Are Age Pension changes ruining your retirement?

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The legislative changes to the assets test rules that kicked in on 1 July 2017 are having a detrimental impact on the Australian retirement landscape, particularly on SMSF managers, middle-income earners and age pensioners.

The SMSF Association claims that the changes discourage sensible retirement savings habits and are also having negative effects in other areas, such as estate planning and death benefits.

“In the lead up to 1 July 2017, the industry’s focus was on optimising contributions and reducing pension accounts to under $1.6 million as well as considering CGT relief for those affected by the transfer balance cap and transition to retirement changes,” said SMSF Association Chief John Maroney.

“A consequence of this understandable focus on these issues requiring immediate action was less attention being paid to the longer-term strategic consequences of the changes,” he said.

“Now the industry has had time to reflect on the changes, it has recognised the enormous impact on estate planning that wasn’t appreciated at the time the changes were introduced.

“It’s also had the effect of making death benefits, always a complex issue, even more complex. The reality now is that SMSF members who fail to appreciate what these changes mean, or who fail to get specialist advice, could find themselves being forced to move money out of superannuation.”

Mr Maroney said the changes have also led to “significantly adverse and presumably unintended consequences” for age pensioners who’ve had a reduction in entitlement as a result of tapering and thresholds, as well as middle-income earners trying to save for retirement.

“For home-owning couples who have a superannuation balance between $500,000 and $800,000, the increased taper rate creates a ‘black hole’ where their assets above the asset test-free amount cause them to be worse off in terms of income,” he told superannuation journal Financial Standard.

“This is caused by the taper rate of the equivalent of 7.8 per cent a year, reducing their pension entitlement at a rate exceeding the income they earn from their superannuation balance above the asset-free area. This is especially so in a low-interest rate and investment return environment.”

For middle-income earners, the rules have led to “detrimental behaviour” such as shifting investments from assets included in the means test, such as superannuation, to assets that are excluded, such as the primary residence.

There are fears that, while the rules may help to ensure pension sustainability, they may not be working well for everyone.

“We believe having the superannuation and social security systems properly integrated is a key facet to achieve an efficient and sustainable retirement income system, and that the current siloed approach to policy making in these areas is creating perverse outcomes for individuals and couples,” said Mr Maroney.

Do you think the rule changes are fair? Have you been adversely affected by them?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

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

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213 Comments

Total Comments: 213
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    Yes the changes are fair and long over due.

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      The changes were utterly STUPID and will drive the cost of pensions up over the long term by discouraging saving. But manipulators who gave their money away to cash in on benefits they have no moral entitlement to will always be happy to see others hurt. Sad to see that selfish side of human nature reflected so often.

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      Might agree with you BigBear, and of course we took action years ago so the changes will not severely impact on us. Vision impaired Freddie could see where the Govt was leading us. People with modest
      super balances would have taken their money out long ago.

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      There is nothing wrong, unethical, immoral or anything else in using the rules to give yourself to a better deal. If you think it is then you are simply regretting that you didn’t do the same. Thinking back I would probably have done the same no matter what the rules as the difference it has made to my family is awesome whereas if I had kept the money then it would have been a very selfish act indeed.

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      There is plenty wrong, immoral and unethical in exploiting the flaws in a system in such a way that you get unfair benefit while others suffer unfair less. I don’t regret anything. I take pride in my integrity and respect for others.

      Good luck to those rich enough to enjoy giving money away. It’s not SELFISH to keep it. It’s NECESSARY when you don’t have a lot. But it’s VERY SELFISH to claim handouts that should go to needier folk when you could have done quite nicely without those handouts.

    • 0
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      What Rainey said!!!

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      Cowboy Jim , another self satisfied individual that always says “up you jack, I’m alright” without having a clue about the many that don’t understand and go onwards and get shafted and don’t even know whats happening. But you smarties, your OK , well, that’s good , and good on you, it still says exactly what Rainey said , the selfish couldn’t give a stuff about anything but your own smartness, now you may be a nice person , but you sound like self satisfied braggart , that needs to make a comment on here when you are already set, don’t be so presumptuous and remember you need not comment , when your already up there, hah?. But to offend others in your ignorant comments is very annoying, bit like Geezer. What’s with people who think they know it all?

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      There is nothing smart about how I sorted out my affairs at all. I did what most people should do and that is plan yo retirement well before you actually retire. You plan holidays before you go so why not plan other aspects of you life?

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      Because Mr Arrogant Self-Satisfied Over-privileged Ignoramus, vast numbers simply don’t have either the education or the access to advice that the ARROGANT PRESUMPTUOUS PRIVILEGED have. And in many cases circumstances change unexpectedly and often very dramatically. I couldn’t gift to my children before retirement. My situation changed very suddenly and without warning AFTER I retired, bought my dream retirement home and settled in, and structured my investments to achieve the income I believed my partner and I needed. Okay, I’m not impacted by the assets test, but under other circumstances I might have had my retirement plans wiped out.

      The system SHOULD NEVER require that people have privileged educational status or sophisticated investment knowledge in order to avoid UNFAIR hurt. And no decent person would suggest that the less educationally advantaged should suffer in retirement because the privileged selfish fat cats endorse a system that lets them manipulate unethically and justify it with nasty barbs implying those who can’t manipulate unethically are inferior and deserve hardship.

