Updated September 2023: When you retire, you may be eligible for government benefits such as the Age Pension, concession card or other supplements. The Australian government provides an Age Pension as a safety net for eligible citizens who cannot fully fund their own retirement through savings.
Despite the growth in superannuation over the past three decades, the Age Pension is still a significant source of income for most retirees. According to Rice Warner, roughly 39 per cent of Australians of Age Pension age receive the full Age Pension. A further 24 per cent receive a part pension.
The following is a guide to Age Pension rates, supplements and entitlements.
Please note: All listed rates and thresholds apply from 20 September 2023 to 19 March 2024 unless otherwise stated.
- How the Age Pension works
- How much Age Pension will you receive?
- Age Pension payment rates for singles
- Age Pension payment rates for couples
- Income and Assets test
- Which test decides how much Age Pension you will receive?
- Work Bonus basics
- What if only one member of a couple is eligible?
- What is the Pension Supplement?
- What is the Energy Supplement?
- How often is the Age Pension paid?
- Advance Age Pension payments
- What is Commonwealth Rent Assistance?
- How does the transitional Age Pension work?
- Age Pension rates for non-residents
How the Age Pension works
Not everyone will be eligible for an Age Pension. Services Australia (or Centrelink), applies strict eligibility criteria, including residency period, age qualification and an assessment of income and assets.
Whether you’ll receive a full or part Age Pension will depend on these requirements.
How much Age Pension will you receive?
In line with indexation, Age Pension payment rates increase twice-yearly. Between 20 September 2023 and 19 March 2024, the following fortnightly Age Pension payment rates apply.
The full Age Pension increase is $32.70 per fortnight for a single person, and $24.70 per person per fortnight for a couple. See below for maximum Age Pension payment rates (including supplements):
|Situation||Amount (per fortnight)||Annual amount*|
|Couples separated due to illness||$2193.40||$57,028|
Age Pension payment rates for singles
Age Pension payment rates for a couple (living together)
*Annual amounts are approximate.
Try this Age Pension calculator to estimate your Age Pension entitlements.
Income and Assets Test
Assets test overview
To qualify for a full-Age Pension, a single homeowner must have assets valued below $301,750. Singles who don’t own their home can have assets valued at up to $543,750.*
Single homeowners may still be eligible for a part Age Pension if their assets are worth less than $667,500. Singles who do not own their home can have assets valued up to $909,500.**
Couples who own their home and have combined assets below $451,500 may qualify for the full Age Pension. Couples who do not own their home can have assets valued at up to $693,500.
You can still be eligible for a part Age Pension if your assets are worth less than $1,003,000 if you own your home, or $1,245,000 if you don’t own your own home.**
- Home contents, personal effects, vehicles and other personal assets (eg: furniture, jewellery, laptops, computers and motor vehicles)
- Financial investments (eg: cash, cheques, bank, building society and credit union accounts)
- Managed investments and super (eg: life insurance, funeral bonds)
- Real estate and property (other than primary residence)
- Annuities, income streams and superannuation pensions
- Gifts (transferring an income or asset)
- Sole traders, partnerships, private trusts and private companies
- Deceased estate
Income test overview
For a single person to be eligible for a full Age Pension, your income must be below $204 per fortnight ($5304 per year).
You may still qualify for a part Age Pension if you earn less than $2397 per fortnight ($62,322 per year).
Couples with a combined income below $360 per fortnight ($9360 per year) qualify for the full Age Pension.
Those who earn less than $3666.80 per fortnight ($95,336 per year) may be eligible for a part Age Pension.
Would you like to know more about the income test and assets test?
* Limits apply 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024
**Limits apply 20 September 2023 to 19 March 2024
Which test decides how much Age Pension you will receive?
If you are over the threshold limits for a full Age Pension in either the assets or income tests (or both), your Age Pension will be based on the test that delivers the lower pension payout.
That means if you were to receive $300 per fortnight based on your assets test, or $450 per fortnight based on the income test, then you will receive a fortnightly payment of $300.
Under the work bonus, you can earn up to $300 per fortnight from employment income. This amount is not included in the Age Pension income test.
Pensioners can typically earn a maximum of $7800 per year without the extra income effecting their pension.
As a temporary measure introduced in September 2022, age pensioners can earn an extra $4000 – to a maximum of $11,800 – before penalties kick in. That expires on 31 December 2023.
What if only one member of a couple is eligible?
Couples with only one partner of pension age often ask if they will receive the single rate or half of the combined couple rate.
These couples will be assessed as a couple and, if eligible, will receive half the combined couple rate.
How does that work?
Say you are aged 67, meet all Age Pension requirements and are eligible for the maximum Age Pension, but your partner is not yet of pension age.
You would be entitled to the maximum Age Pension of $826.70 for each eligible person in a couple and the maximum pension supplement of $60.40. However, you would not get the energy supplement.
You’ll be paid a pension supplement and you’ll receive the maximum rate if you’re eligible to receive the full pension.
However, if you only qualify for a part pension, your pension supplement will be reduced until it reaches the minimum amount.
What is the Pension Supplement?
The Pension Supplement is an extra payment to help with utility, phone, internet and medicine costs. The payment is made fortnightly to those who qualify. You can also have the Pension Supplement paid quarterly rather than fortnightly.
Here are the Pension Supplement amounts per fortnight for single and couple part pensioners.
|Situation||Minimum supplement||Maximum supplement|
|Couple living together||$31.80 each ($63.60 combined)||$64.80 each (or $129.60 combined)|
|Couple separated due to illness, respite or prison||$42.20 each (or $84.40 combined)||$80 each (or $160 combined)|
What about the Energy Supplement?
Unlike the Age Pension Supplement, the Energy Supplement is available only to those who have a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) issued before 19 September 2016.
Whether you’re on a full or part Age Pension, you’ll receive the same Energy Supplement payment.
|Situation||Supplement (per fortnight)|
|Single, including illness separated, respite care or partner in prison||$14.10|
When is the next Age Pension increase?
The Age Pension rates are indexed each year on 20 March and 20 September.
Increases are likely but not certain. Payments are indexed by the greater of the movement in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI).
They are then benchmarked against a percentage of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).
The combined couple rate is benchmarked to 41.76 per cent of MTAWE. The single rate of pension is set at 66.33 per cent of the combined couple rate (which is equal to around 27.7 per cent of MTAWE).
‘Benchmarked’ means that after it has been indexed, the combined couple rate is checked to see whether it is equal to or higher than 41.76 per cent of MTAWE.
If the rate is lower than this percentage, the rates are increased to the relevant benchmark level.
Learn more about how Age Pension calculations work.
How often is the Age Pension paid?
Age Pensions are paid fortnightly. However, homeless people, or people at risk of being homeless, and anyone having trouble managing money may be able to arrange weekly payments.
Advance Age Pension payments
If you’ve been on the Age Pension for at least three months, you can apply to get one to three advance payments. If approved, in any six-month period you’re entitled to the following amounts if you’re on a full pension:
|Situation||Lowest amount (you
can receive three of these amounts)
|Highest amount (you
can receive one payment of this amount)
Part age-pensioners may receive proportionally adjusted amounts.
Adjusted payouts from future entitlements will be used to repay advance payments.
Can you also get Rent Assistance?
Pensioners may also be entitled to Rent Assistance (including fees you may be paying at a retirement village, so long as the Australian government isn’t already subsidising your facility).
To qualify, you must be paying a minimum rent amount. This is adjusted annually in March and September (shown below). If you pay more than these amounts, you’re entitled to 75 cents of Rent Assistance for every dollar you pay over the threshold, up to the maximum amount.
|Situation||Minimum fortnightly rent to qualify for assistance||Maximum fortnightly
rent assistance payment
Transitional Age Pension rates
Transitional pension rates are paid to people who would otherwise be getting a lower payment after changes to the income test were introduced in 2009.
|Situation||Amount paid per fortnight||Annual payment (approximate)||Increase per fortnight|
|Couples separated due to illness||$1712.80 each||$44,539||$64.80|
Transitional pensioners are not eligible for the Pension Supplement but may get the Energy Supplement if they have a CSHC issued prior to 19 September 2016.
How is the transitional Age Pension broken down?
|Maximum transitional pension rate||$892.70||$19.20|
|Total (per fortnight)||$906.80||$19.20|
|Couple (living together)||Amount each||Increase||Amount combined||Increase|
|Maximum transitional pension rate||$721||$15.50||$1442||$31|
|Total (per fortnight)||$731.60||$21.20||$1463.20||$31|
Age Pension rates for non-residents
Those living outside Australia who qualify for the Age Pension receive the following payments:
|Situation||Amount paid per fortnight||Annual payment (approximate)||Increase per fortnight|
|Couples separated due to illness||$1637 each||$42,567||$35.20|
If you have an Age Pension, Centrelink or Services Australia question, please send it to email@example.com. We’ll do our best to answer your question for you or find someone who can.
Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care, but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before deciding based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness regarding your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer, or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.
Read more about the Age Pension and entitlements in the following YourLifeChoices articles: