C08/2005 MARCH 2005 GLOBAL REFRESH OF MANAGED INVESTMENTS AND SHARES LETTER PRODUCTION AND MAILOUT | Compensation and Support Reference Library, Departmental Instructions, 2005

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C08/2005 MARCH 2005 GLOBAL REFRESH OF MANAGED INVESTMENTS AND SHARES LETTER PRODUCTION AND MAILOUT

Document

DATE OF ISSUE:  8 March 2005

MARCH 2005 GLOBAL REFRESH OF MANAGED INVESTMENTS AND SHARES LETTER PRODUCTION AND MAILOUT

Amended by DI No.

C27/2007

Purpose of Instruction

This Departmental Instruction is to provide you with information about the processing arrangements for the March 2005 Global Refresh of Managed Investments (MIs) and Shares (SHs) advice letter production and mailout.

JEANETTE RICKETTS

BRANCH HEAD INCOME SUPPORT

8 March 2005


Overview

Introduction

Each quarter the Department varies pensions and allowances in accordance with provisions contained in the VEA (Statutory Increase or 'SI').  In March and September of each year, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE) and the Global Refresh of Managed Investments (MIs) and Shares (SHs) data are usually combined as one quarterly reassessment routine.

This quarter the Department will be sending advice letters to those pensioners on less than the maximum rate of service pension, income support supplement or age pension who have MIs and/or SHs recorded in their assessment.

Advice letters will also be sent to some DVA Age Pensioners who are eligible to commence payment of DFISA, or whose DFISA payment is cancelled following the processing run.

DVA Age Pensioners whose DFISA payment has increased or reduced will only receive an advice following the SI and Global Refresh processing if they have MIs and/or SHs in their assessment.

This Departmental Instruction provides information about the advice letter production and mailout for this processing exercise and advises of the significant issues relating to the mailout.

Significant Issues- of Managed Investment and Share Global Refresh Mailout

The March 2005 Global Refresh mailout will incorporate the following events for payday 31 March 2005 (WEF 20 March 2005).  Issues of significance with regard to this mailout are as follows:

  • Letters will be sent to all less than maximum rate income support recipients who have MIs and/or SHs recorded in their assessment;
  • The asset value of MI and SH data will be reassessed and advices produced for those clients who are on less than the maximum rate of service pension, age pension including those in receipt of DFISA, or income support supplement and who have MIs and/or SHs recorded in their assessment;
  • A 'SH and MI Information Attachment' will be provided for all less than maximum rate income support recipients receiving an advice.  This Information Attachment will provide a complete listing of the client's MIs and/or SHs regardless of what has been reassessed;

Continued overpage


Significant Issues- of Managed Investment and Share Global Refresh Mailout Cont'd
  • DVA Age Pensioner clients who commence payment of DFISA, or whose DFISA payment is cancelled will receive an advice letter following the March 2005 SI processing and Global Refresh processing run, regardless of whether they have MIs and/or SHs in their assessment or not;
  • There will be a new advice paragraph advising eligible clients of the Utilities Allowance payment.  The Utilities Allowance (UA) payment is to be paid to veterans and their partners who are of veteran pension age and receiving a service pension or income support supplement.  If a pensioner is receiving age pension - UA is payable if they are age pension age: and
  • If a treatment change occurs as a result of the reassessment a letter will be produced.


Letter Content - March Global Refresh of MIs and/or SHs Mailout

Advice Letter Target Audience - March Global Refresh of MIs and/or SHs

A letter will be produced for the following clients following the March Global Refresh of MIs and/or SHs processing:

  • All less than maximum rate service pensioners (SP), income support supplement recipients (ISS) and age pensioners (AP) including those in receipt of DFISA, who have MIs and/or SHs recorded in their assessment;
  • Maximum rate SP/ISS/AP recipients who move to less than maximum rate as a result of the reassessment;
  • Less than maximum rate SP/ISS/AP recipients who move to maximum rate as a result of the reassessment;
  • SP/ISS/AP recipients who are reduced to nil as a result of the reassessment;
  • All DVA Age Pensioners who commence payment of DFISA, or whose DFISA payment is cancelled will receive an advice letter, regardless of whether they do or do not have MIs and/or SHs in their assessment; and
  • Treatment changes as a result of the Statutory Increase (SI) or global refresh of MIs and/or SHs reassessment.


Defence Force Income Support Allowance  (DFISA)

All DVA Age Pensioner clients with or without DFISA in payment, who are paid at less than the maximum rate of pension and, who have MIs and/or SHs in their assessment will receive an advice letter following the Global Refresh processing.

In addition, an advice will be produced for those clients who commence payment of DFISA or whose DFISA payment is cancelled following the March processing regardless of whether they have MIs and/or SHs in their assessment or not.

An example of the advice letter to clients with MIs and/or SHs and in payment of DFISA is shown at ATTACHMENT A.

Format Changes to Introductory Paragraphs for SP/ISS/AP Client's Advices

AP clients in receipt of DFISA have 'multi outcome' paragraphs printing as part of their introductory paragraphs - advising them of a variation to their AP payment and DFISA payment.  To promote a consistent approach for all clients' letters, we have introduced this format for SP and ISS letters.

All AP/SP/ISS client letters will now have either the single or multiple outcome introductory paragraphs printing, advising them of the outcome of their payments, as follows:

Multiple Outcome Paragraphs: This is to advise you that your:

  • Age pension has been varied.
  • Defence Force Income Support Supplement (DFISA) has varied.
  • Rent assistance has been reduced.

This change will take effect from 20 March 2005.

Single Outcome Paragraph: This is to advise you that your service pension has been varied.  This change will take effect from 20 March 2005.

Financial Assets Reassess-ment

The asset value of MI and/or SH data will be reassessed as part of this process.  Clients with MI and/or SH data recorded in their assessment will receive a paragraph advising them of the ...Change to Value of Shares and/or Managed Investments....

This paragraph advises clients about the reassessment program and explains that... The asset value of your shares which are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and/or unit based managed investments has been reassessed.  The adjusted value of these investments has been used to work out your pension and has resulted in a variation to the amount of pension paid to you.' OR ..'has resulted in your pension being reduced to nil.'


Managed Investments and/or Shares Information Attachment

All less than maximum rate income support recipients with MIs and/or SHs recorded in their assessment will receive a complete listing of all their MIs and/or SHs regardless of which MIs and/or SHs have been reassessed.

Changes have been made to the wording in this Attachment to clarify and explain further that DVA do not update asset values for some shares and account based investments as part of the Global Refresh reassessment.  The SH and MI Information Attachment has a further paragraph advising that:

'The asset values of any unlisted public company shares, overseas shares, options, rights and futures or account based managed investments you hold have not been updated.  You must tell us if the asset value of these investments has varied by $1,000 or more.'

A full Income and Assets Attachment will not be provided.

CPI

There will be a brief reference made in all advice letters about the CPI increase.

Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE)

There will be a brief reference to MTAWE made in the advice letters.

Advice on CPI and MTAWE variations will also be included in the March edition of Vetaffairs, which is to be distributed between 24th March 2005 and 4th April 2005.

Obligations
to be Suppressed

Full and Partial obligations are to be suppressed for all letters produced.  Reference will be made to previous obligations issued to clients and in the case of Service Pension and Income Support Supplement recipients, reference will also be made to obligations provided in the 'You and Your Pension' Booklet.

The Financial Obligations paragraph (including the Prescribed Rates), will be present in the advice for all clients excluding service pensioner and income support supplement pensioners who are reduced to nil.  Age pensioners who are reduced to nil, but eligible for payment of DFISA will receive the Financial Obligations paragraph including their prescribed rates.


Telephone Allowance

Pensioners entitled to a telephone allowance (TA) payment will receive a paragraph advising them about their quarterly payment and the date of that payment – 31 March 2005.  The TA paragraph will advise pensioners that ....'TA is a separate payment and is not included in your total fortnightly payment information referred to in the letter.'

Utilities Allowance

Utilities Allowance (UA) is a new allowance to be paid twice yearly in March and September.  Where the payment of UA is in line with the SI payday for March and September, the advice letters will generate the UA paragraph providing the client meets the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility criteria for payment of UA is:

  • male, equal to or greater than 60 years on 20 March 2005, in payment of SP or ISS, OR
  • female, equal to or greater than 57.5 on 20 March 2005, in payment of SP or ISS, OR
  • male, equal to or greater than 65 years on 20 March 2005, in payment of Age pension, OR
  • female, equal to or greater than 62.5 years on 20 March 2005, in payment of Age Pension.

The UA paragraph wording in the advice will read:

'Utilities allowance is a payment made to you to assist with the payment of energy, rates and water expenses.  The first half-yearly instalment of utilities allowance, will be paid on 31 March 2005, together with your pension payment.  The utilities allowance is a separate payment and is not included in your total fortnightly payment information referred to in this letter.  The current rates for utilities allowance are:

Singles Rate - $50.00

Couples Rate (each) - $25.00'

Clients who reside overseas are not eligible to receive the UA payment.


Treatment Advices to be Checked

As is the procedure for quarterly processing all Enclosure (treatment changes) advice letters will be printed at the IBM printhub and sent via courier to each State Office.  We request that these letters be checked for accuracy prior to sending, and reconciled against the reports received by each State Office.  It should be noted that not all clients who have an advice produced due to a treatment change will have MIs and/or SHs in their assessment.  Clients who do not have MIs and/or SHs in the assessment will not have MIs and/or SHs related paragraphs printing in their advice.

Tasmanian Clients with Overseas Postal Address

Advice letters for Tasmanian State Office clients with an overseas postal address will have their advices printed and posted from the Mailing House.

Group Destination
Addresses and Advices

Group Destination advices will be printed and posted from the Mailing House.

Blind Clients will not receive an advice

Blind clients will not receive an advice.  Where a member of a couple is assessed as 'blind' - a single advice will only be produced for the non-blind member who may be affected by the processing.

An exception to this rule is where a Blind client with MIs and/or SHs in their assessment is also in payment of rent assistance (RA), which is subject to the income and assets tests and as such, may result in a variation to their RA payment.  Where there is a variation to RA payment for these clients, an advice will be produced.

General Information Sheet

Each letter will contain a General Information Sheet (GIS).  This will act as the consistent last page for gatemarking purposes at the mailing house.


Single & Joint Addressed Letters

All service pensioners and income support supplement recipient couples will receive a joint advice, provided the pensioner addresses are identical.  The batch address defaults determining single and joint advices have been aligned with the PIPS PC daily advice defaults.  Where a couple is illness separated - each member of the couple will receive a separate advice where each of the client's objectstar postal addresses are different.  Where both members of a couple have the same postal address recorded - a joint advice will be produced.

Important to note: Staff are reminded that if a client in a joint assessment requests separate or single advices, staff need to update this information using PRODIMS - Client Correspondence Screen - CO.CO prior to the processing run to initiate the client request.  Advice default requests set in CO.CO will override the Docgen advice rules.

Age pensioner couples will receive separate letters.


Production of Advice Letters

SI Processing

SI Processing is scheduled to run from PM Friday, 11th March 2005 through until approximately PM Sunday, 13th March 2005.

Critical Dates

Processing Weekend within DVA (includes 'advices' processing)

Friday (pm) 11th Mach 2005 – Sunday (pm) 13th March 2005

Commence transmission of Production Data to SMS

Monday, 14th March 2005

Commence printing Advice Letters

Tuesday, 15th March 2005

Commence State progressive lodgement of Advice Letters with Australia Post

From Wednesday, 16th March 2005

Complete lodgement of all State's Advice Letters with Australia Post

By COB Friday, 18th March 2005

Expected Client Numbers

The approximate number of letters to be sent nationally following processing is 33,000, based on September 2004 statistics.  These statistics will be confirmed following processing.

