Social Security Assets Test – rebalance assets test thresholds and taper rate

Starts from 1 January 2017

Who it affects: all pensioners who are assets tested will be affected by the changes from 1 January 2017. Some pensioners who are income tested, allowance claimants and aged care recipients requiring means test assessments may be affected.

The assets test free area is the amount of assets above which allowances are not paid and pensions are reduced.

Current
Threshold Cut-out point
Single Homeowner $209,000 $793,750

Non-homeowner $360,500 $945,250
Couple Homeowner $296,500 $1,178,500

Non-homeowner $448,000 $1,330,000

The assets test free areas will increase to:

1 Jan 2017
Threshold Cut-out point
Single Homeowner $250,000 $542,500

Non-homeowner $450,000 $742,500
Couple Homeowner $375,000 $816,000

Non-homeowner $575,000 $1,016,000

Note: Current thresholds increase with inflation. 1 January 2017 cut off points are an approximation. Final figures will be issued closer to 1 January 2017.

Pensioners will be subject to a new taper rate of $3 for every $1,000 above the new assets test free areas.

Income support recipients who lose their payment entitlement on 1 January 2017 as a result of the changes will automatically be issued with a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, or a Health Care Card for those under age pension age.

They will be exempt from the usual income test requirements for these cards indefinitely.

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