My mum says she’s looking forward to the pension

I was talking to my mum about her work situation the other day and she was complaining about how she’s

I was talking to my mum about her work situation the other day and she was complaining about how she’s sick of being told what to do. When I told her to just be happy she has a job at 64, she said, “Well, I can’t wait until I am on the pension, then I won’t have to deal with any crap”. I was shocked… does my mum really think the age pension is enough?

Right now, she is earning quite a bit more than the pension, yet she wants to be on it. I said, “I hope you realise the pension isn’t very much at all” and she rubbished my claims saying it was more than enough and she was looking forward to the day she could cash her cheques.

Having the knowledge of 60-year-olds that I do, and knowing the struggles of the age pension, I was confused. Is this really a mindset others have? That the pension is better than working? If you don’t have a choice to be on the pension, that’s another matter, but to not fully realise what comes next or even prepare to be on the pension is absurd to me. Would you agree?

At this point, the maximum age pension rate for a single is $873.90 a fortnight, which includes the pension supplement and energy supplement. That’s roughly $430 a week, i.e. below minimum wage and below the bread line. But my mum still says that’s heaps and she won’t complain. I don’t think she realises what she’s in for.

When we’ve asked readers about the pension in the past, many pensioners say they can’t afford many things they could years ago. They now can’t travel, and they certainly can’t afford luxuries. My mother lives in government housing and she has no super – it can be difficult to watch this happen but I want her to plan more while she still can work, i.e. build up savings so she can live comfortably when the day comes.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts about the pension and whether you think it’s exciting. Is the reality worse than it seems? Or better?

  1. I’m lucky enough to be on a part pension.
    I know when my husband retires we won’t have a lot of money but we won’t be in any debt. We can still do camping within our state and some interstate as well.
    We get a lot of concessions now which makes our lives easier. I worked all my life and paid a lot of tax so I don’t feel guilty about receiving a pension.

  2. I am on the Widows Pension thru DVA which is a little more than the Age Pensions and I struggle to make ends meet and often have to dip into savings to have repairs made or replace things that have reached their use by date. It is a struggle I did not expect to have even though I was forced to retire early to care for my hubby who was fighting cancer. He lost his fight ten years ago and things have gone downhill since then. Now my health is poor and I need help to get around…. Medical expenses are piling up as I am now under many specialists care

    • Bette I note that you have a War Widows Pension through DVA… re your health care the may, repeat may, be an avenue for you to be covered by DVA. This will depend on your deceased husbands service and other matters of course but you should contact your nearest Legacy Group for advice. If your case hasn’t been reviewed for some time it would be worth the effort to discuss your situation with Legacy.

  3. Pamela  

    A friend and I were both struggling on the pension, so we decided to share accommodation.

    Life is considerably easier.

    There is also the caring factor if something happens to either of us where we need assistance due to health issues.

    If pensioners could find a friend they could live with, this is a good option.

    • Mary  

      What a wonderful solution. People who deliver meals on wheels see so much loneliness and hardship just because the elderly don’t want t move out of their homes, often because they want to leave it to their children. Companionship has so many advantages

  4. Dale Hennnessy  

    I don’t think the government still send out cheques to cash!! From my experience all payments go into bank accounts. Curious that , in the main, the age group who are suffering because of low pensions are ( also in the main), the age group that vehemently don’t want any more people of working age ( who pay taxes and therefore contribute to welfare payments), into the country! They are called refugees…. Who, in true main, just want a fresh start to make a living! They need to be helped to make a living here and we need them to contribute to our ever increasing welfare payments. So, why don’t our plies let this happen????????

    • David Charlton  

      Most of the refugees don’t want employment because they get a good ticket from government so most are an extra burden on our system besides which most of our employment is being sent overseas where labor is cheap…

  5. Truth 13  

    Whether the pension is enough or not, everyone who paid taxes MUST get a decent pension, when they retire. Otherwise, why did the government taxed them, every time they earned a dollar. The whole problem the government has to pay a pension to the people who paid taxes is, the past & present members in the parliament are paid too much. Local council General Managers, & various other managers are paid far too much. Head of the Australia Post is paid close to TEN time the pay of his BOSS, who is the PM of the country. We pay fuel tax & tax again to drive on the roads. Medicare levy is charged & now we are asked to pay a “Gap”. State governments charge a arm & a leg as “Stamp Duty”, “Land Tax”, Flood levy(when did Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth had floods ?. It is time for the people to start fighting for their rights, which are denied to them, but not to the politicians.

    • Marg  

      Truth 13, I agree with everything you said .

  6. K. Mcmanon  

    When you are on the pension you can still earn part time wages up to $250 a fortnight without it affecting your full pension. As people get older and want to cut down their work load this is ideal. Also it gives you satisfaction knowing that you are still part time working. I believe you have been paying for your old age pension since you started working all those years ago. No one should feel ashamed or embarrassed by accepting the pension. I wonder if there will still be a pension when my turn comes?

    • to K McManon, I am not allowed to earn $250 a fortnight on a full OAP & I don’t kknow anyone else who is allowed to either.

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