Almost 5m Australians will get a pension pay rise on 20 March

By Rachel Lane

20 March will see almost 5m Australians receive an increase in their social security payments thanks to indexation. Those receiving Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment will receive an increase of $19.60 a fortnight for singles and $29.40 a fortnight for couples (combined). The maximum rate of pension will increase to $1,116.30 per fortnight for singles, and $1,682.80 per fortnight for couples (combined).

Commonwealth Rent Assistance, JobSeeker, Parenting Payment Single and ABSTUDY will also all be indexed.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Albanese Labor Government is determined to assist with cost of living pressures and help Australians when they need it most. “Our number one priority is addressing inflation and cost of living pressures. These challenges highlight the importance of regular indexation to ensure that payment recipients have more money in their pockets for everyday expenses,” Minister Rishworth said.

Here’s some of the key changes.

Age Pension, Disability Pension and Carer Payment
SingleCurrent 20 MarchIncrease
Base Pension$1,002.50$1,020.60$18.10
Energy Supplement$14.10$14.10
Fortnightly Amount$1,096.70$1,116.30$19.60
Couple (each)Current20 MarchIncrease
Base Pension$755.70$769.30$13.60
Energy Supplement$10.60$10.60
Fortnightly Amount$826.70$841.40$14.70
Rent Assistance

Rent Assistance will increase to $188.20 per fortnight for singles an increase of $3.40. While couples will receive $177.20 per fortnight, an increase of $3.20. The rent thresholds will also be increasing.

Rent Assistance Payments and Thresholds
Rent Assistance From 20 MarchNo Rent Assistance if your Rent is below Per FortnightMaximum Payment Per FortnightRent to get Maximum Payment Per Fortnight

*Different rates and thresholds apply to couples separated by illness, people with children and sharers.

Increases to pension payments will also see an increase to income and asset cut off points, meaning some people may now qualify for a pension who were previously not eligible.

The asset and income thresholds remain the same, however the cut off points have increased.

Assets Test
Current Cut Off20 March Cut OffCurrent Cut Off20 March Cut Off
Illness Separated Couple$1,183,000$1,196,000$1,425,000$1,438,000

The increases to the asset test cut offs may actually see some people qualify for a pension for the first time and while their pension entitlement may be relatively small in value, the benefits that come with the Pensioner Concession Card could be substantial.

Income Test
Current Cut Off Per Fortnight20 March Cut Off Per Fortnight
Illness Separated Couple$4,746.80$4,825.20

It is important to note that the increases to the income cut off are in addition to the work bonus limit of $11,800 per year which commenced from 1 January.

While the next scheduled increase to pension payments is not until 20 September 1 July will likely see changes to important rates and thresholds. The 2 year freeze on deeming rates is set to end on 1 July, which could have a significant impact on pensioners, people with a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and those receiving aged care.

Rachel Lane and fellow finance expert Noel Whittaker are the authors of Downsizing Made Simple, the 2nd edition is out now. The Downsizing Made Simple website is here to guide your downsizing journey with great information, tools and easy-to-use resources.



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