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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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Masquara 7:33 pm 15 Jul 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

dungfungus said :

Masquara said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

chewy14 said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

dungfungus said :

bronal said :

rommeldog56 said :

Similar. CPI increase in PSS pension of 1.3%.

Gross $ increase = $19-51pf.

But, nett $ increase = $5-51pf.

So much for CPI.

Maybe the extra tax for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which started on 1/7/14 has something to do with it ?

Yes, and it’s interesting that there isn’t a single mention of the NDIS levy in the information sheets that come with the pension statements. The NDIS levy is the major reason that the actual increase in most peoples’ pensions is so low.

Well, clearly this is Tony Abbott’s fault again.

In a reply to all the rioters so far, I contacted the CSSS people for an explanation and all that they could tell me was that the ATO had released new tax tables for PAYG and that the medicare levy had gone up from 1.5% to 2%. They then produced figures to substantiate the arithmetic I had already given them.

so…gross increase $36, tax increase $28, net increase $8. Gonna spend it all at once!

Oh so now it’s Pensioners Vs Disabled, who’s more worthy?

Sort of makes the OP a bit redundant unless John wants to complain about the NDIS.

My point here is not so much a choice between types of pensioners rather that if my pension with the CSS, which I am happy with, can suffer with the kinds of ratios I showed, how do people on pensions on the poverty line get on and I don’t care what type of pension they are getting.

John why do you only mention your CSS public service pension – and never your very generous MLA super that allows you to double-dip? You aren’t receiving that?

I know a couple of ex-MLAs who took the lump sum. Perhaps they had some idea about the future reliability of the MLA pension.

For the information of some, when I went into the Assembly, there was no pension available and I had to freeze my CSSS contributions. There was a lump sum paid at the conclusion of service which in my case was OK. For some however, they couldn’t draw it until age 55 or so.

The oft heard comment that MLAs get a nice heavy pension is a fallacy. I don’t know what happens now cos they were to change things at the time I left.

In relation to double dipping, I can’t see this being right if I have a CSS pension for my 30 years service with one employer and a lump sum for the15 years with another. Wanna tell me how that is double dipping?

No grumble from me about my circumstances. I spent twice as much time in the public service as in the Assembly and so feel entitled to my CSS pension as do other friends who have retired from that service.

I guess reluctant and gradual disclosure is disclosure! Pretty hefty lump sum I believe. Like, more than the CSS would have earnt you!

John Hargreaves Ex MLA 11:16 am 15 Jul 14

dungfungus said :

Masquara said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

chewy14 said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

dungfungus said :

bronal said :

rommeldog56 said :

Similar. CPI increase in PSS pension of 1.3%.

Gross $ increase = $19-51pf.

But, nett $ increase = $5-51pf.

So much for CPI.

Maybe the extra tax for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which started on 1/7/14 has something to do with it ?

Yes, and it’s interesting that there isn’t a single mention of the NDIS levy in the information sheets that come with the pension statements. The NDIS levy is the major reason that the actual increase in most peoples’ pensions is so low.

Well, clearly this is Tony Abbott’s fault again.

In a reply to all the rioters so far, I contacted the CSSS people for an explanation and all that they could tell me was that the ATO had released new tax tables for PAYG and that the medicare levy had gone up from 1.5% to 2%. They then produced figures to substantiate the arithmetic I had already given them.

so…gross increase $36, tax increase $28, net increase $8. Gonna spend it all at once!

Oh so now it’s Pensioners Vs Disabled, who’s more worthy?

Sort of makes the OP a bit redundant unless John wants to complain about the NDIS.

My point here is not so much a choice between types of pensioners rather that if my pension with the CSS, which I am happy with, can suffer with the kinds of ratios I showed, how do people on pensions on the poverty line get on and I don’t care what type of pension they are getting.

John why do you only mention your CSS public service pension – and never your very generous MLA super that allows you to double-dip? You aren’t receiving that?

I know a couple of ex-MLAs who took the lump sum. Perhaps they had some idea about the future reliability of the MLA pension.

For the information of some, when I went into the Assembly, there was no pension available and I had to freeze my CSSS contributions. There was a lump sum paid at the conclusion of service which in my case was OK. For some however, they couldn’t draw it until age 55 or so.

The oft heard comment that MLAs get a nice heavy pension is a fallacy. I don’t know what happens now cos they were to change things at the time I left.

In relation to double dipping, I can’t see this being right if I have a CSS pension for my 30 years service with one employer and a lump sum for the15 years with another. Wanna tell me how that is double dipping?

