Why doesn’t the pension increase as much as the minimum wage? 668



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Yesterday it was announced that The Fair Work Commission had been successful in fighting for an increase to the minimum wage across Australia. This will affect Australia’s 1.86 million lowest paid workers with an increase of $16 per week. This 2.5 per cent rise isn’t as much as Fair Work successfully fought for last year, which was 3 per cent. But it is pretty significant. The question is, how can the baseline wage for an Australian be one thing to satisfy that living standards are high enough and they’re no living on the breadline. Yet the pension, still comes in below the OECD breadline? How is that fair and what can we actually do about it?

Fair Work Commission president Justice Iain Ross said the most significant economic change since last year’s wage review was the reduction in inflation and aggregate wages growth.

“We have had particular regard to the lower growth in consumer prices and aggregate wages growth over the past year because they have a direct bearing on relative living standards and the needs of the low paid,” he said on Tuesday.

“The lower inflation and aggregate wages growth has favoured a more modest increase in minimum wages”.

The weekly minimum wage will rise by $16 to $656.90 from July 1. Compare this with the highest amount available on the age pension that sits at $390.10 or $782.20 per fortnight as the Aged Pension website states.

If one thing is deemed fair for Australians earning the minimum wage – the absolute minimum anyone in Australia can earn, why are pensioners losing out so much?

Some can argue that it’s because it’s work, they’re being productive and stimulating the economy by contributing and that the pension is welfare – government assistance – not the same as a wage. But when it comes down to a matter of basic human rights, shouldn’t every Australian sit above the breadline? Shouldn’t every Australian have enough to get by on?

Do we need someone fighting for seniors the way The Fair Work Commission fights for employees? Share your thoughts in the comments below… 

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  1. Oh yes I sure do….over here in NZ with all the baby boomers coming through many never having been able to afford their own home and now won’t be able to afford a Retirement village and often losing a much higher pay to move down onto a pension which doesn’t even cover a rent on a decent home….let alone power, food etc…maybe the pension should be e.g. 90% of the last 2 year wage they earned so their lifestyle doesn’t drop…pensioners often become the newest poor through no fault of their own

    24 REPLY
    • My friend says her mother in Croatia worked three jobs to look after her and her sisters and now her pension reflects that and she get 90 % of her working wage to retire on! She says our pension is very unfare

    • I’ve read, heard, & seen reports from those in the fields of finance & economics, that we are a “highly-taxed” country in comparison to the U.S. of A, but where is ALL that tax money going? Oh, I forgot, our politicians’ overly generous salaries, benefits, allowances, & subsidies for life, gets priorities over the rest of US, who worked/scrimped/saved/paid the marginal tax rates & hoped to be able to keep our heads above water on retirement!!

    • Welfare in US is a pittance, Annual holidays accrue over a period, not as many public Hols. Basic wage is tiny compared to OZ. Millions more taxpayers, I thought the pension was supposed to subsidise you own income, full pension was for the few. If we make it too high, no one will ever save , everyone would be on per year, That of course would have to include the 800, K DSP & Vets, More than half of Australia at the moment don’t PAY any tax .I have a small amount in bank, used to give me a bit of interest, not any more. Manage quite well like most I know. I wouldn’t be a Politician for all the tea in China, thankless job, and most could earn more in Civvy street.

    • So why don’t they move to Civvy street then???

      1 REPLY
      • f they moved to civvy street they would have to work for a living and not receive the political benefits after retirement.

    • Fiona Buzza, Because they feel the need to do something for their COUNTRY, Without asking for everything, Like most people in these comments.

    • They sure feel the need ok. And your comment about not asking for anything, must have come out of the mouth of a babe

    • Our politicians are up to every lurk in the book. Look at Joe Hockey getting paid about $285 per week to rent his wife’s investment property. Yet when Aged pensioners apply for the pension everything is regarded jointly. Since when does a married couple have separate properties. If the Hockey’s were apply for a pension this property would be considered as joint property. Robin Shepherd you appear to be extremely naive. Most of these politicians are in politics for what they can get out of it. Not all but the majority are.

    • as does 25 at least labour pollies guess that is ok dian tangey they are labour.the money is to pay for acco modation in canberra while they are away from home does your company do that ??OF COURSE THEY DO.. SILLY HARPING NOBODIES IS WHAT YOU ARE .

