AUSTRALIA - The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has hailed changes to the Age Pension because it should enable 300,000 citizens to benefit from higher payments.
The changes, due to be implemented tomorrow, would set asset testing at a higher level, therefore enabling pensioners to access more state pension cash.
Pauline Vamos, CEO at ASFA, commented: “Thanks to the better super asset test changes, over 100,000 Australians will qualify for the Age Pension for the first time.”
Explaining that the changes would cost around AUS$2.4bn over the next three years, Vamos said: “While public attention has naturally focussed on the removal of benefits tax on super, the asset test changes will benefit as many, if not more, Australians.”
ASFA also estimated that around 170, 000 pensioners would receive payments bolstered by $6,000 a year, as a result of the new arrangements.
As of September 20, single homeowners would be permitted to hold $529,250 in assessable assets and still qualify for the Age Pension. This means a couple could hold up to $839,500 and qualify for the state benefit.
Vamos concluded: “The new arrangements send an unambiguous message that saving more pays off in retirement.”
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