HomeCentrelink – Services AustraliaAge PensionCentrelink Q&A: Do I have to declare my wife’s income if I...

Centrelink Q&A: Do I have to declare my wife’s income if I am on the Age Pension?

A YourLifeChoices reader on the Age Pension wants to know if his wife’s income will affect his payments.


Q. Adrian

I am currently 73 years of age, working full time and receiving an Age Pension amount of $120 per fortnight. My wife is 66 years of age and eligible for an Age Pension in seven months and currently has no income. If she is successful in applying for a JobSeeker allowance, will that payment be considered as income I need to declare in my fortnightly report?

If I am on a full Age Pension and my wife is successful in being approved for a JobSeeker allowance, will her allowance affect my pension? In other words, will I need to report her allowance as income when I do my fortnightly report to Centrelink for my Age Pension and thereby have my pension reduced?

A. Without knowing Adrian’s full financial position, it’s impossible to provide precise figures for this answer.

However, if he and his wife are receiving any income, including from Centrelink, they must report that income. 

Even though only one person is on the Age Pension in this relationship, Centrelink will treat you as a couple for the purpose of the Age Pension rate.

According to Services Australia, as there are different rates of Age Pension payments for single and partnered people, if you have a partner Centrelink needs income and assets information for both of you. 

You must report any income and assets, even if it is under the cut-off point. Centrelink will assess you and your partner’s income and assets from all sources, including financial assets such as savings and shares. The superannuation of the younger partner not on the Age Pension will not be included. 

However, once your superannuation moves into any type of income stream it is no longer exempt and will affect the Age Pension rates for the older partner.

You can find more about the assets test for the Age Pension here and the income test here.

In this case, Adrian’s wife is on JobSeeker payments, so it will be easy to provide evidence for your income. If you are working, you don’t need to give any payslips unless Centrelink asks for them.

Do you have to report your partner’s income? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Also read: Centrelink Q&A: Can I live overseas and still get the Age Pension?

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisherhttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/JanFisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.


  1. Another reason why the complex OAP needs to be replaced with a universal pension as is the case in most countries. Most countries don’t have any means testing as in income or assets. Only requirement is that you have reached that countries pension age.
    A universal pension will eliminate waiting times with Centrelink. I will reduce rorting to almost zero. Centrelink staff can concentrate on the welfare system.
    It will need a revamp of tax laws and super tax payments but is totally achievable.
    Stop the super rich from exploiting loopholes in the super tax and income tax systems. Make companies who earn money in Australia pay tax in Australia instead of allowing them to use offshore loses to pay no tax in Australia.
    There’s plenty more areas that can be looked at as well.

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