What's in the Budget for pensioners?

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on March 30, 2022 Fact Checked
What's in the Budget for pensioners?

Despite some nuggets in the Budget for pensioners, one seniors advocate is disappointed with the "lack of longer-term structural reform".

The 2022-23 Federal Budget addressed rising living costs, which will provide some relief for pensioners, National Seniors Australia says more needs to be done.

Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said National Seniors welcomes the additional funds provided for residential aged care, but is disappointed with the "lack of targeted measures to help people receive in-home care and eliminate the wait list".

"While the government has significantly cut the waitlist over the past three years, it’s in danger of going backwards if there are not enough workers to meet demand," Mr Henschke said.

"An additional $48.5 million for 15,000 low fee and free training places will not be effective unless it is targeted at the right people and is accompanied with a wage increase."

Mission Australia CEO Sharon Callister said the budget ignored then needs of older people who are among the "fastest-growing groups of those who are homeless".

"The Royal Commission into Aged Care highlighted that our aged care system simply isn’t equipped to support people from a range of backgrounds, including people who have been homeless or are at risk," Ms Callister said.

"Yet, the Federal Budget included no investment for expansion and construction of new specialist homelessness residential aged care facilities that we know are sorely needed."


Mr Henschke said National Seniors is "surprised" the government didn't exempt employment income from the Age Pension Income Test - something he said would provide billions of dollars to boost the GDP.

"It would have been a game changer for pensioners with limited savings who don’t see the point in working when they lose 50 cents
in the dollar plus tax if they do more than one day’s work," he said.

"If Australia had the same participation rate as New Zealand – there’d be as many as 400,000 additional pensioners in the workforce. It’s a missed opportunity to solve workforce shortages, boost incomes and Australia’s GDP at a crucial time."

What Budget items will benefit pensioners?

There are still a few things in the Budget that may take some of the pressure off of older Australians' wallets.

For example, age pensioners are eligible for the $250 cost of living payment which will be delivered in April.

However, Mr Henschke pointed out that this may not be enough to help with the soaring cost of living.

"If a landlord increases rent by as little as $5 a week, this money is gone – and rent is only one example," Mr Henschke said.

"National Seniors Australia has long called for an Independent Pension Tribunal to ensure the pension rate is adequate for all."

Additionally, pensioners will benefit from the 50% cut to the fuel excise for the next six months - down from 44.2 cents per litre to 22.1 cents per litre - which will provide relief to all Australians when filling up their cars.

Another potential benefit for seniors is the extension of the 50% reduction in the minimum superannuation drawdown.

"Many older Australians don’t understand why they’re forced to withdraw set amounts of savings from superannuation," Mr Henschke said.

"They worry this will erode their nest egg and therefore their income later in life, when they face unknown medical and aged care costs."


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Rachel is a Finance Journalist, and joined Savings in 2021. Coming from a background in the FinTech space, her interests include the innovation of lending technology, property, investing, and more. With a passion for educating and informing people about their finances, she hopes to increase the financial literacy of everyday Australians.

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