Pension changes threaten the point of saving for retirement

Changes to the Age Pension asset test mean retirement saving is pointless.

Pension changes threaten the point of saving for retirement

Much of the discussion about the imminent changes in Age Pension rules is about the winners (not many) and losers (more). Although maybe the real news is that there is now little incentive to save for retirement.

But surely the aim of our retirement income system is that we all strive to become self-funded, you ask? Well yes, that’s the message promulgated by governments over the past 20 years, particularly the Howard Government when it introduced its massive concessions on superannuation.

Next month’s changes to the Age Pension asset test mean the cuts are being made in the wrong way, to the wrong people. This is no way to encourage Australians to save for their retirement. Quite the reverse, in fact. 

Why do I say this? The tightening of the assets test means that people who saved by the rules and expected a part Age Pension in return are being punished. For example, an individual (single homeowner) who could previously hold $793,750 in assets must now only hold $542,500 in order to qualify for that part Age Pension. So their expected income on the new allowable assets, given the pitifully low rate of return on investments of most sorts, will probably amount to $17,631 per annum, based on a 3.25 per cent return, assuming all assets held are of a financial nature. This is $5173 less than a full Age Pension.

They will also lose their Pensioner Concession Card, which means they may no longer have access to valuable concessions offered by state, territory and local governments.

So it would seem tempting at one level to simply spend the contentious ‘extra’ assets on a slap-up cruise or home renovation in order to retain the expected Age Pension. Except, as Noel Whittaker has quite correctly pointed out, this is rather short-term thinking when you may well live another 30 years and could need this money for health or aged care needs.

So the ‘sensible’ retiree will cop it on the chin and try to exist on a much lower income than they had planned or expected.

The fundamental problem here is two-fold. The punter’s ability to plan retirement income is effectively reduced to zero when governments change the rules at the stroke of a pen. Back in the day, both sides of politics were more inclined to recognise the need to ‘grandfather’ contentious financial legislation. But with our current budget deficit such a political nightmare, cuts to services and welfare seem to be the preferred strategy. The related legislative changes are introduced with little warning and no leeway consideration for those who have previously been told to plan long term.

The other problem, less ‘headline’ material but just as important, is the lack of financial literacy support offered to Australians of all ages. When you are in your 20s and 30s, this might mean a better understanding of how to create an effective budgeting strategy that may help you achieve the dream of home ownership sooner rather than later. For those in their later 30s and 40s, this might be help with the juggle of mortgage repayments and household expenses, while starting to put away some discretionary income for eventual retirement. And for those in their 50s and 60s, it’s all about retirement planning and the role that superannuation, private savings, property and the Age Pension might play in their retirement income mix.

Independent and trustworthy information is difficult to locate, which is why YourLifeChoices receives and answers up to 30 questions a week on these topics. But where, we ask, is a wider-scale, government-sponsored literacy program to help those who have saved hard and are now genuinely baffled by the rapid-fire changes undercutting their retirement dreams?

It’s been a long year and those charting the proposed, and then actual, changes to retirement income are exhausted from both the number of amendments and the complexity of much of what has come to pass. This includes the team at YourLifeChoices so I thank Leon, Kathryn, Amelia, Kate, Ryan, Alice, David, SJ and Lucy, led by the indefatigable Debbie and Drew, for working so hard on behalf of our 220,000 members.

We will continue to share all the retirement news you need on a daily basis over the break and in 2017. In the meantime, thank you, valued members for your strong support, and sharing your opinions and ideas so generously in 2016.

With warm wishes for a safe and happy festive season, Kaye

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    COMMENTS

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    22nd Dec 2016
    10:45am
    Why would you be on the pension unless you have too. I went into a centrelink office some years ago as Medicare was part of it, I can tell you it is an experience I never want to repeat talk about a bunch of low lifes losers and ferrals sitting around looking for free money.
    I'd rather do my own thing any day.
    john
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:44am
    I'm not a low life or a feral thanks very much. I too have experienced centrelink nightmare.
    I too went through a millions hoops to get a part pension , I am not wealthy by any means, I am cash poor at times, I own my home and I pay off an investment.
    What was said in this article is true, there are thousands upon thousands of people who are supposedly ok and on their feet because of assets, but live week to week cash wise and no touring or overseas holidays mate!. That is what this saving for retirement article is about, yet you choose to throw insults at people you don't know nor understand , some of those a very small amount are people who bludge off welfare, they are a tiny minority, the rest the majority are genuinely in need.
    By the way , mate, I was knocked back, we get nothing from the government , I've worked my backside off all my life for some small gain , but week to week is how it runs now.
    People like you have no idea , what do you call a life's loser , you may in your life never have been asked the question, hey? But your time may be coming. Never judge! When you don't know what your talking about. And watch out life might come and bite you in the throat!
    Mindy
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:48am
    Well said Roby. Our aim must be to provide for ourselves. Those who rely on the government are living in a fools paradise.
    wally
    22nd Dec 2016
    1:18pm
    Having enough super put away to provide the desired standard of living is the ideal situation Unfortunately for many of us, "Living the Dream" that a fat superannuation amount can provide is beyond us. So we lesser mortals trudge off to Centrelink to join the hordes of Struggle Streeters and other no hopers sitting around waiting for their chance to justify their fortnightly pittance from the government. Hardly an ideal situation to find yourself in, but it is possible to adjust your lifestyle, hopes and aspirations to reflect the best way to deal with your circumstances and then get on with making the best of what life serves up.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    2:29pm
    John I'd guess your 'investment' is the reason you were denied, if you have an investment property you will not get a pension
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:37pm
    Surely it is one's choice to be cash poor if asset rich, especially since the solution is well within their means to improve their present quality of life. What prevents asset rich retirees liquidating assets to generate cash?

    It's never fun to sell assets intended to be kept for the long term but sometimes circumstances happen. Working age people caught with overpriced mortgages don't have the choice to ignore it. Business owners cannot avoid selling assets when faced with bankruptcy.

    No doubt this will be a call to arms for all the usual keyboard warriors - why should they sell assets they have scrimped and saved for all their lives to have and leave to their children? They are entitled to the OAP. They need the assets to secure future nursing home places. Cry me a river. Sometimes we just have to face reality and do what has to be done.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:55pm
    The government would be looking at Centrelink's statistics and it doesn't take much of a statistician to conclude that if people are not spending down their assets then they are getting too much welfare money.

    Yes you have a right to be asset rich and cash poor but you don't have right to put your hand out for someone else to fund you lifestyle> That is just greed.
    Rae
    22nd Dec 2016
    6:12pm
    I agree Roby. I also agree with Farside. During those interest rates at 14% I sold a house in three hours, copped a loss but got out and saved my business. Falling in love with an investment or house is fraught with problems. If it is due to expensive toys sell and rent back when you need them.

    Not much point investing if the income isn't in it or you refuse to take the capital gain.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    6:23pm
    Farside, firstly, not all assets are readily able to be liquidated, and often liquidating at the wrong time means taking a huge loss. People who planned according to the rules are now finding that they are forced to cop a huge loss in order to access cash that they didn't believe would be needed at this time.

    Yes, some folk do want to conserve savings - because they know there are big expenses looming down the track that they have deliberately put money aside for. And now they won't be able to meet those expenses despite having sacrificed to ensure they could.

    More importantly, though, the assets test is fundamentally UNFAIR, because some people realize substantial income on assets, while others can't get more than bank interest. This is NOT a case of laziness, and OG would assert, but rather disadvantage. Those who were deprived of education may struggle to understand investment opportunities. We can't trust financial advisers, can we? People who suffered severe deprivation or trauma in childhood may have no capacity to trust and have a paranoid fear of investment risk, so they stick with safe low return investments. Many people who lost money in investments struggle with risk and stick to low return investments, so the assets test favours the fortunate and the privileged - which is exactly the OPPOSITE of what society expects and the government claims.

    The premise that you can spend your capital is also unfair. It favours those who frittered away their money in earlier life and punishes those who saved for a future expense. Just a couple of examples:

    Fred went on a world trip at age 62. Jack couldn't because until age 70, he was caring for his aged father, saving the government money. Under the new rules, Jack would lose 5 years' of pension entitlements that Fred collects.

    Janet gave $1 million to her kids at age 59. She collects a full pension while Suzie, who held on to her money to try to be at least partly self-sufficient, is now getting no pension.

    Harry sank all his savings into a $3 million house and gets a full pension. Tom settled for a $250 home unit and kept his savings for future needs, and he suffers the loss of his pension while Harry gets a full pension.

    The examples go on and on. The system is patently UNFAIR and it is also PATENTLY UNSUSTAINABLE because it sends a strong message to people to NOT SAVE FOR RETIREMENT. It doesn't pay!

    When people respond to the message, there will be more pensioners getting higher pensions and more burden on the taxpayer. IT'S JUST PLAIN DUMB!

    I think it's time for the green-eyed monsters and the self-satisfied arrogant privileged and all the other ignoramuses who just swallow lies to wake up to reality and oppose what is clearly an irrational and damaging policy and demand that the government rethink its strategies. It's not about giving money to people who don't need it. It's about being fair and encouraging honesty and responsible planning and saving, so that future pension costs fall. There ARE solutions, but the assets test is NOT the right one.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    6:26pm
    OG, we all know your short-sighted arrogant views based on simplistic assumptions, but it really is time you educated yourself and used some objective reasoning. The system is FLAWED. And accusing good people of greed just shows you are nasty, ignorant and lacking in both intelligence and empathy. Greed has nothing to do with it. It's about providing motivation to do what is good for the nation.
    Aussie
    22nd Dec 2016
    6:39pm
    Hi Robi .... I am one of those low lifes losers, ferrals sitting around looking for free money ......

    I am getting your money as part of my pension oppppsss welfare so Yeahhhh Thanks a lot Robi he he he he he he ...screw you ....

    You are an idiot to express like that ...where is your education mate those comments are insulting to us pensioners that work many many years and contribute to the nation in many ways..... so control your mouth ... do not make me make bad comments like this one to you
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:47pm
    Rainey your agreement might make sense if the people you are batting for were affected the changes to the asset test. Very few if any would have enough money to have their pension reduced. If they have no capacity then how would they earn it let alone save it? Anyone intellectually disadvantaged with this sort of money would have it managed by the state or held in trust. They simply don't exist.

    Yes the OAP assets and income test leaks like a sieve with all the loop holes one can use. However they are the rules so you need to learn to play the game. Personally it has little benefit for me or more precisely an income and asset killer so it's a game I don't play.

    Yes it is all about giving money to people who don't need it.

    All assets can be liquidated and if they can't then they are not assets at all. Selling at the wrong time is a fact of life if you need money and if you suffer a loss then one has to grim and bear it. If people have their assets that tightly invested that there is no room to move then it is not good investing at all. Anyone people should be liquidating their assets in retirement to pay for their retirement not expecting eh taxpayer to fund their lifestyle. You save for retirement so when retirement comes you spend it. It is as simple as that.

    I don't trust financial advisors either but if you need advice on the law you see a lawyer so you should be doing the same for financial advice. People are so careful with other financial aspects of their life but they are prepared to hand over their life savings without blinking an eyelid. It truly amazes me at times.

    The party will soon be over for the Harrys and Janets of this country too. There is a lot of talk about this and how to fix it in the financial world.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:12pm
    More WRONG ASSUMPTIONS by the master ASS!

    1. Many disadvantaged people worked hard and saved like crazy precisely BECAUSE they were disadvantaged and wanted to elevate themselves out of poverty. And plenty of uneducated people and people who fear risk because of past hardship or trauma manage their own money. You are an IDIOT to make such wild and baseless assumptions.

    2. Endorsing a flawed system is destructive. Instead of telling people to learn the game - which hurts the country - lobby for fixes. A better system benefits the nation. A flawed system benefits only cheats and manipulators.

    3. All assets CANNOT be liquidated. Centrelink values assets that cannot be realized. I know this because I helped a family who lost $80,000 in pension payments because they owned a worthless block of land. Centrelink said it was worth the purchase price. But it couldn't be sold because the council stuffed up and blocked access to it. Even a revaluation by the Valuer General's Office wouldn't convince Centrelink. Okay, eventually the land value was restored because after a $50,000 legal battle, the council restored access. So then Centrelink said ''See, we were right all along.'' But the owner lost $130,000, and they had no hope of raising the needed funds to fight a legal battle for compensation. That's just one example of many.

    4. People are NOT expecting the taxpayer to fund their lifestyle. They are expecting the government to recognize that those who saved responsibly to meet future expenses and genuinely need help to hang on to enough savings to not be poverty stricken in later life deserve a little help to enable them to enjoy the benefit they earned. People who squander money get handouts. People who behave responsibly should not be punished for doing so.

    5. People who ''hand over life savings without blinking an eyelid'' are people who were disadvantaged educationally and in terms of opportunity. They deserve empathy, not insults. Your arrogance and ego is disgustingly offensive. You really are a vile individual to condemn people for not having the opportunities and benefits life generously bestowed on you. (And stop with the CRAP about having it hard but being superior. NOBODY who endures the hardship I've seen becomes arrogant and self-opinionated like you. Only those who have had it far too easy have that offensive attitude!)
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:35pm
    Good except those people would not be affected by the changes to the asset test. They simply would not have enough assets.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:42pm
    Another WRONG ASSUMPTION from a PRIZE ASS. You have no idea who has what assets, how, or why much less what income they generate or what people's future needs are, OG. So stop banging on with CRAP and go and do some fact finding for a change. You might be surprised to discover just how WRONG you are.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:45pm
    So you are the expert on such maters Rainey. I really don't think so.
    Oldman Roo
    22nd Dec 2016
    10:24pm
    OG , If you lived in the real world you would not try to tell people what is really happening with the Pension cuts .
    And do not give us your " Pies in the sky " LNP propaganda of people spending down their assts or fancy huge return investments . The fact is that if people are drawing on their assets it is because they have a higher income on the full Pension - The very opposite to the short sighted quick fix by the LNP was supposed to achieve .
    particolor
    22nd Dec 2016
    10:42pm
    I saw a PRIZE ASS in Coles today !! :-) :-) She really should have put more clothing on ! :-) :-)
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    10:56pm
    Rainey, it matters little whether assets can be easily liquidated but everything has a price.

    If selling assets into thin markets like art, antiques, even some property then that is a consideration for the seller if they wish to maximise the sale price.

    A fire sale will achieve minimum price so yes losses might be taken and many of us have done exactly that when there was insufficient income.

    It seems that you often judge choices to be unfair from a perspective of avarice. If someone deprives themselves of assets by going on a cruise or gifting to children at age 62 in order to go on the OAP at 67 then that is a legitimate choice. If someone delays deprivation of assets to work or care for a relative then that is also a choice. At the end of the day It is free will whether a retiree or indeed any asset owner chooses to retain their assets and be income poor while there is an option to liquidate or borrow to raise cash.

    In fact I recently chose to sell my house and downsize after my savings ran low rather than sell stocks that would realise a tax liability. I had the deposit in my bank within seven weeks providing me with cash.
    Oldman Roo
    23rd Dec 2016
    12:23am
    particolor , Yes , and I saw a few people under the influence and acting foolish in the Street today and one must have made it home to comment on this forum .
    Ny19
    23rd Dec 2016
    6:45am
    Aussie,

    I am not Roby. I have no time for Roby's views so please don't muddle us up.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    6:48am
    Farside, I am not speaking from a position of avarice. I'm speaking from COMMON SENSE. Governments achieve best results for the nation when they encourage the kind of behaviour that is good for society. By punishing those who choose to do what is better for society, and rewarding those who do what is BAD for society, the government compounds social and economic problems. And the fact that some are whining about a ''welfare mentality'' confirms that successive governments have got it VERY VERY WRONG.

    The taper rate change will exacerbate the welfare mentality and create more social and economic problems because it rewards irresponsible behaviour and punishes behaviour that is good for the nation.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Dec 2016
    6:24pm
    Rainey a healthy economy relies on people spending money not saving it.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    9:49pm
    And they WON'T HAVE IT TO SPEND, fool, because their income has been slashed by 1/3rd, and the only way to restore it is to spend up big on houses or world cruises - OUTSIDE AUSTRALIA, BENEFITING NOBODY IN THIS NATION.

    It is mindboggling how THICK you choose to appear in your IDIOTIC rantings pretending the LNP can do no wrong.
    Oldman Roo
    24th Dec 2016
    3:22pm
    OG , In addition to Rainey,s reply let me add , You are making it up as you go along and have a short memory of comments you made to the contrary .You have made many of us look failures because we did not make enough money to live without getting some Pension and now you are telling us we should have spent our money because the economy relies on spending , Go back to the fools who give you instructions and tell them it is far better for the Budget and Economy to pay someone the part Pension than forcing them to spend their money and pay a full Pension . It does not require an Einstein to figure this out but a bit of honesty and common sense .
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2016
    4:01pm
    True, Oldman Roo, but common sense is anything but common, and honesty is far, far rarer than intelligence.
    Old Geezer
    25th Dec 2016
    3:43pm
    Out of context once again.
    Gra
    30th Dec 2016
    11:35am
    Rainey as right as you are OG will never admit they are at fault. It is their way or no way.
    AussieTuca
    22nd Dec 2016
    10:48am
    Buy US dollars when the time is correct and... remember the old mattress trick? Yeah... it works... With the interests from banks so low, one will not lose much in the "mattress bank"...
    Paicey58
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:18am
    I like your thinking Aussie. I will probably use the mattress bank for part of my savings also. The OA pension is an entitlement and I'm going to make sure I get it. Not so much for the money side of things but more for the medical assistance and reduction on your bills.

    To those of you who still have a superannuation fund my suggestion would be to convert it into a self managed fund and earn up to 7% interest with shares that pay a dividend and are fully franked.
    I believe ( though I'm not a 100% sure, would have to check with Centrelink ) that you can earn up to $83000 a year before you loose the OA Pension benefits. Not forgetting that anything earned in a SMSF is tax free!!! And you do not have to pay capital gains tax on any property held in your SMSF.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:22am
    Better not to mention it as home burglary is on increase too.

    The newcomers need to start from "somewhere"...The 'Welcome to the country' payments are no longer enough for them.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:47am
    The mattress bank is a widely used strategy nowadays. There is very little reason or incentive to save under the current Australian LNP Socialist government. Everyone is treated and receives as little as possible EXCEPT for the politicians and their rich party-contributing cronies - just like Russia, comrades.
    Mindy
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:53am
    Yep, let's do anything to get a benefit to which we are not entitled.

    I hope that the Centrelink nazis are monitoring this site & stop all you bloodsucking freeloaders.
    Gee Whiz
    22nd Dec 2016
    1:54pm
    Spot on Aussie Tuca. The Banks give you nothing, charge fees for the experience, and the government taxes you on the miserly bit of interest you earn.

    Find a Building Society with a "lock box' facility. You will pay a small yearly fee and you money is safe.

    Tell the banks and the government to get stuffed.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:41pm
    I wonder how many OAPs have been robbed using their mattress bank but too scared to tell anyone as to do so not only have they lost the money but might open themselves up to a Centrelink debt as well.

    Don't you now have to sign a statement with the bank that you haven't put cash in your safe deposit box? Also the bank can't be held responsible for what in your safe deposit box because they don't know what's in it.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:50pm
    Cash under the mattress is a sure fire way to go broke when inflation returns to normal levels and heaven forbid return to the highs of the 1980s. Your cash will lose purchasing value in local currency terms.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:15pm
    Not only that but you have fires, weasels and burglars all looking for it.
    Rae
    22nd Dec 2016
    6:17pm
    And the bail in rules passed at the last G20 here mean your money isn't safe in the bank either. It is supposed to be government guaranteed but then those bail in rules might make all that tricky.

    Seems the only safe place is in a Cayman Is SIV.
    Hardworker
    22nd Dec 2016
    10:55am
    Well put and so true Kaye and very much the American model of help the rich get filthy rich and keep the rest of us as poor as possible. Those at the top of the chain have a very skewed view of the world (read narcissistic control freaks) yet they all profess to be good Christians or at least religious, especially the American ones. They have all lost the plot as far as I'm concerned. I'm glad I don't count myself in that category. Have a nice Xmas - if you can afford to! To this Athiest it's just nice to catch up with family and celebrate life.

    22nd Dec 2016
    11:20am
    It is only going to get worse.
    I can see a communist regime luring OUT THERE for us in the near future.
    I have escaped one 34 years ago and certainly am not looking forward to another one!
    This is so disappointing!
    I have worked my butts off all these year to be now restricted from living a comfortable retirement to which I am entitled to.
    DISGRACEFUL !
    Grateful
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:37am
    HKW. Nobody's stopping you from living a comfortable retirement that you are "entitled to" from YOUR savings, but, not from it being topped up from money needed by those who were not able to save as much as you have, and don't generalize, there are very very many of them.
    First thing they should ban is for superannuation funds to be invested in homes with massive taxation concessions on top of massive SMF concessions that have put young families out of the property market.
    The Billions saved there EVERY year would stop governments from cutting ANY pension benefits.
    Another example of the VERY rich being advantaged over the battler!!!
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    3:46pm
    Grateful,

    I haven't got much savings as I concentrated on paying off my mortgage. Starting rather later in life, for I arrived here from Europe as an adult and didn't waste my time going back to Uni to get the certification I had back home. Instead I pulled up the sleeves and got on with whatever work was available at the time. Therefore I wasn't paid big salaries, but normal wages.
    Still, I did work my butts off and feel entitled to my superannuation money to which I HAVE contributed on regular basis. IT'S MY MONEY, which I also have paid tax on. The government should take their hand off my SUPER !!
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    6:32pm
    Grateful, it's not about people wanting their income topped up from money from people less. It's about people who waste money being funded by the taxpayer and people who save being punished, so saving reduces and pension costs rise.

    I find it mindboggling that some people just can't see that that's DUMB.

    Restructure the system to recognize that assets do not necessarily = wealth, because age and future needs have an impact. Someone with $500,000 at age 90 is obviously a hell of a lot richer than someone with $500,000 at age 65 and no chance of earning. Someone with health issues is poorer with the same income and assets as a healthy person.

    For pity sake STOP taking the simplistic view our inept politicians have taken and start looking objectively at the wider picture. We need to encourage people to save for retirement if we want to reduce aged pension costs. Punishing savers will have the opposite effect and drive costs and the deficit UP.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Dec 2016
    6:45pm
    We also need people to spend their money on their retirement not the taxpayers money. If you are not spending your capital you simply don't need the top up OAP from the government.

    It has nothing to do with age or health or number of pets you have but if you are not spending your capital on your retirement then you are not being fair to the hard working tax payers.
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2016
    4:04pm
    What utter BS, OG. You are a fool. If you spend your capital prematurely, you cost the taxpayer MORE. It's the government that's being unfair to taxpayers, pushing the cost of pensions through the roof with IDIOTIC policies that increase poverty and hardship and drain the public purse to pay full pensions to people who went broke because a mean spirited government with no intelligence didn't give them a SMALL helping hand to preserve their savings for when they are genuinely needed.

    Only a THOROUGHLY STUPID BLIND LNP SUPPORTER would rant as you do OG. Nothing you say makes any logical sense. You are just mean and nasty and overflowing with envy.
    country lad
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:29am
    I do not agree with you for several reasons.
    Firstly long term (10 year) average returns for balanced managed funds are around 6.6 % which is double your 3.25% stated; and your whole argument is based on this 3.25% figure. A return of 6.6% would give a return of $35,772 which is $12,998 above the pension. Also if they spent some of their capital to top up their income/pension they will still live very comfortably for many many years. As or if their capital decreases, the pension will increase.
    Secondly the old age pension was once seen as an entitlement but today it should be viewed as a safety net. I do not believe that rich people should get the old age pension. The question and debate therefore is where is the cut off line. I am one who was entitled to a part pension under the old scheme but am not entitled to any pension under the new scheme. I would rather be in my shoes and have super to spend on my needs than be at the whim and mercy of the welfare system.
    Grateful
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:46am
    Well put Country lad. There is absolutely NO comparison between having your own savings to rely upon than even the maximum rate of age pension.
    Having to balance between paying the rent, pay the gas and electricity, fill up the petrol tank in the car, or going to have work done on your teeth, or buying medication, and completely forgetting any idea of holidays or going out for dinner. And this goes on EVERY fortnight if there is nothing else to fall back on and how many hundreds of thousands of Australians are in that position today and living under the poverty line??? TODAY, IN AUSTRALIA!!!!

