5th Sep 2018
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Opinion: PM’s backflip better late than never
Author: Kaye Fallick
Backflip better late than never

The reversal of Age Pension age policy on the Today show this morning was a triumph of politics over policy. And for once the politics favours older Australians.

So what is behind the decision of Prime Minister Scott Morrison to leave pension entitlement at 67 (by 2023), as legislated by the previous Labor government?

The original plan to move pension entitlement age to 70 was a major measure in then-Treasurer Joe Hockey’s 2014 Budget. Along with changes to the indexation of the Age Pension, it would have seen many older Australians struggle to live a dignified life.

The indexation changes were dropped following major opposition from across the board to the proposed long-term reduction in pension rates. But the ‘zombie’ legislation to increase Age Pension entitlement to 70 years has hung around ever since. The rationale for this increase to 70 was that funding the Age Pension was ‘unaffordable’ and this move would ultimately save the budget more than $3.6 billion over four years.

In the May 2018 Budget Lockup, YourLifeChoices asked then-Treasurer Scott Morrison if this measure would still be brought to Parliament and he affirmed it would. But since then we have seen another Prime Minister bite the dust, five by-elections, none of which the Government won, and punishing polls pointing to a federal election wipeout for the Coalition.

Further polling suggests that Labor Party messaging that the Government is supportive of big business, particularly the banks, at the expense of the ordinary wage-earner and pensioner are cutting through. So, in what appears to be an entirely political move, the new PM has now done a spectacular backflip on a pension age of 70.

So much for the ‘unaffordable’ Age Pension.

And this is where the politics of the situation have forced a correct decision.

Put simply, many Australians aged 65 and over can no longer work. The majority do not retire because they want to, but because they have to. YourLifeChoices research shows this may be due to health conditions or because they may be unable to find and keep a job which pays enough to give them shelter, food and home comforts.

Those whose health prevents them from working may get a Disability Support Pension. But it’s not guaranteed. Those who can’t access such a pension will have to exist on Newstart, which is far too low for anyone, be they a student, single mother or 65-year-old. As most fair-minded social commentators have noted, Newstart should be increased immediately. And it cannot be seen as a gap payment for those aged below 70 if they cannot find work before qualifying for a pension.

Dropping the plan to lift Age Pension age to 70 won’t matter to the 30 per cent of self-funded retirees – the Affluent retirement tribe. They will be ok, come what may. But for the 70 per cent of retirees and pre-retirees who are/or will be on an Age Pension, this will make a huge difference to their retirement planning. In particular, the Cash-Strapped tribes will need every bit of support possible as these retirees – about 15 per cent – are renters, spending more than a third of their income to keep a roof over their heads.

As YourLifeChoices has reported for the past decade or more, the question is not whether the Age Pension is affordable. As a nation, we are the third meanest in the OECD when pension expenditure is expressed as a percentage of GDP – we do not spend much at all. Where we are lavish in our spending is on benefits and concessions to older wealthier citizens – in particular when it comes to superannuation. Such concessions now outweigh the cost of the Age Pension – and it is here that this Government, indeed any government, should direct attention. All Australian retirees deserve a much more level playing field.

What do you think? Is this policy reversal good news? Or a cynical political exercise? Does it matter if you agree with the outcome?

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    COMMENTS

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    On the Ball
    5th Sep 2018
    10:43am
    ... But it should be 65...
    Old Geezer
    5th Sep 2018
    11:07am
    Should have been increased with life expectancy increases.
    SFR
    5th Sep 2018
    12:04pm
    Bollocks OG
    GeorgeM
    5th Sep 2018
    12:42pm
    Yes, On the Ball, and untested.
    Alexii
    5th Sep 2018
    12:46pm
    I agree with you, On the Ball.

    They should now reverse the decision they made on the assets test and reinstate the previous level as it was very costly to many pensioners/part pensioners and helped to stuff up their retirement.
    KSS
    5th Sep 2018
    1:20pm
    Take that up with Labor then On the Ball. They raised the pension age from 65 - 67.
    Old Geezer
    5th Sep 2018
    3:00pm
    Why should the taxpayer support people for over a third of their life when they couldn't save enough to support themselves? Pension age should have been raised with life expectancy that's where we have gone wrong. Biggest problem why people can't work is that they are lazy and don't look after their body and mind very well at all.
    Knows-a-lot
    5th Sep 2018
    4:54pm
    OG and his Lieberal troll mates would have everybody work until they dropped dead. Saves on paying pensions...
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2018
    1:04pm
    Agree as I for one will be doing just that as their is no welfare for me.
    ex PS
    7th Sep 2018
    1:40pm
    My question to O.G is why is it almost impossible for an average working person to put aside enough to look after themselves in the later years of life? I know of many honest hard workers who still have to rely on a Pension to survive.
    You can't deny the resources and opportunity to thrive on the populace and then blame them for having to rely on the services they have paid for for sustenance.
    rtrish
    5th Sep 2018
    10:58am
    Great decision, but is political, not because they are caring for Seniors. As for Self-funded retirees, I am not one but several of my friends are. The ones I know are certainly not doing it easy.
    HarrysOpinion
    5th Sep 2018
    11:27am
    If self-funded retirees find it tough imagine how people on full age pensions find it, on both sides, being a home owner and those renting.Very tough. Energy costs this winter are $200 per fortnight especially for those down colder South regions. Council, water rates and strata levies all have gone up. Insurance premiums,car, home and contents have gone up and the levies the insurance premiums contain have gone up. Renters will be paying higher rent. Many pensioners over 70 would love to find paid work twice the fortnightly full old age pension amount but availability of work for old age people is like 'hens teeth".
    Greg
    5th Sep 2018
    5:32pm
    HS - $200 per fortnight??? What the hell do you do for heating, I live in north east VIC and the gas bill is around $500 for the three winter months.

    Try putting on a jumper, or any clothes for that matter.
    Rae
    6th Sep 2018
    7:30am
    A decision for now but that doesn't mean a thing anymore. The LNP have shown they cannot be trusted to keep their promises. I doubt the ALP is any better and the Greens are living in some sort of make believe world with rainbows and lollypops.
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2018
    1:06pm
    It doesn't matter to me who is in power as I will just adjust my affairs to suit the investment and political climate. If Labor is in power I will just sit on my hands and wait for a better political and investment climate as will many other people who can afford to do so. It is only those who cant that are whinging.
    Old Man
    5th Sep 2018
    11:05am
    So, the questions are; Is this policy reversal good news? Or a cynical political exercise? Does it matter if you agree with the outcome?

    Yes, the reversal is good news for the 70% of people who will need to rely on all or part of an age pension. It shows that the government is listening to the voters which should be a basic requirement for all governments. It seems, in recent years, that governments just push an agenda that their advisers or experts tell them is good for i) getting the country moving or ii) maintaining the votes for their party. Politicians should be more in touch with the electorates, the people who have voted for them, not "experts", consultants or the party machine with an agenda.

    It could be a cynical political exercise but only time will tell. Morrison has made his statement about the retirement age so for the term of this government, the matter should not be raised again. Because of the importance of the retirement age, any future government must have the matter clarified before an election and have the decision put forward as a policy for the term of the government. As regards cynicism, I find it very cynical that an Opposition will block proposed legislation that they supported when going to voters in an election campaign or they had as a policy when in government.

    I believe that it matters if voters agree with the outcome because of the high number of people who were absolutely opposed to raising the retirement age to 70. Voters can stomach a lot of legislation that affects them adversely because the legislation is for the greater good but raising the retirement age to 70 disaffected the majority of Australians and therefore was not acceptable. Australians are very good at not complaining but when they do, en masse, they should be listened to.

    I note that there is an attempt to compare us with America as regards people working into their 70's in hospitality and retail. This is comparing apples and oranges as America's superannuation system is very poor when compared with Australia's. Americans will have a very small amount of super at the end of their working life. The retirement pension in America provided by government is not universal and the amounts paid are not equal. The system allows for how long people have worked and how much they have earned when setting the limit of assistance.
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2018
    1:07pm
    As one of the 30% who don't rely on the age pension it is of no personal significance.
    Ted
    5th Sep 2018
    11:09am
    cynical politics that, for once, is good news fir the elderly.
    Pass the Ductape
    5th Sep 2018
    11:20am
    Hah! If anyone who reads this nonsense doesn't know that this is just a political ploy to try and stay in power, they'd have to be stupid!
    mogo51
    5th Sep 2018
    11:44am
    You nailed it Ducrape. One poster said 'the government are listening' what total B's. The LNP are in total disarray again. They will get flogged at next election by Labor and then they will plunge us further into debt. Shorten will bow to Unions and country us down the toilet.
    Where is the Messiah when we need him????
    Alexii
    5th Sep 2018
    12:48pm
    It sure is, Ductape.
    libsareliars
    5th Sep 2018
    2:00pm
    Spot on Ductape. No doubt people will get duped again and they will change their policy back to 70 if they get back in. The LNP are not to be trusted.
    Rae
    5th Sep 2018
    2:09pm
    We are going further into debt no matter who wins unless we pull up and stop a lot of the foolish government support of every privatised business plan. There is no revenue base left and stupid welfare like childcare at $10 000 a couple etc. All unnecessary except if you own a childcare centre.
    Manne
    5th Sep 2018
    11:24am
    I read once that the age pension cost less than 3% of GDP , SO WHAT IS ALL THE CARRY ON ABOUT 97% LEFT TO RUN THE COUNTRY.
    Old Man
    5th Sep 2018
    11:39am
    The actual percentage of social security and welfare as against GDP is 1.1%, Manne, but GDP is not income. Governments can only pay out the money they raise by taxes or, in the case of a deficit budget, by borrowings. Social security and welfare is 35% of governments expenditure.
    Rae
    5th Sep 2018
    2:14pm
    GDP is a fiction. It's not the actual amount of revenue available and it doesn't count debt which is where the real danger lies in my opinion.

    The refusal to pay a universal pension is however ideological. It could easily be achieved if they wanted to. Those not receiving it are simply paying for young people's HECS, childcare rebates, health fund rebates, home loan grants etc etc.

    Of course it isn't fair. It never has been.
    Farside
    5th Sep 2018
    2:35pm
    @Rae, good points well made ... and if the voting population continues to vote for the same values and not hold their representatives to account, then it is unlikely to change any time soon. Part of the problem is that our elected reps have come around to believing their own hyperbole and have trouble distinguishing fact from fiction – the discussions around international taxation competitiveness just being one case in point.
    Rae
    6th Sep 2018
    7:45am
    Yes Farside we have very poor quality representatives. Some of them also have proven to have ulterior motives as well, such as the bankers placed in position to benefit banks using public funds during privatisation. Many do believe the false assumptions the leaders continually sprout.

    Taxing companies is a problem. They really contribute very little to revenue now anyway.
    The way the Business community carry on you'd think they were the tax payers running public services when the facts show it is the ordinary workers carrying the can.

    Overseas investors will continue to provide funds to Australia while profits last. At the point that ceases they will be gone quick smart regardless of tax which can be minimised very easily by the multinationals.
    patti
    5th Sep 2018
    12:04pm
    It is both good news, and a cynical political exercise. If the Liberal clowns think they are going to win votes with this policy reversal, they have badly underestimated the Australian voters. We are not so easily duped. At least sanity prevails, I was made redundant at 57 and never able to get a real job again. Have been in recent of Age Pension for 10 years, could not have survived on Newstart. Would have been unable to pay my mortgage and would have lost my house. I think Politicians should have to wait until we do to access pensions.
    Kaz
    5th Sep 2018
    12:40pm
    Agree
    KSS
    5th Sep 2018
    1:26pm
    You mean pattie you could afford a mortgage on the age pension? WOW! No wonder people want the age pension if it is enough to pay a mortgage.....
    Rae
    6th Sep 2018
    7:56am
    The fact so many older workers face redundancy is a worry and is unfair. Younger workers may cost less but also tend to find new work more easily. The Government should be doing something to ease this situation as it effects a lot of workers these days.

