18th Aug 2018
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Will family member financial help affect your pension?
Author: Janelle Ward
Accepting gifts to buy a house

Toni wants to know if her Carer Payment will be affected if her brother helps her buy a new house.

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Q. Toni
I am retired and, instead of receiving the part Age Pension, I have chosen to continue to receive a part Carer Payment, which is equivalent financially to the Age Pension. I receive the Carer Payment, as I have a disabled son still living at home.

I own my home (a townhouse) but it has stairs and I want to sell and buy a single-level property.

With the housing market being so bad in Western Australia, and also considering the cost of selling and the stamp duty on purchase, I may not have enough money to buy a place of similar standard to what I have now. My older brother is a self-funded retiree and has very kindly offered to top up the amount I will need to purchase a new property. So my question is, am I able to receive a gift of money paid into a new property that I will purchase and live in as a primary residence, or will it affect my Carer Payment?

The gift towards the new home would sit in my bank account for only a few days while the settlement of the property is completed; or, it could even be paid directly from my brother’s bank account to the seller’s account.

A. You are able to receive a gift from a family member without your Centrelink payment being affected. What you do with that money may, however, affect your payment. As you are planning on using it to buy a home, which is an exempt asset, your payment would not be affected.

If you have money sitting in the bank, this money may be deemed to earn income and therefore your Carer Payment will be assessed accordingly.

I would suggest that your best course of action would be to have your brother transfer the money directly to your solicitor prior to settlement. However, you should confirm with your solicitor that this is acceptable.

You may also be well served in speaking to a Centrelink Financial Information Service officer, just to be sure you’ll be in the clear.

Are you eligible for an Age Pension? Do you know your rights? The RetirePlanner™ tool has all the information you need.

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    Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.





    COMMENTS

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    GrayComputing
    20th Aug 2018
    12:38pm
    It is time for all of us (that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules.

    Hiring more Centrelink staff will only increase taxpayer’s costs for processing the creeping insane red tape monster system politicians and well paid bureaucrats have created.

    Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly.

    Why worry that few million$ earners get it too. That is peanuts to them, not enough for a good vintage champagne.

    Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    Some opposition and independent MPs stand to lose their chance at being part of the needed government changes

    We all need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.

    Also do TODAY and every day, contact government, opposition and independent MPs and senators who could help us to get a fair deal on pensions

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    Lescol
    20th Aug 2018
    1:41pm
    I completely support this concept. Pensions should be based upon income after all thats what you've available to spend in the shops!!
    Cowboy Jim
    20th Aug 2018
    3:00pm
    Somehow I do not get your message - Gray wants us all to get a pension and then we might have to pay tax on all of our assets and income. The way I see it you are supporting the present system, Lescol. Do I read you wrong?
    Rae
    21st Aug 2018
    7:24am
    It sounds like you want people who buy luxury cars, boats, mobile homes, jewels, art, gold, holiday homes to get a free ride but those sensible enough to invest in income producing investments to miss out completely.

    I think that is a pretty stupid idea.

    The people who spend like there is no tomorrow get the reward but the diligent saver misses out. How is that fair?
    Lescol
    20th Aug 2018
    3:11pm
    To avoid misundersatanding; I call for removal of the asset testing regrime - it is mindless and does not encourage people to save for a better retirment. I also believe that payment of tax against income is fair. cheers
    Noodles
    20th Aug 2018
    7:06pm
    Every rich person should get the pension....whoopie do....and where is the money coming from now that half the population gets some sort of government assistance. Less and less people working to pay pensions as it is...there must be a money tree growing somewhere which I am unaware of!!
    Cowboy Jim
    20th Aug 2018
    7:46pm
    Thanks for the explanation Lescol, now you do make sense. Started this working life with the understanding that I would be better off in old age by saving some, now I realise that people who never bothered to put some away are supposed to be equal. Young people should put some away where no one can find it which I find a stupid solution to the problem but one that does work.
    Rae
    21st Aug 2018
    7:31am
    Seeing as you need around $750 000 to produce the aged pension and concessions I think everyone would just buy holiday homes and toys instead of saving all that money to make an income for themselves if you had no asset test but an income test. The whole idea of Superannuation would be crazy at that point.

    As it is those who have upsized to better areas every ten years and bought a new car every couple of years get the pension while those of us that stayed put and were frugal and invested for income get nothing.

    It's not fair at all in my opinion being one of the income investors rather than an asset investor.
    Andy
    20th Aug 2018
    7:24pm
    there should not be a tax on our lousy pension payment our pension payments are a disgrace a lousy payments amount to $6.000 a year this is crap the banks won't give a credit or debit card to anyone earning under $25.000 a year so the banks are saying the poverty line is $25.000 the government needs sacking full stop
    Cowboy Jim
    20th Aug 2018
    7:42pm
    On the age pension only you should not get a credit card, full stop (your words about full stop). How can you repay anything even on full pension? I kept a credit card after getting on the part pension only because it is convenient to have one and it does cost a yearly renewal fee. If a home owner you should have no problems getting a low fee one. Banks are not charities one has to keep in mind.


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