The great retiree blame game

It’s time to stop beating up older Australians.

It’s time to stop beating up older Australians

Much of the Election 2016 hype centres around the supposed ‘real’ purpose of superannuation and the burden that our ageing population places upon our economy. So it’s time to take a step back and consider the real goals of super and the so-called ‘generosity’ of our welfare payments.

This past week the changes to superannuation proposed in the Turnbull Government’s Budget 2016 have come under heavy fire from all sides of politics. The Labor Party has attacked the retrospective aspects of the superannuation cap, the Greens have said that the tax rate should be increased for those earning over $100,000 and both Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Greens Senator Sara Hansen-Young have fumbled and bumbled while trying to explain their parties’ Transition to Retirement (TTR) policies, claiming that the complexity of super was the reason for their inability to articulate their policies. Meanwhile the conservative think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) has declared war on the proposed changes to super.

Within this debate, there are many claims being made about the purpose of superannuation. Most, from the conservative side of politics, state that superannuation was designed to replace the Age Pension. Claims from the left of politics tend to support the notion that superannuation is in addition to a pension, rather than instead of.

Here are the facts.

Superannuation was introduced in Parliament in the Superannuation Guarantee Bill in 1992. It was a long time coming; the early moves toward universal mandatory super going back to the union movement in the 1960s. The history of Australian superannuation is well documented in Christine St Anne’s excellent book A Super History. To summarise, the union movement was seeking a more secure and dignified old age for workers by incorporating a lifetime pension in their agreements. Such a pension was already available to public servants and many professional male workers. But the rank and file would typically finish work at age 65 and then have only their own limited savings and a meagre Age Pension upon which to make ends meet.

It took about 30 years for a mandatory super scheme to be introduced and this was because such a solution helped solve another economic problem for the then Hawke-Keating Labor government. This was galloping inflation – and many of those old enough will remember the days of nine per cent inflation and 17 per cent interest rates. In order to rein in wages growth which was feeding this inflation, the Labor side of politics, in particular Paul Keating and Bill Kelty (head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions) persuaded the union movement to trade off future wage rises for a guaranteed three per cent contribution to a portable superannuation account for all working Australians. Thus the Superannuation Guarantee Contribution (SGC) was born and for the first time many men – and even more women – saw a retirement savings nest egg with their name on it.  

The intention of this superannuation was NEVER to replace an Age Pension, despite what our current batch of politicians declare. They should check the history before they open their mouths. For the record, here is the then Treasurer John Dawkins’ statement on the night it was introduced:

“The increased self-provision for retirement will permit a higher standard of living in retirement than if we continued to rely on the age pension alone. The increased self-provision will also enable future Commonwealth governments to improve the retirement conditions for those Australians who were unable to fund adequately their own retirement incomes.’ (superannuation guarantee bill 1992).”

So to paraphrase, super is to enable a higher standard of living in retirement than the Age Pension alone – not to replace it. It is also intended to help those who will never earn enough to put aside private savings.

The Turnbull Government is currently seeking to ‘enshrine’ in legislation the real purpose of super. As per the above statement, you would think it was clear enough, so beware any attempts to change this original purpose.

The second problem with Election 2016 discussion of retirement income centres on the notion that spending on our Age Pension is unsustainable and so our ageing population is creating a burden on our economy.

Give me a break! This hoary old chestnut is trotted out daily and photos of rich old white men with junior girlfriends on expensive yachts usually illustrate the point. But this ‘greedy baby boomer’ belief is simply factually incorrect.

Australian governments enjoy quoting our economic achievements in relation to other developed nations, usually the 34 nations which comprise the OECD. So it is important to be consistent when it comes to our spending and to use the same yardstick for our government contribution to our ageing population in the form of an Age Pension. And here we are woefully short of the mark. The percentage of the Australian GDP which is spent on the Age Pension is currently 2.9 per cent. It is projected to rise to 3.6 per cent by 2055, according to the most recent Intergenerational Report. This makes us the third meanest nation in the world, sitting behind Korea and Mexico. Our older people are not a burden on our economy. In fact, our spending on Age Pensions is so woefully low and insufficient to make life dignified for any recipient.

Something has to give. Sooner or later the day-to-day ideological argy-bargy and ‘he said, she said’ of federal politics has to be challenged and a long hard review of the fundamentals of retirement income needs to be initiated. Until we have such a review, which should incorporate taxation, pensions, superannuation, the contribution of volunteering, housing affordability and the ramifications of increased longevity, we are only ever fiddling around the edges. And such fiddling results in short-term electoral cycle moving of the goal posts yet again, further confusing increasingly disenchanted and disengaged retiree voters.

In the meantime, don’t get sucked in by the spiel and spin. The Age Pension is your entitlement and superannuation was only ever designed to permit a higher standard of living – never to replace it.

What do you think? Do you agree with the above, original, definition of super? Or do you feel it should be redefined as proposed by the Turnbull Government? And is the Age Pension an entitlement? Or is it only for some?





    COMMENTS

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    9th Jun 2016
    10:37am
    Totally agree Kaye, and thank you for the history lesson - not that the inflated-ego ''I'm okay bugger you'' brigade and the fools who can't see past ''pension are for needy'' will take any notice.

    The biggest problem I see is that the fiddling at the edges is making the claimed problems worse - MUCH WORSE. The powers-that-be claim the pension isn't sustainable, so they want to reduce the cost. So with complete arrogance and stupid ignorance of the fact that investment returns have fallen, they decide to go back to the past and reset taper rates at what they were when investments were returning TWICE AS MUCH. Result: it's now far more profitable for people to STOP saving for retirement and spend more, and qualify for a higher pension. Having $100,000 less can net retirees more than $180,000 in increased income over 10 years. WHAT AN IDIOTIC POLICY! Of course punishing saving and making it more beneficial to have less will drive pension costs sky high. It is just mindboggling how many refuse to recognize the problem, or are just to stubborn and arrogant to admit error.

    The other huge problem with the changed taper rate is that it drives massive over-investment in the family home and will therefore make the housing affordability crisis worse. And of course it result in hideous unfairness to those who accept modest accommodation and try to be self-sufficient in old age.

    Our aged pension IS VERY AFFORDABLE. And it's a debt society owes to our aged citizens. It was NOT intended to be means tested. Nor was it intended to be ''welfare'', but rather a universal entitlement.

    I agree that now that SOME people have huge superannuation balances and are drawing high incomes from them, the pension should be restricted to those who either do need it, or are in the ''modest savings'' bracket (taking need and likely longevity into account) and have genuinely earned a lifestyle far better than their investments can deliver.

    The assets test should be abolished, in my view, in favour of an income/deemed income test only that assesses the higher of someone's retirement income OR the income they SHOULD be getting if they didn't transparently manipulate to reduce returns so as to improve pension eligibility. Non-returning investments as a result of economic downturn or crisis, fraud, or genuine mistake should not result in unfair treatment, but there should be no incentive to deliberately over-invest in non-returning assets (and that includes the family home), let alone to spend down in order to qualify for a pension that would make you better off than living independently.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    12:01pm
    Great article Kaye. Pensioners know they have been made fair game and that they are the scapegoat in a game orchestrated by the current government.
    Instead of going after multinationals for back taxes and closing down offshore tax shelters for the rich to avoid paying tax this deadbeat government has come after retirees because they figure this group is the path of least resistance.
    Come on retirement community. Are you going to take this lying down or are you going to vote out this bunch of lying agents from the big end of town? Your call. After the dust settles I know which Party I do not want to see at the controls.
    tj
    9th Jun 2016
    4:11pm
    Hey rainey how did you beat Mick for first?
    Bes
    9th Jun 2016
    4:13pm
    Our government loves to splash money offshore calling it Foreign Aid.
    Could they please inform the aged of this country to which country should WE apply for foreign aid......and what would be the chances of getting any?
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    4:55pm
    $500 million to PNG? Which now shoots its own citizens for objecting to corrupt government.
    Jim
    9th Jun 2016
    6:38pm
    Well said Rainey, you obviously have a very good handle on the whole situation, better than most of us I would think. Thanks for your incitefull contribution
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    10:05pm
    I don't want to see either of the Big Two at the helm - or the Greens. None of them has any answer for Australia right now, and each is totally tied up in their own silly little internal ideology, which they consider is the primary reason they need to be elected.

    Liberals want to make sure business is a sweet ride, Labor want to 'equalise' us all by force, and the Greens want to give the vote to 16 year olds and make deals with anyone as long as it gets them a seat or two. NONE of that three want to really address the issues employment for life and a viable income strand for all who apply themselves, or to quite simply put a stop to the endless mindless spending on non-issues - in which I include the 'equality' projects along with the subsidies to business.

    Quite frankly, I'm sick of the lot of them and won't (again) be voting for any of them.
    MacI
    10th Jun 2016
    11:38am
    Dear Rainey. I am bamboozled by your contention that over 10 years a retiree can net over $180K in income by having $100K less in assets. I grant you that a retiree couple that has at least $475K of assessible assets may be entitled to an extra $7800 annually in Aged Pension payments if they choose to reduce their assets by $100K.

    Assuming that the extra Aged Pension income is expended rather than saved (otherwise calculations would need to account for these extra savings as assets) then the extra Aged Pension income over 10 years would be $78K. However, the investment return that would have been earned on the $100K that was disposed of needs be taken into account in calculating net income. Let's say at a conservative 3% per year - compounded that would be about $34K over 10 years giving a net benefit of $44K to a retiree couple adopting this strategy but at the expense of $100K less in assets that may well be needed in the future. If the return was say 5% then the net benefit would be somewhere around $15K.

    I realize that with different assumptions for spending patterns and future earnings the net benefit in income would be greater or smaller than I have calculated but whatever the assumptions I cannot see how the net benefit can be any greater than $78K. If you can explain how you arrive at more than $180K improvement in net income over 10 years by reducing assessible assets by $100K (other than investing in the family home) then I for one would be interested in adopting this strategy.

    I agree that investing in the family home may be an attractive option for some to improve their Aged Pension entitlement- particularly those with greater assets. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. This strategy does have potential problems. Firstly, the government could well include the family home in the assets test in the future. Secondly, the family home is not a liquid asset - who wants to sell the family home or take out a reverse mortgage later in retirement to supplement the Aged Pension.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    5:56pm
    Got the Blues, you forgot to allow for the fact that the aged pension rises every 6 months, so over 10 years the loss is far more than $78K. Conversely, the return on savings doesn't compound because the retiree has to draw it to live on in the absence of pension income. In fact, they may well have to draw on the savings (the government assumes they will have to, and most will find their investment income + new pension entitlement - if any - won't sustain them. Many will find it is LESS than the aged pension. So with their capital slowly eroding, their investment return falls annually, while the amount of pension income lost rises.

    Then there is the issue of risk. The capital value of many investments will fall over time in the current environment.
    Misty
    9th Jun 2016
    10:57am
    Good c hoice of topics Kaye.

    9th Jun 2016
    10:59am
    I should add that the argument often put forward that taxpayers shouldn't be supporting people to leave money to their kids is seriously flawed. It suggests that only the rich and privileged have a right to social benefits to help them accumulate wealth that they can pass on to heirs. Tax concessions ARE a social benefit - one NOT provided equally to all. The rich clearly get huge tax concessions that lower wage earners simply cannot access. And they transfer the resulting accumulated wealth to their heirs. The cost of superannuation tax concessions is actually higher than the cost of aged pensions, so the claim that pensioners are a strain on the budget is a blatant lie.

    Leaving money to heirs will relieve the strain on the government in future years. In many cases, a small inheritance at a critical time will take a part-pensioner from almost self-sufficient to completely self-sufficient. It could help younger folk buy houses or educate their children. It could sustain a sick or disabled grandchild.

    The argument that it will be wasted on luxuries is probably valid in relation to the kids of the wealthy. It's NOT valid in relation to the kids of battlers, so it's far more important to allow the less well off to leave something to their offspring. And in any case, if we are to accept that argument, then common sense says we should disadvantage the estate AFTER death, not strip people of needed savings when they still have 2 or 3 decades to live with increasing costs and needs.

    Finally, stripping people of their hard-won savings and assets just because in a challenging economy they find they are not as self-sufficient as they planned to be discourages endeavour, and surely endeavour is to be encouraged? Isn't it odd how the LNP and business council is so focused on encouraging business growth by cutting taxes, but is NOT supporting encouraging endeavour by the average Australian?
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    12:04pm
    Yes.
    The fact that we are at the end of the queue on retirement generosity makes a clear case for the monstrosity being perpetrated on retirees at present. This of course suits the current government trying to divert attention away from the main game: the fact that collect taxes from the top end of town is being avoided.
    Batara
    9th Jun 2016
    11:00am
    The most significant point to keep in front of politicians like Scott Morrison and the migrant from Belgium is that Australia's expenditure on aged pensions is not at emergency levels. Only Mexico and Korea are meaner to their senior citizens! Is that where we want to be? Come on Australia, we should be better than that. Start by voting out the silvertail pollies who want to disadvantage the senior citizens.

    Another aspect not mentioned is that superannuation is not intended as a wealth accumulation aid to the wealthy at the expense of society through taxes avoided.
    Retsel
    9th Jun 2016
    11:02am
    An excellent overview Kaye, pity that a lot won't bother to read it, I agree wholeheartedly with the original concept, those with excessive means should not be using it as tax dodge not unlike the overseas tax avoidance which many are up in arms about.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    12:07pm
    It is a worry that many retirees will not read this article. It might be wonderful if those who have fire in their belly about the monstrosity this government is perpetrating on the retiree community would PRINT THE ARTICLE AND DO LETTERBOX DROPS IN RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES. I intend to.
    andromeda143
    9th Jun 2016
    11:10am
    This is a well written article which lays it on the line for all the twisted politicians who revel in their exorbitant pensions and attack the average working man whenever it is necessary to make up for their own financial incompetence (or corruptness).
    This article should be emailed to every politician on all sides of the house and also to every journalist and TV current affairs program.
    Well written, Kaye.
    Phil1943
    9th Jun 2016
    11:11am
    Thanks Kaye. Lots in your article and quite a few important details I'd either forgotten or just plain never knew. It seems whatever's wrong in society - housing unaffordability, shortage of hospital beds, traffic density - is somehow the fault of us 'oldies'. The theory goes that we should give up our assets instead of hoarding them so younger people get their chance to 'have a go'. And I guess just do ourselves in or disappear from their sight in some convenient manner. Well, I'm angry and so are lots of others. We have to fight hard so that politicians of all stripes don't cave in to the demands of those less diligent and strip us of our hard-earned lifestyles. Wish I could get the pension but it's just not on the cards. But when the pollies start debating about how best to tap into the savings I've accumulated they really scare me. Only vote for candidates who have given us some sort of pledge to look after us and help us get through the last couple of decades without being badgered for more 'contributions to society'. We've done our bit, now just leave us alone.
    Mamacrystal
    9th Jun 2016
    11:12am
    Can we have an independent review of Parliamentary pensions please,and stop wasting money on many retired lumps of wood? Oh sorry....wood IS useful!
    Fredklaus
    9th Jun 2016
    12:51pm
    like
    jackie
    9th Jun 2016
    1:08pm
    Yes please.
    eckac
    9th Jun 2016
    11:14am
    Well thought out, Rainey.
    It's appalling that the Fed Treasurer, along with the Greens Leader and the Treasury advisers have shown such a complete lack of understanding of the consequences of their decision on the Assets taper change.
    As you say, the change virtually forces people to spend on the family home and or holidays.
    Such spending effectively attracts 7.8% return on the funds so expended in the form of $78pa extra pension per $1,000 spent- i.e., $3 per fortnight per $1k asset reduction.
    Obviously, part pensioners who arranged their finances so as to minimise their pension, are so outraged at the rule change, that they are not likely to neglect to undertake spending of assessed assets.
    Hence the quoted savings from this ill conceived rule change, will be nothing like that being quoted.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    12:08pm
    NOt too sure about the entire Greens policy but sure that the Greens are not pro the current government's attacks on retirees.
    Sundays
    9th Jun 2016
    12:42pm
    I don't know how you can say that Mick. The legislation to reduce the asset thresholds from 1 January 2017 only got through because they were backed by the Greens.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    1:37pm
    I agree Sundays but the I tend to think that the Greens are stuck half way between Labor and Liberal. Given that the Greens are likely to form a coalition with the Greens after July 2 I'd be thinking that, given recent media reports, Labor will not bow to extreme demands from the Greens.
    If you feel strongly then maybe do as I have been suggesting: vote for an INDEPENDENT whose preference goes to Labor. That cuts out the Greens.
    Alexii
    9th Jun 2016
    9:54pm
    As far as I can see the Greens don't give a stuff about self-funded retirees who depend on a part pension. They've lost my vote.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    8:16am
    The Greens actually put the assets test proposal forward and pushed for it, Mick. And I've written to their leaders about it and their reply was arrogant and stupid in the extreme and made it very clear that they don't give a stuff about fairness or decency in the treatment of the aged.
    Elmah
    9th Jun 2016
    11:19am
    If the age pension is 'YOUR ENTITLEMENT', why is it means tested. I'll tell you why, because the last time I looked, it costs the Australian Government $52 billion each year to pay aged pensions. On that basis, I don't know how Rainey works out that our aged pension IS VERY AFFORDABLE. Someone has to pay and it is the Australian taxpayer. Why should the Australian taxpayer fund some peoples retirement when some are living in million dollar homes and have huge balances in superannuation funds.
    margie
    9th Jun 2016
    11:57am
    You have obviously not taken into account that most of these retirees on the pension worked many years paying taxes and in fact are the Australian tax payer. Why do you mention SOME are living in multi million dollar homes? Why does the hard working retiree get lumbered in with those few? The vast majority have worked and gone without to try to gather some sort of savings to live out their twilight years in some dignity and comfort and should not have to constantly be fighting to receive a small pension at the end of their working life. Politicians manage to find plenty of our money to ensure they live a very luxurious lifestyle funded by the Australian tax payer and so I do not understand why anyone begrudges the older Australian a small share of what most have contributed to, through years of hard work. This subject constantly comes up and one is left to conclude that the older person doesn't count, is a bother and an easy target. The thought process seems to be the quicker they jump into their graves the better for all the selfish lot who will find themselves in this position one day and wonder why their days of paying taxes don't count.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    12:12pm
    $52 billion a year? Methinks that the figure is much less.
    If multinationals were paying their correct taxes and the rich were prevented from squirrelling their money into offshore Tax Shelters then you might have a leg to stand on. Considering that the current regime is running a class warfare game there is no justification in attacking retirees.
    AS Kaye said Australia has the oldest retirement age now and pensions which are near the bottom of the list. That tells the real story and shows the current government for what it is: an organisation representing the top end of town engaged in the transfer of wealth from poor to rich.
    jackie
    9th Jun 2016
    1:26pm
    Those lucky enough to have had high incomes during their productive years should be grateful instead of gloating on those less fortunate.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    1:40pm
    Affordable HS if our government collect taxes from all players, not just average Australians, and also starts to rationalise some of the more ridiculous welfare payments which encourage bludging and waste.
    This is about establishing a fair system, not a winners and losers one.
    HarrysOpinion
    9th Jun 2016
    1:40pm
    Actually, the estimated age pension welfare cost for 2016/2017 will be $63.3 billion but that is only 15.4% of the total estimated tax revenue and represents 14.6% of total estimated expenditure. So what the hell are you on about Elmah?
    HarrysOpinion
    9th Jun 2016
    1:46pm
    Appreciate your comment Mick. What we need is a government that will enforce it good and proper, for once and for all. Are there any such candidates?
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    4:56pm
    INDEPENDENTS followed by Labor is about the closest you are going to get. The next parliament will be interesting.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    8:42am
    Elmah, you have a comprehension problem! Big time!

    My point was that the changed assets test COSTS THE TAXPAYER MORE!

    It rewards people for NOT planning and saving, and punishes them harshly for saving. It rewards them for buying multi-million dollar homes and keeping very little in savings and investments.

    IT'S PURE INSANITY to defend such an irresponsible policy.

    I never suggested anything that would drive the cost of pensions up OR give pensions to millionaires. I'm concerned about a STUPID DESTRUCTIVE POLICY that will drive pension costs UP while depriving a lot of battlers who DON'T have expensive homes and a lot of savings, have high needs, and have incomes often LESS than the aged pension.

    If you want to comment, READ FIRST. And get it right. Don't accuse people of greed when the accusation is baseless.

    As for the aged pension being very affordable, it is! We spend a smaller proportion of GDP on aged pensions than almost any other nation, and because of superannuation being introduced, the cost would shrink if government policies weren't so STUPID. But the fact is that we BOUGHT AND PAID FOR our pensions through an early version of the current superannuation scheme under which we paid a levy to the ATO. How dare anyone call us ''a burden'' for wanting what we paid for. Complain to the thieves if you are worried about the cost to taxpayers - AND to the idiots who are making it worse with dumb policies. Stop slagging on the VICTIMS of this vile and disgusting government's cruel and unfair treatment of older Australians.
    Lescol
    9th Jun 2016
    11:19am
    Good summary Kaye but you forgot to note that that there have been over 4000 changes to superannuation since compulsory super was introduced. These short time decisions are being made over an issue you spent years planning for.

    As a result I suggest another change on 2 July; anybody first and current government last. The new guys get a term to create the vision or they get the chop at the following election.

    The vision, is to cut the nonsense! Give all people of retirement age the full pension and tax all income in the normal way. Simple. This gets rid of the bureaucracy associated with monitoring the current ineffective system and puts everyone on an even footing. Also you are not punished for saving to supplement your retirement as is happening in the current political climate. Ditto traveling away from Australia as you will pay tax. Simple stuff eh?

    cheers
    Rae
    10th Jun 2016
    9:15am
    I do believe they have pretty much destroyed superannuation as a saving vehicle now due to those 4000 changes and however many yet to come.

    I like your idea. Superannuation should not be compulsory only for PAYG earners. What did they do to deserve to be ripped off like they are.
    Snowflake
    9th Jun 2016
    11:31am
    I haven't heard any of the major parties mention anything about pensioners and improving their lot. Am I mistaken, if so I would love to hear about a politician or party that cares.
    Doesn't leave us much to vote for but I do know it will definitely not be the Libs and the country party hangers on.
    dizey47
    9th Jun 2016
    12:47pm
    You are right regarding who do we vote for that will look after the pensioners. This is the problem we are all facing.
    older&wiser
    9th Jun 2016
    1:39pm
    You are right. I have personally asked my local member (aged in his low 40's) - but got a complete blank and awkward stare. Just as Julia Bishop knew nothing about Transission to Retirement, politicians are not the slightest bit interested or care about anything that does not directly benefit them. I am sure, positive, that pensioners, or seniors, are a very, very low priority and interest for politicians as they see them as only being around for a short time, so why bother?
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    1:43pm
    I might remind the above that the current Senate looked after your interests. I am talking about the cross benches whom both sides of politics hate because Independents are not 'owned'. All the more reason to put the current batch back irrespective of a government crying about passing its (bad bad) legislation.
    We need real politicians. Not pollies who are controlled by vested interests which have nothing to do with the national good.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    8:44am
    Neither major party gives a damn about the aged. They have made it very clear. I've written to both, and to the Greens, and the response clearly indicates that the aged population is nothing more than an unwelcome burden and they will throw us miserable crumbs and insults until we all die off.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    9:42am
    Sorry, Mick, but you got that wrong. The current Senate DIDN'T look after the interests of the aged. They passed the change to the taper rate. I wrote to EVERY senator telling them the problems with it. One responded. He phoned me at 7am and asked for more info. When I explained the comparative investment returns he said ''Holy Hell! I need to talk to my colleagues urgently. We have to stop this.'' They didn't!
    sanity
    9th Jun 2016
    11:35am
    History is just that - something that created the place in which we now reside.
    That said, most people really don't take an interest in their "super". "Somebody else" put it there!
    So "idiots" are protected with the Aged Pension. Whilst those who did take an interest are now those the Govt wants to fleece.
    That said, I do think, without having costed it, maybe Governments could provide the "Pension" for everybody - regardless of any super balance or asset holding. Assets held, apart from the family home, to be valued at a reasonable deeming rate (equal to the current rate set by the Reserve Bank) and declared as income.
    On that basis - income, including the pension, (both real and deemed) could be taxed @ 15% (with a $150,000 exemption) up to $200,000, then at a marginal rate of 30% to $250,000, and then 50% thereafter.
    I'm sure somebody can do the sums - but this type evolvement might eliminate many schemes the VERY wealthy dream up and preserve the cleanliness of having a sustainable retirement.
    Just some thoughts IMHO.
    Rae
    9th Jun 2016
    4:06pm
    What about the defined benefit public servants that put it there themselves after paying full taxes already.

    Most had to live on minimum wages all their working lives because of it.

    Somebody else never put it there at all.
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    10:18pm
    Wait one - are you saying that all those people who don't have a lovely super balance are 'idiots'?

    You sure you want to go there?

    I say pay everyone the single pension rate and tax according to the scales all income above that from any source. That'll chop of lot of your fattened politicians off at the knees.
    ex PS
    10th Jun 2016
    9:07am
    Rae, most workers are putting at least some of their own money into Super, most Enterprise Bargain Agreements I have seen have had money released into Super in lieu of pay rises.

    sanity, I know of many people who were convinced to move away from Defined Benefit Super Schemes into Investment Schemes because they wanted to take an interest in their Super. A lot of these people are now forced to work on longer because the market did not meet expectations. These people were not stupid, they were misled by greedy financiers who misrepresented the quality of their products.
    There are also unscrupulous employers out there who simply do not pay their employees Super, I was actually sacked once because I dared to ask why I was not having Super contributed as part of my terms of employment. There are many reasons why some people have insufficient Super to meet their needs.
    Rae
    10th Jun 2016
    9:25am
    Yes ex PS. I know of workers who changed over to accumulation schemes too because they realised that that was the only way they were going to get the 9% guarantee paid to them and save tax.

    One managed to retire at 50, having saved enough by then.

    It was the only way to keep the capital yourself apparently.

    A lot of people moved out of defined benefit schemes.

    I know some people still working even though they have a defined benefit because they want to even though it is now costing then thousands a year to do so.

    There is good and bad about all forms of superannuation.

    What annoys me is the constant propaganda without any real thought of the consequences. Just because everyone says defined benefits are the best doesn't make it true.
    ex PS
    13th Jun 2016
    8:08am
    Rae, it's horses for courses, I have always been quite conservative when it comes to investing and liked the idea of having a guaranteed payout at 55. I also salary sacrificed into an Accumulative Scheme towards the end of my working life.
    Either way I personally found that most of the people in my Department regretted changing to the Accumulative Fund in the long run as although their were periods where the new fund outperformed the Defined Benefit Fund, overall they were worse off.
    It comes back to the undeniable fact that the higher the profit, the higher the risk is.
    Defined Benefit schemes are good if you are willing to back yourself and feel that your salary will increase substantially over the long term, but if your position and wages are static not so much.
    I can't complain about the choice I made as it allowed me to retire at 55 and I can take out a substantial amount tax free even before I turn 60. But I monitored my fund carefully and spent four years planning for retirement in regard to finding a place to retire to and building a low maintenance, energy efficient home which cost a bit more than an average home but is providing me with savings to offset other costs of living.
    This is why I am against means testing the family home, some people will spend more on their home, but it is not necessarily a conscious effort to hide Assets, it is part of a broader plan to reduce the overall cost of living in retirement.
    Things like Solar Energy Systems, grey water recycling systems, insulation, water tanks and blocks suitable for producing food do not come cheap, especially when you have to factor in proximity to hospitals, doctors , dentists, emergency services, public transport and the like.
    I may have payed a lot more for my three bedroom house on an acre than most will for a block in the city but it is not a mansion and most of the extra paid was to improve our financial stability and provide a comfortable home not as a tool for hiding assets.
    mogo51
    9th Jun 2016
    11:36am
    Well said Kaye.
    Hairy
    9th Jun 2016
    11:46am
    I must agree wholeheartedly Kaye but I fear blind deaf lying and theiving politicians of all parties will rip it off if they are not brought to a halt by voters.Their mindless discriminatory prattle is a disgrace to our parliament system.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    12:14pm
    You know what you are going to get under the current government. What are you going to do?
    Geographer
    9th Jun 2016
    11:48am
    Certainly superannuation should not be seen as a replacement for the age pension. Every elderly person should be guaranteed a dignified, reasonable standard of living even if they haven't been able to accumulated much in super over their lifetime.

    On the other hand, subsidies for super should not be unlimited. I don't agree with the situation in the UK where everyone over 65 gets the age pension, even multi-millionaires working full time. There has to be some agreement as to what income is needed for a reasonable, decent, dignified lifestyle in our senior years. If that has been secured by having enough in super (as in my case) then I don't see that seniors (such as myself) I'deserve' the age pension as well. There are far better was to spend taxpayers money than building up more inheritance for my children.
    fish head
    9th Jun 2016
    12:13pm
    Geographer, don't look to the UK system. There everybody has a portion of their wages taken and held until retirement. This then gets paid back to you. What happens when your money runs out I have not yet been able to ascertain. What I do know is that on her death at 94 my mother-in-law was in receipt of an old age pension after a very stop-go employment history. More stop than go I believe.
    Jolly
    9th Jun 2016
    9:34pm
    We need a National Pension System like the UK. You are guaranteed an aged pension when you reach 65 -not 70 or 73. We have allowed this countries idiot Politicians to make it so complicated you need a degree in economics to understand it. I get a part pension from the UK. I am 67 and emigrated in 1970. My UK part pension is not bastardised like here. Because I paid into it like Fish Head says. They don't care that I still work full time. So we need that here and we can start right now.
    Circum
    11th Jun 2016
    10:58pm
    Jolly you are correct,Australia had a pension scheme for all, that it has barstardised by looking for easy places to plunder for shortfalls in their budgets..To cover up the incompetence of both of the major parties,the worked for tax paid for pensions are now called WELFARE rather than pensions or prepaid tax for retirement ENTITLEMENTS.The media has been next to useless in assessing the logic in this .Only recently when the topic was income on super accounts over $1.6 million has the media taken any serious look at the matter because it could impact many of them,
    ex PS
    13th Jun 2016
    8:37am
    I agree Geographer, when I started Super it was sold as a way of retiring at 55 with the aim of having enough money to last until I was eligible for a full or part pension, I joined because it seemed like a good deal.
    The unexpected and satisfying off shoot is that at 55 I have retired and will probably never need to ask for government help as far as a pension is concerned.
    Fish head, I always thought that in Australia we had a system where a portion of workers wages was taken and used to pay for their pensions, it is called tax. Unfortunately, this government and its 'jolly band of camp followers have decided that unlike every other essential service that are financed from taxes somehow pensions are different. They use weasel words like oh its 'not an entitlement ít is something else to try and justify reducing it or taking off people who need it but the point is, what you choose to call it makes not one iota of difference, some people depend on the pension they have planned all their lives on being able to access it, and they should be given it if they need it.
    I think that as the government is fond of trotting out figures such as the average minimum wage or the national average wage, one of these figures should be selected and that is what the pension should be, if you have money coming in from super or investments and you don't meet the stated income you get a top up, if you don't you miss out. If you feel the need to asses peoples homes they should be assessed on the value at time of purchase not the inflated value many years after purchase. I also think that where retirees have invested in practical cost cutting measures like grey water systems, solar panels, water tanks and the like, these value of items should be subtracted from the valuation for asset assessment purposes.
    The pension should be treated as an entitlement and given to everyone, but each case should be then assessed and those that do not need it should be cut off and made to repay the amount paid.
    Vincem50
    9th Jun 2016
    11:53am
    Totally agree Kaye, and I think that all aged pensioners should be paid at the minimum wage by the government, and then any income above that should be taxed at the same rate as any other taxpayer. Unfortunately the large block of people with the power to influence any government on this are the silent sufferers, and if someone would stand up and represent these people, and tell all political parties that the older voters will go with the party that actually represents and not represses them, then maybe there would be some will to look after those who have worked and paid their taxes their whole life. most of these people got little or no money from the government while they struggled to live, buy a house and raise families, unlike their younger counterparts who get baby bonus, child care rebates and first home benefits, and cry for more. All the money spent on these items would be much better spent on looking after those who built this country to a state where it is today.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    12:16pm
    Good compromise. This is a sound move.
    fish head
    9th Jun 2016
    12:23pm
    I too believe that 'middle-class welfare' is totally out of control. It was introduced as a sop to the middle class(read bribe) -there, have a share, don't say we don't give you anything.An interviewed party on TV lamented the cancellation of the School Bonus -' but we rely on that money!' Sad! Thousands have managed to put their kids through education without aid.In the future parents will have to as well.Do a little belt tightening as previous generations have done.
    KSS
    9th Jun 2016
    12:54pm
    Yes fish head and it was Ms Gillard that introduced it in the first place supposedly from the carbon tax. It had nothing to do with actually educating the kids otherwise she would have given it directly to the schools No checks on how that bonus was spent either.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    1:45pm
    KSS: You seem to have forgotten about the Baby Bonus brought in by your man Costello.
    Never let the facts get in the way of a good coalition lie. And you wonder why I sometimes resort to calling your comments 'trolling'.
    KSS
    9th Jun 2016
    5:24pm
    Mick never one to shy away from insulting someone eh? Try again. I was responding to a comment specifically about the School kids bonus. Very convenient of you to 'overlook' that. As indeed you usually do.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    7:39pm
    You politicized your comment with the routine serve at previous governments whilst you ignore the many sins of your own.
    I have no time for trolls who lie their way through life. Sorry.
    Supernan
    9th Jun 2016
    12:22pm
    My biggest complaint about Super is when compulsory Super for employees came it, we had to pay it. it was supposed to be part of the basic wage increase. But our employees were paid well above the award wage already. So it was just a drain on our bottom line for no gain.