    Yes KSS the full aged pension would cost around $575 000 ( $ 830 000 for a couple) if you had to save and pay for it yourself from the age of 67. This is one reason the changes to asset/income tests was unfair to those who did bother to save themselves. The Government slammed the lifters in that Legislation and perhaps pointed out the stupidity of saving for yourself when the Government pension is generous and requires no effort at all.
    cupoftea
    5th Sep 2018
    12:25pm
    I think there is an election coming
    Farside
    5th Sep 2018
    12:30pm
    Poor decision that will inevitably be reinstated by both major parties in the next decade. Post retirement expectancy has substantially increased and worker-to-pensioner ratio substantially declined making pensions are bigger budget impost. Might have been different if compulsory superannuation was 15% to help supplement incomes but basic math tells you anyone below median salary will struggle to accumulate enough super to retire on by age 65. By 2035 we will be rethinking the meaning of work.
    Rae
    6th Sep 2018
    7:59am
    I agree. We also have several million new immigrants and I believe their age average is around 44 ( it's 38 for Australian born residents). Most of these people won't have saved nearly enough to be self funded retirees.
    Kaz
    5th Sep 2018
    12:39pm
    Until the election
    GeorgeM
    5th Sep 2018
    12:47pm
    Yes, the reversal is good news, but NOT good enough as they haven't reversed the nasty Asset Test changes from Jan 2017 which this PM implemented. We don't need to thank him just for removing a further threat - which incidentally is just for the sake of winning the next election,following which it could be back on the agenda!

    The PM also doesn't even seem to understand the difference between Retirement and Pension Age! In other comments (from 2015) he actually talked as if he was doing a favour for older people by MAKING THEM work longer! Yes, a dictator! He also called it "welfare" - as if it is a favour, ignoring that we all paid for it with the 7.5% tax impost included in taxes even now.

    The telling statistic in your other article today is "More than three-quarters, or 76 per cent, had retired by the time they reached 65." Also, the fact that we have the meanest rules in the OECD meant to avoid paying pensions by putting a lot of Tests.

    The only real solution acceptable to the majority is to make Age Pension Universal - at least for those qualifying by Age (65 years, NOT 67), and Residency (say 15 years) with NO other Tests. No problem paying for it if the Govt introduces Minimum Taxes to make the Large companies and the wealthy pay minimum taxes without shonky deductions.

    Disgusting failure of priorities - by both major parties to look after retirees, especially the ones who tried to save!

    All Retirees and Pre-retirees need to write to their MPs for this, and not vote for them (put sitting members last) if they don't agree to introduce Universal Pension.
    Alexii
    5th Sep 2018
    12:53pm
    I fully agree with you, George. These characters in parliament have little or no concern for the welfare of ordinary workers. To them, the lower the pension, themes people entitled to a part pension and the longer ordinary mortals have to work to get a meagre pension or part pension the better. Just look at them, especially the ministers and prime ministers on good salaries, excellent pensions and usually able to go and get further work (shows they are not worn out by their regular work). Nothing like board member positions for them too; and with the PMs look at their extra perks with office provided so they can write their memoirs or carry out whatever else they want to do at public expense. No wonder they don't understand the plight of normal elderly people.
    Old Geezer
    5th Sep 2018
    3:01pm
    Ordinary workers are to blame for their health and mental problems not the government. Look after your body and mind and you will live well and work as long as you like.
    OlderandWiser
    7th Sep 2018
    10:41pm
    A load of crock from an overly privileged ignoramus, OG. People's health fails for a vast number of reasons - very often due to unsafe and unhealthy working conditions, road accidents, etc. My health problems are a result of child abuse, and I know of tens of thousands like me who suffer because they were abused and deprived in childhood - generally as a result of government failure to supervise those running orphanages. People inherit health issues too.
    And many just work themselves to death in physically strenuous occupations.

    You are so full of bile and contempt that you are not worthy of being called 'human''.

    5th Sep 2018
    12:59pm
    Morrison is not raising pension age and not touching franking credits for retirees
    Shorten wants to do both
    Knows-a-lot
    5th Sep 2018
    4:55pm
    Bullshit, from a Lieberal shill.
    Jak
    5th Sep 2018
    1:01pm
    How many 'gestures' can we expect? Nearly all will only amount to what we already get and nothing more. It would not be hard to do better the Morrison.
    KSS
    5th Sep 2018
    1:19pm
    OMG. You got what you wanted and yet you are STILL whinging! Yet more biased 'reporting'.
    Rod63
    5th Sep 2018
    1:52pm
    An "opinion piece", which this is, is NOT biased reporting.
    Rod63
    5th Sep 2018
    1:46pm
    It's a cynical political exercise. Expect many more in the lead-up to the next federal election.
    Rae
    5th Sep 2018
    1:56pm
    I think we are up to our necks in debt and I'm damned if I can see how we get out of it now. Maybe someone else can see where the revenue is going to come from for all the government sponsored largess going on.
    libsareliars
    5th Sep 2018
    1:58pm
    Must be an election coming up soon! Trying to buy votes with a policy that was never legislated anyway. It was still on the agenda of Tony's toxic policies, the pension age is still 67 and hasn't changed. So they're scrapping something that wasn't even there! Nice try Slomo, must be getting desperate.
    Farside
    5th Sep 2018
    2:00pm
    and was not even proposed to be implemented until 2035, long after many readers of this site will be under the grass rather than on top of it.
    floss
    5th Sep 2018
    2:01pm
    Our local state member in N.S.W .should be in jail but guess what he has retired a young man on $140,000. per year. Yes he is a Lib.
    alpal
    5th Sep 2018
    2:32pm
    I feel an early election coming.
    4b2
    5th Sep 2018
    2:50pm
    A sure sign an election is on the way. Buy as many votes you can because the Libs are so rotten at the moment they couldn't buy a vote from deaf, dumb and blind man.
    Old Geezer
    5th Sep 2018
    2:57pm
    An election wont happen anytime soon. They will leave it as late as they can. I don't blame them.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2018
    3:00pm
    Would you vote for no pension age increase and retaining franking credits for retirees or pension age raised to 70 and a reduction of your retirement income under labor ?
    Old Geezer
    5th Sep 2018
    3:04pm
    I will vote for the party that looks after self funded retirees as they are the unsung heroes of our country today but get a raw deal and look like getting an even rawer one under labor government. These people should be supported not fleeced as what sort message does that tell the next generation of self funded retirees. Someone like you are the real mugs in our society for looking after yourselves.
    Rae
    6th Sep 2018
    8:16am
    Neither party will look after self funded retirees while we remain only around 25% of the demographic. The 70% of Government pension recipients will always win in decision making. Exactly why they could disadvantage so many during this term in government. Labor will just do a tit for tat and cut incomes for investors relying on tax minimisation.

    My cut came from 48% non concessional suddenly being deemed 10% and nothing I could do. At least shareholders can do as I have with outside of super investments and move to capital gains holdings or overseas investments in markets not under sovereign risk.

    I wouldn't have received anything anyway because of good returns but that isn't the point. It was the fact that it was made up and the no disadvantage rule was broken and that is unforgivable in my opinion.

    5th Sep 2018
    3:04pm
    The news just keeps getting better and better with this liberal government

    Economy growing at amazing pace , full employment, sharemarket doing well, Aussies superannuation accounts overflowing

    Dont ruin it by voting in labor
    Old Geezer
    5th Sep 2018
    3:07pm
    I agree we are doing very well and it's only those minority who are not benefitting that are belly aching otherwise.

    Labor will sure put the breaks on all this and the lack of drive of many people will do the rest. I see a recession within first 2 years of a Labor government.
    Knows-a-lot
    5th Sep 2018
    4:59pm
    Make hay while the sun shines. Your precious government's days are numbered. The ALP will soon govern again, thank God.

    "doing very well". What a joke! Biggest debt ever under the incompetent Lieberal clowns.
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2018
    1:13pm
    One will just sit on the sidelines and wait for a better political and investment climate. If enough do the same then our economy will start to quickly suffer under a Labor government.
    Mercury3640
    5th Sep 2018
    3:28pm
    When life expectancy is 150 there will still be those wanting a pension from 67! Eventually the current system will implode as people live longer and there are far fewer jobs to go round. In the meantime both major parties at state and federal level will promise more of everything while also promising that we will pay less and less in taxes. A race to the bottom but we will still vote for them! "Stunning backflip" is the sort of rubbish journalism that we constantly see. Who is stunned? Where is the backflip? Morrison was bound by cabinet solidarity until he became PM.
    Knows-a-lot
    5th Sep 2018
    4:52pm
    These incompetent clowns know they're finished, so they're desperately pandering to the elderly. It won't save them.
    saintagnes
    5th Sep 2018
    5:16pm
    increasing retirement age to 70 would never have been passed so this is just a deceptive ploy to make you think he is giving you something. get real - he will never do anything to help the normal aged pensioner. he has no idea about life for the ordinary man
    KB
    5th Sep 2018
    5:30pm
    The only reason for the backflip is that there is an election l looming, Despite this a good decision anyway. Old Geezer spare a though for farmers, Limited income with no super,
    OlderandWiser
    7th Sep 2018
    10:46pm
    The only reason for this TEMPORARY back-flip is there is an election coming. When it's over, it will be back to business as usual. The liars will prove their dishonesty yet again!
    Alan
    5th Sep 2018
    8:10pm
    Pensions should go to those who need them and provide for an adequate living above the pverty line. All assets and income should be assessed for eligibility and those with assets and/or supperannuation should be penalised if when they retire they, they quickly spend their assets on upgrading their accommodation or spend their supperannuation on luxury items such as overseas cruises and the like so that they can then receive the Old Age Pension.

    Providing an adequate age pension to all, regardless of income, would create an intolerable burden on the average taxpayer. I have been in countries with a universal pension and the result tends to be that people work until they drop.

    I write this as one of the lucky ones -a self funded retiree who saved for my retirement and don't receive an age pension. If I chose to sell my home and used my superannuation as well and moved into a MacMansion then I could become eligible for an age pension. I have ethical problems with that approach so it won't happen.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2018
    8:24pm
    Yes Alan
    Unfortunately many who dont have your ethics do exactly that - upgrade their home, or divest assets to be eligible for pension
    Farside
    5th Sep 2018
    8:28pm
    @Alan, do you advocate including the family home in assets assessment?
    Triss
    6th Sep 2018
    7:24am
    I’ll agree with that, Alan, when politicians get the same ruling.
    Farside
    6th Sep 2018
    8:04am
    @Triss, politicians are subject to the same rules when it comes to age pension eligibility
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2018
    1:22pm
    Pollies don't' qualify for the age pension so comparing them to it is utter nonsense.

    I too could buy a MacMansion and qualify for the age pension but it will take a much bigger age pension for me to even consider it. It would take years just to pay the stamp duty on such a transaction alone. People who do so obviously have no idea how to use a calculator.


    The family home should be assessed. I wonder why Centrelink is currently valuing pensioners houses? Looks like they are doing the sums if nothing else to me.
    OlderandWiser
    7th Sep 2018
    10:45pm
    So, Alan, people who gamble, drink, party, holiday, drive expensive cars, etc should be subsidised by the taxpayer in old age, but people who save to meet expected health care costs and home/aged care should be punished and have their savings stolen? Sorry, that's a load of BS. EVERYONE should receive the same pension in old age as in other countries. We paid for it. We worked for it. If we had the sense to save, we should benefit from having done so, not be penalised with well over 100% taxation.

