Pensioners need real change – not just small change

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Would you preference a political party that prioritises pension increases?

An overwhelming 94 per cent of YourLifeChoices Age Pension Poll respondents say that’s a real possibility.

On 20 March 2019, the Age Pension will increase by $9.90 per fortnight for singles and $7.40 per person for couples. Again, it is no more than a cup of coffee or a loaf of bread each week, but it is still an increase – of sorts.

But not enough to keep up with the cost of living, say 63 per cent of respondents.

The Age Pension base rate has not increased since 2008, and 92 per cent of survey respondents say it’s time to lift it.

When asked by how much, 45 per cent said $100 per fortnight would suffice, 33 per cent say $160 is required and 19 per cent say $60 a fortnight would be sufficient. Only three per cent think the current rate is appropriate

YourLifeChoices members shared their opinions on the Age Pension.

“The Age Pension should be a percentage of federal politicians’ base rates. When they get a pay rise, so do pensioners. Until you have set parameters, this will be an ongoing problem, so cut the ‘BS’ and fix it with one stroke/legislation. Who wants the pensioner vote at the next election?” wrote YourLifeChoices members Chris T.

Others think pensioners are already doing fine.

“Yes, give the greedy leaners more, while they cheer the theft from the battling self-funded,” wrote OlderandWiser.

Others disagree with this sentiment.

“Leaners is a derogatory term and should not be used,” wrote Paddington.

Some said there is a bigger picture to consider.

“Given the slow growth in wages, housing price crash, and Labor’s decision to take money away from low-income single-family residents, there should be a freeze on pension increases, until the economy and everyone else is collectively better off. We simply cannot afford a pension increase at this time,” wrote Lothario.

While some may view pensioners as “greedy leaners”, many pensioners – such as YourLifeChoices member Eggles01 – are in the pre-compulsory super generation and rely on the Age Pension to survive.

“I am now 76 years old. When I started work in 1958, there was no such thing as superannuation. To make it worse in my case I was put on a disability pension in 1991 at the age of 49. I was classified as ‘unemployable’ due to my injuries while I was working – wait for it – by the visiting Government doctor who placed me the disabled pension. I had the injuries in 1982, so I ask you how well you would cope under those circumstances?”

These are the people who need real change – not just small change.

Many age pensioners are heading into winter knowing that half the time they will have to choose between eating and turning on their heaters. These are the pensioners who need help.

Pension poverty is real. It’s time politicians realised this and did something about it.

“The real leaners are the retiring MPs collecting money left, right and centre. Even though they have millions and a lot of property they are not asset-tested and often get another job after retiring, but still get a government pension. Why not spend your time attacking them instead of the pensioners who are struggling? Not all are leaners,” wrote musicveg.

When it comes to alternatives to raising the base rate, OlderandWiser may actually be onto something.

“The only solution is to abolish the assets test and test income and deemed income. Why should someone who settles for a lower value home be punished and deprived while someone who sinks a million into a house get a nice pension and concessions?” wrote OlderandWiser.

“Abolish the assets test and test income and deemed income only. That removes the incentive to over-invest in the family home and ends the unfairness to those who can’t generate good investment returns.” .

Do you think the Age Pension should become an election issue? Do you have an idea to solve pension poverty? Take part in our Age Pension Poll and share your opinions in the comment section below.

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RELATED LINKS

Age Pension update: increases and changes from 20 March 2019

Changes to the Age Pension that will come into effect on 20 March 2019.

Changes to Newstart rates and thresholds

From 20 March 2019, Newstart rates and thresholds will be indexed.

Rent assistance rates payable from 20 March 2019

The new payment rates and limits for rent assistance.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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128 Comments

Total Comments: 128
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    I don’t want my comment, quoted above, to be misinterpreted. I don’t dispute that there are some pensioners living in poverty and in genuine need of help, and I think we need to do more for them. The issue, for me, is the greed and selfishness that is motivating support for denying people who worked hard and saved well the benefits they earned, and claiming excessive benefits for manipulators and spendthrifts.

    We need a return to personal responsibility. We need incentives and rewards for the lifestyle choices that are good for the economy – not this continual harping on ‘take from anyone who appears to have a little and give to anyone who appears (or claims) not to have as much’. Why don’t they have as much? It’s usually because they chose to spend more on immediate pleasures. Fine. Good luck to them. But why should those who went without those pleasures to save now have to hand their savings to those who chose the immediate pleasures instead?

