Superannuation – pre-budget submission proposes opt-out

You don’t need to spend big to show your true feelings.

purse with a few coins depicting a reduced income in retirement

Those on low incomes should be able to opt out of the superannuation system according to a pre-budget submission. The proposal would see those earning less than $37,000 have the equivalent of the 9.5 per cent superannuation guarantee paid directly into their salary, effectively giving them a pay rise.

Industry groups (unnamed in the original News Corp report) are urging Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to consider the opt-out proposal. Senior cabinet ministers are also calling for Treasurer Scott Morrison to think seriously about the plan, citing the fact that low-income workers will not be able to avoid a reliance on the Age Pension due to inadequate savings.

According to News Corp, a part-time worker who earns $35,000 could receive an extra $63 a week in their pay if the proposal was adopted. From next year, the plan would also save those earning less than the tax-free threshold and who opt out from super contributions, up to $500 a year. This is due to the cessation of the Low Income Super Contribution Scheme under which the Government compensates those who pay tax on super contributions made by their employer despite having no tax liability on their income.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce downplayed the suggestion that the superannuation system should be changed to simply allow people to have more money to spend. Speaking to Sky News, Mr Joyce said the Government wanted people to save for their own retirement.  "We obviously want those who can save to save, and not rely on the pension, because ... we've got to reduce our expenditure and one of those expenditures, one of the biggest ones when you get your [tax] receipt is welfare payments. Therefore, anything we can do to help people be self sufficient, we should drive that," he said.

However, Mr Joyce did take the opportunity to flag his own thinking on how the system could be changed. "If people invest that money in a younger age in a substantial capital asset, such as the house they live in, I think that would fit them out well later on in life," Mr Joyce told reporters.

Not surprisingly, the proposal has been met with disdain from opposing groups, with Labor Senator Doug Cameron telling ABC News Breakfast "I think it's more panicked stupidity from the Government, if they are proposing this, this is just not a good idea," he said.

"Lower-income people need every cent they can get in retirement, and they need access to superannuation when they retire."

CEO of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, Pauline Vamos, said that even a little put away today can make a difference in retirement.  "We need to think about what we need to give up today for tomorrow, and this is what people are not understanding," she said.

"We have a system who's [sic] strength is based on [superannuation] being universal.

"We do not have the looming problem that many countries have overseas of people not having enough money in their retirement, and the cost of delivering pensions breaking the Government purse."

Read more at:
DailyTelegraph.com.au
ABC.net.au 

Opinion: Super opt-out is super folly

I always thought the silly season referred to the Christmas period but it seems that a looming budget also brings out some crazy behaviour.

Australia’s retirement income system is struggling from a lack of identity. Rather than being the vessel to help people save for their futures and have less reliance on the Age Pension and government income support, it has instead become a complex jumble of rules and regulations that is ‘open to interpretation’ by those more than willing to do so for their own benefit. The concessions and beneficial tax treatment of superannuation are being manipulated by those who can pay for clever accountants to do so on their behalf. Yet those who rely on the fairness of the system are, quite frankly, being shafted.

In the changes to the asset thresholds and taper rate scheduled for 1 January 2017, we have seen the Government pull the rug out from under those who have managed to save a meagre amount in assets. The onus is being put on people to plan for their retirement, to fund their own retirement yet we have a system that is subject to change on the whim of an industry group, or a government trying to raise more revenue or cut spending.

In the last few years we have seen this system of saving for retirement undermined by changes in the name of cutting costs and increasing revenue. The halt on the increase of the superannuation guarantee will hurt those relying on their superannuation to fund their retirement. Not only will the increased super contribution be missed but also the positive effect of compound interest. Incidentally, the cost of increased contributions is actually borne by an employer, or those individuals earning enough to be on a salary package, not the Government, so putting a halt on such increases makes little sense. The next change to be implemented is the removal of the Low Income Super Contribution Scheme, which will hurt low-income earners who will now bear the full brunt of tax on their superannuation contributions. 

Superannuation is a great means of saving for retirement if used properly and respected by all. It’s not a pot of money to be dipped into when times are tight, either by the Government or individuals – it’s to stop those tight times pervading your later years. By giving people the option to take their superannuation as extra salary, we are robbing them of the opportunity to not live their later years in poverty. An Age Pension at the current rate is nowhere near enough to fund even a modest lifestyle, so even a few dollars paid into super over the years will be of benefit in retirement. The aim of our superannuation system is to provide a long-term saving vehicle to enable people to be more self-sufficient in their retirement years – let’s keep it that way.

Do you think low-income earners should be able to take their super contributions as a salary payment? Have changes to the retirement system made it less attractive to save for your own retirement? Does the retirement income system need an overhaul? Are you totally confused bye the continual changes to superannuation rules and regulations?

Other articles:

Age Pension to become a loan 

No rise in GST but super in spotlight





    COMMENTS

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    22nd Feb 2016
    10:11am
    Just ONE big reason of the many why the airhead/s introduced this proposal is taxes, from the wage earner as income tax and from the employer as payroll tax.
    Phil1943
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:23pm
    Gasp. It sounds like you're suggesting that rabble in Canberra might want an even bigger chunk of our savings than they've already got.
    If so, we could soon be back in the bad old days when money was taxed going into our super funds, taxed on what it earned, and taxed again when we withdrew it.
    No, wait! That's a good idea. It takes that kind of money to buy our future fleet of submarines, our forthcoming flock of jet fighters, and to support our war in Afghanistan that at the present rate will drag on (and consume tax dollars) for a long time to come.
    Just because I'll be long gone by the time we get the subs and jets and get out of Afghanistan doesn't mean I won't go to my grave with such pride that I've made a contribution to some of the greatest mistakes this country has ever made.
    And it's all because of planning for our retirements. Hot damn, we're smart!
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:26pm
    If this did come from the Murdoch Press then I'd be thinking that big business has an interest and that the Murdoch Press are selling it.
    Ridiculous idea. I'd like to see the rich kicked out of the super system as THEY HAVE NO NEED OF IT because they provide very well for themselves either way. All that the super system does for them is give them a huge bucket of cash extra.
    It is wrong to further marginalise the poor as any extra money they get in lieu of super will be spent very quickly and will be used as an excuse from the employers to not give them pay increases. You can sort of see it coming............
    Rae
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:25pm
    Phil my superannuation was the bad old days type.

    Taxed at marginal rates going in, taxed in the scheme, taxed coming out, compulsory and someone forgot to tell them about compound interest.

    That compounding is interesting though. I don't know if it is working well in this new deflationary environment. Wages are stagnating or going backwards and there is no growth.

    Perhaps the business lobby groups need to rethink their beliefs because low and falling wages was supposed to stimulate the economy. Seems like the opposite is happening.

    I don't think the average worker earning less than 37000 deserves to have 10% of that pittance locked up for decades in low growth investments that are risky as well. Market risk and sovereign risk.
    Fees and charges and maybe a bit of money at the end if the fees, charges and insurances haven't stripped it all away.
    older&wiser
    22nd Feb 2016
    10:18am
    On the one hand they are saying people will not have enough to support themselves after retiring. Now they come up with this scatter brain idea. So who will support those people? - oh that's right, the over taxed tax payer. It should be the total opposite - MORE should be done to encourage low paid workers to save for their retirement, not less. Stupid, stupid idea.
    Queensland Diva
    22nd Feb 2016
    10:28am
    I simply cannot believe that this is even being discussed. When low-income workers reach retirement age and have absolutely nothing to fall back on because they've taken their super contributions and spent them to live on day-to-day (no criticism intended here), how will the government respond? Will they bring out their "lifters and leaners" mantra again, will they simply kill off the aged pension. What is going on with this imbecilic mob?? (I really wanted to type all of that last sentence in capitals)
    Phil1943
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:12pm
    Well QD, I have the same question - large font and fold face too. It could just be the government floating another 'thought bubble' just to see what comes back. Or maybe they're anticipating some sort of proposal they want to quash before it gains any traction.
    Whatever the reason it's a really dumb idea. I'm fearful of what the government will do with this huge pot of money we've put together in our superannuation. It's such a big target even the incompetent Libs (and ALP too for that matter) can't miss it.
    Our mission is to oppose any changes to superannuation so we can continue through to the end of our lives as we've planned. I've got about ten years to go and it's covered; if I hang on much after that I hope the pension's still around.
    libsareliars
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:25pm
    Agree with both of you - another dumb idea from a dumb government.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:47pm
    Ok it doesn't matter that the poor have little left for retirement after fees and taxes. They still have super.
    Rae
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:33pm
    Superannuation is not an investment. It is a tax minimisation vehicle. If you earn so little that you pay no real tax then it is stupid to put money into it. Why pay 15% going in, 15% in there if you are below that tax bracket. It doesn't make any sense.
    Adrianus
    22nd Feb 2016
    7:01pm
    Absolutely Rae!! I agree 100%.
    Gra
    22nd Feb 2016
    9:13pm
    I would hate to be seeking financial advice from Bonny, Rae or Frank. Seems their idea is not to put anything away for the future, just blow every cent you get and don't worry about that day when you have to leave the workforce.
    Which ever way you look at it, the 9.5% of earnings employers are now required to pay into an employees super fund is surely a good way of building a nice little nest egg for them. Even for someone on a minimal salary or yearly earnings of $37,000, this means there is $3,000+ being invested for them, and if it is one of the decent funds then their investment should be relatively safe.
    I don't know which super fund you were in Rae, but mine served me rather well with returns of at least 11% per year - and not all super is taxed, some is not taxed and if you're patient and leave your super alone until you reach retirement age, it isn't taxed at all.
    Kactus
    22nd Feb 2016
    10:37am
    I can see poker machine revenue increasing significantly.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:39pm
    and the super fund managers fees falling.
    Not Senile Yet!
    22nd Feb 2016
    10:41am
    This is only being proposed to increase the tax take of the government....take the super as salary up goes your tax.....give me a break!!!!
    The other reason is because the low income earner has no real chance of saving a great deal in super....due to the government continuously changing the rules......and taxing it!
    Super was never meant to be taxed!!!! The original idea was to NOT Tax it so it then became a good investment......but they buggered it by taxing it!!!
    Saalbach
    22nd Feb 2016
    10:45am
    Once again we have an idea worthy of serious discussion being hijacked by hysteria and lack of thought. All workers currently have the option of not making contributions to Super out of their money, but their employers still contribute. Those workers therefore still have some super when they retire. The new proposal is that the employer's contribution be paid as wages - this could be a great idea as it would allow low income earners to pay off their mortgages faster, thus saving them interest and allowing them to make bigger super contributions later. Maybe a safeguard could be that the employer has to pay the additional money straight to the financial institution. Remember, we all have the option of spending all of our super as soon as we retire (some of us do!) so we then become reliant on a pension in any case. Those relying on super for their retirement won't be hurt at all - they won't opt to forgo super contributions for cash in hand, but will continue with the present arrangements. Those desperate for money now will be the ones foregoing their super.
    The amendments to the asset thresholds do not affect those with a meagre super balance, unless you call approx. $300,000 a meagre amount. Many pensioners would kill for that amount! Again, we have a choice here as well. If we don't get a full pension, we can choose to draw down on our super until it is exhausted, then get a full pension. So clearly the current proposal is just another variation on a theme, giving us even more choice!
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:41am
    No doubt you are a supporter of the IPA.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:03pm
    I don't think the idea is worthy of serious discussion, Saalbach. Nor do I see it being ''hijacked by hysteria and lack of thought''. Rather, I see it as being thoroughly short-sighted and ill-conceived, like the change to the assets threshold was. Short term gain for long term pain!

    I DO see merit in allowing lower-paid workers to access their super to buy a home, provided very strict controls are applied to ensure the funds cannot be spent on anything else. Home ownership certainly contributes substantially to a comfortable retirement at lower cost to the taxpayer.

    However, today's workers NEED some superannuation, and what we OUGHT to be doing is reducing the obscene tax concessions to very high income earners to give better tax breaks to low income earners so they can build some super.

    As to the assets test change, no, it didn't affect people with a 'meagre super balance'. It did unfairly punish people for going without to save, destroy retirement plans, and reduce incomes for many to way less than the aged pension, forcing people to drain their savings potentially far too early in retirement and denying many a fair benefit for hard work and frugal living. It also imposed greater hardship on many who have assets that are unsalable and non-returning or returning only a tiny amount. The wild assumption by the Treasurer and Minister that most people affected were people with superannuation was just that - wild and unfounded. Many never received tax concessions of any kind to build their savings. Meanwhile those who spent freely, gifted generously before age 60, or over-invested in a home receive full pensions. In other words, those who acted responsibly and honestly in accordance with both the rules and the government's recommendations at the time ARE TOTALLY SHAFTED.

