The Centrelink Age Pension provides income for eligible older Australians who meet the criteria.
What are the current pension rates?
|Single person||Couple living together||Couple separated due to ill health|
|Maximum basic rate||$860.60||$648.70 each||$860.60 each|
|Maximum pension supplement||$69.60||$52.50 each||$69.60 each|
|Clean energy supplement||$14.10||$10.60 each||$14.10 each|
|Total per fortnight||$944.30||$711.80 each||$944.30 each|
PLEASE NOTE: For many people, the Age Pension is not enough to live on. Ensuring you have maximised your superannuation is critical.
There are four keys to determining if you are eligible for a full or partial payment from the Centrelink Age Pension:
Am I eligible for the Centrelink Age Pension?
Generally, to be eligible for the pension, you must be an Australian resident and physically present in Australia on the day you submit your claim.
You must also have lived in Australia for over 10 years.
PLEASE NOTE: There are some special exceptions for widows, refugees and former residents of some countries Australia has special social security arrangements with.
The pension age for men and women born from 1 July 1952 will be gradually increased from 65 to 67 years as set out in the table below.
If your date of birth is... Your qualifying age is... Before 1 July 1952 65 years 1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953 65 years and 6 months 1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955 66 years 1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956 66 years and 6 months From 1 January 1957 66 years and 6 months
3. Income test
The income test is one test used by Centrelink to assess your means. The income test reduces your Age Pension payments for every dollar of income received, or have deemed to have received, over a certain amount.
Single Fortnightly income up to $174 over $174 Reduction in payment none - full payment 50 cents for each dollar over $174 Couple combined
Couple separated due to ill health
Fortnightly income up to $308 over $308 Reduction in payment none - full payment 50 cents for each dollar over $308 (combined) Transitional rate pensioners - Single Fortnightly income up to $174 over $174 Reduction in payment none - full payment 40 cents for each dollar over $174 Transitional rate pensioners - Couple combined, Couple separated due to ill health
Fortnightly income up to $308 over $308 Reduction in payment none - full payment 40 cents for each dollar over $308
For Centrelink, your income includes both actual payments received and any deemed income. Your deemed income is determined by reviewing existing investments and applying ‘deeming rules’, which assumes that certain financial assets provide a fixed rate of return.
The income test thresholds also differ depending on your circumstances.
For more information about the income test for pensions, click here.
4. Assets test
Like the income test, the Assets test can mean a reduction of your eligible Centrelink benefits due to the value of assets.
Some common assets that Centrelink take into consideration when assessing your assets includes:
- investment properties
- financial investments such as shares
- superannuation and income stream investments, including account based pensions
- business assets held as a partner or sole trader
- motor vehicles, boats and caravans
- household items, hobby or investment collections.
For each $1,000 in assets valued over the threshold, a couple's pension payments will be reduced by $3, or $1.50 per $1,000 each. The below table outlines the assets test thresholds, or disqualifying limits, for the full Age Pension payment:
Single homeowners full pension assets must be less than $263,250 Single non-homeowners full pension assets must be less than $473,750 Couple homeowners full pension assets must be less than $394,500 Couple non-homeowners full pension assets must be less than $605,000
The table below outlines the assets test thresholds, or disqualifying limits, for the part Age Pension payment:
Single homeowners part pension assets must be less than $578,250 Single non-homeowners part pension assets must be less than $788,750 Couple homeowners part pension assets must be less than $869,500 Couple non-homeowners part pension assets must be less than $1,080,000