What is the Age Pension?
The Age Pension is an entitlement provided by the Australian Government that allows Australians aged 65 and over to take advantage of a range of concessions and receive income support once they satisfy certain age and residency requirements.
The concessions available to Australians of Age Pension Age are:
The Pensions Concession Card (PCC)
Health Care Card (HCC)
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)
Who is entitled to it?
To qualify for the Age Pension, a person must have reached Age pension age (see table below) and be an Australian resident living in Australia on the day the claim is lodged.
|Age Pension Ages|
|Date of birth From||To||Qualification Age|
|1 July 1952||31 December 1953||65.5||65.5|
|I January 1954||30 June 1955||66.0||66.0|
|I July 1855||31 December 1956||66.5||66.5|
|I January 1957 or later||67.0||67.0|
To be paid the Age Pension, a person must also meet the 10-year qualifying Australian residence requirements. This means that the person has been an Australian resident for a continuous period of at least 10 years, or for a number of periods which total more than 10 years, with one of the periods being at least 5 years.
A person who has reached the age pension age but does not satisfy the 10-year qualifying residence requirement may also be able to be paid the Age pension if they are:
- Claiming under an international social security agreement
- Are a refugee or former refugee
- They were getting Partner allowance, widow allowance or widow B Pension immediately before turning Age Pension Age, or
- They are a women whose partner died while they both Australian residents and she had two years residency immediately before claiming the Age Pension.
How much income is received?
Age Pension recipients are able to earn a certain amount of income before their entitlement reduces on a sliding scale to no entitlement. The allowable amounts differ depending on whether the person is single or a member of a couple. The payment the recipient receives is subject to the Assets Test Thresholds, Income Test Thresholds and Deeming rules. Deeming rules form part of the income test, whereby an amount of income is deemed to be derived by a financial investment; such as bank accounts, managed investments, and shares irrespective of the actual income generated. The total value of a client’s financial investments is assessed according to the relevant deeming rates. The total of the financial assets below threshold is currently deemed at 1.75% and the total above threshold is currently deemed at 3.25% . The tables below illustrate deeming rates from 1st July 2015 to 20th June 2016 and the Maximum Pension payment rates from 20th March 2016 – 19th September 2016.
|1st July 2015 – 20 June 2016|
|Status||Deeming Threshold||Max financial asset to receive full pension||Rate below threshold||Rate above threshold|
Maximum pension Payment Rates
|20th March 2016 – 19th September 2016.|
|Pension Rate (Includes pension supplement and energy supplement)|
|Single||$22,721.40 per annum
($873.90 per fortnight)
|Couple||Combined: $34,252.40 per annum
(658.70 each per fortnight)
|Indexation||– Indexed by greater of CPI and Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index on 20 March and 20 September each year.
– Single person rate subject to a minimum of 27.7% of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings.
How to start receive Age Pension benefits and who can set it up?
In the period leading up to your retirement and turning 65 you should plan to sit down and evaluate your financial situation. The Australian Government conducts a free Financial Information Service (FIS) seminar to help you understand what options you have with retirement. If you are of Age Pension Age and meet the residency requirements but are unsure of how to start receiving benefits you can contact Centrelink or speak to a financial adviser who is then able to talk to Centrelink for you and streamline the process so that you can start receiving your Age Pension benefits.
Where can I get more information?
You can read more about Age Pensions here at:
IMPORTANT – The information on this website is general in nature and does not take into account your personal needs and objectives, you should not act upon any of this information without first seeking advice from a qualified professional.