Too much information

Fewer taxpayers and more people living in retirement means a ticking time bomb

Too much information

The facts and figures are stark. In the past 50 years, the life expectancy of an Australian has increased to almost 82 years from about 70 years. During that time, the average number of births per woman has fallen to 1.9 from 3.5.

A man born in Australia today can expect to live almost 80 years, up from 77 years a decade ago. For women, the corresponding figures are 84 and 82.5.

According to the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), female life expectancy at birth in Australia is forecast to be 89 by 2050. For males, the figure is 84.

By 2050, the number of Australians aged 65 and above will have hit about 7.2 million, up from 3 million in 2010, a multiple of almost 2.5. By contrast, the number of people of traditional working age, 15 to 65, will only be about 1.2 times bigger, rising to 19 million. That will mean the number of people of traditional working age for each person of 65 and older, the traditional retirement age, will almost halve from 5 to 2.7. This is somewhat unflatteringly termed the ‘dependency’ ratio.

This will hit the federal budget; there will be fewer taxpayers and more people living in retirement, the majority on the Aged Pension. Government spending on pensions is forecast to rise from about 3.4 per cent of gross domestic product, which measures the value of the goods and services we produce each year, to almost five per cent.

This increase would be bigger were it not for the compulsory superannuation system established by the Hawke and Keating governments, which has generated the world’s fourth-biggest pool of retirement savings.

That system, though, has also generated a false sense of security; most retirees, and the mass of baby bombers (born between 1946 and 1964 and currently aged between 49 and 67) heading towards the end of full-time employment, will rely on a pension after leaving the full-time workforce.

“Most people now aged in their 50s and 60s are very much underfunded for their longer lifespan… Many baby boomers, in fact about 60 to 70 per cent, will move into retirement and have to rely on a full or part Age Pension. That is not rich. And this will be the first generation to enter retirement with sizable home mortgages’’

The above is an edited excerpt from Kaye’s interview with Michael Short, of The Zone in today’s Melbourne Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Opinion: Stop retirement wipeout

What about you? Are you entering retirement – or already in it – and totally underfunded for your expected lifespan? Sadly, you’re not alone. But don’t think that this can’t change. This website is stepping up its advocacy on behalf of older Australians – particularly those who are facing a financial wipeout through no fault of their own.

And today you can join in online and debate the rights and wrongs of retirement income – why some seem to sail into retirement with a sizeable retirement nest egg but others enter years of struggle.

So you are welcome to respond by commenting below – but why not come online and have a chat in ‘real time’ instead? 





    COMMENTS

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    10th Sep 2013
    11:54am
    Well, those of us able, will have to get off our chuffs and do some work. Rudd has left the cupboard bare. You cannot get blood out of a stone. Perhaps we could get a seniors handyman/woman group together and go into opposition with the tradies. We can undercut the price and do it for cash. NO GST!!!!
    student
    10th Sep 2013
    2:27pm
    same old same old.
    tia-maria
    10th Sep 2013
    2:48pm
    Surfer boy give it a break now, the Liberal never think of the under dogs and that means us .......the struggleing retired pensioners...... at least Rudd gave us a@ $1,000.more than I can say for your beloved party who keeps giving the Baby Bonus.
    Young Simmo
    10th Sep 2013
    4:05pm
    Yeh Sufer, the only way I can survive is to Rip-Off Centrelink. How I hear you say? Well I gave up smoking in June 2002 age 62. I didn't tell Centrelink, and they are still paying me my Smokers Suppliment of 5 Packets of tobacco, 4 packets of Ciggy papers and 10 boxes oxf matches a fortnight. I sell these to my neighbour for $200 and blow that at the local Knockershop. I just need to find a way to get free Viagra.
    tia-maria
    10th Sep 2013
    4:14pm
    Hey Young Simmo your in a bad way mate................keep dreaming
    Foxy
    10th Sep 2013
    5:05pm
    ...hate to burst ya bubble Surfer - but your idea of a senior's handyman group is soooooo outdated it is laughable!!! In Victoria we have had the "Grey Army" for at least 7/8 maybe years - they do exactly what you suggest!!! Maybe you ought to enlighten yourself in what is going on in the rest of Australia instead of your pathetic "Rudd" bashing all the time - get over it Surfer we are all damned sick of your bleating about Rudd - he is GONE - DONE - DUSTED - be happy for once in your life - you wanted Abbott - you got him! !!! Stop freakin' complaining !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wanker! P.S. and before you start on me again - I'm not a Labour supporter - jeeeez
    Anonymous
    10th Sep 2013
    6:18pm
    Well, well, well....Surfer with a big 'S' is back. Where's your mate (little 's')?!

    Ow..NO! The 'cupboard is bare' FALLACY! We can't do all the things we PROMISED to do because.... wait for it..... it is worse than we thought.

    You forget urfer, that everything was vetted and verified by the department watch dogs, so what was reported was ACCURATE. It is not Labor's fault that idiot and his so called Treasurer, can't add up.

    It was Liberal's pseudo policies that were NOT COSTED, so all we can say is that the $4billion hole, stated by Labor MUST BE CORRECT.

    BUT yes, I know, by the time the Murdoch media is finished we will ALL believe it was Labor's fault!
    surfer
    12th Sep 2013
    9:28am
    Poxy Foxy, Are you still around drivvilling on about nothing and correcting other people. Why don't you take a good hard look at yourself. I find you a silly old fool so don't want any connection with you. Get a life you dope. Young Simmo, you always have the best ideas. These commos don't like it when I mention work. Must be all allergic. What do you do with that viagra, rub it on your head to make the hair grow.
    Foxy
    12th Sep 2013
    1:05pm
    ...you would be the vilest most nasty bitter hateful OLD MAN I have ever come across in my entire life!!! UGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ...and you a lot older than me Surfer boy - trust me!!! hahahaaaaaa - and if you don't want any connection with me - why you still rant and rave and leave posts on here regarding me you stupid oldddddddddddd moron!!! F..k off and go live in the Big Banana you redneck old hick!!!
    Anonymous
    12th Sep 2013
    1:58pm
    Now now Poxy Foxy, You really do have your old knickers in a twist. Don't like the truth do you. Why don't you get out and do some work to help some disadvantaged poor soul instead of going on like a lunatic. Your type are pathetic. Nothing to do and all day to do it in. I feel sorry for you as you obviously have a mental problem and should be medicated. Just stop moaning about everything and learn to live and let live. As for old, I know you are just an ancient fat duck that is probably half drunk most of the time. Just go away.
    student
    16th Sep 2013
    10:43am
    Simmo, you are going to be one BAD boy when you get older :) Hey, I've just had a brain wave! Simmo, if you write a book "A Dummies Book on How to Rip off the Government', you can make a fortune and then pay lots of taxes so the pensioners can get an increase! Plus, writing a book MAY keep you on the straight and narrow :).
    tiger
    10th Sep 2013
    12:11pm
    we are grey nomads with a small six figure sum sitting in astandard type interest bank account. we need your advice on how to invest this money to get a higher interest to improve things. tiger .
    Anonymous
    10th Sep 2013
    6:35pm
    Just hold back a bit tiger. A third wave of the GFC is on its way and with that fool Abbott in charge, Australia's economy will take a downward swing. Simply ensure your money is in a SAFE bank AND that you negotiate the best interest rate possible. Even these days, the banks don't like their funds walking away to another bank.

    I'd say about Jan/Feb/Mar next year that waste substance will hit the fan which will affect share markets and although you are getting low interest, it may be a safer bet to leave your money there for a little while. I don't think Australian banks will drown OR that a 10% reduction of your savings, into bankers pockets will occur, as in Cyprus. Abbott has not been in charge long enough, to put Australia in that much of a mess ....Labor did put our economy at the very top of the world, so Abbott has a HUGE buffer zone!

    If shares go down substantially it may be possible to invest in a few VERY SAFE corporations, whilst the shares are so low and hope things get better enough for them to go up in price, within the next 5-6 years. Remember the dividend franking credit will be reduced, so that must be taken into account when working out your returns, etc.

    Those that have their retirement money still tied up in super funds can change their investment mix from including shares to CASH only, if they are ever concerned about Australia's economy. You might not make a big return but your actual capital should be safer.

    Finally, go to CENTRELINK, they have people that can advise and help you with your finances AND your discussions are CONFIDENTIAL.
    Paddles
    15th Sep 2013
    8:49pm
    tiger

    The only bit of credible advice from Mussitate was to consult Centrelink as they are clued in and most helpful generally.

    The rest of his rave can be safely ignored as it is pure partisan polemic, as usual! Already, with Tony Abbott yet to be sworn in, there are very obvious signs of the restoration of business confidence and you may expect that trend to continue.

