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A major issue facing the program is the expected increase in the aged population into the first half of this century. By 2051, the proportion of the population aged 65 years and over is projected to reach between 32% and 34% in Tasmania, compared with the projected 28% to 30% for total Australia. (Source: Population Projections, Australia, 2002 to 2101 (cat. no. 3222.0))
The Age Pension seeks to ensure that people who have reached retirement age have an adequate level of income. Subject to income and assets tests, men aged 65 years and over are eligible for the Age Pension. For women, it depends on their date of birth. From 1 July 1995, the minimum age for women to receive the Age Pension began to increase. By 2014, the minimum qualifying age for women will be 65 years, making it the same as for men.
At 30 June 2003, there were 50,887 people in Tasmania receiving an Age Pension, 56.0% of the estimated 90,833 Tasmanians aged 60 years and over. (Source for population data: Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories, June 2003 (cat. no. 3201.0)).
Further information about the Age Pension and Wife Pension is available from the Centrelink web site, http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/individuals/ret_payments.htm