•   
  •   

Money Superannuation: Australians increasingly dipping into super to pay medical bills

08:15  10 january  2018
08:15  10 january  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

The easy way to slash your bills and dent your debt

  The easy way to slash your bills and dent your debt With the cost of living rising and wages stagnant, Australian household budgets are tighter than ever. Many Australians are missing out on hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of savings on their bills by simply not checking to see if they’re getting the best deal.Whether it's insurance, electricity or even the mortgage, the experts agree we're paying too much.“It's really quite simple for the average Australian to save typically between three and five thousand dollars a year," Money Magazine financial expert Paul Clitheroe said.

Health advocates raise concern about the growing number number of Australians accessing their superannuation early to pay for medical procedures, such as IVF or surgery to lose weight.

15,000 thousand Australians are dipping into their superannuation each year to pay for essential medical services. “ Australians are facing increasingly more out-of-pocket costs.” She also says Australians might begin to see an emerging two-tier system where there are some people can afford

What to watch next
  • a close up of a street: Sydney storms

    Sydney storms

    Today Logo
    Today
    1:26
  • Australian same-sex couples say 'I do’

    Australian same-sex couples say 'I do’

    AAP Logo
    AAP
    1:52
  • Dementia village

    Dementia village

    A Current Affair Logo
    A Current Affair
    7:53
  • a man wearing a suit and tie: A crypto expert explains the difference between the two largest cryptocurrencies in the world: bitcoin and Ethereum

    A crypto expert explains the difference between the two largest cryptocurrencies in the world: bitcoin and Ethereum

    Business Insider Australia Logo
    Business Insider Australia
    1:22
  • ICRC using drama to quell tribal violence in Papua New Guinea

    ICRC using drama to quell tribal violence in Papua New Guinea

    ABC News Logo
    ABC News
    1:44
  • a woman standing in front of a window: Lisa Scaffidi returns as Lord Mayor

    Lisa Scaffidi returns as Lord Mayor

    9News.com.au Logo
    9News.com.au
    1:33
  • NSW Rural Fire Service bracing for fires ahead of weather forecast

    NSW Rural Fire Service bracing for fires ahead of weather forecast

    ABC News Logo
    ABC News
    2:16
  • a close up of a building: Same-sex weddings begin

    Same-sex weddings begin

    9News.com.au Logo
    9News.com.au
    1:20
  • a traffic light is lit up at night: McLachlan assault claims

    McLachlan assault claims

    9News.com.au Logo
    9News.com.au
    0:44
  • a man and a woman standing on a stage: Craig McLachlan

    Damning allegations levelled at Craig McLachlan

    A Current Affair Logo
    A Current Affair
    6:05
  • Morning Finance Report - January 9

    Morning Finance Report - January 9

    Seven News Logo
    Seven News
    1:25
  • a little girl posing for a picture: Princess Charlotte starts school

    Princess Charlotte starts school

    9News.com.au Logo
    9News.com.au
    1:42
  • a close up of a street: Sydney storms

    Sydney storms

    9News.com.au Logo
    9News.com.au
    1:26
  • Argument between friends leads to violent stabbing

    Argument between friends leads to violent stabbing

    9News.com.au Logo
    9News.com.au
    1:25
  • Government negative gearing claims contradicted, ABC FOI reveals

    Government negative gearing claims contradicted, ABC FOI reveals

    ABC News Logo
    ABC News
    0:34
  • person standing on a stage: Craig McLachlan stood down from The Rocky Horror Show

    Craig McLachlan stood down from 'The Rocky Horror Show'

    9News.com.au Logo
    9News.com.au
    2:37
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

Health advocates are concerned about the rising number of Australians dipping into their superannuation to pay medical bills.

Labor, Coalition reject sugary drink tax

  Labor, Coalition reject sugary drink tax Labor and the Coalition believe tackling obesity in Australia is a challenge but neither will support a tax on sugary drinks. The Australian Medical Association wants the government to tackle the nation's obesity crisis with a tax and advertising bans.The proposed sugary beverage tax and ban on advertising junk food to children - especially during sporting events - are among the AMA's recommendations in its statement on nutrition in 2018.

Superannuation . Super ’s one of your most important assets – and we're here to help you get the Your super account's more flexible than you think. Make sure you're taking advantage of your super to We don't pay profits or dividends to shareholders, so the money we make goes back into the fund.

Superannuation in Australia are the arrangements put in place by the Government of Australia to encourage people in Australia to accumulate funds to provide them with an income stream when they

In 2000-2001 about $42 million was released early from the superannuation system under compassionate grounds.

By 2016-2017 that had increased to $290 million, according to data from the Federal Treasury.

Nearly three-quarters of that was spent on medical treatment and transport, with about 15,000 Australians accessing their superannuation early for such purposes.

Michael Gannon, from the Australian Medical Association (AMA), said most of those superannuation funds were being spent on bariatric surgery to help people lose weight, and in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

"The problem with bariatric surgery is that this reflects the failure of the system," he said.

"There are very limited public hospital services in this important area, a lot of the treatment is evidence based, we want to see an expansion of the bariatric surgery options in the public system."

26 years later, Cindy Crawford recreates iconic Super Bowl ad

  26 years later, Cindy Crawford recreates iconic Super Bowl ad Cindy Crawford is heading back to the Super Bowl: The model has recreated her iconic 1992 Super Bowl ad for Pepsi, now featuring her 18-year-old son. Crawford recently filmed the commercial, which will debut at Super Bowl 52 on Feb. 4. It includes her son, Presley Walker Gerber, as well as footage from Michael Jackson’s memorable Pepsi commercial.

15,000 thousand Australians are dipping into their superannuation each year to pay for essential medical services. “ Australians are facing increasingly more out-of-pocket costs.” She also says Australians might begin to see an emerging two-tier system where there are some people can afford

Australian Medical Association President Michael Gordon said Australia 's superannuation system was never designed to be a safety net for the health system. A high number of Australians are dipping into their super to pay for weight loss surgery.

He said the superannuation system should not be used to as a safety net for health costs.

Dr Gannon said the AMA also had some concerns about the finance companies set up to help people access their superannuation, particularly when it comes to IVF.

"And it's absolutely essential that every one of these patients is given robust completely independent financial advice, before going down a road which increases the prospect that they will not be self-funding when it comes to retirement."

Not appropriate to raid piggy bank for private services: AMA

Dr Gannon expressed concern about people drawing on their super because they were knocked back from public hospital waiting lists.

"If a public system has said to someone that they've had the allocated number of cycles, or if there's a genuine medical contraindication to continuing IVF, it's not appropriate that people are then raiding the piggy bank to have private services," he said.

Older property owners set for potential super windfall in 2018

  Older property owners set for potential super windfall in 2018 Older Australians looking to downsize their main home could put up to $300k in their super.First announced in the 2017/18 Federal Budget, the Downsizer super contribution scheme will allow those over the age of 65 to make a non-concessional contribution into their superannuation of up to $300,000 after selling their home.

Superannuation . Grow your super . Low super admin fees, competitive investment fees and zero cost to set up an account. The information shown on this website is general information only. We haven’t taken into account your needs or objectives when providing the information.

The payment is called a departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP). How to get this form. Generally, if you do not claim your super from your fund within six months of leaving Australia and your visa ceases to be in effect, your fund may be required to transfer the money to the ATO.

The Consumers Health Forum said the trend highlighted an increase in out-of-pocket costs for healthcare.

Chief executive Leanne Wells said while she did not oppose people being able to access their superannuation in "exceptional circumstances", the current level of use was concerning.

"It's really not the purpose of super, it creates problems with age care down the track," she said.

"It's not the right mechanism to subsidise healthcare. We need a better solution."

The amount of superannuation funds released early on medical grounds has been rapidly increasing since 2010, something Ms Wells said could point to problems with Australia's universal healthcare system.

"[It] raises questions about whether we've got an emerging two-tier system, where we've got people who can afford and people who can't afford, and those that can't in the immediate term are looking to other alternatives," she said.

Finance Minister Kelly O'Dwyer has ordered a review into the early release of superannuation, with a report due in March.

Aussies raiding retirement fund for gastric surgery .
Weight loss surgery has Australians dipping into their super at increasing rates, with one clinic seeing a five-fold increase since 2010. Joanna Metzikis is one who has done it and she said she couldn't put a price on how it had improved her life.Ms Metzikis had battled morbid obesity since her teens, and when she turned 30 she was battling high blood pressure and lower back problems.Unable to afford gastric sleeve surgery, she withdrew half her super - a total of $25,000 - to cover the cost."I made a decision I didn't want to wait, and that was the quickest and best way for me," she told A Current Affair.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!