    This could be a very generous country if the assets and income tests were modified to pay much less to those who DON'T need it and with the savings, to top up the less fortunate ones.
    Greg
    22nd Dec 2016
    12:23pm
    If you invest in a managed fund - not all people are comfortable with that so use term deposits....hence the 3.25%
    Grateful
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:02pm
    Dead right Greg. Ask those that had their super in "managed funds" during the GFC!!!!!
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:44pm
    I am less comfortable with a managed fund than term deposits. I'm not comfortable with term deposits because they lose money nearly every year after tax and inflation.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:58pm
    Analysis shows managed funds outperform fixed interest over the long term. For sure the GFC kicked a lot of people but to take what was left and put it into fixed interest simply locks in those losses. Compare the value of $1000 invested in bank interest since the GFC with the same amount invested in a managed fund. The better fund managers be invested across a basket of assets, including fixed interest, however this will experience ups and down years. The only time you want to be fully invested in fixed interest is when the end is nigh and your risk tolerance is nil.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:30pm
    I saw what happened with managed funds back in 1987 and I have never invested in them since. I buy direct investments instead. It takes more work but the returns are much better.

    I dread the day I get old and senile and someone else takes over and uses managed funds.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:44pm
    ditto OG, although I sold in 1986 as was transferred overseas - lucky move, no insight. Crashes are always blindingly obvious in hindsight and I lost most of my investments in the GFC thinking I can hold, it will bounce, but unfortunately did not before I had to realise losses. One reason I think people do not sell assets is that they are poor sellers ... I include myself among them. I now invest in companies that I can support and keep a proportion in cash. Lessons learned the hard way.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:49pm
    I'm not talking about the crash itself but what happened with managed funds. Most were valued once a week so if as soon as the crash hit you transferred from an equities trust to a cash trust you transferred out of your equity trust at the value before the crash. Same thing happened a few years later when the listed property sector crashed. Smart people moved from growth units into income units.

    This made the losses much worse for those people still in those trusts.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:03pm
    Country lad, your logic falls down when it is acknowledged that the return offered by the government for SPENDING your savings is 7.8% + benefits, indexed 6-monthly, and incurring none of the management costs, work and headaches of private investment and at present, less risk.

    Kaye is right. The government is sending the WRONG message and it will drive pension costs UP

    BTW. Many do not get anywhere near even 3.25%, let alone over 6%, and those whose yields are the least are those who were the most disadvantaged. The assets test favours the privileged who, due to education and opportunity, can earn higher returns. That's OPPOSITE of what the government claims to aim for and of what society expects from the pension system.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:54pm
    However if you want that 7.8% plus benefits you have so spend down your capital otherwise you don't get it. What happens to that 7.8% when the OAP accrues and is a debt against your estate? The person who worked that out simply didn't do their homework.

    The government is sending the right message in that people with substantial assets to most people should not be getting the OAP and has finally done something about it.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:24pm
    Only someone as inept and tunnel-visioned as our politicians would put that argument, OG. An intelligent person lobbies for a SENSIBLE reform that achieves the goal of reducing pension costs in a logical and constructive way.

    The government is sending the WRONG MESSASGE telling people it's better not to save. If they want to stop people who shouldn't be getting a pension from drawing one, they should restructure the system to achieve the goal WITHOUT discouraging responsible planning and saving and WITHOUT encouraging irresponsible habits and cheating.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:26pm
    OG, you are among those responsible for destroying what could be a great nation. For the sake of future generations, please SHUT UP and go educate yourself. We need a pension system overhaul. Stop endorsing wrong policy that is blowing the budget and support demands for SENSIBLE reform. You admit the system is full of holes. So stop defending it and demand it be fixed.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:47pm
    Message is right Rainey it is just that you don't like it.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:20pm
    Rainey, you are absolutely right in that the OAP needs reform, as do many other systems (think social security, welfare, superannuation, taxation, health, education etc.).

    Most people would agree these 2017 reforms are not entirely adequate but at least they are a start at putting more money in the pockets of those who truly need it by redirecting it from those who have less need for the support.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    6:53am
    No, Farside, they are a HUGE STEP BACKWARDS toward a less fair and less sustainable system, because they punish the behaviour that benefits society and reward irresponsible behaviour. You've been sold a pup with slick slogans that sound nice and fool many, but are LIES. The changes didn't put a SINGLE CENT in the pockets of those who are in genuine need. They boosted the incomes of those who have modest savings, at the expense of making saving more futile - which will drive pension costs through the roof and reduce the available pool to help the really needy. If you think they redirected money to those who truly need it, you are sadly misinformed - have swallowed politician's lies, and need education badly.
    Sam01
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:31am
    Like many people of retirement and pension age, I've done the right things through my life by saving hard, paying my own way, not using welfare, trying to be financially independent in retirement. But now I am ostracised and penalised for doing so. I still advocate people being responsible and paying their own way, but if I had my time over I would not be so focused in putting away for the future, rather I would do a lot more throughout my life and if I ended up relying on the pension then so be it. At today's term deposit rates of 2.5%, I would have to have $1,000,000 to earn $25,000, but if had nothing I could get the $25,000 pension. The governments (all flavours) are too weak to tackle real economic reform, rather they are all trying to get hold of retirees hard earned and hard saved nest eggs. People will obviously respond to the by saying 'why bother to save, lets enjoy it along the way', and the governments will then have a massive increase in the number of people on pensions and huge blowout of welfare costs. Such a short sighted grab for cash with massive social and economic consequences down stream for everyone.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:00pm
    yep. Why then do those most adversely affected by these prospects continue to vote for the status quo when it is within their collective means to organise and become a block of influence?
    Jtee
    22nd Dec 2016
    9:44pm
    Agreed Sam01.
    jen
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:42am
    Sorry but do not agree with the comments about the pension as I think that it is important to do what we can for our country and the more than generous payments provided until 2017 are unsustainable. Most people want what they can get for themselves and have the mentality that someone else can pay for it. Things have changed and there are many of us in the older age bracket being supported by the taxpayer. Yes of course there is waste in our society and that should be addressed/fixed and I agree with educating people to plan ahead but how many would initially listen and ignore then expect to be bailed out. I am not wealthy and live on a part pension and will be affected. I just do not know how you expect the system to keep on paying out. We live in a 'me' society - I want this and do not care who pays for it...pensioners obtain discounts on many items so give it a break and be more positive and concentrate on the good things.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:03pm
    yep. As Paul Keating said on more than once occasion, “In a two horse race always back self-interest because at least you know it's trying." Few people are motivated by the greater good if it is not within their best interest.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    6:44pm
    Jen, you've missed the point entirely. Of course a pension system that pays pensions to people who earn $80,000 a year is too generous. Of course a pension system that lets people buy a $3 million house and get a full pension is too generous. But one that slashes the income of someone who holds on to their savings responsibly but gives a rich reward to people who spend up big and put their hand out is UNSUSTAINABLE. The assets test change made pensions more expensive! It can't save money because it puts people in the position where they can't benefit from saving. And most people will stop saving when there's no benefit.

    You talk about a '''me'' society. Well, we are encouraging it. We say to Joe, who struggled to save for his old age, ''Well, Joe, now you have to drain your savings so we can give higher pensions to Fred and Jack who gambled and holidayed and partied and didn't save anything.'' Who is greedy? Not Joe. He just wants what is his. It's Fred and Jack who are greedy - spending up big and putting their hand out. But that's what the government is urging people to do by bashing savers.

    There are other ways to achieve the desired ends. The assets test change is DESTRUCTIVE.
    john
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:49am
    Back to the original question, WHY DO WE PUT THIS LIBERAL "KILL THE MIDDLE CLASS" PACK OF IDIOTS IN PARLIAMENT.
    Maybe its because the other half brains, the ALP, have no answer either.
    But I think Aussies are getting a bit tired of so called treasurers and stupid helpers , like Corman , kicking the heads of middle Australia , bit like middle America, change is coming.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:46pm
    Aussies are not tired of LNP or ALP, they still received the most votes and won the most seats in both houses of Parliament. Don't hold your breath waiting for change. It is a sure bet that Governments for the foreseeable future will comprise the major parties even if the coalitions change. Want to influence the future? then try to make your electorate marginal by voting independent.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:07pm
    John, read some of the comments here and you'll see how the LNP gets returned to power. Voters are just too dumb to understand what is happening - even when it's explained in plain simple English. They keep banging on with garbage about greed and telling people to use their capital, and completely miss the point that human psychology is such that people will do what benefits them. If the government is STUPID enough to give benefit to wasters and take from savers, there will be no saving. End of! Anyone with common sense ought to be able to see that. But as my gran used to say, ''The problem with common sense is that it just ain't common!"
    Blue Sky
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:52am
    People losing the pension will lose their Pensioner concession card but will get instead a Low income health care card and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card regardless of the means test. I agree that the changes being made are shortsighted and heartless. I retired last year on the understanding that I'd get a half pension. From January it will drop to $90 a week.
    Mindy
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:57am
    Wow, $90 per week of unearned taxpayer money. You should consider yourself lucky.
    jen
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:58am
    Cannot understand you not knowing about the changes as they were well announced over many months - is the problem yours for not being aware....?
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    12:00pm
    Welocome to the USSR.
    Sundays
    22nd Dec 2016
    2:13pm
    What's your story Mindy. The people losing some pension worked and paid taxes all their lives and still pay GST. They did not receive first home owner grants, baby bonuses, childcare rebates, family tax benefits to name a few. So you think our elderly should struggle, or is this just a post to get a reaction?
    grounded
    22nd Dec 2016
    2:39pm
    Totally agree with you 'Mindy'. An entitled, gimme, gimme mentality has taken hold of this country in the past thirty odd years.

    We need to hang our heads in shame....rather than lining up at Centrelink counters mouthing, 'gimme, gimme....it's my right'.

    Anyhow, it is not sustainable...and eventually the 'entitled' will be brought face to face with the sad reality of not having prepared and planned in their younger years...i.e. the tit will be milked totally dry....

    Some...a lot actually, just don't want a truthful REACTION.
    Eddy
    22nd Dec 2016
    3:26pm
    Mindy and Grounded, you obviously have swallowed all the right wing claptrap about pensions being 'unearned' welfare. You should go back and study the history of the OAP. The OAP was introduced about 1908 to replace various state aged persons support systems. At that time it was very clear that the 5 shillings a week payment was not welfare but an entitlement that was paid for by a separate levy. You might also learn that in the early 1950s the government of the day decided to 'acquire' the funds and pay the OAP out of consolidated revenue.
    I personally am unaffected by the changes, my superannuation, to which I contributed to since I turned 18, gave me an income just over the 'old' limit. I plan to go back to Centrelink but I suspect I may come in under the income test will get strung up on the assets test. Still nothing ventured, nothing gained but if I do qualify for a part pension I will not feel the slightest embarrassment as I paid my tax for it during my 51 working years.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    3:36pm
    Mindy and grounded, you both seem to have been hit with the "more righteous than thou" stick. You must be riding on your high horse through LaLa Land with the rest of the Turncoat Gang, robbing from the poor and giving to yourselves. Give us all a break from your LNP hypocrisy and ride into the horizon and over the edge, you flatearthers.
    Grateful
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:11pm
    O.K. Eddy. Let's go back to the services and infrastructure that the government provided from taxes in 1908, even 1950. Where the heck do you think all of those roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, armed forces, military equipment and infrastructure etc etc came from during those 51 years that you and everyone else paid tax?? Yes, from THOSE taxes.
    Eddy, you've received fantastic value for your taxes ALREADY, now you want others working and paying taxes today to let you double dip on government services and WELFARE payments???
    grounded
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:50pm
    @Eddy. Respectfully put...I am as up to speed with the full history of the Pension as yourself. Sustenance sums were paid by pre-Federation Colonies. Dole and aged pensions did not exist.

    1908 brought in the spirit of providing relief for the then desperately poor...and all that went with being so hopelessly destitute....given the Colonies as such no longer existed and the charities of that era could simply not cope....as much as they tried.

    Within a short while it evolved into a very meagre Dole like payment of six shillings a week, and 18 shillings Pension for those beyond 65.

    Passages of 20/30 years passed without any form of increases. Less than 40% of those eligible, availed themselves of what was regarded as a 'handout'. It actually carried a stigma with it.

    A strong work ethic, and a contributing belief in the new country were prevailing influences of that time.

    The Depression years saw this change....and from then on the OAP came squarely into focus....with those on the dole still being stigmatised....as little few as there were.

    Those times, and the spirit of those pensions, are a long way from a person I know who brought himself a $62,000 pleasure craft - boat, while in an ongoing tussle with Centrelink over a means - deeming test....or a relative of mine, who purchases a new luxury motor vehicle each 12/18 months - in her daughter's name and registration - while chortling because she paid taxes, she is 'entitled' to her part payment....which she never lets Centrelink forget.

    I paid taxes too Eddy....seven figures - year in and year out. I don't draw a Pension...nor ever would. I just don't feel "entitled"....as if this country is 'duty bound' to fund me...fully or partly in my retirement.

    This country gave me a wonderful life. I was glad to be able to pay those taxes. I do not begrudge an Old Age Pension to those who were not so fortunate...in fact believing it should be increased substantially.

    It's those in that grey area...whose main concern in life is whether they will eat cordon bleu or alfresco tonight, or take a yearly or two yearly boat cruise, that I have some difficulty coming to agreement with as they as they voice their claim for 'entitlement'....partly or otherwise.

    No Eddy, I am not suggesting you spend your life on a cruise liner....
    grounded
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:55pm
    @Fast Eddy....Respectfully FE....give over your LNP garbage. It's boring and tiring.

    I'm a dye in the wool One Nation supporter and voter. The only way to be FE.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:21pm
    You are both sorely out of touch, with compassion or common sense.
    The Phonse
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:59am
    The above article states pensioners under the 'cut of 'amount will lose their pension concession card ,thus loosing the utilities concessions . That's not correct is it?
    wheels
    22nd Dec 2016
    12:03pm
    Well, after being retired some time and on a part pension, I thought that all I had to deal with was a super fund/shares occasional debacle. Oh yes and daily unexpected results.
    So, to get to the result of this and in talking with family/friends I find that I'm losing $200 of my single pension per f/n down to an useless $72 but when my wife is eligible in 2 years I'll get another $72 !!
    My friend & wife who are both on the pension lose $300 f/n and my father in law has seen his pension cut when his wife died, so he sold his home to get cash but made the mistake(!) of having enough to support himself a bit and had $370k in the bank. They cut his pension !
    So, the other day we met up with him and he says that he is about to lose another $200 per f/n.
    It is definite that my vote is not going to the two major parties. One caused this and the other has dealt with the budget problems in the wrong way. I guess they know they're out....because they have nothing to lose or otherwise this is political suicide.
    jen
    22nd Dec 2016
    12:13pm
    But all of the changes mentioned mean that those people including yourself have adequate assets/income to live so do not understand why you are so bitter...when those assets/income reduce then entitlement will be restored...what about some balance here....again the 'me' society..
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:39pm
    It would not surprise me that your total income is a lot more than the OAP so I really can't see why you have a problem.

    Think of the person on the full OAP with no assets. Your minor inconvenience is a real disaster to them. Or the family just making ends meet with no assets where if anything goes wrong it's a financial disaster not just a minor inconvenience like it is to you.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:23pm
    Jen, you are WRONG. Just because people have assets does NOT mean they have enough to not need them down the track. Some of them anticipated huge health costs, home maintenance needs, and other expenses and saved to meet these. Some of them have to survive another 30 years on the meagre amount they have. In 30 years, what will today's $500,000 be worth? Honestly, people who swallow the government's propaganda are really tunnel visioned and dumb!

    The ''me'' society is a direct result of propping up the irresponsible and punishing those who work and save. There are ways to structure a pension system such that it doesn't deter responsible saving and planning, but it does avoid giving to people who don't need handouts. Base it on the higher or INCOME or DEEMED INCOME, and include the family home in the assets for deeming purposes, but keep the deeming rate relative to the lowest investment return rate. Those who achieve high returns have high incomes and don't get pensions. those who can't achieve high returns are helped a little to retain their savings for when they are needed and everyone has a strong incentive to be responsible, so pension costs fall.

    If you keep punishing those who save, people won't save and pension costs will rise. It's elementary, dear Watson!

    OG, you IDIOT. The reason people want to hold on to their savings is because they SAVED TO NOT BE BROKE WHEN A DISASTER HITS. If they are forced to spend their capital, they will be in precisely the situation of the people you refer to - no assets and facing financial disaster. Obviously that's what you want - to see more people hurting and desperate. It feeds the greed of the rich and privileged.
    Bella54
    22nd Dec 2016
    12:07pm
    This article totally reflects my thoughts. For years, as a single parent, I strived to support my two children, pay a mortgage and put some into savings. I was left a small inheritance which allowed me to pay off my mortgage which was definitely a blessing. Then tried to save hard for retirement and thought we would qualify for a small OA pension but we fall in the gap with the new changes. At least my husband, of pension age, was able to access the Commonwealth seniors health care card. That helps a bit.
    I count us lucky, we have our health, a loving family, food on the table and a roof over our heads.
    john
    22nd Dec 2016
    12:23pm
    After reading comments from all types on this forum I am realising why we get such hopeless people in government.
    You all have opinions with no capacity to look both ways, some of you consider pensions a bad thing and every one should look after themselves , some like me who has worked and paid taxes all my life I believe I am entitled to a pension of sorts , but I get nothing. You can call me names, or make silly comments like Mindy, but the fact is, we have incompetence inside our government , and we are the fault of that. Because lots of us see only our own position , and insult others, for people near pension or in the pension age group, there are some rather unthought out comments from people who should know better with experience of age. Any wonder we get what we deserve when we put fools in government, who have not had a hard day in their lives. And as I tried to say before, I put Bill the husband of the daughter of the ex GG in that category too.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:14pm
    Of course people think we get hopeless people in government when they stop handing out the lollies and start taking them back because they over did the handout.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:52pm
    No OG. People think we have hopeless morons in government when the government makes IDIOTIC policy that will drive pension costs up, taxes up, the deficit up, and create a society of irresponsible people who couldn't be bothered saving because there's no advantage in doing so.

    People think we have hopeless morons in government when they give generously to the RICH AND PRIVILEGED and take from the hard working LIFTERS who make the country work.

    People think we have hopeless morons in government when they pay themselves a king's ransom for stuffing up the economy, and then slash pensions to pay themselves fatter retirement benefits.
    whatsupdok
    22nd Dec 2016
    12:28pm
    Just love our one contributer who ads nothing but name calling and negative remarks to anyone who's getting any part of a pension as if it's coming out of her personal bank account.
    grounded
    22nd Dec 2016
    3:02pm
    You are definitely an honest man 'whatsupdok'...You call it as you see it......"as if it's coming out of her personal bank account".

    Of course we all know it is coming out of that big fat Jersey cow we know as the "Government"...so lets keep sucking and milking this fabulous fat Jersey Cow... until she is stone dry.
    Dancer
    22nd Dec 2016
    12:28pm
    I would much rather be financially independent than rely on the Age Pension. If I had money in the bank, even if it was only the $500,000 odd under the proposed new guidelines. By living on the interest of that plus drawing down some capital, I would live far better than solely on the Age Pension. Then when/if my capital dwindles I can then have a pension top-up and continue to live well. So I suggest those people who are complaining about this stop and think how well off they actually are. And I also suggest that those who consider it pointless to save and be independent also stop and consider how much better off they will be if they are self-funded. And before I hear criticism of this, may I also point out that I have friends/acquaintances who are self-funded (some with pension top-up) and they are much better off financially than I am solely living on the Age Pension. So please stop whinging and count your blessings... which incidentally I do on a daily basis because I have food, clothing, my own home and good health.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:14pm
    yep. It's worth repeating "By living on the interest of that plus drawing down some capital, I would live far better than solely on the Age Pension. Then when/if my capital dwindles I can then have a pension top-up and continue to live well.". Well said.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:24pm
    What I really can't understand is why people have such a welfare mentality that they want the OAP at any cost? So they arrange their affairs just to get it only to find that their cash flow is less than adequate for their lifestyle. Then the whinging starts.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:46pm
    OG, I think the answers lies in the psychology of believing there is an entitlement and it is pure avarice over someone else receiving a benefit they might not.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:15pm
    WRONG FARSIDE! The answer lies in a STUPID government punishing responsible endeavour and rewarding irresponsible BLUDGING and MILKING the system. People do what works. When the bludgers and the spendthrifts and the manipulators and the cheats get all the goodies and the responsible workers and savers get kicked in the teeth, people change their habits to be among those who get the goodies.

    If people like you stopped banging on with nasty accusations and started acknowledging the realities of life and demanding the stinking politicians start governing for the common good, we might improve the state of this pathetic nation.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:33pm
    Rainey, your avarice clouds your perceptions of reality. The politicians will govern for their constituencies, which in a democratic system is the "common good". Don't like it, then time to start looking for a benevolent dictatorship.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    5:20pm
    You would have to be VERY gullible to think politicians today govern for their constituencies, Farside. The democratic system has failed Australians. Nothing is done today by government for the ''common good''. And yes, I would prefer a benevolent dictatorship. I think it would be better than the current farcical pretend democracy. But what we really need - urgently - is to break the power of the major parties. The two-party system HAS TO GO. And so does the outrageous pay and benefits that lure the wrong people into politics.
    Farside
    23rd Dec 2016
    7:53pm
    Rainey, you would have to have your head in the sand if you thought politicians do not govern for their constituencies' quite simply when they don't they are unceremoniously chucked out. Each politician wants to be reelected and does what he or she can to ensure that outcome.

    The two party dominated system is a choice of those who stand for election and those who vote for them. The electorate has an opportunity to break this cycle every few years yet voters continue to reject it for the most part. Democracy is far from perfect but it is the best system we have come up with.

    Time for you to look for that benevolent dictatorship; perhaps Singapore or Jordan would be more to your liking so long as your views are shared by the dictator?
    wheels
    22nd Dec 2016
    12:29pm
    Those that think that people have adequate resources need to understand that if you had a sensible life and banked and ended up with such a huge amount cannot deliver an adequate pension. So,for example you ended up with $700000 which is great ....right ? But at bank interest of say 3% you get $21000 a year for both of you and a measly pension of about $3900. I would prefer the full pension and be allowed $375k. Thew system was supposed to be moving towards supporting yourself ....not the other way around. On top of all that try losing $16000 in 2 days in super/shares and tree cut downs of $12000 all in the last year. Oh yeh....I'm estatic.
    KSS
    22nd Dec 2016
    12:58pm
    And what about when the interest rate was 18%? Were you complaining then?

    The only 'real' or justifiable complaint is that the deeming rate on savings has not reduced along with the interest rates which means you are 'deemed' to be earning (far) more than you actually are and may well be reflected in a reduction of any pension.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:15pm
    yeah, what KSS said.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:21pm
    Yes, and the assets rate is 7.8%+++ against an investment return rate of 5% average (and much less for many). So why bother to save?

    Those who saved are going to be back on pensions in a few years with $375k in the bank, and in 30 years that will be worth sweet bugger all, and when they need to go into an aged care home the government will have to pay. The assets test change is going to grind more and more people down into hardship and cost the nation tons more in pension and aged care costs.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:52pm
    However to get that 7.8% you have to spend down a lot of your capital. No spend no cigar.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    8:06am
    That's right, OG, you have to spend it. But vast numbers of people have to spend it anyway, because you can't live on the income from it - so the choice is to spend it fast having a benefit for yourself, or spend it slowly GIFTING THE BENEFIT TO OTHERS.

    I know what the majority will choose.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Dec 2016
    5:56pm
    Interesting as I can't see the habits of a lifetime being changed myself just to get welfare.
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2016
    4:08pm
    I can see good people being ground into poverty by STUPID DESTRUCTIVE POLICIES. If the government - and pigs like you - want to DESTROY the middle and upper working class, they are going the right way about it. But these people are the backbone of the economy, and without them the economy and society will collapse. It's happened before and it will again. Some people are just so SICK and DISGUSTING that they endorse that kind of destruction because it delivers personal gain to the greedy rich.
    gerry
    22nd Dec 2016
    12:58pm
    I lived in Philippines for a time and there are 100s of thousands of old blokes living well off of Centrelink and until now have always come back for medical attention ,bad back is the best one doctors are afraid to say no, One fella in Redcliffe has had a 2 bed housing commission for 20 yrs ,I know because he wanted me to rent it at 200$ a week, He has a beautiful house on the beach at Bohol .When in Australia his walking stick is in his right hand and sometimes his left when he forgets
    A family came fro Serbia ,she got RSI and he hurt his back,they have cleaned offices at the weekends and the son on the dole runs an icecream van at the weekends,They live in a fantastic house in Woolawin .I am amazed at how many people go on cruises and club lunches a la Centrelink
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:17pm
    If what they are doing is illegal then dob 'em in. It helps nobody by turning a blind eye to fraud.
    dougie
    22nd Dec 2016
    1:52pm
    I worked and I saved because I had and have pride in myself and what I achieved and continue in a lesser degree to achieve. I am proud of my independence and what it gives me.

    As for Centrelink I have never found them anything but cooperative and willing to help me but then again I treat the staff with politeness and respect and do not consider myself superior to them nor do I behave in a cowardly way and call them names and issue abuse when they cannot answer back.

    They have a job to do but to do it they must deal with a lot of people that many of us would find difficult.

    Have a little pride in yourselves, it is not obscene to do so.
    Sundays
    22nd Dec 2016
    2:08pm
    Changing the Asset test is a disincentive to save. It also makes people over invest in housing as your home is excluded from the asset test. Worse was to also change the taper rate but not the deeming rates. The government did not change the income threshold, so pensioners being assessed under the income rules can still earn around $76k before their pension is cut. Anomalies everywhere and the whole system needs an overhaul.
    Eddy
    22nd Dec 2016
    3:49pm
    Having the 'home' as exempt from the assets test can be rorted. I know of a retired couple who, when they picked up their super lump sum, sold their existing house and invested in a luxury house on a very large allotment (probably about 2 acres), 5 bedrooms (most with en-suite), triple garage, indoor swimming pool and tennis court. . Value probably in excess of $2M yet they get the full OAP. Their adult children help with council rates, insurance etc. They call it 'estate planning', so they live on OAP and when they do pass away their children will have a valuable asset to sell.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:19pm
    It doesn't take much imagination to realise they are now looking at ways to close this housing loop hole. Various figures are being circulated as to over what value the house should be included in the assets test.

    Honestly people are the own worse enemy when they do things like this.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:23pm
    Eddy, a good example why the primary place of residence should be capped at $200,000 (the difference between homeowners and non homeowners in the 2017 pension assets test)
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:33pm
    I've heard figures of $1 million and $2 million being considered.

    It would not surprise me that they started with $2 million just to get it in and then they can change it very easily.

    I can also see the OAP becoming a debt to one's estate too.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:52pm
    I have heard the million dollar figure as well and given this is higher than median in all cities should be acceptable to all sides. For consistency the same figure should be reflected in the assets tests assessments for homeowners and non-homeowners, which would really set the foxes among the chickens in the great property grab. First home buyers would love it.

    I agree re OAP being a debt to one's estate. In fact I think there is a good argument for all social security, welfare and any other non-tax related government receipts should also be a debt to one's estate.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:13pm
    Farside, capping the value of the family home at $200,000 would plunge tens of thousands into abject poverty, forcing most homeowner retirees out of their home and into rented accommodation. That is the STUPIDEST suggestion I've ever read. Have you no idea what a house costs these days? Even in a country town averages are well over $400,000.
    Farside
    23rd Dec 2016
    12:26am
    Rainey, the value of the family home is already treated as $200,000 in the current assets test - do the math before you feign outrage. No doubt $200k is low but it is what it is.

    "If you are a single homeowner, you can own $250,000 in assessable assets before you start losing the pension. If you are a single non-homeowner the threshold is $450,000.

    A couple who owns a home is allowed $375,000 before they start losing the pension, while a couple without a home can have $575,000.

    In other words, whether you're single or part of a couple, home ownership is valued at $200,000 in the new pension assets test."

    http://www.smh.com.au/money/planning/the-truth-about-home-ownership-and-the-age-pension-20160909-grd5pz.html

    You also ask "Have you no idea what a house costs these days? Even in a country town averages are well over $400,000."

    Well the answer to that is yes. Having just sold my own house and been involved with four property sales in three states as well as Council valuations in two states, I have a very good sense of property values across the country. Do yourself a favour and read the preceding post before getting your dander up. Maybe look up definition for median and it will be clearer to you.

    You have no idea whether "tens of thousands into abject poverty, forcing most homeowner retirees out of their home and into rented accommodation"; this is just more uninformed hyperbole on your part, but I'm getting used to that after reading your posts.

    The national median value outside the state capitals at Sept 2016 was $370,000. Even Hobart was $306,000. Take away the medians for the fifteen largest cities and that rest of country value is going to drop significantly.

    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/house-prices-jumped-again-in-sydney-and-melbourne-during-august-2016-9

    You also have no idea how capping might be implemented in the means tests and the safeguards to reduce unintended consequences but it might not be as dire or difficult as you think. I suggest it highly unlikely tens of thousands would be forced to sell and rent however the market would cope. The buyers would relinquish rents and investors would be desperate for tenants. So the world turns.

    So take a bex, make a cup of tea and have a good lie down, the world will look much less gloomy and frightening in the morning.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    6:57am
    Farside, the world is gloomy because politicians are STUPID MORONS making policy that is destroying the economy, and sadly dim-witted voters are swallowing their lies and supported IDIOTIC policies that wreck society.

    But keep on endorsing BS. When the pension costs go through the roof and poverty among the aged rises dramatically, you might wake up to the COMMON SENSE premise that DISCOURAGING SAVING IS STUPID.

    A smart government encourages behaviour that benefits society - i.e. responsible planning and saving for old age. It DOES NOT punish those who save and reward those who spend. And that's what this TOTALLY IDIOTIC TAPER RATE CHANGE DOES.
    Farside
    23rd Dec 2016
    8:40am
    Rainey, if politicians are the stupid morons, then what does that tell you about thosee who elect and enable them. People get the governments they deserve.
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2016
    4:15pm
    Not in this country they don't Farside. We DO NOT live in a democracy.
    Carrot
    22nd Dec 2016
    2:10pm
    My son gave up work to care for me when I became ill. He has applied for a carer payment, but has heard nothing from Centrelink, and has been living off savings. I worry that, because he was honest and declared his assets, he'll have to be broke before he gets assistance.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:25pm
    Carrot, if you have assets then you should talk to an accredited financial planner as there are ways you can assist your son.
    KB
    22nd Dec 2016
    2:17pm
    Better to save as much as possible and not rely on any pensions unless you have to and run out of money to pay bills. The time will come when people will have to pay for medical expenses which the current Liberals are expecting people to do. As people become older there will be medical issues.
    MICK
    22nd Dec 2016
    2:50pm
    The retirement system is a dog's breakfast. Some income is counted whilst other is not. Ridiculous as income is income is income. End of story.
    The problem with the superannuation system over the past 20 years is that it was set up to benefit the top end of town who have milked it to death. Now average retirees are being set on by a greedy government sending money to multinationals and the top end of town.
    I regret having worked so hard, going without what was considered the norm, living like a church mouse and trying to prepare for retirement and not be a burden on my fellow countrymen. I should have followed suite and had a better life and now have the hand out. I shouldn't complain though as our past lifestyle has taught us to be survivors and now we benefit despite earning around the same money as the pension.
    The option is to have a heck of a time and then be a burden. I don't think so.
    Travellersjoy
    22nd Dec 2016
    3:01pm
    Too many people want to live on the income from super and keep the capital intact - at tax payers' expense - to leave to their children.

    Less wealthy superannuants honestly use their super to fund retirement and gradually spend down the capital.

    If you expect to get the pension so you don't spend down the capital, you should be ashamed of yourself. If you are crying tears in your beer because you might have to spend your capital down to fund your retirement, I think you are a hypocrit.

    Tax payers should not be paying through the pension system so your kids can inherit big.
    WTF
    22nd Dec 2016
    3:34pm
    I agree with you Traveller. My retirement plan involves spending on my current home to maximise sale price for when we downsize. Those proceeds (after mortgage) coupled with super accumulated will fund my retirement (hopefully). A part pension whilst a bonus (and most welcomed) will be a small component. I'm not afraid to spend in retirement what has been accumulated to fund what will be a modest retirement. We've invested in our kids as well with a good education and upbringing giving them the best start we can. Whatever is left when we depart this earth may at best give them a little boost along their way through life.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:49pm
    Centrelink's statistics would show that people are not spending down their capital so you can't blame the government for coming to the conclusion that people don't need the OAP. Since it's not needed then why give it to them? Hence the changes to the assets test in 2017.

    After all you saved for your retirement so retirement is when you should spend your savings.

    So OAPs are in fact their own worst enemy.
    Farside
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:33pm
    yep, what Travellers, WTF and OG said. Providing for retirement is about spending the amount provided during retirement ... seems a simple enough concept to grasp yet is not widely understood.

    I have just sold current home to buy another property for 2/3 the value, putting a lump into my wife's super so she will reach the max to qualify for a part pension at retirement and leave a little to keep a decent lifestyle.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:09pm
    Another one missing the point, Travellers Joy. It's not about what people do or don't do. It's about the message the STUPID GOVERNMENT is sending. People will do what benefits them. That's a given. If an IDIOTIC government rewards irresponsible behaviour and punishes sensible saving, saving will reduce and pension costs will rise.

    There are sensible ways to address the cost of the pension system but the the assets test change WILL DRIVE PENSION COSTS UP.
    Snowflake
    22nd Dec 2016
    3:54pm
    Lots of self righteous people coming out of the woodwork today.
    The pension is an entitlement for paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to useless governments in taxes. Maybe we don't need 50 billion dollars worth of submarines. Or billions on new war planes. Or handouts to banks and multinationals, or 20 million to a film company so they will film on the Gold Coast. And the waste goes on and on and on. And who shall suffer the sins of the governmen? Pensioners. Easy targets and in my opinion any politician who voted these changes should be ashamed.
    In a nutshell, get very little pension and use your meagre savings to live on and then when they are all gone you get the pension but don't expect to afford a dentist or repair your car or replace the fridge when it blows. No, just be content with your lot until you die.
    Not this bunny, I have already set in motion a legal way to obtain the full pension and don't give a flying fig, is that the right word, what you righteous, smug people think.
    Grateful
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:16pm
    "bunny" Snowflake?? I could think of a more appropriate word!!!
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:37pm
    The OAP is welfare not an entitlement.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:27pm
    Good for you, Snowflake. Sadly, vast numbers will do the same and pension costs will skyrocket, but that's what this IDIOTIC GOVERNMENT and their IDIOTIC SUPPORTERS want, apparently! They won't be happy until they bankrupt the nation.
    KSS
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:36pm
    If you paid "hundreds of thousands in tax" you were on a good wicket and don't need the pension!
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:00pm
    Oh, I agree, KSS. But it's NOT about need, is it? It's about what people do in response to IDIOTIC GOVERNMENT POLICIES that motivate them to behave in particular ways. One would expect, given the king's ransom we pay politicians, that they would have enough brains to figure out human psychology and do basic math. If they did, they would see that their policy is going to REDUCE SAVING and impose higher pension costs.
    PAYEdmydues
    22nd Dec 2016
    3:56pm
    Unhelpful comments Roby.
    No need to insult the vast majority of pensioners who deserve a fair go at the end of their working life.
    Chrissy L
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:24pm
    I fully agree with Kaye. It now seems pointless saving for your retirement as you only lose it in you part pension. I downsized my home 1 year ago, all my careful retirement planning has gone out of the window and I am now financially worse off because of the changes. If I had known this Pension change was coming, I would have made very different choices and decisions. I would now be living in a MacMansion, had a couple of World Cruises under my belt to remember and be receiving a full or nearly full Aged Pension.

    This is the result of being honest, hardworking, frugal, and trying to do the right thing to save for my modest retirement to no avail. It is no wonder people are losing trust in our Democracy! Watch this space...Change is coming. I don't think Aged Pensioners will ever forget this one in a hurry. No Malcolm Turnbull, "This is not the best time to be an Australian", not when you are an Elderly One! I don't think it is by co-incidence that this has hit during the "Media Holiday." We haven't all got Dementia just yet! The Baby Boomers and the Older generation will speak with great gusto at the next Election, I am sure.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:36pm
    The changes went through parliament 18 months ago so if you only made the changes a year ago whoever advised you certainly didn't act in your best interests and possibly has been negligent in doing so.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:26pm
    Ignore OG, Chrissy L. You are right and he is an arrogant and rude fool.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:24pm
    "Next month’s changes to the Age Pension asset test mean the cuts are being made in the wrong way, to the wrong people. This is no way to encourage Australians to save for their retirement. Quite the reverse, in fact. "

    I disagree completely with this statement.

    The people affected by these changes don't need the OAP but it is nice to have.

    Not many ordinary people can't save enough to be financially independent in retirement. Most of the people who just scaped in under the current asset test have used whatever loop hole they could just to get some pension plus all the benefits. They are wealthy people not some down and out people who have scrimped and saved all their lives.

    The changes are being made to the right people and they are well overdue.

    Let's hope they soon legislate that only those on the full pension get the benefits as this would stop people organising their affairs just to get he benefits.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:24pm
    You are too dumb to see the obvious effect of the changes, so go away and keep your mouth shut and let intelligent people point out the government's error, so that we IMPROVE the system instead of wrecking the country.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    9:04pm
    No Rainey I have been telling everyone what is really going on and not to take any notice of those crocodile tears of any pensioner affected by the changes. When most realise how much these people have they are in disbelief that they are getting the OAP.
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    9:39am
    You mean when YOUR LIES are believed OG. You have no clue what's really going on, because you are too arrogant and pig-headed to consider that maybe you don't know EVERYTHING about people you don't know ANYTHING about..

    But the bottom line is that it has NOTHING WHATEVER TO DO WITH HOW MUCH PEOPLE HAVE OR DON'T HAVE.

    It's about what people WILL DO in response to STUPID DESTRUCTIVE government policy that rewards irresponsible living. Sad that you are too stupid to get that, but envy and narcissism do addle the brain.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    7:23pm
    Astonishing how some disgustingly nasty people can go on and on about ''greed''', when it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ISSUE..

    The issue is RISING TAXES to pay for RISING PENSIONS when STUPID POLICY that punishes saving forces more people to draw bigger pensions because saving doesn't pay.

    Only STUPID BRAINLESS BIGOTS carry on about greed and who they THINK has what in retirement.

    It's about the taxpayer and the budget! It's about the way pension costs are going to soar because IDIOTS can't see that killing saving is dumb.
    Chrissy L
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:35pm
    A big Thank You to all the team at "Your Life Choices" it is great to have a site and a forum where Seniors can vent their feelings at the injustices of this Government. Sorry can't find any Bouquets!
    Wishing all Debbie and all the Team a Happy Christmas and hopefully a much fairer 2017 for us oldies! Keep up the good work!
    les
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:47pm
    Thanks to good financial advice I do get a part pension and do occasionally have to go into centrelink offices, but with regards to the comments about going into centrelink offices and the people in the queue, well yes they generally don't fit my social profile, Well,that's life! But! the quality of service that I've received has always been first class and what I have observed the training and manner of the staff is GREAT! Always thank them. It pays.
    Red
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:53pm
    Reading with interest. Someone (above) asked whether a PCC (Pension Concession Card) will be cancelled (taken away) if the part pension received is reduced to $0. Yes. Confirm w~ C'link of course. Having a PCC issued is reliant on receiving at least $1.00 of pension.
    I was getting $22.60/Fn part pension at the end of last year. I was still earning part-time amounts (and paying tax), per C'link rules. Soon after 1.1.2016 C'link stopped the payments (without notifying me at this happened or why). I went checking. C'link (phone) responder said "On 1.1.16 C'link changed its rules regarding how it 'looked' at my wife's pension (prev. a NSW public servant), and would be cutting out my pension that I had been 'enjoying' for 7 months. C'link assumed I was still living with my wife - and that she was sharing her pension !. The reason given was (words like), "We no longer give an allowance against that pension of 25%, we now only give an allowance of 10% - due to a change in our rules". I didn't care about the money... I went through all the application (confessing to all money & assets owned), just to get assistance with the electricity & car rego discounts - which is afforded to PCC holders. I work as a volunteer 2-3 days a week for an organisation which helps reduce costs which otherwise would be paid by Qld gov't. No points w~ C'link on that! C'link would not advise where to look up 'rules for (governing) Centrelink'. Centrelink 'rules' should be accessible (advertised). I found the C'link people, in all comms. to be very helpful - though unable to explain well (down to my level), the 'rules' and certainly not the reasons of/for changes.
    I'm one of those who (was lucky enough to be able to... ) work hard and long and pay taxes (quite a lot !). I'm also a person who keeps promises. I would love our governments to honour promises made in past years. Allowing new rules to accommodate previous promises and apply ONLY from the new rule date, should be the way gov. business is conducted. Ed.
    Chrissy L
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:54pm
    OG please do not respond to comments on my blogs, as far as I am concerned you are "Persona Non Grata" and do not deserve a response! I only respond to people with a degree of intelligence and honest, moral thinking.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:07pm
    I have more than enough intelligence and honest, moral thinking to realise that the government has made a good move with the 2017 change in the assets test.

    Unfortunately no verbal abusing me will bring back the old asset test. So the party is over thank goodness and now come 2017 there will be new rules. So you will have to accept them and start spending down your capital instead of asking us taxpayers to fund your lifestyle.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:15pm
    Keep fooling yourself, OG. You are too stupid to know how stupid you are.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:20pm
    Interesting Rainey in that I'm a fully self funded retiree who is still not stupid enough to pay the game of rearranging assets so that I can get the OAP at any cost.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:28pm
    You are not ''self-funded'' OG. You are TAXPAYER FUNDED. To a far higher degree than any pensioner. You rorted the system for years, using taxpayer-funded resources to build personal wealth and NOT paying your dues (because anyone who did doesn't have your vile attitude!)
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:29pm
    And anyone can arrange their assets to not get the OAP IF they have enough assets - which is precisely the point of objection to the changed assets test. It bashes people who DON'T have enough assets to be self-supporting, punishing them for trying.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:53pm
    But why would you Rainey? It was be being very stupid to earn less just for the status of it.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    9:51pm
    You really are a dense moron, aren't you OG? They rearrange their assets because THEIR INCOME HAS BEEN SMASHED TO TOO LITTLE TO LIVE ON, dickwit! Nobody is earning less just for the status. They are struggling to find ways to earn enough to get by and FORCED by STUPID DESTRUCTIVE GOVERNMENT POLICIES to manipulate to achieve that.
    phantom
    22nd Dec 2016
    4:57pm
    Paying taxes has nothing to do with saving for retirement. All your taxes just pay for the "dolies" and other benefiters. Putting money into your super, investments or property saves money for retirement. I never had any savings till I was 40 and had to bust my butt when I realised I was going to be eating Pal and making home brew. I put as much as I could in super, bought property and shares. I held down other jobs, stacking shelves at 2 woolies, pizza driver at 2 shops, mister whippy truck owner. I've just retired and I'm happy with what I've got. Not rich, no benefits but satisfied.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:10pm
    Awesome I wish more people would think like you Phantom instead of thinking it is their right for the taxpayers to fund their lifestyle.
    Retired Knowall
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:23pm
    Australia needs more people like you....well done.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    6:40pm
    Australia would have more like Phantom if the government structured the pension system sensibly. Most would be happy if they could manage to salt away enough to be secure for the rest of their days. But many can't - no matter how hard they try. And what leaves a sour taste is that many saved enough to be self-sufficient if interest rates hadn't crashed through the floor. Now they are being persecuted and insulted by arrogant people who were more privileged - and denied the benefit of the savings they accrued, just because they fell a little short of what was needed to survive an economic downturn.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    6:40pm
    Australia would have more like Phantom if the government structured the pension system sensibly. Most would be happy if they could manage to salt away enough to be secure for the rest of their days. But many can't - no matter how hard they try. And what leaves a sour taste is that many saved enough to be self-sufficient if interest rates hadn't crashed through the floor. Now they are being persecuted and insulted by arrogant people who were more privileged - and denied the benefit of the savings they accrued, just because they fell a little short of what was needed to survive an economic downturn.
    gravy
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:27pm
    What a crude, biased, low brow, uneducated in real life, high minded, seemingly political pawn answer to say that "All your taxes just pay for the "dolies" and other benefiters".

    Great that you could do it. Well not really, you sucked off the Taxpayers by investing in Super which receives tax concessions so you used some of my Tax money to fund your lifestyle. You used property to fund your lifestyle so receive some of my tax money (by using the property costs as deductions you paid less tax so cost the tax system money) and when you sell or sold you used the tax concessions on Capital Gains to reduce your tax payments. You used investments so benefited from tax money as you used Capital Gains measures to reduce tax costs and probably used Franked Shares (a tax perk) if you invested in shares. You drove or walked or used public transport to get to your work places, to go on holidays, to go out for recreation so you used some of my Tax money (my Taxes put into infrastructure). You use MediCare to fund or partially fund your health costs so you leach off other peoples and my taxes and even if you have private health cover the system you are in still uses MediCare to partially fund your Private costs. You benefit from Law Enforcement, Fire and Rescue, Courts and any number of other services provided by Governments Local, State, or Federal which are all funded by taxes, including GST, paid by everyone but Big Business and the very rich who pay nil tax and who don't even pay GST because they use the perks provided by power and political bedfellows to recover the cost of even their GST.

    So you are one of those "benefiters"

    And Old Geezer, Mindy and others who always seem to say that they pay for their own lifestyles who do you think help fund your lifestyle certainly not only you that is for sure. If you say it is just you then you are blind to reality.

    I would also refer you all to the Opposition (non Labor) commending the 1908 Act "… 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”.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:56pm
    Spot on, gravy. The well-to-do claim a thousand times more benefit from the public purse than any pensioner. Goodness, just the superannuation tax concessions for most who end up ''self-funded'' (not!) retirees add up to more than most pensioners will ever receive from the public purse.

    These arrogant self-opinionated LEANERS insult the LIFTERS of this nation with LIES. The well-off are the leaches in this country.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:30pm
    With little super there has been very little in the way of super tax concession for me. I have paid more tax than most people over my lifetime and still pay tax every year instead of draining the public purse. This leach never got as much as a smell.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:32pm
    If you earn enough in retirement to pay tax, you are a MASSIVE LEACH who raided the public purse and is still doing so - never paying a tiny fraction of your dues.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:49pm
    Yes I pay tax in retirement simply because I still run a profitable business. Remember business owners are the backbone of this country.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    8:18am
    Business owners consume massive public resources - and they DO NOT PAY FOR THEM. There are far too many loopholes for profitable businesses to evade tax. I admire and sympathize with struggling business owners, but those who do well are LEACHES. They use far more public resources than they pay for.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Dec 2016
    10:48am
    Envious of those that do well in our society too. We certainly need a lot more of them to pay the ever increasing welfare bill.
    Anonymous
    25th Dec 2016
    7:42pm
    I agree, but we'll have a lot LESS with a STUPID government and fools like you bashing the triers who work hard and save as well as they can, but can't quite make it to wealthy status. If people are punished for saving, there will be more on welfare and far fewer paying taxes. Amazing that some MORONS don't get that. But then, we all know narcissism addles the brain.
    Manne
    22nd Dec 2016
    5:55pm
    Thank you , Kaye and the rest of the team. A well informed article. I am very dissapointed at some of the rude and ill informed comments I have read though.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    6:35pm
    I agree, Manne.

    I'm disappointed at the inability of some respondents to understand plain simple economics.

    No wonder the nation is in a mess with so many who can't grasp a simple concept that punishing savers will reduce saving and increase the cost of pensions - the exact opposite impact of what the government claimed to be aiming for.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    6:57pm
    Kaye, I really hope you are putting this message to politicians and telling them to wake up and reverse their damaging policy and work on one that will help reduce pension costs and make the system fairer (if there is anyone among those overpaid incompetents who has enough brains to actually think through the consequences of their thought bubbles!)
    Supernan
    22nd Dec 2016
    6:03pm
    Some one said why would you hold on to assets ! We retired at 72/71 ! We both still work a little which supplements our part pension. Now both 74 & finding it harder & harder to work. So when we stop, we will need our assets to cover costs of keeping our rates paid, and pay for our chronic disease Specialists, while we survive.

    Or if one of us dies, down to one part pension. Then need money to maintain & live in house till it sells, & medical costs !

    We counldn't afford super - just as we paid off house & could afford it, we had to pay super for our staff in our small business.

    Our assets are from the sale of our business - sold at half price due to GFC - why is it not treated as Super ?

    Why are we on a part pension ? Who expected Gov to drop interest rates to drop so so low. Or the GFC ? Or Staff Super 2/3rd of way through our wworking life. So much for planning ahead !

    22nd Dec 2016
    6:37pm
    I wrote precisely this message to Scott Morrison and Joe Hockey. Neither had either the intelligence or the courtesy to offer a reasonable response. I've now sent the message to Turnbull. We'll see how intelligent and courteous he is. The problem is that they can't justify the policy. They KNOW it's wrong. They peddle slick dishonest garbage claims to pretend they are trying to do something good, but they KNOW they are lying. And intelligent Australians are onto them. Sad that there are so many here who can't figure it out.
    Chrissy L
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:51pm
    As usual on this site Rainey and his fellow thinkers are the sane voice on this site. What will it take for the rest of you to wise up?
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:24pm
    The rest of us know that the government has made a good move and are applauding then for doing so. We can't wait for the next move in the right direction.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:30pm
    No, those who think the government did good are blind arrogant fools who can't understand basic math, economics and psychology - OR they are greedy, selfish pigs who want the country to go downhill for their personal gain.
    Farside
    23rd Dec 2016
    12:42am
    Rainey, I think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Chill.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    10:08pm
    No, Farside. I will continue to lobby for positive change that will benefit society, instead of STUPID DESTRUCTIVE policies that only IDIOTS and blind gullible brainless LNP supporters endorse.

