Will three per cent minimum wage rise affect pensions?

Could wage rise finally trigger a lift in the base rate of the Age Pension?

Will three per cent minimum wage rise affect pensions?

Will the three per cent national minimum wage rise handed down yesterday by the Fair Work Commission have any impact on the Age Pension, which has not seen an increase in the base rate since 2008?

About 2.2 million Australian workers will get an extra $21.60 per week from 1 July, when the minimum wage will be lifted to $19.49 per hour, or $740.80 per week for full-time workers. But is that good news for Australia’s almost 2 million full or part age pensioners who currently receive $349 per week each (with supplements) as a couple and $463 as a single?

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) had sought a six per cent or $43 a week minimum wage rise while the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) argued that the increase should not exceed 1.8 per cent, saying “wage increases that are not supported by higher productivity or higher prices for consumers, are likely to cost jobs”.

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe had lobbied for a 3.5 per cent increase, stating that stagnant household incomes were a threat to consumer spending.

“Many people borrowed assuming their incomes would grow at the old rate and they haven’t,” he said.

“They’re having more difficulty, they’ve got less free cash and so they can’t spend, so this is why I’ve put so much emphasis on the need for a pick-up in wage growth.”


The Age Pension is subject to twice-yearly indexations – in March and September – and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has committed to a review of the entire retirement income system, including superannuation, pensions and taxation.

Indexation is based on two factors: price increases and male weekly earnings.

Payment rates are indexed to the rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI) – whichever is greater.

The CPI measures changes in the prices of a fixed ‘basket’ of goods and services and is updated quarterly. The PBLCI measures the effect of price changes to out-of-pocket living expenses where the main source of income is a government payment. This index is intended to check whether disposable incomes have kept pace with price changes.

After indexation is applied, the payment rate is then benchmarked against a percentage of the Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE). The single rate of pension equals 27.7 per cent of the MTAWE and the couple combined rate is equal to 41.76 per cent.

If, once initial indexation is applied, the rate is less than the benchmark of the MTAWE, the payment rate will be lifted to equal the agreed percentage. The benchmarking of pensions to the MTAWE is to ensure pensioners maintain a certain standard of living, relative to the rest of the population.

So, will the minimum wage rise flow through to pensions?

First, the increase applies only to those on a minimum wage – less than 20 per cent of the workforce.

And second, increases of 3.5 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively in the past two years had little impact on wages across the board and, hence, little impact on the Age Pension.

After last year’s minimum wage rise, this is what some members had to say:

GrayComputing: “It is time for all of us to rant at our MPs and Senators to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners. NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN! A pension is not welfare.”

SuziJ: “The percentage shouldn't be just 27.7 per cent, it should be 50 per cent!”

Floss: “The whole system is broken and I very much doubt either side has the will or the brains to fix it, [but] if we don't we will end up like America – a place I would not like to be.”

GeorgeM: “The OAP should be at least 50 per cent of MTAWE for singles and 75 per cent for couples. We are a resource-rich country which can easily afford it.”

Are you still working and if so, will this have an impact on your weekly budget? Or are you on the Age Pension and hoping there will be a higher increase than usual in September? 

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    COMMENTS

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    Spud
    31st May 2019
    9:51am
    And the big elephant in the room is the deeming rate ! With the RBA set to slash and burn the banking rate by up to 3 instances this year what will the government do about the 3.25% rate ?
    Anonymous
    31st May 2019
    11:12am
    Right on Spud! The deeming rate is my bugbear and it really should be 2% or less. Have not really got many assets but do have some cash in the bank currently giving me 2.5% fixed for a year. Too old really to get into growth shares, like to have money handy should I need it in future.
    GeorgeM
    31st May 2019
    11:49am
    Quite right, both of you. However, to get any improvement, Retirees and Pre-Retirees must act and write to their MPs, Treasurer / PM, and DEMAND the maximum possible, e.g. Universal Age Pension with NO tests other than Age (65 years) and Residency (say 15 years), as the Asset Test, Income Test and Couple Tests are all designed by mean Liberal & Labor Govts to NOT pay pensions as far as possible. While Abbott is going to get over $300,000 per annum pension WITHOUT ANY TESTS - remember he with Hockey designed the change to Asset Tests which Turnbull & Morrison implemented from Jan 2017?

    I am shocked the Retirees and Pre-Retirees, for the 2nd election in a row, let these major parties off the hook and did not vote out the MPs of these major parties. But, with a Review coming up, ALL MUST write to them and put maximum pressure for decent outcomes for Retirees as a priority over Tax Cuts for the Rich and Large Companies.
    jackie
    31st May 2019
    1:11pm
    Spud, Tony Abbott gets $90,000 raise on backbencher's salary now he's a retired PM.

    That's what the government will do about the 3.25% rate.

