A Financial Services Partners Adviser can assess how Centrelink can help you reach your retirement goals.
What is Centrelink?
Centrelink is a service provided by the Federal Government. It delivers a range of services and payments to a wide variety of people. These include retirees, the unemployed, families, carers, parents, people with disabilities, Indigenous Australians, and people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Centrelink provides services at times of major change.
At retirement, you may be eligible to receive income support
The age pension is paid by the Government to help retirees achieve a minimum level of income in retirement. You can lodge an application with Centrelink to receive the pension. How much you receive will depend on whether you own your home, your marital status, as well as your assessable income and assets. It is often beneficial to speak to a financial adviser before you lodge your application.
Age pension age
The age pension provides income in retirement, so you need to be a certain age before you can apply. For men, the pension age is 65. The age for women is increasing to 65, as shown in the table below.
|Date of Birth||Qualifying Age|
|1 January 1946 to 30 June 1947||64.0|
|1 July 1947 to 31 December 1948||64.5|
|1 January 1949 and later||65.0|
The pension age will increase to 67 for both men and women from 1 July 2023. This increase will be phased in from July 2017 with the pension age increasing every two years by six months.
Under the residency rules, you must be living in Australia to receive the Government pension. Alternatively, you must have been an Australian resident for at least 10 years, with at least five of these years in one continuous period.
Income and assets tests
The amount of pension you receive is calculated under two means tests – the income test and assets test. The test that results in the lower rate of payment is the one that applies.
You are required to notify Centrelink of changes in your circumstances that would impact your entitlement. This includes switching investments, giving money or changes to your personal circumstances, such as separating from your partner.
There is a lot to consider and your financial adviser can help you navigate through the Centrelink support system, ensuring you get access to your full entitlements.
What kind of goals can Centrelink support be used for?
Centrelink can help you:
- access the age pension (your retirement income)
- supplement your retirement income with other investments you have
- access the pensioner concession card which can be used for the bulk-billing of doctors appointments and claiming back medical expenses. State and territory Government benefits include council rate reductions as well as telephone, electricity, car registration and travel discounts.