Cockies get break thanks to Centrelink
It is a leftover concession from the Howard Government era that means many older farmers could be missing out on valuable Centrelink benefits.
Sometimes referred to as the “cockie’s exemption” it allows access to the age pension and valuable concession cards once a person is entitled to an age pension.
The lucrative perk is one of dozens of tips WA financial adviser Nick Bruining details in his new book, Don’t Panic: More reasons you don’t need $1 million to retire well.
The book is a fully revised and updated version of his first Don’t Panic project, which ran off the shelves when it was published in 2015. The new edition is 50 pages longer than its predecessor, contains a bonus “ready-reckoner” of figures and thresholds important to retirees and has a pull-out household budget planner.
Importantly, in the banking royal commission era, Don’t Panic: More reasons you don’t need JU $1 million to retire well has lots of information about what fees and charges are reasonable and how you can choose a financial adviser.
The so-called cockie’s exemption comes about because Centrelink age pensions do not require you to stop work in order to claim. Having reached the eligibility age, you simply need to satisfy the means test conditions. Centrelink has two tests based on income and assets and the test which produces the lowest pension is the one used.
For a couple on the land, income needs to be under a combined $79,736 to qualify for a small part pension which also gains access to the valuable pension concession card.
The concession card provides substantial discounts on medical and government utilities and services worth anything from a few hundred dollars to several thousand a year, depending on your circumstances.
Retired South West dairy farmer Alan Standring may be eligible for a little-known Centrelink benefit as Don’t Panic: More Reasons You Don’t Need $1 noted in WA financial adviser Nick Bruining’s revised book million to Retire Well.