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The Benefits of Being a Senior in Australia: Seniors Cards and Beyond

The Benefits of Being a Senior in Australia: Seniors Cards and Beyond
Megan Fraser
Megan Fraser Updated: 27 April 2021
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Aging is no longer something we need to dread. As you move into your golden years, you’ll typically find more freedom than at any other point in your life. Your mortgage is likely to be lower, your adult children no longer rely on you financially, and most importantly, you become eligible for several monetary concessions from the government.

Concessions include access to your state’s seniors card scheme, commonwealth seniors health cards, and age pensions. These are all intended to help you reduce your cost of living while improving your standard of life so that you can enjoy your golden years without having to worry about your finances.

Key facts

  • You’ll be able to apply for a seniors card that’ll provide access to several discounts and concessions.
  • Once you reach an eligible age, you’ll be able to access the age pension and pension concessions card.
  • You’ll be able to find health cover to suit your requirements and apply for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
  • Access your superannuation when you reach an eligible age or find life cover to suit your new phase of life.
  • Save on insurance as a mature individual by comparing policies, changing your lifestyle and keeping an eye out for discounts.

Seniors card schemes

Each state and territory in Australia offers a Seniors card scheme. Holders of this card can typically access discounts on several different services offered by participating businesses in their state. These discounts are usually available for transport, goods, and services. When travelling out of your state, you may also be able to access these benefits from select partners.

To qualify for this concession, you’ll need to meet the eligibility requirements set by your state or territory. Although these are often quite similar, it might be a good idea to check the requirements where you live.

A guide to seniors cards by state

StateEligibilityBenefits
Australian Capital Territory
  • 60 years or older
  • A permanent resident of the ACT
  • Not be in paid employment for more than 20 hours a week
  • 10% discount on motor vehicle registration.
  • 28% discount for electric vehicle registration.
  • Free travel for individuals over 70 on public transport.
  • Discounted fares on public transport for individuals over 60 during peak times and free travel during off-peak times.
  • Discounts at select partner businesses.
  • Reciprocal discounts in other states and territories and New Zealand.
New South Wales
  • 60 years or older
  • A permanent resident of the NSW
  • Work less than an average of 20 hours per week across 12 months.
*Individuals over 60 who work more than 20 hours per week are eligible for an NSW Senior Savers Card.
  • Discounts and special offers at more than 7,500 businesses in the state.
  • Reciprocal rights in other states and territories.
  • Special deals and competitions.
  • A Gold Opal Card entitles you to transport concessions.
Northern Territory
  • 60 years or older
  • A permanent resident of the NT
  • Discounts on goods and services from participating businesses.
  • Free travel on the public bus network in Alice Springs and Darwin.
  • $55.00 annual concession on private vehicle registrations.
  • Reciprocal rights in other states and territories.
Queensland
  • Be a permanent resident of Queensland.
  • Live in Queensland for at least 6 months of the year, and your home address must be shown on your driver license or be registered as your home address with (at least) 1 of the following:
    – Electoral Commission of Queensland
    – Centrelink
    – Commonwealth
  • 60–64 years, working less than 35 hours a week in paid employment and hold 1 of the following: of 1 of the below: Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Health Care Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold, White or Orange card.
  • Or, 65 years or older and working less than 35 hours a week in paid employment
  • Discounts on goods and services from participating businesses.
  • Access to the free Senior Shopper service.
  • A go card for discounts on public transport in South East Queensland.
South Australia
  • Aged 60 years or older.
  • Permanently reside in SA.
  • Employed for less than an average of 20 hours per week across 12 months.
  • Free Adelaide Metro public transport during off-peak periods Monday to Friday and all day on weekends and public holidays
  • Approximately 50% discount on Adelaide Metro public transport services at other times.
  • Specific concessions on your cost of living, energy and water.
  • Retail discounts
  • Interstate concessions.
  • Special offers delivered to you by post or email.
Tasmania
  • A permanent address in the state.
  • Be 60 years or older.
  • Work less than an average of 20 hours a week in the past 12 months.
  • Discounts on a variety of goods and services in the state.
  • Concession rate travel on metropolitan public transport in all states and territories.
Victoria
  • Must be 60 years or older.
  • Be a resident in Victoria.
  • Individuals who work less than 35 hours per week or are fully retired can apply for a card.
  • Individuals who work more than 35 hours per week should apply for the Business Discount Card.
  • Discounts from 4,000 participating businesses.
  • Reciprocal benefits in New Zealand.
  • 5% discount if you buy JB Hi-Fi, David Jones and Priceline e-Gift Cards online.
  • Free and concession public transport.
  • Exemption from a Fishing License to fish in Victorian waters.
Western Australia
  • Aged 63 years or above.
  • An Australian Citizen or hold an Australian Permanent Resident Visa.
  • Reside in Western Australia.
  • Work less than 25 hours per week.
  • Free off-peak travel and concession rates at all other times on Transperth.
  • Rebate on local government rates.
  • Rebate on water service charges.
  • Discounts from more than 600 businesses.
  • Monthly competitions.

