From recent responses to topics on the Age Pension we thought we’d update you on the changes that will happen to the Australian Age Pension starting from next year.
Currently you can claim it if you are 65 years or over, subject to residency, income and assets criteria.
Changes to the age we can start to claim it kick in on 1 July 2017 and effect those born on or after 1 July 1952.
From 1 July next year (for anyone planning their retirement now) the qualifying age for Age Pension will increase from 65 years to 65 years and 6 months.
The qualifying age will then increase by 6 months every 2 years, reaching 67 years by 1 July 2023.
The Income Criteria reduces the full pension amount by whatever income you earn by working, or are ‘deemed’ to earn from investments.
If you are a self-funded retiree or still working, you may be able to get a part pension.
If you are single you can earn up to $162 per fortnight before the pension will decrease by 50 cents for every dollar over that.
If you are a couple combined or separated due to ill health your combined income can be $288 per fortnight before your pension will decrease by 50 cents for each dollar over that.
The Assets Criteria describes the sorts of assets that will and will not be included to assess your level of pension.
Over all the major difference is still whether you own your own home or not.
If you don’t own your own home Rent Assistance may change the rates of assistance you receive.
If you are caring for another person, or living with a permanent disability you may be eligible for the Carer’s Pension or the Disability Support Pension before these retirement ages.
You can find the latest information on Pensions and planning for retirement from the Department of Human Services website or any Centrelink office.