15th Mar 2018

A quarter of retirees want homes included in asset test

A quarter of retirees want homes included in asset test
Olga Galacho

Almost a quarter of YourLifeChoices members say the family home should be part of the Age Pension asset test, and 30 per cent believe houses worth at least $1 million should be counted.

In the recent Retirement Income and Financial Literacy survey, just 18 per cent of respondents said a home should be valued at $3 million or more before it was considered for assessment.

At the other end, almost 15 per cent of members felt a primary place of residence worth just  $500,000 was fair game.

However, the overwhelming majority of members, 68 per cent, felt the family home should escape the asset test, no matter its value. And analysis of the data shows that those with the most to lose – Age Pensioners who own their home – were the ones most likely to not want their house included in a means test.



Close to three-quarters of those surveyed owned their home outright, while 12.5 per cent still had a mortgage, and just under 9.4 per cent were renters.

Of the 87 per cent of retirees in their own home, a third would downsize as a first option if their income became strained.

Last December, the Federal Government introduced measures that would, from 1 July, allow retirees to downsize from a large family home and deposit some of the proceeds of the sale into their superannuation, with generous tax concessions.

The proceeds could be a maximum of $300,000 per individual. There often are, however, consequences for those on an Age Pension, as the proceeds from such a sale may mean their entitlement is threatened.

 

Opinion: the family home is not a treasure chest to be plundered

As much as I respect our members, I have to take issue with the 15 per cent who said homes valued from $500,000 should be included in the means test for an Age Pension.

I would venture that most retirees live in homes worth at least $500,000, so on the reckoning of some, most pensioners would have their welfare entitlements reduced

I don’t think that is the slightest bit fair, unless you were to apply a sliding scale where if your house was worth $500,000 the impact of the asset test would be minimal, increasing exponentially.

Some of us, I am sure, would be quite comfortable with the notion of a householder sitting on a home valued at say $5 million being stripped of most of their Age Pension entitlements. It is not the taxpayer’s responsibility to fund a life of luxury for a retiree who can’t bear to move to a less expensive house.

But, the other problem with setting the bar too low is that it discriminates against people who live in the city where houses are obviously more expensive – and perhaps where even the cost of living is higher.

There is no reason I can see why a retired person of modest means living in a Sydney home worth say, around $700,000, should not be entitled to the same pension benefits as someone living on the outskirts of a regional town where property prices are much lower.

(Having said that, you might be hard pressed to find a $700,000 home close to the CBD given that the median price for a Sydney house is $1.17 million.)

But back to our city slickers. If they were to up stumps, sell and move to the country, they would likely have their Age Pension entitlements cut anyway, thanks to the income test that is also applied alongside the asset test

Whichever side of the fence you are on, any proposal to include a family home will be divisive, so hopefully if it ever arises, it will be sufficiently well-thought through to not disadvantage those who are already struggling. It is no fault of the individual that house prices have gone through the roof. That, in itself, should not be a reason to reduce pension benefits.

If you believe the family home should be means tested for the Age Pension, at what level should the threshold be set and why? Do you think people living in homes worth millions should be entitled to full pensions?

Related articles:
Calls for home to be assessed
Incentives to downsize
Should retirees cash in?





COMMENTS

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StorminNormin
15th Mar 2018
10:44am
The family home should be included in the pension asset test. Why do I have this opinion. In a small street where I live, I know of at least two couples who are on the part / aged pension. They live in homes that in todays market would sell for well over 1 million dollars. After the Federal Governments last re-alignment of the assets test, these people were saying that they had to have a 'spend up' so that they could get the pension.

Lets call a spade a spade. The aged pension in this country is welfare. It is there to help people who cannot afford to support themselves in their retirement. It is NOT there to supplement peoples lifestyle. There are many self funded retirees out there who during their working life saved for their retirement through property, managed funds, shares etc. They did not want to be a burden on the Australian taxpayer in their retirement.
The last time I heard the Treasurer Scott Morrison talk about how much aged pension payments cost the Australian taxpayer, the figure was astounding, something like 50 plus billion dollars per year. This figure cannot be sustained with us all living longer lives.
The national pension scheme in the UK is not free. People working have money withdrawn from their wages to go towards their retirement.
Crowcrag
15th Mar 2018
10:56am
As did we. Check the facts on the creation of the pension system each wage earner paid more tax to fund it. It made huge amounts of money for the government, because in the past not too many people lived long into retirement years. And, with the advent of the baby boomers into the workforce, even more money was being stashed into this fund. Now comes the smelly bit. Guess what? Pollies saw all that money and changed the rules- it was put into general revenue, or the ‘futures fund’. Were you consulted by Menzies? Well, no.
All this bleating about not being able to pay pensions(except their own, of course, - they keep going up) is a fear tactic to divide groups within society about the paying of pensions. Final point. If pensions were eliminated, would you receive the extra tax back, plus accumulated interest, you paid over your working life as compensation? I just saw a flying pig!
jackie
15th Mar 2018
11:06am
StorminNormi …..The family home should be means tested when it's above $500,000. Those homes can generate an income through various means that can be more than an Aged Pension. Those home owners had it good when they purchased their homes at low prices, worked at secure jobs for most of their lives without having to generate an education debt to get them.
Cowboy Jim
15th Mar 2018
12:17pm
My home is already included in the asset test, being allowed to have $203'500 worth of fewer other assets than a non owner. What more do people want? Living in a country area we might as well sell the joint and go on rent assistance like so many others. Do not really know how much that would save C/link but I would wager it would be precious little.
KSS
15th Mar 2018
1:04pm
Jackie $500,000 may be a huge amount if you live Out the Back of Bourke, but I can tell you you would be very hard pushed to find even a bedsit for that price anywhere near Sydney. Whether you think it is 'fair' or not half a million dollars does not buy what it once did. Setting the asset test that low including the home would simply result in far more 'pensioners' ending up homeless. Or trying to buy in the back of Bourke which would then increase the prices there!

Cowboy Jim, you make a good point there. Homeowners do get a lower asset allowance but with no 'rent assistance' to help pay for the overheads that rents don't have.
jackie
15th Mar 2018
1:09pm
Cowboy Jim...Just think about it....Your home keeps going up...therefore it is still generating money for you....Rent is lost money.....

A single homeowner can have up to $552,000 of assessable assets and receive a part pension –
for a single non-homeowner the lower threshold is $755,000.

For a couple the higher threshold to $830,000 for a homeowner and $1,033,000 for a non-homeowner.
OnlyGenuineRainey
15th Mar 2018
2:06pm
Jackie, retirees who worked their guts out and went without to buy homes and invest for retirement are now poorer than pensioners in many cases and forced to divest all their assets until they qualify for a pension. That's just STUPID. My view is that there should NOT BE AN ASSETS TEST. There should be a test on income and deemed income only, but include the family home in the deemed income test to ensure people don't use an expensive home to circumvent the means test, which is what happens now.

As for the reasons the green-eyed give for not including it, they are BS. EVERYONE, and I do mean EVERYONE had the opportunity to buy a home, and only a handful have a genuine reason why they could not now own a home in retirement. Most were just too lazy or wanted to spend on other things.

The current pension system is a disaster. It encourages every form of cheating, manipulating, over-investment in the family home, gifting generously, and over-spending to qualify for a benefit that SHOULD be available to all, since rewarding responsible planning for retirement encourages more responsible planning and less reliance on the taxpayer.

I am heartily sick of the ''poor me lucky you'' CRAP. I had it harder than at least 90% of today's retirees, yet I'm better off than probably 70% - Why? Because I bloody worked my guts out and went without to be that way. And now green-eyed monsters want to take it all off me and hand to people who had it far easier but didn't bother to strive. I'm sick of it. I have great sympathy for the TINY MINORITY who are genuinely struggling through no fault of their own. The rest just make me angry. And this constant demand to bash people for doing what's good for the country is going to wreck the country.

Yes, include the family home in the assets test, because people with multi-million dollar homes shouldn't get pensions while people with modest homes and savings don't. But get rid of this economically unsustainable and cruelly unfair assets test and test ONLY income and deemed income above a fair threshold. Or make pensions universal with no test. And TAX high income retirees. The nation's economy would be far healthier.
OnlyGenuineRainey
15th Mar 2018
2:09pm
StorminNorman, you are being SERIOUSLY MISLED. Australia has the lowest aged pension spend of all developed countries - HALF the average relative to GDP. It also has about the meanest pension of all developed countries. And it's spend is UNLIKELY to rise before 2030 - when it will start to fall rapidly due to compulsory superannuation. All this ''unaffordable'' nonsense is political claptrap to justify wrongful disadvantaging of the aged.
Triss
15th Mar 2018
4:03pm
Stormin, your last sentence collapses your agument. "The national pension scheme in the UK is not free. People working have money withdrawn from their wages to go towards their retirement."
Do your research, working Australians also had money withdrawn from their wages to go towards their retirement.
Australian pensioners are victims of theft big time and, in my opinion, since then the proceeds of that theft has been used to top up pollies, judges, etc pensions and perks and any crumbs that are left are gurudgingly doled out to pensioners.
The government is in possession of stolen funds and means-testing the pension is an illegal practice.
Captain
15th Mar 2018
4:39pm
Storming Norman, if you live in "small street where at least two couples are on part/aged pension", then I would suspect that you too are in a home that is a million or close to it. Do you receive a pension or part pension?

The pension is entitlement not welfare especially if you have worked in Australia and paid taxes for 40/50 years.

If the tax system in Australia was properly reviewed every person over 65 could receive a pension and company tax and personal tax would be lower than it currently is, however the current crop of idiots in Canberra find it too hard to reform anything let alone the tax system.

Australia could be leading the world in progressive ideas however our politicians are too busy bickering about who is eligible to serve in Parliament rather than looking to secure Australia's future.

By the way my wife and I do not receive a pension as we looked forward when we were first married about 40 years ago and decided our way was better than the Govt way. We do believe that everyone is entitled to their entitlement and now the rules that were in place when we planned our retirement have changed so dramatically that everyday people are lost and have nowhere to turn.

By the way Scott Morrison is a priveliged fool with his head in the clouds, just like the Opposition Treasurer (whoever he is) and the rest of the clowns in Canberra. God knows where we will end up with these idiots leading (?) us into the future.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
5:59pm
All totally wrong - you have the absolute right to live in your own bought and paid for home out of after-income tax money and usually after paying a massive amount in interest on a mortgage - and you are entitled to use it in any way you choose.

The only call Centrelink may have on it is if and when you actually produce an income - which is at your own discretion - and then it may only be reflect in pension payment under the current rules.

Once we change to a non-assets tested pension for all and income tax levied on all income, fringe benefits and gifting from your own arrangements or company - this will not even be an issue.
marls
15th Mar 2018
8:42pm
theres no mean test on anything in most european countries for the aged pension my mother also receives a portion of my deceased fathers pension as well as as small pension from another country because he was in the war, plus a full pension from another country as they worked for over 20yrs there, and ppl are not assessed as a couple they are assessed as individuals, and in new zealand no means test and you can continue to work full time,
our aged pension was sent up as a NO MEANS TEST but Malcol Frazer stole the pension fund where we all pay 7.5%of our taxes 1977 he transferred $470million to consolidated revenue
check out Who stole the workers compulsory pension fund. Australian morning Mail. the aust govt just takes takes takes and then gives more and more away to overseas countries
VeryCaringBigBear
16th Mar 2018
7:49am
$500,000 wouldn't even be enough for deposit on my humble abode. I also live in a street full of OAPs who have houses worth in some cases more than mine.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Mar 2018
12:16pm
Yes, well it's because of people like you that the aged are facing these threats, BigBear. Buy a multi-million dollar mansion and gift to relatives and then claim a pension you have no moral right to, imposing a burden on the taxpayer that leads the government to look for ways to reduce pension costs and results in all the honest hardworking savers being attacked and treated unfairly.
OnlyGenuineRainey
19th Mar 2018
7:58am
Jackie, if rent is 'lost money', more people should have got off their backsides, sacrificed lifestyle, and bought a house. Sorry, but you just lost my sympathy with your BS about my house generating wealth.

My house is worth a lot more than $500,000, but it's only an average 3 bedroom home. It costs me about $150 a week to live it (rates, insurance, maintenance) and as it ages it will cost more. It DOES NOT generate income. If I were a pensioner, I would lose about $15,000 a year by owning it, PLUS I would get no rent assistance, so it would be costing me around $500 a week to live in my own home, rising as my home ages - and you reckon my house is generating income? How?

In order to recoup the cost of living in my own home, it would have to increase in value at the rate of $26000 a year, or around 20% if it were a $500,000 house. And even then, that increase would not help my daily living costs because the gain wouldn't be realized until after I'm dead or in an old age home.

Please go back to school, Jackie. I'm starting to see why some folk are complaining of being hard up in retirement. Clearly, they have NO idea of economics!

What I do see as unfair is that the cost of home ownership is the same whether you own a $250,000 home unit or a $3 million mansion, and owners of the latter may get a full pension while owners of the former, if they have savings or other investments, may get nothing. The system is all wrong, but as usual a single ill-thought-out change to a flawed system will only make it far worse.
World Prophet
19th Mar 2018
8:57am
In my view including the primary home in the assets test would have to be as unfair an idea as Shorten's wanting to stop refunds of tax credits on shares. Poorly thought out. Most pensioners purchased their homes when prices were significantly less than they are today, and it is completely out of their control by how much their homes increase in value. All they are coping with is the much higher cost of rates and insurances, whereas I, in a country town, pay much less. Unless they sell their homes, the value is meaningless, and being forced to sell usually means that they lose their neighbourhood support at an age where they most need it. Those touched by the green eyed monster bleat on about having to support silvertails when they are so much more disadvantaged. Wrong attitude, folks. As a group we should be resisting attempts by all and sundry to turn us into low hanging fruit, ripe for plundering at their whim. We have, in one way or another, done 'our bit' and there is plenty more wastage that can be cut out before pensioners have to be attacked. Of course, there will always be those who blindly fall into the 'divide and rule' traps, and meekly throw their fellow aged under one bus or another.
Retired Knowall
21st Mar 2018
2:20pm
Make up your mind OGR in your post above you write "My view is that there should NOT BE AN ASSETS TEST" then you write "Yes, include the family home in the assets test, then you write "There should be a test on income and deemed income only but include the family home in the deemed income test. you write "Please go back to school, Jackie. I'm starting to see why some folk are complaining of being hard up in retirement. Clearly, they have NO idea of economics!"
YOU are the one who is seriously deluded, if you deem the income from your family home it is a default assets test.
I find it disappointing that this site allows such uninformed, petulant ignorant and often hysterical comments such as yours.
Crowcrag
15th Mar 2018
10:44am
There is a divide between those who are wealthy e.g. able to live comfortably using private finances, and those on the pension. The homes they have paid mortgages for over many years are separate from this. I wonder how many younger people would give up wanting the huge mortgage on their own home if they knew that in their retirement it becomes a financial asset affecting their pension eligibility? Rent for the rest of your life!
jackie
15th Mar 2018
11:11am
Most young people have an education debt larger than the home your paid off for years. I am sure they would love to trade places with you any day.
OnlyGenuineRainey
15th Mar 2018
2:26pm
I'll trade, gladly. Would have dearly loved an education - and happily shouldered a big debt for the earning capacity and improved job satisfaction it would yield. These educated young could get a home same way we did - just as easily, or more so. We had it far harder than anyone today, but we didn't whinge and whine. We got on with hard work and frugal living and overcame the obstacles. They can too. They just don't have the intestinal fortitude. Whining is much easier.
Brissiegirl
15th Mar 2018
2:59pm
Communism and socialism dis-incentivise young people from striving for personal success and home ownership. Just keep government's grubby hands off this massively complex and divisive issue that is no-one's business but home-owners. As for the education debt of our young I don't think that's acceptable but it was the Labor Party that brought in the HECS scheme and subsequent governments took advantage of it. So don't let governments muck around with people's houses. Anyway how could equitable valuations be given. I live in a street where 2 houses down they have a highly valued magnificent view and they wouldn't want to move out, and I don't blame them. It's always those who wanted instant gratification and didn't look to providing for their own home needs in retirement that want to get more money out of the people who made life better for themselves the hard way.
Gra
15th Mar 2018
6:26pm
It is quite easy to pick those who aren't yet retired or don't own their own home. They are the ones who want homes included in the asset test. Frittered their money away during their working years and jealous of those who now have something because they didn't waste their money.
TREBOR
16th Mar 2018
7:37pm
Amazing that there are so many who reckon they should be handed the home asset of their elders - who worked for it.... but the modern twerp figures they are 'entitled' to it instantly.

What have we done to our children to give them that kind of attitude?
Kaz
15th Mar 2018
10:50am
We’re they people, or a majority of, who didn’t own their home? If so, is that fair to be taken seriously? I paid for my house with my after tax dollars. It took all my working life so that I had something at the end. Not much in savings, but I knew I had to have a roof over my head. It’s luck that houses went up in value but I live in it, I can’t spend it and I must pay high rates, water rates and maintenance. I’m happy I did it and I won’t apologise for it.
Jtee
15th Mar 2018
11:02am
Go Kaz! Fully agree.

It isn't our fault that the Government increases the population of this country so that with "supply and demand" the prices of our homes increases. We also built with the intention of living here for the rest of our lives and designed the house accordingly. We have both worked long and hard to get what we have and since retiring have seen the assets test changed and our pension reduced. We only had those assets because during our working life we went without to put money into investments to help in our retirement. Now the Government sees our efforts at saving a means of helping their budget out.

No more changes to the assets test.
equipe
15th Mar 2018
12:29pm
Hi Kaz, I fully agree. I also worked and went without and got my house and enjoy living in it, so to me having paid tax all my life and only got super in the last 20 years I feel the little bit of pension I am grateful for, so they better not put my house in the assets test as it has gone up in value and that is not my fault.

So please stop punishing us hard workers. And no more changes to the assets test.
Rosret
15th Mar 2018
12:33pm
Agreed Kaz and Jtee. A ploy to divide the community.
Now wouldn't a political party do really well who has the interest of the people at heart.
While donations to political parties sway their policy bias Governments are never going to make "good" decisions.
ceejay
15th Mar 2018
1:12pm
Hi Kaz, I and my late husband also worked hard all our lives, often with two jobs to make ends meet, to put a satisfactory roof over our heads and to educate our four sons to be taxpayers in their turn. When I started work, I was told some of my hard-earned money would go in taxes towards a pension when I retired at 65. I was encouraged to take out a mortgage and take part in the great Australian dream of home ownership. I was even cajolled into taking out a Commonwealth Bank school banking account to save for my future. These actions were not without great sacrifice. Last century, renting was socially seen as below par and a demonstration of not working hard enough. While I accept there are many reasons why people rent, especially in today's economic climate, I also believe that many folk frittered away their earnings and now think 'the system' will look after them!
sunnyOz
15th Mar 2018
1:49pm
Totally agree Kaz. In same situation. Single, I have worked my butt off to pay fro my house. 22yo car, no holidays, no dining out every day/week, mostly op shop clothes. I scrimped and saved to buy a small basic house, put a fence around, get roof redone, get solar. Etc. Even took 2nd jobs to pay for extra. And ALL on after tax money.
My Qld rates are obscene - quarterly rates here are my annual rates when I lived in Victoria.
If I downsize, it would be to a caravan park or way out in country, away from medical treatment I need to have ready access to. LOATH health insurance, but need it for access to specialist - that is a rort. Even now am looking at downsizing my car - don't want to, but may have to.
I have limited super - mainly casual jobs, long term employer many years ago went bust and hadn't paid my super. No recourse. But like you, I totally agree - because I worked hard, I am now seen as an easy target for this govt.
Absolutely NO to putting the house in the asset test. What? - need a few dollars - what are you supposed to do? - sell off a bedroom? Stupid, idiotic, mad. If you have lived in a house that has increased in value, that is not your fault and you should NOT be punished for it. I remember buying a house in the outskirts of Melbourne years ago - friends said I was mad as 'no one would go out that way'. Now it is a highly sought after area. Why should older home owners be penalised? NO
Triss
15th Mar 2018
4:33pm
Yes, sunnyOz, and you'd still be required to pay the ever increasing rates, water rates, etc. on a diminshed pension.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
6:04pm
.. and you got no tax concessions or government assistance to pay it off, either, Kaz.

All those Philistines who think everyone else should have their home included should be tied into a chaff bag and dumped out to sea...
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
7:24pm
Right, jtee! We (the ex and I for whom I am carer) have spent a lot of money modifying THIS home to cater to her disabilities - and still are.

It that happens to increase the value of the property - that is OUR windfall if and when it is sold. We've paid for it with a mortgage and it is our right to recoup our 'investment' same as anyone else who feels a right to recoup on their investment.
Franky
15th Mar 2018
10:53am
There shouldn't be an assets and income test to receive an age pension, full stop. Those retirees who worked hard and paid high taxes shouldn't be penalised. Most developed countries do not asset and income test your age pension.
casey
15th Mar 2018
12:27pm
I Totally agree Franky. I came to this country in 1969 with a family and 100 pounds in my pocket. Worked bloody hard, saved bloody hard. Paid a lot more taxes than the average person. And what do I get? No age pension, no reduction in utility bills or rates, no medical expenses. Would have been better off having a good time, blowing it as I earned it and getting the age pension with all the associated benefits.
ceejay
15th Mar 2018
1:18pm
Agree with you entirely Franky. A proportion of our taxes was supposed to go towards the Aged Pension since its inception. Isn't it time to look after the folk who made Australia great and worked hard. The majority of older Australians do not live luxury lifestyles nor do they live in mansions. Yes, property prices have gone up considerably but you can't eat planks, tin, bricks and mortar.
Triss
15th Mar 2018
4:36pm
I really believe our backs are against the wall and we now have to turn and fight otherwise we'll be driven onto park benches.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
7:27pm
I see the surge to a non-means tested universal pension is rising as a result of the silly comments from the snobs and fat cats about ripping off those with the least (again).

To get to be a SFR you will have needed to cop a lot of tax deductions not available to most... hard to do on pure salary or wages with no concessions and such....

As Ken Bruen's character noir, Jack Taylor says - I know the difference between someone who works for a living and someone who doesn't ... if they say they're on wages, they work - if they say I'm on salary, they don't.
marls
15th Mar 2018
8:51pm
franky so spot on no means test in most european countries on top of that they are assessed as individuals not as a couple my mother in europe also receives a portion of my deceased fathers pension plus a small pension from another european country as he was in the war, plus they worked in oz for over 20yrs she also get that pension. In New Zealand every single person regardless of wealth receives the aged pension and they can continue to work, its aust that continues to take of the workers and the people that have made many sacrifices its all about how much more they can give away to overseas
George
16th Mar 2018
11:19pm
Agree, Franky and the rest above - this study is futile as it was always going to pitch the house-haves against the house-have-nots with predictable responses. The only viable solution is to have an Universal Pension with no Assets or Income Tests, based on a Single Rate only (no partner checks, and no separate rent assistance as homeowners also incur many extra costs) once you reach Age 65 - with only years of Residence in Australia (say 15) necessary to qualify for it.
bartpcb
15th Mar 2018
10:56am
I'm not 'wealthy' by any means, but I can't see any reason whatsoever for including a persons 'family home' as an 'Asset' in order to reduce their pension. It sounds like a 'sour grapes idea' from people who have made no effort to buy a home. Most home owners have 'gone without' in order to achieve that goal and shouldn't be penalised for having done so. Talking of penalisation, no one not even the 'rich and top end of town' should be penalised by having their 'Pension' reduced. It may seem unfair and that we are 'subsidising' them but the fact remains that they have contributed to the pension fund in their taxes and are just as entitled to it as those of us that are not so well off.
Big Al
15th Mar 2018
12:34pm
There is another aspect to this situation - take a couple living in a family home within, say 10 - 15kms of either the Sydney or Melbourne CBD. That house, due to a number of factors, will now be worth more than $1.5 million - and good luck to the owners. However, sitting on such a valuable asset, which will most likely be passed to family members on the demise of said couple, is it fair to wider society that said couple should live off the pension (or part thereof?). Now they have to live, and yes it should be financed by pension payments if they have no other income, but why not make that a loan against the ever increasing value of their property, until they decease, and exempt say the first $0.5K? That way the community doesn't support the increasing value of an asset that is shared only by the couple's immediate beneficiaries.
Farside
15th Mar 2018
1:40pm
thumbs up Big Al. It would help many asset rich retirees if they were able to safely release some of the equity in their homes without getting gouged by greedy financiers and bankers.
MITZY
15th Mar 2018
2:19pm
Farside this is available from a couple of banks, one I think is Bendigo Bank. However, they only allow the equity release in homes situate in Sydney and Melbourne suburbs - not to properties in regional and country areas. I'm sure the owners of homes of lesser value than $1 million would like to take the Bendigo Bank's offer i.e. all those aged pensioners that have homes in regional and country areas but its not available to them. People in country areas are disadvantaged with higher cost of living for petrol, health and the like. The great benefit of living in those areas is, however, the "quality" of life. There is much more "quality" but less "quantity".
Rae
15th Mar 2018
4:43pm
I disagree as it would be discrimination against home owners who could not claim interest, rates, insurance, maintenance and depreciation.

If you look at the % rise over time then subtract the costs there isn't much profit over time in the family home.

Once property prices fall back there will be even less. What would happen if the property price was less at the time of death that the pension costs?
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
6:06pm
They can't eat that house, Big Al. And it is 100% theirs without tax deductions along the way.

Like all other assets purchased out of after-income tax income with no tax concessions - it is theirs to do with as they choose.

Beware the gathering storm - this puerile nonsense about including the family home opens up the question of ALL personal non-income bearing assets in retirement... a question that is long overdue for overhaul.
Gra
15th Mar 2018
6:34pm
Gee Big Al, making the first $500 exempt is soooooooo generous. I'm guessing that is simply a typing error - I hope so any way.
Regardless, it is a flawed concept and would be extremely diffiult to implement so no-one was disadvantaged. The only ones griping are the ones who don't own their own home through one reason or another. If someone has worked hard their whole life and poured everything into their family home, why should they be penalised just to make the smokers and drinkers or other money wasters happy?
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
7:29pm
It is not an asset because it was never a business investment that accrued tax deductions - instead it was a money hole into which people poured more than twice the buying price into the banks to own for their retirement.

Tell em to eat my shorts.... or I'll do it to them....

No wonder Howard stole all the guns in the community...
KeWi
15th Mar 2018
11:17am
There is something not fair in a system that says a person with a $1M home (and no other assets) can get a full pension while another with $1M in shares (and no home) gets no pension at all. Both have used 'after-tax dollars', both have saved - surely IF the pension is to be asset tested (a different argument) there should not be a distortion based on the asset class.
To again show unfair the situation is, if the first person downsizes to a $500K home they will lose some of their pension (now have $500K in cash) even though their overall asset position is unchanged.
Cowboy Jim
15th Mar 2018
11:33am
KeWi - there is a difference between purchasing your own home and purchasing shares. On your home in THIS country you cannot deduct the costs associated with the purchase and the maintenance from your taxable income whereas share costs (even borrowings for them) are totally deductable. The after-tax dollars are therefore only applicable to your principal residence. Other countries have capital gains taxes on your own home when you sell it for a profit since all expenses during your time in it were deducted. That might be the difference.
KeWi
15th Mar 2018
2:27pm
Cowboy Jim - good point about some of the other distortions in our tax system - will think about that aspect.
Do you have a comment on the unfairness to the downsizer? (Which is where I got caught as I downsized before the change to boost my super to give me a better retirement - and then had that extra counted against me)
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
6:08pm
You mean the person with $1m in shares doesn't live in a house? Damn me....

(argument shot down in one)....
East of Toowoomba
15th Mar 2018
7:16pm
The person with $1M in shares has an income stream - the home owner does not, that is why they can receive the pension.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
7:32pm
If your argument about after tax dollars used is to be upheld, Kewi - then not only your shares but your home should be included in an assets test.

You can't twist that one around - it's either all or nothing and no special treatment for some.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Mar 2018
7:47am
Yes, East of Toowoomba, which is why either the home SHOULD be included in the test or - far better - the assets test abolished. It's patently unfair. The millionaire can bludge on the taxpayer by over-investing in housing, and his poorer neighbour who accepts modest accommodation and tries to be self sufficient is punished for doing so.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Mar 2018
7:47am
Yes, East of Toowoomba, which is why either the home SHOULD be included in the test or - far better - the assets test abolished. It's patently unfair. The millionaire can bludge on the taxpayer by over-investing in housing, and his poorer neighbour who accepts modest accommodation and tries to be self sufficient is punished for doing so.
dreamer
15th Mar 2018
11:23am
Crowcrag you are so right lets hear the torries or any party member start bleating now
GrayComputing
15th Mar 2018
11:31am
This story looks like fake news and fake statistics by very vested interests.
A pension is not welfare.
NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVERV AGAIN!
For your retirement do you really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?
Do some of you like being part of the abuse of the elderly. If so get your head examined for saw dust.
Call your MP (yes the vey same one who lets this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers expense) and tell then they will loose their job unless all asset tests for a pension are dropped
NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVERV AGAIN!
NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVERV AGAIN!
Olga Galacho
15th Mar 2018
12:27pm
Hello GrayComputing: It is Olga Galacho here. I can assure you the story I wrote is not fake news. It was based on answers to a survey of YourLifeChoices members. So far 2957 people have responded to the survey (Retirement income and financial literacy survey 2018) since a link to it was emailed to members in February. The survey closes on March 19. If you would like to take part in it, please email me at olga@yourlifechoices.com.au and I will respond with a link to it.
Kind regards
Hairy
15th Mar 2018
3:03pm
Agree entirely with you this goverment and it’s persecution and discrimination against the hard workers who made this country today what it is ,are a mob of disgraceful self serving freeloaders,now you know why they took the guns from the law abiding citizens .The plan is to harass you till you have a coronary another pension saved for the goverment totters.
George
16th Mar 2018
11:30pm
No Assets or Income Tests, or checking for Partners or whether you own a home or rent - in others a simple Universal Pension (without any of these tests) paid by the ATO once an individual reaches Age 65 after 15 years of Residence in Australia. NO CENTRELINK NEEDED to administer Age Pension at all.

Sorry, Olga, but this is a pointless article pitting the house-haves against the house-have-nots, and it was always going to generate excessive emotional responses. Surveys which beat around the bush and try to identify how to tinker around the edges to improve a BROKEN SYSTEM are useless - instead why doesn't YLC suggest a real and FAIR solution for all - such as Universal Pension, and send a PETITION to the law-makers!
Oars
15th Mar 2018
11:31am
The family home shouldbe excluded from any means test. Just because the real estate boom has elevated prices over thye last 5 to 10 years, does not make owners millionaires. They are just lucky to have such a value. But, if they sell and downsize then they may lose all pension. This seems very unfair, as the majority of retirees who own their homes worth say $1.0 million dollars, have worked for 40 years, paid tax and their house lonas. They have had to struggle at times when Banks put up the loans' interest rate. So they deserve to have that asset, without being "taxed" again by not receiving a pension . Leave the home alone- no thresh-hold.
leonardmaycock
15th Mar 2018
11:32am
They must be the ones who have more money than us
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
6:10pm
Of course - who else would imagine their home should be totally exempt while those of others with no solid income are fair game?
CoogeeGuy
15th Mar 2018
11:37am
I am a self funded retiree, who will live off a $850,000 superannuation nest egg, in the form of a fortnightly ‘pension’. My work was always in the City of Sydney, and as such I purchased an apartment 12 years ago, after saving a deposit for a very long time. I paid extra repayments on my home loan in an effort to get it as low as possible before I retired, and that meant no overseas holidays, no eating out, no entertainment etc. I worked to pay off my apartment. In retirement, I still owe $90,000. My apartment is now worth around the 1 million dollar mark. HOW DARE YOU SELFISH PEOPLE OUT THERE SUGGEST MY APARTMENT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE GOVT’s ASSET TEST. I am outraged. I can only suggest the sort of people who are suggesting this, are those who have very little, because they chose to take the easy path in life, and just coast along, with no thought given to their future. They are the sort of people who think, the Government will pay a pension, and they will get lots of discounts and concessions, so they did not worry. I worked very hard during my working life, and which involved shift work. Just because I worked hard and purchased an apartment in Sydney, should not mean I should be penalised by such selfish and poorly thought out opinions such as the 30 per cent of those out there who are living very comfortable in a nice house with a back yard out in the suburbs. I find these posts highly insulting, and simply offensive. As a single person, I always paid the maximum tax, paid top dollar for everything in life with no discounts or concessions, nor was I entitled to any of the many welfare entitlements the Governments of the day are throwing around. It is not all black and white out there people. Investigate the topic before you start pointing your big fat fingers
Knight Templar
15th Mar 2018
1:18pm
Totally agree CoogeeGuy. How many times does it have to be said that the family home is already considered for age pension purposes. Those who occupy (not necessarily own) their home are subject to a lower level of assets before their age pension is either reduced or cancelled.
Farside
15th Mar 2018
1:45pm
@Coogee Guy, how are you affected by this if you are self-funded?
Brissiegirl
15th Mar 2018
3:04pm
Farside, if Coogee Guy is getting a low income health care card and a few small perks he might find the value of his home included in his assets test would rip that off him. Self funded retirees are the worst treated people in Australia. They are usually the hardest working having paid the highest taxes and are a financial asset to our country but you can bet lazy, entitled, living off the public purse whingers still want to tear them down out of utter jealousy.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
6:11pm
Farside - better to ask why he would NOT be affected, since including only pensioners is discriminatory and blatantly unjust since they paid for their pension.
CoogeeGuy
15th Mar 2018
6:49pm
Farside. I am not affected..........yet! Not until my fully funded pension depreciates over time, and when it gets to a level where I will be eligible for a part-pension. I was merely speaking for those people in a similar position to that of mine, who have struggled all their life to pay off their home, but did not have the benefit of paying into a superannuation scheme as early as I did, and/or were on low incomes, and thus had little super or savings when they retired. Their house / apartment might be worth 1 million plus, but other than that one asset, they have little other money or assets. I consider myself to be a fair and reasonable man. In my opinion, and experience, it is not fair, nor is it reasonable, to inlcude a persons home in a governments asset test, whatever the reason. Sure! If they have investiment properties, asset test the hell out of them. But leave the family home out of it.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
7:37pm
Spot on, CoogeeGuy - the issue of allocated pensions and SFRs falling below pension needs to be addressed yesterday or ten years ago... under no circumstances should an SFR or allocated pension person be forced or allowed to fall below the pension level without a top-up.

I honestly don't see what all the argument is about - all I ever advocate is a fair go for everyone, and the simple and unassailable right to enjoy the benefits of a lifetime of work as you choose, and the only way to achieve that is to have a no assets test pension and tax on all above that.

This nonsense of 'including the family home' is just a smokescreen to cover the theft of pension rights by government - not only of pensioners pure, but of SFRs and allocated/purchased pension recipients.

Easily solved.
Big Al
15th Mar 2018
10:31pm
CoogeeGuy, you must be a financial idiot! Why wouldn't you use $90,000 of your super and pay off your mortgage, thereby dropping your assets to below the threshold, and therefore be eligible for a part pension? Simples!
TREBOR
16th Mar 2018
3:58pm
Poor choice of word, Al - nobody is an idiot.... lack of knowledge or a simple lack of sufficient horizons in life to work something out do not make you an idiot.

Horizons are what are set in place primarily by your upbringing - much the same as the 'horizon' in WW I was the lip of the trench.... and that can often be a fair comparison given the way many were brought up.

