3.8.1.140 Savings Provisions for RA

Summary

The following table summarises the 3 savings provisions (1.1.S.40) in the SSAct that may affect payment of RA. The provisions are explained in detail in the rest of this topic.

Date of Effect Details
13 June 1989

1. Relates to people paying board and lodging before that date.

Explanation: This provision protected saved RA recipients from the two-thirds rule.

2. Relates to people living in a retirement village before 3 November 1988 who were receiving RA for service or maintenance fees paid in the retirement village.

Explanation: This provision protected saved RA recipients from the ineligible homeowner rules.

20 March 1993 3. Quarantines existing RA recipients from the effects of the new structure of rent thresholds that applied from 20 March 1993.

Exception: With effect from 1 July 2000, saved rates of RA do not apply where the maximum rate of FTB Part A of the recipient, or the recipient's partner, includes RA.

Note: Some saving provisions are gradually phased out, see 3.8.1.150 Phasing Out RA Savings Provisions.

Policy reference: SS Guide 5.2.6.20 RA Savings Provisions - 1974 to 1987

1. Board & lodgings savings provision

Boarders and lodgers who are covered by the boarders and lodgers savings provision receive RA on the basis that 100% of the amount they pay is regarded as rent. RA for these recipients is calculated using the figures in the following table:

Component Rate
Rent threshold $40.00 a fortnight
Accrual rate 50 cents for each dollar of rent paid
Maximum rate of RA $30.00 a fortnight

Exception: With effect from 1 July 2000, the board and lodgings savings provision does not apply where the maximum rate of FTB Part A of the recipient, or the recipient's partner, includes RA.

If the amount paid for board and lodgings reduces, RA is also reduced, based on the rates and thresholds shown above.

RA for these recipients can increase above the saved rate ONLY if a higher rate is payable under CURRENT rules. That is:

  • the two-thirds rule,
  • the applicable threshold for the family situation, and
  • an accrual rate of 75 cents in the dollar.

If this occurs saved status is lost.

Act reference: SSAct Schedule 1A clause 27 Rent assistance - boarders and lodgers (changes introduced on 13 June 1989)

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.1.60 Payments that may be Treated as Rent, 3.8.1.70 Board & Lodging for RA

2. Retirement village savings provision

Pensioners covered by the retirement village savings provision do NOT receive a saved rate of RA. Rather, the savings provision preserves their qualification to receive RA, despite being treated for all other purposes as homeowners. RA for these recipients is calculated in the same way as for other private renters, under current rules. These recipients would only lose saved status if they leave the retirement village.

Act reference: SSAct Schedule 1A clause 28 Rent assistance - retirement village residents (changes introduced on 13 June 1989)

3. March 1993 savings provision

From 20 March 1993, a range of measures took effect to target RA more effectively and increase the adequacy of assistance. One of these measures was the introduction of a new structure of rent thresholds, according to family and marital circumstances. Any existing recipient who would have received less RA as a result of the March 1993 changes, retained the rate they were receiving at the time.

RA for these recipients is saved on the basis of the figures in the following table:

Component Rate
Rent threshold $50.00 a fortnight
Accrual rate 50 cents for each dollar of rent paid
Maximum rate of RA The amount of RA they received at the time, i.e. under old maximum rates.

Exception: With effect from 1 July 2000, the March 1993 savings provision does not apply where the maximum rate of FTB Part A of the recipient, or the recipient's partner, includes RA.

RA for these recipients can increase above the saved rate ONLY if a higher rate is payable under CURRENT rules.

Saved status continues until any one of the following occurs:

  • the recipient would be paid the same amount or more under the current rates and rules, OR
  • the recipient ceases to pay private rent, OR
  • the recipient ceases to qualify for RA, OR
  • private rent reduces to less than $50.00 a fortnight, OR
  • private rent reduces by at least $20.00 a fortnight, OR
  • accommodation circumstances change from board and lodging to any other type of private rental, or vice versa, OR
  • the recipient, or the recipient's partner, becomes eligible for FTB Part A at greater than the base FTB child rate.
  • Explanation: RA is payable as a component of FTB Part A and the savings provision no longer applies.

Act reference: SSAct Schedule 1A clause 63 Rent assistance (changes introduced on 20 March 1993)

Restoration of savings provision

The March 1993 savings provision is the ONLY savings provision that can be re-applied to a recipient after saved status has been lost. Saved status under this provision can generally be restored ONLY IF:

  • the change in circumstances that led to the loss of saved status lasted NO MORE THAN 42 days, AND
  • there is no break in entitlement to the primary payment, or combination of payments - i.e. DVA pension, social security pension, benefit and allowance. This is primarily intended for couples who lose saved status due to illness separation or respite care.

Exception: If the change of circumstances lasted MORE THAN 42 days, saved status can be restored ONLY IF private rent was payable:

  • for the entire duration at more than $50.00 a fortnight, AND
  • at a rate that would not have otherwise led to loss of saved status.

Example: If rent payable reduced from $200.00 a fortnight to $100.00 a fortnight for more than 42 days, saved status cannot be restored.

Last reviewed: 16 May 2016