Age Pension Calculator | Canstar
Knowing how much you are likely to receive in old-age pension payments can help you plan for your retirement – and an old-age pension calculator can be a useful tool to get started.
If old age pension is part of your retirement income plan, you are not alone. Federal government figures show that around 2.6 million people received the old-age pension in 2021, i.e. more than three in five (62%) of the population aged 65 and over.
This highlights the valuable role the old-age pension can play in retirement. Some older people may rely on the full old-age pension as their main source of income. For others, a partial payment of the old age pension can be a valuable supplement to other sources of retirement income such as the superannuation.
How much old age pension will I receive?
The old-age pension is adjusted twice a year according to the increase in the cost of living. In mid-2022, the basic age pension was worth $900.80 per fortnight for a single person, or $1,358 for a combined couple. However, with additional supplements, it can be worth a maximum of $987.60 per fortnight for a single person, and up to $1,488.80 for a couple, according to Services Australia, the government agency that administers the superannuation. .
If you are not eligible for the full old age pension payment, you may still be entitled to a partial payment. This not only acts as an income supplement, but it can also qualify you for various discounts through a pensioner concession card, says Services Australia. This card can be used to access cheaper healthcare, medicine and other discounts which may include savings on municipal fares, train fares and motor vehicle registration.
|Normal age pension rate|
|per fortnight||Only||Pair each||Combined torque||Couple separated due to health issues|
|Maximum base rate||$900.80||$679.00||$1358||$900.80|
|Maximum pension supplement||$72.70||$54.80||$109.60||$72.70|
Source: Services Australia, June 2022
How is the old-age pension calculated?
Eligibility for old-age pension depends on several factors. Age is a key factor, as you’d expect. As of July 1, 2021, the minimum retirement age has risen to 66 years and 6 months for anyone born between July 1, 1955 and December 31, 1956.
If you were born on or after 1 January 1957, you will have to wait until you have reached the age of 67 to apply for the old-age pension. According to Services Australia, this will be the retirement age that will apply from July 1, 2023.
If you are unsure, the Moneysmart website offers a retirement age calculator which indicates how old you must be before you can apply for the old-age pension.
Residence rules also apply. According to Services Australia, you generally need to be an Australian resident for at least 10 years to be eligible for the superannuation.
Aside from your age and residency status, eligibility for age pension is primarily based on the assets you own and the income you earn. This means that anyone claiming the old-age pension, as a single person or part of a couple, is allowed to earn a certain income – or own assets up to a given value, before their old-age pension rights old age are reduced or totally eliminated.
Let’s take a closer look at these tests.
The age pension income test
Generally speaking, in mid-2022 a single person can earn up to $180 per fortnight before their age pension eligibility is affected. Once you earn over $180 per fortnight, your old age pension payments will be reduced by 50 cents for every dollar earned over $180.
If you are part of a couple, you can usually earn a combined income of up to $320 per fortnight and still be eligible for full age pension. Income earned above this level will see your old age pension payments decrease at a rate of 50 cents for each additional dollar earned over the $320 threshold per fortnight.
The Age Pension Assets Test
As part of the Age Pension Asset Test, Services Australia says it looks at a wide variety of assets, including financial assets such as bank deposits and retirement savings, and even personal assets such as home contents. and vehicles, as well as business interests.
The value of the assets you can own to qualify for an old-age pension depends on whether you are an owner or not. As shown in the table below, a single person who owns their home can have up to $270,500 in assets and still be eligible for old age pension (income test notwithstanding). A single person who does not own their home can have up to $487,000 in assets to qualify for the old age pension.
|Age Retirement assets test – full pension, in June 2022|
|A couple, combined||$405,000||$621,500|
|A couple, separated due to illness, reunited||$405,000||$621,500|
|One couple, one eligible partner, combined||$405,000||$621,500|
Source: Services Australia, June 2022
Apply for old age pension
Services Australia assesses superannuation entitlements by applying both income and asset tests, then pays the lower amount of superannuation based on the results of both tests.
To apply for the Old Age Pension, you will need to provide various documents to Services Australia. These include your tax file number, bank account details, and information about your income and assets. You will also need to have a myGov account in place as it will be linked to your Centrelink account.
You have several options for applying for your old-age pension. You can choose to make a complaint via the Services Australia website, or print an application form and submit the completed documents to Services Australia. Alternatively, you can make a complaint in person by visiting a Services Australia office. You can find your the nearest Services Australia office here. You can also call Services Australia on 132 300 for help.
You don’t have to wait until you reach retirement age to apply. Services Australia advises you to apply up to 13 weeks before reaching the appropriate age to qualify for the Old Age Pension.
Age pension calculator
The Age Pension eligibility system can seem complex. Given the complexity of the system, the best way to find out what you are entitled to is to speak to someone at Services Australia, who can provide you with an exact figure appropriate to your situation.
That said, when planning for your retirement, knowing in advance whether you qualify for a full old-age pension – or even a partial pension, can help shape your future plans.
A number of companies offer paid support to help older people apply for the old age pension, and some offer old age pension calculators on their websites. For example, you can find an Age Pension calculator at Retirement Essentials, Your retirement and Age Pension Guide.
Although these calculators can be useful, it is important to keep in mind that the age pension calculators should be considered only as a guide. The figures they show for your old age pension entitlements (if any) are an estimate and may not correspond to the old age pension payments that Services Australia decides you are eligible for.
Nevertheless, an old-age pension calculator can give you a starting point for developing a life budget for retirement or planning how you will use your assets to maximize your retirement income when you reach retirement age.
Cover image source: Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock.com.
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