Age Pension: qualifying age increase still on the cards

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As YourLifeChoices reported from the Budget Media Lock Up almost three weeks ago, there is one measure of zombie legislation that the Government has chosen not to dump – and it’s one that concerns all of us.

Discussion on raising the Age Pension qualifying age to 70 had gone relatively quiet. But this measure survived the dump of zombie legislation announced as part of Budget 2017. This is largely due to the fact that the Government still believes it can pass this measure and because, as it is not due to commence until 2025, it is not included in the four-year Budget forward estimates. However, Parliamentary Budget Officer Phil Bowen confirmed in Thursday’s Senate estimates hearing that the legislation is indeed still on the table.

Announcing the measure prior to his largely unpopular Budget in 2014, then treasurer Joe Hockey said, “What we are going to do is to deliver a fairer system for the aged pension that is going to focus on the sustainability of the system with a reasonable quality of life. The aged pension expenditure today is currently more than we spend on defence.

“It’s rising to $72 billion rapidly, that’s over six per cent growth. One of the reasons why is because we’re ageing … but the pension kicks in currently at 65. When Labor increased it to 67 by 2023 we gave them bipartisan support. When we introduce legislation to increase it to 70 by July 2035,  … we expect that there will be bipartisan support.

“The aged pension needs to be a safety net by 2035, not a cargo net.”

As you can imagine, bipartisan support was not forthcoming and Labor has continually pushed to have the measure scrapped. In February this year when it was apparent that certain zombie measures would be dropped, Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services Jenny Macklin stated, “Labor has strongly opposed the planned increase to the pension age to 70 since it was first proposed in the horror 2014 budget,” she said. “How does Mr Turnbull expect construction workers, nurses and farmers to work until they’re 70? He’s completely out of touch. “The changes unfairly hurt Australians living in regional and remote Australia, where life expectancy is lower.”

However, deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce defended the Government’s stance when asked on ABC’s AM program, also in February if the measure would be dropped. “We have our policy but we are negotiating with the Senate as we always do,” Mr Joyce responded.

Opinion: Working to 70 only half the Age Pension problem

Labor has once again stepped up its push to stop the increase of the Age Pension qualifying age to 70, with an online petition doing the rounds.

The policy, if passed, would mean that all Australians born after 1 January 1966 will have to wait until 70 to claim an Age Pension. Labor claims that this will result in Australia having the oldest pension age in the developed world. While this may be true based on current worldwide pension qualifying ages, it doesn’t account for other countries making a similar move. The USA and Denmark have plans in place to increase the pension qualifying age to 67 and Iceland has had a pension qualifying age of 67 since 1958.

Working to 70 may well be the way of the future, as trends would suggest, however, if the Government expects people to work until 70 before they can claim an Age Pension, then surely they must give those who are physically unable to do so an alternative? Perhaps decent superannuation savings as defined by the Superannuation Guarantee Bill of 1992.

The unions push for a portable superannuation scheme, similar to that which was already afforded to civil servants and the professional classes, actually began in the late 1960s. However, it wasn’t until 1992 that the then Keating government brokered a deal with the unions to forgo annual wage or salary increases to allow for the first employer superannuation guarantee contributions (SGC) to be paid at a rate of 2.5 per cent. The plan was that the SGC would rise to nine per cent and then 15 per cent, ultimately reducing the reliance on the Age Pension as a form of income in retirement.

Keating Government, Treasurer, John Dawkins stated: “The increased self-provision for retirement will permit a higher standard of living in retirement than if we continued to rely on the Age Pension alone. The increased self-provision will also enable future Commonwealth governments to improve the retirement conditions for those Australians who were unable to fund adequately their own retirement incomes.” (Superannuation Guarantee Bill 1992).

Sadly, this hasn’t eventuated as planned. Some 25 years after the Bill was introduced, we are stuck with an SGC of 9.5 per cent. The then Labor Government had planned to increase the SGC from nine per cent in 2013 to 12 per cent by 2019. The increase was subsequently frozen by the Coalition Government in 2014 at 9.5 per cent, where it will stay until June 2021. It will, if not frozen further, increase to 12 per cent by 2025 – still some three per cent short of where it should be.

It is time for the Government to decide whether it really is committed to reducing the reliance on the Age Pension as a form of income in retirement. Simply taking it off those who need, without a Plan B, isn’t good enough.

What do you think? Would you support an increase in the Age Pension qualifying age for those born after 1 January 1966 if the SGC was increased to a sufficient level? Or is it simply ridiculous to ask anyone to work until 70?

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Written by Debbie McTaggart

217 Comments

Total Comments: 217
  1. 0
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    Well, I am a bit long in the tooth to be caught by this change but…that has never stopped me commenting before.

    Why not?

    It is true that some are worn out by that age though at seventy, most are still fresh and useful. Most having reached that age will live a good 15 years longer, many 20 or 30 years longer.

    There are plenty of useful things you can do other than working but an aim to enjoy your work and to be able to do those other things throughout your life would have to be preferable.

    If your wealth puts you into a position where you do not have to work to live as you otherwise choose fine. For the rest of us, where do we get off thinking that our children either directly or through taxes should be supporting us in years when we can usefully contribute?

    Some will say that they have been paying taxes all their lives and deserve it. Rubbish, as a community we seek to ensure that those who cannot reasonably work do not starve on the streets, go cold or wet or are without access to information. For the rest of us our taxes go to support the infrastructure that we, as a community put in place. That I may think that a terribly wastefully assembled even poorly directed infrastructure does not relieve me of the responsibility that as voters we all hold.

    For now, moving to 70 is sensible. We do need to keep an eye on our physical and metal health and lifespan which has been improving gradually since 1788. As that increases we should expect to move beyond 70.

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      Sad response JAID.
      Firstly we all paid for the retirement of our parents. Now it is our turn!
      Secondly you clearly were never a bricklayer, roofer, concretor manual worker, teacher, policeman, etc. These are jobs of high physical demands and people in their 60s cannot sustain this work for an 8 hour day, if indeed at all. Jobs involving high levels of stress are in the same basket.
      All I can say is you must have had a light office job or not worked at all to make such a comment. Sure retirees can still contribute but ‘working’ past a certain age misses the point of being incapable and having a few years of retirement before we all kick the bucket. In case you are unaware human beings are not machines and our wealthy masters should not expect to drain every drop of blood before we pass on.

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      mick
      totally agree, i had a reasonably comfortable job however, it was in a extremely high stress volitile environment dealing with the worst of society, it wasnt my job that was the issue it was that two years ago it was taking me close of 2hrs driving each way, i hate to think how long it would take now and spending most of my day in pain from child birth related injuries. i retired early and lived of my super, until i reached pension age. it got to the stage where i was suicidal, dealing with inmates who were on a disability or carers pension that were so much fitter and healthier than most of the staff.

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      I do agree that some are worn out before 70 Mick (as noted above) and provision must be made for those but the trend is for longer active lives and I see no reason why retirement time should not keep step.

      BTW, you are correct, despite a lifetime working at least half as many hours again as anybody I know, those of my family who had truly demanding jobs do need to finish earlier. Professionals may carry significant responsibility but if you maintain optimism and happiness this does not wear down the body as heavy manual labour does. These days those wearing jobs are few however. Some farmers and as you say bricklayers and concretors but teachers? working less than 2/3rds the hours of anybody else with immaculate pay, conditions and lavish holidays? You have been heeding too much of their overpaid whinging.

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      What about those working in the manual trades – carpet layer, chippie, brickie, truck driver, just to name a few? How on earth are these supposed to work until they’re 70?

      Take carpet layer’s knees, for example. They aren’t going to last until they’re 70!

      Chippies – having to hold your arms above your head with heavy plaster board gets very tiring no matter what age they are – they need to have a break.

      Don’t get me started on the implications for a truck driver. They’re only going to be 5 years off having mandatory eye tests every year just to keep their licence.