    GOOD TIMES ARE ACOMIN'
    surfer
    16th Sep 2013
    9:25am
    Tiger, I agree with all paddles has said and would suggest you keep well away from Centrelink. I would just keep it in the bank on interest, and feel comfortable that you have it. Don't be afraid to spend some capital to give yourself a good life style. Poor old Mussitate has never had a six figure amount so ignore his stupid ideas.
    Helen-gran
    10th Sep 2013
    12:29pm
    It's sad that so many people need to contemplate retirement with a large mortgage looming over their living expenses. It seems that if your retirement planning priority is to be mortgage-free, even a small superannuation pension plus top-up from Centrelink pension (along with all the "discounts") is adequate, with a good budget & not-so-frugal living, to permit regular savings, to put towards personal interests, holidays, etc. There are many pensioners to be met on around-world cruises! But as individuals, we all make our own priorities!
    catsahoy
    16th Sep 2013
    2:40pm
    WHAT IS A AROUND THE WORLD CRUISE,? GEE HELEN GRAN, A TRAM RIDE INTO THE CITY IS AS FAR AS I GET,
    catsahoy
    16th Sep 2013
    2:40pm
    WHAT IS A AROUND THE WORLD CRUISE,? GEE HELEN GRAN, A TRAM RIDE INTO THE CITY IS AS FAR AS I GET,
    catsahoy
    16th Sep 2013
    2:40pm
    WHAT IS A AROUND THE WORLD CRUISE,? GEE HELEN GRAN, A TRAM RIDE INTO THE CITY IS AS FAR AS I GET,
    catsahoy
    16th Sep 2013
    2:40pm
    WHAT IS A AROUND THE WORLD CRUISE,? GEE HELEN GRAN, A TRAM RIDE INTO THE CITY IS AS FAR AS I GET,
    catsahoy
    16th Sep 2013
    2:40pm
    WHAT IS A AROUND THE WORLD CRUISE,? GEE HELEN GRAN, A TRAM RIDE INTO THE CITY IS AS FAR AS I GET,
    Supernan
    10th Sep 2013
    12:39pm
    Looking at many younger people today, most are so overweight, they will be lucky to reach retirement age !
    Actual Cat
    11th Sep 2013
    8:40am
    Supernan, my bro-in-law & nephew work in health and say that a majority of patients are there because of excess weight causing disease/illness. So not only is their life expectancy poor, also they're a great drain on public health.
    We've had dietary and exercise education saturating the public for a generation - we've also had saturation advertising for fast food - clearly, the advertising of these greasy ghastly looking foods are winning.
    Jacks
    10th Sep 2013
    2:48pm
    What about those people 55 and over who are not eligible for the pension, have too much osteoarthritis to work full-time or part time for that matter, do not qualify for disability, receiving Newstart and being treated like criminal offenders. Because of the Liberal Parties previous policy of mutual obligation and privatising employment agencies, you are now seen as an income producing unit. You have to do meaningless job club activities for hours on end which is neither helpful nor supportive and exacerbates my arthritis. Can't do voluntary work until 55 and then it"s only work that is deemed suitable by Centrelink. I know how to write a resume, and have my own professional networks for potential employment.Worked hard previously in unskilled low paid work, with broken employment due to retrenchments, downsizing etc, but without much super to show for it. Launched into tertiary education to enable better paying conditions to prepare for senior years. Governments at one stage charging upfront fees for post graduate education, which was necessary for registration as a practitioner, realised it's mistake and then brought in HECS, too late for those of us who had to payout thousands $15 in my case for one post grad and then another 5 to 6 on top of that first first semester Masters before they brought in HECS. Masters is necessary for allied health registration. Told to old to work, you need a drivers liscence which I don't have and it's too expensive when you aren't working to learn to drive. Centrelink doesn't pay for lessons, nor hydrotherapy for my arthritis which is essential to keep to mobile, nor pay for physiotherapy which is also essential. Paid for that with my own money but 5 sessions wouldn't do much to help anyway.

    Pension increase won't help me and all attempts to work hard to make it all happen for myself haven't worked out. Living single in a drab and dirty one bedroom apartment. Dinner out, travel, movies etc you gotta be kidding me.
    Hasbeen
    10th Sep 2013
    4:14pm
    Sorry you're finding it tough Jacks, but after 6 years of Labour governments I think it is a bit rich to blame the Liberals for any policy still in force. If Labor didn't change it, they must agree with it.

    You can't blame anyone for you making a few bad choices, not that you are necessarily foolish for making them either. It is very hard to make the right choices, & often the difference between them is just a matter of timing & luck.

    I chose to buy some land rather than invest in education, & that was a pretty good choice, as values skyrocketed. Every time I tried to get away from the crowd they followed me. At least I made a profit every time I moved on to avoid the crowd.

    After years in the tourist industry, I would hate being a tourist & never want to eat in a restaurant again, so my costs are low, & have no desire for your expensive tastes.
    Foxy
    10th Sep 2013
    5:16pm
    ..what utter rubbish!!!!! You can do voluntary work no matter what age you are - what rock you living under?????? Centrelink has nothing to do whatsoever regarding voluntary work in the community and why should Centrelink pay for your driving lessons and your physio. - are you for REAL???? If you have waited til this time of your life to learn to drive -well - you missed the boat my friend - maybe get on one to PNG??? Maybe you'l get a better deal there - what do you expect Centrelink to do next -?????? Send you French Cuisine and a bottler of Moet for your dinner???? Yeah right - ridiculous.........sorry............
    Anonymous
    10th Sep 2013
    6:56pm
    Actually 'Hasbeen' Labor was helping people with disabilities and FORCED the Libs to accept it..... it would have looked so bad if they had knocked it back. They were shamed into letting the legislation go through.

    Hasbeen, you are sooooooooo wonderful and everyone else are idiots.... I can see that now. My wealth is my own fault, I chose to invest in an education - such a stupid thing to do and NOW I have all this money/assets which surpasses yours... ALL because I had lots of money to play with and could buy lots more bits of land BUT with actual houses on them... how bloody stupid am I.