It's always interesting to read or hear about someone who was abused as a child who has broken out and made a success (or otherwise) of their life. Many 'baby boomers' had parenting that was frankly psychotic due to the influences of poverty, The Great
Depression, and WWs I and II.
Emps
15th Mar 2018
11:39am
Aged pension is an income. It is an income afforded to old aged people, and rightly so. The ones who have contributed over their many working years. It is an entitlement, not a benevolent gift. A multimillion dollar mansion is not an income, it is home like any other private property.
Hairy
15th Mar 2018
3:09pm
True you worked for it and paid for it with your after tax dollars,now the maggots in Canberra want to get those dollars you saved as well.when are we going get a fair deal from any of these freeloaders
VeryCaringBigBear
16th Mar 2018
7:58am
OAP is welfare and I'm proud to be on welfare.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Mar 2018
12:28pm
OAP is NOT welfare, and you SHOULD be ashamed of manipulating immorally and dishonestly to claim a pension that is denied to the honest and ethical who have far less than you. It's because of people like you abusing the system that all aged are suffering attack and deprivation.
Oars
15th Mar 2018
11:41am
I have doubts about the numbers of retirees who want to have the family home means test. These people are basically jealous of those around them who have for 40 years has to struggle , make decisions where to live, and finally have a "safe" place to live. If you want to make a comparison between Sydney and Melbourne house prices then most are around $1.0 Million due to recent hikes in the market caused by others. That in itself is a real study, taking into consideration certain overseas imports who brought 'printed money" with them, yet leave their homes/units empty. So that is a factor that we battlers have no control over. Then there is the drifter who lives in the woop woops where the prices are down to $80,000 but no employment opportunities. So they go on the dole till they reach 65 then ask for a pension. This sector has paid little or no tax, yet drained thye "purse" and those around them for 40 years. And theywant to include their shack as an asset !!!??? No wonder this place is going down the gurgler .
jackie
15th Mar 2018
3:23pm
No one is allowed and ever was allowed to be on the dole for decades. On a pension yes but they get it for a good reason.
Sundays
15th Mar 2018
4:17pm
Jackie, There are areas in Australia where no one in the family has ever had a job. They might not always be on the dole with stints on the single parent pension, and disability before the rules were tightened but they have never worked, or wanted to. Oars’ point still stands.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
6:14pm
The social security system was set up to cater to all - that includes those in AREAS where there is no work.

I suppose like the kid said in Paris, Texas (the movie) - when his single father said he had two blocks of land in Paris, Texas - "What are we gonna eat? Dirt?"

The Socialist Bob Menzies made it clear that social security covered all equally from a common pot... it is only the modern day parasites and vultures and blatant liars and thieves who are seeking to have it viewed differently.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Mar 2018
7:35am
Sorry Jackie, but you are naïve.

On a pension for good reason? NO NO NO NO and NO. I have a relatie who faked disability all her life - still faking at 54 but having just inherited a fortune, built a luxury mansion on the waterfront so she could keep getting the pension and not have to live on her inheritance. Moved her gay lover in as ''carer'' to get two single pensions plus carer allowance. I have good cause to believe she's one of a considerable number. She claims to be in a wheel chair, yet runs marathons and goes out dancing regularly. Took a neck brace off to win a limbo contest. Yes, I've reported - multiple times. Nothing changes.

I also know people who have been on the dole for most of their life. They take a casual job or claim sick leave for interim periods, but they do virtually no work, ever.
mareela
15th Mar 2018
11:45am
Jackie you obviously have no idea about HECS debt for young people. For a start it is capped by the Government for around $100,000. I’d like to know where you can buy a house for that amount of money. Also students who have such a high debt are usually “professional students” who keep going till their HECS debt has maxed out. Also many students with HECS debts, particularly females never pay it back as they only work part time if at all and never reach the threshold where compulsory money is taken out via tax. So Jackie many young people are doing very well thank you very much. I don’t think the family home should ever be included in the asset test. What’s the point in spending your working life shrimping and saving to pay it off for the government to say thanks very much now you can go look after yourself in your old age. Many baby boomers had little time to accumulate super so have little income, apart from the pension. By the sound of your comments Jackie you don’t own a home, so hence don’t care about anyone but yourself. Australia is a sovereign country and will never be unable to pay the aged pension. The government just likes to pit one group of people against another, and sit back and watch everyone come out with their knives.
jackie
15th Mar 2018
1:19pm
mareela...most young people these days have to accumulate an education debt these days or they will stay in low paid casual work without penalty rates and get them no where...there are even $5,000 certificates to wash dishes as a kitchen hand. Most baby boomers acquired homes at less than $100,000 which were paid off quickly thanks to having secure jobs that provided a regular income to achieve that. The 60s and 70s were fun times when beer, smokes, food, water and utilities were cheap too.
ceejay
15th Mar 2018
1:31pm
Just pointing out it is not only young people with HECS debts. Many older people were encouraged to return to university to upgrade their skills and knowledge for the 'new age' job market and to function efficiently and effectively in the 21st century. I know of plenty of students past 60 in that situation...some even 70 and 80+
Hairy
15th Mar 2018
3:14pm
Yes a degree in arts and a few other dubious degrees that will never get you anything.there are so many young that I know that got these degrees and are now not employed and don’t want to be because it’s so degrading having to do manual labour
Sundays
15th Mar 2018
3:22pm
Jackie, we saved for 6 years before we had the deposit for a modest home in western Sydney in 1977. Furniture, electrical equipment, cars, telephones,clothing and white goods were a lot more expensive in comparison with today. In hindsight, I wish we had kept it but we moved Interstate. Mortgages of 17% in the 80s. Yes, We had secure employment but paying off the house with 2 children and working full time was hard. Wages low. I then went back to University part time, for six years and yes I had a HECS debt! I was however, able to get higher paid employment. Kept working, kept saving. Finally, paid the house off, paid HECS off. Have a comfortable retirement. Perseverance, hard work, not coveting what others have, and taking personal responsibility. Try it
jackie
15th Mar 2018
3:40pm
Sundays... Most Australians have worked hard all their lives even those born with silver spoons. I am tired of the aged running down the young people of today who have it so much harder than what we did. They all have to do courses to qualify for positions that used to to trained on the job. They have to go through tedious job interviews theat involve several to get the job. It is low paid, casual with no holiday and sick pay. The will be expected to work till they are at least 70. The deposits for many homes will take many years to save for and many will never have the opportunity to buy.
jackie
15th Mar 2018
3:40pm
Sundays... Most Australians have worked hard all their lives even those born with silver spoons. I am tired of the aged running down the young people of today who have it so much harder than what we did. They all have to do courses to qualify for positions that used to to trained on the job. They have to go through tedious job interviews theat involve several to get the job. It is low paid, casual with no holiday and sick pay. The will be expected to work till they are at least 70. The deposits for many homes will take many years to save for and many will never have the opportunity to buy.
jackie
15th Mar 2018
3:40pm
Sundays... Most Australians have worked hard all their lives even those born with silver spoons. I am tired of the aged running down the young people of today who have it so much harder than what we did. They all have to do courses to qualify for positions that used to to trained on the job. They have to go through tedious job interviews theat involve several to get the job. It is low paid, casual with no holiday and sick pay. The will be expected to work till they are at least 70. The deposits for many homes will take many years to save for and many will never have the opportunity to buy.
Sundays
15th Mar 2018
3:52pm
You made your point the first time. However, not all young people are permanently stuck in low paid casual work. You can get ahead even today. I disagree that young people have it easier. They spend a lot more than we ever did. The young people I worked with went out regularly on th weekend to dinners, pubs, clubs. Bought their lunch and coffee daily, lots of new clothes, manicures, pedicures etc. latest mobile phones and on it goes. Things we would have considered luxuries. Then, when married they need a cleaner and a gardener,and annual holidays plus mini breaks (whatever they are). It’s their choice, but the old adage holds true. It’s not how much you earn that counts, but how much you spend. And news flash, there are people still working at 70 today
Rae
15th Mar 2018
5:01pm
It is time the young rose up and changed the system then. Stealing the homes of those who did so won't fix the situation one bit.

We organised, went on strike, took a second and third job and never wasted a cent.

The young are educated time to resist the work choices nonsense but not time to discriminate against their grandparents who managed to buy a home over 40 years or so.

Besides I know a heap of young paying off homes right now including most of the street I live in. Young families with little kids out in the sticks.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
6:15pm
Please let us stick with pensioner homes and the assets test.. HECS is for another time.
Sundays
15th Mar 2018
7:45pm
Trebor, Jackie thinks the home should be included in the Asset test. Her reasons seem to be that older people had it easier than young people. Houses were easy to come by while young people are doing it tough. HECS was an example of their struggle! She seems resentful towards home owners who also receive a pension as if they are getting something for nothing. How dare they get the OAP and also have their own home. Envy is a terrible thing.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
10:17pm
If I had it easier I'd like my indexed top-up NOW!!

(I guess that settles it).....

I have a HECS debt... and many debts owed to me that should be properly slated against bad governance and even outright theft of my right to work and earn a decent living and retirement, all of which should be indexed to me as compensation for piss poor government and governance.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Mar 2018
7:45am
Wish I'd had a HECS debt, and the education and qualifications that went with it so I could get a job with decent pay and some job satisfaction. Much better to have a HECS debt and what went with it than the debt equal to 5 houses for medical treatment for a disabled child. And add a disabled partner who was unemployed much of the time, and my own sickness preventing me working for a couple of years. Yet we paid off a home and put our kids through uni. They now have a HECS debt and they are grateful for it. They also are buying homes and raising families and living reasonably well - despite one being a single parent and another having a seriously disabled child who costs $1400 a week for therapies. Don't tell me how hard it is for the young. And don't tell me sob stories about members of our generation who weren't ''lucky'' enough to be able to pay off a home. I saw how most lived. Yes, there are some who faced extraordinary life challenges, and I sympathize and support every proposal to help them out, but the vast majority who are on pensions and rent assistance today had far far better opportunities than I did, but just didn't try as hard.

I am heartily fed up with this nonsense socialist attitude in Australia that says if you worked your guts out all your life and saved you must surrender the benefit in old age so the government can hand out to people who didn't. The assets test is fundamentally WRONG by any assessment. It should be abolished. And this NONSENSE about cutting aged pensions to fund tax cuts for the young is illogical. Why? So they can save more now to have it all taken away when they are old by a flawed pension system that punishes anyone who isn't either very rich or very poor? DUMB and economically unsustainable. No wonder the economy is flagging!
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Mar 2018
7:45am
Wish I'd had a HECS debt, and the education and qualifications that went with it so I could get a job with decent pay and some job satisfaction. Much better to have a HECS debt and what went with it than the debt equal to 5 houses for medical treatment for a disabled child. And add a disabled partner who was unemployed much of the time, and my own sickness preventing me working for a couple of years. Yet we paid off a home and put our kids through uni. They now have a HECS debt and they are grateful for it. They also are buying homes and raising families and living reasonably well - despite one being a single parent and another having a seriously disabled child who costs $1400 a week for therapies. Don't tell me how hard it is for the young. And don't tell me sob stories about members of our generation who weren't ''lucky'' enough to be able to pay off a home. I saw how most lived. Yes, there are some who faced extraordinary life challenges, and I sympathize and support every proposal to help them out, but the vast majority who are on pensions and rent assistance today had far far better opportunities than I did, but just didn't try as hard.

I am heartily fed up with this nonsense socialist attitude in Australia that says if you worked your guts out all your life and saved you must surrender the benefit in old age so the government can hand out to people who didn't. The assets test is fundamentally WRONG by any assessment. It should be abolished. And this NONSENSE about cutting aged pensions to fund tax cuts for the young is illogical. Why? So they can save more now to have it all taken away when they are old by a flawed pension system that punishes anyone who isn't either very rich or very poor? DUMB and economically unsustainable. No wonder the economy is flagging!
Oars
17th Mar 2018
10:52am
Ceejay you are right about us oldies gettin' educated late in life. I won a bursary (after many attempts) and the mob who gave me that small sum made me work for them for 5 years at a bloody poor wage. But instead of winging ( like some do) I did my time with them then got further jobs that paid better. This proves that if you "stick it out" you get rewarded. Now we look at a huge % of us 70's plus folk. We had no pension unless we worked for a Government Departmemt, and now we are stuck at a time with less income opportunities but have a great home ( that we built and paid for over a 40 year period). Why should we be penalised (i) for keeping maintaining the home- in contrast with renting a government home, and (ii) be told that our 40 years hard work to pay the home loan off we will be penalised by a "Meany- Centrelink Mean's test" for our effortsw. Most people in the 70's onwards have had to struggle like me, so let us have something to look at as wee stare at forthcomin' abiss. !!!
Bazza13
15th Mar 2018
11:48am
The fact that you own a house is already taken into account by Centrelink, have a look at the asset thresholds for homeowners & non homeowners there is a difference the non homeowners threshold is higher so their pension reduces at a slower rate and they often get rent relief.
We need to remove the assets test or change the way assets are assessed also have a look at the Federal legislation the OAP is NOT welfare it is an entitlement subject to curtain conditions being met.
Concerned
15th Mar 2018
11:50am
This conversation should not even be happening. Look at the history of why the Aged Pension was first bought in people. It was not to support the poor. It was for a reward for 60 years plus of hard work, albeit we all paid into the pension fund for years, until our illustrious politicians stole those funds to put into revenue. We have sacrificed to buy this home for many many years with little cash left now (paying 17% interest for many years). We did not get the financial breaks some people have had or been left a large inheritance, we worked hard, got our kids through school and university with absolutely no help from our Government, no childcare assistance, no university handouts, in fact no handout at all. The Government stuffed up our Superannuation system for years and years, so if you had any at all it was taken from you with unfair fees. Everyone in the country should receive a universal pension. Take a look at how New Zealand do it. If they bring this in, we will not be able to pay our bills or even buy food to eat, so what do you think we should do?
Rae
15th Mar 2018
5:13pm
I think you are supposed to sell to the foreign millionaires willing to pay the millions for a visa and buy your home hopefully at lower prices as the dollar keeps falling.

And live in a mobile home or something. They don't care what happens to you.

It's revenge because you managed to buy a home and they didn't.
People take revenge when they feel bad and want you to feel bad as well.

They are also too stupid to see the consequences.

Millions of Foreign holiday homes are better somehow that paying you a pension after decades of working because you succeeded where they failed.
Suze
15th Mar 2018
8:02pm
Totally agree
" Everyone in the country should receive a universal pension."
HS
15th Mar 2018
8:30pm
The rich should not be on any universal pension. The line must be drawn somewhere.
Besides, under today's system anyone can have $150,000 savings plus their owned residential home and receive a full age pension. Anything over in $150,000 savings, reduces the pension accordingly.That sounds fair to me.
However, any one sitting in a $2million home claiming full pension should be eliminated from qualifying for the pension.
Similarly, any politician should not be on government pension until they reach the qualifying age,the same age as the rest of the people.
Any ex-politician in private employment should not be able to get government pension until they fully retire and their pension maximum should be the same as other common age pensioners.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
10:24pm
The rich will receive a pension, but will be taxed on all income strands, fringe benefits such as free flights on their company aircraft, and including gifting to Jerry Facker of $1m to bet on the races at Randwick.... if it is a gift from your company, it is a portion of taxable income.

Time the company law system caught up with the 20th Century - then we'll move them on to the 21st (as I said famously in the commonwealth Public Service when I worked there - I offered to re-organise their management structures in that way - I ended up quitting, and the department commissioned an outside body to review its management structures - at the then princely sum of $125k - and the outside body concurred with all of my recommendations and said the incumbent structure was badly based - the department refused to accept the outside opinion and many good officers resigned as a result).

Yeah- I've been around the traps....... and always paid MY way with hard work and dedication and integrity and forward thinking.!
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Mar 2018
12:39pm
HS, you have a weird idea of what is ''fair''. How much will $150,000 buy 20 years from now? Try to live on an aged pension when your partner needs two physio sessions per week at $85 a session, for up to 5 months of each year, and you cop a $35,000 bill for dental care. Think about the costs of home renovation and repair. Consider the cost of care for people who are too sick or disabled to do home duties. The aged pension is an insult, but what is a much bigger insult is denying it to people who saved a few hundred thousand that they know will be badly needed in old age because they worked and saved and planned responsibly to be able to meet those costs. Seems some here just want us all to live in poverty in old age. What kind of society treats its aged this way?

The aged pension is nowhere near sufficient, but the country won't be able to increase it while it is offering $1 million reward to wasters and bludgers and cheats and manipulators and persecuting people who tried to provide for themselves. Pay a universal pension and tax it and the cheating and manipulating stops and there are incentives to be responsible, so people can accrue wealth that ultimately breaks family cycles of poverty. I know, because I've been there.

If there must be a means test, it should be on income/deemed income ONLY. Let people benefit from their savings and pass down to their heirs if they wish and everyone in society gets richer. Ultimately, pensions cost very little because all that money goes back into the economy to generate jobs and taxes and growth. So pay it to everyone over 65, then tax the more affluent fairly. That's how our ''responsible capitalism'' model was always supposed to work. It's been distorted by greed and selfishness, and it is failing as a result.
HS
16th Mar 2018
3:21pm
OGR,
1- $35,000 bill for dental care? Glad for you that you can afford the cosmetics. I can't. I'm walking around without 2/3rds of my teeth. I can't have dentures because I gagg on them. Full denture implants cost $35,000. Dentures through university dental faculties, if you are a pensioner will cost $1,000. Dental visits to be treated by 4th year students, not professionals, about $40 per visit.
2- Home maintenance, rates, strata levy? I have them too. I budget for them+10% for inflation.
3-Homecare? Sure it will cost 1/3rd of your single age pension.
Denying it to people who saved a few hundred thousand that they know will be badly needed ? The government does not deny full pension where one has less than $150,000 in savings. These pensioners get the full pension, including some who live in $2million dollar homes.

On a final note I wish thank Tanya (MP, ALP Deputy Leader) for abolishing dental assistance to pensioners. May a flock of 1,000 fleas invade her armpits in gratitude.
TREBOR
16th Mar 2018
7:41pm
Not enough fleas.......
Oars
17th Mar 2018
10:56am
Rae- I smile at your sarcastic response. Your wit may be too close to the truth for some of the readers. At least it has a ring of reality in it. Keep it up. The writing I mean.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Mar 2018
8:09pm
HS, I can afford dental care because I worked my guts out and went without most of the luxuries others take for granted, PLANNING for the day when I would need to spend money to compensate for the abuse and deprivation I suffered in childhood. Sorry if you have less, but that DOES NOT justify claiming that I should be deprived of what I worked so hard for. If I'd gambled it all away, cruised the world, given it to my kids before turning 60, worked far less, or just lived a lavish lifestyle, I'd get about $1 million from the taxpayer to fund my retirement. But because I chose to be more responsible and sacrifice lifestyle earlier in life, I'm now the target of every green-eyed jealous selfish monster who thinks because I have more than them it should all be taken from me. Bugger off back to commo land. We don't need your BS here.
dragonfly
15th Mar 2018
11:51am
No, homes that people have worked hard for should not be considered assets. Just say you scrimped, saved and did without to get your home and you happen to live in an area where house prices have increase greatly, you should not be penalised for this. If you live in Sydney why should you have to move away due to the prices houses have reached and be forced to move away from family and friends due to circumstances out of their control?

