Seniors group calls for further changes to the pension

National Seniors Australia have made a submission to the government, calling for more changes to the age pension in the upcoming Federal Budget.
There are calls for the age pension to be changed again.

With the Federal Budget just weeks away, all eyes are on what the government will do with a number of key issues – including the age pension.

Last year the Federal Government introduced some of the biggest changes to the pension in many years, and if you’re a pensioner, chances are you might have been impacted by them in some way.

Now, there are calls for the government to make further changes to the age pension.

As you may have read, the government is under pressure to change the assets test again to allow older Australians to sell their home without it impacting on their pension.

But that’s not the only change being proposed by seniors group such as National Seniors Australia.

In their submission to the government ahead of the budget, National Seniors Australia calls for changes to the taper rate – the rate at which you lose you pension for exceeding the assets threshold.

Under the latest changes, which came into effect on January 1, the taper rate was increased from $1.50 per $1000 of excess assets, to $3.

The change saw thousands of pensioners lose some or all of their age pension.

And according to National Seniors, the decision to double the taper rate was “too severe”.

“This change has been ill-considered and poorly implemented,” their submission to the government reads.

“It has impacted thousands of Australians who have prudently planned and saved for their retirement.”

Nationals Seniors is calling for the taper rate to be lowered back to a more “reasonable” level.

“The decision to double the taper rate from $1.50 to $3.00 is too severe and a more reasonable rate of $2.00 should be considered that promotes economic reform that is fair,” their budget submission reads.

“This will lessen the impact of the current changes, which has been considerable in many instances.”

The group is also calling for the government to maintain the current eligibility rules for concession card holders to assure older Australians there will be no negative impacts on their pension card in the future.

“Concessions are an important tool to reduce cost of living pressures faced by older Australians so should be maintained,” the National Seniors submission reads.

“Any future rule changes must be phased in over time and be considered with regard to their impact on older Australians as well as the sustainability of the retirement income system as a whole.”

What do you think? Do you agree with the National Seniors call for changes?

  1. Jennifer Gray  

    I completely support this action of reducing the amount from $3 to $2 per $1000. The recent changes had a massive impact on me personally, reducing my pension by half. The amount of savings and super I have will run out when I reach my mid 80s.

    It feels as though the government is dictating the age of my death. I certainly won’t be able to pay my utilities and feed myself. So, I guess I will just have to starve or live on handouts from others!

    Like all responsible people I saved and went without luxuries so that I could live ‘comfortably’ in my retirement. I did retire , but, have now returned to casual work to make up the shortfall in my income. I think it would be better for s young person to have my job, they are the future!

    Hopefully the politicians will see sense. But, I fear that this is a quality they lack.

  2. Renata Anderson  

    I think these new rules should have been phased in gradually to all future pensioners, not existing pensioners. They have planned out their retirement already, now with these changes it has affected their day to day living expenses. Previous rules for pensioners should have been grandfathered and the new rules phased in for all future pensioners, say in 5 to 10 years time.

    • Margaret Rabbetts  

      I fully agree with what is being said here we have worked hard all our lives and now we are being penalized for it. Some of us had to give up jobs we loved because f our health . We are supposed to enjoy our retirement not spend our days being scared of weither we can survive or not.

  3. Pamela  


    Also the deeming rates need adjusting down to reflect the interest rates currently available.

  4. I recently retired. Have complied with every government directive. Investing super etc. income streaming part pension. Retired, and went from income assessment to asset tested. Lost over half our part pension overnight. I went from $500 wage to no wage and a pension of $104 dollars because I retired. I’m 69yrs have some savings but if they don’t change something I won’t be enjoying my retirement. I know there are others a lot worse off than us, but if they take all our assets in to account we’re screwed.

  5. Ann Howell  

    Politicians have changed all the pension rules recently to convince retirees to sell their homes to alleviate a housing shortage which is only TEMPORARY & created by the govt’s bad planning & lack of forward planning. Sales of real estate to foreigners must be banned immediately & immigration must be lessened immediately. Do NOT sell your real estate to anyone but your own children & other family members.

  6. Helen Pelham  

    I think the income test rate should be increased like the asset test was. Also the deeming rate is higher than what we can get interest from the banks.

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  8. Bev Riley  

    Agree with comments of Ann Howell above. The government is making Retirees suffer by changing the pension & asset rules which are designed to lessen what Retirees have to live on in an effort to make them sell their hard-earned homes so they will then have enough cash to pay for groceries, electricity, gas, water & other bills AND to help ease the property shortage at the same time. That is, the govt is killing two birds with one stone. But don’t fall for it. The housing shortage is temporary – it’s happened in Aust before & righted itself with the release of more land & creation of new suburbs. The reason the govt is now changing rules for immigrants is because it needs to lessen immigration because it puts too much pressure on the housing market. Many immigrants bring their assets into Aust & so can afford to buy a home very quickly to the detriment of younger Australians.

  9. Rosie  

    I totally agree with this proposal, the recent changes to the asset test have greatly reduced our Centrelink income and our retirement savings won’t last if we live into our 90s. It is totally unfair to people who have saved for many years so that we can enjoy our retirement, especially when politicians’ pensions are so high and not subject to this assets test and large companies continue to pay no tax at all. We deserve a better deal, considering that compulsory super didn’t come into effect until way into our working life and the opportunity to have large super investments just wasn’t there, especially for women whose income was usually much less than the income that the men earned.

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