Money & Banking

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Does your health insurance need a spring clean?

<p>Too many Australians are paying for cover they don’t actually use. <strong>Or worse, when it comes to claiming, finding out they aren’t covered for that particular service.</strong> Ouch. That’s why it is so important to ensure you’re paying for what you need—nothing more, nothing less.</p> <p>Spring is the perfect time to clean up your policy. But with so many health funds and cover types out there, where exactly do you start? <a href="https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step0-over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=hic-november&amp;utm_content=health-spring-clean"><strong>Health Insurance Comparison</strong></a> connects Australians to their most suitable policy matches in a matter of minutes, everyday. The Melbourne-based service has won multiple Word of Mouth awards for excellent customer service 7 years in a row. Check out their <a href="https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step0-over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=hic-november&amp;utm_content=health-spring-clean"><strong>comparison tool</strong></a> today for your most efficient financial spring clean yet!</p> <p><strong>Here’s how you do it:</strong></p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Select your current life stage below.</p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> Once you select your preferred coverage options, you will have the opportunity to compare quotes from multiple health funds.</p> <p><a href="https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step0-over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=hic-november&amp;utm_content=health-spring-clean"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7832138/native.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/9cfec15bd4704b8a98cb96297b346896" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step0-over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=hic-november&amp;utm_content=health-spring-clean"><strong>HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au</strong></a> is shaking up the health insurance industry.</p> <p>“For many Aussies, they are paying exorbitantly high premiums for cover they will never use. For example, <strong>many couples with children who have left the nest are still paying for Family Cover with pregnancy,</strong>” says a Health Insurance Comparison spokesperson.</p> <p>That’s why it’s so important to constantly update and shop around to find a policy that you’ll actually use.</p> <p>While the service takes the hassle out of researching and switching health cover, the biggest benefit you’ll receive are the dollar savings. Since launching <a href="https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step0-over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=hic-november&amp;utm_content=health-spring-clean"><strong>HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au</strong></a>, <strong>more than 20,000 Australian’s have jumped on board and saved on average $375.44 on their yearly premium last March.</strong></p> <p>How do they do it? <a href="https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step0-over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=hic-november&amp;utm_content=health-spring-clean"><strong>HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au</strong></a> searches its extensive database based on the details you provide to tailor the search filters. Once the search is complete, they’ll walk you through what they find and match you with the best-value quotes from a panel of trusted Australian health funds. This gives you the power to <strong>make an informed choice, because we know how hard it can be to shop for health insurance.</strong></p> <p>So, if you find yourself wondering: am I covered for dental? What about optical? Am I paying too much for what I’m actually using? Stop questioning and spring some life into your health insurance now.</p> <p><strong>Get started now:<br />Step 1:</strong> Select your <strong>state below</strong>.<br /><strong>Step 2:</strong> After answering a few questions, you will have the opportunity to compare quotes in your area and could be eligible for significant savings.</p> <p><a href="https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step0-over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=hic-november&amp;utm_content=health-spring-clean"><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7832136/native-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ca3cd16604664e829ef91b7211c9e99d" /></a></p> <p><em>This article is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with </em><a href="in-text:%20https://healthinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/step0-over-sixty/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=hic-november&amp;utm_content=health-spring-clean"><em>Health Insurance Comparison</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Landlord charged for truly “underhand” act that cost tenants $3700

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A man has been charged after listing his ex-girlfriend’s flat to rent, pocketing the cash and heading overseas.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Phillip Allman and Lucy Sharp were in a relationship for six years before ending it last December.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The pair remained friends and Sharp allowed Allman to move into her apartment temporarily after his last relationship ended.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, the 29-year-old man abused that generosity by listing Sharp’s flat as available for rental online.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to Wales Online, Jolanta Goniuch responded to the advertisement on Gumtree that listed the flat at £400 ($AUD 744) and required a £400 deposit upfront.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Goniuch called Allman to arrange an inspection and was told that the flat would be available from late June.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After the phone call, she then transferred £800 ($AUD 1489) into his bank account.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another victim, Natera Morris and her partner Sean Malone, fell for the scam the next day and paid a total of £600 ($AUD 1117).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It wasn’t until later that another victim also paid £600.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In total, Allman pocketed more than £2,000 ($AUD 3700) from the tenants.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On June 10, Allman disappeared and Sharp only became aware of the con when Malone arrived on her doorstep.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sharp tried to contact Allman, but was ignored. He was eventually caught by the police and sentenced to one year behind bars.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The offences for which I have to deal with you are really mean and underhand offences of dishonesty,” he said, according to </span><a href="https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/phillip-allman-newport-jailed-court-17217610"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wales Online</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They come from a man who has been committing offences of dishonesty for years and years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You were fortunate enough to have a generous friend. You abused her friendship and trust to cheat people out of money.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Allman admitted to three counts of fraud in breach of a suspended sentence and all the victims were repaid the money they sent Allman via bank transfer.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Morris and Lobina paid some funds in cash, which were unable to be recovered.</span></p>

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Price hike set to hit Coles and Woolies: How you'll be affected

<p>Supermarket shoppers at Coles and Woolworths are likely to feel the pinch when it comes to their groceries as both supermarkets have announced their store prices have risen over the past quarter.</p> <p>Unfortunately, Coles shoppers were hit the worst and faced a 1.4 per cent rise over the September quarter, which is a hike that it says can’t be avoided due to the impacts of the drought.</p> <p>“The long-term effects of the drought is having an impact which has contributed to price inflation for the quarter,” the supermarket said.</p> <p>Woolworths shoppers faced an increase of 0.3 per cent, with meat, deli and baked goods “directly impacted” by the drought.</p> <p>Retail expert Professor Gary Mortimer at Queensland University of Technology explained to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/coles-woolworths-prices-rise-due-drought-shoppers-change-015241516.html" target="_blank">Yahoo News Australia<span> </span></a>that the hike is inevitable.</p> <p>“Australian consumers living on the eastern sea board don’t realise how drought effects them,” he said.</p> <p>“We forget all of our grain, bread, meat, beef, fresh produce and even eggs [come from Australian farmers]</p> <p>“While there’s always products coming through, with an extensive period of drought this is where we’re seeing a decline in crops and fresh produce and in quality.</p> <p>Therefore we’re now starting to see these price increases seep through the markets.”</p> <p>Professor Mortimer said that shoppers might be forced to change their approach to the weekly shop, including forgoing meat or switching from fresh vegetables to frozen.</p> <p>“You can change the types of products you buy [to tackle inflation]. There’s already an increased proportion people turning to vegetarian and veganism due to economic issues,” he said.</p> <p>“Wear the cost increase or change your behaviour.”</p>

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“It’s a pretty simple question”: Today host Deb Knight grills Deputy PM over drought plan

<p>Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was grilled by<span> </span><em>Today</em><span> </span>host Deb Knight who demanded that he answer a “pretty simple question” about the government’s drought relief package.</p> <p>According to the $1 billion plan, the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) farm drought loans of up to $500,000 will now be interest-free for two years, interest-only in years three to five and principal-and-interest for years six to 10.</p> <p>This differs from the current conditions as they are interest-only for the first five years and principal and interest for the remainder of the 10-year loan term.</p> <p>The loans will be available to small businesses who are dependent on agriculture and under similar conditions to the new drought loans. The loans cover businesses such as harvesting and shearing contractors, livestock transport providers, stock and station agents as well as agricultural equipment and repair providers that employ 19 workers or less.</p> <p>“Should they wish to take a loan out, interest free over two years, they can do that up to half a million dollars,” the Nationals leader said on <em>Today</em>.</p> <p>“Many drought-affected regional businesses, and that’s what I’ve been hearing, it’s not farmers, it’s about ag-related businesses, they can take out that loan under the RIC. They can invest in themselves in their futures, should they so wish and they don’t have to pay any interest for two years.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">“Whether it’s councils, whether it’s regional businesses or whether it’s farmers, we’ve provided the assistance that they’ve asked for.” <a href="https://twitter.com/M_McCormackMP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@M_McCormackMP</a> on the billion-dollar funding package being given to drought-stricken farmers and regional communities. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9Today?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9Today</a> <a href="https://t.co/KQlR0lJy9r">pic.twitter.com/KQlR0lJy9r</a></p> — The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheTodayShow/status/1192177738590781440?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">6 November 2019</a></blockquote> <p>However, Knight pointed out that it would take a lot longer than two years for many farmers and businesses to get back on their feet.</p> <p>“Will you look at extending it beyond two years for those who need it?” she said.</p> <p>“We will see about that,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.</p> <p>“We have been monitoring the drought very closely. We have got people who live in these drought-affected communities. I live in a drought-affected community. I hear it every day, I report back as does the Drought Minister.”</p> <p>Knight then asked why he couldn’t commit to making it available.</p> <p>“What we have been doing with this drought is making a stepped payment and stepped packages all the way through,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>Knight said, “It’s a pretty simple question. Will it be available? Yes or no?”</p> <p>Mr McCormack replied, “The fact is we are making it available.”</p> <p>Knight asked, “Beyond two years?”</p> <p>Mr McCormack said, “We will see if it’s required beyond two years. If it’s required beyond two years. If it’s required beyond two years, well, of course, as a responsible government, as a government with the drought very much in mind, of course we will continue assistance. That’s what we do. That’s what we have done the whole way through. We have always monitored this drought and provided the assistance the whole way through as it’s been needed, as it’s been asked for.”</p> <p>Knight pointed out that the drought measures in place did not include “exit packages” that have been requested by the National Farmers Federation to help farmers get off the land.</p> <p>“It’s not — there are things that we will continue to look at,” Mr McCormack said.</p> <p>“We want our farmers to stay on the land. Importantly, we want there to be a future in agriculture. Agriculture is not broken, by no means whatsoever. Agriculture still has a huge part to play food security in our nation is one of our most important things. We will continue to make sure that that food security is there. We will continue to make sure our farmers have incentive to stay on the land, to do the job they have always done for our nation.”</p> <p>Under the plan unveiled by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday, millions of dollars will be released to local councils for job-creation projects to help out drought-affected farmers. </p>

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Australia as a nation is spending less on diplomacy

<p>Ten years ago, the Lowy Institute <a href="https://archive.lowyinstitute.org/publications/australia-diplomatic-deficit">published a report</a> on the state of Australia’s diplomatic capacity that painted a “sobering picture” of overstretched foreign missions and declining resources.</p> <p>In the words of then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who was quoted in the report:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>Given the vast continent we occupy, the small population we have and our unique geo-strategic circumstances, our diplomacy must be the best in the world.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>However, since then we haven’t put enough resources into our diplomacy as we should. New research by Asialink at the University of Melbourne published in <a href="https://www.australianforeignaffairs.com/essay/2019/10/china-dependence">Australian Foreign Affairs</a> shows continuing under-investment in Australia’s diplomatic capacity, with funding for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) now at a new low of <a href="https://www.australianforeignaffairs.com/articles/the-fix/2019/10/the-fix-melissa-conley-tyler-on-how-to-rebuild-australias-diplomatic">just 1.3% of the federal budget</a>.</p> <p><strong>Still in deficit?</strong></p> <p>According to Allan Gyngell, the founding director of the Lowy Institute, the reason for its 2009 report, Diplomatic Deficit, was simple.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>For Australia to do things in the world, it needs a number of assets. These include the instruments of foreign policy, including the overseas network of posts.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>The idea for the report was to go beyond the usual suspects and involve people like business leaders in making the case for diplomacy. It made 24 recommendations, many of which were not specifically about funding. These have mostly been met.</p> <p>Sadly, the situation is less positive for recommendations that called for additional funding. Since 2013, Australia’s total diplomatic, trade and aid budgets have fallen from 1.5% of the federal budget to 1.3%. In pure dollar terms, this is a fall <a href="https://www.australianforeignaffairs.com/articles/the-fix/2019/10/the-fix-melissa-conley-tyler-on-how-to-rebuild-australias-diplomatic">from A$8.3 billion to A$6.7 billion</a>.</p> <p>At the same time, the budgets for defence, intelligence and security have ballooned. In the almost two decades since the September 11 terror attacks, the Department of Defence budget has increased by 291%, while the allocation for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation has grown by 528% and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service by 578%.</p> <p><strong>Lost opportunities</strong></p> <p>This systematic under-funding of DFAT has run down Australia’s diplomatic capacity to the point that it is under-resourced to confront current foreign policy challenges.</p> <p>To give an idea of what this means, these are some examples of what Australia’s diplomats do on a day-to-day basis:</p> <ul> <li> <p>consular work assisting Australians in trouble with law enforcement, such as visiting them in prison and advocating for fair treatment</p> </li> <li> <p>counter-terrorism cooperation, working with overseas governments to build capacity and help keep Australian travellers safer</p> </li> <li> <p>business promotion of Australian products and services and investment promotion for companies considering setting up operations in Australia</p> </li> <li> <p>networking with influential politicians and business people to try to impact decisions that will affect Australians.</p> </li> </ul> <p>When Australia’s diplomats are asked to accomplish more with fewer resources, they have to cut back what they can do.</p> <p>Scaling back has a real effect on Australia’s influence. If Australia reduces the scholarships to bring future regional leaders to study in Australia, for instance, they’ll likely study and form bonds elsewhere.</p> <p>If Australia reduces its investment in Indonesia’s education system, it will be dominated by the country’s other major funder, Saudi Arabia.</p> <p>When Australia pulls back on its diplomacy, other countries take up the slack.</p> <p>One impetus for the Morrison government’s much-vaunted “<a href="https://dfat.gov.au/geo/pacific/engagement/Pages/stepping-up-australias-pacific-engagement.aspx">Pacific Step Up</a>” was the realisation that cuts in aid and diplomacy had led to lessened Australian influence in its neighbourhood. In the words of one diplomat I spoke to, “China had been eating our lunch”.</p> <p>The problem is that the “step up” did not come with increased funding for diplomats, meaning that DFAT’s new <a href="https://dfat.gov.au/geo/pacific/Pages/office-of-the-pacific.aspx">Office of the Pacific</a> is being formed by taking staff and resources from other parts of department.</p> <p><strong>Getting back in black</strong></p> <p>We recommend an immediate increase in spending on diplomacy, trade and aid to 1.5% of the federal budget. This is closer to the spending of countries such as <a href="https://www.australianforeignaffairs.com/articles/the-fix/2019/10/the-fix-melissa-conley-tyler-on-how-to-rebuild-australias-diplomatic">Canada (1.9%) and the Netherlands (4.3%)</a>, though still much lower than the challenging era after the second world war, when Australia was <a href="https://www.australianforeignaffairs.com/articles/the-fix/2019/10/the-fix-melissa-conley-tyler-on-how-to-rebuild-australias-diplomatic">spending 9% of the federal budget</a> on diplomacy, trade and aid.</p> <p>If nothing else, DFAT should be granted an exemption from the efficiency dividend – an annual funding reduction for government agencies – until its budget rises to a more normal, historical level. This measure, usually levied at 1% to 1.25% of the administrative budget, reached 4% in 2012–13. With DFAT cut to the bone, the focus should be on increasing its budget, not constant cuts.</p> <p>The aspirations for our diplomacy must be upgraded beyond the bare minimum. Ten years on from <a href="https://archive.lowyinstitute.org/publications/australia-diplomatic-deficit">Diplomatic Deficit</a>, Australia must resist the magical thinking that foreign affairs and trade somehow happen by themselves. In the 2009 report, former DFAT Secretary Richard Woolcott is quoted as saying:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>I do feel that the Department of Foreign Affairs … has been allowed to run down to a dangerously low level … we can’t go on doing more with less … these sorts of undertakings do need to be properly resourced.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>If only this had changed in the last 10 years.</p> <p>Mitchell Vandewerdt-Holman, a Master of International Relations student at the University of Melbourne, contributed to this report.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/125722/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/melissa-conley-tyler-747506">Melissa Conley Tyler</a>, Director of Diplomacy at Asialink, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-melbourne-722">University of Melbourne</a></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/australia-is-spending-less-on-diplomacy-than-ever-before-and-its-influence-is-suffering-as-a-result-125722">original article</a>.</p>

