Today Treasurer Scott Morrison delivered his much-anticipated Budget 2017/18 and YourLifeChoices was in the Budget Media Lock Up to enable us to report on the changes that matter most for retirees.
As you can imagine, there’s quite a bit to digest so tomorrow we will share a detailed analysis of the measures that are most likely to affect affordability in retirement.
In the interim, here’s a wrap up of the items that we believe you need to know:
- changes to Age Pension portability, which would have seen Age Pension payments subject to the Work Life Residency Rule six weeks after the recipient left the country, have been scrapped
- Pension Concession Cards will be reinstated to those who lost their Age Pension eligibility as a result of the 1 January 2017 asset threshold changes
- residency requirements will increase for those looking to claim an Age or Disability Support Pension
- a Medicare Guarantee Fund will be established from 1 July 2017 to ensure the ongoing funding of Medicare
- the freeze to Medicare Benefits Schedule payments to GPs will be lifted from 1 July 2017 onwards
- changes to the bulk billing incentives for pathology and diagnostic imaging have been scrapped, meaning patients should pay less for these services.
- funding of new or amended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to give more affordable access to medicines
National Disability Insurance Scheme
- introduction of a 0.5 per cent increase to the Medicare Levy from 1 July to ensure funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme
- ability to salary sacrifice up to $30,000 into superannuation for first home buyers, which can be withdrawn to fund home deposit
- encouragement for those over 65 years of age who downsize their home to make a non-concessional super contribution of $300,000 ($600,000 for couples)
- incentives to fast-track building of new, affordable housing
- incentives for investors in affordable housing
- banks with liabilities greater than $100 billion to pay a levy that will be used to support budget repair
What do you think? Is this a Budget that will help ordinary retirees? Is there anything you think is important that has been overlooked?