HomeCentrelink – Services AustraliaAge PensionAge Pension indexation comes into effect tomorrow – how much will you...

Age Pension indexation comes into effect tomorrow – how much will you get?

Age pensioners will receive an extra $19.60 a fortnight for singles and $29.40 for couples when the March indexation comes into effect tomorrow.  

While the minister in charge claims it will ease the cost-of-living pressures, representative groups are less than impressed, with one group claiming pensioners are being “disrespected and discarded”.

Including Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement, the maximum rate of pension will be $1116.30 a fortnight for singles and $1682.80 a fortnight for couples.

The Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) will increase by just $3.40 a fortnight. 

The government also announced that from 20 September, there will be a fortnightly increase of $14.40 to $815.90 for Jobseeker recipients aged over 55 after nine months on the payment.

Disqualifying limits

The pension disqualifying income limit increases to $2436.60 single (up $39.20 fortnightly) and $3725.60 couple combined (up $58.80).

Pension disqualifying assets limits also increase – single homeowner $674,000 (up $6500), single non homeowner $916,000 (up $6500); couple combined homeowner $1,012,500 (up $9500), couple non homeowner $1,254,500 (up $9500).

The complete indexation figures can be found here.

Minister for social services Amanda Rishworth claimed the increases would ease escalating consumer prices.

“Our number one priority is addressing inflation and cost-of-living pressures,” Ms Rishworth said.

“These challenges highlight the importance of regular indexation to ensure that payment recipients have more money in their pockets for everyday expenses.”

“Pension recipients are some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, many having worked all their lives contributing to our society or caring for a loved one.

“This regular indexation is in addition to our boost to working age and student payments announced in last year’s Budget. 

“This increase, which took effect on 20 September 2023, also included the largest increase to maximum rates of Commonwealth Rent Assistance in 30 years.”

Being ‘cheated’

However, representative bodies are less than impressed. 

Fair Go for Pensioners (FGP) said the increase meant pensioners were “still being cheated”.

“This miserly rise is an equivalent of two cups of coffee and a newspaper, and does little to correct years of decline,” said Victorian president Joe Montero.

“But it does reveal the mind of government, which is, that those on Centrelink payments don’t matter. Pensioners are also being cruelly marginalised in every way.”

“Ever since 2008 and the current adjustment system, the twice-yearly adjustments have been so underpaid that age pensioners are now short-changed thousands of dollars every year. The results have been increasing poverty, negative impacts on health, rising depression, and exclusion from participation in the community. This is wrong.

“Age pensioners are angry, feel cheated, disrespected, and discarded. After all, this is the generation that spent a lifetime working to build this country and paid tax.”

“The nation owes them the right to spend the last part of their life in dignity and reasonable comfort. 

National Seniors Australia (NSA) welcomed any increase in payments but said pensioners who rent are falling behind. 

Renters falling behind

NSA chief executive Chris Grice said the increases weren’t enough for the 325,000 Australians aged over 65 who rent. 

“This figure is growing,” said Mr Grice.

“We are calling for Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA), which is currently linked to overall CPI, to be tied specifically to the rental component of CPI.”

“Unfortunately, the increase to the maximum rate of CRA of $3.40 per fortnight simply isn’t enough. According to the ABS, rents were up 7.4 per cent in the year to January compared to 3.4 per cent for overall inflation (which is used to index CRA).

Mr Grice said NSA would like the maximum rate of CRA to be increased and indexation for this payment tied to changes in rental prices rather than overall CPI.

“An increasing number of older people cannot afford to own a home and are stuck struggling to maintain housing in an increasingly unaffordable rental market,” he said.

What do you think of the increase? Why not share your opinion in the comments section below?

Also read: What are the new Work Bonus rules and how do they apply to you?

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisherhttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/JanFisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.


  1. It’s too little too late. Indexation should be quarterly and should be based on prices for things most pensioners actually buy.
    Also the gap between what a single pensioner is paid and what each partner of a couple is paid has grown far too wide and with these percentage changes that gap will only grow wider.
    All these issues need fixing but our governments simply don’t care because these matters are of no interest to our elected members on their fat salaries and benefits.

  2. You are totally correct David

    I’ve never quite understood the difference in single and couple amounts
    We pay the same registration fees
    Electricity is the same for how many in the home
    If we rent it’s the same price for more than one person
    If we have a car it’s the same amount for one or more passengers
    They use a little bit of water more than a single person and maybe a little bit more food

    At our last increase my rent went up $24
    This time it’s gone up $20 I guess in anticipation of this coming increase

    So I’ve got no extra to spend

    As for our politicians
    They only care about staying in power and getting their huge salaries and that whichever party is in power

    And what will $19.60 do for us
    A small amount if petrol maybe

  3. It’s just $14.20 a fortnight for each member of a couple.
    They may as well not bother for all the difference that will make.
    And the Minister announcing how the government is keeping us up with the rising cost of living.
    Well Minister the cost of living is going up way more than your pension increases.
    Groceries alone, something pensioners have to buy, are up at least 10% every quarter lately and that is direct from my shopping dockets, not from the fake CPI figures you lot put up.

