The Coalition Government has delivered another increase to Australia’s 3.7 million pensioners, giving single pensioners a $6.80 boost to their fortnightly payments or $176.80 a year, while couples will receive an extra $10.20 a fortnight or $265.20 a year, Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison announced today.
“These increases, following indexation linked to the Consumer Price Index, will see the maximum Age Pension rise to $867 a fortnight for single pensioners and $1,307 for couples combined,” Minister Morrison said.
“In addition more than 170,000 pensioners with modest assets will have their pensions increased by an average of more than $30 per fortnight as part of the Government’s plans for fairer access to a more sustainable pension that will come into effect in January 2017. This increase was and still is opposed by Labor. Once again the Labor Party’s shrill and hypocritical scare campaign on pensions has been exposed.
“Since this Government came into office, the Age Pension has increased by $58.60 per fortnight for single pensioners and by $88.20 per fortnight for couples combined.
“Pensioners also benefit from the Coalition Government’s decision to retain the carbon tax compensation through the Energy Supplement of $14.10 per fortnight for single pensioners and $21.20 for couples.
“Around one million allowance recipients will also receive increases to their Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment Partnered, Widow Allowance, Partner Allowance, and Sickness Allowance as a result of today’s indexation.
“The total payment for single people without children will increase by $4.20, to $532.20 a fortnight, while the payment for partnered recipients will increase by $7.60 each, to $480.50 a fortnight, including the Energy Supplement.
“Parenting Payment Single recipients will receive an extra $5.80, bringing total payment to $743.20 a fortnight including supplements.
“The Australian Government understands the importance of these increases to help pensioners and allowance recipients to keep up with the cost of living,” Minister Morrison said.
Adult rates of pensions and allowances are adjusted twice a year, in March and September, to ensure they keep up with the cost of living. Pension increases are linked to prices and wages while allowance increases are linked to the Consumer Price Index.
Pensions are adjusted using whichever of the two measures, the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index or the Consumer Price Index, produces the higher result. That result is then compared to a Male Total Average Weekly Earnings benchmark. If this benchmark gives a higher pension increase, then the benchmark is used to adjust pensions.
The Consumer Price Index drove pension increases in 2014 and 2015.
Rent Assistance and a number of other supplementary payments have also been increased due to the September indexation adjustments.
Full details of all rates and thresholds indexed today can be found at https://www.dss.gov.au/benefits-payments/indexation-rates-september-2015