You may be eligible for Commonwealth Government benefits when you retire, depending on the amount of money you have. The main Government benefit is the Aged Pension. Services Australia is the Government Department responsible for government payments.
Eligibility for the Aged Pension
To be eligible for the Age Pension, you must:
- be age 66 or over, from July 2021 you must be aged over 66 years and 6 months
- be an Australian resident and normally have lived in Australia for at least 10 years
- be under the income and asset tests.
Income and assets tests
How much Aged Pension you get depends on your income and assets tests, and whether you are single or have a partner. The income and assets tests measure how much money you earn from all sources and the value of what you own. Your income includes money you get from:
- employment such as wages, bonuses and amounts you salary sacrifice
- investments such as rental properties or shares
- earnings from anywhere outside Australia
- salary packaging
Your assets include things like:
- financial investments such as bank accounts, shares, annuities
- personal assets such as caravans, cars, boats, the contents of your home
- investment properties
- assets you own overseas
Your family home, if you live in it, is not counted as an asset.
Services Australia uses the income and assets tests to work out your pension payment. If your income or assets are above certain limits, your Aged Pension payment will be reduced, or you may not be eligible for the Aged Pension.
The full rate of the Aged Pension is on Services Australia’s pension website:
Applying for the Aged Pension
You can apply for the Aged Pension up to 13 weeks before you reach the Age Pension age.
If you need application forms in your language, you can call Services Australia to arrange a free translation.
Phone 131 202
TTY 1800 810 586
Applying for the pension using online forms
You can apply for the Aged Pension online using a Centrelink online account. You must have a myGov account and a linked Centrelink online account to apply for the Aged Pension online. The Government gives guidance on how to claim online on their website.
Applying for the Aged Pension using paper forms
You can print and complete the claim form and the income and assets form and take them to a Centrelink Service Centre, or return the forms by mail.
Address Services Australia, Seniors Services, PO Box 7808, Canberra BC, ACT 2610
Get assistance from Centrelink with applying for the Aged Pension
You can visit a Service Centre to get help with completing the claim form and the income and assets form, or call the Centrelink Older Persons Line Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm to get help.
Phone 132 300
Phone 131 202 to get assistance in your language
Other Commonwealth Government payments
You may be eligible for the Energy Supplement if you receive the Aged Pension. If you are eligible, the Energy Supplement will automatically be paid with your Age Pension payment.
You may be eligible for Rent Assistance if you receive the Aged Pension and rent your home from a private landlord.
Continence Aids Payment Scheme
If you are an Australian permanent resident and have permanent and severe incontinence confirmed by a registered health professional, you may be eligible for the Continence Aids Payment Scheme.
Pension Loan Scheme
The Pension Loan scheme allows Older Persons to borrow from the Commonwealth Government. Borrowers must be eligible for the pension and own property in Australia. Loan amounts are advanced on a fortnightly basis to allow you to supplement your retirement income, using your property as security.
Getting help with Financial Decisions
Financial Planning organisations that can help you with the financial decisions you may need to make when entering retirement and the later stages of life are listed under Financial Planning and Budgeting matters on our Finances page.