Tag Archives: SGC

Labor Begins To Steal Your Super

12 Sep

Barnaby was right.

From the Australian today (emphasis added):

Labor is planning to withdraw hundreds of millions of dollars from the Future Fund in an unprecedented move that will help the government meet its promise of returning the budget to surplus in 2012-13.

A spokeswoman for Finance Minister Penny Wong confirmed to The Australian that more than $250 million worth of assets were due to be withdrawn from the Future Fund in the 2012-13 financial year, despite the fund having been created, by Peter Costello, under the condition it was not to be touched before 2020.

The government, which has forecast a surplus of $3.5 billion in 2012-13 after several years of heavy deficits, claims that the assets will be returned to the fund at a future date.

But the opposition has slammed the move as “reckless and fiscally irresponsible”.

“The fact is that the government is planning to raid the Future Fund, including the revenue from the expected sale of Future Fund assets in its revenue forecasts, yet they haven’t been able to point us to where in the budget that money is supposed to be going back into the Future Fund,” opposition assistant Treasury spokesman Mathias Cormann said yesterday.

Mr Costello, the then treasurer, established the Future Fund in 2005 to cover the costs of future public servant superannuation liabilities. At the time, he told parliament: “The fund will only be drawn upon at the earliest in 2020 or a time when an independent actuary determines that the fund’s assets are sufficient to offset the unfunded part of the government’s accrued superannuation liabilities.”

The Future Fund’s own website sets out that “withdrawals from the Future Fund may only occur once the superannuation liability is fully offset or from 1 July 2020″.

A spokesman for the Future Fund confirmed the anticipated withdrawal was known to the fund and that this was the first time a withdrawal had been included in the budget bottom line.

Senator Cormann said the “real concern is that, if they get away with their plans to raid the Future Fund now they will do it again and again, every time they need more cash to fund their wasteful spending”.

“The Future Fund was set up by the Coalition after we paid off the Hawke-Keating debt and it shouldn’t be touched until the public service superannuation liability is under control,” he said.

Remember Barnaby Joyce’s forewarnings before this year’s May budget?

Before the budget (5th May):

In response to a question I put in Senate estimates, Treasury revealed that $64 billion of the difference between our gross debt and our net debt is made up of the cash and non-equity investments of the Future Fund. The Future Fund is there to cover the otherwise unfunded costs of public servants’ superannuation.

That is a little fact that the people of Canberra might be interested in. When Wayne mentions net debt translate that to, I am going to pay his debt off with my retirement savings.

And right after the budget (13th May):

Of course, the public servants will not be happy when we use their retirement savings, put aside in the Future Fund, to pay off some of Labor’s massive debt.

Barnaby was right when he forewarned of the US debt crisis.

And he is right again, about your super being stolen by our government.

Think it is only public servants’ super that is at risk of being stolen by our government?

Think again.

For quite some time now, your humble blogger has been covering the wave of government confiscations of private citizens’ retirement funds that has been sweeping the over-indebted Western World, and warning readers that it is going to happen here too.

The reason this has been happening in so many countries abroad, including the USA, UK, France, Ireland, Poland, and more?

Exactly the same reason as cited by our own government now.

To help meet the government’s budget targets. With the vague promise that the “borrowed” monies will be returned at some unspecified future date.

And we all know what most politicians’ promises are worth.

Barnaby Joyce is the only politician in our nation with the wisdom, foresight, integrity, and courage, to publicly confirm what this blogger has been repeatedly forewarning.

That government theft of private super savings, is a real and present danger here in Australia too.

And don’t kid yourself that a Coalition victory at the next election will save us.

The Liberal Party quietly announced a new policy on June 3 this year, that should have every citizen deeply concerned. It represents an even more blatant move to have the government get their hands on not only public servants’ super, but everyone’s super.

Learn more, in this most recent of my many previous blog articles on the topic:

Stealing Our Super – I DARE You To Ignore This Now

UPDATE:

Senator Wong denies that their plan is to steal public servants’ super.

Are you convinced?

I’m not.

Wong’s very opaque counterclaim is that they are “simply making a small change to the types of assets it holds”. The key here is having a very clear definition of exactly what is meant by “a small change”, and “types of assets”.

This denial in no way convinces me that Labor are not shuffling/stealing money (and/or figures) to meet their objective – a media headline of return to surplus in 2012-13. After all, this government has form for fiddling the books, as documented numerous times on this blog … and openly conceded by former Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner in his book after retiring.