    This nation needs people with the intelligence to dissect policies and see what the consequences will be of implementing them, and committed enough to stand up and shout warnings and demand sensible change.
    Chrissy L
    22nd Dec 2016
    7:55pm
    P.S. Rainey, I have written to Malcolm Turnbull, Richard Di-Natale (who supported this legislation) for an explanation to this injustice in the change of pensions. I also wrote to the ALP who were the only party to respond. Why does that not surprise you? Don't hold your breath for any change of heart from this insensitive government to older people.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:23pm
    I always get replies to my emails and occasionally get a phone call asking for more information from all parties.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:37pm
    OMG! No wonder the country is stuffed. The people in power are listening to arrogant, self-opinionated DUNCES who want to destroy the nation.
    Farside
    23rd Dec 2016
    12:48am
    Rainey, what country are you talking about? Who wants to destroy the nation? Since when is listening a bad thing; you should try it sometime. Who knows it might expand your horizons and you can be a little less frightened.

    Australia has comparatively few problems, and those it does have are mostly first world issues. It is internationally ranked in top ten for most quality of life indices yet you think it is stuffed; get a grip.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    8:00am
    Farside, Australia has the almost meanest aged system in the world - worse than most third world nations. The ''quality of life'' is only high for some. And we have skyrocketing debt, threats of further economic decline, and a general lack of confidence in democracy.

    Get a grip! Governments should do what's good for the society - not what suits the greedy selfish privileged power brokers. And lying is sinful. They've obviously conned you to believe their lies about the taper rate change helping the most needy - when in fact it gives those with no assets ZERO NADA NIL NOTHING!

    OG wants to destroy the nation. He's made it very clear in his rantings that he wants to wipe out responsible hard-working savers and condemn them to the same hardship suffered by those who were irresponsible and didn't work hard. He wants to condemn those who encounter genuine hardship to a subsistence income and no self-respect. He wants to blow the budget completely by ensuring there are no incentives at all to work, save, invest, or buy a home. He wants to condemn the next generation to misery paying off huge debt and inheriting nothing because their parents were forced to spend it all to feed themselves - all so the rich can have bigger and bigger cuts to the pathetically tiny amount of taxes they are paying now! And he wants to cancel Christmas!
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    8:22am
    BTW. Farside, I do listen. I read all the posts. And you and OG and a few others who support the taper rate change evidence being totally misinformed, having the wrong priorities, and having no reasonable understanding of reality. You don't rely on facts and you haven't thought the issue through logically. So I will continue to present the FACT and the RATIONAL ARGUMENT, because we need to convince the government to do what is good for society - and what is good for society is to NOT DESTROY THE INCENTIVE TO SAVE.
    Farside
    23rd Dec 2016
    8:52am
    Rainey, the taper rate does not affect the most needy. It simply is simply a mechanism to enable more funds to be directed to those who need it from those who have less need for it.

    What more funds you say to those with no assets "ZERO NADA NIL NOTHING!"; more funds than would otherwise be available if the trend towards middle class welfare continued. Everyone needs to live according to their means and if reliance upon an age pension is the only option then so be it. I would prefer to live in a society where that amount provided to the most needy was in line with what we as a society could sustainably provide.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Dec 2016
    6:03pm
    Well said Farside. The current asset test is grossly unfair in that too much goes to those who don't need it but is nice to have. They save the money they put aside for retirement instead of spending it on their retirement. Better to give it to those who need it or to pay back some of that big government debt instead.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    10:05pm
    I can't believe anyone can be so THICK AND IGNORANT. The government has admitted openly that the taper rate change gave NOTHING NIL NADA ZILCH ZERO to anyone who hasn't considerable savings. It merely shifted the lower threshold up and the upper down.

    There are NO MORE FUNDS available for welfare, because the taper rate forces people to save less and claim higher pensions, so there is LESS for the genuinely needy and a HIGHER burden on the taxpayer.

    Sad that you gullible fools believe propaganda and haven't the intelligence to understand what is real. When the debt blows out further, no doubt you'll still believe the BS the LNP peddles blaming a past government. Poor stupid fools!
    LiveItUp
    24th Dec 2016
    10:39am
    It is so easy to pick the wealthy OAPs when I towing my caravan around. They are the ones who don't take thier time and try cram too much into each day and night. Worse still they must have their TV every night and annoy everyone with their noisy generators. The poor ones have a tight budget and only move 50-100 klms evry few days ane build themselves a nice camp fire and enjoy the company of others.
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    8:16pm
    It's easy to pick the stupid arrogant self-opinionated posters who can't reason, debate intelligently, or understand simple logic. They are the ones who keep posting irrelevant CRAP based on wild, unsubstantiated ASSUMPTIONS about people they know nothing at all about.

    FYI Bonny - a lot of the wealthy OAPs have solar, not generators. Plenty of poor OAPs travel long distances each day to get where they are going quickly. And I found most of the poor ones DON'T join in around the campfire, because they feel out of place in the company of people who are a little more affluent than they are.
    LiveItUp
    29th Dec 2016
    8:52am
    Yes I have solar and a generator so I can stay where I like and not need power. I actually get along better with poor nomads and like to swap ideas about how to save money. Remember that genuine wealthy people act like poor people and it's only the ones that think they are wealthy that try to show it. I call them would bes if could bes. I can pick them out a mile off.

    Yes I agree it us easy to pick posters who have no idea about economics and people. I get a good laugh.
    Anonymous
    29th Dec 2016
    12:38pm
    You are number two among the laughing stock, Bonny. OG wins the prize for soliciting the most laughs at his idiotic ill-informed CRAP, but you run a close second.
    Macca
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:01pm
    Same forum same people going around in circles not getting to far.The govt keeps changing the rules down not up as everything else goes up.Set a fair set of rules and stick by them.I'm hoping to be self funded,still work part time to go on hols and maintain lifestyle.However my friends who are on part pensions who scrimp and save and I've no problem with going on a cruise or and hols because most are also carers and deserve too.Macca
    Chrissy L
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:16pm
    Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison & Richard Di Natale

    Do you hear the people sing?
    Singing the song of angry men & Women?
    It is the music of the people
    Who will not be slaves again!
    When the beating of your heart
    Echoes the beating of the drums
    There is a life about to start
    When tomorrow comes.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:21pm
    Yes I'm singing too but tot he beat of a different drum. So glad the party is finally over.
    Anonymous
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:33pm
    Of course, OG. You don't like Christmas. You hate hard working people who strive to save but struggle. You thrive on seeing other people hurt. We all got that. You just love to gloat and pretend superiority and sneer at the good people who have battled to contribute to the nation and are being stamped on. We all get it. Now P... off!
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:44pm
    Yes I don't celebrate Christmas and neither does my family. I celebrate every day instead. It's awesome to wake up to another great day.

    Having contributed more than most over my lifetime I find your remarks insulting to hard working people like me.

    I really couldn't care less about being superior to anyone or gloat about my wealth or lack of it. In fact most people who know me think I'm struggle like most people.

    From reading your posts Rainey you seem to have a lot of unsolved issues in your life. So solve the one you can and just get over the ones you can't.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    8:16am
    OG, if you were hard working, you wouldn't be an arrogant self-opinionated nasty prick. People who work hard for their money appreciate effort, have empathy for others, and treat others with respect. Your spots are showing - and they are UGLY.

    Yes, I've got some issues. Nowhere near as many as you, OG. My issue is that I hate dishonesty, greed, lack of integrity, lack of respect, and lack of empathy. I detest MEAN NASTY PEOPLE and I'd like to see them exterminated from this earth.

    I celebrate every day also, but I take advantage of Christmas because it provides an opportunity for people to take pause from their busy lives and focus on sending messages of love and goodwill to people they think of often, but maybe don't get the time to call, write to, or visit - much less celebrate with. It's a time when people stop in the street and say ''Merry Christmas'' to lonely folk, make a donation to give those who have suffered crisis and are down and out... And it provides some helpful economic stimulus (and very welcome profits, extra pay and bonuses for some struggling businesses and their workers). It's a time when children learn about love and giving (which is why your family never did!) It's a time of hope for a better world, and hopefully a time for people to come together and work for that better world. (But of course you don't want a better world, so it figures that you wouldn't join in that endeavour. You want to destroy society for the exclusive gain of the rich and privileged)

    Since you don't understand love, much less goodwill, it's logical that you wouldn't bother with such a celebration.
    *Imagine*
    22nd Dec 2016
    8:54pm
    Quoting Drew on 23 June 2015
    Opinion: Too much, too soon
    In just under 18 months 235,756 people will have their pensions reduced and 91,378 will have their part Age Pensions cut fully. No matter where you sit on this issue, the implementation of this fast-tracked legislation through Parliament last night seems very hasty.
    Senator Glenn Lazarus was spot on the money when he said that “Retirement is one of the biggest life changes a person can make”. Retirees have planned their current and future retirement lifestyle around the old assets tests and adjusting to the new legislation isn’t a simple overnight change for most.
    There is no middle ground on these pension changes. There will be winners, and there will be losers. In the end, the biggest winner is the Government which has successfully ripped $2.4 billion out of the pension system without creating a full blown riot.
    What do you think? Are the changes fair? Will these changes effect which party you vote for in the next Federal Election?
    Well 18 months later we still have the same Party in power and we are still banging on about the same issue. Bonny has disappeared and Old Geezer has taken the reigns of vocal support for the change. Rainey is still trying to convince Old Geezer and other supporters that they are misguided. I imagine that we are about to see much worse coming. The thin end is inserted and the wedge will now be hammered home. There is huge pile of self managed funds that the "administrators" want to get their hands on. Step one, maybe prevent tax free lump sum withdrawals; step two maybe
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    9:01pm
    Tax free lump sum withdrawals are already not allowed. They changed that to allowing up to 100% can be withdrawn as a pension. That 100% can be easily changed.

    Now you know why I haven't got a lot of my wealth tied up in super. Too many regulations that can be changed at any time.
    *Imagine*
    22nd Dec 2016
    9:37pm
    Sorry OG you are wrong, that is semantics again. You can take any amount of money from a super account tax free. You can take that amount as a daily, weekly, monthly or annual payment and not pay tax. When does the pension become a lump sum? When it is an annual payment? As I said semantics.
    Not so long ago there was a maximum pension limit as well as a minimum one. You paid tax on any amount over the maximum (ATO 27H amount) They had it once and it can happen again.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    10:07pm
    No the pension does not become a lump sum if it is taken annually as I have doing just that for years. There are no longer any lump sums.
    *Imagine*
    22nd Dec 2016
    10:31pm
    OG I concede that your personal superfund may not allow you to take a lump sum but lump sum withdrawals are allowed. Please don't assume that your personal circumstance is universal - it is not.
    I know because my wife has taken advantage of these withdrawals (tax free) to purchase a new car and for other purposes. If you are not convinced, then I suggest that you read this from the Tax Office.
    https://www.ato.gov.au/.../Super/.../Withdrawing-your-super-and-paying...
    Sep 1, 2016 - Some have restrictions on the form of benefit (for example, lump sum or income stream) or the amount of the benefit payable.
    *Imagine*
    22nd Dec 2016
    10:37pm
    Sorry full address is

    https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Withdrawing-and-paying-tax/Withdrawing-your-super-and-paying-tax/?anchor=Superwithdrawaloptions#Superwithdrawaloptions
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    7:00am
    Correct, Imagine. Once again OG is completely incorrect in his wild ASSUMPTIONS. He does not research or fact finding - just jumps to conclusions based on his own or his neighbours circumstances.

    Lump sum withdrawals are called COMMUTATIONS and they are certainly permitted, tax free in most circumstances, from the majority of super funds.
    Old Geezer
    25th Dec 2016
    3:49pm
    Rainey we are talking about pensions not all withdrawals from super funds.
    Chrissy L
    22nd Dec 2016
    9:08pm
    Yes Imagine, you are right. The only winner here is the Government. It is the thin edge of the wedge, if we don't make a stand here and and now, Part Pensioners and Pensioners are going to be the new Poor.
    Make a Stand! Contact your local MP... ..Voice you Anger - Stand up and be Counted for what you have worked for! Don't let them walk over you!
    Maybe a new Pensioner Party can make a difference? If you are as upset as me about these changes it could be well supported. "Let the Older People Sing."
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    9:13pm
    Stop being so greedy as if the changes affect you then you have more than enough to live on until your spend down your capital enough to qualify for the OAP again.
    Farside
    23rd Dec 2016
    1:11am
    Chrissey, I am curious. If pensioners are going to be the new Poor, who are the current Poor and is it right that they collectively should always rank below Pensioners? Which demographic should be designated Poor?

    The older people elected governments over the last 60 years or so that have brought us to the current state of affairs. I am not a religious person however Galatians 6:7 seems appropriate "for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Ain't karma a bitch.

    The electorate chose to return Turnbull only months ago and the pensioners let it happen just as they have done again, and again and again. They should vote to ensure they have a voice in Parliament that speaks to their interests but steadfastly do not. Nobody should be surprised what happens to pensioners so long as they are content to to be fed with the crumbs which fall from the rich man's table (Luke 16:21).
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    6:45am
    Farside, are you actually GULLIBLE enough to think pensioners have a say in who is elected to govern? If non-wealthy retirees - as a group - had a real voice, the LNP wouldn't exist - let alone be in power.
    Farside
    23rd Dec 2016
    9:27am
    Rainey, you fell into that trap ... of course pensioners are not influencing the government elections and whose fault is that? As I said above they "let it happen just as they have done again, and again and again."

    What prevents pensioners from organising and and voting as a bloc. They would not have to do it nationally, just enough seats to make the incumbents sit up and take notice. Instead they vote along aspirational lines even when the policies of those they vote for are inconsistent with the best outcomes for pensioners - give or take, about half of 50+ vote LNP and about 40% vote Labor each and every election.

    You say "If non-wealthy retirees - as a group - had a real voice, the LNP wouldn't exist - let alone be in power." I'm not sure what modelling you have seen to support that assertion however I suspect you are incorrect when we know roughly half vote for the LNP. This is consistent with my experience as most pensioners I know vote LNP or Hanson; who would have thought?
    Anonymous
    27th Dec 2016
    5:38am
    It's happening, Farside. Older Aussies are moving away from the LNP in droves and switching allegiance to Labor or Independents. Many of us, like me, supported the LNP in days gone by and struggled to switch allegiance when the LNP changed its focus from growing a healthy economy and society to a damaging exercise in social engineering to load the coffers of the rich and smash the middle and working class. But every dog has its day, and it's looking very much like the LNP pollies have had theirs.
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    2:07pm
    Rainey there was only 8500 in that survey just enough to come to the wrong conclusion.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    8:22pm
    Except the conclusion was spot on, OG. Even younger Aussies are moving away from the LNP in droves, because unlike you, they are smart enough to see how destructive the LNP policies are.
    Farside
    28th Dec 2016
    11:44pm
    Rainey, one can wish the young and the old moved away from the LNP but the fact remains they did not when it counted leaving it to Turnbull, ScoMo and co to attempt to impose their misguided view of social engineering upon us. It remains to be seen if they work it out in a couple of years' time although history is not on their side.
    disillusioned
    22nd Dec 2016
    9:14pm
    I was disgusted with Abbott and Hockey when this was brought in with the help of the Greens, who should know better. Talk about two guys who've benefited from free education, etc. for themselves and their kids, and are now sitting very comfortably on pensions and perks while us oldies cop it sweet. How on earth did these guys get voted back in? Not my doing, I can assure you. I've worked and saved over my working life, and paid my fair share of taxes, yet because my super fund has done well, the little bit of Age Pension I had will be reefed away from me, thanks to this LNP mob. I, for one, will NEVER vote Liberal again! They are a greedy, self-serving lot who engage in robbing the poor to provide more for the wealthy.
    Chrissy L
    22nd Dec 2016
    9:44pm
    Right on Disallusioned ....Start Singing
    tactful
    22nd Dec 2016
    9:52pm
    Would everyone please stop whinging. We are the ones caught in the transition phase of superannuation and age pension.
    Age Pension will one day almost disappear and rightly so, those born from the 1980's will more than likely never get the age pension as they will have super.
    I get really cross when Your Life Choices deliberately misleads those of us who are in the transition period.
    We all agree if you have enough in savings and super then you should be using that, bugger the kids, leaving an inheritance is rubbish.
    Our first and foremost responsibility is to look after ourselves first and foremost.
    We have worked hard for what we have and now we should enjoy the results of our efforts.
    If we own our home, this is more than sufficient as an inheritance for the children, the rest is for us to do with as we please.
    So how about the whinging stops, we take stock of what we have, use it and if there is anything left for the family well that is a bonus.
    A pension is not a right any more, if we have super, or shares, or money squirrelled away somewhere then for goodness sake use it.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Dec 2016
    10:10pm
    Well said. Anyone would think these people have lost everything the way they are whinging. They have had it too good for too long and I often wonder how they got the OAP on the first place. In fact I even know the group behind it.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    6:42am
    You are 100% WRONG tactful. A pension should morally be a right until system changes make it unnecessary - and that means the current generation of retirees, most of whom who had no superannuation, are entitled to the benefit that they were promised and most paid for during their working lives.

    Yes, we are in transition. And the key to successful transition is ensuring that incentives remain in the system to SAVE, otherwise the next generation will have less saving and be more dependant on the taxpayer and the attempted transition will have FAILED DISMALLY.

    We need to be sensible about ensuring that the system doesn't encourage and reward irresponsible behaviour, overspending, and cheating.

    We need to be sensible about ensuring that the system doesn't punish responsible planning.

    There are plenty of ways to restructure the pension system to be more sustainable and FAIRER (and the taper rate change is much less fair!) without destroying incentives to save.

    It's not about who is getting what or who should or shouldn't be content with less. It's about what's good for the NATION, and what's good for the NATION is MORE MOTIVATION TO SAVE - NOT LESS!
    LiveItUp
    23rd Dec 2016
    9:11am
    I can't see what people are whinging about at all. Let's face if you are not spending your capital then you simply don't need government welfare. So enjoy yourself and spend you capital instead of the taxpayer's money and when youbassets fall enough you can get your OAP back.

    It great to see that it will save the taxpayer mony now and in the future.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    9:41pm
    The problem, Bonny, is that the taxpayer WON'T SAVE MONEY IN THE FUTURE. Only gullible blind fools swallow that political lie! People will do what is in THEIR best interests. They will manipulate to get higher pensions, because they are being punished for saving and being responsible and those who were irresponsible or dishonest are rewarded. When more people are getting bigger pensions, the taxpayer suffers. With saving being punished, fewer will save for retirement and more will put their hand out for pensions. It really is mind-boggling that LNP trolls are either so BLIND AND STUPID or so stubbornly committed to LYING to try to bluff others to believe propaganda, and that they DON'T CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE NATION.

    Anyone who thinks discouraging saving is helpful to the taxpayer is brain dead!
    LiveItUp
    24th Dec 2016
    10:33am
    There are a lots of new washing machines and fridges in the assets of those affected by these asset changes. Some families a fridge breaking down is a financial disaster whereas to the affected OAPs it is a mere inconvenience.

    Everyone I talk to can't believe that people can have so much money and get the OAP. I'll keep spending the word in my travels after Christmas.

    My family has organising an awesome Christmas so I'm going to sit back and enjoy it.
    Kia
    22nd Dec 2016
    10:22pm
    Interesting and thought provoking article Kaye, and thank you so much.
    We'll be loosing some $$$ because we were stupid enough to be blue collar and sacrificed a lot to be comfortable in retirement, shame we weren't psychic, or wealthy enough to off-shore or have a trust fund or for that matter a trade for cash jobs etc. Things are the way they are, but one thing I do know, people in our position are far, far from being happy campers.We will all have to make adjustments and here's the rub: how is this going to pan out in the general economy? Let's face it, we still have to pay the same for groceries, petrol, maintenance etc. So far we have already cancelled dental work, a two week holiday and presents for ourselves this year, so nothing new to us in other words. As for people telling me to get in touch with politicians, what a laugh; on the occasions I have written to our Federal Member (MCMILLAN) there is simply never a response, why he even has an Office is beyond me, he could easily sent his cheesy Christmas Cards from home. The gall these back benchers for life display toward those of us pay their pretty nice salaries to sit on a nice padded seat in Canberra is actually quite breath taking. And yeah, yeah, 'they' work really hard....well show me one thing of any effect our MP has done and I'll take it all back. I'm not especially Party political, but I cannot recall a bigger bunch of incompetent twonks in my voting life. I just want them to what we pay them for: their jobs! I mean, seriously is there anyone out there with some bigger picture thought pattern or was Donald Horne right after all?
    thommo
    22nd Dec 2016
    10:28pm
    Kaye...thank you for your comments insight into the problem this LNP Government has created, with the help of the Greens (ie the Judas Greens) and the gutless Labor Pary (who did not stand up for the age pensioners, who are part of their support base - until now that is).
    I for one, and many others, are totally disconnecting from the major parties, and will be looking for the so called "Callithumpian" parties/politiicians to look after our interests in this society.
    Abbot and his cronies will rue the day they lied their way into government in 2013, and continue to do so to this day....we will rid them forever at the next election. People are starting to wake up to them, albeit too late.
    Oldman Roo
    22nd Dec 2016
    10:40pm
    Kaye , you are spot on with your comments . The Governments short sighted quick fix will achieve exactly the opposite to what we have been told . Like in my case and many others , I will be forced to draw down my savings to have an income equal to the person who never worked hard to save . Only a fool or fibber could not see this and , no doubt , the Pension payout will jump considerably . Not to forget the precedent it sets to the younger generation , do not work hard and do not save .
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    8:03am
    A few fools and fibbers posting on this page, Oldman Roo. Good to see the majority are intelligent enough to sort fact from government propaganda.
    LiveItUp
    23rd Dec 2016
    9:05am
    Wrong if you save for something ie retirement then what is the point of saving for something if you don't spend the money you saved? Other than greed in taking from tne public purse instead I see none.

    Your retirement is here folks time to spend your money.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    9:43pm
    Only an IDIOT spends their saving BEFORE the event they saved it for occurs, Bonny. Nobody saved to GIFT their savings to the taxpayer. They saved for expenses that will arise down the track - and they NEED to preserve their saving to meet those costs. They DID NOT save to give their money to lazy spendthrifts who didn't bother to save.
    LiveItUp
    24th Dec 2016
    10:27am
    So the taxpayer ie the government doesn't have the right to change it's legislation so that it can allocate money where it is needed any more. These OAPs don't need this extra money so the government has done the right thing.
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2016
    4:14pm
    Of course the government has the right to change legislation, but it ISN'T changing it to allocate more where it's needed more. It's doing THE EXACT OPPOSITE. Obviously you , like OG, are too dumb to understand what is really happening. Of else you, like OG, you are too dishonest to admit the truth.

    The policy is WRONG. It will cost the taxpayer more, drive more people into hardship, and drive an increasing welfare mentality.
    Dot
    22nd Dec 2016
    10:51pm
    Here's something for you to ponder with.It costs the taxpayer 40 million annually to support ex-politicins with a case now before the court to increase the entitlements of many.
    Some other countries are giving their politicians a shake up so maybe it could happen in Australia.
    Update on pension
    Entitlement for all. Read and send on?

