Changes to the Australian Aged Pension in 2018

Changes to the Australian Aged Pension in 2018

Retirement is a time to spend relaxing with lifelong friends and extended family. However before you can enjoy this period you need to navigate complex (and ever changing!) rules and regulations surrounding the Australian Aged Pension.

For a basic overview of the Aged Pension, see this article. And for a more detailed look at the evolution of the Aged Pension in 2018, read on.

 

Changes to the Australian Aged Pension in 2018


Pension Changes For People Overseas

From the 1st of January 2018, the Pension Supplement will be stopping for people who live overseas or travel outside Australia for more than 6 weeks.

After relevant legislation has been passed, payments will stop if you are outside Australia for more than 6 weeks. If you decide to move overseas, the supplement will stop on departure.


Enhanced Residency Requirements

Enhanced residency requirements mean that to be applicable for the Age Pension after the 1st of July 2018, you’ll need to have at least one of the following:

  • 10 continuous years of Australian residence, including at least 5 years during your Australian working life (the number of years you’ve lived permanently in Australia between age 16 and pension age).
  • 10 continuous years of Australian residence and proof you have not received activity tested income support for cumulative periods of 5 years or more.
  • 15 years of continuous Australian residence.

If you’re already receiving the Age Pension, you will not be affected unless your payments are cancelled after the 1st of July 2018. If you try to re-claim after this date you’ll be subject to the new rules. This change is pending legislation, however it is expected to be passed smoothly.


Pensioner Concession Card Reinstatement

If your Pensioner Concession Card was revoked after 2017’s pension assets test change, you’re in luck! Following the passage of legislation, the Pensioner Concession Card will be restored to those who lost their eligibility.


Winter Energy Cash Payments

If you’re on the age pension in 2018 you’ll receive a one-off cash payment to help cover your winter energy bills. These are set to be $75 for singles and $125 for couples.

 

Other relevant government initiatives in 2018


Home Support Services

In the 2017/2018 budget the Government dedicated $5.5 billion to home support services for the elderly as Australia’s population continues to age.


Home Downsizing Incentive

You may be able to gain some tax benefits from the new Home Downsizing Incentive. According to this initiative, after selling their primary residence, people over the age of 65 will be able to make a non-concessional (after-tax) superannuation contribution of up to $300,000 - provided they have lived there for 10+ years.

This incentive will be enforced from the 1st of July 2018, subject to legislation. It will be exempt from existing tests, including the $1.6 million balance test for making non-concessional contributions. However, participating in this scheme may change or limit your eligibility for the Aged Pension.

 prepaid funerals

Changes to the Australian Aged Pension in 2017


In 2017 extensive changes were made to the Australian Aged Pension. These are still relevant in 2018, so we’ve outlined the major updates below.

Age Requirements

The age requirement increased on the 1st of July 2017 to 65 and 6 months of age. The retirement age is due to increase by 6 months every 2 years, becoming 67 by 2023. 

Changes to the asset test

Income and asset tests are used to determine eligibility for the aged pension. While the income test remained the same, the asset test changed significantly in 2017.

An increased taper rate means that for every $1,000 by which you exceed the asset threshold for the full pension, your payment will be reduced by $3.00 (instead of $1.50). Asset thresholds also increased in 2017.

Next Steps


Considering ways to lessen your financial stress whilst on the pension is essential. Try to pay off any outstanding debts early on, and where possible forward plan your expenses too.

Paying up to $12,500 for a prepaid funeral plan will not impact your eligibility for the aged pension as it is excluded from the asset test. It’s an effective way to reduce your family’s financial burden - helping everyone to celebrate your life during and after retirement.

At Lady Anne Funerals, we are happy to talk you through your options to find a prepaid funeral and service that suits you. If you’d like more information, please click the below image for your free guide to prepaid funerals. 

prepaid funeral planning

We're here to help

Lady Anne Funerals is here to support and assist your family through what can be a difficult time, with a ladies touch. 

We are available to discuss a range of services to support your family, including: 

  • Personalised memorial services
  • Cremation and burial services
  • Religious services catering to all faith's
  • No service, no attendance 

Please get in touch - night or day - via the form or you can call us on the number below.

