20th Dec 2016
Pension Supplement in doubt for travelling Aussies
Pensioner looking at the globe

Buried in yesterday’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) was a cut that should have pensioners concerned as it’s yet another indication that, if anyone is going to be hit to help get the country’s budget back on track, it’s older Australians.

Under the MYEFO, after 1 July 2017, pensioners who travel overseas for a period of longer than six weeks, or those who live overseas, will lose their Pension Supplement. Currently, the supplement reduces from $65.10 to $22.70 for singles and $98.20 to $37.40 for couples once you have been outside Australia for six weeks.

The Government’s reason for this Pension Supplement cut is that the payment is meant to assist with “living pressure for pensioners living in Australia” not overseas. However, by proposing such a cut, the Government has overlooked one vital detail.

The Pension Supplement, which was introduced in 2009 as part of the Labor Government’s wider sustainable pension reforms, is a combination of the GST Pension Supplement, Utilities Allowance, Pharmaceutical Allowance and the Telephone Allowance. And of course, when people travel overseas these costs are reduced, but they don't cease altogether. People still have to maintain utilities to their home, which means they are still paying many of the standing and supply charges that often make up the bulk of bills.

The cut, if legislated, will affect up to 80,000 pensioners who travel or live overseas. Many of those pensioners are also waiting to see if their Age Pensions will be affected by proportionality requirement changes still in legislation limbo.

What do you think? Is it fair that those who travel overseas for more than six weeks or living overseas lose the reduced rate of Pension Supplement altogether? Or is it taking aim at people who have already seen their income reduced by over $40 per fortnight? 

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    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    10:27am
    Cutting pensions would be unfair but the pension supplement? Don't know about that one. What I do know is that the mentally challenged who voted this bunch of crooks in are now reaping their rewards.
    Slimmer Cat
    20th Dec 2016
    10:41am
    If you have enough money for an overseas holiday longer than 6 weeks the pension should be cut. If you're living overseas your pension should be flat rate with no extras.
    Old Geezer
    20th Dec 2016
    10:45am
    If you can go overseas for more than 6 weeks then your OAP should be suspended until you come back.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    10:54am
    If you have enough money to live the high life in Oz then you should not be getting tax cuts paid for by working Australians.
    Your post misses the point that comparable countries do not have Draconian attacks on pensioners and that under this government Australia has slipped down the ladder and is below a couple of third world countries.
    Old Geezer
    20th Dec 2016
    10:58am
    I am one of those working Australians that pays taxes. No tax cuts for me.
    Batara
    20th Dec 2016
    11:15am
    Hey Old G, "one of those working Australians that pays taxes". Should that be who pays taxes, or are you confirming that you are not of the human race?

    Come to think about it, if you suspend the pension for people who can afford to go overseas for six weeks, why give it back when they return home? Perhaps a six month qualifying period after return might be in order? Or never start their pension again because they are profligate.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    12:45pm
    I have no objections to you or anybody else being 'rich' Geezer as long as you pay your taxes to fund the country. That is what this issue is about.
    I commend you if you truly do pay the rightful taxes and do not resort to the mickey mouse schemes and shelters used by the top end.
    Rosret
    20th Dec 2016
    3:03pm
    Often these people who go overseas are not going on holiday but going home to family. I wonder how much it will cost the government in nursing home costs because their carers live in another country and their parent can't go home due to loss of entitlement. What happens in other countries like USA, Canada and GB?
    buby
    21st Dec 2016
    3:13pm
    What a load of cock and bull Slimmer obviously your not disabled and don't know what its like to have 99% of your relis overseas and have to cover most of the world before you even get to have a rest, and come home in one peice!!!
    Hobbit
    20th Dec 2016
    10:30am
    Pensioners paying for the extra $36 million being spent on political staffers. Another Hidden item in the budget.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    10:56am
    And let's remember the $50 billion in tax cuts for the rich and the few multinationals who actually pay tax in Australia. Workers in this country are again under attack by the top end.
    buby
    21st Dec 2016
    3:16pm
    and whats new MICK, its the same ole story once again. Workers always getting attack, but it won't be long before they all on Centrelink, cause there be NO JOBS in australia to get soon!!!
    Huntsman
    20th Dec 2016
    10:54am
    Comments so far are assuming the pension is a benefit not an entitlement. Don't see the Pollies digging too deep to help the deficit. Bunch of oxygen thieves.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    11:08am
    In other countries the pension is a right. I Australia the Abbott and Turnbull governments have been doing their best to turn it into an entitlement so that they could strip benefits from those who have planned their retirements for a lifetime on the basis they would get a pension.
    KSS
    20th Dec 2016
    12:40pm
    We are not 'in other countries' Mick. We are in Australia and the only 'right' connected to an age pension from the Government, is the right to apply for one IF certain criteria are met.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    12:47pm
    I get it KSS. When CEOs demand ridiculous salary packages for what are mostly smaller companies compared to the US they CAN compare with their America counterparts. When retirees point to other similar nations then comparing our pension to other first word countries is not acceptable.
    You don't have an argument KSS, just a government promoted point of view.
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    8:52am
    When it comes to Labor costs we live in a Third World turd factory 'global economy' - when it comes to comparisons for the fat cats we live in shiny bright top class economy..... I get it...

    As before - our cost structures for living are not those of the Turd World - they are those of THIS country after it has been raped by governments, multi-nationals, off-shorers, privateers, and global economists.

    In every way we are paying for their fat salaries and lifestyle and retirement packages - and it is rape pure and simple.
    HDRider
    20th Dec 2016
    11:02am
    Should a person be entitled to a pension, then it is up to them how they spend it! The Government give money to a LOT of people in Australia, including drug addicts and alcoholics. I do NOT see them being reigned in and told they will lose money if they buy drugs or alcohol.
    Lets not talk about wasted money by goverment, as mentioned by Hobbit, the money flowing to other countries, a lot of which we are NOT told about. No, lets stick up for older Australians who have worked bloody hard and paid their way, unlike the two 30 year olds on either side of me who sit at home on their fat arses all day demanding dole or whatever.
    Not ALL older people live overseas, some go to see their relatives, look after their relatives etc, so it may be a good idea to NOT judge people so readily and quickly. Why the hell shouldn't an older person have enough money to go overseas at todays prices. I wonder Slimmer Cat, have you any idea of how much it would cost to either live or have an extended stay overseas both with and without the possibility of relatives? I think NOT, some of us save, we have worked hard and we do go without to do these things, so what is the problem? Apart from the fact that we have to buy back the dollars from overseas...youd know about that too I guess?
    Lets stick together as older Australians and stop judging each others and taking the bait in these forums and arguing. Lets talk about the filthy rich who are getting away with everything, thanks to this government, and it WILL NOT stop by voting Labor either Mick
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    11:15am
    I always advocate voting Independent HDRider, as long as the candidate is not preferencing Liberal.
    Whilst I have little time for either side Labor touches the humanistic bone in me as I feel something the right does not have in their DNA: empathy towards other people.
    My question to you and others is: if you had to choose between Labor and Liberal who would you choose after the routine attacks of the past 5 years?
    DC
    20th Dec 2016
    11:39am
    Agree with HDrider, but Mick you are once again a bit harsh and one sided. Nevertheless i do believe that we pensioners have generally been shafted over and over (a la the weakest link) by both major parties. The one spends our taxes to their hearts delight the other screws us over to regain some budget surplus, blah, blah...
    I/we have just lost a fair wack of our part pension payment as of Jan 2017 and I am bloody not happy at all. Everything around us keeps going up but our fixed incomes are only going down all the time. Independents - NO. I think I switch to One Nation next time round and stuff both the Libs, Labor, Greens etc.
    HarrysOpinion
    20th Dec 2016
    12:10pm
    Good comment HDRider -Ditto ! -
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    12:42pm
    I understand how you feel DC. We do not even get a part pension and it is quite offensive that this bunch of cutthroats comes after people who have done the hard yards to provide for themselves and not burden the public purse. I'd understand going after people with more money than sense but self funded retirees earning not much more than the pension should be left alone. Not going to happen under this government as you only matter if you are rich enough to contribute to election funding.

    If I am harsh it is because I see the tyranny in the current government for what it is:

    1. They say they are 'responsible'. They are unashamed liars.
    2. They say they need to repair the budget. So why are they giving away $50 billion in tax cuts to the rich. And why do they not rejig the negative gearing handouts which predominantly benefit the rich?
    3. It would also be good if somebody could explain WHY they refuse to collect taxes from multinationals and allow wealthy Australians (Turnbull....and the long list of others) to set up dodgy offshore tax havens to escape Australian tax?

    The list goes on. I feel sorry for anybody who is so dumb as to be taken in by the right wing orchestrated advertising to vote Liberal. People who do this have intelligence issues and need to make the effort to face the truth.
    Anonymous
    20th Dec 2016
    3:35pm
    Good comment HDrider. Notice the govt didn't have time to cut back the outrageous benefits retired pollies get.
    Hopefully the six week rule won't pass, I believe Labour and the senate are against it
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    8:58am
    In relation to my argument posted below - I can only see that it would apply fairly to those who live off-shore permanently. They have no utilities bills here - they get no Utilities Supplement.... pretty simple.

