November 07, 2016

The Turnbull Government has continued its incompetent and chaotic record, this time seconding a Labor motion in the House of Representatives today which called on the Turnbull Government to lower deeming rates for pensioners in order to give them much needed relief. 

The LNP Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz MP seconded Labor’s motion which stated that the “Turnbull Government is short-changing Australian pensioners” and called on the Government to lower deeming rates in line with falling interest rates.

Just last month the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer MP backed a Labor amendment calling on the Government to explain “why it has failed to close tax loopholes and increase transparency in Australia.”

The Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter should now immediately “reduce the deeming rates in line with falling interest rates, so that pensioners’ assets are deemed fairly and Australian pensioners finally get some relief.”  

The Turnbull Government has failed to adjust the deeming rates for more than 18 months despite interest rates falling from 2.25 percent in February 2015 to 1.50 percent today.

Currently a single pensioner’s savings are deemed at 1.75 percent on the first $49,200 and any amount over that is deemed at 3.25 percent.

Deeming rates are supposed to reflect returns across a range of investment choices available in the market, but the Turnbull Government is failing to act by lowering deeming rates.

Labor understands that in today’s low interest rate environment pensioners find it difficult to get a decent rate of return on their savings.

Deeming is where financial assets are ‘deemed’ for the purposes of pension means testing to earn a certain rate of return, regardless of the actual earnings of the investments. These rates are determined at the discretion of the Minister for Social Services.

The Turnbull Government must now lower the deeming rates and provide relief to Australian pensioners.


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