Aussie pensioners denied Age Pension increase in September

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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.

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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?



Total Comments: 78
  1. 0

    Things to consider almost a grey hair is that coffee is good for the liver

  2. 0

    Well to be honest I didn’t even know there was a rise in September, and if its about keeping money to give Australians free vaccine for COVID19 then lets hope firstly, that they get a vaccine, and that is not actually on the cards, a better thing to be doing is getting a vaccine right, if it can be done at all. There is as far as I know no real proven vaccine yet, so with that in mind they should also be looking for treatements as well. Which I think they are doing but there are two that I’ve heard about that the government will take no notice of and one of them inside the 9 studies done on it, that the government actually made its decidion on, was used wrongly too late in the infection without zinc and in one maybe more studies gave 6 times the recommended dose to volunteers any wonder they got sick. The drug is the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, of course foolish biased people who hate TRUMP EVEN IF THEY DON’T KNOW WHY, POO POO’D IT , he brought it up .

    There is an Australian proffesor Thomas Borody, who also has used zinc and anti biotic properly and early for it to kill COVID19 , yet no one hears about this, only on the conservative broadcasters so I doubt the ABC would even mention it, that means to me they put politics before the health and safety of these treatments for humans . If a quarter of the information about this treatment, using I think ivermectin (spelling?) we could have an answer and because of faulty testing of 9 studies that our government decided on , we know nothing of these two chances. And it is CHEAPER by a mile compared to the cost of the vaccines. Both these drugs I mentioned are proven safe and have been used for things for 40 years or so. So folks on YLC pass this around on your social media at least we need to be told, Grg Hunt knopws about it! So what is wrong with them?

  3. 0

    good points John

    • 0

      See above, Discon.

    • 0

      Discon, hydroxychloroquine is a wonderful drug, if you are facing Malaria, so those folk with Covid 19 AND Malaria will probably benefit, but not much else.
      At least it is one way of diagnosing asymptopic malarials, – if there is such a thing.

      BTW, I know of a guy with a Million doses of hydroxychloroquine that he will give a discount on to nice people, – but on the other hand he has a couple of bridges for sale also so you may have to be careful..

  4. 0

    It definitely was to be expected and I feel sure there will be more cuts or increases to GST etc. to come. While all aged pensioners are not in the same boat there are a lot of others who are in extremely difficult situations. I am grateful for what I have already received.

  5. 0

    I can see the reasoning in the decision however the interest we were getting on our savings is non existent and we have decided to start taking a little more out each week to hide away.
    Our costs have gone up but luckily with the lockdown we are not using much petrol.

  6. 0

    I can probably manage without the increase, but I am angry that it is always the most vulnerable who are hit when the government needs to make up a shortfall. It’s the principle of the decision, and who made that decision anyway?? will it really make such a difference to the nation’s economy? The stimulus package was helpful, but there are many others who are receiving much more on a fortnightly basis right now. I guess somebody has to fund that!! Take it from someone else next time…..the politicians for example!! or the multi-nationals who don’t pay enough tax…..

    • 0

      patti, the decision has nothing to do do with government. There is a set formula that is used to calculate the increases each march and September. Most pensions are indexed twice each year (on 20 March and 20 September) by the greater of the movement in the CPI or the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI). They are then ‘benchmarked’ against a percentage of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE). The combined couple rate is benchmarked to 41.76 per cent of MTAWE; the single rate of pension is set at 66.33 per cent of the combined couple rate (which is equal to around 27.7 per cent of MTAWE).
      ‘Benchmarked’ means that after it has been indexed, the combined couple rate is checked to see whether it is equal to or higher than 41.76 per cent of MTAWE. If the rate is lower than this percentage, the rates are increased to the appropriate benchmark level.

    • 0

      1- The CPI has never reflected the reality of cost of basic goods

      2-The CPI figures can be and are manipulated by adding cost of goods and services to produce the lowest CPI result possible just so the government does not have to pay a greater age pension increase

      3-The set formula is the formula changed under the Abbott government and was designed to cut the bi-annual age pension increases by half. It has always been this and current government’s intention to keep age pension payments as low as possible

      The $1,500 Covid-19 stimulus, paid in two lots of $750 was nothing but an ” Age Pension Advance”…of $57.69 per fortnight over next 12 months.

      In order to balance the ‘advanceto its basic bi-annual $6 per fortnight age pension increase ‘ …it will take 250 age pension fortnights to recover.

      That’s 4.8 years…of probable, no age pension increase at all.

    • 0

      Arvo, Horace is correct, there is formula based on PBLCI, CPI and MTAWE. This formula was bought in so pension rises were not at the whim of government. The downside is that if the formula has a negative result there is no mandated increase in the pension, but there will be no reduction either. However any future increases will be discounted until the formula come back into equilibrium. In simple terms if the current decrease is say 1.4%. if the next calculation in March 2021 results in an increase of say 1.5% then the 1.4% is discounted so the actual March increase will only be 0.1%. I hope this is clear?
      You are right in that zero indexation of pension could last more than 1 indexation cycle but it is unlikely.

  7. 0


  8. 0

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

    Last week’s article on exactly the same topic, albeit with proof of the rumour, was done to death at the time and I can’t see the need to rehash the subject especially with such a short timeframe. Practical people will accept the decision as it is in line with the formula devised to adjust age pension payments.

    • 0

      Oh dear Horace.

      We love rehashing the same old stuff over and over and over again.

      I am sure YLC has a set roster with certain subjects on high rotation so we can repeat the same stuff again and again and get nowhere.

      Some subjects have come up repeatedly for more years than I care to remember yet nothing has changed and nothing will. As Einstein supposedly once said on the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. As if.

  9. 0

    $3 a fortnight increase for single parents is a joke – it would cost more than that in admin costs!

    I too was grateful for the 2 x $750 payments – every little helps – we need to keep jobseeker payments low or else they will never get a job!!

  10. 0

    serve yourselves right, you vote for these fools that spend all their time in office giving themselves whatever they want and attacking and taking away anything previous labor governments ever gave you, like turkeys voting for xmas, when you hop into bed with snakes expect to get bitten.

    • 0

      Who do you suggest we vote for, braddy bear? The party that wants to wipe out self-funded retirees and make us all dependent, thus hiking up the cost of the OAP to taxpayers, and wants to up the super to 12% so taxpayers cop a mega billion dollar increase in the cost of providing concessions to the rich? The Libs are the lesser of two huge evils I’m afraid, so yes, I’ll keep voting for them. I just wish we had a genuine choice.

    • 0

      BTW. That extra super won’t help battlers. It will just deprive them of pension income. But it will load the coffers of the well off nicely.

    • 0

      Libs the lesser of the two evils? Guess it is a matter of perception and what you are getting out of it. They both are ruled by who donates to them.
      Try looking at a few independants in your area and speaking to them personally.

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