    Morrison is a hypocrite and a liar. He says he wants to cut taxes, but what's the point of an extra $10 a week in your pay packet if they take back hundreds of thousands when you retire, leaving you with not enough to live on and nothing to cover those health care costs and aged care expenses you saved for?
    geordie
    6th Sep 2018
    7:36am
    Shock, horror, backflip.......
    Right, have I got your attention. Now to repeat ad nausium anoth diatribe on pension age.
    They get us retirees with articles like this every time when any sane thinking person knows that we are living longer. That does not mean that we are able to work longer and there is the rub. I'm sure that most, if not all of the members on this site have worked and paid their taxes for all or most of their lives. You are the good guys. So you should have access to an old age pension at whatever age the people of Oz decide is proper. If we haven't saved and provided a safety net for ourselves before retirement, shame on us. Super has been around now for 40odd years, no one can say "Oh I didn't know".
    Government will continue to pick at OAPs as we are an easy target. No matter what government is in there.
    The problem is that there is a big hole in the bucket, in the bottom. Welfare is draining the money out faster than we, the tax payer, can replace it. We're almost at the tipping point. Not quite in as bad a situation as Europe though. Hence the influx of millions of immigrants to help pay for pensions in the future. Thanks Merkel.
    Guys and gals, all things being equa. If all we got to complain about is having to wait a year or two longer for a pension, we've got it good.........for now.
    Farside
    6th Sep 2018
    8:22am
    it is inevitable the age pension eligibility will increase to 70 by 2035, long after many on this site are under the grass rather than on top of it. Younger taxpayers will seek to reduce the social security and welfare burden. Those over 65s unable or unwilling to work will qualify for disability or newstart as appropriate and part pensions available to support lower paid workers.

    It may distress current and hopeful retirees however as sure as night follows day, it is equally inevitable all assets (including the family home), trusts and income (including UBI if it happens) will be assessed in considering who is eligible to receive government funded largesse. Change is a bitch.
    Old Geezer
    6th Sep 2018
    1:28pm
    I agree Farside as the younger generations are already trying to get their hands on the wealth of the baby boomers now. They are a can't wait generation who want everything now and will do whatever it takes to get it too.
    Seenitall
    6th Sep 2018
    2:24pm
    In his first budget, Tony Abbott said an increase in the qualifying age for the pension to 70 would occur but not in the short term. It was estimated it would save $5 billion over the first four years from 2025.

    Abbott also said there would be changes to the indexation arrangements and eligibility thresholds which would have adversely a large portion of age pension recipients and saved the Government $23 billion over 10 years. Later as Treasurer Morrison later abandoned this 2014 budget plan (couldn't get it through the Senate) and instead brought in the highly contentious revised assets test which affected over 300,000 full and part pensioners to save $2.4 billion.
    This latest promise is a meaningless political expediency and would be rescinded in a flash should the LNP retain government in May and they could get it passed the Senate.
    It's clear that Morrison sees the Age Pension as welfare and he has already said that his vision is to see all but a very few Australians retire as self-funded retirees rather than Age Pension recipients.

    As far as the pension goes ScoMo is Tony Abbott only dressed in a fractionally more cuddly zip up suit.
    PlanB
    7th Sep 2018
    8:10am
    It is a cynical political exercise, with this smiling assassin -- he will do ANYTHING to win the next election -- I would not trust him as far as I could kick him uphill with a lead boot.
    He can not answer a question straight -- and ducks and weaves all the time, till time is up and then he escapes -- like a lot of them
    ex PS
    7th Sep 2018
    1:41pm
    He is going to try to buy the election result, but the laugh is on us, he is bribing us with our own money.
    PlanB
    8th Sep 2018
    9:53am
    Yes PS you are right -- and if anyone trusts this Morrison they are crazy -- we need a LOT of questions answered NOT avoided -- from BOTH sides and some guarantee that they do not backflip on them -- like Abbott did on every one
    ex PS
    9th Sep 2018
    6:00pm
    Yes, bugger personal loyalty to the Party, we need to hold our politicians accountable, you make a promise, you better make good on that promise, or your employers will sack you.
    Anonymous
    9th Sep 2018
    6:42pm
    God help us if Shorten gets in and makes good on all his pork bareling promises