    Line its pockets for the continuing Age of Entitlement while the rest have to tighten their belts.
    Polly Esther
    31st May 2019
    1:52pm
    That's the way, again kick Tony Abbott in the back side till his nose bleeds, he can cop it as he always has. You'll have to find somebody else now to blame, and Tony will blissfully walk away into the sunset and enjoy his earned pension. Eat your heart out.
    jackie
    31st May 2019
    3:28pm
    Polly Esther, Tony Abbott is retired. He should not be entitled to the $90,000 pay rise for current backbencher because he no longer is one.

    This is why the country is in the deficit. I am glad he lost he was a disgrace and embarrassment to Australia.
    Triss
    31st May 2019
    7:13pm
    Tony Abbott is 61, Polly Esther, and, in my opinion, his “earned” pension is due to corrupt manipulation by shonky pollies in a back room somewhere. Politicians only had to work 8 years for a lifetime pension with multiple business class air fares, gold pass, etc, etc.
    PlanB
    1st Jun 2019
    9:48am
    The deeming rate is atrocious and we are unable to get anywhere near what they deem --

    Also, Abbott took CPI off pensioners as soon as he got in power -- after the promise of
    NO CUTS TO PENSIONS --- and also all the other PROMISES he made AND BROKE EVERYONE OF THEM!
    We need to get the CPI back --with interest!
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2019
    9:51am
    Well - his seat punished him, so we can reward him for life... may it be long and fruitful for a change.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2019
    9:52am
    It seems the good people of Australia don't permit such cretinous behaviour on the part of our politicians... they also caught that poor salesperson Shorten on his inability to sell the simple facts of dividend franking and offer a solid solution.
    thewizardoz
    31st May 2019
    10:19am
    It really enjoys me that there is never any mention of those on the Disabilty Support Pension here and particularly our struggles. There always seems to be a lot said for age pensioners particulary self-funded retirees and/or those with sufficient money to invest and/or own properties. I have no money to invest and do not own any properties or significant assets and I really struggle every day just to live.
    SuziJ
    31st May 2019
    10:48am
    I'm in the same boat until I'm 66.5. I understand that this is really aimed at Age Pensioners, but the DSP & Carer Payments get the same as the Age Pension, yet we are now restricted in the amount of overseas travel we can do in a rolling 12 month period.

    Age Pensioners can spend as much time as they want overseas, but after 6 weeks their payment drops to a base rate, but we on the DSP lose our Pension after 4 weeks, yes, that's 28 days, which is quite unfair, especially if we want to do an extended trip, like 12 weeks, we'd be without payments for 8 weeks, and then have to go through the indignity of reapplying for the payment, which can take up to 12 weeks to process. Which, if you look at it in terms of the amount of time we're without our payment, it can be up to 5 months, which is disgusting! We still have to live and pay bills, but Centrelink and, ultimately, the politicians don't care for those of us on these payments, and will never care, as it doesn't affect them one bit! Our disability doesn't go away, just because we're out of the country for any length of time.
    Triss
    31st May 2019
    7:24pm
    I didn’t realise that, SuziJ. That must violate the Human Rights Commission policies. Why don’t you put in a complaint.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2019
    9:57am
    Yes, Suzi - I campaigned, when Wee Johnnie was doing a whistle stop in the Eden-Monaro where I lived, for the inclusion of DSP in Utilities Allowance - and won. He pulled that rabbit out of his hat just before HIS election gave him a lesson.

    Part of the deal was the 'Bureau of Second Class Pensioners' mock cheque I put out - now the stead erosion of the same Rights as Aged Pensions has begun its inexorable creep back into DSP - as if they are all bludgers and layabouts who only got it because they smoked dope of drank booze etc.

    I was bust, on a walking stick for three years and in one hell of a state, and in the DVA pipeline - DSP I got in a heart beat long before DVA even answered...(grrrrr) ...
    Misty
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:14am
    Thewizard of oz, did you mean "anoys you" and not "enjoys" as is written in the comment above?.
    grahami2006
    31st May 2019
    10:22am
    I guess we can all hope for a bigger slice of the pie in September but I personally will not hold my breath.
    To make ends meet I am doing any casual work that comes my way such as working on elections and mystery shopping.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2019
    11:18am
    We used to get a bit of cash-in-hand work but all these little perks for the oldies have disappeared. Even driving the courtesy coach for your club is now regulated and one has to fill all these forms in, was told the reason was because of necessary insurance. Mowing the neighbors' lawns is no longer much fun in the late 70s.
    Theo1943
    31st May 2019
    4:20pm
    For no reason I can discern, five days after my normal Pension payment, Centrelink deposited $1 in my account. Woohoo!
    They'll probably employ a collection agency to get it back next year.
    caporal
    31st May 2019
    11:05am
    I can not understand that some people complaint about the short time spend overseas !! I wish that I could go overseas !! I am lucky to survive day by day on the age pension . Due to a massive heart attack 4 yrs ago , I lost everything and now my wife and I just survive on the basic age pension !! I f we were given a little more money we would go out and buy a few things , thus increased gst revenue for the gov .
    Karl Marx
    31st May 2019
    11:21am
    I would say 99.9% of any pension increases are spent in the local community thus generating more GST, more sales for small businesses & possibly creating more employment or more hours of work for casuals who will then spend their extra income in the local community.
    Paddington
    31st May 2019
    11:45am
    Yes, we don’t do overseas travel. Our holiday is visiting our grandkids in another state/territory. The people who spend their money like us account for 60% revenue I was reading recently.
    This government is doing a review now but pensioners may not rate I suspect. But you never know!
    Wendy HK
    31st May 2019
    1:40pm
    SFR you are right. We (try not to but) usually spend most of our pension in the first week after bill paying and maintenance has been budgeted for we are left with $30 or so.
    IF we had an increase - trust me - it would be spent!
    Therefore helping to boost local businesses - therefore allowing them to employ more people - - therefore less people on welfare - therefore more people pay tax - therefore government gets more money and spends less.
    TREBOR
    31st May 2019
    3:04pm
    Cue Old Geezer to tell us the cruise ships are wall-to-wall packed with pensioners... **rolls eyes**
    Anonymous
    31st May 2019
    4:46pm
    Caporal...you would be amazed at the number of "pensioners" who go on cruises!
    Karl Marx
    31st May 2019
    4:54pm
    Ardber you will find most are retirees on the cruise ships with maybe a few pensioners who saved years for a dream holiday.
    There is a big difference between retirees and pensioners, now if you said the number of over 60's you would probably be correct.
    TREBOR
    31st May 2019
    7:28pm
    Always possible for a pensioner to go on a cruise that costs about $699.... hardly the Alaskan and West Coast Tour is it or the fifty port of call round the worlder?

    General statements are generally wrong...
    Triss
    31st May 2019
    7:38pm
    Ardnher, OG and all the other posters who sneer at pensioners who dare to brave your wrath and have a holiday. Let me show you another aspect. I have known four couples where one of them has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s so before their memory and their knowledge of their partner disappeared completely, they had a wonderful happy and relaxing holiday cruise together. Remember that before you next put your fingers on keys.
    caporal
    31st May 2019
    11:05am
    I can not understand that some people complaint about the short time spend overseas !! I wish that I could go overseas !! I am lucky to survive day by day on the age pension . Due to a massive heart attack 4 yrs ago , I lost everything and now my wife and I just survive on the basic age pension !! I f we were given a little more money we would go out and buy a few things , thus increased gst revenue for the gov .
    Karl Marx
    31st May 2019
    11:14am
    So people borrowed on the assumption of future wage increases, how stupid. Banks are also partly to blame for allowing shch an assumption. You borrow on what you get now as nothing is guaranteed tomorrow or next week. Never assume anything. It makes an ASS of U and ME. lol.
    Pensions I doubt will raise above the normal March & September increases under this government as tney will argue the increases are fair & set to the increases to the cost of living. So don't expect any LNP favours unless you are one of tbe wealthy.
    Deeming rates also won't come down even though the RBA has indicated possible rate decreases of maybe 2 before year end.
    Paddington
    31st May 2019
    11:49am
    They wanted to go with the lesser increase as well, remember, and Labor fought against that. So, a bit of a worry now!
    GeorgeM
    31st May 2019
    11:59am
    Banks also helped the Chinese (foreigners) with loans to help them grab properties here (beating out competition from locals), and thus created the boom which in turn led to higher loan sizes hence more profits for the Banks. All under the noses of inept Govts, APRA and ACCC.
    Paddington, forget Labor for now, they screwed it up for themselves. We have to deal with reality. Luckily, Abbott, Hockey, Bishops, Pyne, Turnbull, etc, etc are all gone! Write to your MPs, Treasurer / PM, asking, rather demanding, a better deal for Retirees (when you do, don't selfishly only talk of pensioners) in the Review being planned e.g. an Universal Age Pension.
    Paddington
    31st May 2019
    7:26pm
    GeorgeM, I am not writing to any of them thank you very much. Let’s see what the review turns up. Why single out those names? Look at what you have left! Michaela Cash, vomit, vomit! Sutton and Corman, more vomit! ScoMo who voted against a banking royal commission how many times! Etc, etc!
    Maybe look at people individually not in groups as well!
    SFRs are not all one breed and neither are pensioners!
    GeorgeM
    1st Jun 2019
    8:28pm
    Paddington, if you want to waste your time posting / whingeing here, but not take real action writing to people who make decisions, that's up to you! Why did I mention those names? As I mentioned "Luckily, Abbott, Hockey, Bishops, Pyne, Turnbull, etc, etc are all gone!" - the glass half-full view, as opposed to your glass half-empty approach.
    While I don't support Libs who have attacked Part-Pensioners as you should know (unforgivable), it is also good we are not ruled now by Shifty Shorten (would pay anything to buy votes using taxpayer money to get the PM job), Tricky Tania (wanted to be like the Greens - Destroy society with her gender ideologies, & destroy the economy and our finances with her extreme climate actions), or Bumbling Bowen (had a key role in losing 3 elections with dud policies - I mentioned last year that he would ensure Labor loses as he didn't actually want the responsible Treasurer role in Govt & prefers to whinge in opposition). All these 3 remain and will cause ongoing trouble with their policies & influence, with Shorten having the best track record in bringing down leaders!

