Pensions inch up to total of $44.4 billion

Total Age Pension payments have inched up slightly to $44.4 billion.

Pension pay inches up to $44.4b

The Department of Human Services’ latest annual report has revealed that $44.4 billion in Age Pension payments were made to 2.5 million Australians in the 2016-2017 financial year.

The figure was up from $43.9 billion the previous year and $41.6 billion two years ago.

The proportion of retirees receiving a full pension has grown to 62 per cent (1.55 million pensioners) from 58 per cent (1.45 million) the previous year. Fewer are receiving a part pension, 38 per cent (950,000), compared with 42 per cent (1.05 million) last year.

In other statistics published in Wednesday’s report, women made up 55 per cent and men 45 per cent of Age Pensioners and applications for the payment rose by 18,000 to 174,000, compared with a year ago.

Applications for Carer Payments and Allowances were down by 16,000 to 219,000.

centrelink tables

Other Centrelink applications that fell on the previous year were: Disability Support Pensions (97,000), Mobility Allowance (10,000), Pensioner Education Supplement (43,000), and Widow Allowance (3000).

However, applications for the Seniors Health Card more than trebled from 40,000 to 133,000.

The department said it had also received more than 50,000 extra complaints last financial year for a total of 204,583. While most of these are believed to be related to Newstart, the department was not able to answer a YourLifeChoices query yesterday about how many of the complaints related to the Age Pension. 

The department said among the top complaints was “waiting too long for an application to be processed”. It added that while most complaints were resolved in 35 days, “Age Pension claims generally take longer to process, as the department has to assess often complex income and asset information”.

The department said it also fielded 18,194 complaints about Medicare services, 74 per cent of which were resolved within 10 working days.

“People are taking advantage of the department’s online feedback form which was implemented to make it easier for them to provide feedback at a time that suits them,” the report said.

“This has contributed to the rise in complaints recorded.

“The expanding use of social media has increased the awareness of the department’s services. Some of this has also translated into higher levels of complaints.”

It wasn’t all brickbats, however, with the department receiving 9744 compliments for the year compared with 6620 in the previous year.

Have you ever received bad service from Centrelink or Medicare and , if so, what was the issue? Did you make a formal complaint? Have your complaints to the Department of Human Services ever been handled to your satisfaction?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    jackie
    26th Oct 2017
    3:00pm
    The Government needs stop all older migrants that arrive here and don’t come from a country that can pay them an Age Pension. China and the other Asian countries are a good example of this. They only need to live here 10 years to qualify.
    Retired Knowall
    26th Oct 2017
    5:53pm
    Why pick on migrants, what about the 1000's of Aussie Drones that never had a job, lived on welfare in public housing and bred more Drones.
    Charlie
    26th Oct 2017
    4:00pm
    So what did they expect, they knew this was coming years ago and that the first waves of baby boomers were not going to have a lot of super, because many people were working 15-20 years before compulsory super even started.
    Hilily
    26th Oct 2017
    4:47pm
    Exactly Charlie and many of us paid a loading on our taxation so the Age pension would be there when we needed it. Now they call us bludgers.
    Retired Knowall
    26th Oct 2017
    5:50pm
    Why does something need to be compulsory before it's taken up?
    Super was available to everyone as far back as the 60's.
    Eddy
    26th Oct 2017
    10:23pm
    Actually RK the history of Provident Funds in Australia, nowadays called superannuation, goes back well over 110 years. As for myself, as a member of the ADF I started paying into superannuation from my 18th birthday, ie in 1962.
    AutumnOz
    27th Oct 2017
    9:03am
    Retired Knowall superannuation was not available to everyone in the 60s. It may have been available to males in certain jobs.
    It certainly wasn't offered to females, who were usually out of a job once they married, they were expected to stop working to make way for younger girls to replace them in the workplace.
    Today it does seem very unfair and the direct result of that practice is that female baby boomers have little or no superannuation to fall back on in retirement.
    They do not deserve to be called bludgers because they were victims of a policy to make jobs available for the next lot of school leavers.
    Retired Knowall
    29th Oct 2017
    8:56am
    FACT CHECK. It was available to everyone regardless of sex and employment status. Several Insurance companies had superannuation products. I started my own Super policy in the early 60's whilst working for a Contractor. My wife to be was a nurse at the time and I convinced her to take out the same Super policy.


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