Centrelink Q&A: Can I use this trick to increase my pension?

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Owen thinks he has found a way to increase his pension, but will it work?

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Q. Owen
Just a small question regarding income streams. Are there any ramifications if I cancel my income stream and transfer the money to my wife’s superannuation fund? My wife is 63, therefore the money won’t be an asset and my pension will increase. Do the gifting rules come into play?

A. Gifting between spouses is allowed without having any effect on the way your income or assets are assessed by Centrelink.

Transferring assets out of your own superannuation fund and into your wife’s account is an entirely legitimate strategy to reduce the impact of the assets test.

As your wife is under 65, she does not have to satisfy a work test to have funds contributed to superannuation. As she is under pension age, assets held in superannuation are not counted towards your combined assets test for Centrelink purposes until she is of Age Pension age or starts drawing money from the account. This thereby legitimately reduces the impact of the assets test for Age Pension purposes.

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Written by Ben

17 Comments

Total Comments: 17
  1. 0
    0

    It certainly is not a trick, just common sense. You leave money in your younger partner’s super fund and qualify for a married pension (one eligible).

  2. 0
    0

    If it’s a trick it’s a rort.
    In this case it’s totally legit. so it’s not a trick.
    My sister is retired but not yet of pension age, her husband is 69. He transferred all his super into his wife’s super 4.5 years ago

  3. 0
    0

    Can she retire at 65 ? I thought the OAP age has been raised to 66 ?

    • 0
      0

      I think it will be 66.5 soon if not already.

    • 0
      0

      Correction, you can retire at anytime 66 or 66.5 is the minimum age for applying for the OAP

    • Profile Photo
      0
      0

      You can retire at any age but can’t get the pension till 66 in my case . I worked 8 hours a week and travelled a bit to get there on two consecutive days 4 hours a day . My husbands pension was reduced and with cost of petrol etc it was a no brainer to “retire” .

  4. 0
    0

    Can she retire at 65 ? I thought the OAP age has been raised to 66 ?

  5. 0
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    The double standards on this site are truly jaw dropping.
    People using tax law to legitimately reduce their tax burdon are called rorters and have all manner of abuse hurled at them.
    Someone using legitimate ways to reduce assets and increase Centrelink payments is heralded at smart and sensible.

    Of course it is those same taxpayers paying the increased Centrelink payments resulting from this slight of hand but hey, it’s not the Centrelink claimant so that makes it OK.

    • 0
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      It’s not a double standard or a rort as it is legal.
      Unfortunately if you are single you can’t do this.

    • 0
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      This is what marrieds have been doing for years. The strength of the family unit.
      However there is also a 50% divorce rate and quite frankly I would be more inclined to trust the government than a spouse.
      – and yes Olderandwiser is it quite an unfair scenario for singles. In fact our entire economy is based on double incomes.

  6. 0
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    Think it through by seeing a Centrelink Financial Officer. It’s a good strategy but If you already have an income stream and it is tested under favourable rules which existed prior to 1 July 2015 you may be worse off in 4 years when your wife retires and it is fully means tested and income deemed

  7. 0
    0

    This is another question I have for you all.

    A friend of mine has received an award as he Asbestosis. He is reasonably well at present however he will need that money in a few years for medical and nursing care.

    When Centrelink were informed they indicated that this amount was income and therefore his pension was reduced accordingly.

    As we all know the Centrelink pension is very poultry so the money that was intended for his medical care in the future is now being whittled away on bread and butter items. That means in the future he will have nothing for the care he needs.

    Is this how the NDIS works as well? Or is there a double standard. Centrelink will help one group of people but not another? I would really like to pass on some advice to this man as it seems so incredibly wrong.

    • 0
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      When sending an email to the government site this is the response received:

      “The application fee of $920.00 must be paid before the application can proceed. More information about fees, applying to reduce the fee and the application form can be found at http://www.aat.gov.au/resources/aat-forms.”

      $920 is a fortune for a pensioner with no guarantee of success.

    • 0
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      Yep centrelink want to pay zip or as little as possible. When he needs it he’ll be drawing diwn on it so then he goes into centrelink every time his balance decreases by a $1000 or so to maximize his pension.

    • 0
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      Except he has to use it now because a reduced pension is not a livable scenario. So when he needs that money it won’t be there.
      There was no point in being awarded compensation as all the money is just eaten up by the government. What an odd system we have established.


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