EXPLAINED: What happens to your pension after January 1

HUNDREDS of Toowoomba pensioners will notice changes to their payments after January 1, with the Federal Government introducing new rules to the asset threshold and taper rate.

While around 90 per cent of seniors are not expected to be impacted, some might have their pensions cut or cancelled based on the value of their assets aside from their house.

Here's everything you need to know:

WHO DOES IT AFFECT?

The assets test free area will increase under the new laws from the Turnbull Government, meaning anyone who breaches the threshold will have their payments affected. The thresholds are:

  • Single homeowner - $250,000
  • Homeowner couple - $375,000
  • Single non-homeowner - $450,000
  • Non-homeowner couple - $575,000

The family home is exempt from the assets test, but investment homes, vehicles, caravans, shares, superannuation and other equity is included.

WHAT WILL IT COST?

The changes that will affect fortnightly payments come through the taper rate, which has been doubled.

That means for every $1000 a pensioner is over the threshold limit, $3 will be deducted from their payments.

If your pension is cancelled as a result of the changes, any concession cards will be also cut.

However, you will be eligible for a non-income tested Low Income Health Care Card.

If you had the aged pension, you are also eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

ANY UPSIDES?

Since the asset threshold has been lifted from $209,000 to $250,000, some pensioners will see their payments increased.

For more information and to check how much you will lose, head to the Department of Human Services website.


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