And not just form for fiddling the books … there’s also this:

(March 2007) Peter Costello: Rudd will mortgage future, leaving kids to foot

(April 2009) Kevin Rudd raids Future Funds

Who To Believe On Super?

16 Aug

From ABC Insiders:

BILL SHORTEN: Well in the last two years, and whilst the final figures haven’t come out from last year, Chant West who are one of the organisations who monitor [superannuation fund] returns show that the year before last the returns on average for a balanced fund was 8.9 per cent. The year just passed – 9.2 per cent.

From ABC TV’s Alan Kohler in Business Spectator:

For the past five years the market has given nothing. After the 20 per cent correction between April 11 and August 8, the ASX 200 accumulation index (capital return plus dividends) has now produced a zero five-year return.

From ABC Insiders:

BILL SHORTEN: As an actual investment product super’s done reasonably well over the last 20 years.

From Alan Kohler:

The first fifteen years since the superannuation guarantee legislation was first introduced in 1992 went extremely well. The compound annual rate of return provided by the sharemarket – like manna from heaven – was 15.5 per cent…

Of course, not all that return dribbled into the members’ accounts: the superannuation industry, consisting of advisers, platforms, fund managers and the super funds, were furiously skimming the accounts and getting gloriously rich.

Still, anyone retiring in 2007 was a big winner and didn’t begrudge the skimmers their little portion. Everyone was a winner!

But now life has changed completely. The five-year total return from the sharemarket is zero; the 20-year total return is now below 10 per cent; the ten-year return is just 6.6 per cent. The fees skimmed off by the industry – which of course continue even though the balances have gone backwards – now represent a much larger percentage of the long-term return.

Suddenly accumulation super lacks the vital ingredient of accumulation. And there is a clear risk that the bear market will continue for some time yet, with both Europe and the United States mired in debt.

From ABC Insiders:

BARRIE CASSIDY: So what do you say then to people who got a bit of a fright this week, that they’ve just got to hang in there?

BILL SHORTEN: Well certainly if you’re right at making a decision to retire in the very near future, if you’re a self-funded retiree and you’ve got a portfolio of shares, this has been incredibly tough; just as was the first global financial crisis in 2008.

But I would say that now is not the time to make snap decisions. I would say that in the long run superannuation in the last 10 years, say if you’ve been in an industry fund, it’s been 4 per cent each year. I would say that the shares market generally has performed well in Australia. I do believe that things will improve.

Hmmmmmm.

Question.

Why is it that anyone other than politicians who gives financial advice, has to be licenced to do so, or risk facing the full force of the law?

I Should Have Listened To Barnaby Joyce – Sure Beats Listening To The “Experts”

10 Aug

A really great article by journalist Jill Singer.

Filled with honesty.

Humility.

And humanity.

From the Herald Sun:

Experts did nothing to prevent fall

It’s not so very long ago that only the wealthy invested in shares.

Nowadays, though, it seems even the lowest-paid workers must monitor the All-Ordinaries Index if they want to know how their final years will play out.

Will their super funds provide them with enough to live out their allotted years without relying on the kindness of strangers or the vagaries of government largesse?

Or will they work for as long as their bodies and minds allow before succumbing to a lesser life of niggling poverty, insecurity and guilt over being a “burden” on others?

Little wonder that the world seems engulfed by fear and greed.

In this age of compulsory super and self-managed funds, life has become a terrifying gamble.

Having money tied up in superannuation has become akin to being caught in a high-rise building during a bomb scare.

You know that if everyone starts running for the lifts the odds are that people will get crushed. Then again, wouldn’t it be nice to be the first one out of the door?

If we earn an income, we have no choice but to invest in super. But how on earth are ordinary folk expected to manage it when we know that if you have two economists, you’ll get five opinions?

I was like most small investors when the proverbial hit the global economic fan yet again last week – torn between the squirrel-like urge to shift my rapidly dwindling super into cash or to swallow the Government’s line that we are a privileged and robust economy.

In the end I chose the path of least resistance and did nothing.

I’m just not going to look at the damage and will only uncover my eyes when the fire has finally passed …

There are lessons for us all in this.

I should have listened to Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce when, in 2009, he warned about the potential (and then unthinkable) dangers of the US coming close to defaulting on its debt.

I should also have listened to Kenny Rogers: “You’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them. Know when to walk away and know when to run.”

Sure beats listening to the advice of “experts”.

