Plans to reduce access to pensions for wealthy Australians 466



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Retired Australian couples who own their home and have assets up to $1.1 million currently qualify for a part pension, but this could be set to change with the scale-back welcomed by crossbench senator Nick Xenophon.

According to the ABC, Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said yesterday that he was considering the proposal to tighten the assets test, as more and more Australians hit retirement age.

“I think that is the way through to cut the Gordian knot in terms of this impasse on pensions,” Senator Xenophon told ABC News. “If you’ve got several hundred thousand dollars in the bank, it’s not unreasonable to draw on some of that for the purpose of your retirement”. Do you agree?

Last year’s budget plan to lock pension increases to the rate of inflation instead of average male earnings was blocked by the Senate, so this could be an alternative solution to raise Government revenue. To pass the idea in the Senate, six of the eight crossbench senators need to be on board, if Labor and the Green oppose it.

Scott Morrison said yesterday that he still wants a modest, incremental change to the pension system.

The Australian Council of Social Services recommends tightening the age pension assets test by reducing the assets test-free area for home owners to $100,000 for singles and $150,000 for couples and increasing the taper rate for both home owners and non-home owners from $1.50 per $1,000 of additional assets to $2 per $1,000, so that the cut-out point for the part pension for couples is reduced from $1.1 million in assets, besides the family home, to $794,250 in assets besides the family home.


So, what do you think? Do you think there needs to be a tighter asset test? Tell us below.

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  1. If they have paid taxes all their lives, why shouldn’t they get even a small payment.

    9 REPLY
    • Because it is a WELFARE payment. Welfare payments are designed to assist people who are in need not greedy people who are in want.

    • why should our children who work and pay taxes support greedy older people who have enough money to support themselves?.. you will get no support from me

    • I know of people living in multi million dollar properties who have managed to get a pension card – they manage to rort every area of council assistance and therefore take much needed help away from the disabled and those who are genuinely in need.

    • Welfare isn’t meant for the rich. It doesn’t matter that those of us who have worked all our lives and paid taxes think they deserve welfare payments. I’m very proud to have paid taxes all my life and happy to help pay for those who are less well off. I am very unhappy to have my taxes paid out to the wealthy.

    • Because the ATO isn’t a bloody bank, and welfare isn’t (or shouldn’t be) for the well-off.

    • Taxes are not a pension fund and if you have a house and a million dollar you don’t need a pension and medicare. You can live on the interest.**.

  2. As long as the politicians follow the same procedure for their own pensions.

    17 REPLY
    • I learned today, J Howard changed scheme for Parliament Super, under old scheme those that started before a certain date got the old one, lump sum on retirement. New scheme for most will be under a Super Company & will depend on the fund they select ,how much it charges & makes like most of us.

    • those in parliament should look at all the perks and things they get and set an example.If they tightened up a lot of the extras they wouldn,t need to rob those who skrimped and saved.

      1 REPLY
    • They make their own rules which is different to ours. Not going to happen. It used to be 180,000 before it touched your pension. My father used most of it for medical and help for my mum as she had problems with walking. If they reduce it you wont be able to afford to get these medical things in your retirement age. It will just make the oldies more poor if they need help with health issues which is unfair.

    • They don’t. Campbell newman walked off with $450,000 at 47! Why do we have to wait till 69?

    • They should stop the perks for retired PMs there is no need for them to have a taxpayer office secretary car and driver. Gor the first 12 months fair enough but not after that.

    • Ohhhh and Labor man Craig Thompson cant pay back the money he stole. Well i bet he gets to keep his parlementry pendion and all the perks.

    • It’s already happened David killion get you facts right politicians get the same super as everyone else the difference is they get 15 % paid in just like workers for rio or bhp

    • Leanne Reardon no they don’t this was stopped by rudd on for pm’s get the gold pass now

    • So many uneducated people on this site it’s ridiculous do some research people no wonder politicians can fool so many people !!!!

    • Noela, politicians are underpaid. Look at the indecent millions executives get for running companies. Pay peanuts and you get monkeys.

