Concession card benefits per state
Concession card benefits per state
Concessions cards are of great benefit for retirees and depending on your financial situation and the level of income you have your eligibility can differ.
This is why I did the big dive into the topic of concession cards, so you can feel comfortable as to which card you should apply for and what benefits you can derive from each of them.
First we checked what cards you can have if you are not eligible for Age Pension, either due to age – meaning you are too young or due to Income or Assets Tests – meaning your income is too high or you have too much assets. If this is you, read “Concession Cards Value”. Also, if this is you, you should have a good conversation with a financial planner to know why you are not eligible and if anything can be done to change that, so feel free to contact me for a check-up.
The second part of our discussion about concession cards was Pensioner Concession Card – this is the card every retiree would love to have as it brings the highest level of financial and non-financial benefits. So please read the second part: “Pensioner Concession Card the best!” If you are only receiving a part Age Pension, do you know why your payment is reduced? Do you know how it can be improved? Again, contact me for a check-up to see if anything can be done to improve your Age Pension payment for the rest of your life.
Today however, we will do a bit of travelling across Australia to visit every state and check what other benefits are available to retirees from each state government. Let’s check which state cares for their retired residents the most. Is your state where you reside the most caring for retirees?
Nelson Mandela said: “A society that does not value its older people denies its roots and endangers its future”
What a beautiful quote. I believe governments should embrace that idea and apply it to their policies.
OK, so now, let’s have some fun to see which state government cares about their pensioners the most.
- Queensland –the mainstream benefits listed in the table, provide savings of $957, the lowest benefit out of all states in Australia, however the seniors card in QLD has very generous state government benefits, unlike other states, so if you are in QLD familiarise yourself with the seniors card benefits to use them all,. In QLD you have:
- QLD Seniors Cards
- Seniors Card & Go
- Seniors Business Discount Card.
Additional state benefits for PCC holders are:
- Boat registration
- Some public dental services
- Medical aids and equipment
- South Australia –the mainstream benefits provide savings of $1,090pa
Additional state benefits are:
- Subsidised glasses (full pensioners) and contact lenses (PCC)
- Medical heating and cooling concession
- Personal alert system rebate of PCC 75 or over
- Affordable living program for people struggling with affordability issues.
- Tasmania –the mainstream benefits’ savings is up to $1,329pa
Additional state benefits:
- Firearm licence and registration fee reductions
- Spirit of Tasmania discounts
- Bass Strait islands air travel concession
- Will and EPA discounts with the Public Trustee
- Wigs for cancer patients
- Right to information request fee waiver
- Discounts to enter National Parks, bookings for the Overland Track, Three Capes Track – if you like nature and you are into hiking, this is a huge benefit, please visit those places, they represent the most amazing Tasmanian scenery you will ever see. Discounted entry to Port Arthur Historic Site, entry to Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens and many more
A 50% stamp duty concession for eligible pensioners who sell their existing home (principal place of residence) and downsize to a new home is available where the property:
- being acquired has a property value of $400 000 or lower and
- sale of their existing home completes between 10 February 2018 and 30 June 2022 inclusive; and
- value of the new property is less than that of the existing property being sold.
- Victoria– the mainstream benefits provide a saving of $1,595pa
One huge benefit in Victoria for holders of PCC, LIHCC and CSHC is the one-off Pensioner stamp duty concession. Homes purchased to the value of $330,000 receive a full exemption of $12,870. Then the concession reduces in value, until it ceases for homes purchased for $750,000 and greater.
Then in Victoria we also have additional benefits:
- Non-main water concession
- Excess electricity concessions if your bill is greater than $2,973pa
- Excess gas concession if your bill is greater than $1,644pa
- Life-support concessions
- Mail and telephone allowance
- No need to buy a recreational fishing licence – it is free for you
- Free travel vouchers
- NSW– the mainstream benefits can provide a saving of up to $1,612.
Additional services in NSW:
- Holders of PCC receive free POA services from NSW Trustee & Guardian
- No interest loan scheme is available to individuals and families on low incomes – $45,000 after tax.
- 40% reduction on registration for caravans and camper trailers.
- Free driving tests for pensioners
- Some free ambulance services
- Medical Energy & Life support Rebates
- Concession car parking at NSW public hospitals
- Pensioners have a free vehicle entry to 44 fee-collecting NSW national parks and reserves
- 50% discount on a registration of your recreational boat as well as private mooring licences
- Western Australia– the mainstream benefits provide a juicy savings of $2,000pa, mainly due to high savings in council rates and water payments.
- Free or reduced ambulance fees
- Country fuel card – worth $575 (for residents outside of Perth)
- Dog registration – 50% discount
- Cost of living rebate of $93.12 for singles and $139.64 for couples. Each July the State Government makes automatic payment into the registered senior’s bank account. New members need to apply before May 31 each year.
- Air conditioning rebate – in areas that experience prolonged periods of heat.
- 100% rent concession for tenants and occupants of public housing once they reach 100 years of age.
- Public Trustee will drafting service. Full will can be prepared and signed for a fee of $49 for singles and $75 for a couple, of wills are generally similar.
- Greyhound Racecourse – a full reduction of entry fee to Cannington or Mandurah racecourses.
- Some tourism fee reductions
- Australian Capital Territory– the mainstream benefits savings – up to $2,190
And some big additional benefits:
- Pensioner duty concession scheme – a one-off stamp duty concession which can be worth up to $11,060 for homes purchased of up to $490,000. That concession scales down and cuts out for homes purchase of $642,000 or more. But to be eligible you actually have to be receiving Age Pension and not be a holder of PCC card alone (non-means tested eligibility)
- Subsidies solar panels
- Free or reduced ambulance fees
- Green waste concessions of $50.00
- Northern Territory – the mainstream benefits can save up to $2,684 so the highest out of all states
If you are 65 and above, you can join the NT Seniors Recognition Scheme and receive a $500 prepaid card to spend on purchases.
Please don’t forget to register for the Seniors Card Program that is available in every state for permanent residents 60 years of age and older that provide you with discounts and special offers at thousands of businesses across Australia. So next time you are having a cup of coffee in your local coffee shop or you are buying a new dress, before you spend your money, as the shopkeeper if they accept your Seniors Card. Little savings here and there adds quickly to more money in your bank account.
Another great benefit Australia-wide is a free Photo Card service for seniors and pensioners. This photo card can be used as a form of your ID if you don’t have a driving licence, but unfortunately not all official offices will accept them for example for many super funds this is not a sufficient form of identity disclosure.
I am not sure how many people heard about the Companion Card – this is a great support for people with a disability and a lifelong need for ongoing support from another person. A companion card holder can receive a second “companion” ticket at no chare at participating venues and on public transport.
AS you can see there are many benefits available to retirees, either seniors or pensioners. If you would like to improve your benefits and your access to government payments, just contact me for a personal chat to find out if your overall situation can be improved.
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