    It meant we couldnt afford our own super. We were not alone. Millions of small business owners were in the same situation. So Super does not help everyone.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    1:50pm
    Yes....it was in lieu of a wage rise. This is what the current government is ignoring.
    Rae
    9th Jun 2016
    4:13pm
    What about those defined benefit people Mick who did not get the 9% like everyone else. I suppose they just had to forgo salary rises too but not get the employer paid super guarantee either.

    They literally worked for 6% less than everyone else for decades.

    That was one of the main reasons the non concessional amounts they had paid was discounted for Centrelink assessment. It was to make up for working for less, paying more tax and ending up with appalling lump sum amounts because no employer contributions had been made.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    4:59pm
    My understanding of defined benefit schemes is that they were monopolised by public servants and that they were canned because they were far too generous Rae. I recall that people retiring were getting around 7 times their final salary and that was pretty good at the time.
    No expert on this so maybe leave to others to dissect the pluses and minuses here.
    Sundays
    9th Jun 2016
    10:16pm
    Yes Rae, in the old commonwealth schemes (Css/Pss) people did contribute after tax dollars. However, they do get a pension for life indexed twice a year by cpi. the pension is based on a formula of final salary, years of service and contribution rate. It is a lot more than your return of contribution amount only because the government does put in. Of course, if you had saved the compulsory super and invested wisely you may be better off. However, for many others, that pension is gold as it comes every fortnight and they don't have to worry about the vagaries of the market. Most also received a modest lump sum. The state schemes were more generous. On the flip side there is no residual capital value to leave to your estate and you can't access any lump sum once in pension phase.. What is wrong is the changes to treatment by Centrelink since 1 January. These are unfair and while not denigrating our retired servicemen, I don't know why military defined benefit pensions were exempt, but those of police officers for example were not. I once worked in this area.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    9:13am
    I couldn't afford super. My employer paid in so little that the Fund sent me a BILL for admin fees that the contributions didn't cover.

    But we gave up wage rises for super, and now we are being told we can't benefit from that super unless we accrued a large enough balance to genuinely not need a part pension - or accrued a very small balance. How is that fair? And how is it fair to be deprived of benefits because you sacrificed to save?

    You accrue, say, $600,000 (as a home owner couple) either by sacrificing luxuries to save or by forfeiting income to invest in super, and then later you are told ''Oh, lucky you. You have money. We will punish you with a smaller pension until you use it up and are as poor as people who didn't make that sacrifice.''

    Result: Any logical thinker would say people will reduce their savings and super investment and more folk will need bigger pensions. But not dumb politicians! They have no logic.
    Rae
    10th Jun 2016
    10:02am
    At the moment Rainey you can take money out as a lump sum when you retire and lower the amount if the pension is so important.

    In the future people simply won't put non concessional amounts into super because it makes no sense to do so.

    You can earn up to $58000 a year without paying tax as a retired couple anyway.

    There are options for retirees with accumulation accounts but I'd act soon before it becomes compulsory to take an annuity of some such rule comes in while there are still options to change your mix of investments.

    There is no logic to it. It was a very big lie. There was never an end plan other than forcing workers to save for their own retirements and providing billions to the fund managers and markets to play with. Having control of the rules surrounding people's savings must have appealed as well.

    Sometimes you get conned especially when the grifters are as smart as big finance.
    Circum
    11th Jun 2016
    11:10pm
    Rainey you are right as usual.Superannuation has been transformed from a well meaning saving for retirement program to add to the pension ,to make peoples final years a bit easier into a grave robbing exercise to reduce budgets of incompatant governments.
    ex PS
    13th Jun 2016
    9:01am
    Mick, you are right the Defined Benefit was generous and did pay out a maximum of 7 times your annual salary. That scheme is no longer available to most public servants in my state and many were conned into changing over to an investment type scheme.
    The Defined Benefit system worked well if you were able to work your way up the system but I am not sure it worked out so well if you were on the lower end of the salary scale and contributed for 30 years.
    All salary sacrificed contributions had to go into an investment type scheme and I know of a few people who did not do well in this environment.
    What people need to consider is that for the last ten years or more nearly every Enterprise Bargain Agreement negotiated between the Unions and Government included payment into Super in lieu of a percentage of salary increases.
    237
    9th Jun 2016
    12:23pm
    Good article Kaye
    *Imagine*
    9th Jun 2016
    12:26pm
    Well done Kaye. The whole area of aged pensions, superannuation and other retirement income is in desperate need of review.
    I have worked in Australia for 30+yrs and put 6% of my wages into super during that time. I also receive a part British pension for the period that I worked there, but the Australian Government get more benefit from that British Age Pension than I do. For every $100 the British tax payer sends to me, the Australian Government gain $69. The British tax payer is sending me a part pension that the Australian Government benefits from by removing 19% tax, before I see it. Then it benefits again by essentially pocketing 50% of the gross amount by reducing my calculated Centrelink benefit by 50c in the dollar. A ridiculous state of affairs that the British workers should be paying the Aus Government to subsidise the Australian Government’s obligation to it’s aged workers. Another reason why this whole stupid hotch potch of an aged pension needs sorting ASAP.

    9th Jun 2016
    12:30pm
    I have to disagree with a part of this article. John Dawkins may well have said that super was just to increase the standard of living for a retiree but it should be remembered why Dawkins was making that statement as Treasurer. Keating was at that time a disgruntled backbencher because of his failed attempt to remove Hawke and Dawkins was in fact announcing a version of the super scheme devised and negotiated by Keating.

    Reading Keating's version of the need for super shows, in part, that compulsory super was designed to "save future generations from the budgetary stress that would otherwise have been occasioned by the sole call on the age pension system". Further to that Keating also said, "based on the current age pension (2007), a single retiree would lose all entitlement to the public pension should their assets (excluding their home) exceed $494,000 or, in the case of a couple, $785,000. Who could object to that?"

    When it comes down to who has the most to say and who can be believed more than any other politician, Keating stands head and shoulders above. Keating laid the groundwork for his super scheme in 1983, changed tax rules for existing super schemes, consulted with the unions and was ready to implement his scheme when Hawke reneged on what became known as the "Kirribilli Agreement" and Keating resigned as Treasurer.

    I agree that an age pension is an entitlement for those who do not have any other funds, or insufficient funds, to support themselves but I also believe in what Keating has consistently said in regards to his compulsory superannuation scheme. Under the logic espoused in this article, retired politicians such as Bishop, reported to walk away with $250,000pa, should also be "entitled" to an age pension.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    1:56pm
    Disagree that super was ever a total replacement for a pension.
    What you fail to address is the fact that average super balances are simply not enough to live on. Given the current rates of return it is unlikely that the next generation who have been in super since they started work will also have enough to retire on.
    You can thank bosses and governments who have refused to move the rate from 9.5% to 15%. Politicians of course have moved their own contributions to over 15% but why does that not surprise anybody.
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2016
    3:57pm
    I should have known that you would have a comment MICK as you don't seem to agree with anyone. In this case you're not disagreeing with me, you're disagreeing with arguably the best Treasurer this country has seen as I have quoted Keating's own words.

    If you read my post carefully (something I doubt you ever do) you might note that nowhere was it said, or even suggested, that super would ever be a total replacement for the age pension.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    5:02pm
    Funny how you slag me for disagreeing with Labor whilst you routinely call me a leftie implying that I am a Labor supporter...which I never have been, despite the fact that I support a few of the values which Labor have.
    Glad we mostly agree for a change. Facts always appreciated.
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2016
    5:26pm
    Wrong once more MICK. I didn't slag you for disagreeing with Labor, I merely pointed out that, as usual, you have chosen to disagree with a post and your comments are not in line with the post. What you should have done is to give your opinion as a separate post because it had very little content applicable to my post.

    Your tactic of disagreement followed by a change of subject is not really in the spirit of debate. I must commend you on this disagreement however. So far you have not resorted to name calling or personal abuse.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    7:41pm
    "Pointed out"? Yeah right.
    The Liberal Party is the master of changing the subject and never answering the hard questions.
    Your comments are the normal slur.
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    10:27pm
    Keating's figures were fine in the 1990's.......
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2016
    11:19pm
    And your inference is TREBOR.................?

    Update the figures and you are still left with Keating's plan to stop rich people accessing the age pension.
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    11:51pm
    The rich still benefit from super since it is open-ended. they can put in a tax-concessioned amount every year, then as much as they want. Now - they may have to pay tax on the extra - but at the end of the day they don;t pay tax on the earnings, same as they would if it was put in the bank.

    Brother Keating sold us an average worker having $270k in the bank etc... that amount these days would get you next to nothing.

    All I am saying is that Bro Paul's figures are meaningless unless they are indexed constantly, same as politician's 'super' is indexed as well as tax-free.
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    11:53pm
    According to the Trebor Party Policy - Bronny could walk away with $250k a year PLUS $20k or so Pension - but she would be paying tax on the $250k.

    Not hard.
    Anonymous
    12th Jun 2016
    1:09pm
    Old Man says, "Further to that Keating also said, "based on the current age pension (2007), a single retiree would lose all entitlement to the public pension should their assets (excluding their home) exceed $494,000 or, in the case of a couple, $785,000. Who could object to that?"

    Well, maybe nobody could reasonably object to that at the time (2007) given the then level of investment returns and the cost of living. Remember, interest rates were pushing 7% back then. It was an entirely different world in which it was easy for a couple to earn more than $50,000 a year net on $785,000 - enough to sustain a very comfortable lifestyle. But average wages have increased about 10% since 2007, and investment returns have fallen dramatically, with interest rates at just 25% of what they were then. Yet the threshold in Jan 2007 will be well under 5% higher than Keating's figure. There's grounds for serious objection on the grounds that the threshold hasn't kept pace, income from investments has fallen dramatically, and many with $823,000 will now be receiving significantly LESS than an old age pensioner, which is clearly grossly unfair - ESPECIALLY given that their assets might not be superannuation at all, but rather the result of sacrificing lifestyle in earlier life. Further, there is no allowance for assets that have become unsaleable and non-returning due to economic downturn.

    Sorry, Old Man, but there's very good reason for objection to a policy change that was ill-thought-out, grossly unfair, and detrimental to the economy (because it will discourage saving and make pensioners better off than savers).
    taylah
    9th Jun 2016
    12:30pm
    We saved and were frugal during our working life in the hope we would be self funded retirees,goal achieved through superannuation. What fools we were in the 22 years of self funded retirement the goal posts have been shifted approx 2000 times. I might add our income has never been much more than the age pension. I tell our kids DONT put any extra money above the mandatory the future govs will only rob you. The rules for SMSF are crazy youd think you were spending the govs money alright it is a tax haven but how complicated does it need to be to monitor how we are spending our own money.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    1:58pm
    Yeah taylah. I often wonder why average people bother when governments like the current one come after them with their lies and deceit trying to take away the ability to live a moderate life until they pass on.
    The answer to that is WE KEEP VOTING FOR THEM. Time to vote Independent and shake up the bastards!
    ex PS
    10th Jun 2016
    12:44pm
    You are not alone my wife and I are in the same boat, it seems we are being punished for trying to look after ourselves. We put money into building a house that was efficient and cost effective to run, it now seems that because we put extra money into the house we are hiding assets and if the government had its way we would be means tested on a home that is not generating any income.
    Circum
    11th Jun 2016
    11:56pm
    Many people feel as you Taylah.People are being penalized for saving.Instead of governments raising the limits for pension entitlement they are reducing it.Crazy.Not logical.Discrimination against the elderly.
    wouldbe retiree apprentice
    9th Jun 2016
    12:32pm
    so... is the pension an entitlement or welfare ?? If an entitlement, then it should be paid to all equally, regardless of situation.. If welfare, then by definition, it is a safety net and should only be paid to the "needy".. Two issues with this, first, the definition of needy..there must be many different definitions and so the argument goes on as to who should or should not get a pension and how much. The second thing is, Who Pays ??.. yep, I know, we all have already paid over the past 40-50 years in our taxes !!.. WRONG.. that money has GONE... New sources must be found to pay an ever increasing wave of baby boomers, and that will fall back on OUR CHILDREN and Grandchildren in the way of increased taxes etc.. I watched my parents and their friends live on the pension and their meagre savings and being part of the post war baby boomer wave, I can see that there will be a lot more on the welfare wagon and less paying taxes. As a result, I decided that the gov't, of either persuasion was NOT going to give me a lifestyle that I believd I deserved and if I wanted that, I'd have to fund it myself. That's why I live in a "workers cottage" and drive a 13 year old car, BUT I do have a reasonable super fund that should provide a "comfortable retirement" (according to industry standards) due ONLY to the sacrifices my wife and I have made. Baby Bonuses, child care handouts, first home owner giveaways, massive education allowances, easy dole/welfare plus allowances are all government giveaways that were NOT available at a time we could have used them to make our life easier. Nope.. we had to WORK and SAVE to get ahead, NOT look for a handout..
    HarrysOpinion
    9th Jun 2016
    12:41pm
    INVALID AND OLD-AGE PENSIONS.
    No. 14 of 1943.
    An Act to amend the Invalid and Old-age
    Pensions Act 1908-1942.

    [Assented to 29th March, 1943.]

    5. Section fifteen of the Principal Act is repealed and the following
    section inserted in its stead :-
    "15. Subject to this Act, every person who is not receiving an
    invalid pension and, being a man, has attained the age of sixty-five
    years, or, being a woman, has attained the age of sixty years, shall,
    whilst in Australia, be qualified to receive an old-age pension.".
    KSS
    9th Jun 2016
    1:26pm
    Yes HS but in 1943 few survived to 65 (or 60) to claim it and those that did only had it for a few short years. Unfortunately you cannot cherry pick from history to make a claim today. In 1901 women had to be the same age as men - 65 - before getting a pension. Should we go back to that? See here:
    http://www.aph.gov.au/binaries/library/pubs/bn/eco/chron_superannuation.pdf
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    1:59pm
    Cherry picking is what your side of politics is a master at KSS. At it again.
    HarrysOpinion
    9th Jun 2016
    2:27pm
    KSS, It was about ..."Subject to this Act, every person ....shall, whilst in Australia, be qualified to receive an old-age pension" on attaining the qualified age. It's not cherry picking it's in the legislation..."every person attaining the qualified age". This was then taken to the barber for a haircut with the Deeming Income Test followed by the Assets Test rule and 1 Jan 2017 it will get a crew cut with the 3% taper rate. However, I am pointing out the expression "Everyone...attaining the age be it 65 or 70. "EVERYONE OF THAT AGE BE QUALIFIED" It's not about "entitlement" as a metaphor, it's about "Qualification" as a legislated right to apply for an aged pension in accordance to a set of ruling parameters.
    KSS
    9th Jun 2016
    5:31pm
    Legislation changes HS as both sides move the goal posts. Just as it was legislated that the employer contribution would be 3%, that the age of being able to apply for a pension changed up and down between 60, 65, 67, or what is included in the asset test or indeed if was an asset test at all.

    And what about that "whilst in Australia" bit in your last post? By your reckoning all those living overseas and collecting the pension should stop getting it? As I said cherry picking legislation doesn't prove anything.
    TREBOR
    10th Jun 2016
    1:15am
    My pension - bought and paid for by decades of contributions... waylaid by politicians into '(LMAO) 'consolidated revenue.... if I choose to life in Farkoffistan that is my business... not that of any body handling MY pension... their job is merely to PAY it on time EVERY time.
    ex PS
    10th Jun 2016
    5:43pm
    KSS, has the legislation actually changed or are we being bluffed by the government?
    Anonymous
    11th Jun 2016
    6:21am
    So, KSS, we can't ''cherry pick'' from history to evidence the entitlements of aged Australians, but we CAN cherry pick from history to put the taper rate back to what it was decades ago despite investment returns being less than half what they were then and the policy change making no economic sense in today's environment?

    We can't change politicians entitlements because they are legislated, but we CAN change people's entitlements DESPITE them being legislated AND FULLY PAID FOR BY THE CONTRIBUTORS via an early form of the current superannuation scheme.

    Seems to me there's a lot of endorsement of pure hypocrisy here. And gross injustice!

    I wouldn't object so much if the policy changes were for the good of the nation, shared the sacrifice equitably, and were implemented with respect. But the manner in which SOME people have had their living standard totally decimated with policies that are counter-productive and will put the burden on taxpayers up, while others (the wealthiest, generally!)have continued to abuse their superior opportunity to pillage and plunder, makes the changes inexcusable by any reasonable standard.

    What we need in government is an end to self-interest and some logical, creative thinking. What we have is greed, selfishness, contempt for the public, and plain STUPIDITY.
    Circum
    12th Jun 2016
    12:13am
    Your argument is all over the place Would Be.I drive a 20 year old car so what?I paid taxes like you so what?You seem to say my tax payments for a future pension have been blown by the government so tough titties for me.I see it as breach of contract.You have an issue about people asking for a handout,I can understand that.The issue is that those who have worked and saved but because they were good at saving,should be penalised by having their previous tax payments confiscated by way of no pension.
    Anonymous
    12th Jun 2016
    1:27pm
    Spot on, Circum. I'm seeing one neighbouring couple living on $30,000 a year (after Jan 2017) with NO pension benefits because they lived frugally all their lives, and another living on $38,000 a year with full pension benefits because she blew the $500,000 she inherited from her mother cruising the world before turning 60. And yet another living on $38,000 a year with full benefits because they gave their kids $2 million before turning 60 and put another $1.5 million into a luxury home.

    I keep hearing people talk about fairness. But nobody can explain to me how any of this is ''fair''.

    Then there's the couple down the road. The man has a disability and needs to spend $380 a month on non-PBS-listed medicines and maintain disability aids, a specially fitted car, etc. Unlike many pensioners, he can't garden to cut food costs or do his own home maintenance. But because he got a small compensation payment (intended to cover those extra costs) he can't get a pension until all his savings are gone.

    This government has committed an act of fraud against people who saved for retirement. It's that simple! And there is NO justification for it, because our aged pension IS AFFORDABLE. We paid it to past generations with only one breadwinner per family on average and no means tests applied. But if it isn't affordable, then SHARE THE LOAD. Those hit had already suffered a bigger income loss than any other group of Australians because of investment returns falling. Now they are losing some 25% of their already reduced income. No other group has been hit that hard - and the wealthiest have sacrificed nothing at all!
    HarrysOpinion
    9th Jun 2016
    12:34pm
    Age pension is not an entitlement but under the Act those who apply and who qualify are entitled to an aged pension payment. It's a play on the expression. I agree with the original meaning of the purpose of the superannuation. We, ( boomers), all knew, back in 1992, that by the time we retired whatever we accumulated was never going to be enough to retire on, (except, for many who worked for public service) . Part-pension, at least, was inevitable. The 'boomers' who applied for the aged pension did so because they needed to and many qualified in accordance with the parameters. All these people did nothing wrong, nothing illegal by applying. The Abbott/ Turnbull government proposal to redefine superannuation is a joke. On 2 July 2016 Australian voters have a chance to redefine who will govern Australia for them. There's something like 14 million voters of which the full age pensioners, part time pensioners, war vets and retirees represent about 20% of voters. If this segment of voters pulls together it has the power to redefine 'Ali Baba-Turnbull and his forty thieves', if not in the House of Representatives, then definitely in the Senate.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    2:00pm
    The ballot box is the place to make any bad government pay. Readers need to use it for the reasons it was put there!
    Rae
    9th Jun 2016
    4:26pm
    THat isn't right though HS because if you own a home in a capital city and live in the granny flat you built the rent from your house will easily cover living costs. It is as simple as that really.

    If you put money into other housing for rental then you were laughing. Especially as negative gearing saved you tax.

    The mistake we made was to be forced into paying into superannuation than only benefited the financial system.

    Really wealthy people don't touch super which is why it is not compulsory for self employed and business owners.

    I knew for the entire 45 years I paid into super that I was being ripped off but there wasn't a thing I could do except to invest myself outside of superannuation where the rich man's rules still apply.
    older&wiser
    9th Jun 2016
    8:38pm
    Rae - that rent you talk about to 'cover expenses' will also reduce your pension. Centrelink only want to know what your income is - they don't care about the expenses associated with that income maker.
    Robin7
    13th Jun 2016
    4:31pm
    Rae - renting out your house is not free, a single bad tenant can consume an entire years income
    It can take months to get a non-paying tenant out, and in the meantime the aged person who is the "landlord" has to live cheek by jowl with the scum.
    Yours is Not a responsible suggestion.
    Centrelink wont care that the tenant is not actually paying rent, NOR that the tenant then trashed the house causing tens of thousands of dollars damage, Centerlink will simply deduct the deemed rent from your pension regardless.
    Jilly B
    9th Jun 2016
    12:40pm
    Thanks Kaye for an excellent article. Once upon a time I thought I was providing for my later yeasrs. That was until my husband increased our home loan by AD100,000 in ten years as it was totally in his name. A mistake I made by trusting him and never thinking he would borow without discussion. I returned to full time study for 4 years and then could not get a full time position in Australia so had to work overseas for the next 8 years. There is no superannuation overseas and most countries do not contribute anything to final earnings. I returned to Australia this year and I still have to pay off the new house I had to buy at 60 years of age. My bank would not give me a loan for the first five years I worked overseas because I was on contract. When they had so many complaints from people in Australia that all they had was a contract they changed the rules when I was 60 so I have a few years to go until I own it. Living on the Pension paying or a mortgage and trying to pay for all the insurances once has to have is impossible. I can shop frugually, but I cannot do a thing about the life Insurance premiums that rise significantly each year. I volunteer at 3 family services weekly but my car still needs registering, insuring and petrol. The costs outway what I earn. I have tired to obtain full, part, casual work for the last 3 months and keep getting told I will need to know someone! The future is grim. I paid tax for over 40 years and will pay tax again if I can gain work. So some people are fortunate enough to have their savings, superannuation etc but in total there are not that many due to divorce, separation, job loss etc.
    Sundays
    9th Jun 2016
    12:53pm
    Jilly you are doing it tough and I hope you find work soon, but do you really need life insurance? Unless you have young children of course.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    2:02pm
    It is morally wrong to try and close down the pension scheme. That is the end game (one of many) from this government as it attempts to privatise everything which average citizens need.
    older&wiser
    9th Jun 2016
    9:00pm
    Jilly - believe me, I totally understand. Am in a similar situation. At age 63, my contract finishes in 2 months. I have tried everything I can to get contract extended - but stumbling block is a 28 year supervisor who has the rule 'my way or the highway'. Even showed me how to fold an A3 page of paper. Very hard to get any other person to be referee. Employers DO NOT WANT to take on older workers, no matter what they say. A current thing I totally loathe is that so many employers now request a copy of your DRIVER's LICENSE when you send in application. The last thing you need to do is put your DOB, and a photo, on an application. This is just a sneaky and tricky way of employers to see what you look like and see your age. I applied for a position recently and they wanted a copy of the driver's license. I rang the company to politely ask why, and I was told it was 'company policy'. Company policy does not over ride anti discrimination laws. They said any application that did not provide this, would not be proceed.
    My photo is bloody awful - and is imposed behind your signature, so is hard to hide. Even I look at the picture and say how bloody awful!!

    Without a job, I will lose my house. Simple. Stupid, stupid me - I rented a Housing Commission home, before saving my guts out to put down a deposit and buy a house. Should have stayed in government housing - now I face being homeless. I agree - pension rate is ludicrously low for a single person. Car, insurances, rates (damn killer in Qld!!) To make it worse, I am not eligible for the aged pension for another 2 years. Till then - it is the Newstart! $240 a week!! Agree - the future is more than grim - it is a constant and ever worrying fear. Like you Jilly I have minimal super.
    Andy
    9th Jun 2016
    12:48pm
    Thank you Kaye, this is something a lot of us oldies know, but I think a lot of oldies have been told different by ling Politicians now, that they think things have changed, also glad you point out just how bad our pension is, this should be a voting issue.
    KSS
    9th Jun 2016
    12:50pm
    Funny how the other political article makes the point that older Australians outnumber 4:1 the younger generation so are exhorted to "make their vote count". Now that same cohort are being exhorted to make demands on that :1 to pay for pensions for all!

    Hope the younger generation all get really high paying jobs to pay for the increased welfare bill.
    HarrysOpinion
    9th Jun 2016
    1:08pm
    Hey, KSS- Boomers were a younger generation too and they paid in their taxes for the two generations of age pensioners before them, someone like your grandmother and grandfather or some other of your relatives. What are you on about? Cheating boomers out of their turn to be supported by the younger generation of today? Is that was this is all about? How to get yourself out of the responsibility?
    KSS
    9th Jun 2016
    1:31pm
    HS the Baby Boomers are so called because they were part of the baby boom i.e. there are more of them than the previous generation. There were more of them to "Pay for the two generations before them" as you put it. Now they outnumber the younger generation 4:1 so my question stands. Exactly how do they think the younger generation is going to pay for 'pensions for all'?
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    2:05pm
    Good try KSS. Changing the subject again.
    The issue is that Australia is close to the worst country for pensions and that THIS GOVERNMENT wants to not pay pensions at all. But it does want to give the already rich bigger and bigger tax breaks.
    Tell it as it is. Readers do not like deceit.
    HarrysOpinion
    9th Jun 2016
    2:42pm
    KSS I will check on your ratio figure but in the meantime, conversely, the younger generation ,is earning 4 to 5 times more than the boomer generation did, at their age.
    Rae
    9th Jun 2016
    4:41pm
    Maybe we can't afford the pensions but if that is the case there are an awful lot of other things that can go into the can't afford basket first.

    I'd start with the million dollar tax payer funded sandstone pillar gates at King's and move on from there in my culling list.

    Elderly ex workers would be somewhere way at the very bottom of the list and even then I'd be ready to cross that bit off.

    HS as well as earning more the tax rate being paid is substantially less as well. I can't believe we were dumb enough to get conned into declining wages, high taxes, forced superannuation and 17% interest rates to the bankers.

    That's why I won't hold my breath for some sanity in voting by the boomers. Most must be masochists or gullible beyond imagination.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    5:05pm
    Rae: I'll agree that we cannot afford to pay pensions when governments collect ALL taxes, not just those pertaining to average citizens, and start to run the nation properly rather than a drunk at an auction selling off the jewels which should be returning dividends to our country rather than others.
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    10:36pm
    "older Australians outnumber 4:1 the younger generation"??

    Who came up with that codswallop? The only business better than being an undertaker is being a doc who delivers babies......

    Where are the lines drawn on this "older Australians" v "younger generation"? Anyone over twenty-five is "older Australian" now?
    ex PS
    10th Jun 2016
    9:21am
    KSS, in answer to your question "Exactly how do they think the younger generation is going to pay for 'pensions for all'?"
    Maybe they can use the education that they gained by going to the Universities that the Baby Boomers built to get good jobs and pay a fair share of tax. They will be able to work much harder and longer due to the good health they enjoy because of the hospitals that the Boomers built.
    Maybe all the money that would normally be left to them should go directly to the government instead as Malcolm and his crew are suggesting.
    It seems to me that the younger generation wants to restrict or take away all concessions to pensioners made by the government in regards to investment help, but doesn't want to spend any of their own money to support them when they can't help themselves.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    6:05pm
    Nobody noted yet, in reply to KSS, that in previous generations there was usually only ONE taxpaying bread-winner per family. Now there are TWO. The ratio of older Australians to younger may have changed, but the ratio of retirees to workers hasn't changed nearly as adversely, because of women joining the workforce.

    When I was a child, one taxpayer theoretically supported FOUR older Australians - their own parents, and their spouses.

    Also, today many retirees are at least partly self-funded (and the number will increase if superannuation and retirement funding is managed properly).

    And most significant of all, AGED PENSIONS WEREN'T MEANS TESTED in past generations, so a lot more retirees were drawing pension benefits.
    tams
    9th Jun 2016
    12:50pm
    I have no problem in an increase to the age pension - just tax superannuation to pay for it
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    2:06pm
    I agreed with an earlier poster who suggested earnings be taxed in retirement including superannuation. The pay all Australians a pension. Very sensible and very fair.
    Rae
    9th Jun 2016
    4:43pm
    And perhaps that 15% GST on everything as well.
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    10:39pm
    Well - how much tax would a recipient of a million a year be paying in return for $20k in Pension? I'd say... oh somewhere around $450k? Just off the top of the head, mind.....

    That'd put a stop to the bastards using super as a tax dodge and free ride.

    How much tax on $250k for Bronny? A lot more than $20k.

