When planning for your transition to retirement, it’s important to take the time to read up about the age pension and understand exactly what this is and what it encompasses.
Some people make the mistake of thinking that once they retire the government will provide them with the money that they need to get by, no questions asked. This is often not the case!
Here are a few key things that you need to know about the age pension.
how old do I need to be?
At the moment, the minimum age required to qualify for the pension (for people born between January 1 1949 and June 30 1952) is 65.
However on July 1 2017 that requirement will go up, and you will need to be at least 65 and a half years old in order to qualify for the pension.
What’s more is that this limit will continue to increase by six months every two years. By July 1 2023, the minimum age to qualify for the pension will actually be 67-years-old and this is a very important thing to take into account.
how much pension will I receive?
The exact amount of age pension you are entitled to will depend on the results of an income and assets test. Your family situation (whether or not you are living alone or with a partner) will also come into account.
The best way to determine exactly how much pension you will receive is by seeking professional retirement advice. That way you can also put in place a retirement plan to ensure that no matter how much pension you might receive, you will be able to enjoy the retirement that you deserve.
are there any other requirements?
In order to qualify for the pension you must meet a few other criteria, on top of meeting the age limits that were explained above.
The most important thing is that you must be an Australian resident. This means that you must be living in Australia and be either an Australian citizen or holding a permanent resident visa.
Another way to qualify is by holding a protected special category visa, which applies to certain New Zealand citizens who meet the correct criteria.
what if my circumstances change?
It’s important that if your circumstances change at any point during your retirement, you contact the Department of Human Services as quickly as possible.
This includes things like changes to your address, living arrangements or income. If you don’t inform Human Services in a timely manner you might have to pay some of your pension back, or even be charged with fraud.
One last thing to add is that there are other benefits and assistances that people in retirement can apply for. This includes Rent Assistance and the Pension Supplement. Once again, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a professional in order to discuss these options and set in place a strong retirement plan.
we can help
If you are thinking about planning for your retirement, we can help. Why not get in touch by calling 1800 626 881 or by using the ‘contact us’ tool on our website.