Phone: 1300 74 00 74

904 Victoria Road, West Ryde 2114

Let's Talk

Some of the families we've helped

“I just wanted to send you our sincerest thanks for everything you and your incredible team did for us in making the most perfect day, celebration and farewell of our beautiful Harper.

I have given a lot of thought to your business and the industry and I think it is perhaps the most important business for families to get it right when it comes to planning a funeral which may be sudden or may be a long time in the making. Either way, when one is faced with the unfortunate situation of needing to arrange a funeral, only then do you realise the importance of getting it right.

We experienced first hand the polar opposites the industry offers. It is not just about the cars, the booklets, the music and all the things that make up the day - its about the service, the care and most importantly it’s about the people.

From our very first conversation we could sense your genuine care to our situation and your attention to detail was obvious - this was very different to the previous conversations we had with others we had been referred to. Those other companies wanted to commence meetings with the paperwork side of things upfront which is a very confronting thing to do just days after losing your loved one - and when one of the others that I am referencing couldn’t even refernece our daughters name as our meeting started - we were horrified of how poor the service of care could be.

This is where you and your team shine. After feeling very lost in our search to secure the perfect funeral director to create the perfect day, my wife all of a sudden recalled you standing out the front of your office each morning watering the surrounding gardens to ensure a beautiful front of house. Well, I can assure you, it is not just the front of house that is beautiful - its the entire package that is beautiful.

Your manner, your direction and your expertise is evident from the get go. Nothing is too hard for you or your amazing team. The personal care made us feel like we were the only funeral you were working with at the time, and that’s exactly how it should be.

The finer detail, such as driving past our house so our daughter could go past our house one last time, then leaving the most beautiful flowers on our doorstep, to bumping into us at the Church because you were just doing your own research to make sure the day was seamless. This combined with your recommendations from every aspect as everything was very foreign to us, you were able to guide us to achieve the most beautiful farewell.

The day itself was simply perfect. Not once did we have a concern. The car was shining, your team dressed beautifully, cold water provided for us, directions for our guests, directions for us. Everyone commented on how amazing the day was and how incredibly your team were. Seamless is the only word I can use. It doesn’t stop here.

Your personal care and guidance then allowed us a more intimate farewell the following day (we are so grateful for for this recommendation and possibly would have missed this special day if you had suggested it was the best idea). Again, you and your team made us feel like you had nowhere else to be, and no one else to help. Just us. The setting was beautiful, the celebrant (that you arrange and recommend) is a delightful, your team make this day even more special than the last.

This is something we never want to go through again but there will be so many others, that like us, have no idea where to start to look for the right funeral director for their own special day. All I can say is that I hope that they appoint Lady Anne Funerals. We learnt a lot quickly and it is again a business many do not ever consider needing but without question one of the most important businesses to select the right person and the right team.

I welcome any of your future potential clients to contact me if they wish to discuss our experience with the amazing Lady Anne team. We thank you for giving our beautiful baby the most incredible farewell that was exactly how we imagined it, you just made it happen.”

photo02_harper
Lee Dowdall
Karen has supported my Mum and me through the most difficult week of our lives as we not only planned a funeral, but interred my Dad to his new home. I will be forever grateful to Karen for her ongoing support, guidance, kindness, empathy and friendship over the last week. Karen has now become part of our extended circle of close family friends.
Daughter of the late Sveta Dordevich
Lady Anne Funerals has the compassion, understanding and empathy that many of the larger funeral homes do not possess. My aunts funeral was dignified and classy everything she deserved. I would highly recommend Lady Anne (and have) as they go above and beyond.
Joanne Marks
I am overwhelmed with the feedback on how beautiful it all was from all who attended. You and the other ladies were wonderful, looked so elegant, and made the day so very special for all who loved Paul.
Barbara Sommerville Enright
Karen and her staff treated us with the utmost respect we could not have been in better hands during this difficult time. My mum had organised her funeral with a prepaid funeral plan which she had purchased from Karen almost ten years ago this also made this upsetting time much easier to deal with and she got all the things that she wished for.
Malcolm Ellis
On behalf of my family, I would like to thank Lady Anne Funerals for a beautiful service yesterday for my aunt Dot. All who attended commented on how lovely the service was & the professionalism of all the staff. Thanks again very much for helping making a sad day one of celebration of Dot’s life.
Judith Neville

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