1. How does the correspondence nominee work with Retirement Essentials?
At time of lodgment, and in order to lodge a Centrelink application on behalf of a client, an adviser can EITHER organise to appoint Retirement Essentials as the correspondence nominee to submit the application, or an adviser can retain their status as the Centrelink correspondence nominee and submit the application to Centrelink on behalf of the client still using the Retirement Essentials application tool.
Retirement Essentials will contact the adviser to discuss whether they want Retirement Essentials as the Centrelink correspondence nominee and the steps involved in converting a client over.
After the application has been approved by Centrelink, the client can revert their correspondence nominee status back to the adviser by way of Retirement Essentials completing the Centrelink Cancel nominee arrangement form.
2. How does Retirement Essentials remove the need for you to deal with Centrelink directly?
If an adviser and their client chooses to have Retirement Essentials as the Centrelink correspondence nominee for the Age Pension client application, Retirement Essentials will review the application and liaise directly with the adviser or their team if there are any requirements or outstanding questions.
Once submitted with Centrelink, Retirement Essentials will then liaise directly with Centrelink to assist in the application being processed efficiently therefore helping remove the need to deal directly with Centrelink.
3. Will Retirement Essentials be in contact with my client?
No. Retirement Essentials will not contact the client unless you instruct them to.
4. What happens when the offer is finished? Will I have to pay a subscription fee?
Challenger is extending the offer with advisers until 15 June 2021 to determine if Challenger should continue to provide the Age Pension service to advisers. The Retirement Essentials concierge service and tools usually costs $396 each client application and is currently waivered during the offer period.
5. How long is the offer going to last?
To be eligible to receive the free offer, advisers need to start a client application by 15 June 2021 and have 3 months (until 1 September 2021) to complete and submit the application with Retirement Essentials.
For a summary of the offer and how to access, download the Quick Reference Guide. Or for further detail on the offer or Terms and Conditions read below.
Find out how to contact Retirement Essentials directly.
About the offer with Retirement EssentialsWhy is Challenger providing access to this Age Pension service?
- Navigating Centrelink for the Age Pension can be a pain point for both advisers and their clients.
- The Age Pension can be at the core of a retirement strategy conversation. It’s an opportunity for Challenger to support the adviser client journey in retirement income planning.
- Access to efficient, client-facing tools and a concierge service.
- Less need to deal directly with Centrelink.
- Enhance the adviser-client relationship and engagement.
- Age Pension information and strategies available in one spot.
- More confident that they are getting the most out of their Age Pension.
- Less time spent dealing with Centrelink.
- Feel further supported by their adviser.
- Help with maximising Age Pension entitlements.
Retirement Essentials Pty Ltd was founded in 2017 and is 100% Australian owned & operated. The service provides an easier way of applying for the Age Pension.
Retirement Essentials uses cutting-edge technology and a simple service approach that appeals to retirees and financial advisers. Retirement Essentials provides two tools:
- Easy to check Age Pension eligibility and estimated entitlements within a few minutes, and
- Age Pension (or Seniors Health Card) application tool and a personalised concierge service.
Retirement Essentials Pty Ltd (ABN 35 615 383 232) is not part of to Challenger Limited (ABN 85 106 842 371) or its group of companies (Challenger). Users should use their own judgement before taking up any Service offered by Retirement Essentials. By providing links to the Retirement Essentials site via our website, we do not warrant that the Retirement Essentials sites or any material contained in or obtained from that site is error or virus-free. Challenger is not responsible for, and does not accept liability for any loss or damage incurred in relation to, use of the tools or the Service or any other activities provided by Retirement Essentials. Retirement Essentials does not share client information with Challenger, however usage data of the Retirement Essentials tool is exchanged including adviser name, business name, state and email address.
Are Retirement Essentials providing financial advice?
No, they provide the tools and services that assists people in applying for the Age Pension and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. Retirement Essentials specialise in dealing directly with Centrelink so you don’t have to. Retirement Essentials will not market to advisers or their clients without their permission.
About the campaign and offerHow accurate and up to date is the information on Challenger’s ‘Age Pension, simplified’ campaign site?
- Social Security rates and thresholds effective 1 January 2021 and are updated periodically.
- The content described on the campaign site will not apply to all individuals.
- Age Pension outcomes depend on an individual (or couple’s) personal circumstances and may change over time.
- Retirement Essentials represent that the tools and service are based on current Social Security rates and thresholds and updated in line with Social Security quarterly update notifications.
