This paper describes and analyses aspects of Australian income support and service arrangements for the aged in the context of broader issues relating to privatisation. It is argued that much of the welfare privatisation debate is overly simplistic and does not recognise the important role which the non-government sector already plays in aspects of support for the age. Analysis of income data shows, for example, that transfer income currently accounts for less than half of the income of the aged. The trend towards superannuation is apparent in the data, although some doubts are raised about the impact of superannuation expansion on the finance of population ageing. In the area of community services, the paper describes the development of policy over the last few decades in order to illustrate the complexity of existing arrangements. The switch from institutional to community care is identified as a major trend, particularly during the 1980s, and some of the implications of this development for privatisation are drawn out and analysed.