There have been many cases of people downsized as the so called experts say to do and lost their pensions due to having too much in the bank while looking for another place to live. And had to pay back money due to incoe deemed for this money. There used to be a excempt free period not that long ago, I may be wrong about this, where the proceeds of sold house were not considered assets until a new place purchased within the alloted time. I have heard of many who thought this was the case and have found they are being penalised for trying to downsize. I think the few pensioners who are for the family home to be considered an asset may be ones who do not own a house.

Jacki, are you are you a pensioner and own your own home? So we had it good to get houses at a low price but they may seem low at todays income but compared to back then it was a real struggle and we had 17-18% interest to pay. So how can you call it easy for us to get a home? We did not go out eg not go our for meals regualarly, go on holidays, drove old cars, made do with old furniture and appliances and so on.

We did not get a Macmansion like first home buyers want today. Get your facts straight before making such a stupid comment about it being easier back then. It has always been hard to get jobs but if you are prepared to work rather than wait for the perfect job you can get work even now. My first few jobs required my to travel over 2 hours on public transport each way to get into Sydney for work. I have worked long hours on my feet in food manufacturing for over 30 years - not my perfect job but it helped pay bills and with careful budgeting allowed us to purchase our small 3 bedroom house.

About selling houses over $500,000, how long is this so called generated income going to last if they have to pay high rent at todays prices and live on this generated income?

I have worked hard all my life and paid taxes and some of these taxes did go towards my pension but the government used this revenue due mismanagement of taxpayers money.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
7:49pm
A $40,000 home in Sydney in the early 1980's was not cheap... I was earning $600 a week and couldn't raise a mortgage on a property in Alexandria at $55k. Just short on calculations.... so I bought a country property for $42.5 with acreage... and traveled home on weekends and slept in my car and used the company showers etc to save the fuel.

And by the time you pay the interest and the running costs along the way, your actual capital increase is likely to be about 3% pa in real terms.

Every cent in a home (not a property investment) is EARNED, unlike the incomes of leeches in Canberra and so forth who come up with this garbage.
OnlyGenuineRainey
18th Mar 2018
1:40pm
My first home was in a country town where prices were relatively low, yet I still had to pay 6.5 times our family annual income for a run-down 30-year-old 2-bedroom shack with leaky plumbing and no garage. And that was at 7.5% interest, rising to 18%. These people whinging about the high costs of housing today are full of it! Assess the TOTAL lifetime cost and you'll find it's CHEAPER today than it was for many past generations - especially today's young retirees, who copped a real estate boom in the early 70s that drove prices sky high, and very high interest rates.
Tez Sydney
15th Mar 2018
11:52am
Are you aware you have paid for the age pension if you paid income tax? All retired taxpayers should get full age pension: its treated & taxed as income.
Rae
15th Mar 2018
5:29pm
Yes they should Tez but unfortunately we are a bunch of tall poppy haters here in Oz unlike other less discriminatory countries.
Suze
15th Mar 2018
8:07pm
Unfortunatelly the Politicians have mismanaged the taxpayers aged pension and now are trying to grab more money from the aged.

Do not kid yourself they will give it to the poor ..it will be used to increase their lurks and salaries.
Blinky Bill
15th Mar 2018
11:52am
When most people who comment on here bought their homes 40 or 50 years ago, they never envisaged that the value of the land and the home would escalate to were it is today. My $23,400 home and land has been paid for by money that I earned and paid tax on. I suggest my home and land is worth $700,000 to $750,000 today, so a house and land worth one million dollars is not a lot today. But if a house and land is to be included in asset testing, why not all other assets that some have, such as boats, caravans etc. Interest rates started at 7.5% and rose to 18.5%, so what consideration should be given to the huge amount of interest paid during those years, compared to today's very low interest rates? I honestly feel for those people who never got the chance; for various reasons, not to own their own home. I and my wife do consider ourselves very fortunate, but we went without to make our mortgage payments and nearly had to walk away during the very high interest rate period of the eighties, but we just tightened our belt even more, our children went without and wore second hand school clothes. We never went out for a dinner, while a takeaway Pizza was a treat. However, in the long run our struggle has paid off for us. And now some who want to include all of our struggle to pay for our home and its maintenance over the last 47 years, with hard earned, tax paid dollars to be included in asset testing, can go and have a funny run! The government of Australia has robbed the people such as me of my pension, which I have paid 7 1/2% of my income for. It is the government who is at fault who now are creating a division between those who have and those who unfortunately have not.
Hairy
15th Mar 2018
3:23pm
I agree bill.
Rae
15th Mar 2018
5:36pm
After costs and depreciation over time you home would not really have risen in real terms by that much.From recollect it's around 3% a year so not much more than inflation after costs. That's why they don't include it as an asset because many would find it has actually been a liability.

People have a very poor understanding of property investments obviously.
Triss
15th Mar 2018
6:10pm
Young people, and older, these days grumble about the high cost of housing and yes house prices seem eye watering. However everyone needs to look back a few decades and consider house prices against the wages earned in the 70's and 80's and they'll realise that it was just as dificult to buy lower priced houses on a low wage as it is now to buy a high priced house on a much higher wage.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
10:25pm
Spot on, Rae - 3% in a good area as I said somewhere else in this discussion.
OnlyGenuineRainey
18th Mar 2018
9:01am
Blinky Bill, all other assets ARE included in the assets test. That's what makes it so patently unfair. If you plunge $2 million into a house and have only $150,000 left, you get a full pension. If you prefer to own a $500,000 house and put money in the bank, you get a kick in the behind and abuse. If you choose a $1 million house and have $150,000 in the bank, you get a full pension. If you choose a $900,000 house because you would like a $100,000 motor home to holiday in, you suffer a pension cut. There is no freedom of choice of how to spend your money, and that's pushing up house prices and making the pension system grossly unfair.

The only fair and reasonable solution is to ABOLISH THE ASSETS TEST COMPLETELY. It is fundamentally WRONG by any assessment. And it's detrimental to the economy, because it rewards the irresponsible and punishes those whose life choices contribute positively to economic growth.
Tez Sydney
15th Mar 2018
11:59am
Homes to be included in pensions? Are you saying those who were frugal, saved and paid off homes are now to be penalised to support those who frittered their incomes away & just want to grab more of the age pension for themselves? Maybe, the age pension payments should be graduated according to how much tax you paid!
Rosret
15th Mar 2018
12:12pm
Yep - spend spend spend and then take from someone else.
Hairy
15th Mar 2018
3:25pm
I would love that working,70hrs a week 21straight 5off yes I paid a lot of tax I think my pension would be comfortable
Rae
15th Mar 2018
5:38pm
Oh yes please. I don't get anything now but would get quite a bit if it was based on tax paid. Haha
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
10:26pm
True - when I was on $100k+ a year in 1992 - about $300k now - I paid well in taxes...

Where's MY compensation re retirement packaging?
Rosret
15th Mar 2018
12:10pm
No Olga. No one should have their home asset tested. $5 million is a farm or a home in inner Sydney.
What should be checked is the people who have a home and sell it to buy a huge home with their super funds on retirement. However even then I can see exceptions. For example You sell low and the market booms before you buy again and suddenly you're caught out. Or perhaps you need a home with special access etc etc.
Everyone should get the pension regardless. No tests, no checks - you just need to be an Australian citizen for a certain number of years and paid pro rata.
Oars
17th Mar 2018
11:02am
Yes Rosret. And another thing. Make sure that all the people that receive the universal pension (as the NZ Govt call it) have been RESIDENT full time in Oz for 40 years. Otherwise, the "outsiders" will sneak in and grab a pension, having paid no tax either directly through income tax, or indirectly through purchasing goods in Oz. This scam has provided the overseas "immigration agents" huge incentives to direct their clients to " Ozzy the Mugs" ( as they put it). Wake up Oz, we have been slowly and cleverly conned. !!
Jim
15th Mar 2018
12:11pm
I can only believe that any pensioner or anyone else for that matter would put forward this ridiculous proposal is to create a huge stir, the family home that you live in is worth absolutely nothing until you sell it, it might have a theoretical value, I have lived in my home since the 60s, I don't know what the value is, but the house next door has just sold for $530000 it is slightly bigger than mine and about 5 years younger, I recently went to a seminar at a retirement village, the average price of the units were $450000 for a 2 bedroom shoe box with no garage, then there was a maintenance cost of $195 per week, there was a also a penalty clause that if I sold I would lose a proportion of what I paid, which after 5 years would equate to 25% of the ammount I paid for it. All this aside I can only believe that envy could be the only reason anyone would want to penalise other people. My place might be worth $500000 I couldn't care less if someone else's property is worth ten times that, their accessible income is probably similar to mine.
Rosret
15th Mar 2018
12:16pm
Ah - but "they" want to kick the oldies out of all the inner reaches of the city so the developers can put up mega towers for shoe box apartments.
How much money do you think goes under the table to promote this sort of idea?
I wish Australian's would start to look after their own nation before we don't own it anymore.
Oars
17th Mar 2018
11:11am
Again Rosret, you almost got it. These "shoe boxes" in the inner city are frequently purchased by "outsiders" who don't even live in them, don't rent them, but allow the values around them to rise after them doing nothing. (To prove this case, just drive around these city blocks at about 9.00PM weekdays and you will see a number of these units with no lights on. No-- they are not environmentalists trying to save the carbon footprint- they are not living there at all ). The outcome is that "outsiders" will increase their influence on our real estate, by manipulating the market if/ when they decide to sell. The scary bit is that you could be effected if you are caught in that web of property that these "outsiders" drop their price. Scary? Yep. But the current laws allow these situations to happen
BtL
15th Mar 2018
12:13pm
The pension is welfare and should be confined to the needy.

Homeowners are "rewarded" for their hard work, diligent saving etc. but it is in the form of bequests to their beneficiaries when the homeowners die and their houses are sold.

I think that pensioners who rent should receive an additional amount representing the cost of renting in excess of the outgoings of owning a dwelling (excluding maintenance and repairs which would be compensated for in the sale price when the dwelling is sold)). Of course, the additional amount should not apply where there was any connection whatsoever between the pensioner and the landlord.
Emps
15th Mar 2018
12:24pm
The pension is not welfare. It is an entitlement paid for over many years. Whatever private family commitments are made over their own belongings, whether house car, blah! blah! is no others business. It is a given for any old aged person to receive pension income, no ifs, no buts.
Jim
15th Mar 2018
1:11pm
Btl, your assumption seems to be that home owners are not amongst the needy, if the only asset is a person's home and their only income is the pension how are they any less deserving of a pension than a non home owner, the non home owner gets a subsidy for their rent, it may not be enough to cover as much of their rent as it should, in fact I am a firm believable that our needy pensioners should get free rent, as long as they do maintenance on the property, just as a home owner has to do maintenance on their home. I paid taxes for over 50 years and expected to live out the rest of my life in my own home, I didn't expect to get to my age and be told to sell the home I have lived in for 50 years because someone thinks because I own my home I am not entitled to the pension, what sort of world are we living in?
Rae
15th Mar 2018
5:42pm
Why should we support someone's decision not to knuckle down work and buy a house. I know people who chose to live in Sydney and rent as we couldn't afford to buy there. Why should they get supported for a lifestyle choice while the person who chose to buy in the sticks and commute every day for a few hours gets shafted?
Triss
15th Mar 2018
6:14pm
BtL, do a bit of research on the pension. Read: https://hotcopper.com.au/threads/aged-pension-welfare-or-entitlement.3159059/#.WqoW74K-nMV
marls
15th Mar 2018
9:06pm
B+L
the aged pension is not welfare it was set up and NO MEANS TEST ever worker pays 7.5% towards their aged pension but the gvt got to greedy and saw how much money was in the fund so they stole it Malcolm Frazer in 1977 transferred $470 million into consolidated revenue read the facts "Who stole the Workers Compulsory Pension Fund" Australian Morning Mail
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Mar 2018
8:00pm
B+L, so you think people who struggled to pay off a mortgage should be denied ANY benefit from their efforts and those who lived it up instead should be now compensated for their irresponsible behaviour, at the expense of taxpayers. Jump in the lake! Those of us who worked hard to pay off homes SHOULD be far better off than those who didn't. And I'll go toe to toe with any selfish person who suggests otherwise.

We worked and paid off mortgages, often at huge cost in terms of loss of lifestyle, so that we would be BETTER OFF in retirement than those who chose immediate gratification instead. How dare you now suggest that one lot should have the best of both worlds at taxpayer expense while the other lot get shafted? Unmitigated GREED and SELFISHNESS. Sorry, I'm fast losing my compassion. I know there are strugglers out there who did it very tough and maybe COULDN'T buy a home, but most who don't have homes in retirement had just as much opportunity - or far more - than me.
VeryCaringBigBear
15th Mar 2018
12:14pm
Looks like I'll have bribe the vabluer so my humble abode is worth a fraction of it's value.
Rosret
15th Mar 2018
12:17pm
:) Good idea.
Dave R
15th Mar 2018
12:16pm
Your home is your home and should not be treated like any other asset. However if we are going to have a means test (which is another argument) I do think that homes above a reasonably high value should be included. The difficulty with that is the same house in different locations is valued very differently so the value would have to be very high to be fair to everyone. I'd suggest something over a million dollars.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
10:29pm
Do these negatisers wish to include a rented 'home' as an asset, too?

If you include one you must include all.... including those of 'self-funded retirees', who would then pay a levy for living in their own home so as to afford equal treatment with pensioners...
Baby Huey
15th Mar 2018
12:31pm
The terms "WEALTH" and "WEALTHY" are thrown around by self-serving politicians and their lackey experts with reckless abandon. I have not be able to find the Government accepted definition of the two terms. Could someone out there provide definitions with relevant references?
If their is no definition other than the generic found in dictionaries one only assume the politicians are acting like Humpty Dumpty in Alice or inventing New Speak as in 1984.
floss
15th Mar 2018
12:33pm
First the Libs attacked Retirees now the Labor party, when does it all end our super income is now below the age pension with no discounts as can be claimed by Pensioners.Would I go without for some forty years to pay into super again, not on your bloody life.Have some guts Labor and go after the foreign multi nationals that pay no tax at all you are not the party we once looked up to you are just a weak copy of the Libs.
Oars
17th Mar 2018
11:18am
Floss. You are breath of fresh air. You forgot to mention that we really have only one party in this country. The "pander bto the minority" party. So if you are in the minority- apart from the few hard working Australians who are definitely in the minority- then you are larfin\'. The current system has major faults but is the best of bad set of alternatives. Dictatorship, Communism, Religious mind-bending or just outright Revolutionism are worse. Which do you choose. ? Maybe a good idea is to have a means test for all Polititions, that they need a certain I.Q, and have at least passed HSC so they can read !!! That sounds funny, but the recent 'debate" between economics by both leading parties sounds like Donald Duck and Micky Mouse at Cape Canaveral rocket station. A short stint in business might help too, so they realise how much it takes to survive !
HS
15th Mar 2018
12:44pm
Age pension is for the poor aged people in our society who can not work to generate sufficient income to self-fund the rest of their lives. If retirees on a full age pension live 30 years after the retirement age of 67, this will cost the federal treasury a bit over $815,566.20 (on current rate) per pensioner.
It seems logical, to draw a line on home ownership and qualification for the age pension as well as the part pension. The question is, what should the threshold be to be fair to all, given that if you sell your home the funds go into the bank and are subject to the Income Test which reduces the full age pension to part pension.
Any change to the current model must take this into consideration and the new model must be carefully balanced not to disadvantage the 'have-nots'.
Personally, I think, that any one cashing on their home sale of $2 million or more can live out the rest of their lives comfortably, without depending on the age pension, by moving out of the large capitol city into a large regional city where housing is cheaper to purchase and/or cheaper to rent. In some regional areas ( do your research on internet) you can buy a new or existing home for under $400,000 ( some are as low as $295,000) and have the balance of funds from your city sale to live on.
I can almost hear the outcry about moving away from grandkids and other family but, so what? The tax payer should fund their age pension living needs not their lifestyle.
So, to cut the story short, a home worth $2million indexed annually should be the threshold.
By the way, many large regional cities have airports, train stations, large hospitals, excellent broad healthcare resources, universities, TAFE colleges, large supermarkets, clothing stores, entertainment, strong police presence, good local council governance, interesting friendly community if you like to socialise and so far, fresh air.
Jim
15th Mar 2018
1:23pm
So you think the government has the right to dictate where you live or lose your pension, what an interesting idea, sounds like something the communists would put forward to control the populace, but there is no way a socialist government would interfere with a workers right to exist, live where they want to on the money they have worked hard for, that couldn't possibly happen could it?
HS
15th Mar 2018
2:24pm
Jim, "So you think the government has the right to dictate where you live or lose your pension"?
No, Jim,I don't think the government has a right to dictate where you live if you can self-fund your retirement. But, it has a right to dictate who can qualify for the age pension and/ or any other form of welfare. This is not dictatorship , silly goose, this good governance as long it is fair for all around.
If people have the means to live of their cashed in assets then it's up to the people to choose where they live and for those that do not have the means and who qualify for the pension they have to make their own logical economical choices. There are alternatives. I suggested one of them.
By the way Jim, communism social welfare wasn't that bad. At least the poor people had a place to live, they were not homeless, they did not beg out in the streets and where suitable work existed they had the support to move to the location and work for reasonable income. Hospitals, medical healthcare, including Dental care was free. Education was free including Universities.
The dictatorship side of communism controlled people's liberty, what they could say publicly and how they could conduct themselves publicly and in employment. The upside was only the social welfare.
Jim
15th Mar 2018
3:59pm
So I am a silly goose am I what you have described is exactly what communism is all about, and if you think communism wasn't bad that's fine, I disagree but I do respect your opinion, I happen to think communism took the right away for people to have some freedom, you obviously think differently, so far as paying my way for all the infrastructure you mentioned I paid my taxes for over 50 years and supported all the infrastructure, but some off the things you mentioned are a big of a fairy tale, universities may have been free but everyone wasn't allowed to attend unless you agreed with the party line, as for homelessness there was and still is many people who live under the communist yoke who are homeless, you obviously haven't seen the long queues that used to exist under communism in Russia, in communist countries like China they now have a vote but can only vote for a communist party member, Russia is not much better, but your comments suggest that you agree whith that system.and again I respect your opinion I chose not to agree with it, if you lived under a communist regime you might not have that luxury.
HS
15th Mar 2018
4:44pm
I stood in those long queues when I was a child , with my mother, to buy a loaf of bread. I was born under communist rule. I know more about communist rule than you do Jim. That makes me somewhat much more of an authority on the subject than you Jim. Poverty increased 10 fold once some of the East European communist states dissolved and embraced capitalism.
Rae
15th Mar 2018
5:53pm
All the business about selecting different groups based on different criteria isn't communism it's actually fascism and that's where we a headed with this idea.
Jim
15th Mar 2018
6:25pm
HS you make assumptions on my circumstances and yours being so much worse you know nothing of my history, but if you look at your own original comment that was what I was responding to, in my opinion there was nothing in communism that had a long term benefit, if you were truly born in a communist country then how could you not agree that communism was the bane of all free thinking people, you have agreed that you had to wait in long queues just to get the basics, you may be more of an authority on communism than I am big the communism I have seen has nothing going for it. We have all struggled in different ways during our lives, and that is the reason that I disagree with the proposal to make our homes count towards our assets, we all have stories to tell about how hard things were, I was born at the end of WWII we were still on rations for many years, I ended up in a children's home, I struggled to make a life for myself, I eventually married, worked hard went without and managed to buy a modest home that took many years to pay off, now I recieve a pension which I think I deserve, but suddenly someone wants me to sell my home to realise the value and move somewhere cheaper or lose my pension and possibly my friends and family, what a great idea, is this what we have come to?
Triss
15th Mar 2018
6:27pm
If that is really your opinion, HS, then you're starting at the wrong end. Start with the ex politicians who get around $2,000 a fortnight plus numerous taxpayer paid business class airfare expenses along with their multimillion dollar mansions, a high paid job, etc, etc. Plus there are many who started on this cushy number in their thirties, have been on the public teat for twenty or thirty years and will be still on it in another twenty or thirty years.
Forget the propaganda about pensioners being a burden start with the real burdens on the taxpayers.
HS
15th Mar 2018
6:44pm
Rae, In 100 years there will be a New Order of governance for the good of all but, it will be under strict control of the so called Big Brother system of governance. People will have liberty to a point but they will be under strict birth control. There will not be a monetary system as we know it but a Credit system. Credits will accumulate for the work one does and that could be dictated with a small choice of where you can work and what sort of work you can do. You will be able to work for as long as you can, not for as long you want. The new Order will be the combination of all ideologies of Democracy, Capitalism, Communism but Fascism will only be kept for punishing criminals not the good decent citizens. Religion will become extinct. All beings will be microchipped from birth and data that can record conversations and visual events will be stored on a cloud data bank master computer system . Privacy will only be interfered with when the system identifies within millisecond immoral and criminal activity. The new order will not have a dictator but a democratically elected panel of intellectuals who will dictate the law and order. With the world's population heading for 10 billion and increasing rapidly thereafter the need for population control will be mandatory.
So don't worry about fascism today. Ponder about the future New Order.
HS
15th Mar 2018
6:56pm
Jim, I can accept you deriding punitive dictatorial communist rule, I don't disagree , except what I have stated is that its Duty of Care in providing a a reasonable Social Security Welfare system was better than in Capitalism.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
8:39pm
No - the government does NOT have the right to dictate anything.

