$800 pensioner bonus? Deeming changes from 20 September
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.