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“The retirement outlook due for reality check”

In his article “The retirement outlook due for reality check” Australian Financial Review (AFR) 22-23 Aug 2009 page 41 Barrie Dunstan writes that Ken Henry is toying with the idea of the government offering annuities by the government in return for handing over the super capital to the government.

Now why would anybody hand over his/her capital for an annuity when that annuity could be swallowed by the meanest “Means Test” that Centrelink applies for an age-pension, which is 50% reduction in Centrelink pension and if the retiree has to pay tax, the total reduction can be $0.815 in every dollar of an income which is barely above poverty level.

He further states that “The government is already the main provider of longevity insurance through the age pension”, so why is the government exempting millionaires with incomes higher than the average workers receive, from paying tax.

What the government should do, is abolish the means test, abolish all tax concessions for super, including the tax-free super for the over sixties, if the super is from a taxed fund.

Australia is the only country which means tests the basic pension, and I stand to be corrected on that point, but no politician has so far proved that that is not the case.

(Letter sent to AFR for publication) Was never published

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