Millions of Australian pensioners have been denied a much-needed boost during the pandemic as public servants pocket pay rise
Millions of Australian pensioners have been denied a much-needed boost during the pandemic as public servants pocket pay rise

The reason why aged pensioners miss out on pay increase

Millions of pensioners have been denied a much-needed boost during the pandemic after confirmation their payments would not be rising.

A federal parliamentary committee on Tuesday was told by Department of Social Services officials because inflation went backwards in the June quarter, pensioners would not be getting any extra money in the coming months.

This means they will have to wait until at least March next year for any increase to their payments.

A limited meat selection during the panic buying earlier this year. Picture: Liam Kidston.
A limited meat selection during the panic buying earlier this year. Picture: Liam Kidston.

The Department of Social Services' deputy secretary Nathan Williamson said despite inflation falling in the June quarter, pension payments would not fall.

"Based onto the calculation for indexation if it's negative we don't reduce the pension but we also don't increase it," he said.

Mr Williamson was unable to confirm when they would next see an increase to their payments.

Pensioners Jim Kennelly, 91, and his wife Doreen, 90, from Middle Park in Melbourne. Picture: Supplied.
Pensioners Jim Kennelly, 91, and his wife Doreen, 90, from Middle Park in Melbourne. Picture: Supplied.

The fortnightly base rate for the aged pension is $860.60 for a single person and $1297.40 for couples per fortnight.

CPI fell by 1.9 per cent in June quarter which was the biggest plunge in the history of the measurement.

Under a new pay arrangement in Victoria, public service employees voted to accept a pay rise of more than 3 per cent once multiple lucrative bonuses are factored in.

About two million Australians are on pensions, four million Australians are on JobKeeper and 1.6 million are on Jobseeker.

At the federal parliamentary committee it was also revealed those on Jobseeker payments - previously known as Newstart - won't see any increases because these payment changes are based on movements to CPI.

To qualify for the aged pension in Australia you must satisfy Australian residency rules and pass both an income test and assets test.

This will determine whether you qualify for a full or part aged pension.

Pension payments are reviewed biannually in March and September and are assessed on any changes to the cost of living and incomes levels.

It comes as Australia's unemployment rate sits at 7.6 per cent and many expect it to reach double digit numbers in the coming months. 


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