I will reach Age Pension age early next year but don’t know how to start the process of retirement. I have never had any dealings with Centrelink and don’t know whether I need to contact them, if they will contact me or if I will even be eligible to receive the Age Pension. Can you point me in the right direction?
Tom, working out where you stand financially is the critical first step in planning your retirement. At any time you can make an appointment to speak to a Centrelink Financial Information Services Officer (FISO) who will be able to discuss with you whether your assets and income will affect payment of the Age Pension, how to claim and which concession cards may be available.
Click YOURLifeChoices link to view the current income and asset limits which apply, but you will need to be aware that there may be other factors taken into consideration when assessing your eligibility for the Age Pension.
You may decide to continue working after you have reached Age Pension age and, if this is the case, the Work Bonus may enable you to receive a part or full pension. Under the Work Bonus, the first half of any fortnightly income up to the limit of $500 will not be assessed, meaning you can earn up to $250 before any of your Age Pension is affected.
Centrelink has produced a booklet About to retire or in retirement which is worth downloading and reading before contacting an FISO. This will give you an outline of the eligibility requirements for the Age Pension and may answer other questions which you may have.