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$200 million boost for pensioners



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$200 Million boost for pensioners

16 February 2015

More than 770,000 Australian part-pensioners and allowance recipients will be given a $200 million boost to their payments with the lowering of the social security deeming rates from 20 March, Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison said today.

“This additional investment will mean more in the pockets of pensioners. Under the new deeming rates part-pensioners will receive an average increase in their payments of $3.20 a fortnight, $83.20 a year,” Minister Morrison said.

“This will be in addition to the indexation increase in the pension also coming into effect on 20 March.

“The lower deeming rate will decrease from 2 per cent to 1.75 per cent for financial investments up to $48,000 for single pensioners and allowees, $79,600 for pensioner couples and $39,800 for each member of an allowee couple.

“The upper deeming rate will decrease from 3.5 per cent to 3.25 per cent for balances over these amounts.

“These payments show that the Coalition understands the pressures facing pensioners and that we have a plan to support pensioners deal with rising costs of living and changing economic circumstances.

“The change to deeming rates follows the fall in petrol prices that is also taking some pressure off, as is the abolition of the carbon tax that led to an immediate fall in power prices.

“Bill Shorten has no plan to support pensioners deal with cost of living pressures, he only has a plan to scare pensioners, falsely claiming that pensions are not increasing. Dispensing unfunded empathy is no substitute for Bill Shorten and Labor being a policy free zone.

"The current generation of aged pensioners had a deal with the Government over their lifetime that if they worked hard there would be an aged pension at the other end. This Government is keeping that deal and seeking to make the aged pension sustainable for future generations who will need it.

“The deeming rules are a central part of the social security income test and are used to assess income from financial investments for social security and Veterans’ Affairs pension and allowances.

“The deeming rates have been further reduced as returns available to pensioners and other allowees have decreased.

“Deeming rates reflect the rates of return that people receiving income support payments can earn from their financial investments.

“If income support recipients earn more than these rates, the extra income is not assessed.

“Payments affected by the deeming rates include income tested payments such as the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment, income support allowances and supplements such as the Parenting Payment and Newstart,” Minister Morrison said.