Pensioner concessions to free up housing

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Retirees are getting additional concessions to encourage them to downsize and free up housing stock for young families looking to buy.

New federal laws reduce the impact of selling a home on payments that retirees and other welfare recipients receive.

The current 12-month asset exemption test for the amount of money from the sale of the home that will go to the new home will be doubled to two years from January 1.

The changes will give people more time to buy, renovate or build their new home without worrying that their social benefits will be affected.

More than 8,000 people on income support took advantage of the 12-month exemption last year.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said it was an important bill to help retirees downsize.

“This will provide real support for older Australians facing cost of living pressures,” she said.

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