New policy could ‘save’ the retirement of millions of Australians

Accessing equity in the family home could be a retirement saver for millions.

Yesterday the Actuaries Institute released a Green Paper, titled Unlocking Housing Wealth, which canvassed a range of policy possibilities to help retirees access wealth in their homes and use such money to fund a more comfortable retirement.

The paper tackles the conundrum of asset-rich, cash-poor retirees whose wealth is tied up in the family home. Access to even part of this money is currently discouraged by a pension assets test which sees the home exempt whilst cash is measured when Centrelink decides if an Age Pension will be paid. So the Institute has suggested a partial assets cap (i.e. the wealthiest homes might be included in assets, but most won’t), and an exemption for cash derived from equity release from the family home.

This would be a game changer for many retirees. The Institute further calls for a safer principles-based approach to such legislation, ensuring security of tenure – or the right of the retiree to reside in their home without fear of it being taken by a financial institution. It also suggests better regulatory protection for the elderly from financial abuse by those who stand to gain from the retirees’ assets.

Read the Actuaries Institute Green Paper here

Opinion: Fair and equitable pension policy

There’s a lot to like about both the Actuaries Institute’s approach and its suggestions. First up, it declares that its mission is not to save the government money – and screw pensioners in the process.

In recent years we have been told that Australia has a three-pillar retirement system, comprising the Age Pension, superannuation and private savings. But in reality it’s more complicated than that. It’s actually a four-pillar system with home ownership representing the difference between a reasonable retirement and poverty.

At last we have a non-partisan institute which tells it like it is – and presents policy options which place sustainable retirement income and equity in retirement in the centre.

The value of retirees’ homes is huge – according to the Actuaries Institute approximately $1 trillion – yet many older Australians remain asset-rich and cash-poor in their retirement years because there is no practical way of accessing at least part of the wealth locked up in the family home, without jeopardising access to an Age Pension. Those who do downsize are hit with stamp duty that eats up much of the profit.

So the suggestions offered by the Actuaries Institute make a lot of sense. In particular, the Institute’s note that the Green Paper “was not primarily concerned with reducing government expenditure on age-related services …” is a breath of fresh air. Given Australia’s ranking as the third meanest nation in the OECD when it comes to spending on Age Pensions, at last somebody has noticed that the main game is NOT to save the government money – but rather to help retirees fund longer retirements in a dignified manner. The report’s author, Ms. Catherine Nance, is to be congratulated.

Or to quote 81-year-old Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah!

What do you think? Do the Actuaries Institute’s policies make sense? Should you be able to access wealth from your home without losing the pension? Or is there a better way?





    COMMENTS

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    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    10:21am
    It would be much simpler and more equitable to just include the house in the assets test.
    older&wiser
    15th Mar 2016
    11:39am
    Bonny, rubbish. How can you equate a small older simple little house in inner suburbia with a house in the remote country? Why should people be penalized because they bought their house years ago, when perhaps they bought in a cheap suburb at that time? Besides, if you need funds, what do you do? Sell the spare bedroom?
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    12:00pm
    Bonny, to do that would be pure stupidity and total inequity. If anything like the family home is to be included in assets testing there should be a grandfathering clause, or "fair" (a word seldom used the correct way in government parlance) and equitable warning given when it is to take effect to prepare people for retirement planning changes. To do anything else is to penalise ALL present homeowners by making legislation retrospective to the date of purchase - NOT a democratic move by ANY stretch of the imagination! This, like many of your statements about pensions, is absolutely ludicrous.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    12:42pm
    It is very simply allow people to continue receiving the pension then pay what they got in pension funds out of their estate when they die.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    12:44pm
    Spoken like a true lifetime member of the Liberal Party Bonny. But then many of your comments are spot on the official position.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    1:09pm
    Not being a Liberal myself I don't see the connection. I'm all for fairness and the house not being part of the assets test is simply unfair.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    1:46pm
    Bonny, what a lot of crap. Homeowners have paid for their house USING their assets. You may not be LNP connected, but you sound like a member of the Communist Party with the rot you come out with. You need a few courses in Common Sense.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    2:03pm
    Funny Eddie. I'm with you.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    2:46pm
    That's the problem I have too much common sense. Common sense tells me that the house needs to be included in the assets test to address this gross inequity in the age pension welfare system.

    Why can someone with a house worth millions still get the full age pension? This does not make sense to me at all. Why do some people have to use their assets to pay for their retirement while others are given a handout instead? If you have assets of any kind they should be considered when on the age pension. It is as simple as that. Aferall they have all paid for their house using their assets.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    2:58pm
    Again, foolish reasoning. You need to join a commune.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    3:02pm
    Maybe I am already part of a commune as I seem to be looking after more than enough people at present.

    Nothing foolish about my reasoning and I am hoping the government is thinking along the same lines.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    3:08pm
    Actually Bonny you have very little common sense and you would fail the pub test by a long long way. Some of your posts defy belief in their naivety and stupidity. Sorry for being so brutal. We all need to be responible for what we say......
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    3:10pm
    I thought as much. Red flag waving out front - yes?
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    7:18pm
    Agree I have no time for pubs being a non drinker and non smoker.
    Anonymous
    16th Mar 2016
    12:12am
    Bonny, if you weren't a total imaginary know all you would see that the family owned home is still taken into account by the disparity in pending between those who own one and those who don't and the difference between their pension entitlements. Wake up to yourself!
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    2:58am
    The family home is the only asset of any value most average Australians own. Now the government owned and controlled by the rich want to take that.
    Open the eyes Bonny: remove mascara, pry open eyelids and look into the mirror...........
    LiveItUp
    16th Mar 2016
    10:36am
    That is the problem Mick some people have to use their own resources to fund their retirement as they have a modest home and other assets saved for a rainy day whereas others have put everything into their house so that they qualify for the pension and so don't have to fund their own retirement. This is where it is not fair at all.

    Now that doesn't require doing anything with my physical appearance just using head to process what my eyes really see. So stop cracking your mirror looking at your appearance and see the real world.
    GreyViper
    16th Mar 2016
    12:56pm
    Hey Bonny, I'm with you 100%. Once again those that don't like your suggestion or think they have something to lose by it resort to name calling, ridicule, and mockery. And, of course, we have good old 'Mick' who, if you don't agree with him, resorts to accusing you of being a member of the Liberal party so he can denounce your ideas. Not one of them offers up a valid reason why your idea is "rubbish, pure stupidity, a lot of crap, no common sense", etc. I think a few of these people need a lesson in economics 101.
    Your suggestion makes pure economic sense and why should the tax payers of today be funding an old age pension for someone who has 2, 3, or 4 million in assets tied up in the family home which they can then leave to their children TAX FREE. This is not what the old age pension is all about. The asset should be used to repay the pension payouts after they have passed on.
    Can someone please explain to me the difference between someone who has a $2 million house and $500,000 in superannuation and a person who has a $500,000 house and $2 million in superannuation? They both have the same equity and yet the amount of pension they will receive will differ greatly. People will bang on about how the person with the money in super can earn an income from it etc. but that doesn't alter the fact that their asset base is the same. You could almost say that it is "UNFAIR"! People look at these things emotively and selfishly (how will it affect me?) and are unable to look at the economics of it at all. Bonny, you are RIGHT but these people "can't see the forest for the trees"!
    Now watch the usual suspects come out and try and howl me down by name calling, ridicule, etc. but deep down they know we are right!
    LiveItUp
    16th Mar 2016
    1:15pm
    I see all the howling me down stuff as a sign that I am right and I have hit a the fear nerve in these people. You too are right GreyViper.
    Anonymous
    18th Mar 2016
    11:21am
    I agree that the house should be included, but there should be drastic changes to the way the pension means test operates. It is grossly unfair that someone can put $2 million into a house and get a full pension and leave the house to their kids, while someone with a $250,000 house and $850,000 in other assets gets no pension.

    The assets test is fundamentally flawed. It discriminates against the least privileged. It should be scrapped and only an income test used, with a deeming rate applied to all assets over a generous threshold that excludes most family homes and personal assets, then the test worked on the higher of actual income or deemed income.

    That would stop unfair discrimination against those who saved aggressively but accepted modest accommodation and in favour of those who deliberately sink large amounts into an expensive home to escape the means test.

    For anyone in hardship because they have a very expensive home and don't wish to downsize, there could be a loans scheme to provide income until they die and repaid out of the estate. As this would ONLY apply to very expensive homes, it would be fair.

    Frank and Bonny have shouted loudly in favour of the changes to the taper rate, but they are clearly UNFAIR. They discriminate heavily against those whose assets are not returning good income, and the group most likely to experience that problem are the less privileged - those who were educationally disadvantaged, have trust issues due to childhood deprivation and abuse, who experienced major crisis that made them frightened of risk, and those who fell victim to bad financial advisers.

    Changes to the assets test have further advantaged those lucky enough to have an expensive home over the underprivileged who saved aggressively but have low incomes.

