Asset Changes Impact Pensioners

A new year and a new change to the Asset Test for Pensioners.

Amidst the controversies of politicians claiming travel entitlements for personal business, and the Centrelink debt debacle, pensioners are being financially impacted by the Federal Government’s decision to change the Asset Test.

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Pensions that are affected include: Age Pension, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Widow B Pension, and Wife Pension.

The changes have been met with anger by some pensioners who say they are not fair and will make their lives more financially difficult; while others say that the pension is a safety net and the assets test is fair and will support those in the community who are most vulnerable.

In a reprieve for homeowners, the family home remains exempt from the assets test.

Local resident Ms Jan Noake told News Of the Area, “Pensioners have worked hard during their adult life and paid taxes accordingly, yet now we are being made to feel as though we are bleeding the system dry.”

“I worked for more than 50 years, paying taxes, and have budgeted for my retirement carefully, using my Super as far as it can be stretched, but am being punished in a way for the reality that I may one day reply on the pension.”

Compulsory superannuation was introduced in Australia in 1992, so many Australians currently rely on a combination of superannuation and the pension.

Ms Noake added, “To be told that my future pension will decrease because of a change in the assets test feels very unfair; it’s like the rules are being changed halfway through the game, but it’s too late for me to do anything about it.”

If you need more information about your pension, contact Centrelink on 13 23 00.

By Heather SHARP

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