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What senior concessions are available to you?
From applying for a Seniors Card to accessing your superannuation, there are important concessions that are available to you as you get older. Here, we give you a clear breakdown of the concessions and eligibility criteria depending on the state you live in so you can start accessing the benefits you’ve earned.
For older Australians, the Seniors Card is the ultimate way to get discounts. Each state and territory has its own Seniors Card, with some reciprocal arrangements for using your card when travelling in other states. In a nutshell, it’s a free card that gives you transport concessions and access to discounts from participating businesses on a range of goods and services.
While the majority of the eligibility criteria in each state are the same, some points may differ slightly so make sure you check out your state-specific eligibility below.
Australian Capital Territory
To be eligible for an ACT Seniors Card you must be over 60 years of age, a permanent resident of the ACT and not be in more than 20 hours of paid employment a week. There are about 300 government and non-government businesses that make up the participation organisations that can give you a number of benefits and discounts on goods and services in the ACT.
For more information head to the ACT Seniors Card website.
New South Wales
To qualify for the NSW Seniors Card you must be a permanent resident of the state, aged 60 or over and working no more than 20 hours a week. At the moment there are more than 1.4 million members of the NSW Seniors Card scheme, and over 3,500 businesses participating.
You can find out more at the NSW Seniors Card website.
For those in the Northern Territory (NT), if you are a permanent resident and 60 years of age or older you’ll be eligible for a Seniors Card. You can also get a $55 annual concession on your registration for a private vehicle.
There is more information at the NT Government website.
In addition, the NT also provides a Pensioner and Carer Concession Scheme with financial subsidies as concessions to members for a range of goods and services. The scheme acts as an incentive for people to stay in the NT during retirement, helping all pensioners – but particularly those who are low-income earners and carers.
If you’re a permanent resident of Queensland you’re eligible for a Seniors Card if you are 65 years or older and working less than 35 hours a week in paid employment. Or, if you’re between 60–64 years and working less than 35 hours a week in paid employment, you’re eligible if you also hold one of the following: a Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card, a Commonwealth Health Care Card, a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold, White or Orange card.
Head to the State Government website to find out more.
There are three criteria in South Australia to ensure you’re eligible for a Seniors Card. You must be aged 60 years or older, a permanent resident of the state and not working more than 20 hours a week in paid employment.
There is no income or pension limit and you can find out more on the scheme on the website.
Similar to South Australia, in Tasmania you must be aged 60 or over, a permanent resident of the state and working no more than 20 hours per week in paid employment. Currently in Tasmania there are more than 102,000 registered cardholders and over 700 businesses supporting and participating in the scheme.
Check out the Tasmanian Government website to find out more.
For those in Victoria, to be eligible for a Seniors Card you must be 60 years of age and over, a permanent resident living in the state and working less than 35 hours per week in paid employment, or fully retired. Benefits include discounts from participating business, concessions on public transport, a free Seniors myki and exemption from a fishing licence to fish in Victorian waters.
To find out more, head to Seniors Online Victoria.
In Western Australia you need to be aged 61 years or older, a permanent resident of the state and working less than 25 hours per week, averaged over a 12-month period.
Head to the WA Seniors Card website to find out more.
The Restart allowance may be of benefit to you if you’ve been out of work for more than six months, or you’re an employer. The Restart wage subsidy is a payment of up to $10,000 for a business that employs eligible mature-aged job seekers for 12 months or more.
Accessing your superannuation
Whether you’re working or not, you can access your superannuation when you each the age of 65. Between 60–64 years of age, you can access your superannuation if you have stopped working or never intend to work for more than 10 hours a week. There are limits to how much you can access on a regular basis, with details on the Australian Tax Office website.
Your Age Pension is something you can’t technically access until you’re 65, and this age will continue to go up from this year onwards, with the age increasing to 65 years and six months from 1 July 2017. The qualifying age will then increase by six months every two years to reach 67 years by 1 July 2023. To be eligible, you also have to meet an income and assets test.
Find out more on the details at the Department of Human Services website.
Pensioner Concession Card
You are eligible for a Pensioner Concession Card at any age if you receive payments including the Age Pension, Bereavement Allowance, Carer Payment or a Disability Support Pension. Further details on the concessions, including bulk billing for doctor appointments and higher Medicare benefits, can be found on the Department of Human Services website.
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
To qualify for a Commonwealth Senior Health Card you must be of Age Pension age and meet the income test and residence requirements. It provides discounts on Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription medicines, as well as discounts or concession including bulk billed doctor appointments and cheaper out-of-hospital medical expenses.
With the difference in state concessions and varying eligibility criteria, it’s best to use this information as a starting point so you know how you can benefit.
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