    I rest my case.....
    Maz
    10th Jun 2016
    3:25pm
    This is all making a lot of sense. Mick, Rae and Trebor, seems you have hit the nail on the head. It will help he very needy and gradually claw back from those well off. The Seniors/Pension tax offset will compensate (as it already does) for those that have earned a bit of leeway in Retirement. Of course, all those drawing that lucrative tax free annuity will not like it at all.
    donnis
    9th Jun 2016
    12:51pm
    Excellent article. The Government mandates that (depending on one's age) a fixed percentage of a person's super balance must be drawn down each year. This has the effect of reducing the fund balance, unless the fund manager has a good year except, in my case at least, he seems to struggle somewhat to do that. Reduced super fund balances lead to reduced total assets which leads to increases in pension entitlements for those assessed under the assets test. The Government wrings its hands over the sustainability of the cost to it of pensions, yet its own rules aid and abet that increase cost. When I raised the issue with my federal MP he replied that the Government did not want pensioners not spending their super and leaving it to their kids. In the meantime, such spending leads to higher pension payments!! Am I missing something here?
    Donnis
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    2:11pm
    I think that what is really happening is that governments have sold off most of what should never have been sold off and is now looking for more cash like a drunk who has sold his assets to perpetuate his habit. They are now thinking of stripping assets from retirees and not paying them a pension until they are destitute.
    Time to change the government methinks.
    Rae
    9th Jun 2016
    4:46pm
    I think you are right Mick and I'd go further and suggest that all this sale of income producing assets, privatisations, private contract deals and pension and wage cuts are at the direction of the IMF and World Bank.
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    10:44pm
    Don't forget, Rae and Mick, that all this privatisation has added an extra layer of costs to basic utilities such as roads, electricity, gas and so forth..... all of it going to pay for layers of 'ceos' and 'board members' and their massive costs and super funds, and all of whom are mates, family members, and selves in different form of politicians. When the incumbent State 'premier' can buy 1/16th, and his wife 1/16th, of a 'privatised road network' that the government just happened to sell of for no valid reason ..... you know everything is rotten in the state of Denmark....

    All just a rip-off from day one....
    Blondie
    9th Jun 2016
    1:53pm
    Reading every post, it is blatantly clear that the super/pension/ retirement issue, needs a thorough OVERHAUL!! Focus groups, submissions from retirees, should be a priority.....perhaps TWO weeks of Q&A on the ABC, discussing nothing but this hoary subject could be extremely helpful? A panel of experts in funding for retirement could throw some light on why this area of finance is so filled with angst, mistrust, and incorrect assumptions!
    The LNP, in particular, have a jaundiced view of seniors who genuinely need the aged pension, calling them 'leaners', which is insulting, disrespectful, and demeaning.....they appear to be far more concerned with conserving their own wealth, rather than appreciating the enormous contribution the ' builders'( born before 1946) and the ' baby boomers' have made to this country! It has been estimated that the child minding contribution alone, by grandparents, exceeds 100 BILLION dollars alone, to the economy!
    That's at the lowest rate of $20 per hour!?!!!
    Dignity, appreciation, and care: THIS should be retirees due from our country!????????
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    2:14pm
    You sort of miss the point that the current government does not care. It has declared open season on retirees in its attempt to get its greedy hands on more cash after squandering the nation's wealth.
    So now we see the next play: attack average citizens and retirees and give the money to the rich.
    Use the ballot box Blondie. It is there to send governments like the current one on their way.
    HarrysOpinion
    9th Jun 2016
    3:00pm
    Blondie - Q & A is a staged circus entertainment show on ABC. It is a strictly controlled format where all the questions are vetted beforehand and stooges brought in to act and ask questions that only appeal to the controlled format and to create headlines.
    "Dignity, appreciation, and care"...unfortunately, there's never been a political leader of the caliber like Menzies who insisted on "Dignity, appreciation, and care of the elderly".
    Farside
    9th Jun 2016
    2:50pm
    The OECD report is an interesting and not difficult read with some accessible graphics and tables to develop an overall view. The % of GDP spent on pensions is a red herring as the average Australian pension ranks in the middle for pension adequacy - the measure of most interest to recipients.
    http://www.oecd.org/publications/oecd-pensions-at-a-glance-19991363.htm
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    9:35am
    But that doesn't address the gross unfairness of the system that actually leaves some with no pension worse off than full pensioners, Brian. The system is broken. That's the bottom line. And the response of our politicians is to blame the victims and insult and punish older Australians. IT MUST STOP.
    Rodent
    9th Jun 2016
    3:11pm
    Dear HS

    I refer to your comments as follows"
    Actually, the estimated age pension welfare cost for 2016/2017 will be $63.3 billion but that is only 15.4% of the total estimated tax revenue and represents 14.6% of total estimated expenditure. So what the hell are you on about Elmah?

    The $63.3 Bill for 2016/17 is not actually the Age Pension. The actual Age Pension Component is actually $45.37Bill and its referred to as Income Support for Seniors -Refer Table 9.1 -statement 5 in budget papers , the difference is made up from many other subcategories, Res and Flex Care, Home support, plus many other minor categories
    HarrysOpinion
    9th Jun 2016
    3:27pm
    Dear Rodent,
    I appreciate your correction. I took the summary figure I used from
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-03/budget-2016-sliced-diced-interactive/7363834#spending/breakdown/2017/social-security-and-welfare
    which refers to a segment "Assistance to the aged". There was no separate segment just for the Aged Pension expenditure. However, using the figure you so kindly provided, the Aged Pension exposure will be 10% of expected Spend and 11% of expected Revenue for 2016/2017. Hardly a justifiable reason for demeaning and degrading needy aged pensioners.
    Cuphandle
    9th Jun 2016
    3:24pm
    Well done Kay!

    I suggest that every O.A.P who is or could be affected by this penny -pinching bunch of fat-cats, DO NOT VOTE IN THEIR FAVOUR, (OR in favour of Labor, as they have the same attitide to the O.A.P.)

    I am still waiting for a response ( sent 2 weeks ago) from my Local Member for FLYNN in
    Queensland, who obviously thinks that he need not bother replying to my simple request for information re the O.A.P changes, as he will be re-elected anyway, and that is what is the problem with all of these arrogant little tin-gods, they think that they are untouchable!

    I will NOT be voting for him or the Labor Party, and I will be telling my friends, relatives and contacts to do the same.

    Somebody needs to jerk the excreta out of these lazy arrogant layabouts!
    Rae
    9th Jun 2016
    4:50pm
    I'd love to see signs popping up all over saying


    Australia is NO country for old men and women.

    I'm going to put up a few myself. It is a great slogan.
    Farside
    9th Jun 2016
    9:16pm
    Enrolled voters over the age of 60 years represent almost 30% of all votes so when you want to point a finger at who could have changed the present circumstances the pensioners who feel hard done by need only look in the mirror. I would think the older population could change the outcome of any seat they chose if they had a mind to do so.
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    10:48pm
    Welease Bwian!

    You are correct, Brian..... fwow them to the fwoor!
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    10:48pm
    Welease Bwian!

    You are correct, Brian..... fwow them to the fwoor!
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    10:48pm
    Welease Bwian!

    You are correct, Brian..... fwow them to the fwoor!
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    11:06pm
    Wepeat We-post.... doggone it!
    moke
    9th Jun 2016
    3:33pm
    If some of our Taxes had been put aside for our retirement, then perhaps older pensioners that did not have the benefit of superannuation would not be a burden on the government. Also if we did not have so many imported products or if we had National Service the government would not have to pay out so much in unemployment benefits
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    5:08pm
    That is what responsible government is. What we have is vandals engaged in a bidding war as they fight to get their grubby hands on the levers of power, in the process squandering what should be benefitting us all.
    gentlerain
    9th Jun 2016
    3:36pm
    I agree that the pensioners are not given a fair go, so I went to http://www.alp.org.au/bill_shorten and clicked on "contact us" at the bottom of the page. If you are seeking positive action for retirees, then why don't you make Federal politicians aware of your expectations. As good as LifeChoices is for debating topics, we need our voices to be heard by those who can make a difference.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    9:08am
    Done. Thanks Perception. I hope many others will also.
    bandy
    9th Jun 2016
    3:42pm
    Your report has helped me to understand what a lot of people on this forom(including me)didnt underrstand
    disillusioned
    9th Jun 2016
    4:02pm
    I consider what both political parties are doing (and the Greens) in lowering the assets threashhold for the Aged Pension as a form of Elder Abuse. Many older Australians, like me, live in modest circumstances (in a home unit, not in the McMansion touted by the government), and have saved for their retirement, only to be penalised by getting kicked off the part Aged Pension by Hockey's budget during the Abbott era. This is being perpetuated (spruiked that it's too expensive to reverse this decision) by the hegemony of Turncoat, Shorten, di Natale et al. Where is the Hotline that the elderly can ring to report these scurrilous actions? Why can't they be held accountable for this form of financial abuse? The pollies don't care, THEIR entitlements are sacrosanct, and seem to increase each quarter. The problem with this country is that unfortunately we have to vote for one of them. What we need is more humanity and compassion in government.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    5:09pm
    Pensioners have become fair game. That is why I will be voting INDEPENDENT (Xenophon Party) and putting Liberal last.
    Sickofit
    9th Jun 2016
    4:26pm
    I have a small Superannuation pension so I qualify for a part Aged Pension BUT, when my Super pension rises in accordance with inflation the aged pension decreases which effectively means that my annual income remains the same. So, each year I'm getting farther behind.
    Fready
    9th Jun 2016
    4:35pm
    Contrary to what the Government is proposing to put into legislation as the definition of the purpose of superannuation, it should be "to minimise the number of people who need a pension". So far superannuation has failed miserably in this regard. According to Treasury only an additional 3% of retirees are projected to be weaned off the pension over the next 40 years (probably fewer if current proposals are legislated).
    If we genuinely want fewer people on the pension as I believe we do,the focus should be entirely on allowing people to maximise their super balances. Middle income earners in particular should be encouraged to pump as much as they can into super.
    Life time low income earners should be able to opt out of compulsory super contributions. This would give them a better quality of life in the recognition that they will inevitably be dependent on the pension.
    Tony Abbott said in 1995 that "Compulsory super is one of the biggest con jobs ever foisted on the Australian people". All super is problematic given that Governments can change the rules so frequently.
    Rae
    9th Jun 2016
    4:55pm
    I agree Fready.

    If you can do better yourself outside super you should be able to.

    After all business owners, incorporated business partners and self employed don't have to

    a) belong to compulsory superannuation

    b) pay PAYG taxes.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    5:13pm
    Probably a fair comment Fready. I personally am coming around to the Swiss view that ALL people should get a basic pension. I am agreeing with those of us who have proposed that superannuation might be on top of this and that superannuation earnings on top of the pension should be taxed. That sounds pretty fair to me.
    Phillthy
    9th Jun 2016
    4:53pm
    Kaye Fallick. What a breath of fresh air you bring. I totally agree with your comments, there has been this rubbish spoken about super 'replacing' pensions for a few years now, gives me heart flutters. Hopefully whoever wins Govt. will settle this argument once and for all.
    This ol' retiree raises a glass of tasteful red in your honour Madam.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    5:13pm
    Ditto.
    Beeman
    9th Jun 2016
    4:56pm
    Two points that I haven't seen mentioned in this electoral debate. Firstly re Age Pensions.
    Those of us who earned most of our income before the age pension means test came into force will have filled in Income Tax forms which had a small box at the top left corner of page 1 containing the phrase "Form S. Personal Income tax and Social Service Contribution. We were led to believe that this contribution was to fund our retirement but we now find that it was added to General Revenue and spent elsewhere.
    Second point. Those who shout "Tax the Rich" should look what happened when the UK Labour government in the late 1940's had to raise money to rebuild not only their own country but also much of Europe. They introduced a Super Tax which heavily taxed the rich. So the rich moved away and the country suffered a Brain Drain.
    The means test which is applied to the Age Pension is managed by a very large work force. I wonder how much it saves? By the time all the salaries, computer contracts, office space and furniture rent and general expenses are paid, do we actually save much? With today's technology, if everybody were entitled to the full pension automatically the job could be managed with a staff of 2 in a telephone box sized office. Of course unemployment would be increased but we need more infrastructure so work could be found.
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    5:17pm
    The rich often flee to a place where the lowest taxes are applicable. Governments needs to stop the rich ripping their money out of the country they have lived in and a departure tax might need to be considered to stop this game.
    In the end all countries need a treaty to stop the wealthy fro destituting countries. We already have Tax Treaties so I cannot see how a Departure Tax would not work the same way despite the rich screaming victimisation.
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    11:20pm
    Oh, yes - what I'd give for just one day of THAT kind of victimisation! Regular jailer's pets they are... wonderful race the politicians...
    MmtuMoja
    9th Jun 2016
    5:27pm
    I wonder if those unfortunate people who discover their employer has not been paying their super realise that their industry in 1992 agreed to give up long term a proportion of pay rises to be replaced by the superannuation guarantee(so still part of wages, just not in hand). Thus any employer making the excuse that super adds to employment costs is trousering a legitimate part of their pay rate. The super guarantee should be collected as part of income tax and then directed to the chosen super fund by the ATO so employers can't avoid paying it!
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    8:31am
    Well, my employer paid, but the wage was so low that the super contribution was LESS than the administration costs for the fund, so the fund SENT ME A BILL!
    Beeman
    9th Jun 2016
    5:33pm
    Another point that has been introduced into this election debate is that about penalty rates.
    I joined the workforce in UK in 1946 and, in about 1948 the unions started to push for a shorter working week (at the same pay of course). They claimed to have "scientific proof" that when an employee passed the 42 hour line the quality of his work work deteriorate. And they sold this to the employers so the "normal" work week was reduced from 48 to 42 hours. Then they pushed for more pay per hour for this poorer quality work. So we too now have the situation where we can't afford to build our own submarines etc.
    Justsane
    9th Jun 2016
    5:38pm
    A while ago, someone posted a link to a site which showed how all the federal politicians had voted with regard to the Age Pension. I thought I had the link, but I can't find it. It showed photos of all the politicians. If anyone has the link, please could they post it on this forum. I shall be much obliged.
    Justsane
    11th Jun 2016
    5:35pm
    Here is the link: https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/policies/28

    Interestingly, Ricky Muir was there before, but he has disappeared. I seem to remember that he was not very sympathetic towards pension increases.
    Not Senile Yet!
    9th Jun 2016
    5:46pm
    Nice article full of FACTS!
    But you left out how Labor & Liberal joined forces to legally rob the Accrued Pension Fund in the 90'same!
    Total amounted to Trillions!
    That money was to subsidise the Pension Payments for the Baby Boomers....it would have payed at least half the total Aged Pensions!
    But NO THEY SPENT IT.....ON WHAT YOU ASK????
    A NEW PARLIAMENT HOUSE IN CANBERRA....THAT'SAID WHAT!!!
    NOW THEY PLEAD BROKE!!!
    They are LIARS!!!!!
    They Stole Trillions LEGALLY.....So they do not have to account for it!
    LIARS LIARS AND LIARS!!
    TREBOR
    10th Jun 2016
    10:24am
    Yes, coverting it into part of 'consolidated revenue' did not remove the liability for payments for which it was accumulated in the first place.

    Thee is no (LMAO) 'mandate' that adheres to government of any stamp to simply refuse to pay its bills as they fall due. the fact that governments successive here have sought to do precisely that shows:-

    a) They have no morals

    b) They have no idea whatsoever how to run a country

    c) They are only there to suit self and ideology.
    FM
    9th Jun 2016
    7:40pm
    FM
    9th Jun 2016
    11:24am
    reply
    We want to stop the elderly being targeted in every budget.

    DON’T LET POLITICIANS STEAL ALL YOUR RETIREMENT.

    They have stolen most of it don’t let them steal the rest.

    “There’s never been a better time to be an Australian”. Well maybe for Malcolm Turnbull and sloganeering: But not for aged pensioners.

    Politicians can retire after a couple of terms in office on very generous pensions but they want to make everyone else work to age 70, the highest retirement age in the Western world.

