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Changes to the Age Pension have arrived

As of 1 July 2021, the qualifying age for the Age Pension has increased to 66 years and six months.

That means if you were born during the period of 1 July 1955 and 31 December 1956, you must be aged 66 years and six months to be eligible for Age Pension. 

Indeed, since 1 July 2017, the qualifying age for Age Pension has been gradually increasing from 65 to 67. On 1 July 2023, the Age Pension age will increase to 67.

Period within which a person was born

Pension age

Date pension age changes

From 1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953

65 years and 6 months

1 July 2017

From 1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955

66 years

1 July 2019

From 1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956

66 years and 6 months

1 July 2021

From 1 January 1957 onwards

67 years

1 July 2023

The Age Pension is designed to provide income support to older Australians who need it, while encouraging pensioners to maximise their overall incomes.

Pension rates are indexed to ensure they keep pace with Australian price and wage increases.

Additional requirements

Aside from having the correct date of birth, in order to qualify for the Age Pension there are a few other requirements that you must meet.

First of all, you must be an Australian resident (that is, living in Australia on a permanent basis) and in Australia on the day the claim is lodged. You must also satisfy one of the following:

  • be an Australian resident for a total of at least 10 years, with at least five of these years in one period; or
  • have a qualifying residence exemption; or
  • be a woman who is widowed in Australia when both she and her late partner were Australian residents, and who has 104 weeks residence immediately before the claim; or
  • be receiving Widow B Pension, Widow Allowance or Partner Allowance immediately before reaching pension age.

Special rules apply to residence in countries with which Australia has an International Social Security Agreement. Residence in these countries may count towards the minimum 10-year residence requirement.

The Age Pension is also subject to an income test and an assets test. Pensioners are paid under the test that produces the lower rate of payment.

Work bonus

The Work Bonus provides an incentive for pensioners over Age Pension age to work, should they choose to do so, by allowing them to keep more of their pension when they have income from working.

Under the Work Bonus, the first $300 of fortnightly income from work is not assessed as income under the pension income test. 

Any unused amount of the fortnightly $300 Work Bonus will accumulate in a Work Bonus income bank, up to a maximum amount of $7,800.

The amount accumulated in the income bank can be used to offset future income from work that would otherwise be assessable under the pension income test. Furthermore, the income bank amount is not time limited; if unused it carries forward, even across years.

Most Age Pension payments are made by Department of Human Services (DHS), however age pensioners who also receive certain compensation payments from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) have the choice of having their Age Pension paid by either DVA or DHS.

For further information about the Age Pension, you can contact the Department of Human Services on 132 300 or visit the Age Pension section of their website; or, if you are a veteran, go to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website or phone 132 300.