Can't we have both? Couple win lottery but lose age pension

The main topic discussed in the text revolves around the Age Pension in Australia and how it is affected by income and assets. The article focuses on a couple who lost their Age Pension after winning the lottery, causing them to ponder if there was a way to keep both their pension and lottery winnings.

First, it is important to note that the eligibility for the Age Pension in Australia is subject to several criteria, including residency rules, income and assets tests, and an age requirement. Australian citizens who have resided in Australia for at least 10 years in total and have had at least five years with no break in their residence are typically eligible, with some exemptions for refugees, widows, and those who have worked in specific places abroad. Additionally, one must be at least 67 years old to qualify.

The amount of Age Pension a person receives is determined by their income, assets, whether they are single or in a couple, and whether or not they own their home. For single individuals, the maximum rate is $1,020.60 a fortnight, while for couples it is $1,538.60 a fortnight. There are also supplements available for utility and medicine-related costs which boost this amount by around $100 a fortnight.

The income and assets tests play a significant role in determining how much Age Pension one can receive. Income can include wages, real estate income, deemed income from investments and superannuation, distributions and dividends, and more. Assets include financial investments, cash in the bank, managed investments, superannuation, trusts, real estate, cars, shares, and money given away. The cut-off income point at which one receives no Age Pension is $2,444.60 for singles and $3,737.60 for couples who live together. The assets cut-off point for a full pension is $314,000 for homeowner singles and $470,000 for homeowner couples. For non-homeowners, the cut-off point is $566,000 and $722,000, respectively.

Superannuation can provide Age Pension if the recipient meets the income and assets tests. Despite a common misconception, superannuation was not introduced to get people off the Age Pension. Instead, it was meant to alleviate pressure on the welfare system, create a higher standard of living for retirees, and supplement, rather than replace, the Age Pension.

Winning a substantial sum in the lottery would cause one to lose their Age Pension temporarily until the money is spent. There are concerns about the future of the Age Pension in Australia, given the rising population and fears of the system becoming unsustainable. However, it is widely supported by both major political parties and is not expected to be abolished anytime soon. Prime Minister Bob Hawke stated in 1989 that the pension will always be there for those who need it.

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