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Pension Increase

By John Hargreaves - 4 July 2014 35

For the information of fellow Rioters, I go a letter in the mail today letting me know that my CSS pension (earnt over 30 years in the public service before I went into politics) had been increased. Imagine my joy.. and that of my local café owner, who has the best coffee in Wanniassa.

My pension went up 1.3%! For me that meant in rough terms $4 a week! I don’t know what I will do with this untold wealth! Two schooners of Dogbolter Dark Ale cost $15.30 at the Kingston Pub…(I was on a business lunch and paying for myself and my mate).

What about the people on less CSS benefits than me? 1.3% is so under the cost of living to be unimaginable. So much for the well off!

When will the pollies on $190k and above wake up to what it is like to get an increase of $4 a week?

I don’t complain, cos I can make do,thank you very much, but I do worry about the others… I was an EL1 (SOGC) when I got out, what about the ASO 4s and 5s?

Anyone else feeling a bit ripped off?

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35 Responses to
Pension Increase
1
bundah 9:35 pm
04 Jul 14
#

Unless my maths is flawed a 1.3% increase amounting to, as you say, $4 pw would mean that your pension is a bit over $300 pw. Surely that can’t be right?

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2
Pantz_Party 9:35 pm
04 Jul 14
#

I would be feeling ripped off if the ASO 4s and 5s had the same entitlements, after all you forgo other things like holidays, friends or family make the time to advance. I also think

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3
Pantz_Party 9:36 pm
04 Jul 14
#

I hit submit waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too early sorry, was scrolling up.

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4
Garfield 10:46 pm
04 Jul 14
#

John, a few points/questions:
I take it that’s 1.3% for 6 months rather than per annum, which is what a reader without knowledge of how Comsuper indexation works may assume?
Were you complaining about politician salaries while receiving your MLA salary?
Were you publicly complaining about Comsuper indexation while Labor was in power federally?
Do you realise that the current federal government has increased indexation for some Comsuper (Defence) pensions?
Do you realise that if someone’s Comsuper pension is low enough it will be supplemented by a part age pension?
Have you complained to your local Labor colleagues about their tax reform that’s increasing Rates by about 10% p.a. on average, a measure that hits people on fixed incomes (retirees) rather hard?

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5
rommeldog56 9:00 am
05 Jul 14
#

Garfield said :

John, a few points/questions:
I take it that’s 1.3% for 6 months rather than per annum, which is what a reader without knowledge of how Comsuper indexation works may assume?
Were you complaining about politician salaries while receiving your MLA salary?
Were you publicly complaining about Comsuper indexation while Labor was in power federally?
Do you realise that the current federal government has increased indexation for some Comsuper (Defence) pensions?
Do you realise that if someone’s Comsuper pension is low enough it will be supplemented by a part age pension?
Have you complained to your local Labor colleagues about their tax reform that’s increasing Rates by about 10% p.a. on average, a measure that hits people on fixed incomes (retirees) rather hard?

As a self funded ComSuper (PSS) retiree, I’m aware that there is a significant issue over the indexation to CPI. Its heavily discounted – for some reason beyond my capabilities to comprehend. In one 1/2 year period, I got a letter saying that it had been indexed uo .1% !! The reality is if you are on a ComSuper pension, you are apparently loosing buying power each year compared to CPI. Its the formula that is apparently the problem. I can not see Govt ever changing that though. I wonder how that ComSuper pension indexing formula compares to that used by other Super funds ?

So, getting to what the ACT Gov’t (your Labor mates, John Hargreaves Ex MLA) do for self funded retirees in Canberra ? Next to nothing. Zilch. Oh – maybe get the “Seniors Card” if they get to 65yo.

The only financial “concession” a self funded retiree can get is “deferral” of their Annual Rates if they can not afford to pay them. Lucky that debt can be repaid to the ACT Govt from the sale of their house when they die, isn’t it ACT Labor !

I fully agree that the up to tripling of the ACT Annual Rates, skyrocketing ACT Gov’t charges, the burgeoning Territory debt caused by excessive “borrowings” for things like the Light Rail, more MLAs, infrastructure “stimulus” packages (all of which the $ has to be found to repay yet !), wasted expenditure and the cost of the ACT bureaucracy, will make Canberra an almost impossible place to live for so many self funded retirees in a few years.

I’m afraid that the cutbacks from the Feds (which, historically the ACT will recover from – despite the short-medium term pain) will have less longer term impact on the ACT economy than the economic nose around all ACT Ratepayers and residents necks that the ACT Gov’t is/has created. IMHO anyway.

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6
agent_clone 9:26 am
05 Jul 14
#

The average CPI increase last year was about 2.6%. The CSS pensions are index to CPI. So assuming 6 monthly indexation increases 1.3% is correct.
FYI, the aged pension increased by $7.15 for the half year in march, with the changes to index on CPI this would have been about $5.88 pw.
My understanding of CSS (I could be wrong) was that there were optimal ages to exit the system at (I think 54 and 9 months, and 65 and 6 months), which was not your exit time.
While the $4pw seems minimal, the increases are meant to be cumulative over time, not all at once.

