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The Harmer Pension Review

The Government has reviewed the pension system to understand what matters most to pensioners.

The Harmer Pension Review found that single pensioners are most in need of a pension increase.

The Harmer Pension Review undertook a comprehensive review of the pension system. The Government has used the findings of the Pension Review to shape the pension reform package.

Key findings of the Harmer Pension Review addressed through pension reform

  • Single full rate pensioners should be a priority for reform. The existing single rate of pension does not adequately recognise the costs for those wholly reliant on the pension to support themselves.
  • The relativity of the rate of pension for singles to that of couples is too low and should be in the range of 64 to 67 per cent.
  • The payment of existing supplements and allowances could be simplified by integrating them into either a pension supplement or the base rate.
  • Pension payments should be tied to changes in the actual cost of living faced by pensioners.
  • There is scope to target pension increases more to those who have little or no private means.

Consistent with international developments, there is a strong case for increasing the Age Pension age to reflect improvements in life expectancy, and the increased length of time that Australians can expect to spend in healthy retirement.

Payment to singles as a proportion of the combined couple rate

Chart: Payment to singles as a proportion of the combined couple rate