The pension will not be cut but some will lose 319



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It seems the final legacy piece from last year’s awful budget is about to be ditched by the Government, the clawing back of the pension and, as you and many other breathe a sigh of relief, don’t forget to read the fine print underneath that may please or disgust you depending on how it affects you personally.  Prime Minister Tony Abbott has come out in the media over the last two days and said with complete confidence that he is  absolutely committed to honouring his pre-election commitment that there would be no negative changes to superannuation during this term of parliament and of no cuts to the age pension this term either.  At face value this sounds satisfying to those on the pension, a solid 77% of the Australian over 65 population.  It is also quite comforting to those with less super than they would like, approaching retirement.

But dig a little deeper into what the media is saying could be tipped as the alternative solution and you might not feel so comfortable anymore if you have a nice house and a good pool of funds in savings.  It seems the Liberal Government will have to clip the opportunity being enjoyed by some of their biggest supporters in the over 65 age group to get their next proposition through.  It will certainly be interesting to see how it goes.

You see the Government is, it appears, hell bent on reducing the cost-burden of the pension, which is far reaching and are suggesting, and listening to feedback it appears on how the country would feel about a clawing back of the pension from those with a strong asset base and solid savings rather than just trying to claw back from everyone, across the board.

Fairfax media today declared that Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison said it was “not unreasonable” to look at other measures which could see people with considerable savings over and above the family home required to “draw down” on those reserves rather than claiming the part-pension.

“Here is an opportunity to keep fairness and equity in the pension system, and control the way it rises,” he said.

The Government’s greatest challenge and largest opportunity for reform seems to stem from the simple assets tests that allow people to qualify for a pension or part pension.  According to The Australian, a part pension is currently paid to couples with $1.1 million in wealth and a family home.

So all eyes sit on this assets test as the Government prepares for the next budget with many fewer options for cuts to spending than last year. Will they cut the assets test to a 1/3 lower level as some media suggest?  How many looming persnioners will that affect if it is to make as ACOSS suggested in their recent report, between 15-20 billion dollars difference to the budget over a ten year period?

Scott Morrison has openly declared that over the coming weeks this assets threshold will be up for review and that potential reforms would be taken to the upper house of parliament for debate.

“It should very much be on the agenda for debate,” he said.

And so we ask you today, do you agree that eligibility for the pension should be scaled back obligating those with $1 million plus of savings to pay their own way in retirement and is it fair to suddenly suggest, after people have planned for their retirement with the best information possible, that some of their planned income could be taken away – even if to outside eyes they can seem to afford it?

Share your thoughts.



Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. If Couples have $1.1 million dollars or more in savings then NO they shouldn’t be able to get the Pension after all I thought it was to benefit the less fortunate, however now that I have said that the Politicians need to cut their own SUPER WHICH IS PAID BY THE TAX PAYERS AND WE KNOW THAT WON’T HAPPEN. If our Politicians expect our young to provide for themselves when they Retire then they have to leave the Super alone so they can do that or the Government will continue to pay Pensions. THEY CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.

    14 REPLY
    • Why are some of these people less fortunate? Drinkers and gamblers are able to get the pension because they aren’t able to look after themselves because they had to have that good time which the alcohol gave them and the gamblers are going to look after themselves as that big win is just one gamble away. Why should those who have made sacrifices through their working life continue to support them and have to lead a mundane life in their retirement because they have to watch what they spend as they get no concessions for health and the other concessions. I am not saying those who have had poor health and circumstances which they weren’t able to control shouldn’t get the pension. I don’t think the savers should top up the lifestyle of the wasters.

      1 REPLY
      • I agree, those who put a little extra away so they could maintain a lifestyle where they didn’t have to live from payday to payday are now to be penalised, not fair. The same happens when you go to a nursing home, if you have money you pay, if you don’t have over the limit you get it for free (
        everyone pays the 85% of their pension on top of that)

    • Kaylene Lingrard There are many reasons why people have no own common sense should tell you this.. Super did not start till the 1990’s many people were on low incomes and had very little Super, their money went to paying off their homes and paying for their children, the disabled have no super..they can’t work and those that can do a little are very low paid . Some left work to care for an elderly parent before they died..they have no super Your Stereo typing everyone to suit your own needs and wants

      2 REPLY
      • I agree with Leanna, some of us have worked just as hard as those with a huge saving amount plus a home, some of us struck bad fortune, illness and fell through the loop. I have worked for 50 years, had my nestegg stolen and need help in my twilight years. I am not lazy, have paid taxes all my life and need help in my twilight years. If you have over $1million and a home paid, you should not expect taxpayers to fund extra luxury for you when you already have a good lifestyle.

      • Superannuation since only 1990’s? I paid superannuation from 1957!

    • To a degree Kaylene I agree with you, however you can’t just say that all Pensioners are alcoholics or gamblers because they are not and I like you worked hard all my life and PAID MY TAXES however for your employer did not have to pay in to super for you until you were earning at least $450.00 per week and in those days not many workers qualified and we also paid HIGHER TAXES to provide a PENSION in retirement, so I guess it is always the same the RICH GET RICHER AND EXPECT TO AT EVERYONE ELSE’S EXPENCE.

    • I understand that. I agree they should get a pension but I don’t think those who have wasted their money on drink and gambling should expect people to continue to look after them. I was bought up in the era where interest rates were 17% and unless you were a permanent in some companies you did not get or could not contribute to super. So I know what I struggle it is. I also know what it is like to be in a household where any spare money went on drink and gambling the expectation of the person is that they should get a full pension and everyone else should pay.

    • If Couples have $1.1 million dollars or more in savings then they DON’T get the pension. That $1.1 million is the threshold … the point at which any entitlement to a pension disappears. Below that amount a couple will get a part pension. If their assets are near the threshold, that part pension might amount to just a couple of dollars a fortnight. The more people have, the less they get as a part pension.
      Also, remember we’re not talking about $1.1 million is savings. It’s total assets. Your car, your caravan, your boat, even the furniture in your house is included. The only exception is the family home … just the building.

    • I don’t drink and I never will..not even socially and I sure can’t afford to gamble..the odd lotto ticket once every blue moon ..when I don’t have bills to pay and that is hardly ever

    • What I was trying to say is that the wasters get looked after and those who struggled and may have some savings are going to be penalised. I don’t drink or gamble except for the odd lottery ticket.

      3 REPLY
      • I think 1.1 million is a bit more than “some savings”.

      • M/s Lingard, I simpply do not agree with your biased opinion. Many so called “wasters” have worked probably harder than you ever did for little reward. If they fell on hard times because of gambling or alcohol addiction then blame the State and the Federal government for not prohibiting gambling and alcohol. The government supports gambling and alcohol industries because these entities are a tax revenue spinner for them. So don’t stigmatise those who have supported the government’s tax revenue probably, with a greater contribution to tax revenue than you ever have. Is it that hard for people like you to understand the root of the problem?

      • Another way to look at excessive drinking and excessive gambling is, that they are diseases. It would be better to cure the disease than to pay welfare to support the habits, which are not confined to non-workers.

        People drink excessively for a variety of reasons. It could be because they think no one cares about them, that their life stinks and they try to block out the pain. If we do not care about other members of society, no matter how flawed, we are increasing the problems of society.

        Society needs to be more equitable. No really, really rich people and no really, really poor people. That’s why I support the idea of the rich paying their own way. Don’t begrudge a little going to the less fortunate, you will still have much more than them.

    • Andy why should less fortunate people have to suffer at the hands of the wealthy? It has always been that way and it has got to stop, I don’t care if your asset RICH or just plain BLOODY GREEDY pay your own way.

    • Kaylene that is why the Government is talking about people with drinking problems and those who do gamble will not be able to access cash, they will only be able to pay their bills, clothing and food which I believe would be a great start in the right direction however they are human beings like the rest of us and they don’t need to be be frowned upon and belittled.

    • Pay your own way? Hubby & I have done that since 1972, no super till 1989 when it started in lieu of salary/wage increases, no gov’t assistance, one income family, paying off a mortgage with interest rates @ 17%, looked after our kids as there were no “child care centres”, hubby made redundant in 1983 & couldn’t access the “dole” because of our savings, but our relocations cost would be covered if we moved interstate to “chase work”! So, sold up @ a loss, moved from NSW to QLD, where hubby found work in the “mining industry”! All the while, still making a budget & “saving for a rainy day”(retirement as it turned out)! Redundancy was on the cards again in 1988, thankfully the unwritten rule of “last one in, first one to go” didn’t apply to my hubby, but, i applied for a nursing sister job in 3 hospitals, got accepted in one & another relocation ensued! When super was introduced in 1989, the RULES were clear, so savings were planned accordingly. Since retiring in 2004, me @ 63 & hubby @ 62, we didn’t qualify for the “age pension”, instead we were told that i can get the CHSC & hubby the “low income” entitlement! It wasn’t until 2007 that we qualified for a “part-pension” & has been on one ever since! SEEMS LIKE HARD WORK, GOOD FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, VERY LITTLE GOVT ASSISTANCE, doesn’t account for much in retirement; for the gov’t still want to “squeeze out” more from the SAVERS! But, i still maintain that the savings can be had, by starting with “cuts” from our politicians overly generous benefits & allowances, especially their 15.4% superannuation, as opposed to the 9.5% for the workers, plus, lifetime retirement packages!

