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Monday, 17 August 2009
Page: 8115

Mr Abbott asked the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, in writing, 25 May 2009:

Will all existing part-pensioners have their income assessed in accordance with current taper rates, rather than those announced in the 2009 Budget, for as long as they continue to be on the pension; if not, what mechanism will she put in place to ensure that existing part pensioners will not be worse off, as promised.

Ms Macklin (Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Under the pension reform transitional arrangements, part-rate pensioners will continue to have their pension entitlement calculated under the existing income test rules (including the 40 cent withdrawal rate) until they are better off under the new pension rules (including the new 50 cent income test withdrawal rate). In addition, they will benefit from an increase of $10.10 per week for singles and $10.15 per week for couples combined and their pension rates will be maintained in real terms.

These transitional arrangements are provided for in Schedule 10 of the Social Security and other Legislation amendment (Pension Reform and other 2007 Budget Measures) Act 2009 which received Royal Assent on 29 June 2009.