A number of factors will play a part in determining whether you’re eligible for a full, part, or no Age Pension. Find out what they are.
The money you use to fund your life in retirement may come from a range of different sources, which might include super, investments, savings, an inheritance or government benefits, such as the Age Pension.
If you’re keen to know whether you’re eligible for the Age Pension and how much you could get, read on.
Am I eligible?
Your eligibility for the Age Pension will generally come down to three things.
# 1 Your age
The age you qualify for the Age Pension will be between 65 and 67, depending on your date of birth. Check out the table below to see what age you might qualify.
|Date of birth||Pension age||Date pension age changes|
|From 1 July 1952 – 31 December 1953||65 years & 6 months||1 July 2017|
|From 1 January 1954 – 30 June 1955||66 years||1 July 2019|
|From 1 July 1955 – 31 December 1956||66 years & 6 months||1 July 2021|
|From 1 January 1957 onwards||67 years||1 July 2023|
Tip – the age you can access your super and the age you’ll be eligible for the Age Pension won’t necessarily be the same. Generally, you can access your super savings first.
# 2 Your residency
To receive the Age Pension, you must be an Australian resident and physically present in the country on the day you submit your claim.
You also must have lived in Australia for at least 10 years and continuously, for at least five of those years.
# 3 Your income and assets
If you’re the right age and meet residency requirements, you’ll then need to fill out an income and assets form for Centrelink.
Centrelink will then assess your income and assets to determine whether you’re eligible for a full, part, or no Age Pension.
How does the income and assets test work?
To be eligible for the Age Pension, you must have income and assets under certain limits. Below we look at some of the things that are taken into consideration and what the income and asset cut-off points are.
The income test
Centrelink will consider all sources of income, including that which you might receive outside of Australia, as part of its assessment. This may include income from:
- super and retirement pensions.
It doesn’t include things like:
- rental assistance payments
- payments through a National Disability Insurance Scheme package
- emergency relief payments
- regular payments from a close relative.
Check out the Services Australia website to find out more about assessable income.
Income cut-off points for the Age Pension
You need to have income lower than the below amounts (per fortnight) to be eligible for any form of Age Pension.
|Your situation||Income cut off point|
|A couple living together||$3,237.20 combined|
|A couple living apart due to ill health||$4,190.00 combined|
Tip – your cut off point will be higher if you get the Work Bonus. Note, the Work Bonus reduces the amount of employment or eligible self-employment income that Centrelink applies to your rate of pension entitlement under the income test².
Asset cut off points for the Age Pension
When your assets are more than the limit for your situation below, your Age Pension will reduce³.
|A couple combined||$405,000||$621,500|
|A couple (separated due to illness) combined||$405,000||$621,500|
|A couple (one partner eligible) combined||$405,000||$621,500|
From 1 July 2021, part pensions cancel when your assets are over the cut off point for your situation.
If your assets are above the below figures, you won’t be eligible for any Age Pension⁴
|A couple combined||$891,500||$1,108,000|
|A couple (separated due to illness) combined||$1,050,000||$1,266,500|
|A couple (one partner eligible) combined||$891,500||$1,108,000|
If you get Rent Assistance with your pension, your cut off point is higher.
How much does the Age Pension pay?
The standard rate for Age Pension payments will come down to whether you have income and assets below certain levels and if you’re single or part of a couple.
To give you a bit of an idea, the amounts below are the maximum rates⁵ currently being paid each fortnight and annually to those who are eligible for a full Age Pension (includes supplements).
|Status||Full Age Pension rate fortnightly||Full Age Pension rate annually|
|Couple||$729.30 each||$37,924 combined|
Age Pension rates are adjusted throughout the year, so these figures could change.
Where to go for more information?
Planning for retirement and working out your entitlements isn’t always straightforward.
Your Pinnacle Advisor is the first port of call, who will be able to determine what you’re eligible for.