    I don't care to talk about individuals as each is different (thus Labor's targeted approach is wrong as they are usually picking winners and losers). I prefer to consider Retirees as a group, and wish more would do the same, then we would have a really strong voting bloc and influence policies which benefit the group as a whole.
    Rosscoe
    31st May 2019
    11:21am
    With this "do nothing" mob still in Government? You have to be joking!
    Rosscoe
    31st May 2019
    11:21am
    With this "do nothing" mob still in Government? You have to be joking!
    Karl Marx
    31st May 2019
    11:23am
    Depends on which end of town you're on Rosscoe
    john
    31st May 2019
    11:26am
    Perfectly simple and easy, when people have money they spend it, when people don't have enough money they to have to spend some of it, then run out, they cannot spend as much and that is how economies fall over, if something sensible is not done, so pension pay increase along with workers is a no brainer, just do it!
    Wendy HK
    31st May 2019
    1:41pm
    Why can we figure that out but Treasurers can't??
    TREBOR
    31st May 2019
    3:10pm
    Treasurers (and other Ministers - 43 Ministers out of 77 seats, BTW) know nothing about their actual portfolio - they merely act as mouth-pieces for their public servants and paid henchpersons.... and are paid a hefty premium for that moron's task.

    The hard bit is having to filter all that advice through the party machine, sloganising it, lining it up with the party ideology, wrapping it up in party tinsel, and adding spin doctor wrapping.... countless people rely on this work for their daily bread so you can;t just cut it down or out ....... all very Yes Minister ...

    What a sight at the dole queue - former spin doctors, slogan writers, speechists, ideological tuners, and party machinists all lined up... it just wouldn't do!
    Concerned
    31st May 2019
    11:36am
    The extra $21 is good news for full time workers. Got to have a laugh
    TREBOR
    31st May 2019
    7:32pm
    Ne mansion apiece....... how much did you say the pollies collected, and then line up for their tax cut?

    Truly we are the Third World Banana Republic, wherein El Presidente and his Cabinet of family and friends make the rules to suit themselves and impose the rules on everyone else...

    Cue the apologists to say the 'fair work commission' is an 'independent' body - as 'independent' as the body that reviews politician's pay and perks entitlements...
    Misty
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:22am
    A packet of cigarettes cost $21.00 so for anyone who smokes I guess they would be happy, maybe on take away MacDonalds for a family so I guess every little bit helps grow the economy but not in the best or heaslthiest way.
    AutumnOz
    31st May 2019
    11:38am
    With an increase to income all prices will go up, if the age pension then goes up a couple of dollars everything will again rise in price. It is a no win situation for everyone.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2019
    11:46am
    With the increase twice a year of the age pension the price in the pub goes up also twice a year as well. Coincidence? I think not. Nothing goes up by 5 or 10c anymore either, minimum always 2 bob.
    Rae
    1st Jun 2019
    6:17am
    Yes. The Income and Prices Accord doesn't work because the prices aren't controlled as well as bottom decile wages.
    Cranky
    31st May 2019
    11:41am
    Australia needs to take a leaf out of the book of the UK which now pays their pensioners the same rate of pension whether single or otherwise. This business of two people be able to live cheaper is all bull shit and we, the Governments and everybody knows that it is not so. I paid my fair share of taxes during my life time and I sure deserve better treatment that what I get now, The pension and individual of a married couple gets is just a little more that the dole, Why are individuals of married couples Discriminated against. It is high time the system is changed. - Max J
    Paddington
    31st May 2019
    11:47am
    I fear one of us having to face these bills on a single pension actually.
    KSS
    31st May 2019
    1:41pm
    Don't get too carried away Cranky, the UK pension is less than the weekly equivalent here And it varies every month with the exchange rate if it is being paid to you outside the UK.
    Prices in the UK are higher than here for many things so be careful what you wish for.
    TREBOR
    31st May 2019
    3:12pm
    Exackery, Paddington - that's why I'm working on getting solar etc for the new home - in the event that one of us - the ex for whom I'm carer or my excellent self passes on - the other can survive on a single.
    Paddington
    2nd Jun 2019
    8:48pm
    Trebor, you are a pensioner? It gets a bit confusing on here who is self funded and who is a bit of both etc.
    We saved up for some solar and yes it does help.
    You use everything during the sunlight hours like washing machine, oven, etc. and it is free.
    Cranky
    31st May 2019
    11:41am
    Australia needs to take a leaf out of the book of the UK which now pays their pensioners the same rate of pension whether single or otherwise. This business of two people be able to live cheaper is all bull shit and we, the Governments and everybody knows that it is not so. I paid my fair share of taxes during my life time and I sure deserve better treatment that what I get now, The pension and individual of a married couple gets is just a little more that the dole, Why are individuals of married couples Discriminated against. It is high time the system is changed. - Max J
    Anonymous
    31st May 2019
    11:55am
    In the UK one paid in separately for the pension, here everything is in consolidated revenue and the pension is now regarded as welfare. In the UK and elsewhere, pension in old age is an entitlement without a means and assets test. Should you go and live in the UK claiming the Aussie pension you will still get income and asset tested. A school friend worked in Australia for 12 years and when going back to Switzerland, Aussies failed to recognise the 12 years of residency here and subsequently she Swiss are paying her $A300 less a month despite the social security agreement both countries have signed in the 70s.
    adbob
    31st May 2019
    11:52am
    Great news.

