Age pensioners experience higher living cost increases

Media Release

Annual increases in living costs ranged between 2.6 per cent for Employee households and 3.4 per cent for Age pensioner households in the December 2021 quarter, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Head of Prices Statistics at the ABS, Michelle Marquardt said: "Automotive fuel prices have increased over 30 per cent over the last 12 months and continue to be the largest contributor to higher living costs for Australian households."

The Living Cost Indexes show the impact of changes in prices on the living costs of different groups of households: Employee, Age pensioner, Other government transfer recipient, Self-funded retiree and Pensioner and beneficiary.

The impact of price changes on household living costs can vary between household groups due to the different spending patterns of households.

"Food makes up a higher proportion of overall expenditure for Age pensioner households compared to other types of households. Age pensioner households also experienced the highest annual increase for housing costs, with relatively higher expenditure levels on maintenance and repair and property rates. Consequently, this household group had the highest annual living cost increase of 3.4 per cent," Ms Marquardt said.

Mortgage interest charges fell 1.6 per cent in the December quarter and 7.4 per cent over the past 12 months.

"Lower mortgage interest charges continue to ease living costs for households with a mortgage. This means that Employee households had the lowest annual increase at 2.6 per cent, as mortgages are a higher proportion of their overall expenditure," Ms Marquardt said.

In the December 2021 quarter prices rose for automotive fuel (+6.6 per cent), domestic holiday travel and accommodation (+4.8 per cent) and tobacco (+2.1 per cent).

Weighted average of eight capital cities, All groupsSep Qtr 2021 to Dec Qtr 2021
% change
Dec Qtr 2020 to Dec Qtr 2021
% change
Selected Living Cost Index (LCIs) by household type:  
Pensioner and beneficiary LCI (PBLCI)0.83.0
Employee LCI0.82.6
Age pensioner LCI0.83.4
Other government transfer recipient LCI0.92.7
Self-funded retiree LCI0.93.3

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