26 May 2016 – Absence of information in government response to Freedom of Information request

SCOA’s Federal President, Dr Annette Barbetti, today deplored the lack of information in a response from the Department of Social Services to a Freedom of Information request (jointly with ACPSRO) for further details about how many pensioners would be affected by the socalled “ten percent issue”. In response, SCOA has put out the attached press … Read more

Collateral damage from the 2015 Budget “10% Cap” measure

The Australian Council of Public Sector Retiree Organisations Inc. (ACPSRO) has issued a Media Release condemning the effects of the 2015 Budget “10% Cap” measure, the real effects of which are now starting to show.

Read the Media Release here.

20160204 ACPSRO Media Statement (88 KB)

You can read more about this issue on our Current Events page.

Canberra

4 February 2016

Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal card for interstate seniors – new arrangements

New arrangements regarding seniors’ concessions on NSW public transport came into effect from 1 January 2016.

Instead of using a Pensioner Excursion Ticket, seniors will now have to get a Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal card (the Opal Card) when travelling interstate to NSW, and the fares continue to be capped at $2.50 a day.

You need to apply for your Opal Card before you undertake your journey.  Click here to apply online or here to download a form.

Your Opal Card is only valid for 60 days from the date of issue, so if you are going to be travelling interstate for more than 60 days, you need to reapply for another card.  Make sure you use your current address when you reapply, as the new card will be sent to that postal address.

You can read more about how to apply and how to register and use your Opal Card in the attached Fact Sheet.

Federal Office

Canberra

1 February 2016

Low income pensioners unfairly targeted

Federal President of the Superannuated Commonwealth Officers Association, Dr Annette Barbetti, today condemned the 10% cap on the amount of a defined benefit pension that can be excluded from the Age Pension income test, included in last year’s federal Budget.  The measure came into effect on 1 January 2016.

Dr Barbetti said that as a result of the new measure, many defined benefit pensioners lost part of their part Age Pension today (pension payday).  Most of them have relatively low super pensions.

Dr Barbetti said the 10% cap was not grandfathered, whereas the earlier changes to the treatment of account-based pensions were grandfathered, even though those on account-based pensions were better placed to cope with a sudden reduction in income because they could access their capital, whereas CSS and PSS pensioners cannot do that.

Read the full press release here.

The Australian Council of Public Sector Retiree Organisations (ACPSRO) has put out a number of press releases regarding this issue.

You can read them here.

Be afraid, be very afraid! (64 KB)

No, Minister, it was not an anomaly (65 KB)

Effect of the 2015 budget 10% cap (81 KB)

Ten percent cap very poor policy (88 KB)

Canberra

14 January 2016

SCOA’s 2016-17 pre-Budget submission

The Superannuated Commonwealth Officers Association (Federal Council) Inc. has lodged its 2016-17 pre-Budget submission to the Department of Treasury.

The key messages that SCOA wishes to be reflected in the budget outcomes for 2016-17 are a government that has committed itself to:

  • maintaining the purchasing power of retirement incomes to keep pace with increases in the real cost of living;
  • indexation which retains the value of Commonwealth superannuation pensions;
  • equitable tax treatment.  No discrimination against people according to the source of their pension; and
  • equity in assessing income.  Those on similar incomes should be able to access the same benefits.
Click here to read the submission.
Canberra
14 January 2016