    That should bring my age pension up from zero - to zero.

    My fault - I did some very foolish things during my lifetime.

    I worked, paid tax and saved.

    Obviously I forgot that I was living in Australia - the land of the unfair go.

    Back in the day there seemed to be an unwritten law that every suburban street would have at least one house with a flagpole with the national flag flying - presumably intended to indicate that the occupant was more patriotic than the rest of us.

    A bit of a worry at the time.
    You wondered what they had in the way of weaponry.

    If only there had been more - to remind us: you're in Australia.
    They'll get you in the end - in the meantime it's not worth the effort.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2019
    11:59am
    Not too late to spend a bit of dosh on yourself and you might join us on the pension train. I did see the times-a-changing and stopped work early. Downsized and spent the proceeds for the 7 years before reaching 65. Free time you can never recover.
    GeorgeM
    31st May 2019
    12:02pm
    All good comments, we have a Broken Age Pension system. However, time to act, not whinge, with a Review coming up of retirement incomes. See my comments against the 1st Comment above.
    TREBOR
    31st May 2019
    7:34pm
    You're not the only one spongebob - just one of the luckier ones who didn't fall into any of the pitfalls of modern society...

    You are nothing special - and as usual have zero idea of what other people have done and had to contend with in life.... so just count your lucky stars, say thank you, and move on.
    KB
    31st May 2019
    12:04pm
    Disability and age pension both have the same rates .I do not expect a huge increase .Having an interstate holiday next year which is being carefully budgeted for. Holidays are essential for mental health. Feel sorry for the workers. A very slight increase will not help living costs particularly if you have a family
    TREBOR
    31st May 2019
    7:35pm
    I get to see the grand-kids interstate every couple of years....
    Paddington
    2nd Jun 2019
    8:50pm
    Overseas travel, cruises, etc are out. We do travel as well to the grandkids one state away only, twice a year for birthdays.
    KB
    31st May 2019
    12:04pm
    Disability and age pension both have the same rates .I do not expect a huge increase .Having an interstate holiday next year which is being carefully budgeted for. Holidays are essential for mental health. Feel sorry for the workers. A very slight increase will not help living costs particularly if you have a family
    Dotty
    31st May 2019
    1:17pm
    I don't know about anyone else ! But whatever Deeming is I don't own anything or assets to deem ! ( I think its got something to do with what you own ???)
    But its only the aged pension and renting for me as although I worked all my working life there was never anything left over to save being a single woman !
    So no savings or owning anything accept my 31 year old Car that still going thank goodness !
    So no raise I still live on the never never !
    Never had and never will have it!
    Dotty
    Dotty
    31st May 2019
    1:19pm
    Plus I don't drink .smoke ,or gamble just live a very boring lonely life !
    Dotty
    Dotty
    31st May 2019
    1:22pm
    And no Holidays either ! Unless I visit my son in the next Suburb ! HA!HA! That's about the only Holiday I can afford !
    Dotty
    KSS
    31st May 2019
    1:33pm
    People can forget about Australia being rich in resources. If the climate change enthusiasts have their way those same resources will be left in the ground and there will be no riches for anything never mind a rise in the pension.
    Karl Marx
    31st May 2019
    2:14pm
    let's just hope that the government get large royalties from the Adani project & not just let them mine OUR resources for a pittance as most likely Adani will be another multinational that will pay zero tax to the ATO when making billions profit in Australia.
    Rae
    1st Jun 2019
    6:30am
    Do we know how much the royalties return after subsidies are subtracted. I'm thinking it wouldn't be much. The current account is a disaster.

