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Age Pension basics

What is the Age Pension in Australia?

The Age Pension is an income support payment for older Australian residents. It's paid by the government and distributed by Centrelink (Services Australia) every fortnight.

Designed as a safety net for retirees who need it most, it's worth knowing the rules if you're planning for retirement.

Who needs it?

Over 58% of people aged 65+ get Centrelink’s Age Pension.

On average, people are expected to live to 85, says the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

If you retire at 65, your money may need to last for 20+ years.


How much is the Age Pension?

There are different rates for Australian Age Pension. It depends on your relationship status (single or couple), whether you own your home, and Centrelink's assets test and income test.

Age Pension rates (as at April 2024)

Relationship status Max basic rate/fortnight
Single $1,020.60
Couple (each) $769.30 each
Couple (combined total) $1,538.60
Couple living apart because of ill health $1,020.60

You could also get Pension Supplement or Energy Supplement payments. Learn more and check the current rates on the Services Australia website.

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When is the next Age Pension increase?

The Age Pension rates change twice a year, on 20 March and 20 September. This reflects changes in costs of living and wage increases. If you get a pension increase, it happens automatically. So you don't need to do anything.

How to apply for the Age Pension


Are you eligible for the Age Pension? Make sure you meet the rules before you apply.

Do you have Age Pension eligibility?

Starting age

When you can start your Age Pension depends on what year you were born. You generally need to be at least 67 years old. Learn more.

Assets test

What you own (assets) affects how much Age Pension you get, including money, super, cars, property, etc. Check the assets test limits.

Income test

Your income affects how much Age Pension you get, including any job, investment dividends, super income streams, etc. How it works.

Residence rules

You need to be an Australian resident and living in Australia for 10 years, with no break in at least 5 of those years. What if I've lived outside Australia?

We've partnered with Retirement Essentials1 to help you feel confident you're getting all your Age Pension entitlements.

Check your eligibility today
(You'll be redirected to the Retirement Essentials website.)

Check when you can apply

You can apply for the Age Pension in the 13 weeks before you reach the starting age. Make sure you allow time to prepare your documents.

Make your claim through Services Australia

You can apply online, using a paper form or with help from a Services Australia team member. Decide how you want to claim before starting the process.

How to claim
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I’m not eligible, what should I do?

If you can't get these government benefits now, you might become eligible for the Age Pension over time as your finances change. So it's worth checking in with Centrelink regularly.

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When will the Age Pension stop?

Check your finances against the current cut-off points for the income test and assets test. That way, you'll know how much you can earn and own before any Age Pension payments would stop.

Is super counted for the Age Pension?

Your superannuation in the retirement phase affects your Age Pension payment rates. Just like your personal savings and investments, your super's counted in Centrelink's assets and income tests.

Your super balance can also impact on whether you even get the Age Pension.

If your super is in the accumulation phase, it's not assessed until you reach pension qualifying age for you and your partner.

How super affects your Age Pension

You have several options for your super when you retire. Both Centrelink and the ATO treat each option differently. Let's have a look at how they work with the Age Pension.

With an account-based pension like our Retirement Income account, you can get regular income payments as long as you have a balance. And you can withdraw extra money when you need to.

You generally need to have reached a certain age and be retired, or turn 65 years old to open our Income account.

Assets test

Your super balance is counted as an asset.

Income test

Deemed income based on balance.

Tax

Tax-free income payments from age 60.

With our Lifetime Pension, you can get income payments for life, with money-back protection. If you choose the spouse protection option, your spouse can continue to get these payments after you pass away.

Using this product may get you more in Age Pension payments. That’s because Centrelink only counts 60% of the purchase price and income.

Assets test

60% of your Lifetime Pension purchase price is counted as an asset.

Income test

60% of your payments are counted as income.

Tax

Tax-free income payments.

By taking out some or all of your super when you retire, you'll have savings in the bank that you can get when you need it.

If you're old enough to withdraw your super, you can make a withdrawal in Member Online.

But it's a good idea to make sure you understand all your options. You might be better off keeping your money in super instead, and opening an Income account and/or Lifetime Pension with us.

Learn more about your options when preparing for retirement.

Assets test

Money in the bank is counted as an asset.

Income test

Withdrawing your super is not counted as income.

Tax

Most people who are eligible to withdraw their super can do so without paying tax. The ATO charges tax on any untaxed money you withdraw.

If you leave your super in your Super Savings Accumulation account, your super stays invested. Once you've reached the age you can access your super, you can make a withdrawal if you need to.

But Centrelink might assume you're earning more income from it than you really are. Learn more about deemed income.

Assets test

Your super balance is counted as an asset.

Income test

Deemed income based on balance.

Tax

Investment earnings aren't tax-free in an accumulation account.


Can I use both the Age Pension and superannuation?

Absolutely! Mix and match our retirement products to create the best combination for your super and the Age Pension, if you get it. We can help you get the right mix when planning for retirement.

Join us today
Retirement Income account

You are: Aged 65 or over, or you've reached the age you can get your super and permanently retired.

You get: Tax-free payments from your super as long as you have a balance.

How it works
Lifetime Pension

You are: Aged from 60 up to your 80th birthday and permanently retired.

You get: Tax-free fortnightly payments for the rest of your life.

How it works

1. Australian Retirement Trust Pty Ltd (ABN 88 010 720 840, AFSL No. 228975), the trustee of Australian Retirement Trust (ABN 60 905 115 063): (i) does not issue, sell, guarantee, or underwrite the product and/or services provided by Retirement Essentials Pty Ltd (ABN 35 615 383 232); (ii) is not liable or responsible for products and/or services provided, and does not receive or pay referral fees; (iii) does not endorse these products and/or services; (iv) is providing this information to members without taking into consideration their personal financial situation and before acting on this information members should exercise their own judgement about the products and/or services offered; (v) is not an agent, dealer or promoter for the products and/or services.

We respect your privacy and do not supply your personal information to Retirement Essentials Pty Ltd or any other third-party supplier. For more information on how Retirement Essentials Pty Ltd collects, holds, uses, and discloses your personal information, refer to their Privacy Policy. Please contact Australian Retirement Trust on 13 11 84 or write to GPO Box 2924, Brisbane QLD 4001 if you have any questions, issue or concerns.