    • You have to be kidding they would never do that

  3. Some were lucky enough to have small businesses and not lose everything .Various governments over the years kinew we would have a lot of healthy pensioners after the baby boom of the 40s,medical science ensured this could happen.It seems to me there was not enough forward planning

    1 REPLY
  4. If I had $1.1 million I would not be any where near centre link

    15 REPLY
    • Our children and grandchildren are working to pay these wealthy people money with their is wrong and I will not support it

    • Did any of you get the baby bonas when you had a baby is so shut th F–k up I didn’t I got $2 for first 6 for two and $12 for three And $24 for fourth child- I’m intitles to some thing I worked hard raised 4 kids payed a baby sitter as well and worded shift work ? Now I’m retired I need assistance to live

    • No Libbi Elliot. We worked and paid our taxes to support us in our old age. We didn’t have the benefit of superannuation, we expected a pension to help us out in our old age. Meanwhile, politicians are taking high pensions, no means test and not having to reach retirement age. I wonder when they will look at reducing their pensions instead of hitting the aged and vulnerable time and time again.

    • If I had that much, I would enjoy it while I am still healthy. I too worked hard not just the wealthy people.

    • I have nothing and under the threshold so am entitled to centrelink but dont claim. I need to leave it for the richies. And no no baby bonus for me

    • Don’t forget folks … that’s not $1.1 million in cash, it’s assets. It includes your cars, boat, caravan … just about everything you posess except your family home. It even includes your home contents, but good luck taking your lounge suite down to the supermarket to pay for groceries!
      … and Libbi Elliot … how much tax do you think those “wealthy” people have paid during their working life? Tax which has gone towards supporting people who for whatever reason are incapable of providing for themselves.

    • Why don’t you claim Pat Coghlan? I’m interested to know why people say they don’t want to claim payments they are entitled to

    • My late grandmother lived to 96 yrs of age and never claimed a pension as she used to say the government needed the money. My Mother and Aunt claimed it for her when she had to go into a nursing home at age 86yrs and they needed to pay the cost for her care.

    • In the UK everyone who worked had to have a National Insurance Card to which a stamp was inserted for every week in employment a minimum of 45 stamps per year guaranteed 1 years Age pension however 9 years of contributions was required for the minimum entitlement 26 % pension but those with the maximum 44 years were entitled to a full 100% UK Age pension.
      So supplent to the Age Pension was necessary for those on the minimum.

    • I agree with Libbi Elliot..why should my children pay for rich people to have pension..its a safety net ..not a right

    • I don’t know if anyone realises that our super was taxed three times, once on what my husband contributed, what his firm contributed and then when we received it. Now the Government have sneakily bought in levies on our managed super funds. Also in this day and age $1.1m isn’t a huge amount when you add up your assets so that you can live comfortably. We went without so that we could have a worry free old age. It is time to get the professional dole recipients into jobs. No one complains about having to pay tax to look after them. Just remember getting old is something that we have no control over.

    • Why would you claim centrelink benefits if you had that much money, even in assets that still makes you well off. My mother in Law when she was 60yts old and eligable for a pension sent it back every fortnight saying they really didnt need the money and she never took it until she went into a nursing home at 78yrs old, I really admired her for this. She could easily have banked it and forgot about it, but she didnt.

    • How about if they take the pensions off us they at least let us have a healthcare card and free regio

  5. I think they need to think carefully. Many of those with money have it in property thus giving someone a home and if it is better to sell a few properties (well they have to maintain them) then there will be a rental shortfall which would cost the Gov’t even more as they would have to house those in short term rental places (ie motels etc) However, I do believe there should be a cutout point but it needs to be for those who just have money in the bank as opposed to those trying to help others live. No I don’t know how it would work but I think it should be looked at in an ‘outside the box’ way.

  6. I agree with Noella Taylor and also the politicians should not access their super until they retire and reach the same age.

  7. Looking at politicians ensured payed pensions I’d also like to see this made a part of any changed
    pension. I also agree with Lillian Wallace, forward planning seems to have been neglected.

  8. If people have worked hard all their lives and paid their taxes why should they be penalised ..but I agree with Isabel Gardner

  9. I also don’t think we’ll ever see a politician like Ted Mack who retired the day before his super benefits kicked in. One honest politician who cared.

  10. It’s about time the Government started seeing sense and stops creating a tier of wealthy pensioners. There is the world of difference between them and real pensioners who have no choice but to rely entirely on government pensions.

    7 REPLY
    • So if you work hard all your life, put money away for retirement, you get nothing, but if you don’t work, spend all you have the Government is they to look after you, is that what you’re saying.

      1 REPLY
    • Judge not lest ye be judged. You cannot know the circumstances of anyone including those on pensions

    • If you voted for this Liberal Government..suck it up and you won’t get much support from poorer pensioners out gave them none

    • If they are wealthy they have paid taxes so they should get full pension. We all have the same opportunities to work those who take that opportunity shouldn’t be penalised for working, they have more right to a pension than someone who has never bothered to work

    • Oh well, then of course June, you have earned the right to live on welfare. You might have to give away your money and your assets to do it but hey, as long as you get what you are entitled to, because those of us already on the luxury of it couldn’t bear to see you go without. I mean just because you had the good luck not to be ill, have an accident, have to look after family members and a myriad of other reason why we didn’t BOTHER to work, doesn’t mean you should be penalised Heaven forbid.

    • I would also like to say I have worked extremely hard all my life (since I was 16) and was a single parent at one stage with no support, then marriages breaking down etc so I could not get enough to have a home paid off before finishing work, so it is NOT just people who haven’t worked who are in the unenviable situation of having to ask for a pension. Do you honestly think we want to be in this position?
      So as far as I am concerned I have paid my taxes & couldn’t get enough Super accrued so I believe I am entitled. What would you have us do?

  11. Every Australian should retire on a Pension. They paid their taxes all their life and some had enough brains to save. Its the “bludgers ” that dont deserve any money.

    21 REPLY
    • So somebody with a multi-million home and millions in the bank should get a pension? You are kidding, aren’t you?

    • No im not. My son has worked all his life so has has his wife. Raised a family bought a home has his own business and becauae he has NEVER relied on Centrelin wont get a pension (not that he wants one) because he has the Brains to WORK and save and not Bludge. Its because of him and other workers paying tax that we get the Pension. Who else do you think pays it?????? . Not out of the pockets of the Government

    • You are missing the point Mauren, most people on pensions these days did not have the opportunity as Superation did not come in until later in their lives.

    • Maureen cooked I hope you are saving all your money and putting into your super because I am one of the bludgers you talk about. When I started work at 14. There was no super when I got married and had children I stayer home and looked after ther while my husband worker then I went back to work when they started school. That was when my husband found someone else. And left. I worked and looked after my kids until I got a ph call from my dad. Mum had a hart attack. So I pack up and went back home. I looked after both of my parents. While my other four sisters. Lived there lives. They never helped. When they were both gone I went back to work. I worked till I bib my back. They operated. When I woke up I was told I my not walk again So if i’am a bludger. I will ware that badge with pride

    • Bludgers like you and your son who sit back claiming a pension when they don’t need it you mean. Your son’s taxes paid for him to have a decent life, roads, schools, infrastructure, police, hospitals etc. As a businessman he got plenty of tax breaks which came out of the worker’s pockets and made money off the labour of others to pay for his house. So don’t sit there and tell us that your poor son has paid for the bludgers and DESERVES a pension. If he has so little pride that he wants to be known as a centrelink pensioner, then he wasn’t very well raised.

    • the pension is a safety net for the needy..the greedy already have enough to survive without using taxpayers money

    • Well havnt I upset the Apple art. Firstly Sandra I DO KNOW how hard it is to raise Children on one wage and thankfully my Husband was around to help me. I also stayed home and raised my 2 children and NO we didnt have much Super either. Im so sorry you had to raise your Children on your own and im not calling people like you a Bludger
      And as for you Marnie. How dare you call my Son a BLUDGER. And I will sit here and say he is paying for Bludgers because im not talking about the “REAL” people on the Pension who are Bludgers im talking about the ones who just cant be botheted to go to work or even look for a job who Roam our streets destroying our propertys and being useless individuals. And who said I didnt need the Pension. How dare you say MY SON wasnt well raised. He isnt condeming ANYONE on the Pension. I AM and its only the ones I mentioned that Im talking about. And I know its the Governments fault these type of people get it. You need to get out into the world and just see whats out there. You really sound to me like someone who is Jealous of people who have made good in this world I do feel sorry for you. Wait a minute NO I DONT. We are all responsible for our actions

    • sorry..if the Government wants to make the assetts test hard so people with $1 million cannot get the won’t hear one word of complaint out of me..why should these young kids who go to work and don’t own anything pay for greedy older people who have enough money to survive on?

    • There’s a lot of people who have worked hard all their lives, not bludged or been wasteful and still don’t have anything like 1 million dollars.

    • I have never been on Centrelink money have worked forever, raised 2 daughters well, but don’t own my own home, thos is not due to being lazy, it is called divorce and having a very sick child !!! don’t judge people for the money the have…sometimes life throws up a lot of hardship to some people who are good hardworking folks !!

