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3.1.2 Age Service Pension
Last amended: 8 September 2006
A person is eligible for age service pension if the person:
- is a veteran,
- has rendered qualifying service,
- has reached pension age, and
- meets the additional residency requirements, if a Commonwealth veteran, allied veteran or allied mariner.
Lodging a claim
Although a person may meet the eligibility criteria for age service pension, such a person will not be granted age service pension unless they lodge a proper claim.
There are a number of situations where a person may be eligible for age service pension, but not payable. For example:
- the person is receiving another income support payment, or
- the rate of pension is nil.
A war widow or widower who is also a veteran may be paid age service pension if they meet the eligibility criteria. However, the maximum rate of that pension may be limited to a ceiling.
Pension age and permanently incapacitated
If a veteran is eligible for age service pension, but is below age pension age and incapacitated for work, they may be eligible for invalidity service pension. The advantage of this is that invalidity service pension is not subject to income tax.
Age service pension is subject to income tax.
Restrictions on dual pensions
Restrictions exist on the payment of dual pensions.
For the purposes of Part VI of the VEA, a reference to a veteran is taken to be a reference to:
- a veteran as defined in subsection 5C(1) of the VEA;
- a member of the Forces as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA; or
- a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA.
For the purposes of Part VII of the VEA, according to subsection 5C(1), veteran means a person (including a deceased person):
- who is taken to have rendered eligible war service, or
- in respect of whom a pension is, or pensions are, payable under subsection 13(6) and
- in Part III and Part VIIC of the VEA includes a person who is:
- a Commonwealth veteran, or
- an allied veteran, or
- an allied mariner.
Qualifying service is one of the criteria used to determine eligibility for certain benefits under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986. Refer to section 7A of the VEA for the full defintion.
Currently, the pension age for a veteran is 5 years earlier than pension age for a non-veteran.
Male Pension Age
- If a veteran = 60 years. Veteran pension age is specified in VEA section 5QA.
- If a Non-Veteran = 65 years. Pension age for non-veterans is specified in VEA section 5QB.
Pension age for a female is subject to age equalisation. Pension age for females is being raised by 6 months every two years, so that by 1 January 2014 the eligibility ages for males and females will be the same.
From 1 July 2017, the pension age for both male and female non veterans born on or after 1 July 1952 will progressively increase by 6 months every 2 years, so that by 1 July 2023, pension age for a non veteran will be 67. Veteran pension age will not change so by 1 July 2023 pension age for a veteran will be 7 years earlier than pension age for a non veteran. A table explaining this gradual increase can be found in 3.4.1 Age requirements.
An allied veteran means a person who:
- has been appointed or enlisted as a member of the defence force established by an allied country; and
- has rendered continuous full-time service as such a member during a period of hostilities
An allied veteran does not include a person who has served at any time:
- in the forces of a country that was, at the time, at war with Australia, or in forces engaged in supporting or assisting the forces of such a country, or
- in the forces that were, at the time, engaged in war like operations against the Naval, Military or Air Forces of Australia
See section 5c(1) VEA
To be a proper claim, the claim must be:
- made in writing;
- in accordance with a form approved by the Commission; and
- accompanied by any evidence available to the claimant that the claimant considers may be relevant to the claim
A war widow/widower is generally a person who immediately before their partners death, was the partner of, or was legally married to:
- a veteran; or
- a person who was a member of the forces; and
- who is receiving:
- a war widow's/widower's pension; or
- a pension that is payable under the law of a foreign country that is, in the opinion of the Commission, similar to a war widow's/widower's pension.
Refer to 5E(1) of the VEA for the full definition.
Age Pension Age refers to pension age as defined under the Social Security Act 1991, that is, pension age for people other than veterans.