The government could be eyeing off your house for Aged Pension means test

Insurance experts have called for the family home to be included in means tests for the Aged Pension. However, it’s

Insurance experts have called for the family home to be included in means tests for the Aged Pension. However, it’s an idea that has incensed many retirees over 60.

“The family home is not only a place to live, but also a store of considerable, though relatively untapped, wealth”, insurance experts from the Actuaries Institute said today.

The institute has estimated that older Australians have $926 billion in home equity, but only about 1% of this is being used as retirement income.

Over 2.4 million Australians over 65 receive the Aged Pension. Only 40,000 people have reverse mortgages though, which allows retirees to borrow against equity in their home.

According to the Actuaries Institute, state governments should offer stamp duty relief for those retirees wanting to live off their home equity.

“Our view is all assets should be treated fairly”, explained Catherine Nance, who helped compile the actuaries report. “You shouldn’t get a free kick if you have large house”.

Despite these calls, governments have so far been reluctant to include family homes within Aged Pension means tests.

According to The Australian, “the government and Labor have repeatedly ruled out making changes, fearful of an electoral backlash from retirees and their children”.

The Actuaries Institute believes that widespread legislative changes would be needed for retirees to live off their homes, although they acknowledge there are dangers involved.

“We would need to accept a very big risk that they will be preyed upon if we make it easier for older people to unlock the value in their homes”, Ms Nance explained.

However, her ideas have been dismissed by many angry retirees. “Those old age pensioners… have worked for their retirement and would have paid higher tax”, one man wrote online.

“Pensioners have earned their pension”, he added.

Where do you stand? Would you live off the equity in your family home, to fund retirement? Or should the government keep their “hands off” our houses?

    • No way we have paid tax all our lives believing when we retired we would get a pension they all ready changed the goal post with superannuation.they uped tax in the 30 s to help pay for pensions. Seems the incentive to work hard has been taken in this country those that don’t work dont buy a home smoke drink go on holidays spend there money get looked after. We didn’t have maney holidays work 7 days aweek we will get no help now you want our house you will not get my vote go grey power.

  1. didn’t we do this recently? some insurance person? when are these so called experts going away! they have absolutely no idea what pensioners have been through to get that home and are probably very well paid so wouldn’t have any trouble themselves in getting a home.

    • Cheryl Kretschmer  

      Well I think it is time those people that have downsized and released cash from their properties are not penalized from freeing up property to the young and cash to live on. All people have the individual right to choose the path they take. If they decided to hold onto assets and then expect to collect full or part pensions while holding a family home for themselves or family members it is inequitable to society. Those that have downsized or gone into homes or villages also saved and went without when young. There should be a common asset level for all Australians no matter whether it is held in the family home, shares, superannuation, savings or other types of assets. The asset level for all Australians may need to be raised to accommodate for this. All housing has increased since purchased for most retirees just the same as other assets. Equality is the answer. Not hiding behind emotional thinking.

  2. Jill Lawson  

    There is a difference between a million dollar home and a modest 2/3 bedroom home, I hope they take that into account if this situation happens!

    • Rhonda  

      What a heap of rubbish. .We have paid of our mortgage so why should the equity of something we own.

      • Shirley Mortara  

        We have worked hard to own our house. It is a modest one, we went without a lot to get where we are now. Why should we be punished for this and those who rent get away Scot free

    • Patricia P  

      Agree! However, many fairly ordinary homes in Sydney are worth around $1m whereas in some country regions (eg where I live) the same amount of money would get you a mansion with full size indoor pool, landscaped gardens and top of the range fittings. So even if housing was price scaled the equity might still be dubious.

  3. and does that go for politicians homes also,, why does a multi millionair, living in multi million dollar home need taxpayer funded pension. rules that apply to pensioners should also apply to politicians…over my dead body will they have access to my home

    • Agree with you. Lets start at the top and work down to us mere mortals

      • Shirley Hick  

        I am with you there Irene Keats … The first party to even think of this before an election will have to think really hard if they want to get back into power. .

  4. This coalition government will do anything to kill off all aged pensioners. If that means leaving them homeless or letting them keep their home but denying them a pension to live on, then that’s what they will do.
    The sooner we are rid of them the better.

    • Thats why they too scared to call for an early election cause they know they on their way out. Oh it makes my blood boil when the politicians do things “they” feel are good or humanity.

    • The heading of this article is misleading. It’s not governments that are suggesting this its “insurance experts” so I wouldn’t get too worked up. Read the whole article properly

    • Denis Thompson  

      Read the story idiot. This is about Insurance companies . . . nothing to do with the Liberals. Comment correctly or not at all.

  5. Leave our houses out of it go after some of your fat cat mates that get out of paying taxes and hide their money overseas .also all churches should be paying tax as well

  6. I’d vote against any party who would try to bring this in.
    Start with ex ministers stop their handouts.
    Disgraceful idea. 👎👎👎

    • This government and all their idiot mates won’t to take our hard earn money which we paid our home off with and paid taxes for 50 plus years .we as Australians have a right to collect our pension without the so call government wonting to Take of us..hears a thought .lets start with all the waist the government and their families waist,,people new to our country on the dole,Australians on the dole ..single mums ripping the system of..Anyone male female,black white of any colour should have to go into call up for two years to learn a trade ,self respect and brother hood..they get paid to sit home SO pay them to go into service no dole…single people that make a living on having kids should only get support for the first child after that they get work or their family look after them .Our once wonderful country thanks to the idiots that run this country like their own bank account and don’t give a dam about us election don’t vote labour or Libs send a very loud noise to these people please

    • Judy pavia  

      Agree that ex Pollies should have their ongoing payments after finishing their term in parliament terminated immediately. This would save a lot of money.

  7. Worked very hard fot our home went with out a lot of things payed very high intrest got no hand outs from government just back of maybe stop dishing money out for all these bludgers

    • Marilyn Jan Seib  

      My husband and I have paid high taxes all our working lives…how dare politicians who have the ability to build high levels of assets to fund their own retirement think that they can touch our homes…how dare they even contemplate this…use the taxes more effectively…make large business and the filthy rich pay the correct taxes and leave the ordinary people alone.

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