      Would you expect these people who have intense manual work to keep on working? I think not.

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      What people who advocate working till 70 seem to ignore is the fact that there don’t seem to be enough jobs to go around. If we had the jobs I would feel it quite reasonable to have an expectation for those in less physically demanding jobs to stay in the workforce longer.
      But if we are going to keep older workers in the system longer at the expense of those who want to buy homes and bring up families I really don’t see the sense of it.
      What we will end up with is more people on the DOLE. Unfortunately it has been found that if young people are forced onto welfare straight from school, it is very difficult to break the cycle.

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      Sorry JAID you are of target mate. It is just not that simple. And we do pay taxes for infrastructure , we also pay council rates for same. And we pay heavily through the nose while a few get wealthy, and thats fine its the way of the world. But no mate, when you work hard for up to 50 years of your life , or more, and you are tired and finished, you need a guaranteed pension on top of what you’ve saved and time to enjoy your last few years of life. 65 is fine.
      Gee even talking like this gives me the creeps , I feel about 25 in my head. But I am looking at the last 10 to 20 years of my life now!

      Some people work on and its good, but whether they do or not, everyone , every genuine long term contributor to the Australian economy and to our way of life deserve a safe and secure retirement.
      We were set up once with a retirement pension saving fund which both major parties agreed to plunder and squander, so they have done nothing really smart, but the situation remains that prosperous long retirement is every ones RIGHT, its not something you go hat in hand to get, ever!

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      We could make ‘work’ voluntary. Parks need to be weeded and kept nice rather than like nobody owns them. There are a whole number of other areas retirees could help out if they wanted to as well and many of us are prepared to help the needy. Sadly some of us will refuse to lift a finger unless paid and charities only want your money and not your help, which is refused when offered.
      We recently returned from an extended stay on France. The parks were immaculate, the roads were all as new and public places were clearly being looked after with only minimal graffiti. Some towns had zero.
      Why is Australia ‘different’?
      For the record we have travelled to Colorado for many years as well. There people, many of them very well to do in their own rights, give of their time for free and work a part week to make the system work. Once again why not Australia?

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      MICK, the problem with voluntary work is once it becomes available wages staff are replaced with volunteers. My wife works in aged care and has seen this happen over the years. A staff member leaves and their duties are taken up by several volunteers, which places more stress on the professionals left in the workplace because their are some things a volunteer just can’t do.
      Imagine how many Council workers would be put out of work if we had volunteers looking after our parks and public gardens?
      I would like to see a scheme created whereby healthy retirees or unemployed could be used to provide services for elderly citizens who are not capable of looking after their own yards or houses and can’t afford to pay anyone to do it. But it is important that whatever we do it does not lead to the loss of payed employment.

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      Hey Mick I fully agree with your comment……….

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      I can see your point ex PS. As far as council workers are concerned I have seen these guys and what they do. That is why most are unemployable if they seek other work.

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      Agreed exPS etc – I hit 68 next month and am still prepared to work – even got an ad in the local Gumtree… but no takers.

      No way many in the trades etc would be fit and healthy to work until 70 – and there are NO admin jobs for them or floor sweeping there, even if anyone would accept them.

      NOBODY takes on employees with established disabling conditions unless there are very special circumstances.

      On top of that, people may on average be living longer, but many still don’t hit 70 – look at the list of celebrities who vanished from the mortal coil last year etc…

      Total nonsense raising the pension age, and Labor started it.

      Now it’s time for the Trebor Party to return it to its former glory, and force the same pension age on all politicians etc.

    • 0
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      Will be 70 this July, still working and loving it.

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      The problem – the one that politicians and the privileged fail to comprehend – is that those most likely to be unable to work until they are 70, due to being in stressful or physically taxing jobs, are generally the lower paid and less likely to be able to finance early retirement. The lower paid are also the most likely to be disenfranchised by reduced employment opportunities.

      It’s great that SOME people can work on, but changing the retirement age further disenfranchises those who are already struggling, and that’s not something we, as a society, should accept. If we need to raise the retirement age, then we should do so in a graduated manner that ensures a decent income (NOT subsistence!) and social respect for those whose employment history, health, psychological condition, personal circumstances, or employment opportunities make working on impractical.

      Selfishness and self-serving attitudes have gone WAY TOO FAR. We need to restore a social conscience and empathy. Show some respect for those who worked hard to build this society, were paid far too little during their working lives, and suffered conditions that shortened their effective working life.

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      Rainey,

      I can’t see that there is much differnce between the attitudes here. Those who cannot work or can only do certain forms of work would access appropriate levels of medical/psychologically related support at least until they reach 70. Another current subject here on YLC suggests that the income each scheme provides is comparatively similar.

      Raising the retirement age reflects changing life spans and fitness levels and should suggest to the community at large that a usefully working life is not necessarily spent by age 60 or 65. An attitudinal change which will benefit those able and interested in working longer than currently society seems to think they are capable of.

      I suspect that a lot of concern is consequent to a lot of scare-mongering while in fact, no hardhip need be involved and while there are advantages.

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      Had my back drive concreted some months back. The labourer that did the barrow and spade work had his 80th birthday the day of the pour.
      He was proud of the fact that he was supporting himself and enjoyed the work.

  2. 0
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    If politicians want to make it 70 then they should be responsible for guaranteeing you can get a job at 70. Anyone tried to get a new job at 55???

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      That is a very valid point. Add to that a job which aging people are capable of doing for 8 hours a day as well.
      The current government cannot ensure either of the above. Don’t want to. Just want to throw people on the scrapheap and then call them ‘leaners’.

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      Developing a mechanism so that all who can and wish to contribute are able to, is one of the greatest challenges of our age. It will get much greater very quickly.

    • 0
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      Called a Living Wage JAID. This is already being trialled because once robotics comes in there will be even less jobs than even now.

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      JAID, you also must be a pretty fit person with no health issues……their are many like myself who worked and paid our taxes plus we have health issue to suffer with……….still we went marching on…………ITS time we get the dole bludgers off their backside and contribute to the infrastructure of our country

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      You mean the politicians and their mates, tia?

      No dole bludgers out there in Havelessland – they’re all starving for a job that is meaningful and will give them hope in life and in future retirement.

    • 0
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      🙂 I have a health issue or two Tia. I just like my work much more than bothering about those. If I can do what I do until I drop then I will have had a happy life, under-exploited perhaps but it feels fulfilled expecting little.

      Still, a recent knee twist that kept me painfully light on one leg for months gave a clue to what feeling old may be like.

    • 0
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      I have, I’m 70 this year and I’m never out of work.

  3. 0
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    Work till 70?. Another ploy by gov. to keep from paying a pension to people. Note that they will get a huge pension and super for only a few terms in office.
    I have continued to work till I was 72 to ensure i could pay off my loans. I am damn glad to have finished work. I don’t know who will employ anyone up to 70 years of age since it has been a problem for anyone over 40 to find a job anyway. Why would you employ someone oledr if you can get a younger person to do the job?

    • 0
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      Spot on. All of what you have written is totally true.

    • 0
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      If they push an older person into a job and save on pension payments, they then pay unemployment benefits to the younger person who would otherwise have taken that job.

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      Plenty of work which is never done maxchugg and not as though governments are unable to create jobs.

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      The only jobs that the Government can create are public service jobs. The Government can only create an economy that is conducive to private industry to create jobs.

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      Yes and no. Better to have the unemployed earn a wage rather than get a handout.
      Governments can indeed create businesses. Think Commonwealth Bank and GIO, etc. which should never have been flogged off. One is now attacking its customer base whilst the other is now a small player, all due to the private sector. Then look at what the highly bloated CEOs think they are worth.

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      Work for the dole is a net cost since to even establish it costs money, then the government has to pay for supervision, organisation, and equipment.

      Never seen such a pack of lies in my life.

      A job creation for a few more ‘public servants’ employed on part-time casual to run the show.

      Stoopid is as stoopid does, as they all say down in Green Bow.

