How much part Age Pension will we get?

YOURLifeChoices member Rosemarie is pleased to find out she may receive a part Age Pension, but she may need to reduce her assets. How much part Age Pension will she receive?

Q. Rosemarie
My husband and I have recently retired and are self-funded retirees. We thought we did not qualify for a part Age Pension but were recently advised that we may indeed be able to get one. We have now applied for a part Age Pension, but it is possible that we may be just over the maximum amount. If this is the case, would it be legally acceptable to use $100,000 for home renovations? This could then reduce our assets and deem us eligible for part Age-Pension.  

Also, with assets of $1m, how much part Age Pension could we expect to receive?

A. You can use money to carry out renovations to your home at any time and this will naturally reduce the amount of assets you hold and may take you below the threshold and enable you to claim a pension.

If your claim is rejected in the first instance due to your assets being too valuable, you will have to wait until you have spent the money on renovations before asking Centrelink to reconsider your claim.

The amount of part Age Pension you receive is not only based on the assets you have. It is also determined by your income. For each dollar of income you receive over the income limit, which is currently $268 for a couple combined, your pension will be reduced by 50 cents. In terms of the asset limit, your Age Pension is reduced by $1.50 for every $1000 over a certain threshold, until you reach the disqualifying amount. You will need to speak with a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer to ascertain what your payment rate will be. 

As self-funded retirees, if you do not qualify for an Age Pension, you may be entitled to a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), which will give you access to concessions on pharmaceuticals, medical services, transport to name but a few. Also, as holders of a CSHC, you may also be eligible for a Seniors Supplement to assist with household bills.

Written by Debbie McTaggart