    Author: Dr. Dale Kerwin
    School of Education
    MT Gravatt Campus, Griffith University Ph. 07 3735 5884 | fax. 07 3735 5991
    As a self funded retiree, I’m frustrated with Canberra’s continuous fiddle with Superannuation contributions and rule changes
    Plus the measure to Re-balance the Pension Assets Test to be implemented on 1 January 2017.
    So here's fair warning to all politicians of any persuasion, this group of aged voters may be about to make the greatest impact on any Federal election in history, ignoring them may be the start of a changed political environment in this country.
    Change the Entitlements
    I absolutely agree, if a pension isn't an entitlement, neither is theirs. They keep telling us that paying us an aged pension isn't sustainable.
    Paying politicians all the perks they get is even less sustainable! The politicians themselves, in Canberra, brought it up, that the Age of Entitlements is over:
    The author is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list;
    In turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in Australia will have this message.
    This is one idea that really should be passed around because the rot has to stop somewhere.
    Proposals to make politicians shoulder their share of the weight now that the Age of Entitlement is over:
    1. Scrap political pensions.
    Politicians can purchase their own retirement plan, just as most other working Australians are expected to do.
    2. Retired politicians (past, present & future) participate in Centrelink.
    A Politician collects a substantial salary while in office but should receive no salary when they're out of office.
    Terminated politicians under 70 can go get a job or apply for Centrelink unemployment benefits like ordinary Australians.
    Terminated politicians over 70 can negotiate with Centrelink like the rest of the Australian people.
    3. Funds already allocated to the Politicians' retirement fund be returned immediately to Consolidated Revenue.
    This money is to be used to pay down debt they created which they expect us and our grandchildren to repay for them.
    4. Politicians will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Politicians pay will rise by the lower of, either the CPI or 3%.
    5. Politicians lose their privileged health care system and participate in the same health care system as ordinary Australian people.
    i.e. Politicians either pay for private cover from their own funds or accept ordinary Medicare.
    6. Politicians must equally abide by all laws they impose on the Australian people.
    7. All contracts with past and present Politicians men/women are void effective 31/12/16.
    The Australian people did not agree to provide perks to Politicians, that burden was thrust upon them.
    Politicians devised all these contracts to benefit themselves.
    Serving in Parliament is an honour not a career.
    The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so our politicians should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
    If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, then it will only take three or so days for most Australians to receive the message.
    Don't you think it's time?
    Please do this if you can. Australia needs our help.
    THIS IS HOW YOU FIX Parliament and help bring fairness back into this country!
    If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.
    Farside
    23rd Dec 2016
    1:25am
    This letter is just chainmail dross. Dale Kerwin did not write this and cannot attest to its veracity. Even if you agree with the sentiments you do no favours by distributing it. Rather argue the points in your right and be their advocate to your elected representatives.

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/change-the-entitlements
    Old Geezer
    23rd Dec 2016
    10:50am
    Thanks for the laugh Dot as one can only imagine what sort of pollies we would get under those terms.
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2016
    4:12pm
    Ten million times better than the greedy MORONS we have now, OG.
    Chrissy L
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:18pm
    Dot, Great article. I have sent it to everyone I know.
    Tezza
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:32pm
    Dot I agree re cutting back on politician's super & retitirement benefits.
    One way of fixing the current mess is to have politicians who have the same super. and retirement benefits as the rest of Aust. Tax payers/ex tax payers. Until they are hit with a dose of reality, nothing will change. Tezza
    kevinc
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:35pm
    congratulations to Your Life Choices for a well thought out article on retirement.
    so true , how can a person plan when changes are made constantly by government.
    It certainly doesn,t pay to be a self funded retiree, and why the attack on pensioners.
    they are not welfare cheats, plenty of ways gov. can budget, forget spending 50 billion dollars on Subs built overseas, and will be obsolete before delivery.
    LiveItUp
    23rd Dec 2016
    8:49am
    Wrong it is awesome to be a fully self funded retiree.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    6:13pm
    Only if you have a LOT more than the new cutoff point and can generate an adequate income. For those who are losing their part pension, there's NOTHING awesome about being forced to drain their savings until they get back on it again - or having to live on less than full pensioners receive.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Dec 2016
    6:20pm
    What rubbish Rainey! We live on the return on approximately $400,000 invested so you don't even need anywhere near the cut off point. Some years it goes up and others down a bit but it remains around the $400,000 mark.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    9:55pm
    Then you are engaged in criminal activity or else you VERY privileged. The return on $400,000 is about $20,000 per year by government estimates of average. Many are getting less than half that. You are a LIAR or a CROOK, OG.
    LiveItUp
    24th Dec 2016
    10:23am
    Not too sure what OG does Rainey but my returns average 10% or better over the long term and are nearly 10% just for the last six months. Sure you have to look after your eggs a bit but isn't that what happens in nature fir the best results? If you leave your money sitting in a term deposit all you are doing is giving it to the banks to make the returns that you could have youself. Why have a job when you can having your money working for you instead?
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2016
    4:11pm
    Who cares what YOUR returns are, Bonny. Only narcissists talk about THEIR returns. Those who are concerned for the welfare to the nation and society talk about AVERAGE returns and MINIMUM returns, because they are what matter - not what some privileged minority can do.

    Why have a job when you can have your money working for you? Because only the ADVANTAGED can achieve high returns. Most cannot. And the most disadvantaged, who are being bullied and bashed and ground into hardship, have the least hope of achieving those returns. Maybe selfish pigs should stop bullying the less fortunate and start offering help?
    LiveItUp
    28th Dec 2016
    6:52am
    Anyone can get the returns I get andvsome get much better. I'm having a ball touring around the country in my caravan and have better things to do than make money. In fact I would say I'm disadvantaged as in most places I can't access the internet and make timely investment decisions. A lot of places I go have no electricity let alone internet access.

    Another beautiful day in paradise.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    9:48am
    Classic comment from a self-opinionated ASS-UMER who has no empathy, no compassion, and no recognition of the realities of life for people who haven't enjoyed the privileged you have.

    Your comment is BS, Bonny. Even the government says the average return is 5% and any competent financial adviser will tell you chasing better than about 7% is very risky unless you have access to unusual opportunities that most can't access.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    9:50am
    And last time you referred to your situation you were living on a country estate with your ''toy boy''. Another who can't recall past lies well enough not to expose their dishonesty!
    LiveItUp
    28th Dec 2016
    2:03pm
    Correct Rainey my toy boy travels with me while I pay people to look after my estate.
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    2:12pm
    Bonny is right Rainey as I'm doing a lot better than 5% too.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    8:36pm
    OG, people who talk about THEIR SITUATION and PRETEND their situation proves averages are called NARICSSISTS. They are typically so self-absorbed that they are totally STUPID, lacking in empathy, and completely incapable of reason.. That's you, sorry!

    The AVERAGE RETIREE is getting 5% and hundreds of thousands are getting less. It doesn't matter a dam what you and Bonny are doing, or what any other RICH PRIVILEGED ARROGANT PRICK is getting. Anyone who wants to screw the disadvantaged because THEY are doing well is A PRIZE PRICK and should be exterminated.
    GeorgeM
    22nd Dec 2016
    11:37pm
    Thanks, Kaye, for this article. While the YLC focus on this issue is appreciated, it would help more if such issues are taken up more strongly, say by petitions supported by YLC members, with the politicians to give them an idea of the strength of feelings of YLC members.

    It should also be pushed harder that all should be subject to the same rules, i.e. past, current and future politicians, Govt bureaucrats, judges, etc, for all pension entitlements, as indeed for any perks, should be subject to the same rules as everyone else! Otherwise, they have no business to take decisions which affect others, but not them. A petition is needed for this, and if necessary a referendum put to the people.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    5:59am
    Couldn't agree more, George. Let's start a tidal wave!

    Kaye, will you help?
    Retired Knowall
    23rd Dec 2016
    4:33pm
    We just had one, it's called an Election and the LNP won.
    Ain't democracy a bitch.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    5:22pm
    That wasn't a tidal wave, Retired Knowall. That was a SICK JOKE. We need major change in this country, not token changes and dishonest promises.
    casey
    23rd Dec 2016
    6:30am
    Why do Politicians get a pension, free travel, and all the other perks when they retire. Most of them are already wealhty. Am I missing something.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    6:36am
    Yep! They are greedy corrupt bastards who are only there for their own gain and have structured the system so they can do as they please. We do NOT live in a democracy and the people have NO power. And our ''representatives'' do not represent us at all. They don't give a damn about us. They will lie to win votes, and then do whatever is in their interests and the interests of their favoured mates - and to hell with the nation's interests.
    LiveItUp
    23rd Dec 2016
    8:46am
    And why do people get entitlements like annual and long service leave, super etc? They are the entitlements of a job.

    Nothing to do with welfare like the OAP.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    5:16pm
    Ordinary Australians don't have the power to dictate their own entitlements, Bonny. They cannot line their pockets with massive unearned payments and simply ignore the fact that most Australians disapprove. That's the difference.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Dec 2016
    5:59pm
    Rainey one can negotiate lots of stuff when applying for a job especially if they have skill in demand. One of children does and what he gets makes the mind boggle.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    9:47pm
    Oh so ONE CHILD OF OG does something and that makes it universal. One swallow doesn't make a summer dimwit. The average Australian CANNOT dictate their own terms. If they could, this debate wouldn't be happening. But some MORONS just have to defend EVERYTHING the stinking mongrel LNP government does, no matter how wrong and no matter how STUPID the argument they have to put forward.

    23rd Dec 2016
    6:34am
    It would benefit this country if people would stop banging on with their unsubstantiated and often very biased or even bigoted personal opinions and start dealing with the FACTS of the situation, and demanding politicians take notice of FACTS.

    The FACT is, and it's mathematical and can't be denied, that the new pension taper rate means that reducing savings to either qualify for a part pension or increase a pension delivers a return rate of 7.8%. Therefore, many retirees will not be able to achieve anywhere near the income from saving and investing that they can achieve by reducing assets and claiming a pension.

    It is a FACT that if reducing assets qualifies people for a pension, they gain several thousand dollars in extra benefits, thus improving their lifestyle further (and compounding their loss from saving)

    It is a FACT that pensioners have a steady income with ZERO management outlays either in time, effort, stress or fees, whereas private investment can be very risky and stressful and management can impose heavy demands on time and be costly.

    It is a FACT that pension income rises regularly, roughly in line with claimed cost of living increases (though we all know this is a farce!) whereas investment returns are often static or actually falling.

    It is a FACT that current investment returns are low and many are actually getting less than 2% on return. 5% is the average quoted by the government. Thus, saving returns at least 2.8%, on average, LESS than spending. (Only a very STUPID government could allow that situation to arise!)

    It is a FACT that a substantial portion of savings returns nothing because either it's in furniture, cars, and other personal or household effects, or it's in cash reserve for day to day living expenses. That further reduces the overall return on assets.

    It is a FACT that the least privileged among folk who saved (i.e. educationally deprived, those who suffered trauma or crisis that made them risk averse, those who lack good contacts in the financial advise world) derive the LOWEST returns, and therefore suffer most from a high taper rate.

    It is a FACT that many who are kicked off the part pension completely or who draw a reduced part pension in January 2017 will find their income slashed to well below the pension rate (some to less than half!)

    It is a FACT that being forced to draw prematurely on savings or cash in assets at the wrong time can dramatically reduce overall wealth and jeopardise a retiree's future plans.

    It is a FACT that $542,500 (or $816,000 for couples) may be a substantial amount of saving today, but in 20 years, that amount will be a pittance. Those savings may have been accrued to meet an anticipated medical expense or major household maintenance expense or to replace an aging car. They were NOT necessarily accrued just to fund retirement, and they were CERTAINLY NOT accrued by personal sacrifice to gift to people who didn't make those sacrifices, but lived a more lavish lifestyle.

    It is a FACT of human psychology that people look after their own interests well ahead of the interests of the nation. Very few are charitable toward the taxman. (Even those who bang on here claiming people should think of others actually protect their own interests ahead of anyone else's. ALL people are selfish! It's human nature!)

    It is a FACT that the vast majority of pensioners COULD HAVE been as well off as those who are losing IF they had worked and saved. In thousands of cases, was NOT good fortune that put those with savings where they are - but rather sacrificing to save.

    It is a FACT that the majority of retired Australians COULD HAVE owned a home if they had been just a little more diligent and frugal.

    It is a FACT that vast numbers of pensioners are pensioners either because they cheat and manipulate the system, or because they were irresponsible and didn't try to save for old age. These are the people getting an INCREASE in their pension!

    It is a FACT that the taper rate change gave NOTHING to the genuinely hard up - those with no savings or assets.

    Therefore, it is a FACT that many who are losing out will reduce their assets quickly by taking luxury cruises or buying bigger houses. Financial advisers have already verified that this is happening. They say 90% of their affected clients WILL DRAW BIGGER PENSIONS within a year of losing out than they otherwise would have.

    Therefore, it is a FACT that this policy is BAD FOR THE NATION. It doesn't matter what you, personally, think of people who are affected. It is irrelevant whether some think they are greedy, or some think they've had it too good for too long, or some think they should be more charitable or more concerned for the taxpayer. None of that means ANYTHING.

    OPINION DOESN'T COUNT. (Get that OG! Your OPINION is totally irrelevant. What matters is FACT. And the FACT is that the majority don't agree with you and will look after their own interests and claim bigger pensions. And none of your mean and insulting remarks or threatening predictions will change that!))

    What matters is FACT And the FACT is that this policy is BAD FOR AUSTRALIA because it is creating a situation where people perceive (rightly or wrongly) that they are worse off by saving and better off by being irresponsible and spending their wealth. So fewer will save and more will claim higher pensions and the cost of pensions will rise.

    The BIG STICK CAN'T WORK. People respond by finding ways around it, and then you are stuck with trying to block the holes - like adding the family home as an asset, which won't happen quickly because it's too unpopular and there are too many complex issues to consider; or making the pension a loan against assets, which again won't happen quickly because public opinion is against it and politicians want to be re-elected.

    There are ways to restructure the pension system to make it FAIRER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE. The assets test change does EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. It make it more UNFAIR (because the privileged who get high investment returns suffer least) and it makes it LESS SUSTAINABLE (because many people will respond by reducing saving and claiming fatter pensions)

    If people here stopped banging on with personal opinions judging people whose circumstances they know NOTHING about, and idealizing about what would be nice in a perfect world, and started dealing with the REALITY of the situation, EVERYONE would be opposing this change strongly and demanding the government reverse it and address the flaws in the pension system in a more practical and constructive way, to make it GENUINELY fairer and more sustainable.

    It is mathematically INSANE to offer 7.8% for spending when people are earning only 2% to 5% for saving. It just doesn't work for the country!
    LiveItUp
    23rd Dec 2016
    8:44am
    Awesome but only relevant FACT is that all those facts will be history in a few days time when the new asset test comes in.
    *Imagine*
    23rd Dec 2016
    12:12pm
    Well done Rainey. When we consider that this whole debacle was brought about because there were objections to linking the OAP to CPI instead of average male income, it begs the question as to why ACOSS, The Greens and Nick Xenophon were convinced by the LNP that this taper rate increase was a better option.
    Were the implications even considered or was the 'Green eyed monster" the only consideration. That is let's turn pensioners against each other, take from those who have a little and give it those who have less - leave those with lots out of the equation because we need their support to stay in power.
    Retired Knowall
    23rd Dec 2016
    12:32pm
    It is a FACT that the taper rate change gave NOTHING to the genuinely hard up - those with no savings or assets. Really.... The real battlers are getting an INCREASE in their pension...FACT.
    Some will spend up big and give up on saving...thats their makeup, nothing will change their behaviour, others will realise they need to try harder to get out of the welfare trap and improve themselves.
    Any change will have it's detractors...FACT.
    Pensioners spending up big to maintain their pension will be good for the country...FACT.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    5:14pm
    WRONG Retired Knowall. Go back and check again. The battlers are NOT GETTING ANYTHING from the taper rate change. That is the FACT.

    The ONLY people benefiting are those with assets who benefit from the lifting of lower level asset thresholds. People with no assets DO NOT GAIN AT ALL.

    Pensioners spending up big to maintain their pensions WILL NOT BE GOOD FOR AUSTRALIA, because either they will buy bigger homes,which will compound the housing crisis, or they will spend OVERSEAS. Few will spend considerable amounts in the domestic market.

    Imagine, the Green eyed onster was the only consideration. I wrote to the Greens and ACOSS pointing out the hazard attached to the proposal. I did not even get the courtesy of a reply.

    And Bonny, EVERYTHING cqn change if enough people speak up and point out why CHANGE is needed. History is made by those intelligent and courageous enough to speak out. Conversely, evil prevails when good men do nothing.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Dec 2016
    5:54pm
    People are certainly taking a big risk spending up big on better homes as the value of the house for pension purposes is currently being debated in the financial community. ACOSS would love to have it put in the assets test too. The other good idea being talked about is having any pension paid charged as a debt against one's estate.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    9:45pm
    It will be 10 years before any of that happens, OG. It's too unpopular, and politicians NEED votes.
    Retired Knowall
    24th Dec 2016
    6:43am
    Some good news for FULL Age Pensioners, and bad news for other Centrelink recipients
    Important: On a positive note, the assets test thresholds for claiming the FULL Age Pension increase from 1 January 2017, which means an estimated 50,000 extra Australians are eligible for the FULL Age Pension........FACT
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2016
    4:00pm
    Yep- people with significant savings get a full age pension instead of part. The NEEDY get NOTHING. And hypocrites who wish hurt on people who struggled to try to be self-sufficient and didn't quite make it approve of this disgusting policy!
    frank45
    23rd Dec 2016
    7:26am
    they should get the Jehovah's Witnesses working If you are on the dole with a wife you get
    1250 for 2 weeks and the Jeovah's Witnesses get $ 1860 per two weeks why get them a job
    Like I do
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    8:01am
    How do Jehovah's Witnesses get more on the dole than others, Frank45?

    23rd Dec 2016
    5:24pm
    For anyone interested in joining the call to halt unfair pensions to politicians, here's a link to a petition that is circulating that has gained substantial support
    https://www.change.org/p/house-of-representatives-stop-payments-for-non-currently-serving-politicians/u/18363104
    Old Geezer
    23rd Dec 2016
    5:49pm
    I sent Michelle Pedersen my views on this ages ago. It is certainly taking her a long time to get her signatures.
    Anonymous
    23rd Dec 2016
    9:53pm
    So you approve of stinking politicians ripping off the nation while bashing poor pensioners. What a surprise! NOT. We all know what sort of mean spirit and nasty attitude you have, OG. You are a scourge on society - just like the greedy bastard politicians whose vile greed you justify.

    23rd Dec 2016
    10:00pm
    What a sick society we live in when people like OG bang on constantly wishing misery and hurt on everyone else and gloating that they aren't suffering. I have never encountered such vile selfishness and nastiness anywhere. People here can't have a constructive fact-based discussion about improving the state of the nation by intelligent measures, or pointing out the flaws in dumb policies, without a nasty miserable old self-serving prick diverting the discussion to a personal vendetta against anyone who seeks constructive change. No wonder this nation is in a mess when we have such vile individuals disrupting every constructive effort to move the nation in the right direction.
    Chrissy L
    24th Dec 2016
    12:22am
    I signed the petition today Rainey. I think it is great that at last someone is organising a stand against this awful government.
    Did you ever read about the Tortoise and the Hare OG?
    Retired Knowall
    24th Dec 2016
    6:46am
    What about the scorpion and the frog?
    Rodent
    24th Dec 2016
    7:42am
    Dear Retired Knowall

    Re your post as follows--Some good news for FULL Age Pensioners, and bad news for other Centrelink recipients
    Important: On a positive note, the assets test thresholds for claiming the FULL Age Pension increase from 1 January 2017, which means an estimated 50,000 extra Australians are eligible for the FULL Age Pension........FACT

    I understand why you may say its fact, especially if its said so often- BUT the reality for some MAY be quite different, because the unchanged Income Test may not allow the increases that the Govt talked about. The reason is the so called Rebalance the Assets Test was only every about the IMPACTS of the Assets Test and all the calculations ignored the Income test impacts. Any adverse impacts on possible increases will be noticeable at the Lower ends of the Asset values.

    But its CORRECT to say that MANY will get an increase BUT you really have to question giving an INCREASE to a Non Home Owner Couple with Assets of $600,000- $625,000 where that INCREASE is 11% to 12% in fact this group get an increase at all ranges between $600,000 and $700,000.

    I doubt that even OG would agree that that is Fair or Equitable because at those Dollar Ranges everybody else has either ZERO pension- (a Single Home Owner)- or is losing between 17% to 65% of their existing Pension
    Retired Knowall
    24th Dec 2016
    10:24am
    It's a fact because it's on the Govt. Web Site.
    With any change there will be winners and losers....thats life.
    For me to get any type of Govt. handout I would have to dispose of enough assets to qualify....so what makes me different from those others that have to spend down if they want the pension or part thereof. My understanding is that the real battlers will get an increase, in my eyes thats a positive.
    Anonymous
    24th Dec 2016
    3:55pm
    What MIGHT make you different, Retired Knowall, especially if you didn't qualify for a pension under the old rules, is that you have much more to invest and therefore can possibly earn enough to live on. I see no problem at all with a means test that disqualifies people who can earn well above the pension rate - but NOBODY should be forced to prematurely sell assets that they have accumulated by sacrificing lifestyle. The taper rate is far too savage in the current investment environment, and as such it punishes saving and will drive pension costs up.
    Retired Knowall
    24th Dec 2016
    4:36pm
    The change was always going to be difficult for some. The message for the following generations should be to structure your life style and spending so you can be self funded not how much do you need to spend to get the pension because that will always be at risk.
    Evidence has shown no political party is going after Corporate Australia to increase revenue so the welfare bucket is going to continually leak. It's too late for the present pensioners, but, at least they are looking after the lower end of the scale.
    I'm certainly not rich, still working at 69 paying tax and loving it.
    I certainly don't think my taxes should go anywhere near supporting your lifestyle....if thats what you need....get a job.
    Old Geezer
    25th Dec 2016
    3:39pm
    "NOBODY should be forced to prematurely sell assets that they have accumulated by sacrificing lifestyle".

    What a lot of rubbish!

    The fully self funded retiree has to sell down assets when the returns are not adequate for their lifestyle so why can't OAPs that have too many assets for the 2017 asset test do it as well? If they have their money invested so that they have little room to move so that they get maximum benefits then they are risking trouble with any changes. That is just greed.
    Anonymous
    25th Dec 2016
    7:39pm
    Your arrogance and judgmental attitude toward people who haven't had the advantages in life you've had and therefore haven't been able to invest wisely STINKS OG. You are disgusting!

    I repeat -- NOBODY should be forced to prematurely sell assets that they have accumulated by sacrificing lifestyle. When the government denies people fair benefit for their responsible behaviour, it encourages more of the behaviour that STUFFS UP THE NATION.

    Those who were self-funded prior to the 2017 taper rate change had ENOUGH capital to fund their retirement. Those affected by the taper rate change DO NOT.
    Anonymous
    25th Dec 2016
    7:39pm
    Your arrogance and judgmental attitude toward people who haven't had the advantages in life you've had and therefore haven't been able to invest wisely STINKS OG. You are disgusting!

    I repeat -- NOBODY should be forced to prematurely sell assets that they have accumulated by sacrificing lifestyle. When the government denies people fair benefit for their responsible behaviour, it encourages more of the behaviour that STUFFS UP THE NATION.

    Those who were self-funded prior to the 2017 taper rate change had ENOUGH capital to fund their retirement. Those affected by the taper rate change DO NOT.
    Anonymous
    25th Dec 2016
    7:39pm
    Your arrogance and judgmental attitude toward people who haven't had the advantages in life you've had and therefore haven't been able to invest wisely STINKS OG. You are disgusting!

    I repeat -- NOBODY should be forced to prematurely sell assets that they have accumulated by sacrificing lifestyle. When the government denies people fair benefit for their responsible behaviour, it encourages more of the behaviour that STUFFS UP THE NATION.

    Those who were self-funded prior to the 2017 taper rate change had ENOUGH capital to fund their retirement. Those affected by the taper rate change DO NOT.
    LiveItUp
    27th Dec 2016
    11:25am
    Sounds a bit odd to me Rainey if people save for retirement why when they retire are their assets not liquid enough to be sold to pay for their retirement? Sounds like bad financial advice to me having assets tied up so that they can't be sold.
    Anonymous
    27th Dec 2016
    8:52pm
    Just maybe, Bonny, they structured their assets to be liquid at a particular point in their old age, based on what the government led them to believe when they made their plans? See, one thing that is VERY VERY WRONG in the assets test change is that it ignored the fact that people need security and reliable information to make their financial plan. When the rug is pulled out from under them with too little notice, the result can be a disaster.

    Most financial advisers tell clients they will achieve a given return OVER TIME, but if they pull their funds prematurely, they can expect the investment to perform poorly. Yet this stinking government and its stinking supporters endorse forcing people to pull their funds prematurely.
    LiveItUp
    27th Dec 2016
    10:36pm
    Sounds like crystal ball gazing not financial planning to me Rainey as no one really knows when or even if they will need money after they retire.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    10:38am
    Nothing is certain in life, Bonny, but life expectancy can be guestimated, and we all know when our house will need painting again and when the bathrooms and kitchen fixtures will need replacing. Many of us know about when our teeth or eyes will need major attention, and many can predict other major medical expenses based on family history, past health and diagnosis, etc.

    Once again you are WRONG, Bonny. Responsible people CAN AND DO make plans for their financial future, and responsible advisers recommend that approach and assist it. But as usual, you will make up any nonsense to justify the LNP's disgustingly damaging policies. Your only interest is BONNY! If Bonny is happy, everyone else is wrong.
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    11:48am
    None of those expenses are big enough to worry about in the scheme of thing Rainey. These people have plenty of money for them as well as their living expenses.

