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C03/2006 MARCH 2006 GLOBAL REFRESH OF MANAGED INVESTMENTS AND SHARES LETTER PRODUCTION AND MAILOUT

Document

DATE OF ISSUE:  08 March 2006

MARCH 2006 GLOBAL REFRESH OF MANAGED INVESTMENTS AND SHARES LETTER PRODUCTION AND MAILOUT

Purpose of Instruction

This Departmental Instruction is to provide you with information about the processing arrangements for the March 2006 Global Refresh of Managed Investments (MIs) and Shares (SHs) advice letter production and mailout.

Jeanette Ricketts

BRANCH HEAD

INCOME SUPPORT

8 March 2006


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 2006 Global Refresh mailout will incorporate the following events for payday 30 March 2006 (WEF 20 March 2006).  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;
  • A 'SH and MI Information Attachment' will be provided for all income support recipients who have MIs and/or SHs in their assessment.  This Information Attachment will provide a complete listing of the client's MIs and/or SHs regardless of what has been reassessed;
  • DVA Age Pensioner clients who commence payment of DFISA, or whose DFISA payment is cancelled will receive an advice letter following the March 2006 SI processing and Global Refresh processing run, regardless of whether they have MIs and/or SHs in their assessment;

Continued overpage


Significant Issues- of Managed Investment and Share Global Refresh Mailout Cont'd
  • There will be a paragraph advising eligible clients of the Utilities Allowance (UA) payment.  The 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;
  • A new paragraph will be used for quarterly batch advice letters only and will be added to the Payment Information Attachment advising clients that: 'If you have an overpayment or lump sum advance which is currently being recovered by deductions from your fortnightly pension, the amount paid into your account may be less than the total fortnightly payment shown above.';
  • A letter will be produced for clients who have MIs and/or SHs recorded in their assessment and whose payment of Rent Assistance (RA) has varied as a result of the reassessment - this includes clients whose income support pension is paid at the nil rate or their income support pension has not been varied; and
  • If a treatment change occurs as a result of the reassessment a letter will be produced.


Letter Content - March 2006 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 have MIs and/or SHs in their assessment who move to less than the maximum rate as a result of the reassessment;
  • Less than maximum rate SP/ISS/AP recipients who have MIs and/or SHs in their assessment and who move to the maximum rate as a result of the reassessment;
  • SP/ISS/AP recipients who have MIs and/or SHs in their assessment and 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 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.

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

Introductory Paragraphs for SP/ISS/AP Client's Advices

AP clients in receipt of DFISA will have 'multiple outcome' paragraphs printing as part of their introductory paragraphs - advising them of a variation to their AP payment and DFISA payment.

All AP/SP/ISS client letters will 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 increased/reduced/reduced to nil.
  • Defence Force Income Support Supplement (DFISA) has varied.
  • Rent assistance has been reduced.

This change will take effect from 20 March 2006.

Single Outcome Paragraph:

This is to advise you that your service pension has been increased/ reduced.  This change will take effect from 20 March 2006.


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 an increase, (or an overall reduction) 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.

We will not be providing clients with a listing of their Full Income and Assets.

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

23 March 2006 and 31 March 2006.

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 continue in payment of DFISA will receive their 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 – 30 March 2006.  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 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 2006, in payment of SP or ISS, OR
  • female, equal to or greater than 58 on 20 March 2006, in payment of SP or ISS, OR
  • male, equal to or greater than 65 years on 20 March 2006, in payment of Age pension, OR
  • female, equal to or greater than 63 years on 20 March 2006, 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 half-yearly instalment of utilities allowance, will be paid on 30 March 2006.  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 - $XX.XX

Couples Rate (each) - $XX.XX'

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 the 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/enveloping purposes at the mailing house.


Single & Joint Addressed Letters

All service pension and income support supplement recipient couples will receive a joint advice, including illness separated, 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 both members of a couple have the same postal address recorded - a joint advice will be produced.

