Universal part-pension for all retirees, say seniors groups

Calls to overhaul the pension system and introduce a universal part pension.

happy seniors standing on a balcony

Every retiree should be given a part pension, say seniors groups concerned that COVID-19 has wiped out many nest eggs, leaving many cash poor and increasing the number of older Australians living in poverty.

Seniors groups are calling on the federal government, which is still in the midst of its Retirement Income Review, to overhaul the pension system and introduce a universal part pension.

Changes to tax concessions, such as removing franking credits, would be used to fund the new pension which, if introduced, could mean the end of the income and assets tests.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on retirement income, with equity and investment markets and global interest rates all taking a massive hit.

Analysis firm JPMorgan estimates dividend income will drop by $68 billion in the 12 months to the end of June, property income will slump by $59 billion while interest payments will be $8 billion down, according to a Fairfax report.

Many retirees who had already suffered loss of income caused by back-to-back-to-back reduced interest rates will not see much reduction in the value of their assets. Under the income and assets test, the value of those assets – not the loss of cash – will still determine whether or not they qualify for the Age Pension.

A universal pension would make the means test redundant and could improve retirement outcomes and incentives for savers, says National Seniors spokesperson Ian Henschke.

“It would get rid of the pension assets and income tests, doing away with the need for unfair taper rates, deeming rates and work restrictions, and end the need to engage with Centrelink,” said Mr Henschke.

“If everyone of pension age received a pension, retirees could just add this to their other income and pay tax. Means testing is costly to administer and leads to perverse outcomes, which are more apparent in the current crisis.

“Asset taper rates unfairly penalise those who save more for their retirement. Income tests undermine ongoing workforce participation and lead to ongoing anger over deeming rates.”

YourLifeChoices has been calling for a universal pension for years. The Australia Institute senior economist Matt Grudnoff is also a proponent of a universal pension.

“At the heart of the problem is an Age Pension system that is both inadequate and hugely complex. But there is a solution – a Universal Age Pension,” Mr Grudnoff wrote for YourLifeChoices in 2018.

“The means testing of the Age Pension results in pension payments being focused mainly on lower income retirees, while the far less means-tested superannuation tax concessions mean that the majority of the tax concessions go to high-income earners.

“The main advantage of a Universal Age Pension is that the whole system becomes simpler. It reduces the cost of administration to both the Government and to retirees. No more having to work out if you’re eligible for a pension or part pension. No more asset or income tests.”

Mr Grudnoff says a universal pension would also increase work participation rates among older people which would strengthen the safety net for those who rent.

“The idea that the Age Pension is unsustainable and that we need to accept the high rates of poverty facing retired people is simply wrong. Reform does not need to break the budget. We just need to more efficiently and fairly distribute the money already being used to boost retirement incomes,” he said.

“A system with integrity and fairness at its core should reflect the underlying purpose of having a pension in the first place: Every Australian should be able to live in retirement with dignity.”

Mercer actuary and senior partner David Knox says the means test hinders many from getting a fair go in retirement and praises the notion of a universal pension.

“The advantage is the universal part pension gives everybody a base to build on while the means-tested pension ensures that no-one lives in poverty,” he said.

“Another advantage is that the means testing will cease at a lower level of assets or income than currently, as it would only apply to half the pension.

“This means that many retired Australian households would not be subject to any means testing and there would be a much clearer incentive to make some extra savings for your retirement.”

The federal government will report on its assessment of Australia’s retirement income system on 24 July.

What do you think of a universal part pension? Has the pandemic had a big impact on your nest egg?

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    COMMENTS

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    Daveh
    25th May 2020
    10:38am
    If we remember the National Welfare Fund of the 1940's which was amalgamated into general taxation by Menzies then we are all ENTITLED to the pension as we paid our tax all our lives. The National Welfare Fund was designed to cover the old age pension, universal health care and disability care. We should also ask why do we need a Medicare levy as we are actually paying twice. Anyway why is this so hard for the government to understand what we have need taxed to fund and now with the low interest rates poor dividends etc self funded retirees now need what they have paid for ie the pension more than ever.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    11:38am
    The National Welfare Fund was a scam from the very start. Government wanted tor raise taxes so what better way than con the people it was something other than just a rise in taxes.
    john
    25th May 2020
    2:47pm
    Daveh never have I heard a comment so correct and so under discussed , was the fund that was meant to look after all
    john
    25th May 2020
    2:57pm
    Something happened when I was typing, after all of us , anyway to continue.
    I think we are lucky in our lives both retired, able to see our kids in another state generally yearly, sometimes a bit more, we own our home, and a car, when I say lucky I guess I mean compared to some pensioners who are on the edge , well I have no idea how they survive with this centrelink pension thing we operate now. We did pay our taxes. but this is the reality, every week we pay all our bills we don't owe,we get a bit behind at times, though.

    But after doing the paying out and buy food, we're pretty well out of the once a month meal in fact maybe 6 monthly might be it, we are average people and I guess most of us are around the same situation.
    What I am saying is life for all pensioners SHOULD NEVER EVER BE A STRUGGLE, PENSIONS WERE PLANNED FOR, AND IT SEEMS THAT THAT WENT OUT THE GATE.
    But the Government has found billions of dollars to protect against the PANDEMIC where was it all sitting waiting at?
    And who do we owe the money to? When in the beginning of the history of stock markets and interest rates etc world wide banks began it profit from it and used OTHER PEOPLES MONEY to have it that way. So maybe we don't owe anyone anything.
    Daveh
    25th May 2020
    10:38am
    If we remember the National Welfare Fund of the 1940's which was amalgamated into general taxation by Menzies then we are all ENTITLED to the pension as we paid our tax all our lives. The National Welfare Fund was designed to cover the old age pension, universal health care and disability care. We should also ask why do we need a Medicare levy as we are actually paying twice. Anyway why is this so hard for the government to understand what we have need taxed to fund and now with the low interest rates poor dividends etc self funded retirees now need what they have paid for ie the pension more than ever.
    johninmelb
    25th May 2020
    10:39am
    Sounds nice in theory but it is never ever ever going to happen. The Liberal party will never ever countenance such a move. Income support of any sort is anathema to them as they want a highly compliant workforce totally dependent on working for whatever an employer wants to pay them. Remember that most employers are Liberal supporters who only want to pay subsistence level wages with very minimal conditions like sick leave etc, and certainly no penalty rates etc. Pensions are a drain on the economy and they need whatever big sticks they can find to keep us under the thumb.
    Bigben
    25th May 2020
    11:21am
    This is getting off message and just a political rant.
    The question is simple: Should a pension for everybody be funded from taxation?
    The answer is also simple. Yes, if the tax has been paid!
    If recipients of the pension also have another income stream, then taxation should be assessed on the total income.
    This is the system in the UK.
    KSS
    25th May 2020
    11:37am
    "Remember that most employers are Liberal supporters who only want to pay subsistence level wages with very minimal conditions like sick leave etc, and certainly no penalty rates etc"

    If this were true we would not need to import so many cheap goods from places such as China. Cheap because they pay lower wages elsewhere than in Australia. Australia's wages are relatively high compared to elsewhere, which of course makes buying anything also more expensive. We are paid alot but its costs a lot to live here.