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7
HiddenDragon 12:29 pm
05 Jul 14
#

This post just illustrates the squeeze which so many people (not just public sector pensioners) are feeling after years of essential living costs rising at many times the rate of CPI “inflation”, and more rapidly than income increases that all (but the most fortunate have received). There is no relief in sight from this problem – certainly not with the so-called “tax reform” underway in the ACT, and with an atttitude to ACT Government spending and borrowing which seems to assume that there is an infinite capacity to pay on the part of ACT households.

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8
rommeldog56 2:43 pm
05 Jul 14
#

agent_clone said :

The average CPI increase last year was about 2.6%. The CSS pensions are index to CPI. So assuming 6 monthly indexation increases 1.3% is correct.
FYI, the aged pension increased by $7.15 for the half year in march, with the changes to index on CPI this would have been about $5.88 pw.
My understanding of CSS (I could be wrong) was that there were optimal ages to exit the system at (I think 54 and 9 months, and 65 and 6 months), which was not your exit time.
While the $4pw seems minimal, the increases are meant to be cumulative over time, not all at once.

I think the CPI % increase is “compounding” too ?

As are the ACT Gov’t 10% average rise in Annual Rates over the next 20 years. The 10% “on average” pa looks much, much more than a flat 10% pa over 20 years, because it compounds and so well and truly outstrips the official CPI % rise and the consequent flow on to increases to CPI linked/based wages and pensions.

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9
John Hargreaves Ex M 4:01 pm
05 Jul 14
#

Garfield said :

John, a few points/questions:
I take it that’s 1.3% for 6 months rather than per annum, which is what a reader without knowledge of how Comsuper indexation works may assume?
Were you complaining about politician salaries while receiving your MLA salary?
Were you publicly complaining about Comsuper indexation while Labor was in power federally?
Do you realise that the current federal government has increased indexation for some Comsuper (Defence) pensions?
Do you realise that if someone’s Comsuper pension is low enough it will be supplemented by a part age pension?
Have you complained to your local Labor colleagues about their tax reform that’s increasing Rates by about 10% p.a. on average, a measure that hits people on fixed incomes (retirees) rather hard?

The advice I received from Comsuper was that my pension has been increased by 1.3% (and yes it is a 6 monthly increase, so thanks for that). but the advice also said that I had an increase of $36 a fortnight and had to pay a certain amount of tax. when I subtracted the old net from the new net, it came to $8 a fortnight.

I don’t get the relevance of my complaining to a Labor Government about the indexation level when in fact, I was not retired then… I now reap the rewards of 30 years as a public service officer.

Also, I noticed that the pension for some Defence people has been indexed to AWE not CPI like the CSSS. I don’t complain about the amount only the apparent inequity in it…

Are you suggesting that as a CSSS pensioner relying on a public service pension, I have no right to question anything because I was a Labor politician. If so, I am disappointed.

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10
John Hargreaves Ex M 4:03 pm
05 Jul 14
#

agent_clone said :

The average CPI increase last year was about 2.6%. The CSS pensions are index to CPI. So assuming 6 monthly indexation increases 1.3% is correct.
FYI, the aged pension increased by $7.15 for the half year in march, with the changes to index on CPI this would have been about $5.88 pw.
My understanding of CSS (I could be wrong) was that there were optimal ages to exit the system at (I think 54 and 9 months, and 65 and 6 months), which was not your exit time.
While the $4pw seems minimal, the increases are meant to be cumulative over time, not all at once.

Thanks for this information. It is most useful. I just don’t remember the Aged Pension going up as much as general pay increases not only those for politicians. It seems to me to be systemic deficiency in policy.

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11
Garfield 6:14 pm
05 Jul 14
#

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

Garfield said :

John, a few points/questions:
I take it that’s 1.3% for 6 months rather than per annum, which is what a reader without knowledge of how Comsuper indexation works may assume?
Were you complaining about politician salaries while receiving your MLA salary?
Were you publicly complaining about Comsuper indexation while Labor was in power federally?
Do you realise that the current federal government has increased indexation for some Comsuper (Defence) pensions?
Do you realise that if someone’s Comsuper pension is low enough it will be supplemented by a part age pension?
Have you complained to your local Labor colleagues about their tax reform that’s increasing Rates by about 10% p.a. on average, a measure that hits people on fixed incomes (retirees) rather hard?

The advice I received from Comsuper was that my pension has been increased by 1.3% (and yes it is a 6 monthly increase, so thanks for that). but the advice also said that I had an increase of $36 a fortnight and had to pay a certain amount of tax. when I subtracted the old net from the new net, it came to $8 a fortnight.

I don’t get the relevance of my complaining to a Labor Government about the indexation level when in fact, I was not retired then… I now reap the rewards of 30 years as a public service officer.

Also, I noticed that the pension for some Defence people has been indexed to AWE not CPI like the CSSS. I don’t complain about the amount only the apparent inequity in it…

Are you suggesting that as a CSSS pensioner relying on a public service pension, I have no right to question anything because I was a Labor politician. If so, I am disappointed.

