Heading into retirement can, and should be an exciting time in your life. However, there is a lot to consider and especially with Centrelink planning it can become overwhelming.
The more common payments they provide are Jobseeker, Disability Support Pension (for those unable to work due to a long term condition), Carer Payment (full-time carers), Carer Allowance (providing daily care for someone), and Age Pension (those over age pension age). Each have different income or asset tests that apply to determine what payment you will receive.
For those currently receiving a disability support pension, or carer payment Centrelink will email or post a letter to provide the option to transfer to the age pension 13 weeks before reaching age pension age. Clients will need to advise Centrelink what option they wish to take, and then provide some updates on assets including funds held in superannuation.
Deciding if you should retain your existing payment, or transfer to the age pension will depend on your personal circumstance, and there can be advantages to receiving either payment. Similarly, if you are over age pension age you may be unsure what payment would be in your best interests to apply for. The solution is to speak with a financial adviser so they can consider your overall financial position, and decide what is the best option for you. The below table helps compare some of the key features of each payment.
|Features||Age Pension||Disability Support Pension||Carer Payment|
Same maximum basic rate of payment
If over Age Pension age all benefits eligible for work bonus
|Income & Asset Test||Same income and asset test||Same income and asset test as Age Pension. A special income and asset test applies if the care receiver has no income support payment.|
|Taxable||Yes||Yes after pension age||Yes after carer and care recipient are Age Pension age|
|Reduced rate||Higher rate||Higher rate|
|Respite||Not applicable||Not applicable|
63 days per calendar year
|International portability||Yes, no restrictions||Yes, but restrictions||Yes, but restrictions|
Yes, higher rate
|Ongoing Medical||No care related reviews||Ongoing medical requests and reviews||Ongoing review of care giver and receivers circumstances for qualification|
|Employment/Study limitations||No limitations||Allowed to engage in partial employment up to 30 hrs p/w||Can work up to 25hrs per week, including travel time|
|Extended Land Use||Yes||No||Yes, if over Age Pension age|
Not for age pension
Yes if have Carer Allowance
Supplement paid for both carer payment and allowance
|Bereavement Payment available||Yes, if both receiving income support for 12 months prior||Yes, if both receiving income support for 12 months prior||Yes to carer, if care receiver is single or their partner is not receiving a payment|