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Who stole the pension fund?

handoutsWho stole the workers’ compulsory pension fund?

Regarding yesterday’s post about aged pensions and new eligibility thresholds being mooted by the government, those old enough to remember may recall the pension deductions at source during the 1950’s and onwards?

Those who do recall, as I do, may also remember that a few years later all that money somehow vanished and when any politician was asked where all that pension money went they ran for cover and I don’t recall any answer forthcoming. Many reports say the National Welfare Fund, as it was called in 1950, held more than £100,000,000.

A regular reader of MM, Wallace, has sent the following, which he had tucked away in his files. Unfortunately, the original author is unknown and the veracity of the article shall be deferred to our learned readers with other knowledge either pro or con. This is an excerpt from a very long piece but for our purposes begins here, with original punctuation errors: (Ed.)

Considerable public relations investment prepares Aussies for this event; generally in the form of proselytising the myth that the younger generation is being stuck with the burden of financing pensions for the ageing baby boomers. The reality could not be more different. This is the story of a different kind of privatisation… outright theft on a multi-billion dollar scale; the appropriation of an entire age pension scheme. We don’t even know where the money went.

The history of the Age Pension Fund is not-well-known and it goes back to 1945, when Prime Minister Ben Chifley became aware of grinding poverty amongst the elderly. He was shocked, and a referendum was put to the people of Australia; and the outcome was a welfare fund contributed to by every Aussie worker, at a rate of 7.5% of gross income (at the time, in Australia and New Zealand, one and sixpence in the pound). This was a fund that was very specifically owned by the workers and declared as such; a fund in which government could not interfere; and from which it could not even borrow. Money could only be paid out as an indexed and non-means tested pension upon retirement at age 65 (60 for women).

To ensure the public was reminded of its investment, and so no government could interfere with the Fund, the amount appeared at the top of every income tax form and was calculated before income tax. Actuaries have calculated that this fund should currently be yielding at $6000 per year more than the current age pension.

Posthumously, former Prime Minister Robert Menzies should be tried for the original theft; perhaps the greatest heist in human history. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating needs to answer the long-stalled question, where is this fund? This is a fund that he illegally, and in breach of the constitutional sacrosanctity of referenda, imposed means testing; on worker’s own savings.

Does the current government know about this? It would certainly explain why on 29 July 2009 the Minister for Aging Jenny Macklin diverted attention from the 1946 fund, by erecting a monument in Canberra to the 1909 age pension scheme which, as she mentioned over-casually, “was means tested, just like today’s version”. Nice try Minister but you are still in possession of stolen funds and imposing illegal means-testing.

{ 48 comments… add one }
  • Jack Richards 04/04/2015, 8:38 am

    For some reason my comments has disappeared into the ether.

    • Annette Mason 17/09/2019, 2:24 pm

      I remember being told that 7% of my taxes went to funding my aged pension. I was told this in the sixties when I started work.

  • bushwanker 04/04/2015, 9:15 am

    As usual, the government giveth and the government taketh away.

    • Ferdinand Guba 16/09/2018, 10:10 pm

      you mean the people giveth and the government taken away

  • Albert 04/04/2015, 1:29 pm

    It seems that some in government can’t keep their hand of other peoples money. Paul Keating discovered a wad of cash hidden away in the defence forces superannuation fund and decided to steal it and blow it in the usual Labor Party fashion.

    It is worth noting that those funds he stole where the compulsory 5.5% input by members of the defence forces and that the government didn’t contribute one single cent to that fund, but he stole the money anyway. Politicians make damned sure that their of grossly indecent superannuation is safe and that they can get their dirty little arse scratchers on it whenever it suits them.

    • Bazza 27/05/2019, 9:53 am

      And you’re going to post a citation to prove this claim, yes?

    • Steve 22/07/2019, 9:59 pm

      Well said and how very true

    • Cozmamau 28/07/2019, 9:42 pm

      This is why, when offered a choice between staying the defence force and having guaranteed pension after 25 years, or super from that moment on I chose super and left the defence force – the government is CORRUPT TO THE CORE and cannot be trusted…not even on the dotted line or any other line.

  • Anthony CROKER 29/12/2017, 4:15 pm

    Someone has to be held accountable for this, And it should not go unpunished. This current government should step up and fix this recurring problem and get rid of the means test for the pension and pensioners.

  • Philip Rodger 31/12/2017, 10:23 am

    I agree with your comments Anthony Croker but unfortunately a series of Governments over the years have been paying for their vote winners with a great bottomless line of credit to be paid by the Australian tax payer. They’ve sold off all those assets which once produced income for the Nation and committed future generations to come, to paying for their reckless spending. The people of this country have been stripped of assets and committed to endless debt.
    Note that politicians and Public Servants have a guaranteed retirement stream (Future fund) but the rest of us are up the proverbial creek.
    Trouble now is you can see what happens to politicians who attempt to get the books straight. Kennett and Newman got the bullet for doing the responsible thing.
    Our political system is broken big time. People in power often can’t resist the temptation to abuse that power and we the people are poorer for it.
    I don’t know the answer but I DO know that we need a totally different system of Government. What is the solution?

  • Robyn Mason 24/01/2018, 7:31 pm

    A Royal Commission shld b Calld 4 n Our Pensions Tallied According…Sick of b Poor n Struggling 2 LIVE…Period…FIX IT

  • Warren Ross 06/02/2018, 3:32 pm

    This article is nonsense. Why would a Federal Government that is the issuer of its own currency need to save it? If this Government is not tied artificially to a gold standard then there are no limitations to the money it can create. Since 1983 we have had a floating currency and the Federal Government has not been fiscally constrained. It is the currency issuer. Don’t believe me. Hear it from Alan Greenspan in his explanation to greasy Paul Ryan that a separate fund to pay for social security is unnecessary. Our Governnment has no difficulty in meeting out pension needs. Any limitation is ideological. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNCZHAQnfGU

    • Debbie 30/05/2019, 4:00 pm

      Warren Ross, you don’t get the fraud, Greenspan said there is nothing to stop the Federal Government from creating as much as they need. The Australian Federal Government is not the same as the Commonwealth of Australia, fraudulent governments have created corporations and named them names that give the illusion of being owned by we the people but they are not, they are listed, incorporated private companies, unbe-known to the people, via the Australia Act, of the Hawk Whitlam years.

      • Wendy Mather 03/09/2019, 6:20 pm

        You are right Debbie. They are Corporations. And when we boot them out and return to the Commonwealth of Australia we will be better off. It’s the Govt and those in the Govt who will have to repay the money they have borrowed and spent and stolen in OUR name. Because they will have to repay it themselves. They never should have borrowed anything in our name without our permission. And therefore we are not responsible for the repayments. So more fool them.

    • cozmanau 28/07/2019, 9:51 pm

      Warren Ross. (shaking my head) I think you need to acquaint ourself with reserve banking – money is NOT CREATED by our government. It is ‘created’ by the federal reserve at interest by the government. We the people must pay that interest. Where does the interest go………..
      The government know the scam and the evil and you are a shill or uneducated.

  • Edna McGowan 07/02/2018, 2:22 pm

    It is not nonsense my Mother told me about the pension fund many years ago which she contributed to like a lot of people about time politiacians started telling the truth if that’s possible.

    • Cathy 08/08/2019, 12:50 pm

      My mum has also told me about this tax. Everyone working would be taxed this amount to go towards their aged pension when they retired. It would be kept in the the Reserve Bank of Australia and was not to be touched by anyone except for the aged pensioner that was entitled to it. But by some mysterious way this has been hushed up, and all that money gone missing. My mum has said it would be millions of dollars now!! So where is it?

  • Julie Harris 07/02/2018, 7:10 pm

    This is so true and we all know it and so do govt. They are so deceitful and greedy. They are clearly waiting for all who know about this thieving to die. We should be able to take them to court for fraud and theft.

  • Bill Sheldon 10/03/2018, 11:21 pm

    Both sides are equally guilty of raiding this. Fraser converted it to general revenue in 1977 and Hawke/Keating repealed the National Welfare fund act in the 80’s.

    Mind you the thieving bastards didnt remove the 7.5% premium we were paying, and now call us leeches.

    • Ian Thomas 11/11/2018, 12:00 pm

      Yes all current tax payers are still paying this levy but now into consolidated revenue!

      • Marie 24/07/2019, 6:00 pm

        Hawke Keating could not repeal the National Welfare Fund, without the people’s consent. SO WHEN DID WE CONSENT?
        Did we have a Referendum to repeal the National Welfare Fund ..NO!
        Were the people told that Government were going to repeal the National Welfare Fund …NO!
        So if repealed, it was done surreptitiously and behind closed doors.
        And they are still stealing the 7.5% we are contributing to this day.
        Tantamount to Treason.
        Bill Sheldon, if it was repealed(unlawfully), as you have stated, would you tell us where we can find the information please.
        Thanks

  • Alan Luchetti 31/03/2018, 2:50 pm

    Barking up the wrong tree, folks. The federal government issues the currency. It can never go broke. It doesn’t need a fund in order to pay pensions, employ workers or buy goods and services. As far as the economy is concerned, every dollar it receives is gone forever and every dollar it pays is a new dollar. (The states are a different story – they are currency users, just like businesses and individuals)

    • Fred Martin 13/08/2018, 1:32 pm

      Alan Luchetti you are correct, but this was not necessarily the case in the late 1940’s when the fund in question was set up. It is only since the late 1970’s that we have operated under a fiat system.

  • malcom wade 16/04/2018, 10:29 pm

    this needs to be investigated or an in depth Royal Commission

  • malcom wade 16/04/2018, 10:30 pm

    this needs to be investigated or an in depth Royal Commission I have not allready said this at all

  • kim 22/05/2018, 9:53 am

    Why isn’t this on the Front page of all our newspapers!!” Who Stole Our Pension Scheme!??”

    • Ian Thomas 01/07/2019, 10:32 pm

      Malcom Fraser and his treasurer Philip Lynch passed legislation to transfer the fund ( reportedly $400,000,000.00) to consolidated revenue.

  • BRIAN O'KEEFFE 12/06/2018, 3:20 pm

    Royal Commision required now.

  • BRIAN O'KEEFFE 12/06/2018, 3:21 pm

    Investigation require now as it is long overdue.

  • Bev 06/10/2018, 9:26 am

    I have just read all the comments on this subject and totally agree that this should be brought out into the open. The Government would not wish to comment on this misappropriation of age pension funds. I think that the age pension is well below living standards and means tested Had these funds been invested in the correct way by the then government our Pensions would reflect our input. Australia had a high tax rate compared to many other countries and we were told then that it was because Australia had a Pension Scheme now the funds have disappeared. Why cant we get the TV 6o mins Show to query all of this and hopefully get some answers for all age pensioners. I believe the Government should be answerable to the people who elect them, for actions they have taken now or in the past.

    • cozmanau 28/07/2019, 9:53 pm

      Totally agree.
      Every 60 min show should end with #TheGovStoleYourPension

      • Rosalind 29/07/2019, 6:11 am

        Yes, 60 minutes should take this matter up. The government stole our pension and politicians live very nicely off it.

  • Peter Schuback 07/10/2018, 9:13 pm

    Labor party stole it. Didn’t they

  • Jack Dice 05/11/2018, 7:49 pm

    Both parties took our money and the Army’s DFRB fund .We need a Royal Commision into its theft Now

  • Steve southen 10/01/2019, 8:53 pm

    I want a royal commission into where my money has gone for my age pension fund.

  • David 10/01/2019, 10:05 pm

    Our defence force needs to take control of our parliament and clean it out and hold past politicians accountable!

