For a person in receipt of a part rate Age Pension – as a result of their assets and their income being above the applicable thresholds – understanding the pension they are being paid and working out whether it is correct can sometimes be a hit and miss process.
The asset and income thresholds which affect your pension entitlement are adjusted every year on 1 July. The age pension itself is increased in March and again in September every year.
If you have money invested in shares or managed funds, the asset value of these are also adjusted automatically every year in March and September. Depending on the movement in the official interest rates the deemed rate of interest which would be applied to a pensioner’s financial assets could also be adjusted at least twice a year.
Five to seven of these movements are automatic reviews carried out by Centrelink at the push of a button.
These automatic reviews do not take into account a change in a pensioner’s circumstances, which they are required to report to Centrelink within 14 days. It is no wonder a large section of the pension community are confused about their correct entitlement and I would suggest a fairly substantial number are receiving the incorrect entitlement.
As a pensioner, if you are concerned about your entitlement and don’t fully understand the letters that you receive from either Centrelink or Veterans Affairs, you definitely need to talk to someone who specialises in this type of advice. You do not want to find yourself in a position of being underpaid or even worse, overpaid.
MARK TEALE | CENTREPOINT ALLIANCE
PREPARE FOR LIFE | ISSUE 17 | 2015
The information provided in this page is general in nature and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information you should consider the appropriateness of the information with regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should seek independent advice from your financial adviser before making any decisions.
AUSTRALIAN MORTGAGE AND FINANCIAL ADVISERS (AMAFA)
Phone: 07 3378 2056
Fax: 07 3378 2069