Age Pension: March 2014 rates now available

The new Age Pension rates, taking effect from 20 March 2014 are set out in the tables below.

A single person eligible for the full Age Pension can now expect an annual Age Pension income (including supplement, and Clean Energy Supplement) of around $21,913.

A couple eligible for the full Age Pension can expect combined annual Age Pension entitlements (including supplement, and Clean Energy Supplement) of around $33,036.

Extra payment amount: The Clean Energy Supplement (CES) is an “an ongoing payment to help eligible households with any impact from the carbon price on everyday expenses… provided you are residing permanently in Australia” says the federal government. The maximum fortnightly payment for the CES is $13.90 for singles, and $10.50 each when part of a couple. The CES is treated as non-taxable, and is not considered ‘income’ for the purposes of family assistance or income support.

Important: In the table below, note that ‘pf’ stands for ‘per fortnight’. The Age Pension rates are adjusted twice-yearly – in March and September.

Age Pension rates

Age Pension rates
Single (per fortnight)
20 September 2013 20 March 2014 Increase
Base $751.70 $766.00 $14.30 pf
Supplement $61.70 $62.90 $1.20 pf
Clean Energy Supplement $13.70 $13.90 $0.20 pf
Total $827.10 $842.80 $15.70 pf
Couple (each member of couple, per fortnight)
20 September 2013 20 March 2014 Increase
Base $566.60 $577.40 $10.80 pf
Supplement $46.50 $47.40 $0.90 pf
Clean Energy Supplement $10.30 $10.50 $0.20 pf
Total $623.40 $635.30 $11.90 pf

Source: Centrelink website

Age Pension basic rates – transitional rules

Due to a tightening of the Age Pension income test from 20 September 2009, the Government introduced a transitional Age Pension rate to protect the entitlements for existing pensioners as at 20 September 2009 (affecting about 30% of Age Pensioners). Without the introduction of a transitional rate, some individuals would have faced a cut in payments. Affected Age Pensioners will remain on the transitional rate (plus allowances) until they are better off under the new rules that came into effect from 20 September 2009.

The new transitional rate is indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases in March and September. According to FaHCSIA (Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs), the notional maximum pension for transitional rate pensioners from 20 March 2014 is $713.70 per fortnight for a single pensioner and $1,151.20 per fortnight (combined) for pensioner couples. This rate excludes Rent Assistance, but includes the new Clean Energy Supplement.

Note: If you’re on the transitional Age Pension rate, you will be assessed under the old and new rules, until Centrelink assesses that you will be better off under the new rules. Once Centrelink determines that you’re better off under the new rules, you will then be permanently subject to the new rules. According to one of our readers, his research indicates that most individuals on the transitional Age Pension rate should have reverted to the regular rates by September 2010, although presumably there are still Australians on the transitional rates (if the Government continues to publish updated transitional rates).

Although another reader has informed us that he and his wife received a part pension determined by the income test under the transitional rules, applicable as at March 2013. He said: “With the latest increase [March 2013] any couple with an income of between $26,250 and $77,850 (approx) is better off under the transitional arrangement. We don’t believe we are unique; there must be plenty of couples who fall into this category. The lower limit is gradually going up, but we expect to be on the transitional rate for quite a few years yet.”

Age Pension transitional rates
Resident in Australia
20 September 2013 20 March 2014 Increase
Single (per fortnight)
Age Pension (maximum) $686.80 $699.80 $13.00 pf
Clean Energy Supplement $13.70 $13.90 $0.20 pf
Total $700.50 $713.70 $13.20 pf
Couple (each, per fortnight)
Age Pension (maximum) $554.60 $565.10 $10.50 pf
Clean Energy Supplement $10.30 $10.50 $0.20 pf
Total $564.90 $575.60 $10.70 pf
Age Pension transition rates – Not resident
Not resident in Australia or absent for period of greater than 6 weeks
20 September 2013 20 March 2014 Increase
Single (pf) $629.90 $641.90 $12.00 pf
Couple (each, pf) $526.30 $536.30 $10.00 pf

Source: Centrelink website

Many of the rates and thresholds that are linked to the Age Pension also change from 20 March 2014. Click on this link to find the latest indexed rates (effective from 20 March 2014) for the following rates and thresholds:

The following SuperGuide articles also provide further explanation of the Age Pension rates and thresholds, and how the Age Pension rules operate:

© Copyright Trish Power 2009-2014

Copyright for this article belongs to Trish Power, and cannot be reproduced without express and specific consent.


IMPORTANT: SuperGuide does not provide financial advice. Comments provided by readers that may include information relating to tax, superannuation or other rules cannot be relied upon as advice. SuperGuide does not verify the information provided within comments from readers. Readers need to seek independent advice about their personal circumstances.

Comments

  1. Dear Trish
    This year I will retire at 65 with a regular poor health but I am still working full time.
    Because I am a Latino immigrant ( Australian Citizen) I have been planing to return to my culture I have chosen Mexico.
    The pension given in Australia is a permanent worry and I have no superannuation because I withdrew it to pay my mortgage, in conclusion IF IF IF I get my pension paid in overseas its will last longer there.
    When dealing or enquiring Human Resources and Centerlink in many occasion they have never replay to me only by phone they told me: “Yes we will pay you pension when you in overseas”, I do not Know what rate as a single separated man I will get
    After splitting the money from selling my property with my ex-wife I may get about $200,000.
    Could you please give me some more advise on my move, is Australian Gov. on international pensions policies which worry me despite my 33 year living and working in Australia.
    Regards
    Rene Perez
    Sydney

    • Rene, I’m not an expert. Make sure you get something in writing from Centrelink before you do anything. Firstly, find out if Mexico is allowed in their list of approved countries. BE VERY CAREFUL.