Methinks you are lost in the wilds of Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Russia or some petty third world dictatorship.

Get your mind right, Luke ...

Again you clearly show the need for a restoration of power in the land to the people, via a universal pension scheme, and not the petty dictates of some petty despots with nothing to offer but their stupidity and lack of knowledge and understanding of reality.
Rae
16th Mar 2018
3:53pm
HS. Very positive thinking.

I see small tribes of survivors fighting for the little resources left after total ecological collapse.

Right now though in Australia, Us and UK we have fascism rising and should not pretend that it's some form of conservatism that will end well.
HS
16th Mar 2018
4:06pm
Rae,
What is the simple definition of fascism? (sometimes initial capital letter)
= a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

Sounds like Russia's Putin and the master apprentice Trump.
Oars
17th Mar 2018
11:24am
HS Have you ever lives in a Communist country ? If so you would realise that the poor there are bloody poor and live like rats or worse. Please don't get fooled by the "highly sanctioned" propoganda that those countries put out. I have a neighbour who escaped such a commo country. He is now happy here with his small shack that he is paying off - and he OWNS it- not some fat cat commo office waller.
dreamer
15th Mar 2018
12:49pm
Do the same as the U.K and N.Z everyone gets a pension I think even lizzie gets one
Emps
15th Mar 2018
1:14pm
Who's Lizzie ?
jackie
15th Mar 2018
1:22pm
Lizzie the biggest landowner in the world and can't afford to offer a place for the homeless of her nation but can take from them....This greed has to stop.
KSS
15th Mar 2018
1:30pm
As I pointed out yesterday dreamer, yes people in the UK do get a State pension that they paid into during their working life. The current maximum is about 159 pounds - the equivalent of around $280 a week - LESS than the pension here by about 37%! And living costs are not that much different.

And No 'Lizzie' doesn't get one because she is still working. She must retire and then apply for it just like everyone else. After all she pays tax on her income too, just like everyone else.
Jim
15th Mar 2018
1:35pm
Sounds like sour grapes jackie, I know you won't be interested, but the royals bring in 780 million pounds a year and collect 32 million in expenses, what the hell the homeless have to do with it I don't know, but how many homeless folk do you or anyone else take in each year, I know I don't take in any and I suppose I could afford to.
I am not a royalist but I can see the value, and the argument that without the royals there would be just as much revenue doesn't hold water.
KSS
15th Mar 2018
2:27pm
And the Queen doesn't 'personally' own anything like the amount of land or property you think. Most of it is on loan to her for her use. She could not sell up, she could not move the developers in and sub-divide the land and even an upgrade of ancient plumbing for example has to be approved by the 'landlord' i.e. the Government!
Rae
15th Mar 2018
5:58pm
Politics of envy again jackie.

The Queen actually supports countless charities and quite possibly the homeless and soup kitchens etc.

She has always worked and is not retired yet , even driving an ambulance in WW11.

And she is incredibly frugal like the people here who bought a home through years of spending choices.
Old Man
15th Mar 2018
12:54pm
As I read this article, I note that less than 25% of those asked want the family home to be included in the asset test for pensions. I also note that about 75% of those asked own their own home. My cynicism suggests that all I needed to know before the survey was conducted was the above breakdown of home ownership and I could have easily worked out the result.

I am against including the family home in the asset test because to do so would be unfair and we always go on about a "fair go" for all. Our home is moderately priced so I am not talking from a selfish standpoint. If our home was three suburbs away, it would be worth 4 times the value and that is my point about fairness. The suburb that has a higher property value was a working class suburb in the 50's and 60's but circumstances have changed that. How is it fair to have someone from a working class background suddenly lose the pension because they now have a modest home in an upmarket area.
Rae
15th Mar 2018
6:01pm
OM once you depreciate and subtract costs over time there would be little left to add to the asset test. In fact the existing $200 000 included now is probably way too much.

I owned a house built in 1880 for a while and on sale it was worth next to nothing due to the mortgage costs, other costs and depreciation.
TREBOR
16th Mar 2018
7:46pm
Yes, Rae - that's what the detractors of home owner pensioners miss (deliberately) every time.

It is grossly unfair to tax a person in retirement for owning a home they've bought and paid for with no government assistance or tax concessions, and if such a move was implemented, the government that did it should be cutting cheques (indexed) for the real costs of accumulating that asset.

That would far out-weigh any consideration of pension cut.

I'd suggest the amount poured into my two homes (three now) would run to a very tidy sum indexed.
Oars
17th Mar 2018
11:34am
Old man I too am from a WORKING class background- that is ALL of my family went to work in some shape or form. After the WWII my mother did ironing and dressmaking so she could stay home and watch us kids and teach us manners, sense of belonging, and integrity- and have tea on the table when Dad arrived home ( sober and from work at 6.00PM). These features rarely stem from the lazy group that did not get a job, nor wanted to- because they lacked gutz. Now I am supposed to be penaliused for having good parents, good social values, a work ethic, that allowed me the balls to overcome the "working class stigma" and compete at a level that few of the readers have achieved. The working class is the wrong name for us. We should be called the BACKBONE of the modern society. I competed in three sportsw, won a bursary ( finally) and worked at many jobs. I built my house opver 20 years- adding bits as I couyld afford it. My BACKBONE mentality allowede me to survive with no help from any Government ever. So the "working class" should only be applied to thiose who came from a background where everybody WENT TO WORK.
leek
15th Mar 2018
12:58pm
This is crazy. Our place was a mere $135k when we bought it in 2001 and we did about $80k of renovations on it at the time. the entire area where we now live and each block of land is now worth over $1m, but that was not our fault. Our house is actually dump now, and would be pulled down if sold. we shouldn;t be penalised for the housing boom going crazy. if we were to downsize we could not afford to stay in our own area as they now sell 1/2 block of lands for almost $1m anyhow. This is terrible wrong, just because our blokc of land is worth $1m, does not mean that wea re living in luxury, far far from it. In fact the pensioners next doors house, they have been there since the street was first built in the 1960's, they are living in almost poverty, yet their block of land is supposedly worth over $1m. Just crazy.
Annie
15th Mar 2018
1:16pm
It’s time to look at the net worth of all people. On saying that there needs to be interest free or extremely low interest rates on reverse mortgages. If people bought shares in the 1960’s or a house, or savings, or old pension schemes etc, they have all increased in value and it is not fair nor equitable if one person gets the pension, the other benefits, is able to keep the asset for the next generation, while the person next door is compelled to draw down on their savings and have nothing left for the next generation, collect no pension or benefits and lives on less each year to get their base asset down to collect any benefits at all. House values need to be considered and a lower figure of approx $600,000 would in a number of states at least be an avg for city and country dwellers. Instead of penalising those people who have downsized or through life’s necessity could only own a cheap home in their time and so in their later years saved through shares, superannuation , and other cash type investments, they should be rewarded as they are saving the government, the tax payer a lot of money which in turn can be used for things like health, education, etc. it’s also time to seriously look at the research and castings of a universal wage for all. Some countries are moving towards this. This in itself should end fraud and the Centrelink debacles. We have to stop using the emotion around a family home and see it as the asset it is like all other forms of investments. It’s a free choice on the investments one chooses but it is enequitable in regards government treatment and the paying of pensions and benefits.
KSS
15th Mar 2018
1:37pm
$600000 is far too low a figure if you insist on including the home with values above a threshold amount. It is just not realistic any more.
OnlyGenuineRainey
15th Mar 2018
2:22pm
It's time to STOP looking at net worth and recognise that savings result from TAXED EARNINGS BEING CONSERVED BY GOING WITHOUT LIFESTYLE. It's WRONG and economically detrimental to punish people for sacrificing to save for old age. The green-eyed monsters come out in force whenever there's a hint of discussion about paying pensions to people who have some assets but very little income, but this jealousy is wrecking the country. It's creating a welfare mentality that says ''if you waste everything or bludge, we'll hand you about a million $ over your retirement years; but if you work your guts out and go without, we'll take it all off you to give to those who didn't''.

This HAS TO STOP. We need a universal pension, fully taxed with NO means test, or NO ASSETS TEST and test ONLY income and deemed income over a fair threshold.

Net worth has NOTHING TO DO WITH MORAL ENTITLEMENT TO A PENSION. It results from hard work, frugal living, probably paying more tax than others, and planning responsibly. If I want to save to leave money to my grandchild, why should I not be allowed to do that yet someone who prefers to cruise the world or put their money through the pokies is allowed to do that and claim a pension? This is seriously flawed logic that is screwing the nation by killing all incentives to productivity and self-sufficiency, and ultimately the poor will suffer most as the economy continues to go downhill.

Wake up, fools! The green-eyed mentality is destroying the neediest.
KeWi
15th Mar 2018
2:44pm
OnlyGenuineRainey - you say "If I want to save to leave money to my grandchild, why should I not be allowed to do that" which I take to mean is an argument for no Assets test at all, rather than whether the home should be included in an asset test.

The exclusion of the home from the asset test means that you can 'save to leave money to my grandchild' but the only asset you can do this with is your home - keep the home for the grandkids and live off a full pension.

That is the distortion that is the crux of the issue - money saved/earned in your home can be passed on while you live off the pension, but if you don't have a home you must spend your wealth first before getting the pension and therefore leave nothing to your grandchildren. Why should owning your home be the difference between having something to pass on or not.
Suze
15th Mar 2018
8:21pm
Well put OnlyGenuineRainey
.....also think how much money could be saved on Centrelink if we had a Universal Pension.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
8:42pm
KeWi - you think that only the well-off have any 'right' to leave an inheritance to their offspring and future generations?

Think for five seconds - if you allow that within a short space of time ONLY the well-off will own anything, and the rest will survive on scraps.

What the hell is wrong with you? People have EARNED their right to live in their own bought and paid for home without paying further for the privilege.

How hard is that to understand?
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
9:06pm
Let me try again - with a universal non-means tested pension for all - you will ONLY pay income tax on earnings above pension - and in my(thus far not fully costed) eyes - according to the current tax brackets, which means you would not even begin to pay tax until you had earned NAT Pension + $18,000.

So only the fat cats would pay tax - and they've already had their sweet run via tax deductions and even subsidised mega-super that is income tax concessioned or part of a salary package such as public service and politicians.

All a universal pension system would do is recover tax already handed free to those with the wherewithal to exploit the concessions.... it's not a 'loss' to them.

On the other hand - robbing pensioners of an non-income-earning asset - ANY asset, which includes boats, Windbags and so forth - is a diurect loss to the people who have bought and paid for ALL of those assets out of their after tax income - AND have paid taxes and duties on purchasing those, as well as often interest.

Compare that to a shareholder - the cost of shares is tax-deductible, and the running costs are tax-deductible.... and then many cop a fine little extra from not paying tax.

Shares are an asset - why are they NOT income tested? Well - you say they are.... but you would need to be gaining an excellent amount from them under the current system to not receive pension.

And again - if your retirement package is in shares - why is YOUR home not included and a levy charged for your occupying it?

You can't have it one way - it's either one way or no way at all....

And I will say again - this nonsensical argument over 'including the bought and paid for family home' as an asset leads us directly to the position that ALL accrued assets should be included -and that includes the homes of shareholders pure, and allocated pensioners, as well.

If you include ONE asset, you must, to be fair under Law and provide fair and equal dealing as mandated, include ALL assets.

Do you REALLY want to go down that path to suit a stupid government with no idea and their mates with equally no idea other than to grab dollars any way they can?

As Mick says - soon nobody would own anything but the rich.
OnlyGenuineRainey
16th Mar 2018
12:26pm
Kewi, I agree. EVERYONE should be entitled to save and invest in whatever form they choose and pass on to their children or grandchildren. Nobody should forfeit a pension because of savings and assets, no matter what form they are held in. If people can gamble and drink and travel and dine out and get around $1 million in retirement from the taxpayer purse, then saving and being responsible shouldn't disentitle anyone. I have no issue with means testing income, although I believe a universal pension is far fairer and more economically beneficial to the nation. If necessary, test income and deemed income to avoid the risk of people deliberately investing in non-returning assets. But LEAVE ASSETS OUT OF IT. We already paid tax on our savings. We shouldn't be penalized for having been frugal and responsible.
TREBOR
16th Mar 2018
2:25pm
You also paid tax on your earnings and bought your assets out of post-income tax income.... it's yours clear to do with as you choose - and government has no right to tax you in retirement by refusing you pension because you own too much.

Pretty simple really.
Roscoe77
15th Mar 2018
1:30pm
If the Government wants to reduce the costs of the pension or increase their taxation base for the payment of pensions based around the family home, they could introduce a family home inheritance tax of, say 25%. This would allow those who bought their $50,000 1950 house that is now worth 10 times that to still get the pension, the remaining family still get a substantial amount and the Government gets a cut as well. Win win all round. The only "loser" is the remaining family who now 'only' get 75% of the inherited homes value.
Rae
15th Mar 2018
6:08pm
Yes death duties on every asset because you couldn't just single out the family home. Some people prefer to rent in a very expensive area and save into shares or bonds or fixed interest ect because it is cheaper than buying in that spot.

Personally I prefer a money transfer tax which would also force the really rich and Corporations to pay something.

For example Turnbull's money would be taxed going to the tax haven and taxed coming home again.

A very small 0.01% would work.
Farside
15th Mar 2018
1:30pm
"Almost a quarter of YourLifeChoices members say the family home should be part of the Age Pension asset test, and 30 per cent believe houses worth at least $1 million should be counted."

I for one am surprised. I would never have guessed almost a third of members felt this way judging from commentary. You could only expect this percentage to increase with reasoned discussion.
Jim
15th Mar 2018
1:42pm
You are dead right, and also don't forget you will get a particular answer depending on the questions asked.
maelcolium
15th Mar 2018
1:37pm
The question needs to be refined. Of that quarter that are happy for the home to be in the assets test, how many are full or part pensioners? Strip out those not receiving any pension and you would get a true reading of the issue. Those not receiving a pension don't give a toss about those on pensions, so you get the crazies who just want to blow up the pension system. And by the way. The OAP is NOT welfare. It is an entitlement to citizens for a lifetime of contribution to the country. Just like superannuation.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Mar 2018
9:42am
I don't think that statement that those not receiving a pension don't ''give a toss'' is fair comment, maelcolium, but to the extent that it's true, it's equally true that pensioners don't give a toss about those not receiving pensioners. In fact, pensioners seem to want everyone with more than them stripped of everything they have and rendered equally poor - which WILL blow up the pension system.

If we were all intelligent - or rather all had common sense - we'd be all united in screaming for a pension system that respects workers and savers and provides incentives to accumulate wealth for old age, and that doesn't advantage manipulators and cheats and spendthrifts. Then we might have a hope of a healthy pension system that looks after the genuinely disadvantaged while letting the rest enjoy fair reward for all their hard work - and we'd have a younger generation keen to save for retirement because they'd see benefit.

