Report favours wage hikes over increased super contributions

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Should workers be forced to save more of their weekly wage in order to support themselves in retirement? That is the question being asked by the Grattan Institute in a report released this week.

The think tank is calling for the Government to put the planned increase in compulsory super contributions on hold, in order that wages do not decrease.

In 2015, the institute also highlighted the repercussions of securing higher retirement incomes at the expense of quality of life during working years. The 2015 report, Super Tax Targeting, claimed that the Government proposal to increase compulsory contributions “would support a lifestyle more luxurious than most households experience during their working lives”.

The proposed Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC) increase to 12 per cent would save the economy around $2 billion per year, but the report says that money would be better suited to providing more rent assistance for retirees – mainly single women.

“Single women who are retired and do not own their own home are the group most likely to rely almost solely on the age pension, and are at the greatest risk of poverty in retirement,” says the report.

The report recommends a $500-a-year increase for renting age pensioners, at a total cost of $250 million a year.

Grattan researchers believe that the current SGC rate of 9.5 per cent is enough to support a comfortable retirement.

According to the report: “There is no strong case to raise the superannuation guarantee to 12 per cent, as currently legislated.

“If we project the retirement income for a median-income earner working for 40 years, and account for compulsory super contributions only – in other words, we ignore any voluntary super contributions and savings outside of super – we find that today’s 9.5 per cent Superannuation Guarantee and the Age Pension would provide the average worker with a retirement income equal to 79 per cent of their pre-retirement wage,” the report concludes.

Here’s my take on all this, for what it’s worth.

That’s all well and good for future retirees, but it doesn’t take into account current retirees as well as the 700 Australians retiring each day, including self-employed and casual workers who, combined, have not had the benefit of a lifetime of super contributions. So give credit to half of Grattan’s idea, as helping today’s age pensioners does have some merit.

YourLifeChoices own Retirement Affordability Index shows that the biggest fear for 80 per cent of today’s retirees is that they will run out of money before they die.

At least 15 per cent of retirees are renters, so it goes without saying that more rent assistance would be beneficial. But is this just a Bandaid solution, when increasing super to 12 per cent, as originally legislated, would ultimately address the concerns of older Australians outliving their savings?

Over 70 per cent of retirees rely on the Age Pension as their largest source of income, with fewer than 30 per cent saying that private income is their largest source of retirement funds.

At first glance, this may seem a promising result; however, when asked what is their standard of living in retirement, over 60 per cent said it is “about what they thought it would be”, with 21 per cent saying it was “worse than they thought” and only 13 per cent saying it was “better than they thought”.

So clearly, more retirees could have been better served by having more super contributions earlier and at a higher rate.

On the other hand, if the Government were to scrap its planned increases, maybe a better way to use any money derived from capping super contributions, aside from rent assistance, would be to increase the Age Pension, considering that a whopping 76 per cent of older Australians feel that the cost of living is rising faster than inflation – which is currently used to gauge Age Pension increases.

At the very least, the Government now has more food for thought.

Read more at www.grattan.edu.au

Do you think this is a good idea? Would you be happy to have less forced savings in order to support renting age pensioners? Is the Grattan Institute still missing the point on super?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

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

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107 Comments

Total Comments: 107
  1. 0
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    I am going to be rubbished for this but, I reckon the Newstart should be increased the the OAP rate and the OAP reduced to the current Newstart benefit rate.

    Reason being that when younger people lose their jobs, many of them have families to support, are paying mortgages and their costs of living are often the highest they’ll ever be. A temporary stint on Newstart for a working taxpayer could be catastrophic if they have difficulty getting another job quickly, which is why I think the higher rate would be better spent here. There are only about 1/3 the people collecting Newstart as there are on pensions so it would not only be a humanitarian act but would cost a whole lot less for the tax payers.

    OA Pensioners, on the other hand usually live in one or two person households, not normally with dependents and most likely don’t have the burden of mortgage, car payments, child related expenses and the need to run a car or take public transport to travel to interviews etc. Their expenses overall would have to be lower than that of a people in their prime.

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      OK East of Toowoomba, no merit in that as far as I am concerned. My preference is to stop pushing up the retirement age, in fact bring it down, so that older people can retire when they feel ready (sometimes due to physical reasons) and younger people then get the jobs that have been freed up by older people retiring.
      You are right, of course, that younger people often have families, – they also get huge welfare “extras” in child benefits (that many of us didn’t get when we had children!) On the other hand, older people often have more health expenses and are more likely to maintain their private health insurance for that reason… a huge expense for anyone whose sole income is the age pension (and there are many of us!)
      By encouraging older people to retire sooner on a pension if necessary, and thus freeing up jobs for younger people, the whole economy benefits because younger people and families are the ones who need to and will then spend money on homes, cars, furniture, eating out etc. Older people still eat out, maybe buy a new car, have a holiday, so they too are contributing to the economy.
      That sounds more like a Win/Win situation to me.

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      I’m with you Dancer. I think the most sensible reform this government can implement in our current economic environment is to make retirement more appealing for everyone, and more accessible for those who need to retire (due to poor health, physical strain in jobs they are too old to do, etc.)

      If retirement were accessible and something to look forward to, younger folk would have far greater incentives to be productive.

      To make retirement more appealing, remove the cruel asset limits that punish people for saving, increase the base level of the pension to recognize cost of living increases, and, as you say, lower the retirement age.

      As for super – STOP the stupidly extravagant and uneconomical tax concessions to high income earners. Levy tax on contributions at 20% LESS than the employee’s marginal tax rate, rather than a flat 15%, and give lower income earners a substantial tax contribution to their fund so that they accrue retirement savings. Cut out all tax concessions on contributions above the minimum contribution for an average wage earner.

      The 9.5% rate is fine for those who earn a healthy income, but it’s nowhere near enough for low income earners or those who suffer extensive periods out of the workforce. If we stopped handing out to the wealthy and structured the system to help the strugglers and encourage the strivers, we might restore economic health. Sadly, greed rules. The rich will NEVER do what’s good for the nation.

      Of course there’s no hope with this current mob of idiots running the asylum. The Minister for Social Security apparently replied to a question about the appropriate deeming rate for aged pensioners by saying ”We are all about getting people into to work”. And to a question about cutting the bereavement allowance for widows, he said ”It’s funny…”

  2. 0
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    No – age pension should not be increased but it should be made universal

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      Yes I can’t help but agree with that Raphael. Once you hit that magic number everyone should get it.

    • 0
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      Fully agree. As soon as you are 65 in Australia you will be burdened with a lot of Centrelink paperwork and drama. Something that most people would have never experienced in their life. Not even talking about the threatening letters. (If you don’t do this we may stop your pension). Older people don’t need all this and it is rightout nasty from the government. They obviously don’t do it to themselves. Therefore universal aged pensions without questions asked.

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      There are enough minerals in the ground in Australia to make every man woman and child a millionaire, the only thing stopping us is mismanagement by government. If OAP was paid as of right when we turn 65 we could do away with multi storey Centrelink offices and the people that not only work in them but also those that are forced to frequent them with cap in hand. People that work in them are then free to play golf go fishing or take up some other activity like seek employment that they may even enjoy. If New Zealand can afford to pay as at 65 then so should we, and they are our poor relations

    • 0
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      Yes I agree.

      Also I agree with almost a grey hair. We had a chance to own all our resources and would be incredibly wealthy now. The LNP stuffed that idea up and so should be made to figure out how to pay a universal aged pension.

    • 0
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      I agree with almost a grey hair too, but i also think that Newstart should be raised.

    • 0
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      I think most here are in agreement with that sensible proposal, but don’t hold your breath folks. They will give $65 billion to wealthy corporations that enjoyed a profit increase of 20% last year and increased wages by 2%, claiming their gift will ”trickle down” (like the profit increase DIDN’T) but when it comes to paying pensions, the country is broke.

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      The trickle down is a joke, it can only trickle up, if people spend more. Most people are spending less or going into more debt. I wish I could support my local businesses more but even the newsagent was aware I had to give up my favourite magazine, that is a luxury now. I have many other things I gave up, so I spend less, I am sure other’s are doing the same. When are the wealthy going to be happy? When it all goes bust?

  3. 0
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    No Aged Pensioners that rent, should not have their rent allowance reduced. They are at the poor end of the spectrum of Aged Pensions. I think politicians’ pensions should be reduced to the same level as ours. It should be means tested too. Our politicians live much longer than the rest of us and are a burden to our deficits. It sickens me too when they also work in high salary positions while collecting their pensions. This is so unfair. Those savings could go toward all areas that lack funding.

  4. 0
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    The huge trouble with the likes of Grattan Institute is that none of them have first hand experience at being poor, homeless, destitute or just plain old age pensioners with or without their own home of residence. Whether you own a home or are renting the outgoings for the home owner OAP are greater than the OAP with rent assistance. If the OAP is increased by the level of the rent assistance amount then all OAP will be on the same level.

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    Rent allowance for pensioners should be increased but an allowance given to pensioners who own their home towards the cost of insurance ( providing they have it) and maintenance and repairs. A lot of house owning pensioners live alone and so do not have anyone to share living costs with, and also pay tradesmen to perform any repairs needed. A lot of young people on Newstart share a house but they each receive the maximum rent allowance which at times covers the entire rent. Living costs are also divided unlike single pensioners.

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      Nothing is stopping aged pensioners from house sharing. It would be a good idea.

    • 0
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      I’ve suggested this before and got a very negative response.

    • 0
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      My mother would never have shared a home, despite being very hard up. She valued her privacy and independence. So do I. I really don’t think most older people want to have to change their ways to accommodate a housemate. It’s very different for the young. They haven’t yet become as set in their ways and as protective of their privacy.

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      Rainey When you don’t have money you don’t have choices. Bad luck get used to it. Hard choices have to be made and as usual woman can’t make them.

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      That’s true, Tib. I’m thankful I do have choices. My mother was lucky to be able to get by on very little and chose to do that rather than compromise her independence and privacy.

      I guess the question for society, and the government, is ”to what extent do we, as a society, have an obligation to support the aged to achieve a lifestyle they consider acceptable?”

      At present, it seems the general consensus is that we are obliged to provide generously for those who have little or nothing, regardless of whether there circumstances are due to genuine disadvantage, bludging, wasteful spending, or manipulation to appear to have little. But those who worked their guts out and went without extensively and now are honest about having modest means should be made to pay the cost, even if it leaves them with a lesser lifestyle than those they are supporting.

      Personally, I think society owes the aged a universal pension that is adequate for the majority to choose to live alone if they so desire, but in basic accommodation and by being reasonably frugal.

      If it were up to me, I would add a provision that those who could evidence suffering significant disadvantage – eg. injury in work accident that wasn’t adequately compensated; work-induced illness; growing up in an orphanage; being born with or suffering accident or illness very early in life that caused significant disability; etc. – and suffering very low income or extended periods of no income as a direct result – would be given an additional allowance. Those who had little or nothing as a result of their lifestyle choices would get sustenance only. Almost impossible to implement, I guess, but it’s how it should be.

      I don’t think what you now have should be in any way a criteria for determining entitlements – but rather how you came to be where you are. If you did okay despite major disadvantage, you deserve to enjoy the good life.

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      Rainey Tib is right here.

      I grew up in a Boarding House and with a few rules and a lot of legal protections from tenancy agreements set up properly it was quite okay.

      Something about beggars not being choosers.

      The majority have voted for a semi fascist government to destroy union power and establish the Corporate State so no whining about it when it comes.

      Wait until Serco takes over Centrelink and rolls out those welfare cards to everyone. Big money to be made processing those cards.

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      Oh yes. We should all be uniting to demand those cards be abolished. They are a recipe for social disaster. They may help the occasional undisciplined welfare recipient, but they should NEVER be allowed to be allocated across a community, much less the society.

    • 0
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      I find it hard to believe that rental assistance covers the rent, it is pathetic and has not increased for who knows how long, whilst rents just keep going up and up.

    • 0
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      I will gladly accept the welfare card. Same arguments now against welfare card there was against welfare being deposited in bank accounts instead of welfare cheques. No one seem to have any problem with welfare going into bank accounts these days.

    • 0
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      There have been many problems with the welfare card, it has not worked in areas where it has been trialed. I for one, do not want to be dictated where I spend my money, it may limit online shopping where I get my bulk dry goods. Many places will not accept it.

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      Not problem online as it will be that as long as you don’t buy goods not allowed using the welfare card then no problem using it at all.

    • 0
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      What happens if I want to save some of the money? I am still not convinced it is a good idea, mainly because someone is going to make money from making them and also it will cost the Government too much. Also it puts a stigma on people on welfare, they have to carry a card that says ‘welfare card’. People will judge everyone the same.

    • 0
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      And also how do I buy secondhand items to save money when I need something for the house or a bike for my son for example, everyone wants cash.

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      The stigma is a major problem, musicveg, and will cause enormous social harm. But also, you are right, the system will heavily disadvantage the more responsible strugglers, preventing them buying used items and obstructing their ability to save for medium to long term life goals.

      I would never have risen above poverty if I’d been forced to use a welfare card. It would have wiped my family out – emotionally, psychologically, and practically. We’d have been without hope and without the self-respect that drove us to strive so hard to escape our circumstances.

      It’s an appallingly BAD idea that is hugely expensive and unfairly profitable to the organization(s) behind it, and downright cruel to the disadvantaged.

      I would support the notion if it were restricted to only those individuals who had repeatedly demonstrated incapacity to manage their finances appropriately. It should NEVER be considered for a community or sector of society.

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      The welfare card is the ”ace card” being played by the ”keep them down” brigade. It’s the ultimate weapon for ensuring the disadvantaged stay that way, and can never raise themselves up.

    • 0
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      Yes I suspected that OnlyGenuineRainey, it really is another nail in the coffin for those who struggle already. Their only other option would resort to crime, which I think I may have heard that in those areas that got the welfare card trials the crime went up.

  6. 0
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    If a worker pays 9.5 % or 12% for superannuation to fund his retirement surely that has nothing to do with what the government provides for rental support. It’s his money. But what it does do is make it less likely that he has to keep working till he’s dead. But most women who either don’t work or only work part time will find their situation won’t improve after all 12% of almost nothing isn’t much so rental assistance is still an issue and always will be. So ladies the only thing that will solve your situation is get a job and never stop working that’s real equality.

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      It has been stated for many years now that a person needs to put 15% of their earnings into super for a decent retirement so 9.5% is way under what is actually required.

    • 0
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      OG I agree but I think the government wants to keep us working till we are dead

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      Please get it right Tib, no worker pays the Super Guarantee Charge be it 9.5% or 12% or whatever, it is the employer who pays it. It is viewed in some quarters as a tax on employment similar to payroll tax, and is paid irrespective of the financial standing of the employer. Whether it is a good thing or otherwise I will let others pontificate. As for the Grattan Institute, i give them no credibility at all.

    • 0
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      The employer also pays salaries it doesn’t mean the salary belongs to him. Superannuation belongs to the employee it is part of his employment conditions no matter how you or the Grattan institute want to present it. It is payed by the employer because if it was left up to the employee it would never make it into superannuation and the government wants to make sure they don’t pay AOP. But the superannuation belongs to the employee or am I living on my ex employer good nature. So get it right Eddy, unless I’m under the false impression that I am spending my money.

