Aussie pensioners denied Age Pension increase in September

Font Size:

Aussie pensioners won’t be getting a fortnightly increase to their Age Pension from 20 September.

Early reports that the pension would not increase surfaced last week and, on Tuesday, it was confirmed by government officials who said that because inflation went backwards in the June quarter, there would be no pension rise at the next indexation.

Department of Social Services deputy secretary Nathan Williamson confirmed to a Senate inquiry that the drop in the consumer price index meant there would be no pension increase.

“Based on the calculation for indexation, if it’s negative, we don’t reduce the pension but we also don’t increase it,” he said on Tuesday.

While pensioners won’t see an increase in payments, single parents will, with the single parenting payment set to rise by $3 a fortnight on 20 September.

When YourLifeChoices reported on the rumours last week, many pensioners were upset about the potential for no increase to pension payments.

“Why am I not surprised? There is money for businesses, asylum seekers, dole bludgers, for Lebanon, and politicians, but not for those who need it the most!” wrote YourLifeChoices member Blinky.

“They can’t afford to give pensioners an increase as it is imperative that the wealthy get their income tax cut,” wrote Tanker.

However, others were accepting of the fact that the two $750 payments made to pensioners as part of the government’s coronavirus stimulus package would have provided more income over the next six months than a $4–$5 a week boost pensioners are used to seeing at indexation.

“I must admit, I get a bit upset at people who complain about not getting a rise, despite receiving the two $750 payments each person (i.e. $3000 for a couple) already as an extra this year,” wrote ronnieb.

YourLifeChoices member, almost a grey hair, saw the lighter side of the news.

“An extra cup of coffee is bad for you anyway, if they reduce the pension by the price of a cup of coffee as well , that’s two cups you go without.”

DSS secretary Mr Williamson would not say how long pensioners would have to wait until their payments did go up.

“I’m not in a position to say that because we have to wait to see the broader economic outcomes,” he said.

Older Australians will have to wait until about mid-February to know whether a rise will go ahead in March 2021.

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston has also said she is unsure how much the unemployment benefit will be after the coronavirus pandemic.

With JobSeeker payments boosted to a maximum $1100 per fortnight through to September, and then $800 until the end of the year, many, such as former prime minister John Howard and Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe, have urged the government to retain the increased payments once the pandemic ends.

The unemployment benefit, which equated to $40 a day prior to the pandemic, hasn’t risen in real terms in more than 25 years, and the minister responsible for welfare payments won’t say whether it will go back to those levels post-pandemic.

“We will be making further statements in coming months so we can provide ongoing certainty,” said Ms Ruston.

“But right now, I don’t know whether we’re going to have a situation where we have clarity around what post-coronavirus Australia is going to look like by the end of the year or not.”

Around 1.6 million Australians, including many older Australians who have lost jobs or had their hours cut, are expected to receive unemployment payments in the September quarter.

That number is expected to drop to about 1.5 million in the December period.

The liquid assets waiting period, which requires recipients to meet a certain threshold in assets, will also be reintroduced in late September.

That means some people will have to wait up to 13 weeks before receiving a payment.

The government wants to double the waiting period to 26 weeks for people who have more than $18,000.

Are you upset at this news? Or was it to be expected?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.


Age Pension, deeming rates not realistic: poll finds

Pension and deeming rates must reflect reality, say members

Age Pension ‘generous’, says social services minister

‘It is a generous amount of money that taxpayers make available to older Australians.'

Is the Age Pension under pressure?

The future of the Age Pension: Is the family home safe from assets tests?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Sign-up to the YourLifeChoices Enewsletter

continue reading


Ambulance costs around Australia

There should be no hesitation when you have to call an ambulance in an emergency situation, but some people rushed...


Four tell-tale signs that you may have a blood clot

A blood clot is a clump of cells and protein in your blood. Blood clots form to slow down bleeding...

Finance News

How much you can save on electricity in your home state

As we prepare to head into the colder winter months, there is good news for those worried about heating costs...


What is thrombocytopenia, and why did it stop the AstraZeneca jab?

Anthony Zulli, Victoria University; Maja Husaric, Victoria University; Maximilian de Courten, Victoria University, and Vasso Apostolopoulos, Victoria University Australia's medical...


Ways to manage death anxiety

Winston Churchill once said: "Any man who says he is not afraid of death is a liar." But while it's...

Food and Recipes

Rick Stein's Autumn Vegie Soup

"One of the rather pathetic realities of the fact that so many of the restaurants in France are disappointing these...


Australians give big thumbs down to the public service

Only 27 per cent of Australians believe the public service acts in the public interest and only 22 per cent...

Brain health

Normal tension glaucoma linked to cognitive impairment

Australian researchers say they have established a link between the eye condition glaucoma and cognitive impairment, the state that often...