- Is the Age Pension age changing to 70?
- What happens if there is no date 6 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
- The bottom line
The current Age Pension eligibility age is 65 years and 6 months for any person born before 1954, though this age is progressively increasing from 1 July 2019 depending on your date of birth.
Age Pension ages from 1 July 2019 are provided in the table below. Note that the Age Pension eligibility age is increasing by six months every two years until it reaches 67 years for everyone from 1 July 2023.
|Date of birth||Pension age||Date pension age changes|
|Born between 1 January 1954 and 30 June 1955||66 years||1 July 2019|
|Born between 1 July 1955 and 31 December 1956||66 years and 6 months||1 July 2021|
|Born from 1 January 1957 onwards||67 years||1 July 2023|
Source: Department of Social Services
These ages apply to both men and women. Historically, eligible women could receive the Age Pension upon turning 60 in Australia. However, the female pension age was progressively increased from the 1990s until it reached the male age in 2013.
Is the Age Pension age changing to 70?
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 6 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 6 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 6-month mark on the first day of the following month.
|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, i.e. 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)|
Currently, people who are born on any of the dates outlined above need to use this “first day of the following month” rule to work out the exact date they reach the current Age Pension eligibility age of 65 years and 6 months.
People who are born between 1 July 1955 and 31 December 1956 will also need to use this rule to work out the exact date they reach their Age Pension eligibility age of 66 years and 6 months.
What is your Age Pension (and Preservation) age?
The tool below can help you calculate your Age Pension age. All you need to do is enter your date of birth.
This tool also calculates your preservation age (which is the age you can access your super if you meet a condition of release, such as retiring or turning 65 years of age). Like the Age Pension eligibility age, your preservation age depends on your date of birth.
Your date of birth:
|wdt_ID||Year||Month||Day||Birthdate||Gender||Preservation age||Date reaches Preservation age||Age Pension age||Date reaches Age Pension age|
|1||1927||January||1||1 January 1927||Female||55||01/01/1982||60.0||01/01/1987|
|2||1927||January||2||2 January 1927||Female||55||02/01/1982||60.0||02/01/1987|
|3||1927||January||3||3 January 1927||Female||55||03/01/1982||60.0||03/01/1987|
|4||1927||January||4||4 January 1927||Female||55||04/01/1982||60.0||04/01/1987|
|5||1927||January||5||5 January 1927||Female||55||05/01/1982||60.0||05/01/1987|
|6||1927||January||6||6 January 1927||Female||55||06/01/1982||60.0||06/01/1987|
|7||1927||January||7||7 January 1927||Female||55||07/01/1982||60.0||07/01/1987|
|8||1927||January||8||8 January 1927||Female||55||08/01/1982||60.0||08/01/1987|
|9||1927||January||9||9 January 1927||Female||55||09/01/1982||60.0||09/01/1987|
|10||1927||January||10||10 January 1927||Female||55||10/01/1982||60.0||10/01/1987|
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 the Department of Human Services (via Centrelink). A person cannot receive both the service pension and the Age Pension at the same time.
Age Pension eligibility requirements
In addition to age eligibility, you also need to meet residency requirements and to pass both an income and assets test to qualify for the Age Pension.
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 to 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 the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
- you pass another income test that has different criteria than the Age Pension income test.
- you 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 totally eliminate your tax liability. However, it can’t be used to generate you a tax refund.
If you’re an Age Pensioner, you’ll also be eligible for SAPTO if you pass another income threshold test. If you do, you may be eligible for either a full or partial offset.
You may also be eligible for a pension supplement and an energy supplement to help you with your pharmaceutical and utilities bills. You may also be eligible for rent assistance.
You don’t need to apply for these additional benefits. You will automatically receive any of them if the Department of Human Services deems you to be eligible based on your Age Pension income and assets tests.
The current Age Pension eligibility age is increasing over the next four to five years in Australia. It will progressively increase from the current age of 65 years and 6 months to 67 years by 1 July 2023. This is an important factor to consider in your retirement planning.
The information contained in this article is general in nature.