Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Pensions to increase later this month

On the third anniversary of the Australian Government’s historic pension reforms, 3.5 million Australian pensioners will receive a boost to their payments to help them keep up with the cost of living.

From 20 September, single people receiving the maximum rate of Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment, as well as veterans’ income support recipients, will receive an extra $17.10 per fortnight.

Following this latest increase, total pension payments for pensioners on the maximum rate, including the base rate and pension supplement, will be:

  • $772.60 a fortnight for singles, and
  • $1,164.80 a fortnight for couples combined.

In September 2009 we delivered historic reforms to the pension, including an initial boost to the pension, a new pension supplement, an improved indexation system and a new and improved seniors work bonus.

In the last three years the maximum rate of the pension has increased by $172 a fortnight for singles and $182 for couples combined.

This month’s increase to the pension is due to the improved indexation system we delivered three years ago and reflects higher wages growth in the six months to May 2012.

Pensions are increased twice a year to reflect changes in pensioners’ cost of living and wages. The pension is increased to reflect growth in the Consumer Price Index or the Pensioner and the Beneficiary Living Cost Index, whichever is higher. When wages grow more quickly than prices, the pension is increased to reflect growth in Male Total Average Weekly Earnings.

We understand that pensioners have limited room to move in their budgets. That’s why the improved indexation system is so important-it ensures that when pensioners’ costs of living go up, the pension goes up to match it, and it allows pension recipients to share in the nation’s prosperity.

We have delivered for Australia’s pensioners and we’ll keep delivering to make sure they get the fair go they deserve.

About 1.1 million recipients of other income support payments such as Newstart and Parenting Payment will also receive an increase on 20 September.

Parenting Payment will increase by $15.20 a fortnight for singles.

Newstart Allowance, Widow Allowance, Partner Allowance and Sickness Allowance will increase by $2.90 a fortnight for singles and $2.70 each for couples. These allowances are indexed to the Consumer Price Index.

Rates of Rent Assistance will also increase.

Full details of all rates and thresholds to be indexed on September 20 can be found at: