How the government must respond to support Australia’s retirees

We asked for your help to prepare a submission to the government’s retirement income review. This is what you told us and we told Treasury.

govt submission

Australia has a problem. That’s what you told us in the Retirement Income Review Survey 2019.

YourLifeChoices polled its 230,000 members in a wide-ranging survey about retirement income to inform its submission to the government review announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in September. The retirement income review is the first in 30 years and was to focus on “putting more money into the pockets of retired Australians”, the Treasurer announced.

YourLifeChoices was quick to commit to a submission for many reasons, but particularly because we are the voice of retirement in Australia – informed by the people who know about life leading up to and in retirement. Your insights had to be delivered.

And you could not have been clearer in your views.

The Retirement Income Review Survey 2019 was conducted over five weeks late in 2019. It drew 4941 responses – 92 per cent from respondents aged 50–79 – to 51 questions.

They belonged to the following retirement tribes:

  • Affluent (self-funded homeowners) couples 29.3 per cent and singles 9.3 per cent
  • Constrained (homeowners on a full or part Age Pension) couples 33.6 per cent and singles 16.2 per cent
  • Cash-Strapped (renters on a full Age Pension) couples 3.8 per cent and singles 7.8 per cent.

We asked what doesn’t work and the following responses were typical and oft repeated.

“Contact with Centrelink.”

“Age Pension levels too low.”

“Everything.”

“Pension confusion, should be simple without asset tests.”

“It’s very unequal. Women have not been able to save … to help their retirement, e.g. super, as we are not employed full time.”

“Governments live on cloud nine. They have no idea of the lives of pensioners.”

“Prices are rising all around us and there is no relief. As retirees on fixed income, it is unquestionably getting harder ... The parcel of goods the government uses for rate of inflation appears to be incongruous with the rate that prices are rising for living expenses.”

“Tax for working pensioners should be lower.”

“Too few concessions for pensioners.”

“We need a non-means tested Age Pension, as in the UK. That would get the massive Centrelink bureaucracy out of our lives.”

“The asset test and taper rate has been doubled since 2017. The taper rate should be reversed.”

“Too little money; too many hurdles to get support.”

“People renting in the private sector need a higher pension or higher rental allowance.”

 What you told us and we told the government

Asked Do you feel fully supported by the Australian retirement system?Almost 70 per cent (68.9 per cent) of respondents said no.

Asked to rank the importance of the retirement pillars – Age Pension, compulsory superannuation, voluntary savings and family home –you replied the family home (72.26 per cent), the Age Pension (58.38 per cent), superannuation (57.04 per cent) and voluntary savings (41.4 per cent). Yet … the family home is not even being considered by the government as a separate pillar, but has been lumped in with voluntary savings.

YourLifeChoices publisher Kaye Fallick says: “This reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the most important source of wealth, security and wellbeing in our later years.”

Asked if the current Age Pension base rate is sufficient, a resounding 80.66 per cent said no. When segmented by tribe, 74.06 per cent of Affluents said no, along with 83.11 per cent of Constrained retirees and 91.67 per cent of the Cash-Strapped tribes.

The sentiment is supported by organisations such as the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS), which has determined that 12 per cent of Australian pensioners are living in poverty. The OECD, which uses a different method, found that 22 per cent of Australians aged 66 and over suffered from income poverty.

Asked if the Age Pension base rate should be increased, 46.6 per cent said yes by at least 30–40 per cent; 20.24 per cent said yes by 50–60 per cent and 25.45 per cent said yes by10–20 per cent.

Asked about the current income disqualifying thresholds, an overwhelming 83.71 per cent said they were unrealistic.

“At the core of this issue is the need for more flexibility to earn an income while receiving an Age Pension,” says Kaye. “It is fair to say that New Zealand pension rules are far more flexible in this respect – and that New Zealand enjoys the greater productivity gains that flow from allowing older citizens to work for longer.

“It is apparent that older Australians simply should not be forced to exist in poverty simply because their main source of income, the Age Pension, will be reduced or removed, if they work longer hours each week.”

Asked about the suitability of asset thresholds, 57.91 per cent said they were too high.

Asked whether the rental supplement was sufficient, 81.1 per cent said no and 37.5 per cent of those respondents said it should be increased by 30–40 per cent.

Asked if their main income source would provide a dignified retirementa question that should sit at the heart of the retirement income review – the division between the tribes was loud and clear and showed exactly where the system should be altered.

Affluent couples answered: yes (56.7 per cent), unsure (29.20 per cent), no (14.1 per cent).

Constrained couples were far less comfortable: yes (23.71 per cent), unsure (29.11 per cent), no (47.18 per cent).

The Cash-Strapped were unequivocal: yes (10.93 per cent), unsure (19.54 per cent), no (69.54 per cent).

“This question sits at the heart of the retirement income policy debate,” says Kaye. “There is no one typical retiree – there are three broad groups – and home ownership underpins the confidence and security of two of those groups. Renting in retirement almost certainly spells a later life of poverty, hardship and insecurity.

“Unless these cohorts are considered in relation to the benefits they receive and the taxes they pay, there will never be equity for all.”

Asked whether Australians should receive a Universal Age Pension, regardless of income and assets, the overall response was yes (53.52 per cent). Sorted by tribe, the responses were: Affluent (65.49 per cent), Constrained (47.05 per cent) and Cash-Strapped (42.47 per cent).

Asked if there should be special provision for women whose balances are typically below the average, 81.64 per cent of respondents said yes.

Asked if there should be more incentives for people to work for longer, 65.11 per cent of respondents said yes.

Asked whether deeming ratesshould be changed automatically in line with an indicator such as the Reserve Bank cash rate, rather than being the responsibility of the relevant minister, a resounding 89.46 per cent said yes.

Asked if the taper rate (part of the Age Pension assets test, which doubled in 2017 to reduce a retiree’s annual pension by $78 for each $1000 of assets above the relevant threshold) should be reassessed,the yes results, by tribe, were: Affluents (83.97 per cent), Constrained 81.22 per cent) and Cash-Strapped (79.86 per cent).

Asked if superannuation fees are sufficiently transparent, 74.49 per cent of respondents said no.

The core response as to whether Australians are supported by our retirement income system is no.

If we look at sustainability as government ‘affordability’, then it is clear that the amount spent on the Age Pension as a percentage of the GDP is very low – in fact the fourth least among OECD nations. “So, while there are many political statements that the Age Pension is unsustainable and a burden on future generations, the maths suggest otherwise,” says Kaye.

“We certainly don’t spend much on it, relative to most other developed economies, and the numbers of citizens receiving the Age Pension has also reduced, as stated in the consultancy paper for this review.

“Could this money be better spent or better targeted?

“No doubt.”

YourLifeChoices says the government must:

  • Increase the base rate of the full Age Pension to an amount that better aligns with the cost of retirement.
  • Increase the rental supplement to a more realistic amount to limit housing stress.
  • Reduce the penalty for earning income, e.g. remove the income test attached to the Age Pension.
  • Encourage a higher mature adult workplace participation.
  • Consider capping the number of legislative changes to retirement income or to grandfather all legislative changes to support longer-term planning
  • Review the 2017 changes to the taper rate to encourage people to save and self-fund.
  • Review the role and efficacy of Centrelink as the delivery agency for the Age Pension.

YourLifeChoices believes that in the wake of the failure of the financial services sector to deliver reliable advice, the government must step up and provide more independent, adequate and affordable support for the millions of Australians entering retirement in the next decade.

Finally, we wish to honour the sentiments of the legislators who introduced the Age Pension in Parliament in 1908. When it became law, it was commended with the following words: “… it removes the idea of old-age pensions from any suggestion of a charitable allowance. An old man, who has done his duty as a citizen for 25 years (is) as much entitled to a pension as a commander-in-chief or a chief justice.”

The pension was a reward for service. It should still be considered in this light. It is not a handout.

Do you believe the government review will have a positive impact on your retirement?

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COMMENTS

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Deborah advocating for an Australian as head of state
5th Feb 2020
10:03am
Does the Affluent (self-funded homeowners) couples 29.3 per cent and singles 9.3 per cent tribe include those who receive an income stream from their superannuation fund? My interpretation of self-funded home owner is someone who has a self-managed superannuation?
Sundays
5th Feb 2020
4:36pm
Self funded usually means that you don’t receive any Centrelink payments, and not where your retirement income comes from. It could be super, self managed or otherwise, rental income, shares, managed funds etc
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
5:16pm
Sundays it means their SMF income excludes them from welfare or Government payments via Centrelink because they exceed income and or assets limits.
Sundays
5th Feb 2020
7:37pm
Yes, as does any income over the thresholds not just income from SMF
Dave R
5th Feb 2020
10:45am
Governments have a history of only implementing parts of reports that suit their agenda so I don't hold much hope of this government in particular changing anything.
Horace Cope
5th Feb 2020
10:57am
"Do you believe the government review will have a positive impact on your retirement?"

My cynic nature suggests that not a lot will happen because it isn't an election year so I suppose that there may not be much of an impact either way. As regards the poll of YLC members, I wouldn't call a response from 2% of the members much of an indication of how the members feel.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
12:55pm
No - it will provide extra income for a few pollies and/or mates for 'sitting on a committee' for an eternity, with extra perks, and will result in nothing of value to the real user. Same as with yet another 'commission' to look into the fires disaster.

Jeez - how sweet it is - the South Australian government COMPENSATES MPs for no longer being paid for sitting on committees!

"Pay-rise MPs sitting pretty after $13k increase

TWENTY-four South Australian MPs are receiving a $13,000 pay rise to compensate for the end of committee payments – despite not sitting on parliamentary committees. The 24 MPs pocket a combined $300,000 a year extra despite not sitting on a single standing or permanent committee".

You just have to laugh...
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
1:12pm
Cynics and whingers may carry on (not attacking you too, both being good guys generally, but you are on the borderline with these comments), but if only 2% responded I would say the rest do not matter - the sheep who don't act can't complain when they get slaughtered!