    • Oh Floriana what a narrow view of reality! With a bit of simple financial advice who knows where you would be today! Don’t try to justify your ignorance by demonising others ! By the way people Super only became available in about 1992. That is why some missed the boat! Oh don’t mention that word! Now Tony has stopped that boat too!!!

    • Sorry to disappoint you Robina, don’t have a “narrow view” of reality! Had good financial advisers, independent of any banking sector, during our working lives! That’s what “saving for a rainy day” was all about! Didn’t think that the “threshold” for meeting the “income/asset tests” would include the car, household contents that would generate income, excluding curtains & carpets, plus, balances in savings & in the super fund! Those balances are dwindling for we are “paying our own way”! Our part-pension/month of $624.00, combined, fluctuates depending on the “deeming rates” applied above the threshold of $79,600.00 in savings account, which is 3%! So, still being penalized for doing the right thing.

  2. well hes at it again he spends all the money & retired pensioners foot the bill BUT big companies & multinationals avoid billions in tax because there is a thin gray line between legal tax minimization & illegal avoidance BUT we will keep paying tax because we have to i mean you pay tax on your wages ,you pay tax on your bank accounts ,your ,fuel ,shopping ,super then you retire & guess what you pay tax again on your pension ,YES WE WILL KEEP THIS COUNTRY GOING while the rest rip us off

  3. sure there are no cuts the aged pension !! There are cuts to the CPI rise and for a pensioner that is just as bad it means that within 10 years we lose $80 per week. Plus the States are now funding our concession cards and that funding was only guaranteed to July, I think we will lose that too. I don’t care about the wealthy they have enough money to look after themselves

    27 REPLY
    • Libby, what you call wealthy may not be as simple as that. Are you aware that many people work their butts off, go without holidays, lattes, movies and dinners at restaurants in order to buy a caravan, a boat etc so that they can enjoy their retirement? These are the things that are classed as assets. Their homes aren’t but their furniture is. If they have a decent camera or anything else to support their hobby it is also classed as an asset. Lots of these people are money poor and we all know that you can’t buy groceries or pay the rates with your camera.

    • Barbara I am not an expert however I have watching this issue closely and from I can gather this is not about how many cars or cameras you own..this is about having $1.1 million it is money in the bank..surely if you have that much money, you can pay for yourself. Pensioner have been called greedy and whingers because they dare complained about the cut to the CPI rise..We have been called leaners and told we are ruining Australia..well it is time now for the wealthy to face what the poorest have had to face since Abbott was elected

    • Barbara, I have never ever been asked by Centrelink to list anything other than my HOME, CAR, AND FURNITURE so I don’t know where this idea about cameras came from, if you have a home plus assets of $1.1 million you definitely do not need a part pension, once again it shows how the RICH BELIEVE THEY ARE MORE ENTITLED TO A LIFE THAN OTHERS, so you need to sell some of those assets and stop being so BLOODY GREEDY.

      1 REPLY
      • You are spot on. The rich get rich and the poor get poorer.

    • Please offer respect to one another in your comments. This personal attack is unnecessary and has been removed

    • Starts at 60 I’m sorry I have to agree with Libbi, she is stating the painfully obvious and it is about time that anyone with those kindS of assets took care of themselves along with our greedy Politicians who should not get a life time pension to live on, off the backs of TAXPAYERS because they earn enough that they can afford to PAY INTO THEIR OWN SUPER LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.

    • Sorry Libbi Elliot but you’re mistaken. The $1.1 million is in total assets, not cash or investments. The $1.1 million includes your car, boat, caravan … even the furniture in your house. Just about everything you posess is taken into consideration by Centrelink when assesing you for eligibility for a part pension. Everything except the family home … and that’s just the house and land, not the stuff that’s in it.
      This is not about people having $1.1 million invested. The $1.1 million is the threshold at which any part pension disappears. Below the $1.1 million people receive a part pension … but the more they have in assets, the less the get in part pension.
      If a couple are below but close to the $1.1 million their part pension might amount to just a couple of dollars a fortnight.

    • it doesn’t matter what I say Ruth on what topic,they are not nice..someone always has to abuse me..I will see how the day goes xoxox

    • Barbara
      We have all worked hard and gone without. But some were not lucky enough to have jobs that paid well enough to give us extra funds to put away. There are people who need to clean or deliver leaflets or scrub toilets or dig ditches. Not all jobs pay good money and sometimes there are other things that money needs to be spent on. Like sick children or repairs.
      So please don’t assume that because we don’t have boats or fancy home or overseas holidays, that we wasted our money on frivolous things like lattes etc. No, we just weren’t as lucky as those who did have money to spare. And remember, the rich get richer on the backs of the hard working poor.

    • Libbi
      All those people are doing is showing their own personal outlook on life. You have to feel sorry for them because they have such miserable lives that they want everyone else to be as miserable as them. You are a great contributer to this page.

    • Andy Kerr $1.1 million is a lot of assets how much is your household furniture and car worth? I am on a Pension, my furniture is virtually worthless it is 15 years old, my car is worth about $6,000.. poorer pension do NOT have that amount of assets..they barely get by

    • If you choose to take offence, it is your choice, but it cannot be used to silence people’s chance to debate and maybe become educated in reality not Libtroll mantras. Do not imply that this site is going to censor people. This is a Democracy, or have we left it all behind us?

    • Robina
      We don’t have an issue with debate. Just with people who make personal nasty attacks on others. Debate is good. Personal attack is not.

    • Robina there is no issue with debate as far as I am concerned it is the rudeness that people are fed up with. These personal attacks are pathetic..if you need to resort to have your argument straight away and one thing Robina..I can’t speak for others but if your rude to me can bet that you will only get one shot..I will block you..that is my right

    • Robina Burns here is a news flash for you in case you have not realized. .we are on Facebook..I do not have to tolerate rudeness or abuse from anyone..I can remove the post if choose I can also block. I am not rude to anyone nor do I name call and I am going to tolerate that back. I don’t mind sensible discussion, we do not not all think the same but abuse is another matter

    • Libbi just take no notice of the people that don’t have the maturity to discuss topics without becoming abusive, it’s only themselves they make a fool of, there are many on here that enjoy seeing your point of view on things, we all have different points of view on many things & have the right to speak them, don’t let the bully’s silence you or any of us for that matter..have a nice day.

    • I had a look at your Facebook Ronald and you need not talk you are most certainly not young.. we all matter come voting time

    • For a long time SAS has been a quiet little oasis on Facebook, away from the abuse and name calling found in other sites. It is the site’s owner’s right to determine the standard they accept and I wholeheartedly support them. Please don’t let the abusive element take over or many of us will leave.

    • I have to say for a change I am getting humour on here and to you Libbi Elliot you are so correct, we can all have our own opinions, but when people attack other opinions that differs from theirs and are quite nasty, there is no need for that…happy easter Libbi

  4. Simply put the family home in the kids names.

    7 REPLY
    • the family home will not come into it..this is $1.1 million in assetts besides the family home

    • I know of two elderly couples who put their home in their children’s names specifically to avoid this scenario and the children sold their home out from under them. Sad, but greed wins sometimes.

    • Putting the home in the kids’ names may well impose a further tax burden on the kids? Plus, as Lija said, the kids could sell the house, probably keep the money and where would the parents go then?

    • Judy if people can’t trust their own children then something has gone wrong somewhere, we look after our parents affairs and none of us would dream about doing anything like that and if one of my brothers did they would get sorted pretty quickly!

  5. Please can we stop the politicians’ superannuation being the cause of everything. If EVERY politician gave up their superannuation it would add almost nothing to the aged pension. There are not enough retired politicians for it to make any difference. The rules for politicians superannuation have changed quite some time ago. Get the facts and stop the continual picking at this topic.

  6. People who have been frugal throughout their lives and still working a few hours a week are being discriminated against. Those who wasted their money are being rewarded. Hardly seems fair.

  7. It is ironic, the only people that will save these wealthy pensioners from the Liberal Government they voted in is The Alp, The Greens and The Senate and come next election these wealthy pensioners will vote Liberal again.. I have no sympathy for the Greedy, my only concern is the needy

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