With tax cuts grabbing most of the attention in the May 2018 Budget, some quiet tweaks to superannuation and retirement income were drowned out in all the noise. But these small changes could have a big effect on the amount of money that ends up in your nest egg when you retire.

Here’s a rundown of some of the more significant proposed changes:

Budget Changes – Income opportunities for retirees i

In the May 2018 Federal Budget the government expanded the Pension Loan Scheme. This will allow Australians of Age Pension age to boost their income using the equity in their home. Under the scheme, retirees will be able to borrow up to 150 per cent of the Age Pension (currently 100 per cent), or $11,799 a year for singles and $17,787 for couples who are on the full Age Pension.

The loan is a reverse mortgage with an interest rate set at 5.25 per cent a year, about 1 per cent below the average commercial rate.ii The loan is typically not repaid until the home is sold and the Government guarantees that the debt can never exceed the value of the home. Currently, only part-pensioners can access the scheme.

In addition, all age pensioners will be able to earn up to $300 a fortnight in employment income, or $7,800 a year, without reducing their pension. This is an increase of $50 a fortnight and, for the first time, self-employed pensioners will also be eligible.

Recent retirees aged 65-74 with an account balance below $300,000 will be given an extra year to make voluntary super contributions without having to meet the work test.

Should you require further information please feel free to contact Peter Quinn by submitting an enquiry or calling us on +61 2 9580 9166.

 

i https://www.budget.gov.au/2018-19/content/factsheets/3-financially-prepared.html#pwb

ii https://www.canstar.com.au/home-loans/reverse-mortgages/things-consider-reverse-mortgages (3 August 2017)

The information in this document does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it.  It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and it is recommended that you seek assistance from your financial adviser.   

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