Source: Australia.gov.au (March 2021)

Age pension

The age pension scheme is put in place by the Australian government to help aging individuals support their income once they reach an eligible age. You’ll typically receive a monthly payment as well as a variety of different concessions. However, it’s important to note that your relationship and employment status may affect the amount you receive.

Pensioner Concession Card

If you receive payments including the Age Pension, Bereavement Allowance, Carer Payment or a Disability Support Pension, you’ll typically be eligible for a Pensioner Concession Card. As the holder of one of these cards, you’ll generally be able to access a wide variety of discounts and concessions to help you get affordable health care services and medicines.

Access to your superannuation

When you reach the age of 65, you’ll generally be able to access your super whether you’re employed or not. You may also be able to access your super when you reach preservation age and stop working, or you could access it while still working under the transition to retirement rules. To find out when you’ll be able to access your super, it’s best to contact your super fund directly or qualified professional.

The Benefits of Being a Senior in Australia: Seniors Cards and Beyond

Health insurance

As a mature citizen, you’ll have access to health insurance policies for mature adults, which are typically tailored to your unique requirements. These policies typically include private accommodation in a public or private hospital, heart and heart-related services, ambulance cover, hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, palliative care, dental, remedial massage, and optical.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

This card typically provides the holder with a range of concessions and discounts for health care. It’ll generally help you reduce the cost of out-of-hospital medical expenses as well as including bulk-billed doctor appointments. You may also be able to access the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription medicines at a more affordable rate. To qualify for this card, you’ll need to meet residency requirements, income tests and be of Age Pension age.

Life Insurance

Depending on your requirements, you’ll have the option to choose from several life insurance products as an older individual in Australia. Although there are no specific Long-Term Care insurance products available for over 60s, several life cover options can provide you with assistance in your old age. These include term life cover, trauma, modified TPD, funeral cover or living expenses insurance.

How to get cheap insurance as a mature individual?

  • Shop around: Look for a variety of quotes from various insurers. Be sure to compare policies that suit your requirements.
  • Get healthy: By changing your diet and getting a little more exercise, you’ll be able to lower your risks of developing serious conditions like stroke, heart disease and cancer.
  • Look for discounts: Keep an eye out for exclusive offers and discounts that could reduce your premium price — for example, multiple lives on one policy discount, healthy lives discounts or new member deals in the months before the annual health insurance premium increases.

Frequently asked questions and answers

  • How to apply for a seniors card?

    Generally, each state and territory has its requirements for application. However, you’ll typically need to complete the following steps to get your card. First, you’ll need to check your state’s eligibility requirements. Then you’ll send in your application online or via the post. Once your application has been processed, you’ll receive your card in the post.
  • What is the income limit for a commonwealth seniors health card?

    To pass the income test to qualify for the commonwealth seniors health card, you can’t earn more than a certain amount. From September 2020, if you’re a single individual, you can’t earn more than $55,808 per year. If you’re in a couple, you can’t earn more than $89,290 per year. However, if you’re a couple who has been separated by prison, respite care or illness, the income limit is $111,616 per year.
  • What benefits are you eligible for with a seniors card?

    Once you’ve received your card, you’ll typically be able to access a broad range of discounts and concessions. These typically include discounts at major retailers in your state and reciprocal benefits when you travel out of your state or New Zealand, travel concessions and benefits that help you pay for your cost of living. However, it’s important to note that benefits vary according to the state you live in.
  • How much is the aged pension in Australia?

    Typically, you’ll receive different rates from your aged pension depending on whether you’re in a relationship. Single individuals receive around $952.70 per month. Alternatively, if you’re in a couple, you could receive $1,436.20 if you’re in a relationship.

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