Currently, the message is loud and clear. Squander, manipulate, cheat, be irresponsible, bludge... and we'll give you about $1 million reward from the taxpayer purse over the term of your retirement. Work hard, save, be responsible and frugal and you'll be abused, bullied, and compelled to surrender most of the benefit of your hard work to hand to people who didn't.
Raphael
15th Mar 2018
1:42pm
So less than 10% of pensioners are renters
Thought so
Puglet
15th Mar 2018
1:54pm
We’ve known for decades that old people do ‘better’ if they remain in their existing home and community where all their social contacts live so forcing them to move against their wishes is detrimental. One of the reasons residents are so miserable in nursing homes and die so quickly is that their mates can’t visit. In many homes ‘inmates’ never ever have visitors so of course they are depressed. Some posters are angry because some owners are rorting the system so they can get the pension! Fair enough but let’s ensure old people who live in homes even worth 1 -2 mill live in peace. Instead the government should focus on catching people to ‘hide’ their money so they can get the pension. Now that is really unfair!
Jim
15th Mar 2018
4:19pm
Well said puglet, when I retired 8 years ago I took up voluntary work with community transport, I drove a small bus to take people to doctors appointments or anywhere else they needed to go, many of these people lived in nursing homes and didn't have many visitors, most of them lived outside the area where they had lived for years and their friends and families couldn't visit them for a variety of reasons, many of them were in tears often because they hadn't had any visitors for weeks at a time, I also used to drive a bigger bus and take them on outings, I could only manage this once or twice a month, the gratitude they showed for such a small thing as an outing was overwhelming and often choked me up, exactly the same thing happens for people who have to move away from their friends and family, the lack of compassion shown by some of the comments confounds me, pensioners deserve to stay where they are for as long they can without the government or anyone else dictating where they live and threatening their pension, it beggars belief that anyone would ever consider this action.
clancambo
15th Mar 2018
1:58pm
I suspect some of the respondents didn't understand the issue fully.
Aussiefrog
15th Mar 2018
1:58pm
Is this a case of jealousy between the "do have"and the "have not"?
KSS
15th Mar 2018
2:29pm
Yes and anything the "do haves" have is unfair to the "have nots" even when they started at the same start line!
TREBOR
16th Mar 2018
2:27pm
... and anything the 'have nots' may receive is considered unfair by the 'do have' - it's a two way street, KSS.

I KNOW I've earned my way, and many others know I did, too.
Lescol
15th Mar 2018
2:00pm
Get real, drop the assets/income tests and pay an old age pension to all of pension age. Saves time & money. as well as prying into peoples bedrooms.

cheers
Lescol
15th Mar 2018
2:23pm
& tax is paid upon income after say $1. So simple but too many vested interests wish to maintain the status quo.

cheers
KeWi
15th Mar 2018
2:51pm
Agree this is well worth looking at - pay everyone over a certain age, all income including the pension and super payments is taxed at some fair level (with the threshold being at least the pension amount). Balance the taxation benefits of super contributions over the working life with the tax to be paid on spending it after retirement - complicated but surely doable, even if requires a transitional arrangement.
No more admin costs of running an asset & income test at Centrelink, no more pension forms to fill in, just all sorted out at the ATO each year.
TREBOR
16th Mar 2018
2:30pm
I did figures on that once and determined that the tax free threshold would need to be involved so as to make it fairer all round.

There will always be some who 'scape the lash and get away with something, and these pages are rife with stories of people getting something for nothing, at least according to the person posting the comment.
Cruzisuzi
15th Mar 2018
2:08pm
Aussie taxpayers who were employed prior to compulsory superannuation should be entitled to a full pension. Those who were employed after compulsory superannuation should be on a sliding scale pension. Pollies love to hear us bickering about our pension being entitlement/welfare as it is a divisive argument guaranteed to prevent us examining the legalities of a tax deducted for precisely a pension on retirement, and the failure of government to pay back the pension to those entitled to it.
Aussiefrog
15th Mar 2018
2:12pm
The more sensible comment so far
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
10:48pm
Right!!
Eddy
15th Mar 2018
2:12pm
This is am very vexed question, I agree in principle that a residence should be included in the assets test, with appropriate changes to the current asset levels. The main problem I see is the wide discrepancy between home values in different parts of the country. For Instance a reasonable house in say outer suburbs of Adelaide or Hobart may be worth only a quarter of a comparable house in inner suburbs of Sydney or Melbourne. One possible solution would be to set an upper limit based on local government boundaries, say $500000 for low value area and $1500000 for high value areas, with a discount based on years of residence. For instance a person who is sitting in a $2000000 house but has lived there for 40 years could have the value discounted to be under the upper limit for that area. Do other people think this a reasonable compromise?
Rae
15th Mar 2018
6:18pm
It's not reasonable Eddy if you don't subtract costs and depreciation.

Other assets have this already factored in to tax and tax deductions but not the family home.

So you can't just use the land value or real estate guesses because until it's sold no one knows how much it's actually worth and it still wouldn't be worth that to the person unless you subtracted their costs over time.

This is a silly question that keeps popping up.

Most years from when boomers bought the inflation rate was way above the rate of price rises for real estate.

Don't just compromise these figures can be worked out almost down to the dollar by accountants.

The fact they haven'y doe so is there isn't that much gain over decades and it would upset people immensely to realise that home only returned 2% to 3% a year on investment and they could have had millions if they'd bought the same amount of shares.
Eddy
15th Mar 2018
10:16pm
I do not follow your reasoning Rae. One thing you are correct on is that an asset, any asset be it houses, land, cars or furniture, is only really worth what someone else is prepared to pay for it. As for houses appreciating in value I do believe that 2% to 3%pa you nominate is greatly understated.
Rae
16th Mar 2018
8:16am
Eddy there are equations to figure out the actual increase in price after inflation and costs. They are called Depreciation Schedules.

The data shows an average increase a bit less than 3% over time for owner occupied housing.

You take the sale price and subtract all interest paid, subtract rates and insurance and maintenance and then the inflation rate ie CPI for each year is discounted.

It is done because a dollar today is not worth the same as a dollar in 1970 when the house was bought.

I think I earned around $9000 for example and could buy bread and milk for not much more than $1.

And let's remember wages peaked in 1974 so our incomes actually went backwards in real terms for decades.

We've been done over big time without much of a fight. All our own fault of course but not fair.
OnlyGenuineRainey
18th Mar 2018
6:47pm
Oh, so the poor sod who needed to move recently to support children who found themselves in crisis is punished harshly for LOSING money by having to sell up and relocate to a less desirable, but possibly more expensive home. Good one, Eddie! Bugger off with your illogical CRAP.
ndibs
15th Mar 2018
2:18pm
StorminNormin - Just what makes you think that the Aged Pension is WELFARE???
The Commonwealth Government in the 1930's introduced a referendum which was passed and allowed the government to levy an additional amount, included with and additional to the income tax payments from the workforce.
The Government then invested this prescribed LEVY and the proceeds were to provide the aged pension. Has the Government squandered the workers investment??? If yes, then take it from those Politicians & Bureaucrats who squandered it and leave those who contributed and trusted them alone. Why should our politicians and bureaucrats receive government funds over and above the prescribed superannuation and pension levy commensurate with their nominal salary.?
All contributors are entitled to the aged pension who achieve the pension age, irrespective of their circumstances.
OnlyGenuineRainey
15th Mar 2018
2:32pm
Seems to be the green-eyed monsters who collect full pensions + rent allowance who want those who worked their guts out for decades to pay of mortgages at 18% now deprived of all they worked for and earned so the handouts can continue. You get about a million from the taxpayer if you bludge, spend big, or cheat - and a huge kick in the behind, abuse, and told to use up all your hard-won savings if you work, pay tax and save.

When nobody wants to work, pay tax, save or invest anymore because the penalty in retirement is too harsh, maybe the green-eyed monsters - who will by then be on cashless welfare cards or maybe begging on street corners - will wake up to themselves.

The pension system is a mess, but including the family home in the assets test - as a stand alone measure - will make it fifty thousand times worse, as will Shorten's dumb proposal to stop franking credits and as did Hockey's idiotic move to slash pensions for those who saved.

Time to wake up, Australia. The ONLY way to improve the economy is to improve incentives and rewards, and a comfortable retirement and the right to save to leave money to your family if you choose to is the best incentive there is. (Currently, the strong incentive is to fritter it all away and bludge on the taxpayer! And some people think we should strengthen that incentive!)
KeWi
15th Mar 2018
2:46pm
"The pension system is a mess" - correct!

"as a stand alone measure" - correct!

We need to have a wholesale reform of Super and the Pension - without self-interest being the only factor!!!
TREBOR
16th Mar 2018
2:32pm
Yup - a single roof universal retirement packaging scheme where every contributor is treated the same by the same rules.

You can see immediately why politicians would not touch that with a barge pole ...... they'd lose some of their sweeteners for the 'job'...
George
16th Mar 2018
11:46pm
Yep, scrap all pension systems (including for Politicians), and have just one simple Universal Pension for all from Age 65 based only on Residence (say 15 years) in Australia, based on a Singles Rate.

No need to test for Assets, Income, Partners, Home Owner or Renter or Investor. Tax system should take care of taxing all income (say excluding Age Pension and a Capped Super tax-free benefit).
All incentives would remain for working / saving / investing at all ages, and no one loses!

Oh yes, write to your MPs, and sack / vote against anyone who doesn't back the plan! If all Retirees join in, I am sure many MPs will lose their seats, and then maybe more will see the light.
Tib
15th Mar 2018
2:40pm
No the family home should not be part of the assets test. Who cares what a few mean spirited renters think or some of those who can't get a pension because they have too much money and are angry about it. It's just envy, get over it.
George
16th Mar 2018
11:49pm
Yes, and scrap any rent allowance, as homeowners also have major extra expenses which are not paid for by the pension system.
Concerned
15th Mar 2018
2:41pm
Blinky Bill, everything is asset tested, including your car, caravan, boat, furniture, clothing, etc., etc., so now the family home is in the firing line too.
Blinky Bill
15th Mar 2018
5:27pm
Concerned: A slight stretch of the imagination might bring you to the collection of antique clocks, gold coin collection etc, etc. Which can be sold off at various auctions, on-line etc and who is watching that nest egg that has been collected over the years, to be sold off a little here and there. Of course, everybody is super honest and tells centrelink everything.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
10:53pm
That is precisely why there should be no assets test on pension.... everything you list, Concerned, is a bought and paid for out of after-tax income asset, that has accrued no tax deduction and no concession - it owned outright from genuine income and should NEVER be included in any assets test.

I told you already that this nonsense argument of 'including the family home in the assets test' brought the entire assets test under scrutiny.... and it is found wanting in many ways.....
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
10:58pm
Why should those who bought and paid for, out of AFTER tax income, suffer a penalty for using that asset as they wish?

Again - this borders on the concept that there is no 'private property', no matter how hard earned - and that all property and ownership and control resides with the State.

History tells us where that leads.... and shows us that this kind of thing leads to absolute despotism.

Better to fix it now with a universal retirement income packaging scheme out of the hands of ANY ideologues, who are really only self-servers in sheep's clothing - than to suffer the dreadful undoing of 100+ years of social advancement for the PEOPLE!

The alternative is abject serfdom and utter generational servitude of the many to the few via the 'company store'.
Priscilla
15th Mar 2018
2:44pm
NO. The family home should not be included in the asset test. We struggled all our lives to ensure we had a mortgage free home to live in during retirement. Why should people who have been frugal with their money be punished for those who just spend their money with no regard for their future. NO NO NO!
StorminNormin
15th Mar 2018
2:48pm
This is the opening paragraph from the Australian Government - Department of Human Services website:-

'The Age Pension provides income support and access to a range of concessions for eligible older Australians. If you meet the age and residence requirements, we will calculate how much Age Pension you can get, depending on your income, assets and other circumstances.'

The attitude of some Australians that just because they paid income tax all their working life entitles them to a taxpayer funded pension is BS. I suppose they think that their taxes paid for Royal Australian Navy destroyers so that entitles them to go on a free cruise every once and a while too.

There are many self funded retirees out there who will never receive the aged pension because of the income they earn from superannuation investments. I say again, UK citizens have money taken out of their wages, in addition to income tax, to pay for the National Pension Scheme, when they retire.
HS
15th Mar 2018
7:54pm
You are correct StorminNorman, except, in UK age pensions are the lowest in the world. Their pension takeout isn't the same as our superannuation? The reason so many baby boomers in Australia need full pension or part pension income support is that their super contributions started late in their life and many are not homeowners. Those who are can cash in on their value of property can live off that until their money runs out until they can qualify for a full pension. The pension income system is not for the rich but for the poor. Anyone in a $2 million residential home should not be on a pension at all. They can sell that and live out their lives off the funds they get.
ndibs
15th Mar 2018
8:59pm
That simply means that those who rule changed the rules. The original concept was that all would have the pension irrespective of their status - and they earned it so they should get it.
What we need is the non-contributors to get their noses out of the trough (especially bureaucrats and politicians who are overpaid and underworked) and stop coveting what others have.
Most of those in Million Dollar Homes got there by saving and working for it. Many are Small Business Owners who took the risk of competing with others and usually work many more hours every day of the week than their brothers in employment.
Shorten, Albanese and that crowd of social misfits should go and do something useful instead of finding ways to screw over the people he claims to represent.
Brissiegirl
15th Mar 2018
2:50pm
Give everyone a base pension as is the case in New Zealand and they haven't gone broke in fact they probably save taxpayers far more by cutting out all the costs of red tape including the thousands of staff paid to chase pensioners up for silly little amounts like $1 overpayments. I find the language in these conversations offensive, e.g. "welfare" - pensions are not welfare they are very small sustenance incomes earned by people who worked and contributed to our country's growth and development. "Sitting on a home valued...." sounds like people sit there doing nothing having paid taxes all their lives probably to earn those nice homes such green eyed monster nonsense. Most people who voted in favour of forcing people with no income to sell and move from where they are happy probably never sacrificed and saved to buy their own homes, lived off the taxes of the home-owners they now decry. Oh please, cry me a river, envy and the desire to punish high achievers knows no bounds.
almost a grey hair
15th Mar 2018
4:26pm
same same but different. I firmly believe we will eventually revert to everyone getting the oap at 67 (which is 65 in a first world country like NZ) I remember living in NZ when they abolished transport police aka the magpies and the world didn't end. The five storey buildings housing all the public servants disappeared and became pop up kiosks in the local mall, no one cares now. Give everyone the oap as of right and just think how much the gov of the day will save by selling all those buildings either selling them or not renewing leases. Those Centrelink offices which are dedicated for administrating age pension will also go, saving everyone more money than what it costs to run them. After living in NZ before, its becoming more appealing the closer I get to pension day.
TREBOR
16th Mar 2018
2:35pm
And lower the Gillard Age back to 65.... someone tap her on the shoulder and tell her her free ride is withdrawn until she reaches 65 or whatever the going age is, and then will be means tested.

Then do the rounds and tap them all on the shoulder.... country can't afford to carry them any more .... budget crisis you know...
Pat
15th Mar 2018
3:40pm
Here we go.....the reward you get for working your arse off in order to own your own home in retirement....if this happens it will suck big time...My wife and I went for many many years dealing with her shift work....that meant....no weekends together for almost as long as I can remember as we worked around the kids being cared for....She had no Mum to babysit...she died before our kids were born....cannot count how many times she worked Easter, Christmas and Public holidays over her nursing career....then the deprivations that went with night shift for years and years....how often did we say no to invites to familial events or I went on my own with the kids ? too numerous to remember....we salary sacrificed into our Super....we know of those that have pissed their money up against the wall all of their lives....were reluctant to work....would rather lay on the beach all day and smoke dope....and have children....and live in Govt housing....a 3 bedroom house we might add...and their children have now moved on....they had "fun" and the taxpayer will still be looking after them into their old age....and given their lifestyle...the taxpayer will be looking after their medical care as well....whilst we continue to pay into private health insurance....Seems to me that if you have a good work ethic ....make sacrifices in order to have a good retirement....they just want to keep milking you for all you are worth....what was initially deemed to be a tax funded "Retirement Pension'...and those of us that worked all our lives contributed to it and are entitled to it....has now been re classified as a "Welfare Pension"....how does this happen ?? and we (the taxpayer) have just forked out 1/2 million bucks for Peter Scully's legal defence....again....how does this happen ?? As for our home being included in the assets test...... Just another grab and would generate a generation of renters. Why bother paying money into a mortgage, paying maintenance, paying water rates, paying land rates and any other. Self funding would be my option, if I was within the top 5% of wealthy Australians. Unfortunately, economics will not allow 95% of the population to be the wealthiest. Once, you sell the bricks and mortar, then it becomes liquid and only then can it be used to provide a reasonable retirement or a bond for a nursing home.....
Brissiegirl
15th Mar 2018
5:57pm
Aside from the honestly disadvantaged who live in taxpayer funded housing, the rest of the freeloaders get the most modern accommodation, in locations very close (sometimes right in the middle of all the shops etc.) all services where private buyers could never afford to purchase a home. In every way the people who work the hardest, save the most, go without week in week out, paying for their own housing plans for retirement, are treated no better than shite.
HS
15th Mar 2018
7:45pm
Pat, since when is it about reward? It's about the necessity to support poor people who need income support.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
11:03pm
So there should be no reward for hard work, loyalty, integrity, and personal sacrifice to attain a better life in return for paying taxes to support society along the way for fifty years and then yourself in retirement?

Well - in that case we might as well all do nothing......

