The recent announcement from the Government to increase age pension payments will surely come as welcome news for the millions of pensioners who have been struggling with the rising cost of living, with the move expected to provide them some much-needed relief from financial pressures.
More than 4.7 million pension and allowance recipients will receive a boost to their social security payments when indexation of their payments occurs on March 20, 2023.
Those receiving the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, and Carer Payment can expect an increase of $37.50 a fortnight for singles and $56.40 a fortnight for couples combined.
The maximum fortnightly rate of pension will increase to $1064 for singles and $1604 for couples, including Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement.
Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth, said the Government knows that Australians “are feeling the pinch” and the increase will support those in need.
“Indexation is a pillar of our social security system and we want more money in the pockets of everyday Australians so they can better afford essentials,” Rishworth said.
“The increase is an important part of the system and helps those doing it toughest.”
Pension increase a small relief for older Australians: COTAhttps://t.co/RfMPYb3CjK
— COTA Australia (@COTAAustralia) March 6, 2023
However, Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Sparrow said that a small rise in the aged pension will not suffice for many older Australians, claiming there is an urgent requirement for additional measures such as enhanced rental assistance to assist seniors in dealing with financial pressures.
“A boost to the pension is certainly welcomed, especially at a time when so many older Australians are doing it tough, but it’s certainly not going to solve all of our problems at once,” Sparrow said.
“The pension increase will go some way to easing the pain many people are feeling at the moment. However, the age pension is designed to ensure that no older Australian lives in poverty and with things like rent skyrocketing over and above CPI, small increases to the pension simply aren’t enough for many people.
“Every little bit helps, but we need to be looking at how we can support older Australians better.”
The age pension is the most common form of income support available to those aged 65 and over. According to the latest data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, as of March 26 2021, approximately 2.6 million people received the age pension or 62 per cent of the population aged 65 and over.
You can find out what payments and services you are entitled to via the Services Australia website.
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