Your retirement and the Age Pension

Simplified and concise information on retirement and the Age Pension.

Your retirement and the Age Pension

We’ve long commented that the single biggest mistake you can make when planning for, or are in retirement, is to assume that, just because you’ve been refused previously, you’ll never be eligible for an Age Pension.

Not only do your own individual circumstances change throughout the years, but the indexation of asset and income thresholds could also mean that, if you’ve previously just missed out on an Age Pension, you may now find yourself eligible.

So, that’s why we’ve updated YourLifeChoices Your retirement and the Age Pension guide to reflect the 20 September 2016 indexation of asset and income thresholds. If you’re wondering whether you will get an Age Pension, it’s certainly worthwhile checking your financial position against these new figures.

In this guide, we also highlight how your Age Pension is affected if you head overseas, when you can claim rent allowance and, if you don't qualify for an Age Pension, which financial options will help you stretch your income.

Our guide can be used as a handy reference or sent on to a friend and if any questions arise, we’d be delighted to answer them for you. You can download Your retirement and the Age Pension in PDF format.

It’s also worth remembering that even if you don't qualify for an Age Pension or other Centrelink benefits, but have a limited income, you may be eligible to receive a Low Income Health Care Card. This can grant you concessions on medicines, council rates and many other costs incurred in retirement.


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    13th Jul 2016
    Why is Centrelink so slow in getting things organised. An application for an age pension for myself & a low income card for my wife was posted to Centrelink in early May 2016. In mid May I received a letter from Centrelink asking me to provide certain documents with I duly took to a Centrelink office a few days later. I also asked about my wife's application for the health card card & was told they could not find it & we would therefore have to complete another application (which we did). We were originally told it would be 4 to 8 weeks to start receiving payments & the card but once the 8 weeks past Centrelink started telling me that because a "new" system had been implemented in March this year they really couldn't tell me what was happening to our applications but it might be anytime! It's now approaching 10 weeks & still nothing. I have emailed & rung several times but always get the same sort of non commital response. Have any other readers had a similar experience or could advise how we can Centrelink to act more timely.
    18th Jul 2016
    Turvey – so as to allay any fears that you are being unfairly left in the dark; I have 40+ outstanding age pension claims for clients – none have been granted since May! New “integrity” checks have recently been introduced which will further delay the processing of claims. The position put forward is that Centrelink have ‘lost’ 800+ staff and are now working overtime. It’s funny that a client has just 14 days to reply to any Centrelink request yet no such limitation is applied to a Centrelink response.
    old fart
    27th Jul 2016
    I applied on-line & visited Centrelink 3 times (my fault) with all the paperwork they kept asking for, which is fair enough

    To my surprise, I received my Pension Card 4 days BEFORE my 65th birthday & received a Pro-rata Pension payment 3 days after my 65th birthday then fortnightly thereafter

    I did, however, start the whole application process 13 weeks prior

    You must give them time to process your application as there a lot of baby boomers out there
    13th Sep 2016
    10 weeks for me now. Can anyone please tell me if my super pension affects my pension please. I'm under the asset threshold, but never a mention about your super taken into consideration.
    17th Sep 2016
    Super payments ARE calculated by Centrelink, and if you get too much your pension payment can be affected, you structure your Super pension payment to suit the aged pension.
    Debbie McTaggart
    27th Sep 2016
    So you are clear TCTraveller, Centrelink will assess both your income and assets and will pay you under the test which results in the lowest payment.

    As you are of Age Pension age, any super you have will be included in your assessment under the asset test and, along with any other financial assets, deemed to earn an income.

    It is not the actual amount of income you receive, rather this deemed amount, which is based on the total value of your financial assets.

