Can I get an Age Pension?

Francine and her husband are both 71-years-old. Her husband is still working, but Francine wants to know if it’s worth her applying for an Age Pension or seniors card.

Q. Francine
My husband and I are both 71 with my husband still working and earning $75,000 per year. We are just under the assets threshold and would like to know if I can have a seniors health card or Age Pension.

A. As you may know, your Age Pension eligibility is calculated by applying both the income and assets tests, with the resulting lower payment determining under which rules you are paid. If, under either of the calculations the resulting payment is $0, then you will not receive an Age Pension.

Currently, the income threshold for a couples Age Pension is $77, 438, however, this includes income from investments. Your assessable income can be reduced by $6500 under the Work Bonus. Therefore, if you have little or no income over and above what your husband earns, it would seem that it may be worthwhile making a claim for the Age Pension.

If you are not eligible for the Age Pension, then you may receive a Commonwealth Seniors Heath Card instead. This card is only subject to an income test and the current threshold for couples is currently $84,472.

This information is of course general in nature and you should make an appointment to speak with a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer to discuss your circumstances and options further. You can do this by calling 13 23 00.

Related articles:
Are you banking on an Age Pension?
Are you old enough for a pension?
Age Pension and your super

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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