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Impact of Equalisation


Last amended: 1 July 2008

Overview of age equalisation for females


Under age equalisation[glossary:,:] pension age for females is being gradually increased, the first increase effective from 1 January 1996. It increases in six-month increments every two years so that by 1 January 2014 the pension age for females will be the same as the pension age for males.

Why age equalisation was introduced

The increase in pension age for females is in recognition that females:

  • live longer than males,
  • now have an increased participation in the labour force,
  • level of wages can be expected to further increase in the future, and
  • have increased access to superannuation.
Eligibility exceptions

The increase in pension age will not affect the eligibility of the following groups:

Superannuation managed investments

Irrespective of what age a female is granted service pension, the pension age (or qualifying age if granted income support supplement) applying at the time of the assessment will be used to determine when any superannuation fund investment they hold becomes assessable under the income and assets test.    

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Superannuation Funds

Chapter 10.4

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Irrespective of what age a female is granted pension, the pension age that is current at the time the pension is received is used to determine whether or not her pension payment is taxable. For taxation purposes, pension age refers to the definition under the Social Security Act 1991, which is the same as the definition for pension age for non-veterans under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.    

In order to bring pension age for women in line with that required of men, age equalisation was introduced on 1/7/95. This will increase pension age in six monthly increments every two years for a period of 20 years. Refer to the age equalisation tables in section 5QA of the VEA and section 5QB of the VEA.



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.

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.

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.