News

New tests for age pension

Kari Bourne

PENSIONER groups have largely welcomed the Abbott government's new approach to the aged pension, but repeated their calls for a holistic review of retirement incomes on Thursday.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday revealed a raft of changes to ensuring those who had prepared for retirement, and could afford to go without a pension, would do so.

He said the pension was a "safety net, not a superannuation scheme" and the government's planned changes represented a compromise on last year's controversial pension cuts.

The changes will mean more than 230,000 asset-rich part-pensioners will have their pensions cut, while those with fewer means can expect a small boost in next week's budget.

If the Senate accepts the changes across the gamut of aged pensioners, the move would save the government some $2.4 billion over the next four years.

While most pensioners will not be better or worse off, the measures will affect those at the top and bottom of the wealth scale, depending on their superannuation income and assets.

About 170,000 with few assets in those groups can expect up to $30 extra a fortnight, while changes to the asset test will also move about 50,000 pensioners from the part-pension to the full pension.

Those with more than $823,000 in assets would see their part-pensions reduced or removed, while a further 91,000 would be unable to claim the pension at all.

While Council of the Ageing chief executive Ian Yates said the proposals were a "better place to start", changes needed to be scrutinised as part of a broader review.

"As the Federal Treasurer and Social Services Minister have been saying publicly, whenever you pull one lever in the retirement incomes space you create consequences elsewhere, some known, some unintended," he said.

"It's important these are properly explored and given full consideration."

The Greens publicly backed the council's call for a review, while Labor leader Bill Shorten hit out at the government's changes, saying the proposals created only more uncertainty.

Topics:  pension




Council could face huge legal bill over Plateau challenge

Bundjalung elder Michael Ryan delivering a NSW Land and Environment Court Summons on the Lismore City Council

Another huge obstacle in the way for North Lismore Plateau

North Coast shark buoys go ‘crazy’ with great white pings

Listening stations have been 'pinging' sharks regularly in recent days.

UPDATE: Unprecedented level of great white shark activity

VIDEO: Rare footage of baby whale born off the North Coast

Craig Parry's photo of a mother and her calf off Byron Bay. Photo https://craigparryphotography.com/

"Career highlights" for renowned local photographer

Latest deals and offers

Sassy duo unveils Album Deux

RETURN: Baby et Lulu will be playing at the Byron Theatre.

Album Deux is Australian duo Baby Et Lulu’s latest release

An Ab Fab charity screening, darling

THEY ARE BACK: Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley as Eddie and Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.

At Kyogle Community Cinemas on Thursday, August 11

Kerri-Anne Kennerley to Sonia Kruger: "Stay brave"

She said her television peer should "stay brave"

Swimwear designer looking for love on The Bachelor

Noni Janur on her first day of filming.

The 25-year-old is one of 22 women vying for Richie Strahan’s heart

Three reasons your mind will be blown this week

Alan Dale and Jacki Weaver in a scene from the TV series Secret City.

THREE shows on Foxtel to make your mind boggle.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started