    I believe the incentive for home ownership must be retained, and therefore the non-assessed assets threshold should be relatively high. If you allowed for a threshold of, say, $1 million, that allows for someone to have a home worth $800,000 and $200,000 in other non-returning assets, then assign a notional income of 3% (adjusted with interest rate fluctuations) of all assets over that amount, and means test the higher of that figure or the actual income received, there would be a great deal more fairness in the system and almost certainly at far less cost. Anyone whose actual income is inadequate but whose notional income disqualifies them from a pension can access a concessional loan against assets and it is repaid from the estate.

    I have an emotional attachment to my home, and I don't think any aged person should be forced out of their home. Nor should people suffer huge disadvantage because their modest home inflated in value over time. But neither should people with far less (ie. with modest or no home but a fair amount of savings) be punished for accepting modest accommodation and going without to save. The whole system is massively unfair and needs a total overhaul.
    ex PS
    18th Mar 2016
    6:05pm
    Bonny, when we assess assets in regard to a pension are we looking at how much the asset is contributing to the income of the recipient?
    If so would it not be fairer to asses the value of owning a home against the cost of renting. In this case the cost of renting a similar home should be the figure that is assesed when determining a penalty for showing some initiative and buying your own home.
    If you are going to punish people for owning a home and you wish to make it look like it is fair to do so, is this not the strategy to use?
    Of course if this method is employed, we can no longer take into account whether the pensioner owns or rents when determining the amount of pension one can recieve.
    Yes that's right the government already takes home ownwership into account when determining pension payments, but as you seem to advocate it let us have the government have a bit of a double dip.
    gazza
    15th Mar 2016
    10:32am
    i bought an homette as an investment for my future let someone else pay it of and move in at a later date sell my home which i own which should give me a bit of extra spending money i hope
    marty
    15th Mar 2016
    11:12am
    Certainly a breath of much needed fresh air. I'll be interested in what the various vested interests come up with as to why it won't work...
    hope
    15th Mar 2016
    11:24am
    That is not new it was in a few years ago, I know people have done that and now they are sorry you have to think about it.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    12:47pm
    It's real bait...with real pain if you do not die within 10 years. This is the Liberal government going after most people's only real asset. No thought for parents leaving their children anything there. Just Liberal Party greed.
    Tigers
    15th Mar 2016
    1:24pm
    You're one sick puppy mick.
    Patriot
    15th Mar 2016
    1:48pm
    Tigers,
    You're entitled to YOUR opinion.
    However, it does not necessarily mean you're correct!
    Sceptic
    15th Mar 2016
    1:54pm
    I though that I read Actuaries Institute. I missed the bit about it being a Government proposal. Or is it mick who misread?
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    2:04pm
    Always possible when you rush. Humble pie always eaten when necessary.
    DJ
    15th Mar 2016
    11:31am
    Well done Catherine Nance - Excellent proposal. Hopefully it will come to the attention of our politicians and they will see it's merits and act accordingly.
    Rae
    15th Mar 2016
    2:22pm
    Fortunately the politicians will never need to reverse mortgage their houses as they have that fabulous pension.

    Pity we let Frazer steal the old aged pension because we wouldn't have a problem if the pension fund was still in existence.

    No wonder they wanted Whitlam gone.
    Happy cyclist
    15th Mar 2016
    11:32am
    Not too many of us have a house like the one in the photo I'd guess! And anyway, who are these squeaky clean, grey-haired people with flawless skin who are always 'so in love' that LYC are always using in these articles? I never see these couples in real life -- thank goodness, as none of the people in these photos look like they are real to me. Just saying.
    Scrivener
    15th Mar 2016
    11:39am
    It's part of the fuzz. PR is very subtle. It's a nice aspirational glow that makes you think what you'll do with the lotto win. You could use a real picture of me, I guess. Nah! No need to scare people.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    1:04pm
    A con always starts by making people think they are better off with whatever bait is being sold. In this case we have a government pushing its agenda and subsidising and/or paying consultants to come up with what they government wants to do. In this case nobble ordinary Australians.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    7:53pm
    That's not the sort of house a retiree would want as it's simply too much work or very costly to run.
    Scrivener
    15th Mar 2016
    11:36am
    Gosh, it's true then, some pensioners don't pay rent.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    1:06pm
    It is true. Mainly those who went without to get a house. A fair reward I might think.

    15th Mar 2016
    11:46am
    If you have a nice house and get a substantial equity release as they say why in the hell would you need a pension you could live off your own means.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    1:21pm
    A message from the government. Thanks robbo.
    Am I correct that you have a nice house AND a guaranteed pension.....probably from the government......and maybe even an ex Liberal Party one?
    Easy to read between the lines mate. Most people here are not buying!
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    1:34pm
    No Mick no Government money at all no welfare earned it all myself I think they call us self funded, how about you Mick nice pay out from the union or perhaps a few freebies from the Labour party.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    2:07pm
    You'll never see me following the Labor Party line robbo. I do not agree with legalising homosexual marriage, Never will. I think Bill's a dill. But then he is not working for the rich so being stupid is just a liability.
    Now who did you say I was aligned with? Unlike most of your LNP posts robbo you won't see blind allegiance from me. For any Party!
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    2:17pm
    robbo, don't you realise that YOU have been funding YOUR OWN pension with the taxes you have been paying during your working life?? You are ENTITLED to this provided you meet certain criteria no matter what political party you vote for! Both you and this Bonny person must think you get something special in your afterlife for being so altruistic, self-sacrificing, righteous. It sounds more like foolish martyrdom.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    3:06pm
    Fast Eddie you are right with that I did what Joe Hockey said got a good job did a bit of night school, paid a shit load of tax and I would probably qualify for a pension but don"t think I need it and don"t want to have to go into or contact centrelink where nothing but low lifes go.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    3:12pm
    About the thought processes of a LNP stoolie robbo. There are also decent people who walk into Centrelink, like those applying for the pension they were promised their whole lives and now find ripped out from under them by a government pointing its evil finger at those who made this country and who have not ripped it off or betrayed it. Unlike those in government.
    Sure there is low life.....but I dare say you would find a lot of "low life" at a Liberal Party fundraiser as well.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    3:30pm
    robbo, your ignorance is quite profound and only exceeded by your untruths of foregoing receipt of rightful entitlements, and for what reasons I can't possibly fathom. If you are trying to make people think that you are wealthy, philanthropic, or morally or ethically better than anyone else you are blinder than I first thought and certainly missing your target you are speaking absolute crap and making a fool of yourself at the same time - but, it is somewhat amusing to imagine that you could actually be deluding yourself you wouldn't have a clue, mate.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    3:44pm
    Ok Fast Eddie I have upset you as you are no doubt a pensioner or as I call it a welfare recipient you obviously wern"t able to provide for yourself and therfore put your hand for Government welfare and Will tryjustify yourself with all the other whingers on this blog.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    3:49pm
    Hey Mick never been to any sort of fund raiser but believe it or not I was a union member once until I realised what a bunch of crooks they are and soon got out
    roy
    15th Mar 2016
    3:52pm
    Vote independent, you know it makes sense.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    4:07pm
    robbo, you are thicker than I thought. I don't have to JUSTIFY myself to ANYONE, least of all you! You are one of the BIGGEST WHINGERS on this site, and your comments are some with the least substance and sense. You seem to be a natural born malcontent who has very little and tries to make excuses for your own under-achievement by putting undue and unfair emphasis on people getting an entitlement for years of hard work and taxes, while you are doing the same and yet claiming falsely that you are not. Guilty conscience, mate?
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    4:18pm
    Mick you know voting for an independent is a waste of time you will never have a government of independents it will just never happen.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    4:21pm
    Fast Eddie just couldn"t work a bit harder to pay your own way, I guess not once a bludger always a bludger.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    4:45pm
    robbo: I see you are now posting under my name (above). So you now steal identities and answer your own post. See a shrink.
    And for the record...yes people should vote Independent with a Labor preference if they do not want to see the current wretched government get back in. We all know if that happens and they have control of the senate then they will massacre ordinary AUstralians and retirees. Coming! Up to Australians now, not the media.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    5:28pm
    No Mick you got that wrong I wouldn't post under your name (don"t know how to do it) it must be one of your fans because he makes the same idiotic comments you make "Vote Independent " we had two who ran the labour party Windsor and Buckshot or whatever his name was they help put this country in the shithole it is now in.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    7:43pm
    It's Rob Upshot and Tony Whinger, the one who has done stuff-all for his electorate.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    2:25am
    If you think that voting for a candidate who is not owned by the big end of town and who will not be a puppet then you have the problem robbo. What did Einstein say about (voters?) repeatedly making the same decision and expecting the result to be different? Double digit intelligence would dictate that if it don't work then DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Sorry for you that you cannot understand that most basic of principles.
    Anonymous
    16th Mar 2016
    7:29am
    Hey Mick time you went to bed or had your medicine you are not making much sense at this time of day what the hell has Einstein got to do with it I'm pretty sure he didn't vote labour like you ?
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    9:01am
    That is the sort of comment one might expect from those will low intelligence.....or trolls.
    Patriot
    15th Mar 2016
    11:54am
    The whole story of the Aust. Age Pension is a VERY DEEP "Rabbit Hole" with many "Twists & Turns". The foundations of these have been "long Lost" in the "Mists-of-Time".
    Only when we - the people - once again understand & (force our Politicians) to adhere to these foundations can we "move on" and (possibly) establish additional rules.
    Our Politicians MUST stop "The Lies-&-Deceptions" before WE can grant them "One Grain" of trust in order to believe that these NEW actions are implemented for OUR BENEFIT!!!