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“Stab in the back”: Centrelink rejects family’s application of 3-year-old battling cancer

<p>Madison Sullivan and her husband Mitchell are still reeling from their rejection from Centrelink after their three-year-old son was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of childhood cancer.</p> <p>Three-year-old Lukas has been diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma barely a week after complaining of stomach pains at daycare. This diagnosis changed the world of the Sullivans as their days were quickly filled with immediate and extensive treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries.</p> <p>As a result, both parents needed to take leave from their full-time jobs. With the reduced hours that husband Mitchell was working, this kept the family afloat while Madison became Lukas’ full-time carer.</p> <p>It was on the advice of the family’s social worker that they applied for Carer’s Allowance. This would assist the family with $641 a fortnight, but after a month-long wait, the family were told that they were rejected.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fphoto.php%3Ffbid%3D10218190171176605%26set%3Da.3131445015935%26type%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="442" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>Centrelink told the Sullivans that the care Lukas received on a day-to-day basis was not demanding enough for Madison to be eligible as his carer.</p> <p>“They’re saying that regardless of him having stage four cancer and being on an aggressive treatment plan for 12 months [we don’t] meet the requirements. Which is just so bizarre,” Ms Sullivan told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/three-year-old-boy-with-stage-four-cancer-rejected-by-centrelink-094405044.html" target="_blank">Yahoo News Australia</a>.</em></p> <p>“They said the care [Lukas receives] is not high enough which is just crazy.</p> <p>“He needs ‘round-the-clock care.”</p> <p>Centrelink’s response to their situation has left the Sullivan family shocked.</p> <p>“It’s a stab in the back,” she said.</p> <p>“It’s like they’re saying [looking after someone with cancer] doesn’t need that much care. The people that reject it –– I’d like to see them have to deal with it.”</p> <p>The family are planning to appeal the decision made by Centrelink, but according to<span> </span>7News, the Department of Human Services is standing by its decision.</p>

Money & Banking

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Former bookie backs Melbourne Cup outsider to win $1 million

<p>Former bookmaker Tom Waterhouse has surprised many by backing a roughie to win $1 million.</p> <p>He was more than happy to take the $101 on offer about New Zealand galloper<span> </span><em>The Chosen One</em><span> </span>to win seven figures, as he threw $10,000 on the outsider.</p> <p><em>The Chosen One</em><span> </span>four-year-old horse trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman defeated<span> </span><em>Prince Of Arran</em><span> </span>earlier in the spring.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Backed a few to win a million. Hope it doesn't spook the horses. <a href="https://t.co/oVXr6KwtgL">pic.twitter.com/oVXr6KwtgL</a></p> — Tom Waterhouse (@tomwaterhouse) <a href="https://twitter.com/tomwaterhouse/status/1191225151775395840?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">4 November 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Waterhouse spoke to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.racing.com/news/2019-11-04/news-is-it-a-roughies-year-for-the-cup-beasy" target="_blank">Racing.com</a></em><span> </span>about the decision.</p> <p>“I backed a few at big odds, hopefully can get the win tomorrow,” he explained.</p> <p>However, things aren't looking good for Waterhouse as the horse has drawn the notorious barrier 18 for today's race, where no horse has ever won the Melbourne Cup.</p> <p><span>The Kiwi outsider wasn’t the only horse to capture Waterhouse’s interest, as he also heavily invested on the Joseph O’Brien-trained </span><em>Latrobe</em><span> at $21.</span></p> <p>The five-year-old horse had one run in Melbourne last spring, and finished runner up to<span> </span><em>Trap For Fools</em><span> </span>in the Mackinnon Stakes, but Waterhouse couldn't get what he wanted from the bookies.</p> <p>"I wanted to back Latrobe if I got $26 to win a million bucks but I could only get to $21 (from the bookmakers)… and The Chosen One, I think it’ll be flying home at massive odds, it’s a 100-1 shot.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Tom Waterhouse is on The Chosen One for $1 million at the Call of the Card 😲<br /><br />Currently $71 with the TAB.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CupWeekRadio?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CupWeekRadio</a></p> — Matt Nevett (@nevett_matt) <a href="https://twitter.com/nevett_matt/status/1191194493313146880?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">4 November 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Other Melbourne Cup contenders who were backed by Waterhouse on Monday included<span> </span><em>Magic Wand, Downdraft<span> </span></em>and<span> </span><em>Twilight Payment</em>.</p> <p>Despite the track being in the soft range after a day of rain, the weather is set to improve by race time at 3pm. </p>

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Ash Barty rises to atmospheric heights after $10 million pay day

<p>Aussie tennis legend Ash Barty is not only the top ranked player in women’s tennis but also the tour’s richest performer as she’s smashed through the $10 million prize money barrier for the season.</p> <p>The lucrative Women’s Tennis Association finals has taken Barty’s on-court earnings for the year to a shocking $10.93 million.</p> <p>This unprecedented windfall has doubled Barty’s entire career earnings in a single season. This is something that has never been seen in Australian sport.</p> <p>The winnings might not be over if she beats Petra Kvitova on Thursday night to qualify for the semi-finals as she would be guaranteed at least $1.45 million for the week if she makes it into the last four.</p> <p>If she wins the final, she could land a whopping $5.98 million on Sunday’s final.</p> <p>Don’t feel too bad for Barty if she loses though, she’ll still leave China $890,000 better off.</p> <p>All eyes are on Barty, with many thinking she’s going to beat Kvitova as she has done in their past two meetings this year.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4JBjchJqtV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4JBjchJqtV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Starting strong in Shenzhen 👊🏽 #WTAFinals ✨</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/ashbarty/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Ash Barty</a> (@ashbarty) on Oct 27, 2019 at 5:01pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“I’ve played Petra a number of times this year. Each match has been exceptionally tough. We’ve kind of split them a little bit,” Barty said to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/ash-barty-is-australias-10-million-star/news-story/54602b1159fc87c247a726b3db30ffea" target="_blank">news.com.au</a></em>. “Conditions are different here. Changes things a little bit.</p> <p>“We’ll figure out a way we’ll nullify her strengths and get it back to my patterns as much as we can.”</p> <p>If Barty beats Kvitova, she will either play titleholder Elina Svitolina, Wimbledon champion Simona Halep or Karolina Pliskova for a spot in the final.</p> <p>Best luck to Barty in China!</p>

Money & Banking

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5 charts that show what a Newstart recipient looks like

