Government changes to the pension asset test are likely to impact the entitlements of some pensioners. These changes come into effect from 1 January 2017 and will apply to age pensioners as well as those in receipt of Disability Support Pension, Carers Payment and Service Pension.
Assets test thresholds will change
The table below shows the new asset test thresholds that will be effective from 1 January 2017.
Asset threshold full pension Asset threshold part pension
Current 1 Jan 2017 Current 1 Jan 2017
Single – Homeowner $209,000 $250,000 $793,750 $542,500
Single – Non Homeowner $360,500 $450,000 $945,250 $742,500
Couple – Homeowner $296,500 $375,000 $1,178,500 $816,000
Couple – Non Homeowner $448,000 $575,000 $1,330,000 $1,016,000
The lower assets test threshold is the amount of assessable assets pensioners can hold before pension entitlement begins to reduce under the assets test. Once assessable assets exceed the higher threshold, pension entitlement will be nil.
Taper rate to increase
From 1 January 2017, the maximum payment a pensioner can receive will be reduced by $3.00 per fortnight for every $1,000 of assets they hold above the asset test threshold for full pension. This is an increase from the current taper rate of $1.50 per fortnight for each $1,000 of excess assets.
How your pension may be affected
The changes to the asset test thresholds will broadly mean:
- Pensioners with assessable assets below or ‘around’ the lower threshold are likely to maintain their current level of pension or potentially see an increase in their pension entitlement.
- Pensioners with assessable assets above the lower threshold are likely to see a reduction in their pension entitlements – in some cases to nil – as a result of the increased taper rate.
We’re here to help
If you want to know more about how the new changes may affect your pension entitlements or explore strategies to help reduce the impact of the changes, please contact me on 02 4424 0479.
Alternatively come along to our Seminar where we will explain the changes and share some tips we use to maximise your Centrelink entitlements.
When: Thursday 10th November
Time: 10am – 11.20am
Where: Bomaderry Bowling Club
Included: Morning Tea (light refreshments, Tea / Coffee)
Speakers: Amanda Pond -Puddle 2 Pond Financial & Paris Kritikos: – Challenger Limited
RSVP: Tuesday 8th November
Contact our office on 02 4424 0479 to reserve your place.