A quarter of retirees want homes included in asset test

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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?

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310 Comments

Total Comments: 310
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    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.

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      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!

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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

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      $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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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    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!

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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?

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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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!

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      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

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      Yes, sunnyOz, and you’d still be required to pay the ever increasing rates, water rates, etc. on a diminshed pension.

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      .. 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…

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      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.

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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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

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      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.

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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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”.

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      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?

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      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.

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      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?

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      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…

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    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.

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      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.

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      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)

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      You mean the person with $1m in shares doesn’t live in a house? Damn me….

      (argument shot down in one)….

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      The person with $1M in shares has an income stream – the home owner does not, that is why they can receive the pension.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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    Crowcrag you are so right lets hear the torries or any party member start bleating now

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    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!

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      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 [email protected] and I will respond with a link to it.
      Kind regards

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      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.

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      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!

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    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.

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    They must be the ones who have more money than us

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      Of course – who else would imagine their home should be totally exempt while those of others with no solid income are fair game?

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