In this month’s Department of Human Services’ Podcast, General Manager Hank Jongen discusses the upcoming changes to the pension assets test with one of the department’s specialist Financial Information Service Officers, Justin Bott.
Hank and Justin talk about what the change mean for pensioners.
Download: Changes to the pension assets test transcript (DOCX, 20KB)
Download: Changes to the pension assets test transcript (PDF, 206KB)
“These changes can be difficult to get your head around because they depend on individual circumstances – that’s why we’ve put a podcast together to tackle some of the common questions we’re getting about the changes,” Hank said.
“We’re also very lucky to have some talented financial communicators, such as Justin Bott. He is one of more than 140 Financial Information Service officers conducting seminars on this and other aspects of retirement planning across the country.”
As well as providing information to local customers, Justin regularly appears as a finance panellist on television and radio to help more people achieve that ‘light bulb moment’.
He stressed the majority of pensioners won’t be affected by the changes.
“Some pensioners will receive an increased rate of payment, and about eight per cent of the pension population is looking at either getting a reduced rate of payment or no payment at all,” Justin said.
“Pensioners don’t have to do anything. If you may be affected, you would have received a letter that says that a change is coming. In December, you’re going to get another letter that will tell you more specifically about how that change will affect you.
“If your payments stop as a result of these changes, then you’ll be eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card if you’re over Age Pension age. Everybody who’s on a pension of whatever form will be eligible for a Low Income Health Care Card for the rest of their life.”
Justin also encouraged pensioners to attend the upcoming Financial Information Service seminars.
Read more about the changes to the pension assets test and to use the Online Estimator tool.