    One very recent examole, I have just booked 5 nights accommodation in a regional area and it is costing over $1000 and that does not include getting there or activities once there. Is it any wonder people go to Bali or Fiji when they are able?

    So yes pensions are a drain on the economy as is all welfare, but it is what we are prepared to pay to look after those unable to look after themselves. It is not a right!
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    11:42am
    johninmelb, You are sadly misguided it seems LABOR introduced BOTH the assets and the income test for pensions. And when asked, prior to the last election, if they would reverse the cruel change Hockey made to the assets test, Labor's reply was NO. Labor also introduced the superannuation system that pays huge benefits to high income earners, and actually costs more than the total cost of the OAP - by with 80% of the money going to the well-to-do. And Labor is pushing for the superannuation guarantee to be increased, which would direct much more taxpayer money to the well-to-do.

    If the superannuation system was properly reformed, we could easily afford to pay a universal age pension and eliminate age poverty.
    Brissiegirl
    25th May 2020
    12:18pm
    During my working life I was employed by both Commonwealth and State governments, mostly in ministerial offices and at various times directly responsible to departmental heads. I also worked in private enterprise. In my experience, private enterprise rewards hard work and incentivises their employees in many ways that I didn't find within the public service. They were always realistic about the abilities of their employees, appreciative of new ideas, and paid well to keep their employees as they know that employee turnover has many business costs - both personal and monetary. Private enterprise runs on budgets generated by hard work, initiative and the desire to improve and succeed for the benefit of everyone. Public servants are guaranteed funded by taxpayers and there is very little accountability within the public service "family". They are jobs-for-life. An unsatisfactory employee almost has to commit a crime before their employment is terminated. I do not believe that private employers are bad people. They are the risk takers, the trainers,the enterprising, and the engine of our economy. Our country survives on the back of entrepreneurial business people. Having seen many sides of government and private enterprise, I know which is the most satisfying.
    inextratime
    25th May 2020
    12:40pm
    johninmelb. You obviously have never tried to run a business. As the saying goes 'if it was that easy everyone would do it" yet only 10% try and many fail.
    johninmelb
    25th May 2020
    3:37pm
    inextratime - I have run my own business, and I looked after my staff as I knew what an asset they were.
    leek
    25th May 2020
    10:55am
    The problem with the Universal pension as seen in NZ and the UK, it actually doesn't pay enough to support the 'poorer" person. But it works really well when you have some super etc. to suuport you. I have 1 friend on it in NZ, and the rate is quite low, not liveable, she tells me that she needs extra to live on. last night my father told me of friends in the UK, they have a really good super scheme and also get the Universal pension, and they are rolling in $$. So eventually a Universal payment might work here, but not until the majority or people have a reasonable super fund. We are many years away from that.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    11:59am
    Universal pension should only cover the basics of living and if you want more than you have to save for it yourself. That's how it works in UK and NZ and the way it should work too.
    MacI
    27th May 2020
    9:31am
    Retiring Well. So a Universal Pension keeps the status quo for full age pensioners who are struggling but tops up the income for retirees who are fortunate enough to have accumulated enough wealth to miss out on the Age Pension. Might be a good idea for some but not for the majority.

    Speaking generally retirees who are asset rich but cash poor are only cash poor because they don't want to liquidate their assets. I realise that for some it's a difficult decision. For example, someone invested in property that cannot be gradually cashed in may find it a tough decision to make but it was their choice to make the investments. I don't see why the tax payer (future generations) should subsidise the relatively wealthy from divesting their investments to fund their retirement.

    I think in principle the current system is good. I'm all for simplifying and improving the system to make it more efficient and fair provided it is for those who need help the most. If that means eliminating or reducing concessions then so be it.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2020
    7:50am
    Maci, 'retirees who are fortune enough' worked hard and sacrificed to save, and now you want them deprived while those who lived it up are rewarded from the taxpayer purse. The current system is CRAP. It rewards manipulation, dishonesty, and grossly irresponsible lifestyles. It harshly punishes people who worked and saved to fund a more comfortable retirement.

    The current system denies us freedom of choice. You can spend on alcohol and restaurant dinners and world cruises and the taxpayer will hand you around $1 million. But choose to save for a more comfortable old age or better quality aged care and you are denied. You can dump Grandma in aged care at government expense and tour Oz in your luxury RV, then come back and bludge off the taxpayer. But give up that holiday to stay home and care for Grandma yourself and you are denied. If you are lucky enough to be able to take time out to tour Oz in your RV before 65, you get taxpayer benefits, but if you save up to tour after retiring, screw you! You are deprived. If you give your money to your kids before your retire, the taxpayer funds the gift. But if you hang on to your money until death so you don't have to rely on the government to pay your medical and dental bills in old age, you are punished and your kids lose out. It's mindboggling that anyone could deem that a 'good' system!

    Nobody can ever determine who has genuine needs and who is manipulating to pretend, or whose needs result from irresponsible behaviour, so a needs-based system is always going to be an unfair disaster. It pays the faker who pretends disability. It pays my neighbours, who take cash from the ATM every fortnight to hand to their kids so their savings don't grow enough to reduce their pension. It pays the couple on the other side of me who won't marry and claim to sleep in separate bedrooms, claiming two single pensions despite 20 years of living as man and wife. It pays the multi-millionaire who sank $2.5 mil into a luxury mansion, bought a luxury car that sits in the garage and has never been driven (but is depreciated for Centrelink asset valuation purposes), and spent 8 months touring Europe (on a full pension, because he was visiting family so had a 'compassionate' reason for being out of the country) in order to reduce his bank balance enough to not lose pension benefits.

    Nobody should have to liquidate assets prematurely. And it's selfish to suggest that people who save should have to hand their savings to the taxpayer by foregoing a pension while spendthrifts get handouts. Nobody should be denied the right to choose at what stage of life they spend the money they earned.

    I don't have an issue with the principle that people should live on employer-funded super, but nobody should have to liquidate assets acquired through personal sacrifice to save.

    You don't see why the taxpayer should subsidize the 'relatively wealthy'. I don't see why the taxpayer should subsidize the irresponsible spender or the manipulator or the cheat. And 'wealth' is a perception anyway. The majority of those currently excluded from the OAP are NOT anywhere near 'wealthy'. They are battlers who lived modestly. And any money they leave to their offspring will benefit the next generation by ensuring that the children and grandchildren of the responsible savers have good educational opportunities, can buy a house, can afford good health care and can weather bad periods without resorting to welfare. The alternative is to grind future generations into increasing hardship by making it detrimental to save, so everyone incurs more and more debt and when hardship hits, more and more folk need welfare.
    braddybear
    25th May 2020
    10:57am
    there should be a national income system to cover the unemployed, disabled and aged pensioners, this would remove the need and cost of Centrelink completely and protect people from the advancement of technology and the resultant job losses and mass poverty from forcing people to live on Newstart a shrinking pension and diminishing superannuation incomes and creating a nation of poverty stricken 3rd world citizens and underprivileged children .
    Alan
    25th May 2020
    5:07pm
    How do you propose paying for it?
    Anonymous
    27th May 2020
    8:45am
    Easy. Stop handing billions to the wealthy in unfair superannuation tax concessions. Change the tax on super to 15% discount on the member's marginal rate and we would have mega-billions to fix the pension system, and only high income earners would lose, because 80% of the billions paid in super tax concessions goes to the highest-earning 20%.
    Bundabergian
    25th May 2020
    11:07am
    Yes it would be great but will not happen in my lifetime. It is a whole industry sector making us fill in forms and grovel for what they feel they can give us. All those bureaucrats would be out of a job!
    Horace Cope
    25th May 2020
    11:25am
    Again we have an academic spouting his opinion with the argument skewed totally to one side of the discussion. What is needed is a definition of what is considered "rich". Different politicians from different parties have given their definition of "rich" and we have not yet achieved a consensus on the definition. Governments of both major parties have agreed in principle that there should be a means test applied to establish the eligibility for an age pension, only the limits have been changed.

    If we just concentrate on a couple owning their own home, they can have assets, which don't include the family home, of $394,500 and will still be eligible for a part pension until assets increase to $869,500. For those people who don't qualify for an age pension surely some of this amount can be liquidated and used as living expenses when it is considered that there are people with only the age pension to live on and no additional income? Can somebody please explain why a couple who own their own home and have nearly $900,000 in assets need to maintain those assets and still qualify for an age pension?

    I note that a lot of comments on this subject, which is as regular as clockwork, claim that they paid taxes all their working life and are therefore ENTITLED to a full age pension. To those people I would like to point out that their taxes paid for the age pensions of people who had retired and age pensions today are being paid for by those who are paying tax.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    11:42am
    And their house is worth what $10 million.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    11:42am
    And their house is worth what $10 million.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    11:49am
    Horace Cope the issue here is whether or not it is beneficial to save. With investment returns at the current lows, it isn't worthwhile unless you can have around $1 mil for a single and $2 mil for a couple. So people either spend unnecessarily or manipulate to qualify for a pension. If we change the assets test or abolish it, it becomes beneficial to save and we have far less age poverty, more spending to generate jobs and tax revenue, and more people able to fund their own health care and age care. Everyone wins. The current system punishes savers by making them live off their assets, thus transferring 100% of the benefit of saving to the taxpayer. So why bother to save? It's futile.

    If a couple has saved $900,000, they are ENTITLED to a better standard of living than those who didn't save and rely on taxpayer support. What you are saying (and the message the current system sends) is 'people who don't save should be handed $1 mil+ from the taxpayer, and people who do save should get a kick in the teeth and be told to spend their savings'. That doesn't work for me, or for the nation as a whole.
    Mariner
    25th May 2020
    12:00pm
    RW - there are not many on the pension with houses worth $10 million. Mention $3 million and you have a point. In my modest unit the cost per annum is $8000, possibly better off just renting and getting rent assistance. What would the costs be for a $10 million house per year? Probably more than half the pension income.
    Horace Cope
    25th May 2020
    12:10pm
    No, Youngagain, the point here is universal age pensions. Those who save will continue to save and those who spend all available income will continue to do so. I wonder what would be said if Twiggy Forrest, Gina Reinhart and Sir Frank Lowy were to be granted a lifetime age pension, there has to be a cut-off point. BTW, on today's pension rates I will have to live to age 129 to receive $1M+ from the taxpayer.
    johnp
    25th May 2020
    1:14pm
    So Horace; does that make you about 90 years of age ??
    Rae
    25th May 2020
    1:27pm
    I can't see why ordinary workers who save have to be punished because a handful of really wealthy must not be supported. It's stupid. Treat everyone the same whether a spender or a saver or a billionaire.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    3:13pm
    Horace Cope, you are mistaken, sorry. Those who save WILL NOT continue to save when they find it is making them worse off. I know of dozens of savers who have blown their money to get the age pension because they recognized that saving was a disadvantage. A friend takes cash from the ATM and hands to her daughters ever single fortnight because she doesn't need It but leaving it in the bank means her pension is reduced. She is in good company. There are hundreds of thousands of savers who have stopped saving because of the stupid flawed and unfair pension system.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    3:21pm
    Besides that, Horace Cope, it is selfish to suggest that just because people will continue with a past good habit even if they are punished for it, it's okay to punish, cheat, deprive and discriminate. Whether people will continue to save or not, they are entitled to fair benefit for doing what is good for the country.
    Mariner
    25th May 2020
    3:35pm
    Youngagain - you have it in a nutshell. That is exactly the way it works all around me. Mates of mine are doing that hand over stuff to their offspring all the time. Better now then when I am dead is the motto. The pension stays the same. I used to save, had no option in the 60s and 70s but that has long gone. As I see it now the saver is no better off than the waster: - one has the full pension and the other has to spend what he's saved. I am in the middle, got a part pension. Saw the light a bit earlier than others and I am happy with the choice I have made. No super but some cash in the bank!
    Captain
    25th May 2020
    8:54pm
    HC and RW, as a SFR, I would love to receive an aged pension. If the idiots in charge of the Australian nation (both Liberal and Labor) had any sense they would realize that the current Asset and Income Test system is deeply flawed and encourages spending above saving.

