Make the most of your retirement entitlements

As you approach life after employment, it’s a good idea to check out what government benefits you may be eligible for.

Along with your savings, government benefits, such as the Age Pension, Carer’s Allowance and Disability Support Pension, could be an important part of your retirement income, should you be eligible. This is why it’s a good idea to be aware of what payments you may be entitled to.

Super and the Age Pension

Around 65% of older Australians rely on a government pension or allowance as their main source of personal income at retirement.1

There’s no official retirement age in Australia, but generally you need to be between age 55 and 60 to start accessing your super with full access at 65. The Age Pension is also available from age 65 and this will gradually increase to age 67 in 2023, depending on when you were born.

Check out MoneySmart’s Super and pension age calculator to see when you can access your super savings and the Age Pension.

What else might you be entitled to?

Age 55-64

  • Low Income Health Care Card – If your gross income is less than $543 (as a single) or $939 (for a couple) each week, you may be eligible for a range of concessions including:
    – medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
    – bulk billing for doctor’s appointments
    – more refunds for medical expenses through the Medicare Safety Net
  • Seniors Card – Generally if you’re over 60 and work less than 20 hours per week, you can receive discounts at a range of commercial businesses and for some public services. Eligibility rules vary depending on where you live. Find our more depending on your home state or territory.
  • Newstart Allowance – If you haven’t yet reached Age Pension age, you could be eligible for assistance. Under the Newstart Allowance, job seekers generally have to apply for jobs, train or study to qualify, but the Mutual Obligation Requirements are more flexible if you’re 55 or older. You may be able to meet these requirements by doing some level of suitable paid work, self-employment or Centrelink-approved voluntary work—or a combination of these.
  • Health Care Card – If you’re on Newstart Allowance, you’re also eligible for the Health Care Card, which provides a range of benefits.
  • Carer payment/allowance – If you’ve had to reduce your work hours to care for a loved one, then you may be eligible for a carer payment or allowance.

Age 65+

  • Pensioner Concession card – If you receive the Age Pension this card entitles you to reduced cost medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, plus a range of other benefits. Depending on the state you live in, this could include reduced electricity and gas bills, property and water rates, public transport fares, and motor vehicle registration.
  • Pension Loans – If you don’t receive, or only receive a part Age Pension due to your income or assets (but not both), you can use your real estate as security for a loan under the Pensions Loan Scheme to generate an income.
  • Work Bonus – If you’re working and receiving the Age Pension you could be entitled to a Work Bonus, which excludes up to $250 a fortnight of your pay from the Centrelink income test. This means you’re able to keep more of your income, or work for short periods with little or no effect on your Age Pension.
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) – If you’re ineligible for the Age Pension due to the means test, you may be eligible for the CSHC, which provides a number of benefits.
  • Pension Supplement – If you receive the Age Pension you’ll also receive up to $65.90 per fortnight for singles or $49.70 per fortnight for each member of a couple, paid quarterly.
  • Energy Supplement – If you’re eligible for an income support payment, including the Age Pension for example, you may receive up to $14.10 per fortnight for singles or $10.60 per fortnight for each member of a couple.

Like to know more?

Contact Us today to talk to a financial adviser. Once you know you have all your entitlements you’ll enjoy your retirement journey all the more. 

1 https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/superannuation-and-retirement/income-sources-in-retirement/age-pension

Article: https://www.amp.com.au/news/2017/may/make-the-most-of-your-retirement-entitlements

The information provided in this article is General Information only, so does not take into account your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before acting on any information contained in this article, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.