New indexation arrangements were implemented as part of the Government's Secure and Sustainable Pension Reforms.
The most recent pension increase took effect from 20 March 2013. It resulted in an increase of $35.80 a fortnight for single pensioners and $54.00 a fortnight for pensioner couples combined on the maximum rate.
This new system of indexation, along with the Government’s pension reform boosts, has delivered pension increases of around $207 per fortnight for single pensioners and around $236 per fortnight for pensioner couples combined, since September 2009.
Base pension rates 1 are indexed twice a year, in March and September, to the higher of the increase in the new Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index and the increase in the Consumer Price Index. The new pensioner living cost index has been specifically designed to better reflect changes in the cost of living experienced by pensioner and beneficiary households, rather than the wider community.
Base pension rates will continue to be checked against improvements in wages as measured by Male Total Average Weekly Earnings. Since 20 March 2010, the benchmark for single pensioners increased from 25 per cent to around 27.7 per cent of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (41.76 per cent for pensioner couples combined).
These measures are guaranteed by legislation and provide protection for pensioners when prices or wages increase.
|Single per fortnight|
|pension supplement||$ 61.20|
|clean energy supplement||$ 13.50|
|Total per fortnight||$ 808.40|
|Partnered (ea) per fortnight|
|pension supplement||$ 46.10|
|clean energy supplement||$ 10.20|
|Total per fortnight||$ 609.40|
These new rates represent an increase in the maximum total pension-related payment of around $207 a fortnight for single people and around $236 a fortnight for couples, combined, since September 2009.
Further pension increases through the Household Assistance Package
Pensioners, including part-rate pensioners, received an initial payment of $250 for singles and $190 for each eligible member of a couple. This initial payment, the Clean Energy Advance, was paid automatically in May/June 2012.
From March 2013, pensioners receive a regular fortnightly amount with their pension payments, called the Clean Energy Supplement. A single pensioner receives $13.50 a fortnight and a partnered pensioner $10.20 per fortnight ($20.40 combined for a couple). Pensioners can choose to have the Clean Energy Supplement paid quarterly rather than fortnightly if they wish.
Pensioners who elect to receive their Pension Supplement quarterly will automatically receive their Clean Energy Supplement quarterly from 20 June 2013. Quarterly payment rates are around $88 for single pensioners and $132 for couples combined.
The Clean Energy Supplement is indexed to the Consumer Price Index.
The Household Assistance Package is part of the Government’s plan for a Clean Energy Future and benefits those who need it most.