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      Well I guess you can’t help people who can’t help themselves either.

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      More contemptuous egotistical arrogant ranting based on ignorance and a vile attitude. Your comments are disgusting, BigBear. You clearly have no idea what It’s like to suffer educational disadvantage, let alone psychological challenges resulting from suffering major trauma, crisis, or ongoing injustice and abuse.

      People like you are really sickening.

      Yes, you CAN help EVERYONE – whether they are ABLE to help themselves or not, and many are not able because of cruelty and injustice perpetrated on them by people like you.

      You CAN devise a fair and equitable system that DOES NOT require people to be investment geniuses or clever manipulators to achieve fair benefit for their hard work. But the greedy and self-serving would hate that, wouldn’t they?

    • 0
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      You need nothing more than common sense Rainey.

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      BULL SHIT, BigBear. You are showing your arrogant, contemptuous IGNORANCE again. Clearly you have no idea about other people’s lives, and you are far too egotistical to learn.

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      I do know that those who you are referring too lack basic common sense though and that is their real problem.

    • 0
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      Rainey you may reduce your need for so much typing if you stick to the point, instead half of every comment you make is spent calling people names.

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      Most people also don’t have the money lying around to give it off to their family, buy a McMansion outright, and then get it all back as gifts.

      Stop being a supercilious prat.

    • 0
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      BigBear, you deserve all the adjectives and more. Lack common sense? The only person here who lacks common sense is you – can’t acknowledge the realities of life, but have to insist adamantly that anyone who isn’t as privileged as you must be lacking in sense. It’s PRIVILEGE they are missing. The PRIVILEGE that you refuse to acknowledge but that makes you arrogant, egotistical, and hideously selfish.

    • 0
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      BB – do you miss the point that you are exactly what Rainey described in the second post above?

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      Rainey – no need to get angry… BB has just taken a hit to the engine room on a Kent class cruiser like HMAS Canberra… stupid thing was the engine room, to draw air for the fuel fires, was negatively compressed, so when a breach occurred the fires blew back and killed the entire engine room crew, leaving no power.

      There’s a parallel in here somewhere…..

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      Rainey no one not even me deserves to be treated the way you treat people. If you treat others like you treat me no wonder you have struggled most of your life. I have given many times more than I have ever taken so the universe has treated me well though out my life.

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      BigBear, I treat people as they deserve to be treated. And my struggles have nothing to do with how I treat people. I can’t think of any person, other than a couple of criminals, who have treated me poorly. People are generally quick to offer me favours, and I am very well liked, because I am very good to most people. I just can’t abide dishonesty. Sorry if it offends you to have your conduct called what it is.

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      Goodness, BigBear, who are you to accuse anyone of treating others badly. You are happy to see others unfairly deprived and battlers having their houses taken off them so you can prosper by ”playing the game” – forcing taxpayers to fund your grandchildren’s lavish lifestyle, instead of supporting the needy. NOBODY deserves to be unfairly deprived by being forced to subsidize the lifestyle of the greedy with money that is intended to be directed to the needy.

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      I’m sorry, BigBear. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so harsh. You are only doing what the arrogant privileged rich do. Somehow, they have come to the absurd conclusion that they are ”entitled” and the whole world owes them. They think that taking what THEY think is their right, regardless of law or morality, somehow makes them smarter and superior. They also think they are more deserving than others – that their PRIVILEGE was deserved. They have no capacity to comprehend what privilege actually is, or that others don’t have their opportunities, let alone to have any concept at all of real disadvantage and hardship.

      These are common misconceptions among the rich, and apparently you are infected with the sickness that causes people to harbour those misconceptions. I feel sorry for you, really. It must be miserable to harbour those ridiculous notions. And no doubt a great many folk dislike you for it.

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      What a lot of rubbish! Only people with a lot of envy would write such rubbish. Obviously you have no idea about the the real wealthy people treat others. One of my best friends is very rich and we have a mutual friend who is as poor as a church mouse. We have to out and have a lot of fun together even if web just boil the billy for a cuppa in the park. We also go away for a few days fishing in my rich friends motorhome too. No one talks about money as it simply isn”t necessary.

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      On the contrary, BigBear. I know a lot about really wealthy people. I have lived among them all my life. And many of my good friends are very well off also. But they DO have a sense of entitlement and superiority. That’s a fact that nobody with a brain can deny. It’s got nothing to do with fun or talking about money. It’s about the behaviour and the excuses offered for it.

      You admit to taking money from the taxpayer that you have no moral entitlement to because it’s intended to fund sustenance for the genuinely needy. And you justify it, and denigrate and insult anyone who objects. That’s having a sense of entitlement. No good denying it, because your posts speak for themselves. Oh, but I do agree that most privileged don’t KNOW what drives their selfish behaviour. They don’t understand privilege vs. disadvantage. And they don’t recognize their behaviour as selfish or driven by a sense of entitlement. They ALL justify it by claiming superior intellect, poor deluded fools.

      Envy? Never! I have the perfect life, BigBear. I have everything I want, and I got it HONESTLY. And I appreciate it because I’ve known real hardship. I’ve experienced social injustice of the worst kind, and so I stand up for people who are struggling or suffering unfairly. If I were to envy anyone, it would be people with superior intellect and talent who use it for the benefit of society – not someone who prospers through exploiting a flawed system and gloats about being better off than the people the system is supposed to e helping.

