Changes to aged pension thresholds to start on 1 July
On 1 July, there will be changes to the aged pension system that directly impacts individuals aged 60 and above.
The pension rate remains the same, but the thresholds that determine how much pension is paid have been adjusted to cover for the rate of inflation, now 7%.
Many part-pensioners will now move to a full pension, and some people who were ineligible for a pension – because they were over the assets test cut-off point – will be eligible to start claiming a part-pension and all the concessions that accompany it.
Every couple who are part-pensioners now should get a $50-a-week increase in their pension, while singles will get $35 a week. These benefits are available only to part-pensioners because they are due to a change in the taper rates – not to an increase in the amount of pension payable.
The upper level at which eligibility for a pension cuts off moves from $954,000 for a homeowner couple to $986,500, and for singles the numbers go from $634,750 to $656,500.
There also is a slight increase in the amount pensioners can earn before their pension starts to reduce under the income test. For a couple, the income test cut-off point rises from $336 a fortnight to $360 a fortnight – for singles it increases from $190 a fortnight to $204 a fortnight.
The final change is for deeming rates. They remain between 0.25% and 2.25% and will be frozen until July 1, 2024, however the thresholds have been increased slightly in line with inflation, which will have a small benefit to all income-tested pensioners.