Calls for the government to let pensioners work more without losing payments

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on February 22, 2022 Fact Checked
Calls for the government to let pensioners work more without losing payments

Pensioners earning more than $240 a week currently lose 50c on the dollar of their pension.

This policy does not factor in income tax.

Under the proposed changes of the 'Let Pensioners Work' campaign, National Seniors Australia chief advocate Ian Henschke said changes to the age pension income test would be the 'opposite of a burden' on the upcoming budget.

“If older aged pensioners work more, they pay more in income tax, so they go from being a financial liability in the government’s eyes to a revenue producing asset,” Mr Henschke said.

“In Australia only 2.9% of aged pensioners work compared to 24.8% in New Zealand, which allows older people to work regardless of whether they receive the pension or not.”

Push for more suitable housing for ‘downsizers’

National Seniors Australia also wants a bigger push for more suitable housing with older Australians seeking to downsize.

Recently the Senate passed legislation outlined in Federal Budget for 2021, lowering the age of the threshold for super downsizer scheme from 65 to 60.

In its budget submission, National Seniors Australia outlines older people should be granted an exemption from the assets test for excess sale proceeds of their home to encourage them to downsize into more suitable housing.

“Pensioners who stay in larger homes no longer suitable to them have a higher risk of injury or are forced prematurely into residential aged care,” Mr Henschke said.

“If the barrier of impacting their age pension was removed, more older Australians would downsize, improving their mental and physical health and taking pressure off the residential aged care sector.”

Helping younger generations break through housing market barriers

With young Australians struggling to enter the property market, National Seniors Australia proposes an increase to pension gifting limits.

National Seniors Australia notes under gifting regulations, income or assets given away may still count towards the income and assets tests, with the limit someone can gift being $10,000 per financial year.

The gifting limit of $10,000 was set in July 2002, yet National Seniors Australia says housing prices have risen on average 8.6% per annum from 2002 to 2020 and inflation has increased on average by 2.7% per annum.

National Seniors Australia proposed moving the limit to more than $16,000 in 2022.

Green energy a new investment for seniors

In its budget submission, National Seniors Australia proposed the development of 'Clean Energy Bonds' to enable older Australians to invest safely in green infrastructure projects.

National Seniors Australia recommends the Clean Energy Bonds be guaranteed in the same way bank deposits are, giving seniors a safe savings option to invest in clean energy projects with returns paid to investors fortnightly through Centrelink.

Clean Energy Bonds are designed to be cost neutral - by pooling investment through the Future Fund, the government will be able to deliver modest returns to older investors while also generating capital to invest in large-scale projects

National Seniors Australia notes 85% of older people accept climate change is occurring, with a majority wanting to leave a greener future for their children and grandchildren.

Further, more than 60% of older Australians have already invested in one or more renewable energy products or projects.


Looking to take control of your retirement? This table below features SMSF loans with some of the most competitive interest rates on the market.

Lender

Variable
More details
SELF MANAGED SUPER FUND LOAN
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
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SELF MANAGED SUPER FUND LOAN

SMSF 80

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  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
Variable
More details
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees

Ocean SMSF (No Offset) (Metro) (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
Variable
More details
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
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SMSF 70 (Refinance)

  • Easy refinance process
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Variable
More details
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
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SMSF Loan (Interest Only) (LVR < 60%)

  • Easy refinance process
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  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
Variable
More details
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees

Liberty SuperCredit SMSF (LVR < 60%)

  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
Variable
More details
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees

SMSF Residential

  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
Variable
More details
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees

SMSF 70 (Purchase) (New Customer)

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  • No application fee and no settlement fee
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Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of May 26, 2022. View disclaimer.


Image by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site. Savings.com.au, yourmortgage.com.au, yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

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Jacob Cocciolone joined the Savings team in 2021 as a Finance Journalist. Driven by a passion for keeping Australians up to date with the latest financial news and trends, his areas of interest include financial technology, investing, property and motoring.

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