For better or for worse? The Pension Asset Test Changes.

Long-mooted changes to pension eligibility have now come into effect from January 1 2017. Longer retired Aged Pensioners with dwindling assets will benefit from a higher pension payment. On the other hand, those more recently retired are likely to receive less, or to lose their entitlement to a part pension.

This has been achieved by increasing the lower asset threshold before pension payments start reducing, but accelerating the rate of reduction from $1.50 to $3 per thousand.

Retirees with larger balances may receive less or no pension, but such payments did seem too generous. Even with the cap of $1.6 million on transfers of accumulation phase funds into a tax-free retirement account, due to come into effect 1 July 2017, such retirees should have little trouble in generating sufficient income for their needs.

If you are retired and wish to calculate your possible pension payment, go to the following link  for the government provided calculator:

https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/changes-pension-assets-test

Some retirees will be prepared to sacrifice assets in order to avoid losing pension. However they are likely to be better off preserving their assets and maximizing their investment income. They should do their own homework and obtain appropriate  professional advice.

Below are several helpful websites:

  1. http://fpa.com.au/ This is the website of The Financial Planning Association of Australia with over 10,000 members, 5,600 of whom are are Certified Financial Planners (CFP). Such planners are fully qualified,  and charge an appropriate fee.
  2. http://ifs.net.au/iris/About-IRIS/ The Industry Superannuation Funds provide low cost financial advice and a structure termed IRIS Retirement Income, to house assets transitioning between accumulation phase savings and a tax free Retirement Income Fund.
  3. https://www.superguide.com.au/   This website established by Trish Power, is a superb source of accurate, unbiased  and comprehensive information on superannuation.

Not uncommonly those who most need good advice cannot or will not afford it. They and their relatives may find much helpful guidance from government websites set up for this very purpose. Centrelink consultants are well-informed and contrary to what some may think, usually have the best welfare of their clients at heart. These are three appropriate websites you can access for your own information.

 

 

 



Categories: Financial News, Superannuation

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