The Government’s Age Pension is a regular fortnightly payment designed to provide retirement income support for eligible older Australians. Many Australians are eligible for the Age Pension, and if you’re among them, you could use it to boost your retirement income.
Determining whether you are entitled to the Age Pension and to what amount can be complicated, and a number of changes affecting the Age Pension occur either annually or more frequently. To give you a bit of an idea of what you could receive, we’ve highlighted some of the key payment rates and changes recently made to the Government’s Age Pension.
Latest Age Pension rates (from 20 September 2021)
There are different rates of Age Pension payments for single and partnered people. The current maximum fortnightly payments are1:
From 20 September 2021
Couple living together
Couple separated due to ill health
Maximum basic rate
Maximum pension supplement
Total per fortnight
The above summary and scenarios are a useful guide but may not be all inclusive. Reaching preservation age and finishing up at work also doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get the Age Pension. Your eligibility is assessed based on your age, residency status and an assessment of your income and assets.
Working out your entitlements isn’t always straightforward. You can find out more regarding your eligibility and entitlement to a pension through Services Australia or visit our checklist to figure out if your eligible for the Age Pension.
Abolishing the work test for retirees
The Government intends to abolish the work test on 1 July 2022. Under the change, retirees aged between 67 and 74 can top up their super without having to satisfy any employment requirement, provided their super is less than $1.7 million in July 2022.
Seek help from a professional
If you’re eligible for the Age Pension and approaching retirement age, you don’t necessarily have to spend all your super before you’re eligible for pension payments.
If you’d like some help assessing your eligibility for benefits, and strategies to maximise your retirement savings, a financial adviser may help set you on the right track. Their job is to help you with every aspect of your financial life, while keeping you on track to achieve your goals.
Start the conversation to see how we can help you. Call us on 1300 765 811.
Deeming rates changes
As part of its response to the economic impacts of COVID-19, the Federal Government announced a reduction to the upper and lower deeming rates used by Centrelink for estimating pensioner incomes.
There was also an increase to the asset thresholds above which the upper rate is applied. The rates below came into effect on 1 May 2020 and remain current in 2021/20222.
Deeming rates 2021/2022
Up to $53,600
Up to $89,000
The higher rate only applies to the amount of assets above the threshold.
The deeming rate is the rate of income the government assumes a person’s financial assets have earned. This rate is used to calculate a person’s income, and it can affect how much Age Pension you could receive.
The financial assets that can be impacted by the deeming rate includes savings accounts and term deposits, as well as managed funds, listed shares and securities and potentially superannuation, depending on your age and other circumstances.
You may be interested in us when it comes to assessing the impact of deeming rates on your income.
Super income stream minimum withdrawal
The Australian Government also temporarily reduced the minimum amount that a retiree must withdraw as a pension from their super each year. The new minimum drawdown rates apply in the 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years3.
2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22
95 or more
Where to go to for more information
Planning for retirement and working out your entitlements isn’t always straightforward. When you think about your retirement and how you’re going to fund it, you may only consider your super balance – but you may also be eligible for additional Age Pension payments.
Find out how your super and the Government Age Pension can work together by contacting Services Australia and speaking to us on 1300 765 811.
To ensure you have sufficient funds to enjoy your retirement, we recommend you also visit the retirement section on our website, which includes a range of tools and resources to help kick-start your retirement planning.
1 Australian Government Department of Human Services – Age Pension: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/age-pension
2 Australian Government Department of Human Services – Age Pension – Deeming Rates: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/deeming
3 Australian Taxation Office – Key superannuation rates and thresholds: https://www.ato.gov.au/Rates/Key-superannuation-rates-and-thresholds
Important information and disclaimer
This article has been prepared by NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited ABN 80 008 515 633 AFSL 236465 (NULIS) as trustee of the MLC Super Fund ABN 70 732 426 024. NULIS is part of the group of companies comprising Insignia Financial Ltd ABN 49 100 103 722 and its related bodies corporate (‘Insignia Financial Group’). The information in this article is current as at February 2022 and may be subject to change. This information may constitute general advice. The information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions based on this information. You should not rely on this article to determine your personal tax obligations. Please consult a registered tax agent for this purpose. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue. The case study examples (if any) provided in this article have been included for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon for decision making. Subject to terms implied by law and which cannot be excluded, neither NULIS nor any member of the Insignia Financial Group accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in the information in this communication.