No grumble from me about my circumstances. I spent twice as much time in the public service as in the Assembly and so feel entitled to my CSS pension as do other friends who have retired from that service.

switch 10:14 am 15 Jul 14

watto23 said :

I honestly don’t think either major political party have got a clue on this right now, instead choosing to blindly follow their ideologies rather than genuinely looking at problems and the solutions.

Some things never change.

watto23 9:53 am 15 Jul 14

While I completely understand the issue, many people in the ACT especially those in private sector don’t even get annual pay rises. Of course when everyone gets annual pay rises it puts inflationary pressure on costs which then also rise. The only thing a person on a pension can hope for IMO is that their standard of living is maintained during retirement. Not sure how that is best managed of course. That said If i averaged a 1% pa payrise the last 5 years i’d be paid more than I get now. the benefit for me is I still have at least 20 more years in the workforce.

Compared to say 15 years ago, where I was taxed more had to pay less for so many things and now where i’m taxed less but everything costs a lot more, I don’t think my actual standard of living has changed that much. In fact I could afford a new car 12 years ago. I’m looking at replacing my car, but it doesn’t look like I can afford one now, well not as easily, yet my pay is well over double what I got then.

I honestly don’t think either major political party have got a clue on this right now, instead choosing to blindly follow their ideologies rather than genuinely looking at problems and the solutions.

dungfungus 8:56 pm 14 Jul 14

Masquara said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

chewy14 said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

dungfungus said :

bronal said :

rommeldog56 said :

Similar. CPI increase in PSS pension of 1.3%.

Gross $ increase = $19-51pf.

But, nett $ increase = $5-51pf.

So much for CPI.

Maybe the extra tax for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which started on 1/7/14 has something to do with it ?

Yes, and it’s interesting that there isn’t a single mention of the NDIS levy in the information sheets that come with the pension statements. The NDIS levy is the major reason that the actual increase in most peoples’ pensions is so low.

Well, clearly this is Tony Abbott’s fault again.

In a reply to all the rioters so far, I contacted the CSSS people for an explanation and all that they could tell me was that the ATO had released new tax tables for PAYG and that the medicare levy had gone up from 1.5% to 2%. They then produced figures to substantiate the arithmetic I had already given them.

so…gross increase $36, tax increase $28, net increase $8. Gonna spend it all at once!

Oh so now it’s Pensioners Vs Disabled, who’s more worthy?

Sort of makes the OP a bit redundant unless John wants to complain about the NDIS.

My point here is not so much a choice between types of pensioners rather that if my pension with the CSS, which I am happy with, can suffer with the kinds of ratios I showed, how do people on pensions on the poverty line get on and I don’t care what type of pension they are getting.

John why do you only mention your CSS public service pension – and never your very generous MLA super that allows you to double-dip? You aren’t receiving that?

I know a couple of ex-MLAs who took the lump sum. Perhaps they had some idea about the future reliability of the MLA pension.

Masquara 7:27 pm 14 Jul 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

chewy14 said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

dungfungus said :

bronal said :

rommeldog56 said :

Similar. CPI increase in PSS pension of 1.3%.

Gross $ increase = $19-51pf.

But, nett $ increase = $5-51pf.

So much for CPI.

Maybe the extra tax for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which started on 1/7/14 has something to do with it ?

Yes, and it’s interesting that there isn’t a single mention of the NDIS levy in the information sheets that come with the pension statements. The NDIS levy is the major reason that the actual increase in most peoples’ pensions is so low.

Well, clearly this is Tony Abbott’s fault again.

In a reply to all the rioters so far, I contacted the CSSS people for an explanation and all that they could tell me was that the ATO had released new tax tables for PAYG and that the medicare levy had gone up from 1.5% to 2%. They then produced figures to substantiate the arithmetic I had already given them.

so…gross increase $36, tax increase $28, net increase $8. Gonna spend it all at once!

Oh so now it’s Pensioners Vs Disabled, who’s more worthy?

Sort of makes the OP a bit redundant unless John wants to complain about the NDIS.

My point here is not so much a choice between types of pensioners rather that if my pension with the CSS, which I am happy with, can suffer with the kinds of ratios I showed, how do people on pensions on the poverty line get on and I don’t care what type of pension they are getting.

John why do you only mention your CSS public service pension – and never your very generous MLA super that allows you to double-dip? You aren’t receiving that?

gazket 3:33 pm 14 Jul 14

how do you think the pensioners are getting on. They’re sitting in the dark and cold to scared to turn the heater and lights on eating rice and baked beans.

If they’re drinking beer it’s home brew. I’m sure Labor will find a way to put a Co2 and teenager tax on that as well.

John Hargreaves Ex MLA 2:19 pm 14 Jul 14

chewy14 said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

dungfungus said :

bronal said :

rommeldog56 said :

Similar. CPI increase in PSS pension of 1.3%.

Gross $ increase = $19-51pf.

But, nett $ increase = $5-51pf.

So much for CPI.

Maybe the extra tax for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which started on 1/7/14 has something to do with it ?

Yes, and it’s interesting that there isn’t a single mention of the NDIS levy in the information sheets that come with the pension statements. The NDIS levy is the major reason that the actual increase in most peoples’ pensions is so low.

Well, clearly this is Tony Abbott’s fault again.

In a reply to all the rioters so far, I contacted the CSSS people for an explanation and all that they could tell me was that the ATO had released new tax tables for PAYG and that the medicare levy had gone up from 1.5% to 2%. They then produced figures to substantiate the arithmetic I had already given them.

so…gross increase $36, tax increase $28, net increase $8. Gonna spend it all at once!

Oh so now it’s Pensioners Vs Disabled, who’s more worthy?

Sort of makes the OP a bit redundant unless John wants to complain about the NDIS.

My point here is not so much a choice between types of pensioners rather that if my pension with the CSS, which I am happy with, can suffer with the kinds of ratios I showed, how do people on pensions on the poverty line get on and I don’t care what type of pension they are getting.

dungfungus 1:52 pm 08 Jul 14

chewy14 said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

dungfungus said :

bronal said :

rommeldog56 said :

Similar. CPI increase in PSS pension of 1.3%.

Gross $ increase = $19-51pf.

But, nett $ increase = $5-51pf.

So much for CPI.

Maybe the extra tax for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which started on 1/7/14 has something to do with it ?

Yes, and it’s interesting that there isn’t a single mention of the NDIS levy in the information sheets that come with the pension statements. The NDIS levy is the major reason that the actual increase in most peoples’ pensions is so low.

Well, clearly this is Tony Abbott’s fault again.

In a reply to all the rioters so far, I contacted the CSSS people for an explanation and all that they could tell me was that the ATO had released new tax tables for PAYG and that the medicare levy had gone up from 1.5% to 2%. They then produced figures to substantiate the arithmetic I had already given them.

so…gross increase $36, tax increase $28, net increase $8. Gonna spend it all at once!

Oh so now it’s Pensioners Vs Disabled, who’s more worthy?

Sort of makes the OP a bit redundant unless John wants to complain about the NDIS.

“Oh so now it’s Pensioners Vs Disabled, who’s more worthy?”

Who is more worthy? How about the taxpayers who underwrite both these social doctrines.

chewy14 1:31 pm 08 Jul 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

dungfungus said :

bronal said :

rommeldog56 said :

Similar. CPI increase in PSS pension of 1.3%.

Gross $ increase = $19-51pf.

But, nett $ increase = $5-51pf.

So much for CPI.

Maybe the extra tax for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which started on 1/7/14 has something to do with it ?

Yes, and it’s interesting that there isn’t a single mention of the NDIS levy in the information sheets that come with the pension statements. The NDIS levy is the major reason that the actual increase in most peoples’ pensions is so low.

Well, clearly this is Tony Abbott’s fault again.

In a reply to all the rioters so far, I contacted the CSSS people for an explanation and all that they could tell me was that the ATO had released new tax tables for PAYG and that the medicare levy had gone up from 1.5% to 2%. They then produced figures to substantiate the arithmetic I had already given them.

so…gross increase $36, tax increase $28, net increase $8. Gonna spend it all at once!

Oh so now it’s Pensioners Vs Disabled, who’s more worthy?

Sort of makes the OP a bit redundant unless John wants to complain about the NDIS.

rommeldog56 12:52 pm 08 Jul 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

dungfungus said :

bronal said :

rommeldog56 said :

Similar. CPI increase in PSS pension of 1.3%.

Gross $ increase = $19-51pf.

But, nett $ increase = $5-51pf.

So much for CPI.

Maybe the extra tax for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which started on 1/7/14 has something to do with it ?

Yes, and it’s interesting that there isn’t a single mention of the NDIS levy in the information sheets that come with the pension statements. The NDIS levy is the major reason that the actual increase in most peoples’ pensions is so low.

Well, clearly this is Tony Abbott’s fault again.

In a reply to all the rioters so far, I contacted the CSSS people for an explanation and all that they could tell me was that the ATO had released new tax tables for PAYG and that the medicare levy had gone up from 1.5% to 2%. They then produced figures to substantiate the arithmetic I had already given them.

so…gross increase $36, tax increase $28, net increase $8. Gonna spend it all at once!

Because its indexed 6 monthly, and it coincides with 1/7, this is a one off reduction in the nett CPI increase. The next one, in December/Jan, will be what ever the % CPI increase is, less standard applicable tax because the .5% extra Medicare levy is already included. Hope that makes sense.

John Hargreaves Ex MLA 11:57 am 08 Jul 14

dungfungus said :

bronal said :

rommeldog56 said :

Similar. CPI increase in PSS pension of 1.3%.

Gross $ increase = $19-51pf.

But, nett $ increase = $5-51pf.

So much for CPI.

Maybe the extra tax for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which started on 1/7/14 has something to do with it ?

Yes, and it’s interesting that there isn’t a single mention of the NDIS levy in the information sheets that come with the pension statements. The NDIS levy is the major reason that the actual increase in most peoples’ pensions is so low.

Well, clearly this is Tony Abbott’s fault again.

In a reply to all the rioters so far, I contacted the CSSS people for an explanation and all that they could tell me was that the ATO had released new tax tables for PAYG and that the medicare levy had gone up from 1.5% to 2%. They then produced figures to substantiate the arithmetic I had already given them.

so…gross increase $36, tax increase $28, net increase $8. Gonna spend it all at once!

rommeldog56 11:54 am 08 Jul 14

Confirmed with ComSuper : The tax increase for the NDIS is in the Medicare Levy Surcharge which from 1/7 increased from 1.5% to 2% of total income/salary.

This extra .5% applies to total salary/incomed, including the CPI linked lincreases to pensions. So, its not just extra tax on the CPI linked increase.

Its just unfortunate that both issues started from 1 July.

It would have been nice for Comsuper to have included that warning/advice to all pensioners in their accompanying newsletter. Apparently, they are being inundated with queries. Now, why would that be ?

dungfungus 9:53 am 08 Jul 14

bronal said :

rommeldog56 said :

Similar. CPI increase in PSS pension of 1.3%.

Gross $ increase = $19-51pf.

But, nett $ increase = $5-51pf.

So much for CPI.

Maybe the extra tax for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which started on 1/7/14 has something to do with it ?

Yes, and it’s interesting that there isn’t a single mention of the NDIS levy in the information sheets that come with the pension statements. The NDIS levy is the major reason that the actual increase in most peoples’ pensions is so low.

Well, clearly this is Tony Abbott’s fault again.

bronal 8:10 am 08 Jul 14

rommeldog56 said :

Similar. CPI increase in PSS pension of 1.3%.

Gross $ increase = $19-51pf.

But, nett $ increase = $5-51pf.

So much for CPI.

Maybe the extra tax for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which started on 1/7/14 has something to do with it ?

Yes, and it’s interesting that there isn’t a single mention of the NDIS levy in the information sheets that come with the pension statements. The NDIS levy is the major reason that the actual increase in most peoples’ pensions is so low.

rommeldog56 10:35 pm 07 Jul 14

Similar. CPI increase in PSS pension of 1.3%.

Gross $ increase = $19-51pf.

But, nett $ increase = $5-51pf.

So much for CPI.

Maybe the extra tax for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which started on 1/7/14 has something to do with it ?

Masquara 7:11 pm 07 Jul 14

HiddenDragon said :

“..

Something weird going on here – $28 tax on a $36 increase (suggesting a marginal tax rate of nearly 80%). Sounds like a mistake, or perhaps a correction of some sort?

Not so much “weird” as “didn’t mention that he has three income streams that all add up to a VERY high tax rate!

HiddenDragon 12:41 pm 07 Jul 14

“…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….”

Something weird going on here – $28 tax on a $36 increase (suggesting a marginal tax rate of nearly 80%). Sounds like a mistake, or perhaps a correction of some sort?

As to the CPI, federal governments of both persuasions have been happy to see it as low as possible – it keeps indexation costs down, reduces interest rate pressures on the mortgage belt, and makes our national economic statistics (particularly economic growth figures) look better than they would with a more representative measure of cost increases. If federal parliamentary pensions were only indexed to CPI there might, however, be a different perspective brought to bear.

John Hargreaves Ex MLA 10:16 am 07 Jul 14

dungfungus said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

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…

No, no, no, Johno! You have totally missed the point I was making.
The word relation to the pension at issue is AGE not AGED!
I amazed that a rusted on Labor man could get it so wrong when referring to the Age Pension that a lot of his constituents would have been on.

I’m sorry I missed the semantic point. I’ll write out a thousand lines of “I meant the Age Pension, not the Aged Pension” and I’ll try to make sure that I don’t make the same typo again…

dungfungus 7:54 am 07 Jul 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

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…

No, no, no, Johno! You have totally missed the point I was making.
The word relation to the pension at issue is AGE not AGED!
I amazed that a rusted on Labor man could get it so wrong when referring to the Age Pension that a lot of his constituents would have been on.

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