    Adani has it made. The water rights alone must be worth trillions over 60 years.

    That's spring water and worth a fortune.
    DanielTech
    31st May 2019
    1:35pm
    I agree Spud. The current best rate that we can get on fixed deposit is less than a measly 2.5%, which is completely ridiculous. In our younger years, when we had a mortgage to pay, we had to pay 18% or higher interest, and so we had almost nothing saved, and it stayed like that because we didn't have superannuation to receive at the end of our working time. Personally, I believe that the OAP should be increased to 50% of the minimum wage, which still means that we have to carefully watch our expenditure. By the time that we pay for our food, electricity, car running costs, council land and water rates, there isn't much left. We can afford to put $20 aside each fortnight to pay for a bit extra at Christmas time, but that is about it.
    Karl Marx
    31st May 2019
    2:17pm
    Instead of 50% maybe 75% would be a much better figure, then we mightn't have over 25% of over 65's living below the poverty line.
    VJ
    31st May 2019
    2:09pm
    The comment about the age pension not being welfare is so right. failure to address this issue will see the elderly being part of the homeless society.
    politicans get increases readily.
    Nomad1946
    31st May 2019
    2:50pm
    Bloody well should run off into the pensions!!
    The twaddle about the pension being called “welfare” is a bloody joke and an insult. The bulk of we pensioners did not have a full period of our working life subject to compulsory superannuation like the generations that followed.
    The Aged Pension is an allowance to we older folk to assist us in maintaining a lifestyle that is liveable and fair .... increases in “working minimum wage” should follow on to the “livable minimum pension” ... Period!!
    rtrish
    31st May 2019
    2:52pm
    Yes to the reduction and simplification of the deeming rate. It almost freezes my brain trying to work it out!
    TREBOR
    31st May 2019
    3:01pm
    "“wage increases that are not supported by higher productivity or higher prices for consumers, are likely to cost jobs”."

    a) productivity has been abandoned as the sole yardstick for pay rises and performance... the diehards with a self interest cling to it like limpets to a sunken wreck.

    b) higher prices for consumers - well - higher wages means a slight rise in discretionary income, and the market will absorb that in a flash by raising prices. Same old bind - every wage rise chases cost rises - then costs rise following wage rise...been telling yez for ages that control over costs must take place first to halt this cycle... slaying the wage rise dragon in isolation will only mean less discretionary income = lower prices.

    c) Told yez yesterday that Australia pays First World prices for everything plus the Australian Premium.... how many times have you seen the baddie or the terrorist in a Hollywood blockbuster buy a dozen unlocked and unregistered phones with a sim card ready to go for $10 each at the knock-off shop - here an unlocked phone will cost you a couple of hundred plus it will be registered in your name. Lowest price is $123 - some are $800 or more.

    d) Ho-hum - the old 'cost jobs' scare campaign - go ahead - sack your workers, produce less or nothing and watch your business flow down the toilet. Lower penalty rates produced not one job despite the hype and lead to not one extra business open at Sunday etc hours. Same here....

    e) Jobs are lost through bad management or Gordon Gecko....
    mogo51
    31st May 2019
    3:23pm
    You are right Spud 'seeming rate should be renamed 'robbing' rate. The other stupidity is the low amount an Aged Pensioner can earn before affecting the Pension - it should be doubled.
    mogo51
    31st May 2019
    3:23pm
    You are right Spud 'seeming rate should be renamed 'robbing' rate. The other stupidity is the low amount an Aged Pensioner can earn before affecting the Pension - it should be doubled.
    TREBOR
    31st May 2019
    7:47pm
    Just saw the Usual suspect online today saying that 'welfare' money didn't just fall out of trees.. the taxpayer has to pay it. Conveniently, and as usual, failed to mention that every aspect of government spending has to be paid for and doesn't fall out of trees and the taxpayer has to foot the bill...

    It isn't just social security - everything the government does costs the taxpayer money, and only a fool would try to isolate social security as some massive haemmorhaging of the budget...

    Politicians need to cut back on one hell of a lot of silly spending. Shortensky bit the dust not only over his inability to sell the simple reality of franked dividends (trigger term registered - wait for the junkyard dog fight), but also for Labor's endless desire to pay things like superannuation for taking time off to some but not all, endlessly foot childcare to suit women primarily, raise the wages of childcare workers at the same time, and hand out PPL like confetti at a circus, and for the ready acceptance of tax cuts that will benefit them as well as the LNP members, and all the other things that go hand in hand with being a politician.... not to mention raising the pension age to cut costs to they can hand it out to someone else, and whining endlessly about the health costs of older citizens...

    All THESE are Welfare and should simply be abolished - Social Security is not welfare, as explained countless times before.

