Can I get an Age Pension when I turn 65 even if my partner is much younger and/or still working?
You can apply for an Age Pension when you have attained age 65 years. The Centrelink rules allow for an Age Pension for only one partner in a couple when the other partner is too young. Remember that a ‘couple at Centrelink’ is any two adults who share domestic arrangements and present socially as a ‘couple’.
Eligibility for an Age Pension or Service Pension
The first part of an Application for a Centrelink Age Pension or DVA Service Pension, establishes your identity and your eligibility for an Age Pension or Service Pension.
Permanent residents of Australia who have attained age 65 years usually have enough personal documents to satisfy Centrelink of their eligibility for an Age Pension.
Veterans with qualifying service can be paid a Service Pension on attainment of age 60 years. Veterans need to contact DVA to prove their age, residency and qualifying service for a Service Pension. The amounts and means testing for DVA Service Pensions are the same as those for Centrelink Age Pensions; only the qualifying age is different.
The Application form for an Age Pension requires details of your partner. You must provide the identify details for your partner even if your partner is not old enough to be applying for an Age Pension. Thus, you must provide personal data regarding both members of the couple even though you are asking for an Age Pension for only one partner.
Personal information for means testing of your Age Pension or Service Pension
The second part of an Application for an Age Pension determines how much Age Pension could be paid to you this fortnight. You must provide full details of all of the assets and income sources for yourself and your partner.
The Centrelink then use this financial and asset data to assess the impact of the Income Test for Couples and the Asset Test for Couples.
The amount of Pension Reduction is calculated using your data under each of the Asset Test and the Income Test. The higher amount of Pension Reduction will be used to determine your Age Pension. That means that the Test that hits the hardest is the Test that applies to your Age Pension.
The Age Pension for only one partner in a couple is calculated as the Couple rate of Age Pension reduced by your Pension Reduction amount for this fortnight.
Illustration of your potential Age Pension amount
Financial Care Services can illustrate your potential Age Pension amount based on your personal data and the current Centrelink rates. Why waste your energy applying for an Age Pension when your partner earns too much for you to qualify for any Age Pension.
Age Pension Illustrations are produced as personal factual financial information. Financial Care Services could provide you with an Illustration of your potential Age Pension amount for $99.00 in a Short Consultation.
Illustration of the Age Pension for only one partner in a couple
Joe had retired at age 64 years when his employment contract finished. Joe is applying for an Age Pension as he reaches age 65 years. But Mary his partner would only be 63 years when Joe attains his Age Pension Age.
Mary continues in her part time teaching job as she enjoys her work. Mary earns $26,000 per annum as a permanent part time teacher.
Joe has $200,000 in his superannuation fund account. Mary’s superannuation account is not counted here because she has not attained her Age Pension Age.
Joe and Mary have other financial assets of $40,000 in bank accounts. They own their home. Joe and Mary have two cars plus a caravan and trailer. The ‘garage sale’ value of their personal stuff, household contents, vehicles and recreational things amounts to $50,000. Joe and Mary have no outstanding debts and their tax affairs are up to date.
Thus Joe and Mary are a homeowner couple at Centrelink. Once Joe turns 65, their ‘financial assets’ will be $240,000 and their other assets are valued at $50,000.
For the Age Pension means test, Joe and Mary are homeowners with assessable assets of $290,000.
Their annual assessable income consists of Mary’s salary of $26,000 and $9,666 of deemed financial income (January 2013 rates).
The Income Test reduction is $275.90 each per fortnight. The Asset Test reduction is only $12.75 each per fortnight. Therefore, the Income Test reduction will apply.
The couple rate of Age Pension is $582.40 each per fortnight including the Pension Supplement. Thus Joe could receive an Age Pension of $306.50 per fortnight in January 2013.
Mary is not eligible for any Age Pension because she has not attained her Age Pension Age. But Mary must tell Centrelink about her earnings for Joe to continue receiving his Age Pension.
Next Steps to an Age Pension for only one partner in a couple
Many retirees can claim the Age Pension for only one partner in a couple. But you must submit personal and financial information about both members of the couple.
Financial Care Services offers short consultations of under one hour for $99.00, to review your Age Pension or Service Pension payment amounts. Call Financial Care Services to arrange a review of your potential pension rate.
In a short consultation Financial Care Services can help in estimating your Age Pension amounts when your circumstances change. You can discuss your potential for an Age Pension when only one partner is close to age 65 years.
For help about how much Age Pension you could get when you or your partner turn reach your Age Pension Age, a short $99.00 consultation is ideal for personal factual financial information. Telephone and email consultations are generally possible for personal factual financial information.
Financial strategy for retirement with an Age Pension for only one member of a couple
You need a good financial strategy for retirement with an Age Pension for only one member of a couple. For those early years of retirement one Age Pension at the ‘couple’ rate would not finance even a modest lifestyle. Income generated from your other financial resources would be required just to cover basic household costs.
Help with financial strategy for retirement is available at Financial Care Services. Financial Care Services holds an Australian Financial Services Licence that allows Christine to provide retail clients with personal financial advice. Christine can help you develop a financial strategy to generate cash to cover your retirement living costs including any applicable DVA or Centrelink Pensions and Income Support benefits.
Contact Christine Hopper
Contact Christine now to discuss your retirement financing challenge.
If ‘personal factual financial information’ is not enough to resolve your situation you could ask for a ‘personal financial retirement planning advice consultation’ with Christine who is licensed to provide personal financial advice to individuals.
We will send you both the Financial Care Services Retirement Retirement Planning Advice data form and the Financial Care Services Age Pension Illustration data form. You can then decide the level of support that you want from Christine at Financial Care services.
If you would like further confidential, independent and professional advice about Centrelink, DVA pensions, lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper (03) 9808 0338.
Financial Care Services – call (03) 9808 0338
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is of a general nature only and does not constitute “financial advice”. You should obtain your own personal financial advice before investing any money or moving in to any retirement village, lifestyle community or aged care facility. Financial Care Services is licensed to provide financial advice to individual clients based on their personal situations.
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To make an appointment for professional advice, call Financial Care Services (03) 9808 0338