$2.10: Do you call THAT a pension increase? 510



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If you’re a pensioner like me, you would have been looking forward to the pension increases that occurred last week, if only to see if you’d get more than the standard couple of bucks. And like so many my pension didn’t really go up – unless you can call $4.40 a fortnight something to celebrate.

Now, it might sound like I’m whinging. I know I must sound like an old fuddy duddy, shaking my cane about not getting more money from the government. I’m actually very grateful that our government gives us a pension, as I’d be on the streets otherwise, but what I’m disappointed by is how our bi-annual increase is little more than some chump change.

I know that the twice-yearly pension changes are caused by an increase in the cost of living, i.e. food, housing, health, clothing and transport, but I don’t know why we’re told we should be grateful for any extra money when it really is just a tiny bit more. If you have no superannuation like me, you rely on the pension to get you by. Having around $400 to live on a week doesn’t exactly leave you with a lot when you have a mortgage or rent to pay, not to mention want to enjoy your life.

I would work if I could. I’m 61 and I didn’t plan to retire until I was 65. It was only when I was in a car accident at 57 that I couldn’t work any longer. I want more than anything to work but I’m in chronic pain and my husband is my full time carer. The car accident took away everything from me and I ploughed through any savings I had due to appointments and mobility equipment. I long for that life before my accident but I know I can’t bring it back, I just want to enjoy life now and I’m getting out more and more, but my pension restricts me. Having the two of us at home every day is really a drain on our money and my husband can’t gain an income elsewhere.

$2.10 extra per week is insulting to someone like me, and I know there’s many others in my situation who want to work, who want to be independent from government money but we can’t. Even if I was able-bodied I would probably not be able to get a job – I know over 60s with three degrees and a doctorate and they can’t even get work. We face so much adversity, yet the government doesn’t seem to be listening. Help us, because the pension isn’t. I fear not being able to enjoy my life because I’m constantly scrimping and saving. I fear being homeless if the pension has any sort of dramatic change.

I’m a real pensioner, just like millions of other Australians. We want you to hear us, or at the very least make sure none of the future generations end up like this.


Share your thoughts below.

Guest Contributor

  1. Every little bit helps and adds up!!

    5 REPLY
    • But Geraldine. Fact. The value of the money is less & less, with everything rising so much, & this LNP Government has changed the way the pension is calculated, It’s now at a lower rate (Labor had it at a higher rate), & it’s been assessed by people in the know, that in 10 years time it will be $80 a week ($160 A FORTNIGHT) less in value, than it is now. Please remember this when you vote next time. We pensioners have a great say with our vote, & could make or break this heartless LNP Government.

    • Judith I do understand what you are saying and I’m sure after the next federal election things will be secure for us pensioners. Hopefully !

  2. Totally agree with you, there are different scales sadly of Boomers, and that has been highlighted by this Abbott Government, it is a division now that I have never noticed before..those who have and those who don’t. Those of us who don’t have it all are now Leaners and a plague on this country according to The LNP. I only got $1.20 rise and no I am not out celebrating..you can’t buy anything with that

  3. This is so true, so very true. I have a chronic condition but could do certain jobs even part time. I can’t get one. I am also lucky for the pension but yes, we earned this! Why should we feel guilty? I decided to put the $4.40 into a jar and that is my savings every fortnight. I pay a high rent and get rent assistance. I don’t drink or smoke and that’s lucky because there is no way I could afford to. I woke up this morning thinking where could I go that isn’t far from here and would not cost anything, just to get me out of the house? I live alone and don’t go out, not because I don’t want to, but like the writer, because I can’t afford to, but I will go crazy if I don’t get out. I am probably not as disadvantaged health wise as the writer, so I feel so sorry for you as I know what it is like to lose your livelihood. I too have exhausted all my savings etc and given up everything to survive. I hope you can find a way somehow to have a better life and keep on keeping on. I for one am proud that there are fellow Australian women who are so strong.

    22 REPLY
    • I wish lived near me Red, we could go and do heaps together, search for shells, that costs nothing, window shopping, or just sit and chat 🙂

    • It’s not too bad Libbi, I have my son when he thinks of me. I am off to find somewhere today to visit that I haven’t been. Someone kindly gave me a full tank of petrol so I will pack lunch and me and my puppy will head off. 🙂

    • I am also in the same situation except I am homeless. I do voluntary work with a local charity and that helps me to get out and meet people

    • Sorry to hear that Kathy. I don’t know your situation, but Centacare have nice units in every state for a fraction of your pension… Hope you are OK.

    • Fran I’m in the same situation live on my own but I have a car I lost my darling pet Bella in 2013 and that makes it very lonely now but like most Ozzie woman we just keep on keeping on what else can we do have a nice day

    • I wish you ladies lived near me as I would love to do things with you’s that cost little or nothing, but also can enjoy ourselves and put a smile on our faces with little or no money.

    • Here’s an idea I just thought of after reading your comments. Seems to me there is a common thread between a lot of us. We are on limited pensions, mostly unable to work, isolated from society in one way or another. Why not try and start a daily get together over the Internet. You could swap life stories (as I am sure you have had some interesting pasts). Share your interests with like minded people. Swap recipes, patterns, life hacks. Just about anything could be discussed but on a level that all could relate to. It is a thought and would alleviate a lot of the loneliness and isolation felt by older person who have had to leave the work force.

      1 REPLY
    • Great idea Fran, I have a money box to put coins in when I can, when it adds up its great. It could pay a bill or treat myself.
      In our area there are many things that are free or low cost too.

    • I go to a local craft group once a week and have made lovely friends and it just costs me $2 for a share of hiring the hall and a cup of tea or coffee and a bikkie. I am lucky that I still have my dear hubby but have missed female company since my daughter passed away 3 years ago so it has really brought me out of myself. I am happy to chat with anyone who wants to friend me if you are feeling like you want a chat.

    • I to live alone my daughter moved out early this yr I still drive her to and from work She pays to fill my car each week occasionally we go bit earlier and go and have maccas coffee Foodwise I cook lot of dishes in slow cooker that lasts me six meals so freeze few I get loaf bread put it in freezer and take out as I need it I manage I don’t drink or smoke don’t go on holidays often. I have a tent and occasionally go up the beach and camp two days.. Is all I can be away from my pets

    • I also am like you girls, I am on my own, living with my brother untill I can get public housing…I can’t go out and use facebook as my visit to friends, old and new each day….have not been to the movies for over 25 yrs and I do once and a while have lunch out with friends, as for a holiday, no money for that…I only go out to medical appointment and church….My pension only went up $1.20, wacky do what can I do with that????

    • I am amazed at what you can do for nothing at your local library these days. Have you thought of volunteering there? Why not offer to start a discussion group for people living on their own for instance? It would cost nothing and maybe after, some of you could have a shared morning tea in a nearby park? My husband runs such a group at the local Mens Shed and it is quite successful. Sometimes they have a topic to discuss and sometimes a theme. Just an idea

    • Yes I live in tassie Fran and am also on my own, I live in Burnie though you are down south aren’t you

    • Great idea Debra! Ladies of tassie I’m in ross if any of you are ever passing , call in for a cuppa!

    • I am the same, I lives on $200. Pw and can’t afford anything. ABBOTT took right of pension away till 69 and I have been told to work even tho I have health problems now from working two full-time jobs 20hrs a day 7 days a week For most of my life. I didn’t get super either. Most of the time u wonder how to pay the bills, the other half u wonder if u can eat today. It’s a disgraceful thing ABBOTT has done to us older people

    • It is hard Sue, but we have to hold our heads high and be strong. When we don’t feel strong, we have Starts At Sixty. What a great thing to be able to tell our stories and rely on support from all these people. Chin up! 🙂

  4. It s a small amount, I don’t know where this $50 is people are talking about..I never got it, I got $1.69, while I appreciate any increase that will not go far

    2 REPLY
    • No I don’t know I thought it was 79.00 I didn’t get it it’s Abbott he has added it all together what he has given the pensioners since being in government he is a joke

    • Yes we are like mushrooms . Kept in the dark and fed bull dust by the government’s of that day

  5. An insult or a joke? Take your pick. Think I’ll buy an icecream with mine if I can afford it. Ha ha. Let them eat cake.

    13 REPLY
  6. I am not on the age pension yet,but I couldn’t believe it when I heard how little the rise was. I find this an insult to pensioners it would cost the government more in paperwork to implement this rise. Shame on the Australian government! !!!!!

  7. Maybe our increase is a pittance but compared to many other countries we are living a life of luxury.A lot of countries don’t have aged pensions.In the USA older people have to sell their homes to pay for operations.We have Medicare.I am not rich by a long stretch and have certainly done the hard yards but i am greatful i live in Australia where we are taken care of.

    2 REPLY
  8. It disgusts me how little pensioners are cared for. I am yet to retire – God help us in a few years with changes they are proposing to make. Working for so long don’t we deserve to enjoy retirement. Not everyone is going to end up with huge Super payouts. For many retirees retirement will be so stressful it’s sad.

    1 REPLY
    • So true Deborah. ..they want us to die off so they don’t have to do anything! ! Pensioners can’t stay healthy on the pittance tbey get!!!

  9. I am not on a pension yet, and am not really looking forward to the day that I am – although I will be very grateful to receive it when that day comes. I do get cranky though whenever the government of the day spruiks an upcoming pension increase for weeks in advance, and it turns out to be no more than a few loose coins. Honestly, they have no idea.

  10. Look on the bright side at the increase in pension. In some countries, they don’t get a pension at all.

    10 REPLY
    • I dislike hearing that we are better off than some countries. It doesn’t help. Reminds me do mum telling me to eat my dinner because there are many children with no food. In both cases it doesn’t help

    • Agree. We live here in Australia, “the lucky country”. Mmm. It’s starting to feel like unlucky.

    • What you have to remember is we paid for our pensions with our taxes? In a lot of countries were they have no pensions their tax systems if they have one are not set up to factor in a pension! We do not get it for free we’ve paid for it !!

    • I get really irritated by the huge annual salaries and bonuses paid to some of the high flying CEO ‘s in this country. I wonder how they might spend the $4.40. Any advice would he gratefully received.

    • There is no bright side trying to live off our pension. I started work at 14.paid all my taxes until I could not work anymore at the age of 42. Are you on the pension? And I dont give a fuck about other countries. I am and I live in Australia. Thats what counts. aussie aussie aussie

    • Yes and when most of the very big CEOS get sacked they go out with huge bonuses. Unlike the average worker. When his job is over there is not much of a cessation of employment payment coming their way!

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