a small part pension from the UK as we have been here for over 40 years and paid tax for every one of them. However we live in a RAAFA retirement village and pay ,over $500 each month for maintenance and we do not own this house its on a 45 year lease, but Centrelinck does not recognise this as Rent even though others in some retirement villages get their maintenance pay looked on as Rent and get that subsidy...seems unfair to us.
    Triss
    14th Mar 2018
    1:41pm
    Go over CentreLink's head, send a letter, not an email, to your MP and ask why. You never know you might get it sorted out to your satisfaction. MPs are always worrying about losing their seats at the next election
    Kaye Fallick
    14th Mar 2018
    3:09pm
    I think Triss has good advice for everyone who is unhappy with the rate of the Age Pension - contact your local MP and ask them what they are doing for you. We are lucky enough to live in a democracy, so let's make the system accountable?
    Ahjay
    14th Mar 2018
    12:39pm
    Why not give pensioners just the same % increase as the pollies get ? I would be happy to have my increases linked to theirs .
    Kaye Fallick
    14th Mar 2018
    3:10pm
    no there's a radical idea - perhaps a 'performance bonus' as well???
    TREBOR
    14th Mar 2018
    3:43pm
    $50k pa plus verified costs directly related to government business - a 'performance bonus' each year if they are doing their job.
    john
    14th Mar 2018
    12:46pm
    HS the whole pension system is a bloody disgrace. Where is the funds that were to support pensions >>>WHICH IS A RIGHT>>> not a privilege . In Australia long life working people who can't have a holiday, or can't keep a car, or forgo heating and eating meat and get isolated from, others , is this Australia. Are we in Australia going to wake up to the massive imbalance of fairness on this planet like the rest of the world is starting to see. Sacrifice other costs to give pensioners a real income! This one is double the last one , ha hahahahahaha last one 3 dollars , this one 6 dollars, hahahahahaha, what an absolute abomination to your people you greedy governments with policies, from all sides. And what did Bob Hawke use to build a new fancy house of parliament , our pension funding savings????? Yep. 6 dollars a fortnight , thats 156 dollars a year wouldn't even get you one service on your car , if you had one? Voters start telling your local pollie what you want, everyone , then vote appropriately. Less Immigration, back to normal standards , because we are a nation of Immigrants, and a fair share of this nations wealth, lets all do that. Everyone
    Triss
    14th Mar 2018
    1:44pm
    I'll stand next to you on that, John.
    HS
    14th Mar 2018
    2:41pm
    No John, it is $6 per week. To be exact...it is all up...$13.20 per fortnight on single full pension, max. It's hardly adequate especially that home rentals have gone up 10 times and the rent assistance has gone up $1.80 pf.
    Compare that to the MPs rental allowance. Mind boggles if they could survive on renting accommodation if their allowance increased only by 0.90 cents per week and transport allowance increased by only $6 per week.
    As pensioners we got to be grateful for any increase, BUT we don't need the insults from the rich and not from the younger generation.
    Triss
    14th Mar 2018
    12:53pm
    To be fair to the pollies, they can’t give pensioners any more than a couple of crumbs because it would diminish their personal slush fund, the Age Pension pot. It can’t be only me that has noticed when pollies have a rise or an extra perk they get it by lowering the pension.
    On 1 January 2017, more than 330,000 Age Pensioners had their Age Pension entitlements cut, with at least 100,000 of those affected Australians losing all Age Pension entitlements.
    Starting on July 2017 federal politicians, judges and agency heads got a two per cent pay rise.
    That's just one instance, there are plenty more.
    TREBOR
    14th Mar 2018
    1:09pm
    'ere, 'ere! What happened to my #1 spot comment?

    Repeats:- Wow - with inflation that rise will give me two beers at the club so I can drown my sorrows...

    14th Mar 2018
    1:45pm
    70% on full or part pension
    How many renting ?
    10% of that probably . Those rent By should move to smaller towns
    TREBOR
    14th Mar 2018
    2:39pm
    Plenty of empty houses in Kyakatoo....
    Kaye Fallick
    14th Mar 2018
    3:11pm
    Hi Raphael, I'm a little unclear why renters should have to move? what if they do not have a car and then can't see people from their community, family and friends? Not sure this is fair?
    Anonymous
    14th Mar 2018
    3:30pm
    Hi Kaye
    We cannot have a discriminatory pension system that pays a higher rent supplement if you choose to rent in Sydney as opposed to say Dimboola
    Neither is it fair to have a blanket increase for all.

    Pensioners like everyone else should live within their means, and if that requires them to move to save rental costs, I dont see a problem with that?

