Means testing the family home could boost your pension payments 158



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There’s been a lot of controversy around whether or not the government will and should introduce the means testing of the family home when it comes to pension eligibility. And for the most part, we’ve heard the Starts at 60 community say no. However, an independent study has found it could actually be beneficial for seniors. So today we want to know, will this change your position?

Calculations by the Centre for Independent Studies suggest that assets-testing the family home and encouraging retirees to borrow against it (through deeming) in order to get the pension could boost typical pension incomes by about $6000 per year while slashing the pension bill by $14.5 billion.

Matthew Taylor one of the study authors said, “It could be popular if it’s explained carefully,”

“Pensioners would have to overcome their emotional attachment to their homes. They would need to see that they are not just places to live, but untapped assets”, he explained.

The plan would see the family home treated like any other asset for the purpose of the test. Non-home owners with assets would no longer get lower pensions than homeowners whose assets were tied up in their houses.

It seems as though it’s beneficial for homeowners and also for non-homeowners making it a much fairer system.

A simpler means test would cut the pension by 60 cents of each extra dollar dollar earned or deemed to be earned rather than the present 50 cents.

The centre also believes the changes would force 70% of full pensioners on to the part-pension and between 24 per% (singles) and 32% (couples) off the part-pension altogether as many would find they do actually have the means to support themselves.

They would also allow small increases in the full pension to the Association of Superannuation Funds “modest but adequate” standards of $23,469 per year for singles and $33,766 for couples.

So tell us today, does this change how you feel about means testing the family home? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

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  1. Since 50% of this country are over 50 and vote..I doubt very much that any Government will have the backbone to include the home as an assett.

  2. Woe betide this Government if it includes the home as an asset, but in saying that, who would have thought they would be silly enough to target the Boomers over any issue?

  3. And what if we are still paying a mortgage on it? Or don’t want to borrow against the value of it? Don’t see how this is going to benefit any one except the government and banks

    1 REPLY
    • If you’re still paying a mortgage, the bank’s stake in your house would come into the assets test, and you probably wouldn’t even be affected by this policy!

      Remember, the pension is after all a safety net – just like the dole or youth allowance. It is not an entitlement for everyone.

  4. FO leave us alone. Sick to death of stressing about the BS

    3 REPLY
    • no can’t even use your own name, and we all have the ability to read..we know what side of the fence you troll on

    • You know what Leanna you are one nasty piece of work. “WE” ???? theres more of you ? ??? Wow lucky me . Im not here to darken your day our days are dark enough.

  5. How would they value a home a big job

    1 REPLY
    • Banks, who would adminster the loans, can value a property in 15 mins using high tech software. Not an issue

  6. I don’t know how your pension works over there but here in N.Z. There is a universal pension that we pay into all our working life and it is redeemed by means of a fortnightly payment until death. This is not a Governmental pay out but a Legacy that is payed into by us for us.It is our Old age Insurance Policy. It is ours not the Governments although they would like to think so.

    15 REPLY
    • I actually thought that our country was doing the same, but I think they have spent it.

    • We all thought it was that way here..until this Liberal Government

      1 REPLY
      • Actually we did have it until it was spent by a previous Labour government….

    • It is that way here. Everyone is paying 7.9% extra in income tax which is to pay for their pensions on retirement.

      This was introduced by Menzies after the war. Certainly showed plenty of foresight there. They were looking to populate this country. Encouraging people to have children, increasing the migrant population and bringing in families with young children (AKA future tax payers).

      Paul Keating introduced superannuation for everybody. His intention to eventually cut out government retirement pensions and make people self funded through super in their retirement.

      He said it would be two or three generations before that would happen. So, that would be Gen Y.

      Then he just rolled over every penny that was in that Menzies established pension fund into general revenue. He and successive governments then spent the lot. Mind you, we all still pay the extra tax.

      Our pensions are not a handout. They are something we pay for.

    • These Poiticians seem to do what they like and then it is the wrong decision and no comeback. Does not give you much incentive to save.

    • Margaret, It was not Menzies who did this.
      As a Wartime measure, the Federal Government gained sole control over Australian Income Tax. Labor Prime minister (Ben Chifley) introduced three bills to establish the National Welfare Fund, to be financed by a Compulsory Contribution (levy) of one and sixpence in the Pound (20/-) on all personal income.

      Opposition Leader (Robert Menzies) stated that the Compulsory Contribution (levy) should be kept completely separate. That it should be shown separately on the Taxation Assessment and paid straight into a “TRUST” account and not mixed with the General Revenue. Menzies said “The stigma of charity should be removed from the Age Pension.” “It should be an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund.”

    • In fact Menzies was the person who actually RAIDED , not Rudd, not Keating…. Menzies.

      In 1949 Robert Menzies became Prime Minister and he introduced Bills to amend the acts governing the National Welfare Funds.

      The Compulsory Contributions (levy) was then grouped with the Taxation Assessment and appeared as one amount on the Taxation assessments and was paid as one amount straight into the Consolidated Revenue Account.

      The sabotage of the National Welfare Fund had commenced. The Opposition Labor Party had collaborated in this sabotage by remaining silent instead of opposing Menzie’s action.

    • IN 1977 Liberal Prime Minister (Malcolm Fraser with Treasurer Philip Lynch) transferred the balance in the Welfare Fund Account (approximately $470,000,000) to Consolidated Revenue Account.

    • 1/1/1946 is the date the fund was established as any reasonable commerce student will know. Any reasonable Australian History person also knows that Labor was in power in 1946

    • We had similar in England and that’s how it should be. This rubbish playing the Stockmarket with pensions could ruin the country and its people one day.

    • All Governments are after the peoples entitlemeant ( their pensions ) they are stealing it from us in so many ways. Scaring everyone by saying we do not have the money. But you can bet your bottom dollar they can find money for their pet projects. I do not trust any of them anymore.

    • Costello lost a lot from super investments in Howard’s years In office because he infested it unwisely,and did we ever got it back. We should sue the bloke who started the stock market crash in2008/2009 in the USA and most here in Australia lost our super money which we had to infest rules made by governments

  7. Well the latest is that they are going to take paracetamol off the PBS. So for those of us who are required to take panadol oesto three times a day, it will mean an increase in medicine costs. As most of the users of this are over 60 then once again we see this govt hitting the elderly and the sick.

    5 REPLY
    • Ruth get a perscription for Panadol Osteo from your doctor. It is far cheaper than buying over the counter. I wasn`t aware of this til the hospital told me.

    • Debbie
      I have one. The govt announced yesterday that they were going to remove it from the PBS. That ALL paracetamol would be removed from the PBS and we would no longer be able to get it via prescription.

    • Ruth, there will be many Australian’s who will have to live in pain, I cannot see any benefit in this.. Angry pain filled people will maintain their anger at the next election. Pain is not something you can forget easily

    • Debbie
      I live in the country. Nearest Chemist Warehouse is over 400klm away. They only operate in major cities and towns. LOL

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