Changes to assets test thresholds and taper rates

24 June 2015

Effective date:  1 January 2017

As announced prior to the Budget, the Government is proposing significant changes to the assets test for determining pension eligibility from 1 January 2017.

The proposed change will restore the existing taper rate of $1.50 pension reduction for every $1,000 above the relevant threshold, to the pre 2007 level of $3.00 for every $1,000 of assets above the threshold.

The measure, if passed will take effect from 1 January 2017 in place of the 2014 Budget measure currently in the Senate to index pensions from 1 January 2017 solely to CPI increases. As such pensions will continue to be indexed by the greater of CPI and the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index plus bench marked to a percentage of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings.

Importantly all people affected by the scaling back of the maximum asset threshold will be guaranteed eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) or Health Care Card, which provides the same concessional access to pharmaceuticals as given to those on the pension.

The table below outlines the current and proposed thresholds

Projected Thresholds 1 January 2017
  Current Proposed
Asset threshold Cuts off Asset threshold Cuts off (estimated)
Single homeowners $202,000 $755,000 $250,000 $547,000
Couple homeowners $286,500 $1,151,500 $375,000 $823,000
Single non-homeowners $348,500 $922,000 $450,000 $747,000
Couple non-homeowners $433,000 $1,298,000 $575,000 $1,023,000

If you would like any further information about these changes, please call and make an appointment today on 07 4041 2055

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