    One silver lining is that Shorten is known for flipping and back stabbing and generally not being reliable on anything
    PlanB
    7th Sep 2018
    8:13am
    Yes the retirement age should be 65 or less let people enjoy their time b4 they fall apart -- bloody politicians don't have to wait for THEIR pension AND they can go out and get another WELL PAYING job as well -- and they don't lose their pension as there are NO asset tests on their either
    McDaddy
    8th Sep 2018
    9:05pm
    They are subject to the same Age Pension rules as everybody else, not sure what you mean by this?
    PlanB
    9th Sep 2018
    8:28am
    You can not be serious McDaddy they get some many perks as well as their pensions and they do NOT have to wait till a certain age either AND they can go and get another WELL paid job and STILL get their pension, plus they get many perks as well

    https://www.google.com/search?q=All+about+the+politicians+pension+and+perks+Australia&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/retiring-federal-politicians-will-get-sixfigure-pensions-for-life-20160304-gna6c1.html
    Farside
    9th Sep 2018
    8:37am
    @PlanB - you are confusing the parliamentary and age pensions – different animals altogether. Everyone can join a pension fund during their employment years and then draw periodic payments from that fund i.e. a pension, upon retirement from that employment. As MCDaddy notes, politicians are subject to same age pension rules as everybody else.
    OlderandWiser
    9th Sep 2018
    3:00pm
    Bit of a stretch, Farside, to claim everyone can join a pension fund and then draw periodic payments from that fund. In theory, yes. In practice, it's a very different scenario. At least, you CAN now join a fund. You probably always could, if you could afford to. But many funds didn't deliver at all. One fellow I know who paid a substantial percentage of his salary into a fund, and received employer-funded contributions as well, should have retired with $450,000. He retired with $80,000 and a letter from the fund manager explaining that they had ''made some be investments". That never happens to politicians!
    Farside
    9th Sep 2018
    6:21pm
    OGR, not really a stretch - age and parliamentary pensions are different animals with no equivalency.
    GrayComputing
    8th Sep 2018
    8:11am
    If a politician senses their insane ideologies will end up loosing them the vote they finally wake up and try to bend the insane ideologies just enough to look rational.
    Note: This sort of action by a politician is is not a real permanent return to sanity but only a tactic to get back in and do it all the insane ideologies again and again

    But by then massive damage to ordinary people and costs to tax payers has already occurred
    Farside
    8th Sep 2018
    2:10pm
    so true, however it is a tried and proven practice that somehow manages to dupe enough of the electorate into supporting them and encourage the rusted on keep the faith.
    disillusioned
    8th Sep 2018
    10:21am
    Instead of Scomo, he should be called "Flipper"! This sort of stuff will doubtless continue until they've conned us at the next elections, then out of the velvet glove the iron fist will emerge and descend upon us! I remember it well with pre-election Abbott "No change to pensions, etc, etc" and while still suffering in the aftermath of that furphy, will doubtless see it again with yet another prevaricating PM. The old saying "How can you tell if a politicial's lying? Their mouth is moving" springs to mind! Watch out for a lot more backflips on the backflips after the next election!
    On the Ball
    9th Sep 2018
    10:48am
    Re KSS's comment: "Take that up with Labor then On the Ball. They raised the pension age from 65 - 67."

    Yes, and I disagreed with that as well.
    On the Ball
    9th Sep 2018
    10:53am
    Dont look at the false smile in that obviously well-chosen picture (that we seem to see a lot of...)
    Look at his eyes. They are telling a different story.
    The timing and the lack of consultation with his cabinet tells me that this was a very hasty decision in deed! So it follows it is for political expediency rather than any "caring/sharing" or even economic reasons.
    While the decision itself is welcome and will be good news for anyone working or approaching their 60's, it also indicates the new PM will make hasty decisions to save himself and his Government.
    Placido
    9th Sep 2018
    6:12pm
    cynical move, tle LNP are panicking
    Placido
    9th Sep 2018
    6:20pm
    Looking at thye LNP's track record of truth, honesty and govening for all just remember these statements.

    NO cuts to ABC
    NO cuts to EDUCATION
    NO cuts to HEALTH

    and others too numerous to list so take Morrison's statements re pension with a very large lump of salt.
    Anonymous
    9th Sep 2018
    6:39pm
    Did u make up these promises
    Look more like labor lies
    Compassionate
    4th Oct 2018
    11:34am
    Old Geezer how self righteous and ignorant you are. You should thank your lucky stars that you were fortunate enough to be able to save. There are those of us who have worked hard and have have been meagre in our spending. We have saved a little for our future but we will have to rely on the pension not because we want but because we have to. Don't worry our life expectancy isn't long.


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