Plan now for pension assets test changes

National Seniors is urging its members to check if they will be impacted by the Age Pension assets test which comes into force from 1 January 2017.

Media reports this week have said that affected pensioners will not be officially notified until Centrelink sends them a letter shortly before Christmas.

National Seniors Chief Executive Dagmar Parsons said some older people are very anxious and need help to understand how the changes will affect them, so they can consider their options.

Saving for retirement stresses workers

The need to save for retirement is a key reason for financial stress in Australian workers.

New research by AMP for its 2016 Financial Wellness report shows that workers’ confidence in their finances has declined in the past two years, from 54 per cent of people confident in 2014, compared to 48 per cent in 2016.

AMP spokesperson Vicki Doyle said financial stress was common in the Australian workers with over 2.8 million employees, or one in four, under financial stress in 2016.  

The end of tax time looms

The Australian Taxation Office is urging taxpayers to get their 2016 tax returns in now ahead of the 31 October deadline for people who lodge their own returns.

Assistant Commissioner Graham Whyte said that while more than 7.8 million people have lodged so far and the ATO has already issue 5.9 million refunds, there were still millions of taxpayers yet to lodge a return.

Mr Whyte said that MyTax, the ATO’s online lodgement service, contained pre-filled information, fully integrated tools and calculators and was safe to use.

Superannuation Reform Package Exposure Bills

National Seniors has restated concerns about the proposed objective of superannuation and calls on the Federal Government to undertake further work to develop an objective that will better shape future superannuation policy. 

Submission on Objective of Superannuation Discussion Paper

National Seniors recommends the legislated objective clearly state the purpose of superannuation as supplementing the Age Pension and other voluntary savings, with wording that includes ‘dignity in retirement’, ‘financial security’, ‘lifetime savings’ and ‘comfortable standard of living’.

Footy fans in betting plunge for finals

One in 15 football fans could be betting on the outcome of the NRL or AFL Grand Finals this weekend.

Roy Morgan Research said an estimated 409,000 Australians aged 18+ bet on AFL and 306,000 on Rugby League in the past year, with most wagers on either code conducted on the Internet.

Nearly one in two adults was expected to watch either or both Grand Finals on TV.

The Role of Financial Literacy & Financial Adviser Anxiety in Older Australians’ Advice Seeking

The future financial security of senior Australians will be influenced by the effectiveness of their financial plans. Key to ensuring this goal is the financial literacy of the individual, as well as their access to appropriate professional financial advice.

This National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre report, authored by Paul Gerrans from the University of Western Australia and Douglas A. Hershey from Oklahoma State University, examines these issues in detail and reveals some valuable findings. 

Older people not keeping cash for kids’ inheritance, survey shows

A new report has dispelled a common belief that older people are hoarding their wealth so they can pass it on to their children.

The National Seniors’ Australia Social Survey, in conjunction with Challenger, asked seniors about their current financial situations and what they expected in the future.

National Seniors’ Director of Research, Professor Philip Taylor, said nearly 3,000 seniors responded to the survey, with the results contained in the report Over 50s: Still not confident about their retirement income.

Managing the money side of divorce

Corporate and financial watchdog the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released new online tools to help people manage the financial aspects of divorce and separation.

ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said that the Divorce and Separation Financial Checklist and the Asset Stocktake Calculator were designed to help Australians manage their finances and make informed financial choices to avoid financial pitfalls during periods of significant change in their life.

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