    The current approach of cutting it back, if properly indexed, is fairer since it helps cover the INCREASED (due to privatisation) costs of simply retaining a service. Power/gas companies just gotta get their appearance money, or they will collapse overnight.... just ask them.

    Governments forced privatisation on us all with all the added costs, against the will of the people (perhaps not of the swill of the people) - they can now swallow some cement and pay those entitled for the privilege of paying higher standing costs for their services.

    Plenty of money out there to be found in enforcing some genuine taxation rules, bringing back the Futures Fund stashed offshore, and linking THEIR benefits to costs/incomes - same as everyone else.

    "Neither this new technology nor your status as officers will keep you above the danger...."
    buby
    21st Dec 2016
    3:23pm
    ITS about time DC your a bit slow, it has been a long time coming, that tree should have been shaken a long time ago.
    Cause them Pollie take their money overseas willy nilly.
    but they crack up when we want to go over. GEEz.
    and they take their whole family tree. Geez, i only take myself over, and that be perhaps once every ten years? if i 'm lucky to find the money after they have been screwing us over!
    buby
    21st Dec 2016
    3:27pm
    and then we still lose out. They UP the price of a passport, and if you can't use it, you lose what you paid up on it. YOu just can't, win i'm sick of being ripped off, They get their money back one way or another.
    OR perhaps whist i'm speeding to my doctors appoint, cause if i ran an ambulance, i'd have to wait an hour at least before one turns UP, it be faster to drive myself there??
    This country is getting so bad, i'm just so stunned, i'm sick of watching theses pollies fall asleep in luxury in the parliament while i have to live in POLLUtionVille.
    NOT impressed
    SuziJ
    4th Jan 2017
    12:05pm
    HDRider, you are lumping drunks & drug addicts with Age Pensioners! I'm on the DSP and if I was to travel overseas for 4 weeks, I would still get the DSP, but any further time, I get NOTHING! Then when I return, it could take up to 4 weeks to get the DSP back. Where is the fairness in that. I only have just over 6 years before I am eligible for the Age Pension, and I can't wait!!! Will be saving up in the mean time for my next trip overseas in 6 1/2 years time.

    Don't say that you can't save, all you need to do is cut out alcohol, cigarettes, gambling (in all its forms), pay your bills on time to take advantage of up to 20% discounts for your energy bills - if you're not getting some sort of discount, look around for a company that will give you one, then challenge your current provider, and look closely at what you spend and what you spend it on. If it's not food, shelter (be it a mortgage or rent), phone (including internet & Foxtel), insurances and car expenses, some clothing, then you're overspending on non-essential items. I also have my chiro, podiatry & pharmacy items included. I rent and still have just on $200 per fortnight from my DSP to 'put away for a rainy day', or my next holiday. If you look at it this way, then for every year , you can save over $10,000, which is more than enough to start looking at where you want to go for your next holiday. No, I'm not a scrooge, but use my funds wisely. No loans, credit cards, etc to pay for too :)
    HDRider
    20th Dec 2016
    11:20am
    Mick, thats a very good question, personally I would not vote for either, like you, I favor a more intelligent, people aware and sensible independent. As for preferences, well, thats the impossible part, neither party in its present form, is fit to govern our great country IMHO.
    Huntsman
    20th Dec 2016
    11:28am
    Therein lies the dilemma. We seem to have a critical shortage of decent politicians both in Federal and State politics. All people see is the incumbents showing the worst side of human nature, greed, avarice and self interest.

    Given the appalling shortage of anyone who even closely resembles a Statesman or Stateswoman (or should I say Statesperson in this age of PC) those who are pushing for a Republic are going to find it very hard to find someone capable of being a President - I don't think they exist in Australia.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    12:51pm
    Agree HDRider. Both sides are playing a game rather than governing the country.
    The important issue is that the country is governed fairly. The current lot are engaged in class warfare and thinking Australians need to get away from their footy style support of their political party and become swinging voters who punish treachery, dishonesty and bastardry in the only way they can: by voting crooks out.
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    9:05am
    Huntsman - in THIS modern skirt world of PC - you MUST use Statesperson OR Stateswoman.... you cannot use Statesman...

    Haven't you noticed? It's always 'spokeswoman' or 'spokesperson' in the media... words have power, you know - something dreamed up by the feministed social engineers - and they use it to full effect.... sop don't you dare step out of line... or you can be chopped for everything of value in your life in many ways!!

    On the subject of Labor, Mick - until they start to actually play Empathy For The People instead of Promote The Sheilas - they will get nowhere but into deeper and deeper water as International Communists (which is where that idea came from - that women should be forced into 50% of the FAT CAT work - but not the slime work).
    dweezy2176
    20th Dec 2016
    11:24am
    Bit baffled by this .. I went O/S in 2013 for 7 weeks & my OAP supplement was cut for 1 week so this has been going on for quite awhile!
    Rodent
    20th Dec 2016
    11:40am
    Hi dweezy2176

    Do you mean Supplement Reduced by some amount, or totally cut, ie not paid at all, which is what I think is now proposed
    Aussie
    20th Dec 2016
    4:58pm
    dweezy2176 yes same with me cut exactly after 6 weeks so what they talking about ?????? maybe I ask Pauline for .....Please explain ......
    Aussie
    20th Dec 2016
    4:59pm
    Rodent
    If you are OS for more than 6 weeks the supplement is cut to the minimum allowance which is $22.70 until you return to AU then goes back to normal.

    That is ok no complains at all
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    9:09am
    So i you work that out - say your 'retainer's fee' for your power is $100 a month - The Guv kicks in a SUPPLEMENT (not the full payment) of around $45?

    That's not so bad - but when they want to cut it..... the Pensioner pays the whole $100 just to keep the (wait for it) 'poles and wires' attached to the house (even if you're not using them, you're using them - right? That's BusinessThink), and for somebody sitting at home on contract who might wander in some time to throw the switch and turn your power back on once you return home...
    hmmm
    20th Dec 2016
    11:24am
    a lot of older Australians spend several months of the year in places like Thailand because it works out cheaper than staying at home, so as any politician would know it's part of our overseas aid.
    dougie
    20th Dec 2016
    12:36pm
    A lot of specific groups spend time overseas with their family living in cheap countries whilst getting the full pension. I know of people who were being paid a Carers Allowance who when the person they were caring for was off overseas for some time (not weeks but longer) complained like hell when the Allowance was stopped.
    This what I mean when I say give a handup to those in genuine need and investigate the greedy.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    12:54pm
    It's a strange world. We allow rorts like 457 visas (currently 100,000) and selling (ie outsourcing!) Australian jobs to the third world but AUstralians who have worked here for over 40 years are to blame for going overseas at the end of their lives???? There is a problem in this sort of argument.
    Rosret
    20th Dec 2016
    2:55pm
    I understand why this has been done but if you could see the loneliness of the pensioners who can't go back to family in another country because they will lose their pension. Sadly it come down to an influx of people misusing the system and the inference that the pension is not an entitlement. Surely there could be a pro-rata scheme for years of paying into the taxation system.
    Aussie
    20th Dec 2016
    5:04pm
    Bloody hell MICK you are spot on .... is really incredible including the excessive pension that the Politicians received for just a few years in gov. ......

    Welcome to AU ..... and Hurray for the Bustards Politicians and .......

    "God save the Politicians because nobody will save the coalition government on the next elections"
    dougie
    20th Dec 2016
    5:07pm
    Mick, what about those who came here have never worked and still expect all of the benefits?
    These are the people I consider to be rorters.
    Dougie
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    9:10am
    The term 'Overseas AIDS' was on the tip of my tongue - but I resisted manfully! Well - no I didn't....
    mogo51
    20th Dec 2016
    11:27am
    I was born, lived and paid taxes, gst, all other forms of taxes and charges for over 60 years. I choose to live overseas so I can sustain a reasonable lifestyle, something that is not possible in Australia due to the cost of living.
    This meagre supplement has already been substantially reduced and is just another attack on pensioners.
    When will the Government reduce Politicians' pensions and 'nose in trough' mentality - answer never. What a hypocritical bunch they are.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    12:57pm
    Politicians are the tip of a very large iceberg. The corruption and rorts at the top are huge and if these were fixed we could all retire on large pensions and the country could repay its debt almost immediately.
    The top end work hard to deflect vision from their dishonesty. That's why the media has become silent on offshore tax shelters and multinational tax avoidance.
    Rosret
    20th Dec 2016
    2:58pm
    It's all about new Australians coming to Australia qualifying for the pension and heading back to their homeland. However there must be another way around this other than making everyone suffer.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    3:01pm
    Maybe put a provision in to the Act to require new Australians to work IN THIS COUNTRY for at least 40 years and have a one off 5 year departure rule. That way those who come here to live off our social security system cannot go and live in their home country and those who want to visit once can do so.
    "Life wasn't meant to be easy".
    Aussie
    20th Dec 2016
    5:08pm
    MICK ... If you ask anybody about corruption in AU they will say yes but in comparison with other countries is very small.....

    That is a lot of crap I born OS on a corrupt country and I find AU is a lot more corrupt that my old country. AU is clean and lots of opportunities but very corrupt starting from the top of the Gov.

    yes they are the tip of a very large iceberg.
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    9:14am
    Perhaps a pro rata system - for each specified term (of your natural life?) of years of active contribution to this here economy - you are Entitled to a specified number of Pension payments... once you reach your 'Top Level' of Pension Entitlement, you can go home to The Old Country and stay there if you wish and be paid for life... but since you have no principal residence in Oz - you get straight Pension and no supplement.
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    12:48pm
    Yes, Trebor - perhaps we need to apply the same reasoning to politician retirement schemes - you only get pro rata unless you reach a maximum number of years , at which point, on performance, you will be evaluated by a (gasps) Commission of Audit, and perhaps offered a 'retrenchment' value instead of full parliamentary pension.

    (just humming to myself, there, Fernando.. keeping the thought ball rolling, you know...)
    Grateful
    20th Dec 2016
    11:29am
    From the horse's mouth. "To assist with living pressures". AND that's exactly what the Age Pension is for. It is NOT an entitlement. Those that say that they paid taxes all their lives should be entitled to a pension, should ask themselves WHAT was done with those tax payments. Where did all the roads and bridges and schools and teachers and hospitals and nurses, our armed forces our Federal Police etc etc etc come from?
    THAT'S what you got for YOUR taxes. Now you are asking those that pay taxes now to top up assets that are quite adequate to support yourselves. DOUBLE DIPPING at its worst as it's our kids and grand kids that have to pay.
    Tom Tank
    20th Dec 2016
    11:44am
    Robert Menzies was the politician who made the Age Pension an entitlement for those who need it to maintain a reasonable standard of living in retirement.
    Of course Menzies would be shocked to see what his creation, the Liberal Party, has become as he went out of his way to keep right wingers out.
    Huntsman
    20th Dec 2016
    11:52am
    I don't think there is any argument about tax money being spent on infrastructure, health, education etc, although I think some of the infrastructure spending is questionable at the moment, particularly the State government's (NSW) land grab for development. I do think, however, that the profligate waste of tax money by both State and Federal government is what gets people's back up. Getting rid of State governments would be a good start to saving costs.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    1:00pm
    Governments do not honour promises. Just like returned soldiers who are expected to deal with their injuries and trauma on their own (because apparently the government cannot afford to help) so to governments lie to people and caste them aside.
    Never trust a government Grateful. Any government.
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    9:17am
    I'm with the idea expressed n Omaha Beach - every man here should receive a Purple Heart - in this case TPI - as Lenny Shultz (RIP) of the VVAA used to say every time.

    A miserly Service Pension is no compensation for injury and harm incurred.
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    12:49pm
    .. let alone what it does to families in many cases.....
    buby
    4th Jan 2017
    8:06pm
    Look grateful, we pay taxes all the time it seems you not aware of it.
    Every time you buy food,petrol, anything its all being taxed now, gst which we never had before, but you know the pollies go overseas and they learn new tactics to bring home and startup here.
    ITs okay for them they get enough to survive on.
    But its difficult for some. Who don't know how to manage their money etc.??
    PlanB
    20th Dec 2016
    11:30am
    But these &^($#s don't lose THEIR FREE travel --when they retire -- at ANY AGE -- and also all their bloody perks! Corrupt lot of creeps that they are!
    Farside
    20th Dec 2016
    12:29pm
    The total amount spent on feting past pollies might not be fair, equitable, just or deserved but it is miniscule relative to the total Social Security & Welfare budget. Best to get over it and move on.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    1:02pm
    And that is the issue PlanB. Rules for some, (different) rules for others. That is how the corrupt work.
    'Chelle03
    20th Dec 2016
    11:48am
    I agree with Grateful - pension is for those people who have no super or other means by which to survive after retirement - sometimes these people are in this position through no fault of their own for various reasons. If you can afford to live overseas and/or travel overseas for more than six weeks I would suggest you are one of the lucky few that do not need a pension or supplement. And yes we all agree that politicians need to lower their entitlements - but seriously that won't happen without a major shift in our political makeup.
    I would like to raise another point about people from Commonwealth countries who collect a pension from BOTH - I know of English people who immigrated here many years ago who collect an English pension and an Australian pension. Is that not double dipping at its best?? Does this still go on? If so, lets look at taking back the Aussie one and they can live off the English one??
    Huntsman
    20th Dec 2016
    11:56am
    The UK pension is lower than the Australian pension so anyone getting both only gets it made up to whatever Australian pension entitlement they might have. Not double dipping. The UK pension is an entitlement paid for through the National Insurance contributions not taxes.
    Golfer
    20th Dec 2016
    12:04pm
    Not double dipping Chelle03. Their Aussie pension is reduced by the value of their English pension.
    *Imagine*
    20th Dec 2016
    1:51pm
    The Aus Govt tax the British pension (I pay 32.5%) then CLink reduce the Aus pension by 50c in the dollar (50%) for all income paid by Britain, including that which is taxed and the capital return from contributions. That is the Aus Govt gain 50 + 32.5 = 82.5% of the British pension paid to Brits who worked in both countries. I wonder how British workers would react if they knew that their hard earned taxes are essentially foreign aid to Australia? Centrelink would have to pay out one hell of a lot more OAP if the Brits stopped paying their expats.
    Anonymous
    20th Dec 2016
    3:10pm
    Is that so, Chelle03? Then a lot of those who have just lost their pensions should get them back 'cause they didn't have super or other means by which to survive retirement. They just had personal savings that they accumulated by NOT holidaying and partying and gambling and drinking and buying nice clothes. Savings they accumulated by growing their own food and sewing their own clothes and building their own furniture. And now they are supposed to use the savings they sacrificed so much to accumulate to prop up lazy spendthrifts who had bigger incomes and more opportunities but threw it all away.

    Pensions should NOT be a reward for being lazy or irresponsible. If we can't ensure they are ONLY paid to people who suffered genuine hardship and really had no opportunity, then we should pay them to EVERYONE. Otherwise we are going to stuff the nation by creating a welfare mentality/entitlement syndrome and an aversion to endeavour.
    Old Geezer
    21st Dec 2016
    12:14pm
    No they should not get their seniors welfare payment back Rainey as they have more than enough to look after themselves an don't need it.

    We all did those things you are whinging about because it was the way to do them in those days. You mended the hole in your sock or sewed a button back on. Guess what I still do that today.

    By taking the OAP away from those who don't need it the government has now spend that money for other more important projects.
    Anonymous
    21st Dec 2016
    8:42pm
    No, OG(you IDIOT). By punishing saving and responsible planning they have LESS money for other things and MORE money paid out in old age pensions. But greedy brain-dead morons will never get it. Too busy regurgitating BS that they swallowed watching corrupt liars on TV excusing the inexecusable.
    Dave R
    20th Dec 2016
    11:48am
    The Old Age Pension is a right not welfare. Most overseas countries treat their Age Pensioners as entitled to it for life whatever they do and where-ever they live.
    Australia has become a very mean country in the treatment of our senior citizens and the present money grubbers in parliament are set to make it more so. I don't see any of them cutting back on their 100 grand a year for life taxpayer funded pensions.
    And some people are so stupid they actually vote for them and support their views.
    Dave R.
    Farside
    20th Dec 2016
    12:33pm
    "The Old Age Pension is a right not welfare" is a common sentiment on this blog however it is misguided and no more than wishful thinking. Recipients must pass age and means tests to be eligible therefore it is not a right. OAP treatments overseas are irrelevant in the context of discussing Australian circumstances.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    1:05pm
    Correct Farside. Not all countries are so selective but there is probably a need to cut out those who are very well endowed.
    The irony of the assets test is that one has to hold a lot of assets to reek out an income equal to the pension. Seems pretty unfair squeezing the assets test as this government did but then this hurt average retirees, not the rich. Sound familiar?
    Dave R
    20th Dec 2016
    1:08pm
    That may be your view but it is wrong Farside.
    1) You say it has an age requirement therefore it is not a right. Well gee whizz an old age pension has an age requirement, fancy that, how else could it be an old age pension then Sherlock?
    2) The means test is irrelevant to your argument although IMO the age pension here should be universal like in Britain with no means testing.
    3) How this issue is treated overseas is relevant to the extent that a comparison shows up how mean Australia is.
    Dave R.
    rob101
    20th Dec 2016
    11:50am
    Just remember next federal election it was the Greens who joined with the Coalition to get the Pension cuts through.



    rob101
    Golfer
    20th Dec 2016
    12:08pm
    I believe Labor did not oppose the cuts. In fact they were very clear in stating that they supported the changes.
    phantom
    20th Dec 2016
    12:55pm
    Do you all think "Short-on Brains" will rescind this. He is all about buying votes and stopping the government from passing anything, even if we all go broke. They got us into most of this mess in the first place.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    1:12pm
    I do not know because the changes did not affect me and I did not pay enough attention.
    Whilst the toxic Greens do not do anything for me one has to remember that were it not for Labor Australians would have been driven into American style poverty decades ago.
    Not sure if you are trolling again phantom but your post is not factual......as normal. If we go broke it is the result of tax cuts for the wealthy and spending like there is no tomorrow from Abbott and Turnbull governments. These crooks have been in power for half a decade now and during that time our debt, which you no longer mention, has ballooned.....and it's still Labor's fault. Not buying.
    Beeman
    20th Dec 2016
    11:57am
    In reply to Mick's "- - - the mentally challenged who voted this bunch of crooks in are now reaping their rewards".
    My question is - Which bunch of crooks does he recommend? All are as bad with, very rarely, one may be temporarily less bad.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    1:22pm
    I take you point but the current lot are in a class of their own.
    I don't want to be seen to be promoting Labor, which did it's own damage, but I never saw Labor give $50 billion of public money to those at the top who have no need of it. What I did see is Labor try to extract some taxes out of mega wealthy miners (failed), introduce legislation to make the financial industries more accountable (repealed by Abbott), introduce the Carbon Tax to change us over to renewable energy (also repealed by Abbott) and many more initiatives which were of benefit to the nation.
    All that we have seen from the last 2 governments is spending like a drunk sailor (with no GFC in sight), giving tax cuts to the wealthy and permitting all sorts of top end corruption with the PM involved in the game with his offshore tax shelter.
    If you are asking for a recommendation all I can do is tell you what I do: vote for the best Independent in the region provided this candidate is not giving their preference to the Liberal Party.
    HarrysOpinion
    20th Dec 2016
    12:04pm
    It is unfair to those who travel for longer then 6 weeks overseas to revisit their country of birth, spend decent time with relatives and move on to visit other countries on the bucket list. The period should be extended to 16 weeks. This gives enough time for pensioner travellers to enjoy a relaxed overseas trip rather than a rushed one. However, where pensioners decide to reside overseas permanently, then reduce the supplement after 16 weeks (4 months).
    PlanB
    20th Dec 2016
    12:21pm
    IF you are going to go O/S and spend a great deal getting there then best to stay a decent time and see what you can -- 6 weeks is not much to see anything much at all
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    1:23pm
    Correct PlanB.
    Rae
    20th Dec 2016
    3:31pm
    I agree but that extra $1000 you will need to save to do just that will be part of the cost of the trip. HS.

    I worked my entire life and raised three little kids holding down sometimes two or three jobs.

    I get no help at all from this government and pay full costs for everything as even the card that was promised has now been denied by the 2015 legislation.

    That is at least a $4000 cost to me or so my accountant has suggested.

    If pensioners want to travel longer they will need to save for it and delay gratification and make spending choices just like I've done for a lifetime.
    leigh308
    20th Dec 2016
    12:12pm
    I am not totally opposed to politicians cutting pensions per se, but before you look over the fence, you clean up your own yard. It is not part of the Australian ethos to require of another something that you would personally regard as unacceptable. We used to call it a fair go. So fair go, when you bring politicians pensions into parity with everyone else first, then we will talk about cuts. Frugality, like charity, starts at home!
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    1:23pm
    Fairness more like it. Don't hold your breath with any of them though.
    mogo51
    20th Dec 2016
    12:29pm
    I am rather bemused at some of the comments here. How dare a pension/couple decide to have a holiday of more than 6 weeks. Perhaps it was their dream and they have saved long for it on retirement? Whether they are part/full pensioners is immaterial.
    Are we such a mean society that we condemn people for pursuing their dreams and that includes those that want to liver overseas. They already receive a lower pension than if living in Australia, so they save the Government money!
    Army veteran
    20th Dec 2016
    12:35pm
    It is similar to home detention, a government that barely got elected to office is certainly not trying hard in attracting votes from pensioners. Many forget it is us pensioners that paid all our taxes for the past 45 years and now in our final years of life we are taxed in the form of loosing entitlements we initially paid for. As a Army veteran I am penalised for visiting family outside Australia, those that support this money grab on pensioners are delusional in the same manner as the government believes it is going to be re-elected if it continues to perform in this manner. The unfortunate situation we are all in is the opposition is no better. Both parties have screwed Veterans and the nonsense about psychological help for PTSD suffers is no different to what we have been receiving for several decades by DVA's Veterans and Veterans Family Counselling Service (VVCS), it's time the politicians stop all the BS and start being honest and treat veterans decently. We earnt our money fighting for Australia, I am yet to see a politician that has stood up for veterans and most importantly those of us wounded in battle. It is time all politicians changed their attitude from something the dog left behind to someone our country can be proud of.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    1:26pm
    I agree with you but the sad reality is that older Australians for the most part vote for the party they have always voted for.
    If retirees joined forces and voted against crooked governments like the current one then there would be a huge swing, a clear message and a change of government.
    ozrog
    20th Dec 2016
    12:51pm
    Why is aged pension different from DSP. If I'm on holiday overseas for longer than 28days my DSP is stopped till i reenter Australia. If out longer than 3mths i think it is i would have to reapply.
    I thought the same rules applied to all pensions.
    Army veteran
    20th Dec 2016
    1:36pm
    Not all pensions are treated as the same, veterans have a Service Pension if they qualify which in general terms is the same as the Aged Pension however their is some different criteria to the assets tests. Regarding the DSP I am unsure as I had no need to understand it for the welfare of veterans.
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    9:21am
    Av - some pick it up as an interim measure while awaiting DVA processing.... just an aside, and something to keep an eye on if you happen to do work for the Vets Association(s).
    KSS
    20th Dec 2016
    1:01pm
    I sometimes wonder whether people here actually read the article or just jump on the emotional bandwagon usually driven by Mick and the like.

    "The Pension Supplement, which was introduced in 2009 as part of the Labor Government’s wider sustainable pension reforms, is a combination of the GST Pension Supplement, Utilities Allowance, Pharmaceutical Allowance and the Telephone Allowance." It is this SUPPLEMENT that is being cut or stopped. Frankly I see no issue with this. If you live overseas you are NOT paying Australian GST, utilities, pharmaceuticals or telephone charges. Therefore you should not be claiming the supplement. If you are overseas for a significant amount of time i.e. more than 6 weeks, you are also not paying those bills in Australia. Get over it.

    As for those complaining of being prevented from going overseas for more than 6 weeks (and those with the attendant attempt at emotional blackmail of 'family' or 'carer' duties for sick relatives overseas) no-one is stopping you going anywhere for as long as you want - bucket list or life-long dream not withstanding. Just pay for it yourself and stop thinking the Australian taxpayer owes you a funded extended leave of absence.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    1:30pm
    Read the very first post KSS. I actually am agreeing with you.
    "Emotional" responses? I hope not. i just stay with the facts that others conveniently want to forget about.
    FYI - we will be overseas again shortly for several months. We do not draw a pension and we do not access any taxpayer services other than Medicare...which we only use every few years, touch wood.
    Cheers.
    fred
    20th Dec 2016
    2:13pm
    am with you all the way KSS Selfish users if they are double dipping even reduced handouts from here or overseas supplements
    Aussie
    20th Dec 2016
    5:19pm
    KSS I agree with you no problems but this supplement reduced has been active for at least 2 years I have been OS on extended Holidays and every 6 weeks the supplement gets cut so what in hell they are talking about ??????
    HDRider
    20th Dec 2016
    1:11pm
    Still it goes on, WHAT IS WRONG with some of you?
    this is an OVER 60's forum, to help those of us over 60 years of age....I get the impression some are a lot younger, some have not worked much and some are just plain jealous and bloody minded!
    'Chelle03 Check the facts of those ENGLISH migrants, your comment actually, by todays standards, made up by the pussies that now run this fine country are RACIST!!! The Italians used to receive TWO pensions, no deductions apparently, but there again, those people worked as hard as anyone in Australia to make it a great place.
    The ENGLISH who are entitled to an English pension have there pension adjusted, it is called unearned income if I am not mistaken. These people came here to work and have a better life, and, there own country, unlike ours, rewards them if they worked 10 years or more in the UK. That reward, pittance, I assure you, is then taken into consideration when they are paid by our goverment.
    PLEASE DO NOT START a RACE war over pensions, unless of course you know anything about them and the law.
    We ALL have opinions, I have the most, but, please be careful when outrageous statements, and remember, you had a WELSH PM and A POMMY PM, oh sure they are Aussie now, you wanna whinge, start at the top eh!
    Anonymous
    20th Dec 2016
    3:38pm
    jealous and bloody minded! spot on, some people just hate that some can save/afford to go overseas when they can't!
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    9:22am
    Politics of Envy - 'those old bustards are getting something I don't get'....
    HDRider
    20th Dec 2016
    1:18pm
    Army veteran, I fully understand what you are saying brother, I been there too, which is why I get cheesed off a bit on this one. No one in Parliament or in here complained about sending us overseas for whatever reason, even the Navy looking for pirates and drugs as they found off of Tassie the other day, we are all happy about that, but stuff them getting pensions lol.
    I worked for Goverments all my life, suffered too, even got blown up....but by christ I paid my taxes on the understanding I would receive a Govt Pension, thats all. Now they want to move the goalposts and all the trash comes out to rage against anyone getting anything they are not! We are all equal as humans, all I ask is that they keep the deal that was legislated.
    Army veteran
    20th Dec 2016
    1:55pm
    Well said HDRder,
    I too worked in government after my Army service, paid taxes like everyone that worked and never claimed the dole. In 2000 Commonwealth Medical Officer said I could no longer be employed and obviously got the TPI from DVA as it was all related. I received a letter from DVA warning me if I went out of Australia within 12 months of receipt of my TPI all payments would be stopped. I had only month before returned from working abroad for 26 years and had a wife from overseas. Both of us were effectively home detained for a year, where is our freedom, that same act of legislation is still in use, I approached politician from all party's but they ignored me completely. If I had be forewarned about my treatment I most certainly would not have joined the Army. If the enemy was marching down Collins St Melb I would wave the appropriate flag.
    Paddyschic
    20th Dec 2016
    1:19pm
    My husband and I took a 75 day cruise in June this year. After 6 weeks our pension supplement was cut. We had saved for that holiday while we were both working and paying taxes. We still had to pay for telephone and electricity while we were away. Why is it that whenever cuts have to be made the government always attacks the most vulnerable. We both worked from the time we were 17. Neither of us had access to super until later in life which left us with one small super pension, a part age pension and some interest from the sale of our home when we downsized on retirement. We didn't get child care rebates, we did get minimal chile endowment but mainly we paid our own way. So get off our backs and start looking at the wealthy and companies who are paying no tax.
    HDRider
    20th Dec 2016
    1:28pm
    Well said Paddyschic, couldn't agree more.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    1:32pm
    I can also relate to what you are saying Paddyschic. Been there done that.
    johnp
    20th Dec 2016
    1:40pm
    Paddyschic, my wife and I are in the same category as you. We never got a First Home Buyers grant, not a cent, and we never got child care rebates or paid maternity leave or any other assistance whatsoever. We've paid our own ways through life. We had a farm which, through no fault of our own, lost us all our superannuation. We end up depending on the State Pension, but we are being made to feel like welfare recipients of the lowest order. We're not asking for handouts, just an amount that is commensurate with the ever-rising cost of living in this great country of ours, that's all. After a lifetime of hard work, we are beginning to feel that we are not valued any longer. Sad.
    Nan Norma
    20th Dec 2016
    1:26pm
    I don't think anyone would mind too much to their pension being cut if we saw the politicians tightening their belts too but it seems pensions are cut and politicians pay goes up again by obscene amounts. You lead by example.
    OldCuban
    20th Dec 2016
    1:30pm
    Not to repeat everything but Slimmer Cat wrote it best and I agree
    tactful
    20th Dec 2016
    1:35pm
    How dare you print bold faced bloody lies.
    Way back when pensions were first introduced, people did pay towards getting a pension. This stopped well over 50 years ago. These days a pensions in not a right.
    I get the Age Pensions as does my hubby, neither of us are getting any cuts to our pensions.
    From all that I have read and from Centrelink website I have found the only people who will be affected are those with lots of assets.
    So if you have $300,000.00 in super and draw down only the minimum of 5%, then you are taking money away from those who never had super or the capacity to buy holiday homes, shares, as well as other monetary assets.

