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- Current Age Pension age
- Is the Age Pension age changing to 70?
- What happens if there is no date six months from your birthday?
- Are the age requirements different for the service pension?
- Age Pension eligibility requirements
- Age Pensioner eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, SAPTO and other benefits
While there’s no set retirement age in Australia, people who anticipate being fully or partly dependent on the Age Pension for retirement income often count down the days until they are eligible to receive the pension.
Current Age Pension age
On 1 July 2021, the eligibility age increased from 66 years to 66 years and 6 months (for anyone born between 1 July 1955 and 31 December 1956).
This means, for example, that if you were born on 30 June 1955 you could be eligible from 30 June 2021, but if you were born one day later, on 1 July 1955, you wouldn’t be eligible until 1 January 2022.
From 1 July 2023 the eligibility age will rise to 67 years, for those born after 31 December 1956.
These ages apply to both men and women. Historically, women received the Age Pension on turning 60 in Australia. The eligibility age for women was progressively increased from the 1990s until it reached the male Age Pension age in 2013.
Is the Age Pension age changing to 70?
No. In the 2014 Federal Budget, then-Treasurer Joe Hockey announced that the Age Pension eligibility age would progressively increase to 70. However, this policy was officially scrapped by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in September 2018.
What happens if there is no date six months from your birthday?
It’s easy to work out when you turn a certain age. It’s obviously on your birthday. However, it can be trickier to work out exactly when you are a certain age ‘and six months’ if you’re born on certain days in specific months. That’s because not all months in the year have the same number of days.
If you’re born on any of the dates in the table below, the rule is that you reach the six-month mark on the first day of the following month.
People born between 1 July 1955 and 31 December 1956 will need to use this rule to work out the exact date they reach their Age Pension eligibility age of 66 years and six months.
|If you are born on||Then you reach the six-month mark on|
|31 March in any year||1 October in any year (because there is no 31 September date)|
|31 May in any year||1 December in any year (because a 31 November date doesn’t exist)|
|29 August in any year||29 February in a leap year and 1 March in any other years (because 29 February only happens in a leap year, once every four years)|
|30 and 31 August in any year||1 March in any year (because there are no 30 or 31st February dates in the calendar of any year)|
|31 October in any year||1 May in any year (because a 31 April date doesn’t exist)|
|31 December in any year||1 July in any year (because there is no 31 June date)|
Are the age requirements different for the service pension?
Yes, the qualifying age for the service pension is 60 years for both men and women.
It’s important to understand that the service pension is different from the Age Pension. A service pension is payable to eligible members of the Australian Defence Force (the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force) who have had active military service, who satisfy residency requirements and who pass both income and assets tests. This pension can also be paid to their partners in certain circumstances.
A service pension is paid by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Age Pension is paid by Services Australia (via Centrelink). A person cannot receive both the service pension and the Age Pension at the same time.
Age Pension eligibility requirements
Age Pensioner eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, SAPTO and other benefits
If you qualify for the Age Pension, you’re also potentially eligible for a range of other benefits, including the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and SAPTO.
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
A Commonwealth Seniors Health Card can help you get cheaper health care. As an Age Pensioner, you’ll be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, provided that you:
- Don’t qualify for any other government payment from Services Australia or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
- Pass another income test that has different criteria than the Age Pension income test.
- Are an Australian resident and you’re currently living in Australia.
SAPTO (Senior Australians and Pensioners Tax Offset) is a tax offset that’s available to eligible pensioners in Australia. It can reduce or even eliminate your tax liability, but it can’t be used to give you a tax refund.
You must also pass an income threshold test to determine whether you’re entitled to a full or partial offset.
If you are receive the Age Pension you may also be eligible for a pension supplement and an energy supplement to help with your pharmaceutical and utilities bills, as well as rent assistance.
You don’t need to apply for these additional benefits. You will automatically receive any you qualify for if Services Australia deems you to be eligible based on your Age Pension income and assets tests.
Your eligibility for the Age Pension is assessed by Services Australia via Centrelink. The information contained in this article is general in nature.