Age Pension

The main income support payment for people who have reached age pension age.

Eligibility basics

  • reached age pension age
  • under the income and assets test limits
  • an Australian resident, normally for at least 10 years
Eligible Age Pensioners will automatically get a one-off Energy Assistance Payment from 26 June 2017.

Eligibility & payment rates

Age rules

To be eligible for Age Pension you must be 65 or older.

From July 2017

Depending on your birthdate, from 1 July 2017 Age Pension age will be 65 years and 6 months.

After that, Age Pension age will go up 6 months every 2 years until 1 July 2023.

If your birthdate is you’ll be old enough at
1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953 65 years and 6 months
1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955 66 years
1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956 66 years and 6 months
From 1 January 1957 67 years

Residence rules

On the day you claim Age Pension you must:

How long you need to have been a resident

To get Age Pension you need to have been an Australian resident for at least 10 years in total. For at least 5 of these years, there must be no break in your residence.

What may be different

Some people can get Age Pension if they have been an Australian resident for less than 10 years.

If you are a refugee or former refugee you are exempt from the 10 year rule.

If you are getting Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance or Widow B Pension when you reach age pension age, you can apply to transfer to Age Pension without meeting the residence rules.

If you are a woman whose partner died while you were both Australian residents, you need to be an Australian resident for 2 years right before you claim.

If you don’t meet these rules but you’ve lived or worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Australia, the agreement may help you to claim.

Income test for pensions

Your income can reduce your pension.

Read more about income tests for pensions

Assets test

The value of assets you own affects:

  • if you can get Age Pension
  • how much Age Pension you can get

How much your assets can be worth

There are limits to how much your assets can be worth before it affects your pension amount.

See the current assets test limits for how much your assets can be worth before they reduce how much Age Pension you get.

Asset Hardship provisions

You can apply for Asset Hardship provisions if you’re in severe financial hardship and you get little or no Age Pension.

Payment rates

We use income and assets tests to work out how much Age Pension you get.

There are different rates of Age Pension payments for single people and couples. Read about how your relationship status can affect your payment rate.

There are also different rates for some people who were getting a pension in 2009.

The amounts on this page are the maximum rates.

Normal rates

Per fortnight Single Couple each Couple combined Couple apart due to ill health
Maximum basic rate $814.00 $613.60 $1,227.20 $814.00
Maximum Pension Supplement $66.30 $50.00 $100.00 $66.30
Energy Supplement $14.10 $10.60 $21.20 $14.10
TOTAL $894.40 $674.20 $1,348.40 $894.40

Transitional rates

Some people who were getting part pensions on 19 September 2009 are on transitional rates until they catch up with the current normal rates.

Per fortnight Single Couple each Couple combined Couple apart due to ill health
Maximum rate $738.30 $596.40 $1,192.60 $738.30
Energy Supplement $14.10 $10.60 $21.20 $14.10
TOTAL $752.40 $607.00 $1,214.00 $752.40

Claiming

Check if you’re eligible before you start your claim.

Then:

  • find out what you need to start your claim
  • complete the claim online or visit a Service Centre, if you can’t do this you will need to complete a paper claim form and an income and assets form
  • submit the form and other documents we ask for
  • wait for us to assess your claim and tell you the result

Next read more about claiming

Managing your payment

Try self service

Do your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service options, including our Express Plus mobile apps, online accounts and phone self service.

Read more about using self service.

Change of circumstances

We need to know about changes that could reduce your payment.

You must tell us if:

  • your address changes
  • your income changes
  • your assets change
  • your partner’s income or assets change
  • you stop living with your partner
  • your partner dies
  • you marry or start living with your partner

You have 14 days to tell us about the changes. If you don’t do this, we may pay you too much and you’ll probably have to pay the money back.

If you deliberately don’t tell us about changes, we could charge you with fraud.

Advance payment

You may get part of your income support early. This is an advance. You pay it back out of your normal payments from us.

Read more about advance payment

If you travel outside Australia

You can normally get Age Pension while outside Australia. We base the amount we can pay you on how long you’re away for.

Read more about Age Pension if you travel outside Australia

Income and assets from outside Australia

If you or your partner get income from, or have assets outside Australia, we may have to reduce the amount of Age Pension you get.

How is it calculated

We include any income or assets you or your partner have in another country when we assess your eligibility for Age Pension.

If you have too much, it can reduce the amount of Age Pension you get.

We use exchange rates to work out what your overseas income or assets are worth in Australia.

To ask about these rates, call the foreign exchange line if you’re in Australia or our international phone numbers if you’re outside Australia.

Someone to deal with us on your behalf

If you want someone else to deal with us, you can authorise them to enquire, act or get payments for you.

Read more about someone to deal with us on your behalf

Weekly payment option

Some people can get income support payments each week instead of each fortnight.

Read more about weekly payments

Income reporting

How much you or your partner earn affects your payment. We need to know what you and your partner earn so we pay you the right amount.

Read more about income reporting

My bank account is overdrawn

You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.

Read more about what to do if your account is overdrawn

Resources

Social security agreements with other countries

If you lived in another country and are able to get a pension from them, you need to tell us. It may affect the amount of Age Pension you can get.

Read more about:

Australian citizenship

Read about how to get Australian Citizenship on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Payment and Service Finder

Find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be eligible for. You can also work out what a change in circumstance might mean for the payments and services you currently receive from us.

Start using Payment and Service Finder

Manage your money

 

We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.

Read about how to manage your money.

Regular deductions using Centrepay

You can use our free and voluntary service to pay bills as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.

Read more about regular deductions using Centrepay

Page last updated: 20 September 2017