    • Yeah we have lazy old people over here too who spent every cent they ever earned on overseas holidays etc and never bothered to buy a house – now they are crying poor and want poor hardworking Australians to pay for their retirement even though we willnever get an overseas holiday because every cent goes into saving for our retirement

    • Scott Bundy Condely, the apple did not fall far from the tree with you, your have not reach old age yet, you have many many years to go..worry about your own life and stop picking on elderly pensioners..your as rude and ignorant as your father

      1 REPLY
      • I am I am a pensioner and I paid my taxes for 62 yrs to cover my pension and I don’t think one cent of the taxes you pay goes towards it truth be known you know all the lerks and perks to get out of paying taxes.

    • Janet Farmer – show some fkn respect – it is my tax dollars that are paying for your pension. We won’t get a pension when we retire so unlike you ungrateful leeches we are saving for our own retirement. It’s all gimme gimme gimme – spare a thought for the poor suckers who pay you.

      2 REPLY
      • Scott, it was my taxes that gave you an education (seems it was a waste of good money)and paid for the pensions of the elderly before I retired. Due to unforeseen circumstances I ended up on the pension so, like those of us used to be taxpayers it is up to the present taxpayers to help support us as is done in a caring society, oh I forgot the current government is hell bent on destroying anything to do with a caring society so they can help their rich mates pay less taxes and suckle on the public teet

      • Scott, you seem to misunderstand the concept of the age pension. Throughout our working lives, we had an arrangement with governments of all persuasions that if we paid our taxes, they would put away some of those taxes to fund a pension in retirement. Superannuation as we know it today is exactly the same, except that instead of giving money to the government for the purpose, money is given to private companies to invest for the same purpose. So it’s not your taxes paying for my pension, it’s my taxes that I paid over my lifetime of working. By the way, I’m happy for you to drive on any of the roads my taxes paid for.

    • Geez Scoot, sorry Scott swearing isn’t allowed on this site!! Doesn’t matter what you pay for!! The only person that should be showing respect is you!! Mind paid trolls don’t know what respect means.
      Oh yes, I do hope you like hot weather, cos where you will eventually end up is extremely HOT!! Lol

    • I worked hard all my life but when my husband divorced me and I had 4 kids to support there was no money to buy house and put away for retirement, I so wished I could buy a house in a retirement village but will never be able to do it.

    • It has always been that those who work pay taxes towards the aged pensions and then when those who paid the taxes get old enough to receive the age pension the next generation behind them pays. It has always been fair. We cannot help that something that has worked for many generations is being changed.

    • Scott Bundy Condely, you are NOT paying for my pension because I don’t get one, nor am I asking for one. Don’t ask anyone to respect you until you stop using bad language!!!!!! and by the way, grow some common sense.

    • if the bloody govmt stop throwing money to other countries maybe we have enaugh to be fair to us pensioners, to all who think diff well live it for a while and you change your perspective, always going wihout not enaugh food or of anything! and suprmarkets pricing products out that pensioners could afford like fairly did in shepp , yes if you think its so nice think again!

    • Scott Bundy Condely, I find your attitude in your post towards the elders of our families arrogant and downright insulting – “ungrateful leeches”.
      Seriously, is this the best you can do by way of thanks to all of us whose parents and grandparents fought for our freedom?
      How dare you assume that your personal tax dollars are paying for someone else’s pension, much less ask them to respect you for it!
      Karma to you.

  2. Because no one would want to work why bother to go to work if you can get the same amount.??

    8 REPLY
    • At 72 y.o. you cant work if disabled, so pensioners are not a lazy bunch as indicated . We worked harder and longer than most to build this country and would like a little consideration. Not condoning entitlement, but just a little more to recognise that we have worked long and hard.

    • And it’s a stupid and offensive comment when applied to the unemployed as well.

    • Perhaps you should read article before putting up answers that are an insult to all ages pensioners.

    • Fay, work is not just about money: it is about gaining skills, having coworkers, working to get a better job and paying off a mortgage. People would still get work for those reasons.

      Also, we have got to fight the changes to the taper rate. Conservatives say they can’t change super because of the low interest rates but they can change the taper rate. The other parties are no better, they are mainly concerned with getting re elected . We have to let them know that this is unacceptable. The changes will cause real pain.

  3. More money, can mean better food and healthier people, less burden on the health system.

    4 REPLY
    • why Jim Borg?? I DONT drink..smoke… do drugs.. don’t go to pokies don’t go to bingo unlike a lot of other aged pensioners I know who do

    • I want to add, my sister is on a pension…… her doctor suggested she take, magnesium, CoQ10 and vitamin D tablets. Today she is in Sunshine hospital having a heart investigation…..would the tablets help her health…..I suspect they would. She buys what she can afford.

  4. Study history and you will see the raising the minimum wage makes everything go up in price. Thats called inflation.

    1 REPLY
  5. At some level, you have to realize that there comes a time in peoples lives that they cant work. Why should these people get penalised for growing old like they do now?

    8 REPLY
    • I agree, I don’t earn the minimum wage, I would be better off on the pension but I have another 5 years to work!

    • well patricia i hope you are saving for that day & not expecting my grandchildren to support you in the lifestyle you expect. they wont mind providing money to feed you & pay for your medical needs but they sure as hell wont be paying for a holiday when they themselves can’t afford one.

    • Bit rude Jean. Patricia never said she expected anyone to support a lifestyle for her. Maybe she doesnt earn enough to save or are like others who have worked their butts off all these years and through no fault of theirs, had it taken from them. Either way, I guess you have no understanding of what it is like. Have a nice day.

    • Libby English It may surprise you just to how many do go on holidays. After managing a Motel on the Mid North Coast of NSW I can assure you there are many. Why do you think there are so many ads in The Senior newspaper, targeting Seniors/Pensioners. They are the ones that have money and do not live of credit. Like everything there are different levels. Pensioners who own their own homes and have some savings of course do a lot better than the pensioner who has to find rent each week. I had pensioner guests that would come back 2,3 and 4 times a year.

    • In 2014 there were more that 2.4 million recipients of the aged pension. So probably, although it seems that a vast majority of pensioners take holidays yearly, it is probably only a small amount. Jean Anderson Campbell implied that Patricia Gleeson would expect to be able to take holidays on taxpayers money ( or specifically, her grandchildrens money she said) when Patricia retired. This was uncalled for and unnecessary. I think Libby was only pointing out that a vast majority of pensioner cannot afford holidays. In my opinion this is probably true, given the amount of pensioners that only have pensions to live on.

    • Libby English is a lovely lady, she has class , she still works and is very supportive of pensioners and yes she would have meant that many can’t afford a holiday

  6. Why does everyone seem to have this sense of entitlement ….and before everyone starts with “I have paid my taxes for years” you need to be reminded that those taxes were used for the roads you drive on, the schools and hospitals and trains and buses you have used and every other community facility provided. I believe in social responsibility but I am fed up with this “gimme more” attitude. People need to be more responsible for providing for themselves not continually expecting the current taxpayers to fund their existence completely. We all need to be more aware of our own obligation to provide for ourselves.

    26 REPLY
    • It has, I am 63 have had a heart attack, a tumour on my aorta, a triple bypass and have worked full time and raised a family since I was 17, but I always knew that I was responsible for myself ..and that also meant proving a safety net for my old age.

      1 REPLY
    • I too am totally fed up with the ” i paid tax all my life ” really ?? Enough tax to cover a pension of $860 per fortnight for 30 years or more?? Doubt it

    • I too am a self funded retiree. I also feel for those people who had no chance of getting themselves into the same position, through no fault of their own. Some of these people put family before money making like single parents etc. they have no backup when they age.

    • I agree with you Victoria. I’m 62 and can’t understand why people are hell-bent on retiring at all.

    • Don’t be too cocky June. At your age I was enjoying working too. By 70 I felt just too tired all the time. Starting to not sleep so well, not coping with some of the more physical aspects of my job…

    • The reason I paid taxes all my working life is so the government could provide for me when I can no longer work. It is impossible to have a decent standard of living on our feeble pension. Unless you’re on a politicians pension.

    • U tell me how to save i bought up 2 children 2 step children have helped with 11 grandkikids and 4 great grand kids and still helping so the parents didint have to go without like we did i love them all and family comes first but a little bit of help goes a long way i am 67 and on my way to help the kids i had to sleep in my car c the other side im not complaining about the pension just a little extra at xmas or times like that would help

    • Herbie Vandersant that is NOT the reason you paid taxes-schools,hospitals, roads,police,nurses, teachers, public transport etc etc were the reasons!!!

    • No girls back in the fifties we paid high tax and so much went to a pension fund in the eighties nineties the government took it and lost the lot

    • Yes June Bartlett you really shouldn’t be so cocky. Have you never heard th comment there but for the grace of God go I?
      My 2 brothers just got unlucky one had severe melanoma which grew back one year later and the other has severe bowl cancer.l am 65 and have fibromalagia and 2 rare immune disorders only diagnosed in my middle fifties..I worked all my life except for a 5 year period when I had children . I was also widowed with 4 girls and continued to work. I’m now on a disability support pension and trust me I’d love to be fit at work than be at home with excruciating pain.

    • June – because their bodies and minds have been abused by greedy employers taking more than people can give. Some jobs are very mentally and physically demanding.