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      Question, BB. If you are so nice to poorer friends and don’t talk about money, why do you come here and abuse and insult battlers who don’t exploit the system, and demand that struggling pensioners have their homes confiscated after death so that fat cats can prosper?

      Why don’t you try showing some respect for the honest battlers instead of gloating about taking them down and insulting them for being less successful at cheating the system?

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      Rainey and BigBear deserve each other… Their energy consumed by their verbal diarrhoea is contributing to climate change. Both have egos bigger than Donald Trump’s.

  2. 0
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    Just about everything is ruining retirement, I feel like I have to spend my time preventing Australians from becoming a fat, lazy, slack, mob of pussies. Every day the newspapers have a new insult. Are they just trying to sell papers.

    Why the abbreviation SMSF, what does that mean. How can anyone understand what this is about, unless they are part of a select group.

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      SMSF stands for Self Managed Superannuation Fund and is the only super I would ever have as it’s your money and no one looks after your money better than you do.

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      Big bear , that’s my point , not everyone is a brilliant financial operator like you, hey?Hah !
      I read lots of things Charlie and the fact is abbreviations are like AFL footy statistics, sometimes they mean NOTHING? And if you don’t understand how are you meant to know.
      To the brilliant who only regard themselves , Get off!

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      There are a few selfish egotistical snobs who contribute to YLC who want to preserve the class system at all costs and who think it’s smart to gloat about their wealth and demand that those who were less privileged suffer persecution. It’s sad that such people exist, and sadder still that many of them get into positions of power and perpetrate their disgustingly indecent and self-serving policies on a nation that USED to renowned as the country of a ”fair go”. They have totally stuffed what was once a great nation, and they still aren’t satisfied. They won’t be until they have ground everyone but those as rich or richer than them into poverty and misery.

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      I don’t know anyone like that or I can’t recall even meeting anyone like that either.

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      Look in the mirror. You’ll see one staring back at you.

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      BTW. Welcome back OG. You are not fooling anyone.

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      Who is OG?

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      ..and not everyone has the money to establish a SMSF….. let’s not be silly here.

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      OG is Old Geezer – an absolute riot of nonsense superiority and absurd utterances, and who hates pensions with a vengeance because he can’t get one….. also known as Ebergeezer Scrooge…

      Long suspected of being a plant for the LNP or just another ill-informed twerp trying to irritate the older people and especially the retirees and pensioners, OG has excelled both of those in his inane and supercilious utterances about his personal superiority and right to look down on others.

      There could be a lesson for you there, BB…. but you’re young yet – even though you are a pension rorter and doomed for the scaffold when the REAL government takes over.

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      Actually, Trebor, I’m pretty sure BigBear is OG, telling a different set of furphies. I am pretty good at picking style, and I can guarantee we’ve sussed him – no matter how often he denies.

    • 0
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      Perhaps so….. has the same ring of struth to it….

      Now why would a genuine contributor want to change names and enter a sock in the game?

    • 0
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      I also think I smell the scent of a user from Elsewhere…. (Elsewhere is not a Spanish curse, but a suburb of MauMaulbourne to which everyone would like to move)….

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      MauMaulbourne you have to be joking. Who wants to join the Mexicans in their annual migration? Not me as I prefer to go south in the summer instead.

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      Tasmania looks good in a heat wave…. or Dunedin in NZ.. did I tell you a former sis-in-law was a former Farmer’s party MP in NZ?

      Good people generally….. love the beer and the countryside…

  3. 0
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    The whole superannuation / age pension system is a mess. An easy fix, and what most developed countries do, would be to pay everyone an age pension regardless of assets and income. This means people who saved all their lives will be rewarded and not penalized, it would stop people spending all their money to be able to go on the age pension, or investing all funds into their primary residence which will later become white elephants for those left behind on death. Why should someone who earned lots and paid lots of taxes not be entitled to an age pension? Doesn’t make sense and sends the wrong message.

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      I agree it makes little sense and especially when a bit of planning can make so much difference.

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      How come the privileged and the manipulators always support bashing the less fortunate and less well educated, BigBear? Yet they boast about taking more than their fair share through unethical game playing. Such selfishness is disgusting.

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      Yes Frankie, give everyone over 65 a pension on top of super and/or
      working still and tax the lot as income like it happens in overseas countries. It would stop all the manipulating but it would throw a lot
      of financial advisors on the no-longer-needed heap. It would make
      for a thriftier population.

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      And it would reduce pension costs and enable the government to both reduce taxes and give more to the genuinely needy. Anyone who opposes that sort of common sense and ethical conduct is disgracefully selfish.

      Furthermore, it would generate economic growth. The more affluent retirees would spend more, creating higher business profits and more jobs and more GST revenue, and more business profit and more people employed would generate more taxes and more spending, and so the cycle of growth would continue. Seems to me the politicians are outright liars claiming they are focused on jobs and growth. Either that or they are blithering brainless idiots. They are deliberately killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

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      So I should have kept the money and missed out on seeing the big difference it made to my family so that strangers could benefit instead? I don’t think so. Remember charity begins at home.

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      You should be supporting changes that are good for the nation and encourage and reward ethical and moral conduct, rather than selfishly gloating about being positioned to act selfishly and wishing hurt on those who aren’t in such a favoured situation.

