QCOSS cost of living report – special edition: The cost of living and age pensioner households, issue 3 2015

  • Hands of young woman holding the hands of an elderly person
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Older Queenslanders relying solely on the age pension and other government allowances are one group who are significantly impacted by cost-of-living pressures. In the December quarter of 2014, there were 454,814 Queenslanders receiving the age pension[i]. While some have access to superannuation or other income sources to supplement the age pension[ii], many rely solely on the age pension as their primary source of household income[iii].

Older women are overrepresented as age pension recipients and are more likely to receive the maximum rate of payment because they find it more difficult to accumulate superannuation through either compulsory or voluntary contributions[iv]. With projections suggesting that the number of people aged 65 to 84 in Queensland will more than double from 491,000 in 2010 to 1.3 million by 2050[v], it is likely that the number of people in this situation will increase, placing additional pressure on social services and other supports.

This report examines the capacity of four example age pensioner households to meet a basic standard of living. The report uses publically available data to estimate the basic income and expenditure for these four households. It is the third age pensioner report produced by the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), with the first report published in August 2013.

Read the full report here.

[i]Department of Social Services 2013. ‘Payment type, by Commonwealth Electorate Divisions December 2013 Quarter – Department of Social Service payments’
[ii] Unfortunately, households that rent are generally on lower incomes than those that own their homes resulting in lower superannuation balances Source: CPA Australia 2012. Household savings and retirement: Where has all my super gone?Oct 2012
[iii] As recent research has shown some households are using their superannuation to pay off mortgages after living beyond their means in the period before retirement, leaving them to become solely reliant on the age pension for their retirement income. Source: CPA Australia 2012. Ibid.
[iv] Marie Coleman AO PSM and Helen Hodgson; ‘WOMEN’S VOICES: Report from consultations on factors influencing women’s decisions on work-force attachment, including tax and transfers Including technical analysis and recommendations’; September 2011
[v] Queensland Government; ‘Queensland Commission of Audit – Final Report, February 2013 Volume 2’; Queensland Government 2013
2 October 2015 | Focus area: , , |Service type: |Cohort: