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Pension changes from 1 July 2005 [and] Summary of changes.



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THE HON PETER DUTTON MP

MINISTER FOR WORKFORCE PARTICIPATION

Joint Media Release

05605

Pension changes from 1 July 2005

About 900,000 part-pension recipients may get pension rate increases of up to $12.00 a fortnight from 1 July following the annual indexation of social security assets and income test thresholds.

The part pension rate increases will benefit a wide range of people including Age Pension recipients, carers, sole parents and people with disabilities.

The indexation rise means that many part rate pensioners will get an increase in payments while a number of people who were previously unable to get a pension because of their income or assets may now be eligible.

Part rate pensioners who can potentially benefit from the rate increases include about 700,000 recipients of payments administered by the Department of Family and Community Services including the Age Pension, Carer Payment and Wife Pension.

More than 200,000 people in receipt of part payments from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations including the Disability Support Pension and Parenting Payment Single will also potentially benefit from the indexation-linked rise.

The allowable assets limit will increase by $4,000 to $157,000 for a single homeowner while the limit for homeowner couples will rise by $5,500 to $223,000.

This means that the majority of single homeowners who receive less than the maximum rate of pension because of their assets will receive an extra $312.00 a year or $12 a fortnight while most couples in the same situation will get an extra $429.00 a year or $16.50 a fortnight.

Most pensioners who receive less than the maximum rate of pension because of their income, will also get an increase in their pension.

Pensioners will also be able to earn more income without having their payments reduced.

Centrelink will automatically pay all relevant increases to eligible pensioners from 1 July.

The Howard Government is committed to providing financial security for older Australians and our strong economic management enables the indexation of income and assets thresholds, which protect their living standards.

In November 1997 the Howard Government legislated to set pensions at 25 per cent of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings as well as continuing to raise pensions in line with the CPI.

Summary of Changes - 1 July 2005

For further information contact:

Brad Emery Media Adviser Minister Dutton 0433 219423

Nicole McKechnie Media Adviser Minister Patterson 0414 225638

28/06/2005

Summary of Changes - 1 July 2005

Pension Income Free Areas

Old Amount 01-Jul-2005 increase

Ñ Single 122.00 $ 124.00 $ 2.00 $ pf

Ñ Single + 1 child 146.60 $ 148.60 $ 2.00 $ pf

Ñ Couple (combined) 216.00 $ 220.00 $ 4.00 $ pf

Ñ For each Additional Child add 24.60 $ 24.60 $ - $ pf

Ñ Illness Separated couple (combined) 216.00 $ 220.00 $ 4.00 $ pf

Pension Disqualifying Income Limits

Family Situation Old Amount 01-Jul-2005 increase

Ñ Single 1,327.25 $ 1,329.25 $ 2.00 $ pf

Ñ Single + 1 child 1,351.85 $ 1,353.85 $ 2.00 $ pf

Ñ Couple (combined) 2,219.00 $ 2,223.00 $ 4.00 $ pf

Ñ For each Additional Child add 24.60 $ 24.60 $ - $ pf

Ñ Illness Separated couple (combined) 2,626.50 $ 2,630.50 $ 4.00 $ pf

Pension Assets Free Areas

Homeowners Old Amount 01-Jul-2005 increase

Family Situation

Ñ Single 153,000 $ 157,000 $ 4,000 $

Ñ Partnered (combined) 217,500 $ 223,000 $ 5,500 $

Ñ Illness Separated couple (combined) 217,500 $ 223,000 $ 5,500 $

Non-Homeowners Family Situation

Ñ Single 263,500 $ 270,500 $ 7,000 $

Ñ Partnered (combined) 328,000 $ 336,500 $ 8,500 $

Ñ Illness Separated couple (combined) 328,000 $ 336,500 $ 8,500 $

Pension Disqualifying Assets Limits

Family Situation Old Amount 01-Jul-2005 increase

Ñ Single, homeowner 313,750 $ 317,750 $ 4,000 $

Ñ Single, non-homeowner 424,250 $ 431,250 $ 7,000 $

Ñ Partnered, homeowner (combined) 485,000 $ 490,500 $ 5,500 $

Ñ Partnered, non-homeowner (combined) 595,500 $ 604,000 $ 8,500 $

Ñ One partner eligible, homeowner 485,000 $ 490,500 $ 5,500 $

Ñ One partner eligible, non-homeowner 595,500 $ 604,000 $ 8,500 $

Ñ Illness separated couple, homeowner 539,000 $ 544,500 $ 5,500 $

Ñ Illness separated couple, non-homeowner 649,500 $ 658,000 $ 8,500 $

Family Situation

Deeming Thresholds

Old Amount 01-Jul-2005 increase

Ñ Single 36,400 $ 37,200 $ 800 $

Ñ Partnered (combined) 60,600 $ 62,000 $ 1,400 $

Seniors Concession Allowance (paid six monthly) Old Amount 01-Jun-2005 increase

Ñ Payable to holders of the Commonwealth 100.00 $ 101.40 $ 1.40 $

Seniors Health Card

Primary Production Attribution Threshold Old Amount 01-Jul-2005 increase

Ñ Income 32,485 $ 33,361 $ 876 $

Ñ Assets 862,750 $ 885,250 $ 22,500 $

Assets Test Cut-Offs for Allowance (Independent)

Homeowners Old Amount 01-Jul-2005 increase

Family Situation

Ñ Single 153,000 $ 157,000 $ 4,000 $ pf

Ñ Partnered (combined) 217,500 $ 223,000 $ 5,500 $ pf

Non-Homeowners Family Situation

Ñ Single 263,500 $ 270,500 $ 7,000 $ pf

Ñ Partnered (combined) 328,000 $ 336,500 $ 8,500 $ pf