Age Pension Update – July 2019

By Mark Teale on Aug 13, 2019
(Realise Your Dream)

On the 1st of July the age pension asset and income thresholds increased, in addition to the increase in these thresholds the levels at which the deeming rates of interest are applied also increased.

Two weeks after this date the government announced that the deeming interest rates would be reduced. The lower rate dropping from 1.75% to 1% and higher rate falling from 3.25% to 3%.  This drop in deemed interest rates will be effective from the 1st of July but will not be adjusted for age pensioners paid under the income test until the end of September. Any increase in the age pension will be back dated to the 1st of July.

The following tables provide an overview of the changes as well as upper limits from an asset’s and income perspective:

ASSETS TEST

Assets test threshold for full pension

For homeowner’s assets must be less than: For non-homeowner’s assets must be less than:
Single $263,250 $473,750
Couple combined $394,500 $605,000

 

Assets test upper limits:

For homeowner’s
part pension assets must be less than:
For non-homeowner’s
part pension assets must be less than:
Single $572,000 $782,500
Couple combined $860,000 $1,070,500

 

INCOME TEST

Single:

Fortnightly income up to $174 pf Full payment
Reduction in payment over $174 pf 50 cents for each dollar
Upper limit $2,026.40 pf No entitlement

Couple combined:

Fortnightly income up to $308 pf Full payment
Reduction in payment over $308 pf 50 cents for each dollar
Upper Limit $3,100.40 pf No entitlement

 

For those retirees receiving a part age pension, the benefits of the increase in the thresholds are seen immediately with an increase in the first age pension payment they would receive in July.

However, for the retiree who is not in receipt of an age pension it is not as simple.

The first step for this retiree is to review their current assets or income position against the new upper thresholds, if they are under the new thresholds now is the time to lodge an application for the age pension.

If they are still just above the thresholds, by only a few thousand dollars now is the time to talk to an adviser about the benefits of a gift of up to $10,000 or the purchase of a funeral bond, up to the value of $13.250.  Both strategies will reduce their assets and possibly their income under either the income or assets test.

I would like to point out that the minimum pension that can be paid is not $1 per fortnight but $36.70 per fortnight for a single age pensioner or $55.40 per fortnight combined for a couple. So, the effort in applying and talking to your financial adviser can certainly be worth it.

 

Peter-Mark

ABOUT US

Peter Kelly

PK believes people have the right to accurate, affordable and unbiased information that addresses all aspects of their preferred retirement lifestyle, thereby giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions that will empower them to live out their lives with dignity, certainty and security.

 

Mark Teale

Tealey’s ambition is to change how people think about their retirement, he wants people to dream, plan and realise retirement is not defined by a magical age prescribed by the legislation.

 

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