I’m not saying that you can’t question anything, I’d just like to know if you’ve been consistent on the issue regardless of which party has been in power federally. If so, great, I can respect that. If not then this starts to look like political point scoring.

BTW, unless I’m missing something you retired in October 2012 and Labor was in government federally until September 2013, so you would have been receiving your CSS pension for 11 months under a federal Labor government.

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12
Pork Hunt 6:48 pm
05 Jul 14
#

Was it the Howard government that funked it for everyone when they changed the rules upon which the CPI was calculated? Military Super recipients like myself are affected by that decision. Some of the Lib’s best work that was.

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13
dungfungus 7:52 pm
05 Jul 14
#

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

agent_clone said :

The average CPI increase last year was about 2.6%. The CSS pensions are index to CPI. So assuming 6 monthly indexation increases 1.3% is correct.
FYI, the aged pension increased by $7.15 for the half year in march, with the changes to index on CPI this would have been about $5.88 pw.
My understanding of CSS (I could be wrong) was that there were optimal ages to exit the system at (I think 54 and 9 months, and 65 and 6 months), which was not your exit time.
While the $4pw seems minimal, the increases are meant to be cumulative over time, not all at once.

Thanks for this information. It is most useful. I just don’t remember the Aged Pension going up as much as general pay increases not only those for politicians. It seems to me to be systemic deficiency in policy.

Why not check out the Age Pension instead?
You’re really switched on aren’t you Johno.

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14
John Hargreaves Ex M 6:53 pm
06 Jul 14
#

dungfungus said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

agent_clone said :

The average CPI increase last year was about 2.6%. The CSS pensions are index to CPI. So assuming 6 monthly indexation increases 1.3% is correct.
FYI, the aged pension increased by $7.15 for the half year in march, with the changes to index on CPI this would have been about $5.88 pw.
My understanding of CSS (I could be wrong) was that there were optimal ages to exit the system at (I think 54 and 9 months, and 65 and 6 months), which was not your exit time.
While the $4pw seems minimal, the increases are meant to be cumulative over time, not all at once.

Thanks for this information. It is most useful. I just don’t remember the Aged Pension going up as much as general pay increases not only those for politicians. It seems to me to be systemic deficiency in policy.

Why not check out the Age Pension instead?
You’re really switched on aren’t you Johno.

I have never been on the dole and I won’t ever go on the aged pension. These are supports for people who have no other choice. I do. I also don’t understand why they have to pay for the (so called) federal budget problem when people like Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer and Rupert Murdoch and Frank Lowy and the other billionaires don’t.

incidentally, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit…

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15
John Hargreaves Ex M 6:59 pm
06 Jul 14
#

Garfield said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

Garfield said :

John, a few points/questions:
I take it that’s 1.3% for 6 months rather than per annum, which is what a reader without knowledge of how Comsuper indexation works may assume?
Were you complaining about politician salaries while receiving your MLA salary?
Were you publicly complaining about Comsuper indexation while Labor was in power federally?
Do you realise that the current federal government has increased indexation for some Comsuper (Defence) pensions?
Do you realise that if someone’s Comsuper pension is low enough it will be supplemented by a part age pension?
Have you complained to your local Labor colleagues about their tax reform that’s increasing Rates by about 10% p.a. on average, a measure that hits people on fixed incomes (retirees) rather hard?

The advice I received from Comsuper was that my pension has been increased by 1.3% (and yes it is a 6 monthly increase, so thanks for that). but the advice also said that I had an increase of $36 a fortnight and had to pay a certain amount of tax. when I subtracted the old net from the new net, it came to $8 a fortnight.

I don’t get the relevance of my complaining to a Labor Government about the indexation level when in fact, I was not retired then… I now reap the rewards of 30 years as a public service officer.

Also, I noticed that the pension for some Defence people has been indexed to AWE not CPI like the CSSS. I don’t complain about the amount only the apparent inequity in it…

Are you suggesting that as a CSSS pensioner relying on a public service pension, I have no right to question anything because I was a Labor politician. If so, I am disappointed.

I’m not saying that you can’t question anything, I’d just like to know if you’ve been consistent on the issue regardless of which party has been in power federally. If so, great, I can respect that. If not then this starts to look like political point scoring.

BTW, unless I’m missing something you retired in October 2012 and Labor was in government federally until September 2013, so you would have been receiving your CSS pension for 11 months under a federal Labor government.

Yes I have been consistent, but when I left the Assembly, I vowed not to be one of those angry retired old sods who constantly write to the Canberra Times about their former professions. I have been true to that vow so far. In fact, you will notice that I am new to Riot Act. That’s because I have been approached by a few people to voice their concerns and who don’t want, for a number of reasons, to do it themselves. However, also…. my words are my own and I take responsibility for them all.

You are right in that I was on my pension for 11 months since retiring, but please know that in that time there were, I think, only two pension increases and of insignificant size. It has only been recently that I have turned my mind to the subject.

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