|A slight detour from all things budget.
In March, Australia’s age pension rose to reflect inflation and the growing cost of living pressures. This change represents a pay rise of just over 2% and is the biggest increase in the payment in almost a decade.
Single pensioners will be $20.10 better off per fortnight, and couples up to $30.20 per fortnight (where both members of the couple are eligible).
Indexation also means that some people who were previously ineligible for a pension may become eligible as the cut-off amounts of assets and income are also increased.
The maximum rate of age pension payment for singles increased by $20.10 per fortnight from $967.50 to $987.60. The maximum rate for couples increased by $15.10 each from $729.30 per fortnight for each eligible member to $744.40.
A couple where both members are eligible to receive the maximum payment can receive $1,488.80 per fortnight or $38,708.80 per year combined.
For homeowners who are single, the asset test cut-off increased from $593,000 to $599,750. For couples it increased from $891,500 to $901,500.
For couples who are separated by illness, as is the case when one or both move into aged care, the cut-off increased from $1,050,000 to $1,063,500.
*It’s important to remember that the value of your home is not included in these assets.
For singles, the amount of income you can earn before the age pension ceases has increased from $2,115 per fortnight to $2,155.20. For couples, the cut-off has increased from $3,237.20 per fortnight to $3,297.60.
*It’s important to remember that income earned under the work bonus (up to $7,800 per year) is not included. Income from investments is based on deemed income rather than the actual income earned.