    No one can predict if you will get cancer, get run over by a bus, have a heart attack, stoke etc. Anyone retired needs to have their capital liquid enough to cover such events.
    Anonymous
    29th Dec 2016
    9:29pm
    Full of BS again, OG. In twenty years, even $800,000 will be a drop in the bucket. I know retirees who are paying $25 a day for medications. My neighbour has been quoted $9000 a month for a cancer treatment. Try funding those costs from a miserable few hundred thousands a year in savings, with an income of half the aged pension rate. Now add the fact that these retirees aren't physically fit enough to paint their house or even to mow their lawns themselves, so add $88 every six weeks for lawn mowing and $12000 every 8 years for house painting, then apply the inflation rate to those costs, and see how far their savings go. NOWHERE!

    You are the master ASS-UMER, and 100% wrong, but you know you are wrong. You are just a government stooge lying for the LNP and you don't give a damn for facts or truth.
    Anonymous
    29th Dec 2016
    9:33pm
    If we want to REDUCE pension costs, we have to REWARD saving so more people save for old age. That should be obvious. Well, it is to anyone with a brain. Sadly, brains are in short supply among LNP stooges like OG and Bonny.
    Rodent
    24th Dec 2016
    8:15am
    One last Post

    Merry Christmas to all- there was an interesting Article in the Australian a week ago, written by James Kirby- its title is - Depend on yourself, not a Treasury official.
    Google it - its well worth a read about Super, Age Pension changes etc
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    8:02am
    I would sooner depend on myself anytime. Just as I would rather have control of my investments and not some financial advisor...been there done that.

    24th Dec 2016
    3:58pm
    Is anyone else observing the evidence of OG's gross dishonesty? On the one hand, he claims to be running a successful business and paying tax on income, AND to have enough money to take his family on a cruise every year (''my treat'' he says!) and on the other hand he claims to be living off the investment returns on a mere $400,000.

    OG, I suggest you take classes to improve your memory, because liars with bad memories always give themselves away - and you've exposed your gross dishonesty quite clearly.
    LiveItUp
    24th Dec 2016
    9:52pm
    Rainey it is not unusal for wealthy people to put aside a certain amount of capital for living expenses and leave the rest of their capital to keep compounding with any income being reinvested. My guess is that is what OG is doing or something similar.
    Old Geezer
    25th Dec 2016
    3:30pm
    Rainey why can't I have a certain amount of assets ie approx. $400,000 in an investment and live off the returns of that investment? The return in the last 6 months has been approx 7% which equates to approx. 14% pa.
    Anonymous
    25th Dec 2016
    7:35pm
    You claim to be running a business and paying tax, OG. If you are, then you are NOT living of the returns on $400,000 in investments.

    And Bonny, what you describe may not be unusual, but OG isn't claiming to be doing that. He's claiming to be living on a tiny income from investments only, living very frugally on very little, yet at the same time earning in a business and paying tax and taking his family on cruises regularly (which does NOT equate to living frugally). In other words, he's lying. Plain and simple!
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    8:01am
    Anyone who invested $100,000 in C BA shares when they first came on the market at $5.40 many years ago would be doing very nicely now.

    18,518 shares returning a dividend of $2.20 per share (latest dividend)...twice a year would be living on a good income.
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    9:33am
    True, Radish, but a lot of people didn't have the opportunity to invest in CBA shares at $5.40, or at any price below what they were at their most recent peak. Are you saying the government should make policy for the benefit of ONLY the fortunate... or that it's okay to make policy ignoring the problems it creates for the disadvantaged? The government is LYING big time, because it claims to be striving to be FAIRER and help the disadvantaged most. And that's the problem. It doesn't matter what SOME people MIGHT have done that set them up well. It's the situation those who weren't so lucky are in that counts.
    LiveItUp
    26th Dec 2016
    1:01pm
    Rainey the people affected didn't get their wealth by having just a job. They would have had to invest theur savings well either in property or shares etc so they must of had opportunities. OK some may have inherited their wealth but most spend it very quick so that leaves only a few.

    OG is right their are very few if any people that the fit the category of people you are whinging about. They simply do not exist. So the government has got it right and has made it fairer for all.
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    8:21pm
    And who told you that CRAP, Bonny. I could point to at least 100 that I know personally who got their savings from just a job - a very LOW PAID JOB. They saved well because they were accustomed to hardship, had low expectations of lifestyle, and wanted to secure their old age and not continue to be poor. No, they didn't inherit ANYTHING. They had no super. They never knew what share investing meant, and they certainly never even dreamed of owning investment properties. They had NO opportunities and NO privileges. They just worked incredibly hard - slogging at two jobs and doing overtime - and sacrificed lifestyle.

    You and OG are DEAD WRONG. Ill-informed ASSES who trade on baseless assumptions and are too arrogant to pay attention to facts.
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    8:35pm
    Interestingly, Bonny, as much as I hate dealing in anecdotal evidence, I have to say that EVERY SINGLE RETIREE I KNOW who worked in a well paid job or owned a lucrative business, every one who travelled the world, every one who gave a lot of money to their kids, and every one who lived really well IS NOW ON A FULL PENSION.

    I'm sure there are genuine battler out there on pensions, but I personally have NEVER MET ONE. All the pensioners I know were far, far better off than I ever dreamed of being, and way in front of any of the hundreds I know who have lost out in the taper rate change.
    LiveItUp
    27th Dec 2016
    11:09am
    I just don't get it all. If you have never met a battler then what is your problem with the asset test changes. The sort of people you go on about are battlers not wealthy pensioners. Make no sense at all to me.

    Maybe you have just read that article about those funny maths giving that 7.8% return.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jan 2017
    4:55pm
    Can't read, Bonny? Why does that surprise me? You have evidenced a massive lack of brain power, so why should I expect you to be able to read and comprehend?

    I didn't say I'd never met a battler. I said I'd never met a genuine battler on a pension. All the pensioners I know were well off in their working life. They either spent freely or manipulated to claim pensions.

    The battlers are the ones who ARE NOT GETTING PENSIONS because they SAVED FOR RETIREMENT but couldn't save enough to be self-sufficient, so the stinking government and nasty people like you insist they must have their savings ripped away and be ground back into hardship - which will put them on pensions and drive the cost of the age pension THROUGH THE ROOF.

    It's mind boggling that we pay people a king's ransom to stuff up the nation so badly with the UTTER STUPIDITY - like battlers have a million times more brains and common sense but can't get the GREEDY SELF-SERVING MORONS to listen to them.

    25th Dec 2016
    7:50pm
    So sad that some people can't put aside their envy and judgemental attitudes and focus on what this STUPID policy is going to result in for the country and the taxpayer.
    You CANNOT punish responsible behaviour and expect it to continue. Simple! If people are punished for saving and rewarded for spending like drunken sailors - which is what this IDIOTIC policy does - there will be more pensioners drawing bigger pensions and less self-funded retirees.

    It doesn't matter what you think people SHOULD do, or how you want to judge them. It is simply a fact that paying 7.8% return to spenders who are getting much less for saving is STUPID and will have devastating consequence for the nation.

    Now, it you are gloating about getting 14% returns, stop being such an arsehole and help the people who are hurting by telling them how, instead of condemning folk whose circumstances you know NOTHING about. Either the government should ensure savers are able to get better than 7.8% return, or they should adjust the taper rate such that savers can still get a part pension if their incomes are low. Rewarding the irresponsible WILL STUFF THE NATION.
    LiveItUp
    26th Dec 2016
    12:45pm
    Rainey it called knowledge so educate yourself instead of just whinging. I did and today I reap the rewards of that knowledge.

    People need to be re-educated when they leave school as all school does is take imaginative little kuds are turn them into factory workers. Get a goid education and get a good job. We all know what JOB stands for. Just Over Broke. Have you noticed how many successful people are kids that failed at school? I certainly have.

    Bank shares not only gave a good return but have been appreciating lately as well. If you had bought them years ago for a few dollars you would be surting pretty today. CBA for $5.40 now iver $80. WBC $3 now over $30 NAB and ANZ similar situation. Someone worked out my HVN I bought when they floated cost me 4 cents. HVN is about $5 today. Recently bought into one that tripled in a matter of weeks. Sure beats term deposits even taking into account losses.
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    8:23pm
    In your world, Bonny, anyone not as privileged as you should suffer a fate worse than death. Only the privileged deserve a decent existence. If someone is deprived, it's their fault somehow. What a nasty creature you are!
    LiveItUp
    27th Dec 2016
    11:45am
    Me privileged? Think again Rainey.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    10:41am
    If you weren't, Bonny, you wouldn't be banging on condemning the underprivileged with grossly misinformed ASSUMPTIONS. You would have empathy and respect. You give yourself away, and no amount of dishonest denial is going to convince anyone with a brain that you are not privileged. You most certainly ARE, and it shows - big time!
    PIXAPD
    25th Dec 2016
    9:20pm
    Those who have plenty of money have lost some of their part pension...that's life. Because if you that much money that you have lost some of the part pension, then you must a few quid.
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    9:13am
    Yes Pixapd. We should all waste our money and then bludge on the taxpayer as you have done. And when there isn't enough to go around, folks like you will be the worst hurt.
    LiveItUp
    26th Dec 2016
    12:52pm
    I agree only the wealthy OAPs have been affected by the asset change. Sure they can waste their money instead of spending it on their retirement but what may seem like a good idea today may not be tomorrow especially with more changes to come.

    If people can save that sort of money then Rainey they are nearly as stupid as you say.

    Time the government cracked down on these greedy people.
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    8:09pm
    Time you were educated and stopped being such a nasty, ill-informed BITCH, Bonny. You have no idea what you are on about. Many who are affected HAVE NEVER BEEN WEALTHY, and certainly are NOT wealthy now - despite having assets that they may have sacrificed enormously to acquire in order to avoid poverty in old age. They are NOT greedy. The greedy are the privileged who travel, party, indulge freely, then put their hands out for full pensions. And half of them have plunged their millions into lavish houses and given their kids massive handouts.
    PIXAPD
    26th Dec 2016
    10:35pm
    I can save up to $8000 a year from the aged pension, even while renting, so who is stupid now? Of course I put in over 47 years of work life...
    LiveItUp
    26th Dec 2016
    10:42pm
    Sounds like the definition of stupidity to me Rainey. Why give everything away for the OAP when you could use the money to earn 3 or 4 times the OAP? You are not making any sense at all.
    Anonymous
    27th Dec 2016
    5:34am
    It's you who is STUPID, Bonny. Too dumb to get that vast numbers of people CAN'T make anywhere near the returns the OAP gives them from the modest amount of saving they have accumulated. The government says the average return rate is 5%. That's a hell of a long way from ''3 or 4 times'' the 7.8%+++++ the government is offering pensioners.

    Now if the government was offering financial education and support to achieve decent returns, that would be a different story. But they ARE NOT. They are punishing the disadvantaged who can't continue to earn and don't have the capacity to achieve strong investment returns. And by doing so, they are creating a huge incentive to NOT SAVE FOR OLD AGE, and a major increase in future pension costs.

    You would have to be dense not to understand that, especially given the extent of informed comment all over the Internet by economists who are worried about the long-term adverse effect of the government short-sighted and careless policy. But I get that you base everything on YOU. You just don't get that YOU are not EVERYONE in the world.
    LiveItUp
    27th Dec 2016
    11:01am
    One has only to look at how many people take up financial literacy classes today. Most have so few takers that they get cancelled. People on the OAP just want a good time and want everything without any effort.

    The sort of people you are whinging about are people with nothing so would have nothing to worry about with the asset changes.

    So stop whinging and get your facts right.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    10:27am
    More ASS-U-MEs from the master ASS -umer, Bonny.

    1. The people who are unable to secure adequate investment returns don't have the literacy and comprehension skills or the trust capacity to benefit from financial literacy classes. Deprivation and abuse in childhood and major crisis in early adult life has lasting psychological implications that go way beyond any issue that a ''financial literacy class'' can address. And these people seldom have much of a good time and certainly NEVER GOT ANYTHING WITHOUT EFFORT and would never hope to - let alone ''expect''. Your judgmental attitude shows that you are ignorant, arrogant, lacking in respect, devoid of empathy, and really very nasty.

    2. The people I refer to DO NOT HAVE NOTHING. They saved because they NEEDED to save to rise above the hardship they endured in earlier life, and to give their children a better life.

    STOP judging wrongly and GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT. Your disgusting snobbery is showing, and it's not a good look.
    Farside
    28th Dec 2016
    1:45pm
    Get a grip Rainey. Your imagination and keyboard have engaged before you finished thinking. You claim not to rely upon anecdote yet most of what you write is anecdotal fallacy and your reliance upon argument from repetition (and CAPITALISATION) is TIRESOME and BORING and UNINFORMATIVE and largely WRONG. You produce no credible modelling or statistics to support your rants so enough already.


    "Treasury figures show that:

    3.7 million retirees will be better off or see no change.
    171,500 pensioners will see a payment increase averaging $30 per fortnight.

    50,000 part pensions will now receive the full age pension.

    236,000 retirees on the part pension will have entitlements reduced and 91,000 part-rate will lose all entitlements.

    So nearly 4 million will be better off, and around 330,000 wealthier Australians will lose some or all of the state pension. "

    http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2016/12/27/turnbull-pension-changes-fairer/


    Sucks to be among the 330,000 however they have benefited unfairly from the former rules. Now the tap has been turned off and it is time for them to spend some of those accumulated assets and enjoy themselves in 2017 and beyond while they still have the opportunity. Nobody is promised tomorrow however future taxpayers will be grateful to Turnbull for these much needed changes to the OAP system.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jan 2017
    7:49pm
    Who benefited UNFAIRLY from former rules, Bonny? Those with superannuation get massive tax concessions on up to $3.2 million in savings for a couple, yet someone who had NO super, NO negative geared properties, NO grants or rebates, NO paid parental leave, NO child care benefits, but paid full tax all their life and went without to accrue PERSONAL SAVINGS can't have a miserable few thousand dollars of taxpayer money to get them through retirement in modest comfort.

    I know who suffered UNFAIRNESS.

    Rich superannuants are claiming well over $500,000 in tax concessions. Why shouldn't someone who never got a tax concession or rebate be entitled to a pension to the same value?

    26th Dec 2016
    7:44am
    If those coming behind us do not provide for their retirement and rely solely on government; all I can say is heaven help them.

    People need to be educated in financial management as from what I see around me today people live for today and bugger tomorrow. The day of reckoning will come and then they will realise it is too late.
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    9:29am
    I agree, Radish. But the surest way to ensure they DON'T provide for their retirement is to make it appear that there's no point in saving. The taper rate change is going to drive precisely the behaviour that will bring on that day of reckoning sooner rather than later. And a lot of arrogant pricks will blame those who suffer, but it's this STINKING INEPT GOVERMENT that is the problem. It's job is to make policy that drives social and economic improvement, and it's doing the EXACT OPPOSITE.
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    1:36pm
    The changes would not have occurred if the Greens had not agreed to them.

    "The Greens have backed the federal government’s $2.4 billion pension reforms in a surprise deal that leaves Labor isolated on a policy that tightens the assets test for thousands of retirees.

    Social Services Minister Scott Morrison announced the agreement late today after a growing political brawl over the changes, as Labor stunned observers by rejecting the reform."

    Choice Magazine said this

    "The new asset tests, which were set in motion by the 2015 federal budget, are expected to see roughly 200,000 people receive lower part pension payments next year and 100,000 lose pension payments altogether."

    In the big scheme of things it would appear to me to be a small number considering how many are on a full or part pension.
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    1:43pm
    It is high time financial management is a subject in schools before kids leave school.

    There are plenty of books out there and I would be buying one for a child of mine to read prior to entering the workforce.

    The Barefoot Investor gives honest practical advice and he has a new book out and it is selling like hot cakes.

    "Five Steps to Financial Freedom in your 20's"

    It is not the amount of money you earn it is how you handle it.
    Anonymous
    26th Dec 2016
    2:11pm
    "Those coming behind us" should be educated about financial planning matters, budgeting and rather saving for retirement at schools instead of having sex and gender education.
    Anonymous
    27th Dec 2016
    10:21am
    I couldn't agree more, HKW. But we also have to cater to today's senior citizens, and we shouldn't be dismissing their needs and circumstances on the basis of changes that will impact only on later generations.
    LiveItUp
    27th Dec 2016
    11:19am
    For most people learning and using this financial stuff takes them out of their comfort zone and requires a big change in their mindsets.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    10:32am
    For people who suffered abuse and deprivation or major crisis,
    Bonny - and there are tens of thousands of current retirees in that category - learning and using this financial stuff IS IMPOSSIBLE. It's nothing to do with comfort zones. That's the domain of the far more privileged. But the privileged are just too arrogant and self-opinionated and blind to the struggles of the genuinely disadvantaged to acknowledge reality. Well, admitting how the world really is takes the privileged Bonny's and OG and their ilk out of THEIR comfort zone, and we can't have that, can we?
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    8:19pm
    The vast majority of people in that category would have nothing Rainey simply because they have no idea how to manage or save money. It takes some financial knowledge just to operate a bank account.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    8:39pm
    Wrong again, OG. Obviously you know NOTHING about people.
    Rodent
    26th Dec 2016
    8:54am
    Dear Retired Knowall

    So you and others may learn a little more about the Interaction of the Income and Assets Test and which test determines the pension paid, (ie which is the test that produces the Lowest Pension paid outcome) for a given Asset Value may I refer you to this article- because as they often say a PICTURE is better than words

    Article to Google - is Centrelink Asset Testing Winners and losers- Money Management written by a IOOF Technical Person

    BUT NOTE THE DATA SOURCE IS DATED AS AT MARCH 2015, hence the real picture would be slightly different now

    Last Point as at June 2016 of the 2,538,161 Age Pensioners , 1,470,493 are Full Rate , and
    606,466 are Part Rate as determined by the Income Test, and 453,053 are Part Rate as determined by the Current Asset Test
    Rodent
    26th Dec 2016
    1:32pm
    Bonny

    You are back, or are your really OG just posting in another name?

    You said this - OG is right their are very few if any people that the fit the category of people you are whinging about. They simply do not exist. So the government has got it right and has made it fairer for all.

    That statement if factually incorrect- these Pension Asset Test changes are neither Fair or Equitable

    A single Home owner with $500,000 in assets will LOSE 71.15% of their Pension after 1 Jan 2017.At the SAME asset Figure a Single Non Home Owner will GAIN and increase of 8.87% in their Pension. A Couple Home Owner at the SAME $500,000 Asset figure will LOSE 6.86% of their Pension , while a Couple Non Home Owner at the same $500,000 Asset figure neither GAINS or LOSES any Pension.

    But wait worse still is that the Couple Non Home Owner with $825,000 in Assets will receive $14,882pa in Pension and at that Asset Figure ALL other Pensioners will receive ZERO Pension- How can that be fair. Yes I know that $500k, and $825k is a lot of money but to me these changes are totally unfair and Inequitable, especially against a Single Home Owner. And yes I know whats being said about the family Home being excluded!!

    There is plenty in the Media now saying what I have said all along about these changes- BUT its all to late isn't it- does not change the fact that these changes were not well thought through.

    Just watch the Govt jump on the bandwagon of any Pensioner that gets an Increased Pension. You know, the so called $166,000 people that may get an increase of $30 per Fortnight!! and does not worry about those that have a loss in their part pension, or lose it completely.
    After all that's what the Robin Hood Principle was that they designed. PS My spies tell me that the Mark 2 and Mk 3 changes already designed for implementation as part of May 2017 Budget
    LiveItUp
    26th Dec 2016
    2:19pm
    If the non home owning couple with $825000 bought a house it would cosy $500,000 plus in a decent area so they would have $325,000 left which would give them atleast $14882 pa so it sounds fair to me. Also ut would cost over $400 per week to rent a decent house which is a lot more than it costs to own a house with reduced rates etc.

    I agree their are lots more changes to come and the May 2017 will be the one to make lots of changes. There are all sorts of ideas being discussed by financial planners with thier peers. There will be changes to how the home is assessed for sure. What it will be one can only guess but ideas are already being floated. I'd be concerned if I owned a home worth over $1 and was on the OAP. There is also talk about the OAP being a debt on one's estate becuase the government wants to cash in on the value of the home.
    LiveItUp
    26th Dec 2016
    2:37pm
    Another change being discussed is to only give the pensioner health card to those on the full pension and replace the rest with the commonwealth senior's health card. Also being duscussed is removing stamp duty on purchase of property and replacing ut with a land tax on all home owners.

    The May budget is going to make some interesting reading.
    Anonymous
    27th Dec 2016
    5:28am
    This government might decide it's not so smart constantly attacking older Australians to fund bigger parties for the rich now that it's clear that they are rapidly losing support to Labor and the Independents.

    Older Aussies have been seen as an easy target for a lazy and inept government that has no idea how to stimulate economic growth, much less any concept of being fair and creating social harmony. They might just decide their ''interesting reading'' is not so interesting to those who aspire to be re-elected.

    Sad how many sick, self-satisfied privileged bastards wish misery on those who were less fortunate. Yes Bonny - we know you love to bash the battlers who dared to strive and improve their status. We can't have people rising above the station they were born to, can we now? Got to grind them back down into poverty and ensure they die broke and can't give the next generation a leg up that might position them to challenge the dominance of the inept, stupid rich who could never hope to achieve under their own steam, but rely on birthright to claim entitlement.
    LiveItUp
    27th Dec 2016
    10:55am
    Rainey you crack me up with your inaccurate comments. If you think current government is bad then just wait for what in store for those pensioners with assets and homes when Labor gets back in.
    Anonymous
    27th Dec 2016
    10:59am
    Yep, have to say I agree with Bonny here.
    And Rainey, your attacks on OG are very off putting, wonder why you're allowed to make them??????
    LiveItUp
    27th Dec 2016
    11:27am
    I agree Ray OG makes a lot more sense than Rainey does.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    9:41am
    Ray, OG has gone so far in the past as to say my grandson should be killed because he has a disability. I'll keep opposing his vile cruelty and lack of respect for ordinary Australians.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    9:42am
    Bonny, like you OG can't think past ''he APPEARS to have money, take it off him''. Too dumb to see the logical consequences of bashing those who do what is good for the nation. Just want everyone but the privileged well-to-do hurt and suffering. SICK!
    Kali-G
    26th Dec 2016
    8:42pm
    THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INTERROGATION BETWEEN CENTRELINK...AND THE SECRET SERVICES IN COMMUNIST COUNTRIES IS.......HERE THEY DONT USE RUBBER HOSES TO HIT YOU....

    27th Dec 2016
    5:22am
    Surprising news this morning... the government's approval rate among older Australians - the largest voting block in the nation - is falling drastically. More older Australians are switching away from the LNP and favouring Labor or Independents. Now I wonder why that would be? Could it be that some of us are heartily fed up with the idiotic, unfair, and economically unsustainable policies that attack retirees, stripping them of needed income, to fund more handouts to the rich?
    Retired Knowall
    27th Dec 2016
    8:58am
    We keep reading about "THE RICH". Who do classify as Rich?
    LiveItUp
    27th Dec 2016
    10:49am
    Just shows are inaccurate these polls have become nothing else.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    9:38am
    I think the polls are spot on in this survey, Bonny. And even the younger Aussies are waking up. A bank manager told me last week that he had switched to Labor because of the STUPID pension changes that he recognizes are going to hurt his generation badly. My children have switched allegiance for the same reason and say most of their friends have also. They can see that their generation will be hurt far worse than ours as a result of the meanness and incompetence of the LNP.
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    11:01am
    Most people not affected by the changes are ignorant of them Rainey.
    Farside
    28th Dec 2016
    2:08pm
    Rainey, Polls are irrelevant so soon after the election when those "switching away from the LNP" are only doing it rhetorically. The only vote that counts is the one in the ballot box. It's not that many months ago that the"older Australians - the largest voting block in the nation" had the opportunity to oust Turnbull, Morrison and the rest of the LNO but voted them back in. As the saying goes "'Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true.'"

    People get the governments they deserve.
    Anonymous
    4th Jan 2017
    1:52pm
    People not affected are certainly being bombarded with information now and are starting to understand and support those who have suffered unfairness. The changed taper rate is very likely to spell the end of the LNP's reign.
    Rodent
    27th Dec 2016
    10:36am
    As I indicated in my Post Yesterday the Govt does not care about SOME Pensioners who will LOSE out under the Asset Test Changes due 1 Jan 2017
    Proof of this is a so called "Reader Comment" in todays Herald Sun under the signatures of Ministers - Christian Porter and Alan Tudge where they rabbit on about how this change will affect less than 10% of the 3.7 Mill Pensioners , plus other old Govt Figures and comments. BUT WAIT there is not ONE word about the approx. 235,000 part Pensioners who lose some of their Pension, the closest they get is saying 90,000 will lose their pension completely.
    As I said before watch for Govt Media, with examples about the Pensioners who MAY get an increase, ie the so called $30 per Fortnight for what they now claim is 170,000 pensioners.

