Retiring from the workforce

Lorraine is being forced to give up work, even though she’s not quite of Age Pension age and would like to know to her entitlements.

Q. Lorraine
I have finally retired from work at age 63, having worked all bar five years of my life. I was advised that, due to the stress of my lifestyle and job, I need to slow down. My husband is still working and he turns 63 in September. I am not using any of my superannuation as both of us started with very little and I want to keep this until we have both retired. I am also going to look into self-managed superannuation funds as our accountant advised us that we could do better than what we have currently. Can you please advise me if I am eligible for any government entitlements, such as a card which gives me a discount on public transport, etc.? I am loath to go to Centrelink without being armed with information.

A. As you are over 60 and not working full time, you should be entitled to a Seniors Card. These cards are distributed by state governments and as such, the eligibility criteria, concessions and discounts available do vary. You can find details of your nearest office and how to apply by clicking the link below.

In terms of Centrelink, you may be entitled to the Newstart Allowance. Although this is commonly granted to those looking for employment, as you are over 55, you can meet the work test requirements by volunteering the 15 hours per week needed to qualify. You can find out more by clicking the link below.

Also, I am unsure exactly who advised you to stop work, or for what reasons, but you may be entitled to claim a Disability Support Pension if you meet the requirements. You can find out more by clicking the link below.

I hope this gives you some basic information for you to work with, but any entitlements will depend on you meeting the eligibility criteria. You can make an appointment to speak to a Centrelink Financial Information Services Officer at any time on 13 2300.

Written by Debbie McTaggart