Will I get a pension?

Noel is struggling to work due to ill health, but isn’t sure if he can get the Age Pension

YOURLifeChoices member Noel is struggling to continue working due to ill health, but isn’t sure if he and his wife meet the criteria for the Age Pension.

Q. Noel
I turned 65 years of age in December and am quite unwell now and wondering if I would be entitled to the Age Pension so that I could finish working.

My wife is a cleaner, but because of the downturn in work has not worked since the end of September. She is trying to find alternative employment but it is so hard at the moment.  She did go to Centrelink to try to obtain a pension, but could only get $22.00 a fortnight because of my wage.  I currently earn $40000 per year.

We own our own home and my superannuation balance is $125000 as at yesterday.  I own my own car valued at approximately $5000 and we have the furniture etc in our home, which would be worth approximately $50,000.  I have about $100 in savings as all of my wage has been being used to just survive with my wife being out of work.

Can you please advise if I am eligible for the Age Pension and would she also be eligible for Newstart until such time as she gains employment?  She has no savings either and has a car which is valued at approximately $3000.

A. I think you would benefit from an appointment with a Centrelink Financial Information Services Officer (FISO) as the information you have provided would indicate that you are entitled to at least a part Age Pension. You can make an appointment at any time by calling 13 23 00.

Your eligibility for the Age Pension is based on assessment of your income and assets. Based on your current income, you should be able to claim a part Age Pension if you continue to work. If you are planning to stop work, then your income is not a barrier. However, if you are planning to draw a pension from your superannuation, then this income will be assessed and may reduce your Age Pension payment. It is also worth noting that you will be assessed as part of a couple and therefore any income your wife earns will be used in assessing your eligibility. You can view the current income limits by reading Income test limits for pensioners.

In regards to your assets, your home is exempt from the asset limits and you appear to have assets within the current limits. This means your assets should not exempt you from receiving an Age Pension. You can view the current limits having a look at the Asset test tables.

If you are eligible for an Age Pension, then your wife should receive Newstart Allowance as your assets and income are below the limits, however, her payment may be reduced depending on this assessment.

You can view the eligibility criteria for Newstart reading YOURLifeChoices helpful article on Newstart Allowance, which explains the ins and outs of this (slightly complicated) payment. 

Assessment for the Age Pension and Newstart Allowance is based on many factors and you should discuss these with a FISO. As you are considering giving up work and drawing a pension from your superannuation, then you should also seek independent financial advice from a qualified planner.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    30th Jan 2013
    When declaring household good, you state $50,000 that may be what you have them insured at but market value is much less. I was advised to put $5,000 and they did not question this, because when you go around garage sales you may have paid $5,00 for a lounge there is no way you will get this amount back on the open market or garage sale.
    20th Mar 2013
    My wife will have been here two years in May. and eligible to receive a newstart payment she is 62 years od age Iam on a single pension because there are no assets or any income to pool Do I presume that I need to inform Centrelink of this eligibilty or if she doesnt wish to claim it at present because she will be visiting relatives overseasfor 6 months and no newstart payment will be paid, however the change to one half of the married rate will mean my income drops by $200 a fortnight,whilst she goes home for a period My wife is not entiled to any pension payment for ten years making her 72, does she have to work until this age with a newstart allowance, or do I have to divorce her to retain my present income?
    18th Sep 2013
    Dolby maybe you should have considered an Australian wife.....
    18th Sep 2013
    Penqueen your comment to be honest is stupid and immature, I have been in several relations and Marriage with Western Women, I chose to seek a Woman with morality and loyalty something not found in a lot of Western women well not the ones I have met, so your advice is infantile,and non thinking, I have had a lot of life experiences
    My wife is on Newstart which finishes at 65,no pension then only due at 72 no contributions,which is correct, Centrelink have told me a partner allowance can be paid or special benefit to take her up to 72 and qualifying for an aged pension to be paid at the newstart rate, I will go with her to China for 3 months her need to return is because of an older Brothers health condition, we accept the newstart payment will stop whilst away for three months, we have had to budget for this we will leave in Jan 2014,
    11th May 2014
    I am 74 and still working but intend to retire at the end of this year. Iam single and a homeowner. My super and assets will be slightly over the cap for a centrelink pension. When my savings dwindle to below the cap will I then be entitled a centrelink pension? I currently receive a pension from UK which varies with the exchange rate but averages out at about $100 pw.

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