The Carbon Tax: What’s in it for pensioners

If the treasury modelling is correct, and prices rise by 0.7 percent, with a supplement of 1.7 percent you should have an extra three or four dollars in your pocket each week, starting July 2012. But there is one reason why this may not happen.

The Carbon tax, pensioners, Clean Energy Advance, Pension increase, Clean Energy Supplement, Essential Medical Equipment Payment, one-off lump sum advance, extra costs, clean energy, centrelink, Pension Supplement

What will you receive?
A one-off lump sum advance
Australian recipients of the pension will receive assistance in two ways.
Firstly, as an upfront payment, called a Clean Energy Advance, delivered during May and June 2012.
This is a one-off payment of $250 for singles and $190 for each eligible couple member, to recipients of the full – and part - pension.
It is designed to assist with extra costs which will be applied by the top-500 polluting companies from July1 2012. It is a supplement to cover the costs from July1 2012 to March 2013 when increased pension rates will apply.
You  do not have to apply for this advance – you will receive it automatically if your contact details are up to date.

An ongoing increase in the pension
The second benefit is the increased pension rate as mentioned above. This is assistance which equals a 1.7 per cent increase - $338 for singles and $255 for each eligible member of a couple – per year. This increase is called a Clean Energy Supplement and will be paid from 20 March 2013. It will be indexed for CPI so it stays in line with general price increases. It is to be paid in addition to the existing Pension Supplement.
As with the advance, you do not have to apply for this increase – you will receive it automatically if your contact details are up to date.
Veterans will receive assistance through service pensions and other payments such as disability pensions and war widow/widower pensions.

Additional payments
For those with higher energy bills due to a reliance on medical equipment, an Annual Essential Medical Equipment Payment of $140 can also be claimed. This will be paid through Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and can be claimed by whoever incurs the cost.
To be eligible, you must meet the relevant medical criteria and hold a relevant concession card.
This payment must be claimed for and will not automatically be paid.

What extra costs can you expect?
Prices are expected to rise by about 0.7 per cent, starting July 1 2012. For those on a single Age Pension, this means about $270 per year. This is to be covered by the $338 supplement (and advance for the first nine months).

Will you be better off?
If the treasury modelling is correct, and prices rise by 0.7 percent, with a supplement of 1.7 percent you should have an extra three or four dollars in your pocket each week, starting July 2012.
But there is one reason why this may not happen.
Most pensioner households spend a higher percentage of their income (2.6 per cent compared to 1.7 per cent for working families) on the things that will be affected the most – their power bills. So how much better of you will be really depends upon how much of your income goes on power.
What no government or financial modeller can predict is variables such as floods or drought and external economic factors, such as oil prices, wars and terrorist attacks, which all can have a huge affect on the prices of goods and services in Australia. The fact that the supplement is indexed for CPI should go some way toward nullifying major price hikes.

To find more about your individual situation, visit the Federal Government’s online estimator at

Or ask us your question – as always, we are here to help.
Download this article as a PDF

    Related Stories


    To make a comment, please register or login
    13th Jul 2011
    The amount of carbon Australia and most other countries emit is approx 1% to 2% compared to China and USA which is approx 20% The pro scientests do not mention in their calculations natural polluting carbon such as forest fires, volcanic eruptions etc?? A tax on companies or individuals is not the way to change behavioural methods and should be an educational one?? As for the compensation packages, the pensioner deal is laughable as it adds not even $1.00 a day to their pension!! Then there's the Mining tax to consider when due?? Low income workers will get a 3% increase to their Superfund but self retirees and investors in these mining companies, supporting them to extract the ore to make the profits, which pays dividents to the investor to support his retirement, will get nothing, ziltch, except a lower divident and a lower income base!!!??? Is that fair????? All those people who want a share of the profit, stick your hand in your pocket and buy some shares and support the mining company to make the wealth!!!!!! The Labor/Green Accord are basically Socialist/Communists steered by unionism and has never worked in any country and have all failed. Only one left is North Korea and who would want to go there to live???? :-) If one looks at political history, Australia has always prospered with Liberal rule and has had the 2 longest serving PrimeMinisters. Gillard actually is not a genuine elected PrimeMinister and is put there by the Greens and Independents, one of whom was elected by using Liberal Preferences and would not be there otherwise!!! So I say no to a carbon tax!!
    25th Jul 2011
    It is just a form of bribery being used by Gillard and Swan to get their carbon tax accepted. I believe GW is taking place in the summer months but it is not man made. It is the SUN. Over the years I said that the SUN would be searing burning HOT. It is now taking place. It will be far worse by the end of this decade. We can prepare for it but not while people and governments accept the LIE that it is man made.
    19th Oct 2011
    OK, it's only $250.00 per year, plus a bit more the following year. So what; stop winching and start enjoying what the government is giving you for free. I know the argument: I have paid my taxes all my life and now I am entitled to all this! And what about the portion of your taxes that went towards fixing the environment, roads, transport, etc? who pays for all this?
    I (for one) am going to be thankful for what I am getting in this country (it doesn't happen in Africa or half the rest of the world!), pick up my 250 bucks and put immediatly as an advanced payment towards my electricity/gas accounts.
    Sometimes I feel we get it too good in this country and all we do is expect more and more!
    20th Oct 2011
    When you have a Prime Minister who said that we would have NO CARBON TAX on her election platform, how COULD you possible trust this government. Remember folks, this is only the STARTING point on carbon tax. It is HOW MUCH it FINISHES UP at, in the coming years that will be the issue, not the lies, deceit and deception, that is being peddled and then sweetened by a few crumbs to fool the foolish and gullible.We are OVER governed, way OVER TAXED, and do we really need ANOTHER TAX??? particularly when there is such a dubious outlook on the economic climate globally. This will impact severely on the pensioners, young families,and what difference will it make??? diddle squat!!It will make EVERY THING more expensive...This is nothing more than a con to justify ANOTHER TAX by an incompetent government who couldn't even run a chook raffle.
    Remember, only fools rely on the 6 o'clock news, or the daily rag for their research.
    9th Nov 2011
    Get over it ?
    9th Nov 2011
    Prospered when a Liberal Government is in, ? yes if you are a Business person preferably one of the big ones yes because as much as Labour has union pushing them Liberals have the Big business pushing them, talk about the pot calling the kettle black !!!!!!!!!
    2nd May 2012
    the big problem is that non of the "one-off" payments ,or pension rises helps with the huge increase in our power bills .maybe thats why Julia gave herself a $90,000 pay rise ,to pay her power bills,at least she won,t go cold this winter
    5th Mar 2013
    what about everything else that goes up .when the gov give a rise in pensions .food went up ,elec ,gas .insurances ,water etc etc petrol up down ,i like to see some of the pollys live on it for 6 months then tell its enough wolfcubs

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles