Age Pension changes on the way
July 3rd, 2015
The Government has proposed legislation to give effect to several changes affecting the Age Pension. The assets test free areas will be increased to $250,000 for a single homeowner and $375,000 for a homeowner couple. The assets test threshold for non-homeowners will be increased to $200,000 more than homeowner pensioners, ie $450,000 (single) and $575,000 (couple). However, the assets test taper rate at which the Age Pension begins to phase out will be increased from $1.50 of pension per fortnight to $3.00 of pension for each $1,000 of assets over the relevant assets test threshold. Those whose pension is cancelled will automatically be issued with a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) or a Health Care Card. The changes are proposed to take effect from 1 January 2017.
The rules around asset eligibility do not change. That is, if an asset was eligible for immediate deductibility under the $1,000 threshold it will continue to be deductible under the new $20,000 threshold.
The ATO has confirmed that both new and old/second-hand assets remain eligible.
If the entity is registered for GST, then the GST exclusive amount is taken to be the cost of the asset. Where the entity is not registered for GST, the GST inclusive amount is taken to be the cost of the asset.