Age pension payments to deliver their biggest increase in seven years
More than 5 million Australians would have received a boost to their social security payments from last week as the federal government delivers its biggest increase in seven years.
Announced on the 13 September 2021 – From next week, the maximum single age pension rate will rise by $14.80 to $967.50 a fortnight, while age pensioner couples will receive an extra $22.40 combined, taking their fortnightly payment to $1458.60.
JobSeeker and other allowances will increase by up to $11.90 a fortnight, and parenting payments and rent assistance are also set to rise.
Pensions and other payments are adjusted twice a year and the coming rise, which takes effect from September 20, is the largest increase since 2014, the government says.
The $1.46 billion annual rise reflects stronger inflation data, which has rebounded after dropping sharply during the early months of the pandemic.
Almost 5.3 million people will receive the increased social security payments, including 2.58 million on the age pension, 756,000 on a disability support pension, and 977,500 receiving JobSeeker payments.
Since March 2013, the rate for single pensioners has increased by $159.10 a fortnight, while the rate for pensioner couples combined has increased by $239.80 a fortnight.
The annual pension paid to a single will be $25,155, and for a couple it’s $37,923.
Pensions are rising by 1.6 per cent, while JobSeeker and related payments are linked to the Consumer Price Index and will climb by 1.4 per cent.
Seniors organisation COTA Australia’s chief executive, Ian Yates, praised the way pension rises were indexed to whatever figure was higher among inflation, pensioner living costs and average weekly earnings.
“The increase will be very welcome and it underlines the strength of the pension indexation arrangements,” he said.
Many retirees funded their living costs with a mixture of superannuation and a part pension, Mr Yates said.
“People living just on the pension always do it tough – this is a very modest standard of living,” he said.
There are currently around 2.58 million Australians on the age pension, 756,000 people on a disability support pension and 977,500 receiving JobSeeker payments.
Payment rates for adult pensions and allowances are adjusted twice a year in March and September.
You can view the rates breakdown PDF document by the Department of Social Services which may offer some more information.