The Centrelink Age Pension can boost your retirement income. Here are the updated rates.
Maximum Age Pension rates
There are different Age Pension rates for single people and couples, each adjudged biannually in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The adjustments occur on 20 March and 20 September.
The Pension Supplement is designed to assist pensioners with the cost of household bills and living expenses. The Pension Supplement is a combined payment of Pharmaceutical Allowance, Utilities Allowance, GST Supplement and Telephone Allowance equal to the higher rate for internet subscribers. If you receive an Age Pension payment, you will automatically receive the Pension Supplement.
Payments for the Pension Supplement can be made fortnightly or quarterly and is separate from the Age Pension.
The Energy Supplement, formerly known as the Clean Energy Supplement, is also automatically paid to Age Pension recipients. This payment is an extra payment designed to help with energy costs.
Unlike the Age Pension rate, the Energy Supplement is not indexed.
Transitional arrangements for Age Pension rates
The transitional arrangements apply to pensioners who were receiving part pensions as at 19 September 2009. They only apply until the pensioner gets an equal or higher rate; it is indexed by CPI only.
Outside Australia Pension rates
Pensioners who are permanently outside Australia or are absent from the country for longer than 6 weeks will be paid the Outside Australia Pension rate. The Outside Australia rates and thresholds are reassessed quarterly: January, March, July and September.
What happens if I’m outside Australia for longer than 6 weeks?
If you are overseas for longer than 6 weeks, your Age Pension rate will depend on your Australian working life residency. This is the amount of time you spent as a resident between age 16 and your age pension age, regardless if you worked during that time.
To continue to receive a full, means-tested Age Pension payment after 6 weeks abroad, you will need to have an Australian working life residency of 35 years. If you have less than 35 years working life residency, your pension payment will be adjusted pro rata.
What if I travel to New Zealand?
If you are travelling to New Zealand for an extended period of time, your Age Pension rate may be affected by the Social Security agreement between Australia and New Zealand. This will apply if:
- You move to New Zealand to live
- Are going to live in any other country, plan to leave Australia for more than 12 months and you visit New Zealand
- Have been outside Australia for more than 6 weeks and you visit New Zealand.
The rate of the agreement is based on how long you lived in Australia and New Zealand between the ages of 20 and 65. Visit the Department of Human Services for more details.