<p>The Newstart unemployment benefit is all over the news. It’s the subject of a <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Newstartrelatedpayments">Senate inquiry</a>. Today it will take evidence in <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Newstartrelatedpayments/Public_Hearings">Elizabeth</a>, in what used to be Adelaide’s industrial north.</p> <p>Should it <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/07/accounting-giant-kpmg-calls-for-newstart-to-increase-by-100-a-week">be higher</a>? Should recipients be paid with a <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/scott-morrison-eyes-long-term-cashless-debit-card-roll-out-20190907-p52oxb.html">cashless card</a>? Or <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/morrison-government-to-revive-plans-to-drug-test-dole-recipients-20190905-p52odq.html">drug tested</a>? Or <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/peter-dutton-suggests-cancelling-welfare-of-climate-protesters/11572370">stripped of their payments if they join climate protests</a>?</p> <p>To make sense of these proposals it helps to know something about who receives Newstart payments. It’s a picture many of us get wrong.</p> <p>Here’s a heads-up. They are not particularly likely to be young, they are are not especially likely to be men, and more live in regional areas than we might expect.</p> <p>Here are some facts to give us something to work with, set out in five charts:</p> <p><strong>Likely to be middle aged</strong></p> <p>First, Newstart recipients are a lot older than you might think.</p> <p>Half are over 45. Partly this is because unemployed people aged 24 or younger are more likely to be getting <a href="https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/youth-allowance-job-seekers">Youth Allowance</a>.</p> <p>But even if we include unemployed Youth Allowance recipients in the figure, an outsized 45% of all unemployment benefit recipients are over 45. One quarter are over 55.</p> <p>Women on Newstart are older still: 51% of female job-seekers are over 40, compared with 42% of male job-seekers.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/299170/original/file-20191029-183103-ofhmt1.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/299170/original/file-20191029-183103-ofhmt1.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em> <span class="caption">Youth Allowance (other) excludes student and apprentice youth allowance.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">DSS Payment Demographics, March 2019</span></span></em></p> <p>They are older on average than five years ago.</p> <p>Over the five years to March 2019, the number of people on Newstart aged over 45 swelled by one fifth, and the number over 55 by two fifths. At the same time the number under 45 fell by 16%.</p> <p>The increase in the number of older people on Newstart has coincided with a sharp decline in the number of older people receiving the Disability Support Pension.</p> <p><a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Budget_Office/Publications/Research_reports/Disability_support_pension_Historical_and_projected_trends?CalendarWidgetTarget=20-05-2018&amp;tab=tab2a">Tighter assessment measures</a> since 2012 have led to a decline in the number of people being assessed as eligible for the Disability Support Pension, forcing many declined applicants <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-12/disability-support-pension-applicants-diverted-to-newstart/11486164">on to Newstart</a>.</p> <p><strong>Less likely to live in big cities</strong></p> <p>People from the biggest states are less commonly on Newstart.</p> <p>Someone from Victoria, NSW, or the ACT is about one third less likely to be on Newstart than someone from the rest of the country.</p> <p><em><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/299171/original/file-20191029-183147-1g7h3ba.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/299171/original/file-20191029-183147-1g7h3ba.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> </em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em> <span class="caption"></span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">DSS Payment Demographics, March 2019, ABS 3101.0</span></span></em></p> <p>Rural areas also have higher proportions of people on Newstart than cities.</p> <p>Someone outside a major city is one and a half times as likely to be on Newstart as someone in a major city. And the difference gets starker the further out you go.</p> <p>Someone in a “remote” or “very remote” area is more than twice as likely to be on Newstart as someone in a major city.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/299172/original/file-20191029-183112-1jr36oj.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/299172/original/file-20191029-183112-1jr36oj.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em> <span class="caption">Population at March 2019 is estimated based on ABS data at June 2018.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">DSS Payment Demographics, March 2019, ABS 3281</span></span></em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Likely to have been on it for a long time</strong></p> <p>Contrary to claims by <a href="https://theconversation.com/are-most-people-on-the-newstart-unemployment-benefit-for-a-short-or-long-time-120826">Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and others</a>, Newstart is not always a transitional payment.</p> <p>It’s true many of the people coming on to Newstart leave it soon after: of those who began receiving Newstart payments in 2017, 63% had come off within 12 months.</p> <p>But a focus on new recipients ignores the bulk of current recipients, who have been on it for much longer. Someone who has recently begun receiving Newstart payments is far more likely to move off them than someone who’s been on them for a longer period.</p> <p>As at March 2019, two thirds had been on it for more than a year. One fifth had been on it for more than five years. A significant 4% had been on it for more than ten years.</p> <p>Older recipients are more likely to have been on it for more than a year, and across all ages, women are more likely than men to have been on Newstart for more than a year.</p> <p><em><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/299173/original/file-20191029-183151-1kqw2e4.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/299173/original/file-20191029-183151-1kqw2e4.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> </em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em> <span class="caption">Includes Newstart and Youth Allowance (other) recipients classified as ‘job seekers’. At August 2019, job seekers made up 52% of all Newstart and Youth Allowance (other) recipients.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/labour-market-and-related-payments-monthly-profile-publications" class="source">Labour Market and Related Payments Monthly Profile, August 2019</a></span></em></p> <p>Tasmanian and Northern Territory recipients are the most likely to have been on it for more than a year; ACT and Queensland recipients are the least likely.</p> <p>But across all states, a clear majority of recipients have been on it for more than a year.</p> <p><em><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/299174/original/file-20191029-183151-jl7eje.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/299174/original/file-20191029-183151-jl7eje.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> </em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em> <span class="caption">Includes Newstart and Youth Allowance (other) recipients classified as ‘job seekers’. At August 2019, job seekers made up 52% of all Newstart and Youth Allowance (other) recipients.</span> </em><span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/labour-market-and-related-payments-monthly-profile-publications" class="source"><em>Labour Market and Related Payments Monthly Profile, August 2019</em></a></span></p> <hr /> <p>So next time you picture a Newstart recipient, it might be wise to think of a middle aged woman living outside of the city in a smaller state.</p> <p>Unless we keep her in mind, we are likely to make the wrong decisions about the rate, about drug testing, and about everything else.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/125937/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/owain-emslie-250445">Owain Emslie</a>, Associate, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/danielle-wood-147710">Danielle Wood</a>, Program Director, Budget Policy and Institutional Reform, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/grattan-institute-1168">Grattan Institute</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/5-charts-on-what-a-newstart-recipient-really-looks-like-125937">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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BREAKING: Woolworths found to underpay workers by up to $300 million

<p>Woolworths has been found to underpay nearly 6,000 of its employees by as much as $300 million due to non-compliance with the industry award.</p> <p>In a statement released by Woolworths this morning, the company revealed that it has failed to pay approximately 5,700 of its salaried workers across its supermarkets and metro stores in compliance with the General Retail Industry Award.</p> <p>The underpayments were identified by the company after it reviewed its workers’ salaries prior to implementing the company’s newest enterprise bargaining agreement.</p> <p>Here, inconsistencies were identified between the workers contractual salary obligations and what they were entitled to be paid under the new award, according to the<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/woolworths-underpays-workers-by-up-to-300-million-20191030-p535l5.html" target="_blank">Sydney Morning Herald</a></em>.</p> <p>"The review has found the number of hours worked, and when they were worked, were not adequately factored into the individual salary settings for some salaried store team members," the company said.</p> <p>"As a business we pride ourselves on putting our team first, and in this case,  we have let them down. We unreservedly apologise," chief executive Brad Banducci said in a statement.</p> <p>"The highest priority for Woolworths Group right now is to address this issue, and to ensure that it doesn’t happen again."</p> <p>Underpayments could track as far back as 2010, and the company has estimated that the total cost of remediation is to be between $200 and $300 million.</p> <p>The company will make the first backpayments to the affected workers before Christmas. </p>

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5 questions about superannuation the Australian government's new inquiry will need to ask

<p>The government’s new <a href="http://ministers.treasury.gov.au/ministers/josh-frydenberg-2018/media-releases/review-retirement-income-system">retirement incomes review</a> will need to work quickly.</p> <p>On Friday Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he expected a final report by June, just seven months after the issues paper he wants it to deliver by November.</p> <p>The deadline is tight for a reason. In recommending the inquiry in its report on the (in)effeciency of Australia’s superannuation system this year, the Productivity Commission said it should be completed “<a href="https://theconversation.com/frydenberg-should-call-a-no-holds-barred-inquiry-into-superannuation-now-because-labor-wont-114079">in advance of any increase in the superannuation guarantee rate</a>”.</p> <p>In other words, in advance of the next leglislated increase in compulsory superannuation contributions, which is on July 1, 2021.</p> <p>The next increase (actually, the next five increases) will hurt.</p> <p>The last two, on July 1 2013 and July 1 2014, took place when wage growth was stronger. In 2013 wages growth was 3% per year.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/265468/original/file-20190324-36267-olwp2z.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/265468/original/file-20190324-36267-olwp2z.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em> <span class="caption"></span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/rates/key-superannuation-rates-and-thresholds/?anchor=Superguaranteepercentage" class="source">Source: Australian Tax Office</a></span></em></p> <p>And they were small – an extra 0.25 per cent of salary each.</p> <p>The next five, to be imposed annually from July 1 2021, are twice the size: <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/rates/key-superannuation-rates-and-thresholds/?anchor=Superguaranteepercentage">0.5% of salary each</a>.</p> <p>If taken out of wage growth, they’ve the potential to cut it from its present usually low 2.3% per annum to something with a “1” in front of it, pushing it below the rate of inflation, for five consecutive years.</p> <p>If we were going to do that (even if we thought the economy and wage growth could afford it) it would be a good idea to have a good reason why. After all, compulsory superannuation is the compulsory locking away of income that could otherwise be spent or used to pay down debt or saved through another vehicle, regardless of the wishes of the person whose income it is.</p> <p><strong>Question 1. What’s it for?</strong></p> <p>Fortunately, the new inquiry doesn’t need to do much work on this one.</p> <p>For most of its life compulsory super hasn’t had an agreed purpose. At times it has been justified as a means of restraining wage growth, at times as means of restraining government spending on the pension, at times as means of boosting national savings.</p> <p>In 2014, more than 20 years after compulsory super began, the Murray Financial System Review asked the government to <a href="http://fsi.gov.au/publications/final-report/executive-summary/#recommendations">set a clear objective for it</a>, and two years later the government came up with one, enshrined in a bill entitled the <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5762">Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016</a>.</p> <p>The bill lapsed, but the objective at its centre lives on as the best description we’ve come up with yet of what compulsory super is for:</p> <blockquote> <p>to provide income in retirement to substitute or supplement the age pension</p> </blockquote> <p>Which raises the question of how much we need. For compulsory super, the answer is probably none. People who want more than the pension and their other savings can save more through voluntary super. People who don’t want more (or can’t afford to save more) shouldn’t.</p> <p><strong>Question 2. How much do people need?</strong></p> <p>Assuming for the moment that how much people need in retirement is relevant for determining how much compulsory super they need, the inquiry will need to examine what people need to live on in retirement.</p> <p>The “<a href="https://www.superannuation.asn.au/resources/retirement-standard">standards</a>” prepared by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia are loose. The more generous of the two allows for overseas travel every two or so years, A$163 per couple per fortnight on dining out, $81 on alcohol “or equivalent spent with charity or church”.</p> <p>It isn’t a reasonable guide to how much people need to live on, and certainly isn’t a reasonable guide for how much the government should intervene to make sure they have to live on. They are standards it doesn’t intervene to support while people are working.</p> <p>And there’s something else. Super isn’t what will fund it. Most retirement living is funded outside of super, either through the age pension, private savings, or the family home (which saves on rent). Most 65 year olds have <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/912-Money-in-retirement-re-issue-1.pdf">more saved outside of super than in it</a>, and a lot more than that saved in the family home.</p> <p>It’s a slight of hand to say that retirees need a certain proportion of their final wage to live on and then to say that that’s how much super should provide.</p> <p><strong>Question 3: Does it come out of wages?</strong></p> <p>The best guess is that, although paid by employers in addition to wages, compulsory super comes out of what would otherwise have been their wage bill.</p> <p><a href="http://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-09/foi_2534_document_set_for_release_re.pdf">Treasury</a> puts it this way:</p> <blockquote> <p>Though compulsory superannuation guarantee contributions are paid by employers, wage setting generally takes into account all labour costs. As such, it is widely accepted that employees bear the cost of higher superannuation guarantees in the form of lower take home pay.</p> </blockquote> <p>The inquiry will probably make its own determination. If it finds that extra contributions <a href="https://theconversation.com/productivity-commission-finds-super-a-bad-deal-and-yes-it-comes-out-of-wages-109638">do indeed come out of what would have been pay rises</a>, it will have to consider the tradeoff between lower pay rises (and they are already very low) and the compulsory provision of more superannuation in retirement.</p> <p><strong>Question 4: Does it boost private saving?</strong></p> <p>It’d be tempting to think that the compulsory nature of compulsory superannuation meant that each extra dollar funnelled into it increased retirement savings by an extra dollar. But it doesn’t, in part because wealthy Australians who are already saving a lot have the option of offsetting it by saving less in other ways.</p> <p>For them, the increase in saving isn’t compulsory.</p> <p>For financially stretched Australians unable to afford to save (or for Australians at times in times life when they can’t afford to save) the compulsion is real, and unwelcome.</p> <p>The inquiry will have to make its own assessment, updating <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/2007/pdf/rdp2007-08.pdf">Reserve Bank research</a> which found in 2007 that each extra dollar in compulsory accounts added between 70 and 90 cents to household wealth.</p> <p><strong>Question 5: Does it boost national saving?</strong></p> <p>Boosting private saving (at the expense of people who are unable to escape) is one thing. Boosting national savings (private and government) is another. The tax concessions the government hands out to support superannuation are expensive. The concession on contributions alone is set to cost $19 billion this year and $23 billion in 2022-23, notwithstanding some tightening up. It predominately benefits high earners, the kind of people who don’t need assistance to save.</p> <p>On balance it is likely that the system does little for national savings, cutting government savings by as much as it boosts private savings. But because the question hasn’t been asked, not since the Fitzgerald report on national saving in 1993 shortly after compulsory super was introduced, we don’t know.</p> <p>It’ll be up to the inquiry to bring us up to date.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/124400/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709"><em>Peter Martin</em></a><em>, Visiting Fellow, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></span></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/5-questions-about-superannuation-the-governments-new-inquiry-will-need-to-ask-124400">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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These rare coins could be worth up to $4000

<p><span>If you have some strange-looking loose changes, do not use them just yet – collectors are eyeing for coins with imperfections that could earn them thousands of dollars.</span></p> <p><span>Some coins from the Royal Australian Mint have subtle errors that often go unnoticed, said Matthew Thompson from Town Hall Coins and Collectables.</span></p> <p><span>A 5c piece from 2007 that was incorrectly made with the Queen’s head on both sides was sold for $3,000.</span></p> <p><span>Thompson said he himself had sold a double-headed coin for $3,500.</span></p> <p><span>“That one was in top end condition and so was worth thousands. One in really poor condition, you’d still be looking at a few hundred for,” Thompson told <em>Daily Mail</em>.</span></p> <p><span>Thompson said while most people do not check their coins, he and some others inspect every coin in a process called ‘noodling’.</span></p> <p><span>“I’ve done it before if I’ve a bag of coins or change jars. If you just spend a bit of time going through them it can certainly pay off,” he said.</span></p> <p><span>“People don’t expect institutions like the Mint to make mistakes.</span></p> <p><span>“But from time to time things can go awry.  If you see mistakes on a coin, if you have something interesting, odd or out of place, then other people are likely to find it interesting, too - that’s why people collect.”</span></p> <p><span>Thompson said a $1 piece in 2000 was stamped with the head from a 10c piece, creating a double-ring effect. “If you see two rings on your dollar coin, it could be worth a few hundred or up to $4000 in really good condition.”</span><span> </span></p> <p><span><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7831963/coin1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/35e153ca3da748a4a15863c8d3790748" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Source: Facebook / Detecting Downunder</em></p> <p><span>An error that is reportedly more common on $1 coins is the ‘rabbit ears’ on one of the kangaroos, which can bring the piece’s worth up to $30.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7831962/coin2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f1e8db74baef41bea5ff6c8b6e07404f" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Source: Facebook / Detecting Downunder</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Commonwealth’s $50 payout to 150,000 Aussies

