There are three factors to consider in determining when to apply for Age Pension entitlements in Australia:

• Your age and, where relevant, your partners age
• Application process
• Other eligibility criteria

Age Requirements for the Age Pension

The Australian government will not formally grant Age Pension entitlements until you reach the legislated age that applies in your circumstance. From July 1st, 2017 the current retirement age is 65 years and 6 months, however the government recently introduced a series of tiered increases to the retirement age over future years.

During the next five years, the retirement age will increase by six months every two years. Refer to the table below for details:

So, the answer for when to apply for Age Pension will vary for each individual, depending on date of birth.

Age Pension Application Process

When to apply for your Age Pension is also influenced by the application process. Centrelink allows prospective age pensioners to submit a claim 13 weeks before reaching their pension eligibility age. You don’t have to claim early but the benefit of doing so means you start receiving your age pension entitlements earlier including the discount benefits provided via the Pensioner Concession Card.

Either way, you need to formally advise the government that you are eligible and that you want to claim access to your age pension entitlements. You must then submit your claim within 14 days.

Age Requirements for the Age Pension

(Retirement Essentials provides a new, smarter way to apply for the Age Pension. )

Other Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility age is perhaps the single most important qualifying prerequisite, but the other criteria that need to be met when applying for Age Pension entitlements include:

• Qualifying under Centrelink’s Means Test limits – both the Assets Test and the Income Test
• Whether you are a single or part of a couple relationship
• Whether you the home you live in is owned, rented or other
• You must be an Australian resident status for at least 10 years with a minimum of 5 consecutive years living in Australia
• You must be physically present in Australia on the day you submit your claim

You can find more comprehensive information about how Centrelink calculates your Age Pension payment amounts HERE.

Check your Age Pension eligibility today

In most cases, when to apply for the Age Pension starts with a simple eligibility check.

Retirement Essentials can help you calculate your age pension entitlements according to your individual circumstances and needs. We’ve simplified the process to make it easier for more Australian seniors to get and keep their Age Pension. By using our retirement experience and expertise, and new technology, we aim to help everyday retirees build confidence in managing their finances – and do it very cost effectively.

For more information, call Retirement Essentials on 1300 527 727.