Hello, Paradise....
HS
16th Mar 2018
12:28am
Trebor,..or... Hello, Hell...
TREBOR
16th Mar 2018
2:36pm
Yes - unless the fools at the top get this sorted out, fast, they are looking at a disaster looming.
floss
15th Mar 2018
3:50pm
Oldfrt the address for Bill Shorten is P.O. BOX.214 Moonee Ponds Vic. 3039. in your letter use only easy to read words.There are many people that will be dropping a word to Bill.
Chuck
15th Mar 2018
3:56pm
Why are we fighting amongst ourselves. Those who believe that the family home should be included in the asset test are making the Government's job easier towards eliminating as many seniors as possible from receiving the age pension. I'm NOT receiving the age pension yet I've worked and paid taxes in Australia from the age of 16 and I'm now 70. I don't have millions in assets or super. So I think its totally unfair that people who have paid taxes all their working life are subjected to these asset and income tests just because the Government can't run this country's economy properly. All of us should stick together and fight for our entitled benefits and not support the Government line of trying to make us an insignificant underclass.
Lescol
15th Mar 2018
9:36pm
Agree completely Chuck. Untest OAP to all and tax paid from say $1 Drop means and assert testing. We certainly should not be fighting amongst ourselves as it makes it easier for the government.

cheers
Chuck
15th Mar 2018
4:20pm
Retirees on the Age Pension did'nt introduce these unfair, antiquated rules as to who gets the age pension. successive Liberal Coilition and Labor Goverments brought in these rules. These Politicians are the ones we should be fighting. Write to your local federal member and tell him/her how you feel about the rules governing the age pension
Triss
15th Mar 2018
4:47pm
Agreed, Chuck. As I've said earlier if we don't fight back we're going to lose.
In your letter point out the theft of the non-means tested age pension.
Throw in the shady historical practice of giving ex politicians in their 30's a non-means tested, lifetime indexed pension.
Triss
15th Mar 2018
4:37pm
We have a government integrity problem. Older Australians being forced to downsize face expensive penalties under the current system.
Government and CentreLink decide that proceeds from downsizing are an assessable asset which means that they’ll withhold a chunk of your pension. That and expensive stamp duty you can end up living in a house inferior to the one you’ve left but paying, in stamp duty and reduced pension, almost the same amount as you got for the bigger house. Also, as the small house you’ve just bought goes up in value you’re going to be forced into moving again, and at an age where it is not so easy to cope with the stress.
I would hazard a guess that if the family house for all people on a pension, and that includes politicians’ mansions, were assessed against their pensions the concept would disappear without trace.
rob101
15th Mar 2018
4:37pm
I have always said and I have found out that this is true when I worked in Social Research,that Pensioners of any sort are their own worst enemies!
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
11:04pm
How so? Please explain?
nobody
15th Mar 2018
5:23pm
x
nobody
15th Mar 2018
5:25pm
stinks I have cash and get a part pension,My neighbours live in 2 million houses and get full pension and spend it on cruises
StorminNormin
15th Mar 2018
5:34pm
This is my argument to the point. If your neighbours 2 million dollar homes were included in the asset test, they would not get the pension. There share of the aged pension could go to give more to elderly Australians who live on their own and are too afraid to turn on the heater during winter because they can't afford to pay their electricity bill.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
11:07pm
All fixed by a universal pension scheme and proper taxation on income and deemed income such as genuine fringe benefits and insider gifting (sorry Big Al) - all as income.

It will take a while to settle down, but settle down it will.
Rae
16th Mar 2018
8:24am
Rubbish StorminNormin if they weren't down lunching outside coles three times a week and giving money to kids and grandkids they could have heat.

That is a stupid argument once again it's a choice.

Even that weekly lotto spend would easily pay for the heater.
Not to mention the hundreds of millions pumped into pokies at the local club.

It is a choice.

I knew an old lady who had tens of thousands saved in cash who would not use her heater so as to add another few dollars to the bag she kept it all in.

Your neighbours possibly spent their cash on renovations and cruises which you could also do if you wished and then get the full pension too.

All choices.
OnlyGenuineRainey
18th Mar 2018
1:33pm
Would that it were a choice, Rae, but sadly the choices are limited and weighted heavily in favour of being irresponsible or unethical. You can spend on cruises or gambling and get a pension. You can choose lifestyle over paying off a mortgage and get rent assistance. But if you choose to be responsible and make sacrifices to buy a modest home and invest for old age, you are punished harshly.

I see the point StorminNorman and Nobody are making, but I don't agree with the proposed solution because it increases problems rather than fixing them. It may address one problem, but it has more down-sides than up. This is the trouble with government policy. They make isolated policies without considering the whole picture.

The solution is of course a universal pension, tax retirement income, and change the superannuation tax concession to a flat concession for all - even if it results, in some cases, in the government having to contribute to the fund in cash.

If there is to be an assets test at all - and there should NOT be - it certainly SHOULD include the family home, but the thresholds should be very high to ensure only owners of luxury, very high value homes lose out - not ordinary home owners. The reason the home should be included is that it's patently unfair and economically detrimental to allow anyone to over-invest in the family home to get a pension while responsible people who accept modest accommodation and try to be self-sufficient suffer. But the whole notion of assets testing is fundamentally WRONG and instead of arguing over including the home or not, we should all be uniting to demand the assets test be totally abolished. If considered necessary, test the higher or income or deemed income on ALL assets - including the home - so that there's no incentive to invest in non-returning assets. But in that case, the threshold should be set to ensure everyone can own a reasonable home ($1 million isn't much these days!), at least $200K in furniture, cars and personal effects, and enough invested assets to earn well above the pension before they lose entitlement.

Of course the universal pension is far more appropriate - fairer, easier to administer, and far more economically sustainable.
Ductape
19th Mar 2018
9:33am
You all need to be very wary what you wish for.
I never realized just how many people seem prepared to crap in their own nest!
Travellersjoy
15th Mar 2018
5:27pm
My parents helped pay a deposit on my home when I was a single parent with a small child. As a female I have had minimal access to super despite working consistently since the 1960s, paying off the house on small incomes. Always a struggle, but a solitary sort of super for women in my situation.
Now people with plenty of money think I should have to give up my home by taxing me out of it. I pay land tax to my city council (rates), and that is hard enough on the age pension.

If you want to tax aged people's houses, choose to tax the houses of people with large super funds, where they are valued over, say, a million and a half. One less overseas trip a year will hurt them less than forcing thousands of elderly women out of their homes by taxation or one of the other lurks proposed by the fully employed and affluent.

Some of those people don't care who they hurt so long as they don't pay tax, and can salt away a few million for their kids. I am disgusted at the selfish ill-informed attitudes of many people.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
11:07pm
Funny that - I'm a man and had minimal access to super, too....
Rae
16th Mar 2018
8:28am
Well said.

We are turning into nasty sorts of bullies with opinions on how everyone else should be treated and should act but are failing badly to look at the person who really needs to change. The one in the mirror.
Argus
15th Mar 2018
5:45pm
In the foreseeable future, based on the way Politicians think, the only ones receiving a pension will be those who have never worked a day in their lives, those who never bothered to save a cent towards their retirement or saved for a house, drug addicts and the like, Refugees and of course our favourite group who believe we should support them, their multiple wives and children because they believe we owe them.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
11:08pm
Nearly right - you forgot the divorce refugees..... and the piss poor industrial relations refugees....
marls
15th Mar 2018
5:52pm
No never there's no means test in most European countries there's no means test in New Zealand and they can get a full pension and continue to work it's only the Aust gvt that takes takes takes like Malcolm Frazer stealing the the pension fund were it was set up and no means test he transferred $470 in 1977 into consolidated revenue read "who stole the workers compulsory
It's pension fund" Australian morning mail
Triss
15th Mar 2018
5:53pm
This is an interesting article that discusses whether the age pension is entitlement or welfare. In fact all our pollies should be forced to read it.
https://hotcopper.com.au/threads/aged-pension-welfare-or-entitlement.3159059/#.WqoW74K-nMV
Glenda
15th Mar 2018
5:55pm
Just read comments about the family home - whether to include or not include in the pension and asset test. I totally agree with Kaz, Jtee, equipe, ceejay, sunnyOz and so many more that our homes should certainly NOT be included in any pension asset test. Like many other seniors, we came to Australia in 1975, were allowed to bring upto Aust $28 each, raised three young children here while my husband and I both worked really hard to build up that deposit for our home, often even working two jobs and weekends. No, we didn't squander away our earnings - no overseas holidays (even upto now), no expensive dinners and designer clothes, but instead spent it all on a decent upbringing for our three kids and paying our mortgage on our modest home. Its not our fault that properties have increased significantly in value. Those green eyed monsters plus the thieving and greedy pollies who would like to include the family home in the asset testing would have no idea what its like to get up and go to a job/s every day for 40 years plus, to fit in some part time work with a full time job out of necessity. Those green eyed monsters and greedy pollies must also realise that we can't eat our home, no matter what the value. Where would we go to anyway??? With housing costs being atrociously high, we just wouldn't have the money to go elsewhere in terms of "downsizing" except if we took ourselves off to live in the outback bush. So no family home should be included in the pension assets test. Its more than likely that these protestors and negative thinkers spent all their earnings (if they ever did work) and to use ceejay"s words: "now think the system will look after them".
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
5:55pm
It stands to reason that 50% of the population are below the median IQ - 100 - I'd say it's not too hard to see that those advocating such nonsense and insanity re in that bracket.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
6:01pm
Are those who advocate this also willing to forego a percentage of their super or other funding in retirement to match, based on the value of their family home?

I'll bet not.

So they can butt out....don't let the door hit your ass on the way out...
StorminNormin
15th Mar 2018
6:07pm
Why should self funded retirees who are supporting themselves in their retirement and not receiving any tax payer funded welfare (THE AGED PENSION) forego anything.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
6:18pm
Why should pensioners who've paid for their pension rights out of taxes all their lives? Your home is as much an asset as theirs is, so why should it not be included if theirs is and you pay a levy for living in it?

Why should those who've worked like dogs and had a rough ride be punished again in retirement to make the self funded minority feel superior?

Pension is NOT welfare ... never has been.
StorminNormin
15th Mar 2018
6:29pm
My home is an asset but I AM NOT in receipt of the Aged Pension.
What levy am I paying to live in my own home?

I don't feel superior to people on the aged pension. We are all born equal remember.

Sorry to correct you, AGED PENSION IS WELFARE. Check out the Cambridge Online Dictionary's definition of the word. Here, I'll repeat it here:-

WELFARE:- ' help given, especially by the state or an organization, to people who need it, especially because they do not have enough money:
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
9:14pm
You are demanding that pensioners pure pay a levy by having that home included as an income-bearing asset -which it is not.

Why then, to be fair and equal, should you not pay a levy to live in your own home the same as they would under your proposal?

Do you really not understand that the property of the citizen is not the property of the state, and that the state has no right whatsoever to dictate how a citizen will utilise their bought and paid for assets?

We are not vassals of the State and all power does NOT reside in the State in a democratic society, yet this is precisely what you advocate, but demand exclusion for your own social group.....

How Fascist is that?

If you do not understand that - you are bordering on a kind of Stalinist Nazi rule where every facet of ordinary life is totally subject to the State.... in that case, I can't help you....
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
9:15pm
Jesus God, man - how many times? Pensions are not 'help' given - they are a bought and paid for right out of consolidated revenue which includes a portion of income tax and contributions from other taxation strands.

Keep up in class.... this has been done to death times many..... do a little research.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
9:16pm
Hello - Pensions are NOT 'welfare'.....
MICK
15th Mar 2018
6:10pm
You are pitting the have somethings with the have nots Olga. Shameful.

Australians may want to compare our coming dictatorship with the rest of the developed world. Other countries have not doctored their pension systems. Our right wing government has. Other countries would never bring the family home into this mix. Our right wing government does. I wish people could see what is happening to our country where this business owned and controlled government is about wealth transfer to the rich.

THIS ISSUE IS NOT ABOUT INCLUDING THE FAMILY HOME IN THE ASSETS TEST. IT IS ABOUT THE LONG PLAN OF STRIPPING ALL WEALTH FROM WORKING AUSTRALIANS.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
6:19pm
Correct - go to the head of the class and take two jelly beans.
Rae
15th Mar 2018
6:24pm
Yes there is confusion MICK.

The IPA 100 point plan is very clear about asset stripping to ensure all are under control.

It will be a welfare card next just waiting for it.

Indue went under but Serco has lots of money and it's a lucrative idea.

Very fascist.
Sundays
15th Mar 2018
7:37pm
I agree. Make people sell their house and live off the proceeds until there is nothing left? Then what? More poor people. We could become like America where the working poor have no homes, but live in RVs and caravans. Is this the country we want.
HS
15th Mar 2018
7:43pm
Sundays, when the money and the property assets run out you then go on welfare pension support.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
9:18pm
... with no home to live in ... with the exception that you go on pensions support - not 'welfare' pension support...

All fixed for you, HS.... me old storm trooper mate...

That'll be $1800 for sitting on a Commission of Audit on Mistakes and Dumb-Ass Contributions - fees are levied as one day or part thereof....
HS
16th Mar 2018
12:36am
In 100 years time you will not be around Trebor. Lucky you (...and me).
You have no idea what's coming in the future...and it ain't very pretty by today's standard.
TREBOR
16th Mar 2018
12:49am
I think I have a fair idea, HS - and a few grandchildren who I Iove beyond words....

My aim, as a grandfather with massive experience (call me Colonel - many may not), is to ensure that they do not live and die like animals to satisfy the insane desire of some to have everything.

As a society and a world we are better than that... let's live up to that standard as human beings and not as lizard brain short term survival types.

Human? Or otherwise..... Your choice......
George
16th Mar 2018
11:56pm
Agree, MICK, it is a stupid article pitting house-haves against house-have-nots, instead of adopting a constructive and beneficial solution for all such as the Universal Pension - latter with incentives remaining for all to better their circumstances as they wish by earning extra income (or sell assets, etc), without the system punishing them.
Redwyne
15th Mar 2018
6:36pm
I’m with you OnlyGenuineRainey.
I’ve worked hard with long hours all my life, just to make sure I had a permanent roof over my head. In that time I’ve helped my children when needed and my grandchildren access a home each. The only one in my family that ever needed government support was my son who has repaid his Auststudy.
I don’t have a mansion or a house worth millions but I’m damned if the government is getting their hands on it. We didn’t buy this house until later in our lives so it’s not increased in excessive value. We have Superannuation that we put extra funds into and tried to provide for ourselves. Seems to me that the complainers are on full benefits and don’t own their homes.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
11:14pm
Try on call 24/7/365 - start Sunday evening, finish Saturday morning.... on double time Tuesday morning for the rest of the week, never a public holiday, Christmas Eve or NYE or whatever at home with the family you ended up losing as a result - and then turfed on the street like a dog.... and treated as such.... after owning two homes and a Daimler and Jaguar in the garage... and then having your own government you worked for turn against you and shut you out.
OnlyGenuineRainey
18th Mar 2018
8:44am
Trebor, we have a lot in common. I didn't end up being turfed out, but the on call, no holidays, losing family (not partner or kids, and not due to work, but lost my own family for other reasons) and had government turn against me and shut me out. I survived pretty well, but it was damned hard. And now I'm being dealt a very unfair hand because I survived well.
Mutley
15th Mar 2018
7:52pm
The super contributions had just started and when I was made redundant I had a massive $1500. in the fund: hardly a retirement nest egg. And some age retirees may have had less.
Mo comparison with today's crop of retirees. And, the home should be "sacred" and never calculated in an assets test.
Alan
15th Mar 2018
8:58pm
Strongly agree that the assets requirement should be included in the means test for the age pension. People should be given a reasonable minimum, sufficient to buy an appropriate sized house in or close to an area where they have lived the preceding 20 years. This would prevent people downsizing to a luxury house/apartment in a presetige area so that they can preserve assets as an inheritance for their children and also enjoy the pension which is a welfare measure. My lifestyle means my children will inherit a significant amount while I am not eligible for even one dollar of pension.
TREBOR
15th Mar 2018
9:21pm
You paying them the cost of selling and then buying plus all the fees and costs and the penalty that Centrelink will place on them for owning too much windfall cash?

Thought not...

Thanks for coming...

I love arguing with half-baked ideas and 'right wing' ideologues without any support or logic to them.
MICK
15th Mar 2018
11:09pm
A familiar tale Alan.
Whilst a fair assets test needs to be considered I don't consider assets of under $900,000 a suitable cut-off place for people wanting a part pension. It is not 'wealthy' and the income from this will pay you less than the current pension.
And what of people who have double this in a superannuation account which is not counted. The system is seriously flawed and Australians are at the mercy of a dictatorship in its fledgling years. Worse will come.
OnlyGenuineRainey
19th Mar 2018
7:45am
''an appropriate sized house in or close to an area where they have lived the preceding 20 years''

So the now retiring couple who put up with living in a shit area a long way from family because that's where their work was are not permitted to move to a more appropriate area when they retire, despite having planned such a move for the last decade? And the couple who suddenly find a child in crisis after being widowed with young kids is punished harshly if they move to near their child lives to offer family support?

All these ASSUMPTIONS about what's fair that ignore potential circumstances that the assumer hasn't experienced and didn't bother to think about is why the system is in a mess now. Keep basing policy on stupid invalid assumptions and we'll end up with virtually ALL aged people on pensions, living in hovels, and stashing any money they have in the mattress bank because putting it anywhere else results in penalties. Surely it's time people in this country stopped thinking solely about their situation and WOKE UP that circumstances vary, and what is most important is ensuring that those who work hard and save enjoy fair reward and freedom of choice to live out their retirement years on their own terms.
eileenellen
15th Mar 2018
9:59pm
The family home should never be included in the asset tests. People have scrimped and saved to own their own home and should have enough pension to live and pay the bills
Sickofit
16th Mar 2018
7:47am
So, if I need any cash I can just sell some bricks. How many - 20, 30, a bedroom or a laundry.
How f***ing stupid. no-one can spend a house or eat a lounge-room.
There a millions of pensioners who live in the FAMILY home so why should they sell it. If Gillard, Rudd or Labour in general didn't stuff up the national debt these desperate measures wouldn't be needed. When did Labour last have a budget surplus? 1986!!!! Give me a break.
Rae
16th Mar 2018
8:51am
The last thing our economy needs now is more money taken out of it to sit in government coffers for helicopter rides to football games.

All this austerity is just driving local businesses into bankruptcy.

They keep chipping away at all incomes except those at the very top of the heap.

This never ends well unfortunately.
TREBOR
17th Mar 2018
3:26pm
Sell the roof first - that way you get free showers ....
Ductape
16th Mar 2018
8:06am
There appears to be no shortage of 'idiots' who don't appear to comprehend the problems associated with low income home owners' who struggled for thirty years or more to finally own their own home - and through no fault of their own, have been subjected to the whims of the property market, usually generated by greedy property developers and their subsequent thieving hangers on!

These 'idiots' won't be happy until deserved aged pensioners, those whom have managed to hang on to their home through thick and thin, are forced to downsize and live in a run-down caravan in a park situated somewhere out in the Simpson Desert!

Perhaps these 'idiots' would do the world a favour by crawling back under the rock they emerged from!
BigMacca
16th Mar 2018
8:32am
I bet "StorminNormin" is bitter because ...(a) he rents or(b) he is too wealthy to receive a part
Age Pension. If you want to blame anyone.....blame all federal governments who let cashed up Asians, both living here and overseas, force up the price of homes in our big cities. We saved all our life to own a home, and now we are told we cost too much......so sell up and bugger off.!!
StorminNormin
16th Mar 2018
8:47am
(a) I own my home. (b) self-funded retiree - don't want to bludge off the Australian taxpayer.

The issue here is retired singles / couples receiving the aged pension and SOME owning homes they live in worth $1 million or more.
If you can afford to support yourself in retirement, you should do so, not bludge off the Australian taxpayer.
TREBOR
16th Mar 2018
2:41pm
It's not 'bludging', Normie - it's being paid what you've earned through your taxes. And if you are a SFR you have undoubtedly had some nice tax concessions along the way, so be wary of labeling the kettle black.

Now be nice and apply brain before opening internet...
BigMacca
16th Mar 2018
9:04am
You are not a taxpayer anymore 'StorminNormin"....so why do you care.?
StorminNormin
16th Mar 2018
2:50pm
But I do care... I care for the Australian taxpayer who is being ripped off by people (Old Age Dole Bludgers) who want them to supplement their lifestyle.
Ductape
16th Mar 2018
6:49pm
What's the betting if you're 'fortunate' enough to own your own home and are a self funded retiree Stormy, you've manged to get to that point by sticking the boot into a lot of other poor sods - using the system to fleece every cent you could from lesser plebs, many of whom are now struggling with the knoweldge that even in retirement, there are still people like you who keep wanting to stick to boot into them - just because you have little else to do! Go away and leave us other poor buggers alone.
OnlyGenuineRainey
18th Mar 2018
8:22am
Ductape, I own my own home and am self-funded in retirement, and I was NEVER FORTUNATE. Fortune had NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. Nor did I ever ''stick the boot into'' ANY ''poor sod''. I WAS the poor sod, struggling on a minimum wage, fighting ill health, paying a fortune in medical and therapy costs for a disabled child, and supporting a partner who couldn't work a lot of the time. Yet my partner and I managed to buy a cheap old run-down shack, renovate it, sell it, buy cheap land and build a house (with our own two hands, working weekends and holidays), and end up moderately comfortable. It was hard, but we thought it was worth it. And now we are suffering unfair deprivation and constant abuse and bullying from the ''poor buggers'' who lived far better lifestyles than we did and didn't bother to save, but are being handed around $1 million of taxpayer dollars in retirement, and whining that it's not enough. Now those ''laying the boot in'' lazy layabouts, spendthrifts and manipulators (who only PRETEND to be poor) are demanding our homes be taken from us so they can have more.

Go away and leave us workers and savers to enjoy the rewards we worked so damn hard to earn.

I am quick to support any suggestion of a policy change that helps the truly disadvantaged, but my concern IS for them. The current system - and thus far every STUPID modification any IDIOT politician has suggested - makes it worse for the genuinely disadvantaged (of whom there are very few indeed) by ripping off the hard workers and savers and rewarding the cheats, manipulators, bludgers, and irresponsible spendthrifts.

There should NOT BE AN ASSETS TEST. It is patently unfair and it is economically harmful in the extreme, because it destroys incentive to do what's right and encourages people to do whatever it takes to be in a position to milk the Australian taxpayer - which in turn deprives the genuinely needy. But if there is to be an assets test, the family home SHOULD be included to prevent over-investment in housing as a way to circumvent the test. However, the threshold should be high enough to allow retirees to own a very comfortable home AND to have enough to generate way more income than the pension would give them.
ex PS
16th Mar 2018
9:15am
Any Asset Test on the family home should be based on the median price that that type of property was purchased for. I don't agree that one should be used, but if we are going to have one it should be fair.
How can it be fair to value someones property that was purchased for say $75,000 in 1970, over $1 million in 2018. Sometimes things just happen, it's called good luck. People have already paid for their good fortune by being stuck with higher Council Rates through upgraded land valuations.
I look at some of these comments and all I see is envy.
HS
16th Mar 2018
4:41pm
This is how long you can live if you have $1 million dollars from disposal of your home residence.

March 20, 2018 Annual Single Full Age Pension $23,597.60

Retire at age 67
Capital 1,000,000 from sale of property
Term(yrs) 30
Interest 1.75% pa
Draw 23,597.60 equivalent to March 2018 annual pension
Balance
after 30 years *$745,976.58
live to age 97

Capital 1,000,000 from sale of property
Term(yrs) 25
Interest 1.75% pa
Draw 47,195.20 double the 2018 annual pension
Balance
after 20 years *$53,007.32
live to age 92


Capital 1,000,000 from sale of property
Term(yrs) 15
Interest 1.75% pa
Draw 70,792.80 treble the 2018 annual pension
Balance
after 15 years *$73,809.55
live to age 82

* does not take into account any income tax that may have to be paid
**Interest rate is at the lowest spectrum

There are other and cheaper home alternatives.Do your research on Internet.
That's why I am of the opinion that any one with over $1million in assets cashed in can survive for a very long time without being a welfare drain on the taxpayers.
ex PS
16th Mar 2018
7:59pm
As I said I see a lot of envy. I own what i own because I worked hard and gave up on a lot of chances at instant gratification along the way. The fact is I and many others have earned what we have and it is not up to anyone else to tell us what we should do with the things we own.
Yes we can sell up, be at the mercy of the rental market and spend our children's and our own future, but why the hell should we.
We can survive for a long time by selling up, but we can survive just as long by staying put, and we can enhance the lives of those that we bought into this world at the same time.
I for one don't want to live in some cheap dive, I built the house i want to live in and will not give it up to make a few under achievers feel good about themselves after wasting their opportunities on cars and technology that they don't and never needed.
I am not interested in just surviving, I want to live a rich and fulfilling life.
Your 1.75% does not take into account the effect of inflation. Our current inflation rate is around 2.00%, which means your plan will actually lose the participant money.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Mar 2018
7:52pm
I agree, ex PS. Who the hell are these morons that keep telling us we can live on our savings and assets. Whey the F... should we have to sacrifice the benefits we EARNED and planned to enjoy in old age. Others chose immediate lifestyle. They get $1 million or so handed to them from the taxpayer as compensation for not having saved. Yet morons continue to say we, who delayed lifestyle benefits until later, should now be denied everything we worked and saved to achieve and watch a stinking greedy bunch of whingers take take take after having wasted their opportunities.

I'm really sick of this BS! I am very happy to contribute to supporting those who were genuinely disadvantaged to the point where they could not possibly have anything in retirement, but our society hands about $1 million to anyone who gambled, drank, dined out extensively, travelled, enjoyed expensive clothing, cars, etc., gave generously to their kids or grandkids. The only people who are denied this $1 million handout are the RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE WHO SAVED FOR A COMFORTABLE RETIREMENT. And now the morons want to take away everything those responsible people worked for, just because their mathematical theories suggest the comforts we worked and saved for are not ''NEEDED''.

Bugger off, HS. Take your communist BS where it belongs. I bloody worked for my home and my savings and don't you DARE suggest I shouldn't be allowed to enjoy my old age in the environment I knocked myself out to create for myself and my family.
OnlyGenuineRainey
17th Mar 2018
8:14pm
And your calculations are WRONG anyway, HS, because you failed to allow for inflation.
OnlyGenuineRainey
19th Mar 2018
8:05am
HS, I apologize. I've had a rethink. I think all us homeowners should sell our homes, spend any yield above the age pension threshold on a cruise or parties, and claim full pensions plus rent assistance.

When we are all on the pension, the selfish whingers who want anyone who sacrificed to save for their old age bashed down into poverty will discover that pensions have to be slashed further and further because there are so many putting their hands out, and then the moralizing do-gooders who can't see the forest for the trees might realize how DUMB their notions really were.

As a pensioner, I'd be $500+ a week worse off for owning a home that I busted my boiler for 30 years to buy. Why not rent and live on handouts instead? Those who are 5 years out from pension age can sell and give the proceeds to their kids, then party on a pension and rent assistance. The kids will probably pay a lot of their bills for them, having received a nice fat gift!

Yep. Let's all get together and CRASH the pension system. It seems to be what the green-eyed monsters wanting home owners persecuted are aiming for.
alfie
16th Mar 2018
11:53am
retirees who want houses to be included in the asset test are mainly those who don't own their own house. Can you not see what the government is doing? They are intriguing those with "haves" against those with "withouts" and promoting jealousy amongs the community. Why punish those who did their best to get to where they are, good on them because they sacrificed for it. So don't blame those with "haves" for being responsible for themselves and lets not fall for this trap the government is driving us into.
The other thing too, even if your house is worth a million dollars simply because you're living in a good area, then why should I sell my house and move away somewhere else just because of that when I just have enough income to support myself? would you move?
ex PS
16th Mar 2018
4:43pm
alfie, of course they are pitting us against each other, as long as we are fighting amongst ourselves, they get to do as they please without a coherent response from retirees. We fall for it every time.
If we could get our act together we could have a great say in how this country is run. We would constitute a very strong block vote.
Mad as hell
16th Mar 2018
1:39pm
Your Life Choices, instead of asking should the house be included in the Assets Test, how about putting pressure on the LNP and Labour to implement a Resource Tax. If Australia adopted a similar scheme to Europe we would have an extra $90 Billion p.a. Qatar raises $26 Billion and Australia raises $600 million. Scott Morrison claims we can’t have a tax the same as Qatar because it would deter marginal operations. I think we are being misled big time.
TREBOR
16th Mar 2018
3:37pm
"Scott Morrison claims we can’t have a tax the same as Qatar because it would deter marginal operations."

What the hell are they doing propping up 'marginal operations' with public money?
George
17th Mar 2018
12:01am
Absolutely agree, the focus should be on the BIGGER THINGS as you have noted.
Also, a MINIMUM TAX system to ensure all pay fair taxes without shonky deductions!

Of course, Scott Morrison says a lot of rubbish (and supports Big Business from where they get donations) - he is trying to figure out how to position himself to replace Turnbull when the change comes.
BElle
16th Mar 2018
5:33pm
The Asset Means Test is probably one of the most inequitable devices for reducing pensions that anyone could think of.
Superannuation is NOT a savings device for anyone and should not be available to the wealthy to reduce their Income Tax at any time.
Superannuation is NOT a gift from the Government or the Employer, it is EARNED INCOME and should be treated as that way.
The entire Pension system in Australia should be completely overhauled. It benefits the wealthy and deprives the ordinary person of reaping any benefit from their own endeavours and hard work and years of struggle and savings.
It is demeaning to have to report to Centrelink constantly updating and advising them of changes to your assets.
Every person that has worked and earned their income in Australia should be entitled to a Basic Pension. The Pension should be set at a rate that is sufficient for day to day living, any hardship requirements such as Rent Assistance should be paid on a necessity basis in addition to the base rate.
This would reduce the workload of Centrelink (which is excessively understaffed anyway) and would reduce the cost of processing and administration which would more than offset the cost of a basic pension to ALL. No one should be exempt from this payment and should be paid to our Parliamentary retirees to the same amount and not the handouts that they currently receive.
This country prides itself on being Egalitarian. Not much evidence of that in the current pension system.
This would completely negate the need for the family home to be assessed.
Radish
16th Mar 2018
6:31pm
This is what you do if you have too much money....buy a really, really expensive home and go on the full pension.

You let your kids know this is their inheritance but they have to pay all your rates, maintenance on the home while you are alive (or at least half). Let the taxpayers give you the full pension and then the payoff for your kids once you die is a nice fat inheritance when the home is sold. Good country Australia.
BigMacca
17th Mar 2018
1:37am
All this current war of words over the Age Pension and including the family home in the Assets
test, is merely a game of smoke and mirrors. The Turnbull Government has a free trade agreement with China which no one is allowed to see. Also, nobody is allowed to mention the elephant in the room that is causing the demand for homes in our big cities. Where does this demand come from you ask.
Look at who benefits and you have your answer. On ABC Q&A recently, the issue of unrestrained immigration was raised. Despite a one hour debate, we were no better informed afterwards as to who is behind this rush to a big Australia. It seems nobody wants to put there hand up. Why.? Does the Free Trade agreement require Australia to open it's doors to unfettered migration in return for China continuing to buy our resources. If not, why is everyone in Labor & Liberals so coy.?
You have a former Prime Minister calling for a review of our current unsustainable migrant intake (not counting the refugee intake which goes straight on welfare), a former Federal Labor Foreign Minister, Bob Carr saying Sydney is full, and Dick Smith saying the same thing.....yet nobody in power is listening to THEM......so the opinions of us mere plebs count for less then nothing. I don't remember anyone asking me if I am happy living in new, big Sydney of 7.5 million people.
Just keep giving them bread and circuses and do what you like. The economic activity from a building boom to meet the high migration levels, benefits State government coffers, the members of the Property Council, and provides employment. The side effect is that homes
in Sydney are now in a global market and our Pacific paso , even $1 million of them, is cheap to cashed up overseas buyers that you are forced to compete against. Go figure.
TREBOR
17th Mar 2018
3:33pm
I'm just reading up on the 2002 FTA with the US, under the Howard Regime....

Same thing - no open discussion, no resolving points by reasoned argument, and all cloaked in a deathly silence as if somehow if it does not get through, the world will collapse. The end result from that fiasco was Australia zero tariffs, US whatever it wanted, and massive US investment and no profit here and no taxes, and allowing near control over such things as quarantine and exclusion of contaminated foods etc by US representatives on boards.

These people, at the behest of their political masters, have no wish to develop a fair agreement or even a free trade one that benefits this nation - they are simply working out how to throw the gates wide open.

There have to be brown paper bags doing the rounds over these deals.
Blossom
18th Mar 2018
8:33pm
In 1952 my parents bought a very basic 3 bedroom home. Hot water was from a small water heater on the wall for hot water in the kitchen (it was in the laundry plumbed through the wall to one tap in the kitchen and one small hot water heater that had to be lit each time in the bathroom for the bath. It was built by the SA Housing Trust (as it was called then) for sale. Returned Servicemen were given priority if they had the required deposit for one and had a family. Building materials were in short supply so there was a waiting list. In 1981 it was valued at $37,5000.00 In 2012 the value was $540,000.00. The main reason was that a lot of blocks had been sub-divided and new houses built (with tiny rooms) and practically no yards. That pushed up the price of old homes according to the Land Valuers Dept. You are lucky to get much more than land value for most homes built in the 1960s and prior except old large homes with very high ceilings, very thick walls (check the thickness of walls in doorways) - often stone (not cheap quality sandstone) and oftern on what would now be 4 + blocks of land. It is not the fault of elderly couples who bought a very basic home (bricks were supposed to the A+ quality but many were cracked and exterior walls have large cracks that keep coming back after professionally repaired).
Destiny
19th Mar 2018
7:42pm
Reading through people’s comments it pleases me to see that so many people DO NOT support the home being means tested.

Jackie your comments are bewildering i fail to understand how someones home generates money. Unless you mean people should be forced to sell move far far away from family friends their community all at a very great cost (emotional) for the sake of saving the government money which these same people contributed to all their working life.

Retirees should stand united on this issue. No where else in the world does this happen. Your home is your home. My parents home is worth more than a million and i can assure you they live week to week on the pension. It is not their fault the market has increased significantly.

“World Prophet” could not agree more!!
MacI
20th Mar 2018
7:38am
Whatever one might think about the family home being included in the Asset test for the Age Pension the practicality of administering such a scheme would be nigh impossible. For instance how would property valuations be done, who would do the valuation, how often would it be done, and who would bear the cost. How would the valuation take account of the market that a home presides within. Surely a retiree shouldn't be penalised because they happen to have lived for years in an inner-city suburb where property prices have sky rocketed.

It seems to me that some sort of death tax would be a fairer way to get asset rich, cash poor retirees to eventually pay their way.
Rosret
20th Mar 2018
1:45pm
Did any of you watch Q & A last night. I was amazed that the young forth right female political journalist saw the aged as someone she wouldn't become.
She would be the person who would be taxed and taxed again on their super. She was fighting for her own worse deal on retirement. There is no us and them - we will all get old one day and will wish to live comfortably in retirement.
OnlyGenuineRainey
22nd Mar 2018
7:51am
Rosret, stupid is as stupid does. Some people just can't help swallowing political lies. They don't have the basic intelligence to think through the issues and see common sense. Sadly, those morons vote - which is why the nation is in such a mess!
tactful
20th Mar 2018
7:20pm
Those who think the family home should be included as an asset think again.
Although some homes are growing in the $value, so are the replacements that part/full pensioners would need to move into.
I am sure all those who are saying YES, would be happy to be forced to sell the home they have lived in for over 30 years and move to another area where they do not have any connections.
Those who do not own a home and rent you get rent assistance, home owners get nothing to help with rates x 2, building/contents insurance, maintenance etc. Things that someone renting does not need to think about.
My hubby and I are part pensioners, the home in which we live has increased by 200% since we moved in. We are by no means wealthy and I take great offense when those who are jealous or renters say sell up.
OnlyGenuineRainey
22nd Mar 2018
7:54am
I hope you also take offence at the change of assets test and the proposal to slash incomes by cancelling franking credits, or do you only object to policies that hurt you personally and not those that hurt the nation?

I am also a home owner, but I think we need to examine an unfair system that allows gross overinvestment in the family home to entitle wealthy people to pensions while those who accept modest accommodation and retain savings are denied. I'm NOT in favour of adding the house to the assets test, because it creates more problems than it solves, but this issue should NOT be examined in isolation. We need a total overhaul of the pension system. Either the house should be included in a test that then assesses only the higher of deemed or actual INCOME - NOT ASSETS - or we should adopt a universal pension.

The current discrimination isn't against renters. It's against HONEST FOLK.


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