Sep 14, 2021

Australian pensioners and JobSeeker recipients to receive a payment increase

Australian pensioners and JobSeeker recipients to receive a payment increase

As of next Monday, the maximum age pension rate for singles will increase by $14.80 to a total of $967.50 a fortnight, while couples will receive an extra $22.40 for their combined payments. 

These increased payments will take the annual pension paid to singles to a total of $25,155 and $37,923 for couples pension.

According to government figures, there are currently 2.58 million Australians receiving age pension payments. This increase will be Australia’s largest pension increase since 2014.

“We are ensuring pensioners maintain their purchasing power in the economy, which is bouncing back strongly,” Social Services Minister Anne Ruston told The Australian.

“This change puts money in the pockets of all Australians who rely on our social security system and, in particular, older Australians.

Close to one million Australians who are currently receiving JobSeeker payments can also expect to see a pay increase of up to $11.90 extra per fortnight.

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  1. I do not know how I’m going to pay my future rent as I am part of a housing scheme which is about to cease. There is no alternative other than to lower my standard of living or pay more than I can afford to stay where I am. The pension increase is not in line with rent increases. I am worried sick about my future and I am not the only one.

    1. Brian Hale, The Courier-Mail-January 11, 2017 “THE stigma of charity should be removed from the age pension. It should be an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund,” said a very famous Australian long ago. Who? Former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies. When? At the time the current pension scheme was introduced. Fund? What fund and what personal contribution? You wouldn’t know about it listening to the major parties’ politicians or Senate crossbencher David Leyonhjelm who, echoing former Treasurer Joe Hockey, told the ABC he wants Australians to drop their sense of entitlement to the aged pension, which should only be paid to poor people, and receiving it should be “nothing to be proud of”. Well, no David, most pensioners worked and spent a lifetime paying for their pensions. It’s not welfare and, when it was introduced, it was actually meant to be an entitlement. A 7.5 per cent tithe was taken from wages to put into a fund to pay their pensions. Just as workers now have superannuation collected. What a good idea! Unfortunately (for pensioners) the Labor Party insisted the contributions shouldn’t be kept in individual accounts as in the UK and the US where retirees get the entitlement earned by their contributions. Instead, it all went into one big pot, the National Welfare Fund. And when the pot got really big, the politicians took it. They won’t talk about the historical facts because these days politicians have developed a new “ending the age of entitlement” narrative while pushing the disingenuous line that younger workers are paying tax to support pensioners. Menzies was opposition leader when then prime minister Ben Chifley announced a National Welfare Fund to pay for pensions, unemployment relief, child endowments, even health care with a 7.5 per cent tax increase. Menzies insisted that the Compulsory Contribution (levy) should be kept completely separate; that it should be paid straight into a trust account and not mixed with the general revenue. The levy and the National Welfare Fund began on January 1, 1946, and contributions were shown separately on workers’ personal tax assessments for 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950, with the money paid straight into the special fund from which claims were paid out.
      In 1950 the balance in the fund was almost £100 million or $200 million – in today’s money the equivalent of several trillion dollars. But the pot was too big for the politicians to leave alone. Menzies, supported by the Australian Labor Party, amended the Acts governing the fund so the compulsory contributions levy was lumped in with people’s income tax and the whole lot paid straight into consolidated revenue. But the compulsory 7.5 per cent “levy” was still collected and spent. In 1977 Liberal PM Malcolm Fraser transferred the balance left in the welfare fund account (by then almost $500 million, or several trillion in today’s terms) to consolidated revenue. But still the 7.5 per cent was taken out of everyone’s pay packet every week. Then in 1985 the Labor Government repealed Acts No. 39, 40 and 41 of 1945 (The National Welfare Fund Acts) and introduced income and asset testing, thus excluding millions of levy and taxpaying Australians from receiving the pension for which they had paid. But still the 7.5 per cent levy continued to be collected (while hidden in general income tax revenue.) And to this day it still is collected. There have been estimates that the trillions of dollars stolen from the fund and the money paid and similarly stolen (sorry, transferred) since 1985 would be enough to pay a non-means-tested pension to every retiree of far more than $500 a week. If it had been invested, like the Future Fund, the pension might be $1000 a week. Small beer compared with the politicians’ pension deals but a huge leap for older Aussies, 420,000 of whom had their age pensions cancelled or reduced from January 1. Ironically, they are the very pensioners who would have the highest pensions if their personal contribution to the “fund” was the yardstick as in the UK and the US. They probably generally have been Coalition voters. But no more. Spend time in the RSLs, bowling clubs, voluntary organisations and the like, where these people gather and it is clear they are Liberal-National voters no more. In lieu of an Australian Trump, they see no alternative but One Nation. The Coalition, supported by Labor and the Greens, has turned 180 degrees from Menzies’ view the age pension is “an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund” and portrays it as charity. For many Australians this alone shows how far the parties they once supported have strayed from principle. The arrogant politicians think they can hypocritically and sanctimoniously speak condescendingly of older Australians. They are in for a shock. Brian Hale is a former business editor of
      The Courier-Mail and The Australian

  2. it is a well deserved increase no doubt. But I work 2 jobs six nights a week and one pays 1000.00 a fortnight. the other not much more. it just points out the fact that Aged Care workers and other jobs for example, some truck drivers are earning less or the same as a single pensioner. Surely this is a blight on our low paid workers in Australia and it should be taken into consideration by everyone holding the purse strings.

  3. Exactly where does this place people, along the Henderson Poverty Index? That’s what we should be using, rather than Ministerial puff:(

  4. Is this woman Anne Ruston, taking a holiday from reality. Does she really think $14.80 a fortnight gives pensioners “buying power?” It would not buy you two cups of takeaway coffee.
    What a low life, delusory, uncaring, poor excuse for a human being, Anne Ruston is. She needs to be stripped of her overpaid salary, made to live off a single person’s pension only, pay rent, eat, buy a few toiletries, and necessities, for at least 12 months and then after of year, let us see how much spending power she thinks the aged pension gave her.

    It’s time for a change in Australia. It is time our uncaring, greedy, Politicians faced reality. A single pension has an almost impossible task trying to eat well and pay rent on the aged pension. If they would like a few of lives little luxuries, Pensioners can afford it on the aged pension.
    I am not afraid to speak up and be counted.

    In this country of great opportunities, where are the opportunities for pensioners to live like human being’s with dignity and preserve their self-respect, not compromising their values and standard of living because they have been reduced to live below the poverty line?
    A roof over your head and good quality food is your birthright. And don’t allow anyone to tell you different.

    1. Well said Paula, the aged especially are victims of the current dictatorship
      rulers Covid has really shown them up, this meagre rise is purely political
      and vote grabbing.

  5. I am very pleased to hear of the rise in pension. I am on my own and I have bills to pay and it will be good . I know my husband will get the same being in a nursing home so I will be able to afford new clothes and shoes for him. Also I have my dear Husband home for meals two sometimes three times a week by Taxi, I will now be able to afford it.
    Barbara Leggett.

  6. I couldn’t agree more. The politicians need to take a pay cut and anyone of them that has resigned or left politics should not receive the big pensions and still be able cc to work. I can’t see why this large pension that they are receiving is right. If they are still able to work they shouldn’t be getting a pension. Pensioners are going to get a rise the biggest rise in so many years. What a joke. Sorry for the rant but it just makes me so mad.

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