    • With you all the way Maureen! These knockers soon come out if the woodwork when Centrelink is mentioned. Maybe they are getting a bit afraid that their welfare payments might start to become controlled a bit more with the Welfare Card. I think jealousy plays a part in their comments. As you say, you are the author of your own life and my husband and I, both having come from poor backgrounds and facing many obstacles, bad luck etc; have still managed to become self funded retirees owning our home and with a investment property. This was done through extremely hard work.Even though We will not need aged pension, I still feel we are entitled to it because my husband has paid hundreds of thousands in tax with the two full time jobs he held starting from the age of 18 for 33 years and also my 26 years of working. The thing that gets me is the people that tell me how lucky we are. Luck is winning lotto. This was from pure hard slogging and we are proud of it. So glad we can help our four children out who are all in excellent careers and have never once not had a job from the day of leaving year 12 and working part time while at Unietc; It is called ” Monkey see– Monkey do”.


    • Maureen
      If that’s what you think of us bludgers who worked fir people lije you and your son, who made you rich with our hard work, who had to survive on the crummy wages you paid us while you reaped the benefits then I hope your investments don’t fail. Because then you will be one of us.
      If it weren’t for the workers of this country, then businesses would fail. We do your work for you, we buy your goods and services and we watch while you reap the benefits of our toil.
      So get off your dammed high horse and instead of putting us down, thank us for putting you in the lucky position you are in.

    • Graem Condely if you have $1.1 million in the should not be getting a pension..why should our children work to support you?

    • Oh for goodness sake. You are all missing the point all except Christine. Im not going to sit here all day and argue or disagree with you people. Both my Son and I have worked hard and he is still working hard. And weather he or anyone else out there have $1.1 million because they have worked hard I myself Personally believe they should receive the Pension

    • The country can’t afford it anymore to pay pensions to wealthy people. I don’t agree with it but that’s the way it is heading.

    • Ruth Hourigan you talk a load of crap. If it was not for small business like Maureen Coakes son most workers would not have a job. Many are not rich and do it tough to support their staff.

    • There’s more than enough money in Australia for everyone and everything if the government of the day did the right thing for all of Australians not just for the so called top few.

    • the pension was never meant as a “reward” for paying tax.all the services you use come from your tax. it was meant as a basic income for people who through circumstances were never able to save dollars or have enough assetts to sell off and live on. it was welfare for the poor, not a reward for paying taxes

    • If the pension was paid to all, regardless of financial circumstances, it’s possible many more would save and invest for their retirement rather than tailor their lot to make sure they qualify for the pension. If nobody took the risks in an effort to live more comfortably in retirement all the things we take forgranted may not exist including the pension. Their reward for this risk?

  12. Own their own home, a million in the bank? And they get a pension, even a part pension??? Give me a break! No wonder we’re called the lucky country!

    6 REPLY
    • Agree Judy if we had a million dollars we could have our surgery with no worries instead of struggling along and in pain and waiting for years.

    • Not a million in the bank – currently a million in assets. To be reduced to $750,000. Pension to start cutting out at $150,000 for a couple. A car each a trailer and a motorbike in assets puts a big hole in the $150,000 we are allowed. The income off the remaining $50,000 is one thousand dollars per year. Medical Insurance alone is almost $5,000 a year. So first thing to go will be medical insurance meaning lots more on the waiting list for health reasons.

    • Leone O’Sullivan – to my mind $1M in assets is almost the same as $1M in the bank – you can always sell an asset. And the changes still have to be passed. Lucky you to have 2 cars, a trailer and a motorbike. The cost of these shouldn’t put a very big hole in your bank balance as surely they’re only paid for once??? I only have one 27 year old car. And lucky you having private medical insurance – I have to rely on the public system which is just about the same as no system. So am I to assume we should leave you with your millions (in assets and cash and vehicles) and also give you the pension just so the waiting medical lists don’t grow? And before you yell at me, think how it is for people living on $20,000 a year, with few, if any, assets..

    • The assets also include super. That super needs to last at least 30 years. Whilst to many people $750,000 may seem a lot it is considered barely adequate for retirement Family heirlooms, car,etc. are also included. Self funded retirees only want the part pension so they can get concessions on medications, rates, rego etc.. Issue them a card that gives them those entitlements, but no extra money.

    • $750,000 “barely adequate for retirement”!!!! Excuse me whilst I pick myself up from the floor! Try it on nothing – just the $20,000 yearly from the government.

    • That has come from economists advising people how much they need in retirement, when they will get nothing from the govt. Divide that by thirty years, without another 2008 crash, and you see why. The amount that is used for the assets test is for a couple. Those retiring in the next ten years will be the most affected as their super will be the greatest part of their assets, and they will be deemed ‘rich’. Judy, remember they will not get a pension, their money will have to last, so a concession card would help keep them off govt. payments should they live too long,

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