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
 SingleCouple
(combined)
Amount$967.50$1,458.60

Source: Services Australia as at 20 September 2021. Rates include the 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. If you were born before 1 July 1955, you’ve already met the qualifying age for the age pension.

If you were born between 1 July 1955 and 31 December 1956 (inclusive) your age pension age is 66.5.

For those born after 31 December 1956, the qualifying age will be 67. This will take effect from 1 July 2023.

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 situationFor full pension
(per fortnight)
For part pension2
(per fortnight)
SingleUp to $180*Less than $2,115.00
Couple (combined)Up to $320*Less than $3,237.20
Couples separated by illness
(couple combined)
Up to $320*Less than $4,190.00

Source: Services Australia as at 20 September 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 situationHomeownersNon-
homeowners
HomeownersNon-
homeowners
 Lower limit for full pensionUpper limit for part pension
Single$270,500$487,000$593,000$809,500
Couple (combined)$405,000$621,500$891,500$1,108,000
Illness separated
(couple combined)
$405,000$621,500$1,050,000$1,266,500
One partner eligible
(couple combined)
$405,000$621,500$891,500$1,108,000

Source: Services Australia as at 20 September 2021.

For every $1,000 your assets are worth over your relevant lower limit, the age pension is reduced by $3 per fortnight. If the value of your assets is equal to or higher than the upper limit amount, you won't be eligible for the age pension.

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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