Budget 2014-15: Commonwealth Seniors Health Card – include untaxed superannuation income in the eligibility assessment

Important Update: This measure is subject to the passage of legislation.

Description of the measure

From 1 January 2015, non-taxable superannuation income will be included in the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) income test. This means that from 1 January 2015, superannuation account based income streams will be deemed under the existing deeming rules for the Age Pension.

From 1 January 2015 this will affect all new CSHC holders.

This is subject to a grandfathering provision. This means that there will be no change for customers who are existing CSHC holders as at 1 January 2015 and who have existing superannuation account based income streams. However any new superannuation account based income streams purchased by these customers after 1 January 2015 will be subject to the new deeming rules.

To reduce the red tape burden on seniors, portability for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card will be increased from 6 to 19 weeks from 1 January 2015. This means that holders of the card can travel overseas for up to 19 weeks before having their card cancelled.

Questions and answers

Who will be affected by this measure?

This measure will affect new CSHC holders who are granted on or after 1 January 2015. Customers who are existing CSHC holders as at 1 January 2015 will not be subject to deeming of existing superannuation account based income streams. However, existing CSHC holders who purchase a new product on or after 1 January 2015 will be subject to superannuation deeming arrangements on that product.

When will this measure start and finish?

This measure will start on 1 January 2015 and is ongoing.