How your hip pocket will be affected come January 1

You’re no doubt coming off the wave of Christmas festivities and are bracing yourself for the resolutions of a bright
Saving

You’re no doubt coming off the wave of Christmas festivities and are bracing yourself for the resolutions of a bright and shiny New Year. It’s going to be a cracker… Especially when you take into account all of those things that will have you thinking doubly hard about where to spend your hard-earned nest egg. You see it’s not just the changes to the Age Pension or superannuation that you need to be aware of in 2017. From the cost of seeing your dentist to petrol and power, there are a whole bunch of new laws, regulations and fees kicking off on January 1.

Changes to the pension

The new asset test for the Age Pension will come into effect on January 1, 2017. It will mean that more than 300,000 part-pensioners will either endure a cut to their payment or will lose access entirely. Yet, it has also been claimed that if you have ‘modest assets’ you are likely to receive an average rise of around $30 a fortnight. Under the new asset test thresholds the rate at which your pension payments will be reduced will double from $1.50 to $3 for every $1,000 in assets owned above the following thresholds:

  • $250,000 for a single homeowner
  • $375,000 for a homeowner couple
  • $450,000 for a single non-homeowner
  • $575,000 for a non-homeowner couple.
  • You might also like to investigate how the changes will affect your access to such discounts as council rates and public transport too.

    Changes to power prices

    It’s official, power bills are set to rise from January 1. If you live in South Australia it is likely you will notice the changes most, with at least $150 a year expected to be added to your household power bill. Victorians should expect to pay around $100 more. Western Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales, the ACT and the Northern Territory will all likely receive an additional $78 added to their bills. However, Queenslanders are said to be expecting only an extra $28.

    Changes to dental

    Almost 340,000 Australians will lose access to free public dental services when the new federal funding scheme kicks off in 2017. Announced in November by health minister Sussan Ley, a $2.1 billion Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme will not be going ahead in the new year.

    Changes to petrol prices

    The ethanol mandate will commence in the new year and if you’re still driving your car around it’s likely you’ll experience hikes to petrol prices. According to a report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in November, the ethanol mandate in New South Wales has cost motorists around $75-85 million a year. The mandate forces service stations to stock E10 fuel or face heavy fines, but with the limited availability of 91 octane regular many motorists are being forced to fuel up with the more expensive 95 and 98 octane premium unleaded petrols.

    It will cost you more to get documents certified

    If you need notarial services — such as verifying and certifying documents or witnessing the execution of a will — it is going to cost you more from 2017, with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade set to increase its fees. While the fees haven’t increased in more than a decade, the department says “The new fee schedule takes into account the rate of inflatio in Australia since the fees were last increased, the growing cost of delivery notarial services and rising demand”.

    Are you worried about costs on basic services in the new year? Do you have a budget?

    1. Carol McEwing-Anderson  

      I got shock when I read the headlines, then I realised it was Australia and not New Zealand as I read the article. It would be helpful (for old ladies like me lol) if the country could be included in the title. I know you have lots of Kiwi subscriber 🙂

    2. Shirley Jordan  

      I am also shocked to learn that this article is Australia only, maybe just as well

    3. There goes the holiday we were hoping to have!! Thanks for nothing Liberal Party. My health is precious but I will not be able to retire now! New meaning to the phrase dying with your boots on!!

      • Sue  

        Ummmm!!!! In the same boat myself……70 in a few days and still working 55 hours per week….however, you are forgetting who accumulated the debt in the first place, and who are now blocking every attempt to improve the country’s financial situation!!

    4. Heather McRae  

      I received a notice from my energy source stating changes …my electricity is going up and gas going down….but when figures are worked out I will be still losing as electricity is going up a bit so will be shopping around

    5. Jacqualine Shipman  

      have any of the people who are living in a home they own, getting a part pension, ever thought about the people like me who pay rent but only get a small portion of that in rent rebate. I haven’t been on holiday for about 30 years, I struggle to pay the cost of maintaining a car, I have to eat the cheapest cuts of meat and buy the cheapest clothes I can find. I don’t smoke or drink. Don’t be so selfish

      • Julie  

        Absolutely agree. These changes still provide for ownership of the family home and a very very generous amount of assets.

      • Phil  

        The government did not pay me ANY MORTGAGE REBATE (no portion at all) and because I worked all my life and planned for my retirement I will not get a Government, pension stop feeling sorry for yourself.

      • Pamela  

        I share with a friend in their home.

        It makes life so much easier for us both with expenses and care also of each other as needed, as we are both disabled with myriad health issues.

      • Robyn Porter  

        Did you ever think that people worked long and hard while raising a family and looking after sick parent to achieve a roof over their heads. I was constantly told to contribute to super to ensure I could live comfortably when retired , we lost a lot of super with the crash and do not have much and now we have to use it to maintain the cost of living which increases all the time. Yes I am lucky that I own my house and have some super but I worked bloody hard for it. If I had millions I would not even be worried, but do politicians suffer like pensioners NO they retire on massive pensions and it doesn’t matter how much their assets are, so bloody unfair for those of us who have worked and struggled all our lives.

