Rate cuts welcomed by pensioners

THE NEWS of this week's deeming rate cuts has come as welcome relief to pensioners across the Orana region.

Deeming is used to calculate income for pension, benefit and allowance payments.

Orana Combined Pensioners and Superannuant Association (CPSA) president Ken Windsor said it was beneficial for pensioners not just at Dubbo but everywhere.

"We're very pleased the government is bringing rates into line with the Reserve Bank," he said.

"It's now, three years later, that they've brought them into line and we weren't getting as much as we should've got."

The rate will decrease from 3 per cent to 2.5 per cent for investments up to $45,400 for single pensioners or $75,600 for a couple.

The upper deeming rate will decrease from 4.5 per cent to 4 per cent for balances over those amounts.

The change could affect up to one million retirees across Australia, and Mr Windsor said it was needed.

"We're not living high, it hurts," he said.

"Since March 2010 there's been six interest rate cuts, and we're still earning less and less.

"It would be lovely if they indexed deeming rates with interest rates."

From March, part-rate pensioners will see an average increase of $6.80 per fortnight in their pension payments.

The Orana CPSA is vocal in lobbying to the state and federal governments on various pensioner issues through the state's Sydney head office.

They were instrumental in retaining the Dubbo-Sydney XPT train service five years ago, gathering a petition of 5000 signatures.

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