    Whilst I have compassion that there are people who have homes worth many millions which simply are designed to hide the “Family Wealth & Assets” from “Being-Got-At”, I believe that such actions MUST be abandoned until after the WHOLE MESS (which is the Aust Age Pension) is unravelled, corrected and – once again – implemented as originally “Promised & Intended”.

    How can we trust these THIEVES in Canberra that – once NEW legislation has been passed to achieve (mild and seeming Correct & Fair) changes, they will NOT (as has become the norm) re-neg on these deals, change “The Goal Posts” and convert these legislations into (as before) Draconian & Penalising measures brought down on Common (generally already struggling) Australians in order to ensure that the “Fat Cats” can even benefit further from the slavery enforced onto the “General Population”. Isn't it the norm (with few exceptions) that you can pick a “Lying Politician” easily by simply confirming lip movement?

    I just wonder WHEN somebody (may be this should be a challenge to ONE of our So Called Elected Representatives to commission a paper which details the following:

    1 A "Public Declaration/Reminder" of how & when the age pension was introduced – Its history & Promises/Commitments displayed in a “Clear & Understandable Timeline”
    2 What the terms - according to the government Hansard were at the time these deals were Negotiated/Promised/Legislated/Implemented
    3 How - over the time - such deals have been "Reneged On time-&-time-again" and how the "Terms of Reference" of those govt. commitments have CONTINUOUSLY been changed in order to "Suit the Money Masters & already Filthy Rich".
    4 How these funds have been "Squandered Away" by those who - supposedly - govern FOR US and on OUR BEHALF. This has been unconditional deception!
    5 How - at the time of introduction of "Compulsory Super" none of these funds seemed to be available to be credited into OUR designated Super Funds! After all, these funds were collected on OUR Behalf and it MUST be illegal to "All of a Sudden" re-designate these funds to become "Consolidated Revenue" rather than apply the to "Their Designated Purpose"!
    6 How at the time of introduction of "Compulsory Super" OUR contributions to the Age Pension (in place at the time) were NOT STOPPED (as they now were replaced by a new system) but that they were just accepted as a contribution which now was just additional TAX levy. In my book I cannot classify this under any other name than “Cleverly Manipulated” THEFT!!!!!

    “Keep the BAS**RDS HONEST” seems to certainly have departed with Don Chip!!!
    Or, whilst I personally believe that he tried very hard in his time, even he was not able to Expose, “Root-Out” & “Hold Back” the era in which “Lies/Deception & Corruption” were to become the norm rather than the exception in Canberra?

    The TWO main Political Parties have a “Strangle Hold” on OUR Freedom.
    VOTE INDEPENDENT and make a commitment to: “Keep the Honest” by scrutinising everyone of their action, providing qualified feedback & do NOT – once again (EVER) “Fall asleep at the Wheel” as we have been during the past 50 years.
    “Due Diligence” forever is the NEW Requirement for the “Sake of our (grand)children”
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    1:24pm
    They want our money for not only their own entitlements but to waste in mind boggling ignorant manners. Our trust is only wanted at election time.
    *Imagine*
    15th Mar 2016
    12:06pm
    Here we go again. We will have the old suspects telling us over and over that the pension is for those who have nothing and is welfare only.

    WELL PLEASE READ THIS FROM 2008. Australian Elderly Pillaged
    http://www.sosnews.org/?p=262

    It concludes:
    The old age pension is not a privilege;
    Is not a right;
    Is not a gift;
    Is not even welfare;
    The Old Age Pension is an asset;
    Owned and accrued by each Australian Citizen who has funded this asset from their very own purse.

    If you still hold the opinion that pension is welfare after reading this historical perspective, then please provide evidence to support your belief.

    Our once great country is becoming increasingly mean. There should be not means test for our pension. We payed for it. Read it like it is, Governments seem incapable of prioritising spending. Look at the joint strike force fighter and tell me it is better than caring for our elderly.
    tams
    15th Mar 2016
    12:22pm
    Dear "Imagine" .

    You didn't pay for your pension. You actually paid for those who went before you, like your parents and grandparents. Your taxes were not put away to fund your pension. Today's wage earners are paying for your pension.

    I think a reality check is needed
    *Imagine*
    15th Mar 2016
    12:26pm
    tams have you read the article as I suggested?

    http://www.sosnews.org/?p=262

    I suspect not.

    Read it and educate yourself, then come back and tell me who needs a reality check.
    KSS
    15th Mar 2016
    12:27pm
    Your quote from the stated article is nothing more than opinion and in fact flies in the face of the simple facts presented in the article.

    Cherry pick all you want but it doesn't change the pension situation in 2016.
    Patriot
    15th Mar 2016
    12:35pm
    Imagine,
    It's either "Become mean & adhere to the International Money Masters (Banksters) Agenda"
    OR
    Do like Iceland & Hungary "Turf the Banksters OUT on their Ass" and run a NEW Banking System in accordance with the requirements of the Australian Constitution: For - By & through the people and for THEIR Benefit".

    In Iceland ALL Loans have now been CANCELLED (PAID) OUT and the Banksters have been Jailed. The economy is going well as confirmed by their president's interviews which can be viewed in YouTube!

    Hungary has also TURFED the "Slave-masters" like the IMF and the Rothshield Banksters out recently.

    The UK, The Netherlands & Switzerland have FORCED debate in parliament to discuss a New Banking system for the benefit of its People rather than the International Banksters.

    When I migrated to Aust. now more than 45 years ago, Australia was a country "Overflowing with FREEDOM, Milk & Honey".
    The Taxation level was the lowest of almost any nation. The public service was the smallest & Most efficient anywhere!

    At the time I provided this country my loyalty to naturalise and elected NOT hold/take "Dual Citizenship".
    Currently I - many times - regret these decisions as the current Malaise & "Lack of Fighting Spirit" of the majority of Australians make me ashamed to be called "One of Them".
    SHE'LL "NOT" BE RIGHT MATE !!!
    Australian is "Being Sold Out from under US" and we cannot even seem to be bothered to - COLLECTIVELY - object to such treasonous actions.
    Footy or the "Idiot/Lie Box" are far more important!!!

    Just remember the Roman Times: "Bread & Plays". However, even the bread is becoming STALE and the Plays are all RIGGED !
    Patriot
    15th Mar 2016
    12:40pm
    KS & tams,
    I hate to "Burst your bubble(s)!

    It is NOT imagine's "Vivid Imagination".
    These are FACTS !!!
    If you want to confirm this, just "Make an effort & dig out the Govt. Hansard records" of the time and ALL will be revealed!
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    12:47pm
    http://startsat60.com/stories/news/government-aims-to-reduce-the-number-of-people-on-the-pension-before-the-election

    “These changes were based on the simple principle that the pension is a welfare payment for those who are not in a position to support themselves independently in retirement.”

    Looks like government correctly regards the pension as a welfare payment.
    Patriot
    15th Mar 2016
    12:52pm
    Bonny,
    Read the info disclosed in the link provided by imagine and don't treat these facts as "Mere Illusion" just because they do not "fit In" with your current convictions!!!

    If YOU have not paid for your Age Pension - Good luck to you!

    I am certain I have and can prove it!!!
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    1:07pm
    No one has paid for their age pension as it comes out of general revenue. If you don't pay any tax then you are not paying for it now.

