Pensions increase with inflation rate from 20 March

Nearly five million people will get a small rise in their pensions or government allowances from 20 March as part of the twice-yearly indexation.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the 1.3 per cent increase reflected the Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the six months to December 2016.

The Age Pension and Disability Support Pension will lift by $11.20 a fortnight, bringing the maximum single rate to $888.30 a fortnight.

The rate will rise by $16.80 for a couple combined to $1,339.20 (including Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement).

Cutting the cost of glasses for South Australians

A new program has been launched in South Australia to provide low income residents with affordable glasses.

Pensioners, people living with disability and the unemployed will be eligible for new spectacles every three years under GlassesSA, a partnership with the State Government and Optometry SA.

People who receive a full Centrelink pension, such as the Age Pension or a disability pension or receive full Newstart Allowance will pay a maximum of $25 for glasses with single vision lenses, $50 for those with bifocal lenses and $100 for glasses with multifocal lenses.

One in two households set for comfortable retirement, report shows

Only one in two Australian households are expected to have enough money for a comfortable retirement, a new report shows.

The latest CommBank Retire Ready Index released this week shows that 53 per cent of households would have enough combined super, personal assets and the Age Pension.

But when the Age Pension was removed, the number of households able to afford a comfortable retirement dropped to 17 per cent, and to a meagre six per cent when based on superannuation only.

Higher standards for financial advisers

Financial advisers will have to meet higher educational, ethical and qualification standards after legislation passed in federal parliament this week.

Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, said the new standards, which  come into force on 1 January 2019, mean that all new financial advisers must hold a relevant degree, pass an approved exam, undertake a professional year, commit to ongoing professional development and comply with a Code of Ethics.

4th Seniors Sentiment Index

The Seniors Sentiment Index is a summary measure of how older Australians (5o years and over) view different aspects of their lives.

The Index is calculated based on self-assessments of financial, health and social wellbeing and is complemented with Prospective Indices that consider how these facets are expected to be in five years time.

This report presents findings from the 4th Sentiment Index; it follows from the previous analyses of the Index in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

More older people battling housing stress

Older Australians are facing an increasingly uphill battle with the cost of renting in the private market, data from the Productivity Commission’s 2017 Report on Government Services shows.

Without access to Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA), 57.2 per cent of people aged over 75 years would have been in housing stress across Australia in 2016, according to the statistics.

After receiving CRA, a staggering 26.5 per cent of recipients aged 75 years or over were still in housing stress in 2016, up from 25.5 per cent in 2015.

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