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3.4.1 Age Requirements

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Last amended: 14 May 2012

Overview of age requirements

Pension age and qualifying age are criteria used in determining eligibility for specific categories of service pension. Pension age also has application in relation to certain assessment issues, taxation issues and eligibility to participate in certain schemes.

Age equalisation for females

    

The age for females has progressively increased since 1 July 1995 in six-month increments every two years. By 1 January 2014 the pension age for females will be the same as the pension age for males. Note: Age equalisation applies to veteran pension age, qualifying age and age pension age.    

More ?

Age Equalisation for Females

Section 3.4.2

More ? (go back)

Increase to pension age for persons other than veterans

    

From 1 July 2017 pension age for non-veterans will be increased by six-months every two years and will reach 67 in 2023.  The increases do not apply to veteran pension age.  The following table provides a guide to the gradual increase to pension age for male and female non-veterans.

Male and female non-veterans

Date of birth (both dates inclusive)

Pension age

1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953

65 years and 6 months

1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955

66 years

1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956

66 years and 6 months

On or after 1 January 1957

67 years

Age requirement for age service pension

    

VEA ?

Age Service Pension

Section 36(1) VEA

Pension Age for veterans

Section 5QA VEA

VEA ? (go back)

Pension age for a veteran is specified in section 5QA of the VEA. The age service pension is similar to the Centrelink age pension. However, in recognition of the effects of their service, pension age for a veteran is less than pension age for other persons. The pension age for a female veteran is gradually being increased under age equalisation, to bring them into line with the pension age for male veterans.     

Age requirement for partner service pension

    

VEA ?

Qualifying age definition

Section 5Q(1) VEA

VEA ? (go back)

An eligibility criteria for partner service pension is that the partner is required to have attained qualifying age. However, under specified circumstances partners may not need to meet this age requirement.     

Impact of age on ISS recipients

There are no age restrictions on a person's eligibility for ISS. However, for certain assessment rules, taxation and eligibility to participate in certain schemes, pension age or qualifying age for an ISS recipient may be applicable.    

Impact of age on other issues

Pension age may also impact issues other than pension eligibility, such as:

Verification of age

The primary documents used to confirm a person's age are a:

  • birth certificate, or
  • certified extract from a birth entry.

Note: It is important that the claimant is identifiable as the person named on the certificate or extract.

If either of these documents does not satisfactorily identify the claimant, it will be necessary to obtain evidence of age from another source, such as:

  • passports,
  • old records of membership in various organisations,
  • marriage certificates, or
  • service documents.

The documents listed above are related to verification of a person's age and some may not be acceptable proof of identity documents.    


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.

Qualifying age is defined in section 5Q(1) of the VEA and is equivalent to the pension age for a veteran which is described in section 5QA VEA as:

  •       60 years for a male,
  •       for females subject to age equalisation (refer to the table in section 5QA VEA).

A service pension is an income support payment broadly equivalent to the social security age and disability support pensions. It may be paid once a veteran or partner has reached the nominated age or is incapacitated for work.

Age Pension Age refers to pension age as defined under the Social Security Act 1991, that is, pension age for people other than veterans.

 

 

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.

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:

 

 

Centrelink is a Government service delivery agency responsible for delivering a range of Commonwealth Government services (including social security pensions and allowances) to the Australian community through a network of more than 400 Centrelink offices.

An age pension is a means tested income support payment paid by Centrelink  or DVA on behalf of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The majority of age pensions are paid through Centrelink. However, eligible veterans  who have an accepted disability or receive a disability pension from DVA, but do not have qualifying service, may be paid their age pension by DVA. Their partner may also receive their age pension from DVA, if eligible.

 

 

A person's 'partner' is someone who is a member of a couple with that person.

Qualifying age is defined in section 5Q(1) of the VEA and is equivalent to the pension age for a veteran which is described in section 5QA VEA as:

  •       60 years for a male,
  •       for females subject to age equalisation (refer to the table in section 5QA VEA).

ISS is an income support payment that may be paid to eligible war widows and widowers under the VEA and persons receiving wholly dependent partners' compensation under the MRCA, and who satisfy the means tests. It is an indexed rate, increased twice-yearly in March and September in line with changes to the cost of living and/or average wages. Income Support Supplement (ISS) legislation commenced on 20 March 1995. It is a payment created to replace the ceiling rate income support age, carer, wife and disability support pensions, paid to war widows/widowers by Centrelink.

 

 

Service documents are records of a veteran's service in the defence forces. They can be obtained from the Department of Defence and are used to substantiate a veteran's claim.