Also, as I have said many times, the Review was easily accessible for public responses by Email or Post, and all information was on the web site of Treasury, so anyone who did not bother is part of the problem and has lost their right to complain. These people, who accept crap outcomes, are equally responsible for the pathetic Govts we get and the pathetic services they deliver from monsters such as Centrelink.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
1:15pm
Gladys, BTW, circumvents 'politician pay rise' by giving them little sweeteners on the side... committee here, committee there, deputy speaker waiting on the sidelines in case the speaker can't be there.... (the waterboy and paid well for it, as much as the star quarterback).. you truly have to laugh at the antics of politicians in handing themselves heaping helpings of our money.

Did I ever say we need a massive change in this nation - to a more honest and honourable and even Lawful government structure.... where their high-flying schemes and policies down tho the departmental level are fully tested in a proper court of Law before being foisted on an unsuspecting public..

Plebiscites To the People NOW! Direct election of Ministers and Prime Minister especially.. .. abolition of Party shenanigans by which they make a grab for more of our money without so much as a by your leave.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
1:16pm
Proudly borderline, then, George... someone has to speak up, and they have not yet managed to silence me.

One day the people will listen....

5th Feb 2020
11:25am
Here we go again: one of the questions asked ===" Asked if there should be special provision for women whose balances are typically below the average, 81.64 per cent of respondents said yes.'

Well why a question based on gender. It excludes those needier 'males' who are also below what we are told is the average female Superannuation savings and benefits. And the distortion is derived through massive Super benefits a very small number of men (and women) who receive super large salaries eg company directors and politicians (men and women).

The overall biggest issue this Country faces, is exclusion of gender determination on Social issues. Today that gender determination factor, is the primary default button in any initiative.Some men are mentally shattered by being the Society underclass.
KSS
5th Feb 2020
12:48pm
I too took exception to that gender based question. I am sick of the 'poor me. I'm a woman and should be entitled to special consideration' attitude so prevalent these days.

The only solution I can see is for (older) men to declare themselves as identifying as a female. No one is allowed to challenge that identity assertion, so this should at least level the playing field somewhat.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
1:01pm
Will the same complaints come out once preferential super placement for women reaches its 'lifetime' of fifty years, and when - apparently while continuing to work an average of 32 odd hours a week compared to men working 42 (exactly equal to the 'income gap' LMHO)...and we suddenly find that women are being paid more per HOUR on average and are retiring with lovely state etc super while men are in the glass gutter?

The whole thing is a facade of lies. As I said - when you read, as I did during research - that 72% of men and 61% of women would retire with only the pension... and that was some years ago... you really need to start thinking.

How many times must we go over and over this? On divorce women and men get half the super; if they stick together, they share the super; if one takes time off for family, the other pays the bills and accumulates the family assets- FCS - how long, O Lord?

What part of FAMILY have women ceased to understand?
pault
5th Feb 2020
11:31am
Under the previous pension system for politicians they were able to get paid their pension on retirement from Parliament and then go out and get themselves another job - eg Pyne & Bishop - without losing any of their pension! Perhaps this is still the same with those "unfortunate" pollies on the newer scheme.
This contrasts sharply with the stringent rules applying to the ordinary persons' pension. Earn even very little and the pension reduces.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
1:02pm
.. and their perks.... for life...
older&wiser
5th Feb 2020
3:31pm
Pollies elected after 2004 are not eligible for their golden handshake, and must now wait till age 55 to access their super. Unlike the obscene payments to pre 2004 pollies like Bishop, Abbot, etc.
Anonymous
6th Feb 2020
1:16am
Buggar - 55? What a tragedy.
Tricky
5th Feb 2020
11:40am
The governments hypocritical Deeming rate on fixed Term cash deposits needs to reviewed inline with current bank interest rates.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
12:15pm
Well Tricky the women are so bad off that the deeming rate should only apply to men. Nil deeming rate for women. That meets Government gender policy.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
1:08pm
Wait until Labor is back in... pussy-whipped to the max and stacked branches... then the fun will really begin, and the endless whining never cease...

Back when Labor lost in 2013, there was a tremendous kerfuffle among the Labor women in Parliament - with the trite phrase "they've worked like little swots, and should be given Shadow Minister slots" - I pointed out that they held 36% or so of Labor held seats, but were already 42% of Shadow Ministers... and besides - Who T F said that political election and position was some schoolyard debate between ten year olds based on their nerd abilities or sporting achievement or whatever?

This, to me shows the true depth of Labor and its current makeup... I am no advocate of L or NP and I vote for NO major party and am unlikely to ever do so - but this lot are the pits and the real pool is as shallow as a raindrop. Unless Labor re-invents itself in its original image - it will NEVER be a viable government.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
5:03pm
Deeming has nothing to do with bank interest rates but is worked out on the average of what pensioners actually earn on their investments. The government does not want you to leave your money in the bank but to invest it properly.
Boomah52
5th Feb 2020
12:14pm
Recently travelling through a lower socioeconomic area and went to the toilet (bathroom lol) in a hotel which involved walking through the gaming area. It was around 11am, and to my surprise was packed with senior citizens the majority by way of birth members of the poor gender.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
12:17pm
Spending their husband's excess Superannuation so that the husband and the wife's Superannuation worked out the same. It is a challenge.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
1:09pm
Yes - the old ladies with their $5 shots on the pokies.... I tremble at 50c a shot..
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
5:05pm
Yes it's like that every day in most clubs and pubs. Welfare money being channelled to the wealthy. Says to me that people are getting too much in welfare including OAP if they can gamble it.
Anonymous
6th Feb 2020
8:42am
Clubbed yesterday - drank one beer (raging alcoholic mean man there), and played not one cent on the pokies... old lady I saw got a $50 money coin thing (that comes up in groups at times on some pokies) - I muttered "playing $2.50 a shot you NEED a $50 kick)"...

