What the 2023 budget means for older Australians 💰🧐
The big news for older Australians this week is the Government is helping pensioners and Commonwealth Seniors Health card holders to reduce cost of living pressures.
These are many direct benefits that older Australians will receive in their wallets out of this years budget. Energy relief of up to $500 per year, cheaper medicines, $15 a week more rent assistance, $20 a week more in JobSeeker payments, an additional $46 more a week in JobSeeker if you’re 55years old or older battling ageism when looking for a job for more than 9 months.
It is also pleasing to see that the government is reforming Medicare to introduce improve access to bulk billing by tripling the incentive payment to GP’s. Many older Australians have been struggling to find a local GP who will bulk bill and this $4.9 billion investment will see more GP’s bulk billing pensioners and healthcare card holders without charging a co-payment.
Energy price pain relief
From 1 July 2023
$1.5bn has been provided over 5 years to provide targeted energy bill relief and progressing gas market reform.
The Energy Bill Relief Fund will provide targeted energy bill relief to eligible households and small business customers, which includes pensioners, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders, Family Tax Benefit A and B recipients and small business customers of electricity retailers.
In partnership with the states and territories, the plan is expected to deliver up to $500 in electricity bill relief for eligible households and up to $650 for eligible small businesses.
Incentive to provide Medicare bulk billing to concession card holders and children
As previously announced, the bulk billing incentive benefits for consultations for Commonwealth concession card holders and patients aged under 16 years of age will be tripled from 2022-23.
Less people to pay Medicare Levy
From 1 July 2022
The Medicare levy low-income thresholds for singles, families and seniors and pensioners will increase from 1 July 2022.
Single seniors and Pensioners threshold will increase 3.9% or $1,440, from $36,925 to $38,365
Family seniors and Pensioners threshold will increase 3.9% or $2,005, from $51,401 to $53,406
From 20 September 2023
The Government will increase support for people receiving working age payments including JobSeeker.
The base rate of working age and student payments will increase by $40 per fortnight from 20 September 2023. The increase applies to the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered), Austudy, ABSTUDY, Disability Support Pension (Youth), and Special Benefit.
In addition, eligibility for the existing higher single JobSeeker Payment rate for recipients aged 60 years and over will be extended to recipients aged 55 years and over who are on the payment for 9 or more continuous months.
Increased rent assistance
The maximum rates of the Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) allowances will increase by 15% from 2022-23.
Superannuation & Investors
From 1 July 2025
An additional tax of 15% on earnings will apply to individuals with a total superannuation balance over $3 million at the end of a financial year from 1 July 2025. The definition of total superannuation balance (TSB) for the new tax uses the current definition and includes amounts in retirement phase pensions.
The calculation for the tax aims to capture growth in TSB over the financial year allowing for contributions (including insurance proceeds) and withdrawals. This method captures both realised and unrealised gains, enabling negative earnings to be carried forward and offset against future years.
Interests in defined benefit schemes will be appropriately valued and will have earnings taxed under this measure in a similar way to other interests.
Individuals will have the choice of paying the tax personally or from their superannuation fund and those with multiple accounts can nominate which fund will pay the tax.
This measure is estimated to increase tax receipts by $950m and increase payments by $47.6m over the 5 years from 2022-23.