A controversial recommendation could change your age pension

There was plenty of controversy last year when the Federal Government announced it was changing the assets test for the

There was plenty of controversy last year when the Federal Government announced it was changing the assets test for the age pension.

Some of you here at SAS were hit by the changes, while many disagreed with them.

And with the Federal budget just months away, it looks like there could be a move to lobby the government to change your pension yet again!

If you’re a pensioner and you own your own home, you won’t like what has been recommended to the government.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has made a controversial submission to the Federal Government, recommending your family home be included in the assets test for the age pension.

As you would be aware, the family home has always been exempt from the assets test.

But the ACCI wants people who turn 65 to wait five years to receive the pension if they own a debt-free $450,000 home.

They’re also suggesting if you’re a pensioner with assets, including a home worth more than $450,000, you should be given an interest free pension loan that would be borrowed against the value of your assets.

Under their recommendation,  you’d get an interest-free loan that you would have to pay back if you sell your home, die or move into an aged care facility.

“This provides retirees with choice so that they can remain in their primary residence, leave a bequest and afford their retirement,” the submission reads.

The business lobby group made a similar recommendation last year, which was blasted by numerous seniors and pensioners groups at the time.

The ACCI is also suggesting the government gradually review and lift the retirement age to 70 by 2035.

So, will the government actually make the change?

Well, according to the ABC – it’s unlikely to be taken on board by the government.

In fact, Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer told the ABC that it would “very much” go against “the principles of the Coalition government”.

“Never before have we included the family home [in the assets test] and I don’t see why that would change,” she said.

The submission comes at a time when some pensioners are still struggling to understand the changes to the age pension, which came into effect on January 1.

  1. How about the government giving all pensioners a rise instead of trying devious methods to take money from them and to stop bringing people into the country who are no use to Australia whatsoever other than to drain our welfare system.

    • bradley gibbs  

      i agree totally middle eastern welfare more to come and african no use to australia whatsoever

    • pat  

      Wasn’t the government’ suggestion, it was business lobby groups who want to take the focus off themselves.

    • Gordy  

      Well said my friend, well said indeed.

  2. Renata Anderson  

    How can you expect a pensioner live when they own their own home. Do expect them to sell up and live in a tent so that they can live off the money they get from the sale of their home??? Bloody ridiculous!!!! Leave the pensioners alone for once and tackle somebody else. There is no more respect and loyalty for the Australian seniors like there was in the past. DISGRACEFUL!!!!!

    • pat  

      Couldn’t agree more. Why don’t these business lobby groups pick on the cheaters and tax evaders in their own area? That would reap more income for sure.

  3. John McInerney  

    Given house prices in Australia, perhaps $450,000 is too low a kick in. However, if the kick in was, say, $1,000,000 then I think the idea very good. Why should a person sitting on an asset of that size receive welfare? Currently, a person sits on an ignored asset, receives welfare, then when they die, the asset is passed (tax free) to the beneficies of their will.

    • Waugh  

      This sounds like a good idea to me.

    • Jo Ward  

      So you would be happy to see your parents have to sell their home, the one they bought struggled to pay off, paid taxes for all their lives, the one they bought with their retirement and old age in mind, just because they were lucky enough to buy in the right area.
      They don’t want to live in retirement villages or homes it takes away all their self esteem.. retirement villages their home is not their own they have to live by the rules of the village to enable them to do anything to their properties.
      It’s not so simple as taxing them

    • Ria Young  

      According to you pensioners with a house house worth $1 million should sell their house and move. They currently live in the inner suburbs amongst friends and family, close to their doctors and hospitals, public transport and other facilities. So they need to move into rural areas without these amenities because they cannot afford to buy in the city. Most inner suburbs have houses worth the same or more than the house they just sold. Also, lets not forget that the $1mill is basically the land, not the house. Retirement villages in the city are very expensive, costing more without the land than house and land in the outer suburbs or rural areas. Even up in Epping I have seen townhouses selling for a much higher price than what I paid for construction of a house that is much larger and single story. No stairs for this little old lady.

    • NormanAdams  

      Overseas investors buy properties in Australia driving up the price ….. high earners invest in property and pay less tax due to negative gearing driving up the value of property that was purchased many a year ago . and the government wants pensioners to sell up ????

  4. Kell O’Dwyer made one glaring error in her statement; “it would be against the principles of th.e Coalition Govt”! NO Govt has any “principles”! I think that any inclination to principles in any of the major party candidates is surgically removed before they take office.

  5. So, if a person’s modest little house becomes worth more due to market forces the owner will be punished for that by having to lose their home? Ridiculous. This is an unconscionable proposition and speaks to bullying of the elderly. Politicians are losing their moral compass.

    • Margaret  

      Totally agree, pensioners are soft targets.

  6. Now where would that leave those CEO’s on high salaries or ex Prime Ministers or ministers from the Government. They retire on a large super, continue earning a large salary after, claim cars, travel and many extras. How could they in all honesty keep depriving the ordinary pensioner threatening their house while we continue to pay for there life style which most us can only dream about. Time to look into their own situation first, might save big big money there.

    • Marie  

      Yes I agree they just keep trying to take take from the pensioner.why should they have to sell their house when they bought it at a low price and real estate has increased to such an amount, that homes now are worth in the hundreds of thousands.

  7. Judy Reader  

    I am in my 70s and own my home… due to a lot of hard work and savings in the past. I have worked since 15 and still do a little part time work and I receive a part pension. I have had cancer and have a degree of disability. Meeting the bills is difficult enough and looking after the home which I have to pay for all repairs and problems is a mixed blessing now. Where I question some of the above responses knowledge is … that if I have to go to a nursing home for any period of time, my home will have to be sold to pay my entree fee and if I don’t have an entree fee there is a very long wait. If I sell up now, I have to pay to move and possibly lose my part pension while I am trying to resettle. This does not sound fair, and I seriously question the politicians version of “entitlement” which seems to suite their own needs. Also I now have to pay to have any tests, what happened to the “medicare” promise?

  8. Howard Trendall  

    It’s a spooky feeling having a proposal to have your HOME taken away after grafting all your life to finally have a roof over your head, something to offer your kids to help them get a start in life. Is it our fault the inept governments have blown the budget? No! Try collecting from corporations who often have had to pay little or no tax to help less fortunate folk or real people, who through no fault of thier own have to survive the Centrelink pension. I’d like to see these money grubbing politicians live on a Centrelink pension or the likes of Gina Ironheart. Leave pensioners alone, they’ve fulfilled thier part of the bargin, stop moving the goalposts. How will the next generation of workers ever trust the system otherwise.

    • Linda  

      I couldn’t agree more, Howard. And you got Gina G in one.

  9. Denise Gillespie  

    You have got to be joking. The more you scrimp and save the more you get kicked in the guts (pardon my language but I get so wild). We were the generation that worked hard, we took time off to raise our children without handouts like they get now. My husband and I provided for two children whilst we paid our house off on 18% interest. We also paid our car off and times were tough, very tough especially when I left work to have our family. Now to add insult to injury, when it comes to eligibility for a pension, non home owners can have $200,000-00 more in assets than home owners. (Have never been able to work that one out). And now they are suggesting that if you own your own home, it could be counted as an asset. Where is the fairness in that. Have nothing and they will give you a full pension. Scrimp and save and have a little nest egg behind you and they will try and work out a way to take it off you. It doesn’t stop there either. If you pay into a health fund a lot of the time you are slugged with a premium price for your treatment and if you do go into a public hospital you end up in a four bed room because the hospital system is in such a shamble. A message to the politicians, take a look in your own backyard. While you are flaunting the rules and living off the taxpayers with your outrageous expense “entitlements”, there are lots of pensioners living below the poverty line. If you stopped half of your entitlements you would wipe out the deficit in one foul swoop. Give this generation a fair go. We don’t have the benefit of huge superannuation behind us like the next generations are going to have. Back off !!!!

    • Ria Young  

      Don’t forget that non-homeowners get more than homeowners for a pension. They also get a rent allowance, and this, for obvious reasons, is not available to homeowners.

  10. Lindsay Gregory  

    The only to combat this rape for the pension is to re-introduce the Grey Power Party and make the difference at the polls.

  11. Chris  

    Remove the payments that pollies get when they retire. That’s got to save plenty.

  12. Susan  

    What on earth has it got to do with the Australian Chamber Of Commerce ?? I, like most Seniors are sick and tired of our Government slamming the people who have worked hard all their lives and saved for retirement. Everything today is centred around giving the Families everything !!! We managed on our own,no tax rebates, very small family allowance, I think we got $7.00 a month for our son !! We did without, but we are not encouraging this generation to manage and save Oh No! get the credit card run it up as much as possible and then when they are fed up with the things in the house throw them out and get new !! I am astonished that the ACCI would suggest giving you pension as a loan against your house !!! Unbelievable. What will they think of next to slam the Seniors with ?????

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