Allowances and discounts you should know about

How can age pensioners ensure they are making every dollar count?

Allowances and discounts you should know about

It can be tough making ends meet when you’re renting on an Age Pension, so here are some of the many ways you can save, find discounts or enjoy free activities.

Payment and Service Finder
At the top of the list is Centrelink’s Payment and Service Finder. It helps you to find, estimate and compare payments and services for which you may be eligible. You should be taking advantage of all allowances you’re entitled to, and the finder is a great way to work through what’s on offer.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card is a valuable resource. Provided by the Australian Department of Human Services, it offers older Australians access to cheaper prescription medicines, government medical services and other federal concessions, including travel discounts, and may deliver discounted gas, electricity and water rates.

To qualify for the Seniors Health Card, you need to have reached age pension age, have a tax file number (TFN) or a valid reason for not having one, be an Australian resident and earn no more than $54,929 per annum for singles or $87,884 combined per annum for couples.

According to, the card can also help you obtain discounts on:

  • rail travel, including on Great Southern Rail services, such as the Indian Pacific, the Ghan and the Overland
  • out-of-hospital medical expenses through the Medicare Safety Net
  • health, household, transport and education concessions, as offered by different businesses and retailers in each state.


Pensioner Concession Card
Another card from the Australian Government, the Pensioner Concession Card, provides some health concessions and access to other discounts.

You may be able to get a Pensioner Concession Card if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Age Pension
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Carer Payment
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Newstart Allowance.
  • Parenting Payment.

You’re also eligible if you’re aged over 60 and have been receiving any of the following allowances for more than nine months:

  • Newstart Allowance
  • Partner Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Widow Allowance.

The Pensioner Concession Card entitles you to reduced-price medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). You may also be eligible for other concessions, including:

  • bulk billing for doctor's appointments (at your doctor's discretion)
  • refunds for medical expenses through the Medicare Safety Net
  • assistance with hearing services
  • discounted mail redirection through Australia Post.

Depending on your state or territory, you might also be entitled to:

  • reduced property or water rates
  • reduced energy bills
  • reduced fares on public transport
  • reduced cost of motor vehicle registration
  • free rail journeys.

Many private businesses offer discounts for seniors, although some don’t advertise that fact too widely. It’s always worth asking in every store you visit.

In Victoria, the Seniors Business Discount Card provides holders with access to discounted goods and services from more than 4000 Victorian Seniors Card businesses.

You might also consider:

  • house-sitting
  • sharing accommodation with friends
  • living in a cheaper overseas country
  • hitting the gig economy and earning extra dollars through such sites as Mad Paws, Airtasker, Uber, Uber Eats and Freelancer.


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    To make a comment, please register or login
    21st Jul 2019
    living in a cheaper overseas country

    That really says it all, does'nt it
    21st Jul 2019
    pianos, that’s when they are liable to stop payments later on.
    10th Sep 2019
    Have tried that for 8 years but got home sick for Oz, now back here struggling on pension but a far better standard of life and not an 'unwanted' in another country.
    Cheaper but certainly not better there.
    21st Jul 2019
    As you get older they would love to get rid of you!
    21st Jul 2019
    So it seems that if you've worked your butt off and paid a lot of tax, despite the government induced measures that negatively affect self funded retirees there is are still no benefits for them at either State or Federal level.
    The message to younger people must be; don't study to get good results an a good career or work too hard, don't save and invest in the future of the country, spend everything you earn and the country will look after you in your old age.
    If we continue to reward failure and punish success the country will continue to go down the tube.
    21st Jul 2019
    Very well put Mondo
    10th Sep 2019
    mondo - totally agree. I have a sister who has lived by that motto - and now that I am Aged pension age -by God? I can see who was the smart one! And it wasn't me who always worked, struggled and saved like hell as a single to buy my own small 2BR home, etc.
    My sis lives in a govt house (still in a 3BR home), has been on DSP for over 25 years due to lung problems (caused be her chronic smoking, self induced). Has never worked unless it was dollars in hand. All I get is punishment - she gets rewarded. Govt talks about making primary residence part of the assets test - NO. I get punished - she gets helped.
    10th Sep 2019
    Totally agree mondo
    22nd Jul 2019
    So I pay income tax, medicare levy and private health insurance but can't get a pension card because I'll be earning over 57.000 and I won't be getting a pension. Nothing back, nada, nil. All because I saved and did the right thing. What funny farm are these pollies from.
    10th Sep 2019
    Couldn't agree more. My brother during his working career bought caravans, speed boats, new cars, enjoyed his holidays travelling, frequent nights out etc, nothing lavish but always spent his wages and neglected saving. I was pretty much the opposite and made sure savings and superannuation accumulated as I recall our dad doing it tough in his latter years.

