Is her super an asset?

Richard is concerned that he will have to pay back the Age Pension he has received since his wife turned 65 and her super balance became an assessable asset.

Q. Richard

Is it true that once my wife reached 65 this year, all her superannuation is counted as joint assets whether she stops working or not? I am 69 and have been receiving a part Age Pension for four years. Now I’ve been told by an accountant that our joint assets will disqualify me from the Age Pension completely and I will only be entitled to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. Plus I will have to pay back the ‘overpayment’ since she turned 65.

A. Your accountant should understand your financial position, and if this is the advice he has given, then it is most likely correct.

In general, if your wife has reached Age Pension age, her super is counted as a joint asset, unless she has commenced an income stream. If she has commenced an income stream, then the deeming rules applicable to that product will apply and the income will be assessed to determine your Age Pension eligibility.

You will have to advise Human Services immediately of this change in your joint assets or income and, if you have indeed been overpaid, then you will have to pay it back.

A Commonwealth Seniors Health Card is based on your income, which will need to be less than $82,400.

Written by Debbie McTaggart