    Since no one has paid for it themselves then it is a welfare payment.
    *Imagine*
    15th Mar 2016
    1:11pm
    Bonny
    This is my point exactly. Your link provides an opinion from, and a driver for, the actions taken by Morrison. There is nothing but political spin. We should stop seeing this issue as a heads or tails scenario. We are not arguing footy teams or politics here, we are talking about peoples lives. Some are really doing it tough and it will get tougher. That is why there is a rising anger among the older generations. If present politicians cannot sense that, then they will be surprised at the ballot box - hopefully.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    1:27pm
    Quite a drum roll.
    Your quote Imagine could be from a couple of our Liberal Party people here. Take your pick.
    Always the same from these posters: follow the official Party line, lest you be disqualified from life membership. They do!
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    2:39pm
    "Imagine", you are one of the few who has spoken some sense on this topic. There are so many comments here that are just total rubbish, from people who don't seem to know $hit from clay nor a rightfully earned pension from a government gift. You will get NOTHING from the government unless you are well and truly entitled to it! There is no such thing as a "free lunch", never has been and never will be, least of all from the government, and yet some of these fools above and below think they are getting something (a pension) FOR NOTHING! Do they (the likes of Bonny, robbo, and others) who are saying they don't need this entitlement give it back to the government or ask to stop receiving their pension? OF COURSE NOT!! These people are foolish hypocrites who say one thing and do another, while trying to impress other people making comments about the same topic. They are probably Sunday Catholics, as well.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    2:50pm
    WELL PLEASE READ THIS FROM 2008. Australian Elderly Pillaged
    http://www.sosnews.org/?p=262

    It concludes:
    The old age pension is not a privilege;
    Is not a right;
    Is not a gift;
    Is not even welfare;
    The Old Age Pension is an asset;
    Owned and accrued by each Australian Citizen who has funded this asset from their very own purse.

    If this is the case why doesn't everyone who has funded this asset get it? That is why it is welfare and only available to some people not everyone.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    3:05pm
    This is exactly what I have said above. Pensioners have funded their own pension! Your article is also EIGHT years old. Exactly what are you TRYING to say? If you think you are not entitled to it OR don't need it do you give it back? No, I think not, and if this is the situation quit canning it as it is hypocritical.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    3:16pm
    Eddie. Hate to disagree but not all get what they are entitled to. You have to consider that at the top you have those with offshore Tax Shelters ripping off taxpayers whilst living the life of Riley on what should be public money. And then you have all the tax deductions for the well off, some of which are very questionable. And then there is the superannuation rorts.
    Not all get what they are entitled to. Some get a lot more...helped by their mates in Canberra. Time for another donation into the reelection fund!
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    3:42pm
    No, mick, I disagree with you. People DO get what they are entitled to, BUT some get MORE because they have used a system which lets them get away with getting more - a legal fiddle or loophole for those who have the money, means, and desire to take advantage of it. I did not mention anything about the right connections or off shore tax shelters, ONLY getting what you are entitled to as a taxpayer who has moved on to be a pensioner.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    4:52pm
    Respectfully Eddie some have organised a system especially for THEMSELVES which average citizens are locked out of. That is both the real crime and the irony of this government coming after those whose earnings are minimal and those who expect taxpayers to pay them a FAIR pension, if required. Knocking an average Joe out because he owns a house worth a bit more is as crooked as a dog's hind leg. It would be palatable if those at the top were not protected. But they are and that is not right. Nothing to do with using the system!
    *Imagine*
    15th Mar 2016
    5:51pm
    Oh Dear Bonny, you just don't get it, and no amount of evidence or compelling argument will turn you. You say "If this is the case why doesn't everyone who has funded this asset get it? That is why it is welfare and only available to some people not everyone."
    Well Bonny the fact is that successive Governments have spent the asset on other wasteful things and the money is no longer there. Consolidated revenue now has to pay. It is not welfare it is Govt. mismanagement of our assets and we need to object.
    I paid into a SA Govt superfund for 35yrs but the SA Govt didn't invest the money, they spent it. They now have to pay us superannuants out of today's consolidated revenue. That is, they are robbing today's taxpayer to fund my retirement. This is a similar situation and you would tell me that I am on welfare? I paid 6% of my wages all my working life to SA Govt. and 7% tax to the Feds. I get no Aus pension but I do as yet get an SA income on which I pay tax and medicare levy. All it needs is a politician to cry foul at us superannuants robbing the SA Govt. and they need to reduce our welfare and people like you would agree. I think that is sad.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    6:19pm
    "Imagine", there are none so blind as those who will not (refuse to) see, and Bonny is one of them, robbo another. Both of them have probably been on the dole all their lives and now have a site where they can be SOMEONE for once in their lives, albeit by being someone else other than whom they are. Neither one of them would know which way is up. The cat would understand more, or maybe Jay Neverwell.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    7:10pm
    As they say only 5 in 100 will be rich enough to fund their retirement without a pension so I guess I am in the minority.

    No I have never been no the dole but was a poor uni student for a few years so know how to live well on very little. Even today I live on less than the pension as I live a simple life on my country estate with my toyboy and house keeper.

    Just took the toyboy across the ditch for a couple of weeks. If you think things are expensive here then food is about 50% more expensive over there. Petrol averages around $1.70 to $1.80 a litre. Loved the weather over there. OK got shaken up a bit by a earthquake when over there but that was just part of the adventure. While over three they installed a new system for their "Centrelink" which failed badly so was the main story on the news. Now I know why they are all over here instead.

    If things keep going the way they are especially with the welfare dependency of so many people in this country it won't be long before we are another third world country where the rich have everything and the poor nothing.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    7:31pm
    Bonny, you are the one who keeps telling everyone that you don't need the pension money, so why complain about the prices in NZ? That place is the "pits" anyway and they only have themselves to blame. Those people want everything for nothing and their wish is the same as it was 40+ years ago - immigrate to Australia and go on the dole. Pathetic!
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    7:43pm
    I'm not complaining about NZ just saying how good things are here in Aussieland. If there was no tourism the whole place would collapse.

    Have you tried to get someone to do a simple job lately? Needed some tiles refixed on a bathroom wall and every tradesman I approached wanted to do a $10,000 job instead. So thought it can't be that hard so watched a few youtube videos and did it myself.

    That is what is wrong with this country no one wants to do the simple jobs because they can't be bothered getting their tools out for small jobs.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    2:35am
    Bonny: it just goes on. I recall in a previous post you talked about going into Centrelink. On the other hand you claim you are self sufficient. Having a bet each way?
    Your post above is total BS. I know more than a little about the trades and the people in them. You can most certainly get a small job done. Many tradesmen advertise specifically for this in the local paper. And for the record and from personal experience you may manage to do a few jobs yourself but people pay to get a job done professionally. Some home handymen butcher jobs and the result is painful to look at. Hope yours worked.
    Rae
    16th Mar 2016
    9:17am
    Bonny if we took your advice then the younger worker would need to draw down equity in a house to pay for childcare as the childcare rebate is welfare too. If renting the amounts would have to be added up to come out of estates decades into the future. It wouldn't work.
    But the mother is making money for business isn't she so that must be different to the used up worker who can be easily robbed and thrown aside now they are no longer earning for the bosses.

    You do realise the very big mistake the Elite made was to allow the middle class to own property. Property and money are power. Can't have pesky ordinaries handing down property to the family and building up wealth. That little strategy is only for the few at the top. Isn't it?

    I gather you must work for one of them as a caretaker on an Estate and understand your loyalty. However my hard earned is going to go to my Family not your employers.

    Do you all claim welfare while living the good life I wonder?
    The housekeeper and the gardener. That way the rich dude that owns the place doesn't have to pay so much. It happens all the time. The taxpayer supporting business workers,cars,luxury travel.

    But let's just attack pensioners.Keep them distracted while the wealthy go on getting richer at everyone else's expense.

    If like me you have simply joined them by using the system and are entirely innocent then I do apologise. In some discussions I agree with your opinions and value them.
    CindyLou
    17th Mar 2016
    6:34pm
    The pension is welfare, provided to folk who have not sufficient money to provide for themselves. No judgment made re this.

    However, one point that irritates me is the position that pension recipients ... 'Australian citizens...funded this from their own purse".

    What about the lazy folk who've rarely worked, the intergenerational unemployed...these folk place the greatest demand on public and other services - ie centrelink alliwances, public housing, police interventions, child protection services, bulk gp billing and health care cards, charity services etc. - Leaners, takers... But when these people turn 65 years of age they get a full aged pension - these people certainly have not funded anything from their own "purse".
    Mike
    15th Mar 2016
    12:25pm
    Everyday I read in the papers some new outrage against seniors. Today its how changes to aged care services are charging over 50% of packages for mandatory administration charges , so helpless and vulnerable people are paying more and getting less. Also with Hockey's changes to Assets tests and new taper rules, more and more pensioners will lose the part pension, and will also lose the $2.50 opal travel card. Hockey also called disabled people rorters, many who are in pain but still carry on, whilst he himself, was rorting the travel allowance for several multiples of $288 a night to pay of his Canberra holiday house. He is currently on a tax free pension of over $350000 a year , plus his tax free salary in the US. He is now intending to sell his Canberra house, which he has boasted that he bought in his wife's name by cheating and lying to the vendor. And he has the gall to call disabled rorters. Then there is Bronwyn Bishop who continually spends , snout in trough, taxpayers money as fast as her greedy little hands can grab it. Then there is Abbott, who spent over $500000 taxpayers money on a vindictive witch hunt on Peter Slipper over a $953 cabcharge fee. At a recent seniors meeting at Newcastle, it was estimated that up to 560000 seniors would be affected by Liberal policies and many former Liberal voters would never vote for them again. I get so angry, every day there are more and more reports of cost cutting affecting seniors and pensioners, less services and higher costs, but the polititions are stuffing their pockets as fast as they can.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    1:30pm
    Just don't forget when you get to the ballot box. Also discuss with friends and family. The current government, like the Howard government, is an abomination for average Australians who have been made (deliberate) target by the rich who own the current government. Why? To take our minds off the issues and to extract money from those who do not have an abundance and then give to their rich election fund benefactors. That's the game.
    Phil1943
    15th Mar 2016
    1:43pm
    Seniors need to organise themselves into a political party and take on the pollies that are crucifying us. At present neither ALP nor LNP offer us much. There's always the Greens but they're not going to be making the big decisions. National Seniors is a start and does some lobbying for seniors but isn't a dedicated political party.
    If no other group stands up for us we'll have to do it ourselves. The consequences of doing nothing will be to lose everything - pension, health cards, OPAL discounts and so forth.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    2:37am
    THAT IS WHAT WE NEED TO KEEP GREEDY AND MALICIOUS GOVERNMENT OFF OUR CASE AND OUT OF OUR BANK ACCOUNTS.
    Try telling that to older Australians who vote like they have for the past 50 years and wonder why they are fair game.
    Anonymous
    18th Mar 2016
    11:25am
    Phil, the Greens were behind the massively unfair changes to the taper rate. I debated it with them extensively and I concluded they are a bunch of IDIOTS who TOTALLY SUPPORT INEQUITY and want to bash the middle class and anyone who planned and saved responsibly while giving nothing more to the genuinely needy and taking nothing from the rich.

    Yes, we need an organized lobby. Sadly, few seem willing to DO anything. I suggested getting a white paper written to submit to the Human Rights Commissioner, copied to Government, and then press releases to the media so we get our arguments heard instead of always the lies and proposals that disadvantage us being listened to. If we can't make ourselves heard, we have no hope.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    12:26pm
    "the wealthiest homes might be included in assets, but most won’t".
    We all need to remember how things start: GST, Enterprise Agreements, Taxes, etc.). They start low with a promise never to increase. And then bit by the rate goes up. Trying it on with GST. Alcohol tax always going up. AND SO THRESHOLDS WILL COME EVERY TIME THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS MONEY.

    "So the suggestions offered by the Actuaries Institute make a lot of sense."
    Actually Kaye I don't believe you mentioned anywhere what these suggestions were. You only identified the the parameters.
    Hasbeen
    15th Mar 2016
    1:01pm
    I agree completely mick. See my post on just this a little further down.
    Rae
    15th Mar 2016
    2:39pm
    mick I do believe the recent changes to pension rules were only grandfathered for the really wealthy. All the rest of the ordinary people are fair game.

    Now they want our houses paid for by doing without for decades.

    Not without one hell of a fight regardless of what green eyed, non home owners say.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    3:18pm
    Australians need to stand up against evil. This government is truly evil and is after the middle class whilst working on tax cuts for the rich. Something very sick in that sort of behaviour.
    We need an election. The sooner the better.
    tams
    15th Mar 2016
    12:30pm
    Should you be able to access wealth from your home without losing the pension.

    The last line is the above article misses the point - you already can. Regular monies from the Pension Loan Scheme or a reverse mortgage are not assessed if the monies are used and not saved
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    1:32pm
    The current government wants us all to sell our homes (brings down prices for the younger generation) and spend the money generated (stimulates the economy) and leave our children NOTHING.
    What is the definition of bastardry and betrayal? I think I know.

    15th Mar 2016
    12:33pm
    As has been pointed out, the family home should be exempt from the assets test for an age pension. Our home is modest on a reasonably standard block but if we were to have it in some areas of the country it would be worth millions. People keep their homes for a myriad of reasons including having somewhere for the family to gather on special occasions and I believe that this should continue.

    I am not a supporter of reverse mortgages but as long as they are set up with responsible lenders there should always be enough equity to ensure that the owners are never evicted. Beneficiaries under the Will are the ones who will be required to satisfy any debts by either selling the home or recasting the loan(s) to repay the debt.

    As I have said in this forum before, the full effects of the compulsory superannuation won't be felt for many years as only those who commenced work after Keating drew up the legislation may be the ones who receive part super and part age pension. To muck about with the age pension is merely chipping at the edges as most ideas of any substance have been tried and legislated.
    Biddy
    15th Mar 2016
    12:48pm
    How can you make money of your home,have you any idea how much it costs us to own and maintain our home,I will give you a example we pat $1300 per year for land rates,then there are water rates which cost a extra $180.00 per year,Electricty cost$1600.00 per year,phone and Internet $300.00 per year,then there is the upkeep painting mowing,and just every day living and this is all out of a lousy pension,then there is the car and running costs another $1000.00 per year,also house and care abundant funeral insurance which I entails another $4000.00 a year so when you add this up we are trying to stay in our home and you state we have the biggest assets ,not likely we also have to feed and clothe ourselves,we are not rich by a long shot,we don't have everyday transport oh no we have to take ourselves shopping and yet we are classed as a drain on the economy,scripts and Doctors appointments just taking care of ourselves would amount to much much more and they want to include our homes as a assets ,we spent years saving for a very moderate home it is not a mansion just a 3bedroom home nothing fancy but it's clean and comfortable the only thing we worked and saved for ,working 2 jobs at a time and gave up our family time together just so we can have a home,we have the stigma of being a pensioner it ain't fairb
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    1:35pm
    Nothing to do with making money. Everything to do with this bad bad government wanting you to spend your money so that it does not have to pay you a pension.
    Hasbeen
    15th Mar 2016
    12:54pm
    First of all actuaries are not non-partisan, they gain their living from the same insurance industries that run superannuation, & SELL annuities. This looks to me like yet another effort for those companies, to get their hands on our homes, our last asset. I would not trust this one bit, as they are sure to have an ulterior motive in this.

    At the same time, securing the family home is doing nothing much for retirees. It does much more for their kids, who stand to inherit much more if the home, & it's value remain intact. Personally I can see absolutely no reason why the tax payer should shore up the future inheritance of generation Y. If only there was some trustworthy way for us to get access to a bit of that wealth it would be great.

    However only a fool would trust the financial institutions. They can see another MARKET in our homes, where they can extract a nice percentage for little more than a few strokes on a keyboard. Then there is government, they can't leave super alone, all that money there for them to grab with yet another change to the laws. Give them some new legal access to the family home, & in a few years they will be ripping off the lot.

    I'll stay in my home owning poverty thanks.

    With all the articles about super, always favourable to the super industry, even if only sideways like this one, one has to wonder if this site is owned by someone in that industry.
    BrianP
    15th Mar 2016
    1:19pm
    Yes, Yes and Yes.

    Well worth pushing for this to change Government policy. And before the Election as an Election issue.
    Patriot
    15th Mar 2016
    1:49pm
    BrianP
    As usual, very little substance to support your opinion.
    "Just WILD Remarks!
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    1:54pm
    Better to change the government.
    Rae
    16th Mar 2016
    9:26am
    BrianP, I am willing to help you sell up your assets and if you then give me your money to manage for a fee of course, I'll guarantee a certain return for as little as 2% commission each year and 20% of any above ordinary returns.

    Yes the idea of all those trillions locked up by pesky old people in housing not making our financial businesses money annoys me too.

    Don't forget the younger people getting government money must be included for equity purposes. Like who will vote for it then.

    Receive any tax dollars and you have to pay it back could be a plan but by goodness I wonder how much Gina would owe by now?
    Phil1943
    15th Mar 2016
    1:22pm
    The SMSF sector is too often overlooked. Our house is a 'bank' for sure and it's even more important because we're too 'rich' to get a pension. The Green Paper at least considers this sort of situation for those wanting to downsize - stamp duty concessions on all property transactions for retirees. It's not only pensioners that need this sort of assistance and other categories of retirees must come into consideration as well.
    Tigers
    15th Mar 2016
    1:27pm
    I knew if I kept reading Id find a sensible comment. Well done Phil.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    1:56pm
    Phil: I think the SMSF gets enough of a free kick.
    The real issue is this LNP government trying to coerce people to sell their homes so that they can leave nothing for the following generation. Pretty evil.
    Sundays
    15th Mar 2016
    1:36pm
    I must have read this article with a cynical view. Unlocking housing wealth, so that people can have a better old age sounds fine. However, it seems a ploy to get more people off the aged pension which the author describes as being for the most disadvantaged. What they really want is to tap into the family home to fund your own retiremention because it's not enough that you saved hard to get it.Well no, I believe in an entitlement to the pension for all. Regardless, we already know that we may have to use the family,home to fund nursing home costs in the future.
    Patriot
    15th Mar 2016
    1:46pm
    Sundays
    Good to see that there are some detectives amongst us who have a healthy suspicion towards those who keep "Doing us wrong".

