If you’re retired and receiving an income from your super, you might also be able to receive the age pension to help supplement your income.
This is because Australia’s retirement income system operates via three key pillars:
- A means-tested age pension
- Compulsory superannuation savings; and
- Voluntary private savings, both inside and outside the super system
The idea is that, rather than Australians relying solely on the age pension, the three pillars can work together to help people live out a comfortable retirement.
How many Australians receive the age pension?
While Australia’s super system has decreased reliance on the age pension for new retirees, research has found that 25 per cent of retirees aged 66 are still receiving the full age pension, with another 20 per cent are receiving a part age pension. Fifty-six percent of retirees aged 66 don’t receive the age pension.
With this in mind, the age pension is built into a number of models that estimate what kind of super balance you might need at retirement.
For example, ASFA’s Retirement Standard expects that the retiree owns their own home and will eventually begin accessing the age pension. This Standard estimates a single retiree will need a lump sum of $595,000 and a couple will need $690,000 at retirement to enjoy a comfortable retirement.
Similarly, if you calculate your potential retirement income with our Retirement Income Simulator, you may find it will factor in income from the age pension a few years into your retirement.
What’s the eligibility criteria?
There are three main eligibility criteria to access the age pension:
To receive the pension, you generally need to have been an Australian resident for at least 10 years in total. For at least five of those years, there must be no gap in your residency.
Income and assets testing
If you fulfil the residency requirements and have reached your qualifying age, you will then go through the income and assets tests.
Sometimes called means testing, this will see the government assess the value of your assets and any income you receive. Your assets are broadly defined as ‘property or items you or your partner own in full or part, or have an interest in’.
The value of your assets and income will affect the amount you receive from the age pension.
You can learn more about the types of assets and income that are assessed, and the types that are excluded, here.
This depends on the year you were born and is called your qualifying age.
Find your qualifying age: