Get us to pay your social security age pension

Last updated: 
16 January 2020

This page explains what an age pension is, what the eligibility criteria are, and who can receive the age pension through DVA. For more information on specific topics contact DVA.

What is an age pension?

An age pension provides a regular income for people with limited means. An age pension is paid to a person who has reached pension age, and is subject to an income and assets test.

The age pension is paid fortnightly, based on daily entitlements. The rate of age pension is reviewed twice yearly, in March and September, in line with movements in the cost of living and/or average wages.

Who is eligible?

An age pension is payable to a person who is of pension age (refer to the section titled ‘What is pension age‘); and

  • has 10 years qualifying Australian residence; or
  • has a qualifying residence exemption for an age pension; or
  • was receiving a widow B pension, a widow allowance, a mature age allowance or a partner allowance, immediately before reaching that age; or
  • if the person reached pension age before 20 March 1997- the person was receiving a widow B pension, a widow allowance or a partner allowance, immediately before 20 March 1997.

Age pension available through DVA

From 26 March 1998, certain veterans (and their partners), who receive a disability pension from DVA, can also have their Social Security age pension, paid by DVA.

What is Pension age?

Your pension age depends on your date of birth.

Age pension age will increase by six months every two years until it reaches 67 on 1 July 2023. Your pension age is determined by the following table:

Male and Female Non-Veterans

If your date of birth is on or between: Then your pension age is:
Before 1 July 1952 65 years
1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953 65 years and 6 months
1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955 66 years
1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956 66 years and 6 months
On or after 1 January 1957 67 years

Age pension and service pension

You cannot receive an age pension as well as a service pension from DVA or any other Social Security pension or benefit (except child-related payments) from Centrelink.

Who is eligible to have an age pension paid by DVA?

You are eligible to receive an age pension from DVA, if you are an Australian veteran and you:

  • receive a DVA disability pension;
  • are of pension age;
  • receive a Social Security age pension, or are eligible to receive it; and
  • do not receive a service pension from DVA, or any income support pension other than age pension from Centrelink.

An age pension may not be payable because of your income and assets, even if you are eligible (refer to the section titled ‘Income and assets tests’).

How do I transfer from Centrelink to DVA?

If you are currently receiving a disability pension from DVA and an age pension from Centrelink, but would prefer to receive your age pension through DVA, you can apply for payment by lodging a Claim for Pension at DVA. DVA will verify your personal details with Centrelink, arrange for Centrelink to stop your payments and for DVA to start paying your pension.

Eligibility for age pension to be paid by DVA - partners

Age pension may be paid by DVA to partners who are:

  • legally married to and living with a veteran; or
  • legally married to, but separated from a veteran; or
  • living in a de facto relationship with a veteran

and the veteran is receiving the age pension through DVA, or at that time the veteran is eligible to receive the age pension through DVA.

Female partners are eligible if they:

  • are at least age pension age; and
  • receive a social security age pension or wife pension, or are eligible to receive an age pension; and
  • do not receive a service pension from DVA, or any income support other than age pension or wife pension from Centrelink.

Male partners are eligible if they:

  • are at least age pension age;
  • receive a social security age pension or are eligible to receive an age pension; and
  • do not receive a service pension from DVA, or any income support other than age pension from Centrelink.

How do I claim?

To claim an age pension through DVA you need to:

  • complete a Claim for Pension; and
  • complete any other forms in relation to your personal, residential and financial circumstances; and
  • provide DVA with sufficient documentation to prove your identity. For more information refer to Proof of Identity Requirements; and
  • provide DVA with your tax file number.

To apply for the age pension contact DVA, where an application form will be tailored to suit your circumstances.

Rates of age pension

There are two different rates of age pension:

  • a singles rate — payable to single pensioners, widows, widowers and partners who are legally married to a veteran but are separated (not divorced) for marital reasons;
  • a couples rate — payable to each member of a couple who are living together, whether legally married or living in a de facto relationship.

If only one member of a couple receives an age pension, the couples rate of pension is paid. If a couple separates because of ill-health or during a period of respite care, each member of the couple may be paid at the singles rate.

Income and assets tests

The amount of age pension you receive depends on your income and assets.

You can have a certain amount of income and assets, and still receive the maximum rate of pension. These limits are known as the income free area and the assets value limit.

Income or assets above the income free area or assets value limit reduces the amount of age pension payable. The age pension ceases to be paid when income or assets exceed certain cut-off limits.

For more information about the income and asset tests and cut-off limits refer to Social Security Age Pension Overview.

Defence Force Income Support Allowance

If the amount of age pension you receive is reduced or not payable due to the inclusion of adjusted disability pension in the income test, you may be entitled to receive the Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA).

For more information about DFISA refer to Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA).

Pension Supplement and Allowances

There are a number of allowances payable to eligible pensioners:

  • pension supplement — payable to all service pensioners, to help with the cost of prescriptions, rates, telephone and internet connections, energy, water and sewerage, rent assistance — payable as part of the pension to age pensioners who pay private rent for their accommodation, subject to minimum rent limits
  • remote area allowance — payable as part of the pension to age pensioners who live in designated remote areas of Australia
  • child-related payments — paid by Centrelink to age pensioners with dependent children.

Eligibility for age pension overseas

In most circumstances payment of your age pension will continue while you are overseas. However, you must notify DVA of your intention to travel, even if you are going overseas for a short period. We will assess your eligibility for continued payment and issue you with a Departure certificate prior to your departure.