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The Age Pension age in Australia is currently 65 for men and women.
Set to increase
The Government has announced in the 2014 Federal Budget that the Age Pension age is set to increase to 70 years of age from 2035. This change will occur in a staggered approach rather than in one swift increase.
From 1 July 2025, the age pension qualifying age will start rising by six months every two years, from 67 years to 70 years by 1 July 2035.
In effect, someone born after 1 January 1966 will not be able to apply for the age pension until 70.
Use the following table to work out your qualifying age.
|Date of birth between||Eligible at age|
|1 July 1952 to 31 Dec 1953||65.5|
|1 Jan 1954 to 30 June 1955||66|
|1 July 1955 to 31 Dec 1956||66.5|
|1 January 1957 and 30 June 1958 ||67|
|1 July 1958 and 31 December 1959 ||67.5|
|1 January 1960 and 30 June 1961||68|
|1 July 1961 and 31 December 1962||68.5|
|1 January 1963 and 30 June 1964||69|
|1 July 1964 and 31 December 1965||69.5|
|1 January 1966 and later||70|
This change is bound to impact the potential retirement age of Australians going forward. For most, the Age Pension remains a key part of any retirement plan, even when you have superannuation and other investments. Regardless if you are only entitled to a few dollars in Age Pension, you still qualify for the extra benefits such as discounts on prescriptions, council rates and some other household bills. Around 77 per cent of Australians over the age of 65 receive some income support from the government.
What other payments can you apply for prior to reaching pension age?
In terms of government support, the two main payments available for those under pension age is the Disability Support Pension and Newstart Allowance. The Disability Support Pension is extremely difficult to satisfy the medical requirements, and I’m told many new applications are declined. Newstart Allowance has activity test requirements that mean you have to be actively seeking work to be eligible. Though if you’re aged 55+, the activity test requirements are more flexible.
For more information on Newstart Allowance, please see the Department of Human Services website.
Does the rise in the pension age affect your retirement plans? Please share your thoughts below.