Pension Increases 

More than 3 million recipients of the following payments have benefited from increases in their pension rate through the Government’s Secure and Sustainable Pension Reforms introduced in September 2009:

  • Age Pension
  • Disability Support Pension1
  • Wife Pension
  • Widow B Pension
  • Carer Payment
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Service Pension
  • Income Support Supplement.

The significant improvements to the pension system mean that the pension was substantially increased and its operation made simpler. 
Please note that different arrangements apply to people living overseas.

An increase to the pension rates for all pensioners

One of the key improvements was the one-off increase in the rate of pension in September 2009.  The maximum single rate of pension was increased by $65.00 a fortnight ($60 in the base rate + $5 in the new Pension Supplement).  Couple pensioners received an increase of $10.15 each per fortnight as part of the new consolidated Pension Supplement. For more information on the Pension Supplement, please refer to the Pension Supplement Fact Sheet.

The increases reflect another key improvement: the maximum single rate of pension is now set at two-thirds of the maximum rate for couples combined.
The increases were paid on top of an indexation increase on 20 September 2009. 

New indexation arrangements for the base pension now apply to better reflect changes in pensioners' living costs, and a new, higher benchmark to average wages has been introduced.  Please see the Pension Indexation fact sheet for more information. 

Current rates

Adult Total Maximum Pension Rates at 20 March 2012
Single per fortnight
 base $ 695.30
 pension supplement $  60.20
 Total per fortnight $ 755.50
Partnered (ea) per fortnight

$ 524.10

 pension supplement $ 45.40
 Total per fortnight $ 569.50

These new rates represent an increase in maximum pension payments of $154 a fortnight for single people and $156 a fortnight for couples, combined, since September 2009.


Structure of Australian Pension payments

Structure of Australian Pension payments

1Disability Support Pensioners under 21 without children continue to be paid at a rate that includes the equivalent to Youth Allowance rate, Youth Disability Supplement and Pharmaceutical Allowance. They also continue to be paid the Utilities Allowance and Telephone Allowance quarterly, if eligible.

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