by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Active Retirees : Active Retirees Aug-Sept 2012
40 | www.probussouthpacific.org The main beneft available to retirees is the Age Pension – the taxpayer funded retirement income stream for those who cannot fully support themselves fnancially. In order to be eligible for the Age Pension, certain criteria must be satisfed, including: • An age test. Eligibility kicks in at 65 for males and for females it currently sits between 64.5 and 65. From 2017, the age will increase to 65.5 and will continue to increase by six months every two years so that by 2023, it will be 67. • An income and assets test. • Residence requirements, which include being an Australian resident and being in Australia when an application is lodged. There is also the 10-year qualifying condition, which requires being a resident for a continuous period of 10 years or for a number of periods totalling 10 years, one being at least fve years. The Age Pension rate depends on whether you are single or have a partner, and is determined by assessing income and assets. This includes superannuation. “The Age Pension is means tested to ensure it goes to those most in need,” explains Pauline Vamos, CEO of The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia. "The government will look at your income and assets, which includes your superannuation balance, to determine your eligibility and how much you’ll receive.” The primary home where you live, prepaid funeral expenses and any accommodation bonds are not included in the assets calculation. The income and assets limits vary according to whether you own a home, you are single or part of a couple, or claiming a full or part pension. Centrelink conducts both an assets and an income test to determine the rate of payment. The assets test compares your assessable assets to the assets test threshold. The income test determines whether your income is within the allowable income amount. The test that results in the lower rate will determine your overall pension qualifcation. The fnal amount of Age Pension paid includes a pharmaceutical allowance, utilities allowance, GST supplement and a telephone allowance. It is reviewed and adjusted according to circumstantial change and is adjusted twice a year with increases in the cost of living. What about super? Benefts such as the Age Pension are designed as a ‘safety net’ for individuals who do not have enough superannuation or fnancial resources to provide adequately for retired life. While superannuation may impact your eligibility for Age Pension, most people will continue to be eligible for a full or part- pension, supplemented by the superannuation benefts. You can access your super when you reach preservation age (55 for most people) and retire, when you turn 65, or under the 'transition to retirement’ rules. ‘Transition to retirement’ means that once you have reached preservation age, you will be able to reduce your working hours and use your superannuation to top up your Superannuation can often be structured in a manner that can maximise your entitlement to Centrelink, even after retirement. FINANCE Claiming government bene ts Chances are, by now you know how you are going to handle your superannuation throughout retirement. What you may not know is that, even if you do have super, assets and savings, you may be eligible for government benefits. Jessica Goulburn spoke to the experts about how to maximise them.
Active Retirees June-July 2012
Active Retirees Oct-Nov 2012