I see men doing it too - but not as many as women.

5th Feb 2020
12:44pm
a. A home may be 'wealth', but it is not edible wealth.
b. Many have suffered under the dismal social (mis) management of this country for at least forty years now, with divisive and discriminatory policies designed to enforce 'equality' by numbers and not genuine opportunity.
c. Dismal management of industrial relations and the calculated shifting of power to employers have resulted in chaos of income for many, and have created an environment in which genuine performance is not valued... or rather - where petty tyranny is valued more than actual performance (see the building industry disasters).
d. Economic policy, primarily introduction of more and more people combined with the undermining of any 'industry' but Banana Republic style picking of ground bananas and shipping them Offshore, has unbalanced society in every way, and has created 'hot spots' of poverty and discrimination - these last are not limited to recently imported ethnic groups - it has long been a reality in Australia that your 'Ocker' or 'yob', say, from certain suburbs, is a worthless, drunken slob who needs to be whipped into line. This failure has always been one of 'government' and its institutions in this nation.. and it MUST change!
e. The calculated emasculation of Australian culture and society has created another environment of massive division, and thus of loss of accumulated assets via divorce/separation etc, and has created, in far too many cases, people living in poverty in retirement who should have retired wealthy.... often these are men who've worked their fingers to the bone.
f. Adherence to the myth of some 'global economy' and/or some 'global brotherhood of person' (two sides of the same mythical coin) has/have massively undermined the genuine opportunity of this nation to prosper for the benefit of its people overall, and has instead created that very Banana Republic, with all the evils that adhere to that, not least of which is excessive government attempt to control the individual in his/her daily business.... or make them suffer for not nodding and kow-towing to 'city hall' and its dictates.
g. As for women - forty years of affirmative action, 62% of graduates, bastardised school education to more suit girls etc, special scholarships ad infinitum and into eternity, slotted into nice little earners not working physically hard, shoe-horned into all the best jobs, and mostly in fine super and income jobs - for forty years - and you still cry poor? Try it from our side sometime....... not only competing for a fair return for work, but with despotic government dictating that we will not be placed in jobs that we may want to do but from which we are excluded by 'equal employment opportunity' and the dreaded 'quotas'.
Triss
5th Feb 2020
3:03pm
Remember when [not all that long ago] all but about 2% of doctors, dentists, politicians, solicitors, CEOs, factory foremen, bank clerks, printing firms, were men and women were were discouraged or banned from those kinds of jobs? That's why women have fought for change and that's why a lot of men are fighting against it, wanting to go back to the original bias against females.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
3:37pm
Remember when (not all that long ago) men were the ones lost in the Wars ie around 103,000 men, and 600 women. That is why women still make up around 52%of our population and men about 48%. Remember when our economy was based on 1 income family incomes. ie men working 5 to 7 days a week at 2 to 3 jobs while the woman remained home. Clearly that meant fathers spent little time with their children growing up.

Women were not 'discouraged or banned' from jobs. Men were obliged to do the jobs, to provide the family income, and less than 2% of men were your doctors, dentists, politicians, solicitors, CEOs etc.

The basis for 'women have fought for change' is female contempt of men. Nothing else. Yet women are having sons and wishing the present day direction upon those very own sons.

Women have always been given preferential treatment, and courtship is the prime example. Men still pay for the lot.

Have you ever wondered why respect for women has decreased. Lift your head over your ego and see if you can sight the reasoning.

Men have always treated women as specials and that is why it hurts so much.

Triss have you ever considered comment from two or more directions to achieve 'balance'. Like for most women I would say no. Triss it has a lot to do with anatomy, but women have always been on a pedestal and elevated , but it is harder when it is legislated.

And we have to consider that bias for Superannuation legislation???????

And just to close, women make up 80% of school teachers and obtain 62% of University entrance and qualifications for the high revenue incomes and the employer responsible contributions. Domination of Federal, State, and Local Government positions that have such Superannuation arrangements. Similar employment domination in the media, Check the TV presentations tonight particularly the references to on site reporters.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
4:03pm
Oh and Triss I might add why was it only 19 year old males, not girls, that were subject to conscription at the time of the Vietnam war. I know a couple of mates, 73 years old like me, second call up, who are still suffering. So sit back and bless yourself for being female.

And throw in women receiving about 2/3 or less sentences for like crimes, eg domestic violence (nil sentence), drink driving resulting in death, fraud, child abuse, for just a few.
Sundays
5th Feb 2020
4:49pm
I agree Triss. It’s something these mysoginists conveniently forget because they were wronged by a woman.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
5:12pm
Well that is a diamond 'Sundays'. Hey let's not challenge or correct anything that has been said. Just use words like 'mysoginists'. Well in terminology misandry comes to misandry.

And it is not wronged by a woman. It is 'wronged by women'. And in bred misandry.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
5:19pm
Sundays - there are rights and wrong, and this current revenge mode - "you had your turn, now it's ours) is just rubbish.

Triss - you forget that back in the days when men became the primary breadwinner - jobs were not easy, chairborne for the majority - men did shearing, fencing with basic tools int he hot sun and a host of other hot, hard, sweaty jobs - that quite frankly, women could not do anyway. Then when the short-lived industrial phase arrived in this nation, men did the hot, sweaty, dangerous work in industries in often particle-filled air.

It is only in recent years - and thanks to the efforts of many good men, that women and young people these days have the amazing opportunities for what are essentially feather-bedded jobs - and this should never have been accompanied with the destruction of men in our society, and their reduction to a position of serfdom.

You simply cannot talk about conditions even fifty years ago - there were no soft jobs or very few, 2% max even went to university, unlike today, and the course available were extremely limited. You did not get to do a course in 'women's studies' and then get out and preach to the converted and the uncoverted etc - nursing was practical and hands-on and not 'degree' material - most of the 'social studies' things simply didn't exist - and no way were women going to work in the industries etc.

So all these comments about men and things past have zero relevance to today - when genuine equal opportunity and not affirmative action should be the norm. As a final note - I will say it again - there were seven students in my 5th Year (final year) A class - four girls and three boys... I was one of the boys - not one of those girls did not get a useful career, some far better and certainly easier than the boys. And that was in the 1960's - one was doing a Masters in mathematics while I was slugging up to my knees in mud ...

Please keep it straight and level... the current bias and discrimination against boys must cease - starting with more men teaching in schools .. and a far better curriculum that actually suits students and not girls.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2000/05/the-war-against-boys/304659/
Sundays
5th Feb 2020
8:23pm
I agree Trebor with more men teaching in schools. Unfortunately, teaching has become a feminised workforce like child care and aged care and many men are put off by the relatively low pay given the amount of study involved.
Anonymous
6th Feb 2020
1:29am
It would be sexist to say that childcare is more a woman's thing, but that's my feeling. As for teaching, I was traveling New Zealand and there was an article in a paper, wish I'd kept it, about three male teachers even then - 1988 - and the way they were hounded out of the profession even there. One that stood out refused to give a girl higher grades, and would not entertain her offers to change it, and was then accused of seeking sex with her. He fought for ages and finally was vindicated - but had lost his home as a result due to costs - and his entire spirit in teaching.

Many men are actually frightened to go into teaching for fear of being labeled paedophiles and/or physical abusers or 'chauvinists' for telling girls what to do - it wasn't that long ago, with the fabulous Tarneen in Melbourne ranting about burning the whole place down, that when a male Aboriginal Elder said that the peaceful way was better - he was jumped all over for being 'an older Aboriginal man telling a girl what to do'!!!

When did kids and unthinking firebrands out of line stop needing to be quietly corrected? .... and that incident also shows clearly the lack of respect towards Elders and men these days. No wonder many of the young ones are totally out of line.

Truly we live in strange times... and that is the sort of nonsense that goes the rounds these days to cut down any dissent to the latest crazed social engineering move.

The pay's not that bad, and the conditions pretty good. I've worked public service, and after one jump up the ladder, I was just below AWE... they're not underpaid, and have a guaranteed super etc and a 'shiny arse job'. Pity part of the job description is not proper supervision and discipline, especially these days with the girls who get out of hand, such as at the ex's grand-son's school.

Ask me about the antics of young women drivers on the roads again.... incredible... absolute sense of Entitlement™, which indicates to me that our society is not doing young women any favours by coddling them and giving them free rein instead of genuine equal rights.
Anonymous
6th Feb 2020
7:00am
Sundays, the main reason teaching is feminised is that male teachers are subject to fabricated sexual assault of the students or female teachers without foundation and are guilty until proven innocent - with little prospect of 'innocent'.
Anonymous
6th Feb 2020
7:19am
I will add Sunday's the motive is for female teachers to eliminate male opposition candidates for promotion, and for students, mostly female, to make accusations as bribery to get better assessment .

Too hard for Society to assess.
Sundays
6th Feb 2020
8:38am
Come off it you two. We know for a fact that more young men are involved in fatal car accidents than young women. Do you really think you’re speaking up for young men? Go and actually speak to some. They love women, nothing has changed. Believe it or not the Boys Club still exists despite any perceived affirmative action. What you don’t like is women now have a voice. Young men have strong mothers and sisters, do you really think they hate them?

The money and status associated with teaching has been eroded over time and that is the real reason it doesn’t attract young men. The same as being a bank teller used to have prestige. All gone now. Also, teaching is a hard gig with parents making unreasonable demands.

The only men bleating are disaffected old guys such as yourselves. Do you really think you’re standing up for the brotherhood. Also, there is a toxic male culture in some sports eg playing football who are regularly in the news for mistreatment of women, but lets not go there if it doesn’t fit your narrative.
Anonymous
6th Feb 2020
8:57am
OH? And there's no Girls Club? What man has a voice when applying for a public service or nursing position? Have you walked into a hospital or public service joint lately?
When I worked in the CPS, back in the late 70's-80's - affirmative action came in... and the whole thing was labeled 'The Halfway House', due to the artificial promotion of often inexperienced and untalented women first (and a few other tokens thrown in to make it sound good).. and the general rule became - "To get a promotion around here you need to be a Black lesbian in a wheelchair with poor English.".. AND.. more to the point.. "The trouble with promoting sheilas is that they then go ahead and promote each other..."

And it goes on to this day..... now tell me again about this lack of a Girls Club ... look at Labor... look at local politics.... look at every facet of GOOD jobs these days.... it's not women who have to struggle against discrimination, prejudice, and outright contempt...

I missed one warning sparrow fart - way back in the late 1970's - when I went for Officer selection in the Army.... I was interviewed by one man and two women even then... the rot had started... and unlike them, I had already been to Commandos at Georges Heights so I guess I knew a thing or two ... then when I was interviewed for ASIO, it was a woman alone.... I entered thinking it was just a clerk 'n jerk job... I said instantly the moment she mentioned her branch (no name) - "ah - preservation of the realm!"... guess she missed the fact that I spotted her... while she missed me... quotas in place already...

Some say I've lead an interesting life - I call it hard work and boring and one that required dedication and loyalty and integrity ...... all often unappreciated...
Anonymous
6th Feb 2020
8:58am
Oh - and I take it you haven't spoken to many young men honestly these days - or noted their disillusionment, lack of incentive, and high suicide rate.
Sundays
6th Feb 2020
10:25am
Trevor, the leading cause for suicide among young men is mental health issues coupled with social isolation and job or relationship loss. Unfortunately they don’t seek help as quickly as women. Why? Because of a culture which says they have to be tough and man up. Sad but true. It’s a societal problem and not a gender one.
Anonymous
6th Feb 2020
12:43pm
Well Sundays, thanks for confirming women's attitude towards men, particularly old white men. Don't delude yourself with young men. The reason they are attracted to women is ---- well if you have to be told there is no point in telling you. But make no mistake. That is the ONLY reason. And you no doubt wish to treat those young men as sexual play things to discard when no longer required.

The level hallucinated charges against men is never ending. As i have said it is the prime reason men do not take on teaching. Men are subject to any illusionary sexual harassment charge by a teacher or student for various motives. The male teachers are guilty tuntil proven innocent. Unfortunately the same applies generally on all matters throughout our Society. Sorry I mean your Society.

Furthermore male success at a job application rate is no chance or be 20%+ better than any female applicant.

Any mature age men's group will raise such matters in discussion because most have a similar opinion to mine. I know it is illegal to have a men's group. But not illegal to have women's groups . eg the female exclusive groups formed by female politicians. The men's groups I see are just the local tennis or golf group etc. They all have the same discussion on male exclusion and male Social exclusion in Government and Social initiatives.

I can throw in - does your local club have male stripper entertainment. One thing for sure is they will not have female strippers entertainment.

And the suicide rate amongst young men. Well the prime reason that you wish to leave out is subjugation to female dogmentation throughout school years from around 4 years to completion of school at 18, then exclusion from University through a manipulated framework designed to suit Uni entrance and graduate domination by females.

Those men are tough, and most man up. Something women are incapable of doing so the current stacked deck is the outcome.

5th Feb 2020
1:02pm
Firstly, my congratulations to YLC for taking the effort to carry out surveys and actually put forward a submission to this Review - all interested should have done the same, otherwise you cannot complain if the Govt is perceived not to listen.

On the content, I don't have much to say, other than that I am disappointed that the surveys said "whether Australians should receive a Universal Age Pension, regardless of income and assets, the overall response was yes (53.52 per cent)." At the time the surveys were in progress, I remember the figure was close to 80%. Maybe, a lot of anti-UAP people, i.e. jealous types, jumped in and changed the overall results. These people are responsible for our Govts having the Centrelink admin stuffing up the lives of pensioners, while the rest of the OECD has universal age pension and lets those who achieve & earn more benefit from their efforts. The jealous types have resulted in this submission NOT proposing UAP, although with the majority voting for it, I think YLC should have put forward that proposal as well.
BrianP
5th Feb 2020
2:36pm
Most important - The Retirement Income Review must be independent of Government control.

