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C09/2010 Exchange Rate Variation of Pounds Sterling - Effect on Income Support & Disability Pensioners



Exchange Rate Variation of Pounds Sterling – Effect on Income Support & Disability Pensioners

Amends DI No.


Replaces DI No.

C27/2007 & C29/2000

Amended by DI No.


Purpose of Instruction

The purpose of this Departmental Instruction is to provide information about the Pounds Sterling exchange rate variation exercise.


Following the recent variation in UK – Australian exchange rates, DVA will apply a new exchange rate for the assessment of the rate of income support and disability pensions for those in receipt of all income paid in Pounds Sterling:

  • war disablement pensions (British DP, including EATS and Composite)
  • social security pensions
  • official public service pensions
  • armed forces superannuation pensions
  • British other income (all other British income)

New Exchange Rate

The exchange rate used to convert Pounds Sterling to Australian Dollars for income support assessment purposes has changed from one Pound Sterling = A$1.5974 to one Pound Sterling equals A$1.6523 (i.e. $A1 = ?0.6052).

This rate reflects the average of the “on demand airmail buying rate” for the two weeks to 28 May 2010.

Date of Effect
1 June 2010

Effective from 1 June 2010 the current exchange rate will change.  On pension payday 17 June 2010 pensioners with relevant British income will receive a full instalment at the new assessed rate.

Automatic Processing

Processing to implement the new exchange rate is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, 1 June 2010.

Amounts recorded as foreign super type non-government British other income (07), British Social Security Pension (08) or British Official Public Service/Forces Pension (09) will be varied by applying the exchange rate to the pounds sterling amount recorded, to determine the new rate of pension in Australian dollars. The income support payment will then be reassessed automatically.

Manual Cases

Cases with actions in submission or determined status will not be processed automatically and will be frozen. These cases will be listed on the manual listing for follow up action, and CMS/PIPS cases will be created automatically for action.  Any cases processed through PIPS should be reassessed with effect from 1 June 2010 for payday 17 June 2010.

Non-Government British Other Income (07)

Previously non-government British other income (07) was refreshed every six months in March and September with other foreign currencies (GROOVER).  As a result of a review of British pensions approved by the Repatriation Commission all sterling payments, including British other income (07) are adjusted in uniform exchange rate variations.

British DP Cases

Income Support pensioners who are in receipt of ISS, age pension (AP) or service pension with rent assistance (SPRA); and, who also receive disability (war) pension direct from Britain should have that disability pension converted to $A using this exchange rate.  ISS, AP and SPRA should be recalculated by doing a PIPS assessment.  These cases can be extracted through AIS by each location.

Note: If DP has already been assessed as income in determining hardship cases it should not also be assessed as income for RA.

EATS and Composite Cases

EATS and Composite cases are subject to the daily exchange rate variation of plus or minus 2.5%.

These cases can be extracted through AIS by each location and recalculated by doing a PIPS assessment.  Attachment A shows the amount per fortnight in Australian dollars to be applied for the varying United Kingdom amounts.

For further details refer to Departmental Instruction DI 22/2005 issued by Veterans' Compensation.

Printing & Lodgement of  Letters

SALMAT will print, envelope and lodge the advice letters with Australia Post on or before  10 June 2010.

An advice letter will only be produced for cases where there is a variation in payment.  The letters will be two pages and include the new exchange rate, the amount of income and the new ongoing pension amount.  Joint letters will be produced where both members of a couple are in receipt of pension from the British government and their pension varies.  Age pensioners will receive separate advices unless joint advices have been requested.

Estimated Number of Advices to be generated

The approximate number of advices to be produced  for each State are:

New South Wales






Western Australia


South Australia




Tasmania Overseas




Tasmanian Overseas Clients

Tasmanian clients who have an overseas postal address will have the full overseas address printed on their advice letters.  The advice letters will be printed, enveloped and sent from the mailing house.

Streamed  Advices

The following will be streamed for printing by IBM GSA and sent by courier to each location:

  • reduction to nil cases;
  • overseas cases for all locations apart from Tasmania;
  • treatment changes as a result of the reassessment.

Due to the ongoing issue with the streamed advices, Income Support Contact Officers at each location are reminded to ensure advices are correct prior to posting and to notify the contact officer of any issues.

Contact officer

The contact officer for this exercise is Sam Powell:   ext 16592.

John Sadiek

National Manager

Income Support

2nd June 2010