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Thursday, 28 October 1993
Page: 2757


Senator RICHARDSON (Minister for Health) —I seek leave to make a short statement about the tabling of the draft terms of reference for a review of the pension income and assets test.

  Leave granted.


Senator RICHARDSON —The Minister for Social Security (Mr Baldwin) announced a review of the pension income and assets test on 19 October this year. The review will be undertaken by an independent consultant who will be selected through an open tender process. The reference group, made up of experts drawn from peak retiree and veterans groups, the finance and superannuation industry and the relevant Commonwealth departments, will provide advice to the consultant.

  Today I am tabling on behalf of the Minister for Social Security the draft terms of reference for the review. The review will examine the conceptual framework, design principles and the actual operation of the income and assets test. The review will also examine the interaction of the social security and taxation systems, assess current provisions, including the treatment of investments against the design principles, and identify options for change to the current income and assets test.

  The minister is continually consulting older people and their representatives about the review. He will be in Brisbane tomorrow to meet with the Australian Pensioners and Superannuants Federation. He will be discussing the terms of reference with them and other groups over the next week. At the end of that time the minister expects the terms of reference to take account broadly of the views of such groups.