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The Centrelink Age Pension, also known as the Old Age Pension, provides income support for eligible older Australians. Whether you’re already retired, planning to retire soon or are still a way off, it’s worthwhile familiarising yourself with the Age Pension system and eligibility criteria.
To be eligible for a Centrelink Age Pension payment, you must meet:
Your total income in retirement may comprise a part Age Pension to complement a pension from your super, as well as income from other sources.
Already receiving the Age Pension? It’s important to note that your payment rate could change if the Centrelink rules and payment rates change, or if your own circumstances alter. We update our page in accordance with any announcements made by the Department of Human Services.
From 1 July 2017, the qualifying age for the Centrelink Age Pension will increase from 65 years to 65 years and 6 months. The qualifying age will then increase by six months every two years, reaching 67 years by 1 July 2023.
To be eligible for the pension you also need to be an Australian resident and be physically present in Australia on the day you submit your claim.
You need to have been an Australian resident for a continuous period of at least 10 years, or for a number of periods that total more than 10 years with one of the periods being at least 5 years, unless you:
You may also meet Centrelink’s residence requirements if you have lived or worked in a country with which Australia has an international social security agreement.
Centrelink uses two means tests, known as the income test and assets test, to assess a person’s pension eligibility and to determine their payment amount. All applicants must undergo both assessments, and the test that provides the lower Age Pension payment is the one used by Centrelink.
Learn more about the income test and the assets test.
There are different Age Pension rates for single people and couples. The table below outlines the maximum Age Pension rates, including supplements, available for different family situations. These Age Pension payment rates are effective from 20 September 2016.
*Figures correct as at September 2016. Source: Department of Human Services website. †Fortnightly rate multipled by 26.
Learn more about the Age Pension rates including supplements, transitional rates and Outside Australia Pension rates.
There may be strategies you can employ to maximise the Age Pension rate you are eligible for. These strategies generally involve reducing assessable assets and income levels to maximise eligible Age Pension payments.
Learn more about how Financial Planners at Australian Catholic Superannuation have been able to assist people to qualify for, or increase, Age Pension payments.
If you meet Centrelink’s Age Pension eligibility criteria, you will also be eligible for a Pensioner Concession Card.
The Pensioner Concession Card provides access to Australian Government health concessions including reduced cost medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
The Card also helps with the cost of living by reducing the cost of certain goods and services. Card concessions are different in each state and territory and vary between local councils.
Do you have questions about the Centrelink Age Pension or do you require specific advice on your own situation? You could benefit from meeting with a financial planner at Australian Catholic Superannuation.
Learn more about our financial advice services or book an appointment with us today.
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The Centrelink Age Pension is sometimes referred to as the "Old Age Pension".
Find out more about your Age Pension rates here.