    Bonny - based on your reply I did not think you would understand the points I made in my earlier post , don't worry to much, plenty of others do understand!!
    LiveItUp
    27th Dec 2016
    10:47am
    Yes I do understand them as they show the inequity between home owners and non home owners. I have been saying this is not fair for a long time so it long over due for the house to be included in the assets test.
    Anonymous
    27th Dec 2016
    1:57pm
    Actually, Bonny, the figures reveal that home owners are often the ones treated most unfairly. Renters who have assets get a huge bonus, and rent assistance besides, and many rent quite cheaply - or actually own homes in retirement or holiday villages etc. and only pay a little rent for the land.

    Conversely, owning a home can be very expensive when you consider rates, water, maintenance costs, etc. PLUS the loss of pension benefits.

    I worked out it costs my part pensioner neighbour $450 per week to live in his own home, whereas he could rent an equivalent 3-bedroom/2 bath/2-garage brick and tile home with rumpus room and office for $300 per week and get a bigger pension and rent assistance.

    The aged pension system is a complete mess. It encourages and rewards irresponsible behaviour, cheating and manipulation, and punishes hard work, saving, and honesty harshly. And recent changes have made it much worse. All the thought bubbles I read from Bonny and OG will also compound the problems and make the system far less fair and less affordable. It needs a total overhaul by people with common sense, proper respect for senior Australians, and the capacity to appreciate the intent of the aged pension system and the need for it to continue to serve that intent until the superannuation system matures further.
    Anonymous
    27th Dec 2016
    2:01pm
    I have a real issue with ''only 10% of pensioners will be affected'', and ''only 90,000 will lose their pension completely''. I don't see that it matters how few or how many are hurt by a bad policy change. It's not about numbers. It's about making policy that is fair and good for the nation as a whole and doesn't unduly discriminate against any minority group - no matter how small.

    I'll bet those 90,000 and 235,000 numbers shrink in a big hurry as people realize how detrimental it is retaining assets above the new thresholds. The cost of funding aged pensions is about to soar thanks to brainless politicians and their ill-considered 'quick fix' solutions.
    Old Geezer
    27th Dec 2016
    6:54pm
    People will just adjust to the new changes like they always have after having a whinge about them. The cost to the government of pensions will continue to rise as more people retire and live longer. This change as well as those in the pipeline will slow down the cost of pensions going forward.

    It's good to see that the government has done something to stop those who should never have got the OAP getting it going forward.

    The truth is gradually being told and people are waking up to those whinging about losing their pension.

    I look forward to more to come in the May budget.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    9:36am
    WRONG AGAIN OG. The changes will INCREASE the cost of pensions going forward, but IDIOTS and LIARS motivated by political affiliation will say it's just because of the increasing numbers of retirees. CRAP! Superannuation should be reducing dependence on pensions, but dependence will INCREASE because saving is discouraged and punished.

    You are also WRONG about people who are unhappy about losing their pension. You work on INVALID ASSUMPTI0NS and have absolutely no idea of the realities of their situation.

    Yes, people will adjust. They have to. They will reduce their savings and push the deficit UP.

    27th Dec 2016
    10:59am
    Quotes from the president of Uruguay. Our pollies should take notice!!

    "As soon as politicians start climbing up the ladder, they suddenly become kings. I don't know how it works, but what I do know is that republics came to the world to make sure that no one is more than anyone else." The pomp of office, he said, is like something left over from a feudal past: "You need a palace, red carpet, a lot of people behind you saying, 'Yes, sir.' I think all of that is awful."

    "A president is a high-level official who is elected to carry out a function. He is not a king, not a god. He is not the witch doctor of a tribe who knows everything. He is a civil servant. I think the ideal way of living is to live like the vast majority of people whom we attempt to serve and represent."

    Yes, please, Mr Turnbull. Let's have politicians living like the vast majority of people they SHOULD serve and represent. If they did that, there would be hope for economic growth and a healthy society.
    LiveItUp
    27th Dec 2016
    11:13am
    Not too sure what colour you glasses are Rainey but you are certainly not talking about Australia here.
    Retired Knowall
    28th Dec 2016
    6:54am
    The sad fact is that Australia is totally devoid of statesmen that have the Will or the Skill to bring about the changes we need. The focus by this Govt. and opposition parties is solely on expenditure and revenue is ignored. Malaysia is able to get twice the rate for it's resources than we do, the gas companies sell our gas cheaper to overseas than we pay. Tax avoidance by multinationals is scandalous, the budget would be in surplus if that alone was fixed......but don't hold your breath.
    As long as the population continues to vote in either of the major parties nothing will change, but then the quality of the Independents is no better. I guess change of Govt wont improve things in the short term but it will send a message that the status quo has changed.

    People were surprised that Trump was elected in the US....not me, I travelled down the West Coast last year and was shocked and appalled at the THOUSANDS living in their cars, parked overnight in Walmart carparks. I was told that nearly half the cars were stolen but police turned a blind eye as that's all families had. And this is the worlds richest country.

    The question is "How Bad does it have to get before people wake up".
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    9:33am
    What on earth are you on about, Bonny? You make no sense at all! I was suggesting Australian politicians should heed the advice of the President of Uruguay. And most Aussies would agree with me on that point!

    Yes, Retired Knowall. You are right. But the problem is that those who decide who will govern are doing just fine, both in US and here. And they just don't give a damn about anyone but themselves. Bonny and OG's callous and incorrect comments are proof of that.

    Then we have the problem of people being ignorant or hoodwinked. How many STILL, despite all the information supplied about the damaging impact of the assets test change, approve the change out of envy or wrong suppositions, instead of recognizing that it will deter saving and put total pension costs up? When it comes to the issues you refer to, most just think it's a lost cause anyway and no politician is more likely than any other to know how to improve the situation.

    I think it has to be VERY, VERY BAD before the people that matter wake up.
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    11:12am
    I agree people are waking up to the fact that anyone that loses under the new asset test is nothing but being greedy. It is now all over social media and people are now telling the whinging pensioners what they really think.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    7:20pm
    Nobody is ''waking up'' that people are greedy. Only IDIOTS with not capacity to read and understand are believing OTHER IDIOTS with green eyes and nasty minds who LIE and BULLY to wish hurt on decent people.

    You are a nasty minded creep, OG, who has no idea what you are talking about.
    Rodent
    27th Dec 2016
    12:53pm
    Bonny

    Sorry, all you understand is there is a difference, and you seriously believe that Including the Home in the Assets Test will remove the inequity THAT I WROTE ABOUT- have another look at the figures. Using the CURRENT Assets Test and Including some part of a Home Owners Residence in the CURRENT assets test would produce even LESS pension for a Home Owner COMPARED to a Non Home Owner. In other words if a Non Home Owner Couple and a Home Owner Couple BOTH had $825,000 in ASSETS then the Non Homeowner would STILL receive the same $14,882pa in Pension and The Home Owner would get even LESS than ZERO. There are 3 times as many Home Owners compared to Non Home owners, yet the Non Homeowners are NOT savaged by these changes in the same Proportion as Home owners. My point is you and so many others who say just include the Home Owners Residence in the Assets Test simply fail to understand how the CURRENT System actually works day to day, and even if this were to happen, it cannot be made to work using the Current Assets Test- Both the Bath and Bathwater need a change!!
    LiveItUp
    27th Dec 2016
    3:27pm
    But I do understand the difference with the non home owner still at a disadvantage under the new rules. You have to look at the whole picture. Sure a non home owner gets more pension but they also have no where to live unless they pay for it or a lucky few might have a bed with a relative or friend. That costs big $$$s.

    If the home owner cashed in thier house then 99% would be well in front of the non home owners as there are very few good places to live where you can buy a house for the difference in assets between home owners and non home owners.

    So what you are saying to me is that a home owner can have a house worth $3 million and is disadvantaged as they get less pension than a non home owner. I really don't think so.

    That is one of the many reasons why the house should be included in the assets test.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    10:49am
    Nobody said anything about an owner of a $3 million house, Bonny. There are people out there with houses worth less than $200,000, and paying huge costs for rates, insurance and maintenance. As usual, you twist everything to suit your bigoted point of view.

    Yes, excluding the family home from the assets test is problematical. It creates unfairness. But so does allowing non-homeowners a higher threshold and rent assistance. Everything depends on personal circumstances, and personal circumstances are not - and cannot - be considered.

    There are sensible solutions, but this moronic lot of useless politicians with their commitment to the quick-fix and inability to think things through simply WILL NOT EVEN TRY to come up with a more logical, fairer, and more sustainable system. And the constant bashing of those who the current system treats very UNFAIRLY by those who are doing okay thank you and don't give a damn about anyone else or the nation is encouraging politicians to ignore the problems.

    Including the family home in the assets test just makes more unfairness and unwelcome complications. So does making the pension a loan. All these CRUEL AND NASTY HITS AT BATTLERS don't solve anything. They just make life harder for the less privileged, alienate voters, and make bigger problem down the track.

    What is needed is to throw out the current system and start over. It will NEVER be fair or sustainable by continuing to bash those who benefit from it on the basis of invalid assumptions or a nasty desire to ensure less privileged people who worked and saved a little are ground back into hardship.
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    10:59am
    Show me those cheap houses as if they are any good I might do some shopping.
    Farside
    28th Dec 2016
    2:17pm
    OG, $200,000 will buy you three houses and change in tropical Collinsville, Queensland. Get away from the cities and there are opportunities if you want to look for them. Many grey nomads are looking at these places for a home base when not travelling.

    https://www.realestate.com.au/neighbourhoods/collinsville-4804-qld
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    2:20pm
    Lot of money certainly got lost on those houses in Collinsville. Ex mining town with no social structure or community. No thanks.
    Farside
    28th Dec 2016
    2:21pm
    What is unfair in the OAP means testing is the inequitable treatment shown married couples. A parent and child, two siblings or two friends can all live together and be treated as singles for means testing purposes. It's about time the same treatment was shown married couples.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    8:18pm
    I agree Farside. I know dozens of ''couples'' who live together as man and wife but claim single pensions. Neighbours just built a house with a bedroom suite at either end and claim to be separated, but just living at the same address. Both collecting single pensions.
    Rodent
    27th Dec 2016
    5:04pm
    Hi Bonny

    You say you understand the difference, then claim the Non Home Owner is disadvantaged under the current Assets Test? . In strictly Asset Dollar terms that's simply NOT correct If you compare the Dollar values of the Assets equally then you are plainly wrong, and the Pension paid to each explains why. I understand the whole picture. So lets talk about Equity and fairness, or just consider this.

    A Non Home Owner Couple with assets of $825,000, and who after 1 Jan 2017 will receive a $14,882pa Pension -decides to purchase a house (which is what the home owner has already done) yes and I understand that could be difficult, but far from impossible, so lets assume they decide to and can make it happen. They are now Home Owners and would be paid a Homeowners Couples Pension.

    So what's just happened- The Non Homeowner just spent some of their Liquidity/Cash assets and purchased a Home. Lets say they purchased in Melb outer Metro for $325,000 and as a result has now only $500,000 in Assets , suddenly- their Pension paid has INCREASED is $24,632pa and they have a roof over their head, with of course all its associated costs- but are getiing $10kpa more in Pension?

    All very interesting as an option? So the question is would you consider purchasing home just to get a $10,000 increased Pension(this example) the answer if its only the Pension that had to be considered of course NOT-

    No matter what you or I or anybody else may say here -the one thing we will agree on is that after 1 Jan 2017 things will change, and as I call it the Robin Hood Principle is in play

    No I am not saying that a Home Owner can have a house worth $3Mil dollars , or another figure, but in some cases that may be the reality.

    I agree there must be further changes BUT I have no confidence in Politicians or the so called Think Tanks, Advisors or vested interests to make the right decision.
    Unfortunately everthing is about the reality of of the need to reduce spending.

    Finally personally I would be very happy if this Govt, or any alternative Govt reviewed or needs for the Joint Strike Fighter, and the Submarines order- both need revision.
    Old Geezer
    27th Dec 2016
    6:45pm
    House for $325,000 in Melbourne sounds awful cheap to me. Maybe 10 years ago. You would be looking at 500,000 plus for a house around here. Not much left of their $825,000.
    Anonymous
    27th Dec 2016
    8:48pm
    Trust OG to make a comment that is totally irrelevant to the debate. Anything to disagree, eh OG? Doesn't matter how inane and off topic your dumb comments are. You'll say anything to try to negate intelligent criticism of a CLEARLY WRONG government policy and try to justify a bad system.
    LiveItUp
    27th Dec 2016
    10:34pm
    OG makes a very valid point. The assets level for a non home owner are not near enough comoared to a pensioner who owns their own home.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    9:27am
    He DID NOT make that point, Bonny. Nor did his comment have any relevance to the debate. He merely argued - INCORRECTLY - that a random estimate of what one might pay for a home in a certain area was wrong. Nothing to do with the topic under discussion.
    Rodent
    28th Dec 2016
    7:17am
    Bonny

    have another go your comment makes no sense? please explain what you are trying to say, and be specific

    OG makes a very valid point. The assets level for a non home owner are not near enough comoared to a pensioner who owns their own home.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    9:25am
    She's talking rubbish anyway, Rodent. The asset level for a non-home owner is often way too high compared to a home owner. It depends on a huge range of variables. The system just doesn't work, and that's the bottom line!

    Consider a home owner with a $230,000 home unit and total assets above the new threshold. Rates and body corp might add up to $4000 a year easily. Add maintenance costs (body corp only covers SOME external maintenance and no internal). It could conceivably cost a home owner with that modest investment $100 a week to live in their own home. Add to that a loss of pension due to an extra $200,000 being counted, and the loss of rent assistance, and this home owner does not fare well at all compared to a renter who may only be paying $200 per week (or even less! I know one paying $65 per week for a 3 bedroom home because it's out of town and they help look after the property when the owners are away - not declared of course because there's no payment!)
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    10:57am
    I agree with Bonny the non home owner's asset level is too low compared to the home owner's. $230,000 would even buy you a bedsit around here and it's a place where a lot of people retire. $500,000 might buy you a house with no views and a few kilometres from the seas but anything down town would cost you a lot more.
    In Sydney the situation is a lot worse.

    Not too many pensioners live out of country towns on properties with caretaker roles in exchange for cheap rent. To rent a house around here you are looking at $500 plus per week. Sydney is higher. $200 per week sounds like living in a shared house to me. I know people who rent out rooms in houses to uni students for approx that.

    So for the majority of non home owning pensioners the asset level is not set high enough to cover the cost of renting or the what it wold cost to buy a house.

    Good if you can rent somewhere that you are happy with cheaply then you will have to move somewhere either without decent facilities or somewhere that other costs need to be considered as well. eg Living out of town requires a car and running expenses.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    8:31pm
    Keep lying to drive pension costs and taxes up, OG. I sincerely hope the taxpayers get who is causing their burden to increase with his greed, arrogance and nastiness.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    8:31pm
    Keep lying to drive pension costs and taxes up, OG. I sincerely hope the taxpayers get who is causing their burden to increase with his greed, arrogance and nastiness.
    Farside
    28th Dec 2016
    11:59pm
    Pensioners must realise their limited means results in them not being able to live wherever they desire. If houses and rents cost a lot in the capital cities then they need to adjust their aspirations and move to a location and accommodation type that enables them to more comfortably live within their means.
    Anonymous
    29th Dec 2016
    9:37pm
    Oh no no no, Farside. According to OG and Bonny, they should be able to STEAL from responsible hard working folk who saved for old age so that they can live as they choose. We can't have people who work hard and save well enjoying the fruits of their labour. In this COMMUNIST society, we have to take from anyone who worked and saved and gift to those who didn't. And then we all sit around scratching our heads and whining about the ''welfare mentality'', too dumb to understand that punishing endeavour creates indolence.
    Rodent
    28th Dec 2016
    7:46am
    OG

    As normal for you a comment that does not deal in facts. There are plenty of homes in Melbourne that are $350,000 and less, just let you fingers do some walking, good buying opportunities for a canny investor
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    10:58am
    I hate to see the suburbs they are in or the condition they are in. Certainly not low maintenance and close to essential services.
    Young@heart
    28th Dec 2016
    11:04am
    I am a single homeowner with 500k in assets which I saved hard and went without to have a decent standard of living in my retirement.
    I do not consider myself wealthy by any means
    Come January 1 my part pension will reduce from $376/FN to $78/FN
    The policy makers who conceived this lame system have completely missed the obvious
    As many others will do I will spend or move to a more expensive home.
    Yes, I will have less in my retirement fund but has a result my pension will increase to a greater level than pre January 1 and my standard of living will be restored.
    This will put an even greater financial burden on the system……why don’t they see that?
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    11:08am
    Good you are spending your money not that of the taxpayers. If the current system was allowed to continue every pensioner would suffer as the pie would have to be cut in many more pieces. So it's a good idea to cut the pension of those who can afford not to have it so that the pension has been maintained for those who need it.

    What people don't get is that the number of OAPs is increasing faster than the welfare budget can expand to pay them.
    Retired Knowall
    28th Dec 2016
    12:55pm
    Median home prices - metropolitan Melbourne, (June quarter, 2015)
    Houses $706,000
    Units and apartments $520,000

    Median home prices - regional Victoria (June quarter, 2015)
    City of Ballarat $317,250
    City of Greater Bendigo $338,250
    City of Greater Geelong $411,250
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    2:15pm
    That's more like it Retired Knowall. Not much change from $835,000 buying the median house of $706,000 in Melbourne.

    That says to me that the non home owners asset levels are too low compared to the home owner ones.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    8:25pm
    What does it matter how much a house costs? Homeowners bought their homes years ago. What matters is how much it costs them now to live in them. And that's a HUGE cost, which makes the pension benefit to non-homeowners INEQUITABLE. After all, most non-homeowners are non-homeowners because they didn't bother to work and save and invest in a home. They just expected the taxpayer to support them. And now IDIOTS want to burden the taxpayer with huge and growing costs to support more and more non-homeowners by punishing those who lived responsibly and tried to save the taxpayer.

    Keep it up, OG. Taxes will soar, and it will be YOUR FAULT.
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    8:32pm
    It will matter soon how much houses are worth as they will be taken into account to determine one's pension before the decade is out. Lots of ideas about how is currently being discussed in the financial industry. Ask your financial advisor Rainey. If he say no then he is out of touch.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    8:37pm
    There you go again, OG. Wanting to DRIVE TAXES AND DEBT UP UP UP by punishing people who act responsibly and forcing people into hardship and onto pensions unnecessarily.'
    What a disgusting person you are!
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    8:41pm
    No Rainey this is a great move by the government to save money now and going forward with the real kicker being when super cuts in in a big way.
    Best part is that it takes from those that don't need it and leave those that need it with their pension intact or increased.
    Farside
    29th Dec 2016
    12:29am
    OG, you write "That's more like it Retired Knowall. Not much change from $835,000 buying the median house of $706,000 in Melbourne." It strikes me that you are coming from a position that retirees should have average or above average value residences.

    My take is that retirees must live within their means and at least half the houses in Melbourne are worth less than $706,000. This may involve moving to a less expensive suburb and they do exist. For example a median house in Melton is $260,000 in mid 2015.

    http://www.domain.com.au/news/bargain-hunting-in-melbournes-20-cheapest-suburbs-20150624-ghv4v2/
    Anonymous
    29th Dec 2016
    9:39pm
    OG, only a dumb fool would think that forcing people to stop saving is going to reduce pension costs. You are either an LNP stooge or a gullible idiot!
    PAYEdmydues
    28th Dec 2016
    11:28am
    So the Government makes the pensions fairer and people complain anyway.
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    11:50am
    Yes. I consider anyone whinging about this is nothing but greedy.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    7:08pm
    But they DID NOT make it fairer, PAYEdmydues. If you examine the changes objectively and don't believe the lies of politicians and their stupid supporters, you will see that the system was made VERY MUCH MORE UNFAIR. That's why the complaints. But it takes a brain to see the unfairness and to recognize the harm it will do to the taxpayers and the budget, and sadly there are too many Australians without any brains.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    7:16pm
    Here's just a few examples of unfairness, PAYEdmydues:

    Fred was privileged enough to have generous employer funded super. He gets a pension of $65,000 a year. He suffers no loss. Jack had no super so struggled and sacrificed to save and managed to get to where, at the 7% interest that was being paid, on average, when he was working, would have given him $52,500 a year. But with interest rates now so low, his income is just $22,500 per year (for him AND his wife) - but he gets NO PENSION. Jim, who plunged all his money into a $3 million house gets a full pension. Tony, who gave $2 million to his kids before he turned 60, with an unwritten agreement that they will pay all his bills, gets a full pension.

    Jim took his wife around the world 3 times before retiring and gets a full pension. Damien stayed home to look after his aging parents and wants to take his wife around the world when they are 70, but he can't now because his income has been slashed.

    Andrew gambled and drank all his life and gets a full pension. Steven saved like crazy to leave some money to his disabled grandson so his grandson wouldn't be a burden on society, but now he's forced to spend his savings and leave nothing, while Andrew is looked after by the taxpayer.

    Steven actually figured out, with the help of his financial adviser, that if he now spends $100,000 on a world cruise, over the next 10 years the taxpayer will pay back the $100,000 plus some in extra pension payments!

    Smart people are whinging, PAYEdmydues, because the system punishes saving so there will be far more people on bigger pensions and less people saving for old age. My financial adviser says out of 98 clients who are affected, 96 have booked expensive holidays and will draw bigger pensions than they would have if there was no change, and 2 have bought bigger houses. NOT A SINGLE ONE WILL SAVE THE TAXPAYER ANYTHING.
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    8:11pm
    Rainey this change is only phase 1 in a lot more changes to come.

    Fred must have $1.6 million in super if he has recently retired so get no pension anyway. OK if he puts half into his wife's super he will get some pension. She is 10 years younger and her super does not get counted. You forgot that loop hole Rainey.

    If Jack gets no pension he must be over the highest asset limit so has plenty of money to pay his own way.

    Tony gave his money away which is what farmers have been doing for years with their farms.

    Jim spent his money on himself and his wife so no problem doing that at all.

    Andrew gambled and drank no problem with that as he has nothing so fits the category that he needs the pension for the basics of life.

    Steven can spend $100,000 on a world cruise no problem with that as he is spending his money on himself. He must be only just over the limit if he is only spending $100,000.

    Don't most people go on expensive holidays when they retire anyway? That how Scenic and all those luxury travel companies make their money. Just check the age of the people in the photos in their brochures. Have you noticed how many cruise boats are now coming down under in the off season? This was all happening way before any asset test changes.

    Nothing much has changed Rainey and it is good to see people enjoying themselves before they no longer can.

    What about all those new cars and caravan? The caravan industry grows every year and has been doing so for many years. Every week end there seems to be show somewhere promoting them and these shows keep getting bigger.

    I can't wait too see what the May budget brings.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    8:29pm
    You are such a pig-headed IDIOT, OG. So stuck in STUPID BIGOTED THINKING that you refuse to see the unfairness of the system even when it's pointed out.

    And no STUPID, Fred doesn't have $1.6 million in super. He loses his pension entirely at just $750,000 in investable assets under IDIOTIC new rules that reward people for being irresponsible. The remaining $56,000 is in modest car, collection of furniture, and a little liquid cash for emergencies.

    Keep LYING. No wonder the nation is stuffed.
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    8:39pm
    If Fred has an income of $65,000 a year then why does he need the pension? He doesn't.

    Rainey when are you going on your world trip to spend your extra money so that you can get the OAP? Something you should do soon rather than later.
    Anonymous
    29th Dec 2016
    12:30pm
    Precisely my point, you fool! Fred DOESN'T need a pension with an income of $65,000 a year, but he gets one anyway, with all the benefits. His mate, with an income of only $21,000 a year GETS NOTHING because he dared to save for his own retirement, hoping to live in a little better style than those who didn't. Only now, because he didn't manage to accrue $1.6 million (that YOU LIE and claim he has!) he has to hand all that saving to the government to gift to people who didn't save.
    And that, OG, is the STINKING DESTRUCTIVE UNFAIR SYSTEM YOU ENDORSE.
    Old Geezer
    29th Dec 2016
    12:44pm
    Fred would fail the new asset test as 16 times $65,000 is $1,040,000 which is above the new limit.
    Anonymous
    29th Dec 2016
    9:24pm
    Wrong again stupid fool! Who said Fred's $65,000 flowed from returns on assets? It might be a ComSuper or military pension, or earnings from a trust. There are tons of ways to earn $65,000 a year without having over a million in assets.
    Old Geezer
    30th Dec 2016
    2:13pm
    Interesting as I read somewhere that such pensions were multiplied by 16 to get a value for the asset test.
    Anonymous
    4th Jan 2017
    1:49pm
    You got that wrong, then, OG. My mother had a ComSuper pension and was assessed as having $0 assets.
    Lost our culture
    28th Dec 2016
    3:53pm
    Why isn't something being done about the cash jobs the tradies do? Or the money from take away shops that are laundered through the pokies or the new trend of most cake shops or takeaway shop only cash only. They then take $10000 out of the country back to the home country. Not paying taxes while all the good people saved and paid their taxes for their retirement?
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    4:00pm
    One of the reasons why the government wants to take $100 notes out of the system.

