Age Pension cut due to ‘incorrect’ super balance

a member says their age pension was cut

When this couple copped an Age Pension cut, they found what they say was an error with their superannuation balance.

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Q. My wife I are on fortnightly part pensions.

Recently, we were advised by the Centrelink messaging service that our fortnightly pension was being cut by $34 each.

On checking our income and assets on my myGov account, I had a suspicion that our superannuation balances may have been overstated for the dates on the myGov account.

I made a request to the fund administrator for a statement of the balances for the dates specified in my myGov account. On receiving them, I found that our combined super balances were overstated in myGov by $33,900.

Read: Age Pension thresholds and payment rates

Is this a common occurrence? I have now edited my myGov account with the corrrect balances. I’m awaiting a correction to our pensions.

YourLifeChoices sought clarification from Services Australia and received the following response:

It’s not known whether the super product being referred to is in the accumulation phase or the pension phase (income stream). So we’ve addressed both circumstances.

For customers of Age Pension age in receipt of a pension, the units held in their superannuation account in the accumulation phase are automatically revalued and updated at a point in time every March and September. Customers only need to advise if the number of units they hold changes.

With fluctuating markets, investment values can change daily. Customers can request a revaluation at any time if the value differs from what is displaying on their myGov account. If the superannuation fund is account-based and not unit-based, this will not automatically update. Customers should notify Services Australia of any changes of $2000 or more.

A customer’s ‘market-linked’ or ‘account-based’ income stream is reviewed every February and August and updated by Services Australia. We do this using information supplied by the income stream provider. If, however, a customer purchases a new income stream, makes a lump sum withdrawal or closes an existing income stream, they should advise us within 14 days of the change occurring.

What happens if you notice a discrepancy?

Customers can advise us by using their Centrelink online account through myGov or by calling us on their regular payment line.

It’s important to remember everyone’s situation is different. Customers can speak to someone about their options with super at any time by calling the Financial Information Service on 132 300 for free and impartial information. Just say ‘Financial Information Service’ when asked why you called. The FIS officer will talk to you about your situation. They can give you information immediately or book an appointment for you if your matter is complex.

Were you aware of the rules relating to super and the Age Pension? Do you have a Centrelink query we can help you with? Email newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au or post a query or comment below.

Written by Brad Lockyer

Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.

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