Cock­ies get break thanks to Cen­tre­link

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS -

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.

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