Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Self-funded retirees win more than $100 allowance windfall

More than 290,000 self-funded retirees holding Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards (CSHC) are now receiving a $101.40 payment as the second instalment of the Howard Government’s Seniors Concession Allowance.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson said payment of the allowance was part of the Government’s acknowledgement of the significant contributions made to Australian society by self-funded retirees.

“The second instalment of the Seniors Concession Allowance is now being paid to 291,359 eligible cardholders at a total cost of $29.5 million,” Senator Patterson said.

“This benefit was paid in line with the Government’s announcement last year that it would be able to provide two payments of $100 a year over four years to self-funded retirees holding CSHC cards, at a cost of nearly $260 million.

“This second instalment of the Allowance is more than the original $100 amount because it has been adjusted in line with movements in the Consumer Price Index to protect its real value.

“I am sure CSHC holders will welcome this benefit, which will help them with the payment of household bills such as energy, rates and water and sewerage charges.

“The Australian Government remains committed to improving incentives for people to save for their retirement by providing benefits such as the CSHC and Seniors Concession Allowance.

“In previous years the Government has also increased the number of self-funded retirees receiving a CSHC, which gives them access to discounts on certain medical, transport and Government costs as well as a Telephone Allowance for eligible subscribers.

“The Howard Government’s sound economic management has provided this significant dividend for seniors and reflects the Government’s desire to further enable self-funded retirees to enjoy their senior years.”