    I keep seeing renters harping on the inadequacy of rent assistance and claiming they shouldn’t have to move away from family and friends or into smaller accommodation. In an ideal world, true – they shouldn’t have to. But those of us who busted ourselves paying off a mortgage have to live where we can afford to live. Those of us who don’t qualify for a pension under harsh and unfair rules have to adjust our lifestyles. Why should we have to deplete our hard-won savings while those who made different lifestyle choices get more handouts. Oh, yes, it’s the old ‘luck’ card! What a load of BS! Luck had nothing to do with it in most cases. It was bloody hard work and sacrifice. Yes, some folk have more luck than others. (I had almost none!) Some have better opportunities. Some are smarter. But if we keep abusing and stealing from the people whose hard work and saving are helping the budget, we’ll have a nation of needy people and nothing to give them – like Italy and Greece;

    The ‘entitlement’ attitude is ruling our society, and it seems the sole criteria for entitlement is the appearance of need. We should go back to the notion that entitlement derives from work and responsible living. People are ENTITLED to enjoy the lifestyle they earned by their work and lifestyle choices. If we did that, there would be greater overall prosperity and far more capacity to increase benefits to those in genuine need. While the appearance of need – or the greedy demands – are the criteria, too much will continue to go to the manipulators and spendthrifts – as it does at present.

    I am not opposed to pensions. I needed welfare badly at times and I’m endlessly grateful for our welfare system. What I oppose rigorously is the greed and selfishness of those who demand people who worked hard and saved well sacrifice all that they earned to hand to manipulators and spendthrifts. Sadly, there are a few on this site who are downright abusive bullies and attack anyone who exposes the truths of our flawed system and Labor’s appalling intent. (One even resorted to stalking me online – apparently DESPERATE to stop me exposing the truth of Labor’s hideous policy!)
    One can only assume they are, or have been, manipulators who benefited unfairly from those flaws. And clearly they have no respect for people who are suffering unfairly for their past honesty and integrity.

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      Well said Wise one .
      I stand by what I said 100%

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      OlderandWiser. Your first line could solve many issues regarding the Age pension. Especially the continual dispute between whether it is welfare or an entitlement.
      So let’s start with that opening of yours “I don’t want my comment, quoted above, to be misinterpreted. I don’t dispute that there are some pensioners living in poverty and in genuine need of help, and I think we need to do more for them.”

      THAT is what should be determined first, before anything else.
      Let’s determine who are those people and how do they “qualify” to be classified as such.
      Those pensioners who are living in poverty and are in genuine need of help.
      For mine, all who fit into that category are entitled to a basic WELFARE payment. Fundamentally!! Like a disabled person is entitled to a Disability pension. No elderly person who has lived in Australia for all or most of their lives and contributed to this great country should ever live in poverty and in genuine need of help!!!
      We know what is classified officially as “the poverty level” and the amount of assets and income that is classified as to be “living in poverty”. That’s a great start.
      And Centrelink KNOWS who of their recipients fall into that category. It would not be hard at all, to segregate that group into a special category of “Age Pensioner” from those others who receive the Age Pension but are not “living in poverty”.
      There would,therefore, be two classes of Age Pension, which pays enough to those who’s assets and income deem them to NEED “welfare”, “help”, to get them out of “poverty” and the rest would receive their pension as a well earned and deserved entitlement for their life’s contributions, based upon a more equitable assets and income test that would not, as it happens now, take from those that genuinely need WELFARE assistance.
      It probably would end up being cost neutral if done properly and kills many issues with the one process.
      Those who are “living in poverty” cannot complain about being considered to be welfare recipients, because that is what they NEED and the others can stop considering those recipients to be “leaners” as their payments would not be affected by the welfare payments being paid to the genuinely NEEDY recipients.
      Why can’t that simple process be implement very quickly.
      It is quite immoral to see pension payments being paid to people with hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets, which payments reduce the amount that can and should be paid to those living in poverty. It is simply not a “fair go”!!

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      Easy to say when, for instance, your choice in ‘partner’ is not flawed by the other one’s insanity and such… I suppose you could call that ‘luck’. And most have no guarantee of reliable income.. not only that, but not all get the freebies involved in knowing how to manipulate the tax system (steal cattle from the ATO Corral) – or perhaps more importantly, would even do it if they could… then there are those with preferential super schemes and those who’ve had super schemes for a lifetime of work.

      Not all can go into a successful business, but must reply on a regular wages income.

      You can’t just dismiss ‘luck’, and certainly hard work and deserving have nothing to do with it.

      I doubt that, in retirement, anyone would be ‘stealing’ anything from those who’ve, say, enjoyed a tax-free run via manipulation and cattle theft from that ATO Corral.

      Our tax system is fatally flawed and does not reflect real incomes for many, including many companies and corporations, but especially for those with the cunning and lack of integrity to take advantage of the countless loop-holes and dodges in the tax system.

      Now somebody trot out the old ‘politics of envy’ for stating realities and hard facts that show a need for real change – the politics of envy is on the ‘other’ side of this question – it lies with those who feel that anyone thrust down on their luck is somehow undeserving, and thus they are envious that person gets anything for apparently nothing, while they slaved and struggled to get their bit.

      I simply cannot train fools into the correct ways of thinking.

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      Grateful, it’s a good suggestion. However, there are those like older and wiser who will continue to maintain that the needy will be people who made lifestyle choices and don’t deserve handouts. For that reason, I prefer the New Zealand model where everyone gets a pension and tax paid on extra to avoid any stigma placed on vulnerable people

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      You speak the truth of the matter

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      Indeed, Sundays – some insist it is all about life choices and not just – say – a bad start followed by years of struggle and worthless management and poor governments and so forth. Most do not get a sweet ride…..

      We live in a society governed and controlled by thieves and liars – just putting it simply.

      Wow – look at that program on that Tasmanian disappearance – the Tassie cops actually raided and charged a lawyer for obstructing justice because he tracked down a witness and got a statement from that witness contrary to what they said were the facts.

      Now that’s reasoned argument based on different facts and interpretations, isn’t it? Kinda shows the real jack-boot, eh?

      Hmmm – about that Martin Bryant thing….

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      Well said OlderandWiser.

      TREBOR you made your choice and you still do. All choices have consequences but you are responsible for your choices. ‘Luck’ plays no part.

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      Olderandwiser. The only selfishness and greed is from the LNP. we need to make the OAP simpler and universal. The greedy ones are those that oppose any changes because they think they will be cast into poverty when in reality 95% of them will be no worse off & in some cases even better off.

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      It is still very unfair and unconscionable that aged Australians in this day and age do “live in poverty and need help”.

      That can only be rectified if they were targeted for individual treatment.

      The discussion is about pensioners living in poverty in Australia and how it should be resolved!!

      That should be a prime issue for resolution by our government of whatever persuasion. Nothing to do with politics, luck, cause etc. and everything else, albeit also needing review,is quite irrelevant and should be looked at quite separately.

      NO aged citizen of Australia should be living in poverty. Period!! THAT is THE issue for very urgent attention.

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      There are more circumstances then ‘choice’ and ‘luck, people.. get with the program.

      Is it ‘luck’ or ‘choice when the management of a company runs it into a brick wall, thrusting many workers out of a job and into a piss-poor jobs market? Is it ‘luck’ or ‘choice’ or be injured and laid up for a long time? Is it ‘luck’ or ‘choice’ wot work for a company that decides to promote a fool into management who wrecks the joint?

      If it were only pure black and white, we’d all be masters of our own universe…. and everyone would be rich….

      Some of you need to grow up …. the world is far bigger and more complex than your little backyard…

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      KSS, I have a comfortable retirement because there has been no chronic illness, long periods of unemployment, divorce, failed business, retrenchment etc which throw people’s plans and choices into disarray. I’d say that was luck

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      Sorry, OaW – you lost the moment you uttered that silly word ‘leaners’ – you have zero idea what people are and have done.

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      Lothario am I missing something about LNP. Up till now I have only heard about ALP wanting to raise taxes, take away pensioner’s rights to franking credits, negative gearing and raising capital gains tax. Many Australians have bought extra properties with the intention of one day selling them to fund their retirement. If the thrifty are continuously robbed they will eventually throw up their hands and say “what the hell, lets live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself.”

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      Trebor, a term first used by Joe Hockey. One of the biggest learners of them all

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      Trouble is Mandy we have 2 Lotharios commenting here, one the complete opposite of the other, so either the original Lothario has had a brain storm or he has multiple personalities, or the other option, someone is taking the Mickey out of him.

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      Well stated OlderandWiser.
      We could all use a decent pension especially when we’ve worked and paid our due’s.
      Well done those who could afford to plan too!
      For me I know where my vote is going.
      As the policies of Labor gradually unfold, people are asking themselves, “How are we going to afford to live and what will Australia be like?”
      Well, there is a Silent majority.
      The pensioners who have lived through a couple of Labor governments.
      And young WORKING families looking to rent or buy a home and keep cool and warm are wondering why they are being forced to face that elephant in the room, Power Cost and Reliability?

      The (solutions) that Labor gives in offhand news grabs, simply don’t look promising to ordinary folk.
      NOT one word about the Deficit.
      AND they tell us to vote for someone else if we don’t like it?
      We know there will be a PRICE TO PAY due to another big spend. (Again)

      I have never voted Liberal but common sense tells me that I will.
      Out of necessity I need to!
      And also Australian Conservatives for the Senate for Common Sense.
      Simply because of the alternative and all of the ‘baggage’ that comes with Labor.

