Energise your finances with a government rebate boost
Our ears tend to ping when we hear the words ‘bonus’ or ‘rebate’. And rightly so. Living in economically challenging times has many of us eager to find ways to cut costs and save money wherever we can.
Key learnings covered in this topic
- Discover if you’re eligible for the rebate
- Learn how to apply for it
- Maximise your income through advice.
You might recall that the May 2023-24 Federal Budget announced an energy rebate of up to $500 for most senior Australians. Well, with the silly season upon us, we thought this would be an opportune time to follow up with news of what you need to do to make the most of the rebate.
Here’s a reminder
It’s available for those who receive the Age Pension and hold a Pension Concession Card. Those who don’t receive a full or part Age Pension are also eligible – but only if they hold a relevant concession card such as the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. The benefit is as high as $500 in some states (e.g. NSW), $350 in the Northern Territory, $275 in the ACT and $250 in Victoria (the state government has already shared a $250 rebate).
Here’s a link so you can check your own state benefits and when they’ll be paid.
What you’ll need to do
Unlike some previous benefits, this won’t be automatically credited to your bank account. It’s paid to your energy provider, and they’ll credit your power bill.
To ensure you receive it, go into your myGov account and give Centrelink permission to share your details with your nominated electricity supplier. This allows them to activate your credit. These payment credits started in July this year, so if you’ve already taken these steps but haven’t received the credit yet, you may receive it soon (depending on your eligibility).
Rules vary by state
It’s a Commonwealth Government benefit administered by the states and territories, so the rules and amounts vary. If you haven’t received the credit or haven’t been contacted by Services Australia, reach out to them to determine whether you’re eligible.
Remember, if you’re a self-funded retiree and don’t hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, this is a perfect opportunity to apply for one and ensure you don’t miss out (plus you could save between $2,000 to $3,000 per annum). The rebate is available until 30 June 2024, so there’s plenty of time to apply and give Centrelink permission to share your electricity provider details to access the rebate.
Tips before you apply:
- Check you’re the electricity account holder. If you’re not it could be in the name of your spouse, so they’ll need to give the necessary permission.
- Have your electricity retailer ABN on hand – an 11-digit number found on your electricity bill.
- If you can’t find it, Google the name of your supplier and search the term ‘ABN’ and you should find the correct government listed number.
Making the most of your retirement income
Managing your money and ensuring you’re making the most of your retirement income can be tricky — that’s why we’re here to help. If you have questions about your CareSuper pension, we’re able to help over the phone with advice about your pension included with your CareSuper membership.*
If you’re wondering about what other age-based concessions or support you might be eligible for, or how to structure your finances to maximise your retirement income, we can help with that too. ^
Information correct as at 5 December 2023.
*Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.
^Advice is provided by one of our financial planners who are Authorised Representatives of Industry Funds Services Limited (IFS). IFS is responsible for any advice given to you by its Authorised Representatives. Industry Fund Services Limited ABN 54 007 016 195 AFSL 232514.