“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
New Age Pension rules to be introduced – will you be affected?
Over the years I have looked after many clients who wanted to grow their retirement savings while also be eligible for at least part pension when they reach the Age Pension age.
All my clients want, is to have a reasonable income, have access to benefits of the Health Care Card, and enjoy their retirement in a calm atmosphere of their family. Oh yes, they love to hang out with their friends.
But the government has a different plan. Over the years lots of benefits have been removed, many changes have been introduced to Income and Asset Tests, all in the name of “helping Australians live a more enjoyable retirement”.
Each time there is a change introduced, I review all strategies to ensure no loss of Age Pension benefit would affect my clients.
But now there is another test ahead of us. From the 1st of January 2017, new rules will apply to the Asset Test with new thresholds introduced.
The government and the Centrelink office did a small campaign, to advise the public of those upcoming changes, but any media advertisements were only underlying a very small percentage of pensioners who will benefit from this change.
The vast majority of pensioners however, will either suffer a great deal of Age Pension income reduction, or will lose it altogether. But that part has never been included in any of the government and Centrelink advertising. They just left it up to the pensioners to find out for themselves.
The last change introduced on 1st January 2015, took care of the Centrelink Income Test for retirees. Many suffered loss of their entitlements.
Now is the time to reduce the Pension entitlement under Asset Test.
So what changes are we expected to see and how will they affect you?
Impact of changes for a couple homeowners
A family with assets below $451,500 will see increase or no change to their Age Pension.
A family with assets over $823,000 will lose their full entitlement, loss of over $14,000 of Age Pension Income.
Impact of changes for a single homeowner
A single homeowner with assets below $289,500 will see increase or no change to their Age Pension.
A single homeowner with assets above $547,000 will lose the full entitlement, loss of over $10,000 of Age Pension Income.
If you are unlucky and lose your Age Pension entitlement, our government will be kind enough to support you with the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (HSHC).
Please contact me ASAP to:
- Discuss the impact of the changes
- Review your current investments
- Identify strategies to help you improve your Age Pension entitlement
I am still able to assist you in restructuring your current assets in order to keep your part Age Pension payment.