    I - for one - know that your conclusions are correct!
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    1:58pm
    IT IS A PLOY!!
    Only the feeble minded will buy the official government line. This is an evil government which will long be remembered for what it was and what it tried to do to everyone who is not very well off.
    Shameful. And these ministers call themselves 'servant' of the people? Evil mongrels!
    Sickofit
    15th Mar 2016
    2:10pm
    What absolute garbage. In 1971 I bought a 2 bed unit in Clovelly, on the coast with views to Botany Bay. I paid $21,000. Now it's worth close to $1,000,000. Is it my fault it's now worth that. Maybe we should blame past Government policies which mad coastal properties more appealing and affordable (until recently that is). Pure drival Bonny.

    PS; are you at retirement age?
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    2:26pm
    A lot of jealousy out there. Different for the very rich who abuse the system and are well able to fund their own retirement. Having a nice home is not the determinant.
    Sundays
    15th Mar 2016
    2:26pm
    Well in your case, they obviously mean back trade, and not downsize. This is where I also have a problem because retirees often downsize, but no one likes to back trade and live is a worse area unless there is no other choice, but this is often what those who propose downsizing really mean.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    2:59pm
    So you will have no worries about paying back your pension from your estate.

    Yes I am retired and have been for many years. I am simply not liking what I see happening by people who will do just about anything to get the pension. Why? Because they can.

    I know how I could do the same but is it fair to those struggling that I can do this? I don't think so.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    3:22pm
    Bonny. You troll. Nobody in the real world considers that they should not be entitled to a pension. That is what we have been told for half a century!
    The fact that governments spent OUR RETIREMENT MONEY on stupidity and vanity is not the fault of citizens. It is not now US who should be paying for this. That is what the current government of puppets is trying on.
    Happy cyclist
    15th Mar 2016
    4:32pm
    Mick, please! Bonny is as entitled to her opinion as the rest of us. I don't happen to agree with her logic but that is no reason to be insulting. There have been far too many insulting things said today on this string and if it doesn't stop I won't follow this site anymore -- and you know that would make you sad!
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    4:55pm
    I often apologise if I am coming in too tough but some comments deserve a bit of tough love.
    I hope that I stick to the facts and avoid totally blonde statements which defy reason. My view for what it is worth.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    8:04pm
    Mick I guess I must have been the only one listening for that half century because I believed way back then that when I got to retirement I would have to look after myself as there would not be enough taxpayers available to fund all the baby boomers pensions. That is where the money for your pension is coming from not some deluded motion that it is there because you worked hard and paid your taxes etc.

    Was I right?

    It looks like what we are now seeing is just the beginning of what is to come.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    2:42am
    Whilst I have also prepared for the worst case scenario and am doing ok without any help from the government your observation is not correct. The reason there is no money available has little to do with demographics and everything to do with the avoidance of the tax system by those at the very top. If our governments collected the correct taxes from multinationals and closed ALL of the tax loopholes and Tax Shelters for the rich there would be ample money. As AUstralians we need to understand that the rhetoric is nothing more than BS hiding the truth and that THERE IS PLENTY OF MONEY FOR PENSIONS AND MUCH MORE. The trouble is the rich and their businesses are well funded and will fight any move to tax them like the rest of the population. That is the issue!!!!
    Anonymous
    18th Mar 2016
    11:31am
    Sickofit, I agree it's not your fault your home is now worth $1 million, and you shouldn't suffer for it, but why should you be able to get a pension and leave your $1 million house to your kids when someone with a $175,000 house and $825,000 can't get a pension and has to live off savings? This is where the system is unfair. But the solution IS NOT to simply attack homeowners with more valuable homes. The solution is to totally overhaul the entire pension system which could not be more unfair if someone sat down and tried to write the most unfair system they could dream up.
    Rae
    15th Mar 2016
    2:58pm
    There is no fair and equitable pension policy. We had one years ago but not any more.

    There has not been fairness since 1975 and inequity gets worse month after month.

    Any mention of fairness, equity or sustainability fall into Orwellian newspeak propaganda.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    3:27pm
    Governments: Why be "fair" when you can steal what people have worked their whole lives to reach: owning a house and getting a pension.
    Thieves disguised as MPs!
    ronaldo
    15th Mar 2016
    2:58pm
    Successive governments have not planned to cope with an ageing population. The taxation system should have been used to build up a fund to cope as is the case in UK and other countries. The short parliamentary term and the short sighted need to get re-elected has worked against long term planning. Everybody rich or poor should get a pension commensurate with the years worked and the tax paid regardless of there asset situation and should be capable of still making an income if desired without loss of the pension to make up any lifestyle shortcomings.
    SMMM
    15th Mar 2016
    3:08pm
    Have any of you read, that the reason 60 elected MPs are leaving Parliament, isn't because of Family/health or other reason. It is because the AGE for them to leave, after 6years service at 55yrs and receive up to $1million + $80-$100K a year in Benefits, the REAL reason is they will HAVE to stay until they are 65yrs. Mungrels are going to Fleece the People again. LIKE ME, some who wont be able to RETIRE and GET a PENSION!!!! I don't have and will not have enough to live on.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    3:30pm
    They only need 2 terms and then they get their grubby pension for life. That is why voters should punish them by kicking them out AFTER 1 TERM if they do not perform from day 1 or it is obvious that they are simply puppets following a (bad) Party policy.
    I suspect quite a few Liberal Party sitting members are heading for the exits because they realise that Abbott and Turnbull have gotten too many people offside and better to go rather than be chucked out.
    FM
    15th Mar 2016
    3:27pm
    Yet another proposal for using the family home to reduce aged pension or take it away altogether.
    Australians have one of the lowest levels of income security because it is one of the very few countries that not only does not pay the age pension to which people have made lifetime contributions but that has also not delivered the superannuation benefits that people paid for.
    As we know pension contributions have been made through a scheme introduced by the Chiefly Government (1945) which set up a levy to be used exclusively to finance social security payments and pensions. Opposition Leader Menzies said: “The stigma of charity should be removed from the Age Pension. It should be an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund.”
    By 1950 the balance in the fund was almost 100 million pounds, in today’s money several trillion dollars.
    Prime Minister Whitlam introduced the aged pension for all on the basis of this fund.
    The Fraser Government transferred the balance of the Fund (almost half-a-billion dollars) to Consolidated Revenue and introduced means testing for the pension. The Labor Government (1985) introduced the Income and Asset Tests, thus excluding millions of Australians from receiving the Pensions they had contributed for.
    On the basis of similar schemes all retirees in the UK, Europe, NZ and US receive an aged pension.
    There have been estimates that the trillions of dollars stolen from the fund would be enough to pay a non-means tested pension of more than $500 a week to every Australian retiree. They would not need to sell their houses
    With regard to ‘downsizing’ there is little difference between the cost of apartments and houses. Retirement villages are complex and people defer moving to them as long as possible.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    3:32pm
    It's a game. This government is trying to blame retirees for the ills of the country. Not their bad policies and wasted public money on frivolous pursuits .
    FM
    15th Mar 2016
    3:56pm
    Take this advice, sell your house, get a van and park in Bonny Debbie's driveway!
    A retiree in his late 60s who lost his home to the bank slept for the past three years on a bench at the local wharf like the one Bonny is sitting on. Sadly, he died at Christmas. The underlying idea promoted in this and other smh articles this year seems to be, don't pay seniors a pension, use up their assets, set them up to lose their homes through reverse mortgages. In their latter years they will die off quickly on the streets or in some sub standard accommodation.
    Older people who do not have homes are very vulnerable. Many have to rely on staying with children who resent having them there all the time. They are open to physical and financial abuse of the type this Government and its think tanks keep promoting with their inheritance impatience.
    roy
    15th Mar 2016
    4:23pm
    Vote independent.
    roy
    15th Mar 2016
    4:23pm
    Vote independent.
    roy
    15th Mar 2016
    4:23pm
    Vote independent.
    roy
    15th Mar 2016
    4:23pm
    Vote independent.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    4:57pm
    The above is not from me. Frank or one of his other avatars more than likely. BUt I do agree with the text!
    It would be good if YLC prevented people from using the sign in of other posters. Pretty poor show guys.
    Scrivener
    15th Mar 2016
    3:56pm
    Ready, Fire, Aim.
    Or a magic spell from Harry Potter - Reducto.
    If only all statements could be reduced to mick's pithy 1+1=2 argument. There are many cases that refute this simplification. People's situations change. Many folks who once owned a house have lost it for a range of reasons and are forced to rent - and the rent they pay goes to a landowner who claims tax benefits.
    If only the government owned property and let people's rent go to paying it off - that would solve many of the housing problems Australia now faces.
    We could have bought a house twice over if we were able to use our rent to pay down a mortgage.
    If Centrelink didn't penalise you for trying to save a deposit many people would do that. However, if you build a house deposit in the bank Centrelink will find a way to take it from you. Deatheaters!
    FM
    15th Mar 2016
    4:01pm
    Yes Mick it is a game but they are not only trying to blame retirees they have set them up to be robbed. It is amazing how many people even those who are retirees or soon to be do not see this. Wedge politics is very effective. Some 'holier than thou' people delight in punishing the vulnerable and less fortunate and accept any propaganda put their way.
    roy
    15th Mar 2016
    4:19pm
    Vote independent, you know it makes sense.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    5:00pm
    Above, again, not from me despite that being my sentiment.
    This government is scapegoating retirees as the cause for the current problems. The truth is that this government appears to be in the pockets of multinationals, the rich and their big business interests. Now trying to blame shift so that scrutiny comes off the game plan: TO LOWER TAXES FOR THE RICH. I keep hearing the rhetoric.
    pfbnug
    15th Mar 2016
    4:27pm
    It is a breath of fresh air, but I do not think that anything will happen until politicians are put on the same basis as normal Australians when it comes to pensions. After all, it is our money that funds both!
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    5:01pm
    It won't happen.....until the voters turn to Independents and spit out both sides of politics. The the bastards will come running to fix their rorts.
    pfbnug
    15th Mar 2016
    4:28pm
    It is a breath of fresh air, but I do not think that anything will happen until politicians are put on the same basis as normal Australians when it comes to pensions. After all, it is our money that funds both!
    FM
    15th Mar 2016
    4:31pm
    Yes Mick
    That appears to be what they did recently in Ireland. They elected few members of the major parties and went mainly for small parties and independents. They did this to send a message to the two major parties to go away and come back when they have some policies for people other than ones to look after themselves.
    MICK
    15th Mar 2016
    5:04pm
    Nothing else is going to work. You can NEVER ask criminals to reform if they can take your loot and not have a case to answer.
    Being kicked out is the game changer. Not sure average Australians can get past the nightly News (lies) and get their heads around the game we are in and the SOLUTION to end it. It never ceases to amaze me how easily people are conned by the lying media. Frightening.
    roy
    15th Mar 2016
    9:28pm
    Don't worry about what Ireland does, they only exist because of the money pumped in by the EU, money from the UK ,Germany and France, they are in the main a bunch of drunken losers and I'm Irish descent.
    Golden Oldie
    15th Mar 2016
    5:32pm
    Where does everyone get the idea that the family home is not included in the asset test? If you read the information from Centrelink in their publication, the you will know that over a certain level, where you do not qualifty for a full pension, the level of assets allowed for a part pension is higher for a non home owner, and for the non home owner there is also the possibility of getting a rent allowance on top of the part pension. I sold my house last year, getting a new one built, so currently in rented accomodation. The money from the sale of the house not currently counted for the asset test, but income earned on that money is counted in the income test. Result, I get a rental allowance. When house is finished, asset test will be used, part pension will drop, rent allowance also no longer paid, and will lose part pension completely once the new asset rules come into force in 2017 if not before. From existing super and funds outside super, my income will be substantially less than a full pension, so my working life to make things a bit better than just a pension is all for nought.I will be worse off because I downsized the value of my home, before the changes were legislated. Planning is impossible when the goal posts are always changing.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    7:12pm
    The multimillion dollar house is not well presented at all.
    roy
    15th Mar 2016
    7:46pm
    Vote independent and get rid of jerks like Palachook who has never had a proper job in her life and has had 2 failed marriages by age 40 and she is the "leader" of Queensland so I'm told by friends there.
    Google her, what a loser and ALP to boot, say no more.
    Vote independent for all our sakes.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    8:06pm
    A vote for an independent is just another vote for either of the major parties as that is how our system works.
    Golden Oldie
    15th Mar 2016
    8:36pm
    Just vote for an independant is fine in theory, except that their polocies are not widely known, and thrre is a 95% chance that they will forego their principles because of deals from the major party to get their vote. Even the minor parties cannot be trusted to stick to their ideals, so whst hope has an independant MP or Senator. Blackmail by the LNP to get legislation through the Senate or cause a DD and probably lose your parliamentary job.
    roy
    15th Mar 2016
    9:24pm
    I'm awaiting comments on that loser, failed marriages, never had a job in her life Palachook, where are they. Come on you rusted on QLD ALP's
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    2:44am
    Both of the above comments not from me!
    Rodent
    18th Mar 2016
    8:17am
    Dear Golden Oldie, and others, the following is an extract of a letter I wrote to Christian Porter it may interest you and others. Unfortunately it has an Excel Spreadsheet that has all the data detais, but I cant post this here.

