Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Indexation delivers increase to pensions and other income support payment.



Download PDFDownload PDF

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Media Release

Indexation delivers increase to Pensions and other Income Support Payments

02/09/2008

Almost four million Australians will receive an increase in their pensions and other income support payments and allowances from 20 September.

Indexation will deliver an increase of $15.30 a fortnight in the maximum single pension and $12.70 in the maximum partnered rate for each member of a pensioner couple.

The third instalment (now $128.50) of the increased Utilities Allowance and the Seniors Concession Allowance (now $514 per annum) will also be paid from 20 September.

With the cost of food, electricity, gas and petrol going up, it's getting harder for people on pensions or allowances to pay the bills.

These measures will provide some assistance to pensioners who are finding it hard to make ends meet.

Adult rates of pensions, allowances and some family and supplementary payments are indexed on 20 September each year, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) percentage increase for the previous six months.

This year payments will rise in line with a 2.8 per cent increase in the CPI for the six months to June 2008. This exceeds the 25 per cent of male total average weekly earnings benchmark.

This increase will assist two million Age Pensioners, and others receiving the Wife Pension, Carer Payment, Special Benefit, Disability Support Pension and Veterans Service Pension.

A further one million people receiving payments such as Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered and Single), Sickness Allowance, Partner Allowance, Mature Age Allowance and Widow Allowance will also receive an increase.

Other payments to increase in line with the CPI are the Maternity Immunisation Allowance, the maximum rates of Rent Assistance, Pension Bonus Scheme and certain Concessional Allowances, such as Utilities Allowance, Telephone Allowance and Seniors Concession Allowance.

These increases in income support payments will be accompanied by an increase in the income and assets cut out amounts for these entitlements.

The Rudd Government paid a $500 seniors bonus, a $1000 bonus to recipients of Carer Payment and a $600 bonus to recipients of Carer Allowance in June.

We have also started a comprehensive review into the pension system. The review will report no later than February 2009 and the Government will respond quickly.

The pension increase rate table is attached.

Page 1 of 11.

Pensions

20

September 2008

Adult Pension Basic Rates - per fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single base $528.00 $542.80 $14.80

supplement $18.80 $19.30 $0.50

Total $546.80 $562.10 $15.30

Couple base $441.00 $453.30 $12.30

supplement $15.80 $16.20 $0.40

Total $456.80 $469.50 $12.70

Pension Disqualifying Income Limits ++ - per fortnight

Family Situation

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single $1,519.50 $1,557.75 $38.25

Single + 1 child $1,544.10 $1,582.35 $38.25

Couple (combined) $2,538.50 $2,602.00 $63.50

For each Additional Child add $24.60 $24.60 $ -

Illness Separated couple (combined)

$3,003.00 $3,079.50 $76.50

++ Disqualifying Income Limits include consideration for Pharmaceutical Allowance

Pension Disqualifying Asset Limits ++

Family Situation

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single, homeowner $540,250 $550,500 $10,250

Single, non-homeowner $664,750 $675,000 $10,250

Page 2 of 11

3/09/2008 http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/internet/jennymacklin.nsf/print/indexation_02sept08.htm

Partnered, homeowner (combined) $856,500 $873,500 $17,000

Partnered, non-homeowner (combined)

$981,000 $998,000 $17,000

One partner eligible, homeowner $856,500 $873,500 $17,000

One partner eligible, non-homeowner $981,000 $998,000 $17,000

Illness separated couple, homeowner

$980,500 $1,001,000 $20,500

Illness separated couple, non-homeowner

$1,105,000 $1,125,500 $20,500

++ Disqualifying Asset Limits include consideration for Pharmaceutical Allowance

Pension Bonus Scheme

Single

Years (Bonus Periods)

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

1 $1,336.40 $1,373.80 $37.40

2 $5,345.50 $5,495.10 $149.60

3 $12,027.40 $12,364.00 $336.60

4 $21,382.10 $21,980.40 $598.30

5 $33,409.50 $34,344.30 $34.80

Partnered (each)

Years (Bonus Periods)

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

1 $1,116.40 $1,147.50 $31.10

2 $4,465.70 $4,589.80 $124.10

3 $10,047.80 $10,327.10 $279.30

4 $17,862.70 $18,359.30 $496.60

5 $27,910.50 $28,686.50 $776.00

Page 3 of 11 Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs | Indexat...

