Age Pension: when will Pension Concession cards be returned?

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Last week the second reading of the Bill to reintroduce Pensioner Concession Cards to those who lost them as part of the asset threshold changes that happened on 1 January 2017. With no opposition the Bill is likely to now pass seamlessly through the Senate so why are they being reinstated, who will get their Pensioner Concession Cards back and when?

Former age pensioners who lost their entitlement to the Pensioner Concession Cards when they ceased being eligible for an Age Pension on 1 January 2017 were issued a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. Although this grants access to concessions funded by the Commonwealth, such as access to cheaper medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the lower extended Medicare safety net, it does not give access to many concessions funded by state and territory governments.

The Government has decided to reinstate the Pensioner Concession Card to almost 93,000 pensioners to maximise concessions to this cohort. 

Those who were entitled to a Pensioner Concession Card immediately prior to 1 January 2017 but who lost it due to the rebalancing of the asset test thresholds will have their cards reinstated. Consistent with the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card they now have, the Pensioner Concession Card will be automatically reissued from 9 October 2017 with an ongoing income and assets test exemption.

To maintain their current Commonwealth benefits, those former pensioners issued with a Commonwealth Seniors health card will also retain that card.

Although both the Pensioner Concession Card and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card have an ongoing exemption from the income and asset tests, there are other conditions that apply.

These conditions include portability requirements where cardholders will have their card suspended after being overseas for six weeks. The card will be reactivated on return to Australia. The Pensioner Concession Card will also be cancelled if the cardholder is in jail.

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Budget 2017: good news for pensioners

Pension Concession Cards will be reinstated to 92,000 pensioners.

Written by Debbie McTaggart


Total Comments: 30
  1. 0

    That’s very generous however, what happens to the benefits for the five months it will take the Public servants in Centrelink to reinstate the concession.
    Registration of Motor vehicles, Electricity, Council rates, Drivers Licences, Water etc. that fall within this period. Already Sydney Water and the RMS in NSW have advised the Retired that lost their concession cards that the discount has been pulled.

    • 0

      Well it is not being backdated so if any of those things falls due before the card is reinstated you will have to pay the cost without discount. As indeed have all those whose bills have fallen due since 1 Jan this year.

    • 0

      KSS, when I received my aged pension card, the RMS in NSW sent me a refund cheque for the period between the date of the pension concession and the renewal date.

  2. 0

    I am sick to death of this lot they make so many mistakes that cost those that have bugga all a heap

  3. 0

    They need to now reinstitute the old assets test so all of those who have lost part or all of their pension will have it reinstated.

    • 0

      The old assets test was a lot fairer then the one that come into force on 1st January 2017 especially for those who have a rental property as their main source of income.
      Don’t forget that many people in their 80s and 90s had no access to superannuation and had to do the best they could to provide for their retirement.
      When our income fell below the poverty level we applied for a part pension, we lost most of it on 1st January and are now living well below the poverty level. We couldn’t manage without our pensioner concession card.

    • 0

      If the Liberals and Greens ever want my vote again they need to reverse the January 2017 Assets Test changes.
      Because on the eve of the last election Tony Abbott promised there would not be any changes to pensions.
      Labour won’t reverse the changes if they are returned to power.
      Nick Xenophon thinks $75 is all pensioners are worth.
      This mob has squandered our national wealth through greed, corruption and incompetence and now wants to kick pensioners in the teeth.
      Time they are left in the political wilderness till they get a conscience.

    • 0

      AutumnOz; If people ‘lost’ their Government funded pension it is because they had sufficient funds to support themselves. The fact that they don’t want to spend it to cover their living costs (perhaps to leave it to their kids, or grandchildren) which is exactly why they amassed the assets in the first place is no reason to give them a taxpayer funded pension.

      There are self funded retires who make do on incomes equal to or less than the state pension (because of the low return on their assets) and they do not get the concession cards or health cards either.

      Sorry I cannot weep for those that have assets and have been made to forgo the state pension because of them.

