The Pension Supplement is part of the Secure and Sustainable Pension Reform package which took effect from 20 September 2009. These changes applied to pensioners receiving Age Pension, Disability Support Pension (except those aged under 21 without children*), Wife Pension, Widow B Pension, Carer Payment, Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Service Pension and Income Support Supplement. It is also paid to other income support recipients who are over Age Pension age.
Please note that different arrangements apply to people living overseas.
Merging various pension add-ons into a single supplement
The Pension Supplement combined the range of supplements and allowances that had been paid in addition to the basic pension over recent years, and was further increased for both singles and couples. It included the value of the fortnightly GST Supplement and Pharmaceutical Allowance, as well as the quarterly Utilities Allowance and Telephone Allowance at the higher internet rate.
From 20 March 2012, the maximum Pension Supplement increased to $60.20 a fortnight for single pensioners. This is an overall increase of around $245.00 a year on previous supplements and allowances paid before 20 September 2009.
From 20 March 2012, the maximum Pension Supplement is $90.80 a fortnight for pensioner couples, combined. This is an overall increase of around $700.00 a year on previous supplements and allowances paid before 20 September 2009.
The Pension Supplement is paid fortnightly and appears on a pensioner's statement as an addition to their fortnightly pension. Pensioners receiving the transitional rate will have the value of the Pension Supplement included in their transitional rate amount. It will not show as a separate amount.
From 20 September 2009, transitional arrangements have applied to protect the entitlements of pensioners who would otherwise have had an immediate reduction in their payment due to changes in the income test.
From 1 July 2010, pensioners have been able to receive a minimum component of the supplement quarterly, instead of fortnightly. Please see the separate fact sheet on the Quarterly Pension Supplement.