Age Pension increases you can expect this month

The second of the twice-yearly Age Pension reviews will be announced shortly and take effect from 20 September. What can retirees receiving Age Pension payments expect? Given the savage cost-of-living increases, will it be a bumper increase?

The rate of any increase is based on three figures: the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Increase (PBLCI) and the Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).

The CPI is a measure of the increase in price of a general ‘basket’ of goods and services that the average household regularly purchases.

The PBLCI works in a similar way, but the basket of goods has been selected to be more representative of what somebody living on the pension would be buying.

At indexation time, Centrelink compares the CPI and the PBLCI, then applies whichever yields the highest pension increase.

The rate is then compared to the MTAWE and adjusted to ensure that rates don’t fall behind community living standards.

The PBLCI for the six months leading up to June has been published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and is sitting at 3.25 per cent. The June CPI increase was 2.2 per cent. That means base pension payments are expected to be 3.25 per cent higher.

What does that mean in dollar terms?

The experts at the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA) have done the calculations. This is what they say.

For singles, the base rate is expected to go from $971.50 to $1003.01 – an increase of $31.51. The pension supplement would be $80.14 (up from $78.40), while the energy supplement would remain at $14.10. This means the total single pension would be $1097.25 – an increase of $33.25. The increase for pension and supplements on 30 March 2023 was $37.50.

For couples, the base pension is expected to go from $1464.60 to $1512.10. The pension supplement would be $120.82, and the energy supplement would remain the same at $21.20. The total pension for couples would be $1654.12 – an additional $50.12 compared with the current rate.

JobSeeker and Commonwealth Rent Assistance

Increases to some government payments have already been locked in and will also take effect from 20 September.

These include a boost to JobSeeker and Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

JobSeeker will increase by $16 a fortnight, taking the base rate to $749.20 a fortnight, Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth has confirmed. But that CPI-linked increase will be in addition to the $40 increase announced in the May Federal Budget.

“I’m able to confirm that rate will be $56,” Ms Rishworth said in July.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) estimates that one in 83 Australians aged 65 and over receive a JobSeeker payment. That equates to about 30,300 older Aussies who will receive a boost to their income.

Australians receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance – a payment widely criticised as being no longer fit for purpose given huge rent rises across the country – will receive an additional $16 on top of the 15 per cent increase announced in May.

“The support that people will get through that, if they’re on the maximum rate, will be between $18 to $37 extra a fortnight,” Ms Rishworth said.

Anglicare Australia chief executive Kasy Chambers says the payment “isn’t really fit for purpose”. She added: “Things have changed since it came in. It’s not doing what it’s designed to do.

“We’re spending more and more on it, but it’s not having any effect on affordability.”

Too little too late?

Increases to government payments may have already been eaten up by inflation.

The monthly CPI indicator rose 4.9 per cent in the 12 months to July 2023, the ABS reports.

ABS head of prices statistics Michelle Marquardt says: “This month’s [July] annual increase of 4.9 per cent is down from 5.4 per cent in June. Annual price rises continue to ease from the peak of 8.4 per cent in December 2022.”

The most significant contributors to the July increase were housing (+7.3 per cent) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (+5.6 per cent). Reducing the July increase were price falls for fuel (-7.6 per cent) and fruit and vegetables (-5.4 per cent).

CPSA policy manager Paul Versteege has long argued that pension increases are playing a game of catch-up.

Increases compensate pensioners for the loss of purchasing power over the six months prior to indexation, he says, but during those six months people have had to cope, unaided, with a loss of purchasing power. The system needs to change, he says.

Have you been struggling to cover normal household bills given the wide-reaching increase in living costs? What measures have you taken to cope? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Also read: Is Age Pension eligibility age set to be raised to 70?

Janelle Ward
Janelle Ward
Energetic and skilled editor and writer with expert knowledge of retirement, retirement income, superannuation and retirement planning.


  1. And politicians have a pay increase determined by “an independant body” – load of crock….and all politicians gratefully accept. Match the pension increase to the pollies increase at a minimum. Pensioners worked so hard all their lives, paid massive taxes, and get treated like 3rd class citizens by the government and bureaucrats.

  2. As the article says these increases are just playing catch up and six months is too long to be behind. Payments should be indexed every three months and the government needs to be lobbied hard to make that change.

  3. why is it that dollies who are rewarded for sitting on their arse keep getting higher pay increases alomgside single parents more than pensioners
    IF someone cannot or will not work where do you draw the linr
    The more they get payed the less they will look for work
    IT pisses me off that i worked all my life and see bludgers getting rewarded for doing nothing
    I am reffering to long time bludgers not ones who are genually looking for work

  4. Bring on a ‘universal pension’. EVERYONE is paid the age pension, when they reach Pension qualifying age, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Earn what you want above the pension, pay tax on your earnings just like every other income earner does. Imagine the HUGE savings for Government when ‘they’ close all of those Centrelink offices, and close the ‘call centres’, and the time we will all ENJOY, instead of waiting for hours to talk to ‘someone’ – if you’re lucky

  5. The Problem with % increases is that if you are on $26,000 er year a 3% rise amounts to $760 per year. If you are a pollie on $200,000 per year then a 3% rise = $6000 per year. But the cost of living is the same.

  6. Simple solution:- make the Pension equal to 75% of MTAWE, and payable to everyone of Pension Age, which should revert to 65, and indexed every quarter.
    Any additional income, above that Pension Rate would then be Taxable at the applicable Standard Rate.

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