      REAL jobs with a future are needed – not just compulsory labour on the collective farm….

    • 0
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      Government needs to steal OAPs pension money to pay the mandatory pensions of public servants. OAPs should not be forced to forego their pensions in order to pay for the huge public service pensions.

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      Not necessarily TREBOR. Give a team a job and give them a reasonable time limit. A bit like employing a subcontractor.
      If the job is done they get paid. If the job is not done or substandard they do not get paid. Bludgers looking for an easy ride will work it out really quickly!

    • 0
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      I agree Mick – if Work For the dole was actually being paid for the work and not just forced to it… fine.

      The Yanks did it with the Hoover Dam – set the unemployed to building that thing… and paid the going rate for it.

    • 0
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      Triss, the government does not pay for Public Service Pensions, they are paid for by the employer and employee contributions, just like everyone else.

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      Yes – but PS pensions are a better deal, and I believe the issue in reality is the salary levels for work performance etc, especially for the higher ranks who are primarily not much more than simple administrators. A vastly overpaid and over-rated occupation these days.

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      Not true, ex PS. According to reports state and federal public service pension schemes were unfunded and liabilities are now over $200 billion and rising. The taxpayer will forking out for that.

    • 0
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      Triss, the simple fact is that current PS Super is no different from the private sector, the money is paid into an investment fund and the performance of the fund determines the payout. At no stage does the government pay a super payout from Treasury funds.

      You may be confused by the old system whereby the recipient was paid out a multiple of their last average salary, this system has been dropped in most states for many years. In my state even with the old system the funds were able to pay out the retirees and there was money left over to be invested in infrastructure by the government.

  4. 0
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    It all depends on your past profession.Forced population growth eg. immigration has to come into the equation.

  5. 0
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    I had no difficulty getting part time work – job share when I was just over 40 and worked as a word processor for a small family owned assessing company in Perth. However, when I was just over 50 I was made to feel unwanted – told the younger female I job shared with should have more days and then the business was sold and the new owners decided that I was no longer required and was made redundant. How are you expected to work until 70 – unlike my grandfather in the UK who was self employed and retired at 91.

    • 0
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      The system is biased against older workers and the current lying government talks BS to con us all. Whilst they talk about working until 70 they know a good part of older Australians are going to be pushed out of the workforce and never get another job.

  6. 0
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    “The age pension is more than we spend on defence”? As it should be! Does this corrupt government really believe that Australians think it should spend more on following its American friends into the next war than on retirement benefits or more on a whole fleet of dodgy new submarines than on the aged?
    You can hear a dead government by the way it loses the plot and where it sends taxpayer money to. Starving retirees is perverse. Especially given that retirees built this country. What this government is doing is essentially ‘putting older Australians out in front of the igloo’ to die of cold. Miserable heartless group of bastards owned by the big end of town where retirement benefits are now going to be sent.

    • 0
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      Mick, no matter what is said by government, we as a people spend a massive amount on social security. Nobody doubts that we should be spending heavily in the area at all. That would include the most diehard Liberal politicians. At the same time the pool is limited by how much of the future we can dig out of the ground and flog off and by how much of peoples time we can demand be put into any government expenditure. Good governance and responsibility to our democracy demands that close attention be paid to costs. A dollar used wontonly is a dollar stolen from the community or its future. The wide range of demands upon government and that responsiblity mean that all is debatable. All will have different views.

      On military spending. Apart from following others into wars views may change when we front insufficient deterrent or have insufficient resources to meet civil emergencies. Dove or hawk everybody will have different expectation and the debate will arrive at something which will not be either of those.