UPDATE:

One wonders whether Jill might now begin to reconsider her murderous devotion to the “experts” of the global warming cargo cult:

Then there’s David Murray, chair of Australia’s $71 billion Future Fund and recipient of a $28 million golden parachute from his time running the Commonwealth Bank. Murray states there’s no link between global warming and carbon dioxide emissions because carbon dioxide is necessary for life, colourless and odourless – and therefore can’t be considered a pollutant. It’s a popularly held view.

Andy Semple of the Menzies Institute claims it’s “refreshing” for someone with Murray’s standing to take on the global warming “scam” by expressing such views.

Really? I’m prepared to keep an open mind and propose another stunt for climate sceptics – put your strong views to the test by exposing yourselves to high concentrations of either carbon dioxide or some other colourless, odourless gas – say, carbon monoxide.

You wouldn’t see or smell anything. Nor would your anti-science nonsense be heard of again. How very refreshing.

Australia, You Are All Idiots: Only Labor Knows What Is Best For Your Money

9 Aug

If ever a TV panel discussion typified the galactic disconnect between the collective wisdom of the Australian public, and the infinite stupidity of our self-proclaimed (pseudo)intellectual betters, then Sunday’s ABC Insiders program demonstrated it to the full.

The topic?  The government’s planned increase in the compulsory superannuation rate from 9% to 12% –

Is superannuation the wrong use of wages?

Watch the segment, and note carefully the man taking up the baton for the collective wisdom of Neville and Sue Ordinary Voter.

Mr Brian Toohey, of the Australian Financial Review.

An old bloke.

A gentle bloke.

A sometimes stammering bloke.

A thoughtful, observant bloke.

A bloke who wrote an AFR column titled “Big sister knows what’s best for you” on just this topic back in February (summary via Media Monitors):

Proposed increases to compulsory superannuation contributions are unwarranted and under-scrutinised. The Gillard government does not trust citizens to allocate their own resources responsibly. Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan spent the revenue from the failed Resources Super Profits Tax, now whittled down into the minerals resource rent tax, without considering future colossal expenditure on defence, health care, disability services and general maintenance of a rapidly aging population. Instead, these funds were allocated to the aforementioned super contribution increase and company tax cuts. Bill Shorten, Superannuation Minister, even told the Australian Workers Union conference last week that he would push for a bigger increase than had been initially announced. Enforced superannuation itself belittles the everyday, responsible citizen, and does not help ‘working families’ in the slightest.

Brian, you are my newest hero.

Note carefully too, those disputing most forcefully with Mr Toohey on the Insiders program.

The program host. A long time employee of the “Left”.

And a younger bloke. The Political Editor for a major city newspaper, and the most unashamed espouser of the arrogant “Government knows best, ordinary people are idiots” line of unreasoning.

What we have here then, is a 2-pack of Canberra press dogs, rounding on a wise old bloke.

And why?

Because he dares to declare that Neville and Sue Ordinary Voter are smart enough to know and do what’s best for themselves, with their own money.

Quelle horror!

Isn’t it interesting though.

Even when the facts prove they’ve been utterly wrong, these immaculately-clipped Canberra journo’s poodles will always return to their vomit.

Rather like their mates, the mainstream Australian economists.

Those same drooling imbeciles who all utterly failed to foresee GFC1 coming:

Senator Barnaby Joyce was laughed out of his opposition finance portfolio for his forecasts that included saying more than 18 months ago that the US could default on its debts.

It’s not so funny anymore, as veteran journalist Michelle Grattan said last week on Twitter.

“US struggling through its crisis – remember how we laughed at Barnaby when he raised the spectre of US default? Oops.”

Joyce certainly remembers.

“I got absolutely smashed by (Kevin) Rudd and (Lindsay) Tanner and Swan,” he said.

“To be honest, my own side got scared, and said ‘we think you’ve gone out on a limb’.

“There was a whole range of economists who all lined up to say how outrageous I was. Now the media is going back to those economists and asking how we got into this situation.

“I was listening to one last night, I was almost about to drive off the road it was pissing me off so much. I remember exactly what this person was saying on how wrong I was.”

Yes, dear reader.

Dogs returning to their vomit.

Seriously … Why Should Any Sane Person Trust Economists After The GFC?  You’d have to be scattered like a mad woman’s sh*t (h/t to reader Medusa Knows for that colourful line).

I found the cognitive dissonance of Mr Kenny particularly telling.

All the panellists recognised that (quite unlike our spendthrift government) ordinary Aussies have been responding to GFC1 by doing the sensible, practical, wise thing.

