AGE pensioners will receive a payment increase from September 20 – but there is little to celebrate.
The single age pension and disability support pension will rise by $8.70 a fortnight to $916.30 for singles, and $13.20 a fortnight to $1381.40 for couples combined. These figures include the supplements.
Despite strong lobbying from seniors’ and welfare groups, there is little joy for Newstart recipients, who will see their payment rise $4.40 a fortnight to $550.20 for singles with no children and $4.70 for single over-60s (after nine months) to $595.10. Couples on Newstart receive an extra $3.90 a fortnight each, bringing their payment to $496.70 each.
About 4.8 million pensioners and allowance recipients will receive the increase.
Pension rates are linked to prices and wages, while allowance rates are linked to the Consumer Price Index.
Rent assistance rates also increase from September 20.
There are also changes to the income and assets test for age pensioners.
Single homeowners will be able to have $564,000 in assets before their pension is disqualified, up $2750. For non-homeowners the figure is $771,000.
For couple (combined) homeowners the limit rises $4000 to $848,000, while for non-homeowners it is $1,055,000, also up $4000.
Full details of the new rates and thresholds at https://www.dss.gov.au/benefits-payments/indexation-rates-september-2018