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The Benefits of Being on the Age Pension

Article By Adam Hurwood | | Financial Planning

As a recipient of the Age Pension, you automatically receive a Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) which entitles the holder to many great benefits such as reduced-cost medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and doctor-decided bulk billing. These discounts happen automatically when a concession card is presented, however there is also a long list of discounts that can be claimed just by filling out a short form or making a phone call.

State Government Concessions

These concessions are provided by the State government and therefore different rules and rates apply depending on where you live. It is best to check the website of your local and state governments.

Water Subsidy

As the holder of a PCC, you may be entitled to claim a deduction on water rates. In Queensland, pensioners can receive a subsidy of up to $120 per year, provided they are:

  • The owner/ life tenant of a property in Queensland; and
  • Legally responsible for payment of all rates for that property.

Contact the water retailer listed on your water account and fill out a simple application to apply for this subsidy.

Electricity and Gas Subsidy

In Queensland, rebates are available to PCC holders who live alone or share their principal place of residence with only:

  • A spouse; or
  • Other PCC holders; or
  • Dependents; or
  • Other income support receivers.

You can claim up to $284.54 per year. To apply, contact your electricity retailer and fill out a short application. Have copies of your bills with you when making the phone call.

Rates Subsidy

Discounts on council rates for recipients of the Age Pension can be claimed by calling your local council. In Queensland, if eligible, you can reclaim up to $200 per year on gross rates and charges.

Vehicle Registration Discounts

If you are the holder of a PCC and are:

  • A Queensland resident; and
  • The registered operator of a private use vehicle (up to 4.5 tonnes);

You may be eligible for a 50% discount on your vehicle registration fee.

To apply, complete an application form (available for downloading on the Queensland Government website) and bring it to any Department of Transport Service Centre or alternatively, mail it through to their email address.

Note: Most of the above subsidies can be back dated if requested and are also available in similar form, outside Queensland. Visit your local or state government website for more information.

Discounts on Public Transport

Most states and territories in Australia offer a certain number of free train trips per year within the state, to eligible pension card holders.

If you are living in or visiting Sydney, a PCC entitles you to a $2.50 unlimited all day travel pass for Sydney’s metropolitan and outer metropolitan areas. This pass is called a Pensioner Excursion Ticket and is one of many concessions available. Visit for more information.

Contact your State Government for information on public transport discounts.

Leisure Discounts

Many cultural and performing arts venues offer concessions to pensioners. This also extends to tour fees in some parks and sporting events. Contact a venue before booking and enquire as to whether or not they offer any discounts.

Other Non-Government Concessions

Great Southern Rail

Under an agreement with the Federal government, PCC holders may be qualified to receive a discount of up to 55% on travel with the Ghan, Indian Pacific or Overland trains. Go to the Great Southern Rail website ( to register for a Concession Savings brochure.


PCC holders may be eligible for the Telstra Bill Assistance Program, a program for those who have trouble making their telephone payments due to financial difficulty. To apply, visit one of the following community agencies:

  • The Salvation Army
  • The Smith Family
  • Anglicare
  • St Vincent de Paul Society

Alternatively, you can apply directly through Telstra for their home telephone discounts. Read the PDF for details.

Best Western Hotels

A 10% discount is offered to customers aged over 55 in all Best Western hotels around the world.

Other retailers

PCC holders are entitled to a 5-10% discount in a number of retail stores, restaurants and hotels. Be sure to carry your card with you at all times in order to make the most of these concessions. There is also no harm in asking – you’ll be surprised once you find out just how many places offer these benefits.


A handy service for those who receive a pension or other Centrelink payment is Centrepay. This is a free direct bill-paying service which allows you to pay bills for things such as rent, telephone, water and electricity, through regular deductions from your pension payment. Using Centrepay gives you peace of mind, knowing that your bills are under control. Centrepay pays your deduction to the nominated accounts on the same day that you receive your Centrelink payment. For more information, call Centrelink on 132 850 or to apply, download the Centrepay Deductions form from the Centrelink website

For more information on the Age Pension and what it could save you please contact your Altitude Financial Planner.

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The information contained on this website is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances, financial needs or objectives. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of it and the relevant product having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. In particular, you should seek the appropriate financial advice and read the relevant Product Disclosure Document.