Am I receiving the correct age pension? Is a question we get asked quite a lot and it all depends on your situation and whether you are full or part pension recipents.
On 20 March 2021 – the Age and Service Pensions were increased, the first increase in just on 12 months. Pensions are normally adjusted or increased twice a year in March and September, I am sure all pensioners will remember that, because of a negative CPI figure last year, there was no increase to the pension rates in September 2020. This may be why some confusion has arose.
The single pension was increased from $944.30 per fortnight to $952.70 per fortnight and the couples combined pension was increased from $1,423.60 per fortnight to $1436.20 per fortnight. If you are on full aged pension it will increase by just $8.40 a fortnight and for couples, the pension will increase by $12.60 a fortnight.
Both rates include the Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement.
Some pensioners will not see any increase in their pension and may in fact see a decrease.
Why would this be the case?
In addition to adjusting the pension rates for movements in the CPI in March and September of every year, Centrelink and Veterans Affairs also automatically review and adjust the value of a pensioner’s investments in Shares and Managed Funds.
And since September last year the share markets in Australia and around the world have grown substantially. For example, the Australian market has grown by approximately 16%, the UK market by 14%, the Hong Kong market by 21% and the US market by 22%.
However, the downside for pensioners who are receiving a part pension and are invested in these areas either directly or through managed funds is that they may see a decrease in their pensions because of an increase in the value of their investments.
It is extremely important for retirees who are receiving a pension from either Centrelink or Veterans Affairs to remember that your entitlement is based on your income and assets and any movement in these values can have an impact on your entitlement. So, it is imperative for pensioners to ensure that the information that Centrelink or Veterans Affairs hold is correct and up to date.
If, over the last six months, you have sold shares or managed funds or withdrawn substantial funds from your bank accounts, you need to make sure Centrelink or Veterans Affairs are aware of the changes to ensure your entitlement is correct.