Practical tips, insights and articles to help you build the business, wealth, and lifestyle you want

Federal Budget 2014 – Effects to Aged Pension & Associated Benefits including Seniors Health Care Card

Article By Adam Hurwood | | Accounting & Tax

Increasing the Age Pension Qualifying Age to 70

Effective date: 1 July 2025

Under current legislation the Age Pension qualifying age increases by 6 months every 2 years commencing 1 July 2017 until it reaches age 67 on 1 July 2023. The Government proposes to continue this rate of increase as per the following table until the qualifying age reaches age 70 on 1 July 2035.

If you were born before 1 July 1958, you will not be affected by this announcement.

Indexing Pensions by CPI

Effective date: 1 September 2017 for Age Pension.

Currently pension payments are indexed in line with whichever is higher from the increases in the CPI, Male Total Average Weekly Earnings or the Pensioners & Beneficiary Living Cost Index. The CPI is normally lower than the other two measures, so by enacting this change it will result in a reduction in the rate of increase in the pension over time.

Pausing Eligibility Thresholds for Australian Government Payments for Three Years

Effective date: 1 July 2017 for aged pension payments

The Government proposes to freeze the income and asset eligibility thresholds for three years.

Resetting the Assets Test Deeming Rate Thresholds

Effective date: 20 September 2017

The Government proposes to reset the deeming thresholds used for measurement of income from financial products when assessing eligibility for welfare payments to $30,000 for singles and $50,000 for couples. Currently for singles financial assets up to $46,600 are deemed at 2% and above this level at 3.5% whilst for a couple the threshold is $77,400.

Termination of Federal Funding of Certain State and Territory Pensioner and Seniors Concessions

Effective date: 1 July 2014

The Government has proposed the termination of the National Partnership Agreement on certain concessions for Pensioners Concession Card and Seniors Card Holders.

Concessions that could be affected include rebates made available to pensioners for council/land and water rates, utilities including energy and sewerage, motor vehicle registration and public transport.

Changes Around the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)

The Government has proposed a number of changes around the CSHC, including:

  • annual indexation to CPI of the income limits for CSHC eligibility from 20 September 2014;
  • abolishing the Seniors Supplement for CSHC holders from 20 September 2014; and
  • inclusion of untaxed superannuation income in the measurement of income to determine eligibility for the CSHC from 1 January 2015.