Rewarding retirement: concessions and benefits for retirees
You’ve worked hard. Now is the time to enjoy a new lease of life after work – and reap the rewards.
By Michael Jefferies - 3 min 20 sec read
A little about Michael
As a Member Solutions Consultant at Russell Investments, Michael Jefferies understands all the ins and outs of super and retirement legislation, and loves to answer questions and help members.
After years of working hard and paying your way, you will be looking forward to a future in retirement where you can spend your time—and your money—as you wish.
Fortunately, there are numerous benefits and concessions available to seniors that will help you make the most of the money you’ve saved for retirement.
One of the biggest benefits available to retirees is the tax concession on superannuation pension accounts for people aged over 60. When you reach the age at which you can access your superannuation (also known as preservation age) and retire, you can shift your super savings into a pension account. After age 60, income streams or lump sums you draw from that account are tax free, as are earnings, such as interest and capital gains, on the investments held within the super pension account.
Investments you hold outside of a superannuation pension are still subject to tax at your marginal tax rate—although if your taxable income is below the tax-free threshold and other offsets, such as the Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offset, you may not need to pay tax outside of super either.
Depending on a range of eligibility criteria such as your assets and income, you may be entitled to receive the Government Age Pension (Refer to our masterclass for more information). Applying for the Age Pension can be time consuming—but is well worth the effort.
The maximum Age Pension is currently around $25,311 a year for a single person and $38,158 a year for a couple combined. Even if you qualify for a single dollar’s worth of Age Pension, you will gain access to additional pensioner concessions and benefits which can bring you significant savings.
For example, Age Pension recipients may also be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or Pensioner Concession Card, which entitles them to cheaper health care. Some pensioners may receive extra payments to help with energy costs—welcome news when energy prices are set to rise by up to $369 a year in NSW, up to $119 in Queensland, and up to $198 a year in South Australia.
Each State and Territory has its own concessions for pensioners and seniors, such as discounted utility bills, property and water rates, public transport fares, and motor vehicle registrations. You can check your local council’s website for information on what’s available in your area, and this useful table complied by Services Australia includes links to what’s offered in each state.
|State or territory||Resource|
|ACT||You can apply for a Seniors Card on the ACT Government Community Services website.|
|NSW||The NSW Government website has information for seniors.|
|NT||You can apply for the NT Seniors Recognition Scheme on NT.GOV.AU|
|SA||You can find more help for seniors on SA.GOV.AU|
|TAS||You can apply for a Seniors Card on the Tasmanian Government Discounts and Concessions website.|
|QLD||You can check your eligibility for concessions on the Queensland Government website.|
|VIC||The Seniors Online Victoria website has information for seniors.|
|WA||You can apply for a Seniors Card on the WA Department of Communities website.|
Source: Services Australia
In addition to the financial benefits available from various levels of government, private businesses often offer seniors deals and discounts—when in doubt, there’s no harm in asking. It could mean an extra trip to the movies or a big discount on a slice of delicious cake. Paying less for the goods and services you use every day will help to stretch your retirement savings further and keep more in your pocket to spend on life’s little luxuries.
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