There has been a lot of discussion lately about changes to the old age pension scheme. Starting from 2017 to be completed in 2023, according to the government, retirees will not be eligible to receive the old age pension until they are 67 years old instead of the current 65. Is that fair?
I believe that owing to an increase in longevity, 67 is extremely fair. I would even advocate that a recipient should be 70 years of age before getting the old age pension since it was never meant to support retirees for 20 years or so.
When the old age pension was introduced at the beginning of the last century, life expectancy was much shorter. Now we are faced with a growing retired population and it will be almost impossible to support this large demographic after the baby boomers have retired.
I also cannot see why the family home and all its contents are excluded from means testing. Why should people living in million dollar homes be supported by the government? This is simply a waste of resources.
All assets should be means tested and it makes good sense to downsize and live off the value of the home and contents. I suspect that the main reason that this has not been brought in is because the heirs want to inherit large homes. It has little to do with sentimentality and everything to do with greed.
In my opinion, people who choose to retain their expensive homes should not be eligible for the pension since they can live off their assets and the home is definitely an asset. So is a farm, by the way. The pension should be available only for those in need or it will simply run out. And then the poorest of our citizens will suffer. There is nothing God-given about a handout.