Age Pension Eligibility for Older Australians
The Age Pension is the government income support payment for those who’ve reached the age pension age. It offers a stable income source to Australians that are eligible to qualify. For those who still earn an income, the age pension may supplement your income. Read on to find out your age pension eligibility.
Age Pension Eligibility Age
Currently, as of April 2020, if you’re 66 years old you may be eligible to receive the age pension. This is current until 30 June 2021.
As of 1 July 2023, you must be 67 years old to be age pension eligible. The age limits increase depending on when you were born:
|Date of Birth||Age Pension Qualifying Age|
|1 July 1952 – 31 December 1953||65 years + 6 months|
|1 January 1954 – 30 June 1955||66 years|
|1 July 1955 – 31 December 1956||66 years + 6 months|
|From 1 January 1957||67 years|
Age Pension Income Limits
Not everyone is eligible to receive the age pension. This is because some people earn too much from income, assets and investments. Moreover, to be eligible for the age pension you must meet the income requirements.
If you earn below the amount set for your situation you may be eligible for part of the pension. The earning limits depend on whether you’re single or a couple. Currently, you’ll be eligible to receive some age pension if you earn below $2,062.60 fortnightly and you’re single. Couples are able to earn up to $3,115.20 (combined) per fortnight to still be eligible for benefits.
What are the Limits?
For singles, your income must fall below $174 per fortnight to receive the full age pension. If you’re a couple, your combined income must fall below $308 per fortnight. If your income test proves that you’re earning above these limits, then your pension will reduce by 40c for every dollar over that amount. This is current as of June 2020 and is subject to change.
Asset Limits to Be Eligible for the Age Pension
As there are limits to the amount of income you can earn, there are also limits to the value of assets you own to be eligible for the age pension. Assets can be from real-estate and other investments. They also include valuables such as jewellery and vehicles. Furthermore, if you have investments or own a business these are declarable assets too. But fortunately, there are some exemptions to what’s considered assets. For example, your main family home isn’t considered a real-estate asset if you live in it.
If your assets are higher than the limits, you could still be eligible for a part-pension. To be eligible to make a claim for government benefits, you’ll need to complete an Income & Assets Form (SA369) from Services Australia.
Age Pension Rates 2020
According to Services Australia, as of the 14th April 2020, the maximum age pension rates you’ll receive if you’re eligible depends on your circumstances. The rates change depending on whether you’re single, a couple, or a couple separated by illness. These are the current rates:
|Per Fortnight||Singles||Couples Combined||Couples Separated Due to Ill Health|
|Maximum basic rate + Pension & Energy Supplements||$944.30||$1,423.60||$944.30|
I Meet the Eligible Criteria. What’s Next?
If you believe that you’re eligible for a full age pension or partial age pension, you can apply online at MyGov. Alternatively, you can apply in person at a Centrelink Office. If you’d like to complete the forms before you go into Centrelink you can download them at the Services Australia website.
For further help, Retirement Now offers information and advice for retirees and ageing Australians.