Important to note: Staff are reminded when granting Age Pension or for those clients in a joint assessment who request separate or single advices, they need to update this information using the mainframe PRODIMS - Client Correspondence Client Options (CO.CO) Screen - prior to the processing run to initiate the client request.  The advice default requests set in CO.CO will override the DOCGEN and PIPS advice rules.

Age pensioner couples will receive separate letters - providing the advice default request has been set in CO.CO.


Production of Advice Letters

SI Processing

SI Processing is scheduled to run from PM Friday, 10th March 2006 through until approximately PM Sunday, 12th March 2006.

Critical Dates

Processing Weekend within DVA (includes 'advices' processing)

Friday (pm) 10th March 2006 – Sunday (pm) 12th March 2006

Delivery of Production Data to Mailing House

Monday, 13th March 2006

Commence printing Advice Letters

Tuesday, 14th March 2006

Commence State progressive lodgement of Advice Letters with Australia Post

From Wednesday, 15th March 2006

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

By COB Friday, 17th March 2006

Expected Client Numbers

The approximate number of letters to be sent nationally following processing is approximately 32,000, based on September 2005 mailout statistics.  These statistics will be confirmed following processing.

STATE

APPROX NO. OF ADVICE LETTERS

NSW (incl ACT)

9,725

VIC

7,996

QLD

6,705

SA

3,013

WA

2,922

TAS

1,063

TAS OS

53

TOTAL

32,172

Printing of Letters

SALMAT - Document Management Solutions located in Mulgrave,   Victoria, will print, fold and insert advice letters from Tuesday, 14th March 2006 through until Friday, 17th March 2006.


Progressive Lodgement of Letters and Dates

Letters will be progressively lodged with Australia Post, commencing from Wednesday, 15th March 2006.  All State's letters will be lodged with Australia Post by COB Friday, 17th March 2006.  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 from CPI Processing

DVA will be suppressing the printing of all Centrelink daily DFISA variation advices with an effective date of 20th March 2006, which are transmitted to DVA following the running of the Centrelink CPI processing.  All other advices will print as part of the normal processing, including the printing of the CLK 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 2006 Global Refresh processing and is tentatively scheduled to run on the evening of Wednesday, 15th March 2006 - after the March Global Refresh processing. The effective date of the Foreign Pensions Refresh Run is 20th March 2006 for payday 30th March 2006.

Separate Foreign Income advices are produced for clients who have foreign pensions, excluding the British Social Security Pension (type 08), British Official Public Service/Forces pension (type 09) and British Other Income (type 07).

Clients whose pension has been varied will receive an advice.

Please note that British Other Income (type 07) was previously refreshed as part of GROOVER processing however, following a review of British pensions, the Repatriation Commission approved the adjustment of all sterling payments as part of the uniform exchange rate variation exercises.   British other income (type 07) is now reassessed automatically as part of the British Pensions exchange rate variation processing runs not as part of the GROOVER processing.

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 2006 quarterly letters have been dispatched.


Issues Requiring State Office Action

Enclosure (Treatment Changes) 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.

ZIP Files of Advice Schedule Reports

A Zip File listing details of all clients who receive an advice will be emailed to the System Support Officer in each State during the week following the processing run.  The Zip File replaces the Advices Schedule Report, which is too large to print on the State Office Printers.

MOA 15 or MOA 16 Cases - An advice to be produced

Clients who have MIs and/or SHs in their assessment and are paid War Widows Pension and Rent Assistance (RA) but whose income support supplement or service pension is paid at the nil rate will receive an advice letter advising them if their RA has varied following the Global Refresh.

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.  Quarterly advice reprints are available and can be requested from day one of the next quarter ie., March quarterly advices from 01/04/yyyy, June quarterly advices from 01/07/yyyy and September quarterly advices from 01/10/yyyy.

'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 11th – 12th March 2006, should be held pending notification that the March 2006 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 been appointed 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 March 2006 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.

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; and
  • State specific 'closing' paragraphs with the preferred contact telephone number for Income Support related issues will be used for this mailout.