<p>It was an outage that only lasted a few hours but it has cost the Commonwealth Bank of Australia an estimate of $7.5 million after some customers were left without payments through the weekend. </p> <p>The major bank has issued an apology in the form of $50 to up to 150,000 customers impacted by the outage along with a simple message in the transaction details. </p> <p>“Sorry from CBA,” it read. </p> <p>The issue primarily affected money and transfer online services for 12 hours during Thursday night but CBA said it was back up and running Friday. </p> <p>However, tens of thousands of customers went without payments through the weekend. </p> <p>“Following the outage impacting our systems in recent days, we have made significant progress in processing the outstanding payments,” a spokesperson from the company said in a statement.</p> <p>“We now believe funds should be in customer accounts. If customers have any issues or questions regarding their payments they should contact our call centre or visit us in branch so we can assist.</p> <p>“We are now refunding fees and charges associated to the network issue on Thursday for our customers who were impacted by this issue.”</p> <p>“If a customer is approached for their account details they should not provide this and the customer should let us know by phoning our call centre or visiting us in branch,” the spokesperson said.</p> <p>“We apologise to everyone who has been affected by the delay in payments and we are very sorry for the inconvenience it has caused.”</p>

Money & Banking

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No more self-serve checkout theft? The change that may be coming to your supermarket

<p>Scottish researchers think they have solved a debacle plaguing supermarket self-serve checkouts - theft. </p> <p>Abertay University academics found digital human-like faces at self-serve checkouts can help reduce the risk of shoplifting. </p> <p>The study stimulated a self-service checkout scenario in which participants were asked to scan and weigh items before paying. </p> <p>Opportunities were provided in which shoppers could benefit financially through being dishonest. </p> <p>"Items without a bar code provided opportunities for dishonest behaviours as participants were required to select a weight or provide the item numbers,"<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://academic.oup.com/iwc/article/31/2/154/5426455" target="_blank">researchers wrote.</a></p> <p>Results showed when a human-like face was present, participants were less likely to cheat the systems than the times the face was not included. </p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7831933/self-serve.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/eeb9dd7cebb84ac09bcf8cd04bd129b4" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The digital face shown above the checkout. Image: 9news</em></p> <p>"This study shows that there are potential effects on people's behaviour due to the inclusion of human-like elements within the service," explained researchers.</p> <p>"Interface designers interested in this field need to achieve a balance in that an agent will have to be noticed sufficiently, while not interfering with a consumer's task."</p> <p>Researchers said there is "huge merit in maintaining a social element in consumer interaction with technology" in order to reduce self-service checkout theft.</p> <p>The study comes out at the same time retailers across the country are trialing several different methods to combat the million-dollar problem. </p> <p>New South Wales are testing out sensors which create a log of the products the customer selects. </p> <p>The information is transferred into checkout at the time of purchase. </p> <p>"Our distributed decision-making stack maintains a virtual 'cart' for each customer, reliably detecting and tracking all product interactions," black.ai, the robotics firm working with a number of unnamed supermarkets, previously told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/researchers-develop-method-to-combat-self-service-checkout-theft/ar-AAJ5bRV" target="_blank">nine.com.au.</a></p>

Money & Banking

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PayID data breaches show that Aussie banks need to be more vigilant

<p>When we think of a bank robbery, we might imagine a safe with the door blown open. But nowadays it might be more accurate to picture criminals accessing our bank account online from another country. Bank robbers don’t need balaclavas and shotguns anymore.</p> <p>Australian banks have long provided convenient ways for customers to transfer funds. But the process of remembering and entering BSB and account numbers is prone to human error. Enter <a href="https://payid.com.au/">PayID</a>.</p> <p>PayID allows customers to attach their mobile phone number or email address to their bank account. They can then simply provide these details to other people, providing a convenient way to receive payments.</p> <p>It can only be used for incoming payments, rather than outgoing ones. So you might think that makes it less of a tempting target for hackers. But that’s not necessarily the case.</p> <p><a href="https://www.nppa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/New-Payments-Platform-Financial-Services-Media-Release.pdf">Launched in February 2018</a> by <a href="https://www.nppa.com.au/the-company/">New Payments Platform Australia</a>, an alliance of 13 banks, PayID is reportedly available to <a href="https://www.nppa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/NPP-One-year-on.pdf">more than 52 million account holders</a> across almost all major financial institutions. By February 2019, some 2.5 million PayID identifiers had been created, and 90 million transactions totalling more than A$75 billion had been processed.</p> <p>When entering a PayID mobile phone number to make a payment, the full name of the account holder is displayed, so the person making the payment can ensure they are sending it to the right PayID account.</p> <p>Shortly after the service launched, Twitter users began pointing out that this means you can enter random phone numbers and, if that number has been linked to a PayID account, the account holder’s name will show up – rather like a phone book in reverse.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/292436/original/file-20190913-8687-1rizahf.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/292436/original/file-20190913-8687-1rizahf.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">Twitter posting of PayID details.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">@anthonycr0</span></span></p> <p>The following day, on February 17, 2018, NPP Australia acknowledged this issue in a <a href="https://www.nppa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/PayID-privacy-statement.pdf">media release</a>, but effectively dismissed users’ concerns:</p> <blockquote> <p>While unfortunate for the individuals involved, the discussion highlights the choice and benefits to be considered by users when they opt in to create a PayID.</p> </blockquote> <p>This is not exactly reassuring for bank customers whose details were publicly posted. And developments this year suggest that the underlying problems persist.</p> <p><strong>Better luck next time?</strong></p> <p>In June 2019, around <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com.au/100000-australians-reportedly-at-risk-of-fraud-as-hackers-attack-westpacs-payid-platform-2019-6">98,000 PayID details were obtained</a> after hackers used several online bank accounts to carry out <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/australians-private-details-exposed-in-attack-on-westpac-s-payid-20190603-p51u2u.html">more than 600,000 PayID lookups over the course of six weeks</a>, reportedly by simply entering phone numbers in sequential order.</p> <p>It is not clear who was to blame, although there are allegations of a <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/australians-private-details-exposed-in-attack-on-westpac-s-payid-20190603-p51u2u.html">leaked memo pointing the finger at US-based fraudsters</a>.</p> <p>The exact motive is unclear, but any personal data has value in the underground economy. In this case, the data could potentially be used as part of a more complex phishing scam designed to steal further information from account holders.</p> <p>Although this is clearly a very simple attack involving nothing more sophisticated than simple trial and error, it appears the PayID system did not detect the large number of lookups – an average of 14,000 per account – or the speed with which they were undertaken.</p> <p>To give a real-world example, it would be like going into your bank 14,000 times and handing over a different piece of identification each time.</p> <p>This high volume of lookups should have raised significant security concerns. While legitimate users could be forgiven for needing a couple of tries to punch in the right number, no one should need thousands of attempts.</p> <p>It should have been a simple security step to add lookup limits and to identify this as highly abnormal behaviour. Yet neither the bank concerned nor NPP Australia had implemented mechanisms to detect or prevent this form of misuse.</p> <p>After a security breach this size, the banks might reasonably be expected to take urgent steps to prevent it happening again. But it did happen again, two months later.</p> <p>In August 2019, a further <a href="https://www.canstar.com.au/online-banking/payid-hack-which-bank-accounts-hit/">92,000 PayIDs were exposed</a>. In this case, it was reported that the breach happened <a href="https://www.nppa.com.au/uplifting-cybersecurity-controls/">within the systems of a financial institution connected to the NPP Australia systems</a>. Worryingly, this breach reportedly revealed users’ full name, BSB and account number.</p> <p>Banks were quick to <a href="https://www.nppa.com.au/uplifting-cybersecurity-controls/">reassure customers</a> that this does not allow transactions to be undertaken. However, it did deliver yet more valuable information into the hands of cyber criminals – further enabling phishing opportunities.</p> <p>While affected customers have been contacted, the only option to remove this risk is to stop using PayID. This is easily done but removes the convenience factor for most bank customers.</p> <p>What’s the real risk?</p> <p>Because the system enables payments <em>into</em> accounts, rather than authorising withdrawals <em>from</em> them, the risk may seem minor. Indeed, many in the banking sector have dismissed it as so. But there is a deeper risk.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/phishing-scams-are-becoming-ever-more-sophisticated-and-firms-are-struggling-to-keep-up-73934">Phishing</a> is a form of cyber crime in which victims are tricked into revealing confidential information through convincing-looking emails or SMS messages. Unfortunately, there are already examples of this in relation to PayID.</p> <p><em><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/292438/original/file-20190913-8674-1cbmg07.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /> <span class="caption">Real examples of PayID-related SMS phishing messages.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">canstar.com</span></span></em></p> <p>The approach depicted above is not particularly sophisticated. But imagine a more tailored email message quoting examples of identifiable information (PayID, full name) or, as with the most recent breach, BSB and account number.</p> <p>Coupled with the correct branding and reassuring words of your bank, it would be easy to convince an unsuspecting user of the need to “login to change your PayID for security reasons”. Just a few minutes of creativity on a computer can produce convincing results.</p> <p>The image shown below was created to show how easy this process is. It uses genuine branding, but the “login” button could easily be set to direct users to a website designed to steal login credentials.</p> <p><em><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/292440/original/file-20190913-8701-1nq3pl8.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /> <span class="caption">Mock-up of a potential PayID-related phishing email.</span></em></p> <p>With the <a href="https://www.mebank.com.au/news/household-financial-comfort-report/">ME Household Financial Comfort Report</a> indicating that almost 50% of households have at least A$10,000 in savings, there is a clear incentive for cyber criminals to target our bank accounts. As with any phishing attack, it only takes a few people to succumb to make the enterprise worthwhile.</p> <p>Although bank customers can do little more than think twice before responding to messages, the real power is with the banks. Simply being alert to unusual patterns of behaviour would have prevented these security breaches.</p> <p>This is not new territory for financial institutions, who routinely look for <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/id/46907307">unusual patterns in credit card transactions</a>. Perhaps it is time to apply these same concepts in other scenarios and better protect Australia’s banking customers.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/123529/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-haskell-dowland-382903">Paul Haskell-Dowland</a>, Associate Dean (Computing and Security), <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/payid-data-breaches-show-australias-banks-need-to-be-more-vigilant-to-hacking-123529">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Coles launches high-quality collectables for adults as part of their new range

