Saturday, September 27, 2008

Self funded retirees double dipping in the pensioner pool?

Another moaner on the radio talk-back complaining about self funded retirees "double dipping".

What does he mean? Double dipping?

I think that his point was that he didn't think it fair that these rich* self-funded retirees could claim any discounts or benefits from the government because they were rich, well, they're self funded, aren't they?

He said that they shouldn't be entitled to any other benefits so that those people who really needed the pension would have it.


So somone who has been prudent, and in a financial position to put aside some money, and provided funds to help support themselves in their old age and, correct me if I am wrong, pay TAX on their self funded pension (again), should not be entitled to any help from the government so that people who pissed their money away (not all of them), and perhaps own nothing, can be supported by the government?

I don't think so. Being a self funded retiree shouldn't be a struggle. My mother is a SFR. She's not as flush as she used to be when she worked. She uses private health care. It costs her a bomb, but it's the best care she can get. I don't begrudge any SFRs a bit of help from the government.

And sometimes the self funding runs out.

*I know they aren't rich!


kc said...

Ah, Kae, you haven't drunk the koolaid that changes your brain into the mass of mush that insists EVERYTHING in Life Must Be Fair! And Equal! Regardless of Height, Weight, Geographic Positioning, Gender, Race, or Sexual Preference! EQUAL! FAIR!

Neither have I. Good for us.

Skeeter said...

"Double dipping" was a socialist label invented during the early 1990s. It referred to self-funded retirees who used their superannuation lump-sum to spend on goodies like overseas travel and a nice big house, then going onto the Age Pension because they had spent their retirement funds too quickly.
The "double" came into it because Labor's view was that wrinklies had already "dipped" into public funds when they received tax benefits on their superannuation contributions.
In fact, that bearded bloke that used to be the spokesman for ACOSS even objected to our using the term "self-funded" retirees. His view was that we were largely taxpayer-funded because of the tax deductions we got on our super contributions. Small minds.

During his term in government, John Howard took the more reasonable view that SFRs were saving the taxpayer heaps of money because they had set up their retirements to avoid the need for welfare payments.
Howard was also aware that we had paid lots of taxes during our working years, and that we should be rewarded with comfortable life-styles in our retirement.
To assist that, he removed the Reasonable Benefit Limit (RBL) on the amount of lump sum you could save, reduced taxes on contributions, introduced the Commonwealth Seniors' Health Card, liberalised the means test for part age pensions and, in his final year, removed income-tax on the superannuation income streams like allocated pensions.
This last item meant that, in my 75th year and after paying taxes on my income for 57 years, I was able to submit my final income-tax return last week.

Howard also introduced a number of improvements to the Centrelink pensions, including more frequent and automatic adjustments, indexing them to workforce wages as well as costs of living, and assistance with utilities costs.
As soon as they were elected, Labor tried to dismantle a lot of Howard's improvements for seniors and the current moaning about "double dipping" is symptomatic of Labor's seniors-bashing policy.
My advice to young moaners is that, if they take care of their health and avoid crashing into things at high speed, one day in the not to distant future, they can get to be as old as we are.