    As each person's circumstances are different, any information on this site should be considered general in nature and you should confirm your circumstances with Centrelink.
    22nd May 2018
    It depends on how much your income for the year is and your assets and your partners income is assessed as well , if they still work , they govern their decision to the absolute cent , don't expect any favours folks.
    A system that is required by law not by manipulation, should be fast and assured and the customer is us, we the people, who actually put in the money these bureaucrats dole out, it is not a privilege that your supposed to be grateful for. It is a right of your life's work.
    But they will make it as hard as they possibly can, my experience, and for a pittance too .
    13th Sep 2016
    Hello Turvey, I applied for the pension , or rather to see if I was eligible. I sent off my application in mid May as well. I turned 65 last December.
    I actually had to fill in an amazingly huge and confusing pile of forms, and at the time Centrelink must have been having computer problems because I could not get onto their site on my home computer and when I finally got an officer from Centrelink to show me how to get online , at the Centrelink office as well, she could not get onto my information at all, it was really hard work to get any info.So every thing I filled out was by pen and hand , and they want to know just about what you had for breakfast ten years ago. I have not received a thing yet , its 4 months ago, or more. I am actually just seeing if I can get a part pension or some health card or other deductions of which I am not really up with , so I am just sitting and waiting without any kind of ," we are getting to you soon" not a squeak, I think you simply have to wait until they tell you, yea or nay. But they are the slowest of the slow in government services , I have ever encountered, I guess patience is the only way. Going into the Centrelink office to ask more than once can also lead to you being treated like some nuisance off the street. Its been so long I have just about given up!
    13th Sep 2016
    Thanks YourLifeChoices, after reading the other comments here, I think I have the answer to my question, patience. And it could be 6 months the way things seem to be going in Centrelink.
    13th Sep 2016
    John, yes I think that it a question of waiting. I was told that Centrelink shed a lot of staff & they are just trying to catch up all the time. If it's any concelation John I can report that my pension did eventually come through & it was backdated to when I first applied. You have just got to hang in their John. I did go into Centrelink about once every two weeks & didn't worry what they may have thought.
    Good luck John.
    17th Sep 2016
    The full aged pension with supplements and full rent assistance is more than enough, a person can even save up to $8000 a year from their payment, have no problems paying bills, even have all accounts in credit all the time.
    17th Sep 2016
    Don't know how anyone can live on a single age pension aswell as manage to save when the pension is below the poverty line?
    Can you explain how you manage to do it, I'm sure a lot of people would be very interested in your strategy!
    4th Dec 2016
    I have neighbours who claim to live well and save on the aged pension, despite living in a million-dollar house with high rates and running two new luxury cars. How? They gave two million dollars to their kids before turning 60 so they would be under the threshold and get a full pension, and their kids pay all their bills and give them lump sum handouts whenever they want to buy something other than necessary food etc. It's easy if you are prepared to cheat and manipulate. Honest, hard-working battlers just get screwed and persecuted though.
    12th Jan 2017
    It's called 'common sense' lots of folks save money from their pension, USE YOUR BRAIN, work it out
    22nd May 2018
    Yes PIXAPD this should be and must be, but for everyone, your situation has fallen into line , believe me there are many, I say many who struggle with this bureaucracy, so many hoops its a wonder some aren't dead before anything works for them.
    It appears governments in Australia simply don't trust their people. Lovely isn't it!
    22nd May 2018
    I finally got a pensioner concession card,and a part pension of about $80 dollars a fortnight.
    It took me two applications and nearly 2 years,the ambiguity of the forms that you have to fill in that are so confusing , had centrelink send me another form with highlighted areas that I had got wrong, personally I believe the questions were put in away that I was actually giving the wrong answer, any way that went back and it took nearly 5 months to get a no!
    I have never suffered such an avalanche of confusion by bureaucracy so badly and handled and so haphazardly, worst of all at times made me infuriated, but I did get concessions with the card and that is very helpful.
    I believe Centrelink is under staffed under trained and a perfect example of cutting costs where they should be actually streamlining the service with money and staff. Because that is what centrelink is , a service , not a secret SERVICE with a trustless system that seems to think every one is trying the abuse the system , they are not .
    The abusers are a very minute number and are caught out, the rest are genuine people who need help.
    The government is obliged to do this with the least strings attached that it can.
    It is a duty to the country.
    The slowness for process maybe because no one is giving the people who work in this system any reason to work diligently and keep working , or maybe they want a pay rise, I don't know .
    But the social security system for the legitimate need and service to the public, is slow like a snail and cold like a stone wall, and at times unprofessional.
    We keep hearing the stories and reading them on here , but nothing seems to change.Why?

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