<p>The criticism of the overuse of plastic collectables has been heard by both Coles and Woolworths, with Woolworths releasing the Discovery Garden for children.</p> <p>However, the new unveiling from Coles will be a winner for their older customers.</p> <p>Customers are now able to earn credit towards wine glasses or champagne flutes when spending $20 or more in Coles supermarkets, Liquorland and First Choice stores.</p> <p>Each $20 equals one credit and once a customer has reached 25 credits, the equivalent of $500, they can redeem a box of two Spiegelau glasses.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7831841/coles-glasses.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/bc161a710c754a9595ade7a217c4f011" /></p> <p>“We believe it’s going to be very popular with customers, like all the other collectables schemes ranging from plastic storage containers to Stikeez to Little Shop,” Mr Cain told the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.afr.com/companies/retail/coles-brings-touch-of-glass-to-collectables-war-with-woolworths-20191014-p530ei" target="_blank">Australian Financial Review</a></em>.</p> <p>Coles launched the glasses as part of their 2019 Christmas range which specifically caters those customers who have trouble pulling together the highly-anticipated festive lunch.</p> <p>“Our mission is to help all Australians to have healthier, happier lives,” Coles chief marketing officer Lisa Ronson told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/free-spiegelau-wine-glasses-for-coles-liquorland-first-choice-customers/news-story/bd47efa0c1636d548fa1717613108501" target="_blank">news.com.au</a></em>.</p> <p>“So everything we do on a day-to-day basis is to ladder up to that purpose, to inspire our customers with the best food and drink solutions to make their lives easier. There’s no greater time that we try to do that than at Christmas.”</p> <p>One dessert Ronson is particularly excited about is the $15 Coles Finest Chocolate Melting Pudding, which is a different take on the Christmas pudding.</p> <p>The dessert is a chocolate sponge pudding that starts off initially as a pretty tempered chocolate dome with a gold finish. Once everyone has gathered at the lunch table, warm caramel is poured over the top and melts to reveal the delicious chocolate pudding.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7831842/coles-pudding.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5e5ba3110e8441a79ed8d4cf720075c7" /></p> <p>“Coles Finest Chocolate Melting Pudding is exclusive to Coles and is a bit of theatre at the table,” Ms Ronson said.</p> <p>“Christmas is such a wonderful time of year for most Australians, but it’s also a stressful time and because we are so customer obsessed and put the customer at the centre of everything we do, we really want to make this Christmas a delicious one with some great Coles products,” Ms Ronson added.</p>

Money & Banking

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“People are fed up”: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg asks ACCC to investigate banks who fail to pass on rate cuts

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate the banking sector for failing to pass on interest rate cuts to customers in full.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This comes after three official rate cuts since January, meaning that the new rate is a record low of 0.75 per cent.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Frydenberg has said that the big four banks, ANZ, NAB, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac have failed to pass on the rate changes in full to their customers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It's costing someone with a $400,000 mortgage around $500 in higher interest payments than they otherwise should have to pay if these last three rate cuts were passed on in full," Frydenberg told Channel 9, according to </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-14/josh-frydenberg-asks-accc-to-investigate-banking-sector/11598614"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The ABC</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"But it's not just these last three rate cuts where the banks have failed to pass them on, it's actually what's happened previously under the Labor government, there were 14 different rate cuts and only five of them were passed on in full.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"So clearly there's a structural challenge here, there's a pattern of behaviour and the Australian people are fed up."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Frydenberg has said that the ACCC needs to use its “particular powers to compel documentation to lift the hood and get to the bottom of this issue”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Labor also welcomes the inquiry by the ACCC in principle, but is asking to see the details of the plan.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Labor has been calling for the ACCC to play a bigger role here," Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers told AM.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"With record household debt and stagnant debt under the Liberals you can see why customers are frustrated at the banks for not passing through interest rate cuts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"The big banks are still very profitable by international standards so they shouldn't be doing the wrong thing by borrowers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We want to make sure that those interest rate cuts can do good in the economy, that means having them passed onto consumers."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliot welcomes the inquiry.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Despite intense competition, there is cynicism in the broader community about interest rates for home loans," he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We know we have not done a good job in explaining our position and we will be working hard to ensure this process delivers results."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mike Baird, chief customer officer for consumer banking at NAB agrees, saying that the inquiry is “an important opportunity to discuss the challenges of an increasingly low interest rate environment and engage in a broader discussion about how we support all our customers— both depositors and borrowers".</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Westpac has said it’s “too early to comment” and a spokesman for Commonwealth Bank has said that it was “currently digesting the implications”.</span></p>

Money & Banking

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This may be the most important energy news we’ve ever seen…

