Monday, March 02, 2009

Aged Pension

Yesterday I described the Health Scheme in Australia and my soon being eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. While I am certain to be eligible for the card, I may not need it if I become eligible for an Aged Pension which will provide me with all of its advantages and more.

Since turning 60 I have possessed a Seniors Card. This is a State card and gives me concessions at various commercial establishments. Five per cent off my coffee at one chain is the concession I most use.
However its main advantage is a Senior ticket on all transport services around Sydney. I pay $2.50 for a day pass which allows me to travel 80km by train to the city and jump on and off trains, buses(government and private) and ferries all day. It extends for about 200km from the city so my Monday hiking group makes great use of it. I would not be able to worship regularly at St James, King Street without it. It is a marvellous scheme and does not depend on my income or assets as long as I am over 60 and not working 20 hours per week.

However when I turn 65 I can apply for an Aged Pension. This will depend on my income and assets (other than my house). I will not get a full pension but hope to gain a part pension. I own the block of land next to my house and it needs to be valued. Selling it would lose me my view over the valley and it is one of the reasons I am planning to move.

The actual amount I would be given is not so important as all the other advantages of the card including free driver's licence and car registration, cheaper utility bills and cheap transport even interstate. It is also accepted for a discount by many more businesses than the Seniors Card including the Sydney Symphony. Unlike the photo above I will not need to go and collect it. In these enlightened times it is paid direct into one's bank account. Some people do not like to admit they are a pensioner. I have paid taxes all my life and, being single, no kids, received few benefits so I will be happy to finally gain something.

It was of interest to find that I was able to gain a concession on Amtrak in 2007 by showing I was over 63 and our grey hair gained us cheap bus rides in Los Angeles. It did not happen in Washington, New Orleans or New York though.

1 comment:

Doorman-Priest said...

If it is any consolation, I do not think of you as aged.