Call to restrict pension to Australia’s poor

Senator David Leyonhjelm says Australians have this sense of entitlement when it comes to the Age Pension and it needs

Senator David Leyonhjelm says Australians have this sense of entitlement when it comes to the Age Pension and it needs to go.

The crossbench senator even has a solution — to only pay the pension to the poor Australians claiming it is “nothing to be proud of”.

“The intention of the pension system is not to help you leave your money to your kids, you’re supposed to sell down some of your assets,” Leyonhjelm told ABC Radio.

The senator made the comments in the wake of the Federal Government’s changes to the pension assets test that came into effect on January 1 and are set to affect more than 300,000 Australians.

Under the new test if your assets (excluding the family home) exceed $375,000 as a homeowner couple, $450,000 as a since non-homeowner or $575,000 as a non-homeowner couple you could see your pension affected.

Leyonhjelm also hinted that people should sell of their assets outside of the family home to make things easier on themselves instead of relying on the pension.

While the Federal Opposition opposed the changes to the pension assets test, the Coalition argues that the majority of pensioners will be unaffected or will benefit from the changes.

What do you think of David Leyonhjelm’s proposal? Should there be restrictions on who is eligible for the Age Pension? Have you been affected by the changes that came into effect on January 1?

  1. gordon  

    is this person who is saying this about pensions getting his pension assessed by centre link or is he being a thief like all the other polititions.

    • Debra Nisbet  

      Definitely the latter Gordon….they’re all double-dipping and saying pensions are only for the poor, so what gives them the right to take a big one for themselves….

  2. Sue  

    What assets? Car & household furniture?

    • Nancy  

      Sue in the case of some acquaintances of mine the assets are the huge luxury caravan with huge 4 wheel drive to match, the boat and trailer and the jet skis. Some people have a lot of expensive assets. The family home is worth a couple of million as well. NOT your average pensioner!

      • David Cousens  

        But Nancy only their home is exempt from the assets test. The caravans, bat and trailer and jet skis aren’t. They worked for those assets. Those assets also depreciate fairly rapidly. Bet Leyenhjolm isn’t selling any of his assets to fund his retirement- he doesn’t have to , he’s forcing us to sell ours of so his can be funded by us. Most of us worked befor compulsory superannuation was introduced and even before, when only whitecollar workers and public servants were even offered superannuation. The problem is the goal posts are always being changed which means that any form of retirement planning when you are working is a joke. When the tax breaks are being given to large corporations and those who pay little or no tax. Where is the ramp in and thresholds for taxing the superannuation streams of high income earners? If it is justified to increase the ramp in rate and lower the thresholds which affect lower to middle income earners in retirement, then surely taxing the high income earners is also justified.

  3. Lyn  

    Good idea! First step, bring our superannuation entitlements up to the levels that politicians enjoy!

    • Glenys  

      Let politicians live off their superannuation not all the freebies .

    • Susan  

      Yes Lyn, Definitely bring our superannuation entitlements up to politicians level.

  4. June Saunders  

    I hope he is including politicians They certainly should not be entitled to any pension whatsoever when they leave parliment

    • Barb McCulloch  

      Of course he isn’t including them. If this comes into force the lousy Politicians should be under the same conditions as we are but it will never happen. Half the politicians are millionaires or nearly.

    • Doreen  

      What about the politicians? Should they be receiving pensions with the money the Australians are pay for, how many of ordinary working people receive the salarys the politicians earn, and most of them have got good savings i’m sure, I think it’s so wrong that the government is using the pensioners, which is so sad, they need to learn how to use the country’s money in An honest way and look at themselves……

  5. Judith  

    Does that include politicians?

    • Jeanne  

      People with the greatest sense of entitlement are no doubt the politicians , they feel entitled to all kinds of fringe benefits not only for themselves but they also think the tax payer should pay for their families when it comes to travel and transport .

  6. Ed gray  

    Will this (Obviously fatherless) senator lead by example,l think not.

  7. Faye Paull  

    Perhaps we could consider this when politicians receive the same pensions as everyone else. Until then, shove up your a…… Arrogant politician!!!!

  8. Mike  

    The senator will retire on a non-means tested pension for life. – nice – for him…..

  9. Bruce Taylor  

    WOW!!!! I hope that this means this crossbench senator is going to fight hard for politicians pensions to be abolished. After all they are not poor. They have ripped us all off. We should have a performance based salary for all politicians and things like charging the Australian taxpayers hundreds of dollars a night (Joe Hockey) for staying in a house owned by your wife should be ILLEGAL.

    • Rhonda Clark  

      Start with politicians, then maybe people will think they serious.

    • Lee  

      Totally agree with you having had cancer and had to use my super I am still working and receiving a part pension and there will soon come a time I can’t keep working helping others lives to be better and I have no house and rent

  10. Robin Henry  

    While I don’t believe anyone in Australia should receive taxpayers’ funding unless they genuinely need it, it would be nice to see the political class set an example for once and reduce the benefits available to them in their more than generous superannuation scheme.

    When they make their scheme equivalent to that enjoyed by other Australians, I would then listen to pleas to reduce pensions to people having a heap of assets.

    It does make sense that people with large volume assets should use their money before using taxpayers subsidies. However, the real question is, how could anyone live on an Australian pension?

    • Robyn Porter  

      So true $400 per week, ask a politician to live on that. I agree that if you have millions in assets you should be totally self funded, my husband passed away 1 month after getting the pension and because he had a small amount of super I am now being penalized and losing most of my pension. Mind you my husbands treatment cost a fortune which we gladly spent in the hope of saving his life. Once the politicians give up their perks and lurks and their astronomical retirement pensions, I will be happy, let them live on what we have too unless your super rich. I agree that politicians should be paid well, but what they get is over the top, I don’t drive my pets in a chauffeured driven car to the vet, we don’t get to have the very best if we stay in overnight accommodation . The idea was when super first came in was to hopefully have a little bit extra in retirement and not be broke constantly trying to catch up on bills. We were pushed to put as much as we could into super. Every thing has gone up not down, government really do want pensioners living in the dark with a blanket across their legs to keep warm. It’s a sad Australia now, they give so much more to themselves, there will soon be two groups, the very rich and the very poor, I say sack the lot of them they as so greedy and only gave pensioners 2 months notice of the changes and right before Xmas. I am not greedy I just want to be able to live comfortably and not be afraid should the hot water system break down or something needs replacing in several years time. As to someone commenting that we should sell our assets, I don’t have any to sell unless you mean my house and my car, am I not entitled after years of working very hard even holding down 2 jobs for many years to enjoy my retirement.

      • Joycey  

        If you have no assets except your home and car, that must be one damn fine automobile! Your home is exempt from the assets test, so as a single pensioner, that car would have to be worth more than $250K for your pension to even start to be reduced. Therefore, if your pension is to be severely reduced, you must have some serious superannuation that you’ve forgotten to mention here. What they are encouraging you to do is use your super, and isn’t that what you have it for anyway?

  11. joanna galea  


    • Mary  

      I think ALL governments are the same. Don’t let Bill Shorten’s words kid you. The had plenty of time to abolish all the politicians perks but of course they didn’t and never will any more than the current government will. It is one rule for them and one for everyone else. No wonder they want to get into politics!!

    • Mark  

      The Senator is an independent. He’s not part of the Turnbull govt.

  12. J skinner  

    We shed blood sweat and tears to get where we are today that is my wife and I .We were led their under the impression we would get a full pension as we paid more and more taxes through our life time of looking after big company’s that did not fill their tax paying duties.

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