Pensioners to get back their cards
9 Oct 2017
More than 90,000 former Aussie pensioners will have their concessions cards given back to them today.
The Turnbull Government faced a backlash late last year when it overhauled the pension assets test.
It lifted the threshold for access to the full pension to $250,000 for a single homeowner and $375,000 for couples, and reduced payments for every $1000 in assets above the threshold. The changes meant about 92,300 pension recipients stopped receiving their part-payments.
The former part-pensioners will be given their pensions cards back from today.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the reforms were still a crucial step in ensuring Australia’s pension system remained “sustainable and affordable.”
“Those reforms increased the assets limit at the lower end, providing increased pension to people with lower levels of assets, while reducing the upper limits, meaning some part-pensioners with high levels of assets lost access to their part-pensions,” Mr Porter said.
“As a consequence, those with higher level of assets also lost their PC (Pensioner Concession Card) and…lost access to a range of state/territory and local government and private sector benefits, such as discounted council rates or rail travel. The benefits of the card vary from state to state.”
People expecting a reissued card do not need to do anything to receive it – the department will send it to them automatically.
“You don’t have to do anything to get the card. If your pension payment was cancelled on 1 January 2017 because of changes to the pension assets test, we’ll send it to you automatically from 9 October 2017.”
Reported in the news today, 9 October 2017