Government faces opposition to further pension changes

No doubt you’ve heard all about the changes to the pension assets test and how it could affect you. Well,

No doubt you’ve heard all about the changes to the pension assets test and how it could affect you.

Well, now the government is looking at putting forward more changes – and if you love to travel, it could affect you.

A new welfare savings bill set to be introduced to the Senate includes a proposal to cut off your pension if you spend more than six weeks overseas.

If you receive an education payment, you could also lose that.

But before you start panicking, the ABC is reporting that the bill looks unlikely to pass.

Apparently, Labor, the Greens and Nick Xenophon plan to vote against it.

The bill also includes a proposed change that will affect young people accessing unemployment benefits – including making Newstart applicants wait four weeks to be paid and requiring them to undertake a range of activities to get ready to get a job.

That measure alone was forecast to save the government $173 million over four years.

The Nick Xenophon Team have revealed they are opposing the changes to the pension and unemployment benefits following advice from the welfare sector.

“It’s really, I guess, a case of where budget savings can be made, and we just don’t feel that should be on the back of the most disadvantaged people in Australia,” NXT MP Rebekha Sharkie told the ABC’s AM program.

If the bill doesn’t pass, it’ll be another blow to the government in the Senate as they continue negotiations to pass their Australian Building and Construction Commission bill.

What do you think of the latest proposed pension changes? Do you think they’re fair?


  1. Margaret Mason  

    I just wish the writing about/scare-mongering would go away until the bill is through and Centrelink send me a letter saying how it will affect me. I suspect there may be a lot of unnecessary anxiety being caused by media focus on how many will lose their pension/have severe cuts made etc etc. I did get into the calculator – and if it is correct, we will lose between us $648 per year. Not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things (but will require a bit of digging into savings/ making more savings etc – we are already looking at health insurance). I was expecting a reduction of thousands from the media hype – and was relieved to find it was relatively little. (We do fit into the more than $250 000 worth of assets group).

    • Sandra Workman  

      Too late after it is done to complain

    • It does not pay to be an ostrich Margaret Mason. As Sandra says, it is too late to complain after the deal is done! It is a healthy thing to air these proposed changes so the government sees the extent of public disapproval, otherwise sneaky deals go on behind closed doors. Don’t stick your head in the sand and just hope it will all turn out OK!

  2. Please Senate, REJECT this idiotic bill. I was overseas for 12 weeks in 2013, and had my pension cut off for 6 weeks. Arrived home, only to have to go into Centrelink to have it restored and the next day sign a lease, then the next day move into our new premises. If the payment had been restored in Centrelink’s time, it would have taken up to 6 weeks!

    So much for helping those who need it most! The information on the Incoming Passenger Card from Immigration is shared with Centrelink, but it can still take time for it all to be processed.

    Currently, on the Age Pension, if you are overseas over 6 weeks, the pension is cut to a basic rate, so you still receive some funds .

    I am on the DSP, and if you are overseas for 29 days or more, you lose the payment completely, then you have to re-apply for the payment, then if you want to go overseas within the 12 months after you arrive home, the payment is stopped again – this is ridiculous! This means that you can take 2 x 2 week holidays, but not a single day more. What happens if you have done your 2nd holiday and through no fault of your own, you are delayed in returning to Australia? You are still cut off – no ifs or buts!

    Having to wait until I’m 66 1/2 is even worse! When I started work all those years ago, I could retire @ 60, then it became 65, now the goal posts have moved even further away! It seems the older you get, the more hoops you have to jump through to be able to get the Age Pension.

    • Anne-Marie  

      Gee, you’re whinging, but can still afford to go overseas’? Lucky you!

      Your negativity with various Pension ‘problems’ in your circumstancs’, is astounding!

  3. Pamela  

    For those on DSP, only 4 weeks overseas is allowed now before cutting pension.

    Also for those on DSP, Pensioner Educational Supplement ends this year, making it even harder for the disabled to learn themselves into employment.

  4. Irene Newmark  

    my husband is a member of the Labor party and they have scared him unnecessarily about assesses and after going to a lawyer and a financial advisor which cost $600 I found out we are both below $250 in assesses and I agree its all about scare mongering especially those people who a disadvantaged and find these things difficult to understand. we could have saved this money but now we at least have all our finances and personal wishes in order.

  5. Riita DIG  

    what a total disgrace, other westernized countries don’t do this what are we the middle ages? and why is the Government attacking pensioners? why don’t they attack the pensions ex ministers are on which should be cut down.
    They are pushing people to go and live overseas and retire there. Pensioners are penalized enough with interest rates being so low they can’t even get a return for what ever little money they have saved.- This is a total disgrace. Shame on you for attacking the weak. Pensioners work hard for forty or fifty years to get this ungrateful response form teh Government after paying so much taxes. They wait a lifetime to travel and enjoy a bit of life and yo want to cut down their pensions if they stay away for more than 4 weeks – what a damn disgrace – this is worst fascism or Communism – why don’t the parliamentarians go on holidays and their income is cut off while they travel??????

    • It’s a total disgrace on the government’s part! Leave pensioners alone what have they worked most of there lives for only to take what little peace of mind they have left to be taken away from them! How is this supposed to encourage our younger generation they already show signs of giving up! 😤

  6. michael griggs  

    what get me is you work hard and pay your taxes all your working life, and when you do retire or you have to stop work through ill health you get punish by this government. What get me is should not the government look in it,s own back yard and see how they ripping off the tax,s payers before they come after us.Not only that they have got the guts to go after the big oversea companies and all others coming in here and buying up our land and making them pay the taxes what they are ripping us off with, no they rather come after us who have done the right thing.when are the people of this country going to stand and say to this government do the right by us for once we should do what the english people have and tell this government to look after the ones who have done or who are doing the right thing and that include you to with all the payments you are paying your self,s. It is time for all australian to stand and tell this government to stop taking from us and do the right thing

  7. Joan Marshall  

    The media informs and DESTROYS I wish to God we had more honest people in the media not just here but right around the world. Look at what they are doing to Donald Trump and allowing Hillary Clinton to get off Scott free. Killary has a rotten record but because a lot of people could possibly loose their jobs the media included they say virtually nothing about her. Terrible world of dishonest people.

  8. Veronica  

    They had better not touch the home!

  9. Bruce  

    What right did the Government have to change the assets limit that will come into effect on January 1, 2017.
    Attach the poor long suffering pensioners who have worked so long and so hard and then towards the end of their working life have to make so many sacrifices to get some super.
    Why don’t they look in their own backyard and look at all the perks ex pollies get, What a JOKE. Perhaps even look at the BIG end of Town and collect a bit more tax from these avoiders because they can afford the clever accountants.

  10. This government is scared to tax the 1% and so take the easy way and attack those on welfare. I am on the DSP and I am constantly worried that they will find a way to take it away. If I could work I would be. My only conciliation is that the opposition is at least blocking these ridiculous changes.

  11. Robert adams  

    Poor old age pensioners, I agree, but you should try and live on Jobseekers at age 63, with the great prospect of probably never finding a job. 6 hours casual working a week and they take it out of your Jobseekers, hardly worth the afford

  12. Rosemary  

    I believe the Australian Government is discriminating against the aged. I think it is beginning to border intervention by the HRC. They want people to work to 70 and die on the way before getting a pension, regardless of whether is is even self funded.
    They want the pensioners to keep finding their stuff ups. I am very anti Government as I believe they dint protect their own, but willing to fund those that aren’t even Australian, with legal aid etc to ensure they get all the welfare that hard working tax paying Australians have paid taxes all their working lives.
    The Liberal Government we currently have are the enemies of aging Australians, and I say vote someone else next election, preferably not Labor either. Neither party deserve our votes.

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