    As it is, Australia is no country for old men, or women. Australia’s retirement system is generally inadequate. The 2014 Global Health Watch measures of the quality of life of older people, found Australia had the lowest ranking in the region, (61st), for income security which measures older people’s access to money. It had the highest old age poverty rate and below average pension coverage and welfare rates. Afghanistan which ranked last in overall well being was 20 points ahead of Australia on income security.

    Income security has been drastically eroded by efforts to reduce the aged pension by changing indexation and by draconian cuts to part pensions of self-funded retirees with low to average incomes. People on small Defined Benefit Pensions lost up to $10,000 in 2016 and the Seniors Supplement, which compensated for the GST. From 2017 retirees with small lump-sums will lose thousands of dollars due to the doubling of the taper rate, taking it back to where it was 10 years ago. A couple with a lump sum of $275,000 each will lose close to $15,000 p.a.

    Cuts of $1.6 billion to the Budget for the sick and frail aged in 2016, following drastic cuts in 2015 mean some people in aged care can no longer afford the weekly charge and their medication.

    These changes will affect the future of everyone in the work force. People on low to average wages will be left on the verge of destitution a few years into retirement unless politicians concentrate on creating a properly funded retirement system. They can afford to. See the History of the Aged Pension in Australia.

    Australia is the only Western Country that does not have a universal aged pension. In the UK, US, Europe, Canada, NZ and many other countries everyone gets a contributory aged pension. People have their own retirement funds on top of that. A contributory pension system was set up in Australia in 1946 when a 7.5% levy was placed on earnings to fund an aged pension. This levy has been collected since and is still part of the tax system but very few Australians get an aged pension and those who do are told it is Welfare.

    It is estimated that the trillions of dollars stolen from the fund by successive Governments would be sufficient to pay a non-means tested pension of more than $500 a week to every retired person.

    The provision of retirement income and welfare are core responsibilities of the Federal Government and require a considerable Budget allocation.

    It’s Time to make a stand

    Sign this petition to insist that the Political Parties: -

    Disclose their long term plan for funding retirement and aged care before the election.

    Do not raise the retirement age again.

    Do not change the indexation of pensions.

    Reverse the changes to the assets test and taper rates.

    Restore the deductible amount of defined benefit pensions.

    Restore funding for aged care.

    Review the proposed cap on final contributions to allow people on low incomes to make greater catch up contributions as they approach retirement.

    Recessions are used as a pretext to cut back on the provision of services to the most vulnerable.

    When the economy recovers these services will not be restored.

    Do not let politicians use this downturn to steal your retirement.
    FM
    9th Jun 2016
    7:41pm
    The following is a Change.org petition to put seniors' issues on the election agenda. If you can copy it onto your browser and read it and then sign it it would get it going before it is too late to have any impact. I will post the content of the petition in a following post.
    https://www.change.org/p/jenny-macklin-it-s-time-to-protect-our-pensions-5ba876d6-be9d-44c2-8ca1-4fb4cc79b7b7?recruiter=550430732&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    8:22am
    THANK YOU FM. And the caps are intentional!
    I missed this petition, but I sure want to sign it.
    KIS
    9th Jun 2016
    8:06pm
    Well said Kaye Fallick, clarifying the history & intention of Super. Bess & Mick, for reminding Australians that we ought to take care of our present & past taxpayers before giving charity to companies & individuals take pay tax overseas rather than Australian taxation.
    I've worked hard to give my own children a good start in life. Neither Labour or Liberal have the balls to make multinationals companies & wealthy individuals pay as much Australian tax as the average wage earner pays. Instead our elected governments have all ignored this point making them GST exempt & allow them to run up their debt levels to O/S sister companies to avoid paying Australian tax.
    I would like to know, how I can vote, to make our politicians accountable for our money/taxes being spent in Australia for Australian tax payers past & present?
    MICK
    9th Jun 2016
    8:15pm
    The biggest change is likely going to happen if voters do not vote for them. Both sides. The logic:

    1. Labor/Liberal will fear being pushed out more every election.
    2. they will have to change.
    3. Independents will block bad legislation....as should always happen.

    The above is why I suggest voting Xenophon and after that other Independents, then Labor and Liberal last.
    Needy not Greedy
    9th Jun 2016
    9:05pm
    Great articles Kaye and others, a good follow up would be a 'how to vote' card listing from first to last what is thought to be our best chance of getting this current mob of mongrels and their mates out. By the way where's Bonny? Picking out buckshot?
    Misty
    9th Jun 2016
    10:44pm
    Maybe retired Needy not Greedy, a lot of new names commenting on this post this time, that is nice to see.
    Funny face
    9th Jun 2016
    9:40pm
    Why don't they just post us ( at concession rates!) a little blue pill with a birthday card and be " done" with us! We are such a problem! Fancy having the " cheek" to work all our lives ( at any job!) study hard to get ahead ( my husband was still at university when we married!) but we worked, we paid taxes al, our lives ( well my husband did!) I was, horror of horrors, a woman who stayed home and raised her own children! In the end my husband paid high taxes ( he studied for it!) we NEVER claimed welfare ( my husband would have been " ashamed"! So, now, we, who worked, went without to save ( no fancy things!) are being " punished" for being thrifty ( are the modern generation! What do they go without!) but we have a little money in the bank! ( should have spent it!) but we are now " a burden!" Who paid their taxes all those years! Who did " all the right things" who worked at sometimes two jobs! I cleaned people's houses ( I wasn't too proud!) but, we are a burden! Where woukd they be without this " so called burden" generation! Up 'that" creek! That's where! So, send us a little blue pill and get rid of us! After all! They need more " room" for people on welfare! Poor things! Some are " proud" if it. Have a baby when you're a baby, the givernment will pay! ( us who worked!) don't bother about education, let the givernment pay! So, we, who worked, and are now too old and no use, are " in the way"! Just get rid of us! They're making us feel like a burden anyway
    Alexii
    9th Jun 2016
    10:13pm
    generally agree with you, Funny face, but don't pick on the welfare cases. many of them are just as poorly off as we seniors are becoming and not due to their own fault. Let's send the blue pill to the polls, esp those in government now, before they send it to us.
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    11:38pm
    Be advised that under the Social Security system - there is NO welfare.... on entitlement bought and paid for.

    Do not fall into the trap of accepting the lie that anyone receiving social security is on welfare and is thus some kind of leech... politicians with their massive pensions are far greater leeches than any number of unemployed or pensioned people, not to mention the concessions to business etc, and the lovely handed to public servants for 'foregoing the opportunity to build a career in the private world' (LMAO)... ONLY in the public service can a pen pusher be elevated to a 'grade x' and be paid handsomely for doing very little in reality.
    KIS
    10th Jun 2016
    12:58am
    I agree with Alexii it is the political parties that are responsible for paying unwed girls to have babies & allowing their fathers not to pay child support. If the politicians rallied for fathers to pay child support they would not be voted in. So us married couples did not get the assistance single women do & the fathers are not held accountable. Child support should be for all children & only for children on a voucher system, that way the pension & child allowances could not be spent on illegal drugs & alcohol.
    Put up the taxes on companies that manufacture & sell alcohol, overly sweet & salted foods, like the tax on cigarettes that will help the economy & help pay for much needed hospitals. But no pollies are talking about this. Then they can pay age couples the same rate as single people.
    Politicians ought to target income not profit for companies or age pensioners that own their own homes should be allowed the same deductions to run their homes since we employ maintenance, gardeners & cleaners to do the work our ageing bodies cannot. Instead the pollies pay known drug addicts extra allowances for rent assistance before they help a homeless old person. It's crazy.
    Alexii
    9th Jun 2016
    9:56pm
    Excellent article, Kaye. I'm going to send a copy to the Hume MP, Angus Taylor, although I'm sure he wouldn't bother to read it as it would go against Liberal ideas and ideals. I'll also send a copy to the other candidates in the hope they might read it and even spread a bit of the word about it - probably a vain hope.
    I hope that other participants here will send a copy to their MP and candidates.
    Beeman
    9th Jun 2016
    10:03pm
    I know very little about superannuation as I was too near retirement age when it was introduced so can anyone advise me?
    Someone dear to me is fully employed on $50,000 p.a. and wants to salary sacrifice $20,000.
    If she does that then her employer says that he has only to pay the superannuation on $30K not the $50K. Is this correct? Any experts out there?
    Sundays
    9th Jun 2016
    10:37pm
    Yes, that is correct. It is a loophole Labor were going to fix but never did and Liberals have remained silent on. It is mean treatment by the employer, and salary sacrifice may not be the best option in this case.
    TREBOR
    9th Jun 2016
    11:44pm
    Someone on $50k can afford to sacrifice $20k before tax?

    Obviously she doesn't need the job.....
    Macca
    9th Jun 2016
    10:49pm
    I started work in 1969 with Dept of Govt Transport.Had to join Transport Retirement Scheme and Union.This was going to be the funding of the future for me I was told.Older employees were on a gratuity scheme at the time and were to be paid 2 to 3 weeks a year for every year of service. For those nearing retirement opted to stay in scheme.For those with quite a few years to go had an option to stay put or transfer to new scheme.Then new super went to PASS SUPER THEN SASS SUPER each time changing rules.Older people who transferred to new schemes lived poorly due to contributions that had to be made in order to maximize top benefits on retirement. Then in 1980s Mr Keating changed tax on super from 5% to 20%.Ever since this we have had constant changing of rules from both parties.No wonder I decided to take most unprescribed benefits out of super and invest elsewhere.Both parties need to come to a common sensis on super and stop changing the rules.Let us fund our future and also allows us to leave a legacy for our children.Macca
    TREBOR
    10th Jun 2016
    1:06am
    Interesting ideas come out here.. leaving something as well as a reasonable and rational super system. Unfortunately if the gate is left wide open to leave anything to the offspring, only the rich will be able to use it... and that is precisely why there needs to be some control over the total amount any individual can place in a tax-free haven called Super.

    That, to me, seems to be the biggest issue... that some are exploiting this current system, while many are getting nothing out of it.

    Personally - though I could have left the Commonwealth Public Service in the 1980'swith 2/3 of salary indexed for life (refused to do so) due to stress of the job (you need to understand the job and know my personal history) - I have enough super to buy myself a 'project' cruiser boat... something I will have to work on and put a lot of ready into....

    I also drew my super in the 1990's to pay bills when I was thrown out of work, suffered injury and illness, and as a gentleman, felt I should pull out all stops to pay my bills. Should have spent it on Lotto tickets.

    It's NEVER as simple and straight-forward as some would have us believe, and usually, in my observation, it is those who have no real idea who seek to say it is. In that group I fairly and squarely place 'politicians' - who seem to think they have a god-given right to alter anything to suit themselves as they see fit.

    Perhaps there is a need for a truly Independent body to run Retirement Funding..... one that cannot be 'handled' by political parties.... wishful thinking, I know... they will stack it with a few old mates at every opportunity, just so the mates can cop a nice handout in super and perks, and so the mates will nod like Luna Park clowns to the wishes of the politicians.
    ray from Bondi
    10th Jun 2016
    12:56am
    yes, I agree completely, that is the trouble will all governments they bring in something saying it is only a little change and down the track completely change what was originally put forward. it is nothing but idiotical rhetoric we are hearing about us oldies, all governments over the years having been selling the farm how much would the profits from Telstra and the commonwealth bank alone help the governments budget bottom line.
    TREBOR
    10th Jun 2016
    1:09am
    Too true, Ray - instead of helping the bottom line for the mates who 'bought' ceo and board position in these 'privatised ventures'... and added double to the running costs by having another layer of useless mouths to feed handsomely...

    Lied to again.....
    MICK
    10th Jun 2016
    10:24am
    The GST is a point in question ray. They're still working on that one but I venture to say that the rate IS ALREADY 15%. Just waiting for a trigger to make it law.
    ex PS
    10th Jun 2016
    8:54am
    All this argument about whether the Aged Pension is an entitlement or a gift bestowed by a kind and benevolent government is getting old. The only reason it is worth pursuing is that we have governments that will use wording to weasel out of commitments and impose unfair changes to those that they should be working for.
    Examples for instance, if we put illegal in front of something it then becomes OK to deny natural justice (Illegal Asylum Seekers), we change an entitlement to welfare the government then can make changes without opposition.
    If the government wants to redefine the use and definition of Superannuation go ahead but these changes should only apply to people entering the system after the changes have been made. Good luck getting anyone to pay their own money into a fund that will be at the mercy of sticky fingered politicians.
    Alternatively if the government wants us to fund our own pensions make contributions into a pension fund for people earning up to 20% above the average wage tax deductible including when it is taken out and promise to keep their thieving hands off it FOREVER. If a citizen chooses to pay into their own pension fund they should be allowed to place their compulsory Super contribution in it with the proviso that it can not be touched until their retirement date.
    Of course the people using this system need to be protected from the banks, so I propose that only licensed banks be allowed to handle these funds and that their fee be linked to the profit made by the individual fund, in other words no profit, no fee.
    If any government wants to go down the road of revising Super it needs to have the guts to start again and do it properly, theft by stealth or the death of Super by a thousand cuts is not good enough.
    What I want is a system agreed to and signed off by both parties with a guarantee that it will not be changed unless both parties agree with the changes. This is assuming that we will still have a Col'es/Woolworth's parliament after the next election.
    MICK
    10th Jun 2016
    10:27am
    The way out is to vote them out. Both sides. The Xenophon Party, current crossbench senators and other Independents would appear to be the way forward. But given the inertia to change in voting habits I'll wait to see if voters have the mental capacity to do what is needed.
    fearlessfly
    10th Jun 2016
    8:54am
    Right, emailed the article to all those MPs that have email addresses. Sadly, there are 78 of them who hide behind facebook or twitter accounts and don't have the guts to post public email addresses
    MICK
    10th Jun 2016
    10:24am
    Well done.
    Farside
    10th Jun 2016
    11:23am
    My understanding is all members get a default email account; try firstname.lastname@aph.gov.au
    fearlessfly
    10th Jun 2016
    11:38am
    I've got 49 of them and most conform to a firstname.lastname.mp@aph.gov.au convention. However, several of them do not follow this convention.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    6:10pm
    Well done Fearlessfly! Congratulations, and thank you!
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    6:10pm
    Well done Fearlessfly! Congratulations, and thank you!
    MacI
    10th Jun 2016
    12:48pm
    Some of the commentary on this forum relating to the impact of the new Asset Test for the Aged Pension is exaggerated. Like many others I was alarmed when this change was announced so I did my own spreadsheet modeling to determine the impact on our retirement. I used all of the assumptions that the respected MoneySmart Retirement calculator uses so that I could use it as a reference for my calculations. For my calculations I used the current and new Asset and Income test thresholds, taper rates, pension rates etc. Here are some comparisons in today's dollars for a couple retiring at Age 66 (my age):

    Assessible assets: $700K, Annual Income: $58K, Average Earnings: 4.2%. At age 88: Total Aged Pension Income in today's dollars for the old and new Assets Test is $657K and $631K respectively, i.e. $26K less.
    Assessible assets: $825K, Annual Income: $58K, Average Earnings: 4.2%. At age 88: Total Aged Pension Income in today's dollars for the old and new Assets Test is $593K and $551K respectively, i.e. $42K less.
    Assessible assets: $1M, Annual Income: $58K, Average Earnings: 4.2%. At age 88: Total Aged Pension Income in today's dollars for the old and new Assets Test is $495K and $438K respectively, i.e. $57K less.
    Assessible assets: $400K, Annual Income: $50K, Average Earnings: 4.2%. At age 88: Total Aged Pension Income in today's dollars for the old and new Assets Test is $755K and $755K respectively, i.e. about the same.
    Assessible assets: $500K, Annual Income: $50K, Average Earnings: 4.2%. At age 88: Total Aged Pension Income in today's dollars for the old and new Assets Test is $715K and $717K respectively, i.e. $2K.
    Assessible assets: $600K, Annual Income: $50K, Average Earnings: 4.2%. At age 88: Total Aged Pension Income in today's dollars for the old and new Assets Test is $671K and $656K respectively, i.e. $15K.

