Seniors receive income boost

MORE than 770,000 seniors on part-pensions will avoid a cut in their income when the Australian Government implements a $200 million boost to their payments and lowers social security deeming rates.

Leading advocacy body, Council on the Aging Australia, welcomed the government's decision to reduce deeming rates in reflection of the Reserve Bank's 0.25% cut.

Deeming rates are what the government assumes pensioners are earning on investments and are taken into account when calculating a person's rate of pension.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said under the new deeming rates, people on part-pensions would receive an average annual increase in their payments of $83.20.

COTA Australia chief executive officer Ian Yates praised the move, but added pensioners were still alarmed about the government's bill to reduce pension indexation to CPI increases from 2017.

"If these changed indexation rates had been in place since 2009, full pensioners would already be more than $30 per week worse off, over $1500 a year, and that would increase further over time putting all full pensioners in poverty," he said.

"This proposed change to the pension unfairly targets those who can least afford to take a cut to the their income - full pensioners with little or no other income and assets."

"Over-generous and ineffective superannuation tax breaks and issues relating to mature-age employment need to be looked at rather than this piecemeal approach which targets one

group of older people over others."


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