    Only thing you can do is not pay tradie cash and check they are licenced.

    28th Dec 2016
    7:17pm
    Good to see the government getting hammered over STUPID pension changes. Pauline Hanson is slamming them now, demanding they leave aged pensioners alone.
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    7:51pm
    Pauline Hanson is definitely way out of touch as she is getting a hard time over her stance on social media.
    Anonymous
    28th Dec 2016
    8:25pm
    Hanson is far more in touch than any dim-witted LNP supporter.
    Old Geezer
    28th Dec 2016
    8:33pm
    She won't be re-elected.
    Young@heart
    29th Dec 2016
    12:24pm
    The Pension Assets Test to be implemented on January 1 2017.
    Politicians of any persuasion should take note,the senior group of voters may be about to make a huge impact on future elections.

    Change in the Entitlements.
    If our pension isn’t an entitlement neither is theirs, they say paying us an aged pension is not sustainable.
    Paying politicians all the perks they get is even less sustainable.
    Politicians themselves said that the age entitlement is over so
    scrap political pensions, politicians can purchase their own retirement plan like other working Australian do.
    Retired or unemployed politicians should report to Centrelink as do we.
    Politicians should receive no salary after retirement,unless they work for it as we do.
    Re-evaluate outrageous travel and accommodation expenses
    No longer vote themselves pay rises.
    Participate in the same health care as ordinary Australians.

    It would be very interesting to see how many true and dedicated Politicians there would be if the above were implemented,
    Serving as a Politician should be an honour, not a career driven by self-serving greed.
    MacI
    30th Dec 2016
    10:32am
    Minority parties can say whatever they think will make them more popular as they have no accountability for running the budget. I expect nothing less from Pauline Hanson or any other populist politician.

    The Labor party is duplicitous. They "banked" the savings from the new asset test to help fund their election promises and yet their current rhetoric is about how lousy the LNP is for bringing in this change. You are dreaming if you think that they will wind it back in the future.

    A campaign by politicians such as Pauline Hanson and the Labor party against the change to the asset test is more about political point scoring than actually making a coherent argument against the change so I would not be citing them as support for my point of view (whatever that is).
    Rodent
    29th Dec 2016
    7:27am
    Hey Old Geezer

    Just a reminder for you. You will have to wait until Labor is back as the Govt because the Libs have said, more than once, both Morrison and Turnbull that the Family Home will NEVER be included in the Assets Test while they are in Govt. Or is that just another Lie?
    LiveItUp
    29th Dec 2016
    8:59am
    Pollies promises have a use by date. It is the day after they get elected.

    The concept of the house being considered as part of the OAP is a hot topic in the financial planning industry. Only the other day I joked about trading my estate for a better one so I'd qualify for the OAP and was told to do so at my own risk.

    Another hot topic is giving anyone who wants the OAP but it will become a debt the the estate.

    Also being discussed is only giving the concessios to full OAPs.

    The may budget is looking interesting.
    Anonymous
    29th Dec 2016
    12:34pm
    Yes, keep bashing the people who built this nation and EARNED the right to a decent retirement. Keep stripping away at the lifestyle of workers and savers to reward the irresponsible. Then wonder why the nation's economy is in a mess and so many don't want to work and save! Even a half-wit ought to be able to understand that punishing good behaviour and rewarding bad is going to create more bad behaviour and less good! Most people learn that in infancy!
    Anonymous
    29th Dec 2016
    12:35pm
    But we pay politicians a king's ransom to make decisions that even a half-wit can see are BAD for the nation!
    Old Geezer
    29th Dec 2016
    12:41pm
    I'm not bashing anyone just letting people know what is being discussed in the financial world so they get no nasty surprises. None of it matters to me but it does for those on the OAP.

    29th Dec 2016
    12:32pm
    Comment found on an MSN site:

    ''Heaven forbid people actually benefit from working, saving, living responsibly, and trying to impose minimally on the taxpayer in their old age! Goodness, if we allowed those people to benefit, we might actually have more workers and savers and fewer bludgers and disability fakers. But no... much better to bash the workers and savers and then whine about bludgers and fakers and make elaborate threats of weeding them out (as if anyone ever will!) and beating them with a big stick.
    And the LNP accuses Labor of bad economic management!''

    Sums it up accurately. Horrible people like Bonny and OG though, approve of bashing workers and savers. Then they whine about bludgers and fakers. Too STUPID to see that punishing good behaviour drives more bad!
    Old Geezer
    29th Dec 2016
    12:40pm
    I disagree about saving and investing as it has allowed me to stop trading time for money decades ago now.

    You have certainly got it all wrong Rainey. The OAP is for people who need it not for those that it is nice to have. It would be nice to have for nearly everyone but for it to be available for those who need it it needs to not be given those who don't.

    However wrote that on the NSM site is very ignorant and is doing themselves a big disservice.
    Old Geezer
    29th Dec 2016
    1:21pm
    Some quotes from social media

    People forget the home you live in is exempt from the asset test. If you have assets that can pay for your retirement there should be no need to have pension until your assets go under the required amount

    ....but if the have over $800k in other assets that can easily fund 20 years of their retirement why tap into a pension? If they go under $800k excluding their home they start to get a pension.

    If you own your own home and have over $800k in other assets a couple could live a comfortable lifestyle for 20years then downsize from there own home and receive the aged pension. What is wrong with that?

    Has everyone actually looked into what the changes are? Many pensioners will have an increased pension and those wealthy pensioners will have to dip into their savings until they reach a lower asset threshold to receive the pension

    I thought as much. $816,000 in assets test then your age pension goes I think that is actually very fair. Why should you have that much, even $500,000 and be able to claim the Age Pension. If you have $300,000 or less what's changing is no drama.

    I know of people who have more than enough in their super funds to be self funded retirees but are getting the pension they neither need or should be eligible for. There are loops holes which need to be closed to stop this misuse of the pension so that others who need the pension are able to receive more from the Government. These people need to be targeted and stopped from double dipping

    Just a small selection of what people really think.
    Anonymous
    29th Dec 2016
    9:22pm
    Still missing the point, OG? How sad to be so dumb! Happily, the majority are waking up that punishing responsible behaviour and rewarding spendthrifts and cheats is BAD FOR THE NATION. Stupid policies that make saving futile will drive pensions UP UP UP UP UP and taxpayers will suffer.

    Only dunces and LNP stooges support such IDIOTIC and DESTRUCTIVE policies.

    It has NOTHING WHATEVER TO DO with who has what or who should spend what. It's about what's good for the nation, old fool!
    LiveItUp
    29th Dec 2016
    10:45pm
    No pne is punishing people like me one of the savers of the nation so what are you on about Rainey?
    Anonymous
    30th Dec 2016
    9:43am
    Excellent post Old Geezer and you make a lot of sense. How can anyone in their right mind fault what you have said?

    Rainey, you seem to have no idea about managing finances, about what the pension is all about and your arguments are ridiculous.

    Go and do some reading up about the reason why the "safety net" of the old age pension exists.
    Anonymous
    30th Dec 2016
    1:32pm
    Keep ranting, Ray, and watch as the cost of aged pensions goes through the roof. Only fools endorse policy that punishes responsible planning for retirement and rewards bludgers, cheats and layabouts.

    It's you who has no idea. We are creating a welfare mentality by making it pointless to save. We don't tax people until it's pointless to work, so why beat them up for saving and make it pointless to try to be at least substantially self-sufficient in old age.

    The ''safety net'' is supposed to operate to give maximum security to the needy in society. You can't do that by building a system that gives more to people for being irresponsible. You just push the costs of pensions up and there's less to deliver ''safety'' with.

    I agree with means testing - but do it correctly! Don't offer 7.8%++++ to people to throw away the assets that are only returning 3 to 5%. That's just STUPID.
    Old Geezer
    30th Dec 2016
    2:09pm
    Rainey you may think it is pointless to save as you have ben personally disadvantaged by the asset changes. Most of us are glad we didn't spend every penny we earned and save a bit for a rainy day.

    The asset changes will effect less than 10% of OAPs and most will just adjust tot eh new changes. OK a few will take that trip they have been going to do one day and spend a bit of money but going forward it will allow the government to five the OAP to those who need it not to those that it is just nice to have. It also wont hurt the beneficiaries to get less from their estate as to most it is only a windfall anyway.
    Anonymous
    30th Dec 2016
    3:12pm
    Rainey,

    In all fairness to you, I have to admit I don't know much about your circumstances having not read all of your posts.

    The way I understand it: you are on the Aged Pension,but also have assets, the value of which are now going to reduce your pension when the new laws are implemented. Am I right?

    If any of it is too personal and you don't want to answer, I understand.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jan 2017
    5:04pm
    No Ray. I'm still working and paying taxes, but I'm concerned for the future of the nation with a government so STUPIDLY destroying all incentives to save for retirement.
    Rodent
    29th Dec 2016
    4:28pm
    Hey Old Geezer and Bonny

    I need a new years present. Please tell us all you are really the same person?

    Did any body read Peter Martin's article in todays Age" -Labor fails the fairness Test

    I have just written to him about the his article, Pension changes, Fairness and Equity, and to correct all the factual errors in his article
    LiveItUp
    29th Dec 2016
    10:50pm
    Not idea who OG is so no new years pressie for you.

    I'll read that article when I get some better Wifi.

    I learnt at a young age nothing much is fair on life and you have to work smarter not harder for a better life.
    Rodent
    29th Dec 2016
    4:33pm
    Hey Bonny don't think you are right about a polies use by date because both Morrison and Turnbull has said POST election, more than once, the Family Home will NOT be included in the Assets Test under their watch!!
    MacI
    30th Dec 2016
    7:47am
    In my view some people posting on this forum need a reality check. According to the ASFA the average Super balance at retirement is $292500 for males and $138150 for females ($430K for a couple). More revealing is the median balance which is only $100K for males and $28K for females meaning that 50% of retirees retire with little or no Super. I'm sure that amongst this lower 50% there are people who could be characterised as irresponsible, thriftless wasters but I don't buy the idea that this is typical. More likely they were out of the workforce (especially women) and/or in low paying, part time, casualized jobs.

    If Howard hadn't had a rush of blood in 2007 when he halved the asset test taper rate from $3/$1000 to $1.50/$1000 on the back of a mining boom and a huge surplus this would all be a non-issue. It's easy to give people a generous hand out when times are good but there's a hue and cry when you try to take it back when things aren't so good.

    We are one of those couples who lose the OAP next month. Do I like losing what we get now. Of course not but we still feel privileged to have what we have and certainly we are relatively wealthy compared with the majority of retirees and we have the safety net of the OAP as we draw down on our investments or if our investments go belly up.
    Anonymous
    30th Dec 2016
    1:27pm
    KennyBoy, you are missing the point, I think - as do most in this debate and certainly ALL the dumb politicians who can't think of innovative and logical ways to means test pensions.

    Investment returns are low. The most disadvantaged are likely to get lower returns. The most disadvantaged also are likely to have the highest living costs - due to health needs, overdue home maintenance, etc. So we have SOME retiree home-owner couples with $816,000 getting maybe $60,000 a year or more in income from investments. Ánd we have the less advantaged getting maybe $25,000 a year from their investments and zero pension benefits and high living costs, suffering the exact same deprivation of pension as the more privileged. And dimwits say ''that's fairer''!!!

    What will those getting low returns do? Blow their savings of course, to improve their income. NOT GOOD FOR THE NATION!

    Some retiree couples with few assets draw $60,000 or more in income from certain types of pensions or as beneficiaries of trusts etc. They get pensions and all the accompanying benefits despite having the same income and better security than those who are getting no pension because - perhaps - they went without a lot earlier in life to save.

    Then you have the retiree homeowner couple with $816,000 getting 3% return, receiving just $24,480 a year with NO BENEFITS, and a strong temptation to shed their assets and get the pension, which would deliver a far higher income, extra benefits to lower living costs, better security, and no management headaches or costs.

    Some of those with high assets got them through employer-funded super and big tax concessions. Some got them through incredibly hard work and sacrificing lifestyle. Both are treated the same. There's no reward for hard work and sacrifice. Instead, hard earned benefits are snatched away and given to people who, in many cases, lived a much more lavish lifestyle and were far more privileged. How is that ''fairer''?

    And then you have the guy who had a serious accident and got compensation intended to pay the high costs of disability aids, home help, personal care, etc. But because the payout put his and his wife's assets at over $816,000, he has to forfeit the benefit the compensation was intended to provide and live on that money until it depletes enough for him to claim a pension.

    Where's the fairness? Where's the INCENTIVE for people to strive to be at least partly self-sufficient?

    I agree with some of what you say, but I believe there are better ways to achieve the desired result - without the gross unfairness and without the disincentive to save.

    Common sense logic dictates that an assets test should NEVER yield pensioners more than the current investment return, because if it does, it means people are discouraged from saving and living responsibly.

    By all means, when interest rates rise to 8%, increase the taper rate. No problem with that. But only an inept government offers someone who is getting 3- to 5% return on investments a rate of 7.8% to shed savings and apply for a higher pension. That policy will DESTROY THE ECONOMY. It will raise the cost of pensions and blow the budget, because people won't have a reason to try to be self-supporting.

    Change the system to focus on INCOME, and stop punishing people for saving. Include deemed income, for sure, and offer loans to people whose deemed income is much higher than their actual income - repayable from sale of assets down the track or from their estate.

    There is far more scope for genuine budget savings by ensuring that incentives for saving are retained. And it would be far fairer to ensure that those who can't achieve high returns from their savings - usually the educationally disadvantaged or those who suffered trauma or crisis that destroyed their capacity to trust - are tested on income and not disadvantaged because they went without holidays and restaurant dinners while everyone else was partying.

    BTW. Average superannuation balances are meaningless. Most current retirees had little or no super. The government does not differentiate between super and personal savings or compensation payments when assessing assets. So there is no fairness at all.

    And BTW again: I was out of the workforce for years, worked casual nearly all my life, my partner was out of the workforce for many years due to health and worked casual for more than half working life. We were both educationally deprived orphans with major health issues due to childhood deprivation and abuse, incurring lost income and high expense. We had a special needs child who cost us over a hundred thousand for special therapies - all from our own pockets! We earned minimum wages all our working lives. We had no super, no tax concessions or rebates for investment or trusts etc., no first home buyer grant, no paid parental leave, no child care benefits.... NOTHING from the taxpayer. Yet we have a lot more savings than more than half the retired population. Please don't tell me it's not lavish lifestyles and waste that makes most retirees poor!

    But keep endorsing policies that reward profligate living and punish saving, and watch the cost of aged pensions SOAR.
    Old Geezer
    30th Dec 2016
    2:00pm
    Rainey if you have more savings than the asset test then you simply don't need the OAP. All of us can tell stories like yours as none of us would have had a dream run in life.
    MacI
    30th Dec 2016
    4:10pm
    Rainey - There are many points of discussion that you raise but I'll constrain myself to one issue, i.e. your assertion that retirees will shed assets simply in order to qualify for or get more Aged Pension. No doubt there will be some who will adopt this strategy, likely more than under the old taper rate, but I suspect not to anywhere near the extent of the disaster that you predict, ie. DESTROY THE ECONOMY. Let's take a couple of examples:

    A couple has $1M. In order to even qualify for the Aged Pension they will need to dispose of nearly $200K into non-assessable assets or squander it on holidays and the like (leaving the family home out of the equation for the time being). In this instance they have deprived themselves of $200K of capital and the potential earnings from the $200K to achieve their objective of qualifying for meagre Aged Pension benefits.

    A couple with $816K. They decide to dispose of $100K in order to qualify for a $7800 per year pension. In doing so they have deprived themselves of $100K of capital and its potential earnings. Let's say they could have achieved a return of 4% on their $100K which they then reinvest. Their net earnings after 10 years is $48K so the net gain over 10 years from disposing of $100K is $78K-$48K=$30K. I'm not sure I'd like to deprive myself of $100K of capital to gain $30K over 10 years. I'd rather have access to it in case I need it down the track.

    To my mind the only reasonable means of disposing of capital in order to gain access to the Aged Pension is to invest in the family home. That makes sense as the home is a non-assessable asset but even this strategy has its risks. The family home is difficult to liquidate not just because you can't sell it in portions. There also is the emotional toll if forced to sell especially the older one gets. Lastly, there is a risk that down the track the family home will be assessed.

    My point is that when retirees take a closer look at this option it's not as straight forward a decision as it appears.
    Retired Knowall
    30th Dec 2016
    5:23pm
    KennyBoy, great post, however you leave yourself open to ridicule posting facts on this site.
    MacI
    30th Dec 2016
    5:30pm
    Further to my calculations above for the $816K couple it is a little more complicated than I indicated. To make a fair calculation I need to fund the disparity between the $7800 from Aged Pension and the $4000 earnings on my $100K capital. In the first year that means my $100K is reduced by $3800. However, this is means that the Aged Pension is increased because my capital is reduced. My earnings are reduced also but the net result is that after 10 years my $100K capital has reduced to $68K. After 20 years it has reduced to $46K.

    In summary unless the capital can be disposed of into a non-assessed asset such as the home then it doesn't make financial sense.
    Farside
    30th Dec 2016
    6:04pm
    KennyBoy, your point is even stronger should we exit this low return environment and see returns back around the 8-10% and higher.

    Further, there is no certainty housing prices will be in positive growth at the time of choosing to sell. This problem is compounded if the housing equity has been leveraged to invest in assessable assets.

    I expect the modelling would show there are likely few retirees choosing to sacrifice large amounts of capital to qualify for a part-pension and benefits.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jan 2017
    5:01pm
    KennyBoy, the flaw in your argument is that having lost some $15600 in income, and left with maybe as little as $28,000 a year to live on,, the couple CANNOT REINVEST THEIR INCOME. They have to use not only their investment income, but also their capital to survive. So they are going to lose out anyway, but it's a choice of spending it on themselves or gifting it to others. I know which most will choose!

    Financial advisers tell me 98% of clients affected by the changes assets test ARE disposing of assets quickly or upgrading the family home. I've spoken now to 30 who tell me every single one of their affected clients will claim a HIGHER pension than they otherwise would have from 2017 onward.
    MacI
    2nd Jan 2017
    7:07pm
    Rainey - I think it is your argument that is flawed. I grant you that having disposed of $100K of assessable assets that over 20 years a pensioner will receive $156000 in Aged Pension, i.e. $7800 per year.

    However, if the $100K is not disposed of then the $100K capital can be invested to earn income at 4% as per my example. It is true that the earnings ($4000) are less than the extra Aged Pension, i.e. in the first year $3800 less thus the retiree will need to draw down on their capital so that after the first year their $100K is reduced to $96.2K. This means in the second year the capital invested is $96.2K resulting in reduced earnings but the Aged Pension is increased because the assets have reduced by $3800. The result is after 10 years the $100K has reduced to approximately $68K and the Aged Pension has increased by ((100-68) x 78 = 32 x 78 = $2496. After 20 years the $100K has reduced to approximately $46K and the Aged Pension has increased to $4212.

    In the case of disposing of $100K the strategy returns $156K in Aged Pension payments over 20 years but at the expense of disposing of $100K of capital. The second case does require the retiree to draw down on their capital to make up the difference between what can be earned from the capital and the smaller Aged Pension but after 20 years they still have $46K of their original $100K capital.

    Even if they only got a 2.5% return on their capital they would still have over $33K of their original $100K after 20 years but if they got 5% they would have over $56K.

    I grant you that investing $100K in a non-assessable asset such the home is an attractive proposition worth considering and I'm sure many will. However, they will need to weigh up the pros and cons of investing in a illiquid asset such as the home.
    Anonymous
    4th Jan 2017
    1:47pm
    I think a lot of folk will gift to offspring 5 years or more before retirement. I plan to.
    Rodent
    30th Dec 2016
    4:54pm
    Extract of what the Howard Liberal Govt said in 2007 when it changed the taper rate

    NOTE the section that starts - The Asset Test is very punitive .........

    OH How times have changed!!!

    6. Age pension arrangements
    Key Points
    • The pension assets test taper rate would be halved from 20 September 2007 so that pension recipients only lose $1.50 per fortnight (rather than $3) for every $1,000 of assets above the relevant threshold.
    • Retaining the assets test exemption for ‘complying’ income streams under the new arrangements would create scope for wealthier individuals to access the age pension and the associated concessions. Therefore, this exemption would be removed for future income streams purchased on or after 20 September 2007.
    6.1 Pension assets test
    6.1.1 Current arrangements
    The design of the income and assets tests which apply to eligibility for the age pension, including the pension withdrawal rates, has important implications for incentives to work and save for retirement.
    The income test is relatively generous. A single person can earn up to $36,000 per annum and still be eligible for a part-rate pension. Under the current assets test, a person loses $3 per fortnight for every $1,000 of assets above the relevant threshold, starting at $157,000. A single homeowner loses all pension entitlements once their assets exceed $325,500. Assets include most superannuation assets.

    The assets test is very punitive as retirees must achieve a return of at least 7.8 per cent on their additional savings to overcome the effect of a reduction in their pension amount. This high withdrawal rate creates a disincentive to save or build retirement savings.
    6.1.2 Proposed new arrangements
    It is proposed that the pension assets test taper rate be halved from 20 September 2007 so that recipients only lose $1.50 per fortnight (rather than $3) for every $1,000 of assets above the relevant threshold. This would mean that retirees would need to achieve a return of 3.9 per cent on their additional assets before they are better off in net income terms — that is, after taking account of the withdrawal of the age pension. Under the proposal, a single homeowner would not lose entitlement to the pension until their assets reached approximately $494,000 (based on current pension rates and thresholds). The corresponding figure for a homeowner couple would be approximately $783,500.
    The reduction in the assets test taper rate would increase incentives for workforce participation and saving especially for those people nearing retirement who will still depend on the age pension to fund part of their retirement.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jan 2017
    4:39pm
    Our current politicians are clearly BRAIN DEAD! The previous change documented the sensible logic of encouraging saving for retirement, and the current batch of morons are determined to destroy all incentive and return us to an environment where saving is futile so we should all be putting our hands out!

    DUMB!
    Rodent
    30th Dec 2016
    5:13pm
    Once More with feeling- Extract from Challenger Tech Sept 2016 Internal Publication, something to be aware of

    Cash flow and two other important effects
    The immediate impact with a reduced (or lost) pension is a reduction in cash flow. However,
    there are also two other effects which are also important.
    The first is the loss of grandfathered status on existing ABPs. ABPs that commenced prior to
    1 January 2015 can only remain grandfathered if a pensioner continues to be in receipt of
    an income support payment such as the Age Pension. Pensioners who lose their Age Pension
    entitlement on 1 January 2017 because of the Assets Test changes will have their ABPs
    deemed. In many cases this will lead to higher levels of assessable income going forward.

    2nd Jan 2017
    4:45pm
    Some folk seem to think non-homeowners get a raw deal on the aged pension. Well consider this:

    Elderly couple have just over $800,000 in assets + a home unit worth $200,000.
    They lose approx. $15,600 of pension that they would receive if they didn't own their home unit.
    They pay $4000 a year in rates and body corporate.
    They budget $2000 a year for maintenance.
    That's $21600 a year, or $830 a fortnight it costs them to live in a home unit that they would probably pay no more than $500 a fortnight to rent (and they might get rent assistance as well!)

    We have a government telling us to work, save and invest to make the nation more prosperous, and complaining about people having a welfare mentality, and what do they do?

    Harshly punish anyone who works, saves and invests and take their savings off them, and give generous handouts to cheats, bludgers, spendthrifts, and manipulators.

    And some here are DUMB enough to try to justify this ECONOMICALLY UNSUSTAINABLE UTTER STUPIDITY.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Jan 2017
    5:46pm
    A home unit around here would cost you at least $500 a week so the non-home owning OAP is well behind.

    It is only a small percentage of people that due to changes many think they are worse off and that saving is a bad idea. They are no different than those already above the threshold as all that has happened is the line has been drawn a bit lower. The majority of people are not being punished at all.
    Anonymous
    4th Jan 2017
    1:44pm
    Oh that makes it all right then, OG. It's not YOU who is suffering, so therefore it's fine. I note the most LNP supporters here have a similarly self-serving narcissistic view!

    When a small minority suffers disadvantage that others don't suffer, it's generally called DISCRIMINATION - and it's actually ILLEGAL. But when it suits the greedy and arrogant narcissists of this nation, it's excused.


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