Are you getting ready for the age pension?
An Australian resident qualifying for the age pension must actively apply. If you are eligible for the pension, you are also eligible for a whole range of concessions, discounts and rebates. These are tricky to stay on top of.
The application process is mostly online. This means you need to be as well.
So at this stage of life, where your interaction with the "system" is greater than ever, you are called on to be more organised, and on top off online applications, forms and systems.
This is where we can help.
The minimum age to qualify for the pension is 65 and a half.
By 2023 the age for pension eligibility will be 67. If you want to work out your age for eligibility, use this calculator.
Know your limits
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.
A good first start is to have a look at your assets and work out if you are under the threshold.
A home owner couple can have about $840k in assets and still be eligible for a pension. It's worth knowing how close you are to the cutoffs.
There is a government calculator that helps here.
More than 1000 Australians become eligible for the Age Pension every week.
In 2016-2017 Centrelink paid $44.4 bn to 2.7m Australians in Age Pension payments.
It is the single largest government program making up more than 10% of all government spending.
You don't automatically get an age pension. You have to apply for it.
If you are close to pension age, it's time to get started.
We offer some broad information on eligibility for the age pension. You can also find out more on the Centrelink website here.
Make the most of all the concessions, discounts and programs.
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.