Allowances

Allowance Rates (NSA, WA, PA, SA & MAA) - per fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single, 21 or over, no children $437.10 $449.30 $12.20

Single, 21 or over, with children $472.80 $486.00 $13.20

Single, 60 or over, after 9 months (PhA) $478.60 $491.80 $13.20

Partnered (each) $94.40 $405.40 $11.00

Single, principle carer of child, exempt from activity test $546.80 $562.10 $15.30

Income Test Cutoffs for NSA, WA, PA, SA & MAA - per fortnight

Family Situation

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single, 21 or over, no children $821.84 $842.17 $20.33

Single, 21 or over, with children $881.34 $903.34 $22.00

Single, 60 or over, after 9 months (PhA) $891.00 $913.00 $22.00

Partnered (each) $750.67 $69.00 $18.33

Single, principle carer of child, exempt from activity test $1,004.67 $1,030.17 $25.50

Youth Allowance Rates - per fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single, principle child carer with $546.80 $562.10 $15.30

Page 4 of 11.

exemption

Families

Parenting Payment Basic Rates - per fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Sole Parents $546.80 $562.10 $15.30

Partnered Parents $394.40 $405.40 $11.00

Income Test for Parenting Payment - per fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Partner's Free Area $751.00 $769.00 $18.00

For part payment of additional rate all of the following conditions must be met:

- customer's income must be less than $50.67 $769.00 $18.33

- partner's income must be less than $1,408.33 $1,444.67 $36.33

- combined income must be less than $1,501.67 $1,538.00 $36.33

If partner is on pension, couples combined income must be less than $1,501.34 $1,538.00 $36.66

Maternity Immunisation Allowance

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

One off lump sum payment

$236.70

$243.30

$6.60

Rent Assistance - for Payments under the Social Security Act

Maximum Payment - per Fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Page 5 of 11

Single, no children

$107.20

$110.20

$3.00

Single, no children, sharer $71.47

$73.47

$2.00

Couple, no children

$101.00

$103.80

$2.80

Partnered, illness separated, no children

$107.20

$110.20

$3.00

Partnered, temporarily separated, no children

$101.00

$103.80

$2.80

Partnered, 1 or 2 children (SS Act) $62.80

$4.60

$1.80

Partnered, 3 or more children (SS Act)

$71.00

$73.00

$2.00

Rent threshold - per fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single, no children

$95.40

$98.00

$2.60

Single, no children, sharer

$95.40

$98.00

$2.60

Couple, no children

$155.20

$159.60

$4.40

Partnered, illness separated, no children

$95.40

$98.00

$2.60

Partnered, temporarily separated, no children

$95.40

$98.00

$2.60

Partnered, 1 or 2 children (SS Act) $185.60 $190.80

$5.20

Partnered, 3 or more

Page 6 of 11

children (SS Act) $185.60

$190.80 $5.20

Minimum Rent to get Maximum Payment - per fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single, no children

$238.33

$244.93 $6.60

Single, no children, sharer

$190.69

$195.96 $5.27

Couple, no children $289.87 $298.00

$8.13

Partnered, illness separated, no children

$238.33 $44.93 $6.60

Partnered, temporarily separated, no children

$30.07

$236.40

$6.33

Partnered, 1 or 2 children (SS Act) $353.07

$363.07

$10.00

Partnered, 3 or more children (SS Act)

$374.93

$385.47 $10.53

Rent Assistance - for Payments under the Family Assistance Act

Maximum Payment per Fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single, 1 or 2 children $125.86 $129.36 $3.50

Single, 3 or more children $142.38 $146.30 $3.92

Couple, 1 or 2 children $125.86 $129.36 $3.50

Couple, 3 or more children $142.38 $146.30 $3.92

Couple, Illness Separated, Temporarily Separated

Page 7 of 11

1 or 2 Children

$125.86 $129.36 $3.50

3 or More children

$142.38 $146.30 $3.92

Rent threshold - per fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single, 1 or 2 children $125.44 $128.94 $3.50

Single, 3 or more children $125.44 $128.94 $3.50

Couple, 1 or 2 children $185.64 $190.82 $5.18

Couple, 3 or more children $185.64 $190.82 $5.18

Couple, Illness Separated, Temporarily Separated

1 or 2 Children

$125.44 $128.94 $3.50

3 or More children

$125.44 $128.94 $3.50

Minimum Rent to get Maximum Payment - per fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single, 1 or 2 children $293.25 $301.42 $8.17

Single, 3 or more children $315.28 $324.01 $8.73

Couple, 1 or 2 children $353.45 $363.30 $9.85

Couple, 3 or more children $375.48 $385.89 $10.41

Couple, Illness Separated, Temporarily Separated

1 or 2 Children

$293.25 $301.42 $8.17

3 or More children

$315.28 $324.01 $8.73

Default Minimums for Shared Care Situations

Page 8 of 11

Maximum Payment per Fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single $107.80 $110.88 $3.08

Partnered $101.22 $104.02 $2.80

Partnered, Partner in Gaol, Illness Separated Couple, Respite Care Couple $107.80 $110.88 $3.08

Partnered, Temporary Separated $101.22 $104.02 $2.80

Rent threshold - per fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single $95.20 $97.86 $2.66

Partnered $155.54 $159.88 $4.34

Partnered, Partner in Gaol, Illness Separated Couple, Respite Care Couple $95.20 $97.86 $2.66

Partnered, Temporary Separated $95.20 $97.86 $2.66

Minimum Rent to get Maximum Payment - per fortnight

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Single $238.93 $245.70 $6.77

Partnered $290.50 $298.57 $8.07

Partnered, Partner in Gaol, Illness Separated Couple, Respite Care Couple $238.93 $245.70 $6.77

Partnered, Temporary Separated $230.16 $236.55 $6.39

Miscellaneous

Page 9 of 11.

Telephone Allowance

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Annual Amount (single or couple combined)

$88.00 $92.00 $4.00

Quarterly Payment (single or couple combined) $22.00 $23.00 $1.00

Higher Rate Telephone Allowance

Req. Home Internet Access

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Annual Amount (single or couple combined)

$132.00 $138.40 $6.40

Quarterly Payment (single or couple combined) $33.00 $34.60 $1.60

Seniors Concession Allowance (paid quarterly: 20 Mar, 20 June, 20 Sept, 20 Dec)

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Payable to holders of the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

- Annual Amount

$500.00 $514.00 $14.00

- Quarterly Amount $125.00 $128.50 $3.50

Utilities Allowance (paid quarterly: 20 Mar, 20 June, 20 Sept, 20 Dec)

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Payable to Australians of Age Pension Age in receipt of Income Support

Page 10 of 11.

Payments

- Annual Amount (single or couple combined)

$500.00 $514.00 $14.00

- Quarterly Payment (single or couple combined) $125.00 $128.50 $3.50

Health Care Cards (HCC)

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

Average weekly income for eight weeks previous to applying:

- Single $435.00 $446.00 $11.00

- Couple (combined) $725.00 $743.00 $18.00

- Single, or couple combined, one child

$759.00 $777.00 $18.00

CDEP Participation Supplement (CPS) Income Test

Previous Amount 20 Sept 2008

increase

CPS is payable if income is below:

- Single $1,000.00 $1,025.00 $25.00

- Couple $919.00 $942.00 $23.00

Total income of both partners must be under

$1,838.00 $1,884.00 $46.00

Page 11 of 11