As in much of the world, senior citizens in Australia find themselves eligible for discounts on a wide range of services and products; various websites detail available discounts in specific Australian communities. However, a good clearinghouse of information is provided by the Australian government at seniors.gov.au, geared toward all Australians over the age of 50. The information provided covers government services as well private-sector initiatives aimed to make life easier, and cheaper, for Australians living on fixed incomes.
Prominent among the savings programs is the senior card, issued to all Australians by their local state or territorial government. Confusingly, although the government website purports to cater to all Australians over the age of 50, there is no over 50 seniors card; only those aged 60 or more are eligible to receive the card. However, the card is free of charge, and entitles the bearer to a wide range of benefits.
Eligibility for a Seniors Card
Because the card is issued by a state or territorial government, there are some variations in eligibility and benefits offered; the federal government’s website provides direct links to the relevant state government web pages. For instance, in South Australia, one must be 60 years or older and a permanent South Australia resident to be eligible to receive the card. Also, one can’t be working for pay for more than 20 hours per week, although part-time and casual workers can average out their hours over a 12-month period of time.
Some Benefits of Having a Seniors Card
Cardholders enjoy free passage on public transportation in the city of Adelaide at certain times of the day and week (including weekends and public holidays), up to 50 percent off the fare for long-distance travel within South Australia, lesser discounts on public transportation countrywide, rebates on the Emergency Services Levy and council rates, and discounts and other benefits on hundreds of businesses in South Australia and countrywide, including retail shops, leisure services, commercial services, hotels, and more.
How to Apply for a Card
South Australia residents can apply for a seniors card online; the state government publishes a directory of discounts available with the card, Your Lifestyle Guide, both in print and online. Participating businesses also prominently display the seniors card logo at their place of business.
Living in Western Australia
Western Australians, on the other hand, are permitted to work up to 25 hours per week (averaged out over a year) and still be eligible for the seniors card. A full list of benefits is published in a Discount Directory; popular discounts include up to 25 percent off water bills, 50 percent off fishing licenses, free public transportation in Perth and 50 percent off public transportation across Western Australia, and free entry to national parks within the state (as well as free camping).
For all states and territories, seniors can apply for their cards online, or apply for replacement cards should their originals go missing. Given the wide array of services and products that are discounted by the card, plus the fact that it’s absolutely free, all Australian seniors who are no longer working full-time should take advantage and apply for the card.
Mortgage Rate Averages Calculators