Pensions to rise this month

Age Pensions are set to rise on 20 September in the second round of twice yearly indexing.

The new fortnightly rate for singles will be $827.10, a rise of $18.70. The partnered rate will be $623.40, an increase of $14 for each person.

The rises are after the Clean Energy and Pension Supplements.

But for mature age job seekers under 60, the maximum Newstart Allowance payment for single unemployed people will increase by only $4 a fortnight, to $501, less than half the adult minimum wage.

In a submission to the 2013/14 Federal Budget, National Seniors said that research shows older job seekers will languish in unemployment for an average 71 weeks compared to the 41 weeks of those aged 25 to 44 years.

National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill said over 55s represented 20 per cent of Australians who had been unemployed for two years and were living off Newstart Allowance.

“An extra $4 a fortnight is not going to be much help to long term unemployed seniors struggling to find work, update their skills or travel for job interviews,” O’Neill said.

For full details of the new pension rates, go to http://www.fahcsia.gov.au or the Older Australians division at Department of Human Services on 132 300.

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