The Australian Government has extended measures brought in to help retirees through the COVID-19 crisis.

Lower minimum income rate…

If you hold an account-based pension or similar product, you need to withdraw a certain amount each financial year – this is called your minimum income amount. The Government reduced this amount by 50% during the last year.

The lower rate has now been extended until 30 June 2022 so Australian retirees can continue to receive a lower income if they wish. It minimises the need to sell down assets in markets that remain depressed.

Here are the minimum pension drawdown rates for 2021-22.

Age Default minimum income (%) Reduced minimum income for 2021-22 (%)
Under 65 4 2
65-74 5 2.5
75-79 6 3
80-84 7 3.5
85-89 9 4.5
90-94 11 5.5
95 or more 14 7

The lower rates are not compulsory, so you can choose to receive a higher payment if you prefer. But if you’ve chosen to receive the minimum income amount, this will continue to apply.

It’s a good idea to check your current pension payment arrangement before making any changes.

If you’d like to change your pension payment amount, frequency or date, you can speak to us about your options.

..and deeming rates

Meanwhile, the Government has retained lower deeming rates for 2021-22, while increasing the asset thresholds at which they applyi. These lower deeming rates were brought in during 2020 to help Australian retirees through the COVID-19 crisis.

Status Thresholds 2020-21 Thresholds 2021-22 Deeming rates
Single First $51,800 First $53,600 0.25%
Balance over $51,800 Balance over $53,600 2.25%
In a couple, at least one pension First $86,200 First $89,000 0.25%
Balance over $86,200 Balance over $89,000 2.25%
In a couple, no pension First $43,100 First $44,500 0.25%
Balance over $43,100 Balance over $44,500 2.25%

Deeming rates apply as a way to check if you’re eligible for the age pension and other entitlements. Deeming assumes you earn a certain income from your investments, regardless of how much you actually earn. It means any Government payments you receive remain steady, rather than fluctuating depending on how your investments are performing.

Deeming can provide an incentive to invest, as any extra amount you earn above the deeming rate doesn’t count as income.

If you’re looking to make the most of your retirement income, please don’t hesitate to give us a call today.

©AWM Services Pty Ltd. First published July 2021

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