    We need INCENTIVES and REWARDS in the system for the battlers - NOT for the wealthy. The wealthy will be just fine anyway. They don't need taxpayer support. If we use tax dollars to support the battlers, but ensure incentives are built in to be responsible, we might just get out of this economic malaise we are in. If we keep clutching at short-sighted, self-serving proposals that avoid the real issue and focus on continuing to indulge greed, we have no hope.
    KSS
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:29pm
    Rainey using super funds to buy a home is all well and good as long as that same home is included in the asset test and that downsizing or using the eventual equity in it is mandatory to release the super funds back to fund retirement. After all that is what super is meant to be for isn't it?
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:28pm
    Saalbach: are you kidding or is your post a message from your sponsor? Never read more BS than your contribution. You know full well than any extra money in the pay packet of the poor will be soaked up in 'living', not saving.
    Gra
    22nd Feb 2016
    9:20pm
    Do the sums though Saalbach. Whatever their interest rate is on their mortgage, it wouldn't be as high as the return a lot of super funds get on their investments. People would definitely be better off letting their employer keep paying into their super fund and just keep paying off their mortgage. To pay off their mortgage with their super money and then start paying into super once the mortgage is cleared they would finish up with next to nothing in their super. It is in the early years of super that the fund really starts to build.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    10:23pm
    Now that sounds like an ad for the super industry Gra.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    10:57am
    Great idea. We currently have low paid workers paying a higher tax on a meagre super contribution and the rest is being taken in fees by the super fund. It is better off in the hands of the worker even if it ends up in the pokies.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:28am
    Yes Bonny. anything to make the poor poorer and keep the tax concessions benefiting the rich, eh?
    Queensland Diva
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:30am
    And of course, any low paid worker immediately heads for the poker machines with their wages. Stupid comment
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:39am
    OK so you want to make the super fund managers rich then? I recently saw a fund where a low paid worker had his employer put in over $2000 and his balance after fees and tax was just over $100.

    Even you would agree it is much better for the worker to put it in the pokies instead of the managers getting it in fees.

    I can't see how paying so much in fees and taxes benefits the low paid worker at all.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:42am
    Bonny's another supporter of the IPA - right Bonny?
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:43am
    IPA? How can I support something I don't even know what it is?
    jackie
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:40pm
    Bonny, I don't gamble, smoke, drink or take drugs and am educated. I am vegan, very rarely use a car and save for a rainy day through various investments but not Super which leaves me bugger all to retire on. Not ALL low income workers squander their money and are uneducated.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:29pm
    Bonny, bonny, bonny................your logic has all the merit of a Neut. God help you.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:33pm
    Well my logic can't be half bad as I'm not on welfare.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:47pm
    Bonny, at one time I would have agreed that fees made super unattractive for low income earners. Now, however, there are options that have very low fees and actually return reasonably well. Governments sometimes get SOME things right, and over time they have made the superannuation system relatively good, except for the stupid imbalance of tax concessions that gives nothing to low income earners and huge concessions to the rich. That certainly needs urgent reform. Pushing low income earners out of the system is NOT the right answer.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    3:00pm
    Mick that is not what I see is happening today. Some employers still don't give a super choice and one is a very big employer in this country. I approached this company and asked why. I was told that is all they offer and if it's not acceptable then they don't have a job.

    Most people don't know they can take money out of one fund and put it in another so they are stuck in a high fee fund with low balances. Even if they do especially with this big company the super fund rings and abuses them. So people are unlikely to put their job at risk and complain.

    Personally from what I have seen this proposal to let low paid workers get paid wages in lieu of super is a good idea.

    Remember super only works if you can accumulate it quickly and get past the point where fees and taxes take away what ever goes in.
    Gra
    22nd Feb 2016
    9:22pm
    Rubbish. Employees don't pay tax on their employers contributions to their super fund.
    Is that a toilet you're emoticon is sitting on? Appropriate given your ideas.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    10:20pm
    Employees super fund pay tax on their employers contributions and on any return their fund makes. The fund then pay fees for the administration and premiums for the life insurance component of their fund. These fees are usually a fixed amount which can be a big percentage of small contribution amounts. That can leave virtually nothing in the fund for the employees benefit.

    I am sure that the employee in this situations doesn't see super as something worth having at all. I guess they would see it flushing money down the toilet.
    Not a Bludger
    22nd Feb 2016
    10:59am
    I agree with Saalbach.

    This an excellent idea – property ownership is more important than super and should rank as an equal option to super in terms of securing one's retirement.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:43am
    As if. You are being funny, aren't you?
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:46am
    There's no way the huge majority of low income earners are going to afford property, other than a old car or a hand me down.
    Waiting to retire at 70
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:47am
    "You display all of the 'vision' of Mr Magoo but none of the intelligence"
    Hasbeen
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:02pm
    Super is Paul Keating's bad joke on low income earners. It never had anything to do with helping workers, & everything to do with generation a pool of money for investment. It did sort of work for the wage earner with Keating's interest rates up over 15%, but is a dead loss today.

    In the last 5 years we have watched my wife's super balance, [income about $50000 PA], go nowhere despite contributions.

    At same time our real estate value has skyrocketed by 35%.

    Only a total idiot would rather have their money controlled by a super company, rather than under their own control, & in something that actually generates wealth.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:32pm
    Sounds like the government trolls have arrived. You can always tell by the BS.
    The reality is that super is COMPULSORY SAVING and earnings of the fund are a LOW LOW 15%. The poor need all the help they can get rather than being savaged by government trolls barking like their employers want them to.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:43pm
    Yes super is compulsory saving and fund earnings is a low rate of 15%.

    However if that compulsory saving leaves very little after fees and taxes 15% of SBA is still SBA.

    So where do the poor benefit here?

    Not much one can do SBA in retirement.
    Tigers
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:43pm
    100% correct Hasbeen. Poor ole mick, as soon as someone disagrees with him, they're a govt troll, pity people cant have a sensible discussion without the childish attacks isnt it?
    KB
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:17am
    This is a not a good idea. Pensions are not sufficient to live on now whether you rely on disability or aged pension. I thought that the idea of superannuation is to rely more on your income through years of working. To take away the safety net for low income earners would mean that there would would be more people rely on the aged pension in the future creating even more problems, I agree with Barnaby Joyce about young people saving for a house which will provide a decent asset A house wil only be useful should the person need to sell amd move into a nursing home. People still need capital to live on to pay utilities. The only reason why induesties have brought this up is due to companies not wanting to pay extra tax and prevent workers asking for a pay rise,
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:22am
    Some low income workers super is taken away in fees and tax and there is nothing in their accounts. This would be much better in their hand and not income for super funds and taxes for the government.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:47am
    So give them back their fees and taxes until they can afford to pay them. Don't take away their savings.
    jackie
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:50am
    You are right Bonny. Super for me has been a blatant rip off. My savings account pays more.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:33pm
    Crap Bonny. You know that. Some accounts attract no fees and others are a small percentage. Pull the other one!
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:05pm
    I would have believed you until I saw a statement from the top performing industry fund in which the person's account went backwards. Now if that is the top performing industry fund what would have been the result in one of the others?

    I'll admit I was shocked when I saw it as I knew this fund had just been given the title of top performing industry fund.

    What happens even in industry funds is that they are also life insurance funds and they take out big fees for this as well. Unless you ask them to cut the life insurance component to a minimum they will be billed for the maximum. These life insurance fees have been rising quite a bit lately so are now taking even bigger fees out.

    It is a requirement that self managed funds have a life insurance component unless it is documented that it is considered unnecessary.
    apache
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:17am
    Plan bloody ridiculous idea. Super is a forced saving for later years. For God's sake take it now and it will disappear oh so quickly on that bigger TV or some other wants not as mortgage repayments as some anticipate, OK maybe a few would not treat this .as a holiday windfall. I would hate to have to rely on a pension down the track Wake up young people and take responsibility for yourself.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:25am
    A holiday is better than virtually nothing which is what some have left in their funds after taxes and fees. I recently saw one fund where over $2000 had been contributed and their balance was just over $100. $100 is not going to fund much of their retirement.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:50am
    A specific example like this is not representative of the vast majority of low income workers. I'm beginning to wonder whether it's worth replying to this limited view of reality.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:56am
    It is reality I see these super statements and I just shake my head.

    Some employers even today only allow their employees to use one fund. I know of one major employer that does this.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:34pm
    Correct apache. The poor need to be helped despite themselves. Bonny is all too happy to take the little these folk have. What a creature!
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:11pm
    And how do I do that mick?
    Tigers
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:22pm
    Take no notice Bonny, good ole mick is a serial whinger.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:50pm
    Employers are not permitted to restrict their employees to one fund, Bonny. Freedom of choice is legislated. And there are some excellent funds for low income earners if they are helped to identify them. Perhaps the government should focus more on educating battlers instead of impoverishing them. If this is introduced, employers will have a fabulous excuse for not increasing wages for low income earners and ultimately they will lose BOTH the 9.5% wage increase AND the super savings.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    3:12pm
    Do you really think a worker is going to give up his job if the employer says it's either my fund or no job? I certainly don't.
    Adrianus
    22nd Feb 2016
    4:45pm
    Wrong Rainey! 26 per cent of enterprise bargaining agreements gave workers no choice of super fund and another 5 per cent allowed only limited choice. I think the government should fight the Unions/ALP on this and look after the workers!
    Squeak54
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:14pm
    Rainey my company only deals with REST so I have to agree with Frank and Bonny
    mareela
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:27am
    I'd really like to know how low paid workers would end up with a house in the current market. That's simply pie in the sky! I think it's a stupid idea as low wage earners will never get into the housing market and for a miserly $60/week it will take all of that to cope with increasing cost of living, care of children and family etc. It will probably barely cover the weekly bills.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:51am
    An obvious observation.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:36pm
    Don't live in Sydney or Melbourne for a start. You'd be surprised what 2 incomes, hard work, saving like you invented the word and prudent purchases and investments can do.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:24pm
    What's this I hear about house price falling in Sydney between 30% and 50%?
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:56pm
    A low paid worker can buy a house if they are committed enough to working hard, living frugally, and accepting a modest standard of accommodation rather than demanding new luxury. We were at the bottom of the income ladder and saddled with massive medical debt, so we simply built our own house - living in a shed for 5 years while we build it literally around our ears. It can be done, but most of today's young don't want a home unless it's handed to them. And they are being fed a lot of lies about how much harder it is to get a home than it was for their parents and grandparents. What BS! We paid 17+% interest on loans and everything other than housing cost 10 times as much relative to wages. When I furnished our first home, with the cheapest available double bed, fridge, 3pc lounge suite and laminex table with 6 vinyl chairs, it cost the equivalent of our entire income for 7.6 months. Today, I am seeing nice furniture packages advertised for 2 weeks' wages.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    8:23pm
    Rainey who wants to live like that today? I certainly don't.
    Happy Jack
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:28am
    Here we go, again! a right wing lobbying group coming out with the big pretence they have the interests of the least fortunate in our society at heart. This is a mob that argues against even paltry increases in the minimum wage. So what are they up to? why are they proposing this. A blind dog could see through their stupid proposal-:
    top up the lowly paid workers wages by taking them out of the super equation and, guess what? You take pressure off wage increases! I don't believe for one minute that even this LIEberal Govt will fall for this one.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:52am
    You better believe it. These ideas come from the IPA, the LNP's non-think tank.
    Rae
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:49pm
    Well the government dropped taxes, and dropped them again and again and again to allow the owners of capital a free run towards the wonderful growth at the end of the rainbow.

    Still waiting. Come on IPA what has happened to that wonderful growth that low wages was going to bring us all.
    DMT001
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:35am
    The government took my super to pay for my husband's nursing home accommodation bond. It's said that the bond can be paid off weekly but the weekly fee is too high. People saving for retirement now have to factor in the cost of a nursing home bed which ranges from $200,000 to $600,000 and will increase each year.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:42am
    These nursing bonds are negotiable. I recently negotiate one for an old lady down from $500,000 to $150,000.

    Personally I'd rather employ someone than go into a nursing home. I don't want to play bingo in God's waiting room waiting for my number to be called.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:37pm
    Yeah DMT001. Spot on.
    Chef
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:37am
    Agree with Fast Freddie.
    Not to mention GST from increased disposable income.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:38am
    Opting out of superannuation is another IPA (Institute of Public Relations) inspired idea. It's designed to further undermine the income of the less well off over the longer term. This mob is pragmatically evil.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:45am
    Super for some low income workers is already doing that. They would be much better off with the money in their pay packets.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:58am
    They'd be better off if they did not pay tax or fees on their low super deposits. The ones you mention are very few and are generally unemployed for longer than they are employed. Put a number on it Bonny, then cite your sources. It's time the wealthy lost their tax breaks and the balance redressed in this country.

    I would not be surprised if you're a supporter of the IPA.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:10pm
    No some of the statements I see are from people who have full time jobs but low incomes. They are disgusted with their super and think super is a dead loss.

    Super is not for the low paid worker as the super fees are fixed and the 15% tax they pay is more than they would pay if the took it as wages.