    What a prat Hasbeen! Not everyone has the same opportunities as others and people make do and work hard - they deserve a break AND assistance when things go wrong.....NOT to be told how wonderful YOU are and HOW stupid everyone else is.

    Sheeeez! Your response was pathetic Hasbeen. Me, me, me,me,me,me!

    and JACKS doesn't have expensive tastes??!!! They are what I would call simply, normal tastes. Dinner out, travel, movies..... hardly exotic.
    BlackCatWalking
    13th Sep 2013
    5:21pm
    Jacks, I hope you come back to read my response. How sad that you reached out for support and instead were vilified for being honest and sharing your vulnerability with us.

    I agree with you, that Centrelink has become a service like probation and parole designed less for supporting people and more about punishing the vulnerable. It's difficult when one doesn't fit into the box that the government deems "entitled to receive money", without having to constantly move mountains to get -a meagre sum at that to sist you with your living expenses.

    The next time someone tries to tell you that you are costing the government money, remind them of the qualifications that you gained and if you were employed it would more than likely be in a government position that is then going to cost them a hell of a lot more money than you are now. So you're actually saving them money.

    I hope things pick up for you soon or that you find a way to keep your head above water. Know that others are thinking of you.
    surfer
    14th Sep 2013
    6:31am
    Spot on Hasbeen, Do not take any notice of Must-you-rate and that awful Foxy. They are labor stooges and abuse anyone with a different view. After Rudd/Gillard/Rudd squandered hundreds of billions on idiotic ventures the cupboard is bare. Tony Abbott has a mammoth job ahead trying to fix all labors mistakes.
    Jacks
    10th Sep 2013
    4:46pm
    The reason I stopped posting here is because of the dumb, insensitive comments like yours Hasbeen. Obviously you didn't read my comment properly. Like every other person who isn't tertiary educated you fail understand policy and how people wind up in circumstances of not their own choosing. Once a policy is cemented in place it's very difficult to change it. The Greens are the only party with welfare reform policies, so I didn't say I was a Labor supporter, you assumed that. I'm not blaming the Liberal Party for my circumstances, another assumption you made. I am blaming the Liberal Party for privatising Centrelink and causing untold problems in keeping my head above water, for not just me, but many other people, who also post on this forum. I also don't have expensive taste and never said that I did. I fail to see how have dinner out occasionally or a movie is what would be considered expensive.

    I didn't make a few bad choices, I made great choices, but you don't choose illness, I didn't make myself have arthritis. I have lead a healthy active life with no alcohol or smoking.
    Anonymous
    10th Sep 2013
    7:12pm
    Jacks

    I apologise for the Hasbeen's pathetic responses and I have just read Foxy's response which is distastefully wankerish.

    I went to one of those 'meet your cabinet ministers' meetings that Rudd turned up to and took flak from the people. I went there to give him a 'right talking to' but come away respecting the man, VERY MUCH. He worked so very hard for the ordinary and disadvantaged in our society which was never reported in the corporate media.

    At that time there was a similar situation to yours that someone got up and spoke of to Rudd, whereby he didn't seem to fit into any of the Centrelink and other criteria. Rather than just fob him off, Rudd was very interested and asked him to wait after everyone finished, to talk with him. Rudd wanted to get all the details because he was concerned about people falling through the cracks, so to speak.

    PITY we didn't have more of those type of meetings, your situation may have been corrected or in the very least catered for.

    Don't stop posting, just because of those twats. Rheumatoid arthritis is just plain EVIL, one of my clients simply woke up with it one day and over the next year, I watch her pain and physical appearance shrink her and alter her personality drastically. Can't even think about it without feeling upset and sad.

    No matter what government, the privatisation of government utilities, is totally WRONG and UNACCEPTABLE. So keep posting Jacks.... I had forgotten all about Centrelinks privatisation.
    Paddles
    15th Sep 2013
    9:08pm
    Mussitate

    If you went to a meeting to give Kevin Rudd "a right talking to" then that only signals your naivety!

    Whatever your credentials, and apart from your slavish leftism, you would have been treated to the disdain for the inferior people that has become a hallmark of the Rudd persona. One is permitted to kiss his arse but don't even think about disagreeing with him or, worse, criticising him.
    surfer
    16th Sep 2013
    9:30am
    I just hope I never see that dickhead Rudd ever again. You would think after bankrupting our country he would crawl back under a rock. Even his own party don't want him. Australias worst PM. Poor old Must -you -rate would get a right royal welcome from that little turd.
    Jacks
    10th Sep 2013
    5:21pm
    Foxy your dumb, really dumb!!!
    surfer
    12th Sep 2013
    9:31am
    She is also a labor stooge and trouble maker.
    Foxy
    12th Sep 2013
    9:42am
    .....WRONG AGAIN surfer boy!
    Anonymous
    12th Sep 2013
    2:04pm
    This foxy duck is everywhere Jacks. She is on medication and should be humoured.
    qbeebill
    10th Sep 2013
    5:24pm
    Wellif the new Fed Government are going to govern for all Austrailians ..maybe they should start with a New increase for Older Pensioners by increasing the pension by another $150 per fortnight,thus bringin the Pensioners up to am more livable pension rate with no tax...Qbeebill
    East of Toowoomba
    10th Sep 2013
    6:34pm
    I think Foxy was Rude, rather than Dumb. The article has some good points and we all have to make the best of what we have (or don't have). Jacks your situation is not unique but every day must be extremely challenging for you.
    Anonymous
    12th Sep 2013
    2:11pm
    This Foxy is a very rude woman with a chip on her shoulder. She even swears and curses anyone with a different view point to her. I feel sorry for Jacks being landed with her vitriol.
    Jacks
    10th Sep 2013
    6:54pm
    Thank you East of Toowoomba.

    I say dumb, because Foxy obviously has no idea of social security law and hasn't spent much time reading the articles on this website, which have given out the exact same advice and information, that I am about to describe. If your on a Newstart benefit, you are not permitted to do voluntary work. Of course I can do what I like on weekends, bu not weekdays. When you turn 55, you can do voluntary work in place of your mutual obligation, activities but it has to be at a voluntary agency approved by Centrelink and not one that you have investigated yourself and matched to your own abilities. It's social security law and is written on the government website.
    Foxy
    11th Sep 2013
    11:18am
    ...apologies from the Dumb Fox - I had no idea if you were on Newstart you could not do voluntary work? Are you really sure that is correct? If you are correct - can you please tell me why? Least you would be helping others and making your own life a bit brighter.....why do they have this rule? - why do Centrelink have to approve it etc.?? I will always be first to apologise if proven wrong and can always learn something more everyday....Cheers .....
    Jacks
    11th Sep 2013
    2:01pm
    Foxy, for anyone who is receiving Newstart there is mutual obligation activities that they must undertake. These will be different for different age groups, different circumstances, like principle carers etc. You will be sent to a Job Network Provider and sign an activity test agreement plan. These last for one year. You do not have any say in what they are. They usually include attending Job Clubs, Resume building classes, regular interviews, light exercise, pain management groups it all depends on age, whether you are assessed as being able to work fulltime or partial capacity to work, such as in my case. These activities are compulsory and have to be done, no matter your circumstances. My activity tests assigned to me were weekly and therefore my case manager would not approve voluntary work for me. You can choose your voluntary organisation anyway.

    I would recommend anyone who is on Newstart read social security law regarding voluntary work. Even with this knowledge if your Job Network Providers says no there is nothing you can do about it.

    Here is the guide to social security law and voluntary work
    http://guidesacts.fahcsia.gov.au/guides_acts/ssg/ssguide-3/ssguide-3.2/ssguide-3.2.9/ssguide-3.2.9.130.html
    Jacks
    11th Sep 2013
    2:07pm
    I meant to say you can't choose the voluntary organisation.

    10th Sep 2013
    8:31pm
    Can we CHALLENGE this new Corporate Media claim that there will be no one working and that we are all going to be pensioners, costing the government lots of money!!!!

    Figures don't lie but liars can figure, is an apt saying here!

    NOT even considering the 200,000 young immigrants that arrive on our shores each year, the following gives a better idea of our population:

    We have a growth rate of 1.1% nationally with NT, Qld, and WA scoring highest in growth rate.

    0-14 years: 18.2% )
    15-24 years: 13.5%) = 73.9% working
    25-54 years: 42.2%)
    55-64 years: 11.8% preparing to retire )
    65 years and over: 14.4% = retired - mostly) = 26.2%

    GIVEN that MOST people will be SELF FUNDING their OWN retirement from their own SUPERANNUATION funds, the above figures do not seem all that bad!!!

    Granted, there will be a gap because of those that only started funding towards the end of their working lives, etc. and some that have contributed ALL their lives but were on low wages will need to be topped up BUT on average the 'OLD PEOPLE' cost WILL DECREASE, NOT increase.

    RUDD who bit the bullet and has increased the super rates to be paid instead of wages to employees, as follows:
    2013/14 - 9.25%; 2014/15 - 9.5%; 2015/16 - 10%; 2016/17 - 10.5%; 2017/18 - 11%
    2018/19 - 11.5%; 2019/20 - 12%. Makes, it even more unlikely that "old" Australians will be a burden on society.

    [An ASIDE: Don't say that businesses can't pay these amounts because they represent NATIONAL WAGE INCREASES in the BASIC WAGE and represent WAGES that are not paid to the EMPLOYEE but put directly into their SUPER FUNDS. So if they were not paid in super they would have to be paid as wages. It is NOT a gift that employers give good heartedly to employees, it is the EMPLOYEES' own wages.]

    Given the above, it is highly unlikely that we will have to support "the aged" as depicted by Corporate Media.

    They do this bit of RUBBISH every so many years, so that they can placate us into accepting the IMPORTATION of workers, instead of paying Australians. It keeps the wages low, average families struggling and their PROFITS high.

    UNLESS, of course, ABBOTT puts pay to these SUPER increases! Then the corporate media may, indeed, be correct.... they will effectively be taking away ordinary workers pay increases and NOT compensating them for it, which means that they will not have sufficient funds when they retire to fully fund their retirement!!!!

    Again, figures don't lie but liars can figure. Look behind what big business say and follow the money!
    Anonymous
    11th Sep 2013
    9:09am
    My question to you, as you have lots of knowledge, Where O Where has all the billions gone while Rudd and Gillard were in government. No one has ever explained this to me.
    tia-maria
    11th Sep 2013
    6:36pm
    Hey Surfer boy, did you ever asked Johnny Howard were he raised the money from to have the good bank account like he did??????????? sold off TELSTRA.
    Anonymous
    12th Sep 2013
    6:08am
    That question is much too hard for Must-you-rate. Johney Howard could not be put in the category of Rudd Gillard tia-maria. He raised 20 odd billion. Krudd has bank rupted us to the tune of over 300 billion. Phew, now that's not cricket.
    Paddles
    15th Sep 2013
    9:23pm
    Mussitate

    The offering above is a load of shite! Seriously, I wonder if you are rational with what you claim to be fact.

    I recently posted advice to you about your medication for mental stabilisation. That was done somewhat tongue-in-cheek but increasingly, I think it was justified!
    Fair Go
    10th Sep 2013
    9:16pm
    Surely the number of people able to fund their retirements with super. will have increased somewhat by 2050 and will help reduce the pension bill? More important for whatever Govt. to adopt the scheme where we pay more tax to fund our retirement, as in Europe, so long as this tax is kept just for pensions. Then the money is there and not being paid out of general revenue.
    Paddles
    15th Sep 2013
    9:32pm
    Fair Go

    I think you are on the right track but, given the variables, it may well be necessary for the Government to top up the superannuation payments to an acceptable level for a comfortable retirement.

    Unfortunately, the Australian government was late in coming to the realisation that a national retirement scheme was necessary. This was further exacerbated by the continued extension of life expectancy.
    bloomfield
    11th Sep 2013
    8:49am
    Moving on to a brighter note, how about making an effort to supplement your retirement income drinking coffee? My super is not enough. Getting paid to drink and promote a healthy coffee is going to be my way out. My blog is www.ogcoffeehere.com
    qbeebill
    11th Sep 2013
    9:27am
    Coffee. is not healthy for you it contains caffine, hardens your arties, Drink water and fruit juices
    surfer
    14th Sep 2013
    10:45am
    Don't know if it matters when you have one foot on a banana skin.
    bloomfield
    11th Sep 2013
    3:07pm
    Agree with you totally. Ordinary coffee is not healthy . I'm thinking of a special coffee..Ganoderma coffee which has a lot less caffeine. The ganoderma sees caffeine as a toxin and detoxes most of it before it get absorbs by the body. But anyway, I thought easy to do home business like organising ganoderma coffee parties would be something retirees can do to supplement their pension or income. Just a suggestion.
    BlackCatWalking
    11th Sep 2013
    6:53pm
    That fool Abbott is considering raising the pension age to fund family tax benefit."If a universal family tax benefit payment needs to be fully funded it could be done by further increasing the retirement age," Mr Abbott said, and included parliamentary library calculations to estimate a net saving based on how many of those forced to retire later would keep working and how many might claim the dole.
    BlackCatWalking
    12th Sep 2013
    12:15pm
    He's also proposing income management to long term unemployed. Forced work for the dole for those unemployed for three months. Under income management, the long-term unemployed - people jobless for 12 months or more - and other vulnerable groups have half their benefit quarantined to be spent on rent, food and medicines, using a special smart card for some purchases. That's everyone not just the Northern Territority.

    61-year-old from Penrith who was single, had worked all her adult life as a medical receptionist and found herself unemployed in 2004 when her long-time boss closed the business. She worked for agencies for four years but when she turned 60 the work dried up, ''because employers are scared of us oldies'', she said and she went on the Newstart Allowance. It paid $234 a week but after nine months - because she is mature-aged - that figure increased by $20. Because she rented, she got an extra $57. Seventy per cent, or $220, of her total income of $319 went on rent.

    She could not afford a take-away coffee but said she did not go hungry because she was a scrupulous budgeter. As things stand, she, too, would be a candidate for income management with the implication she had screwed up. In several years' time she will be transformed into a worthy age pensioner and be $110 a week better off, but not if Abbott increases the age pension. This leave her stuck in her predicament, not of her own choosing and out of reach of what others believe -the pension that is, is rightly theirs and they worked hard to achieve it. Guess what! so did she.

    The Henry tax review recommended the Newstart Allowance for singles be increased. Even the conservative Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development upbraided the Australian government recently for an unemployment benefit that by the standards of the industrialised world was too low.

    Professor Peter Whiteford, of the University of NSW, wrote that he could not recall the OECD ever describing a country's unemployment benefit as too low - and he worked there for eight years.

    Many long-term unemployed are victims of the global financial crisis that hit disadvantaged groups such as sole parents and young people disproportionately hard. It always takes time for the most disadvantaged to regain jobs after a recession, even a mild one; once they have lost their toehold, they need a lot of help to get back on the rung.

    It is not civilised to cast unemployed Australians below the poverty line, and to shrink the value of their payment relative to disability and age pensioners through different indexation. Single unemployed people are expected to live on $34 a day, and when income management is applied broadly to the long-term unemployed, they will be left with $17 in their pocket to cover transport, power, phone bills, and clothing.

    One of Bob Hawke's first initiatives as PM was to lift the rate of the dole, in recognition that the lack of consistent indexation had made the payment untenable. He suffered no ill consequences politically. Maybe Australians have become more hard-hearted, or politicians more timid, since then.
    Paddles
    15th Sep 2013
    9:52pm
    BlackCatWalkig

    Your presentation of the particular case is eloquent and, no doubt, factual.

    Anyone reading that could relate and empathise but it is but one of many thousands of situations, all different to some degree and there are no doubt many other stories that would not evoke such sympathy.

    Short of a massive increase in public servants to act as "case officers" the rules pertaining to entitlements must be all-embracing. This will inevitably work to the disadvantage of some but also to the advantage of others.

    In a similar situation, I would make my case to my local Federal member as a starting point and then progress from there.
    BlackCatWalking
    16th Sep 2013
    4:01pm
    Paddles

    Howard devoted years of effort to reducing people on disability support, driving sole mothers into work and whipping the feckless unemployed.

    But it didn't work, considering the effort and rhetoric applied to the task. His welfare-to-work legislation was passed at the end of 2005 after a six-year gestation that included a major inquiry (report shelved), a detailed submission to cabinet from his department of family and community services (ignored) and endless consultations and submissions. Howard went his own way.

    An official report on his welfare-to-work reforms later revealed they were a fizzer, failing to achieve objectives with three of the four target groups. Disability pension rolls kept climbing and little headway was made in curbing long-term and mature-aged unemployment. The only success was with sole parents. The number on parenting payments declined significantly after sole parents were required to get a job or go on the Newstart Allowance once their youngest child turned eight (although the global financial crisis reversed the trend). Labor reintroduced it.

    Welfare reform is a very complex business, as Howard's experience shows. Unfortunately the Abbott Coalition governments welfare reform agenda will be a mean, cost-cutting exercise supposedly designed to achieve a surplus. Why would you do this when it’s already failed abysmally under Howard.

    Howard's attempts demonstrated that too much stick does not work. Welfare reform cannot be a cost-saving exercise in the short term, or even in the medium term. It costs money to help the most disadvantaged, those left out when the unemployment rate is less than 5 per cent.

    Howard cracked down hard on unemployed people who broke job-search rules. As well, under his reforms new applicants for the disability support pension were counted as unemployed if they could work 15 hours a week, and were put on the Newstart Allowance. These were cost-saving measures. Every time a person is moved from (or is ruled ineligible for) a pension and onto Newstart instead, the government makes a hefty saving.

    But even Howard's punitive welfare-to-work reforms cost $400 million a year in the first few years, and escalated later. Centrelink needed more money to deal with the increased numbers on Newstart to ensure they complied with job-search rules; even cheap programs like work for the dole had to be expanded; sole parents, who previously could stay on a pension until their youngest child was 16, had to be helped to find jobs.

    If the government wants to make a difference, and leave a more enduring legacy, it cannot do welfare reform on the cheap. Today's long-term unemployed are not, in the main, the doughty battlers of 30 years ago with some skills and a supportive family who have fallen on hard times. The poor and disadvantaged are different today from those who were once the backbone of the Labor Party.

    Many come from dysfunctional families or have a mental illness, some intellectual disability or addictions. Some are middle-aged former factory workers who are illiterate. Some are third-generation unemployed, former street children or homeless women, or newly settled refugees with no English. About one-third of long-term unemployed are over 45.

    They need individualised programs with skilled case workers who know who needs stick and who needs care. They need to be linked to work experience and committed employers and get post-placement support. What they need costs money.

    The problem is the same as it was then: the vast gap in the disability pension and the Newstart Allowance. It opened when Howard indexed the payments differently, and widened when Labor gave age and disability pensioners but not unemployed people a $32-a-week increase in 2009. A single unemployed person gets $237 a week, a disability pensioner $365 plus the pensioner concession card.

    Disability pensioners have little incentive to try their luck in the job market. They are terrified of failing, and ending up one day unemployed on Newstart, in poverty and unable to get back on the pension. It is hard to think what incentives the government could offer disability pensioners to look for work because it cannot shield them forever from the frightening prospect of Newstart.

    Howard ignored the advice of his welfare reform inquiry about fixing the payments gap, and he ignored the same advice from his family and community services department.

    Welfare reform needs a well-thought-out, well-resourced response, not a knee-jerk, tight-fisted recourse to sticks or tighter eligibility rules, or a scattering of more pilot programs.
    surfer
    13th Sep 2013
    9:19am
    Please please----- No more Must-you-rates. Give some space to someone else. No more drivill about Murdoch please please. You are a host of knowledge, but others have some gray matter left to. Don't be selfish.
    BlackCatWalking
    13th Sep 2013
    12:55pm
    I don't who this "Must you rate is ?" I'm new here, joined after reading Kay Fallick's article in the SMH and I'm gathering you didn't read my comments cause I didn't mention Murdoch.
    surfer
    13th Sep 2013
    1:20pm
    Scroll up a few and you will fall over him. Mussitate
    East of Toowoomba
    14th Sep 2013
    10:13am
    Thank you Black Cat Walking for that very informative post. I am in my 50s and still working so wont' be claiming the pension for a long time yet but I was very interested in what you had to say about the unemployment benefit. It is truly frightening to think how easy it would be to lose everything you've worked for if you suddenly became unemployed. The fate of the 61 year old unemployed medical receptionist could befall anyone at any age, through no fault of their own.

    Nothing has been said on the media but I am wondering if Mr Abbott or Joe Hockey are thinking of abolishing the $18,200 tax free threshold? As I don't have young children and am a wage earner I haven't benefited from family benefit payments, baby bonuses or the $1000 stimulus payments but the increase in the tax free threshold will be good for me and most part-time and low income workers and I'd hate to see the new government wind it back to $6400 again.

    I think the proposed income management would benefit a very few families. I can see the benefit for families say where the parent has a problem with alcohol, drugs or gambling, but for most people it is a draconian measure which will create more problems for people already struggling to maintain their self respect and dignity.

    What next, how about we save money but cutting out unemployment benefits altogether and make people who aren't working go live in a big old institution, perhaps a disused prison, hospital or public school. There they could learn skills such as numeracy, literacy, budgeting and resume writing and work on community projects to earn their keep. Businesses might go there first to pick up skilled and unskilled labour, like in the old days.

    Might happen, it has been done before and at the time it was considered a good thing for the community to get the poor, starving families off the streets.

    Just because the issue doesn't affect you personally doesn't mean you can ignore it. Once society believes it's okay to treat people who are unemployed as "problems" that have to be managed, it's won't be too hard to imagine pensioners need to be managed as well. After all don't a lot of oldies waste their pension playing the pokies and bingo, perhaps they ought to have their income managed too.

    Maybe the only people who will be able to decide how and where they want to live and what to buy will be self funded or employed. What a horrible thought. I don't like the writing on the wall Black Cat Dancing.
    BlackCatWalking
    15th Sep 2013
    1:37pm
    Hi East and my pleasure. I too will not be effected by these policy changes but I'm concerned less with myself and more about the vulnerable in our society.

    I have been reading for sometime now over several years the Liberal Party policies and I do remember Tony Abbots platform. I haven't read too much in mainstream media recently,because he hasn't been sworn in as minister yet and I think it's October that parliament begin sitting again. I also have x colleagues who work/worked as an advisers to ministry. Here is Liberal Parties policy platforms which were released around April of this year.

    What is surprising is the extent to which Coalition policies will result in a significant redistribution of wealth upwards rather than downwards. Consider the following Coalition policies:

    ? Lower the tax-free threshold from $18,200 to $6000. This will drag more than one million low-income earners back into the tax system. It will also increase the taxes for 6 million Australians earning less than $80,000.

    ? Abolish the low-income superannuation contribution. This will reimpose a 15 per cent tax on superannuation contributions for people earning less than $37,000.

    ? Abolish the proposed 15 per cent tax on income from superannuation above $100,000 a year. The combined effect of these two superannuation changes is that 16,000 high-income earners with superannuation savings in excess of $2 million will get a tax cut while 3.6 million workers earning less than $37,000 will pay more than $4 billion extra in tax on their super over the next four years.

    ? Abolish the means test on the private health insurance rebate. This will deliver a $2.4 billion tax cut over three years for individuals earning more than $84,001 a year, or couples earning more than $168,001. People on lower incomes will receive no benefit.

    ? Introduce a paid parental leave scheme that replaces a mother's salary up to $150,000. To put it crudely, this means a low-income mum gets about $600 per week while a high-income mum gets close to $3000.

    ? Abolish the means-tested Schoolkids Bonus that benefits 1.3 million families by providing up to $410 for each primary school child and up to $820 for each high school child.

    These policies will result in low- and middle-income earners paying billions of dollars more in tax while those on higher incomes receive billions in tax cuts and new benefits. Rather than take from the rich and give to the poor, the Coalition policies are a case of take from the poor and give to the rich. And this remains the case even taking into account the flow-on effects of the abolition of the carbon price and the funding of the Coalition's paid maternity leave through a tax on big companies.

    Of course we have to wait to see who has the balance of power in the Senate, whether these policies are passed.


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