Age Pension - asset threshold changes

In a move to address the fairness of the Age Pension, asset thresholds will change from 2017, with 170,000 pensioners expected to receive an increased pension payment.

At the same time, the threshold at which you will no longer receive an Age Pension will be reduced

The asset free thresholds and pension cut off thresholds will be as follows:

Homeowner

Asset free threshold

Pension cut off threshold

Single

$250,000

$547,000

Couple

$375,000

$823,000

Non-homeowner

Single

$450,000

$747,000

Couple

$575,000

$1,023,000

You can view the current asset thresholds here

The pension taper rate, the rate at which pension payments reduce for assets held over the asset free threshold, will double. For every $1000 of assets over the asset free threshold, fortnightly pension payments will reduce by $3, up from $1.50 currently.

Anyone who is receiving an Age Pension prior to 1 January 2017 and subsequently loses this payment due to these changes will remain eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or Health Care Card.

How do these measures benefit retirees?
Addressing the fairness of the Age Pension is a noble aim, however, for someone retiring at age 65 who is expected to live for another 25 or 30 years, having assets of $547,000 to draw on is hardly a fortune. However, the good news is that more people will be eligible for a full Age Pension, or a greater rate of part Age Pension, which could result in an increase of $30 per fortnight in pension payments for those who need it most.

Written by Debbie McTaggart



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