Government Age Pension eligibility

The Age Pension is the main government income support payment for older Australians. Many people are eligible to receive support once they reach the Age Pension age.

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Aged 66 or over

The qualifying age will increase by 6 months every 2 years until it’s 67 from 1 July 2023.
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An Australian resident

Generally, for at least 10 years in total with at least 5 consecutive years within this timeframe.
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Under income and asset limits

These limits consider things like your income, super, investments, property and more. Different limits apply to couples and singles. 

Centrelink determines your eligibility and payments. Visit Services Australia for the full conditions for the Age Pension.

  • More on income limits
    Centrelink uses an income test to work out if you’ll qualify. This table shows the income limits as at September 2020.
    If you're To be eligible for the maximum Age Pension you must earn less than You won’t be eligible for any Age Pension if you earn more than
    Single  $178 a fortnight $2,066.60 a fortnight
    A couple $316 (combined) a fortnight $3,163.20 (combined) a fortnight

    Different limits apply if you have dependants, qualify for the Work Bonus or receive other government support, like rent assistance or disability payments. See Services Australia for more on the income test.

    The income limits include all sources of income, including your pension. But different rules apply depending on the type of pension you have:

    • Flexi Pensions started after 1 January 2015: These are included in the income limits. Centrelink applies deeming rates (artificial interest rates used to estimate investment returns) to your account balance to estimate your income.
    • Flexi Pensions started before 1 January 2015 and Commercial Rate Indexed Pensions: Generally, only part of your pension is included in the limits. The exempt amount, known as the ‘deductible amount’, is generally calculated by dividing the purchase price of the pension by your life expectancy.
    • Defined Benefit Indexed Pensions: All of your annual payment is included in the limit, minus an amount based on the tax-free component, subject to a cap.
  • More on asset limits
    Centrelink considers the total value of your assets to work out if you’ll qualify.  This table shows the asset limits as at September 2020. Visit Services Australia to see more about limits and which assets are included.
    If you're a To be eligible for the maximum Age Pension your assets must be under You won’t be eligible for any Age Pension if your assets are worth more than
    Single homeowner $268,000 $583,000
    Single non-homeowner $482,500 $876,500
    Couple homeowner $401,500 $876,500
    Couple non-homeowner $616,000 $1,091,000
    • Different limits may apply if you’re a couple that’s separated due to illness or you receive other government support, like rent assistance.
    • Your principal home and the first 2 hectares of land it’s on doesn’t count in the asset test.
    • The value of all Flexi Pensions and Commercial Rate Indexed Pensions started after 20 September 2007 are counted as assets.
    • Defined Benefit Indexed Pensions aren’t counted.
     

Age Pension rates

The government usually updates the Age Pension rates every March and September. This table shows the normal base Age Pension rates as at September 2020.
If you're Maximum Age Pension payment
single $860.60 a fortnight
in a couple $1,297.40 a fortnight

Remember, you may receive a lower amount or extra support depending on your circumstances. Visit Services Australia for more on the rates and conditions.

How to apply for the Age Pension

Apply for the Age Pension through Centrelink.

If you qualify, information about your UniSuper pension will be one of the things Centrelink will use to decide how much you’ll get:

  • Flexi Pensions: We send your pension details to Centrelink at least once a year. The personal details we hold must match with Centrelink. Log in to your account to check and update your personal details.
  • Indexed Pensions: We’ll send you a Centrelink Schedule at the start of each financial year. Use this to give your pension details to Centrelink when requested.
Other government entitlements

You may be able to receive other support payments or benefits, such as cheaper healthcare, medicines and transport.

The Pensioner Concession Card is given to everyone who receives the Age Pension.

The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card is available to eligible people who have reached Age Pension age.

Speak to someone who knows retirement inside out
A  qualified financial adviser can help you structure your super and other finances to make the most of your money and help you claim your government entitlements. 
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