Super is designed to be your main support for retirement. However, many Australians will also qualify for at least part of the government age pension. It's worth taking a look at whether you're eligible.

What is it?

The age pension is a fortnightly support payment from the Australian government. Many people rely on either full or part payments to help pay for basic living expenses during retirement. If eligible, you could combine these payments with your super income, creating more support for your retirement needs.

The amount you’re eligible to receive will depend on your circumstances. The current maximum fortnightly amount you can receive is:

Maximum age pension per fortnight
  Single Couple
Amount $952.70 $1,436.20

Source: Services Australia as at 20 March 2021. Rates include Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement.

Am I eligible?

To qualify for the age pension, you generally need to have:

  • reached your age pension age
  • been an Australian resident for at least 10 years1
  • met the income test and
  • met the assets test.

We've outlined the income and assets tests further below.

First, though, you should work out your age pension age. The age pension age is currently 66 years, but it’s slowly increasing to 67. The age pension age that applies to you will depend on your date of birth:

Effective dateAffects people bornAge pension age
1 July 2019From 1 Jan 1954
to 30 June 1955
1 July 2021From 1 July 1955
to 31 Dec 1956
1 July 2023From 1 Jan 1957

1At least 5 of these 10 years must be in a row. There are exceptions to the 10-year residency rule. Visit Services Australia for more details.

Income test

The income test assesses your income from all sources, including super. The current income limits are:

Family situation For full pension
(per fortnight)
For part pension2
(per fortnight)
Single Up to $178* Less than $2,083.40
Couple (combined) Up to $316* Less than $3,188.40
Couples separated by illness
(couple combined)
Up to $316* Less than $4,126.80

Source: Services Australia as at 20 March 2021.

Because income from financial assets fluctuates, the government eases the process by applying a set rate of income instead. This is called a ‘deeming rate'. You can find the deeming rate that applies to you on the Services Australia website.

Download fact sheet Services Australia

* The pension will reduce by 50 cents for each $1 of income over this amount.
2 Your age pension cut-off point will be higher if you get the work bonus. For more details on the work bonus, read our fact sheet Your super and the age pension or visit Services Australia .

Assets test

Your eligibility for the age pension also depends on your assets, including any super. Your assets include things like jewellery, cars, boats and shares. Your primary home is exempt.3 If the total worth of your assets is below the given limits, you generally meet the assets test.

Family situation Homeowners Non-
Homeowners Non-
  Lower limit for full pension Upper limit for part pension
Single $268,000 $482,500 $585,750 $800,250
Couple (combined) $401,500 $616,000 $880,500 $1,095,000
Illness separated
(couple combined)
$401,500 $616,000 $1,037,000 $1,251,500
One partner eligible
(couple combined)
$401,500 $616,000 $880,500 $1,095,000

Source: Services Australia as at 20 March 2021.

For every $1,000 your assets are worth over these limits, the age pension is reduced by $3 per fortnight.

Download fact sheet Services Australia

3 For a full list of assets included and excluded from the assets test, visit Services Australia.

Need some advice?

There's plenty to consider when it comes to getting your retirement right. You may want to speak with an expert so you feel better prepared. We offer low-cost tailored advice through NGS Financial Planning. Book an appointment to get yourself on the right track.

Enquire now

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Get advice for every stage of your life

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* Limited financial advice covers one or two issues in isolation on topics such as investment selection and contribution levels. It does not take into account the member’s entire financial situation.

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