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Age Pension increase for mid March

Nearly 2.6 million older Australians will be receiving an increase to their Age Pension payment following a mid March indexation increase to social payments.

The Age Pension is having an indexation increase, along with other social service payments. [Source: iStock]

This announcement follows the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety's Final Report, tabled into Parliament on 26 February 2021, which outlined the necessary changes needed in the aged care sector

From 20 March, 2021, all social security payments will be increased, including the Carer Payment. 

The Age Pension was not raised last September, which the peak body for older people, National Seniors Australia, says was the first time there was no increase to cover the cost of living in the Pension since 1997.

National Seniors also says the Age Pension has become a target for Budget savings by the Government.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said that the March increases would help recipients, like pensioners, keep up with changes in living costs.

"Indexation is one of the regular mechanisms we have built into our social security safety net to make sure rates reflect the prices payment recipients see at the supermarket and at the bowser,” says Minister Ruston.

The increase will see Age Pensioners and Carers receive an increase of $8.40 a fortnight to their social security payment, bringing the total fortnightly Pension to $952.70 for singles, and $1,436.20 for couples combined.

The Pension Supplement, Energy Supplement, Rent Assistance, and other supplementary payments have also been included in this indexation increase.

Additionally, the fourth, and final Economic Support Payment, paid to people on the Age Pension and other social security payments on 1 March, provided an extra $250 to pensioners.

Minister Ruston says that those four payments over the last year totals $7 billion for Australian pensioners.

"Between these Economic Support Payments and the latest indexation, we are delivering more support to Australians who need it most," adds Minister Ruston.

A range of income and assets test limits will also increase with the indexation so recipients will be able to have higher income and assets before their pay is impacted.

Chief Advocate for National Seniors, Ian Henschke, told media on Monday that older people who don't own their own home are most likely living in 'pensioner poverty' and this new rise doesn't meet the increasing cost of rental accommodation.

For more information about the new rates and thresholds, visit the Department of Social Services website.


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