Reinstatement of Pensioner Concession Card
1 January 2017 saw a significant change to the asset test eligibility thresholds for the Centrelink Age Pension, with around 90,000 Australians losing all entitlements to the Age Pension, including access to the Pensioner Concession Card.
Those who did lose all entitlements to the Age Pension as a result of the asset test changes were automatically issued with a non-income tested Health Care Card and non-income tested Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. While this helped soften the blow, the Pensioner Concession Card did offer access to a wider range of discounts than these cards combined, which would have been particularly valuable given the loss of Age Pension payments for these former recipients.
The good news is that the Government has passed legislation to reinstate the Pensioner Concession Card for those who lost their eligibility as a result of the 1 January 2017 changes. These cards will be sent to eligible recipients from 9 October 2017, and will not be income or asset tested.
It is important to note that these cards will only be issued to those who lost eligibility as a result of the 1 January 2017 asset test changes. Anyone who has lost eligibility since this date as a result to changes in their personal financial circumstances will not receive these automatically reinstated Pensioner Concession Cards.
We are experts in optimising Centrelink entitlements, in the broader context of our clients’ retirement planning. If you have specific queries or would like to arrange a meeting, please contact us to discuss your circumstances.