At what age do I qualify for an age pension?

By Tuesday, June 13, 2017 2 No tags Permalink 1

If you said 65 you would be correct, but not for much longer.

From July 1 2017, for those people born after July 1 1952, from age perspective for the age pension you will need to be 65 and a half to qualify.

Put very simply, if you were born on June 30 1952 you would qualify for the age pension depending of course on your circumstances at the age of 65.  However, if your mum was a couple of days late giving birth and you were born after July 1 1952 you will have to wait until you are 65 and a half.

The following table will give you an idea of the changes to the qualifying age for age pension, which will take place over the next 7 years;

If your birthdate is: You’ll be old enough at:
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
From 1 January 1957 67 years

This, of course, does not take into account any possible changes in legislation, which may happen over the next 7 years. Do remember the original proposal was to introduce a qualifying age of 70.

It is important to remember that this increase in the qualifying age for age pension will also flow through to qualifying age for a person to receive the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

PK wrote last week about “Adjusting your Retirement Expectations”, pointing out the need to defer your retirement and as most people see the magic age of 65 as the age you retire, the government has in fact done exactly what PK has mentioned –forcible deferred any persons born after July 1 1952 retirement by anywhere up to 2 years.

A bad thing? I am sure everyone’s opinion will be different but I think it is important to remember a couple of very salient facts.

In 1909, when the age pension was introduced with a qualifying age of 65, the average life expectancy for a male in Australia was 56 years of age. Today the average life expectancy of a male in Australia is 79 years and 83 years for women.

If my math is correct based on the 23-year increase in the male life expectancy, representing a 41% increase and applying the same principal to the original qualifying age of 65, today’s qualifying age to apply for the age pension should be – a frightening – 91.65 years!

Of course, there is a multitude of other issues which need to be considered. But, the reality is that the small increase of 2 years introduced over a 6 and a half year period is not the end of the world. For most of us, the need to continue to work for a couple more years will no doubt be beneficial from not only a wealth position but I do believe from a health perspective as well.

For the record, I will not qualify for an age pension until I am 67 and with some smart planning hopefully, will not need to worry about filling in the application.

I will be interested in your thoughts, whether you agree or disagree. Please leave a comment below.

  • Scott Hammond
    June 13, 2017

    Hi Tealey, there’s always lots of debate about whether the full aged pension buys you a decent lifestyle. Any idea what kind of lifestyle the aged pension bought in 1909?

    • Mark Teale
      June 14, 2017

      It is an interesting question and probably a little difficult to provide a definitive answer.

      If we use just the AWE and the full single age pension. Today’s pensioner is a little more comfortable based on the full single age pension being equivalent just under 30% of the AWE.

      In 1909 the full single age pension was equivalent to between 12% and 16% of either the average factory workers wage or the average clerk or managers wage

      PK has even more documentation and research and will provide a further blog on the subject of Cost of Living”

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