A lot has happened since Tony Abbott announced the 2017 changes to the age pension. This was more than a year ago - millions of people are chasing Pokémons, even more beloved characters have died on Game of Thrones and we are watching on in horror as the USA elect a president via a reality TV game show. With all that has been going on, you can be forgiven for not remembering the details surrounding changes to age pension, so here's a quick recap.
The amount of age pension that you receive is determined by an asset test and an income test. With stricter means testing from 1 January 2017 approximately 300,000 part pensioners will have their age pension benefits reduced or cut entirely as the cut off thresholds fall by several hundred thousand dollars.
So if you currently receive a part pension or plan on retiring soon, you could potentially be impacted by these changes. Even if they don’t affect you on 1 January 2017, they may in the future.
If you are one of the affected pensioners who are in danger of losing some or all of your Centrelink benefit, then it may be a good idea to look into "shielding” assets from Centrelink. Because from 1 January every $10,000 that a part pensioner can shield from Centrelink, will increase their Age Pension benefits by $30 per fortnight.
Call us if you'd like to discuss opportunities and strategies that could help you minimise the impact of these changes.