$800 pensioner bonus? Deeming changes from 20 September

Article published 26 September 2019

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WITH much fanfare, the Australian Government announced that lowering the deeming rates would mean a $800 pensioner bonus.

According to documents released under Freedom of Information, the number of pensioners on the couples rate who will secure $800 under the deeming rate changes total just 191 couples across Australia.

These are non home-owning part pensioner couples with financial assets of $605,000.

When the deeming rate issue was running hot, Social Services Minister Anne Ruston repeatedly refused to provide the breakdown of how many pensioners will secure the $800 maximum payout. Now we know why.

The same Freedom of Information documents show that the average benefit for part pensioners is just under $5 a week ($249 a year) for singles. For couples, the average payment under the deeming rate changes is $3 a week ($156 a year).

So the Government’s announcement about an $800 pensioner bonus was just spin. Or a lie, if you like plain English.

The new deeming rates take effect on 20 September 2019, but chances are that you won’t notice much of a difference in your pension payment beyond the indexation amount.

For more information please email our media contact at media@cpsa.org.au

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