On 1 July the income and assets thresholds for Age Pensions will change.
This is a timely reminder for people who have previously been ineligible that it’s worth taking another look. We’ll let you know as soon as Centrelink announces the new amounts. And you can use our free Age Pension Eligibility Calculator at any time to work through your entitlements.
You may feel that reworking the sums or reapplying for an Age Pension is a lot of work for not much.
You would be wrong on both accounts.
Using the above mentioned calculator is quick and free. It does all the complicated calculations on income, assets and deeming rates.
And thinking a small Age Pension is only worth a few dollars a fortnight is also an error. Recipients of any Age Pension, be it part or full, receive valuable supplements. These are currently worth up to $78.40 per fortnight or $2038.40 per year in pension supplements and up to $14.10 per fortnight or $366.60 per year in energy supplements
Additionally, if you qualify, you will automatically be sent a Pension Concession Card. It is impossible to share a specific value for this card as it depends a lot on your need for pharmaceutical and medical services, your transport needs, rates and utilities, as well as your state or territory of residence. Conservatively, however, we would expect such a card to deliver between $3000 to $4000 of discounted services per year.
Last week our team assisted Marian who was recently widowed. She is now a single homeowner with total assessable assets of $670,000. She wants to retire, but her assets exceed the current maximum threshold of $634,750. This means that she is ineligible to receive the Age Pension.
Included in her assessable assets is a valuation of $50,000 for the contents of her home. We suggested that this could be valued at ‘garage sale’ returns, so she has adjusted this to $10,000. This will now make her eligible to receive a very small part-Age Pension of $14 per fortnight or $364 a year. Her daughter suggested that it wasn’t worth the time and trouble to reapply, for just under $400 per annum.
But we politely begged to differ.
By qualifying for an Age Pension of $364 per annum, Marian will also benefit by an extra $2405 per year in supplements. She will also be eligible the extra $3000-$4000 worth of benefits from holding a Pension Concession Card. She will also probably be a recipient of the extra $350-$500 state or territory-based energy payments when they come through later in the year. All-in-all, quite a lucrative return for bothering to reassess the assets included in Marian’s Centrelink application.
|Marian’s part-Age Pension entitlements||Fortnightly||Per Year|
|Pension Concession Card ($3000-$4000, say $3500)||$3500|
As mentioned above, Marian is also expecting to gain from a one-off energy rebate announced in the May Federal Budget. It’s worth remembering that there were many similar special payments made to those holding concession cards during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s clear that eligibility for an Age Pension, regardless of how small an amount, can certainly help toward many household bills.
What about you?
Are you ‘almost’ eligible, and so keenly awaiting the new 1 July thresholds?
Or are you already benefitting from the above Age Pension associated payments?
Has your experience been a good one? Or do you need to check if you are eligible?