    • 0
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      Super is paid by the employer into a fund. The employee owns that money but can’t access it until he meets condition of release.

      Biggest problem today is that a lot of employers think they can get away with not paying it. I am forever chasing up on super for people.

    • 0
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      OG yes I’ve known a few people cheated by their employer out of their super. They never did get the money.

    • 0
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      ATO now have an online form to fill in and they follow up the unpaid super.

    • 0
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      Problem is they pretent to be broke and transfer the ownership of the business. They also threaten employees if they complain. Many of these people can’t afford to be unemployed. Some of these business owners are the lowest form of life.

    • 0
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      Agree I know of one employee who was sacked because they asked where there super was going. They were referred to me to help them sort it out. So far we have got $20 of the thousands owed but we wont give up.

    • 0
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      Eddy you are very wrong. It is paid from wages or salary. They should have let workers pay in into funds themselves but they don’t trust you to do that. I’ve employed workers and taken their 9.5% out and directed it into super funds.

      Only PAYG have the employer do the task for the,. The self employed have to do it themselves or not as they choose.

      Some employers are stealing their employees wages by keeping that 9.5%.

      The defined benefit superannuation is paid after tax though and is deposited as a contribution which shows up fortnightly on pay slips. These people don’t get the tax concessions or the super guarantee so their contributions can be much higher that 9.5% of wages as it is based on units bought based on the income at the time.

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      Although people are envious of defined benefit workers most really wouldn’t want to pay the $700 or so after tax contributions each fortnight out of their pay.

      The 2015 budget actually wiped out the concessions that were received after retirement instead of the tax concessions other workers get while working and contributing.

      Until you have the facts it’s hard to really work things out.

  7. 0
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    WE tend to forget that compulsory superannuation is only around 20 years old and very many of today’s age pensioners who were on average wages when they were employed, would not have accumulated anywhere near what is deemed to be “needed” for a comfortable retirement. Let’s learn from that and do as suggested to significantly increase the percentage payable for compulsory super, now.
    Now, as we know, the employer pays that and it would be FAR better in the long run for those employees to “receive” a sizeable increase in the employers’ compulsory contribution to their super than the employee receiving all of any wage rise. It would be a win/win/win situation drawn over the working life of the employee.
    Evidence PROVES that the vast majority of everyday household income today is spent in its entirety, with another 100% equivalent spent on credit. The less given to most wage earners, from today’s evidence, the less they will be tempted to buy things that they CAN’T AFFORD!!!
    Who is to blame when a first home buyer couple “beats” a group of investors at a house auction?? Think about it. Would have paid substantially more than the true market value and would then have years of mortgage “stress” to keep them awake at night and probably at each other’s throats!!
    Increasing rent assistance would end up where every other government “assistance” is given that affects the commercial market. Yes, into the pockets of the landlords!!!
    Increase Newstart would be a gross disincentive when you take EVERY Newstart applicant into consideration. The “bludgers” and there ARE very many of them, would just have more to spend, but would stuff it up for the genuine ones. Sad, but, that’s what DOES happen.

    If the government is to give any additional payments, it should ONLY be to those age pensioners who do not own their home and receive the FULL pension. They are living well below the poverty line and that is totally unacceptable for a country as wealthy as Australia.
    Home owner age pensioners, unlike the non-home owners, have that enormous luxury , especially with today’s highly artificially inflated prices, to capitalize on their equity in that asset, through many avenues, even without leaving that home, and raising their standard of living immeasurably.
    Non home owners with minimal assets do not have any such recourse. And the economy would benefit greatly, as you can just about guarantee that all of that increase would be spent on basic living expenses.

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      You don’t live in the real world do you Grateful?

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      Nope. Grateful lives in a world where workers and savers are supposed to hand over everything they have to bludgers, over-spenders, and the minority of genuinely disadvantage. Grateful has no idea how some homeowners struggle with rates, insurance and maintenance costs – much less how some who receive no pension or benefits struggle on incomes of HALF the pension, trying to avoid draining their hard-won savings because they anticipate a heavy expense at some future time.

      Why do some not own a home? A minority can point to genuine disadvantage. Vast numbers were just wasteful, or didn’t want to commit half their wage to mortgage payments when interest rates were 18%. But now Grateful wants to hand out to all those who were irresponsible, and shun those whose struggle helped the nation prosper (for a while, at least).

      I agree with raising the pension, but NOT rent assistance. Many renters are better off than home owners. Build more public housing. Implement more programs to provide affordable housing. Handing out rent assistance is not a fair or appropriate way of dealing with need, because some renters are quite well off. I know quite a few who put their home in a relative’s name and pay rent just to get the assistance. A relative built a grand home with a separate wing attached for her boyfriend, and charges him rent so he can get rent assistance to help pay rates for a waterfront mansion. They are actually living as a couple and sharing expenses, but by charging him rent – and, incidentally, fraudulently claiming disability and naming him as her ”carer”, they pull a very generous income between them from Centrelink. Disability pension – with all the fringe benefits; carer allowance; carer benefit; rent assistance. They are WAY WAY WAY better off than the homeowner couple next door to me who are struggling to pay full price for everything on an income well under aged pension level. Oh, but they should just use their savings until they are all gone, while those who DIDN’T BOTHER TO SAVE or manipulated to cheat the system are handed $1 million in taxpayer dollars over the term of their retirement.

      When everybody decides working and saving is futile, maybe people will WAKE UP that it’s NOT SMART to encourage people to rely on handouts.

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      Grateful the median wage of over half the working people is less that $42000 a year.

      Until something gives to allow workers wages to finally rise taking more from them now for some golden vision of the future won’t work.

      We have a situation where a family does better with a public house and welfare for life than the average worker and that is not going to have good consequences.

      The Liberals will outsource to Serco.

      Also we are no longer a wealthy country as our wage base has been deflated, our tax base collapsed and almost all our public revenue raising assets sold off to foreign owners.

      LNP voters wanted the Corporate State and are very close to achieving it finally.

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      O.G.R. You have absolutely NO idea what Grateful’s circumstances are, but you can be absolutely assured that those words most certainly come from personal experience. Be much better if you stuck to the topic and avoided highly incorrect subjective criticism of individual posters of whom you have absolutely no knowledge of their personal current and past circumstances.

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      No Grateful, I don’t know your circumstances and you don’t know mine, or anyone else’s. I was responding to your assumption that homeowners are all well off compared to renters – WRONG! And that assistance should be limited to those who don’t own a home and have nothing.

      Regardless of your ”circumstances”, or the reason for them – and if you have faced major challenges, I sympathize deeply – the fact is that your post actively supported the view that savers and strugglers who fought hard to acquire a home, with great sacrifice, should now suffer penalty in order to hand out to those who – for whatever reason – and often due to irresponsible lifestyle – have less.

      I’m not for an instant suggesting your needs aren’t genuine, nor that they are due to irresponsible lifestyle. They may well be the result of major life challenges. But your post reflects disregard or ignorance of the huge costs of home ownership and the hardship those costs can impose, and of the comparatively favourable circumstances of SOME renters. And it reflects a common attitude that savers should be deprived so that non-savers can get bigger handouts.

      Need is not easily assessed, and BigBear’s posts demonstrate vividly how it can be wrongly determined, and how many manipulate to deceptively create the appearance of need. I object strongly to the notion that taxpayers should hand out based on the appearance of need, and should constantly take from those whose needs were reduced by their own significant endeavours.

      People who work hard and save well HAVE AN ENTITLEMENT to enjoy the living standard they worked so hard for, and while I agree wholeheartedly with the concept that the disadvantaged should be adequately supported, I do not agree with taking from people who someone PERCEIVES to be either not needy or not deserving, merely because they worked hard to try to avoid being heavily dependant on taxpayers.

