Age Pension Rates and Asset and Income Eligibility Tests - Australian Residents
The Australian Government's Age Pension is designed to provide income support for eligible older Australians and is indexed twice each year, on 20 March and 20 September, to reflect changes in pensioners’ costs of living and wage increases. Eligibility is assessed on the basis of your age, residency status and an assessment of your income and assets.
Age Pension Rates from September 20, 2023 to March 19, 2024
|Maximum Rate per fortnight||
|Maximum Pension Supplement||
|Total Fortnightly Rate||
|Total Annualised Rate||
Qualifying for an Aged Pension
To qualify for the Age Pensions, you must:
- Be an Australian resident and reside in Australia on the day that you lodge your claim (you also need to meet the 10-year qualifying Australian residence requirements), and
- Be of eligible age - with the eligibility age gradually increasing to 67 for both men and women, as per the table below:
|If your birthdate is:||You will be eligible at age:|
|1/7/1952 to 31/12/53||65 years and 6 months|
|1/1/1954 to 30/6/1955||66 years|
|1/7/55 to 31/12/56||66 years and 6 months|
|From 1/1/1957||67 years|
Income and Asset Tests
Your age pension entitlement is calculated by reference to how much other income you receive (the "Income Test") and how much your assets are worth (the "Assets Test"). You can have a certain amount of income and assets and still receive the maximum rate Age Pension; but if your income or assets exceed certain thresholds then your Age Pension reduces on a sliding scale. Note that the Test that results in the lowest payment rate will apply.
Age Pension Income Test
Most types of income ("assessable income") are taken into account when determining your Age Pension entitlement, including:
- Financial investments (including money in super funds if you have reached age pension age);
- Employment income (if you are still working); including amounts salary sacrificed into super
- Income from sole trader or partnership businesses
- Distributions or dividends from private trusts and private companies
- Real estate income, including income from rental properties, boarders or lodgers
- Income from outside Australia, including non-Australian pensions
Some financial investments (eg. term deposits, shares, managed funds) are "deemed" to earn a certain rate of income, regardless of what they are actually earning. This is referred to as "deeming" and the rate has been very topical recently, given historically low interest rates).
Current Annual deeming thresholds and rates - effective 1 July, 2023 - are as follows:
|First $60,400||First $102,200||0.25%|
|Over $60,400||Over $102,200||2.25%|
Income Test Thresholds (Residents) effective September 20, 2023 - Fortnightly Income figures
|Full Pension||Part Pension||No Pension|
|Single||Up to $204||Between $204 and $2,397.40||More than $2,397.40|
|Couple Combined||Up to $360||Between $360 and $3,666.80||More than $3,666.80|
|Illness separated (couple combined)||Up to $360||Between $360 and $4,746.80||More than $4,746.80|
Short example of how this works: The pension is reduced by 50c for every dollar of income per fortnight over $204 for single pensioners ($5,304 pa) and $360 for couples ($9,360 pa). So, a single pensioner with an income of $1,000 per fortnight would be limited under the income test to the single rate pension of $1,096.70 less (($1,000 - $204) x 50%)) = $1,096.70 - $398 = $698.70.
|Individual pensioners from July 1, 2019 have also been able to earn up to $300 a fortnight from "personal exertion" without it counting towards the Age Pension Income test - this is called the Work Bonus. The Bonus was increased by $4,000 for the 2022/2023 financial year and the additional increment now applies until 31 December 2023.|
Age Pension Assets Test
The value of the various assets you own are taken into account when determining your Age Pension entitlement. Generally, the value of the assets is based on what you would receive for them if you sold them at market value.
Assessed assets include (but are not limited to):
- Real estate assets (excluding your principal home – unless it is used to conduct a business or it is on more than 2 hectares of land)
- Life interests (eg. where you transfer an asset to another person but retain an interest in the asset)
- Retirement village entry contributions – if you pay less than the threshold ( $242,000 as at 1/7/2023), you are considered to be a non-homeowner and your entry contribution is included in the assets test. The threshold is called the "extra allowable amount" (EAA) and is the difference between the asset limit for home owners and non-home owners
- Financial investments
- Superannuation investments (super owned by you or your partner is included in your asset test if the owner is over age pension age)
- Income streams
- Business assets
- Funeral investments (although there are a range of different funeral investments that may be either partially or fully exempt from the assets test)
Asset Test Thresholds effective September 20, 2023
|Full Pension: Assets less than||Part Pension: Assets between||No Pension if Assets exceed|
|Single||Homeowner||$301,750||$301,750 and $667,500||$667,500|
|Non-Homeowner||$543,750||$543,750 and $909,500||$909,500|
|Couple (combined)||Homeowner||$451,500||$451,500 and $1,003,000||$1,003,000|
|Non-Homeowner||$693,500||$693,500 and $1,245,000||$1,245,000|
|Illness separated (couple combined)||Homeowner||$451,500||$451,500 and $1,183,000||$1,183,000|
|Non-Homeowner||$693,500||$693,500 and $1,425,000||$1,425,000|
Short example of how this works: The age pension is reduced by $3 per fortnight for every $1,000 above the requisite asset threshold. So, for a single, home owning pensioner with $500,000 in assets the pension is reduced by (500,000 - $301,750)/1000 x $3 = $594.75 = Pension of ($1096.70 - $594.75) = $501.95 pfn.
Determining whether you are entitled to a pension and to what amount can be complicated, and the above summary and scenarios are a useful guide but may not be all inclusive. We also have an Age Pension Calculator available to assist in determining your eligibility and entitlement to a pension.
Both the commentary above and our calculator should be read in conjunction with the information on The Australian Government's Department of Human Services website.
Note also there are several strategies you could consider which may help you optimise your income and asset base to ensure you are entitled to the maximum Age Pension possible.
If you would like to arrange professional advice in relation to the above matters, please complete the Inquiry form below providing details and you will be contacted accordingly. You will receive a fee quotation in advance of any advice or services being provided.
|Please note prior to making any Inquiry: Financial regulations regarding the provision of specific advice mean that it is impossible for us to provide assistance unless it is provided as part of professional advice for which fees will apply. If your circumstances are not complex and don't require paid professional advice you should direct any queries in relation to the Age pension directly to Centrelink.|