- Offer: Challenger Group Services Pty Ltd (ABN 91 085 657 307) (Challenger, we, us, our) will make available each of the ‘Retirement Essentials’ ‘Age Pension Application’ and Concierge service, ‘Seniors Health Card’ service and ‘Eligibility Calculator’ provided by Retirement Essentials (Retirement Essentials) on the Retirement Essentials website (each a ‘Service’ and together ‘the Services’) free of charge (where a charge would otherwise apply) for licensed advisers operating under an Australian Financial Services License (referred to a “user”) who register and access the Service via the links contained in the Challenger ‘Age Pension, simplified’ campaign website (Website) from 15 February 2020 until 11.59pm (AEDST) on 15 June 2021 (Offer Period). These terms are referred to as ‘the offer’. Unless stated otherwise, the offer does not extend to any other ‘Retirement Essentials’ service (including the ‘ ‘Keeping your Age Pension’ service which is an annual opt-in service for updating details with Centrelink).
- Offer period: To be included in the offer, all valid applications made via a Service must be started via the Retirement Essentials website before the end of the Offer Period and must be completed and submitted to Retirement Essentials within 3 months of starting the application and in any event, no later than 1 September 2021. Users accessing a Service via another means other than via the Website or outside these time periods are excluded from the offer.
- Retirement Essential tools and services: The Retirement Essentials tools and Services are provided by Retirement Essentials Pty Ltd (ABN 35 615 383 232), not Challenger. Retirement Essentials is not part of Challenger Limited (ABN 85 106 842 371) or its group of companies. Terms and conditions apply to the Services and should be obtained from Retirement Essentials. It should not be considered an endorsement of the information or Services offered by Retirement Essentials. You should use your own judgement before taking up any service offered by Retirement Essentials. By providing links to the Retirement Essentials site via our Website, we do not warrant that the Retirement Essentials sites or any material contained in or obtained from that site is error or virus-free. Challenger is not responsible for, and does not accept liability for, any loss or damage incurred in relation to, use of the tools or the Services.
- Fair use and benefit to client: It is intended that the user is an adviser who uses a Service on behalf of, and for the benefit of, a client. As a benefit to the client, advisers using a Service agree that they will not pass on to the respective client the cost of the Service that would otherwise be paid outside of these offer terms. Users may access a Service for multiple clients. However, users acknowledge that this is a limited time offer and agree to act reasonably and not abuse the offer. Challenger (together with Retirement Essentials) reserves the right to deny access to a Service for a user in its complete discretion and without giving reasons. There is no obligation for an adviser to recommend, or a client acquire, a product issued by a Challenger group entity to be eligible to use a Service.
- Updates: The offer is made subject to these terms and conditions and for a limited time. We reserve the right at any time to modify, update or otherwise alter these terms. Any revised terms will be shown on the Website from time to time. We recommend you review these terms periodically to ensure you have read the current terms.
The offer is not intended to influence the choice of product recommended by an adviser or influence their financial product advice. However, advisers need to meet their own obligations in relation to the law, FASEA Code of Ethics and Licensee policies. Contact your Licensee for guidance. How much does the ‘Retirement Essentials’ Age Pension application service usually cost and who can access it?
The Service usually costs $396 and is available to the public by accessing www.retirementessentials.com.au. Advisers using the Service as part of the campaign agree that they will not pass on to the respective client the cost of the Service that would otherwise be paid outside of the campaign.
Can I forward the free Age Pension application offer to my client so they can apply directly?
No. The offer is intended for advisers to use with or on behalf of their clients.
Can I use the Age Pension application service for several of my clients?
Yes. Advisers can access the free offer for multiple clients during the offer period (subject to acting reasonably and in line with what is considered ‘fair use’ of the campaign). See T&Cs for more detail.
Can I forward the free Age Pension application offer to other advisers?
Yes. Advisers can forward the ‘Age Pension, simplified’ campaign website to their colleagues so they too can access the offer via the Challenger website. They will need to register to get access.
My client is not eligible for the Age Pension, what help can I get them through Retirement Essentials?
The ‘Retirement Essentials’ offer to advisers also includes assistance with the application for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. Unless stated otherwise, the offer does not extend to any other ‘Retirement Essentials’ service (including the service called ‘Keeping your Age Pension’ which is an annual opt-in service for updating details with Centrelink).
About the ‘Retirement Essentials’ tools and service
According to ‘Retirement Essentials’, the service can benefit you and your client in the following ways:
- Retirement Essentials service simplifies the process of applying for the Age Pension.
- With Age Pension specialists only a phone call or email away it can be easy to get the information needed without contacting Centrelink.
- The step-by-step smart application tool ensures only answers to the questions that are needed are displayed reducing the time and need to shuffle through endless forms.
- The concierge service ensures that the application is completed correctly, and clients receive their Age Pension entitlements.
- Retirement Essentials is also able to submit the application to Centrelink on your or your client’s behalf and will contact you directly if Centrelink requires further information.
Note that Retirement Essentials is not related to or affiliated with Challenger or the Challenger Group. Users should review the terms and conditions on the Retirement Essentials website before deciding to use the tool or service.
Does this mean I (adviser) can avoid dealing with Centrelink?
To act as an agent on your behalf with Centrelink (much like a tax consultant) your client will need to appoint Retirement Essentials (RE) as the Correspondence Nominee via their MyGov account. When discussing RE’s service with your client, consider pointing this out to them.
This will not mean RE can change or access bank accounts or other assets and investments.
Retirement Essentials has information on how to easily update the Correspondence Nominee via MyGov and is available on the RE adviser log in page.
What is a Centrelink Correspondence Nominee?
Retirement Essentials can act as the Correspondence Nominee (an agent) in communicating with Centrelink on all matters relating to applying for the Age Pension if you and your client wish. When discussing RE’s service with your client, consider pointing this out to them.
A Correspondence Nominee can:
- Help explain what Centrelink communications mean
- Respond to Centrelink’s questions and requests on your clients’ behalf
- Ask questions of Centrelink for you which are relevant to the Age Pension claim
- Remind you of your obligations to keep Centrelink informed in a timely manner
A Correspondence Nominee can NOT:
- Receive pension payments on behalf of the client
- Access any of your clients’ bank accounts, assets or investments
Further detail is available through Retirement Essentials adviser login page.
How does a Centrelink Correspondence Nominee work?
At time of lodgement and in order to lodge a Centrelink application on behalf of a client, an adviser can either organise to appoint Retirement Essentials as the Correspondence Nominee to submit the application, or an adviser can retain their status as the Centrelink Correspondence Nominee and submit the application to Centrelink on behalf of the client still using the Retirement Essentials application tool.
Retirement Essentials can contact the adviser to take them through the steps of converting the client to Retirement Essentials as the Centrelink Correspondence Nominee.
After the application has been approved by Centrelink, the client can revert their Correspondence Nominee status back to the adviser by way of Retirement Essentials completing the Centrelink Cancel nominee arrangement form.
Why do I need to submit the application within 14 days of completing it? And what happens if we miss that timeframe?
Centrelink assesses the income and assets based on the most recent information (preferably the last 14 days). In most cases, if information supplied is older than 14 days (especially bank statements and employment pay slips) Centrelink may ask for updated information and this could delay the application.
Retirement Essentials have developed the application process so that it adheres to a 14 day period so that advisers and clients usually avoid the frustration of having to update their application and re-submit forms to Centrelink.
Sometimes delays are unavoidable. And, if the Retirement Essentials 14-day deadline is missed, and/ or information provided is older than 14 days, contact Retirement Essentials via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 1300 527 727 (Monday – Friday, 9:00am- 5:00pm AEST) to discuss options.
See T&Cs for details about timeframes for submitting applications in order be included in the offer.
Once the application is submitted, how long does it take to receive a response?
Depending on the processing time at Centrelink, you should anticipate an initial response within a month of lodging the Age Pension Application.
Retirement Essentials will provide an update on a monthly basis. If there are any issues, Retirement Essentials will contact you.
Will my client’s data be secure with Retirement Essentials?
The security of information is a key priority for Retirement Essentials.
Does the Retirement Essentials Age Pension Eligibility Calculator use current rates as supplied by Centrelink?
‘Retirement Essentials’ represents that it has processes in place to update their calculators with Age Pension rates and thresholds regularly.
What is the difference between applying for the Age Pension through Retirement Essentials compared with through Centrelink’s online tool?
‘Retirement Essentials’ states that its tools provide an easier alternative for applying for the Age Pension by using cutting-edge technology and a simple service approach.
Their concierge service will review the application and identify issues which can be addressed prior to submitting the application with Centrelink reducing the toing and froing.
Retirement Essentials concierge service helps take the stress out of dealing with Centrelink by liaising with them on you or your client’s behalf until the claim is processed meaning you don’t have to call or follow up Centrelink yourself.
Please contact Retirement Essentials directly.
- Phone: 1300 527 727 (Mon - Fri, 9:00am - 5:00pm AEST)
- Email: email@example.com
Why can’t you answer my questions?
Retirement Essentials is not related to or affiliated with Challenger or the Challenger Group. If your question is related to a specific client case study, scenario model or any annuity based technical questions, please contact your Challenger BDM.
If your question has not been answered in the FAQs and Retirement Essentials is unable to help you, please contact Challenger Adviser Services on 1800 621 009.