    6. Why does it seem it’s always the aged pension that gets hit
      You work all your life pay your tax save and go without and your kids go without so you have money in old age and then the government of the day seems to think it is ok to take more of your pension that I was told my tax paying years would provide
      I know a lot of people this new way of calculation your pension have lost the little bit they got
      Where in heavens name will it stop
      Will they take us oldies that have something out in the desert and cull us like the do the Roos

      • Lola  

        Well said Robyn I agree with you.We were told to pay for our retirement and this bloody government just keeps taking money off the pensioners who can’t bloody afford.When are they going to take all the perks off themselves like cars planes family holidays dinners etc etc.Why do they live off the taxpayer when we have to struggle and pay for everything ouselves.Nothing but bloody morons.

        • Phil Greenhill  

          Absolutely agree,, I’m due to be retrenched at the end of March and will be living off my Super etc,, I’m not complaining about that as I have worked hard and live on a well thought out Budget,, but like the majority of Aussies we are tired of the Politicians Past and Present putting their Snouts in the trough and using OUR Taxes for their own greedy so called Entitlements,, and then telling us the Age Of Entitlement is over,, how low can the State or Federal Politicians go,,, THIS LOW,, and still they smile while slashing Spending Cuts with the Taxpayers Razor!

    7. Sue Roberts  

      I also understand from reading another comment that if you are asset rich so to speak, you will not get any pension at all. I can only assume these assets must be substantial and even though the pensioner has contributed via tax etc whilst working, their assets have been deemed sufficent to provide them with an income stream . I only read of such “cash and asset rich ” people .. none of my friends and family meet this criteria. However albiet unfair , I did hear somebody say they didnt qualify for a pension due to their asset income stream and advised they dont need the pension , give it to somebody who does and let the government have enough to give in future..

      • Robyn Porter  

        If the government did not pay themselves astronomical pensions and perks and not waste hard earned taxes we would have enough money. Remember politicians retire on massive pensions and are not asset tested, do you think this is fair????

    8. Kerry Patterson  

      Agree with you Sue Roberts. In a previous work life I saw so many people who were Asset Rich and yet Income Poor. Yes, they had worked hard all of their lives to end up providing for their possibly not so grateful children who live in the homes their parents purchased over the years from their hard work , at minimal or nil rent, but seem to find it incomprehensible that down the track they might just have to pull their proverbial fingers out and do the right thing by their parents.

    9. Asset rich people should not get the pension they should be able to live off the rents they receive from these assets. Rich pensioners should stop complaining and also support themselves if they have big super funds. Next step the government should be looking at couples earning over $100.000 these people should not be getting help from the government if they cannot live off this amount then they are living beyond their beans.

      • Robyn Porter  

        Working hard and raising family as well as looking after sick parents, owning your home, car and furniture with less than $300.000 in super is not rich, especially when you have only just turned 65 and was looking forward to not being so careful with money. Politicians should stop wasting our hard earned taxes ?????

    10. Jill  

      Yes work all your life from say 17 and save hard for your retirement and this is what you get…this is a disgrace to our country….don’t save all your life, leave nothing to retirement and I guess you get all the benefits. Be a person of certain religious persuasion and have three or four wives and we’ll get full benefits for all of them, or be a large company and pay no tax at all!

      • Robyn Porter  

        SO so true Jill, I’m with you, why did we bother working so hard and going without for so long.

    11. Rosanne Jackson  

      I worked all my life ! I qualifed for a part pension ,when i retired from nursing for 44yrs !
      Now i have lost it , ! I like so many saved our money , , we went without, many items until we had the money !
      The asset test is total discrimation between a home owner and a non home owner , ! A diffrence of $ 200, 000 ,is too much !
      With electricty increasing and petrol, and normal living costs increasing ! Many retired people too frightened to turn on the air conditioning , and will be sitting in the dark ,like my english neighbour !i for one do not want to be going to this extreme !

      • Robyn Porter  

        When are we going to stand up and fight for our rights in this country, does no politician or government listen to us are we dead and gone already. Your right Rosanne $200,000 is far to much difference, I worked two jobs to get a roof over my head for my family, it was something my father always told us, (PUT A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD FIRST). It was a hard life for me, I started work at 14, I had no mother and 2 siblings, just a very hard working father who died at 57 not that he had any super as in those days there was no compulsory super and he couldn’t afford to make any contributions. I have been getting a very part pension for over 13 mths, bu tnow this is going to reduce significantly even though I only have just over the limit of $250,000 in super, this is not a lot and certainly may not see me though if I am lucky enough to live a long life. Why has the government said this has to happen now because we are supposedly the baby boomers it’s a joke they could of changed the rules for the up and coming generations as this would at least let them know to plan for their future, but no they take it away from us line their own pockets and spend our hard earned taxes in the most ridiculous way. Why is no one standing up. ?????

    12. Mary Heffernan  

      It’s NEVER politicians’ salaries and “entitlements” that go down!! Oh, No! THEIR wages, etc. keep going up, THEIR pensions and perks just keep growing. Makes me wonder how this crew got back in, AFTER dumping their agro on us oldies and the vulnerable in our community with funding cuts to legal services. etc. courtesy of Abbott, Hockey and the Greens! ALWAYS the pollies who slash and burn, then retire to their “fat cat” pensions and perks. I’ve even looked at relocating to New Zealand, where their management of the Budget and well-being FAR exceeds ours. I’d rather take my chances with their earth tremors than with this lying, deceitful, vengeful LNP Government of ours!!

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