On 12 March, the Government announced a 0.5% reduction in both the upper and lower social security deeming rates. The Government will now reduce these rates by another 0.25%.

As of 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25% and the lower deeming rate will be 0.25%. The reductions reflect the low interest rate environment and its impact on the income from savings. The change will benefit around 900,000 income support recipients, including around 565,000 Age Pensioners who will, on average receive around $324 more of the Age Pension in the first full year the reduced rates apply.

Example

Leslie and Brian are an age pensioner couple

Leslie and Brian are an age pensioner couple. They have $550,000 worth of financial assets. They hold $300,000 in a superannuation account with a conservative investment strategy which returned around 5% last year. They have invested $130,000 in a term deposit with an annual return of 1.5% and hold the remainder in a cash transaction account earning a negligible rate of interest.

Under the former deeming rates, Leslie and Brian’s Age Pension would have been reduced by $65 each per fortnight. Under the new deeming rates, Leslie and Brian’s Age Pension will only be reduced by around $32 each per fortnight.

General advice warning

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