Have you ever thought about how to manage your living expenses after retirement? Is there any pension plan available that can assist with the living expenses when you get retirement? The good news is that the Centrelink Age Pension can help. The Centrelink Age Pension is a government scheme that offers eligible Australians income to help them with living expenses when they retire.
Before checking out the eligibility criteria for the Centrelink age pension, you should take a look at the basic details around pension rates and Centrelink deeming rates. This will help in making the application smoother and ensure a greater chance of success.
It’s important to note that the government updates the pension rates on 20 March and 20 September every year. Here are the pension rates below as of 20 March 2021.
Maximum basic rate:
Maximum pension supplement:
Total per fortnight:
Am I eligible for the Centrelink Age Pension?
You should meet the criteria as per government standards to become eligible for getting the Centrelink age pension. You need to combine your Retirement Super Pension with the Government Age Pension!
However, there are some strategies to increase the age pension and receive a better allowance! You need to undergo tests for residency, age requirements, income, and assets too. Once you meet Australian residency standards and the age requirement to access the Centrelink Age Pension, your income test will be taken. This is the process through which all your finances will be assessed by Centrelink. This income test includes assessing funds in both super and pension accounts to determine your Centrelink pension eligibility.
When you are finally eligible for the Centrelink age pension, the Government estimates a certain Centrelink deeming rate to pensioners. Currently, the upper Centrelink deeming rate is 2.25%. Pensions earn this rate if their investments are more than $53,000 for singles and $88,000 for couples. For certain investments below this level, the government uses a lower Centrelink deeming rate of 0.25%. This can help estimate your income too. If needed, the Centrelink pension applicant needs to meet other qualification criteria too.
Travelling might also affect the Centrelink pension. The good news is that you can normally get Age Pension for the whole time you’re not in Australia – even if you live in another country for a while! Although it is important to note that you need to share information if you are going to live in another country, get a payment under a social security agreement with another country, or live in another country for more than 6 weeks.
Another big concern that can affect Centrelink pension is superannuation! If you have any kind of superannuation savings, then they can help support you financially in retirement too. The Age Pension program is designed to offer a safety net to the people who don’t have sufficient superannuation or any such financial resources that can ensure an adequate retirement income.
There are certain limitations to superannuation! When it comes to planning for Centrelink, the age pension of any partners may also be relevant. Once the younger partner reaches the age needed for Age Pension, their super can be included in both of the tests including income tests as well as assets tests. It’s actually a positive, as the super income stream is not a barrier to them. This means that even when they have not initiated to take the benefits of super income, the younger partner is allowed to apply for the Age Pension on his/her own.
You can apply for superannuation online via myGov. You can check with the help of ATO online services – individuals as well as sole traders. And, for the ATO-held superannuation money (NAT 74880) payment, you can download the paper form online.
In addition to this, you can use the DASP online system for both ATO-held super and super funds. You can file an application with the downloadable form. It’s important to note though, that you must use the right form for claiming your super money held through a super fund. It is advised to utilize the form for a departing Australia superannuation payment form (NAT 7204). And, you can send this form directly to the super fund.
It might seem like a complicated process and it sometimes is. If you need effective assistance from pension and retirement consultants, it’s a good idea to a retirement specialist who can help you how to plan your retirement including pension rates and related tasks.
The team at Accumulus will help you break down the complicated pension paperwork and ensure you have a solid financial footing. They also offer services including wealth management and investment advice too.