Centrelink Q&A: Do I need to report my wife’s income

A YourLifeChoices reader wants to know how his wife’s income will affect his part pension payments.

Q. Adrian

I am 73 years of age, working full time and receiving an Age Pension amount of $120 per fortnight (with a $300 work bonus). My wife is 66 years of age, is eligible for the 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 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. If you are a member of a couple and are receiving Centrelink payments for whatever reason you must report all your income regardless of the source. So that includes income from work and Centrelink payments for both members of the couple.

Your eligibility for the Age Pension is based on two tests: the income test and the assets test.

You will only be eligible for payment or part payment if your income and assets are below the threshold of these tests. When you apply for the Age Pension, you must provide evidence of both your income and asset level to be approved.

Find out more about the income test here and the assets test here.

The assets excluded from the assets test are the family home and the younger spouse’s superannuation.

Another point worth noting is that regardless of whether your partner is working or not, if only one of you is of Age Pension age, you will also only receive the couples pension level, but for one person, instead of the singles rate, which is higher.

Without knowing Adrian’s full financial situation,  we cannot give a definitive answer to how much his payments may change if his wife is approved for the Jobseeker allowance. However, he will have to report her income to Centrelink.

Do you have a younger spouse who is working? Do you find it difficult to report their income? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Also read: When can I apply for 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'.


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