Federal Budget

2018/19 Federal Budget Summary

Treasurer Scott Morrison delivered the Coalition’s third Budget on Tuesday 8 May 2018.

To read a summary of how some of the announcements may affect SCOA members, CLICK HERE

Selected 2017/18 Federal Budget measures affecting SCOA members

Restoration of Pension Cards and One-off Energy Assistance Payment

Those retirees who lost their pension cards on 1 January 2017 due to the change in the age pension assets test taper rate will be issued with new pensioner concession cards. There was a one-off energy assistance payment to recipients of the age pension and the disability support pension, as well as veterans, on 20 June 2017. Note, however, that carer payment recipients did not receive that payment.

Deferral of Drawdowns from the Future Fund

The Government has decided that drawdowns from the Future Fund will not commence before 2021-22 and may be delayed until at least 2027. The objective of the Future Fund has been reduced by 50 basis points to CPI + 4, or 5% per annum. For further detail, see www.futurefund.gov.au.

The NDIS and the Medicare Levy

The Medicare Levy is to be increased by half a percentage point from 2.0 to 2.5 per cent of taxable income from 1 July 2019. The Medicare Levy low income thresholds will be increased in line with the CPI to $34,244 for single seniors and pensioners and to $47,670 for couples, plus $3,365 for each dependent child or student. The Bill to increase the Medicare Levy has yet to be brought to Parliament.

Contributing the Proceeds of Downsizing to Superannuation

The Government will allow a person aged 65 or over to make a non-concessional contribution of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling their home from 1 July 2018. These contributions will be in addition to those currently permitted under existing rules and caps and they will be exempt from the existing age test, work test and the $1.6 million transfer balance cap for making non-concessional contributions. The measure will apply to a principal residence owned for the past ten or more years, and both members of a couple will be able to take advantage of this measure for the same home.