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      You miss the point JAID that the current bunch of despots are refusing to collect taxes from multinationals, refusing to close offshore tax shelters where the rich launder their money and giving the top end tax cuts when it has absolutely no need of it.
      Your suggestion of resources flies in the face of what is currently happening: redistribution of wealth from poor to rich.
      As far as digging holes in the country this country is a basket case of monumental proportions presided of imbeciles who the electorate keeps putting in to keep digging more holes, closing down industries and throwing more and more Australians out of work, exporting jobs, importing workers and buying much of what sustains us from anybody other than other countries. And people call that ‘politics’. It is actually betrayal. And still we keep putting the same imbeciles in……

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      As for hole-digging as a national enterprise – done that to death for yez before – most of the ‘investment’ comes from offshore or from those with the ability to offshore their profits … these ‘ventures’ receive massive subsidy from the taxpayer (that’s all of us BTW – even the lowliest unemployed person pays tax every day), they creatively account and send all their profit offshore so as to avoid paying tax here, those ONshore who profit through shareholding, the big boys that is, do it via the offshore laundering as Mick described above, and now all the business involved are set to cop a tax reduction on what they do eventually declare.

      After departure time – these hole-diggers leave huge problems for Australia in cleanup and future environmental impacts.

      The end result is that the majority of tax recouped from these projects is via the income tax of those working there, and the limited flow-on to other areas such as transportation of goods to site etc…. not much else. On top of that, in remote locations, many workers buy exorbitantly over-priced ‘homes’ nearby only to find they are worthless once the site closes down, and they are left in the lurch.

      What kind of ‘investment’ in AUSTRALIA is that?

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      Redistribution of wealth from poor to rich. That sounds like an oxymoron Mick. If the poor had wealth, then surely by definition they just aint poor?

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      From each according to his/her level of need (more from the bottom on up) – to those without a need… a little bit from 10 million peasants equals one bit from one fat cat.

      That’s how it works…. take a little bit from the many, then distribute it as you wish… that’s how our tax system works – no matter what tax rate the fattest in the land pay, they will always have far more than the rest.

      Simple, really.

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      You miss the point Sceptic. Billions is being sucked out of services for average Australians and we are getting new taxes with different titles. That money is going to tax cuts for the rich who have been getting paid more every year whilst wage and salary earners are standing still.
      What do you call that Sceptic?

  7. 0
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    I worked until 2 months before I turned 70, then I just ran out of puff. I was working in very intense people-focused industries for over 30 years, as well as studying at night to better my job prospects, and think that if I had taken 6 months off and rested up, etc. (and had enough money to live on during that time) I could have gone back to working part-time. As it was, I started doing some voluntary work and a bit of travel when finances from my super fund would allow, and have a reasonable life-style. I don’t smoke or drink alcohol, so that is a big saving, and I don’t splash money around. But I do miss the discipline of having to get up and dress up for work, although I don’t miss the peak-hour traffic chaos that I’d often get stuck in. I think that the pollies, who get humungous pensions and perks to retire on, should have to live on OUR pension entitlements once they leave public office. That they’ve had their snouts in the public money trough long enough. Perhaps then we wouldn’t have such a big national debt to cope with.

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      You sound like a teacher?

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      Yes, Disillusioned, politicians should have to abide by the same retirement rules as the rest of us (I’m convinced they’re only in it for the money and benefits, certainly not the good of our country and ALL it’s people) and I’d like to know where all the volunteers will come from to help in many agencies such as aged care, Good Sammy’s, St Vincent de Paul, etc. We volunteers save the government heaps one way or another.

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      I think big national debt excuses are bulldust. I also believe that the retirement set up for Politicians is absolutely obscene, and I also believe that the big companies who hire accountants to dodge tax for them should be investigated and clobbered hard in the pocket where it can be found that they have avoided and dodgesd tax, whether illegally or not, the fact is a moral one, where they should feel obliged to pay their share. They don’t. AND GLOBALISATION HAS DRIVEN THIS HORRID STYLE OF TRADE AND LIFE WHERE ONLY A FEW ARE WEALTHY.
      With tax dodging, self centred politicians , and all the corruption involved in globalised economies is it any wonder we in our “WEALTHY” country are worrying about money and pensions and retirement age. It is absolute proof that in the last 20 years we in the main stream have gone backwards, while the wealthy in tiny numbers tell us lies, and we still vote them in!

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      Read my response on previous post john. Pretty well summarises the demise of a great nation.

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      Totally agree with all the comments under your post disillusioned. The pollies make me sick with their greed and pork barrelling, then they have the hide to go after the most vulnerable in our community. They are disgusting creatures.

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      Hi John. While I agree with much of your comments, you must realise that The Lucky Country is no longer sitting on the sheep’s back. in fact the minerals boom is almost over- unless we have coal-fired vehicvles. The facts are simple. Ozzies have not spent their money in Ozz, The result is that the big companies are ownbede by ( indirectly through overseas investors) by outsiders. Even the heads of these companies are foreigners- yanks, Sth Africans, Kiwis -yeo, even wee kiwis are “thinking BUG” now. So while the fat was on the fire and the ockers were guzzling around the “barbie” the outsiders were taking us over.The “outsiders’ ” income may be made in Oz but they pay their tax in THEIR regions not ours. To change that trick, would close off the only major income stream from overseas investors, then we would be pushing “gum up hill” to put it mildly. We need to get smart, not just talk smart, and get into action to save this great nation from the preditors.

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      Start with INCOME TAX if you earn income here. No blind eye and no deals!
      The put royalties up to the marginal rate of tax.
      End of story. Sure offshore investors and their governments will jump up and down, claim they’ll be ruined and look for reprisals but Australia will again start to function fairly.
      If all of the above fails bring back tarifs. Yeah that will be a trade off (pardon the pun) of pawns.
      What have we got to lose? Beats being bled dry for our valuable jewels whilst those getting filthy rich leave little here for us.

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    Well its high time retirees took an interest in politics and vented their anger at the ballot box but from my experience most of us only complain but rarely do any thing about it if we want change we need to band together and fight for our cause but as I suspect from the past this will fall on deaf ears if we want to change things we need to take the bastards head on remember nothing ventured nothing gained

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      YES YES YES!
      Sadly retirees whinge over the back fence and would not support a Retiree Party because ‘they have voted for the XYZ party (Labor or Liberal) for 50 years’. That is the problem!
      No wonder nothing ever changes and retirees are done over so easily. If they united against the common enemy and refused to cop it sweet political parties would leave them alone. Because they are easily manipulated we get what we as a group deserve.
      You are correct marto. As a cohort we need to become politically active and to change who we vote for. If you want a football team then get one but do not apply the same behaviour to any political party. Once you do you are done for.

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      Hmm – kinda reminds you of the difference between Australia and New Zealand – NZ had the Maori Wars – Australia had the displacement of Aborigines with little fuss – NZ has the Treaty of Waitangi – Australia has Aboriginal gulags…..

      Damn – no wonder the Wallabies can’t make a dent in the All Blacks…. too many Indigenous New Zealanders in the ABs…

      This is Trebor, and that’s my six penneth worth… (round the world for sixpence again with Trebor)…

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      Interesting thought there Trebor.

      My knowledge is a bit limited to the idea that there was a range of blood mixing in pre-1788 aboriginal populations of the far North. I have never come across any reference to the same in the South.

      If it is true that Southern populations remained (largely) purely descendant from those who walked or island hopped here around 50K years ago then: what did they do to keep the great wandering Polynesians at bay?

      Why didn’t the Maoris with their different tribal structures invade and rule? It wasn’t because they were not partial to other people’s territories as evidenced by warfare in pre-British NZ rule.

      I hesitate at the obvious answer…this place wasn’t lush enough.

      More likely the locals were vigilant and while perhaps happy enough to assimilate ocean-going canoes full of incomers tough enough to ensure they didn’t rule.

      Perhaps that makes a mockery of Gov. Bourke’s “Terra Nullius” though “Right of Conquest” in the then absence of 3314 would have been the practical sense in which the crown chose to rule.

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      Interesting thoughts there, Jaid…. gives me something to think about. I know the Maoris were not the original inhabitants of NZ – the Moriori were (I think that’s right), and the Maoris extinguished their rule and many of their number (you can bet, like all tribes, they kept the women).

