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Supporting South Australian pensioners and self-funded retirees
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PRIME MINISTER

MINISTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND AGEING

SUPPORTING SOUTH AUSTRALIAN PENSIONERS AND SELF-FUNDED RETIREES

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler today met with local pensioners in Adelaide to discuss the Gillard Government’s household assistance package and how it will support older Australians.

More than 2.2 million age pensioners and 280,000 self-funded retirees across Australia will receive assistance to help them do their bit to tackle climate change and look after the household budget.

Our age pensioners and self funded retirees have worked hard all their lives to make Australia the great nation it is today. We want to help them with household expenses as we go about cutting carbon pollution.

Pensions will increase by $338 per year for singles and $510 per year for couples combined to help older Australians deal with extra costs in their budgets.

This means that after the impact of the carbon price is taken into account, pensioner households will have, on average, $210 more in their pockets.

Every senior who relies solely on the age pension and 90 per cent of all seniors who receive a part pension will receive a buffer of at least 120% of their average price impact.

The Prime Minister said that around 150,000 self funded retirees and part-rate pensioners will also receive tax cuts of more than $303 as well as their pension increase or Seniors’ Supplement of $338 for singles and $510 for couples combined.

Self-funded retirees over the age of 65 with a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card will benefit from the same assistance as age pensioners.

Self-funded retirees without a concession card may benefit from tax cuts. This equates to more than $300 for a single retiree on an income of $55,000 and more than $600 for a retiree couple jointly receiving $85,000.

We will ensure that older Australians have money in their pockets upfront. Pensioners and eligible self-funded retirees will receive the first nine months

worth of their increased pension payments in a lump sum payment before the carbon price starts on 1 July 2012.

This commitment comes on top of a number of important measures the Australian Government has already delivered to support pensioners, including:

• Increasing pensions by $128 per fortnight for single pensioners on the maximum rate and a $116 per fortnight increase for maximum rate pensioner couples. • Increasing the Utilities Allowance (now part of a new increased

Pension » « Supplement ) by around $400 per year. • Delivering a new system of pension indexation - the new Pensioner Living Cost index - which ensures that pensions keep pace with pensioners’ living costs. • Ensuring that age pensioners who work can keep up to $6,500 extra

per year through our new expanded Seniors Work Bonus. • Introducing reciprocal transport arrangements to ensure pensioners with state seniors’ cards can benefit from public transport concessions when travelling interstate.

ADELAIDE 17 JULY 2011

PRESS OFFICE (02) 6277 7744 MINISTER BUTLER’S MEDIA CONTACT 0407 415 484