Saving money.

And yet, Mr Kenny still arrogantly insisted on spouting off with a high-minded stereotype – that if allowed to keep more of their own money, ordinary voters would spend it all on flat screen TV’s.

Whereas Mr Toohey sagely pointed out the truth:

You get better economic outcomes if you let people make their own mind up how to allocate their income … it’s just a matter of standard economic theory which happens to be correct in this case

Indeed.

And you get even better economic outcomes if you basically ignore everything the mainstream economists say.

Or best of all, if you adopt the opposite view to the “mainstream”, as your default position. On everything.

Adopting that contrarian attitude is at least partly how your humble blogger was (like many other ordinary Aussies) able to see the writing on the wall in America, when none of our mainstream economists could.

And contrary to strident “professional” “expert” advice, pull all his super out of the global sharemarkets in May 2007:

As we all know, the fit has hit the shan in global sharemarkets once again.

And what we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a government wanting to force employers to somehow find another 3% (or more, if Shorten has his way) on top of workers’ salaries … to pour into the sharemarkets!?!

(Or, into something else?)

Do you really imagine that, in the present global economic environment, this would not lead directly to job cuts?

Do you really imagine that it would not lead to even more money going up down in red LED’s … with parasitical, useless, butt-lazy, white-collared, producers-of-nothing professional “fund managers” waltzing away with their percentage cut of your vapourised superannuation money, regardless of the outcome for you?

The Insiders panel discussion this Sunday typified one of the biggest problems in this country.

The arrogance of those who think they are better, and know better, than We The People.

Our lamestream ivory-towered Canberra lapdogs simply cannot bear to conceive of the possibility that (shudder!) ordinary voters might be the best people to decide what to do with their own money.

Stealing Our Super – I DARE You To Ignore This Now

8 Aug

Caricature by Zeg | click to enlarge

My sincere apologies, dear reader.

I understand that you are probably a little concerned about the future for the economy right now.

If you own shares, then you are probably worried about last week’s bloodbath in global sharemarkets.

But I have a very important question to ask you.

It’s a bit of a reality check, I’m afraid.

Do you think your Superannuation “nest egg” is safe from the greedy hand of government?

If you answered “yes”, then …

I dare you.

I dare you to ignore the rest of this blog.

I dare you to ignore the fact that Senator Barnaby Joyce – the only Australian politician who foresaw and forewarned about America’s present debt nightmare – gave this warning on 5th May 2011:

In response to a question I put in Senate estimates, Treasury revealed that $64 billion of the difference between our gross debt and our net debt is made up of the cash and non-equity investments of the Future Fund. The Future Fund is there to cover the otherwise unfunded costs of public servants’ superannuation.

That is a little fact that the people of Canberra might be interested in. When Wayne mentions net debt translate that to, I am going to pay his debt off with my retirement savings.

I dare you to ignore the fact that Barnaby repeated his warning on May 13th, straight after the Budget:

Of course, the public servants will not be happy when we use their retirement savings, put aside in the Future Fund, to pay off some of Labor’s massive debt.

I dare you to ignore the fact that the US Government has been stealing federal workers pensions since May this year:

Treasury to tap pensions to help fund government

The Obama administration will begin to tap federal retiree programs to help fund operations after the government lost its ability Monday to borrow more money from the public, adding urgency to efforts in Washington to fashion a compromise over the debt…

Geithner, who has already suspended a program that helps state and local government manage their finances, will begin to borrow from retirement funds for federal workers.

I dare you to ignore the fact that the US Government has been planning to steal their private citizens’ super too, since at least February 2010:

The plan, as sketched in the 43-page document, calls for the creation of something called  “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts” (GRAs). Biden slyly shifts the onus for the idea through weasel words typical of the federal government: “Some have suggested the creation of Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs), which would give workers a simple way to invest a portion of their retirement savings in an account that was free of inflation and market risk, and in some versions under discussion, would guarantee a specified real return above the rate of inflation.”

These accounts would be “free of inflation and market risk” because they would be under the direct and absolute control of the federal bureaucracy.

I dare you to ignore the fact that Argentina’s government stole their citizens’ super in October 2008:

Argentina’s center-left President Cristina Fernandez on Tuesday signed a bill for a government takeover of the $30 billion private pension system in a daring and unexpected move that rocked domestic markets.

I dare you to ignore the fact that Hungary’s government nationalised stole their citizens’ super in November last year:

Hungary is giving its citizens an ultimatum: move your private-pension fund assets to the state or lose your state pension.

Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy announced the policy yesterday, escalating a government drive to bring 3 trillion forint ($14.6 billion) of privately managed pension assets under state control to reduce the budget deficit and public debt. Workers who opt against returning to the state system stand to lose 70 percent of their pension claim.

I dare you to ignore the fact that France began stealing their citizens’ super in late 2010 as well:

France seizes €36bn of pension assets

Asset managers will have the chance to get billions of euros in mandates in the next few months for the €36bn Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR), the French reserve pension fund, after the French parliament last week passed a law to use its assets to pay off the debts of France’s welfare system.

I dare you to ignore the fact that “Europe’s economic superstar”, the one EU nation that (like Australia) came through GFC1 with positive economic growth, began stealing their citizens’ super in May this year:

It appears moving backwards on pension reforms has become the thing to do on both sides of the Atlantic.

Hungary last year moved much of its private pension assets to the state. Last month, new rules came into effect in Poland diverting 5% of the 7.3% of salary going to private pension funds to the state.

I dare you to ignore the fact that Ireland too, began stealing their citizens’ super in May this year:

Irish Bombshell: Government Raids PRIVATE Pensions To Pay For Spending

“The various tax reduction and additional expenditure measures which I am announcing today will be funded by way of a temporary levy on funded pension schemes and personal pension plans.”

I dare you to ignore the fact that the UK Government announced plans to steal public sector workers’ pension entitlements in June this year:

Thousands of teachers, lecturers and civil servants joined a UK wide strike yesterday in a mass protest over pension reforms.

The government … wants to impose a 3%-of-pay levy on public sector workers’ contributions to help reduce the budget deficit. This amounts to a pay cut to follow on the heels of the current pay freeze.

I dare you to ignore the fact that the Liberal Party of Australia quietly announced a new policy on June 3 this year – sneakily disguised as a helpful “reform” – that should make your hair stand on end:

Further relief for small business

The Coalition will relieve the red tape burden from Australia’s small businesses by giving them the option to remit the compulsory superannuation payments made on behalf of workers, directly to the ATO.

Small business will be given the option to remit superannuation payments to the ATO at the same time as they remit their PAYG payments.

This will require only one payment to one agency – rather than multiple cheques to multiple superannuation funds. The ATO will be responsible for sending the money to superannuation funds directly.

I dare you to ignore the fact that an “option”, can very easily become a “non-option”.

I dare you to ignore the fact that our Green-Labor Government announced plans in the May Budget that should also make your hair stand on end:

The Gillard government’s 2011-12 budget has proposed a raft of initiatives aimed at encouraging superannuation fund and private investment in infrastructure projects.

I dare you to ignore the fact that “encouraging”, can very easily become “enforcing”.

I dare you to ignore the botched “school halls” program, and the white elephant NBN, as you ponder whether or not you really trust this government to wisely and prudently invest your super in Government infrastructure projects, and achieve a reasonable return on your money, when even so-called “experts” have doubts:

The government’s plan to use tax incentives to encourage superannuation funds to invest in new infrastructure could be thwarted by inadequate returns on projects and a reluctance by the states to take on project risk, experts say.

I dare you to ignore the fact that the government’s white elephant NBN is a(nother) Green-Labor thought bubble, drawn up on the back of Kevin Rudd’s in-flight napkin, with no cost/benefit analysis:

Trust us with the NBN; we’re politicians

I dare you to ignore the fact that Bill Shorten, the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, already thinks of your super as a “significant national asset” … a kind of “sovereign wealth fund”:

Superannuation is our sovereign wealth fund

This week marks 12 months exactly since the government announced plans to take compulsory superannuation from 9 per cent to 12 per cent.

… our superannuation savings place Australia fourth in the world. Its $1.3 trillion in funds under management through superannuation significantly boosts national savings and provides greater retirement security for millions of Australians. Superannuation is also a significant national asset because it strengthens our financial sector.

I dare you to ignore the fact that our government has guaranteed our banking sector using the promise of your future earnings as collateral, and that Moody’s ratings agency has put our government on notice that our banks are Too Big To Fail – just like in the USA, UK, and Europe:

Heavens to Betsy.  It’s finally out in the open. The big four are too big to fail and Moody’s rates the Australian government’s implicit guarantee of the banks’ wholesale debt (as well as the explicit deposit guarantee) as worth two ratings notches. Moreover, by phrasing it this way, Moody’s has essentially put the Australian government on notice that if it dares back away from that guarantee then it can count on the result. The further implication is that the Budget had better remain shipshape to provide the guarantee.

I dare you to ignore the fact that the government’s carbon pricing scheme scam includes a new “independent” Clean Energy Finance Corporation (carbon bank) that will be permitted to borrow against future government revenue – your future tax dollars – in order to invest in “green” energy projects:

The Clean Energy Council will today release a discussion paper proposing the carbon bank, which it says could be allowed to borrow money to invest in renewable energy projects against the future revenue of Labor’s proposed carbon tax and emissions trading scheme.

The Gillard government is examining the creation of a multi-billion-dollar carbon bank to drive renewable energy technologies as the Greens demand “complementary measures” to cut emissions in return for accepting a lower starting price for the carbon tax.

6.2.1 The Clean Energy Finance Corporation

The $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation will invest in businesses seeking funds to get innovative clean energy proposals and technologies off the ground. These Government-backed investments will deliver the financial capital needed to transform our economy.

A variety of funding tools will be used to support projects, including loans on commercial or concessional terms and equity investments.

The Corporation will be independent from the Government. The Government will appoint an independent Chair who will have appropriate banking or investment management experience.

I dare you to ignore international banking’s core philosophy, now rendered infamous by GFC1: “Privatise the profits … socialise the losses”.

I dare you to ignore the fact that another sharemarket collapse – like in 2008 – would be a perfect pretext for nanny-state, “Big Brother knows best” governments everywhere to step in and “safeguard your retirement”, by taking and “investing” your super in Government-approved “safe investments” … just like the US Government’s planned, doublespeak-titled “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts”.

I dare you to ignore the fact that this blog has documented in detail the wave of super confiscations that is already rolling around the Western world, and the clear evidence that both sides of Australian politics already have their own quiet, sneaky plans to do the same.

I dare you to not bother reading any of my many articles on this topic –

No Super For You!!

US Treasury “Borrowing” Of Federal Pensions Brings Theft Of Private Pensions One Step Closer

Now The UK Government Is Stealing Super Too

Fresh Evidence Our Banks In “Race To The Bottom” Means You Can Kiss Your Super Goodbye

Fitch Ratings: Australian Banks Most Vulnerable To Europe’s Debt Crisis

Our Banks Racing Towards A “Bigger Armageddon”

Money Morning Agrees – Your Retirement Savings Under Threat

The Pricing Carbon Choir – Why Should *Any* Sane Person Trust Economists After The GFC?

Why Would Any Sane Person Believe Treasury’s Carbon Tax Modelling When Its Budget Forecasting Record Is This Bad?

How Wayne ‘Franked’ Another $20 Billion

Wayne: OOPS! I Did It Again

Liberal Party’s Sneaky Plan To Steal Your Super To Pay Labor’s Debt

Dear reader …

I dare you to ignore, mock, and ridicule Barnaby Joyce’s warnings … again.

I dare you to bend over … grab your ankles … bury your head in the sand … and keep telling yourself that “She’ll be right mate”.

I dare you to ignore the fact that …

Barnaby is right.

* A hearty “Thank You” to the inimitable Zeg for his brilliant cartoon drawn especially for this post, and at very short notice.

Please follow him on Twitter – @Zegcartoonist and subscribe to his blog – http://zegsyd.blogspot.com/

Better still … hire him!

Money Morning Agrees – Your Retirement Savings Under Threat

22 Jul

Sorry dear reader. I’ve simply been too busy trying to get this NGER Register debunking research finished to offer you anything original today.

But in a timely and thematically happy coincidence, the estimable authors of Money Morning yesterday published their must-read free newsletter on a topic that has been covered at length right here on barnabyisright.com.

The coming theft of your super by our government.

Below I’ve taken the liberty of quoting some of Money Morning’s commentary on this topic, along with a link to their complete article.

h/t to Twitterer @Kmorefive for bringing this to my attention:

Special Report: Your Retirement Savings are Under Threat

A week ago we got an email from the Australian Treasury.

It was titled: “Exposure Draft – Legislative Framework for Public Ancillary Funds”

In a moment we’ll explain why that email is more proof the federal government secretly plans the wholesale taking of individuals’ retirement savings.

Normally these Treasury emails are dull.

And this one was no different.

In fact, the email’s headline is usually enough to put us off reading further.

But this time, something made us look.  Perhaps it was the words “public” and “funds”.