  • Dennis Lane 22/01/2019, 8:14 pm

    They all are ripping the real Australians OFF.

    • Emmy 23/08/2019, 10:52 am

      Both Parties need to be held accountable. They line their own pockets while in Parliament & even when they leave, the taxpayers still fill their coffers with all the lurks & purls. Once you are no longer in Service that should all stop. Frankly we as the taxpayers would have no idea as to how much the Government has ripped us off.

  • Kathy Barnes 22/01/2019, 8:47 pm

    There should be a parliamentary enquiry into where the money has

  • Peter May 03/02/2019, 12:16 am

    I found the National Welfare Fund Act 1943. Seems that there was a sum Thirty million pounds, or a sum equal to one-quarter of the amount received in that financial year as income tax from persons other than companies, whichever is the less paid into the fund by the Consolidated Revenue Fund, so without taking interest into account the Fund was worth 210 million pound by 1950. Using the govt inflation calculator the fund today(again with no interest) should be worth 210 million x $55.80 (inflation since 1950) or around $1.88 Billion which was for pensions but had just ”disappeared”. Check if you want. I may be wrong. Here’s my sources- https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C1943A00012
    https://www.rba.gov.au/calculator/annualPreDecimal.html

    • Rebecca 23/02/2019, 9:20 pm

      Try reading –
      National Welfare Fund Act 1945 – Federal Register of Legislation

      https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C1945A00041, clearly states that the amount payable to 01.01.1946 50million pounds from National Welfare fund, and increases each financial year there after a sum payable equivalent to collections of tax in that financial year.

  • Irena Pavan 22/04/2019, 6:10 am

    Not all workers who contributed to the pension fund were able to claim the pension as they died before pension age. The fund should pay for funeral costs.

  • Cathy 08/08/2019, 1:03 pm

    I would love to know where all that money is, as I paid into it to. I’m now on a disability pension from years of nursing, which wrecked my back. I could really do with that money I paid tax on, as I’m living below the bread line. Good old Labor Party got their greedy hands on it, and now it’s no more. Leaving should be made accountable for the mess he left this country in and for all our assets he sold of to other countries.

  • Emmy 23/08/2019, 10:55 am

    Both Parties need to be held accountable. They line their own pockets while in Parliament & even when they leave, the taxpayers still fill the coffers of these leeches with all the lurks & purks. Once you are no longer in Service that should all stop. Frankly we as the taxpayers would have no idea as to how much the Government has ripped us off for.

  • Kay Sanders 15/09/2019, 7:00 pm

    Yes I blame Keating for contributing to my parents death, they went through wars and the depression to buy some land. The asset test started this. My father died from heart disease and my mother with the worry caused her dementia. The pension fund was removed and put into consolidated revenue. Today it would be in the billions. When my grandson told me he had to w o so to support us I asked who told you that. He said school. You wonder why the young don’t think much of us. He knows the truth now. That is where our money went, when I was working it went up to 10%

  • Fred 16/09/2019, 9:39 pm

    The answer to this article, written by someone with an agenda and zero research skills is easy to find. Unless of course you want to fire up the ill advised. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-27/berg-chifleys-political-time-bomb-70-years-in-the-making/5480154

  • Leslie Matthews 18/09/2019, 8:59 am

    I’ve never read so much trollop. Truth is the only victim here. You can almost tell which political party a person votes for by who they ‘blame’ for this confected outrage. Let’s have some context here, a person with considerable assets upon retirement plus say 1 million in Super would still be “entitled” to a pension? Get in the real world! Another person upon retirement with no assets, no Super gets a Pension. Seem fair? Some people should stop being so bloody greedy!

    • Wallace 18/09/2019, 9:15 am

      Fred and Mathews are quick to condemn. Too bad they hadn’t responded with their rubbish when the post was published in April 2015. The facts in the article are spot on. Perhaps you two might chance to enlighten us with a few authoritative links that will refute claims in the article?

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