Retired teachers are among those hit by recent changes to the aged pension entitlements.
The cuts affect middle Australia — a couple who own their own home now lose eligibility for the full pension if they have around $350,000 in assets. The amount retirees lose tapers away much more steeply than before. A couple who previously received a part-pension of $250 per week now get no pension.
People in defined benefit schemes such as the State Superannuation Scheme are particularly affected because they entered into financial arrangements, often years ago, which can't be adjusted. It means these retirees will have a lower standard of living in retirement and many can't, nor should they have to, go out and work again to make up the difference.
Those seeking fairer treatment of pensioners may wish to call in to a talkback radio station, write to their local MP and/or newspaper editor.
Points to mention
- more than 330,000 Australian pensioners are worse off
- the average loss of income for a part-pensioner is $130-$135 per week and some pensioners will lose more than $200 per week
- the changes target older Australians with just an average amount of assets
- most of the richest older Australians are unaffected by these changes
- these changes will most certainly force people to run down their life savings faster.
Extra advice about talkback radio
- Prepare your message beforehand — two or three key points is fine
- Be factual
- Use a landline if possible rather than a mobile phone and turn off your radio when you call
- Speak slowly and clearly. Remember to breathe!
- you have a limited amount of time, so stay on topic and ensure you make your point.
- If you hear people on air talking about issues around pensions, use this as an opportunity to call or text
- If you are not comfortable talking on air, consider sending a text message instead.
ABC Radio National Talkback
1300 22 55 76 (local call cost nationally)
SMS: 0418 226 576
Twitter: @RadioNational, @RNBreakfast, @RNDrive
You can find the contact details for your local regional ABC radio stations here: www.abc.net.au/local/