    What most are actually missing is this: those who have no superannuation, no shares, no other form of financial savings (bonds etc) will not be affected. All those who have worked out their finances to get the pension and keep these assets are going to be affected.
    Welfare - WELFARE - is there to help those who cannot financially support themselves, it is not there to help other live a lifestyle and keep all their monetary assets to fund overseas trips, new cars, holidays etc.
    If you can afford all of this, then you should not get any WELFARE payments.
    To those who say look at overseas, the USA everyone PAYS into WELFARE to get a PENSION, how do I know family and friends in the USA.
    From what I again have read about welfare systems in other countries, most have a pay in to get something back method.
    Australia has a draconian system where you do not need to do anything and you will get money for nothing.
    Any wonder we have huge debt.
    To MICK - Labor is the Unions they all want something for nothing and this is why our great country is in debt. Labor/Greens believe if you have worked hard accumulated lots of assets, then when you die they should go to the Government. Pigs might fly.
    Nan Norma
    20th Dec 2016
    2:04pm
    tactful. So those that have no savings, should get the full pension, and those that saved should get nothing. Is that what your saying
    HDRider
    20th Dec 2016
    2:07pm
    Oh dear, what a mix up, try reading the history of the Australian Pension and how it got to what it is today. Then, take a look at the ages of the people who are GRANTED it and think about when superannuation came into being!
    You will learn a lot about how all the mixed up Australian parliaments tried to sort something out, much like the UK system of National Health and Insurance stamps.
    The Governments, without the backing of the peopple just went ahead and repealed the 1909 and other acts, kept the bits that suited them and we now have this total mess which, is quite acceptable to Government because we now have forced super in place. They just have to get past this gereration and they'll worry about the sick lame and lazy later.
    Welfare? I think not....that is merely an interpretation.
    Army veteran
    20th Dec 2016
    2:08pm
    You don't fully understand all the different benefits(tactful). I am a disabled Army veteran and receive the TPI pension (Totally and Permanently Incapacitated) and whenever we receive the twice yearly pension increases in March and September it is guaranteed that my family allowance payments for our youngest son will be reduced, we were told that our veterans pension will not effect other Commonwealth government payments, that is totally wrong, they give with one hand and take from the other, that has been the situation for many years.
    HDRider
    20th Dec 2016
    2:08pm
    Try reading all this on this link:
    http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BN/1011/SSPayments1
    Anonymous
    20th Dec 2016
    3:04pm
    Yes, Nan Norma. Tactful (who absolutely isn't) is saying that if you bludged and spent up big time partying and holidaying during working life, the taxpayer should support you in old age. But if you worked and went without to save, and then your retirement fund was decimated by an economic collapse that wasn't your fault and suddenly the savings that SHOULD be returning $60,000 a year only return $26,000 a year, well... STUFF YOU. Drain your savings or starve, because only people who partied and wasted are entitled to taxpayer-funded pensions. Not responsible battlers who tried to be self-sufficient and couldn't because of government stuff-ups and rich man's greed.

    Now we have a welfare mentality/entitlement syndrome and not enough money to pay all those who don't work, and why? Well, precisely because we told all those who were responsible and contributed to society to GET STUFFED and all those who weren't responsible ''here's your handout''.

    Okay, Tactful, MAYBE you had a tough time and couldn't save. That happened to a few. A VERY FEW. I'd be willing to almost bet you had a hell of a lot better opportunity to save if you tried than half the people who have just suffered pension cuts. 'Cause in case you've been misled, in many cases -
    - THEY were not on high incomes.
    - THEY did not have superannuation
    - THEY did not inherit money or receive gifts
    - THEY worked bloody hard and sacrificed luxuries to save, because that's what the government told our generation to do. And they lied and told us we'd be rewarded with a comfortable old age. And now many are being screwed over and denied the benefit they earned so bludgers and wasters can have more.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    3:13pm
    tactful: I take your serve but you have contradicted yourself a bit. You want the pension and then you slag off at Labor which actually does bat for pensioners. This coalition government does not and continuing attacks on pensioners are the result.
    I sort understand where you are coming from but not all people who provide for themselves are wealthy. The thing you do not mention is the difference between circumstances and lifestyle.
    Many on a pension cry poverty when they lived it up the whole of their lives and cry poor when they retire because others made the effort to provide for themselves when they did not.
    Those on a pension should be grateful, not hateful. They are getting something which others are not getting and in some cases earning more with their pension than self funded retirees who also have the legacy of attending to their investments...another 'job' after retirement. The cheque does not just show up without the worries you know.
    Whilst I sometimes get called a leftie for caring about those in need I also see the seedier side of people wanting "something for nothing" as you said. Plenty of those. Ain't life interesting.
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    11:23am
    Until government removes the component of income tax that went to Social Security and refunds it to us all over the past fifty years - the argument that placing all the cash into consolidated revenue has no merit. Diverting the water into a dam doesn't alter the fact that it still comes from the same stream...

    Thank you for coming.....

    I've said it before, Mick - most of what some people label 'lefties' in a puerile attempt to suggest they are wishy-washy and greedy etc and some kind of 'commo', are just ordinary people who want a fair go for their efforts and to have their rights upheld. To the kind of children who use 'labels' as their entire argument, anyone objecting to foul treatment or expecting common justice and common sense to prevail instead of outright bullying - anyone who goes against City Hall - is a 'leftie' and a skulking revolutionary hiding in the shadows waiting to rape their grandmothers of their superannuation and bring down society to the street level....

    For those who think 'lefties' are bleeding hearts - remember that most successful revolutions came from the 'left' - once the ordinary people had had enough...
    Sweatshop Greed
    20th Dec 2016
    2:10pm
    Just wondering if the same restrictions will apply to the retired Politician's pensions.

    For the record, my decision to move overseas was forced upon me. I was considered too old, at 57, to work in Australia in 1997 , so I was left with the option of the dole pre pension, or work overseas. I chose the later, and didn't return to Australia until the age of 69 to apply for the pension.

