Many people think that there is no support prior to reaching the age when they are able to apply for the Age Pension, but fortunately, that isn’t the case. Similarly, self-funded retirees are not aware that there may be options that you can access, regardless of their retirement funding.

There are a number of benefits that are available prior to age 65, although for many of us, our age pension age is moving towards age 67.

You can apply for a Seniors Card even before you have a 60th birthday. They are available in every State to anyone aged 60 and over, and the great news is that more and more discounts are being added all the time. In most States, transport is free or heavily discounted.

They are honoured inter-state and if you have a Queensland Seniors Card or Seniors Card+go, it is honoured in New Zealand too.

A Seniors Card is a State Government benefit, and each State and Territory offers a different range of options including discounted public transport, savings on services such as travel and accommodation, retail and services such as insurance.

To access a Seniors card, people need to be over 60 and they can still access the card if they are working full time, however the benefits will be more limited than if they are not working or working part time.

Another benefit is the Pensioner Concession Card.

The Australian Government issues the card to Australians who are receiving some other support or who are over 60.

To be able to access the Pensioner concession card, you will need to be aged 60 or older or have a partial capacity to work and currently receive any of the following payments:

  • Age Pension,
  • Carer Payment,
  • Disability Support Pension,
  • JobSeeker Payment or are single, caring for a dependent child and looking for work, and
  • Parenting Payment single.

If you meet this criteria, the card supports the holder with access to cheaper medicine, bulk billed doctor visits and help with hearing services. In addition, at a state level, you may also get discounts on items such as property rates and water charges, electricity and other energy bills and a range of other benefits.

It’s advisable to explore the benefit options prior to age pension age. The secret for success is to carry out research and apply early.