    My sources are the super statements people show me.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:40pm
    Well put Paulodapotter.
    The current government and their big business masters have been crying out for a US style system where the bottom end are destitute slaves and the top end have all sorts of outs from the tax system and live the life of Riley.
    I for one also find the current lot evil. There is no other applicable word. it is what it is. No humanity or soul!
    jackie
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:38am
    I think all worker should be allowed to invest their money into what ever they choose instead of Super. I have been a low income worker all my life and most of my compulsory Super has been eaten away with fees and charges. The only one thats benefited has been the super company.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:05pm
    Wouldn't you be better off if you didn't have to pay tax and fees below a certain threshold, like your income for instance, where the first $20,000 is tax free? A much better solution than putting it into your hands to invest in beer and cigarettes, because you would never be able to afford to invest in anything that would appreciate in value sufficiently to support you in retirement. Once you had the money in your hand, your employers would have a perfect excuse to reduce your wages over time resulting in you ending up no better off and in no man's land. That's what this government altimately wants. Don't be a patsy again.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:40pm
    And what happens when they blow it....as many will?
    Tigers
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:32pm
    And they're not going to blow it later mick? For low income earners super is a waste of time and effort. Super is a tax haven for the rich, and an income source for Financial advisors, nothing more, nothing less. We were conned.
    kev888
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:41am
    Superannuation is a small denomination [9.5%] taken from your earnings, It is your bank account to help future proof impoverish daily living in old age. Superannuation is your money to do as you see fit. The aged pension is an entitlement, no welfare that in part has been set aside form your tax contributions from you working life. The fault is with the govt we would not have this situation/discussion if they had invested our entitlement. The bottom line is it is your money and your choice to do whatever with it . Perhaps we should sue the government for failure to invest the super deductions that is leading most of us in to an impoverished end of life. Gather your walking stick and stand up to them
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:06pm
    I like it!
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:18pm
    Theory is one thing what is happening is another.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:43pm
    The truth is that governments have helped themselves to 'pension' funds and now these form a part of consolidated revenue. If they could do the same with super (they are trying) then they'd take that too. Add to this the complete mismanagement of the nation and policies which have made us dependent on overseas investors and you have the pickle we are in. Worse to come folks unless somebody pulls a rabbit out of the hat. Sadly not too many rabbits left!
    Chat
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:19pm
    The compulsory Employer Superannuation payment is not the worker's money as some of you seem to be saying. It is a set amount to be paid by the employer based on the worker's wage. When I was an employer the contribution was not part of the wage structure and it was never meant to be, it was a payment that was over and above the worker's wage --- an expense for the employer. Therefore if the Gov't says the employer no longer needs to pay the contribution into a Super fund there can be no guarantee that the employee's wage will rise.
    Chat
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:30pm
    The idea behind this payment was so that all workers would have some Superannuation at the end of their working life to help to support them. Therefore the proposal being put forward is really ridiculous.
    Rae
    22nd Feb 2016
    3:13pm
    There wouldn't be any rabbit left mick. You can bet your last dollar they would have already sold that last rabbit to some other governments cooking pot.
    Happy Jack
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:47am
    Jackie, get your act together. Take note of the ads on Tele, their factual. If your super is being eaten away by fees and charges you are in the wrong type of fund. Get out of that fund that sucking you dry and into an industry fund. you won't look back. There's plenty of them and they are all outperforming the bank/ insurance company owned leech sucking types.
    jackie
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:52am
    Happy Jack they are all the same. I am in an industry fund. My savings accounts pays more. I have shuffled my way through several different Super companies and have lost money doing that with fees too.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:53am
    I know of a person in the top performing industry fund and their super is going no where. So unless you have a decent amount even in an industry fund they are not any better than any of the others.

    Those ads on TV are very misleading in my opinion. Might be OK if you have $200,000 plus but not if you have a small balance.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:09pm
    Jackie, you're too smart to be genuinely for this hairbrained scheme. Are you, like Bonny, a member of a business organisation advocating this attack on the poor? I smell a rat.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:12pm
    Beware of these two, Happy Jack. I'm on less than $1800 a month and compared to super when I was a teacher, super today is an amazing return on investment. These two are telling massive porkies and are definitely not the genuine article.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:15pm
    I'm no member of any business organisation.

    I think everyone should be contributing to super but I don't like what I see is happening to the super of the low wage earners.

    My own super is great but unfortunately that is not the case for many people. I guess it is the fact that no one looks after your money as good as you. I managed my own super.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:19pm
    IF you did, it was because you could afford to. Anyone on a lower income than me wouldn't have a hope in hell in managing their own super.. Leave the poor alone, Bonny. You are a danger to them. I have property so my retirement is not dependent on my super, but people on low incomes must be proteceted from people like you.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:27pm
    We should be fighting for abolishing tax and fees on those with miniscule incomes, not removing the only savings they have. When Bonny says she's feeling sorry for the poor, the stink of rat gets really powerful. Okay, you don't belong to a business organisation, Bonny. What's your true vested interest?
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:29pm
    That's the point I do what I can to help people on low incomes and what I see happening with their super is not good for them.

    Obviously some people relying here have no idea of how super works in reality for low wage earners.
    jackie
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:47pm
    Paulodapotter, Why do you think that Government is thinking of this in the first place? The Government is aware that most low income workers are being ripped off badly by Super funds. Speaking of taxes the more income a low paid worker gets then the more taxes they pay. It's a NO brainer. That means the Government will benefit from this too as well as the low paid worker. Leave the Super for the rich, they only benefit from it.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:45pm
    Jack: be careful not to listen to the lies the media spins. Sure there are fees but if invested in an Industry Fund ( the ones this government has been trying to destroy) then fees are low.
    When balances grow at a healthy rate then it means that fees manageable.
    Jannie
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:58am
    WHAT IDIOTS WE HAVE IN GOVERNMENT TOTALLY DISAPPOINTED WITH BOTH PARTIES.
    Paulodapotter
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:32pm
    Jannie, don't vote for them then. Vote for someone you find has decency behind their decisionmaking and not self interest. There are plenty of independents and small parties that are not bound by party room restrictions and have a genuine interest in making a positive contribution to this world of ours.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:37pm
    If you vote them you vote for one of the 2 major parties.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:47pm
    So stop voting for the 2 major parties Jannie. Why do you think nothing ever changes? A high IQ is not needed to work this one out despite the fact that most people KEEP MAKING THE SAME MISTAKE.
    Trish
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:44pm
    Bonny is right - I have casual work for several organisations, who pay into a super fund on my behalf (I have no choice). The last statement from the fund shows Investment Returns $35.70, and Fees deducted $57.48. So not only have I lost the investment funds, the remainder has been deducted from my capital. I have been told I have no choice, the organisations have to pay into this particular fund - just a waste of their money (and mine).
    jackie
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:51pm
    Trish that happened to me all the time when I worked casual for several different companies over a 5 year period. I had to go into their industry super find or else I was not allowed to have the job. I complained to the Super Tribunal about the fees and not being allowed to have a choice and they did absolutely nothing. The whole industry is a scam that operates together.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:55pm
    Most of these fund have an insurance component that may be of use which might be a good reason to have them too. If not then you can transfer your capital out of them.

