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Australian age pension

Australian Age Pension

Regular changes

A number of changes affecting the age pension occur either annually or more frequently. These changes include:

  • The government age pension usually increases in March and again in September
  • Thresholds for income and assets test are indexed in March, July and September
  • Super income stream minimum drawdowns are reviewed every July
  • Deeming rates and thresholds are reviewed every July

Depending on economic circumstances, adjustments may also be made at other times.

Age pension rate changes

Each year, the Commonwealth Government reviews the age pension rates for those who have reached retirement age. The current maximum fortnightly payments are:

From 20 March 2022 Single person Couple living together Couple separated due to ill health
Maximum basic rate $900.80 $679.00 each $900.80 each
Maximum pension supplement $72.70 $54.80 each $72.70 each
Energy supplement $14.10 $10.60 each $14.10 each
Total per fortnight $987.60 $744.40 each $987.60 each

Abolishing the work test for retirees

The work test will be abolished on 1 July 2022. Under the change, retirees aged between 67 and 74 can top up their super without having to satisfy any test provided their super is less than $1.6 million, rising to $1.7 million in July 2022.

Deeming rates changes

As part of its response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government announced a reduction to the upper and lower deeming rates used by Centrelink for estimating pensioner incomes.

There was also an increase to the asset thresholds above which the upper rate is applied. The rates below came into effect on 1 May 2020 and remain current in 2021/2022.

Deeming rates 2021/2022 Single Couple (combined)
0.25% Up to $53,000 Up to $88,000
2.25% Above $53,000 Above $88,000

The higher rate only applies to the amount of assets above the threshold.

Super income stream minimum withdrawal

Also in its response to the coronavirus, the Australian Government temporarily reduced the minimum amount that a retiree must withdraw as a pension from their super each year. The new minimum drawdown rates apply in the 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years.

Age 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 2022/23 onwards
Under 65 2% 4%
65–74 2.5% 5%
75–79 3% 6%
80–84 3.5% 7%
85–89 4.5% 9%
90–94 5.5% 11%
95 or more 7% 14%

Increase to the age limit on spouse contributions

On 1 July 2020, the age limit for receiving spouse contributions to super rose from 69 years to 74 years. This means that a person can now keep making voluntary payments to their partner’s super until their partner turns 74 years of age.

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