We cannot trust a government that has let care of Australia's seniors get so poor. This is one very vital decision for our country. It will be seen as a watershed in the quality of Australian society.
Triss
5th Feb 2020
3:04pm
Good point, BrianP.
Farside
8th Feb 2020
11:51pm
I have observed the level of independence is inversely proportional to the probability of government actions upon the review recommendations in the absence of a collective uprising in public opinion ... will we defeat history?
thommo
5th Feb 2020
3:48pm
The full age pension for a couple should be no less than $52K per year. Society has an obligation to look after its seniors and every one benefits when they reach retirement. But this current mob in the LNP don't want to know the meaning of equitable fairness in our society.
I can't wait to vote them out of govt.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
5:07pm
OAP is for the basics of life not the luxuries as well.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
5:22pm
Easy - ten simply provide equal opportunity for all to prosper equally through life and not be ambushed by the pitfalls of poor management, bad divorces and so forth... then we could all retire fat and crowing about it...
Maggie
5th Feb 2020
4:47pm
I wish men would not whine on as they do in so many of these letters. If women got equal pay for equal work and some sort of compensation for the financial loss and lost promotion opportunities they incur when they have children they wouldn't complain.
And as for being sweet little women waiting to welcome hubby home in days gone by, well I challenge any man to start the day making a cooked breakfast and packed lunches, moving on to greasy washing up, very often without running hot water in the kitchen, running around tidying up while the dirty nappies soaked stinking in a bucket, often to be dealt with without a washing machine, or a dryer in all weather, to say nothing of the usual family and bed linen wash.
Then on to dragging carpets out to the line to have the dust beaten out of them. Oh and did you forget the baby needing to be breast fed while other kids vied for mum's attention.
Then there was a likely trip to the local shop for food which was all cooked from fresh. A little break? Unlikely with all the cotton clothing to be ironed. No drip dry in those days. School going kids had to be helped with homework......And then you'd walk in after unwinding in the pub with your mates, expecting dinner to be on the table.
A bit of a cuddle at bedtime. Dear God, I really did have a headache at times. And you wonder what we did with our days!!!
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
5:25pm
What on earth does 'equal pay for equal work' have to do with any sort of 'compensation' etc for having family? The old man carries the bills while that is going on... and now it's the Mother Government mandating PPL etc.

Try real history - you wouldn't have wanted to do men's work... and let's be honest - it was the efforts and sometimes the blood and deaths of a few good men who actually liberated women and children from often dire work places such as mills and mines...

I think it's time all this women's whining was put to bed... so sad that you had to put up with the demands of young children...
Snowflake
5th Feb 2020
4:53pm
I said it before and I will say it again, this government has no social conscience. The next election we need to get answers and committments from politicians. If they aren't interested in looking after the more vulnerable in our society don't vote for them. Mind you, that statement has probably fallen on deaf ears because we have the worse government in power that I have ever seen and it's obvious a lot of people weren't listening at the last election..
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
5:08pm
They were certainly listening and voted accordingly.

5th Feb 2020
4:58pm
OAP is not a reward for service at all and should not be considered in this light.

Many people with lots of service get nothing at all.

It is welfare and only available to those who have no other means of support.

I'd be willing to bet that those who saved the most for their retirement get fleeced by this government review.

No the review will not be positive at all.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
5:26pm
** laughs out loud**

You are correct - OAP is a Right earned and paid for.
aussiecarer
5th Feb 2020
5:07pm
I think the government review has acknowledged problems but it has not really come up with any workable solutions. I think the next step is to give the government concrete ideas to trial - do their thinking for them so to speak - i.e. Say to them, so here's how we think you should overhaul the Centrelink system... And then proceed with your ideas.

I think you need to present very specific revolutionary ideas in very plain language e.g. We think the solution is to abolish almost every government benefit and payment- no more unemployment benefit, youth allowance, study allowance, single parent's benefit, parenting payments etc. Everyone of working age who is physically capable of working should have to earn a “universal reward-for-effort benefit” – a reward for labour - instead of being entitled to an automatic payment.

Then you need to outline your policies e.g. Under the universal benefit scheme, if someone works 1 hour picking up donated bread and delivering it to the retirement village they get $25 universal benefit. Four hours work helping migrants master English earns them $100. An 8 hour day collecting litter for the local council earns them $200 of universal benefit. If they work a 40 hour week at the aged care hostel they earn $1000 that week. If a couple both work for universal benefit for 40 hours each, their household could potentially earn up to $2000 a week. Once someone had earned more than $18,000 of universal benefit that financial year, tax and super automatically start being taken out of the money that goes into their account.

The idea that the pension is a reward for service needs to be reinforced e.g. When someone reached 65 years of age, their days of compulsory working for the universal benefit (or a wage) are over - they get an automatic pension of $500 p/w for the remainder of their years - as a reward for their service and labour in the community over the years.
We propose they can choose to top that up that pension by voluntarily continuing to work for universal benefit if they want to, (bringing their income back up to $1000 p/w without penalty). Or they could choose to use their superannuation and savings to top up their automatic pension.

Details to show you've thought it through e.g. The work that people do to qualify for the reward-for-labour universal benefit would be any type of work off a very long list of approved options. Just a few examples of possible approved options/host companies would be - working at a child care centre, working as a one-on-one tutor in a preschool, school or TAFE, working as a volunteer firefighter, at a recycling centre, at an animal shelter, on a farm, working in an op shop, for a church, for a woman's refuge; working for the local council or Main roads tidying street verges, picking up litter on the beach, maintaining local bush tracks, undertaking fire prevention activities, clearing and rebuilding activities following a bushfire; caring for the disabled or frail elderly in an aged care centre or in their homes; working for any organization or company that currently gets government funding; writing or proofreading government pamphlets, working in an office for the Police, the Education Department, Fisheries, Forestry – even Centrelink or a job service Centre. It's important to let the person select the labour-for-reward - especially if they are middle aged jobseekers who have been retrenched.

How the new system would work e.g. Universal benefit workers would get their host employers to sign a payment voucher at the end of each working day. They would submit this online for reimbursement into their account. If they aren't computer literate, they could get the organization they work for to submit the payment voucher. Or they could present a fortnight’s vouchers to Centrelink to get a fortnightly payment.

The problems your ideas would solve - The idea of a universal payment for work would eliminate the need for most of Centrelink's rules and regulations and encourage a work ethic in people. e.g. no reporting income, no means test forms, no mountains of paperwork. Centrelink would still exist for assessing and investigating whether someone was unfit to work for the universal benefit due to illness or disability. People with permanent disabilities would be paid the same rate as a retiree and be permitted to top up their income until it reached $1000 per week. Their main in-home carer would be paid the same rate as a universal benefit worker. Since Centrelink would be mostly only processing disability claims, family allowance and universal work-for-reward payment vouchers, the queues at the counter would be shorter.

Centrelink might be broke - but how should it be overhauled? e.g. The current Centrelink system wastes a lot of everyone’s time – clients and employees alike. If wasted time is wasted money, then billions of government dollars are wasted every year across all departments. Time is wasted on unnecessary paperwork and unnecessary checking up. There is no incentive to work for reward because what little you earn is taken off you and working creates a paperwork headache.

The proposed system would require minimal checking up. To get a universal payment you need a tax file number. You can earn up to $60K gross per financial year from universal benefit work. After that, the system won’t issue any more universal benefit payment vouchers for you to present to your host employer until the next financial year. An annual cut off figure eliminates the need to estimate weekly earnings and pay back overpaid benefits. People could check their year to date earnings online so they know how much they can earn before the financial year resets their potential annual earnings back to $60K.

How your ideas suit the older unemployed population - The reward-for-labour universal benefit could be undertaken in multiple towns - unemployed people could literally work their way around Australia. The current system makes it difficult for people to look for work beyond their base town.

Acknowledging the older unsung heroes - We suggest that certain home based roles attract a flat weekly lump sum payment of $1000 p/w (or $52K per/a) . e.g. live –in-carers; adoptive parents, parent carers. Family carers are some of the most underpaid workers in Australia. The need for carers is going to grow with our ageing population. Immediate family members need to be paid to stay at home and care for their elderly relatives.

Highlighting issues like underemployment - Many older Australians are unemployed. They want to prepare for their retirement but they cant. Any Australian of working age who is currently receiving Centrelink benefits, or wanting to get back into the workforce or currently in the workforce but underemployed, underpaid, made redundant should be allowed to work for a universal benefit. e.g. If they are only early $200 a week from wages, they could top up their low income to $1000 a week under the universal benefit scheme.

HIghlighting issues older workers face when retraining - Mature age students could be given the option to work in the private sector in the area they are currently studying e.g. if they are studying carpentry they could work for a company on a building site on the days they weren’t studying and they would get paid $200 a day for their on the job training. If they worked 5 days a week over the school holidays they could earn $1000 that week. The number of hours they worked would be logged as practical work experience on their certificates and they could log a nominal number of hours working with a host employer in lieu of an apprenticeship. This would help solve the issue of not being able to find a nature age apprenticeship and also address the country’s skills shortages. Mature age people often have well honed hobby skills e.g. welding, carpentry, keyboard skills etc - these mature workers could address the skills shortage if their skills were recognized and they were issued qualifications based on their life long abilities.

These are just examples - but I think that giving the government meaty ideas and solutions will have more of a positive impact on people's retirements long term than facts and figures about trends.
Anonymous
5th Feb 2020
5:33pm
Look over The Trebor Scheme...

You get an account in the National super fund... in your name... no fees, no charges - all running costs come out of operating profits, and are not sidelined into the hands of a hydra-headed set of 'CEOs' and such who run each individual fund (as at this time). Like every other public-held v privatised operation - there is only ONE CEO - not fifty... ahead from Day One.

That fund takes in the never-abandoned pension component of tax, and current super = 16%+ of income - but everyone has a guaranteed amount placed in their account even when unemployed or ill or disabled. They may add to it up to a specified and indexed limit.... but everyone is treated by the same rules - those with a private pension fund are taxed on that extra income - i.e. politicians and other fat cats in business and public life... and all perks and additions are deemed and taxed as income.

You can still put away savings - but no more rorts like the politician super scheme... and no thievery that suits the fat cats ... no more "declared income of $25k, but I can throw a million a week at the horses at Randwick tax free.."
Anonymous
6th Feb 2020
9:01am
Line-in carers on $1000 a week? **ears prick up**... tax-free and indexed and irrespective of any other income strand just like those worn-out politicians at the top of the hog?

I'm your man...
Anonymous
6th Feb 2020
9:02am
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5th Feb 2020
5:28pm
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6th Feb 2020
8:38am
Well - just for once it would be nice if someone would apply real facts and not perpetually engage in this pushing the party line of ' women have less money'. Every facet of that position has been set right for you - but some, including the author, persist in saying that women are short-changed all the time, this despite equal pay for equal work for f50+ years, artificial advancement to create 'equality' (that mirage that never seems to ever get closer, and eventually everyone dies of thirst chasing it), and even Senate commissions that held the equal pay women up and said:- "Show me where any woman is not paid the same for any job..." - leading to a frantic shuffling of papers, and no response...
Redfox
9th Feb 2020
12:03pm
the government could help those who have managed to house themselves (however humbly and often with a reverse mortgage) in an apartment is to contribute towards the cost of strata levies. These are crippling and impossible to pay out of the age pension.


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