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: Bank of Queensland Centre

              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 2006

              YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX123456

Dear Mr and Mrs SMITH,

This is to advise you that your service pension has been increased.  This change will take effect from 20 March 2006.

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 an increase 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 of 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  30 March 2006, 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 - $XX.XX

Couples Rate (each) - $X.XX

World War I Veterans - $XX.XX

Utilities Allowance

Utilities allowance is a payment made to you to assist with the payment of energy, rates and water expenses.  The half-yearly instalment of the utilities allowance will be paid on 30 March 2006.  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 of utilities allowance are:

Singles Rate - $XX.XX

Couples Rate (each) - $XX.XX

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 30 March 2006VeteranPartner

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENTxxx.xxxxx.xx

This is made up of:

- xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx.xx

- xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx    x.xx    x.xx

Payment for 13 April 2006VeteranPartner

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENTxxx.xxxxx.xx

This is made up of:

- xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx.xx

- xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx    x.xx    x.xx

Please Note:  If you have an overpayment or lump sum advance which is currently being recovered (by deductions from your fortnightly pension), the amount paid into your account may be less than the total fortnightly payment shown above.


SHARES AND MANAGED INVESTMENTS INFORMATION

(Information current as at 12 March 2006)

You are receiving service pension at less than the maximum rate payable. (If client goes from LMAX to MAX rate this sentence will read: 'You are receiving service pension at 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 2006 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 INFORMATION

The Gold Card income and assets limits shown below 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 limits shown below  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.

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.

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 $XX,XXX

High Rate:- 5% interest for the remaining balance

Couples

Low Rate:- 3% interest up to the threshold of $XX,XXX

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:

Bank of Queensland Centre

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 2006

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX666666

Dear Mrs THOMPSON,

This is to advise you that your:

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

This change will take effect from 20 March 2006.

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 an increase 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 of 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 half-yearly instalment of the utilities allowance will be paid on 30 March 2006.  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 of utilities allowance are:

Singles Rate - $XX.XX

Couples Rate (each) - $XX.XX

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 2006 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

The ceiling rate may be higher if you received a social security pension before

1 November 1986.  If your ceiling rate is higher, it will not be indexed until the rate you are on is equal to the indexed ceiling rate of ISS.

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 $XX,XXX

High Rate:- 5% interest for the remaining balance

Couples

Low Rate:- 3% interest up to the threshold of $XX,XXX

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:

Bank of Queensland Centre

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 2006

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 2006.

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 of 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 as it is illegal for this card to be used after cancellation and use can be checked by electronic validation by some concession providers.

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: Bank of Queensland Centre

              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 2006

              YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX123456

Dear Mr JOHNSTON,

This is to advise you that your:

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

This change will take effect from 20 March 2006.

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 an increase to the amount of age 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 of 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 30 March 2006, 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 - $XX.XX

Couples Rate (each) - $X.XX

World War I Veterans - $XX.XX

Utilities Allowance

Utilities allowance is a payment made to you to assist with the payment of energy, rates and water expenses.  The half-yearly instalment of the utilities allowance will be paid on 30 March 2006.  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 - $XX.XX

Couples Rate (each) - $XX.XX

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 30 March 2006 Veteran

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENT                                        $XXX.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 13 April 2006Veteran

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENT                                        $XXX.XX

This is made up of:

- Disability pensionXXX.XX

- Defence Force Income Support Allowance  XX.XX

- Age pensionXXX.XX

- Pharmaceutical allowance   X.XX

Please Note: If you have an overpayment or lump sum advance which is currently being recovered (by deductions from your fortnightly pension), the amount paid into your account may be less than the total fortnightly payment shown above.


SHARES AND MANAGED INVESTMENTS INFORMATION

(Information current as at 12 March 2006)

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 2006 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 Income and Assets 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 $XX,XXX

High Rate:- 5% interest for the remaining balance

Couples

Low Rate:- 3% interest up to the threshold of $XX,XXX

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.