My parents are visiting with my wife and I and received a letter in the mail from Centrelink outlining an increase to the Seniors Concession Allowance. In the same week a prospective client met with Scott and I and asked for more information about this allowance. I imagine it is a topic that is being discussed around Australia at dining room tables, lounge rooms and BBQs (for those who are fortunate / unfortunate enough to be experiencing some dry weather!)
So what is the Seniors Concession Allowance?
The Seniors Concession Allowance acknowledges the contribution by self-funded retirees in providing for their own retirement. It is an ongoing payment paid automatically every quarter to Australian residents who hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
The letter that has just been received by recipients of the allowance sets out that the payment will be increased to $125 per quarter for each eligible self-funded retiree. The letter also outlines that recipients will also receive an increase of Telephone Allowance if they have an account with a home Internet Service Provider. This allowance will rise to $33 per quarter for singles or $16.50 for each eligible member of a couple.
To qualify for a Commonwealth Seniors Health card you:
· must be an Australian resident in Australia,
· not be receiving a social security pension or benefit, or a Department of Veterans' Affairs service pension,
· be of age pension age, and
· meet an annual adjusted taxable income test:
o less than $50 000 (singles)
o $80 000 (couples combined), or
o $100 000 (couples combined who are separated due to ill health).
o The limit is increased by $639.60 for each dependent child you care for.
'Adjusted taxable income' is your taxable income plus net rental property loss, target foreign income (foreign income not normally taxed in Australia including fringe benefits) and employer provided fringe benefits in Australia. (The Telephone Allowance is not subject to an income or assets test.)
If you would like any further information about this topic for yourself or other family members or friends please do not hesitate to give our office a call or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.