    • 0

      KSS, I agree that some self-funded retirees are hard done by, but the fact is that those who lost their part pensions under the changed assets test have substantially less than their always-self-funded counterparts, and lowering the assets test was entirely unjustifiable in an environment of falling returns and investment income well below aged pension level – ESPECIALLY given the promises made by the Libs to win government.

      This argument that people should spend their capital is just wrong given the retirement-funding terms that existed during their working lives and the fact that no distinctions are made for age, level of likely future need, and source of assets. I agree that superannuation was set aside for retirement, but many had little or no superannuation. I don’t agree that it’s either fair to individuals or good for the nation to punish those who lived frugally and saved, regardless of their motivation and future needs, while those who squandered their wealth or bought very expensive homes are funded by the taxpayer.

      The Greens struck a deal demanding a full review of the pension system. It never happened – another massive fraud by a lying mob in power. It Is long overdue and greatly needed. There are ways to be fairer and to better support federal budget improvement, but it requires moving away from simplistic arguments that people should spend their capital and focusing on incentives and rewards for those who work hard and plan responsibly, and acknowledgement that those who make personal sacrifices to try to enhance the lives of their children and grandchildren should not be denied the benefits of their sacrifice.

    • 0

      what happened was C’link revalued the rental house at 4 times the value it was a few years ago, they then assumed that the rent we received would be in the region of $500 per week – we are rural and rents do not go that high as no-one could afford to pay them – Centrelink have used the same standard they use for deeming bank interest which has no relationship to reality.
      We could sell the house and live off the proceeds. However if we did that some overseas investor would probably buy the house and an Australian family would become homeless.
      It is a lose/lose situation for pensioners especially women.
      One of the problems is that everyone seems to forget that very few women aged 65 and over had any superannuation as most were required to leave work once they married. Now they are being penalised because of that old ruling which was made so younger women could find a job.

  4. 0

    Its the Liberal government looking after the very wealthy. Unless you are very wealthy who in their right mind would vote for them??

    • 0

      That’s correct, Pamela. i know some very ordinary “Joe Bloggs” who vote for them and I just can’t understand why they would do so as the coalition does nothing to help such people.

    • 0

      Both Parties are the same “entitled” bunch. The reality is that we are controlled by the Bureaucrats that aren’t voted in, set their own pay scales. What’s needed is for the 2 party nexus to be broken with more independents.

  5. 0

    Its the Liberal government looking after the very wealthy. Unless you are very wealthy who in their right mind would vote for them??

    • 0

      This lot are the scum of the earth — but Shorten isn’t doing much for private truck drivers either — all for the BIG companies

  6. 0

    Trouble is the Governments bring in new taxes RETROSPECTIVELY whether you like it or not.
    Those people who are supposed (probably take 6 months knowing how they work) should get all the money owed, and the appropriate refunds where concessions were taken off. I bet the sods will find a way not to give back what was taken

  7. 0

    Just correcting Quickdraw, the electricity and gas discount continues to apply in NSW.
    You are right about the others.

  8. 0

    It was very easy to withdraw concessions January 1. Why will it take so long to reinstate sameThe answer maybe it will take till January 1/2018 to see the benefit.

  9. 0

    Better off voting for the village idiot at for at least he knows what he is talking about.

  10. 0

    Must agree Mad as hell some of the effected people were only getting a pension of some twenty or thirty dollars.Allthis after a life time of work.Recent arrivals having paid no tax at all get thousands.This Government did say THERE WILL BE NO CHANGE TO PENSIONS.

    • 0

      Might be better if you do some research to get the facts before the post Crap.

    • 0

      This I the crap that comes out of Liberal mouths.

      ” I want to give people this absolute assurance. No cuts to Education, no cuts to Health no changes to pensions, no changes to the GST and no cuts to ABC or SBS.”
      Tony Abbot the night before the 2013 Federal Election (6/9/13).

    • 0

      ”… and that I and the LNP are the biggest liars and fraudsters alive and anyone who believes a word we say is a prize fool.” Oh no! He didn’t actually add that, did he. But I heard it nonetheless. Sad that so many voters didn’t.

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