Are you in receipt of a pension and Are you aware of what is happening on January 1st?

From 1 January 2017 the assets test free area and the assets taper rate will increase. Thousands of Australian retirees will be receiving letters from today onwards advising them of the changes. The assets test free area is the amount of assets above which allowances are not paid and pensions are reduced. The assets test free areas will increase to: $250,000 for a single homeowner $375,000 for a homeowner couple $450,000 for a single non-homeowner $575,000 for a non-homeowner couple Pensioners will be subject to a new taper rate of $3 for every $1,000 above the new assets test free areas. All income support recipients who lose their payment entitlement on 1 January 2017 as a result of the changes will automatically get a Health Care Card. Those over age pension age will also get a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. These cards will be exempt indefinitely from the usual income test requirements. From 1 January 2017 the changes will affect all pensioners who are assets tested, or who are currently income tested but become asset tested. For more information: listen to a podcast produced by the Department of Human Services or visit

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