Age Pension

The Australian Government provides an Age Pension as a safety net for eligible citizens who cannot fully fund their own retirement through retirement savings. Managed and paid by via the Department of Human Services, or Centrelink as more commonly known, there is strict eligibility criteria, which includes residency period, age qualification and an assessment of income and assets. Due to this criteria, not every Australian will be eligible for an Age Pension.

The current qualification age for the Age Pension is 65 years. From 1 July 2017, this will rise by six months every two years until it reaches 67 by 1 July 2023. There are plans by the current government to further increase the Age Pension qualification age to 70.

The current rate of a full single Age Pension, including the Pension Supplement and Clean Energy Supplement is $22,365 per annum.  Although considered by the government as ‘adequate’, it is some $1073 less than the amount considered necessary by Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) to live a ‘modest’ lifestyle.

The amount of Age Pension paid is indexed twice a year, in March and September, in line with the rise in Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI), whichever is greater. Pensions are then benchmarked against a percentage of the Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE). Again, there are plans by the government to change the method of indexation to the CPI alone.

There are certain asset and income limits tests you need pass before you are granted a pension. If your assets or income exceeds those required for a full Age Pension, you may be eligible for a part Age Pension. And if you do not qualify for any Age Pension, you may, however, be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card if your income is below a certain level.

Snapshot of Age Pension in Australia
 

Snapshot of Age Pension in Australia

When granted an Age Pension, you will also receive a Pension Concession Card, which entitles you many valuable concessions, including prescription medication, council rates and certain utilities.

To find out more about the Age Pension, visit the sections detailed below. 


Pension eligibility

To be eligible for the Age Pension, you must meet certain criteria which is assessed by the Department of Human Services.

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Pension payment rates

Your Age Pension payment is calculated against both the asset and income tests and you are paid the lower rate of the two.

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Income and asset tests

You can still receive a certain amount of income and receive an Age Pension. This income can be derived from investments, renting out of property or as a salary from employment, as well as several other means.

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Work Bonus

The Work Bonus means that working pensioners will have the opportunity to earn more money before the Age Pension is affected and has replaced the Pension Bonus Scheme.

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Claiming your Age Pension overseas

In most cases, customers receiving a pension can continue to be paid if they spend time overseas.

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Disability Support Pension

Find information on disability services, Centrelink updates, and how the disability pension affects your finances, both before and after you retire.

Read More Here 

Lump sum pension withdrawal

Lump sum pension withdrawal

Will a withdrawal from an allocated pension affect the Age Pension?

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Relevant income and asset thresholds, pension payment rates and changes.

Pension eligibility

Ten-year residency rule

Brenda isn’t sure how the 10-year residency rule is applied.

Pension claim

Will I still get an Age Pension?

Will Beth receive an Age Pension when she turns 65?

Which payment?

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Neil’s wife is of Age Pension age but his income is ad hoc, so will she qualify for a pension?

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Pension payment rates

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In accordance with quarterly indexation Age Pension payment rates will increase.

Will you get more?

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How much pension will I get?

Trish is having difficulty understanding how much Age Pension she’ll receive.

Will it be enough?

Income and asset tests

Income or asset test?

When is an Age Pension payment assessed under the income or asset test?

Which test?

Superannuation and the Age Pension

Frank has a few questions on how his super might affect his Age Pension.

How much is income?

Are offset accounts an asset?

Offset accounts are a useful way of helping to reduce the interest you pay on a mortgage.

Structuring your assets and liabilities

Work Bonus

Why is my Age Pension reducing?

Mariam can’t understand why her Age Pension reduces when her husband earns money.

Applying the Work Bonus

What is the Work Bonus?

Craig Hall explains how the Work Bonus can help your claim for the Age Pension.

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Government benefits to working longer

Dennis has continued to work past the age of 65 but isn’t aware of any benefits to which he may be entitled.

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Claiming your pension overseas

Two-year residency rule

The two-year residency rule is causing Dale some confusion.

Will you get a pension?

New Zealand pension claims

How will the increased working-life residency requirement affect those from New Zealand?

Pension eligibility clarification

Overseas pension calculation

Annie isn’t sure if the allowable earning threshold is applied to her Age Pension.

Am I getting the right payment?

Disability Support Pension

Investment property and the DSP

Lily isn’t sure what moving home will mean for her pension or tax liability.

How will your home be assessed?

Changes to DSP claims

The assessment process of claims for the Disability Support Pension changed on 1 January.

Will you be affected?

Centrelink assessment of super

Kathleen wants to know if using her super will affect her Disability Support Pension.

Will it affect her DSP?

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