When planning for the future, it is important to remember you may be entitled to government assistance. At Complete Financial Solutions, we have pension experts on hand who can talk you through your needs and help you maximise your chances of qualifying for a pension.
The Age Pension is relied upon by many for their retirement income yet there are other benefits you may be entitled as well. Much will depend on your assets and investments, which we can review for you. These generally include general financial investments, property you own and superannuation savings – all of which can have a bearing on your social security entitlements.
There are other benefits to be taken into account, other than the Age Pension. They include Mature Age Allowance, Family Tax Benefits, Parenting Payment and Disability Support Pension. Service veterans are also entitled to another range of benefits. Or you might feel you are in “no man’s” land, whereby you aren’t old enough to receive an aged pension but you’ve been retrenched or retired prior to “Pension Age”. Centrelink have special rules that apply for people wanting to look at a Newstart allowance in this situation. It is vital that you seek professional advice to know what your entitlements are. Many people fail in this area by not realizing that Financial Advice prior to them reaching “Pension Age”, could see them cut back on the pre mature spending of their retirement savings by having Centrelink provide them with an allowance prior to qualifying for the Age Pension. The key is get good advice that puts you in the best possible position to maximise your entitlements and again we can help you in respect to this.
In addition to straight forward payments, there are also benefit schemes available to people who have retired. People of pension age can also be eligible for a Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card, and the Pharmaceutical Allowance. Eligibility criteria does apply to each benefit and these can be quite complex and can change over time but we will be happy to go through these with you.
People should also be aware there was a recent change to rules for goods and services paid for using Centrepay. From July 1, 2015 changes were made which means people can no longer use Centrepay for funeral insurance, unregulated renting or leasing of household goods where the agreement is less than four months old.
If you are using Centrepay to make payments for funeral insurance to the Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund (ACBF), making new payment arrangements before 30 June 2016 will be crucial. This will ensure you are still covered when the person nominated under the scheme dies.
You should be aware that if you use Centrepay for renting or leasing household goods, your deduction will not stop immediately. You’ll have until 30 June 2016 to make new payment arrangements with the business you are paying.
You are also allowed to continue to use Centrepay for agreements you have for regulated leases. If you have any concerns about your lease or rental agreement, talk to the business you are paying or we are happy to help.