Letters: A Health Card trap, Chesser comparison and Cromwell cheer

Members write to outline an indexation problem with the Commonwealth Senior's HealthCare Card, ask about CDS and compare some gold minnows.

Falling in a Health Card black hole

I am a single 78-year-old woman retired on a "Life Pension" with Government Employees Superannuation, allocated to me late 1984 – this type of pension was phased out in 1985/86 – and my pension is indexed twice yearly.

The Commonwealth Senior’s HealthCare Card has not been indexed since it was introduced about 12 years ago.

As a single person, the qualification was that my adjusted income did not exceed $50,000. I still pay tax on my pension, and will do so until I die, and once tax deducted my income is well below the cutting off point. I voluntarily visited Centrelink when my income reached the cut-off point and my card was duly cancelled. My gripe is the fact that I qualified in 2001 but in 2011 at the then age of 77 I was denied – at this age the card is of even more importance to me. I have written to the Prime Minister and to Centrelink and received the usual rigmarole that gave no reason for the lack of indexation of the qualifying amount. This matter has been subject to many complaints and has been taken up by Seniors Australia who inform me that they bring this up in Parliament every year without result.

In my case I believe that my Super Pension is unique. At the time in 1984 I resigned on medical grounds after 31years as an officer in the service of the WA Police Dept, there was no alternative to taking the life pension. Within about two years others were encouraged to take a lump sum and the type of pension I have was phased out. I have spoken with the WA Government Employees Superannuation Board and a tax agent but quite frankly I don't think they understand the type of pension – taxed – that I have. I believe that if I qualified 11 or 12 years ago then I should still qualify – I'm certainly no younger. Having worked all my life I have received very few 'perks' from the government and the only thing I have left is the Seniors Card. I may be fortunate in my income but that is not the point. I am single, own my own home and have the same expenses as I had all those years ago when I first qualified for the CSHCCard. What are my rights?

DH

What are CDS?

What are CDS on banks as mentioned in the following paragraph?

“Buy CDS on big four Australian banks. Australian banks remain the weakest link in Australia’s economy, and they are too big to fail. We like buying CDS on Australian large cap banks as an outright trade or as a hedge against the long-term technical buy signal on Australian equities mentioned above.”

J Field

Editor’s response: CDS is an acronym for Credit Default Swaps, a derivative product that pays out in the event of a loan default or some other specified credit event. In effect, CDS over a bank acts as a hedge against that bank defaulting on its debts.

Havilah comparison

I have been a long time Speculator follower from 70's.

I read the report on Chesser (CHZ) with capitalisation of $56m, maiden resources of 462,000 oz gold and $9m in cash, exploring in Turkey.

I then compared it to Havilah (HAV). With a capitalisation of $72 million, maiden resources of 2 million oz of gold and 700,000 tonnes of copper, and $4 million in cash, exploring in South Australia.

BGF equities put valuation of about $3. Canaccord put a value of $2. I am an amateur investor but HAV appear a much better prospect and yet it can’t gain any traction.

G Conomos

HFT impact

I would like to see one of the team giving us an assessment of the implications of High Frequency Trading and Dark Pools on the retail investor.

I am concerned at the lack of transparency in the reporting of both types of trade and the inability of the retail investor (due to minimum brokerage) to participate.

J Deeprose

Editor’s response: You may be interested in Fil Mackay’s Hidden world of High Frequency Trading or over at Business Spectator, Alan Kohler wrote several pieces on the subject.

Cromwell cheer

I am pleased to see at last Cromwell Property Group get some recognition. It has been a consistent sterling performer for my super fund for 10 years.

B Treston