Boost for pensioners promised in October budget: Report

Sep 19, 2020
The age pension will receive a boost next month. Source: Getty.

There’s some good news for Australians who rely on the Age Pension this week as Social Services Minister Anne Ruston has announced the age pension will receive a boost next month, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Speaking to the publication over the weekend Ruston said the upcoming October 6 budget would include more money for older Australians who are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“If further support is needed past December, then clearly we are open to that,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald. “We have seen this coronavirus pandemic has thrown so many curve balls at us, not the least being the Victorian situation causing massive damage to the Victorian jobs market and to individuals and the community.

She continued: “We remain alive to the situation as it unfolds. We don’t know when this situation is going to end and we don’t know what it’s going to look like when it ends.

“We are going to remain vigilant on the temporary conditions that exist and we’ll respond to them as we go.”

The news comes after it was confirmed in August that the Age Pension will not increase in line with indexation this month. The Age Pension sum is adjusted in March and September each year in line with indexation, along with the JobSeeker payment, as well as the Widow, Partner and Sickness Allowance.

However, due to a drop in the consumer price index, likely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the scheduled rise did not take place this month, and pensioners will have to wait until February next year to find out if indexation will go ahead in March 2021.

Nathan Williamson, from the Department of Social Services, confirmed the news to a senate inquiry at the time. He said: “Based on the calculation for indexation, if it’s negative we don’t reduce the pension but we also don’t increase it.”

The current rate of pension, following the last increase in March, is $944.30 for single pensioners, and $711.80 each for couples. While the pension supplement increased to $24.90 for singles and couples who are separated, and $28.20 each for couples.

Starts at 60 has contacted the Department of Social Services for comment.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.

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