(Australian Associated Press)
HOW IS THE PENSION CHANGING?
The “assets test free area” – which is the amount of assets a pensioner can have apart from the family home before pensions are affected – is increasing. But in turn the taper rate is doubling meaning the pension will cut out more quickly for those with assets exceeding the test free area.
WHO DOES THIS AFFECT?
It’s expected 171,658 retirees will get about $15 extra each week because their assets will no longer affect their pension. But pensions will be reduced for 235,756 people and 91,378 people will lose it completely.
WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?
Malcolm Turnbull is being criticised for the changes but they were in the Abbott/Hockey budget in May 2015 and legislated in June that year – three months before Mr Turnbull became prime minister – with Greens support.
WHAT ABOUT MY HEALTH CARE CARD?
Older Australians who lose their pension because of the changes will automatically get a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or a Health Care Card without needing to meet the usual income requirements.