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Basic Eligibility Requirements for Pension Bonus Scheme

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Who is eligible for a pension bonus?

    

In order to receive a pension bonus from DVA, a person must:

The target group includes people who:

  • meet the age criteria -
  • have not received an excluded payment since special date of eligibility (except carer payment, carer service pension or carer income support supplement), and
  • remain in the workforce beyond pension age, or qualifying age, beyond their special date of eligibility, or who have a partner who remains in the workforce and meets the other eligibility criteria.
Who can register for the scheme?

    

From 1 July 2014 the Pension Bonus Scheme was closed to new registrations.

Designated pension and residency

    

To register for the scheme, a person must have been eligible to receive a designated pension. A person must have:

Note: Proof of Identity was not required at time of registration for the scheme, but the delegate must have had sufficient information to determine the person's eligibility for the designated pension.    

VEA designated pension

There are three different types of designated pensions that could have  been deferred by a member of the pension bonus scheme under the VEA. These were:

Social Security designated pension

The age pension is a designated pension for the Centrelink scheme.

Income support restrictions

To receive a pension bonus a person must not have received the following at any time after the person's special date of eligibility:

The person cannot have received another pension bonus paid under the VEA or the social security law.

Exceptional circumstances relief payment (ECRP) is not an excluded payment. It is paid by Centrelink on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and does not come under the SSA.

Note: Some DFISA recipients may be receiving a nil rate of social security payment, but are still taken to be receiving that payment.    

Impact of DFISA on pension bonus eligibility

A person can no longer be a member of a pension bonus scheme or receive a pension bonus if they receive DFISA after the age at which a person would otherwise become eligible for a pension bonus under the VEA or SSA. However, this does not apply if the primary payment of the person was a carer payment.    


Designated pension is defined in section 45TA VEA and relates to the pension bonus scheme. Designated pension means:

  • age service pension, or
  • partner service pension, or
  • ISS.

Designated pension under the Social Security Act 1991 means age pension

 

 

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.

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

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.

A war widow/widower is generally a person who immediately before their partners death, was the partner of, or was legally married to:

Refer to 5E(1) of the VEA for the full definition.

 

 

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).

Excluded payments are income support pensions, benefits or allowances paid by DVA or Centrelink. If a person is in receipt of an excluded payment, they are not able to accrue bonus periods under the pension bonus scheme.

 

 

Special date of eligibility is defined in section 45TB VEA and relates to the pension bonus scheme. A person's special date of eligibility for:

  • age service pension is the first day on which a person becomes eligible for an age service pension,
  • partner service pension is the first day occurring on or after the person reaches pension age and is eligible for a partner service pension,
  • income support supplement is the day the person
    • reaches [glossary:qualifying age:DEF/Qualifying Age], or
    • becomes eligible for income support supplement if this is after the person has reached qualifying age.

If a person is registered under DVA and Centrelink schemes and therefore has 2 or more special dates of eligibility, only the first date is to be counted.

 

 

Designated pension is defined in section 45TA VEA and relates to the pension bonus scheme. Designated pension means:

  • age service pension, or
  • partner service pension, or
  • ISS.

Designated pension under the Social Security Act 1991 means age pension

 

 

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

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.

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

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.

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 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.

 

 

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.

Special date of eligibility is defined in section 45TB VEA and relates to the pension bonus scheme. A person's special date of eligibility for:

  • age service pension is the first day on which a person becomes eligible for an age service pension,
  • partner service pension is the first day occurring on or after the person reaches pension age and is eligible for a partner service pension,
  • income support supplement is the day the person
    • reaches [glossary:qualifying age:DEF/Qualifying Age], or
    • becomes eligible for income support supplement if this is after the person has reached qualifying age.

If a person is registered under DVA and Centrelink schemes and therefore has 2 or more special dates of eligibility, only the first date is to be counted.

 

 

The term social security pension is defined in Section 5Q(1) VEA to mean:

  • age pension;
  • disability support pension;
  • wife pension;
  • carer payment;
  • pension PP (single);
  • sole parent pension;
  • bereavement allowance;
  • widow B pension;
  • mature age partner allowance;
  • special needs pension.



As benefits (pensions) may change, for the most current definition access this link to the Social Security Act 1991

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/comlaw/management.nsf/lookupindexpagesbyid/IP200401781?OpenDocument

 

 

The term social security benefit is defined in Section 5Q(1) of the VEA to mean:

  • widow allowance;
  • youth allowance;
  • austudy payment;
  • newstart allowance;
  • sickness allowance;
  • special benefit;
  • partner allowance;
  • mature age allowance;
  • benefit PP (partnered);
  • parenting allowance.

As benefits (pensions) may change, for the most current definition access this link to the Social Security Act 1991

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/comlaw/management.nsf/lookupindexpagesbyid/IP200401781?OpenDocument

 

 

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.

 

 

Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) is an income support payment to be made by DVA to people whose income support payment under Social Security Law is reduced, or not payable, because of the impact of adjusted disability pension. DFISA is the difference between the person's existing entitlement, and what the entitlement would have been had adjusted DP been exempt, but was assessed in the calculation of rent assistance.

 

 

A Social Security payment refers to the following:

 

 

 

Social Security Act, 1991.