CHANGES TO THE AGE PENSION ASSET TEST

2 Sep 2016 By Media Super Team

From 1 January 2017 changes to the Age Pension asset test threshold for both full and partial pensions will come into effect. The thresholds indicate the value of the assets you can own (excluding your home) before you lose your eligibility for the Age Pension.

The Government will increase the asset test threshold (which is the maximum assets a person can hold in addition to the family home) in order to qualify for a full aged pension. This means more people will be eligible to receive the full pension.

Asset test threshold for full pension

Current

1 January 2017

Single homeowner

$202,000

$250,000

Couple combined homeowners

$286,500

$375,000

Single non-homeowner

$345,500

$450,000

Couple combined non-homeowner

$433,000

$575,000

However, at the same time they are increasing the Age Pension asset test taper rate, which determines how much Age Pension a retiree will receive. This will reduce the maximum value of assets a retiree can hold to qualify for a part pension. For every $1,000 of assets over the asset free threshold, the pension rate will reduce by $3.00 a fortnight (an increase from the previous $1.50 per fortnight taper rate). 

This means that less people will be eligible for a part pension or will receive a lower amount.

Asset test threshold for part pension

Current

1 January 2017

Single homeowner

$775,500

$547,000

Couple combined homeowners

$1,151,500

$823,000

Single non-homeowner

$922,500

$747,000

Couple combined non-homeowner

$1,298,000

$1,023,000

People who do lose their pensions in January will able to maintain their Commonwealth senior’s health card or a low income health card, which provide access to Medicare bulk billing and less expensive pharmaceuticals.

If you’re unsure about how these changes will affect you or you would like to know more, speak to a Media Super Financial Planner#. You can arrange to speak to a financial planner by calling us on 1800 640 886. 

Media Super has engaged Industry Fund Services (IFS) ABN 54 007 016 195 AFSL No 232514 to facilitate the provision of financial advice to members of Media Super. Advice is provided by one of our Financial Planners who are Representatives of IFS. Fees may apply. Further information about the cost of advice is set out in the relevant Financial Services Guide, a copy of which can be obtained by calling IFS on 1300 138 848. IFS is responsible for any personal advice given to you by its Representatives.