      Actually if you think about it – that’s a lot like Ireland – my lot (the ancient Gaelic High Kings and Queens) invaded in two lots and reduced the original inhabitants to near-mythology as The Little People, though some survived to assimilate into the Gaels.

      Don’t start me on the Normans, the Saxons, the Norse, the Vikings, the English and all the rest that ended up contributing to the Irish mixture. Like Scotland, there is no contiguous group in the joint, though the West Coast and the Heeghlant are pretty much Gaelic and often criticised by the Lowlanders as ‘backward’…

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    It depends on the individual. A friend of mine worked until she was 70 and could have still continued. She is in good health. Whereas, because of my health I could not, but I have done volunteer work for many years. Where will all the volunteers come from if everyone is still working. People don’t realize how much volunteer work is done in the community. believe me,without these people the country would be in real trouble.
    Don’t forget the number of grandparents babysitting for working mothers. The government just wants the put older aged people on dole money: $526 a fortnight. Another way of cutting pensions.

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      Agreed, volunteers contribute so much to our society. There will be none left soon as they/we will all be working or dead.

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      Nan – I’ve been on Disability since age 48, and went down with severe heart troubles at 51 – I’ve still worked and I still want to work….

      What the Hell – thirteen or fourteen disabilities never hurt nobody…. but I can walk now…. pretty good if you ask me…

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      Yes I think that in reality all what will happen is instead of paying pensions it will have a different name with less money. Newstart will become ‘Oldstart’ or ‘Oldstop’. There are already not enough jobs for those seriously looking for work especially if over 50 so how are people going to keep working unless self-employed.

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      Yes, Nan Norma, the University of Adelaide did a survey and calculated that older Australians contributed $200 billion in unpaid voluntary hours. That should pay a big chunk off the pension payouts for OAPs.

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    The only sensible thing to do to guarantee a good outcome in retirement is to increase the super guarantee to an ammount that is able to sustain people when they retire, and that can be at any age that a person wants or needs to retire, currently you don’t get the pension once your assets reach a certain ammount, so if the super guarantee is sufficient the majority of people won’t need to rely on the age pension, then the government would only have to support those people less fortunate, I was born in the forties and super for me didn’t come in until the eighties and then it was only 2.5% I was able to contribute the same ammount, I believe if I had been getting super earlier I may have been able to be self sufficient in retirement, so I suspect that anyone born after 1966 and been employed for most of the time will be able to retire at a time of their choosing, most people nowadays have dual income and dual super accounts, so I suspect that with the maximum assets allowed not many people will be eligible for the pension anyway.

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      Yes – for the future – and then leave the super situation alone without running scared all the time and not allowing it a full ‘run’ of fifty years before panicking, which is what Fat Joe and Duh Cormannator did.

      If they’d held off their panic-stricken flight to chopping and cutting for another twenty-five or so years – most of the ‘issues’ would have been settled re super.

      Stoopid is as stoopid does, as they all say down in Green Bow.

      As for those blasts from the past, such as us – we didn’t HAVE much super, unless in fine jobs, and what we did have has been eroded by inflation caused by stratospheric cost of living rises, and also the ‘official’ inflation – which chops away at every dollar every day.

      The ONLY way forward for this current retirement program is to, firstly, leave super alone to allow it a ‘life’ run, shore up the existing retirees so they can live reasonably, and then walk away…. and THEN create a GENUINE Sovereign (Futures) Fund to benefit ALL Australians – by bringing the stolen $130Bn** home to these shores, adding to it super contributions and social security levies (as normally occur), and having the whole fund properly manged as far removed from political hands as possible, and under the control of a limited paid board which must include at least one pensioner and one SFR.

      ** How anyone cannot see that a government removing $130Bn from OUR economy and depositing it offshore so as to avoid paying tax, and using it to ensure their own retirement ONLY – is not outright theft as a servant – I have no idea…

      Then they had to borrow $130Bn to replace that money (bad debt if ever I saw it), and then continually borrow to compensate for the opportunity loss of that money not being here….

      Quite frankly – how DARE they!!

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