Age Pension help and advice

Get expert help with your eligibility and application.

Applying for the Age Pension doesn't need to be confusing. There's help at hand.

UniSuper is proud to partner with Retirement Essentials, an Australian-owned, independent organisation that simplifies the Age Pension application process. They've helped many retirees with their Age Pension entitlements, and our partnership with Retirement Essentials provides a tool for members looking for extra guidance and support with their retirement journeys.

We asked Retirement Essentials some key questions about the Age Pension to launch our partnership.

Why is the Age Pension so important for retirees?

At age 67, over 60% of Australians will receive either a full or a part Age Pension. By age 80 this increases to over 80%. As a result, the majority of Australian retirees will rely on the Age Pension for at least part of their income in retirement. Over 50% of people get more than 50% of their income in retirement from the Age Pension.

If you’re eligible, it’s a guaranteed income stream for the rest of your life.

For a single person on a full Age Pension, the lifetime value of that pension income stream could rise to over $750,000, and more than $1m for a couple.

At what age should you start the application process?

You can submit an Age Pension application 13 weeks before you turn 67. We encourage people to check their eligibility 13 weeks before their 67th birthday. If they’re eligible for any part of the Age Pension, then they should start an application as soon as possible, as it typically takes most people a few days to organise their paperwork.

There are also two important factors to consider.

  • Centrelink does NOT backdate applications to when you become age eligible. Therefore, if you apply 6 months late, you could miss out on 6 months’ worth of payments.
  • Centrelink are very slow at processing applications with wait times of up to 6 months or more. However, they will backdate payments to when you apply, or to age 67 if you submitted early. Submitting your application early ensures you won’t lose out on any payments and reduces the wait time after you turn 67.

How is eligibility assessed?

There are over 100 questions in the application, but fundamentally you need to pass four tests.

  • Age. You must be 67 or older to receive an Age Pension.
  • Residency. You must currently be an Australian citizen or permanent resident and have been for ten or more years, of which at least five years are continuous. On the day you claim, you must be residing in Australia and physically present in Australia. I.e., you can’t lodge a claim while holidaying overseas.
  • There is also an income test. The thresholds for this are shown below.
  • And finally, there’s an assets test. The thresholds for this are also shown below.

Centrelink determines the amount of Age Pension you receive based on the income and asset thresholds. They will calculate your entitlement against each threshold and pay you the lower amount of the two calculations.

How can Retirement Essentials help?

Retirement Essentials can help in a number of ways:

  • We can help you to understand your eligibility status and the amount of your entitlement. We do this for both the Age Pension and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC).
  • We guide you through a step-by-step application process to complete all forms required by Centrelink.
  • We provide a checklist of all the documents you’ll need.
  • We also review the application and your supporting documents to help you avoid mistakes or omissions that can lead to your application being rejected, or the amount of your payments reduced.
  • We lodge your application and supporting documentation directly with Centrelink.
  • We act as your correspondence nominee which allows us to liaise with Centrelink on your behalf.
  • We’ll keep you informed with changes to Age Pension rates and thresholds throughout the year.

Can you apply for the Age Pension later in life?

Absolutely. There’s no upper age limit for the Age Pension. About 40% of people start their retirement as self-funded retirees, but at least half of these people find their eligibility for Age Pension changes as they spend their savings, and they can then apply for the Age Pension.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to people approaching retirement?

Start planning early. This doesn’t just relate to the Age Pension, but it’s particularly important for the Age Pension. In addition to getting your application submitted as early as you can, there are a number of things you might be able to do to improve your circumstances and the amount of Age Pension you can receive.

Do you want help with your Age Pension application?

Start by using the Retirement Essentials calculator to find out how much you could get if you’re eligible.

The eligibility calculator is free to use, but fees can apply for this service vary depending on your circumstances. Once your application has been reviewed and assessed by Retirement Essentials, you’ll receive a quote and can decide whether to proceed.

Got questions about your super?

Make an appointment with one of our retirement advisers to help you feel confident and prepared for the next phase of your life.

More like this

You might also be interested in:

When can I access my super for retirement?
Super is designed to use when you’ve retired. But did you know there are rules as to when you’re allowed to access it?
Managing your money in retirement
You’ve been dreaming of retirement for years. But how do you manage your spending when you’re no longer working?
Super or Pension – what’s the difference?
When you retire, you have several options to manage your nest egg.


The information is of a general nature and doesn't consider your personal circumstances. Before making decisions, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for your circumstances otherwise seek financial advice.

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.