  4. Where to start. This rise is just pathetic, perhaps they need to change one of the pension increase dates to April 1st so we understand it is a joke.

    I am not sure how they expect pensioners to exist on a $20 a fortnight increase. Already $5 has gone to rent, fuel cost has increase to around the $2 mark, groceries have gone up around 30% (from $80 to $110 a week). The CPI then includes a number of things that have dropped which a pensioner is unlikely to buy or even afford.

    They tell us to switch to renewable energy, to buy an electric vehicle, even to eat healthier. These are all just things we would love to do but they are only a dream.
    We barely have the money to put food on the table, never mind eating healthy, and what is red meat, I forget what a piece of steak tastes like.
    We would all love to have solar panels, solar hot water, battery storage and yes I know it would save us in the long run. BUT who has the money to even start the run!
    Perhaps the energy companies should be offering deals to install solar and with government incentives (both federal and state) there could be a low or no repayment plan.

    So what will I spend my $15 that is left after rent increase, well my health insurance just increased 3.9% so there is that, my internet just increase another $5 a month. I am sure it will be quickly absorbed by all the other increases so that I will be further behind.

    And I might just jump in here on the cost increase to NBN.
    Why are the increases happening.
    Well that is simple they are increasing the price of the lower speeds and lowering the price of the upper speeds.
    Now in simplified terms those that can barely afford the lower speeds (the POOR) will pay more.
    Those that can afford the higher speeds (the RICH) will pay less.

    What is wrong with this country, it really used to be a truly amazing country.

  5. Age pension recipients come from a wide range of economic circumstances. I am a lucky one. I own my house. I don’t rent. I recently inherited so now have backup resources, not a huge amount, but enough to reduce anxiety about financial survival to a much less painful level. Those assets plus the pension means I still have to be very careful but overall, am ok so I have no strong feelings about the increase. BUT if I rented it would be useless. If I lived pension to pension, even with my home, it would not make up for reduced costs, or allow me to do necessary house repairs. The problem is that there are people on the pension or a part pension, who do not need it, who, without it would do just fine. The problem is those people feel entitled to what is first and formost a welfare payment, and the bigger problem is that they are listened to and obeyed by those who decide who are and who are not entitled to it. The problem too is a commercially based financial advice system that openly manipulates personal wealth to achieve it. In my case, the extra is welcome in that it slows the drain on my financal safety net because it will have a little (a very little) effect on my grocery bill. I am glad Australia has this wonderful thing, the age pension. I just wish it wasn’t struggling under so many parasites.

    • I agree with much of what you say, but please stop blaming people who worked hard and saved well so that they could have moderate comfort in retirement. Without a part pension, many who saved would be far worse off in income terms than pensioners, and would have to spend like crazy or upgrade their home to avoid draining all their savings for the taxpayer’s benefit and getting zero benefit themselves for having worked and saved well. The aged pension SHOULD NOT BE REGARDED AS WELFARE. it was intended as an entitlement to all, and that’s what it should be, since most of us contributed as taxpayers for decades. Means testing the pension encourages and rewards cheats and manipulators and punishes honest, hardworking, responsible-living retirees. Ir also pushes retirees to buy or retain big expensive houses that they don’t need. It discourages work and responsible living and that’s bad for the country. By all means, tax retirement income. And STOP the ridiculous tax concessions on super that load the coffers of the very rich and cost the nation more than the total cost of the aged pension.
      As a nation, we would be far, far better off with no pension means test, saving a fortune in Centrelink expense to test and police and encouraging and rewarding honesty and responsible living and saving. Then abolish the high tax concessions on huge superannuation balances, plus tax retirement income so those who really do not need a pension don’t actually benefit from receiving it. This would make things much fairer, because the means test locks people out who should not be excluded and, worse, pays full pensions to people who don’t need it but manipulate their affairs to appear poorer than they are. Tax is much harder to manipulate in retirement and much less offensive than calling the aged pension ”welfaré” and telling people they don’t qualify because they worked and saved well and live responsibly.

  6. first of the %1.8 increase in pensions is a out and out lie from the GOVT
    There is no way anything has gone up to that low a percentage %1.8 equals around $19 for pensioners which is a joke and AMANDA RISHWORTH AND ALL THE OTHER POLITICIANS SIT BACK AND LAUGH ABOUT WHAT THEY DO FOR THIS COUNTRY WHILE COMPARERED TO THERE PARENTS IS NOTHING
    politicians if they only received a %1.8 increase means they get paid an extra nearly $4,000 yet that was not enough in their last pay increase
    they do not have to worry about cost increases as their last pay increases equalled a minimun of $8,000
    $let me think about that $8,000 against $19.00 pension

