Knowledge Centre

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Commonwealth Seniors Health card (CSHC) income thresholds indexed from 20 September 2014

The income thresholds for the CSHC will be indexed in line with increases in the CPI for the first time on 20 September 2014 and each 20 September thereafter. The new thresholds will be:

Seeds of Growth

Why the US Gilded Age will prop up stocks

US stocks took just over 5 ½ years to regain previous highs after the so-called Great Recession for a fundamental reason; companies posted healthy earnings growth. In fact, profit growth has been so strong that US profits have reached a record share of GDP.

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Genuine redundancy

The 2014 calendar year has seen many private and public sector employees made redundant. Being made redundant can be a very stressful time, especially those with lengthy periods of service. It is important for those made redundant to get financial advice to help manage the financial pressures.

Seeds of Growth

Yellen’s unusual concern for a central banker

Janet Yellen this year took charge of the US Federal Reserve and now must oversee the escape from the solutions her predecessor invoked to help the US cope with the global financial crisis.

Yellen’s core challenge will be to raise interest rates as the economy heads towards full employment.

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Concessional contributions cap update

The concessional contributions caps have increased from 1 July 2014 and this may allow you the opportunity to further boost your super. The standard concessional contributions cap has increased from $25,000 to $30,000. However, if you are aged 50 or more at any time during 2014/15 financial year, you can use the higher cap of $35,000.

Seeds of Growth

Could Australia make Sweden’s error to fight a housing bubble?

Few developed economies rebounded as quickly as Sweden did from the global financial crisis thanks to the same cures that helped Australia avoid recession. Fiscal stimulus and aggressive cuts in interest rates by the central Sveriges Riksbank nurtured an economy that was in reasonable shape when Lehman Brothers folded.

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Proposed changes for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

The Government has proposed several changes to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), which are outlined below:

Deeming account based pensions
Currently, the income test for the CSHC is based on adjusted taxable income. From age 60, account based pension income payments (and withdrawals) are received tax-free and therefore no amount is captured as income for the purposes of the CSHC.

Seeds of Growth

High euro could herald bold steps

Search around Europe and encouraging signs emerge amid the immense unemployment and political agitation. The eurozone economy is growing (just), government deficits on average are on target and bailed-out countries such as Greece and Portugal are selling bonds again.

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Deeming of account based pensions from 1 January 2015

From 1 January 2015, income from account based pensions (formerly known as allocated pensions) will be deemed under the social security income test. Deeming generally applies to financial investments such as bank accounts, term deposits and shares.

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What does the Federal Budget mean for you?

When Joe Hockey stood in front of parliament and spoke about “fixing the Budget together”, he confirmed that the 2014 Federal Budget was going to be a tough one for many Australians. Not surprisingly, most of the announcements related to spending cuts, as the Government seeks to return the Budget to surplus by 2018.