For many Australians, the age pension is a safety net that provides a regular income in retirement. Depending on your financial circumstances, you could receive either a full or part pension.
The age pension is available to any Australian who is at least 65 and can satisfy a financial means test and residency requirements.
From 1 July 2017, you can apply for the pension once you reach 65 years and 6 months of age. After that, the qualifying age will go up six months every two years to age 67 by 1 July 2023. The table shows the age at which you can apply.
|If you were born …||Women||Men|
|Between 1 July 1952 and 31 December 1953||65 and 6 months||65 and 6 months|
|Between 1 January 1954 and 30 June 1955||66||66|
|Between 1 July 1955 and 31 December 1956||66 and 6 months||66 and 6 months|
|After 1 January 1957||67||67|
How much can you get?
The amount of pension you could receive depends on how much income you get from other sources, as well as the value of your assets. Your entitlements will be calculated using two separate tests, the income test and the assets test.
Whichever test results in the lower pension amount will be applied.
How to get the pension
You can submit your application to Centrelink as early as 13 weeks before reaching age pension age.Find out more about how to apply for the age pension
Apart from the age pension, there are a number of other entitlements you can apply for.
Pensioner Concession Card
To be eligible for a Pensioner Concession Card, you must be receiving a certain income support payment, such as the age pension, and you must meet certain age and work requirements.
This card entitles you to discounts on approved PBS medicines, bulk billing for doctor's appointments (at the doctor’s discretion), refunds for medical expenses through the Medicare Safety Net, assistance with hearing services through the Office of Hearing Services website, and discounted mail redirection through Australia Post.
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
Even if you are a self-funded retiree, you could be eligible for this card once you reach preservation age. It provides you with access to cheaper prescriptions and possibly bulk-billed GP consultations.
You must meet an income test to get the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, which is reviewed on 20 September each year in line with the Consumer Price Index. There is no assets test.
To pass the income test, you must earn no more than:
- $54,929 a year if you’re single
- $87,884 a year for couples
- $109,585 a year for couples separated by illness, respite care or prison.
Add $639.60 to these amounts for each child in your care.
You may be entitled to rent assistance if you receive a Centrelink payment, such as the age pension. To be eligible for rent assistance, you must be paying the minimum amount of rent (shown in the table below) for:
- rent, other than to a state or territory housing authority
- service and maintenance fees in a retirement village
- lodging or board
- fees paid to use a caravan site or other accommodation that you occupy as your principal home
- fees paid to moor a vessel you occupy as your principal home.
For every $1 of rent you pay above this amount, you will get $0.75.
Rent assistance rates when you do not have dependent children^1
|If you are||Minimum rent you need to pay each fortnight||You will get the full amount if your fortnightly rent is more than...||Full amount you can receive each fortnight is...|
Source: Department of Human Services ↩