18.104.22.168 Savings provisions for RA
The following table summarises the 2 savings provisions (1.1.S.40) in the SSAct that may impact RA recipients. The provisions are explained in detail in the rest of this topic.
|Date of effect||Details|
|13 June 1989||
1. 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||2. 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 savings provisions are gradually phased out, see 22.214.171.124.
Act reference: SSAct Schedule 1A clause 28 RA - retirement village residents (changes introduced on 13 June 1989), Schedule 1A clause 63 RA (changes introduced on 20 March 1993)
1. 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 RA - retirement village residents (changes introduced on 13 June 1989)
2. 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:
|Rent threshold||$50.00 a fortnight|
|Accrual rate||50c 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 RA (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.