    Do you have another fund you can transfer the capital into? If you do this then the only fees they can take out is what your employers puts in. That's what I suggest for people I know with second jobs.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:50pm
    Sounds odd. You must have a low balance if your return is so low. Super is not meant for miniscule contributions and I was of the understanding that no fees were applicable on low balances..
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:10pm
    I haven't seen any low balances that didn't still have fees taken out.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:59pm
    Freedom of choice of fund is legislated. If employers are forcing you into a fund, they are breaking the law. Demand to choose your own fund. There are some very good ones out there for low contributors.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    3:02pm
    How do you demand choice when it's their fund or no job? Some times these people have spend lots of time and effort on getting that job so why would they risk it for something they may get decades later?
    PIXAPD
    22nd Feb 2016
    12:55pm
    With full aged pension and just $50,000 in Super, and renting... you are set.....so easy, so simple
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:51pm
    "Renting" is death to average retirees. Don't know know how you live anything other than day to day. Tough one.
    kev888
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:01pm
    All I can add is all of you vote for those in government. How many times are you going keep bending over and taking it. Its time for revolution this conversation is going no where, ACTION is required tip a few cars over burn the buildings OR VOTE THEM OUT
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:32pm
    and vote the other mob in. I don't like either.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:53pm
    Like it. Suggestion: make a difference by NOT voting Liberal or Labor. That will have the same effect if enough voters wise up. Sadly most people have been groomed to vote exactly the wrong way. So we all suck it up.....
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:56pm
    That's why I don't vote at all.
    Tigers
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:37pm
    That is worse than voting for Liberal or Labor Bonny. A vote is a vote is a vote. A vote for an independent or a lessor party, Greens exempt, they're nutcases, is a vote against the major parties, and the only way we will be able to make them see reason. So please dont waste your vote.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    3:15pm
    That's what they want us to think but if the number of blank papers get a majority then something is very wrong with our voting system.
    ex PS
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:33pm
    Did I read correctly, Barnaby Joyce is saying that the money that would be invested in Super would be better spent in paying off a family home?
    A family home that will used by the government to pay for a future pension?
    Firstly, low income earners would not find the extra money in their pay packet to be sufficient to make much difference to a mortgage debt, secondly this money is more likely to be used for daily living expenses and finally, if the government takes the latest advice from its experts no one will be investing in a home that will end up being owned by the government and can not be passed on to their heirs.
    Maybe the libs need to start putting the Nats in the memo loop?
    How does it make sense to encourage the well off to invest in Super and deny the opportunity to the ones who really need it.
    Why aren't we cutting the help to the well off and giving more help to the working battlers?
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:38pm
    Good idea tell the super funds to hold off on fees to the low income earners. Somehow I don't think they will take any notice.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:56pm
    ex PS: you need to understand that the current government is out to get average and poor Australians. You should have no doubt about this after the past 2 years of trying to tax us all whilst crying tax reform (for the rich). It will be over when this bunch of puppets working for the big end of town are sent on their way.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:07pm
    I think you will find the big end of town influence both sides of politics in Australia and I find it hard to say which one they influence the most.
    Adrianus
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:50pm
    Definitely, I think it's agreat idea for those who work only under the minimum required ($450 month) or for under aged employess. This group misses out. Why???
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2016
    1:57pm
    And the normal message from Frank's sponsor. How about plugging Work Choices as well.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:08pm
    I liked the idea of Work Choices myself.
    Tigers
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:45pm
    Me too Bonny, it was a good system.
    Adrianus
    22nd Feb 2016
    3:17pm
    So mick you are happy for someone who earns only $400 in a month to miss out on getting paid the 9.5%. That's $38 mick? I really think these people are missing out and should get that amount added to their pay? What's wrong with that mick?
    Rae
    22nd Feb 2016
    3:25pm
    My first job was on contract. My last ten years of work was on contract. All my kids work on contract. I very much doubt Work Choices would have been any worse for low paid workers than what is already happening to them.

    Negotiating a contract is not that scary.
    Adrianus
    22nd Feb 2016
    4:27pm
    I agree Rae, I have worked the last 35 years in a variety of occupations being paid what I have asked for. I think there are some workers who need an advocate though. I have seen bullying tactics by spouses with no negotiating skills have (or experience) fail miserably. So in many cases an arms length advocate is best?
    MITZY
    22nd Feb 2016
    4:42pm
    I would imagine that most low paid workers are not putting any contributions of their own into super, they wouldn't have the capacity to do so especially if they are renting. What is being contributed to their accounts would be the current 9.5% compulsory employer contribution. So, if the government says that this 9.5% should be given to the lowly paid employer as a wage increase, surely the employer wouldn't necessarily be obliged to pay its "own" contribution moneys to the employee.
    Adrianus
    22nd Feb 2016
    4:57pm
    MITZY, every full time worker has the capacity to hang onto some of the money which passes through their hands.
    Problem is that 30% of the workforce are part time.
    Part timers are 30 hrs or less.

    Employers must pay super (9.5%0) for employees if they are:
    •18 years old or over, and are paid $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month
    •under 18 years old, being paid $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month and work more than 30 hours in a week.

    The worker who works only limited hours in a month and gets paid less than $450 is missing out on the 9.5%. That is my point.
    Sundays
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:31pm
    This is a ridiculous suggestion. Firstly, not everyone is on a low income for their whole life, but under this proposal no money is put into their super account for many years and they miss out on compound interest. Secondly business contributes the 9.5% into super, and under this proposal they will give it to the worker? Really? More likely a one off pay increase and no further pay rises for years. The extra will quickly be eroded . Find a super fund with low fees, they exist and even if you are a low income earner after 40 years of employer contributions, there will be something to add to the pension
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2016
    3:03pm
    You are right, Sundays. The pay rise will be eaten up with employers refusing subsequent increases on the grounds that there was a big one recently, so workers will lose at both ends. And yes, there ARE good funds with low fees. And yes, any amount of super is a help at retirement time, but the majority will increase their income at some point.
    MD
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:33pm
    We all like to contribute comment, be they; ideas,suggestions,examples, hare brained schemes and on the odd occasion a slur, disparaging comment or ridicule. I guess if one sets oneself up for it & then grumbles when matters don't go their way only has themselves to blame.
    The ship of state is adrift on tempestuous seas - best not rely on the clown at the helm (he isn't aware that the bilge pumps are inoperative & some idiot left the sea cocks open).
    You've probably heard the cliche 'money always finds it's way back to its source', or words to this effect. We can incessantly bang our heads and beat our breasts about matters over which we have very limited control. Knowledge is power - and power corrupts ! So who holds the purse strings to the vast sums held in super funds, regardless of any one individuals balance. We are the bunnies and do as you wish however, what you may like to do and what you are in fact allowed to do with (your) money will be restricted to that which the power brokers decide. It's every man for himself,(no gender bias meant).
    Happy sailing, remember - 'it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good'.
    Waiting to retire at 70
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:38pm
    You don't get ahead in life without some pain and a certain amount of sacrifice; be it a house, a car or a dignified retirement. If low paid workers aren't being paid enough to live on, fix it now. Don't divert their "employer contribution" to their superannuation into paying them a decent wage. Don't sentence them to an inadequate, undignified, poverty plagued retirement - Why? If for no other reason that people who end up in such circumstance generally cost more in their call on medical service support during retirement than those on an adequate, though frugal, retirement income.

    One trait of Australian society, with its genesis arising from the devastation and carnage of the battlefields of Europe in WWI, is Australia's rock solid adherence to 'fastidious egalitarianism'. There it gave Australia a higher survival rate than the class-conscious British (and Europeans) and the individualistic Americans. WWII, Vietnam, and now the Middle East continue to demonstrate this. Over time we have translated this into 'a fair go.' And it is still a tennant that drives our culture today and, hopefully for centuries to come.

