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Social security

Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) service pensions

Section: 9.15

A service pension is payable to eligible veterans, their partners, and widows and widowers. A person cannot receive a service pension from DVA as well as an age pension or any other centrelink pension or benefit (except Family Tax Benefit) from the Family Assistance Office.

For service pension purposes, a veteran is a person who has qualifying service. Eligible veterans include Australian Veterans, Commonwealth Veterans, and Allied Veterans among others.

There are different eligibility requirements to receive a service pension from the DVA, including different ages for the commencement of benefits.

Males become eligible to receive a service pension on reaching age 60.

Qualifying age for a female depends on their date of birth. The female qualifying age is being raised by six months every 18 months so that by 1 January 2014 female and male qualifying ages will be the same. The table below shows when females qualify.

Female veterans with qualifying service - service pension age

Date of birth Qualify at age
1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953 59 years 6 months
1 January 1954 and later 60

Salary sacrifice and service pension
DVA takes into account any income received in the form of salary sacrifice in assessing income for the purposes of calculating rates of income support pension (including service pension). If a person's cash salary is reduced by sacrificing part of the salary to other benefits, the salary sacrificed would continue to be assessed as income.

The sacrificed amounts still satisfy the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) definition of income, being amounts earned, derived or received for the person's own use or benefit. In some instances, such as with super, the sacrificed amounts are deferred and may not be received for several years. Nevertheless, as they are earned and derived from the person's employment, they are assessed as income at the time they are earned.

The VEA provides for no specific exclusion from the definition of income for salary sacrifice for those under pension age.

Last modified: Friday, January 12, 2018