In the news - deeming rates

National Seniors Australia’s campaign for the Morrison Government to cut deeming rates has created one of the biggest media responses in the history of this organisation.

Chief Advocate Ian Henschke has conducted dozens of interviews around the clock for TV, radio, newspapers and web sites.

The campaign led the government last Sunday to announce a 0.75 per cent cut in the deeming rate on interest earned on savings accounts below $51,800 and a 0.25 per cent cut in savings above that amount.

The new rates are 1 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.

Chief Advocate Ian Henschke used the opportunity to call for the rates to be set independently.

“It’s alright for an independent tribunal to decide on politicians’ pay, but they don’t want the same independence when it comes the income of retirees.” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Listeners to Brisbane’s 4BC radio heard Ian Henschke say,

“It’s a big story and it’s one that affects a million lives around Australia.”

National Seniors welcomes the change, but wants the Government to do more on deeming rates especially if there’s another interest rate cut which will further reduce returns on cash investments.

“If those bank account rates go down again, hundreds of thousands of pensioners will lose yet again.” Ian Henschke told the Australian Financial Review.

The government’s changes came in the wake of a relentless campaign led by National Seniors Australia.

Before the announced changes Ian Henschke told Perth radio 6PR,

“If (Treasurer Josh Frydenberg) decides he’s going to take away people’s money from their pension, he’s going to incur the wrath from them at the next election.”

Ian Henschke was also asked what National Seniors’ view was about a remark by Social Services Minister Anne Ruston that the pension payment is ‘generous.’

He told Seven’s Sunrise many pensioners are doing it tough and he wanted the Minister to be aware of just how tough.

He said on the program he would forward to the Minister a report called ‘The Adequacy of the Aged Pension in Australia.’

“It shows 1.5 million Australians rely on the pension as their main source of income.”

National Seniors Australia will continue to stand up for older Australians by championing the cause and advocating around:

  • the poor standard of living of hundreds of thousands of pensioners
  • continuing the campaign for the deeming rate to be determined by an independent body
  • review of some of the inadequate payments to supplement living expenses such as rent and energy
  • more funding for aged care.

We’ve made progress but there is still plenty to do.

Join the Fix Pension Poverty campaign

We’ve partnered with the Benevolent Society to fight for a fair go for people on the pension.

But we need your support.

If you would like to improve the standard of living for older Australians reliant on the Age Pension, then join the campaign today.

You will receive regular updates and a platform to share your stories and experiences.

You will be helping us raise awareness about an issue that impacts so many older Australians.

If you are a National Seniors Australia member, your membership fee will also contribute to our research and advocacy, so we can continue to fight for your rights – and the rights of all older Australians.

Together, we can make a difference.

You can learn more about our campaign priorities – and how to join, below.

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Cutting energy costs

Our energy affordability campaign aims to cut energy bills for you and all older Australians.

As part of the campaign, we are running a petition which calls on all politicians to support indexing the Energy Supplement, in line with the energy component of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

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