Age pension rates
Each year, the Commonwealth Government reviews the fortnightly pension rates. The current maximum fortnightly payment rates are as follows:
|Single person||Couple living together||Couple separated due to ill health|
|Maximum basic rate||$860.60||$648.70 each||$860.60 each|
|Maximum pension supplement||$69.60||$52.50 each||$69.60 each|
|Energy supplement||$14.10||$10.60 each||$14.10 each|
|Total per fortnight||$944.30||$711.80 each||$944.30 each|
IMPORTANT: For most people, the Age Pension alone is not enough to fund their retirement goals. This is why a healthy superannuation balance is so critical.
How much pension will I get?
Be sure to check the pension eligibility requirements, they have changed several times over the years. Consider combining the pension with your super to maximise your income in retirement. This combined approach can help make modest amounts of super last much longer than you might think.
How it works
The Age Pension is a Government allowance paid to eligible Australians who have reached retirement age. It is managed by Centrelink, a division of the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Human Services, and is commonly referred to as the old age pension.
The Age Pension is income and assets tested, which means the amount you are entitled to receive will depend on any other income you receive (from super, investments and paid work) and on the assets you own.
Do I qualify?
To receive the Age Pension, you must first satisfy the following eligibility requirements:
You must generally:
- Be an Australian resident and be in Australia on the day you apply for an Age Pension
- Have lived in Australia for over 10 years
There are some special exceptions for refugees, widows and former residents of countries that Australia has special social security agreements with.
The qualifying age for the Pension is currently 66 and it will increase in stages to 67. This may continue to increase to around 70 years of age.
The current qualifying ages are:
|If you were born between||you qualify for Age Pension at age|
|1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953||65 years and 6 months|
|1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955||66 years|
|1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956||66 years and 6 months|
|From 1 January 1957||67 years|
Assets and income tests
All Government pensions are income and assets tested which means they test -
a) How much you earn from other income streams – the income test
b) How much your assets are worth – the assets test
The test that results in the lower pension rate will be the one applied.
Income includes money from:
- Superannuation pensions and/or annuities
It also includes money from outside Australia.
For every $ of income you earn above $178 per fortnight ($316 for a couple), your Pension payment will be reduced by 50 cents.
Centrelink will make a valuation of your Australian and foreign assets to work out how much of the Age Pension you can receive. The information is here. As with the income test, if your assets exceed a certain threshold, the amount of Pension you’re eligible for will decrease – potentially to zero.
And if I qualify?
If you pass the residency and age criteria, then Centrelink will work out how much Age Pension you are eligible to receive, depending on your income and assets and other circumstances.