    • Rene. Do not worry. The details are already in the comments on this page. The simple answer is:

      Once you are awarded the pension, you can leave the country and stay away as long as you like, whether Mexico is on the approved list or not.

      There is only a problem is you leave the country before you start on the pension. You could leave, say a month earlier as that will not look like you have left permanently. You call it a holiday. Note that you also have to be in the country the day you apply for the pension. You cannot apply from overseas.

      You will only lose the pension supplement if you live overseas (a very small amount of money that you won’t get.)

      David

  2. richard dobosz says:

    thank you for great comments I am 59 and wife 59 also ,she draws a pension from our SMSF, I will retire in mid june 2014 with birthday [60] in September 2014, I understand all funds drawn after age 60 tax free but if I draw some funds for the few months till 60 approx. $15k how is the tax if any worked out for period before 60 years and after 60 years, is it wise to wait it after 60 birthday which I do not believe I will have enough funds to last that period thank you for help ..richard

  3. Hi Trish

    My uncle is 75 and recently re-invested his term deposit at 4%. He was getting 6.60% and this means a reduction of almost $900 per month in interest income.

    Will his pension be increased by 0.50 cents in the dollar as it had reduced by 0.50 cents in the dollar due to his T/D income.

    Will his age pension increase by $450 per month to cover the decreased income???

    • Hi Bill,

      The short answer is no.

      Centrelink assess the income from an investment using rates that they say an investment should be earning, not what the investment actually earns. These are called deeming rates.

      Centrelink have reduced these rates in November to reflect the fact that people now are making less return off their investments, however this change is not as large as the reduction experienced by your uncle.

  4. I wrote a comment / message 3 days ago regarding the requirements of getting a pension in the case that have to come back from o/s .
    I noticed that my comment had appeared almost immediately at the top of the list with the words ‘comment waiting for moderation ‘ , written below . This gave me the impression tha I was going to get a reply fairly quickly . Pls advise me whether to keep checking every day to see if there’s a reply ? or do I have write the comment again ?
    Allen

  5. I live o/s and will turn 65 soon . I resided in Aust for over 40 years . I’m getting conflicting info regarding being in Aust for 2 years before applying for the OAP , and as of just now , am worried that I might have to stay in Aust for 2 more after it being granted . I’ve also just learned that I might get a lesser amount because I’m married to a non Aussie (who obviously doesn’t qualify ) , i.e. my single pension will be reduced ?
    I have a further , very important question …… I have a 2 year old son , born in Australia , and who has an aussie passport . Does that have any influence on how much I will recieve ? The reason we moved to my wife’s country is that I couldn’t afford to take care of both my dependants in Aust , with no assets and a low paying job . I’m anxiously waiting for my pension to start , but am worried that …A. I’ll be required to stay in Aust for 4 years ( there’s no way I can afford do that ) and .B. I’ll get a greatly reduced pension , even if I manage to survive the residence and portabilty restrictions .
    Your help/ advice would be greatly appreciated .
    Allan

    • Hi Allen…sorry I can’t help you with your son..I left Australia 12 years ago for the USA..I was born in Australia,,worked there for 40 years..I reached retirement age 66 in 2011..I applied for the Australian pension..I didn’t have to return to Australia as the USA has a Social Security agreement with Australia..my wife is an American citizen so she cannot get any pension from Australia when she retires..also..I cannot get a single pension because I am married..it doesn’t matter if your wife isn’t Australian..you won’t get a single pension from Australia because you are married..you will only get your half of the married pension for yourself..also..my wife is still working so her salary affects my Australian pension..at present I receive between 550-600 a month..depends on the value of the Australian dollar as well..if you live in a country where the aussie dollar is worth more than the local currency you’ll be better off..I lose money because when the aussie dollar is converted to the greenback I don’t get as much..sorry for the bad news..it sucks.

      • Re my last reply..you also won’t get the full supplement allowance because you live O/S..I estimate all up for the full married amount it’s around AU$280.00 per week

    • Allan, already answered a year or so ago:

      “Robin, you do not have to stay four years before receiving the pension. In fact, you can receive it straight away if the department is convinced you intend to stay in Australia. But you must remain there for two years before leaving. A two year stay all up – not four.”

      Read my other posts on this page for details. It’s better that you get your other questions answered by Centrelink. Though beware that they will tell you that the 2 year residency test does not exist, unless you are asking the overseas pensions division.

      All my information:
      a) has been cross-checked with references to the actual legislation;
      b) has been confirmed by a senior Australian politician; and
      c) matches peoples’ experience.

      But… try contacting the pensions lawyer “Dezi” as she says that my information is wrong.

      Regards,
      David

  6. Hi,

    My parents – both in their 80s and receiving Aged Pensions, are considering relocating from Australia (they are Australian citizens) to live with me in Thailand – I am retired and living here permanently. Will they still be eligible to receive their full pensions without any impediments?

    Kel

  7. Irwin Scott says:

    MySuper lifecycle-compliant default investment options have strategic asset allocation that is age-dependent – based on birth decade.
    Please advise where I can find a table of these birth decade and SAA default options

  8. is there a way to see how much pension one get when he leave oz to live overseas [age pension that is ]maybe atble to calaulate beforethe next change haha

  9. Michelle says:

    My partner will receive the Age Pension at 65 when he retires in a few months time. I am not eligible to receive the pension as I’m not of pensionable age. I would like to retire at the same time as my husband – how much pension will we receive?

Leave a Comment

*