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Previous Ministers' releases and speeches - Senator The Hon. Michael Ronaldson

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State

PDF version (666 KB)

Thursday, 7 May 2015
BUDGET VA040

VETERANS' PENSION INDEXATION TO REMAIN UNCHANGED

The Government has decided not to proceed with changes to pension indexation announced in the 2014–15 Budget.

Consistent with the Government’s pre-election commitment to give DFRB and DFRDB military superannuants aged 55 and over access to the best indexation arrangement from three indices (Consumer Price Index (CPI), Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI), and Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE)) the Government will continue to index service pensions, war widows pensions, income support supplement, veteran disability pensions (including the Special Rate or TPI pension), wholly dependent partner payment and special rate disability pension against these three benchmarks.

In making this announcement, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, noted the strong views of the veteran and ex-service community about the changes proposed last year. The Government has listened and is acting on that feedback.

The need to reform Australia’s pension system remains. Consistent with the Government’s approach, a new set of reforms have been proposed to reduce the long-term cost of Australia’s income support system. The Government will adjust the asset limits and taper rates for service pensioners who have a greater capacity to support themselves in their retirement.

The new changes will benefit veterans who do not have significant private wealth, while continuing to make our system more sustainable and address the fiscal challenges inherited from the previous Government.

The effect of the reversals is that:

  • indexation of service pension, veteran disability pension, war widow pension, wholly dependent partner payment and special rate disability pension will continue to be the greater of the CPI, PBLCI or MTAWE
  • income test thresholds will continue to be increased each 1 July in line with movements in the CPI

The private family home and other assets currently exempt from the asset test will continue to be exempt from these calculations.

“The Government holds Australia’s veterans in the highest regard,” Senator Ronaldson said. “Our commitment to ensuring that members of the veteran community receive appropriate support and entitlements is ongoing.”

Media enquiries:
Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Customer Impacts – Rebalance the Assets Test parameters measure (DSS and DVA)
 
Total Pension Pop
Cancellations
Decrease
Increase
Total
Unaffected
 
#
%
ave$
#
%
ave$
#
%
ave$
#
%
#
%
DSS
Age Pension
2,686,299
86,009
3.20%
-$189.00
214,906
8.00%
-$133.30
153,220
5.70%
$30.50
454,135
16.91%
2,232,164
83.09%
Bereavement Allow
197
3
1.52%
-$230.30
2
1.02%
-$190.30
7
3.55%
$32.40
12
6.09%
185
93.91%
Carer Payment
314,930
1,450
0.46%
-$190.80
5,053
1.60%
-$116.60
5,972
1.90%
$32.60
12,475
3.96%
302,455
96.04%
DSP
824,242
1,117
0.14%
-$204.80
5,300
0.64%
-$121.80
6,901
0.84%
$31.70
13,318
1.62%
810,924
98.38%
Wife DSP
4,334
5
0.12%
-$174.30
23
0.53%
-$86.90
64
1.48%
$28.10
92
2.12%
4,242
97.88%
Age DSP
5,590
7
0.13%
-$203.20
45
0.81%
-$89.80
125
2.24%
$29.40
177
3.17%
5,413
96.83%
Widow B
375
0
0.00%
$0.00
0
0.00%
$0.00
0
0.00%
$0.00
0
0.00%
375
100.00%
DVA
DVA Pensioners
197,632
2,787
1%
($166.00)
10,427
5%
($124.00)
5,369
3%
$26.00
18,583
9%
179,049
91%
TOTAL
4,033,599
91,378
2%
235,756
6%
171,658
4%
498,792
12%
3,534,807
88%

*DVA disability pension is exempt.

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

PDF version (666 KB)