Government announces latest 6-monthly increase to the Age Pension

Inflation in Australia is currently at a low level but many pensioners still feel the pinch from the higher cost of living.

Pensioners will get an extra $6.10 per fortnight for singles and $4.60 per person for couples from September.

The Department of Human Services has announced the latest increase in the Age Pension, taking the payment to $894.40 for singles and $674.20 for each person in a couple, including supplements. Such increases are made twice a year, on March 20 and September 20.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said that the rise in payments would help pensioners keep up with the rising cost of living, according to a report by Fairfax

The increase is equivalent to a near 0.7 percent rise on March 20’s maximum payment levels. The Consumer Price Index, meanwhile, rose 0.2 percent in the June quarter, lower than the March quarter’s 0.5 percent increase – both of which show a low level of inflation.

Porter pointed out that Rent Assistance rates would also increase, and the income and assets tests limits for the Age pension would also rise as a result of indexation.

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“This includes higher limits to the income and assets test for age pensioners before their payments are affected,” he said.

This comes as it was reported that some of the top mandarins in Canberra enjoyed pay hikes of up to 13 per cent between 2014 and 2016, compared to the 4 per cent increase awarded to pensioners in roughly the same period.

Is your cost of living going up faster than the pension? What’s contributing most to the increases in your expenses?

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