Pension legislation hits hip pocket of wealthy

MANY thousands of retirees with substantial assets will lose their pensions after legislation to tighten eligibility passed the Senate on June 22, hours after it cleared the House of Representatives.

The Greens backed the bill - which cuts payments for pensioner couples who own $823,000 in assets outside their family home - after agreeing to a deal with the Abbott government.

The measures will reduce pensions for 235,756 seniors, cut 91,378 people from the part-pension and give 171,658 retirees about $15 a week extra.

The government says the legislation ensures pensions are fairer, better targeted and sustainable.

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie opposed the bill. "It deliberately creates winners and losers in a generation that knows the meaning of hard work and sacrifice," she said.

Fellow crossbencher Glenn Lazarus implored the government to stop targeting those who were unable to protect themselves.

He says he is concerned retirees banking on their pensions won't have time to make alternative arrangements before the changes come into effect in January 2017.


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