STATE

APPROX NO. OF ADVICE LETTERS

NSW (incl ACT)

10,562

VIC

8,045

QLD

7,248

SA

3,278

WA

3,108

TAS

1,108

TAS OS

52

TOTAL

33,349

Printing of Letters

Security Mailing Services (SMS) Sydney, will print, fold and insert advice letters from Tuesday, 15th March 2005 through until Friday, 18th March 2005.


Progressive Lodgement of Letters – commencing from Wednesday, 16th March 2005 - Friday, 18th March 2005

Letters will be progressively lodged with Australia Post, commencing from Wednesday, 16th March 2005.  All State's letters will be lodged with Australia Post by COB Friday, 18th March 2005.  A representative from National Office will notify and confirm all lodgement details.

The State Office Contacts for this exercise will be given progress reports and advised of any changes to this timetable.

Centrelink DFISA Advices

Centrelink will be conducting their Statutory Increase processing on the weekend of 5th - 6th March 2005.  They will be transmitting the data from the SI processing on Monday, 7th March 2005.

DVA will be suppressing the printing of all Centrelink daily DFISA variation advices with an effective date of 20th March 2005, which are transmitted to DVA on Monday, 7th March 2005.  All other advices will print as part of the normal processing, including the printing of the SI DFSIA cancellation and grant advices.

Foreign Pension Refresh Program known as GROOVER

The foreign pension refresh program referred to as 'GROOVER' (Global Refresh Of Overseas Exchange Rates) is a separate processing exercise to the March Global Refresh processing and is tentatively scheduled to run on the evening of Thursday, 17th March 2005 - after the March Global Refresh processing. The effective date of the Foreign Pensions Refresh Run is 20th March 2005 for payday 31st March 2005.

Separate advices are produced for clients who have foreign pensions, excluding the British Social Security Pension and British Official Public Service/Forces pension types (08 & 09).  Clients whose pension has been varied will receive an advice.  Please note that the advice letters produced from this processing will be printed at the IBM Printhub and couriered to each State Office for posting after the March 2005 quarterly letters have been dispatched.


Issues Requiring State Office Action

Enclosure Advice Letters

Enclosure (treatment changes) advice letters will be printed at the IBM Printhub at St Leonards in Sydney and sent via courier to each State Office.  These should be checked for accuracy, and reconciled against the reports received by each State Office.

Each State Office will receive, via email a zip file advices report containing details of all advices sent, including enclosure advices.

Please allow approximately two to three days for delivery of these letters after the processing weekend.  Please notify Pat Webb, Advices and Cards Team on (02) 9213 7288 (Ext: 27288) if the letters do not arrive or if they do not match the reports.

Reprints of Advices Available using VIEW – Advices Tab

Reprints of individual advice letters produced from the quarterly processing can be requested via VIEW – Advices Tab reprint facility immediately following the processing weekend.

'HELD' Advices to be Forced

As part of the Batch processing run any advices in 'Held' status will be forced to print.  Forced held advices will print at each respective State Office's nominated printer as part of the production processing.

Please ensure your designated printer is fully operational during the processing period.  These advices will need to be checked to ensure the information in them is correct prior to posting.

Holding of daily advice letters

Daily payment advice letters produced after the processing run on the weekend of 12th – 13th March 2005, should be held pending notification that the March 2005 quarterly letters have been dispatched.  This will ensure that pensioners receive their advice letters in chronological order.

Manual Advices Required – for PA only back onto payment of Service Pension

Following the March SI and Global Refresh processing there may be some instances where clients have gone from payment of Pharmaceutical Allowance (PA) (MOA 99 cases) only, onto payment of Service Pension.

Following PIPS processing of these cases a 'new grant' advice with fringe benefits paragraphs and other related new grant information is produced.  A new grant advice does not convey the appropriate wording for this situation, and as such the PIPs advice should be suppressed and a manual advice produced.


State Office Contacts

State Office Point of Contact

A contact person from each State has previously been identified to act as a liaison point for the National Office Advices Team and will be the responsible person for distributing any information regarding the global refresh and mailout to staff.

State Office Contacts for the September processing are:

NSW: Genia Sacharczuk - 02 9213 7106

VIC: David Price - 03 9284 6379

QLD: Steve Jensen – 07 3223 8835

SA: Wanda Melnyczek - 08 8290 0425

WA: John Gliddon - 08  9366 8417

TAS: Bryon Kelly – 03 6221 6698

ACT: Paul Segrott – 02 6289 6493

National Office Contacts

Feedback from State Offices

Any concerns regarding letters produced as part of this run should be directed to the National Office Contact Officer, Pat Webb.  Please forward your feedback on this exercise to the National Office Contact Officer, noting the nature of the query together with any relevant information – every effort will be made to develop solutions to address any concerns raised.  Please ensure that problems are reported as early as possible.

Contacts

There will be one National Office contact for this mailout.  Any queries regarding this mailout should be referred to:

Pat Webb

(02) 9213 7288 (Phone)

(02) 9213 7889 (Fax)

pat.webb@dva.gov.au (email)


Mockups of Letters to be Produced

Letter Content

Prior to the issue of this Departmental Instruction, the State Office Contact Officers for this exercise and Managers Income Support were provided with copies of the proposed paragraph sequencing and mock-ups of advice letters to be produced following this run and feedback sought.

All recommendations received have been taken into consideration for the final version of paragraphs and sequencing.  An email has been forwarded to the State Contact Officers advising of the changes in respect of all comments received.

Details of the proposed content of the letters, including sample letters and sequencing of paragraphs are included in Attachment A.

Please note: At the time of distributing this DI, the 'new' rates had not been released for publication.  To avoid  any confusion, the 'mockup' letters do not reflect any dollar amounts in the General Information Sheets shown in the Attachment.

Attachment A – Paragraph sequencing and Advice Letter Examples:

Example 1A: SP Increase - Less than Maximum rate remaining on Less than Maximum rate- with MIs/SHs in assessment, TA in Payment, Utilities Allowance (UA) in payment.

Example 2A: ISS Increase remaining on Less than Maximum rate, with MIs/SHs in assessment, TA in Payment and UA in payment.

Example 3A: SP Reduction to Nil. with MIs and/or SHs in assessment, Nil TA in payment and Nil UA in payment.

Example 4A: Age Pensioner Increase, DFISA varied, with MIs and/or SHs in assessment, TA in payment, UA in payment.


Letter Variables

Please note, in the following samples:

  • Letterhead, DC name and signature block will change according to State;
  • The words “service pension”, “age pension”, “income support supplement” each represent variables which will appear for those clients in receipt of the applicable pension;
  • State specific 'closing' paragraphs with the preferred contact telephone number for Income Support related issues will be used for this mailout; and
  • Paragraph wording changes to be introduced as part of the March Global Refresh processing have been 'highlighted' in the 'mockup' letters - please note this wording will not be highlighted in the production advice letters sent to clients.


ATTACHMENT A

EXAMPLE 1A:

  • OVERALL INCREASE – EITHER FROM LESS THAN MAXIMUM RATE TO LESS THAN MAXIMUM RATE OR INCREASE FROM LESS THAN MAXIMUM RATE TO MAX RATE AMOUNT
  • SINGLE OUTCOME
  • MIs/SHs IN ASSESSMENT
  • SERVICE PENSIONERS
  • MARRIED ASSESSMENT
  • INCOME TESTED
  • TELEPHONE ALLOWANCE IN PAYMENT
  • UTILITIES ALLOWANCE IN PAYMENT

Contact:              State Office

Telephone: Macarthur Tower

              259 Queen Street

              Brisbane Qld 4000

              Postal Address:

JOHN SMITH              GPO Box 651 Brisbane Qld 4001

MARY SMITH              Telephone:

29 MARGARGET STREET              General inquiries: 133 254

IPSWICH   QLD   4010              Non-metropolitan callers: 1800 555 254

              Dialling from interstate: 1800 13 1945

              Facsimile: (07) 32238585

              12 March 2005

              YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX123456

Dear Mr and Mrs SMITH,

This is to advise you that your service pension has been varied This change will take effect from 20 March 2005.

Change to Value of Shares and/or Managed Investments

The asset value of your shares which are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and/or unit based managed investments has been reassessed.  The adjusted value of these investments has been used to work out your service pension payment and has resulted in a variation to the amount of service pension paid to you.  The value of other income and assets you may have has not been affected by this reassessment.

Please refer to the 'Shares and Managed Investments Information' Attachment included in this letter.  This Attachment details all your shares and/or managed investments regardless of whether there has been a change to that share or managed investment.  It is important that you check that this list is a full and accurate statement of your shares and/or managed investments.

We have not provided you with a complete listing of any other income or assets you may have in your assessment, as they have not been changed in this assessment.  However, they continue to be used in assessing the amount of service pension you are paid.

Your pension has also been adjusted in line with movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).

Payment Information

Details of your payments are provided in the Payment Information Attachment.

Telephone Allowance

Your quarterly telephone allowance will be paid on 31 March 2005, together with your pension payment.  Your telephone allowance is a separate payment and is not included in your total fortnightly payment information referred to in this letter.  The current quarterly telephone allowance rates are:

Singles Rate - $19.80

Couples Rate (each) - $9.90

World War I Veterans - $80.85

Utilities Allowance

Utilities allowance is a payment made to you to assist with the payment of energy, rates and water expenses.  The first half-yearly instalment of the utilities allowance will be paid on 31 March 2005, together with your pension payment.  The utilities allowance is a separate payment and is not included in your total fortnightly payment information referred to in this letter.  The current rates for utilities allowance are:

Singles Rate - $50.00

Couples Rate (each) - $25.00

Financial Obligations

You need to tell us within 14 days (28 days if you are living overseas or receive remote area allowance) if your combined gross income from all sources is more than $XXXX.XX per fortnight or the value of your combined assets, apart from your home, is more than $XXXXXX.XX.

Other Obligations

We have explained your obligations to you in previous letters and the booklet 'You and Your Pension'.  These obligations still apply.

Changes You Have Already Told Us About

If you have told us recently about a change to your income and assets or your domestic situation, it may not have been processed before this letter was sent.  If this is the case, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment when that change has been finalised.  This normally takes no more than 4 weeks.

Your Right of Review

If you do not agree with this variation to your pension, you may apply to have it reviewed by a Review Officer at this office.  If you do decide to apply, you must do so within three months of being advised of this decision.  Such a request for review must be in writing, and must set out your reasons for seeking this review.

If you have any questions about matters concerning Income Support issues you should contact our Income Support Staff on 1300 550 452.  For any other inquiries please contact the Department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID MACKRELL

Deputy Commissioner

As Delegate of the Secretary and Repatriation Commission


PAYMENT INFORMATION ATTACHMENT

The Department now calculates pension payments on a daily basis.  This means that your fortnightly pension payment is made up of 14 days of entitlement of pension.  Therefore, when there is a change to your circumstances on any particular day in the fortnight - your pension will be adjusted from that day.  For that reason your pension payment may be different for one or two paydays after a reassessment.

Payment for 31 March 2005 VeteranPartner

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENTxxx.xxxxx.xx

This is made up of:

- xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx.xx

- xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx    x.xx    x.xx

Payment for 14 April 2005VeteranPartner

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENTxxx.xxxxx.xx

This is made up of:

- xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx.xx

- xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx    x.xx    x.xx


SHARES AND MANAGED INVESTMENTS INFORMATION

(Information current as at 12 March 2005)

You are receiving service pension at less than the maximum rate payable.

You are currently paid under the income test.  The total of your assessed gross fortnightly income is $x,xxx.xx.  The total of all your assets (excluding any deductible assets) is $xxx,xxx.xx.

Information about your shares and managed investments is provided below.

The asset values of your shares which are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and/or unit based managed investments have been automatically updated.

The asset values of any unlisted public company shares, overseas shares, options, rights and futures or account based managed investments you hold have not been updated.  You must tell us if the asset value of these investments has varied by $1,000 or more.

The information below sets out the values for the shares and/or managed investments in your current assessment.

Listed Securities and Unlisted Public Securities

Description

No. of Shares

Asset Amount

XXXXXX

X,XXX

$XX,XXX.XX

QQQQQQQQQQQQQ

XXX

$    X,XXX.XX

Managed Investments

Description

Units

Asset Amount

VVVVVVVVVV

XX

$XX.XX

CCCCCCCCCCCCC

XXX

$XX.XX

Note: Income from financial assets is deemed.

Important Information:  We have not provided you with a complete listing of any other income or assets you may have in your assessment, as they have not been changed in this assessment.  However, they continue to be used in assessing the amount of service pension you are paid.  If they have changed, please notify the Department immediately.

You need to tell us within 14 days (28 days if you are living overseas or receive remote area allowance) if the above list of your Shares and/or Managed Investments is incomplete or incorrect; or if the number of shares or units you hold has changed.  Please note that failure to advise of incorrect or missing information about your shares or managed investments, or about other income or asset changes, may lead to your pension being overpaid.  Such overpayments are recoverable.


This is an example only of the General Information Sheet (GIS) for Service Pensioners that will be used in the March 2005 mailout.  There is a separate GIS for both income support supplement and age pensioner recipients. When printing in production, the GIS will print on one page/2 images.

GENERAL INFORMATION ON SERVICE PENSION RATES AND LIMITS

(Information current as at T-ADVICE-PRINT-DATE )

MAXIMUM RATES OF SERVICE PENSION (excludes pharmaceutical allowance)

Singles Rate$XXX.XX (per fortnight)

Couples Rate (each)$XXX.XX (per fortnight)

PENSION INCOME LIMIT (per fortnight)

Before Service Pension ReducesCut Off*

Singles Rate$XXX.XX$X,XXX.XX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX.XX$X,XXX.XX

PENSION ASSETS LIMIT

Before Service Pension ReducesCut Off*

Home Owner

Singles Rate$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Non Home Owner

Singles Rate$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

These pension income and assets limits may increase for each dependent child or student up to the age of 22, or if rent assistance is payable.

NOTE: *Income and assets limits do not apply to blinded service pensioners.

GOLD CARD INCOME AND ASSETS CUT OFF LIMITS

The treatment benefits income and assets limits apply to you if you are an Australian veteran or mariner whose eligibility for the Gold Card is dependent solely on your service pension payment.

INCOME

Singles Rate              $XXX.XX (per fortnight)

Couples Rate (combined)              $XXX.XX (per fortnight)

Add $XX.XX per fortnight for each dependent child or student to the age of 22.


ASSETS

Home OwnerNon Home Owner

Singles Rate$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Add approximately $X,XXX for each dependent child or student up to the age of 22.

GOLD CARD INFORMATION

The Gold Card income and assets limits apply if you receive a disability pension below 50% of the general rate and you also receive an amount of service pension.  Should your assessed income or assets exceed these limits you will no longer be eligible for the Gold Card.

The Gold Card income and assets limit do not apply if:

  • your disability pension is above 50% of the general rate and you also receive an amount of service pension.  Should your service pension cease due to excess income and assets, you will no longer be eligible for a Gold Card;
  • you receive a disability pension at 100% of the general rate, Intermediate rate, EDA or TPI; or
  • you are aged 70 years or over and you are a veteran who served in Australia's Defence Force and have qualifying service from any conflict or you are an Australian Mariner with qualifying service from World War II.

DEEMING

Deeming assumes that any money you have invested in financial assets is earning a particular amount of income regardless of the actual amount earned.  The deeming rates are:

Singles

Low Rate:- 3% interest up to the threshold of $36,400

High Rate:- 5% interest for the remaining balance

Couples

Low Rate:- 3% interest up to the threshold of $60,600

High Rate:- 5% interest for the remaining balance

ILLNESS SEPARATED COUPLES

Couples separated due to ill health are paid at the single rate of service pension, but have their income and assets assessed as a couple.

RENT ASSISTANCE

You may be eligible for rent assistance if you pay rent to a non-government body or landlord.  The amount of rent assistance you receive depends on the amount of rent you pay and your family circumstances.  Rent assistance is paid at the rate of 75 cents in the dollar for every dollar you pay over the set rent limits.

When calculating the amount of rent assistance payable, any disability pension received, is counted as income and may reduce the rate of rent assistance payable to you or your partner.

Maximum Amount of Rent Assistance Payable (per fortnight)

Singles Rate (no children)$XX.XX

Couples Rate (combined, no children)$XX.XX

Rent Thresholds (per fortnight)

Singles Rate (no children)$XX.XX

Couples Rate (combined, no children) $XXX.XX


EXAMPLE 2A:

  • OVERALL INCREASE – REMAINING ON LESS THAN MAXIMUM RATE OF INCOME SUPPORT SUPPLEMENT WITH MIs/SHs IN ASSESSMENT
  • INCOME SUPPORT SUPPLEMENT – SINGLE ADVICE
  • MULTIPLE OUTCOMES
  • RENT ASSISTANCE PAYABLE
  • NIL TELEPHONE ALLOWANCE IN PAYMENT
  • UTILITIES ALLOWANCE IN PAYMENT
  • INCOME TESTED

Contact:State Office

Telephone:

Macarthur Tower

259 Queen Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

Postal Address:

GERALDINE THOMPSONGPO Box 651 Brisbane Qld 4001

29 MARGARET STREETTelephone:

IPSWICH   QLD   4010General inquiries: 133 254

Non-metropolitan callers: 1800 555 254

Dialling from interstate: 1800 13 1945

Facsimile: (07) 32238585

12 March 2005

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX666666

Dear Mrs THOMPSON,

This is to advise you that your:

  • Income support supplement has been varied.
  • Rent assistance has been increased.

This change will take effect from 20 March 2005.

Change to Value of Shares and/or Managed Investments

The asset value of your shares which are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and/or unit based managed investments has been reassessed.  The adjusted value of these investments has been used to work out your income support supplement payment and has resulted in a variation to the amount of income support supplement paid to you.  The value of other income and assets you may have has not been affected by this reassessment.

Please refer to the 'Shares and Managed Investments Information' Attachment included in this letter.  This Attachment details all your shares and/or managed investments regardless of whether there has been a change to that share or managed investment.  It is important that you check that this list is a full and accurate statement of your shares and/or managed investments.

We have not provided you with a complete listing of any other income or assets you may have in your assessment, as they have not been changed in this assessment.  However, they continue to be used in assessing the amount of income support supplement you are paid.

Your pension has also been adjusted in line with movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).

Payment Information

Details of your payments are provided in the Payment Information Attachment.

Utilities Allowance

Utilities allowance is a payment made to you to assist with the payment of energy, rates and water expenses.  The first half-yearly instalment of the utilities allowance will be paid on 31 March 2005, together with your pension payment.  The utilities allowance is a separate payment and is not included in your total fortnightly payment information referred to in this letter.  The current rates for utilities allowance are:

Singles Rate - $50.00

Couples Rate (each) - $25.00

Financial Obligations

You need to tell us within 14 days (28 days if you are living overseas or receive remote area allowance) if your gross income is more than $XXXX.XX per fortnight or the value of your assets, apart from your home, is more than $XXXXXX.XX.

Other Obligations

We have explained your obligations to you in previous letters and the booklet 'You and Your Pension'.  These obligations still apply.

Changes You Have Already Told Us About

If you have told us recently about a change to your income and assets or your domestic situation, it may not have been processed before this letter was sent.  If this is the case, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment when that change has been finalised.  This normally takes no more than 4 weeks.

Your Right of Review

If you do not agree with this variation to your pension, you may apply to have it reviewed by a Review Officer at this office.  If you do decide to apply, you must do so within three months of being advised of this decision.  Such a request for review must be in writing, and must set out your reasons for seeking this review.

If you have any questions about matters concerning Income Support issues you should contact our Income Support Staff on 1300 550 452.  For any other inquiries please contact the Department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID MACKRELL

Deputy Commissioner

As Delegate of the Secretary and Repatriation Commission

ATTACHMENTS

  • Payment Information Attachment - YES
  • Shares and/or Managed Investments Information Attachment - YES
  • General Information Sheet - YES


This is an example only of the General Information Sheet (GIS) for Income Support Supplement pensioners that will be used in the March 2005 mailout.  There is a separate GIS for both service pensioner and age pensioner recipients. When printing in production, the GIS will be restricted to one page – two images.

GENERAL INFORMATION SHEET ON INCOME SUPPORT SUPPLEMENT RATES AND LIMITS

(Information current as at T-ADVICE-PRINT-DATE )

MAXIMUM RATES OF INCOME SUPPORT SUPPLEMENT

War Widows and Widowers$XXX.XX

If you have continuously received income support supplement (ISS) since before 31 October 1986, the ceiling rate is the amount payable immediately prior to 1 November 1986.

INCOME LIMIT (per fortnight)

Before ISS ReducesCut Off*

Singles Rate$ XXX.XX$X,XXX.XX

Couples Rate (combined)$X,XXX.XX$X,XXX.XX

These rates may increase for each dependent child or student up to the age of T-CHILD-AGE, or if rent assistance is payable.

War Widow's pension is income for the purposes of income support supplement.  Adjusted disability pension paid by Veterans' Affairs is not income for the purposes of income support supplement.

ASSETS LIMIT

Before ISS reducesCut Off*

Home Owner

Singles Rate$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Non Home Owner

Singles Rate$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

These rates may increase for each dependent child or student up to the age of T-CHILD-AGE or if rent assistance is payable.

NOTE: *Income and assets cut off limits apply to all income support supplement recipients, except blinded recipients.

DEEMING

Deeming assumes that any money you have invested in financial assets is earning a particular amount of income regardless of the actual amount earned.  The deeming rates are:

Singles

Low Rate:- 3% interest up to the threshold of $36,400

High Rate:- 5% interest for the remaining balance

Couples

Low Rate:- 3% interest up to the threshold of $60,600

High Rate:- 5% interest for the remaining balance

RENT ASSISTANCE

You may be eligible for rent assistance if you pay rent to a non-government body or landlord.  The amount of rent assistance you receive depends on the amount of rent you pay and your family circumstances.  Rent assistance is paid at the rate of 75 cents in the dollar for every dollar you pay the set limits.

When calculating the amount of rent assistance payable, any adjusted disability pension received is counted as income and may reduce the rate of rent assistance payable to you or your partner.

Maximum Amount of Rent Assistance Payable (per fortnight)

No children1-2 children3 or more children

Singles Rate$XX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

Couples Rate (combined)$XX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

Rent Limits (per fortnight)

No children1-2 children3 or more children

Singles Rate$  XX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

Please Note:  As of 1 January 2005, rent assistance is paid in addition to the ceiling rate of the income support supplement.


EXAMPLE 3A:

  • SERVICE PENSION - REDUCTION TO NIL
  • MIs/SHs IN ASSESSMENT
  • RENT ASSISTANCE CANCELLED
  • SINGLE ASSESSMENT
  • MULTIPLE OUTCOMES
  • NIL TELEPHONE ALLOWANCE IN PAYMENT
  • NIL UTILITIES ALLOWANCE IN PAYMENT

Contact:State Office

Telephone:

Macarthur Tower

259 Queen Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

Postal Address:

WILLIAM TELLGPO Box 651 Brisbane Qld 4001

29 MARGARET STREETTelephone:

IPSWICH   QLD   4010General inquiries: 133 254

Non-metropolitan callers: 1800 555 254

Dialling from interstate: 1800 13 1945

Facsimile: (07) 32238585

12 March 2005

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX333444

Dear Mr TELL,

This is to advise you that your:

  • Service pension has been reduced to nil.
  • Rent assistance has been cancelled.

This change will take effect from 20 March 2005.

Change to Value of Shares and/or Managed Investments

The asset value of your shares which are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and/or unit based managed investments has been reassessed.  The adjusted value of these investments has been used to work out your service pension payment and has resulted in your service pension being reduced to nil. The value of other income and assets you may have has not been affected by this reassessment.

Please refer to the 'Shares and Managed Investments Information' Attachment included in this letter.  This Attachment details all your shares and/or managed investments regardless of whether there has been a change to that share and managed investment.  It is important that you check that this list is a full and accurate statement of your shares and/or managed investments.

We have not provided you with a complete listing of any other income or assets you may have in your assessment, as they have not been changed in this assessment.  However, they continue to be used in assessing the amount of service pension you are paid.

Your pension has also been adjusted in line with movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).

Payment Information

Details of your payments are provided in the Payment Information Attachment.

Pensioner Concession Card

As your service pension is no longer payable, you no longer qualify for fringe benefits from this Department.  Please destroy your existing Pensioner Concession Card.

Your Right to Re-Apply

You may re-apply to have your service pension restored at any time if your income and/or assets fall below the limits that would allow for payment of the pension.

Changes You Have Already Told Us About

If you have told us recently about a change to your income and assets or your domestic situation, it may not have been processed before this letter was sent.  If this is the case, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment when that change has been finalised.  This normally takes no more than 4 weeks.

Your Right of Review

If you do not agree with this variation to your pension, you may apply to have it reviewed by a Review Officer at this office.  If you do decide to apply, you must do so within three months of being advised of this decision.  Such a request for review must be in writing, and must set out your reasons for seeking this review.

If you have any questions about matters concerning Income Support issues you should contact our Income Support Staff on 1300 550 452.  For any other inquiries please contact the Department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID MACKRELL

Deputy Commissioner

As Delegate of the Secretary and Repatriation Commission

ATTACHMENTS

  • Payment Information Attachment - YES
  • Shares and/or Managed Investments Information Attachment - YES
  • General Information Sheet - YES


DFISA LETTERS

EXAMPLE 4A:

  • AGE PENSION INCREASE (Less than Max Rate)
  • INCOME TESTED
  • MULTIPLE OUTCOMES
  • DFISA VARIATION
  • WITH MIs/SHs IN ASSESSMENT.
  • TELEPHONE ALLOWANCE IN PAYMENT
  • UTILITIES ALLOWANCE IN PAYMENT

Contact:              State Office

Telephone: Macarthur Tower

              259 Queen Street

              Brisbane Qld 4000

              Postal Address:

PHILLIP JOHNSTON              GPO Box 651 Brisbane Qld 4001

30 ELIZABETH STREET              Telephone:

TOOWOOMBA   QLD   4045              General inquiries: 133 254

              Non-metropolitan callers: 1800 555 254

              Dialling from interstate: 1800 13 1945

              Facsimile: (07) 32238585

              12 March 2005

              YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX123456

Dear Mr JOHNSTON,

This is to advise you that your:

  • Age pension has been varied.
  • Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) has varied.

This change will take effect from 20 March 2005.

Change to Value of Shares and/or Managed Investments

The asset value of your shares which are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and/or unit based managed investments has been reassessed.  The adjusted value of these investments has been used to work out your age pension payment and has resulted in a variation to the amount of age pension paid to you.  Please note that the value of other income and assets you may have has not been affected by this reassessment.

Please refer to the 'Shares and Managed Investments Information' Attachment included in this letter.  This Attachment details all your shares and/or managed investments regardless of whether there has been a change to that share or managed investment.  It is important that you check that this list is a full and accurate statement of your shares and/or managed investments.  We have not provided you with a complete listing of any other income or assets you may have in your assessment, as they have not been changed in this assessment.  However, they continue to be used in assessing the amount of age pension you are paid.

Your pension has also been adjusted in line with movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).

Payment Information

Details of your payments are provided in the Payment Information Attachment.

Telephone Allowance

Your quarterly telephone allowance will be paid on 31 March 2005, together with your pension payment.  Your telephone allowance is a separate payment and is not included in your total fortnightly payment information referred to in this letter.  The current quarterly telephone allowance rates are:

Singles Rate - $19.80

Couples Rate (each) - $9.90

World War I Veterans - $80.85

Utilities Allowance

Utilities allowance is a payment made to you to assist with the payment of energy, rates and water expenses.  The first half-yearly instalment of the utilities allowance will be paid on 31 March 2005, together with your pension payment.  The utilities allowance is a separate payment and is not included in your total fortnightly payment information referred to in this letter.  The current rates for utilities allowance are:

Singles Rate - $50.00

Couples Rate (each) - $25.00

Financial Obligations

You need to tell us within 14 days (28 days if you are living overseas) if your combined gross income from all sources is more than $XXXX.XX per fortnight or the value of your combined assets, apart from your home, is more than $XXXXXX.XX.

Other Obligations

We have explained your obligations to you in previous letters.  These obligations still apply.

Changes You Have Already Told Us About

If you have told us recently about a change to your income and assets or your domestic situation, it may not have been processed before this letter was sent.  If this is the case, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment when that change has been finalised.  This normally takes no more than 4 weeks.

Your Right of Review

If you do not agree with this decision, you can contact your nearest Veterans' Affairs office and discuss the reasons for the decision.  If you remain dissatisfied, you may apply to have the decision reviewed by an Authorised Review Officer, with no prior involvement in the case.  If you decide to apply for a review more than 13 weeks from the day this notice is given to you, arrears can only be paid from the date we receive your application.  Requests for review may be made in person, by telephone or writing.

The rate of DFISA paid to you is derived from your age pension assessment.  You may seek to have your age pension assessment reviewed if you are dissatisfied with your DFISA rate.

If you have any questions about matters concerning Income Support issues you should contact our Income Support Staff on 1300 550 452.  For any other inquiries please contact the Department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID MACKRELL

Deputy Commissioner

As Delegate of the Secretary


PAYMENT INFORMATION ATTACHMENT

The Department now calculates pension payments on a daily basis.  This means that your fortnightly pension payment is made up of 14 days of entitlement of pension.  Therefore, when there is a change to your circumstances on any particular day in the fortnight - your pension will be adjusted from that day.  For that reason your pension payment may be different for one or two paydays after a reassessment.

Payment for 31 MARCH 2005 Veteran

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENTxxx.xx

This is made up of:

- Disability pensionxxx.xx

- Defence Force Income Support Allowance  XX.XX

- Age pensionXXX.XX

- Pharmaceutical allowance   X.XX

Payment for 14 APRIL 2005Veteran

TOTAL FORNIGHTLY PAYMENTxxx.xx

This is made up of:

- Disability pensionXXX.XX

- Defence Force Income Support Allowance  XX.XX

- Age pensionXXX.XX

- Pharmaceutical allowance   X.XX


SHARES AND MANAGED INVESTMENTS INFORMATION

(Information current as at 12 March 2005)

You are receiving age pension at less than the maximum rate payable.

You are currently paid under the income test.  The total of your assessed gross fortnightly income is $x,xxx.xx.  The total of all your assets (excluding any deductible assets) is $xxx,xxx.xx.

Information about your shares and managed investments is provided below.

The asset value of your shares which are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and/or unit based managed investments have been automatically updated.

The asset values of any unlisted public company shares, overseas shares, options, rights and futures or account based managed investments you hold have not been updated.  You must tell us if the asset value of these investments has varied by $1,000 or more.

The information below sets out the values for the shares and/or managed investments in your current assessment.

Listed Securities and Unlisted Public Securities

Description

No. of Shares

Asset Amount

XXXXXX

X,XXX

$XX,XXX.XX

QQQQQQQQQQQQQ

XXX

$    X,XXX.XX

Managed Investments

Description

Units

Asset Amount

VVVVVVVVVV

XX

$XX.XX

CCCCCCCCCCCCC

XXX

$XX.XX

Note: Income from financial assets is deemed.

Important Information:  We have not provided you with a complete listing of any other income or assets you may have in your assessment, as they have not been changed in this assessment.  However, they continue to be used in assessing the amount of age pension you are paid.  If they have changed, please notify the Department immediately.

You need to tell us within 14 days (28 days if you are living overseas) if the above list of your Shares and/or Managed Investments is incomplete or incorrect; or if the number of shares or units you hold has changed. Please note that failure to advise of incorrect or missing information about your shares or managed investments, or about other income or asset changes, may lead to your pension being overpaid.  Such overpayments are recoverable.


This is an example of the General Information Sheet (GIS) for Age Pensioners that will be used in the March 2005 mailout.  There is a separate GIS for both income support supplement and service pensioner recipients.  When printing in production printing of the GIS is restricted to one page – two images.

GENERAL INFORMATION ON AGE PENSION RATES AND LIMITS

(Information current as at T-ADVICE-PRINT-DATE )

MAXIMUM RATES OF AGE PENSION

Singles Rate$XXX.XX (per fortnight)

Couples Rate (each)$XXX.XX (per fortnight)

PENSION INCOME LIMIT (per fortnight)

Before Age Pension ReducesCut Off*

Singles Rate$XXX.XX$X,XXX.XX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX.XX$X,XXX.XX

PENSION ASSETS LIMIT

Before Age Pension ReducesCut Off*

Home Owner

Singles Rate$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Non Home Owner

Singles Rate$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

These limits may increase for each dependent child or student up to the age of 22, or if rent assistance is payable.

DEEMING

Deeming assumes that any money you have invested in financial assets is earning a particular amount of income regardless of the actual amount earned.  The deeming rates are:

Singles

Low Rate:- 3% interest up to the threshold of $36,400

High Rate:- 5% interest for the remaining balance

Couples

Low Rate:- 3% interest up to the threshold of $60,600

High Rate:- 5% interest for the remaining balance

ILLNESS SEPARATED COUPLES

Couples separated due to ill health are paid at the single rate of service pension, but have their income and assets assessed as a couple.

RENT ASSISTANCE

You may be eligible for rent assistance if you pay rent to a non-government body or landlord.  The amount of rent assistance you receive depends on the amount of rent you pay and your family circumstances.  Rent assistance is paid at the rate of 75 cents in the dollar for every dollar you pay over the set rent limits.


Maximum Amount of Rent Assistance Payable (per fortnight)

No Children1-2 Children3 or more children

Singles Rate $XX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

Couples Rate (combined)$XX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

Rent Limits (per fortnight)

No Children1-2 Children3 or more children

Singles Rate $XX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

HOW DISABILITY PENSION AFFECTS AGE PENSION

Disability pension is counted as income in the assessment of your age pension.

DEFENCE FORCE INCOME SUPPORT ALLOWANCE (DFISA)

If your age pension is reduced because of adjusted disability pension you may be entitled to receive DFISA.  The amount of DFISA you are entitled to will be automatically calculated and paid to you.