Old age pension 'means test' removal still on hold

APRIL 21, 2015

Government is still to publish a discussion paper before it removes the old age grant means test. Former Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, announced in 2013 that there was a proposal for the test to be phased out by 2016.

A means test is used to determine whether an applicant over the age of 60 years is eligible for old age pension. The test requires an applicant to earn at no more than R49 000 a year and have assets worth not more than R81 000, if not married. If you are married, your combined income cannot exceed R99 840 and your assets can be no more than R1 663 200. 

Last year, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in his Medium Term Budget Speech Policy Statement announced that the removal of the means test for access to the older persons grant has been deferred and would form part of the comprehensive social security reform process.

Government is also yet to publish a discussion paper on comprehensive social reforms as announced by Minister Nene in February.