      I apologize if my post offended, but I based my assessment of your view of the world solely on what you said. It has nothing to do with your circumstances or how they arose. I took issue with your EXPRESSED OPINION, which was – incidentally – offensive to me, since I am among those homeowners who had an incredible struggle and made massive sacrifices to own a home, and now face untenable costs of ownership that will ultimately result in me having to sell it and downsize substantially and move to a much less appealing area, while if I hadn’t bought it, I could have lived the high life and be now taking government handouts, enjoying a vastly improved quality of life. Sorry, but your assumptions about ”luxury” are incorrect and offensive.

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      Grateful, I think the biggest single reason why retirees are not getting any traction demanding a better deal is that they are fractured and competing.

      If we all STOPPED presuming that X is getting a better deal than Y and demanding favours for one sector or another and united to demand a better deal for all, we might get somewhere. This ”I’m needier than you” mentality is the government’s very best defence against a demand for reform of retirement incomes. Divide and conquer works every time, and they don’t have to divide the senior population. The ”I’m needier” and ”I’m more deserving” and ”I’m envious” attitudes are keeping the divisions strong.

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    Please try to live in the real world O.G.but being a Liberal troll that would be hard for you.

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    This is supposed to be about age pension and nothing else right?

    I only know that rental assistance is not intended to pay a persons rent and is well below the basic needs of the 2018 pensioner. It is rent “assistance” and only that.

    Its too complicated for me, but if people are not sure what something is going to do, then they should leave it alone.

    I think that planners should be paid to do nothing all day and only used when necessary, because that is far cheaper than reversing the mess they made, while justifying their existence.

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    There should be a universal age pension for all, regardless of income and or assets. It’s simple really, because the taxation system will get much of it back for the government, and just as importantly, the extra spending money will be good for our economy.
    England has a universal pension, so why not Australia.
    The politiicians look after themselves, and it’s time they looked after us, and if they dont, they’ll get booted out at the next election.
    If Labor promises a universal age pension, they will romp it in at the next election, but not with Shorten at the helm..They must get rid of him, and replace him with Tony Burke.

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      Agree, thommo, except your comment about Labor. Also, Age Pension should by increased by 25%. We need the following:
      a. Change it to Universal Pension for all (say with min 15 years Residence) without any Asset Tests but actual total Income taxed.
      b. Implement a Minimum Tax system to ensure all companies and the rich pay a reasonable share of taxes and not Nil or negligible taxes. We will then have no shortage of funding.

      I would vote for any party which can adopt such policies – can’t see Labor (without “U”) who refused to reverse the Asset Test changes doing anything as bold as this. Chris Bowen helped the Liberals to win by refusing to assist part-pensioners.
      In the absence of such a party, my recommendation is for all to vote out all current sitting members (especially of Liberal, Labor or Greens) by putting them last in preferences – maybe that will create some fresh thinking by getting rid of these leeches who look after themselves only.

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      I can already hear the up roar from those over 60 who pay no tax on their income from super. Then again they will just grandfather it and all will be happy like they did when they bought in that super was to counted in the assets test. Those already on the OAP who had super in the pension phase at the time do not have their super counted as part of the asset test. I thought this was wrong as anyone below retirement age who had their super in the pension phase should also have had their super grandfathered from the asset test.

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      You nailed it George. I agree with both (a) and (b). But they also need to fix the ridiculous superannuation tax concessions that are dumping huge loads of cash into the accounts of the wealthy and giving the battlers little or nothing.

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      so OAPs will have no income processing assets but lifestyle ones instead. Companies will only pay the bare minimum required after they divert their sales through many overseas companies so they have little income left to pay tax on.

      Awesome idea. Got any more of these?

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      That’s EXACTLY how it is now, OG, and elsewhere in the world, cutting taxes made it worse!

      Conversely, in the 60s, taxes were relatively high for higher income earners and life was great. Everyone enjoyed a fair go.

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