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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Age pension boost welcomed by National Seniors

National Seniors Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of the largest pension increase in 12 years.

The maximum rate of the single age pension will rise by $38.90 per fortnight (taking the single age pension from $987.60 to $1026.5) and for couples, by $58.80 per fortnight (taking their payment from $1488.80 to $1547.60 combined), with the new rates set to kick in from 20 September.

Chief Advocate for National Seniors, Ian Henschke says given how quickly living costs are increasing, the Federal Government should consider indexing pension payments quarterly rather than twice a year.

“Waiting for an increase when living costs have been high for six months is playing catch up the hard way,” Mr Henschke said.

“National Seniors Australia would like to see government consider indexing payments in June and December when inflation is extremely high.”

Under the new measures, payments will also increase for other payment recipients. The Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment will also rise by $38.90 a fortnight for singles and $58.80 a fortnight for couples.

Some income and asset limits will also change due to indexation to ensure people are not
disadvantaged.

The new figures, which include the pension and energy supplements are set to benefit more than 4.7 million Australians including those on JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment and ABSTUDY allowances.

“While National Seniors Australia welcomes the increases, the rising cost of living has only
exacerbated an already dire situation. For pensioners barely having enough to cover the
necessities, including housing, the amount is important but so too is frequency,” Mr Henschke said.

“We also want a two-year trial for pensioners who want to work and work more. We need an NZ style system that eliminates Centrelink reporting and just requires the pensioner to pay an agreed rate of income tax. We suggest 32.5 cents in the dollar. It’s simple and fair and will help solve the workforce shortage. “

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