This year’s release marks the 20th edition of our Australian Master Financial Planning Guide. To mark this milestone, we are releasing a series of articles giving you exclusive insight into significant changes covered in key chapters from the Guide.
Chapter 6 Social security
- From 1 July 2018, residence requirements for Age Pension and Disability Support Pension are proposed to increase from 10 years to 15 years.
- Pensioners who lost their entitlement to the Pensioner Concession Card as a result of the assets test changes from 1 January 2017 will have it reinstated by 9 October 2017.
- From 20 March 2020, it is proposed that a new Jobseeker Payment will replace the current seven working age payments.
- It is proposed that job seekers and parents who receive working age income support will have increased activity test requirements from 20 September 2018.
- From 1 January 2017, the pension income and asset test exemptions that applied to aged care residents who rented out their former home and paid accommodation costs by periodic payments were removed.
- From 1 January 2018, it is proposed that the intent to claim provisions will be removed, which will result in social security claimants receiving payments from the date they lodge a complete claim.
- The one-week ordinary waiting period that currently applies to Newstart and Sickness Allowance has been extended to Parenting Payment and Youth Allowance (for a person who is not undertaking full-time study) from 1 July 2017.
- From 1 January 2017, the gross value of reportable fringe benefits is included in an individual’s Adjusted Taxable Income (ATI) for all employers except not-for-profit organisations such as hospitals. This will impact some payments.
- From 1 January 2017, Carer Allowance is no longer able to be backdated by up to 12 weeks before the day on which the person made a claim.
- It is proposed that there will be no new grants of Widow Allowance from 1 January 2018.
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders that were granted the card after 20 March 2017 will not be eligible for the energy supplement. Grandfathering rules apply.
- Since 1 January 2017, the asset test cut-off for allowances is aligned to the lower asset threshold under the pension asset test.
For more insights from the 2017/18 Australian Master Financial Planning Guide, read more articles from the series: