Increase for recipients of Australian Government Payments
Almost five million recipients of Australian Government payments will will receive 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.
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.
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 determination of new assets limits that will apply from 1 January 2017 under the ‘Rebalancing the assets test measure’.
Changes to payments mean that more than 90 per cent of pensioners will either be better off or have no change to their pension under the measure, while the remainder will have their pensions either reduced or removed altogether.
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.
Pension rates and allowances can be downloaded from https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/08_2016/online_rates_sept_2016.pdf
Assets limits that will apply from 1 January 2017, can be found at https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/08_2016/online_assets_test_limits_from_1_january_2017.pdf
12 September 2016.