IT’S the time of year for ends and beginnings, financially speaking. You may see a change in your pension payment for a number of reasons this month or next.
July sees a review of the income and asset thresholds – good news for part pensioners.
Full pensioners will need to wait until September when the payment levels are reviewed resulting in a possible increase in pension payments.
If you are a full pensioner and feel you are missing out, don’t get too upset. Without going into the long list of numbers, we are looking at about only 0.8-1.8 per cent increase depending on which threshold affects your payment.
July also sees the automatic update of Income Stream Products. This will be done between Centrelink and your product provider.
You do not have to do anything. It is an automatic process now being completed twice a year around July and January.
July is where end of year financials can be reviewed by Centrelink, that is if you run a trust or company, SMSF or are self-employed.
Of course, not everyone has their financials ready in July. I always work on the concept that the sooner the better.
If the year-end financials result in an overpayment then the debt can be contained, conversely if your income is lower than what was recorded in 2018-19, the sooner Centrelink is aware the sooner your payment can be adjusted moving into 2019-20.
You could also take this opportunity to update Centrelink of changes in your circumstances, particularly income and assets. Centrelink should be updated any time circumstances change but I meet many who can’t remember the last time they updated. For one of my clients, a review resulted in an increase in pension payments by $265 a fortnight. Of course, it could work the other way or no way at all.
The point is that in the case of Centrelink what you don’t know or do can hurt you.
This is general information only and should not be relied upon in isolation.
Narelle Cooper is Centre for Age Pension Admin Services director. Call 1300 043 197 or capaservices.com.au