    As for Pensions - if it's such a big deal - just hand all current pensioners a superannuation fund at the current ideal to provide a decent income in retirement, and stop pensions entirely.... easier than putting up with their endless griping in Khanberrartoum ..... (see Melbidishu, Darwin-es-Salaam, Hobartehran, Brisbandar-Abbas, El Cidney, Ad-El-Aida, the Perthian Empire, Bankistan etc)....
    Rae
    1st Jun 2019
    6:47am
    Labor should never have opened the housing market to foreign buyers. Being able to buy freehold land is not readily available in a lot of countries. The world's wealthy was always going to create a property boom here after buying was allowed.
    That and high immigration has destroyed housing affordability.

    TREBOR most aged pensioners are better off with a risk free pension. Rents make it hard but homeowners can do alright if they control their spending.

    $18 trillion alone has been flung at the markets in the US since 2009. It's been the biggest boom ever but it will end. When it does the super funds will suddenly be worth a lot less and return a lot less.

    The Government does not need taxes to pay for things. Taxes simply remove money to curtail inflation. Obviously not a problem judging by the numerous tax cuts over the past 15 years.

    The problem is the current account and the fact we are bleeding money overseas at a high rate now. Again due to foreign investment being let loose without necessary controls.
    mogo51
    31st May 2019
    3:23pm
    You are right Spud 'seeming rate should be renamed 'robbing' rate. The other stupidity is the low amount an Aged Pensioner can earn before affecting the Pension - it should be doubled.
    mogo51
    31st May 2019
    3:27pm
    Wizarsoz- you are on same rate as aged pensioners. We all struggle on the current pension level.
    mogo51
    31st May 2019
    3:27pm
    Wizarsoz- you are on same rate as aged pensioners. We all struggle on the current pension level.
    mIKER
    31st May 2019
    4:13pm
    Why would pensioners expect any increase in their income from this Government? A Government that is only interested in those wealthy enough to have investments that receive franking credits or investors that pay for their property via negative gearing. Well, the voters that believed the misinformation about the Retiree Tax, Homeowner Tax and Death Tax can now take comfort in the fact that they won't be getting a rise as the money has already been given away!!
    Gonfishing
    31st May 2019
    8:00pm
    So very true. It is beyond belief that pensioners swallowed the Murdoch propaganda that they would lose their franking credit refunds. This is despite Labour reassuring them they would be exempt. About 50,000 would have been affected but over 2 million pensioners would have qualified for dental care under Labour. Wonder what the retirement review will look at.
    Paddington
    31st May 2019
    9:09pm
    That’s right Gonfishing, that will affect the outcome. What are they looking at and why?
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2019
    9:40am
    The 50'000 most likely all have families and they would have voted accordingly. If you did everything right to be independent from the public pension system and then get punished for it is grossly unfair. I am a part pensioner, so would not have been affected but I can see the disadvantages of other folks.
    Play Fairly
    31st May 2019
    5:13pm
    Spud, the government just isn't interested in considering how the elderly portion of the Australian population manages to live. In fact they were hell bent on raising the OAP eligibility age to 70 years of age. They have no empathy with increasing Pensions to allow our older folk to afford to live properly. The quarterly Electricity bill is now equal to the half yearly Council Rates in some regional areas!
    However, the tables will be turned on this government as demands from an ever increasing aged population finally forces them to unite to obtain some better treatment from their government. Without people power, nothing will change.
    Shame the government hasn't had the decency to have considered how their retired workforce, and lifetime contributors to taxation, are surviving through their latter years. No doubt their own Pension Schemes will allow them to live a very grandiose lifestyle in retirement. Who said their contribution to Australia is greater than the contributions made by many other hardworking Australians?
    Play Fairly
    31st May 2019
    5:13pm
    Spud, the government just isn't interested in considering how the elderly portion of the Australian population manages to live. In fact they were hell bent on raising the OAP eligibility age to 70 years of age. They have no empathy with increasing Pensions to allow our older folk to afford to live properly. The quarterly Electricity bill is now equal to the half yearly Council Rates in some regional areas!
    However, the tables will be turned on this government as demands from an ever increasing aged population finally forces them to unite to obtain some better treatment from their government. Without people power, nothing will change.
    Shame the government hasn't had the decency to have considered how their retired workforce, and lifetime contributors to taxation, are surviving through their latter years. No doubt their own Pension Schemes will allow them to live a very grandiose lifestyle in retirement. Who said their contribution to Australia is greater than the contributions made by many other hardworking Australians?
    Gonfishing
    31st May 2019
    5:33pm
    I guess we will have to survive on our franking credits.
    Karl Marx
    31st May 2019
    6:01pm
    ROFL, enjoy them while you have them
    Charlie
    31st May 2019
    8:25pm
    Are these wage rises in line with an increase in the cost of living. If so age pensioners need a boost too.
    freed1948
    31st May 2019
    9:18pm
    I really don't understand why we have this conversation every 6 months.
    Look at it realistically, we are talking about an average increase of .68 dollars per day.
    Just love it!!!!!
    Seenitall
    31st May 2019
    11:43pm
    Scott Morrison almost cut my part age pension in half when he was treasurer to Tony Abbott by making changes to the defined benefits pensions scheme - he got away with it because there weren't that many people affected and so didn't feel obliged to grandfather the changes for the existing recipients.

    last month I received what I assume was a robot debt letter from Centrelink demanding I pay back over $70 at very short notice. No explanation was offered and after several attempts to contact them by phone (I couldn't even get on to the wait queue, just kept giving an engaged signal) I went in to see them and after a 1.5 hour wait was told that my only other form of income (a very modest state government indexed super payment) had increased very slightly some six months before but Centrelink had failed to notice at the time and had decided to slug me the consequent reduction of my part age pension as one lump which I had to agree to be taken from my next pension payment.

    Scott Morrison has publically stated he would like to almost eliminate the age pension by making it available to only very few people and have the vast majority of Australians become self-funded retirees in the retirement fairyland he imagines - he obviously regards the age pension as welfare so I'm not holding out any hope of an increase for the next three years.

    Last week I had to have an oral surgeon remove my last remaining troublesome wisdom tooth. I don't have any dental insurance and couldn't afford the extra cost of an anesthetist so I had it wrenched out in the chair with just local anesthetic. It still cost well over $900 with only a tiny amount back from Medicare. That's more than two weeks of my part age pension. Bill Shorten was offering age pensioners $1000 p.a. for dental treatment so I'm damned if I know why anyone on any form of a Centrelink age pension would have voted for the return of this dreadful Morrison government.
    Rae
    1st Jun 2019
    7:08am
    I'm surprised there wasn't a legal challenge to those changes as there was no out ability and it broke the No Disadvantage in Legislation rule.

    Pensioners complain about deeming but try having paid huge sums for your own income stream after tax and the have your 48% non concessional income deemed 10% for an unknown and unexplained reason.

    You must have been in a Union. There was no other reason for what they did.

    The Greens still claim to not disadvantage but they blew that claim with this legislation.
    Paddington
    2nd Jun 2019
    8:59pm
    Rae, pensioners don’t have deeming, only self funded retirees.
    Seenitall, apparently the dental, cancer help and one other similar were not mentioned enough. Murdoch did not emphasise them so they were not sold to the voters. People heard only tax, tax, tax, which is a shame. They put the numbers up for dental etc and they were tiny which should have made a big difference for Labor if they had gotten across to people.
    Rae
    3rd Jun 2019
    6:59am
    Pensioners do have savings deemed Paddington and the deeming of non concessional portions of income streams as only 10% has never been justified.
    TREBOR
    1st Jun 2019
    9:49am
    As a side-note - the real situation of some of the lower-end SFRs needs a good look. I'm always amazed when some speak of an income just above pension, when the cut-off point for any pension is nearly $2000 a fortnight. If things are that bad for the lower end SFR, time to give it up, but seriously - I see no barriers to Colonel C'Link being able to regularly review their actual income and adjust accordingly.

    Anyone got any inside knowledge here? Promise we won;t hang you for a whistle blower...
    Marlo
    1st Jun 2019
    1:19pm
    I disagree with the comment in your article above. Of course there is a need for an asset test. The Age Pension IS welfare and is there to assist those who need that support through their later years.
    Karl Marx
    1st Jun 2019
    6:43pm
    Bollocks
    Marlo
    1st Jun 2019
    1:19pm
    I disagree with the comment in your article above. Of course there is a need for an asset test. The Age Pension IS welfare and is there to assist those who need that support through their later years.
    Karl Marx
    1st Jun 2019
    6:43pm
    Double bollocks
    P$cript
    1st Jun 2019
    6:54pm
    Why would the pension need to be raised when they all get franking credits.
    Karl Marx
    1st Jun 2019
    9:20pm
    Only a small amount of people on the OAP actually get FC's, most I would say are SFR the get these FC's
    Farside
    3rd Jun 2019
    12:45am
    I heard it from several pensioners that they were concerned about drop in the pension if Labor government took away their franking credit refunds, despite none of them owning shares.
    Rae
    3rd Jun 2019
    7:01am
    Nobody knows P$cript. That one of the biggest problems in Australia.

    Basing decisions on beliefs and feelings isn't very clever.
    Misty
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:05am
    Well good luck with that idea George M, after this last election I don't see any point in writing to any MP about anything, as they all will just go on their merry way and do what benifits them to keep them in their job.
    Misty
    3rd Jun 2019
    10:09am
    I know in our tourist town shops are closing willy nilly, we lost St George Bank. Gio as well as a few small shops and cafes. future not looking good for retirees with interest rates predicted to be cut, so less income for them to spend too.