More Pension Money? Good News!

A change in Prime Minister and an increase in my age pension… did Malcolm make this his first priority as the new PM?

No, the change in the PM had nothing to do with an increase in the age pension.

Every 20 March and 20 September, the age pension is adjusted. This is based on a rather convoluted mathematical formula, which takes into account the movement in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI).

This is then benchmarked to 25 per cent of Male Times Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).

If you think this is a long-winded exercise you are correct but for the single age pension this is not the end.

Once the index figure, which is derived when the formula mentioned above is completed, it is then only applied to the maximum benefit rate payable to a couple to come up with the new age pension rate payable to couples. To ascertain the new single rate of age pension the new rate payable to couples is multiplied by 66.33 per cent..

Simple… but what are the new pension rates you ask?

Previous New
Single $860.20 $867.00
Couple $648.40 each $653.50 each

The other interesting fact is that when the pension increases, a small number of people whose assets or income may have precluded them from an age pension entitlement previously, now find that they do have an entitlement as a result of an increase in the asset and income levels at which no entitlement would be payable.

SINGLE Previous New
Upper income threshold $48,942 per annum $49,296 per annum
Upper assets threshold $779,000 $783,500

COUPLE Previous New
Upper income threshold $74,921 per annum $75,452 per annum
Upper assets threshold $1,156,500 $1,163,000

So if you do think that you may now have an entitlement make sure that you talk to your financial adviser or call Centrelink’s hotline on 132 300.

The downside to the increase in the age pension comes for those people who are residing in nursing homes, regardless of whether they are a pensioner or a self-funded retiree, the basic daily fee will increases from $47.49 per day to $47.86 per day.

Why does this payment increase?

It is based on 85 per cent of the basic single age pension, so it follows every time the pension increases the basic daily fee also increases.

So as a resident you will possible see your age pension increase by $6.80 per fortnight and your basic daily fee increase by $5.18 per fortnight – a net gain of $1.62 per fortnight! As my mum used to say: “Always be grateful for small mercies”.

And it is certainly a little difficult to get any smaller then a net gain of $1.62 per fortnight.

For those pensioners who have monies invested in the share market or in managed funds, the increase in your pension may not be the only adjustment made to your pension in March and September. Your pension can also be adjusted automatically depending on the movement in the markets to reflect the values of your investments at this time.

While you will receive notification re the changes, it can be quite confusing and so now could be a very good time to talk to me or your financial adviser about your current situation to ensure you are receiving your correct pension entitlement.

The Way to a Healthy Mind, Happy Heart – Dancing Feet!

Belly Dance = Healthy Mind, Happy Heart, Dancing Feet! By Regan ‘Rania’ Gardner November 25, 2013

For many centuries Oriental Dance, or Belly Dance as it is commonly referred to has captivated both dancer and audience alike evoking visions of the mystical East with flowing costumes, sensual movement and infectious music.  In the last century Belly Dance has become increasingly popular in the West with many women embracing the art form.

Keeping active is an important part of maintaining a healthy mind and body no matter what your age and Belly Dance is a fantastic way to embrace exercise and movement without the chore of a fitness class. Being a low impact activity Belly Dance is suitable for women of all ages, shapes, sizes and with a variety of physical limitations, I find it very user friendly! Women can work at their own pace, learning how to reconnect with their body and move it in different ways. The movements in Belly Dance help to build core strength, fitness and flexibility and as dancers progress through the levels layering of movement is introduced which helps with co-ordination, balance and body isolation.

Each term along with learning movement and technique the dancers learn a new choreography. This helps consolidate the movements they have been learning as well as transitioning through movements which helps with co-ordination, and of course remembering the choreography is excellent for improving your memory.

Along with the physical benefits of Belly Dance comes the emotional and well being side effects. We strive to provide an environment of encouragement and acceptance, allowing women to be happy with how they are. Spending an hour dancing can be a great stress relief, which helps encourage and maintain a positive, happy outlook and keep depression at bay.

Belly Dance Arabesque have a very supportive community at the studio and we regularly hold social events with opportunities to dance, dress up and have some fun. There is never any pressure to perform but if the desire is there we support that. Our teachers all have many years experience dancing, teaching and performing and are passionate about sharing their knowledge with their students.

Do your mind, body and spirit a favour and head along to a class at Belly Dance Arabesque, chances are you will never look back!

Belly Dance Arabesque Dance and Yoga Studio is located at 23 Payneham Road, College Park and offer regular free come and try classes. Visit the website at or their Facebook page for more info on classes in Belly Dance, Bollywood, Tribal Belly Dance, Fusion and Yoga along with studio events.

Next Free Come and Try Sessions are on Wednesday December 11, 2013 at 7.15pm and Tuesday January 21, 2014 at 7.15pm.