    After all many self funded retirees do just the same to stretch their retirement income further

    This mentality that, everyone can choose their own lifestyle on a pension and expect taxpayers to fork out is in my opinion quite ridiculous.
    TREBOR
    14th Mar 2018
    2:52pm
    Base rate of pension should be raised, and the allowance given to pensioners who double as carers should be at least doubled to around $250 a fortnight and maybe more... it costs that much in fuel and car costs.

    Work it out - the cost of fuel is about 20% MAX of the cost of running a vehicle... it's been a while and that figure could be wrong.

    A rough idea here with commercial vehicles.. the higher end of a car won't be much different from the lower end of commercials = 19%.

    http://www.fta.co.uk/policy_and_compliance/fuel_prices_and_economy/fuel_prices/fuel_fractions.html
    TREBOR
    14th Mar 2018
    2:53pm
    So if the carer role is slapping you for $80 a fortnight fuel (joke) - multiply by five = $400 a fortnight....
    fearlessfly
    14th Mar 2018
    3:10pm
    Ha, ha, ha, good joke on us pensioners, this is just as good as the Barnaby Joyce Comedy Show. Excuse me while I rush out to engage a security guard to look after these massive increases !
    Alexia
    14th Mar 2018
    3:58pm
    It really is an insult.
    Politicians get well over 150.000 dollars salary just sitting at meetings and doing little else and when they retire they still get about same retirement allowance and yet they have accumulated fortunes with their previous salaries that of up in the thousands every year.
    But they are not indexed or even questioned about their fortunes (that we poor buggers have paid for) and so it goes on.
    Why are those people elected? Are we Australians real idiots or what?
    Rocky
    14th Mar 2018
    4:19pm
    Better still Tisme get pollies to live on the pension
    downunder
    14th Mar 2018
    4:26pm
    We’ll hire City Hall for a celebration party
    Puglet
    14th Mar 2018
    4:33pm
    Of course the OAP as is the Disability pension is far too low. Apart from calls to reduce Parliamentarians’ salaries nobody has come up with any sensible ideas about which slice of the cake will be halved. Judging by the Boomers’ outrage about Labor’s policy fixing up the ‘franking credits’, we don’t want to pay. The big companies don’t want to pay any tax at all. Millionaires squirrel their money away in the Caymans so they don’t want to pay. Probably the only just way,to support our most vulnerable people is for everyone of us to pay a bit- that is we pay more tax and forgo some of the Boomers’ tax perks and while we are at it stop negative gearing. Australia it seems only believes in a Fair go as long as it doesn’t affect their income.
    TREBOR
    15th Mar 2018
    12:26am
    Revenue Capture - you force offshore industries (inc)to cough up.

    Read my blurb on the 'global economy' and the reality that taxation has not kept pace and effectively operates in a very small local economy for the benefit of corporations.

    A beginning of global taxation is the Trump idea of corporations (offshore) paying a minimum tax. It has to start somewhere.
    TREBOR
    15th Mar 2018
    12:28am
    It's here in THIS sister strand:-

    https://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/retirement/living-in-retirement/dice-loaded-in-favour-of-boomers
    TREBOR
    15th Mar 2018
    12:46am
    Oh, all right!

    I've long said that the two major components of the 'global economy' that have not kept pace are taxation of corporations and industrial relations/labour cost.

    These two are demonstrably NOT 'global' in any sense, but are instead a deliberate concentration by the corporations (rapidly gaining near total control over the planet via capital) of those functions into small areas within the 'global village'.

    There is NO international tax regime, and no international industrial regime and no international employee earnings regime, which, by being concentrated into small areas and not globally as advertised, create a de facto tariff barrier AGAINST higher performing nations with a better standard of living and of income/costs of living ratio. All that is left, in reality,is what actually created tariff barriers in the first place - the essential monopoly on production by specific nations, meaning that every other nation was merely exploited.... and so the future IS tariff resurrection.

    You can liken the current 'global economy' to such "radical" concepts as Islamism, International Communism - both of which, as clear examples but not the only ones, are essentially 'nations without borders' exactly in the same fashion as this 'global economy'.

    It is, therefore, up to a nation defined by its borders to stipulate on what terms that ideology, including globalism, can operate within its borders.

    This, governments respective of this and other nations, have singularly failed to do, but chose to raise their rumps and ours with them, and invite the globalists to enter at will...

    (hush - and that's just me being nice, Paddy...)
    Gypsyfeet47
    14th Mar 2018
    4:56pm
    Placed my feelings & personal situation on Face book via this site, but for those who won't see it, my anger over the charges for "My Aged Care" for those of us who are sick & disabled. The M.A.C. will not take into account medical expenses. They want $140 + f/n on top of 25% of my pension on rent, over $120 f/n on medical needs, $45 F/n on Gas & electric, I can't afford Meals on Wheels! Cannot afford my car, which was my legs, miss many medical appointments & Volunteer transport to get there & back. As a migrant from UK, I have been listening to the promise that we will have a N.H.S as they do in UK & Europe for nearly 50 years! that was the biggest lie they told us to get us here when they wanted people to come & build this country.
    Puglet
    14th Mar 2018
    6:20pm
    Hi that sounds horrendous and no wonder you are angry. If I read your post correctly the MAC will,take up your entire pension? Medicare funding doesn’t come from the funding for MAC. I read the Guardian every day and there is always at least one article about the huge problems caused by lack of funding for NHS. I don’t think the UK’s health system is much better than ours! Politicians in both countries won’t fund health care properly and tax payers complain if they have to pay tax and threaten to vote them out. I hate to say it but I think the NHS and Medicare may not survive.
    KSS
    15th Mar 2018
    6:31am
    In the UK if you are in aged care, they take virtually all your pension. My Mother was left with ten pounds.And it is compulsory to sell your home to pay for the aged care! Unless you can afford to pay another way.
    And yes there is universal health care but waiting times even to get a specialist appointment in urgent cases can take six months or more. People can literally die waiting.

    Just be careful what you wish for. The grass is not always greener on the other side.
    alinejordan
    15th Mar 2018
    9:09am
    the increase happens on my b'day so i'm not complaining about a bit of extra cash. i'm much more upset about the continuous increase of population and development in my area which brings about harsher laws mainly about being allowed to take your dog to the beach, one of the few pleasures that doesn't cost anything other than the petrol to get there,and gives enormous health benefits.
    Ted Wards
    15th Mar 2018
    10:50am
    Last pay rise I got equated to 50 cents actual increase in my pay a week. The Government is making no bones about the fact that the age of entitlement is over and the pension will be a thing of they past for my generation (fist of the gen x grrr). We are supposed to have had access to super most of our working life which actually isnt true, not to mention all the mothers who started working after their kids grew up and so on. I say make the most of it because its going to be a thing of the past.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    15th Mar 2018
    11:23am
    Be prepared for it to get much, much worse. So many of those who don't have savings are supporting the government attack on those who do, insisting people should live off their hard-won savings if they didn't waste all their money, while wasters and cheats get the pension and benefits. Well, the result will be many more wasters and cheats and far less with savings, so more demand on the pension system and less money to go around.

    Wake up Australia! Demand that the government treat savers and planners with respect and encourage responsible people to be responsible by REWARDING NOT PUNISHING and there might be fewer pensioners and more money to share around.

    In particular, STRENUOUSLY OPPOSE SHORTEN'S ATTACK ON SHAREHOLDERS and demand the assets test be abolished in favour of income and deemed income assessment only, so those who save enjoy the rewards they deserve. If high pension incomes are then taxed fairly, the system might work as it should and there would be money to improve pension support for the genuinely needy.
    Newslug
    15th Mar 2018
    4:42pm
    Not really happy given that my small allocate goes down as pension increases.. why? Thats MY money i paid for out of my wages! Id have been better of to take my super as a lump sum and piss it uo.against the wall and get the full pension! When allocated pension goes up with cpi my age pension goes down accordingly.. wrong ! Wrong! Wrong!..
    Joy Anne
    18th Mar 2018
    8:06pm
    Disgusting we need at least $100 a week increase and at least $75 per week increase in rental assistance. Then we could live a life without poverty. I now have to pay $350 a week for a 2/1/1 rents just increased by 15-20 per. $700 from my pension in rent. Then electricity phone scripts car (Not used much) go see my family and 10 week old granddaughter. Disability scooter used for shopping if close by. Maybe these lollies should get $6 p.s. instead of $300-500.
    Tzuki
    19th Mar 2018
    3:01pm
    What a very sad situation this is! We work hard all our lives, and the Government crucifies us because we don't pay their taxes anymore.
    Kathleen
    23rd Mar 2018
    11:51am
    Maybe put things in perspective. We are not sitting on Nauru. We are not in the position of the ten year old boy who kept attempting suicide because he was on Nauru. His dad was not with him because he had been injured. It took a judge in Australia to allow him to come to Australia. The government had coldly refused to look after this little boy.
    What a bunch of whingers we oldies have become! We are either losing some shares or not getting enough pension rise. Whether you are a self funded retiree or a full pensioner we live in a wonderful country with freedoms that millions can only dream of.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    23rd Mar 2018
    6:00pm
    Well then, Kathleen, let's trash the Australian economy so we have to flee from here to... where do you suggest? We are not going to help anyone sitting on Nauru, no matter what their circumstance, by persecuting Australians who work hard, pay tax, save, and invest to grow our economy. Nor are we going to help anyone - least of all ourselves - by supporting a politician who is abusing power to make blatantly false claims about our tax system and about who his cruelty will hurt. Such abuse of power puts our future freedom at risk.

    Our generation and those who went before us worked very hard for the freedom and rights we value. It's not LUCK that we have those rights. But we are at risk of losing them, very soon, if we don't stand up and be counted when threatened with policy changes that will harm the economy and when lied to by politicians (yes, they all do it, but we need to call them out on it.)

    One more thing - we will lose our freedom and rights and no longer live in a wonderful country if selfishness continues to prevail. SFRs and part pensioners who will be badly hurt by Shorten's WRONGFUL change to what is A FAIR AND CORRECT tax policy now are asking for support to insist the Labor Party implement FAIR measures to address the budget deficit, and be TRUTHFUL about the impact of their proposals. The way decent, hard-working strugglers are being abused here and denied fairness raises deep concern about the future of this nation.
    Kathleen
    23rd Mar 2018
    10:04pm
    Nothing has been implemented for a start. So why the screaming and ranting about what might happen about which you know no details.

    Next, are you going to yell about the tax cuts to big business? There are other issues that are on the table now and the likes of
    Pauline Hanson are supporting and helping to push through.

    All the stirring and firing up people to try to persuade them to vote a certain way next election. It sounds like America and how Trump got in!

    What I tried to do was call for a bit of perspective.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th Mar 2018
    9:07am
    I certainly did protest the company tax cuts, Kathleen. But I have every right to protests Shorten's divisive lies and incompetence and try to point out the harm he is doing by lying about this tax change and lying about who it will hurt. Look at the comments! He's got penioners screaming for the blood of the SFRs. According to Misty he's got workers railing against SFRs - who actually are doing them a wonderful service by saving the country over $1 million over the course of their retirement. He's got SFRs and part pensioners who hold a few shares terrified of yet another attack on their lifestyle - grinding them into hardship.

    He's LYING to set people against one another, and you bet I'll call him out on it. If he's still deciding on what his policy will be, he should shut his damaging trap until he's learned the FACTS.
    Kathleen
    24th Mar 2018
    12:06pm
    OGR, Labor is not in power! LNP is! Labor beat LNP ro the punch with those proposed savings amounting to 8 billion a year.
    Of course that will have to go as it was never intended to cost 8b. Noone’s income will fall below the pension amount so who is doing the fear mongering? That has been said over and over.
    The eroding of people’s income is being done by the present government not Labor as they are not in government.
    Medicare is being eroded. Items being removed from the free chemist list is being done by LNP. Eroding of the government contribution to private health is being done by present government. Trickling down is not getting to the poor end. Wages are not increasing. Families are suffering.
    I am guessing you vote LNP who do nothing for low income people whether workers or pensioners!
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th Mar 2018
    2:53pm
    No Kathleen. I hate the LNP. They have done hideous harm to the economy and their policies are Robin Hood in reverse, but Labor is proving to be no better and that's very disturbing.

    If ANYONE claims ''no-one's income will fall below the pension amount'' they are lying, because thousands already have incomes BELOW the pension amount. If I retired today, mine would be $25,000 a year for a couple as opposed to the pension of around $36,000, and under Shorten, I'd lose another $4500. How much bloody tax are those who saved for old age supposed to pay. If retired, I would forfeit all pension entitlements and concessions, thus giving the government over $40,000 a year + the $4500 Shorten wants, while having $20,500 to live on unless I draw from savings. Sure, I have savings. That's money I earned doing it VERY tough, paid tax on at full rates, paid tax on interest, went without a HUGE amount that most people class as necessities, and now if I quit work I'd lose over $40,000 a year in pension benefits PLUS the tax Shorten wants, and gift all that hard-won saving to the taxpayer, while those who DIDN'T save, get handouts. Within a few years I'd be on a pension and struggling to pay my partner's medical bills.

    I am a low-income person, Kathleen. Have been all my life. Orphaned when very young. Grew up in poverty. Married an orphan. Neither had education or skills or opportunity. Worked for minimum wage all my life. Supported my partner most of my life because he is disabled. Spent over $100,000 on medical care for a special needs child - a debt it took 20 years to repay. Had a year off work due to serious illness and suffered chronic illness all my life.

    Please don't preach to me about hardship. I've done it tougher than 90% of the population of this country. But I still paid off a house and saved, and I strenuously object to being beaten and bashed and deprived of all the benefit while those who didn't save collect pension cheques and scream that I should pay more tax.

    As for families suffering, I can't find one anywhere that even knows what real hardship is, but Shorten's policy is going to hit the poorest hardest. That's not political propaganda. That's researched fact. Look at the statistics he's peddling. The money is NOT coming from self-funded retirees (of which many are not at all wealthy). It's coming from the superannuation funds of workers, and it will hit the poorest hardest.

    Self-funded retirees have had a gut full of the abuse and unfairness. They are increasingly doing what BigBear did - shedding their wealth to get a full pension. Younger Australian workers are limiting their savings so they don't miss out on the pension. This is the impact of STUPID policies that deal UNFAIRLY with people who worked and saved and are paying way more tax than is fair.

    I'm all for taxing the rich, but leave the battlers who are not wealthy alone and stop pushing more and more people to divest and claim a pension. It's STUPID.

    Shorten is LYING. Shareholders lose 30% of their dividend to the tax man. If their income is below the tax threshold, they should get it back - just like a PAYE taxpayer or businessman gets a refund if too much tax is paid. It's not one bit different. But punishing people for investing in Australian companies will destroy our economy. And Shorten's policy lets RICH PEOPLE KEEP THEIR TAX CREDIT. It's only the battlers who don't earn from other sources he wants to steal from.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th Mar 2018
    3:26pm
    Kathleen, Labor says their policy will affect 14,000 SFRs. Now, imagine if 1/3rd of those say ''hell, they've made it all too hard to be self-funded. Might as well buy a lavish house, take a long cruise, and go on a full pension''. Allowimg for admin expenses, that's $200 million a year more OAP being paid, rising every 6 months. Now image if just 10% of workers decide it's not worth saving to be an SFR because they are attacked constantly and unfairly taxed. That's $160 billion extra being paid in aged pensions every year, rising every 6 months. How much was Shorten claiming to save? Nothing like that amount!

    Shorten is looking at a simplistic picture of numbers, with no consideration of the psychological reaction of the population or the side effects of the policy.

    You might say those people SHOULDN'T reduce savings. Maybe. Let me ask you this. If everyone you know earned more than you, but spent on cruises and nice clothes etc. and you went without holidays and restaurant dinners and nice clothes to put an extra $50 a week aside for old age, because you KNOW you will have expenses in old age that the pension won't cover, would YOU be happy to have the government say ''It's not fair for you to have those savings. Give them to us so we can pass them around to other people''? I think not!

    If you think Labor will do a better job than the LNP, then the most sensible thing you can do is tell everyone - as I am - that this policy is WRONG. Write to Labor politicians and tell them to abandon it. If we can wake enough people up to how bad it is, maybe they WILL back off and then I and others like me CAN support them in the next election.
    OnlyGenuineRainey
    24th Mar 2018
    3:57pm
    Sorry, I was working on the couples pension. Make that $100 million and $80 billion - but it's actually more because the single's pension is more than half the couple's. In any case, it's all theoretical, and doesn't count the economic harm from investors pulling out of shares, SFRs spending less and thus generating less economic growth, etc.

    Finanial advisers are saying people are planning now to have only $500K in retirement (for a couple) because unless you can have millions, any more is worthless due to tax and means tests depriving of benefit. If workers stop saving and rely more on the pension, there will be no benefit from the tax.

    The simple solution is to limit the income people can draw from super tax free. Leave the poorer SFRs and part pensioners alone and just put limits on the rich, but sadly politicians will NEVER do that. Can't attack their wealthy mates!
    Mez
    30th Mar 2018
    7:22pm
    JUST A MERE HICCUP!

    NOT ENOUGH A BIG SNEEZE!

    AGE PENSIONS URGENTLY REQUIRE A HUGE OVER HAUL TO EVEN KEEP UP WITH ALL THE OVERSEAS ONE'S IN OTHER COUNTRIES THAT ARW MORE RESPECTFUL OF THEIR SENIORS!

    KEEPING IN MIND THAT SENIORS ARE REGARDED BY EVERYONE AS BEING OVER 50 YEARS OF AGE, NOT JUST THE ELDERLY OVER 80 YEARS OF AGE!

    SHAME!

    SHAME!

    SHAME!


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