      The silent majority are a little tired of Political Correctness and all of its implications against our culture and beliefs.
      The funded protests against our traditions.
      Of our COST OF LIVING and POWER costs while we live in a country full to the brim with resources, which we sell to other countries to use to power their economies and then sell their products back to us!
      While we in Australia are told by a minority that we can’t use it!
      And the one thing that Morrisons government has taken to task is the Deficit. OUR NATIONAL DEBT is real and needs to be addressed and not added to.
      I have not seen nor heard of the word (Deficit) being addressed or used in any way by Labor. ONLY Spend Spend and Subsidise!

      Common Sense tells us, that EVERYTHING that is Government Funded is Funded 100% by the taxpayers of Australia. Labor is already off the scale!

      And I simply ask myself, which one can I, as a pensioner of today afford and still enjoy a comfortable life?
      And my Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren, of tomorrow?

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      And who do you think has doubled the net public debt since coming to govt Bes?, this Coalition govt, THAT IS WHO, and were we not supposed to get cheaper energy once the Carbon Tax was removed?, well our power bills have only increased since then, not gone down, don’t believe the spin politicians of all parties try to make us believe. I was listening to an econamist this morning talking about the latest GDP figures and he said that from now on everything will be political that parties come out with, whatever that means.

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      Oh and btw Bez if you are talking about coal mines, well maybe not your grandchildren, but school children from 50 countries around the world are taking the day off school in April, to protest about govts not doing enough about Climate Change. They are the voters of the not to distant future, so govts of all persuasions should sit up and take notice.

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      Bes, the salient things you list:-

      Power prices – too high and rising …
      https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/07/privatisation-pushed-australias-electricity-costs/

      Funded demos against our traditions.
      National debt.

      All under the current LNP government for the past six years. Those guys shape up magnificently on the floor of parliament, ranting about communists and socialists and welfare – but the reality is that they themselves actually promote the very same things – PPL, childcare subsidies, unemployment benefits, pensions, and a host of welfare to the rich and to business – they just don’t want to own up to it.

      No government worth its salt has no socialism in it – and socialism is not a dirty word, but simply the reality of all decent governments. what you see, hear and read is just theatre – in their case to bluster and attempt to cover up the reality that they cannot abandon any of these socialist issues, and if they did, they would be shown the door very rapidly.

      The problem is not pensions and such for retirees – it is government spending overall that needs to be fully reviewed – and not by some ridiculous stacked ‘commission of audit’…..

      As someone said yesterday – where has all the extra money borrowed by the LNP gone, since we are still in the same boat despite more than doubling the debt? Where is the massive infrastructure? Where are the forward-looking plans for the nation? Where are the real results from all this borrowing and planning?

      Well – much of it is to prop up a dying economy which is being raped daily by offshore tax evaders who remove billions in profits from our shores…. so this government borrows to keep up this loss that is is actively supporting… what kind of idiot business sense is that? It’s like telling a bunch of outlanders they can come in to work, take home the produce, sell it, pay the company nothing while receiving subsidy by way of wages, and the company then borrows to keep up this insanity.

      **scratches head in disbelief**

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      Some excellent comments, Trebor, especially about “luck” and “tax system”. I have often thought about the role of various factors and the following always come up – luck (positive or negative) / some call it God’s wish, capabilities (inherent and learned), hard work (if you get the opportunity), and the Govt tax system (if you can exploit it). The biggest factor out of all of these is….”LUCK”! It can cancel out everything, or give you a boost irrespective of everything else! Anyone who doesn’t understand this has not earned the right to be called mature or wise, irrespective of age. Also, that many people have had luck (in either direction) affect them not once or twice, but on multiple occasions – either taking you to the top, or dumping you into hell. Besides the examples you gave, just think about that guy in USA who was released from prison recently after serving 40+ years for murder after new technology (DNA) found it could not have been him! Also, always remember the thousands who died in the tsunami didn’t choose to be there. On the other hand there are some Leaners – name Hockey come to mind readily – always clawing benefits from the taxpayer and got away with it so far.

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      I note Sundays again misrepresenting me and making defamatory comments, after I took pains to clarify what I have said all along – NEVER denigrating anyone in genuine need, but noting that our pension system encourages and rewards rorting ‘leaners’ who abuse the system. And THEY ARE LEANERS. They are also the disgusting creeps who are cheering Labor’s attack on honest, hard-working battlers who are contributing to the budget and enabling more welfare and government services by doing so.

      Trebor, your comments about ‘luck’ have some merit, but to assume that all who saved were ‘lucky’ or benefited from tax concessions and condone taking from them now on those grounds is disgracefully dishonest and unfair. We make our luck. Divorce isn’t a result of bad luck. It’s a result of carelessness choices and failure to work at a relationship. Sickness and disability is bad luck, but some play it up and demand sympathy and handouts and others fight it and make the best of a bad hand. (My partner suffered severe C-PTSD, depression, anxiety, and significant physical disability, but he worked as much as he could – in physically demanding, unsafe, low paid and unrewarding jobs, because we never assumed bad luck made us more entitled! A relative suffered extremely mild disability, or faked it, and took handouts for life, and now claims bad luck!)

      At the end of the day, very few are moderately comfortable in retirement due to ‘luck’. If you didn’t win the birth lottery, it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice to accumulate a nest egg, and ordinary working Australians don’t have a lot of opportunity to benefit from tax concessions. Some wouldn’t know how to manipulate the tax system. Taking from these people, and excusing the theft by claiming they were ‘lucky’ or benefited from a skewed tax system, is disgusting.

      Labor is lying about franking credits, and can’t even be consistent. It says they are tax paid by high income earners and therefore should e credited, but suddenly become ‘not tax but a rort or gift’ in the hands of low income earners who genuinely need the refund to stay off the OAP and continue BENEFITING the treasury by not taking tens of thousands a year to fund their retirement.

      It’s time everyone stopped subscribing to lies and meanness, and peddling the politics of envy, and stood up for fairness for all – and TRUTH -which is that plenty of unlucky battlers who paid far more tax than was fair are now being TAXED at more than 100% of their income by being denied a pension. And any pensioner who suggests those battlers should not receive their franking credit refund is greedier and more selfish than the most obnoxious snout-in-the-trough politician, and doesn’t deserve to be supported by taxpayers.

      Pensions SHOULD be paid to all long-term Australian residents over qualifying age, but as long as they are means tested, we should all support the premise that the needy should be cared for first and foremost. Savers should be treated fairly and with respect, and those who manipulate to claim more than is fair ARE STINKING LEANERS and should be called out for their greed. And we need to UNITE to fight for fair, though sadly those benefiting from unfair will NEVER stand for either fairness or a better deal for those in real need.

      Stop the defamatory lies, Sundays. I know you hate that I expose the dishonesty and unfairness of your precious ALP mates, but that doesn’t excuse your untruths, bullying and abuse.

      Trebor, please stop whining about bad luck. I had it in bucket loads. The fact that I and others who were cursed with it successfully fought back should not be grounds to now condemn us to unfair hardship. What we need I in this country is a return to human decency and personal responsibility – recognizing that reward for endeavour builds the prosperity that allows and encourages greater charity and kindness.

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      O&W – if u have enough shares that allow you a comfortable income (not need any pension), re dividends, you must have many 100,000s of ’em – just sell a few 1,000s of ’em when/if needed, won’t make a huge difference to your income. Otherwise, just sell ’em all & live off the current approx 2.5% bank interest. U r wealthy, stop pretending u won’t be if need to pay a bit of tax on share profits.

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    how personally responsible can carers be who have spent years looking after often more than one family member aged/frail/disabled only to find by the time that time is over ( if it ever is ) that you too old and damaged to work and to close to retirement to save for it many face homelessness

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      Fair point. Nobody offers them a hugely preferential superannuation system or a fat cheque tax-free.

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      KSS will tell you that’s your absolute choice…. so let him foot the bill instead of your doing it… let the government tax everyone to death to make up the shortfall …..

      None so blind….

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    If any of us think either side of politics sees us other than a target then I respectfully suggest they are dreaming. The problem with working for a lifetime and building up assets is the same as the huge superannuation pool. Both sides of politics believe it is their God given right to plunder what we have put away for our retirements.
    There will come a day that we all need to abandon both sides and vote in sympathetic Independents who are not controlled by the big end of town. In the meantime I look forward to the removal of the current dictatorship in forming and the restoration of some semblance of democracy.

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      Only plundering I see is by labor , first introducing asset tests , then easing retirement age to 67, now taking away income from SFR’s earning $20-60k

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      I dream of the day when every one or at least millions leave their ballot papers blank or fill the boxes with the same number wouldn’t that be the start of showing the polies we aren’t gonna take their crap anymore

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      They’ll revel if we do that tisme. What they hate is to be shown the door.

      I’ve pushed the ‘Independents’ wagon for many years as I watched the behaviour of both sides. Whilst I advocate voting Labor, no matter who you normally vote for, on THIS OCCASION I only advocate this to rid us of the current cancer trying to turn the nation into a dictatorship by stealth. Labor’s days need to be up if they do not perform and Independents is the way to democracy proof our system of government.
      Time will tell if people are sheep or use the ballot box to not enslave themselves. Life in American should be the obvious wake-up call as none of us want us to become like this country…..which the top end of society has been pushing hard to duplicate for decades.

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      The LNP had gouged pensioners & will only gouge more money to feed themselves & their greedy top end of town mates.
      As you say Mick, independant is really the only way to go because the ALP aren’t really listening but are by far a better alternative than the greedy LNP.
      Maybe a universal pension is the way to go for ALL those aged 65 & above. Billions will be saved in admin costs & tax paid by those that can well afford it.
      FC can go to start with.

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      I posted figures on the super pile – no wonder these dogs are slavering at the idea of getting their hands on it – why no lesser a stellar light than Peter Costalot was tapped as a potential head honcho for a government taken-over super fund… dread the thought given his track record of pillaging the treasury for the Future fund etc.

      ONLY if that super pile was out of the hands of governments and of their mates would it be worththe change.

      On another note – it is truly astounding that the current pile:-

      “Superannuation assets totaled $2.7 trillion at the end of the December 2018 quarter. Over the 12 months from December 2017 there was a 1.3 per cent increase in total superannuation assets.”

      https://www.superannuation.asn.au/resources/superannuation-statistics

      … is incapable of providing well for all its contributors.

      Hearkening back to the good old Menzies concept – that amount deposited into the national retirement funding concept would provide for a good income for all in retirement.

      $2.7 trillion – no wonder Costalot and Co want to roll it over into a government fund… or rather make it roll over …..

      Side-note – imagine if that 9% of gross incomes had been deposited into a Future Fund for all, and included some contributions from the resources boom (now a bust due to inept management and blatant robbery via offshoring, but who’s quibbling about Banana Republicanism?)

      Economic illiterates would be the right term for both major parties …

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    The pension should be the defined average wage. So many though no fault of there own have no super and rely on the pension totally.

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      ozrog…I agree. It makes me sick so many wealthy elderly that hide their assets to get a pension to complain about those less fortunate than them.

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      Interesting, ozrog… I’m working on the concept that any returned service person should at least receive minimum wage as a guarantee – they often find it very hard, particularly nowadays, to find a decent job and often suffer what I’m labeling PSSD (Post Service Separation Syndrome – another of my ideas) which is what occurs when a person used to a certain way of life is suddenly dumped into a maelstrom of competing chaos – such as our modern ‘society’. This happens to some extent to every person who retires – my rule of thumb being that it takes a minimum of two years to settle (get your mind right) – but is much more powerful in those who have been in a clearly organised situation such as services. Particularly those with active service are affected by a sudden loss of their organised life, and often have other issues to deal with as well.

      Anyway – the concept of a minimum payment was part of my thinking, as yours above – AWE sounds a bit high, but I’m open to argument.

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      Yes, jackie – as someone said above, abolition of the assets part and reliance on income would change the field somewhat, and yesterday Lothario and someone else took up the cudgels for the family home in assets (again – snores) – at that time I said it would be impossible to police actual pouring of cash into home etc.. so how do you handle it?

      Force everyone to keep all their reno records for ten years before retirement? Dictate that people cannot sell up and upsize prior to retirement?

      Too complicated and fraught with dangers – and besides – there aren’t that many who actually do that. People like the ex and I are actually down-sizing, but due to the limitations placed on residence by her disabilities, we are spending more than sale price – then there are renos to suit disability – how do you police that and arbitrarily say that person has spent down to get something for free?

      It would be an endless argument.

      Better the Trebor Scheme of universal pension and income tax on all income and side benefits above…

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      Trebor, what happens when someone sells the property they lived in for 40 years then decided to sell up, move further out (because when they bought it was outer, outer metro). The new place was cheaper than the one they sold, but just a few short years later, the new residence is worth more than the old one they sold!!!

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      That’s one reason I oppose including the family home – and steer clear of agreeing with regard to the ‘big spenders’ who reno their home to get a pension. It’s unenforceable and not really relevant, and that move to include only the fat cats is cover for including all homes in the assets test.

      Another reason it is unenforceable is the vast disparity in housing prices in different areas… just cannot work.

      Not far from where I live is a (wait for it) seven storey residence with pool and whole floor dedicated to entertainment and so forth, from which you can watch the fireworks in Port Stephens – it sold for $1.2m – that would buy you a shack in Sydney in most areas.

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      Captain, many who sold up and moved to smaller homes in order to retire self-funded and not burden the taxpayer are now being threatened by Labor with the loss of a massive chunk of their income as punishment for looking after the interests of pensioners and the national treasury. Shocking to see so many selfish people endorsing that unfairness.

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      Captain, many who sold up and moved to smaller homes in order to retire self-funded and not burden the taxpayer are now being threatened by Labor with the loss of a massive chunk of their income as punishment for looking after the interests of pensioners and the national treasury. Shocking to see so many selfish people endorsing that unfairness.

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    This topic is like a Merry go Round, same old arguments, same comments from the same people, nothing changes.

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    All present pensioners should get the pension , they could not build up a Superfund before they retired . No asset or income tests because they are totaly unfair . Just because some decide to for go holidays , booze , buying a house etc they should not be penalised to support those that decide to spend everything knowing they will be supported later . When we came to Australia 34yrs ogo we were told that we would get a pension when we retired but since it wasnt very much we should save to provide a better life style on top of it . This we did , working 60 plus hours a week and saving . Now we have too much assetts and get no pension but our earnings from our assetts only just beat the pension rate . If had time again would live life and stuff the savings .

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      Looxury! A mere 60 hours a week… regular jailer’s pet, you are! I was a 24/7/365 for most of my working life…

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      Yes in just6 years our politicians from all parties have managed to destroy superannuation and any saving for the bottom 80% of workers. Incompetence plus.

      It makes absolutely no sense to delay gratification to save if those who don’t are the ones being rewarded at the end of the working life.

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    Have to agree with Older and wiser. Well written. I worked 45 years straight 50-60 hours a week. Haven’t gotten any welfare payments or pension because I am considered “rich”. A lot of people get caught up with drink, drugs and gambling but that’s their choice and they end up at the end of their lives with nothing. Who should they blame. You have to be stupid not to have a great life in Australia. I would like to take a lot of whinging Australians up to the back blocks of Asia where I used to work to show them what real hardship and poverty is. The more we pander to welfare the weaker Australian society is becoming. the figures are staggering: 8 M on some sort of welfare, 2 M alcoholics, 2 M addicted to gambling, 2 M on disability pensions or NDIS, 200 000 ice addicts, 8 M with chronic illness, millions obese and so on, 25% of kids depressed – very sad. There simply will not be enough welfare to help sort out all these problems. The only solution is life skills education (budgeting, investing, relationships, conflict resolution, health, nutrition, thinking and goal setting etc etc) has to be the core curriculum of the school system from kindergarten to completion of university. No kid should advance until he passes the skills tests.

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      Looxury! A mere 60 hours a week… regular jailer’s pet, you are! I was a 24/7/365 for most of my working life…

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      We don’t live in Asia… sorry ’bout that…. but there is this nice lass in Hanoi…..

      Anyway – define ‘welfare’ – you mean pollie’s preferential super, childcare, PPL, PS super, company tax concessions, trust and family company tax dodges, family benefit………

      Unemployment Benefits and OAP and DSP etc are not welfare… they’re covered under the title Social Security ………… (come in spinners)….

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      Big Al, teaching life skills especially financial is a good idea but none of your ideas will help the very poor in Asia. We don’t have corrupt governments. This is not the way we want to treat people in Australia, rather we try to assist and yes some policies work better than others.

      You dont qualify for a pension, good for you. Think about it, your hard work paid off with a little luck along the way. Enjoy your retirement fortunate that you don’t have to stand in the supermarket wondering if you can afford everything you need

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      Very many here are forgetting the 2008 GFC. I lost $500k (my retirement fund)when that hit our shores. Wiped out my non reliance on the PENSION. I am now on a part pension but burning my savings at a fast rate. I have never gambled and gave up drinking (which was bugger all) when my wife was stricken with cancer and later died. I hate relying on the pension and would love to tell the government to shove it! Unfortunately I cannot and with the ever increasing costs of all insurances every year including private health cover it will not be long before I rely totally on the pension. I am not being a bleeding heart but trying to explain that not all pensioners want to be there or intended being on the full pension. I don’t want sympathy, what happened to me happened to many others. I would just like to see the more well off show some sympathy, empathy and stop generalizing about the people who rely on a full pension. People who never had the opportunity to start super at their first job, people who did not gamble, smoke or drink alcohol but had never been given the opportunity to save, people who came from low educated families who did not have a sense of finance or learnt about finance. I am over the well off lambasting the lower socio economic classes because they rely on the PENSION. A PENSION that imo is well below the poverty line.

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      I agree with you absolutely, clarkey.

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      We do have corrupt government, Sundays, that’s the reason politicians like Julie Bishop retire on over $200,000 plus perks and extras and pensioners are peeled to the bone and struggling.

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      Trebor. You say that the OAP is not welfare as they are “covered under the title of “Social Security”
      What “security” is offered to those unfortunate to be “living in poverty”?
      That’s why they changed the name from the Department of Social Security to Centrelink, because they realized that it was a gross misnomer, as so many who SHOULD have been provided with basic social security, were simply not getting it and still don’t.
      THAT is the question here, how do we stop older Australians, regardless of the cause, from “living in poverty”.
      Let’s concentrate on THE subject and leave all other issues for another forum.
      This problem needs action now and we have the opportunity of getting something addressed with an election in just 10 weeks time!!

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      I am fully aware of your position there, Grateful….

      I simply rectify the misapprehension promoted by some that receiving Social Security is ‘welfare’ – if I want ‘welfare’ I can go to the Salvos for help paying the lecco bill. Regardless of the name change, the issue of Social Security is still listed in Parliament under Social Security – not that pejorative term ‘welfare’.

      Far greater concern needs to be applied to tax bludgers than to dole bludgers…

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      Yes, agree Triss. Compared to places like Asia and parts of Africa where the rich can live obscenely and the poor starve, where corruption is rife and even the aid sent by foreign countries does not reach the poor Australia is still relatively prosperous.

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      Australia is more than 6 times more corrupt than NZ fact, we may not be as corrupt as a lot of countries but we are heading that way.

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      Agree with Clarkey – I too am on single OAP and no matter how hard I budget and scrimp and save, I am going backwards far quicker. The latest pension increase of $9.90 per f/n does not even come close to increases just to live. My rates have increased $6.20 per f/n. My health insurance went up $5.35 per f/n. Insurance for my house, even with lowering the excess, has increased by $11.50 per f/n! So all ready I am behind the eight ball. These increases can keep on climbing, but eventually will come the time when you cannot get blood out of fresh air.

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      I would really like to see the next round of pollies’ salaries go up $10.00, sunnyOz, and hear their comments, I think it would be quite enlightening.

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      Grateful – in those circumstances, it remains Social Security, since it provides a backup and a right… whether or not it is a sufficient backup is another question.

      That is what we are arguing here…

      Some here seem to think that people have all lived on a healthy plateau where they can simply ‘choose’ to save or spend, so if you have not sufficient at the end of the day – obviously you chose to spend etc, and are therefore a ‘leaner’.

      Many people cannot ‘choose’ to save or spend during their lifetime – they often live from hand to mouth,and that has nothing to do with wasteful or profligate spending, since there are countless factors that can put a person in that position in life, including failure of a ‘choice’ of an investment that goes wrong for countless reasons, sometimes over and over again. You can be as thrifty as you like and sometimes things will fail through no fault of your own – and we have several here in that situation.

      Only a person who has never lived below that plateau would suggest that choice is infinite for the many. **rolls eyes**

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    I’m not sure how only deeming income would work. Income from Assets can be manipulated to a small amount which was why the Asset test was introduced in the first place. Are we also talking about deeming the value of the family home, so people don’t over invest in housing. I can see more manipulation and unfairness with this proposal

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      Perhaps the only solution to over-capitalising a home to get pension is to apply a mandatory price for a home in a specific area. Then how do you ascertain which is which among houses? Pay real estate agents to give a price on market?

      I doubt the vast majority have the money required to do that anyway….

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      Trebor, people would just give the home to their kids 5 years before retirement. This strategy already being used by farmers, passing the farm on and qualifying for a pension

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      Yes – always plenty of outs once you impose a regimen on people. Hmmm … with the often savage restrictions on farmers sub-dividing so as to have the son/daughter living on the property and ready to take it over fully trained etc, farmers have been forced to find a better way. Unless it’s been changed, farmers could not, for example, set aside a five acre plot, which is below pension asset limit, as sub-division and then live on it themselves, or have a family member live there ready to take over.

      Not a good long-term solution to the crisis in real farming…. and of farm families staying on the land to produce … easier for the offspring to head for the city and become doctors and lawyers and such..

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      If the tax system was sorted out and a universal pension paid to all then the upgrading home after home wouldn’t be so rewarding. At the moment it is those who do this gaining wealth to pass on while receiving all the benefits of our Social Security system.

      Those investing in income earning assets are being denied any benefits. That sort of discrimination causes changes in decision making because it compromises the consequences.

      Savers should benefit from the effort not be penalised.

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    Election PROMISES win votes even when the voters KNOW they will be BROKEN promises after the election! Vote informal & see what happens? Ditch them all regardless of what party they represent!! They are ALL liars & thieves, lying to us & thieving from hard working battlers! Wake up!

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      Non-core.. non-core.. encore for the non-core….

      A great source of humour was our Wee Johnnie Howard… ‘core and non-core promises’… **rolls about laughing**..

      I await breathlessly the arrival of the ‘budget emergency’ or similar once either party in The Tag Team takes office….. and throws their hands in the air, saying there are these endless Black Holes in the Budget that the ‘other side’ never ‘revealed’ – and we just can’t keep all our promises right now – we’ll try them on again just before the next election after you’ve had plenty of curry handed to you to help you forget we made them now …

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    Slow news day at YLC, so let’s revisit Pensions so we can rehash all the stuff we’ve said before over and over again.

    Nothing has changed in all the years YLC has been rehashing this topic. Why is it so?

    Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. YLC is a perfect example.

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      Double the pension NOW – and double double pension for those who are carers….

      (an ambent claim but you have to start somewhere)….

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