    I have presented a revised tax system to both major parties and they just can't get their heads around a simpler system then current. At the moment business tax (for those few who pay tax) is an average of 0.17cents in the dollar. Individual tax is perhaps double the company rate.

    If every company and individual paid 0.15 cents for every dollar earned where would we be? Without a National Debt within 5 years?

    For those who receive a pension, they would also pay the above 0.15 cents on every dollar.

    Would need some investigation to determine if 0.15 cents is not enough or too much. A starting point at least.
    MacI
    27th May 2020
    9:52am
    YoungAgain: The only reason that a couple who has accumulated $900K in assets does not enjoy a better standard of living than those who have been less frugal (or very likely less fortunate) is because they refuse to liquidate their assets. I realise that this might require some tough decisions and is an anathema but it's their choice.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2020
    7:30am
    Maci, a couple with $900,000 in assets should NOT HAVE TO liquidate their assets prematurely in order to maintain a better standard of living than the less frugal. They DESERVE a reward for being responsible, and it's in the interests of the country to ensure they are rewarded, so others are encouraged to be similarly responsible. Those who tout this ill-conceived BS that people should liquidate their assets have no economic sense. What happens 15 or 20 years from now when that couple has huge medical or dental costs or needs household help? What happens when they need aged care? Oh yes, government funds it for those with no money, but some people saved to enjoy choice and better quality care. And greed and selfishness is denying them the benefit they saved for.

    When the assets are gone, despite decades of sacrifice to save, they can't have what they saved for. If the spendthrifts are entitled to take around $1 mil from the taxpayer purse to compensate for their spending, then the frugal are equally morally entitled to take from the taxpayer purse to ensure they can enjoy the benefits they earned by being frugal. And it's hideously selfish to claim otherwise.

    And no, most pensioners are not 'less fortunate'. All the 'less fortunate' I know - uneducated orphans, folk who endured chronic ill health, people who migrated with nothing and no qualifications, people who survived major crisis or trauma, people who had disabled children and copped massive medical and special care costs - are actually SFRs. I can't find a single pensioner who was 'less fortunate' than my self-funded friends. I think genuine misfortune often leads to a saver mentality, because people who genuinely do it tough recognize the value of having a nest egg to get them through the rainey days.
    David
    25th May 2020
    11:26am
    The idea that the Age Pension is unsustainable and that we need to accept the high rates of poverty facing retired people is simply due to the insatiable greed of our politicians over the past 70 odd years. In 1946 the then parliament set up "National Welfare Fund" into which we taxpayers contributed 7.5% of our taxable income for most of our working lives (yes, even after the fund was trashed and closed down).

    Then on top of that, they (the govt of the day) let superannuation companies scarper with our self-funded policies, with no redress permitted at all. In other words they (the govt) stole our super savings.

    Now they (the govt) have the bald-faced audacity to lie to us and say these fundings never existed. BS Scomo, look it up in your own Hansard record y' mongrel...
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    11:53am
    No one stole anything. It was a con from the start.
    johnp
    25th May 2020
    1:16pm
    Con and Stolen. Basically when it all comes down to it, are both similar things !!
    Farside
    25th May 2020
    5:48pm
    I wonder whether those reminiscing about the National Welfare Fund ever paid attention to the world changing around them in the 60s and 70s. How could people be so deluded that the fund was essentially a dud more than 50 years ago was ever going to provide for them? I would have expected they would realise sometime in the intervening decades that they needed a Plan B for retirement.
    Anonymous
    27th May 2020
    8:42am
    Farside, whether the Fund was sustainable in the form it was created is irrelevant. The fact is that in today's world all the money that SHOULD be paid to the aged in pensions is being handed to wealthy younger folk in massive superannuation tax concessions. The total cost of superannuation tax concessions now exceeds the cost of the OAP, and is growing at a terrifyingly rapid rate. A whopping 80% of that money goes to high income earners who will never need a pension to retire. Why? They don't need it.

    To the LNP's credit, they have made some changes to reduce the handouts to very high income earners and those with very large superannuation balances, but it's not nearly enough. The super tax concessions should be changed to 15% discount on the member's marginal tax rate - NOT a flat 15%. The flat tax disadvantages lower income earners and gives high income earners far too much, at unreasonable cost to taxpayers. It is really STUPID to have a pension system based on need and a super system based on GREED. If the retirement funding systems aligned, we could easily afford a universal aged pension.
    Farside
    28th May 2020
    3:27am
    Youngagain, I don't disagree with your point about concession for superannuation requiring review but that is not pertinent to the comment and something quite separate. Even if that were addressed it would still not resolve the teary eyed reminiscing about the demise of the NWF and why it is not providing for them decades later.
    Another dumb retiree
    25th May 2020
    11:35am
    Universal Part Pension .... bring it on.... compulsory super contributions have been in place for 30 years so everyone has had the opportunity to grow a nest egg toward retirement . If you have not , stop sucking off those who have
    johnp
    25th May 2020
    1:16pm
    Agree 100%

    25th May 2020
    11:40am
    No definitely not that if they don't refund franking credits.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    11:55am
    Franking credits won't be much help if dividends are slashed or cease. A universal pension provided guaranteed income through good times and bad, and doesn't had massive amounts back to the very rich. Much fairer and more economically sustainable.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    12:05pm
    Dividends are not only from public companies but private ones as well where dividends may continue to be paid as normal. Many of those receiving dividends especially from private companies are better off keeping their franking credits than having an universal pension. n universal pension is only a good idea for those who are lazy investors.
    Eddy
    25th May 2020
    1:37pm
    Retiring well, if we had a universal age pension then it is reasonable that everyone pays income tax, no exemptions (except of course those whose total income is below the taxable threshold). Do you agree? If so, if you have franked dividends and the dividend income plus the universal pension took you over the tax threshold then you would be liable for income tax and you could claim a legitimate deduction for your franking credits. Does that make you happy? However from your latest comment at 12.05pm I suspect not.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    1:59pm
    No it doesn't as there is no difference between getting a refund or your franking credits and using them to pay less tax. Bottom line is the same in both cases. However Labor wanted to make it unfair in that only those who got refunds were affected. So why should I get my franking credits refunded as I may enough tax to cover them but you don't because you pay no tax?
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    3:09pm
    A universal pension is good for those who are unable to manage an investment portfolio to achieve high returns, and that would be most aged folk who have not had the benefit of high education and earnings, so a universal pension is a benefit to the nation as a whole. Only the privileged few will do better with franking credits and no tax, and - sorry RW - but the nation SHOULD NOT be catering to you and the minority of equally privileged folk who care only for their own hip pockets and not for those aged who are struggling.
    Eddy
    25th May 2020
    3:18pm
    Correction RetiringWell, I do pay income tax and the Medicare levy, in 2018/2019 financial year I paid nearly $9000 in income tax. The only reason my tax did not go over $10k is that I also got a $1080 tax credit for which I was truly thankful. My superannuation is defined benefit through DFRDB and CSS and is not tax free.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    5:04pm
    Yes I paid a small amount of tax but would of had a tax bill higher than you if I didn't have franking credits to pay it for me. Why should I be allowed to offset my franking credits against my tax but others who get refunds of them now get denied them? That's what Labor wanted to do.
    Eddy
    26th May 2020
    2:32pm
    Retiring Well, your situation is now becoming clearer. Am I correct in understanding you object to having your income tax offset by franking credits whereas others get their franking credits refunded even though they are not liable for tax and therefore pay no tax. If that is so then I agree with you, I cannot see the rationale for any person or organisation getting a tax refund when they pay no tax.
    Anonymous
    27th May 2020
    8:36am
    Eddy, self-funded retirees are living on income they generate from savings. Those savings were made from after-taxed money. The income on the savings was taxed until they retired. Now they are saving the taxpayer tens of thousands every year. Yet you want them forced to live on peanuts and get NOTHING while pensioners TRIPLE DIP, getting pensions, concessions AND franking credits?

    Why should a taxpayer who contributes a few thousand dollars annually to the Treasury claim franking credits, but an SFR who contributes tens of thousands, and has less to live on (in many cases) than a pensioner, is denied?

    SFRs paid tax all their lives and made sacrifices so they could avoid claiming a pension in retirement. Surely they are entitled to SOMETHING to help them make ends meet when investment returns are pathetically low?
    Eddy
    27th May 2020
    3:05pm
    Yes Youngagain, I understand. My savings are taxed too, or at least the interest they generate. Unlike some others I also have to pay income tax on my superannuation income (although not on my DVA Disability pension). With all things together I am ineligible for even a part Centrelink pension even though I have paid same rate of tax as everyone else since I left school in 1957. I am afraid Youngagain that SFR, like yourself, and those like me are not entitled to any "something" to make ends meet unless we meet Centrelink's eligibility criteria.
    Eddy
    27th May 2020
    3:08pm
    I do not want to mislead, Our savings are in a joint account therefore the interest is split between my wife and myself. My wife has no income therefore I only have to pay tax on 50% of interest earned.
    Anonymous
    28th May 2020
    7:17am
    Not legally entitled, Eddy, under a stinking unfair system that is wrongfully supported by the selfish and greedy - but definitely morally and ethically entitled, and SHOULD be entitled, and every decent person should be supporting a very aggressive demand that moral entitlements be recognized. The nation would be in far better health both socially and economically if moral entitlements, not greed and selfishness, were the basis for legislation.
    Mariner
    25th May 2020
    11:47am
    Give everyone the age pension at 65 (not 67) and if there is an estate, house included, at the end of one's life of more than $1 million, charge an inheritance tax of, say, 20%. This asset figure can be adjusted upwards along the line of inflation. No more shifting and hiding of assets just to get a part pension. Only the age pension - no tax, above the rate - ordinary income tax. Give the work to the ATO, no need for C'link as they can then concentrate on job seekers etc.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    11:52am
    Everyone will just give the excess amount away before they die.
    Mariner
    25th May 2020
    12:07pm
    RW - that is happening right now with people in their 50s paying off the mortgages of the children before they reach age 67.

    25th May 2020
    11:53am
    Stop handing 80% of the billions paid in superannuation tax concessions to the well off and we could comfortably afford a universal age pension, which would be much fairer and much more economically sustainable. Far better for the country. Those super tax concessions are only loading the coffers of the rich. A universal pension would increase spending and thus growth and tax revenue, as well as reducing poverty and reducing the government contribution to health and aged care costs.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    11:55am
    Who would put money into super without concessions?
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    11:59am
    I didn't say to abolish concessions, Retiring Well. Just adjust the system to make it fair. 15% reduction from the member's marginal rate, including negative concessions (contributions to the fund) if the member's marginal rate is very low - instead of the grossly unfair flat 15% tax that massively benefits the wealthy and deprives battlers. Battlers would then contribute more and if the rich contribute a bit less, so what? No harm done there.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    12:08pm
    The wealthy pay 30% tax on their super. Also some battlers pay zero tax on their super contributions too.
    Rae
    25th May 2020
    1:32pm
    Everyone would put money in without concessions if it was compulsory. As it is they can take and blow the lot on retirement anyway.

    Those who did pay full taxes before contributing are deemed at 10% regardless of the true amount of that non concessional as well. How that is legal is beyond me.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    3:18pm
    Why do we need people to put money into super if employers put a percentage of wages in? If we had a universal OAP and employer-funded super, with the self-employed compelled to contribute, the system would work just fine, be far more equitable, and almost certainly cost the government far less.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    5:27pm
    Not much left over after expenses when you run a business to put into super.
    Anonymous
    27th May 2020
    8:30am
    You are not running the business properly if you can't afford to pay expenses, wages and salaries, and contribute to super. If you can't cover the essentials AND make profit, it's not a viable business.
    Farside
    28th May 2020
    12:16pm
    We are frequently told superannuation is for retirement, so it makes sense the ceiling for super tax concessions should be limited to a reasonable multiple of the aged pension, say 60x, which in today's dollars would be around $1.5m.
    BillW41
    25th May 2020
    12:14pm
    None of this is going to help me if I lose franking credits and have to start paying tax! Having said that, my late father did quite well under the UK pension system - universal full Government pension plus his employer's pension scheme and no tax.
    Norsca
    25th May 2020
    12:42pm
    I agree with the idea of a Universal pension. Is that more like the Canadian system? I also think that as all citizens should participate in the wealth of their country’s natural resources, that a Universal wage is a good idea. There is evidence of its benefits to society, but that is a separate discussion.
    flowerpot
    25th May 2020
    12:48pm
    BillW41 I'm pretty sure you have to pay tax on UK pensions. My parents had both private work pensions and the old age pension. It's explained here: https://www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk/about-pensions/saving-into-a-pension/pensions-and-tax/how-is-my-state-pension-taxed
    johnp
    25th May 2020
    1:22pm
    Flowerpot. Had look at that link and the UK way appears to be a straightforward and fair system to me !! That what we need to have in Australia !!
    johnp
    25th May 2020
    1:23pm
    Plus gets rid of all the costs and waste associated with bureaucracy at centrelink etc.
    inextratime
    25th May 2020
    12:51pm
    Two things that would make a major difference to our economy. Death duties. Why should people be given money that they have done nothing to deserve that automatically puts them into a very wealthy category and secondly, why have three layers of government for a population of 25 million of which 2/3rds are in capital cities. Massive duplication of services, different rules governing states, political disruption at all levels. resulting in slow infrastructure levels and reduction in bulk purchasing advantage and so on. If we made some serious changes to the way the country works in the modern world we would be able to initiate a national pension scheme. It would also be possible to have a universal pensioners working past 65 years scheme but not under the present mish mash of decision making process.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    1:55pm
    There are numerous ways around death duties so the only people who get caught are the misinformed.
    johnp
    25th May 2020
    3:31pm
    Retiring Well. Can you expand on the numerous ways around death duties for the benefit of all here ??
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    5:25pm
    The basic idea is to control everything but own nothing. No death duties on nothing.
    flowerpot
    25th May 2020
    1:43pm
    inextratime I totally agree with you about the three layers of government and the different rules for different states - seems a waste of resources, to say the least. A universal pension could be paid for by contributions made when income taxes are levied. In the UK to get a full state old-age pension you have to have contributed to that system for (I think) 40 years. If you work for less time then your pension is reduced accordingly. Your contribution to the NHS also comes out of the same pot which you pay for through PAYE tax. It's not a perfect system but it seems fair. Your private work pension scheme provides the luxuries and you get both for life so you don't ever have the worry of running out of money before you die. That's the main thing I worry about - will I live longer than my super?
    Bundabergian
    25th May 2020
    2:23pm
    I'm with inextratime and flowerpot, The current 3 layers of government is hugely overdoing it. And wasting money. We need to centralise things like car regos, drivers licenses etc. It was designed when you had to ride a horse for a day to get to the next town.
    These days it is ridiculous that we have to redo all this sort of thing when we move states!
    We need a federal overarching group with huge economies of scale, and a (smaller than current) local group (like a mini council) to do really local issues, parks, local roads etc...
    Suze
    28th May 2020
    10:17pm
    Agree
    SuziJ
    25th May 2020
    2:10pm
    What if the Age Pension is the only income one has? Will this then be taxed?
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    3:02pm
    Obviously not. Low incomes are not taxable.
    johnp
    25th May 2020
    3:28pm
    Should not be taxed as I believe the aged pension is still below the minimum tax threshold including aged rebate amounts. Someone here may know better than me though ??
    Eddy
    25th May 2020
    2:12pm
    I agree with the concept of a Universal Pension. The only qualifier I would suggest be age, whether it be 65, 67, 70, just age, and Australian citizenship or permanent residency for a specified period. I also suggest he offset should be everyone pays tax on total income, which includes the pension, with the same deductions (including franking credits) allowable to every taxpayer. There may be supplements, such as rent or energy allowances for those who are totally dependant on the pension ie living in poverty. Any superannuation payments can only be accessed as a periodic payment, such as an annuity, however lump sum payments may be allowed for specific purposes, such as paying out an existing mortgage. Existing tax concessions regarding to superannuation in the accumulation phase probably can remain to encourage savings.
    Before anyone starts heaping abuse on me or my opinions please state what you would want to see. We do not all see things the same and in a democracy we all have the right to have an opinion and have our say.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    2:33pm
    Lump sum super is not allowed now but you can take a periodic payment out at 100% of the balance.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    3:03pm
    Sounds sensible to me, Eddy.
    Mariner
    25th May 2020
    3:47pm
    No problems at all with your suggestions, well thought through. Thanks.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    3:56pm
    I certainly wouldn't have super if I couldn't take it out.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    3:56pm
    I certainly wouldn't have super if I couldn't take it out.
    Macca
    25th May 2020
    3:28pm
    I think the Universal Part Pension is definitely an excellent and a 'must', as the pandemic has impacted nearly all those on a low income and as yet not receiving a Part Pension.
    Macca
    McDaddy
    25th May 2020
    4:09pm
    So just so we a clear about a part Pension, currently a single person who is a Homeowner can earn from a job app $50k PA and still get app $220/ftn Pension. A Couple can earn from employment.app $70k between them and get app $500/ftn combined.

    Assets wise a single homeowner can have app $500k in assets (super etc) and still get app $234/ftn Pension. Non homeowner it's app $700k to get $260/ftn

    Couple homeowners it's $800k and each gets about $100/ftn each and non homeowners it's a touch over $1million and still get $120/ftn each all tis plus concessions on medical, rates etc etc

    How much more do you want?
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    4:49pm
    This so called mild flu pandemic is actually better than a normal downturn in markets so I really don't know why everyone is panicking about it. I'm now positive for the financial year so if this is all it is I expect to do quite well this financial year.
    Anonymous
    26th May 2020
    9:19pm
    McDaddy, the issue isn't how much part pensioners get. It's those who are just over the assets threshold who are struggling with very low investment returns and no pension concessions. Even with $800,000, at current return rates one would have to get 4% return just to equal the pension income. Surely a couple who saved $800,000 should have an income substantially higher than the base pension? So they use up their savings and their pension increases, but overall that's not good for the nation because it discourages saving.
    Alan
    25th May 2020
    4:34pm
    My super fund has taken a significant hit when measured from its peak on 20 February 2020. However when I measure its value from 1 July 2019 it is still higher now than it was then. My portfolio is across cash and bonds, shares and property both in Australia and Overseas. Upto the Pandemic Period I have been taking only the minimum amount that I can to satisfy requirements. For the last couple of months and for the first six months I will be taking zero in the hope that the fund recovers a significant amount of the losses incurred over the past couple of months.

    From the earliest stages of my working life I assumed that I would not qualify for the old age pension and don't. I don't need to worry about income to do the things that I like since I live reasonably modestly and own my own house and car and being without debt. I have never smoked (money up the chimney) and drink very little.

    I would prefer that the old age pension be given at a reasonable level (my mother managed quite well on her pension) to those people who really need it. I have no problems with a means test provided that it covers all assets (including the family home above a certain level - to stop people being asset rich and cash flow poor to maximise their children's inheritance) and is stepped in such a way that it does not encourage those who want to do part time work.

    During my working life I paid tax on all my income and now I do not pay income tax. I would not like to see a universal pension (or part pension) which would then result in me paying tax on income that has already been taxed.
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    4:53pm
    In agree I am now positive for the financial year too. What I'd lose in franking credits and tax would be more than any universal pension so I don't agree with it at all.
    Anonymous
    27th May 2020
    8:28am
    So it doesn't matter what's good for the majority or the nation, Retiring Well. Only what's good for you matters? No wonder this country is in such a mess!
    Hairy
    25th May 2020
    4:51pm
    Believe it when I see it.something simple like universal pension is to simple for our pollies to comprehend.they don’t like to break status quo .it might mean they actually do something for the people who built this country,god no they would rather keep it complicated so no one knows what the hell is happening,I’m surprised they haven’t sold Centrelink to the Chinese.but you can bet your life they are looking for a buyer the have sold just about everything else .
    Anonymous
    25th May 2020
    4:55pm
    Who does now own Centrelink as it's now called Services Australia.

    It is not beneficial for the pollies personally to have an universal pension as they would lose more than they would gain.
    mogo51
    25th May 2020
    6:26pm
    Let's hope this happens, but history tells us otherwise - always punish the pensioners and whether self funded or otherwise. What does it matter if a pensioner goes out and earns $300+ a week. He wil lk only spend ir for a better standard of life. Earns gst over and over, creates employment etc. Now is the time for this gov't to change its spots and become innovative.
    skinner
    25th May 2020
    8:29pm
    Franking Credits from franked share dividends are N OT the way to fund a part pension for all pensioners. Better to reduce the on-going pensions to ALL now & future PM's & MP's! They'll be plenty of money available then! Franking Credits are an essential part of the dividend payments that ALL shareholders receive from their share holdings & have NOLTHING to do with any gov payments, so leave them be!
    skinner
    25th May 2020
    8:29pm
    Franking Credits from franked share dividends are N OT the way to fund a part pension for all pensioners. Better to reduce the on-going pensions to ALL now & future PM's & MP's! They'll be plenty of money available then! Franking Credits are an essential part of the dividend payments that ALL shareholders receive from their share holdings & have NOLTHING to do with any gov payments, so leave them be!
    Farside
    25th May 2020
    10:44pm
    do you have evidence to back up your opinion that parliamentary pensions would add a lot of value to aged pensions? Notwithstanding the parliamentary pension is part of the remuneration package for MPs, it is chicken feed in the context of welfare budget.
    ayers
    26th May 2020
    1:07am
    Copy exactly of what the Social Welfare is as in Sweden, which was the best of the World. Australian people deserve the best pension pay allowance programs not the inferior ones:

    1. No income test,
    2. No asset test, but some asset percentage should be imposed to get inheritance tax upon deaths and transfer to the heirs at any survivors except spouse. Spouse is exempted from the inheritance tax,
    3. Basic Universal pension for a single person is min 3500.$ per month, and for a couple each individual receives min 2500 per month no mater house owner or not. No other supplement, no rent assistance and all other pay will be abolished.
    4. If one person of a couple reaches to old age pension age, the under age person spouse should receive min 50% of the pension pay if not working. No forcing to jobseeker allowance and its precondition requirements. This is insane. This is a kind of impunity for the spouse who is not working. When the younger age spouse gets closer to pension age, higher percentage is paid.
    5. All income money received from superannuation is subject to marginal tax.
    6. Rental incomes from assets are subject to marginal tax.
    7. All other income including overseas incomes are subject to marginal tax. Any cheating or offence, no matter the amount, the min penalty period should be 5 years not to pay any pension anybody plus recovery the cheated amount.
    8. Any gifts more than 2000$ per year is subject to marginal tax.
    9. Any hobby income more than 2000$ is subject to marginal tax.
    10. All HECS money remained is to paid at monthly reductions from the pensions.
    11. All pension money is paid with digital currency and never let to convert to bill money. The banks are not allowed the pension money to covert to note bills to prevent transfer the money to the others. The main idea is that pension money is solemnly dedicated to the elder person and he/she can use for her own desires and expenses and maintenance.
    12. Pension digital money cannot be used in gambling stations and gambling machines, even tats lotto tickets cannot be bought with the pensioner digital money. This brakes gambling intentions in elderly people. This is good for their health.
    13. No other restrictions are to me imposed how to use the pensioner digital money.
    mogo51
    26th May 2020
    8:38am
    There is a lot of upside to this scheme, certainly appears that it would be a better deal.
    McDaddy
    26th May 2020
    8:47am
    Maybe not so fast in jumping to the Swedish model.

    An international analysis has concluded that Sweden's pensions system is one of the five best in the world – but there is plenty of room for improvement.

    The annual Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index placed the Swedish pensions system behind the Netherlands, its Scandinavian neighbour Denmark, Australia and Finland.
    mogo51
    26th May 2020
    8:53am
    McDaddy, it might not be perfect but it is a long way better than Australia's. A kindergarten chold could wkrk out something better.
    McDaddy
    26th May 2020
    8:56am
    mogo51, did you not read the article, it was ranked below Auatralia
    Anonymous
    26th May 2020
    11:18am
    A lot of super has already been taxed so it should not be taxed at your marginal rate.
    Rae
    27th May 2020
    7:14am
    They'd have to work that out Retiring Well. Of course non concessional amounts already taxed at marginal rates should not be double taxed. Other amounts would need the 15% or 30% discount for the tax portion already paid.
    Anonymous
    29th May 2020
    6:29pm
    McDaddy, what was the assessment criteria for rating the pension systems? Who judged them? Without that knowledge, ratings are meaningless. I think most retirees would say Sweden's system is better than ours. It offers a level of security and fairness that Australia fails to supply. It doesn't impose the hideous stress and worry that those excluded from pensions often experience. It restricts wastage of money by gambling, which is smart. And it imposes fair taxation on income over and above the pension, whereas Australia treats the self-funded battler very unfairly and massively over-indulges the wealthy with tax benefits.

    I personally think our pension system is very bad, and strongly disagree with many of the so-called 'experts' who claim certain aspects of it are good, when in fact those aspects lead to unfair deprivation and discouraging and penalising saving for retirement, working after retirement, and even some forms of investment that SHOULD be beneficial for the retiree.
    Anonymous
    30th May 2020
    6:05am
    Further checking reveals a major reason Australia's pension system is rated highly is because it is LOW COST compared to other countries. The negative aspects of means testing are completely ignored. Total cost, level of age poverty, and average retiree wealth is considered. Our average retiree wealth is quite high because of a minority of extremely wealthy retirees, and because assets are viewed as 'wealth' regardless of the fact that income may be low and assets may be quickly eroded over a relatively short time frame, well before end of life.

    The other aspect that isn't considered is the degree to which the system 'kicks the can down the road' (which our system does to a high degree). When the assets test was changed, I asked Treasury to detail their estimates of increased pension costs in future years because people reduced their saving when it became clear that saving was not beneficial. The reply was that estimates are made only on historical data and based on the assumption that behaviour will not change, because nobody in policy-making or advisory circles can predict behavioural change. That makes all the claims of benefits from a change completely irrelevant and untruthful and valid assessments impossible. As long as government keeps 'kicking the can down the road', it can claim to be doing great things and it is never held to account. The reason we are in a mess now is because governments have been kicking the can down the road for decades, with no consideration for the impact on future generations.
    Captain
    31st May 2020
    1:59pm
    Youngagain, also the figures used to determine the cost of pensions does not rely make sense. The Govt spruikes the value of pensions increasing dramatically and the current tax income won't support the increased cost of pensions.

    However the Bureau of Statistics population increases from 1946 to 1963 (baby boomers) was approx 250k increase per year. From 1964 to 1983 the population increase was approx 300k per year and 1983 to 2003 was approx 400k per year.

    Logic indicates to me that there has been a larger population increase from 1964 to 2000 therefore more potential for increased tax revenue. Also bear in mind that at some stage quite a number of the older generation die, so I am at a loss to figure out how the cost of pensions are going to be increased so much that the current working generation cannot afford the cost.

    I suppose it depends on the question (and what answer you are trying to achieve) if you are the Govt. B/S is easy if you want it to be.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2020
    4:49pm
    I agree Captain. And isn't it interesting that we hear so little about the rapidly increasing cost of superannuation tax concessions? That would be because 80% of THAT cost benefits the 20% wealthiest people in the nation.

    Funny how envious pensioners want the struggling self-funded retirees ripped off, but don't give a hoot about the billions going to the 20% top income earners in super tax concessions.
    etc1
    26th May 2020
    7:19am
    I paid my taxes and into pension fund for 70 years. So YES.. to a UNIVERSAL PENSION for all, with no means test. This should include the hard working folk the that put away money for their retirement.
    Farside
    26th May 2020
    4:09pm
    Wow 70 years, and what fund was that? Please don't say the Nation Welfare Fund as it has been a historical footnote for most of the last fifty plus years.
    Gilbert
    26th May 2020
    10:13am
    The NZ system of Pensions is the best Ida, every one at the age of 65 gets the Pension and then pays tax on all there income.
    McDaddy
    26th May 2020
    11:12am
    Good reading here: NZ ranked below us already.
    https://info.mercer.com/rs/521-DEV-513/images/MMGPI%202019%20Full%20Report.pdf
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2020
    4:42pm
    McDaddy, rankings are meaningless because they merely manipulate the data to suit a convenient criteria. Change the criteria and the rankings all change.
    Hairy
    26th May 2020
    11:23am
    The reason i quit working part time in security was the confusion of how many hours and the wages earned .trying to get a fair balance with pension.i grew up my whole working life Thinking i was working to retire on a pension payable by goverment.When you retire you dont want hasstle of centrclink on your back every week, not only that yoh see mates your wirking with drop dead or go home and die . Never to return .retirement sucks you are oersecuted night and day from different goverment sources . I now live with flat pension negligible assets.no one is on my back anymore .learned to live frugal poor or exist wichever word you want to describe.i have had enough of being led around by beaurocracy .HOW many people have been harrassed into an early grave.im sure there are boffins somewhere that can tell me.
    McDaddy
    26th May 2020
    11:34am
    I fail to see how hard it is to report your gross earning each fortnight when you are on a Pension. There is a dedicated phone line, online area and an App for the phone. There is an opportunity to work part time or casually and still get a decent Pension, if you want to.
    mogo51
    26th May 2020
    3:40pm
    I agree with you, its a PIA having to go to C/link, a far more liberal view should be adopted so far as how much you can earn.
    Rae
    27th May 2020
    7:17am
    It also would not be hard to link the ATO and Centrelink so there was an automatic update each fortnight. This is the computer age after all.
    Anonymous
    27th May 2020
    8:26am
    You wouldn't think it was the computer age analysing some of Centrelink's blunders. I reported an asset that was half-owned by me and half by my partner. They doubled the reported value, listing the full value for both of us. I reported the error 27 times over a period of 2 years and it still isn't fixed. They continue to claim that if we both have shares in the asset, it must be worth twice as much! If only....!!!
    GrayComputing
    26th May 2020
    12:29pm
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    What our founding fathers said in parliament in 1908:
    Quote:_____

    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.”
    End Quote: _____

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

    Therefore, a pension is not welfare.

    But modern politicians have stuffed it up completely

    It is time to kill off this insane hugely expensive pensioner whacking bureaucracy.

    It is time for all of us (yes that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules.

    Hiring more Centrelink staff will only increase taxpayer’s costs for processing the creeping insane red tape monster system politicians and well paid bureaucrats have created.

    Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

    Even the UK and poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension, so it is cheaper and user friendly.

    Why worry that few million$ earners get it too. That is peanuts to them, not enough for a good vintage champagne.

    Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be hassled by their crazed robo-debt scam and then waste even more time in the 3 million people waiting queues and more lost calls?

    We all (that means you) need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.

    Ask your MP do they really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    DEMAND: NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!

    Please help yourself and others today and every day, pass this demand on to all government, opposition and independent MPs and senators who could help us to get a fair deal on pensions
    ex PS
    27th May 2020
    5:22pm
    We're just spending our Super as we normally do, when we run out we'll go on to the OAP.
    We funded it so I see no reason not to use it


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