Can I save my husband’s pension?

Suzie is approaching retirement age and is worried her husband will lose his Age Pension once her superannuation is considered an asset.


Q. Suzie
My husband receives a part Age Pension from Centrelink and also draws an amount from his superannuation fund. I turned 64 recently and because of the amount of super I have, I understand that I will not qualify for a pension when I reach retirement age and that my super will then count as an asset and my husband will lose his part pension.

I understand I need to “spend” about $350,000 before I reach retirement age for him to keep that part pension and maybe even for me to receive a part pension. We will probably move within the next five years to be closer to medical facilities, etc. Should I buy a small unit in the city now for us to move into later?

A. If you own your current residence and are not planning on selling it straight away, you will still have a large asset that could preclude you from receiving the pension.

However, if you are planning on selling your current residence and buying and residing in a new property closer to the city that is worth $350,000 more than the sale price of your current residence, you may become eligible for an Age Pension as your primary place of residence is exempt from the assets test.

Before making any decisions, I think it would be worthwhile to make an appointment to see an independent financial adviser so you can maximise your income options in retirement.

If you have a Centrelink question, please send it to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

Written by Ben


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