Pension changes set to hit middle Australia

Pension changes announced by the Coalition will pass through the Senate next week with the support of the Greens.

The changes, which economists say will hit mid to low income retirees, represent the biggest savings measure of the 2015 federal budget ($2.4 billion).

National Seniors says the changes are poorly thought through, and should be rejected by the parliament to allow a comprehensive whole-of-system retirement income review that considers the interplay of all components including tax and superannuation, to occur first.

“Claims of ‘millionaire’ retirees are a deliberate misrepresentation,” says chief executive Michael O’Neill.

“We are concerned about the single mum - a teacher who raised two sons - who will lose her pension because she scrimped to save $500,000 in addition to her home. The new rules will see her living on less than the full age pension."

“The goal posts have shifted and thousands of retirees who’d saved for decades are suddenly worried about the future.”

The Coalition and Greens’ asset test and taper rate changes will see at least 325,000 pensioners lose some or all of their pension in 2017.

Based on current interest rates:

    • A single person earning $16,500 p.a. (3%) from $550,000 in assets would no longer qualify for a part pension. Yet a single person with very few savings, and therefore entitled to the full Age Pension, would receive around $22,365 a year (2015 Age Pension amount) plus state concessions on rates, utilities and registrations.
    • A couple earning $24,750 a year (3%) from $825,000 in assets would no longer qualify for a part pension. Yet a couple with few savings on the full Age Pension will receive around $33,717 a year (2015 rates) plus state concessions on rates, utilities and registrations.

Add your voice & oppose the changes!

Email your opposition to the changes here.

To clarify how the changes will affect you, ring Centrelink on 132300.

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