James Thomson Editor

James Thomson is the editor of BRW. Previously he was editor and publisher of SmartCompany and a senior editor at Business Spectator. He writes regularly on Australia's wealthiest entrepreneurs and has deep expertise in small business and the mid market.

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Budget 2013: Downsizing seniors in means-testing trial

Published 14 May 2013 19:38, Updated 15 May 2013 09:56

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Budget 2013: Downsizing seniors in means-testing trial

The government will trial a program that allows seniors to exclude profits made on the sale of their home from means-testing for the pension.

Under the House Help For Seniors program, which will be tested over the next few years, seniors who have owned their home for more than 25 years and decide to downsize will be able to park any surplus funds – up to $200,000 – in a special account.

The funds invested will earn interest and be exempt from means-testing for the age pension for a period of 10 years.

The program will cost $112.4 million.

The property sector is likely to welcome the scheme, as it could spark a greater number of property transactions and allow younger home buyers into the market.