<p><strong>Are you tired of paying high energy bills?</strong></p> <p>Something new happened on July 1st that can help you save on your energy bill. Something that’s so big that we’re confident saying it’s the most important energy news we’ve ever seen. We understand that’s a rather big claim to make – so let us prove it to you.</p> <p>What can be so big that would make it <strong>the most important energy news we’ve ever seen?</strong></p> <p>As of July 1st, the Australian Government set a new benchmark or ‘Reference Price’ for electricity plans. <sup>[1]</sup></p> <p><strong>So, why does this matter to you?</strong></p> <p>This new ‘Reference Price’ is a common benchmark price that’s set by the Australian Energy Regulator and varies based on your region. So now, if you want to save money on your energy costs, retailers in your area are required to start at the same price that’s set by the AER when offering discounts.</p> <p><strong>You want to keep as much of your money as you can, don’t you?</strong></p> <p>Here’s the quick version on how you can save.</p> <p><strong>In most cases, retailers are now required to advertise against this new ‘Reference Price’ – so when you compare services, the plan that shows the highest discount will now be the cheapest. </strong><sup>[2]</sup></p> <p>When comparing energy retailers you now have a baseline number to start from. So when a retailer says they’re giving you a discount you know exactly how much you’re saving.</p> <p><strong>Simple, right? Let’s get started.</strong></p> <p>This new program is straightforward, easy and fast. That’s why last month alone over 40,000 Aussies have used <span><a href="https://electricityandgas.com.au/over-sixty-2/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=october">ElectricityandGas.com.au</a></span> to compare and save on their energy costs. <strong>It’s entirely risk-free. Either you save money – or you just lose a small amount of time. With only a few minutes, our customers are now finding plans that save them an average of $160 each year.</strong></p> <p><strong>Here’s How You Do It:</strong></p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> <strong>Select your State below</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> After answering a few questions, you will have the opportunity to compare quotes in your area and could be eligible for significant savings.</p> <p><a href="https://electricityandgas.com.au/over-sixty-2/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=october"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.34556574923545px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7831653/energy-bill-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2c5162db46a84189a50bf6fd22b4c54f" /></a></p> <p><strong>Still not convinced? Here’s how it works compared to the old system.</strong></p> <p>Let me give you an example…</p> <p>Under the new system, let’s say that this new ‘Reference Price’ for your area is $1000 for 3900 kWh a year.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Retailer #1 offers a 50% discount</strong></li> <li><strong>Retailer #2 offers a 25% discount</strong></li> </ul> <p><span> </span></p> <p>You can now be sure that if you use 3900 kWh a year <strong>you would be paying Retailer #1 $500</strong> and <strong>Retailer #2 $750.</strong></p> <p><strong>Easy, right?</strong></p> <p>Before July 1st, it was much more complicated. Let’s assume they offered the same discounts for the same 3900 kWh a year:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Retailer #1 offers a 50% discount</strong></li> <li><strong>Retailer #2 offers a 25% discount</strong></li> </ul> <p>You may have seen something like this and thought to yourself “Wow! 50% off, what a great deal”. Then switched energy plans to save money…</p> <p>Only to find yourself paying even more.</p> <p><strong>While a 50% discount sounds like twice the deal, the actual price could have been higher when compared to the 25% discount.</strong></p> <p><strong>This is because there was no set rate.</strong></p> <ul> <li>If the rate for Retailer #1 was $1800 you would have paid $900 with the 50% discount.</li> <li>If the rate for Retailer #2 was $1000 you would have paid $750 with the 25% discount.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Confusing, isn’t it?</strong></p> <p>This is why the Australian Energy Regulator decided to simplify things with the new ‘Reference Price’ system — and suggests shopping around to try to find a way to reduce your costs. In their words: “<strong>This will make it much easier to find a better deal</strong>”. <sup>[3]</sup></p> <p><strong>Last year almost 400,000 Aussies chose </strong><span><a href="https://electricityandgas.com.au/over-sixty-2/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=october"><strong>ElectricityandGas.com.au</strong></a></span><strong> to help them compare, switch and save. Now it’s your turn – your savings are only a few clicks away.</strong></p> <p><strong>Get Started Now:</strong></p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> <strong>Select your State below</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> After answering a few questions, you will have the opportunity to compare quotes in your area and could be eligible for significant savings.</p> <p><a href="https://electricityandgas.com.au/over-sixty-2/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=october"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.08395324123273px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7831652/energy-bill-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/76e8df8968b54c358f7475ac064a44e7" /></a></p> <p>REFERENCES</p> <p><em>[1] </em><span><a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/health-home-travel/electricity-prices#reference-price"><em>Australian Competition and Consumer Commission</em></a></span></p> <p><em>[2] </em><span><a href="https://www.energy.gov.au/sites/default/files/price_safety_net_resources.pdf"><em>Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy</em></a></span></p> <p><em>[3] </em><em>According to average customer data provided by Thought World in May 2018. Figure based on previous customer data and could change on a customer to customer basis.</em></p> <p><em>[4] </em><span><a href="https://www.energy.gov.au/sites/default/files/price_safety_net_resources.pdf"><em>Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy</em></a></span></p> <p><em>This article is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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This new super strategy could help you save big on life insurance

<p>Not long ago, a CSIRO study found that most retirees live frugally and die with large super balances. In fact, it’s been said that <strong>over 50% of Australians</strong> will be dead by the time they’re able to access their super. This is a far cry from the ideal retirement lifestyle many of us dream of for ourselves, full of joy, travel and financial freedom.</p> <p><strong>With the skyrocketing costs of various bills, insurances and the general cost of living, it’s no surprise older Aussies are feeling the pinch</strong>. So what can we do about it?</p> <p>Remember, you should consider all benefits and risks associated with any life insurance or superannuation product.</p> <p><strong>Here’s how you do it:</strong></p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Select your current <strong>age below.</strong></p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> Once you answer a few questions, you will have the opportunity to compare quotes from up to 9 of Australia’s largest insurers. You may also be entitled to a free consultation.</p> <p><a href="https://lifeinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/stepn/#step1?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=october&amp;utm_term=super-strategy"><img style="width: 500px; height: 118.644px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7831637/test.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1d0a38316b8b4eeea5f2c8ac103997d9" /></a></p> <p>On average, <strong>11% of Australians will die or be unable to work due to illness, injury or disability before retirement age</strong>. Yet not everyone feels prepared for this possibility, and most families suffer financially as a result.</p> <p>Australians who are currently struggling to fit life insurance into their budget may be able to benefit by integrating a policy into their super fund. It’s a strategy that allows you to have more buck in the bank for your lifestyle, but also have the peace of mind that your super is looking after both your future <em>and </em>your family.</p> <p><strong>Forget about sacrificing quality of life in retirement!</strong> This strategy has the potential to provide consumers with peace of mind without impacting their everyday costs of living. But always remember to consult with a financial adviser or representative before making an important decision pertaining to your super.</p> <p>It works simply like this: life insurance premiums are taken directly from the superannuation balance, instead of one of your personal accounts.</p> <p>This means that <strong>cover may be affordable even to those on a tight household budget</strong>, ensuring more Australians and their families can get protected. An additional benefit is that because this process is automatic, consumers don’t need to worry about remembering to pay their premiums on time.</p> <p>This is particularly useful for those whose financial incomes drastically change month to month, such as freelancers, contractors, casual workers or other groups.</p> <p>As part of the life insurance packages available via super, consumers can usually get Death Cover, Total and Permanent Disability (TPD), Income Protection and sometimes even an extra funeral benefit. Critical Illness and Trauma insurance, however, is usually not available through superannuation. Always check with your provider to see what benefits are available to you.</p> <p><strong>Bundling insurances in a superannuation account</strong> may be the perfect way you can balance your lifestyle and your family protection in one easy financial system.</p> <p>See what you can do within your super today.</p> <p><strong>Get started now:</strong></p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Select your <strong>state below.</strong></p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> After answering a few questions, you will have the opportunity to compare quotes in your area and could be eligible for significant savings.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://lifeinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/stepn/#step1?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=october&amp;utm_term=super-strategy"><img style="width: 456.817px; height: 500px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7831174/altmedia_o60_map_1280.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/3d8089f2924f44e7888395bc59e1c1c9" /></a></strong></p> <p><a href="https://lifeinsurancecomparison.com.au/form/stepn/#step1?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=october&amp;utm_term=super-strategy"><em>LifeInsuranceComparison.com.au</em></a><em>'s online quote comparison tool makes it easy to get quotes from 10 Australia's biggest life insurers</em></p> <p><em>The information contained on this webpage is of general advice only and has been prepared without taking into consideration your objectives, needs and financial situation. As such, it is important that you consider the appropriateness of this advice before proceeding. Any opinions expressed within an article are those of the author and do not specifically reflect the views of Advizer Pty Ltd.</em></p>

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