3.4.3 CPI Indexation for Cost of Living

Context

Court orders and court registered agreements or child support agreements often contain clauses providing for an annual adjustment of the amount payable in accordance with changes in the CPI.

Act references

CSRC Act section 4, section 37

CSA Act section 5, Part 6, Part 7

Treatment of CPI clauses

If a court order or court registered agreement provides for a review of the amount payable on a specified date, the arrival of that date is an affecting event (CSRC Act section 4(1)).

An order or child support agreement with a CPI clause will generally state the date on which the comparison is to be made and the particular figures to be used (e.g. the weighted average of CPI figures in all capital cities or a specific capital city). Where an order simply refers to CPI, but not a specific measure of it, the Registrar will use the weighted average of CPI in all capital cities from the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publishes these figures.

CPI figures used from September 2012

The relevant CPI figures published by the ABS for recent years are provided below.

Period Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide Perth Hobart Darwin Canberra Weighted
Average
Sep 2011 99.9 99.8 99.9 100.0 99.6 99.9 99.9 99.8 99.8
Dec 2011 99.8 99.9 99.7 100.0 99.8 100.0 99.5 100.1 99.8
Mar 2012 99.9 99.9 99.9 99.9 100.0 100.3 99.9 99.7 99.9
Jun 2012 100.5 100.4 100.5 100.2 100.5 99.9 100.7 100.3 100.4
Sep 2012 102.2 101.6 101.6 101.7 101.6 100.6 102.0 101.4 101.8
Dec 2012 102.3 102.0 101.9 102.1 101.9 101.0 102.0 101.8 102.0
Mar 2013 102.7 102.4 102.0 102.1 102.4 101.3 103.7 101.9 102.4
Jun 2013 103.1 102.6 102.5 102.3 103.0 101.7 104.6 102.5 102.8
Sep 2013 104.3 104.0 103.8 103.7 104.2 102.6 105.5 103.1 104.0
Dec 2013 105.0 104.8 104.6 104.4 104.9 103.6 106.5 104.1 104.8
Mar 2014 105.6 105.3 105.2 105.1 105.6 104.1 107.4 104.6 105.4
Jun 2014 106.0 105.9 105.8 105.5 106.4 104.5 108.1 104.8 105.9
Sep 2014 106.6 106.1 106.5 105.9 106.9 104.6 108.3 105.2 106.4
Dec 2014 106.8 106.3 106.7 106.2 107.0 104.7 108.5 105.3 106.6
Mar 2015 107.3 106.4 106.7 106.3 107.1 105.0 108.3 105.2 106.8
Jun 2015 108.3 107.1 107.4 106.8 107.7 105.1 108.3 105.6 107.5
Sep 2015 108.6 107.6 108.1 107.1 108.1 105.7 108.7 105.8 108.0
Dec 2015 108.9 108.3 108.5 107.3 108.6 106.6 109.0 106.0 108.4
Mar 2016 108.7 108.2 108.5 107.0 107.9 106.4 108.0 106.2 108.2
Jun 2016 109.3 108.6 109.0 107.5 108.2 106.4 108.3 106.4 108.6
Sep 2016 110.4 109.1 109.7 108.4 108.6 107.1 108.7 107.3 109.4
Dec 2016 110.9 109.9 110.2 108.7 109.0 108.0 108.6 107.9 110.0
Mar 2017 111.3 110.9 110.5 109.1 109.0 108.9 108.5 108.6 110.5
June 2017 111.7 111.0 111.0 109.2 109.0 108.9 108.8 108.6 110.7

Where a court order or agreement includes a clause providing for an annual adjustment of the amount payable in accordance with changes in CPI, the ABS data will be used to calculate the new amount payable. The table above should be used for any adjustments that are required to use September 2012 CPI indexation figures onwards. Note that the figures from September 2011 to June 2012 have only been provided to enable indexation for September 2012 onwards.

Example: A court order provides for the periodic amount of $100 per week to be inflated by the September Sydney CPI on 1 January each year.
September 2011 quarter CPI for Sydney - 99.9
September 2012 quarter CPI for Sydney - 102.2
Latest quarter index ÷ Earliest quarter index × previous entitlement
(102.2 ÷ 99.9) × $100
= $102.30

The periodic amount will be $102.30 per week starting 1 January 2013.

CPI re-reference

In September 2012, the ABS re-referenced the CPI figures, setting the index base to 100.0 for the reference period 2011-12. The ABS also published conversion factors to allow the figures using the new index reference period to be converted to figures that are consistent with figures published before the re-referencing.

The following table details the historical CPI values before the ABS re-referencing activity.

Period Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide Perth Hobart Darwin Canberra Weighted
Average
Mar 2008 161.7 160.6 165.6 165.5 162.5 161.3 158.5 163.0 162.2
Jun 2008 164.1 162.5 168.4 167.6 165.1 162.9 160.8 165.0 164.6
Sep 2008 165.9 164.4 170.8 169.8 166.7 164.7 163.6 167.5 166.5
Dec 2008 165.5 163.5 170.4 169.3 166.2 164.4 162.9 166.8 166.0
Mar 2009 165.6 163.9 170.8 169.3 166.0 164.8 163.0 167.4 166.2
Jun 2009 166.3 164.4 171.8 170.3 167.4 165.7 164.8 167.0 167.0
Sep 2009 168.1 165.4 174.1 172.1 168.7 167.7 168.0 169.9 168.6
Dec 2009 169.1 166.4 174.7 172.7 169.7 168.7 167.8 170.6 169.5
Mar 2010 170.5 168.5 176.0 173.7 171.6 170.0 168.7 171.7 171.0
Jun 2010 171.1 169.5 177.3 175.0 173.2 170.7 170.1 172.3 172.1
Sep 2010 172.5 170.5 179.1 176.6 174.0 172.4 171.9 173.4 173.3
Dec 2010 173.1 171.5 180.0 177.1 174.1 172.6 171.8 174.2 174.0
Mar 2011 175.9 174.4 182.3 180.0 176.1 174.9 173.7 176.8 176.7
Jun 2011 177.6 175.6 184.1 181.8 178.4 176.5 175.4 178.7 178.3
Sep 2011 178.8 176.7 184.7 183.6 178.8 177.9 176.7 179.9 179.4
Dec 2011 178.7 176.8 184.4 183.5 179.1 178.1 176.0 180.4 179.4
Mar 2012 178.8 176.8 184.7 183.3 179.5 178.6 176.6 179.7 179.5
Jun 2012 179.9 177.7 185.8 183.9 180.4 177.9 178.2 180.8 180.4

The above table should be used for court orders or agreements that are required to be adjusted using CPI data prior to September 2012.

Example: A court order provides for the periodic amount of $100 per week to be inflated by the March Sydney CPI on 1 July each year.
March 2011 quarter CPI for Sydney -175.9
March 2012 quarter CPI for Sydney -178.8
Latest quarter index ÷ Earliest quarter index × previous entitlement
(178.8 ÷ 175.9) × $100
= $101.65

The periodic amount will be $101.65 per week starting 1 July 2012.

Last reviewed: 20 September 2017