About DVA service pensions


This topic provides information about the following:

  • service pensions
  • categories of service pensions
  • multiple entitlement exclusion, and
  • savings provision.

About service pensions

Service pensions are payable under the VEA to eligible veterans, their partners, and widows and widowers. For service pension purposes, a veteran is a person who has qualifying service (generally, service in which danger is incurred from hostile forces of the enemy, or warlike service as determined by the Minister for Defence).

Service pensions provide a regular income for people with limited means. They are subject to income and assets tests.

Members of the Australian Defence Force and their families who receive payment under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) or the MRCA may also be entitled to receive a service pension, depending on their service eligibility and their income and assets.

Categories of service pensions

There are 3 categories of service pension which are the:

  • age service pension
  • invalidity service pension, and
  • partner service pension.

Note: Carer service pension is not included, as responsibility for administration of carer pension was transferred on 11 December 1997 to the then Department of Social Security (now DSS).

DVA service pensions are similar in nature to income support pensions paid under the SSAct, such as:

  • age pension, and
  • disability support pension.

In contrast to Age, age service pension is payable from 60 years of age. This is in recognition of the intangible effects of war that may result in premature ageing of the veteran and/or loss of earning power. Invalidity service pension may be granted at any age up to age pension age.

Multiple entitlement exclusion

A person receiving a service pension is not eligible for social security income support payments because of the operation of a multiple entitlement exclusion.

Savings provision

A savings provision (1.1.S.40) dating back to 1973 exists that enables affected people to retain dual entitlements to Age and service pensions. The rate of 'saved' pension was frozen on 5 September 1985 at the rate payable immediately before that date.

Last reviewed: 20 March 2020