How to apply for an Old Age Pension

The Older Persons Grant is a monthly benefit available to most South Africans (male or female) who is 60 years of age ,or older, who meet the requirements. You must apply to receive benefits. This grant used to be called the old age pension.

To Qualify you must:

  • be a South African citizen or permanent resident
  • live in South Africa
  • not receive any other social grant for yourself
  • not be cared for in a state institution
  • not earn more than R31 296 per year or own assets worth more than R518 400 If you are single. If you are married, your combined income must not be more than R62 592 per year and you and your spouse must not have assets worth more than R1 036 800.

How much will you get?

The maximum amount that you will get from April 2012 is R1 200 per month.
The president/minister of finance normally announce if any changes are reflected in the budget speech or at the opening of parliament.

How will you be paid?

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will pay the grant to you through one of the following methods:

  • cash at a specific pay point on a particular day
  • electronic deposit into your bank or postbank account (the bank may charge you for the service) 
  • institutions (e.g. old age home).

Note: If you are unable to collect the money yourself, you can appoint a procurator at the SASSA office, or give someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf.

How to Apply for an Old Age Pension:

  • Go to the South African Social Security Agency(SASSA) office nearest to where you live and bring the following:
  • Your 13-digit bar-coded identity document (ID). If you don't have an ID:
    • you must complete an affidavit on a standard SASSA format in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who is not a SASSA official
    • you must bring a sworn statement signed by a reputable person (like a councilor, traditional leader, social worker, minister of religion or school principal) who can verify your name and age
    • the SASSA official will take your fingerprints. You will be referred to the Department of Home Affairs to apply for the ID even as your application is processed. If you don't get an ID, your grant will be suspended.
  • proof of your marital status (if applicable)
  • proof of residence
  • proof of your income and/or dividends (if any)
  • proof of your assets, including the value of the property you own
  • proof of your private pension (if any)
  • your three month bank statement
  • if you were employed, Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) ('blue book') or discharge certificate from your previous employer
  • if your spouse died within the last five years, a copy of the will and the first and final liquidation and distribution accounts where applicable.

Please note: If you are too old or sick to travel to the office to apply, a family member or friend can apply on your behalf. The person should take a letter from you and/or a doctor's note saying why you cannot visit the office.

  • Complete the application form in the presence of the SASSA officer (note that only you as the applicant or a SASSA official can complete the application form). The officer will interview you and tell you if you qualify for the grant.
  • You will be given a receipt. Keep it as proof that you applied.

What if your application is not approved?

If your application is not approved, SASSA will inform you in writing why your application was unsuccessful.

If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal to the Minister of Social Development at the National Department of Social Development. You must appeal within 90 days of being notified that your application was unsuccessful.

Timeframe before you recieve your Old Age Pension:

  • It may take up to three months to process your application.
  • If your grant is approved, you will be paid from the date on which you applied.

South African Social Security Agency(SASSA)
Services of Government

Page Updated: 4 March 2014