A welcome increase for recipients of Australian Government Payments
Almost five million recipients of Australian Government payments will be better off following an increase to payment rates.
Over 2.5 million recipients of the Age Pension and 2.2 million recipients of other payments, including Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment, Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment Partnered, Widow Allowance, Partner Allowance, and Sickness Allowance will receive an increase.
“Single Age Pension payments will increase to $877.10 a fortnight, while couple combined payments will increase to $1,322.40 a fortnight,” Minister for Social Services Christian Porter said.
“Total payments for single people without children on Newstart Allowance – including Energy Supplement – will increase to $537.50 a fortnight, while total payments for partnered recipients will rise to $485.30 a fortnight.
“Parenting Payment single recipients will also receive an increase, bringing their payment to $750.50 a fortnight.
“This is the seventh increase of rates under this Government, and we know that each increase makes a big difference to helping recipients cover cost of living.”
Adult rates of pensions and allowances are adjusted twice a year, in March and September. 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 (PBLCI) or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), produces the higher result. That result is then compared with a Male Total Average Weekly Earnings benchmark. If this benchmark gives a higher pension increase, then the benchmark is used to adjust pensions.
Rent Assistance and other supplementary payments have also been increased due to these indexation adjustments.
The latest CPI and PBLCI figures also allow us to determine the new assets limits that will apply from 1 January 2017 under the ‘Rebalancing the assets test measure’. The introduction of this measure will make the pension system fairer, better targeted and sustainable into the future. This means that more than 90 per cent of pensioners will either be better off or have no change to their pension under the measure.
Full details of all rates and thresholds indexed today and the new assets limits that will apply from 1 January 2017, can be found at www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/benefits-payments.