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Moving the pensioner goal posts is a tough call

Ken McCrory has been notified by the government that his pension will be reduced by almost 33% under a revised asset test which comes in to force on 1 January.
Ken McCrory has been notified by the government that his pension will be reduced by almost 33% under a revised asset test which comes in to force on 1 January. Chris Ison ROK181216cpension2

OPINION: IT'S little wonder that the Australian Government's changes to the pension have caused so much anxiety and anger among affected people.

On January 1 pension changes will cut payments for more than 330,000 Australians. An estimated 91,000 pensioners will lose access to the pension altogether and 236,000 will have their pension reduced.

The changes to the assets test will affect three main social security pension types - the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and the carer payment.

I can see where tighter scrutiny is needed regarding Disability Support and the carer payment but I think most of the affected retirees would have worked hard over a lifetime to achieve the level of financial security that now puts them in a position where they will lose all or a sizeable portion of their pension.

According to industry lobby group, ASFA, the impact of the January 2017 changes to the Age Pension assets test mean that anyone aspiring to a comfortable lifestyle in retirement will add an extra $130,000 (for a couple), and $115,000 (for a single person) to a retirement savings target.

When you are at this stage in your life you don't need carefully laid plans turned upside down by a decision that is out of your control.

The Association of Independent Retirees Capricorn Branch's Arch Finalyson said people need to be encouraged to save to look after themselves in retirement and not penalised for doing so.

His group has lobbied the government on the "negative and unforeseen impact of these changes".

The upsurge of outrage is strong.

Topics:  editorial money pension pension changes



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