So we read the document… we didn’t like what we saw…

In our view, this is the next step in the federal government’s plans to nationalise retirement savings.  We’ve been ahead of the game on this for the past three years.

We warned bureaucrats and politicians regret giving up control of retirement money.  That there’s a big stack of cash – $1.3 trillion – the government can’t easily get hold of.

But over two years ago, things started to change.

It started with the government and Australian Taxation Office (ATO) taking the unclaimed superannuation accounts of foreign temporary workers.

Over $700 million of private savings was “transferred” to the federal government’s coffers.  But the government didn’t invest it.  Instead, it went to consolidated revenue.  Consolidated revenue is the government’s day-to-day spending.

In other words, private retirement savings have been taken to fund the public service… while at the same time leaving the taxpayer on the hook to repay $700 million if the foreign workers ever ask for their money back.

Who says governments plan for the long term!

But that wasn’t the end of it.  The next step was to grab Australians’ retirement savings… under the ruse it’s too expensive for private funds to take care of unclaimed accounts… only the government can do that… apparently!

Back-door savings grab

And now, the next stage of the retirement grab is in train… with your savings next in line for the government’s sticky-fingers treatment…

We’ve seen the nationalisation of retirement funds in Australia (examples above).  And it’s happened overseas: Argentina, Ireland and Hungary are just three examples.

But now, with the proposed amendments to Public Ancillary Funds, Australia is set to follow suit.

The call for more public spending on infrastructure gives the government a perfect excuse.  And the country’s biggest and most influential bodies will help – namely the banking and funds management industries and the trade unions.

Beware government offering gifts

Stock market volatility and low savings means many realise they can’t retire without government help.  Public Ancillary Funds are the answer to the government’s problem.  They’ll enable individuals to make voluntary “donations” to the State.  In return for receiving extra credits for the State Pension.

Notice we say voluntary.  That’s how it’ll start.  But odds are that won’t be enough to raise the billions of dollars the government needs to fund its programmes and welfare.

The next – and inevitable – stage is for compulsory investment in Public Ancillary Funds.  Most likely through the back door.  Such as requiring private fund managers to hold a percentage of assets in Public Ancillary Funds.

[click here to read the complete article]

I wonder if the fine lads at Money Morning are aware of the Liberal Party’s quiet, unnoticed-by-all policy announcement on June 3, which is in my opinion by far the clearest harbinger yet of the super theft to come?

Please do take the time to read over just some of the many articles that I have written previously on this very same topic.

And please do especially note the fact that both major parties have clear policy plans already in train, to get their hands on your super –

No Super For You!!

Liberal Party’s Sneaky Plan To Steal Your Super To Pay Labor’s Debt

Why They Are Planning To Steal Your Super, Explained In 4 Simple Charts

US Treasury “Borrowing” Of Federal Pensions Brings Theft Of Private Pensions One Step Closer

Now The UK Government Is Stealing Super Too

Now The UK Government Is Stealing Super Too

5 Jul

From the Daily Post, 1 July 2011:

Thousands of teachers, lecturers and civil servants joined a UK wide strike yesterday in a mass protest over pension reforms.

[NB: other countries call their supernannuation “pensions”]

More than 200 schools were closed or partially shut, across the region with lectures cancelled at colleges and universities, and disruption at courts and Jobcentres.

An estimated 7,000 members from University and College Union (UCU), the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Public and Commercial Service (PCS) were involved in the action in North Wales.

In Wrexham all four unions were represented at a mass rally involving well over 100 members in the town centre’s Queens Square, joining the other 750,000 across the UK.

They accused the Government of betraying promises to give public sector workers and teachers a fair pension and claimed they were siphoning off billions to pay the black hole left by the banking crisis.

And they warned this was just the beginning demanding the Government think again.

Shouting “Shame on you” at the Government, President of the NUT in Wrexham Ian Farquharson, a teacher at Rhosnesni High School, said: “The Government are stealing our pensions.

“If they tell us there is no other option, then publish the figures and let’s see them – but they wont.”

Steve Ryan who sits on the PCA Wales committee said: “The banks have been paid £7 billion in bonuses, there is £120 billion in uncollected taxes from the rich because they avoid paying them and the pension money is going to fund this. It’s a disgrace.”

From the Guardian, 30 June 2011:

The government … wants to impose a 3%-of-pay levy on public sector workers’ contributions to help reduce the budget deficit. This amounts to a pay cut to follow on the heels of the current pay freeze.

The UK Government’s plan is remarkably similar to that of Ireland.

As we saw only weeks ago, the Irish Government too has announced a raid on citizens’ super, to raise funds to pay for their budget black hole. The difference being, the Irish Government is imposing its “levy” on both public and private workers’ pensions:

Irish Bombshell: Government Raids PRIVATE Pensions To Pay For Spending

“The various tax reduction and additional expenditure measures which I am announcing today will be funded by way of a temporary levy on funded pension schemes and personal pension plans.”

There’s a clear trend developing here.

We have seen previously ( “No Super For You!!” ) that Argentina, Hungary, France, Poland, Bolivia, Ireland, and the USA have all either nationalised citizens’ super funds outright.

Or, imposed “levies” (ie, new taxes) on citizens’ super.

Or, as a more subtle beginning, simply reduced the amount that the government pays into government workers’ pension (ie, superannuation) funds. The equivalent to this in Australia would be if the government began setting aside (eg) only 5% of public servants’ salaries into the Future Fund for their retirement, compared to the compulsory 9% that private employers are required to pay for their workers.

We will not go into the issue of whether or not – just like the USA and many others – there really is money set aside for public servants’ retirement sufficient for the governments’ obligations (called “unfunded liabilities”). Indeed, there are very serious questions to be asked about this – and Barnaby Joyce has alluded to them – but we will leave that to another day.

In Western nations, the pattern of theft – the governments’ Modus Operandi (MO) – is disturbingly similar.

1. The country first sees its housing bubble burst – see USA, UK, Ireland.

2. Banks go bust, and are bailed out by the government (ie, by borrowing against the promise of taxpayers’ future earnings)

3. The cost of bank bailouts sends the government into deep, and unmanageable levels of sovereign debt (ie, private banksters debts, are socialised into higher public debt instead). The sovereign debt is made all the more unmanageable because the economy is badly damaged by the fallout from the housing bust. And, by hugely expensive, wasteful “green” public policy programs, in the lead up to the bust.

4. A “leftist” government is taken over by a “rightist” government.  Or, as with the USA, the “rightists'” regain the balance of power.

5. Prompted by the “fiscal conservative” rightists, new “reforms” are introduced. To “fix the budget”. Reforms that include raising the retirement age … and stealing citizens’ superannuation savings.

First, they come for the public servants’ super.

And then, they come for yours.

Now, what do we see happening right here in Australia?

Barnaby Joyce has already given at least two public warnings that the government is going to take public servants’ super in the Future Fund to pay down debt – pretty much exactly what the USA and UK are doing right now.

Already, the Green-Labor government has quietly introduced “incentives” in the latest budget, to “encourage” super funds to put your money into government “infrastructure projects”. You know, brilliant infrastructure schemes like overpriced school halls, and a technologically-redundant-before-its-finished, no cost/benefit analysis Nation Bankrupting Network (NBN).

And the Liberal Party – who if polls are any guide, will in all likelihood take power at the next election – have recently and quietly announced their own “reform” policy. One that even less subtlely aims to do the same thing – get the government’s hands on your super:

Further relief for small business

The Coalition will relieve the red tape burden from Australia’s small businesses by giving them the option to remit the compulsory superannuation payments made on behalf of workers, directly to the ATO.

Small business will be given the option to remit superannuation payments to the ATO at the same time as they remit their PAYG payments.

This will require only one payment to one agency – rather than multiple cheques to multiple superannuation funds. The ATO will be responsible for sending the money to superannuation funds directly.

In recent weeks we have seen countless evidences that:

1. Australia’s banking system is stuffed and ripe for collapse,

2. Our housing bubble is bursting, and

3. The economy is “stuffed”, with Eastern Australia in “deep recession” and the national economy “almost certainly” in recession in the second half of 2011.

The writing is on the wall.

I’ll now simply repeat the conclusion of my magnum opus article on the fate for our super:

If like me you are under 50 years old – indeed, if you are under 60 years old – then I’m willing to bet you all of my super that you will never see all of yours.

And unlike our bank(st)ers and government … I never bet.

First they came for the Yankees’ super.

Then, they came for the Pommies’ super.

And then last of all … they came for mine.

* For more information on this subject, please read –

No Super For You!!

Fresh Evidence Our Banks In “Race To The Bottom” Means You Can Kiss Your Super Goodbye

Why They Are Planning To Steal Our Super, Explained In 4 Simple Charts

Our Banks Racing Towards A “Bigger Armageddon”

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