Men and women currently aged 65 are eligible for the age pension. However the qualifying age is about to change in future years.
The Government announced in 2009 that the Age Pension age will start increasing from 2017 to reach 67 years of age by 2023.
Five years on in the 2014 Federal Budget, plans were announced to further increase the Age Pension age to 70 years of age from 2035.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: This latest measure to raise the qualifying age to 70 is subject to the passage of legislation.
The lift in pension age will occur in a staggered approach rather than in one swift increase.
Use the following table to work out your qualifying age.
Age Pension age in Australia
|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|
|From 1 January 1957 onwards||67|
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.