New Centrelink Deeming Rates Announced From March 20th 2015


Centrelink

The Government has announced that from 20 March 2015, Centrelink will reduce the deeming rates applicable to allowances and pensions. The lower deeming rate will be reduced from 2 per cent to 1.75 per cent for pensioner and single allowees for financial investments of up to $48,000 and for pensioner couples with investments of up to $79,600.

The higher deeming rate will fall from 3.5 per cent to 3.25 per cent for amounts over the deeming threshold.

This is estimated to affect 770,000 pensioner and allowee recipients according to the Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison. In the media alert, the Minister suggests that part-pensioners will receive an average increase of $3.20 per fortnight or $83.20 per annum.

In summary the new deeming rates will be as follows:

Deeming Rates from March 2015

Deeming Rates from March 2015

This will be received as welcome news to those pension, aged care users and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card recipients who, from 1 January 2015, have been caught by the extension of the deeming rules to account-based pensions.

It may also allow some people who were previously in receipt of the Low Income Health Card to become eligible for it again.

Future changes
The lower deeming rates may not be the end of Centrelink changes with respect to deeming. The Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 5) Bill 2014 was introduced into the House of Representatives on 2 October 2014. One of the measures contained within this bill was to reset the deeming thresholds to $30,000 for singles and $50,000 combined for pensioner couples from 20 September 2017. This was part of the measures proposed in the May 2014 Federal Budget. To date, the Government hasn’t had any success in moving this Bill through the House and on to the Senate.

Does it make a difference?

Overall, the changes to the deeming rates are a welcome measure for all pensioners and allowees who are not in receipt of the full allowance or age pension. This is especially so for those who own direct shares and/or who are not beneficiaries of the grandfathering of account-based pensions. What will be interesting looking forward is whether there are any interest rate cuts in the near future which affect the deeming rates.

Are you looking for an advisor that will keep you up to date and provide guidance and tips like in this blog? then why now contact me at our Castle Hill or Windsor office in Northwest Sydney to arrange a one on one consultation. Just click the Schedule Now button up on the left to find the appointment options.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

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