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5.6.12 Pension Bonus and Retirement Assistance for Sugarcane Farmers (RASF)

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Last amended: 22 April 2014

Pension bonus impact

The pension bonus scheme is designed to encourage a person to defer retirement. Contrary to this, Retirement Assistance for Sugarcane Farmers (RASF) encourages sugarcane farmers to retire. Special rules apply to sugarcane farmers registered under the pension bonus scheme, who subsequently apply under RASF. These special rules are designed to allow them to utilise the benefits of both schemes.

Timing of pension bonus and RASF activities

In order for a person to access both the pension bonus and RASF schemes they must:

Step

Action

1

First register under the pension bonus scheme,

2

then accrue at least one bonus period before divesting their farm, and

3

then claim pension and bonus immediately.

Access to pension bonus scheme and RASF

If a person registered under the pension bonus scheme then applies for assistance under RASF they can give their sugarcane farm away. By doing so, the gifting of the farm is disregarded under disposal of assets rules.    

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Retirement Assistance for Sugarcane Farmers Scheme (RASF)

Chapter 5.10

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Impact on bonus from giving away farm

The act of giving away the farm impacts on the bonus amount, which is calculated taking into account deemed income under the income test and the asset value under the assets test that would be maintained on the deprived value of the farm if RASF were not enacted. The gift of the farm is not considered a gift for the purposes of a disposal preclusion period for PBS.     

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Claiming a Bonus

Section 5.6.6

Retirement Assistance for Sugarcane Farmers Scheme (RASF)

Chapter 5.10

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The pension bonus scheme closed to new entrants on 20 September 2009. Existing members can continue in the scheme under the rules that existed prior to 20 September 2009. The pension bonus scheme provided an incentive for older Australians to remain in the workforce and defer receipt of income support pension. The incentive was a bonus, payable if all eligibility criteria and rules were satisfied.

The pension bonus was a once-only, tax-free lump sum payable to a person who, on reaching their special date of eligibility, voluntarily deferred retirement for at least one year and registered as a member of the scheme. The pension bonus was claimed at the same time as claiming pension and is calculated using the annual rate of basic pension payable at grant, multiplied by the bonus periods accrued.

According to subsection 5PAA(1) of the VEA, a sugarcane farm is a farm that is used predominantly for the purposes of a sugarcane farm enterprise .

 

 

One element of the means test for income support pensions whereby the rate of pension payable to a pensioner reduces progressively as their income increases above a certain threshold known as the income free area (IFA).

 

 

One element of the means test for income support pensions whereby the rate of pension payable to a pensioner reduces progressively as their assets increase above a certain threshold known as the assets value limit (AVL).

When a person disposes of more than $10,000 in a designated year, they are in a disposal preclusion period and their membership of the pension bonus scheme is non-accruing. Disposal under the RAFS and RASF schemes do not attract a disposal preclusion period.