ALMOST 4000 Gladstone pensioners have been warned their pensions could be reduced if they change their superannuation fund provider under changes to income tests in force from January 1, 2015.
Figures from the University of Adelaide show 3957 full or part-pensioners are residents of Gladstone, and many of them may also have income from superannuation accounts.
The national changes to income tests for the age pension will mean retirees' income from superannuation accounts will be subject to 'deeming rates' from January 1, bringing super income into line with income from other investments like shares or term deposits.
It will apply to senior Australians who are drawing income from both a superannuation account and a government income support payment, most likely a full or part age pension, who change their super fund from January 1.
CPA Australia's senior superannuation adviser, Michael Davidson, said the changes meant that "income retirees get from their superannuation accounts will face the same deeming rates as other financial investments".
"It will mean current retirees could get hit with the new rates if at some point in the future, they decide to change providers.
"But they can change the amount of income they get and make other changes to their existing accounts, but not change which fund they are with, to avoid getting hit."
- APN Newsdesk