    • In response to ean earlier post by Peter. The initial hoohaa suggested that we could earn up to $11,800 each year without it affecting our pension, but it is far from the case, as I found out. We all had an extra $4,000 topped up to our Work Bonus balance. But for anybody earning more than $300 per fortnight ($300 x 26 = $7,800), their work bonus at the time would have been zero and having $300 added each fortnight which would then have been used up by earnings exceeding this amount. But, then suddenly, we could earn an extra $4,000 without any further penalty. However, once used up, that is it. We do not start off with $11,800 each year thereafter. Rather, the only way that you can then ever get a work bonus balance of $11,800 in your account is to consistently have earnings below $300 per fortnight. If you decided to take a break from work, you only get to have $300 per fortnight added to your Work Bonus balance. Therefore, it would take almost 40 fortnights of no work before your balance ever built up to $11,800 again. When the change happened last year, I was expecting another $4,000 to be automatically added to my balance each year, but alas, I was quickly told by the ATO that this was not the case.

  7. Am not an economist, but it’s my understanding that the rise is calculated on rises in cost of living, which have already happened. So it’s always calculated retrospectively. In which case, we can never catch up. The amount is always laughable and of very little relation to the real world. I have poor health, medical costs (no GP bulk billing) and increasing dental costs. The pension is below the poverty level and I worry about the future. Raise the rate.

  8. The Pension will never keep up with inflation no matter who is in parliament. They only look after themselves with their pay and retirement pension. I bet not one pollie could spend a week on the age pension let alone a year to two. Unless the pension is increased to a respectable level NOW, a lot of pensioners will be homeless and penny less forever more.

  9. Having lived my entire adult life raising children (mostly as a single parent) and working as a PCA, long hours in a very low paying job this so called ‘raise’ leaves me wondering if the people setting the rates have ever actually ‘lived’ on the income they now expect us to after years of working hard and paying taxes? Superannuation didn’t exist for women in the years I was working, I was given $1000 ‘providence fund’ when I was forced to leave employment after 30 years due to being deemed too unwell to continue working for them, and ALL of that was money that had been deducted from my wages anyway. Coincidentally (NOT) that was in the very year that ALL women in employment qualified to be paid superannuation!!! So NO I don’t believe that the paltry increases deemed acceptable come anywhere near to the costs of our daily living, few of us can afford to leave our houses even if we are physically capable of doing so!

  10. It`s all been said. –BUT do those in parliament care? NO–as long as their lucritive pensions are guaranteed, they don`t give a toss.
    they can`t even be sacked for caring less. ( thanks to whitlam).
    and the media will only do what sells stories.
    Meanwhile we are still expected to pay our cost`s , .
    IF our politicians were worthy of their high living and being called” honourable” etc, they would
    be treating us with the care and honesty that`s needed.
    but it doesn`t seem to matter who is in the top job, –they are worth nothing.
    they all deserve to rot in hell.

  11. Well, my wife and I are going to have whoopee party. Our joint pension has risen by $6.00 a fortnight. That might buy one cup of coffee. It is the most complicated system that is used to determine how much more pension one may receive in March and September each year. They call it the Aged Pension, more like the Catch Up Pension, except we never catch up to anything as cost of living continually keeps going up. How can politician sleep well at night when many of the aged struggle to exist. Shame on them as all they are doing is fearthering their own nests. Time to replace the Aged Pension with the Universal Aged Pension. So easy to implement and operate. The clowns in Canberra aren’t prepared to change the pension system. New Zealand has.

  12. When the pension is indexed in March and September centrelink requests a statement from the fund holding your allocated pension. Because most of mine is in shares within the fund which has been going gangbusters since October, the value of assets has increased by thirty thousand so no pension rise for us its sixty dollars a fn between us down.
    I firmly believe the pension should just be paid to everyone at pension age like in NZ
    Theres no centrelink ivory towers there, just the odd pop up in a mall, they save multi millions of dollars in admin fees and it gives a real incentive to save for yourself. after all the super garantee has been in for over thirty years now, thats thirty years you could have been salary sacrificing.

    • Great if someone has had 30 years to build a super. Not everyone has. Some may have contributed as much as they could in the final working years, but for many this was not enough to create a pension stream.

      I paid a contribution in my taxes for 40 years that was identified as to support the aged pension and then it just got rolled into general tax, but didn’t go down. I had 7 years of contributing to super, so don’t lecture me on what I could have been doing. The aged pension has never been removed from Australian legislation, it has just been watered down and the cash reserves purloined by politicians using it to balance the books.

      It would take less than we give to other nations to pay a realistic pension to all retirees. It is in NZ and everyone, even pensioners does a tax return every year. Those with other income pay tax that balances things out. Australia seems to want to support the wealthy and people on above average wages, but ignore everyone else. What happened to fairness?

  13. What a joke! We got $10 each as a couple per fortnight increase. Government costs alone went up $28 each per fortnight. Food, insurance, travel, utilities each went up by amounts that were more than the increase, so in reality, we went backwards. And some person somewhere has this belief that a couple doesn’t need as much to live as two singles living in the same house. Go figure!

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