    • But we have paid our taxes Victoria and WAY back the we paid taxes with the reassurance from the government that some of these taxes were to assist in taking care of us in our later years. Most people don’t WANT to have to rely on a pension but through circumstances beyond their control, they have to. I personally take offence at your comments because I have worked hard for many many years and so have hundreds of others on this site and to think that you surmise they are just not wanting to take responsibility for their own lives is so unbelievable. So happy for you that you do nbot obviously have to struggle. Have a good day.

    • Perhaps pensioners on the breadline chose to stay home and raise their children while hubby worked unlike others who had kids and shoved them in preschools or at babysitters for them to raise. Its a choice thing.

    • Yes we paid taxes, we did not get any of the handouts now available which are also responsible for the increase in costs. Women weren’t sllowed to work after they married, super was unheard of, equal wage for women what was that? Divorce another sexually transmitted debt. I could go on and on, good luck to all the happy couples who have managed to ride out the recession we had to have, the 18% interest rates, and the many GFC’S and still managed to come out the other end with sufficient income to live the lifestyle they feel they deserve.

    • There was no super in our time and worked two jobs to make ends meet! Paying. 50 percent in taxes what roads drive on dirt tracks or pot holed roads.. Hospital were half hour away!

    • PAYE is not the only tax NZers are lumbered with, but if those who were able & capable of working did actually work maybe pensions would be higher, 60% of the AVERAGE wage isn’t always enough to live on considering when you retire your lifestyle doesn’t change that much, just your income.

    • My story got taken to the cleaners at age 60. Lost all super bar 2k,worked underground 33 years. Forced out of work (went back to original trade) with recurring back trouble at 63- no compo — probably just a leaner tho.Am on Newstart

  7. It should be increased for the old age pension as they have paid their way already

  8. Its not about that Fay..Its about our elderly deserving to be recognised for their contribution to society and the country…not all people reaching retirement age are able to work for many different reasons…It is a myth created by media because people who are still fit and able are put on a pedestal as though it is the norm and the people who are unable to work are ignored and hidden…and I thought work was something everyone wanted to do…or is that a myth too….the pension is not just a welfare handout you know…

    4 REPLY
    • Hang on. Why do they need to be recognised for their contribution to society as you out it. Haven’t they been paid during their working life? Did they not choose their lifestyle or make their own decisions? Just because you are old-er doesn’t mean you need to be rewarded financially for it by the government. I really do not understand this sense of supposed entitlement so many people seem to have once they get to around 60 or 70. the government owes me a good life in my old age”- what????? Why? And before you say I must be a young kid who knows nothing I am 62, don’t own my own home, will be renting for life and most of all i look forward to being in the productive workforce till the day I die. I see no appeal whatsoever in “retirement”. Part time work maybe but give it up? No thanks.

    • I dont get 860 a fortnight, am lucky I can still work part time, I now people who cant work because of age and illness, but worked their buts off in their younger years

    • how lucky you are June to be healthy enough to feel that way. Some of us are not so lucky through no fault of our own. should we just go away and die then because we are no longer useful?

    • You hang on June!! Ok you’re lucky you’re still fit enough to work, and at 62 so you should be!! Others are not so fit or young and didn’t have a choice on “retirement”!!!

  9. Good one Victoria you are obviously well of enough not to have to worry. My wife has to quit work due to illness and my wage covers house payment, bills and food nothing left over. Got any advice? Guess what we have never taken a hand out and I have worked for 50 years and she for 45 years. Maybe you are just out of touch with reality.

    12 REPLY
    • if Victoria is ” well off enough not to have to worry’ its because of good money management on her part

    • That’s good for Victoria and good luck to her as I have never nocked anyone for achieving. Not everyone should be judged the same, we all have different circumstances

    • I wasn’t judging everyone Carl, and I am sorry your circumstances must be very challenging, I was just making the point that there are many in our community who believe that the current taxpayers are totally responsible for providing some people with every $ for them. my comments were more about some people in our society taking a more balanced approach to being responsible for their own lives

    • No worries Victoria, I agree there are too many who are getting hand outs that truely don’t deserve it.

    • you have no empathy Victoria Rey for anyone but yourself an your feelings..your fed up ?..well so are we with being called names and being put down

    • because of this Ann,,this is quote from Victoria Rey ” I believe in social responsibility but I am fed up with this “gimme more” attitude. People need to be more responsible for providing for themselves not continually expecting the current taxpayers to fund their existence completely. ” There are many who due to bad circumstances in life have no choice but to get the pension !!

    • What if you got sick and were unable to work through no fold of your own. No money to spare for anything except for keeping a roof over your head, food on the table and not to forget medicine and Doctors bills?. Yes good management to survive till you are so sick you rather dye.

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