More than 1000 Australians become eligible for the Age Pension every week.
10% of Australians get the Age Pension
In 2016-2017 Centrelink paid $44.4bn to 2.7m Australians in Age Pension payments.
It is the single largest government program making up more than 10% of all government spending.
The Age Pension is just one part of the interaction with government by retired Australians.
Support also comes from a range of government agencies - like Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, or a range of federal and state state government agencies.
These programs must be applied for. And this is where it gets complicated. Retirement comes with a lot of administration and planning.
We offer some broad information on eligibility for the age pension. You can also find out more on the Centrelink website here.
The minimum age to qualify for the pension is going up.
It's happening over a few years - by 2023 the age for pension eligibility will be 67. If you want to work out your age for eligibility, use this calculator.
Assets test limits have recently changed.
The government uses two tests to determine eligibility for the Age Pension. One test is based on your income (for example the income of somebody working, or an income stream). The other test is based on your assets.
The lowest result will be the number that is used.
The upper thresholds for the amount of savings older Australians can have, and still be eligible for a part pension have been lowered.
At the same time, a larger number of older Australians qualify for the full age pension.
Getting the age pension means access to a lot of other support.
This is where it gets interesting.
We have found nearly 40 different programs, entitlements and programs that an Australian eligible for the age pension should be aware of.
There is no guidebook on what is available, and you have to go to a number of different government agencies, and apply in a range of different ways to get to the bottom it all.
We are taking a closer look at these entitlements with a focus on the process of applying.