The history of pensions in Australia is long and varied. When the State Governments collected income tax then paid to the Commonwealth Government a fixed % of each person’s income into a special fund and from that a set amount of money was paid out to people on retirement – men from 65 years and women from 60 years. Over time the Commonwealth Government took over the income tax collection and the distinguishing amount of tax collected for pensions was lost into the general income tax payments. This made funding of pensions in direct competition to other programs of government. The purchasing power of the pensions did not keep up with inflation rate and the introduction of more and more restrictive assets and income tests made life as pensioners as very marginal – generally pensions were treated as a burden on society and this is an appalling situation. The introduction of the compulsory superannuation scheme was to replace pensions – yet the middle and low income earners could only fund a few years of retirement. It is worse for casual and intermittent workers.
Pensions need to be funded from separate account protected from other government programs.
Pensioners need a higher disposal income that is not removed from them via increases in rent from the social housing that many live in.
Pensioners should not be reduced to the appearance of beggars.
Pension age should not be continually pushed upwards,
The income and assets tests need to be re-assessed so that pensioners can work if they like and still receive some pension payment.