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Pensions & Benefits

In the period leading up to retirement, careful planning can maximise your financial situation upon retirement thus allowing you to enjoy the benefits of your years of hard work. Being informed can also ensure that you are receiving the benefits that you are eligible for.

Also see our page on Concessions for seniors for information about concessions for seniors in South Australia.

Approaching Retirement

Planning ahead is advisable and there are a number of ways to increase your financial skills and understanding and develop a financial plan that works for you.

If you are approaching retirement the following may be useful.

Centrelink’s Financial Information Service (FIS)
Conducts regular free seminars on a range of financial planning and retirement planning topics. Financial Information Service Officers are also available by appointment, tel. 13 2300.

National Information Centre on Retirement Investments Inc. (NICRI)
A Commonwealth government-funded organisation which provides free, independent information to assist people to make the best possible investment decisions. NICRI does not give individual investment advice.

Pension Bonus Scheme
Both Centrelink and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs encourage people to defer claiming the Age Pension and remain in the workforce by offering them a tax-free lump sum bonus at the end of their working life. For further information - Centrelink or Department of Veterans' Affairs.

See also the Financial Planning section of this website.

The Age Pension

Available to individuals who meet certain residency requirements, are over a specified age and have income and assets under certain limits. There are lower age requirements for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs equivalent pension.

For further information on pensions contact Centrelink or Department of Veterans Affairs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I give away assets without it affecting my pension?
This is referred to as ‘gifting’ and is permissible within certain limits.

2. What is ‘deeming’?
Deeming is a set of rules used to assess income from financial assets. Under these rules, it is assumed that financial investments are earning a certain amount of income, regardless of the income actually earned. This in turn may affect pension payments.

3. Can I still receive my Australian pension if I go overseas temporarily?
In most cases you can continue to receive your pension payment for up to 26 weeks whilst overseas. Some allowances which are paid whilst you are residing in Australia may not be paid for the full period of your overseas stay.

4. Can I also receive a pension from an overseas country?
People who have worked for a period in another country may be eligible for a part-pension from that country. Some foreign welfare supplement payments are not treated by the Australian government as income.

5. What is the Pensions Loan Scheme?
The scheme provides income support in the form of fortnightly payments to people of Age Pension age who own real estate and meet the eligibility requirements.

6. What is an Advance Payment?
The maximum amount of Advance Payment you can get will depend on the payment rate of your main payment.  The amount of the advance is limited by minimum and maximum amounts which are determined by the type and rate of payment you receive..

7. What concessions does my Pension entitle me to?
Seniors Information Service has a fact sheet which details concessions available in South Australia for older people.

Payments to Carers

For information about payments to carers, visit the Carers section of this site.

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Seniors Information Service is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Commonwealth HACC Program.