Pensioners and those on social security benefits are set to receive a boost to their hip pockets from next week.

More than five million Australians will see the payments flow through and are aimed at helping keep pace with the rising costs of living.

The fortnightly base rate for the aged pension will rise by $7.70 a fortnight for a single person to $868.30.

On top of this their supplement will also increase by $0.70 a fortnight to $84.40.

For couples the pension will increase by $11.60 a fortnight to $1309 a fortnight.

In addition to this, their supplement will increase by $1 a fortnight to $127.20.

The changes will begin from March 20.

Pension payments are reviewed biannually before March and September and are assessed on indexation ruling that analyse cost of living and income levels.

The latest indexation rate is 0.9 per cent.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the increases would give recipients some extra help with the cost of living expenses.

"Indexation is one of the regular mechanisms we have built into our social security safety net to make sure rates reflect the prices payment recipients see at the supermarket and the bowser," she said.

It comes as another $250 dropped into the bank accounts of five million Australians as part of the Federal Government's Economic Support program.

There were four cash payments during the pandemic totalling $2000 - including two payments of $750 and another two of $250.

"For pensioners alone those four payments over the last 12 months total $7 billion," Ms Rushton said.

"Between these Economic Support Payments and the latest indexation we are delivering more support to Australians who need it most."

National Seniors’ chief advocate Ian Henschke. Picture: Supplied
National Seniors’ chief advocate Ian Henschke. Picture: Supplied


But National Seniors' chief advocate Ian Henschke said the pension increase was not sufficient.

"This increase is not enough to fix pension poverty for those that are renting," he said.

"About one in four Australians who are on the pension don't own their own home and about one in four pensioners live in poverty.

"That's why when we set a hot housing market and an overheated rental market around Australia a small increase to the pension is not going to help those people who are renting."

Rent assistance and other supplementary payments will rise - for tenants depending on their family situation, they will see increases between $0.80 and $1.20 per fortnight.

The rate for 750,000 Australians on the Disability Support Pension and 295,000 Australians on carer payments will increase by $8.40 a fortnight to $952.70 for singles and $12.60 a fortnight to $1436.20 for couples combined.

Recent increases were announced to JobSeeker, parenting payment and other working age payments. These payments will increase by $50 a fortnight from April 1.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

Originally published as More money for five million pensioners



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