Australian Council Of Social Services, 1 April 2015:
"ACOSS has put forward sound and fair recommendations to this end, including reducing the current threshold that allows couples with as much as $1.1 million dollars in assets on top of the family home to qualify for a Part Pension.
"We also support the Government's move to abolish the Seniors Supplement, which is available to people who are not eligible for the Aged Pension because they are in a much better financial position than most.
• Reduce the assets test free area for home owners to $100,000 for singles and $150,000 for couples, and increase the taper rate for both home owners and non-home owners from $1.50 per $1,000 of additional assets to $2 per $1,000, so that the cut out point for the part pension for couples is reduced from $1.1 million in assets besides the family home to $794,250 in assets besides the family home - Savings: $1,350 million ($1,450 million in 2016-17).
• Abolish the Seniors Supplement (available to people who do not qualify for the Age Pension due to their income and assets) from 1 July 2015 leaving the Pension Supplement in place for Age Pensioners - Savings: $240 million ($250 million in 2016-1).
• Increase the preservation age so that it corresponds to the Age Pension access age by 2027 - with early access arrangements for people with disabilities and caring roles that effectively require them to retire earlier. May include allowing access from age 55 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people whose disabilities or caring roles would ordinarily qualify them for certain social security payments (such as the Disability Support Pension or Carer Payment) or by allowing withdrawals earlier than 55 for any purpose up to modest annual and lifetime limits - Revenue neutral.
• Replace existing tax concessions for superannuation contributions with a simpler taxation structure, in which employer contributions are taxed at the employee's marginal tax rate and a capped superannuation rebate is paid into employee's superannuation accounts - Revenue neutral.
• Extend the 15% tax rate on superannuation fund earnings to accounts in the ‘pension phase', in three annual steps of 5% each year - Saving $300 million in 2016-17.
• Stem the avoidance of personal income tax by individuals over 55 years of age who ‘churn' their earnings through superannuation accounts: From 1 July 2016, reduce the annual cap for concessional contributions by $1 for every dollar withdrawn from a superannuation account in the same year by a fund member - Saving $500 million in 2016-17.