    In conclusion couples retiring with $500K or less are not disadvantaged by the changes and the majority of couples retire with less than this amount. While a couple with $1M at retirement and living on a comfortable retirement income of $58K would receive $57K less in Aged Pension it's hardly a huge amount over the course of 20+ years in retirement. The increased taper rate for sure hits retirees in the early years of retirement but once they do become eligible for the Aged Pension it increases at twice the current rate.
    Rodent
    10th Jun 2016
    1:58pm
    Dear GotTheBlues

    I realise who difficult it can be on this site to explain detail about Numbers without a table or spreadsheet

    Your post says that some are exaggerating the Pension changes impacts. Not sure who these are but I doubt its me, as I only deal in facts, and can back up whatever I say about the Pension changes.

    Your post is confusing me , especially the Average earnings % and The Annual Income figures, they don't seem to align? perhaps you could explain more please. Understand the reference to the money Smart Calc etc, although not a major user of this, Its just my memory but I have seen comments from other sources that its not always accurate, it may overstate % etc

    Your conclusion , the $500k reference may be correct, but not sure the numbers add up? OR Maybe its me not reading it correctly?
    Rodent
    10th Jun 2016
    4:15pm
    Dear GotTheBlues

    Further to my comments above, and to clarify FYI, much of what I have posted about the Pension change Impacts have been on the assumption a Person/Couple is an current Pensioner, you however are coming from the Position of what the impacts might be going forward for a Pensioner, currently aged 66 calculating the impacts going forward to Age 88, am I correct?

    If that's the case I haven't done a similar exercise to you. Anything that we NOW do is likely to be wrong over that 22 Year period, or longer.

    If anything is certain it is that Govt's of any persuasion will continue to attack what the Budget Expenditure item called Welfare, including Pensions. Its most likely, one of the items will be low hanging Fruit called Clean Energy Supp (because its now not going to be paid for NEW pensioners),It would be easy for a Govt to claim, on fairness grounds that it should be eliminated for ALL pensioners, sooner rather than later.

    Also when you think about it, although the Libs have said the Income and Assets Test Thresholds will be Frozen for 3 years from 1 July 2017, they might do the opposite and actually LOWER the UPPER threshold, because this time round they RAISED it for all, and Doubled the taper rate.

    Any just for Bonny's reading - all sides might sit down and AGREE that a FULL RETIREMENT INCOMES REVIEW would be the way forward(such as the Greens Believed they got in agreement for assisting the Govt pass the Asset Test /Pension change bill) which of course they did NOT actually get!!
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2016
    5:50pm
    I've done a detailed analysis and run it by several actuaries, and Got the Blues, I don't know how you dreamed up those numbers, but they are completely misleading.

    Firstly, 4.2% of $700,000 is $29,400, NOT $58,000. All the figures are similarly incorrect. Also, you haven't allowed for non-returning assets (including the need to hold cash for living expenses to avoid having to sell at the wrong time).

    The bottom line is that every $100,000 a homeowner couple retains in savings over the new threshold will cost them $180,000 over 10 years in retirement. And it's the early years of retirement that are most critical to ensuring people can preserve their savings for the years when expenses begin to climb due to health problems, higher care needs, aging home and furniture and car, etc.

    There is an obvious huge cost to the taxpayer to encourage people to reduce their savings and claim higher pensions, and a 7.8% return on investment in today's environment, rising every 6 months, is way more appealing than the returns most retirees believe are realistically achievable. There will be a lot of retirees buying bigger houses and taking world cruises!
    MacI
    11th Jun 2016
    10:14am
    Dear Rainey, Let me clarify. The $58K income that I refer is made up of draw down from assets plus the Aged Pension entitlement. I'm not referring to the earnings on the assets. To achieve and income of $58K then obviously in the early years of retirement the the draw down on assets is greatest but as the assets are diminished the Aged Pension entitlement increases. If this doesn't satisfy you then try the ASIC MoneySmart Retirement Planner. The only parameters that I have used in my spreadsheet that are different from the MoneySmart Planner defaults are peculiar to my Super Fund, e.g. fees which are lower than the defaults.

    My purpose was to demonstrate the impact of the new Asset Test compared with the current Asset Test.

    In regard to your contention that for every $100K retained by a retiree it costs them $180K over 10 years you have not done nothing other than to re-state your claim. I'm genuinely interested in how you arrive at this and hope for a full explanation.

    In respect of the 7.8% return in investment which I assume is in relation to the Aged Pension benefit received when assets are diminished. This will remain constant, not rise every 6 months, as the taper is fixed at $3/fn per $1000. The pension will increase every 6 months but the taper will remain the same.
    Anonymous
    12th Jun 2016
    1:17pm
    Got the Blues, my whole point is that someone who sacrificed lifestyle to save for a better standard of living in retirement SHOULDN'T have to draw down on assets to maintain a decent lifestyle when those who didn't save are getting handouts that allow them to maintain their lifestyle WITHOUT recourse to whatever assets they may have.

    Further, using assets in earlier retirement stages has massive problems attached because:
    (1) you may need those assets later as expenses for health care, personal care, home help and maintenance of aging houses, furniture, car, etc. rise
    and
    (2) if there is a level of economic recovery, people who might have been self-supporting are impoverished and needy because they were forced to prematurely drain their assets.

    As for ANYTHING being fixed, who can believe that? We can't trust politicians for 5 minutes. The taper rate WAS fixed at $1.50, and hundreds of thousands made valid plans based on that rate and are now plunged into hardship and unfairly forced to give up all the benefits they ought to enjoy after a lifetime of frugal living to try to be independent in old age.

    Anyone who justifies this change is selfish, illogical, and has no sense of fairness - and seeks to see the taxpayer slugged to support more pensioners on bigger pensions and more aged people impoverished. It's a STUPID policy change that evidences total incompetence by all involved.
    MacI
    12th Jun 2016
    5:29pm
    Dear Rainey, You are adamant that someone who has sacrificed to save for a better standard of living in retirement should not have to draw down on assets to fund their retirement. I assume this means that you want to preserve the value of your capital against inflation while drawing on the earnings for income. If so, using the assumptions I provided earlier in this post, for an income of $58K (apparently what is required for a 'comfortable' retirement for a couple), 4.2% average earnings and an average inflation rate of 3% a non-means-tested Aged Pension of $50000 would be required to achieve this objective. To accomplish the same with a 5% average return the non-means-tested Aged Pension for a couple would need to be $41000. And this would be for everyone.

    I actually think it is selfish to expect the tax payer, i.e. the children of retirees, to provide us with an Aged Pension that allows us to preserve our capital. I got tax concessions while I was working to help me save for my retirement and now in retirement I don't pay any tax on earnings and won't in the future as I don't have $1.6M in Super (or elsewhere for that matter). With the change we a little worse off than we would have been otherwise - about $34K (in today's dollars) in Aged Pension over the course of my retirement assuming that I live to a little longer than average life expectancy. I consider myself very fortunate even though the change to the taper rate does put a little bit of a squeeze on our finances.

    In my view you are painting things as catastrophic when they are not. Retiree couples with around $500K in assessible assets will be no worse off with the new Assets Test. I doubt many would consider them as impoverished and needy. If it was the case then we are already in dire straights as $500K for couple is about the median for couples entering retirement. For them, with the change to the Assets Test, things will be better as their Aged Pension pension will increase at twice the rate as they draw down on their capital and thus the required draw down on their capital to preserve their income that supports their retirement lifestyle will decelerate compared to their current situation.
    MacI
    13th Jun 2016
    10:36am
    Further to my calculations in the foregoing I need to revise them as I did not take account of the mandatory percentage draw down on Super while in retirement. Here are some examples of the indexed Aged Pension that would be required to support a $58K income ('comfortable retirement' for a couple) and preserve the real value of capital:

    Capital $700K - Earnings Rate 4.2%, Inflation 3% - required Aged Pension would be $50000. If the earnings rate is 5% - required Aged Pension would be $38.5K.
    Capital $1M - Earnings Rate 4.2%, Inflation 3% - required Aged Pension would be $46000. If the earnings rate is 5% - required Aged Pension would be $38.5K.
    Capital $1.5M - Earnings Rate 4.2%, Inflation 3% - required Aged Pension would be $40500. If the earnings rate is 5% - required Aged Pension would be $29K.

    My point remains the same.
    Anonymous
    13th Jun 2016
    11:58am
    GotTheBlues, you are making the same errors as politicians:

    (1) Assuming assets are superannuation, and
    (2) Ignoring not-returning assets and the fact that many assets return very low income.

    In the first instance, I strenuously disagree that someone who sacrificed lifestyle to accrue personal savings, and paid tax on the interest, should now forfeit ANY of the benefit of those savings while people who didn't save are rewarded. When it comes to people who have super, there is some argument because they got tax benefits. However, I note that low income earners got very little or no tax benefit. But personal savings should NOT be rorted for the benefit of others.

    The second issue, though, is more significant. If we talk about ''fairness'', how is it ''fair'' to assume that someone who has a given level of savings needs less pension benefit, with no consideration whatever of the income those savings generate. What is relevant here is that the least advantaged - educationally deprived, risk averse due to suffering past crisis, sick or disabled, etc. - are LEAST likely to be achieving satisfactory income from their investments. So they suffer most. How does that comply with the generally accepted principles of fairness and catering to need?

    You also haven't accounted for the value of pensioner benefits not available to non-pensioners, which can make a huge difference to cost of living.

    And I question your figures. By my calculations, the loss to someone with $523,000 in savings is more than $39,000 over just 10 years. To someone with $823,000, it's more than $150,000 over 10 years. Over 30 years in retirement, it's more than $205,000. Savings are more than halved over a period of 20 years, and that's assuming a 5% return on 100% of the assessed assets, which of course can't happen because part of these assets are in furniture, motor vehicle, personal possessions, etc. and a significant amount must be held in cash to cover living costs.

    The calculations you have done are precisely the WRONG and IRRELEVANT calculations put forward by government propaganda merchants to justify the unjustifiable.

    Ultimately, the issue is simple. We PAID for the 7.5% levy. Those who didn't have superannuation got no tax benefits, but paid more tax due to paying tax on interest on savings. Now we are being told we must suffer a FINE of $78 per annum for every $1000 we saved, despite the fact that it might only yield $20 per annum OR LESS.

    It's not just MORALLY wrong, it's economically unsound because it discourages responsible behaviour and rewards the kind of behaviour that costs taxpayers MORE.

    You talk about saving the taxpayer, but the policy DOESN'T. It COSTS - unless you assume that everyone affected by it is STUPID (in which case they wouldn't have those savings!!!!)

    You are NOT helping the taxpayer's cause, GotTheBlues. Nor are you serving the interests of the majority, because if the government is allowed to do this without strong protest, they WILL go the next step. They already have reduced pensions for new pensioners. I don't care what you call the ''clean energy rebate'', or how you try to excuse taking it away, it's money. It's money that ISN'T bringing pensioners above the poverty line, so taking it away will increase poverty.

    We SHOULD be uniting to fight government unfairness and bad management, not trying to excuse the inexcusable or attacking those who object to unfairness and poor economic management.
    MacI
    13th Jun 2016
    1:37pm
    Dear Rodent, Firstly, let me clarify a couple of points. By income I mean the amount drawn from all sources to maintain a 'comfortable retirement' for a couple, i.e. $58K. This is made up of earnings on capital, capital draw down, and Aged Pension if applicable. My modeling is for a couple retiring at age 66.

    Given that for older retirees assets held in Super are not deemed under the Income Test it is difficult for me to model for an older retiree as Centrelink use the 'deductible amount' for assets held in Super and this will vary according to initial purchase price of an Account-based pension and commutations along the way. The best I could do is assume that Super is not deemed for an older retiree. With that for a couple aged 75 with $700K, earning an average 4.2% and drawing $58K indexed until age 88 the reduction in total Aged Pension in today's dollars would be about $21K. For a couple with $1M at age 75 the reduction in Age Pension to age 88 would be $88K. I grant you that the older a retiree is under this change the more the impact in terms of the reduction in Age Pension. That said a couple with $500K at age 75 would only be marginally impacted.

    I certainly agree with you that given the regularity of changes to the rules relating to the Age Pension and Super any modeling is likely to be obsolete in the not too distant future but one can only work with the rules as they stand.
    MacI
    13th Jun 2016
    4:51pm
    Dear Rainey, Before I reply to your most recent response I am still waiting for your explanation as to how a homeowner couple will be $180K worse off over 10 years for each $100K they retain over the Asset Test threshold.

    I am wondering what your expectations are when you "strenuously disagree that someone who sacrificed lifestyle to accrue personal savings, and paid tax on the interest, should now forfeit ANY of the benefit of those savings". Do you mean that the value of the Age Pension should be such that the real value of your savings should be maintained, i.e. enough to cover inflation or is maintaining the dollar value of your savings sufficient?

    In terms of my calculations it is irrelevant whether or not assets are held inside or outside of Super. Centrelink generally doesn't care when assessing the Age Pension entitlement. It may be a consideration for tax purposes but a couple can earn nearly $58K tax free.

    As far as non-liquid assets or assets that return a low income surely that is the concern of the owner of the assets and not the taxpayer.

    In regard to your calculations about losses over 10 years. I assume that you are referring to a retiree couple. If so here are my calculations for the impact of the Asset Test on the Age Pension for a couple with $523K:

    Current Asset Test calculation - (523000-291500)/1000 x 1.5 = -$347.25/fn. New Asset Test (523000-375000)/1000 x 3 = -$444/fn. Difference over 1 year is (444-347.25) x 26 = $2515.50. Therefore a simple calculation would see a difference over 10 years of 2515.50 x 10 = $25155. However, in actual fact it is way less than this because of inflation. In 10 years a couple with $523K will be better off under the new Asset Test. This is because the Asset Threshold is indexed but the taper rate is not. If the current Asset Test was maintained then the threshold in 10 years when indexed at 2.5% would be about $373000 and the new threshold would be about $480000. Doing the maths again the current Asset Test would reduce the Age Pension by $225/fn whereas the new Asset Test would reduce the Age Pension by $129/fn. Each year the difference reduces until around year 7 the new Asset Test provides a greater Age Pension. It seems counter intuitive but that's what inflation does.

    I'm all for increasing the Age Pension to provide for a better retirement for people who have not been able to accumulate wealth over their working life. There may be some who are less deserving because they have been profligate during their working life but what do we do - deprive what I believe are the vast majority who have been hard working but simply less fortunate to punish the less worthy. I certainly do not agree with propping up people with substantial assets that can be put to work to at least partially provide for their retirement. If they are under-performing assets then they need to take the bull by the horns and do something about it even if it means making some tough decisions rather than moaning about how unfair it is.
    Anonymous
    8th Sep 2016
    8:02am
    Got the Blues, you are obviously among the hard-hearted privileged who have no understanding whatever of the impact of extreme hardship and deprivation (not to mention health) on the CAPACITY of people to increase earnings. Those disadvantaged by holding non-returning or low-returning assets are NOT lazy or careless. They are DEPRIVED.

    I mix with extensively with people who grew up abused and deprived in institutions, suffered serious disability, or were born with impaired mental capacity. Many of these folk are in the category you attack. They simply CANNOT invest for higher returns. They don't have that ability. They would love to, but they don't know how and there is no reliable help out there for them - only vultures who are only too happy to take them down - and hard-hearted scum who are too quick to condemn them and gloat at unfair legislation that persecutes the persecuted.

    There are not SOME who are less deserving because they have been profligate. MOST were profligate - or at least enjoyed a far higher standard of living than those who now suffer the greatest hurt through unfair legislative changes. If a person falls into the category of having enough to be hurt by assets test changes, yet is achieving low returns, it's almost a certainty that their savings are a result of massive lifestyle sacrifices driven by the fear and memory of extreme hardship. These people become extremely risk averse and afraid of drawing capital because their past makes them super-afraid of what might be in the future. These are the people you endorse persecuting. They have suffered a lifetime of persecution, and you support continuing to bash them merely for the terrible sin of trying to provide for themselves in old age.
    Beeman
    10th Jun 2016
    2:16pm
    In reply to my question about the employer's right to pay the superannuation based on the net after sacrifice balance, TREBOR queried that anybody earning $50K could afford to sacrifice $20K. Perhaps I should have explained that the person in question is old enough to be using the Transition to Retirement concession. Legally.
    TREBOR
    10th Jun 2016
    10:26pm
    Hokay....
    FM
    10th Jun 2016
    2:57pm
    Hi Rodent I'm posting this reply here as well in case you missed it on the other site.
    Thank you for the observation re petition. I got on to the person who did the petition. There were meant to be two examples there one for $275,000 and one for $400,000. Something got deleted in editing
    I believe he has been able to get back in and change that.
    Sorry I have not been able to mention this sooner. It has been hectic. I noticed in today’s smh that Labor had a similar petition on their website but they have taken it down. SMH suspects it is because they are going to approve some of the cuts that they blocked in the first LNP Budget and make further cuts that will affect seniors. If you have friends and family who can sign the petition can you ask them to. We are not getting through.
    Rodent
    10th Jun 2016
    3:46pm
    FM I made no observation re a Petition, no comments at all that I recall, maybe someone else
    Pen
    11th Jun 2016
    4:54am
    Excellent article Kaye!
    Not Senile Yet!
    11th Jun 2016
    8:45am
    Where is the Trillions put aside by the 7.5% Extra Tax Levy implemented in the 40"s???????
    Parked in the Great White Elephant called New Parliament House.....Canberra!!!!!!
    Greatest Legal Robbery in World History.....when Malcolm Fraser......libs.....convinced Labor to raid the Retirees Pension Fund......and replace it with Compulsory Super!!!
    Now...after stealing the money and spending it..they have the cheek to plead Poor/Broke!
    Go ahead Vote Labor or Liberal......Dementia & Altheimers does take away ur ability to function & remember things.....especially who lied when and about what!
    Go on Vote for the Party Puppets......you deserve them!
    Not Senile Yet!
    11th Jun 2016
    8:45am
    Where is the Trillions put aside by the 7.5% Extra Tax Levy implemented in the 40"s???????
    Parked in the Great White Elephant called New Parliament House.....Canberra!!!!!!
    Greatest Legal Robbery in World History.....when Malcolm Fraser......libs.....convinced Labor to raid the Retirees Pension Fund......and replace it with Compulsory Super!!!
    Now...after stealing the money and spending it..they have the cheek to plead Poor/Broke!
    Go ahead Vote Labor or Liberal......Dementia & Altheimers does take away ur ability to function & remember things.....especially who lied when and about what!
    Go on Vote for the Party Puppets......you deserve them!
    Cuphandle
    11th Jun 2016
    8:55am
    The one positive issue that I have detected from ALL comments on this and every other Forum, is that the masses of people, especially the elderly, are angry, very angry, so all I can suggest once again, after considering the arrogance exhibited by Politicians toward the voting public, is that at the end of the day, exercise your right and DO NOT vote for either of the major Parties, and think carefully about the honesty of the others, and if you are still unsure then vote for an INDEPENDENT! ....at least you will be able to sleep knowing that you have at least TRIED to change the system for the better, instead of allowing this indifference to continue forever,....(or the next World War, whichever comes first?)
    Rodent
    13th Jun 2016
    9:00am
    Dear GotTheBlues I refer to the interesting Interchange between you and Rainey, I understand where you both are coming from. You views seem balanced and you make some good points in your latest post.

    Not trying to be picky - I refer to these comments by you - a possible clarification required?

    In my view you are painting things as catastrophic when they are not. Retiree couples with around $500K in assessible assets will be no worse off with the new Assets Test.

    If you are referring to Non Home Owner Couples you are CORRECT, however if you are referring to a Home Owner Couple at $500k In assets the LOSS is actually 6.2% , although not much actual dollars per Annum . But a Single Home Owner at the same $500k loses 71.3% of their Pension which is $8000 per annum- Grossly Unfair And inequitable , there are nearly 10,000 such people impacted at that $500k figure just on the Age Pension alone, not counting DSP, Carer and other Payment categories affected by the Asset Test changes

    Rice Warner recently said this (extract only )in reflecting on the Pension changes

    They do so when the rates on term deposits have more than halved in the last four years. A single retiree with assets of $547,000 could now move from a part pension of $10,000 to nothing. If they earned 5% on their term deposit last year and 3% now, their total income will have fallen from $37,350 to $16,410. This will force them to use the capital on their pension account – so, eventually they will get a part pension again. However, the sudden shock on income will be difficult to stomach
    Anonymous
    13th Jun 2016
    12:08pm
    Rodent, you are correct, and Rice Warner make a valid point. More critically, though, the change in the taper rate impacts hardest on the most disadvantaged of those who saved - those who can't achieve decent returns due to educational disadvantage, mental illness or deterioration, lack of access to good advisers, sickness, disability, etc. This goes totally against the principles of fairness and prioritizing need that society claims to subscribe to.

    It also means that savings are eroded early in retirement, leaving people hard up in later years when they are more needed. And it unfairly takes double tax from the battlers whose assets come from personal savings, while rich superannuants continue to reap huge tax concessions.

    The system is cruel, unfair in the extreme, and economically unsustainable due to discouraging saving. It's an insult to taxpayers, because it asks them to subsidize irresponsible lifestyles and accept that responsible taxpayers will suffer punishment for being frugal.

    NOBODY should be supporting or endorsing this. It's WRONG on every level, and GottheBlues does us all a disservice by trying to excuse it. Worst of all, it sets a dangerous precedent. If a group who struggled to save for old age can suddenly have their income halved without protest, what hope have others for security?
    MacI
    13th Jun 2016
    5:32pm
    Dear Rodent, I realized after my post that $451K for a home-owning couple is the break-even point for the new Asset Test. I should have been more precise.

    I regard to single pensioners I agree that they get a rough deal compared with couples even before the new Asset Test is applied. I've looked at the situation for my wife should I pass away and I concluded that the proportional difference in the Age Pension does not cover the proportional costs for a single person versus a couple. I admit I have been focused on couples. At first glance, for consistency and relative fairness, the taper rate for a single retiree should be in proportion to the couple and single pensions.
    Happy Jack
    13th Jun 2016
    2:29pm
    Goes to show; it's difficult to balance the books when your sopping up to the big end of town not to mention the multi national tax avoiding companies who've been bludging off ordinary Australians for decades.
    Makes you wonder why this LIEberal party Government is protecting their interests instead of governing for all Australians.
    Is it because they are big time donors to the LIEberal party?
    So who is in line for the big hit? Pensioners that's who! This LIEberal party Government, who said "no changes to pensions" have already made them in this term. The changes to defined benefit schemes is an example.
    You can bet on one thing though- no changes will be made that will effect their own retirement incomes.
    In the mean time, aged Australians who have reached the end of the working lives, having paid taxes for decades are told- you have no right to a life style above the bare necessities of life. Not for you a well deserved holiday or a few creature comforts. How dare you, having gone without by contributing to super now expect a pension, or for that matter a part pension.
    The LIEberal party Pensioner supporters are going to be in for a very rude awakening if these cohorts are returned to government and they find that in addition to losing pensioner payments they also lose the concessions. The LIEberal party Treasurer, Moaning Morrie, is telling lies when he claims State Government
    Senior cards will deliver concessions.
    You'd have to be a mug to vote them back in.
    Rodent
    14th Jun 2016
    1:08pm
    Dear GotTheBlues,

    I understand your last post in reply to me, that's fine. I am going to a National Seniors Forum for the seat of Chisolm this Thursday and will be asking some questions about the Libs and Labor Pension policies in some detail, focussing especially on the Unfairness issues that I have written about in this Forum
    Captain
    14th Jun 2016
    5:30pm
    Rodent, I was going to go to that forum however a more pressing issue precludes me from attending.

    I would appreciate it if you could give a run down on what the politicians responses to questions are (if you have the time and inclination).

    Thanks in advance.
    Rodent
    14th Jun 2016
    1:15pm
    Dear GotTheBlues

    Been reading your reply to Rainey, Post 13/6 @ 4.51pm -Interesting interchange. A small Point- as from 1July 2017 the Asset Thresholds are FROZEN going forward for 3 Years
    MacI
    14th Jun 2016
    3:32pm
    Dear Rodent

    I know the government at one stage was considering resetting the Income Test thresholds for both single and couple retirees but decided not to proceed. I wasn't aware that they are going to freeze the Asset Threshold.

    Thanks for the info.
    Captain
    14th Jun 2016
    5:35pm
    My Federal rep (LNP) told me several weeks ago that the threshold was frozen for 4 years. I suppose 3 or 4 years makes little difference.
    Happy Jack
    14th Jun 2016
    5:14pm
    Retiree's have been lamblasted with so much LIEberal party Government propaganda they are beginning to feel guilty. "WELL DON"T" You have worked hard all your life and now you are expected to live on a meagre income and receive nothing in return for your years of input in this country.
    This LIEberal bunch is flat out stating the case for why you should go without a decent retirement whilst making the case for big tax cuts for the high end of town which every unbiased economist has stated that will have a minute impact on growth and employment. So why is this the case? why hand out billions of dollars in tax cuts? There's only one answer! "KICKBACKS" . What better way to ensure you retain your seat in parliament than to ensure you have adequate campaign funding. It's called, you pat my back and I'll pat yours. All of this is aided and abetted by the right wing media- take the shock Jokes on 2GB, how biasd and one sided can you get. The Stooge, what ever his name is, that was filling in for ray Hadley this afternoon was doing a real good job on filling his shoes when he ridiculde . R Otha
    Happy Jack
    14th Jun 2016
    5:29pm
    Shorten for offering NSW a couple of million to hold a plebiscite on council amalgamations. Well, I don't know if he is either, barefaced or politically naïve when you remember that little johnny howard made the same offer to Queensland when a Labor government wanted to amalgamate councils, HOW HYPOCRITICAL OR STUPID CAN YOU GET?
    Rodent
    15th Jun 2016
    8:34am
    Hey Captain oh my Captain- what a surprise a Polie that does not know facts, in fairness he might not have noticed that the FREEZE doesn't start until 1 JULY 2017, he might think its July 2016?
    Captain
    15th Jun 2016
    6:12pm
    Thanks for that Rodent.
    Rodent
    16th Jun 2016
    1:41pm
    Dear Captain

    I have just come back from the National Seniors Chisholm Forum . The Liberal Candidate was a now show, despite committing to attend. Only the Labor and Greens candidates present. You asked about notes/summary, happy to provide BUT what will be better is to wait for the Summary of ALL FORUMS which National Seniors will do and publish.

    This is what I gave to the Candidates . Sorry cant publish the Spreadsheet here

    National Seniors Forum- Chisholm Electorate 16 June 2016

    Dear Candidates
    As all would know the Liberal Coalition Government, supported by the Greens, but opposed by Labor last year passed a Bill in both Houses of Parliament to change the existing Pension Asset Test Thresholds and the Taper Rate to take effect on 1 Jan 2017.
    Recently the Government also decided to freeze the Asset Thresholds as from 1 July 2017 for a 3 year period going forward. At the same time they propose to not pay the Clean Energy Supplement to new Pensioners, which will to continue to be paid to existing Pensioners.
    The timing and impacts of the changes has not been well thought through and will impact more harshly on some Pensioners than others.
    Doubling the Taper Rate from $1.50 to $3.00 effectively makes the Pension even more valuable to retain as it effectively has an earning interest rate of 7.8% pa, much greater than the average available from Term Deposits, and other investments at this time.
    In the 2015 Budget the Government claimed a saving of $2.44 Bill over the 4 year Budget Period. It is now believed that the savings are said to be $3.55Bill over the new 4 Year Budget Period.
    These claimed savings are highly dubious, as some Pensioners will run down their assets so that they may gain an increase in their Pension. For every $10,000 reduction in Assets a $780 pa increase in pension can be obtained.
    In the Electorate of Chisholm there are 17,173 Age Pensioners, with 3731 Pensioners on the Disability Support Pension, and 3188 Persons on the Carer Payment. There are also additional numbers of people on other payments who may be affected by these Legislated changes.
    As from 1 Jan 2017 in the Electorate of Chisolm - 2160 Pensioners will have their Pension Reduced, and 970 Pensioners will have their Pension Cancelled completely.
    The Prime Minister - Mr Turnbull often talks about Fairness and Equity, I do not believe these proposed Pension changes meet this test in any way.
    I refer the candidates to the Spreadsheet I have provided to each of you and ask these questions please.
    Q - Would the candidates please comment specifically why it could ever be deemed Fair and Equitable that a Single Home Owner with $500k in Assets will lose 71.33% of their Pension after 1-Jan 2017, and at the same Asset figure a Single Non Home Owner will gain a 10.41% increase in their Pension?
    For the same $500k asset Figure a Couple Home Owner will lose 6.2% of their Pension and a Couple Non Homeowner will have no change to their pension at all. With these proposed changes in fact a Couple Non Homeowner does not lose any pension at all until $725k in assets is reached.
    Q - What will you or your Party do to address the unfairness and inequality of these proposed Pension changes please?
    The spreadsheet allows you to make other comparisons for other Asset values, both above or below this $500k example. You should also read the notes on the spreadsheet as they relate to the data provided.




    I made lot
    Misty
    16th Jun 2016
    5:12pm
    When will the Summary be released and published Rodent, before the election I hope.
    Happy Jack
    16th Jun 2016
    4:51pm
    Hey, Rodent! what else would you expect from a legislator who is right into what a lot of us fair minded Australians would describe as salve labour?
    The animal farm is well and truly in good form, wouldn't you agree?
    disgruntled
    18th Jul 2016
    6:52pm
    A good, intelligent and - naturally- mature discussion.
    What I do not see discussed is the comparison with countries of similar cultural, demographic and economic characteristics.
    Consider the two countries probably most similar to Australia on these counts, Britain and New Zealand;
    : both levy taxes (in Britain including NHI contributions) that provide funding for their age pension schemes.
    : their total "tax-take" is similar to ours in Australia.
    : both pay the age pension entitlement irrespective of other income or superannuation. It is consider, and it is a fact, that this has been contributed torand is due AS A MATTER OF RIGHT.
    As the initial article states, this was the original intention and design of the Australian Age Pension.
    The question, then, is "Why and by whom was it determined that we shall not receive what we have paid for over our working lives?"
    Yes, one could widen the comparison to include Canada and most European countries, and so on. It is also the case that the rate of age pension in Britain is, to some extent, determined by the number of annual contributions; but the question remains "Why is our Age Pension, for which we have paid, reduced by the value of assets or other income when this is not the case in comparable countries?"
    We Australians are an easy-going lot, all too ready to let officialdom ride over us but this is one of the questions to which we should demand an answer. In fact we should demand what we have paid for.
    Is there an organisation that is doing so?

    31st Jul 2016
    4:53pm
    Kaye asked And is the Age Pension an entitlement? Or is it only for some?

    No, it is not an entitlement...there is an Assets and Income Test.

    The Aged Pension is only for those who pass it..it is only for some (i.e. 80% of retirees get a full or part pension) the rest are fully self- funded.


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