Regardless of whether you are eligible for the Age Pension, there may be a range of other benefits that are available to you as a as a retiree or senior, such as travel concessions, cheaper medicines and reduced council and water rates.
A free, confidential service run by the Department of Human Resources to provide financial information. They also run free 'living in retirement' seminars. To find out more or to speak to a FIS officer, visit their website.
For retirees (even if you’re not of pension age), there are two types of concession cards that provide a range of benefits, including help with the cost of medicines:
Generally if you are over 60 and work less than 20 hours per week, you can get a government seniors card, which offers discounts to a range of commercial businesses and some public services. Each state has their own eligibility rules so your state may be different:
If you have to pay income tax, you may be able to take advantage of tax offsets designed for senior Australians. They are based on age, income and eligibility for government pensions, and allow you to earn more income. Find out more about the seniors and pensioners tax offset.
If you and your family see many doctors and specialists during the year, the Medicare Safety Net will reduce your out-of-pocket expenses once you've spent a certain amount.
The government has created a 'safety net' threshold to help families with the cost of medicines. Once you spend up to the threshold, medicines will be less expensive or free for the rest of the calendar year. Apply for your Medicare PBS Safety Net Card at your pharmacy.
In addition to the Age Pension, you may be eligible for a carer's allowance.
You may want to continue to work past age pension age. The government’s Work Bonus is an incentive for pensioners to remain in the workforce past pension age by increasing the amount you can earn before your pension is reduced. You do not need to apply for the Work Bonus. If you receive eligible employment income, they will automatically apply the Work Bonus to your income test.
A number of pensions and benefits may apply to you – to find out more visit the Department of Veterans' Affairs website.
As part of your financial plan, it’s crucial to know if you qualify for the Age Pension and how much you could receive. (Source: CommBank)
It's rarely a one-size-fits-all question, but it's a good idea to know how a lump sum payment may affect your Centrelink and/or pension entitlements. (Source: Financial Planning Association)