Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Pensioners Have a Mixed Month

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Pensioners Have a Mixed Month

Article excerpt

IT has been a mixed month for most pensioners.

On the one hand they received a welcome increase in their pension, but at the same time the government increased the deeming rates.

This had the effect of reducing the pension for those who are assessed under the income test, and many pensioners found their net benefit hardly changed as the increase in one hand was cancelled out by a reduction in pension on the other.

This means it is time to refresh our knowledge of the deeming rules.

The new rates for a couple are 3% on the first $70,000, and 4.5% on the balance.

For a single pensioner the first $42,000 is assessed at 3%, and the balance at 4.5%.

The assets that are subject to deeming include bank accounts, shares and managed funds, debentures, superannuation when the owner has reached pensionable age, and deprived assets such as excess gifts.

For example, if a couple of pensionable age had financial assets totalling $350,000, the income from these would be deemed by Centrelink to be $14,700 made up of 3% on the first $70,000 ($2100) and 4. …

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