How older Aussies will be better off after Budget
OLDER workers will be given a greater chance to bolster their superannuation savings as they get closer to retirement.
In sweeteners aimed at a growing grey workforce, the Budget lifts a work test for older Australians and allows more people to make contributions to their spouse's superannuation fund.
The changes will encourage more Australians to tip money into their retirement nest egg and also take advantage of concessional tax rates.
At the moment, people aged between 65 and 74 can only make extra contributions to their super if they show they have worked at least 40 hours over a 30-day period.
From July 1, 2020, this work rule will be scrapped for people aged 65 and 66.
The move, which will bring the rule into line with the higher age at which people qualify for the age pension, will give more people access to the benefits of topping up their super accounts.
As part of this measure, workers aged 65 and 66 will be able to make up to three years of non-concessional contributions.
In a move billed as "improving flexibility for older Australians", the Budget also contains plans to allow people aged up to 74 to top up their spouse's super.
This increase, from the current age limit of 70, means older workers can get the most out of tax benefits from superannuation by splitting contributions if one partner reaches the contributions cap.
The changes will cost the Budget $75 million over three years in lost tax revenue.
The superannuation incentives for older workers come as the Government is encouraging people to work longer in a bid to provide for their retirement and to keep themselves mentally active.
The Government has also vowed to remove red tape from superannuation funds and clamp down on insurance premiums added to low-balance accounts, in a bid to address concerns aired in the banking royal commission.
Meanwhile, aged pensioners, veterans, carers, and people on disability support pensions will be given extra payments to help offset the soaring cost of power bills.
The one-off Energy Assistance Payment of $75 for singles and $62.50 for each member of a couple will be given in a pre-election sweetener to people eligible for those pensions as of April 2.
The energy payments are aimed at relieving cost-of-living pressures, as part of the Government's promise to put downward pressure on power bills.