Media Release by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

New year indexation supports Australians in every stage of life

More than 1 million youth, student and carer payment recipients will receive an increase to their payments from 1 January 2020 when indexation takes effect.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the combination of changes demonstrate the Morrison Government’s focus on targeted support for Australians across multiple cohorts.

Payment rates for the Carer Allowance, Youth Allowance, Austudy, Assistance for Isolated Children, Mobility Allowance, Double Orphan Pension and some Disability Support Pension and ABSTUDY recipients are adjusted every January.

This round of payment increases are linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rise of 1.6 per cent for the 12 months ending in June 2019.

“Payments are indexed regularly at different times of the year to ensure Australians can keep up with increases in the cost of living,” Minister Ruston said.

“Whether you are studying, caring for someone or entering retirement, there is support available for those who need it most.”

The 1 January indexation will coincide with a reduction in the Pension Loans Scheme compound interest rate from 5.25 per cent to 4.5 per cent.

The Pension Loans Scheme offers older Australians a voluntary way to draw on the value of their home to fund a higher income. The PLS is delivered through Services Australia as an alternative to a reverse mortgage.

The fortnightly payment rate, which is not linked to the interest rate, will remain unchanged at a maximum of $1400.10 for singles and $2110.50 for couples. The reduced interest rate eases borrowing costs which are realised when the balance of the loan is repaid.

“These changes demonstrate the Government’s commitment to giving all Australians more options for an improved standard of living at every stage of life,” Minister Ruston said.