    Consequently my brother has government benefits in one form or another while I'm ineligible for any. In hindsight, I made the wrong decision to focus on saving and should have adopted his lifestyle.
    10th Sep 2019
    If you have a retirement income of over $57000 you are doing very nicely. There are people in fiulltime work earning less than that!
    10th Sep 2019
    RayL - as stated above - totally agree. I am the one who feels the stupid idiot whilst my sis is laughing. For the past 6 years, every year she goes on a cruise with her fellow welfare mates - I cant remember the last time I had a holiday, too busy working to buy my house and save for the future.
    10th Sep 2019
    Welfare keeps the cruise ships coming back every year and taking our money off shore. No benefit to Australia at all.
    10th Sep 2019
    Agree KSS. Many are working for less than a grand a week. And they have families.
    Pensioners are not all taking cruises lol. VCBB, your name is not who you are!
    sunnyOz, Why would you envy your sister with chronic lung disease? You should be glad if you have good health.
    I had an older sister like that which was her death sentence. She could not give up the cigs. I blamed the cigarette companies who caused her addiction knowing full well that many people would not be able to chuck them. She died alone. It is sad not a crime!
    We all make choices and we cannot judge others. If you feel so deprived then do something nice for yourselves. Make a happy life not a bitter one!
    We take a drive to see the grandkids twice a year and that is our holiday. But if others manage a cruise they probably went without something to do that.
    10th Sep 2019
    To all the whingers on here, change places with a single renting pensioner and see how much fun that is!
    Why the envy?
    Enjoy your life and good luck to you for being well off and not having to worry about your meds or heating or your next meal.
    10th Sep 2019
    Paddington, maybe the envy is because they have worked hard and 'put in' and while relying on their savings from their hard work, the government now appears to be punishing them for their efforts and self reliance. Many self funded retirees get meagre and ever dwindling returns above the pension rate on their savings yet they are denied many of the benefits the government provides to those who have not saved for their own old age. After paying full whack for health costs many fall below the pension level but there is no means test on this. They do have to worry about their meds, that's just the point!
    10th Sep 2019
    If the family home is included in the asset test watch out.All this L.N.P.has done is attack is attack the weak and needy and let the big end of town get away with murder wake up Australia.
    Dave R
    11th Sep 2019
    The government wants people to spend not save. Spending helps the economy, saving does not. And why would anyone save now with interest rates around 2% there is no point.
    11th Sep 2019
    Really Dave R? so if there are no savings where does the money for investment come from? The same place as all the crappy goods from China come from I suppose so we lose out again by remitting profits back overseas too. When we actually made products in Australia to sell in our shops spending did boost the economy but with the exception of some food products, all we do now by spending is to pull in consumer imports which in excess damage our economy. Now most employment created by spending is in low skill no value adding jobs which is in part why our economy is in trouble and cannot be stimulated. When retail sales jobs are our largest so called 'industry' we are clearly consuming far more than we make and earn.
    10th Sep 2019
    Far too many adverts on these pages now popping up everywhere. Can't read the articles properly.
    10th Sep 2019
    Use Addblocker to turn them off.
    11th Sep 2019
    I use adblocker and still get YLC pop ups plus all the other articles in the way is annoying too, scrolling down to find comments all the time, it never used to be like this.

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