Discounts for pensioners

Super and investments 101 | Date Posted: 20 December 2022

It's important to carefully plan your finances to make sure your savings last the distance. When you retire, you may be eligible for government benefits such as the Age Pension or a concession card, which can help your money go further. The kind of benefits you're entitled to generally depends on your age, assets and income. But did you know that even if you don't qualify for the Age Pension, you may still be entitled to other benefits? In this article, Financial Adviser Chris Neesom from Mine Super Financial Advice explores some of the benefits that are available. 

"Generally, to be eligible for the Age Pension, you must be aged 66 or older, be an Australian resident and have lived in Australia for at least 10 years and meet an income and asset test," explained Chris. If you don’t meet these criteria, you may be entitled to some of the below benefits instead.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

This card gets you cheaper health care and some discounts if you've reached Age Pension age. Its most generous benefit is cheaper medicines for medications listed on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme and potentially a higher refund after reaching the Medicare safety net. You may also be able to get other benefits such as lower electricity bills, water rates or public transport fares, depending on your state or territory. "To get this card you need to have reached Age Pension age, meet residency rules and meet an income test. You can't get this card if you receive payments from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans' Affairs," explained Chris. To find out how to claim this card, go to the Services Australia website.

Seniors Cards

A Seniors Card is a free card providing transport concessions and discounts on a range of goods and services from participating businesses, from local shopping and dining to tradies and professional services. Chris highlights that each state and territory has their own seniors card scheme and some reciprocal arrangements are in place for using your card in other states. "Generally, to be eligible you must be a resident of the state, be aged 60 or over and not working more than a set numbers of hours per week in paid employment. The discounts differ per state," he said. 

Health care benefits

The following government benefits can help you save on your health expenses.

  • Medicare Safety Net - reduces your out-of-pocket expenses for seeing doctors after you've spent a certain amount.
  • PBS Safety Net - helps you pay less for medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) after you've reached a certain amount.
  • Free vaccinations - depending on your age, you may be able to get free vaccinations for flu and pneumococcal disease. 
  • Cancer screening - depending on your gender and age, you may be able to receive free early detection screenings for breast cancer and / or bowel cancer.
  • Free annual health assessment - if you're aged 75 or over (or 55 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) you may be able to get a free annual health assessment (but if your doctor doesn't bulk bill, you may have to pay the gap). Ask your General Practitioner (GP) for more info. 

Low cost banking

If you have a Pensioner Concession Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, you may be eligible for a low cost, basic bank account - check with your bank.

Turn to Mine

To help you understand what you may be eligible for, Chris and the team at Mine Super Financial Advice are here to help. Meet the team or request an appointment with Mine Super Financial Advice.