How the Age Pension works

When you are planning your retirement, it is important to know about all the options available to help you.

The Commonwealth Government Age Pension is designed to provide a back-up income if you don’t have enough retirement savings in super or other investments. You could be eligible to receive a full or part Age Pension along with your super savings.

You could qualify for the Age Pension when you turn 66

At the moment, the age that Australians qualify to receive the Age Pension is 66, but this is set to change in the coming years. See the table to the right.

The money you save in super will help you enjoy a more comfortable retirement than simply relying on the government Age Pension.

Age requirements for the Age Pension from 1 July 2019
Date of birth When you qualify for Age Pension

Before 1 January 1954

You have already reached Age Pension age

1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955

66 years

1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956

66 years and six months

From 1 January 1957

67 years

You could be eligible for the Age Pension

If you’re 66 years or older and meet residential conditions and the income and assets tests, you could be eligible to receive the Age Pension.

The amount of support you receive would depend on your income and assets tests. The total balance of your super or Retirement Income Pension account will be taken into consideration.

Income test

The income test checks your fortnightly income as a single person or a couple against maximum limits. Your income will affect whether you’re eligible for a full pension, part pension or no pension from the government.

For more information about the income test, or to see how your income would be assessed, visit the Centrelink website.

Assets test

Being eligible for a full or part pension depends on whether you are single or part of a couple and whether you own a home. Generally, the value of the property and investments you or your partner own or have an interest in - except the home you live in - are assessed in the assets test.

There are limits to how much your assets can be worth for you to qualify to receive a full or part pension. The asset test limits are updated in January, March, July and September each year.

For more information about the assets test, and a full list of the types of assets that are included in this test, please visit the Centrelink website.

Retirement discounts with a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

If you’re not eligible for the Age Pension, you could still receive discounts through the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC). This card provides access to cheaper prescription medicines, Australian government-funded medical services and other government concessions.

To qualify for the CSHC, you need to meet eligibility requirements. To find out more, refer to the Services Australia website (formally the Department of Human Services Australia).

Find out more to prepare for your retirement

We offer a range of seminars to help you understand, manage and grow your super.

You can also use the Financial Information Service (FIS) provided by Centrelink. For more information, visit the Services Australia website or speak directly to a FIS officer by calling 13 23 00.

Need help

Page last updated 01 July 2020