Provided below is a short summary of measures announced in the incoming Labor Government's first Budget, released yesterday, of interest or importance to retirees.
The Government will freeze social security deeming rates at their current levels until 30 June 2024.
More people will now be able to make downsizer contributions to their superannuation, by reducing the minimum eligibility age from 60 to 55 years of age. The age requirement has now fallen from 65, to 60 and now 55 since this measure was introduced in 2018. The new age limit will come into effect from the start of the first quarter after Royal Assent of the enabling legislation.
The Government announced that they would extend the assets test exemption for principal home sale proceeds from 12 months to 24 months for income support recipients and change the income test, to apply only the lower deeming rate (0.25 per cent) to principal home sale proceeds when calculating deemed income for 24 months after the sale of the principal home.
The Government confirmed that age and veteran pensioners would be eligible for a once off credit of $4,000 to their Work Bonus income bank. The temporary income bank top up will increase the amount pensioners can earn in 2022–23 from $7,800 to $11,800, before their pension is reduced,
Confirmation that the income threshold for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card would increase from $61,284 to $90,000 for singles and from $98,054 to $144,000 (combined) for couples. This change is currently in legislation before Parliament.
From 1 January 2023, the maximum co‑payment under the PBS will reduce from $42.50 to $30 per script, a 29% reduction.
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