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 by and paid for 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 66 years. 

The rate of a full single Age Pension, including the Pension Supplement and Clean Energy Supplement is $24,268.40 per annum (from 20 September 2019). 

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.

From 20 September 2019, the following pension payment rates will apply:

Maximum Age Pension payment rates

    Previous Current Increase
Single Base $843.60 $850.40 $6.80
  Supplement $68.50 $68.90 $0.40
  Energy Supplement $14.10 $14.10 -
  Total $926.20 $933.40 $7.20
Couple (each) Base $635.90 $641.00 $5.10
  Supplement $51.60 $51.90 $0.30
  Energy Supplement $10.60 $10.60 -
  Total $698.10 $703.50 $5.40

The Pension Supplement is paid as part of certain regular fortnightly income support payments to help eligible recipients meet the costs of daily household and living expenses.

Pension Supplement* basic amount

 

Previous

Current

Increase

Single

$23.80

$23.90

$0.10

Couple separated

$23.80

$23.90

$0.10

Couple (each)

$19.60

$19.70

$0.10

Pension Supplement # minimum amount

 

Previous

Current

Increase

Single

$36.70

$37.00

$0.30

Couple separated

$36.70

$37.00

$0.30

Couple (each)

$27.70

$27.90

$0.20

 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. 

 

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. 

 

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. 

 

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.

 

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

 

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



Forgiving a loan and the pension

What happens to your pension payments if you forgive a loan?

Forgiving a loan and the pension

Ken lent money to his son, but thinks it is unlikely to be repaid. What ...

Top Stories

  1. Will inheritance affect pension?
  1. How are shares assessed?
  1. How to dispute a decision
  1. How to handle a robo-debt
  1. Retirement ‘pillar’ is crumbling

Australian retirees versus the world

Australian retirees versus the world

Australian retirees versus the world

The OECD has released a report comparing retirement systems and Australia isn't performing as well ...

Set to retire? Think again

Older worker

Set to retire? Think again

Older Australians must work for longer for a sustainable economy, says the Treasurer.

Partner not of pension age?

Can you get Age Pension in a couple if your partner is working?

Partner not of pension age?

How will you be assessed as a couple? Check your eligibility here?

Retirees need not live in poverty

Here’s why older Australians need not be living in poverty

Retirees need not live in poverty

Government funds are going to the wrong people, writes economist Matt Grudnoff.

How to maximise Age Pension

How to maximise Age Pension payment

How to maximise Age Pension

Carley seeks help from Noel Whittaker to structure her finances and receive maximum pension benefits.

Pension, drought blamed for woes

Pension, drought blamed for woes

Pension, drought blamed for woes

Age Pension is less than what is needed to support even a modest standard of ...

Pension eligibility

How does inheritance affect DSP?

Jewel expects to receive an inheritance and wants to know how her DSP will be affected.

Centrelink Q&A

‘Is mum going to lose her pension?’

Barbara’s mother has been living in a nursing home for six months and is worried about the new assessment.

Pension worry

Can I claim pension here and UK?

June wants to know how her UK Pension will affect her application for the Age Pension.

Pounding it out

Age Pension payment rates

Age Pension increases Sept 2019

How much more Age Pension will you receive?

Will you get more pension?

Newstart changes 20 Sept 2019

From 20 September 2019, Newstart rates and thresholds will be indexed.

Will you get more?

Rent assistance 20 Sept 2019

The new payment rates and limits for rent assistance.

Will you get more money?

Income and asset tests

Home purchase and the pension

Gloudina wants to buy half of her daughter’s house but is worried that it will affect her pension.

Centrelink Q&A

Rethink dual Age Pension tests

Economist Sean Corbett tells how the Age Pension system must change.

Abandon dual tests

Are you still a homeowner?

Vikki has sold her home and plans to buy another. Is she still considered a homeowner?

Property limbo

Work Bonus

How does Uber affect work bonus?

Joe is wondering how the Work Bonus applies to driving an Uber.

Uber idea!

Actuaries back super fund changes

The Actuaries Institute has welcomed changes to Australia’s superannuation system.

Thumbs up

Cherry picking anyone?

MP’s plan to harness the working power of retirees on the road.

Cherry ripe?

Claiming your pension overseas

Any issues returning to Australia?

Terry has been receiving his pension overseas but needs to temporarily return to Australia.

Coming home

How long can pensioners stay OS?

Learn more about travelling, including effects on Age Pension payment rates.

Travel time

Working life residence explained

Marcy is confused about how living overseas affects her Age Pension.

Centrelink Q&A

Disability Support Pension

Telling Centrelink about travel

Clayton receives the DSP and wants to know the rules around overseas travel.

When to tell

Insurance scheme failing me: Gai

Are people like Gai falling through the cracks?

Costs are hurting

Providing for child from aged care

Rod Cunich explains how Roger can help his aunt best provide for her daughter.

Safeguarding benefits

Your retirement and the Age Pension

Deeming dollars all talk

Christmas? September? When will deeming rates be cut?

Rome burns while …

Profiling Australian retirees

Research strongly suggests that Australia’s superannuation system is working.

Pension milestone

How do I retire at 76?

Noel Whittaker tells how best to use the money Ron has saved.

Seeking a regular income

News

Pension cuts on the way

‘More cuts to income support payments is also the last thing the country needs,’ says ACOSS chief.

Cruel cuts

Australian retirees versus the world

The OECD has released a report comparing retirement systems and Australia isn't performing as well as you might think.

Report card

Why older Aussies refuse to downsize

‘It will be the death of a spouse or ill health that forces them to downsize’, says research institute.

Staying put

FAQ

Are adjoining blocks exempt?

Bianca is about to apply for the Age Pension and has some questions about the exemptions for primary residence.

Property pickle

Partner not of pension age?

How will you be assessed as a couple? Check your eligibility here?

How do the rules work?

How to dispute a decision

Chris thinks he has been dudded with his pension payments and wants to know what to do about it.

Disputing a decision

Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

  • Receive our daily enewsletter
  • Enter competitions
  • Comment on articles