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Defined benefits: concern about legislation before Australian parliament

THERE are concerns about the Social Services Legislation Amendment to the Fair and Sustainable Pensions Bill 2015.

Currently the Bill is in the House of Representatives, and it looks to:

  • Add a 10 per cent cap on the deductible amount for a defined benefit income stream that can be excluded from the social security income test from 1 January 2016; and
  • Reduce from 26 to two weeks the period during which age pension and other payments with unlimited portability can be paid outside Australia at the means-tested rate from 1 January 2017

If passed, it could have a significant impact on people on Defined Benefits and their future pension.

The Tasmanian Association of State Superannuants President Murray Harper wrote to Senator Reynolds expressing concern about the legislation.

“Under the current pension rules many people are able to exclude a significant percentage of their defined benefit income stream from the Aged Pension means test and will, therefore, lose a significant percentage (and in some cases all) their Aged Pension when the stream reduces to 10%,” Mr Harper wrote.

“Many people in Tasmania, and I assume in other States, are very concerned about this whole plan and the number of voters who will be adversely affected.”

You can find out more about the legislation here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_LEGislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5485

You can read a transcript from the Senate here: Community Affairs Legislation Committee_Hansard Extract

 

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