News National Pension changes set to pass parliament

Pension changes set to pass parliament

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Proposed pension changes cutting off tens of thousands of retirees but increasing payments to even more are expected to pass parliament after the federal government secured support from the Greens.

With Labor vowing to vote down the legislation tightening the pension asset tests, the government on Tuesday night announced the minor party would instead help pass the measures.

It will mean about 170,000 pensioners will get an extra $15 a week, while about 91,000 homeowner retirees will lose their part pension and another 235,000 will have their pension reduced.

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“Those measures will pass with the support of the Greens,” Social Services Minister Scott Morrison told Sky News on Tuesday night.

In return, the government has agreed look at retirement incomes as part of the tax white paper process, and is extending submissions to July 24.

The Greens took credit for putting superannuation into the equation on pensions.

“We’re restoring the system to ensure that everyone has a decent retirement,” leader Richard Di Natale said in a statement.

However, the government says it won’t increase taxes on superannuation regardless of the deal.

“Nothing that is subject to these arrangements will change any of that,” Mr Morrison said.

Earlier, Labor said the impact of the measures would be much broader than estimated, with half of all people leaving the workforce in the next decade set to be impacted.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said hundreds of thousands of people in their 50s and 60s thinking about retiring should get what’s available now.

“This is a classic government tactic setting pensioner against pensioner,” he said.

The government wants the legislation to be considered by the Senate as soon as possible and will bring it on for debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.


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