Pensioners May Well Keep Their Purses Firmly Shut

Pension assets test changes worse than claimed says Industry Super

Instead of blaming old people we should look at who built Australia's economy.

Age Pension: 300,000-plus Australians lose entitlements from January 2017

2015 Federal Budget summary: No new taxes on super but bumpy ride for retirees

Age Pension: Income test thresholds applicable since March 2016

As the Combined Pensioners & Superannuants Association has said, raising the lowest asset thresholds from $286,500 to $375,000 for home-owning retiree couples will not allow more people to access a full pension, as the Government has asserted, because the deemed income test will exclude them. Assets of $375,000 are deemed to return an income of $11,002.50 p.a. whereas the maximum income allowed for the receipt of a full pension is $7,384.00 p.a.

If you deny a large sector of the population a decent living wage, then what drives demand?

Our entitlements are disappearing:

  • Increased taper rate for part aged pension entitlements
  • Reduction in Medical Insurance Rebates
  • Cuts to pensions for people with defined benefits superannuation
  • Removal of the rental exemption on the former home when a person is living in aged care.
  • Means tested contribution applied to SFR for Aged Care Accommodation
  • Means tested contribution applied to SFR for Residential Aged Care
  • Tighter Commonwealth Seniors Health Card eligibility qualifications
  • Removal of the Seniors Supplement
  • Deeming Rates set higher than Official Cash Rate
  • Increased costs for Home Support Services
  • Government froze the super guarantee at 9.5 per cent until 2021, at which point it will start increasing incrementally in order to reach 12 per cent by July 2025.

This is an unprovoked slight on the generation that went to work at the age of sixteen and paid for the aged pension for the older generation. They went to work in the mines the mills and factories and in the fields and the building sites for the good of us all. They built the roads the bridges the dams and ran the mines for the future generations to enjoy. Yes, there were factories in those days.

Dr Brendan Nelson said the WWII generation now leaving us was the greatest generation this nation has produced.

The so-called ‘intergenerational theft’ has been visited on this generation of retirees and not on posterity as is the claim. This is the generation that did so much and invented so much and are leaving so much. If it’s possible to steal from one generation (which it isn’t) then the future generation would be the ones stealing from the current generation of retirees. All the luxuries that they enjoy were made possible by the sweat of this generation of retirees. All the expensive houses that they can’t afford now will be theirs one day too. No generation has ever managed to take their wealth with them.

They laid the foundations of this great nation under the toughest of circumstances. They overcame the shame of the past and won admiration by their commitment and ability to rise above adversity. That resilience and hardworking spirit is evident in their stoic approach to all challenges even the disparagement by the current government.

The pensioners of today borrowed money at between 10 and 20% all their working lives. They paid off their houses, their cars, their business loans, their personal loans at this high rate. On the up side, they witnessed their parents getting as much as 18% return on bank deposits during their retirement. It seemed easy enough to prepare for retirement. Just work hard, live frugally, save for the future and everything will be fine in the end. That’s what they believed because that’s what they were led to believe.

Now that they depend on their savings, for what they thought would be a comfortable retirement, they are getting 2% return on their hard earned ‘nest egg’. So basically for the last seven years the Australian stock market has never really looked like heading towards the high of 2007.

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