Good news! More than 740,000 Australian pensioners will have extra money in their pockets as a result of the lowering of the social security deeming rates from 4 November 2013.
Payments affected by the deeming rates include means tested payments such as the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment, income support allowances and supplements such as the Parenting Payment and Newstart, paid by the Department of Human Services and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
The deeming rate will decrease to 2% from 2.5% for financial investments up to $46,600 for single pensioners, $77,400 for pensioner couples.
The upper deeming rate will decrease to 3.5% from 4% for balances over these amounts.
The deeming rules are used to assess income from financial investments for social security and Veterans’ Affairs pension/allowance purposes. They reflect the rates of return that people receiving income support payments can earn from their financial investments, such as bank accounts, shares and superannuation. If income support recipients earn more than these deeming rates the extra income is not assessed.
National Seniors Australia, which lobbied hard for the last deeming rate cut in March 2013 after four years of no change, has welcomed the move.