Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Pensioners Worse off, Says Specialist

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Pensioners Worse off, Says Specialist

Article excerpt

Byline: ALAN LANDER

DESPITE an increase in the pension for retired couples, they will actually be $10 a week worse off.

That was part of the message yesterday from a retirement income specialist at the ninth annual Fisher Seniors' Forum at Lake Kawana Community Centre.

AIS Retirement Income Research Group director Barry Richards said the recent hike in the age pension for singles was equitable and well received, but couples had been served a "sleight of hand".

The new age pension rates take effect from September 20.

"Previous federal governments have given pensioners a one-off $500 lump sum allowance each year, but this government has given a per-week amount and taken the $500 lump sum away," Dr Richards said.

"The amount they have given pensioner couples will be less than $500.

"The budget tells a great story for pensioners but underneath it has been a sleight of hand."

Dr Richards told the 150-strong audience that single pensioners would be "clearly" better off, as from September they would receive 66% of the couples' rate instead of 50%. …

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