Vol 3 Ed 3
Volume 3 Edition 3 Newsletter
FINANCIAL CARE SERVICES
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors
Volume 3 Edition 3 – 28 March 2013
Small Changes with potentially significant impacts
The Commonwealth announced changes to several important numbers in recent weeks. Each change looks small but the impact could be significant in dollar terms.
Shortening the period for accounts to be declared ‘inactive’ and transferred to the Commonwealth
Firstly, the Commonwealth proposes to reduce from 7 years to 3 years the period that your bank account can remain without a customer initiated transaction before the balance must be transferred to the Commonwealth as general revenue.
Read more about inactive accounts and how you could check for your family’s ‘lost money.’ http://www.financialcareservices.com.au/2013/03/08/lost-money-in-inactive-accounts/
Centrelink and DVA Pension Rates
Secondly, some small changes to the Centrelink and DVA Pension rates and assessment regime with effect from 20 March 2013. Each change looks small on its own but taken together the changes yield increased payments to pensioners.
Increased Payment Rates for Pensioners
The Basic Pension rates were increased by about 3% and the Pension Supplements were increased by approximately 1%. A new fortnightly Clean Energy Supplement commenced in March 2013.
The Deeming Rates were reduced by one half of one percentage per annum.
Single people are now deemed to be earning 2.5% pa on the first $45,400 of financial assets plus 4.0% pa of any balance above $45,400. Couples at Centrelink are now deemed to be earning 2.5% pa on the first $75,600 of their combined financial assets plus 4.0% pa of any balance above $75,600.
Read about how financial assets are deemed to generate assessed income at http://www.financialcareservices.com.au/newsletters/vol-2-ed-2/
The reduction in the deeming rates generates a reduction in the assessed Income amount for Centrelink and DVA means testing. A reduction in the assessed Income amount generally results in an increase in the amount of Pension payments and a reduction in any Income Tested Fee for residential aged care.
Read more about the Centrelink and DVA changes at http://www.financialcareservices.com.au/2013/03/27/march-2013-centrelink-and-dva-pension-rates/
Low Income Health Care Card
Thirdly, the cut-off levels for the Low Income Health Care Card were increased slightly. Low Income Health Care Card holders are eligible for PBS medications at the Commonwealth ‘concessional rates’. State government authorities and utility providers might offer discounts to Low Income Health Care Card holders.
The new cut-off levels for the Low Income Health Care Card are $994 per fortnight for a single person and $1,724 per fortnight of combined income for a couple without dependent children. Read more about the Low Income Health Care Card http://www.financialcareservices.com.au/2012/08/01/low-income-health-care-card/
NEW CENTRELINK ADVICE SERVICE
After many requests for specific assistance to help understand Centrelink requirements, I am pleased to now offer a special 45 minute consultation by phone or in person to assess your entitlements. To book your appointment please call 03 9808 0338.
Financial Care Services Pty Ltd
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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299570 (check this at www.search.asic.gov.au/fsr/flb.html)
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252529 (check this at www.search.asic.gov.au/fsr/far.html)
Telephone – call +61 3 9808 0338
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature only and does not constitute “financial advice”. You should obtain your own personal financial advice before investing any money or moving in to any retirement village, lifestyle community or aged care facility. Financial Care Services is licensed to provide financial advice to individual clients based on their personal situations.
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