Are you aware of the FREE resources available to help in planning for retirement and your pension availability? The Australian Government Department of Human Services has online information to assist with retirement planning, income support, concession card availability and other support services.
Planning for Retirement – Seminars and Phone Help
You can attend a free Financial Information Service (FIS) seminar to help with your retirement planning. FIS seminars provide information about how to prepare for retirement, understanding your pension and living in retirement. You can also phone 132 300 and ask to speak to a FIS officer. If possible, your questions will be answered over the phone. If there are complex issues to be discussed, the FIS officer may offer to arrange an appointment for you.
If you have reached age pension age, the Age Pension may help to support you. To qualify you must first satisfy age and residence requirements. How much you can get depends on your income and assets and other circumstances. If you are a self-funded retiree or still working part time, you may be able to get a partial pension. If you have lived or worked outside of Australia and are claiming or receiving Age Pension here, the Australian Government may also ask you to apply for a pension from other countries you have lived or worked in.
If you are legally blind, you may get an Age Pension (Blind) which has no income or assets test.
There are other payments and supplements available as well. For instance, the Pension Loans Scheme can help you if your capital is tied up in assets and you need more income to live on.
There is also the Online Estimator there – what Age Pension you may be able to get – click the button on the page
Working Past Age Pension Age
You may want to continue to work past age pension age.
There is the Work Bonus – an incentive for pensioners past age pension age to remain in the workforce by increasing the amount you can earn before your pension is reduced. You do not need to apply for the Work Bonus. If you receive eligible employment income, we will automatically apply the Work Bonus to your income test.
For people who reached age pension age before 20 September 2009 the Pension Bonus Scheme & Pension Bonus Top-up which provide a lump sum incentive for older Australians to remain in the workforce and defer claiming Age Pension. To be eligible, you must be a registered member of the scheme. Conditions apply.
Pensioner Concession Card
If you receive Age Pension you will be able to get a Pensioner Concession Card. This gives you access to Australian Government health concessions and helps with the cost of living by reducing the cost of certain goods and services.
You may also get a Pensioner Concession Card if you are aged over 60 and have been receiving other certain income-support payments for nine months or more.
Other Government and Community Support Services
There are a range of government and community organisations that provide support services and useful information you may find helpful, and worth exploring. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety or stress, you may find it helpful to talk to somebody about your situation, and several avenues of help are listed with links to contact their offices. At myagedcare there is information on a wide range of community, aged care and support services. You can find advice about what help is available, assistance at home, aged care homes, and caring for someone. MoneySmart offers tips and useful tools to support people make better financial decisions and help manage their money.
Other useful links include:
- Australians overseas
- Concession and Health Care cards
- Customer service officers
- Looking for work
- Managing your money
- Payments for Older Australians
- Payments for job seekers
- Support for non-parent carers
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