Concessions – Helping out Senior Australians

Written and accurate as at: 11 November 2013

There is a range of concessions available to Senior Australians. The type of concessions that apply will largely depend on your age, location and whether you’re eligible for a pension from Centrelink, Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) or are considered to be a self-funded retiree.

Local Government Seniors Card
Depending on your State or Territory, you may have access to a Seniors Card. The Seniors Card is available to those aged 60 and over and provides access to a range of discounts on local services. Concessions will vary State to State, but may include:


  • Energy Concessions – Electricity and Gas bill rebates;
  • Property Concessions – Rates and Water subsidies;
  • Medical Concessions – Dental and Optical discounts, smoke alarm and taxi subsidies;
  • Transport Concessions – Bus, ferry and rail concessions, discounts on motor vehicle and boat registrations; and/or
  • Leisure Concessions – A range of discounts may be available from local retailers, pools, movie theatres, restaurants, cafes and service providers.

Age Pension Concession Card
If you receive the Age Pension from Centrelink or DVA, then you will normally be entitled to the Age Pension Concession Card. This card is issued annually and provides a range of benefits to the holder.
Perhaps the most sought after benefit the card provides is access to a concession on prescription medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). However, holders of Pensioner Concession card may also be entitled to concessions on:

  • Public Transport;
  • Electricity;
  • Water and Sewage Rates;
  • Prescription Lenses and Frames;
  • Hearing tests, aids and batteries;
  • Driver’s licence and vehicle registration costs;
  • Legal Advice; and
  • Emergency Service Levy.

In addition, holders of an Age Pension Concession Card may also have access to a lower Medicare Safety Net.

A pension supplement payment is available to eligible pensions, which is paid on top of the fortnightly pension amount.

This payment is designed to assist pensioners to meet daily household expenses such as telephone and utility costs, GST and pharmaceutical amounts.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card (CSHC)
Those retirees who have reached age pension age but are not eligible for a pension or allowance from Centrelink or DVA are classed as self-funded retirees. For these people, the Government provides access to a concession card, subject to an income test.

If eligible, the card will provide holders with a range of concessions including:

  • Access to discounted pharmaceuticals on the PBS;
  • A lower Medicare Safety Net; and/or
  • Access to electricity concessions.

In addition, the Government provides GPs with a financial incentive to bulk-bill CSHC cardholders. It’s worth checking with your physician as not all GPs offer this concession.

The Commonwealth Government also provides an annual seniors supplement to cardholders. This supplement is paid quarterly to a nominated account and is non-taxable.

Although we have listed a few here, there are a range of other concessions and supplements available to senior Australians. More information including eligibility conditions and current payments rates and concession amounts are available from Centrelink, DVA websites or your local council.