    Silly, ill-conceived ideas like the abolishment of compulsary superannuation for the lower paid amongst us (which, according the the Act, are "employer contributions" anyway, NOT employee) come from people with the "vision of Mr Magoo but none of the intelligence". And should be treated with the contempt they demonstrate for the less fortunate in our country - 'a fare go?' Hardly.
    Mamacrystal
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:48am
    Well put
    Chris B T
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:49pm
    Those on working visa's and meet the job type requirement etc, good Idea.
    The wage adjustment must reflect that and stated on the pay slip.
    Australians no matter how small an income or 14.75years old No Way and should be placed in super funds where fees DO NOT ERRODE the funds.
    If super was removed will the minimum wage increase by the same % and made into law that no one will be worse off.
    mIKER
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:52pm
    Trust our deputy PM to support the idea, he can see all those extra bucks being spent to swell the profits of the Big End of town. Then there's the furphy that the money will be used to buy houses; what a joke, try getting a mortgage for the average house on an income barley above subsistence level. Yet another example of Malcolm and co looking after the less well off.
    mIKER
    22nd Feb 2016
    2:55pm
    And I forgot to mention that when the folk that have converted super to cash and have no savings come retirement no doubt our Deputy PM will chastise them for being bludgers on the pension system. What a joke.
    Adrianus
    22nd Feb 2016
    3:51pm
    Well what a bunch of windsocks. Last week the majority of posters were lamenting that super was not worth it.
    "We have been conned into having super!"
    "We have been cheated and conned into saving for our retirement!"
    This week when it is suggested to scrap super (as an option), there are more cries of fowl play. lol :)
    Phil1943
    22nd Feb 2016
    4:09pm
    Fowl play, Frank? Good pun considering your photo. At least we can all appreciate the depth of feeling we have for keeping our superannuation funds as intact as possible. They're what we're going to have to live on people, and I don't think there'll be much of an age pension left in a couple more years.
    I think compulsory super is a good idea and will mean a better life for those who work until retirement age but don't have the huge incomes of the top earners.
    But that money is not a pool of taxable funds; it's ours and we need it for our later, non-earning years.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    4:12pm
    Frank I guess those old folks just don't like change. Even a good change is not seen as good.

    The odd thing is most would not have super and if they did it would be minimal. Most would be collecting the pension and as such not really aware of the real benefits of super especially the tax benefits.

    The outcry over the change to the taper rate suggests many are in that bracket. Many would have modest homes and it is very unlikely that any legislation around having the house included in the assets test would not effect them.

    After seeing what is happening with the super balances of low paid workers it is certainly not an investment for the worker after fees and taxes. Maybe they believe that industry hype that says it's time in super that makes the difference. I can see why they say that and the cynical part of me says the benefit is not for the worker.

    Sorry folks change has always happened and it's happening again.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2016
    5:31pm
    Frank what do you expect with contributors to these columns the likes of labor mick, jackass, miker etc, good to see some brainy comments by the likes of bonnie and tiger.
    this plan did not even come from this government, it was a submission by some industry groups, of course that is enough for the wolfpack of lifechoises contributors, baying for the blood of this government, anything to get labor, better known as the unions, labor mick being one of them, back in government, as long as they get more free handouts, the better, forget Australia is bleeding and going to the wall, it just shows their mentality, me, me, me.
    sometimes I hope it will happen, but then again I have to think about my grandchildren.
    as for labor mick, call me a troll and I will proudly wear that title.
    PIXAPD
    22nd Feb 2016
    4:24pm
    Arrange things right and renting is no problem at all..it's fun
    tj
    22nd Feb 2016
    4:56pm
    If it is right you could get a$60 dollar a week payrise if you opted out of super ,in other words super would be VOLUNTARY maybe investing in property and negative gear it would be an attractive idea .Maybe the super funds would lift their game with fees etc . As it is now I (retired living off my super and tiny pension) constantly worry about low returns and hate watching the financial reports on the telly.Wish I could have had that option in my working life

    22nd Feb 2016
    5:32pm
    This is ludicrous! The people most in need of a superannuation back-up is the group where a government wants to take away their chance at some sort of assistance in retirement. If any government is so concerned about those people on low incomes then lifet the minimum wage for God's sake. There are supposed experts who are saying that to successfully retir a retiree needs $1M in super which scares the Bejeesus out of the populace. This is absolute bullshit because what they are talking about is, maybe, a self funded retiree living off superannuation solely who wants an overseas trip each year and a new car each two years.

    The practicality is that very few people will want either and if retirees have a balance of some funds in super which they can use to prop up the Age Pension, get all the side benefits with reductions in rates, electricity, health etc they can be comfortable. Low wage earners would be the ones who would benefit the most from a small amount of super to supplement the meagre Age Pension. It won't get steak dinners at a fancy restaurant every night but it will give a small boost to the Age Pension without disrupting the Health Card.
    Adrianus
    22nd Feb 2016
    6:56pm
    Old man I doubt lifting the min wage will have a positive effect. That's what we've been doing for many years and it's not working, because everything else goes up, leaving the mini wage, well, minimial.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2016
    6:57pm
    I agree Frank but something must be done to protect the lowest paid workers from what I think is mere political exploitation.
    Adrianus
    22nd Feb 2016
    7:10pm
    Yep, I cant stop thinking about the Chiquita Mushrooms workers being kept in the dark about who was actually helping them.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2016
    7:50pm
    Oh Frank, you're so norty.
    ex PS
    22nd Feb 2016
    11:09pm
    I do think we need wage equity, I was lucky enough to have a well paid job for the last five years of my working life and could boost my super.
    Maybe we should be linking the top salaries of company executives to the lowest paid worker in the organisation. In some countries the top executive of a company can only earn a fixed multiple of their lowest paid worker. Of course this should relate to government and the public service.
    As far as lifting the wages of average workers, I think Frank is right, it causes rises in inflation.
    As far as lowering wages the effect is less money in the economy and businesses going broke. A fair wage for everyone is the best solution.
    Innyoo
    22nd Feb 2016
    5:39pm
    actually I would love to have the opt out option.... I am a stay at home mum who has only ever had a few casual jobs. The super funds soon used up the bit that I had, so I did not get the money and do not have any super now.. Super funds do not work when you don't have much.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    6:03pm
    Agree super funds only work when you can build it up quickly so that you have something left after fees and taxes on which to build.

    There is a minimum balance under which you can take it all out so that you get something out of it. If you leave it there it soon gets eaten up with fees.
    LiveItUp
    22nd Feb 2016
    6:03pm
    Agree super funds only work when you can build it up quickly so that you have something left after fees and taxes on which to build.

    There is a minimum balance under which you can take it all out so that you get something out of it. If you leave it there it soon gets eaten up with fees.
    Adrianus
    22nd Feb 2016
    6:51pm
    Innyoo, I personally think super should have no taxes and have a universal RBL. But the Hawke government decided to introduce a contributions tax and an income tax which really hurts people in your situation. It is totally unfair. If you are out of work for a year you still pay 15% tax on the earnings of your retirement savings. Where's the sense in that???!!!
    Happy Jack
    22nd Feb 2016
    7:31pm
    Becalmed MD, becalmed, ride it out and you'll soon be fair weather sailing once again. Just watch out for sniper pirates though. You'll know when they cross your bow- normally stuff up the sentence structure and haven't got a clue on using punctuation. In the old days we'd have had them strung up over the yardarm or, even better, walking the plank. That's, of course, after they'd been skull dragged under the keel.
    john
    22nd Feb 2016
    9:14pm
    the people who would opt out are just the ones that shouldn't as they will be looking for handouts during retirement.
    Sam01
    22nd Feb 2016
    9:50pm
    Before long no-one will want to invest in their superannuation, what with the constant changes. So there will be a lot more demand on full or part pensions, health care cards, and other welfare subsidies. The welfare cake will be the same size, with a lot more people getting a slice, so everyone's slice will be smaller. Careful what you wish for!
    ex PS
    22nd Feb 2016
    10:24pm
    So true, thyis government has no idea of lobg term planning, it can't see past the next election.
    Happy Jack
    23rd Feb 2016
    6:55am
    Congrats, germsjerk69- you've taken to using comma's and have even had the temerity to use a capital letter. Well done, appears you didn't skip English class today. Now we need to work on the capitals for the start of all sentences, not to mention the full stops at the end of a sentence. Keep up the good work germsjerk69. Your prize for today's effort- 3 stars..
    Adrianus
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:10am
    I don't know if this has been discussed.
    There are a large number of people who do not want their Superannuation.
    The ATO has released some interesting data on the $16 Billion unwanted superannuation pool.
    Clearly the money spent on tracking down these lost members has not made much of a difference. Only $579m belongs to temporary residents.
    It appears to me that we don't really care much for super until we reach age 40. That's when we consolidate accounts. Reducing the number of accounts is an indication of members' attitude.
    Why penalise employers for not paying money to people who don't want it?

    Have a look at these stats, then think about why this madness cannot continue?
    https://www.ato.gov.au/About-ATO/Research-and-statistics/In-detail/Super-statistics/Super-accounts-data/Super-accounts-data-overview/
    PlanB
    24th Feb 2016
    3:16pm
    I tell you if these scum get in again God help us as they will say they have a mandate to do ANYTHING and they are desperate and heartless
    Adrianus
    24th Feb 2016
    4:18pm
    I agree PlanB, if labor get back in we are finished. These scum will destroy the very fabric of our society. Unemployment will reach the 11% we had in the Hawke / Keating days. House prices will plummet leaving the rich to consolidate and get richer. They will treat us all like we worked at Chiquita Mushrooms. Heartless. Spread the word!
    ex PS
    24th Feb 2016
    6:24pm
    Frank, what will happen to house prices if the proposal to leverage the family home to pay pensions gains legs? Imagine all those houses hitting the market in huge quantities once the original owners are out of the way.
    It is the right wing governments that want high unemployment, so that they can provide their mates with cheap labour. This is the way that they will pay them back for all their campaign contributions.
    SPREAD THE WORD!!!!!
    Actually I thought PlanB was talking about the LNP, my apoligies to PlanB if I am missrepresenting him.
    PlanB
    25th Feb 2016
    7:14am
    I was talking about Turnbull and his mob but I think Lab are a dead loss also --but the Libs are a heartless lot of scum, see they have been caught out yet again.

    http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/morning-shows/assistant-treasurer-kelly-odwyer-slips-up-on-house-prices-on-live-tv-contradicts-pm/news-story/5cc79f72c220aa1e9d539b6c250ac9bd
    Adrianus
    25th Feb 2016
    7:54am
    Posters like mick and others have been saying that news corp backs the LNP? That doesn't seem like it? lol
    ex PS
    25th Feb 2016
    10:55am
    PlanB, after faithfully backing one of the so called major partys most of my working life I have come to the conclusion that the voters have perpetuated the myth that the ALP and LNP rule by some sort of divine right.
    I now refute this myth and am looking for alternative options. Retiring is a new phase of our lives and I am going to put aside the somewhat childish notion of a two party political system and think independantly, my vote will go to making life easier/fairer for retirees.
    PlanB
    26th Feb 2016
    6:39am
    ex PS, yes the big two are a dead loss and we have to either have another party and or many independents as if they are given free rein they would be even worst than they are now.
    Ruth
    25th Feb 2016
    4:07pm
    I say why not?!
    Maybe for 5 years to give people a leg up.
    We are in for a long recession with no likelihood of pay rises and those of us already in super are losing.
    MiningMagnet
    26th Feb 2016
    11:48am
    I guess we are now seeing the ideologues within the Libs having showing their hand
    No real surprise I guess with a leadership team so well-versed in treachery, lies and betrayal, who have all demonstrated a 'win at all costs' attitude completely lacking in moral or ethical standards of any kind, to their careers and personal advancement
    The last thing they want is a financially independent lower class and if we can siphon a few dollars from them into the profit lines for a few mates in business so much the better
    It really is a sickening process to watch the manner in which those - usually those least able to defend themselves - poorer sections of society are under attack by the powerful
    The GFC creators did not go after the rich and powerful in their Ponzi-like schemes, but the 'ninja' groups ....this is no different is intent.
    The more elements of system fairness we allow the ideologues to dismantle, the more pain we prescribe for our children and their children
    Australia has a history of being very poorly led, both in politics and in business, this last little excursion into removing yet another source of wealth from low-income earners into the pockets of business shows their commitment to the US economic model
    The most important dollars in super are the early dollars - fact
    The most commonly voiced concern over eroding of (small) super dollars by fees and charges is simply of another sign that no govt (either right or left) has the courage to take on the industry and ensure that fees are charged only on performance and remain at reasonable levels.
    I would be interested to see how quickly a balance would grow if fees were only chargeable above a legislated minimum balance !!
    ex PS
    27th Feb 2016
    8:09pm
    Of coarse the government does not want people investing in Super. They are touting a policy of making people work longer and trying to covince us that they are doing us a favour by doing so.
    Their big business benefactors need a large cheap workforce and a system that could lead to seniors having independant financial resources will spoil that.
    It has been proven that even allowing for market downturns Super is an excellant long term investment.
    I took particular interest in the financial markets prior to my exit from the workforce and I saw first hand how markets and Super recovered after the last GFC. Even now those who have invested in the safer Super Pension investment options have more than doubled the income given through banks with long term deposit rates.


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