The Age Pension explained

Retirement | | 2 min read

Mature age man with grandkids

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 63% of retirees receive some level of income support via the Age Pension. 

That might mean a full Age Pension, or a partial payment to top up superannuation savings. 

Not sure if you’re receiving all the Government benefits and support you're entitled to? Our financial planners can help you structure your finances in way that takes into account your super, investments, and any Age Pension entitlements in the most effective way. 

What is the Age Pension test?   

The Age Pension is a government initiative, designed to support Australians in retirement and provide a financial safety net. To be eligible, you must meet age and residency requirements, and also satisfy the means test. 

There are two elements to the means test which will determine if you’re eligible for the Age Pension – the assets test and the income test.  

The assets test is a review of your assets while the income test considers your income from sources other than the Age Pension. You need to satisfy both to receive an Age Pension. Depending on your personal circumstances, you might be eligible for a full Age Pension, or a partial Age Pension.  

For many retirees, a partial Age Pension can be the sweet spot, as you’ll still be able to use a combination of your super savings and the Age Pension to fund your retirement lifestyle. 

Do I qualify for an Age Pension?  

There is an age requirement and a residency requirement to qualify for the Age Pension.

Assuming you meet these basic requirements, you can then consider the assets and income tests. These are dependent on a number of factors, including your relationship status, and whether you own investment properties, shares and assets. 

Note that your principal home is not taken into account as part of the assets test, but lower thresholds apply if you own your own home. 

Everyone’s situation is different, so it's worth understanding what qualifies as an asset, and how they’re evaluated by the government. You can check the government's Services Australia website for the latest thresholds, and how assets can impact your pension payments. 

Pensioner Concession Card and other benefits  

Another advantage of the Age Pension is it may qualify you for further payments, concessions and support. For example, once you receive the Age Pension you may also qualify for a Pensioner Concession Card. This helps with discounts on utility bills, public transport, and other services

Note that the government assesses the test and eligibility requirements regularly, so it’s worth keeping up to date with your eligibility, if you plan ahead to receive the Age Pension at a future date. 

Retire better with an Age Pension

An Age Pension application can be completed online via Centrelink

But of you prefer, a financial planner can help you work your way through the process and better understand your rights and obligations. They’ll be able to explain your eligibility for the Age Pension, help you fill out any forms you will need, and guide you through the process.   

Even if you’re already retired, circumstances and assets can change, as can government thresholds. So you may be entitled to concessions or Age Pension payments you’re not aware of.

Not sure where to begin? You can book an appointment with a financial planner today. The initial appointment is available obligation free and at no additional cost for fund members.

Issued by Togethr Trustees Pty Ltd ABN 64 006 964 049, AFSL 246383 ("Togethr"), the trustee of the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund ABN 33 813 823 017 ("the Fund"). The information contained herein is general information only and does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your personal circumstances before acting on it and, if necessary, you should also seek professional financial advice tailored to your personal circumstances. Where tax information is included, you should consider obtaining personal taxation advice. Before making a decision to invest in the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund, you should read the appropriate Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination for the product which are available at  Financial advice services may be provided to members by the trustee’s related entity Togethr Financial Planning Pty Ltd (ABN 84 124 491 078; AFSL 455010). *Past performance is not an indication of future performance.