    Of particular concern is the Pension amounts to be paid in Jan 2017 for Non Home Owners COMPARED to Home Owners, both Single and Couples for the SAME asset values. Its very clear that Non Homeowners are very heavily advantaged by these changes , as an example please look at the $550,000 Asset Value line where a Single Home Owner AFTER these changes receives NIL Pension, and a Single Non Home Owner receives a very small increase pa, and a Couple Home Owner has a Pension LOSS of $3400 , while the Couple None Home Owner receives the SAME pension amount.

    And at $850,000 - Asset figure the Non Homeowner Couple , after Jan 2017 will receive approx. $12,500 pa in Pension, and all other Pensioner Types with this Same Asset Figure will receive NIL PENSION!! there is no way that’s fair or equitable, (no matter the number of Pensioners involved).

    The further up the Asset Scales you go the more the anomalies are apparent and the more distortions exist

    The Liberal Govt justified this by saying this – in the Fairer access to a more sustainable pension doc - complete with spelling error the following

    “Pensioners who do not own their own home will also benefit by an increase in their threshold to $200,000 more than homeowner pensioners. This increases the gap between homeowners and non-homeowners thresholds by more than a third, recognizing there higher living costs”.

    Given that almost all the Non Homeowners are entitled to the CRA payment of approx. $128 pfn, this additional Increase in the threshold is excessive in the extreme. There are some additional savings that could be made by further reviewing these changes, specifically the Threshold for Non Home Owner Couples, where the Threshold was increased by $142,000 which is much more in % terms than any other Category
    bartpcb
    15th Mar 2016
    6:46pm
    It's the best so far.
    bartpcb
    15th Mar 2016
    6:49pm
    I don't think 'Bonny' has thought it through.
    roy
    15th Mar 2016
    7:41pm
    I dont fink bonny finks anyfink frew, no wot i meen. I fink that she as a boring life no with i meen and wyl shes on ere she aint down the bowls club on the pokies no wot i keen.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    7:49pm
    I just aint got time for bowls or the pokies. Pokies are for fools as simple maths will tell you that they take a lot more than they give back.

    My life is anything but boring and I sometimes wonder how anyone would have time to have a job. I certainly wouldn't.
    roy
    15th Mar 2016
    9:22pm
    i still fink yu are a idyeeet bonny, no wot i keen cos you fink that everee body has got lots of dough but it aint tru bonny no wot i meen, jus cos sum body as got a big pad to live in dont meen that they is rich no wot i meen bonny so get back to the pokies down the bowls club or the RSL.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    10:02pm
    Mick you are just making yourself out to be an idiot yourself. Especially since I have already told you I don't play pokies or can even see why anyone else is conned into playing them. Yes I know they are good for washing dirty money but I'm not into that either.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    2:45am
    Both of the above comments not from me!
    roy
    16th Mar 2016
    12:11pm
    Bonny, don't take life so seriously, none of us are going to get out alive anyway.
    roy
    16th Mar 2016
    12:11pm
    Bonny, don't take life so seriously, none of us are going to get out alive anyway.

    15th Mar 2016
    7:55pm
    labor mick, stop blaming other persons for your inane statements in these columns, we all know that you love to sound intelligent but we also know you'r not, an example, your preferred expression" troll " used when you run out of your very limited vocabulary, as for the question posed in this survey, I believe that it is time for our assets, including the home are being taken into account as suggested by the actuaries green paper, which by reading the comments of most contributors they forgot to read, easier to attack the government then reading an independent report.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    9:19pm
    heemskerk, "Independent" report commissioned by/for and paid for by whom? If you can answer these two questions you will find more often than not that the word "independent" means next to nothing while the results, recommendations, and payment for them are TOTALLY DEPENDENT upon being exactly what was wanted by who ordered and paid for the report. If you believe otherwise you are truly, and sadly, VERY naive and that is saying stating your condition VERY mildly, and tactfully.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    2:47am
    T=Is that one of your avatars Frank?? I see you posting under my name above.
    You are, as always, a total idiot. Some things never change.
    mareela
    15th Mar 2016
    8:34pm
    Bonny you can't eat a house. According to you it seems all pensioners have to simply sell their home, try and find rental accommodation or a cheaper home to buy which is impossible in Australia currently or live on the street. But hey they will have money in the bank or their pocket to support themselves whilst living out of their car. Good idea Bonny. Then they won't be a drag on the government. Don't know why this government doesn't simply round up all us pensioners, put us on a bus and push it over a cliff. Problem solved.
    LiveItUp
    15th Mar 2016
    10:07pm
    No I don't think that at all.

    It would not surprise me however that if the house was included in the assets test then many of the people who need the pension would be better off whereas those who just arrange their affairs to get it will get caught out. If you own an expensive house then I can't see why your estate can't pay back at least some if not all of the pension you received after your death. House is no longer an asset (any use to you) to you after you die.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    2:50am
    The irony in all of this mareela is that pensioners who sell their house will end up destitute if they live too long. And they will be not be able to leave their children a razoo. The rich do not care because the rich have funded their own retirements and will pass on their wealth to their children. They are happy to see average Australians die in poverty and leave their kin nix. And you wonder why I come down on this immoral cohort.
    Anonymous
    16th Mar 2016
    7:35am
    mareela you got that right pensioners are a drain on society let me drive the bus.
    LiveItUp
    16th Mar 2016
    10:31am
    You are right Mick the rich have funded their retirement and will leave what's left over to their children. However those on a pension with assets want it both ways. They want to keep what they have and not use it for their retirement and double dip using the pension so their children get the lot. Now this is simply not fair at all.
    Rae
    16th Mar 2016
    10:34am
    mick that is the whole idea of Ayn Rand. She was a puppet of the 1%.

    The rich accumulate wealth and the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world is going on right now from the middle class to the very wealthy. What confuses me is that so few see it.

    You only have to look at one graph. The one that compares ordinary wages with productivity gains from 1945 to 2014 to see what happened when there was a fairer share and what has happened since 1975 when the power/wealth grab began.
    Trevine
    15th Mar 2016
    8:47pm
    Bonny you are a load of shit. You want us to sacrifice our little savings we struggled to own our house while the government goes on holidays and helicopter rides with our tax payers money and when they retire take home fabulous pensions for life, and even better they get their pensions as soon as they leave unlike us have to wait till we turn 65 to get that measly pension which they want to take away.
    roy
    15th Mar 2016
    9:18pm
    We need a "bloody" revolution like the French did but this time to get rid of all our pollies as we don't have a royal family in Oz.
    Vive La Australia, marchon mes amis, tout suite, alors enfant de la Australia.
    Also vote independent.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    2:51am
    Once again above comment not from me.
    Also, go a bit easy Trevine........but I certainly agree with your sentiments.
    Anonymous
    16th Mar 2016
    7:45am
    Hey Mick why don"t you change your name somewhat or put a number after it we will all pick up by your comments but it is a little confusing with the other person under your name and if I'm going to comment I want to no who I'm arguing with its more interesting.
    Anonymous
    16th Mar 2016
    7:45am
    Hey Mick why don"t you change your name somewhat or put a number after it we will all pick up by your comments but it is a little confusing with the other person under your name and if I'm going to comment I want to no who I'm arguing with its more interesting.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    9:04am
    Clearly the intention of the poster. Half wits do strange things.
    Trevine
    15th Mar 2016
    8:55pm
    The government is fleecing the people in Australia with their pensions
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    2:52am
    The current government is working the Robin Hood in reverse gear.

    15th Mar 2016
    11:07pm
    just seen fat eddies comments and on realises the stupidity of his comments to these columns, take the language of trevine, if you can't state it in a civil language, don't show us your upbringing, needless to say labor micks comments attempting his or hers knowledge of the french language?, coming from france myself, I have never seen a more butchered attempt of a great language as displayed by labor mick, labor mick it is time for you to go skiing, reading your boasts in regard to the places you visit on your yearly ? skiing trips, it may clear your brains even if I doubt you got any.
    Anonymous
    15th Mar 2016
    11:56pm
    I can well see why you are such a "hit" with all the readers and why you have no friends. You are truly an ignorant and egotistical bring, as most French people are, and no doubt suffer from feelings of inadequence for letting your country down during WWII. This is something YOU will have to live with the rest of your life and it is your own doing. You should be ashamed of your behaviour and your attitude to humanity.
    MICK
    16th Mar 2016
    2:55am
    Eddie is pretty spot on with many of his comments from what I have read.
    The only "idiot" here is you heemskerk....or is it Frank????
    What a lowlife drop kick you are mate.
    roy
    16th Mar 2016
    10:30am
    Pardonut mois mnsewer mais mon français is très rusty maintenant pasque je ne pas practise trop mais je pense je will try harder demain matin, Je will go to école and read mon libres et regarde le Tour, Le grand boucle dans juillet, crikey mon amis.
    I do have a friend working in a white flag factory in France at present so I will ask him to help me improve my French, how's that.
    LiveItUp
    16th Mar 2016
    10:50am
    Agree Mick your French is a bit rusty. Yes I can read French.
    roy
    16th Mar 2016
    11:47am
    Bonny, that is Franglais not French something the French hate, bless them. They tried to have the expression Le Week End banned would you believe and there is the true story of De Gaulle who a few years after the war said, I want all Americans to leave France, some eminent American General at the time said, does that include all the dead ones in Normandy etc? That shut De Gaulle up somewhat as you can imagine.
    DJ
    16th Mar 2016
    10:15am
    Mick, so far you have posted 57 times on this subject matter! That is, over one third of the comments have come from you. Is that record? I'm not sure what conclusion to draw from that, at least not one that I would wish to put into print.
    LiveItUp
    16th Mar 2016
    10:38am
    I agree with that.
    roy
    16th Mar 2016
    11:39am
    DJ, be brave, put it into print, are you man or mouse/
    Anonymous
    16th Mar 2016
    7:28pm
    labor mick, we all know who is the mouse, rat is a better name,, if anybody put this in print you be the first one to complain to lifechoises, and knowing you are an employee of them, any comment against you will be erased very quickly, dj I am amazed your comment is still on this article,
    as for fast? eddie, obliviously you was still a glint in your father's eye during the 2nd world war, many wish it had stayed there, accidents can happen as showed by the the inane, asinine and insipid remarks of this creature, he had to be the dunce of his classroom, that is if he ever went to school, which I have my doubts, fast? eddie at least I can hold my head up high, my medals in Australia and Overseas would put your family to shame.
    FM
    16th Mar 2016
    9:43pm
    To those who posted last you may note that someone is impersonating Mick and responsible for most of the posts. Click on Mick and you can tell the difference.
    Anonymous
    18th Mar 2016
    8:46pm
    pigs may fly
    *Loloften*
    16th Mar 2016
    9:55pm
    Don't believe in Inheritance Tax but def believe in no age pension available to peeps who have approx $2million+ in assets, including their home whilst receiving age pension ensuring all their assets/often 2++ Investment properties (+ cash in Swiss et al bank a/cs) are placed in an almost untouchable Personal Trust fund, as do many Pollies!! Perhaps why it'll never be changed as will affect our greedy Pollies too. We are sadly the 3rd meanest Nation in the OECD re spend on Age Pensions - Green Paper by Actuaries Institute sounds good to me.
    FM
    16th Mar 2016
    10:02pm
    Ireland is just an example of a country that dealt with a party focused on excessive austerity. With regard to their economy are the UK, France and Germany so generous that they give away money to Ireland or does Mick (the troll) believe in Fairy tales. Ireland had a banking crisis because a political party failed to see that a couple of banks were involved in predatory lending. This left the people paying a huge debt which they are doing and have had a 7.5% growth rate for the year. The election results show that they believe a tight economy does not justify a Conservative Government punishing the vulnerable. For as long as whatever coalition that is put together lasts controversial and harsh measures will not be approved.
    *Loloften*
    16th Mar 2016
    10:08pm
    Agree, it's a Fed Election yr!
    MD
    17th Mar 2016
    8:23am
    I give up, before I've even started. SOS, why bother.
    fedup
    17th Mar 2016
    2:46pm
    My parents struggled to put food on the table there was no money left over to SAVE no super funds back then. They eventually owned their own home (very modest to say the least) low wages long hours etc. Their children! low wages one income, children to rear, educate etc no money to send them to uni but now all have good jobs. I will be working until I'm 100 to be able to fund my retirement how many would be willing to do that today. What I object to is the welfare paid to those who have never, will never & most of their children will never contribute to this country who are paid to do nothing yet manage to save to visit the mother country from time to time nobody objects to them getting a pension when they "retire".
    ex PS
    18th Mar 2016
    6:11pm
    What people don;t realise is that home owners are alraedy being penalised for buying their own home. Just get on to the pension websitye and you will see that homeowners are automatically paid less in pensions than non-home owners.
    How many times do you want to penalyse people for showing inntiative?
    Rodent
    19th Mar 2016
    8:40am
    ex PS

    You are correct, but its worse for more details refer my post dated 18/3 @8.17am
    KB
    8th Apr 2016
    1:05pm
    A house is a home for many people, A simple modest home should not be included in an assets tests