    If my pension is cut, I like many others living here won't have enough income to have their visas extended, which would mean returning to Australia, causing extra costs for the government.
    HDRider
    20th Dec 2016
    2:26pm
    That's an interesting one, it would cause extra costs too. The Government really don't think things through very well at all! It's a case of, sod you jack, were allright!
    Hope things work out for you mate.
    Rae
    20th Dec 2016
    3:57pm
    This government seem incapable of seeing consequences. I too hope it works out for you. And all others now retired overseas after a lifetime of working here.
    Joy Anne
    20th Dec 2016
    2:18pm
    This is another sample of outrageous business. Why the pensioners??? If they are going overseas for ore then 6 weeks it may be because they have relatives over there and therefore have family who want them to stay after paying airfares which maybe paid by their relatives. This is Bullshit. No they should not have the supplement cuts. How about the Politians and their retirement pensions which I know many people are outraged about and all the perks when they have another job somewhere else for huge money. This has to be STOPPED. Also what about the 3% increase for their wages over 3 years, they have done nothing to deserve this. Also the perks they get and are abusing all the time. They should not get these perks and should be able to afford it from their salaries. This LNP are always taking from the people who need it most and giving to the rich. Sick of them. Think what the retirement pensions and perks we are paying them that would cut a huge amount off the deficit. LETS ALL BAND TOGETHER TO GET THIS THROUGH THE PARLIAMENT. LES BOMBARDED THESE HIPOCRITES.
    HDRider
    20th Dec 2016
    2:29pm
    Totally agree, better than fighting amongst ourselves, if only we could get ALL the pensioners to stand together and force MP's into bringing it all up in Parliament, it would take a LOT of pensioner people power.
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    3:15pm
    The real question is WHY ATTACK PENSIONERS FOR PEANUTS WHILST GIVING THE WEALTH GENEROUS TAXPAYER PAID FOR TAX BREAKS? And then there are the offshore tax shelters for the rich.
    This government is in full class warfare mode. No matter what they say to the contrary this is the game and retirees are but one sector in their sights.
    Anonymous
    20th Dec 2016
    4:02pm
    How about ALL RETIREES - or ALL SENIOR AUSTRALIANS.

    You know, the government is winning big time with its ''divide and conquer'' strategy. It's got rich SFRs attacking everyone but the very poorest (they pretend to be charitable!) and pensioners bashing struggling SFRs for saving a few bob and wanting to keep some of it for their own needs rather than donate to the government; and taxpaying retirees screaming ''greedy'' at folk who are just barely scraping by and want to preserve some savings for the next big emergency. We've got people who don't want to go overseas bashing the poor battlers who just want to visit their kids or care for their sick mum or go to their dad's funeral and have to go overseas to do it. We've got gamblers and drinkers and party goers and folk who had expensive holidays claiming pensions and screaming that people who went without all that to save shouldn't get them, and the people who went without to save bellyaching that they should get some benefit from their saving and not be punished. We've got people who don't need to go overseas screaming that neighbours and friends should be punished for wanting to spend time with aging parents or kids who live abroad, and the would-be traveller screaming that in that case gamblers and drinkers should be punished with pension cuts also. We've got battlers who saved asking if those who didn't were genuinely hard up or just lazy and irresponsible. We've got people screaming that homes should be taken off homeowners if they want a pension and homeowners screaming that people don't recognize the costs of owning a home, and after 30years of struggle to pay it off they should be allowed to keep it. And we've got couples screaming that the singles vs couples pension is unfair.

    And it's all part of a government strategy to pit one group against another so there's minimal opposition to their filthy policies.
    What's that saying that ends ''there'll be nobody to stand up for you''?

    I think it's about time we all shed dumb prejudices and stopped harping on definitions of the OAP and how history proves this or that and started just demanding A FAIR DEAL FOR ALL AUSTRALIAN SENIORS - respect and recognition that after a lifetime of contributing (however they may have done so and whether paid or not!) they are ENTITLED to retire in modest comfort, with all the human rights a decent society should afford them.
    veepee
    20th Dec 2016
    5:53pm
    I totally agree.I bet their exorbitant pensions won't be affected if they want to travel in retirement.Seniors could form a very strong lobby group - God knows they keep telling us that there are too many of us. Both sides of politics need to be put on notice.

    20th Dec 2016
    2:26pm
    So now we are done persecuting people who dared to save a few dollars, we start on those unfortunate enough to need a pension or part pension AND have loved ones abroad. 6 weeks is enough, eh? Not when there is a major health crisis and a parent or child living overseas needs care. Not when the traveller can't fly due to a health condition and it takes 4 weeks just to get where they are going by boat.

    It makes me sick to see people jumping to conclusions because THEY don't face hardship as a result of unfair measures, and they couldn't be bothered investigating and learning the real facts about other people's circumstances and challenges.

    Not everyone who goes abroad does so for pleasure. How would you folk like it if the next step was to ban pensioners from visiting family anywhere?
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    3:18pm
    It's a 'one size fits all' policy Rainey. Make no mistake this is not about saving a few (small) dollars. The government is just trying to take our focus off the main game of tax cuts for the rich, multinational tax avoidance and offshore tax shelters for the well to do.
    It is all too easy to be conned into forgetting the big issues which they want to hide.
    Marten
    20th Dec 2016
    2:49pm
    Referring to Slimmer Cat's comments, I totally disagree. Compare it with the grey nomads, who spend thousands of dollars on caravans, often far in excess what one needs to go overseas and then travel north, mainly to Queensland, for periods lasting at least two months, who are still entitled to their Pension entitlement. Also many of the people who travel overseas, often catch up with family, yet their expenses at home remain the same as it does for caravanners. Another vital point overlooked by politicians!
    WTF
    20th Dec 2016
    3:05pm
    it's been suggested previously in past forums.... EVERBODY eligible over the age 60 or 65 (or whatever age) receives a base Pension with ANY income earned over and above (eg +$20k) whether it be from employment, business, interest earning assets, rentals, investments etc subject to a provisional value of income tax with rates depending on income value etc. Yep it means tax returns or the like required each year (not all that different to Centrelink self reporting requirements) as the recipient's obligation with most financial data now visible to Centrelink anyway.

    IF a 'retired couple received base pension of $33K and earned (from investments, wages) a further $20K ($500K earning 4%) even a 15% tax would only see them lose $3K from their 'earnings'. Pension recipients could opt to have a nominal value deducted from their base pension with a square-up in line with FY (or 6 monthly intervals as circumstances change)

    I' d be interested in seeing if there's been any number crunching done on such a scheme and whether it's indeed feasible ? No doubt though it would go to the 'too hard basket'
    MICK
    20th Dec 2016
    3:20pm
    If it costs then this government will veto it. This is what this crew are like. But they are in favour of a $50 billion tax cut for the wealthy......
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    11:28am
    As long as such a scheme would catch politicians and their cronies out and force them to pay for their massive super, other incomes and perks - you will never see this one in place short of a Revolution.
    kinkakuji
    20th Dec 2016
    4:44pm
    Training loans have been likened to pink batts and rental subsidy rorts, in a damning assessment of a program estimated to have cost the federal government at least $2.2 billion in bad loans.
    A report from the National Audit Office outlines a litany of failures in the design, implementation and administration of the VET FEE-HELP scheme. The report, released today, steers most of the blame to the federal Education Department for pursuing a growth at all costs strategy and turning a blind eye to mounting evidence of rorts and excesses.
    Have all the senior bureaucrats who oversaw this debacle been sacked yet???
    You can almost guarantee that the answer to that one is no.
    Here is a suggestion for Scott Morrison - make all public servant superannuation entitlements the same as for the private sector. That will not only save lots of money (think reducing the deficit Scott) but will also make all workers be on a more fair and equitable foundation in our society. Currently public servants are almost a preserved and protected species with entitlements and benefits that many workers in society would only dream of.
    $2 billion (and counting) is a heck of a lot of money!!
    As an aside it would be good to do this just to hear the squawking and carry on with ABC staff.
    In addition I would say to Morrison, lay off the pensioners an do some cutting on the public service superannuation.
    rob101
    20th Dec 2016
    4:46pm
    Can I point out that Pensions(other than Blind and Disabled)are Taxed!



    rob101
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    11:34am
    All are taxed with every purchase, rob... never forget that the moment you dollar leaves your hand in our consumer society, it incurs tax. That is one of my arguments for not chasing the windmill of the 'black market' and wasting billions while using that chase as a vehicle for persecuting others such as working pensioners .... and also my refutation of the oft-heard comment from business that they are 'contributing' to society and thus deserve tax breaks etc.

    EVERYBODY - including the blind that halt and the lame - contributes to this society with every dollar spent - even if they spend it on beer, smokes and pokies... thus ALL deserve a 'tax break' even if it is in the form of extra pension or supplement, and this entire argument is based, and has been for a very long time, on the concept that the AMOUNT an individual (note I did not say a person) puts into society does not dictate the amount they get back.
    RJ
    20th Dec 2016
    4:53pm
    Since 1946 we have been paying a pension levy of 7.5%. It was collected and put into a special trust fund to pay for the old age pension. Successive governments have made changes and actually raided the fund and put it into general revenue, but the levy continued to be collected as a proportion of the Income Tax revenue. Thus us workers who have now retired are entitled to a pension. We have paid this levy all of our working lives.
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    11:35am
    Pension or refund indexed to today's rate..... and with interest.
    Aussie
    20th Dec 2016
    4:55pm
    All bull the reduction of pension supplement has been active for at least 2 years I have been OS on extended holidays and after 6 weeks the supplement goes down to $22.70 and I have over 45 years working in AU so what in hell they are talking about ?????? the 6 weeks has been in place for over 2 years

    Another government Bull to us .....

    Please someone tell me that I am correct and the gov. is taking advantage of me for the last 2 years ??????

    Please
    veepee
    20th Dec 2016
    5:27pm
    We seem to be assuming that a 6 week overseas holiday is an extravagance. Should people who go on luxury holidays in Australia, eg Kimberley Cruises starting at $22,000 for a couple for 10 days (not including spending money) not be penalised, but those who spend a fraction of that amount on a budget 6 + week holiday staying 2* or 3* in Vietnam or Cambodia or Thailand have their pension supplement cut. Holidaying outside of Australia, especially in off or shoulder seasons can be very much cheaper than a holiday at home, which is why many people do so.
    Aussie
    20th Dec 2016
    5:44pm
    Exactly and that is why I go OS because with 1 day hotel up north I will pay for a week OS accommodation ....so yes I go OS and get my pension reduced every time for the last 2 years.

    I save save save for 6 months then I go OS to relax, good food, good accommodation etc.

    I do not have to stay in one room ..... I live my life for 6+ weeks then back again to my room and save again ...he he he he
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    11:38am
    Indeed - go on an Alaska cruise for $50k for two weeks and nobody says a word.... pick up a $300 return fare to KL and use trains and such for seven weeks - and you are a leper....

    I'm an old grunt - I can handle the trains and the other garbage of the East - what I want is for this government with its faggotty white suite and its Harvard mouth to give me a little respect.... (sorry, Jack)...
    Jackie
    20th Dec 2016
    5:34pm
    Notice everything this government does is to hit the lower end of the market? Never the top. You never hear about the "crackdown" on "doubledipping politicians"(eg Joe Hockey). Or on "high income tax cheats and rorters". "Corporate tax avoiders" or people hiding their personal fortunes in dodgy tax shelters like the Cayman Islands.
    Aussie
    20th Dec 2016
    5:47pm
    Common Jackie this is the coalition government ..... is totally unfair to target the rich ....come on mate get with the program vote for them on the next election.

    Yes is totally ridiculous ...agreed with you
    Jackie
    20th Dec 2016
    5:36pm
    I think a dustinction should be made here about those who live in Australua, and manage to take that long awaited overseas holiday, and those who live elseehere permanently, thus not spending their pension in Australia.
    Aussie
    20th Dec 2016
    6:25pm
    Ok jackie ....so let see and understand what you are saying here...

    To live in AU with pension only = $1,007 a fortnight Ok

    Pension FULL Reduced
    Base 797.90 797.90
    Supplement 65.10 22.70
    Energy 14.10 0.00

    Total 877.10 820.60
    Plus Rental 130.60 0.00

    Total 1,007.70 820.60
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    IN AUSTRALIA - FULL PENSION

    1. - Rent (Just a simple room) = $250/$300 x week = $500/$600 Fortnight.
    2 - Food x week = $150 (Basic only) = $300 x fortnight (Very conservative)

    So far I get 1,007 x Fortnight and spend about $800/$900 so I left with about $107 to pay for Electricity, Petrol Rego Internet etc.

    Ok great living with pension only

    OVERSEAS (FULL x 6 WEEKS THEN REDUCED)

    Same income for 6 weeks $1,007 then reduced to $820 x fortnight

    Rent = $155 (x Month 2 Bed Home) = average $40 x week = $80 x fortnight

    Food = $200 x Fortnight (Full fridge Meat, Chicken Veggies etc) for a fortnight


    So far on a full pension of 1007 x fortnight I and spend = $280/300 x fortnight so I left with about $707 x fortnight

    On a reduce (Minimum allowed) of $820 x fortnight still get left = $520 to pay electricity, Water , Rego, Petrol etc.

    By the way Electricity is about $40 x month Water about $10 x month
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    So before you make any more comments about living in AU with your pension only get some information about other Asian countries like Vietnam, China, Malaysia and others.

    Quality of life is good and clean a lot less crime than in AU this days (Example Melbourne – Apex group and others).

    So get informed before you talk and make educated comments not totally stupid statements
    buby
    27th Dec 2016
    6:05am
    and i tell ya what jackie i can understand why they don't spend their money in australia, because everything here is over inflated. Over priced, even the pensioners are struggling to live well>?
    So yeh they have to go where its affordable! ya get sick of scrounging.There comes a time at the end of your life,you don't want to be doing that you want to just have want you want, without going without. but its got so expensive to live in your own country, so they taking the money overseas to cheaper destinations? who can blame them>?
    TCTraveller
    20th Dec 2016
    5:44pm
    I think if you can afford overseas travel, for whatever reason, surely you are not going to miss the price of a cheap bottle of Scotch or a pack of fags for a week if you are not using any utilities.
    Aussie
    20th Dec 2016
    5:55pm
    Well a pack of fags = $20 and whisky maybe about $35+ so that is a total of $55 Ok .... so if I go to Thailand for holidays $55 = $1,441 Baht .... with that I will have food for the week or pay for 1/3 accommodation for a Month or have a nice meal in a restaurant for 2 or 3 people. .... we live in luxury for 6+ weeks then back to survival mode for a few month ....

    Ticket to Thailand is about $400/$500 return .... I save quickly between 6 month plus accommodation and food for OS holidays for over 6 weeks (Only spend basic stuff to survive in Syd. for 6 month).

    That is why we go OS mate better quality of life at the end of our lives .....
    Thai Traveller
    20th Dec 2016
    6:45pm
    I agree with MOGO. I chose to live in Thailand as I can rent a pleasant flat at a reasonable price and eat at a local restaurant very cheaply.

    How can a pensioner rent anything decent in Oz at the prices charged and the terrible quality available? A single room in a shared house costs double what a fully-furnished flat and kitchen does in Thailand.

    In the past few years I have paid my own medical bills, pharmaceuticals, a knee replacement, total dental care at NO COST to the system in Oz, all from my pension.
    Aussie
    20th Dec 2016
    8:14pm
    Hi Thai Traveller ..... all good in Thailand ???
    Dave R
    20th Dec 2016
    9:03pm
    Yes those concerned that pensioners moving overseas cost the government money are wrong. They actually save the government money by not accessing Medicare etc here and funding their own health care etc where they have moved to.
    Aussie
    20th Dec 2016
    10:13pm
    Dave R

    That is correct also saving 130.60 x fortnight in Rental assistance to a total of $3,395 x year only one person plus Medicare and a lot more other payments and good stuff provided free in Australia.

    For instant Doctor visit at least one's x month for general check ??? $60 to 120 x visit paid by the gov. ????? that is a lot of money.

    So yes we are saving a lot of money
    Dave R
    20th Dec 2016
    10:32pm
    That is true, just think of all the aged care costs people who retire overseas are saving the Australian government/taxpayer.
    Taxpayers should be encouraging people to retire overseas not discouraging them.
    Aussie
    20th Dec 2016
    11:22pm
    Dave R

    I am sick of listening to people to say that pensioners should receive the pension only if live in AU they are just ignorants and jealous people we are saving the government over 1 Billion dollars a year by staying overseas.
    I have spreadsheet I made up too calculate the costs and the difference in dollars in AU and OS and I got very surprised.
    We save as follow A copy of my SS I did .....

    In Australia the full maximum payment is $1,007 x fortnight or $26,182 dollars a year for single pensioner
    Base payment 797.90
    Supplement 65.10
    Energy 14.10
    Rental assistance 130.60
    Total Full pension 1,007.70

    Plus we need to include the following payments that the government do for us pensioners
    1.- Medicare
    2.- Hospitals
    3.- Doctors (Analysis, X rays and others cover by Medicare)
    4.- Special discounts using the senior card
    5.- Discounted medicines
    6.- Pension Bonus scheme (Maybe not applicable if working OS and do not pat AU taxes)
    7.- No Carer allowances
    8.- large list of government and community support services
    9.- ABSTUDY ....
    And many many more government assistance that we will not have access because we live or stay over 6 weeks overseas
    Refer to this list of sites as reference:

    https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/payments-older-australians#a6

    https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/carer-allowance

    https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/payments-older-australians

    https://www.humanservices.gov.au/corporate/publications-and-resources/guide-australian-government-payments

    If we live or stay for more than 6 weeks overseas our pension is reduces to $820.60 or $21,335 dollars x year for single pensioner

    Base payment 797.90
    Supplement 22.70
    Energy 0.00
    Rental assistance 0.00
    Total Full pension 820.60

    We are not allowed to have any other benefits only our reduced pension

    So in summary we are saving the government $4,846 x year
    Plus a saving in all the other expenses mentioned above that may count for maybe about $15,000 or more x year considering all services, medical and medicines and disability support pensioners etc.

    So realistically we are saving the government about $19,846 x year for a single pensioner.

    Now considering that there are about 81,000 and about 6,500 disability support pensioners living outside Australia we are saving the government $1,736,525,000 …. OVER one Billion X YEAR

    Here Is a site reference for your information - This article did not mention the savings that pensioners living overseas will provide to the yearly budget

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/federal-election-2016/federal-election-2016-800m-cost-of-offshore-pensioners/news-story/fb9a0fae67c217c3420e41d6f23a5830

    Well this maybe teach something to the ignorants on this forum
    Old Geezer
    21st Dec 2016
    12:16pm
    However you are not spending your money in Australia but living overseas so Australia doesn't get the multiplier effect of that money. It would be considerable more than you have worked out they are saving.
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    12:57pm
    Ah - I see - so that multiplier effect co0mes into play when the government controls your income - but does not when you are an off-shore corporation and ship-load all your profits off-shore without paying tax?

    One rule for the peasants and one for the robber barons? How dreadfully Medieval.... next we'll be obliged to touch our forelocks before being allowed in to vote....

    "Oute on Ye Olde Hustings:-

    "Now then, my good and faithful serfs, peasants and rent-payers.... I'll be standing for a position in the House of Lords... and you all know where your votes are going! RIGHT!!??!! Now you all know what happened to Bold Harry the Plantagenist, don't you?"

    **chorus of, "aargh, aye, sor" one fine peasant cries out loud "We be votin' fer yer, M'Lod!" .. not a grinch in sight lest he lose his head**
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    8:42am
    Yeeee-ussssh - but they're still LIVING in Australia, and only TRAVELING overseas - and their utilities still require a monthly fee just to stay on board. As long as they have a primary residence in Australia and are Australian citizens, they still have utilities bills to pay, and the real reason for the Supplement is that all this 'privatisation' nonsense has inflated those bills several times over while setting in place permanent payments that are unrelated to usage.

    We need to develop an electric chair for economists and politicians..... built in top their seat in parliament and subject to control by a panel of pensioners.... well - let's be civilised - make it an ejector seat.
    PlanB
    21st Dec 2016
    8:56am
    Thumbs up to that TREBOR
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    11:40am
    Now if they said - you-a stay-a in-a da Old-a Country for over-a six month in-a year - you get-a no Supplement until-a you come-a HOME!
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    11:41am
    .. then-a you no get 'im for-a da number of week over six (opr whatever) week that-a you stay away!
    RJ
    21st Dec 2016
    11:52am
    It really irks me that this Govt tries to balance the books by making the most vulnerable pay the price ie pensioners. Are pensioners an easy hit? Why pick on the people who can least afford it? What about making some harder decisions like cutting back on the spending a bit? Stop hitting the poor and vulnerable. And if they really have do hit the poor, what about cutting back a bit on their own benefits to set the example? People will accept anything if they believe that it is fair and that everyone (including politicians) are treated the same. I can see big Trumpesque changes happening in Canberra come next election.
    Old Geezer
    21st Dec 2016
    12:07pm
    I'm doing my bit as I've cancelled Christmas again this year.
    TREBOR
    21st Dec 2016
    1:05pm
    What about the merciful hangings and beheadings, and the kitchen scraps for the orphans and lepers?
    Justsane
    21st Dec 2016
    2:44pm
    Just two things:
    1. I didn't vote for this government, but I may have inadvertently voted for someone who tends to vote with the Government on legislation. It is hard to know how members of parliament will vote, particularly the Greens - who would have thought they would vote with this mob on anything? (The reason why the change to the asset taper rate on 1st January is going through is due to the Greens voting with the Government for it in 2015.)

    2. Giving part of the pension as a supplement makes it ripe for tampering with. It would be much harder to cut any of the pension if it was all regarded as one lump sum, with the supplement not seen as a separate amount.
    sydneysider
    23rd Dec 2016
    7:51am
    agree pension should just be the pension although I elect to take my supplement quarterly to coincide with utilities bill having said that I pay my utilities fortnightly if you are not a with it well organised and 1600 a month does not go gar in the world if you don't own your own home. Many pensioners are not lifelong superannuation savers or receivers because the scheme came in half way through out lives. many pensioners have no home due to marital status breaking down at a time when they are unable to purchase due to age so don't flip out about pensioners the govt is working towards a time when everyone will be superannuation rich and pensions will be much smaller payout.....but then it will b e going to unemployed so who knows
    buby
    21st Dec 2016
    3:11pm
    Supplement, Utilities Allowance, Pharmaceutical Allowance and the Telephone Allowance. And of course, when people travel overseas these costs are reduced, but they don't cease altogether. People still have to maintain utilities to their home, which means they are still paying many of the standing and supply charges that often make up the bulk of bills.
    YEs that is correct and i must still pay these and my rent whilst i am overseas. What sort of a low blow was that.
    Perhaps if we stopped the POLLIEs travelling overseas at all Would be a bigger saving for australia, than what they just did.
    Cause as a disabled person, when and IF i can afford to go overseas, and when, I often need time off to recoupe, before i travel on to forward destinations. Cause the flamin back just won['t tolerate it? But they wouldn't know cause they never worked a hard days LIFE in their entire LIFE most likely?
    SO bloody ridiculous. They should hung strung and quarter the creeps
    sydneysider
    23rd Dec 2016
    7:44am
    pension supplement is to supplement pensions so pensioners are not in poverty those living out of Australia shouldn't get it nor should you if you are travelling.. Six weeks is a utilities billing cycle so I think its fair... I am a pensioner and anything that is saved by the govt should be set aside for pensioners in a special fund not go back into general welfare ..such as raising the rate of rent assistance
    anonysubscribe
    25th Dec 2016
    7:19pm
    both labour and liberal governments have no compunction in destroying pensioners' lives. They also feel no shame in supporting rich fat cats like the packers and big and small businesses to help them legally evade (sorry, avoid) tax. Then they say they have no money for public policy and services and gut them to show what good managers they are. IF an insurance company director did what these robber barons do shamelessly, they would be put in jail. Our leaders can break all social contracts including pensions and benefits while they enrich their rich and powerful friends at the expense of the poorest and weakest in society.
    buby
    24th Mar 2017
    7:21am
    yes indeed anonysubscribe, and like they back the CEO's Post HIgh Wages, then that donkey has the cheek to have a go at Pauline.
    POOR bugger if you can't Stand the HEat,GET out of the Post OFfice, cause i'm sure you will get a lot more soon!

    But the Pollies too Hiking up their wages, they make sure they are set up right. and taking their money off shore!!
    Where did they learn that bad habit?
    I think they need to take a cut, everytime the pensioners get one?
    PIXAPD
    25th Dec 2016
    9:25pm
    Then do not be out of the country more than 6 weeks...what does the meerkat say?......'simples'...those who are out longer and lose money are ..'simple'
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    7:56pm
    What a cruel, heartless comment Pixapd! What if people have loved ones in foreign lands who are sick or dying or have just lost a partner? Some older folk can't fly due to health issues. It can take 4 weeks just to get to a foreign land by ship. That's 8 weeks there and back, without even staying a day! A family crisis might make it essential that someone stay for several weeks or maybe months. I know folk who had to go overseas to access special medical treatments to save their lives. 6 weeks isn't long enough for them. I suppose you think they should just be left to die? Do I recall you claiming to be ''Christian''?
    buby
    27th Dec 2016
    6:07am
    yes what a dreadful thing to say Pixapd.
    Stuff the meerkats......really its no funny.
    What a stupid ad.....simple.
    huh, could be you be a bit simple? eh
    Jackie
    5th Jan 2017
    11:11am
    Many people will have scrimped and saved for years to have that one big holiday when they retire from work. When they take that holiday, they may as well take as long as they need (within reason perhaps) as they most likely will never get another holiday like that. There are also many, many people who have family overseas. They should be able to visit and support them through sickness. Pixapd you obviously have not considered the many reasons people need to be "out of the country".
    freed1948
    2nd Jan 2017
    7:33pm
    I left OZ so I could live off my OAP , which I could not afford to do in OZ.
    Since I left my pension has been reduced from $877.10 t0 $743.30.
    Now they want to reduce it by another $22.70.
    I now think I should bring my family to OZ and bludge off the government like all the current migrants.
    Jackie
    4th Jan 2017
    2:50pm
    Dont forget this government has slso changed the form of indexation, so the age pension will increase by less, and over time that will make a big difference, unless changed.
    soph
    22nd Mar 2017
    8:51pm
    I went to Greece for a year. Why? because I could not afford to rent here in AU. Even taking into account the airfare (which took me a year to save up each way) I had a better standard of living and rental choice than here. My only income is the OAP. Since I've been back I live in my daughter's garage. Nothing has changed here. I'm seriously considering going back.
    buby
    24th Mar 2017
    7:26am
    Next time you go there Let me know Soph i'll come with you. lol.
    The rentals here are dreadful, they don't cater for singles, or older singles. All they are building for are Families, and that nice, but all the while, they are also polluting our lovely city. WEll melbourne used to be. NOw you go into town, and your throat becomes dry and hurts and you can't breath down there anymore. So much happening in the city now its hard to keep UP.
    OUR health services can't keep up either??
    YOU know its all stuffed when you have to wait donkeys ages to get an operation done. But not only that when you get into the hospitals, they don't even treat you right there anymore.
    Its getting scarier and scarier.
    They would probably do a better job in Greece!


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