Pensions set to increase on September 20


By Rachel Lane

Mark your calendars for September 20th! It’s not just the usual indexation to pensions we’re looking at; this date also brings significant reforms to JobSeeker and Rent Assistance. These updates stem from the recently announced 2023-24 Federal Budget. Let’s delve into the specifics.

Age Pension overhaul

You’ll be happy to hear that Age Pension payments are on the rise. Singles can expect an increase in the maximum payment from $1,064 to $1,096.70 per fortnight. Couples are also in for a treat, as the combined maximum payment will increase from $1,604 to $1,653.40 per fortnight. For couples who are separated by illness, such as when one partner is in aged care, the maximum payment will rise to $2,193.40 per fortnight.

What does it mean for income and assets?

These increases will consequently affect income and asset assessments. Singles will now be allowed to earn an additional $65.40 per fortnight, with the cut-off for pension payments set at $2,397.40 per fortnight. Couples can earn up to $98.80 more per fortnight before their pension is terminated, set at a new limit of $3,666.80 per fortnight.

New asset limits

If you’re a homeowner, the asset limits have also been tweaked in your favor. Single homeowners can now have assets up to $667,500 (an increase of $11,000), while couples can have up to $1,003,000 (up by $16,500) outside their homes before losing their pension eligibility.

For non-homeowners, the limits have risen too, with singles now allowed up to $909,500 and couples up to $1,245,000. Couples separated by illness will see the asset cut-off points increase by $22,000, allowing homeowners up to $1,138,500 and non-homeowners up to $1,380,500 in assets.

JobSeeker updates

Single individuals over 55 who have been receiving an eligible income support payment for at least nine months will be eligible for a higher rate of up to $802.50 per fortnight. Previously, singles under 60 could claim a maximum of $693.10, while those over 60 could claim up to $745.20 if they had been on income support for at least nine continuous months.

Furthermore, the income limit for these individuals will rise to $1,532 per fortnight, and they can have assets up to $301,750 if they are homeowners, or up to $543,750 if they are non-homeowners.

Rent Assistance revamped

Rent Assistance will experience a 15% jump in the maximum payment rate. This means singles can expect an increase from $157.20 to $184.80 per fortnight, and couples from $148.00 to $174.00 per fortnight.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

The income limit for Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders will also see a bump. For singles, the limit will rise from $90,000 per annum to $95,400, while for couples, the combined income limit will increase from $144,000 to $152,640 per annum.

As a downsizing expert and author of Downsizing Made Simple, I always advocate for staying informed about such changes that directly affect your financial well-being. These shifts in Age Pension, JobSeeker, and Rent Assistance rates, as well as the adjustments to income and asset tests, could mean significant changes in your lifestyle and financial planning.

Stay tuned for more updates and tips on how you can navigate these changes effectively.

  • Advice given in this article is general in nature and is not intended to influence readers’ decisions about investing or financial products. They should always seek their own professional advice that takes into account their own personal circumstances before making any financial decisions.

The original article featured on the website on 4 September 2023

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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