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      Rubbish Rainey one should support their own family before they do what is good for the nation. There is nothing unethical or immoral about supporting one’s family first.

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      There is when you are actively lobbying in favour of policies that hurt those who aren’t in a similarly favoured position and make it a punishable offence to be UNABLE to gift your assets. When you do that, you are SELFISH and unconscionable.

    • 0
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      My sentiments exactly Franky.

      In this country you are penalized for saving for your retirement.

      Unless you are a politician, then you have unfettered access to Aladdin’s cave.

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      Punishable to gifts one’s assets? Anyone can do what they like with their money.

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      Of course , pensions for all. It is not a privilege it is a right, whether you earned millions or thousands, you paid for it. That is plain fact of life.
      Another comment I found brilliant , “it would stop people spending all their money to go on the age pension” And I knew someone who spent on two huge things to cut down his asset and keep his perks and some payments. So he gets only benefit from concessions had more to the point that he couldn’t actually get a fortnightly pension, but he had two big spends to cut his assets, that benefitted his family, yes but they are gone, enjoyed but done and dusted .
      So where is the smart part of creating a level where people are forced to manipulate their own wealth , by spending , well perhaps 50 to 100 thousand dollars, seems idiotic to me!
      At the same time remember there are those with not that much in the pocket that still have to jump through hoops to get something they worked all their life for , placing money in super and paying taxes. Every one should get a pension.
      Seriously who are these absolute raving idiots we vote for???
      These same raving idiots that fritted away the Pension Fund , and both sides are to blame for that thievery!

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      ”Punishable to gifts one’s assets? Anyone can do what they like with their money” And you claim to know the rules, BigBear! DUMB.
      Yes, it IS punishable to gift one’s assets, unless you are privileged enough to be ABLE to do it before turning 60, or you don’t need a pension at all.

      John, it sounds like these absolute raving idiots we vote for are people like BigBear. Seems they are all arrogant, egotistical, contemptuous, ignorant, and with no respect. And they certainly don’t have the national interest at heart.

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      Only fi you are stupid enough to write someone a cheque.

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      I agree Franky but it won’t happen.

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      ”Only fi you are stupid enough to write someone a cheque” – So Centrelink wouldn’t notice the odd $100K disappearing out of a bank account or share portfolio? Don’t be daft!

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      Next move from Colonel C’Link and Fat Hank, under the guidance of his direct political overseers and masters…… (let that one hang for a while).. will be to review every transaction for a period into the past so as to catch asset shifting by pension applicants.

      Whenever an LNP plant appears in discussion, you can guarantee that he/she is operating from a perspective that incorporates a future direction of this ‘conservative’ government and its mates in the Opposition… ergo – BigBear appears here claiming to have offloaded all assets to get pension – next thing is the ‘social security minister’ will come out and say they MUST crack down on those rorting the system by offloading asset before retirement so as to receive a pension (that.. BTW.. the nation can’t afford, etc)….

      Propagandists are very cunning and very sneaky……. BigBear’s stated situation will lead to a hue and cry throughout the land that the government must move to catch rorters of this kind….

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      (completes that thought)…

      …and Labor will leap into the fray saying they need to protect the interests of genuine social security recipients by diligently ferreting out such rorters….. and they have a sworn duty to protect the social security system…..

      SS – DD……

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      Rainey your lack of imagination astounds me by that comment about $100,000 disappearing out of your bank account or share portfolio.

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      I don’t lack imagination, BigBear. I lack the will to act dishonestly and unethically, motivated solely by greed and selfishness.

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      There’s an extraordinary display of moronics in this congeries.

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      “John, it sounds like these absolute raving idiots we vote for are people like BigBear. Seems they are all arrogant, egotistical, contemptuous, ignorant, and with no respect. And they certainly don’t have the national interest at heart.”

      A perfect description of the Lieberal-Hillbilly COALition (LNP).

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    ”while the rules may help to ensure pension sustainable” …. NO NO NO NO NO. How can it help to ensure the pension is ”sustainable” when it makes it detrimental to save and rewards folk for spending heavily and claiming a bigger pension? Financial advisers are telling people to take expensive cruises. In some cases, taking $100K cruise will net the retiree couple $180K over ten years in extra pension income. Why bother to struggle with management issues and risks to get MAYBE a 5 – 7% return, when the return from simply spending it is a secure 7.8%+, indexed to inflation, and dropping into your bank account fortnightly with ZERO effort.

    It’s mind-boggling that the politicians could have ever been DUMB enough to vote for such a change. But they need to urgently reverse it.

    And NO, I’m NOT affected. But I know a great many who are and they are investing in bigger houses that they neither need nor want or taking costly cruises. And those under 60 are gifting generously to offspring, with informal agreements that the beneficiaries will pay a lot of their expenses in retirement – thus enabling them to attain all the benefits of the maximum pension PLUS the benefit of retaining their assets.

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      I can’t see anything wrong in a bit of forward planning.

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      @Rainey – not all cruises are expensive and I find seeing other places
      after 45 years of working preferable to sitting on a lot of money and
      thus losing the pension, only to see no hopers collecting $900 a fort-
      night. And that 7.8% is about right, that is equal to the $3 per $1000
      extra in your account. Well calculated.

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      Can’t disagree with that, Cowboy Jim, but that doesn’t make it RIGHT to create a system that benefits only those who choose not to save or those who can unconscionably manipulate to take more than their ethical share. This is supposed to be a free country. Endorsing the notion that people who choose to save for a better retirement or to pass on to their heirs after death should suffer unfairly for that choice, while drinkers, gamblers and manipulators party, is a denial of basic freedom.

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      No hopers Cowboy ? You are a cowboy, a self satisfied one at that, get off here, go and enjoy your wealth instead of insulting every time you open your mouth or press a button. Really you seem to be now in childish argument mode.
      You and Bear ,really have no reason to even comment you are good! Yes, so why bother getting on this site and making ignorant “look at me I am great” idiotic statements , except for the fact that maybe you are telling a load???? Bye.

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      Seems to me John has a problem with BigBear and myself, wants us to go away. Have the same right to be here as he is. Cannot really see what upset him apart for him may being a Socialist and they
      do not have a sense of humour.

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      John clearly is NOT a socialist, Cowboy Jim, since he supports pensions for all regardless of their wealth. Socialists want ”equality”, which really means they want to crush the middle and upper working class to hand out to the lower class, while ensuring the upper class keep partying. Precisely what BigBear is proposing. John just wants what’s fair and equitable, as do I. I don’t have any issue with you, Cowboy Jim, but BigBear’s socialist attitudes certainly offend.

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      I’ve been certainly offended being called a socialist just because I fail to follow the crowd and make the same mistakes as they do. I am no longer wealthy and have no means of support so if you want to use a class system I belong to the one called “poor”. I couldn’t care less what anyone earns or what wealth they have. I do object to people who play the game of life without knowing the rules and then try to cut down those who have followed the rules and did what they should have done themselves. Take the blame for your own mistakes not try and demean those who followed the rules and put themselves in a better position than you did by cutting corners.

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      You ARE a socialist, BigBear – the most offensive and obnoxious kind. The kind who constantly wish hurt on the hardest workers because they aren’t as privileged as you, and who claim entitlement to steal from the public purse because you are ”smart” and privileged to have money enough to manipulate. Sick!

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      **falls about laughing** This nation IS socialist, BigBear… if it were not there’d be no subsidies for anything from government and pure laissez-faire capitalism ……. even the LNP can’t quite go that far…. so they rely on The Sellout the removes responsibility for social and economic disaster from them…

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      ”Take the blame for your own mistakes not try and demean those who followed the rules and put themselves in a better position than you did by cutting corners.”

      BigBear, I didn’t make mistakes by cutting corners. I put myself in a very good position – relative to most – by economizing and working hard. To rise from abject poverty and extreme disadvantage, faced with the challenges I faced, is rare indeed. But I am now proudly self-sufficient – and will be, according to the ASIC Retirement Calculator, for approximately the next 15 years.

      You didn’t do anything laudable. By your own admission, you cheated. You admit you robbed and plundered a fund INTENDED to provide for the genuinely needy, and now you boast about it to people who accumulated less wealth, but did it honestly and ethically.

      Actually, you appear to be worse than a rampant socialist. Your behaviour looks to be similar to that of Communist leaders – pretending to support a system that has some theoretical merit, while rorting the public purse for their own benefit and looking down their noses at people whose hard work and integrity was not fairly rewarded.

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      Rainey all I have done is support the other members of my family to have a better life by using money I don’t need. They now help me by paying my bills and I get to enjoy life using the money I receive form the OAP. I have cheated no one, stolen nothing, haven’t broken any rules, have worked hard all my life so I deserve a great retirement. As far as I am concerned my family had just as much need as anyone else in society so I have provided for the needy as well.

      There is nothing ethically dishonest or morally wrong with what I have done. I have just done it differently from the normal way through the use of forward planning.

      Yes I could have keep everything myself and watched my family struggle while I sat on a lot more money than I would ever need. I could have stayed in my old house which was much too small to house my struggling relative as well as myself self and partner. So I have not only made a great life for myself but for a lot of other members of my family as well.

      If you think what I have done is wrong because I just did it differently from what others do then you have a very narrow view on life and what one can do.

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      No, OG. I don’t have a narrow view on life. I have integrity. What you did is morally bereft. You are stealing from the needy by taking a pension you don’t need. You contrived to give money to people who had no legal or moral right to pension benefits, and you financed the gifts by claiming pension benefits you had no moral right to. If your family had as much need as anyone else in society, they would have been entitled to benefits, and then anything you gave them would have reduced their entitlement.

      Sure, we can all ”play the game”. It’s not hard to be dishonest or unethical. But if we all did it, the system would collapse and the genuinely needy would starve.

      You assumed the right to compel Australian taxpayers to fund gifts to your grandchildren that the taxpayer had no obligation to give and that your grandchildren had no right to claim from the taxpayer. The money you are now receiving as compensation for having wrongfully directed money you should be living on to people who had no right to it, should be directed, instead, to people in real need. You are cheating the genuinely needy and robbing the taxpayer, and that’s dishonest and immoral, no matter how you choose to present it and no matter what pathetic excuses you tender.

      One would hope you did something different from what others do. I fear it’s not too different, and that’s a large cause of our economic problems in this country. People doing what you do are reducing the size of the welfare pie and thus causing needy people to live in poverty and decent, honest, hard-workers to be unfairly deprived. If you think that’s acceptable, you have a very sick view of life and society.

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      Blah blah blah… Rainey ought to change her moniker to Pourey!

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      “Socialists want ”equality”, which really means they want to crush the middle and upper working class to hand out to the lower class,”

      That is total BULLSHIT, Rainey. Sorry, but a socialist is a person who supports the idea of a societal safety-net funded by taxation imposed on those able to pay (i.e. the wealthy), in such a way that the lifestyles of the wealthy are not adversely impacted.

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      You are right in theory, Knows-a-lot. Unfortunately the right wing in our society have redefined socialism and implemented a different version of it – one that is actually closer to Communism, or maybe Facism. And it does involve crushing the middle and upper working class. I guess, though, I should have said to ”purport to handout to the lower classes”, because they actually don’t. They only claim to, as in the lies they told when introducing asset test changes – which, contrary to their dishonest claims, did not give one cent to those who had no assets at all, or virtually none.

      I’ve been accused, nastily, of being a socialist. Well, I am in the purest sense of the word – and proud of it. But I certainly do not support the flavour of ”socialism” I’m being accused of endorsing.

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    Good idea, Frankie, except that by cancelling the income and assets test you would reduce the staff of Centrelink to about half a dozen and all politicians hate to see the unemployment figures rise.

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      Unemployment figures wouldn’t rise, Beeman. The job creation by allowing people to enjoy the fruits of their hard work and enjoy the standard of living they earned would be huge. We’d have more tax revenue through indirect tax collection, higher business profits. and lots more jobs generating still more tax revenue and more spending to make more jobs. We’d actually realize the ”jobs and growth” objective this lying or incompetent government claims to be pursuing.

      Besides, common sense dictates that having abolished the income and assets test, the government should tax the incomes of higher income retirees and the extra tax could be invested in infrastructure projects that create jobs that genuinely benefit society.

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      Yes, Rainey -with a proper handling those people would be absorbed into the private sector – a ‘right wing’ wet dream….. but not bad when it works properly.

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    The entire concept of an assets test is absurd and unfair. Means testing income and deemed income is acceptable, but punishing people for having acquired assets during the working life – ignoring the fact that they paid tax on that money already – is both unfair and counterproductive, because it discourages endeavours to save and thus drives the total cost of retirement up.

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      So punishing people for saving into income producing assets is okay but if they saved for other types of assets to leave to heirs it’s okay?

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      No, Rae. Punishing people for saving into any kind of asset is wrong. If we must have a means test, apply it to current income only. But if you apply it to assets, tax is paid when it is earned, and again at a horrendously high rate when it SHOULD be helping you enjoy the retirement you worked and saved for but in fact it’s making you far worse off. Personally, I don’t think there should be a means test at all, but it DEFINITELY shouldn’t apply to assets in a way that makes it detrimental to save.

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      Big bear , as I said its NOT ABOUT YOU!

      EVEN THOUGH YOU SEEM TO THINK IT IS.
      So now Mr successful , have a think on other things.

      And leave this topic alone .

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      Rainey you talk good sense, I wonder what the other reason politicians have, to make them complicate something that is logical and simple , or do we elect blithering idiots to parliament?
      We live in a too complicated set up, that appears sometimes so tricky that its a hoodwink?

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      John, we clearly elect blithering idiots. I sent a detailed spreadsheet analysis and clear explanation to every politician before this stupid policy was voted on. Only ONE responded. He phoned me at 6:30 am on the day of the vote asking for further explanation. After 45 minutes he exclaimed ”Oh my goodness. I had no idea. I need to tell my colleagues IMMEDIATELY. We have to stop this.” It was voted over the line anyway, and SOME of those who voted did so on the condition that the government committed to a total overhaul of the aged pension system – which, as we know, never happened. But did those who extracted the promise follow up? Nope!

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      “Lock in b), Eddy — yes.. lock in b)….. ‘we elect blithering idiots to parliament’…….lock it in!”

      “Here’s your cheque for Wun Millyun Dullahs!!”

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    Another nail if the coffin of superannuants, retirees and pensioners from the LNP. All you would expect from the dumb and dumber twins Turnbull and Morrison.

    The waiting in the wings are the “young Liberals” who want to include the family home in the assets test.

    The LNP just cannot leave retirees and pensioners alone. They are like the retirement Gestapo. What next, internment camps for pensioners.

    And not a peep from the ALP.

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      Ever wonder why you have heard nothing from the APL? My guess is that we aint seen nothing yet as they have even bigger changes in store for pensioners when they get in power.

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      You are right, Gee Whiz. So we need to lobby the ALP to wake up to the one major election promise that might win office for them AND do good for the nation.

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      It is not only about the Liberals, Gee Whiz. As has been noted before it was the Alp under Hawke/Keating that abolished our pension system as it was before 1983 and introduced the assets and income tests; and it was Mr Rudd from the ALP that made us work two years longer, to the age of 67. BigBear is quite right, the ALP would get us to 70 probably, so watch out, pilgrims!!

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      I agree” if you think the LNP are bad then you aint seen nothing yet.

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      Time to march on Canberra……

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    I wonder how many retirees that read this and feel a little let down by this system and the economists who devise them ,really understand exactly what it means.
    One thing is for certain the politicians and economists who do go through this to change policy , to confuse people, appear to actually not realise what they create, and have never got anything concrete it seems , in a plan that is good for everyone.
    Perhaps that’s a little unfair to the economists who sit and work with pens and calculators etc.
    But what is their brief from politicians, because to me , it seems the instructions to the people doing the mathematics, from politicians is, while you’re at it watch the bottom line, we can’t spend too much , they are only pensioners waiting to die. Try and make things NOT look worse , even though for some it will be OK, but for others it will be disastrous, nothing you can do about that. With a banker for a PM at one end and an elitist wanna be at the other end, All assuming most Aussies are well off, we have not much hope , as Mr Barefoot says we’re the richest country in the world , with $78,000 average income . Well all my working life I never got near that, and I ‘ve only been finished a couple of years.
    So I think the confusion and the statistical bulldust is well and truly alive , and most politicians have no idea of the real world.

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      So now a couple work extra jobs to earn an extra $200,000 for retirement. It costs them over $335,000 to save $200,000, and they contribute more than $135,000 extra to government coffers. Then they retire and find the extra saving costs them $15600 a year in pension benefits, plus they lose all the pension concessions, and they have to earn 8% on their money, in a market where 5% return is the stated ”average” and many would consider that figure generous, so for giving the government an extra $135,000+ in tax during working life, they suffer the loss of at least $5,600 a year in income – maybe more, plus thousands in benefits – and they have to manage that $200,000 and suffer risk of loss. Is that fair? Dumb question!

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      Yes it’s fair if they fail the assets test.

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      If ‘economists’ had it right there’s be no problem with the economy these days at all – the best they can do is come up with some new theory of how to handle each crisis that develops from the last one….

      Crisis Management at its best – I’m looking (among others) at a boat named ‘Angler Management’…. but they want too much for what it is right now.

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    Big Bear not wishing to contribute to the interchange between you and Rainey, BUT your statement about the changes made being FAIR is full of BS
    Compare all Pensioners on the SAME $550,000 in Assets.

    The Single Home Owner, savaged by these changes, gets ZERO pension assistance, BUT a Single Non Home Owner receives $15,975pa in Pension. A Couple Home Owner receive $21,837pa in pension and a Couple Non Homeowner receives $30,476, if that’s fair then I really would like to see whats UNFAIR!!!

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      Yes that is fair.

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      Only a total idiot would deem that fair! Giving a couple an extra $586 a week because they didn’t bother to pay off a mortgage, while the couple who worked two jobs and sacrificed for 30 years have to pay up to $160 a week in accommodation costs. So the renters have about $750 a week to spend in rent, thus being able to afford luxury accommodation at taxpayer expense as a reward – in many cases – for being irresponsible.

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      And on top of that unfairness, selfish morons are supporting proposals that would make it far, far worse – such as insisting that the home owner hand their house to the government on death. Who would bother to work and earn in such an environment. I think it’s tine for a mass walk-out by all workers, with a clear message that ”you bastards are taking all the benefit of working away, so it makes sense to just stop working.” Let’s see how the greedy rich and privileged fair then.

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      ”Only a total idiot would deem that fair!” No, I take that back. Also greedy self-serving people who want the system structured to their unfair advantage would call it fair.

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      With the rent of a decent house $500 plus a week the home owners are miles in front of renters even with those differences.

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      They SHOULD be a lot further in front, after 3+ decades of hard slog to acquire a home and pay it off – often at 18% interest. Why should those who didn’t bother be compensated in any way at all? Work should be rewarded – so reward those who buy homes and let those who don’t live with the consequences of their own conduct. For the genuinely disadvantaged, there is government housing available. Cut the benefits for renters and put it into more government housing. It’s not fair that people who worked and saved should be penalized and people who didn’t rewarded.

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      Great idea Rainey with what is it now a 20 or 30 year wait for public housing?

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      Because the money is being doled out to greedy manipulators instead of used to service GENUINE need. I know a woman who inherited $1 million USD but STILL has lifetime rights to public housing. Stop feeding greed and start applying RESPONSIBLE FAIR ETHICAL policies that encourage responsible living while acknowledging genuine need and we’d have plenty of tax dollars to go around.

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      HI THERE OG ….WOOOPS I MEAN BigBear ….. I like your new name but still the same OG ….welcome back BB (or …Brigitte Bardot)

      Here she is 2017 beatiful as ever ……
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ojDPdNJcIM ……

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      Where’s Bonny? I made a comment on a gesture I make – cutting the currently injured and away old lady’s grass verge (keeps any undesirables away – long grass is an invitation) – and she has not yet arrived to say she does the same… same as happened when I said any excess vegetables I grow go to the communal kitchen run by a church (I’m not religious, BTW – just a humanitarian).

      Bonny would make it a fivesome….

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    BigBear, I am right with you 100%! I don’t know why some of the people attacking you for being smart with your money? Everybody should get the pension, especially if they worked for it and paid their taxes all their lives, doesn’t matter how much money and/or assets you have. I worked 3-4 jobs when I was younger, saved and invested wisely, so I can have a comfortable retirement. Why shouldn’t I get the Age Pension, just because I saved and looked after my future, I get penalised?? Don’t understand why you get called selfish by some of the people who comment here? All these people who call the Age Pension a handout, don’t know what they are talking about. Pension is not a handout!! Unemployment benefit is! BigBear glad that someone has a strength to stand up for him/herself like you just did and don’t give into the bullies on here.

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      Evelynne, you are misreading. Everyone SHOULD get the pension. BigBear’s position is that only those with both the means and the capacity to manipulate unfairly should get it, and the hard workers who saved and lived frugally should suffer to pay for the excess paid to manipulators like BigBear. That’s why he’s being called selfish!

      You SHOULD get the pension, and so should I. We should NOT be penalized for working hard and saving. But BigBear says we should ONLY get the pension if we unethically manipulate around the stinkingly complicated and grossly unfair laws that currently apply. That IS selfish.

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      .. because he’s a self-confessed thief under the current rules… evie – get with the program…

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      Evelynne it’s called the tall poppy syndrome where if anyone is seen to be doing better than others they will try to chop him down as fast as they can anyway they can. They will call you all sorts of names including being a thief just to try and get you to conform to their standard. I have never let such people mould me and I’m not about to start now either. However I do pick my battles in real life and conserve my energy for only those that are important to me. Personally I could not care less how other people play the OAP game as there are many different ways of playing it. What I do is best for me and my family. To me I can’t see any sense on sitting on a big pile of cash that I will never use but to others it is important to do so.

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      What garbage, BigBear! It’s nothing to do with cutting down tall poppies. The poppies being cut are those in the middle, actually. The tall ones aren’t being touched. And what is sickening is that you support cutting honest people down and letting dishonest behaviour thrive and be rewarded. Decent people delight in cutting down crooks.

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      There is no illegality in gifting to family within the 5 year time frame legally allowed.

      I suggest many will do this if they are unable to generate an income better than the OAP.

      The budgets of 2015/2016 changed everything and people with any brains will change plans if they are able. Still within the rules.

      The ones I feel for are those who were caught out without any hope of selling assets or reclaiming funds from annuities or defined benefits. They handed over their lump sums based on promises well and truly broken and now have no ability to change anything.

      It won’t happen in the future though as people respond in a sensible way to maximise their own families future just as Bog Bear has.

      I too have wealthy friends playing by the rules. Many now get part pensions or even full pensions.

      It was the Government that betrayed retirees so no point blaming people who are playing by the new rules.

      Welfare is still available to those unable or unwilling to help themselves. The hard working saver is just fed up with always missing out on any help and I don’t blame them one bit.

      I’ve taken a different tack and fund myself and still work hard at investing for income. Hopefully I’ll never need to visit Centrelink.

      Any promises of a little help after decades of hard slog were wiped away in those budgets. That betrayal will never be forgiven.

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      BOG Bear… hmmmmmmmm.. Freudian Slip?

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      Rae, I actually agree with you, but what I cannot tolerate is the arrogant gloating and boasting about having ”played the game” and won, and the denigration and insults of those who can’t. And worse still, the suggestions and endorsement of policies that hurt others who have worked hard and saved honestly and just accepted the injustices.

      You are right. Many simply were not – and are not -positioned to get around the cruel changes. You have to gift FIVE years in advance to avoid pension loss, so those who claim there was adequate warning are WRONG. Not everyone is in a position to invest further in the family home, and many don’t want to just spend on luxuries or travel because they saved for specific needs – which they will now be unfairly denied.

      It’s not so much ”playing the game” that offends me really, it’s supporting a system that disadvantages those who can’t, and endorsing proposals to make life even harder for the honest and ethical.

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      I agree Rainey. The system is grossly unfair and inequitable and I can’t even see the benefit of the change.

      The closest I can come to an explanation was that Credlin just hated being told so sacked the Public Servants with experience and appointed sycophants who knew nothing and they just made up policy with no thought to the consequences.

      Abbott just went along as he is not very bright.

      None of them had a clue how it would be perceived or how it would skew the retirement savings plans of everybody.

      I personally lost $10 000 a year promised plus the concession card.
      No I don’t need it but as I took no tax concessions or any thing else over a lifetime working at two jobs and running a business paying huge tax burdens I felt it an entitlement. No more. Neither is the government entitled to my trust or respect either.

      They give that much to working mothers these days without a problem. Millions of them but denied a few hundred thousand because they saw us as powerless.

      All loses are learning events and I learnt to never ever believe a word they say or a promise made.

      They have destroyed the superannuation system as far as I can see at current market returns because it makes no sense.

      When markets finally correct there will be huge amounts of loses from superannuation funds as it is a dodgy system with no ability to take profits until a birthday sometime in the future for most. That’s no way to run a portfolio of volatile and risky shares, bonds, REITS etc.

      And the banks are also risky thanks to the huge debt burden, stagnant wages and the bail in rules. All those with funds in fixed interest or bank savings accounts because they trust they are safe are in for one hell of a betrayal too.

      I’ve never seen governments do more damage to a great country with wealth behind it and owning countless revenue raising assets.
      And all within a few decades. It’s unbelievable really.

      Unless you take the UK and they may just beat us in the mismanagement stakes.

      Anyone not taking evasive financial action isn’t paying attention.

      The gloating and so forth here is troll behaviours. They don’t know much. It’s all how wonderful am I and attacks on others. No real comments with any knowledge attached. Best just ignored.

      One thing I do know is that we savers may be the last money available in a world awash with debt and headed towards a worse GFC than 2008. Stay honest and ethical Rainey but don’t trust any of them to do the right thing because they won’t.

      The future is unknowable but you can look out for your family here and now.

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