The Pensioner Concession Card will be reinstated to those who were no longer eligible for the pension due to the changes to the assets test change introduced on 1 January 2017.
This means that seniors will regain access to State and Territory based concessions that were withdrawn after the change.
People on the age and disability support pensions and parenting payment will also receive one-off cash payments to help cover their winter energy bills — $75 for singles and $125 for couples.
Meanwhile, the government will tighten eligibility for the age pension to foreigners and there are some new rules.
To get the Age Pension, you must have been an Australian Resident, continuously, for 15 years, unless:
- You have had 10 years' continuous Australian residence, with 5 years of this residence between age 16 and Age Pension Age, or
- You have 10 years continuous Australian residence, without having received an activity tested income support payment (mainly Newstart) for a cumulative period of five years.
Depending on your birthdate, from 1 July 2017, the Age Pension age will be 65 years and 6 months. After that, Age Pension age will go up 6 months every 2 years until 1 July 2023.