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Getting more Aged Pension From July 1 2019

Written and accurate as at: Mar 12, 2019 Current Stats & Facts

On the 14th of February 2019, new legislation passed parliament (and is now waiting Royal Assent) which alters how Lifetime Income Streams (Annuities) are assessed for social security. 

This means that the way all that NEW products are assessed changes as of the 1st of July 2019. It will not effect any existing products or arrangements established before this date. 

 

 

 

What is a Lifetime Income Stream?

A Lifetime Income Stream (also known as an Annuity) provide a secure guaranteed income, either for your lifetime or for a fixed term. 

There are a variety of options and products in this space, however, they can be an effective way to provide income and guarantee capital, while also having social security benefits - better than just leaving the money in a term deposit. 

 

What are the changes?

Broadly the income and assets test changes are as follows:

Income test

  • The new rules will mean only 60% of the payment from a lifetime income stream is assessed. 
  • This could result in less income being assessed and therefor improving the Aged Pension entitlements.
  • There may also be circumstances where the new rules end up being worse off for the you as well, but luckily the changes are grandfathered, so getting in before June 30 this year may be the best course of action. 

Assets test

  • Centrelink will discount the asset test amount they assess when calculating the Aged Pension entitlement by 60%. 
  • This could result in less assets being assessed and therefor improving the Aged Pension entitlements. 
  • This may also be an opportunity for those who are just over the threshold to get the Aged Pension and therefor the Pensioner Concession card.

For Example, if a couple $800,000 of assets, and invested it into a Lifetime Income Stream, Centrelink would only assess $480,000, which would be under the assets test, making them eligible for aged pension AND the pensioner concession card. 

 

If you are on the Aged Pension already, looking at retiring soon or have a family member who could benefit, the best thing to do is get in touch. There are a number of considerations with Lifetime Income Stream strategies and while they can have a wide range of benefits, they may not suit everyone. 

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