Changes to the eligibility for the Commonwealth pensioner

3 February 2017

Changes to the Eligibility for the Commonwealth Age Pension

The Commonwealth Government decides who is eligible to receive Pensions, and how much they are entitled to, based on their assets and income.

On 1 January 2017, the Commonwealth Government changed the eligibility criteria for the Age Pension.  These changes mean some people will no longer be eligible to receive Age Pension payments.

The Commonwealth Government’s changes only apply to people who have significant assets apart from their family home.  For example, the pension threshold for a couple with assets in addition to their family home is now $816,000.

People who are no longer eligible for the Age Pension will be notified by Centrelink.

Pension eligibility determines access to local concession schemes, including the ACT Pensioner General Rates Rebate and the Fire and Emergency Services Levy Rebate.  ACT residents who become ineligible for the Age Pension as a result of the Commonwealth Government’s changes will no longer qualify for these rebates.

Because the Commonwealth’s changes have taken effect halfway through the year, the ACT Government is offering a six-month waiver of any additional rates charges. Pensioners who qualified for these rebates last year will continue to receive them until 30 June 2017.

Canberrans who continue to be eligible for the Age Pension after 30 June 2017 will continue to qualify for ACT concession schemes.

The ACT Revenue Office will contact relevant people to seek clarification of their eligibility for these rebates in future years. This will be done well in advance of 2017-18 rates bills being issued.

In the meantime, if you would like to notify us of a change in eligibility for the Age Pension using the below form or if you have any questions please contact the ACT Revenue Office – 6207 0028 (option1) or email PPD@act.gov.au.  For more information about the Commonwealth Government’s changes to the Age Pension visit  www.humanservices.gov.au