Your Age Pension & Your Income – Can you do better?

Your Age Pension & Your Income – Can you do better?

Most Australian retirees want to start utilising their retirement savings while also being eligible for at least part pension when they reach the Age Pension age, if in any way it was possible.

Reasonable income, access to benefits such as Age Pension and the Health Care Card and enjoy retirement in a calm atmosphere of their family is an ideal “retirement lifestyle” for most.

Maintaining an active social life in retirement is essential and can keep you in good health too.

But the government has a different plan. Over the years lots of benefits have been removed, many changes have been introduced to Income and Asset Tests, all in the name of “helping Australians live a more enjoyable retirement” (just being a bit sarcastic 😊)

Each time there is a change introduced, it is necessary to review all strategies to ensure minimal (if any) loss of Age Pension occurs.

So how the Age Pension benefit has been reduced over the years?

  • Income Test Changes

In 2015 Income Test changes were introduced that saw many pensioners suffer part of full loss of their entitlement.

  • Asset Test Changes

In 2017 there was an introduction of the Asset Test to reduce the Age Pension entitlement for the rest of pensioners. Many, many more lost their entitlement completely.

So can you still improve your Age Pension?

If you were affected by previous changes, we can still implement strategies that could assist you retrieving or increasing your Age Pension payments. If you are new to the Age Pension system, then I would encourage you to review your entitlement as well. You might be surprised what we discover. Knowing how to mix different types of income streams and understanding their assessment by Centrelink is the key to improving your level of income you receive while supporting its longevity and asset security.

COVID-19 rescue package

This is one of the biggest rescue packages provided to the nation by Australian government to assist people and stimulate the economy.

Read all the details of the Coronavirus stimulus package

The Centrelink office will never explain to you what can be done to improve your income position, how to become eligible for part Age Pension if you lost it before or how to improve your existing payments. It is up to you to find out.

So, feel free to contact me to discuss your options and find out if your Age Pension income can be improved or regained, which in turn would also assist you in keeping and growing more of your own assets for longer.

By: Katherine Isbrandt CFP®
Money Strategist & Retirement Planner
Principal of About Retirement

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