How will home sales affect pension?

Kevin and his partner are in the process of selling their homes and moving in together. What will this mean for their Age Pension payments?

Q. Kevin
I have sold my home and have bought another house with my partner. She has also sold her unit and, after settlement, will move to our new address. At that point, we will advise Centrelink that we will be living together at the same address in a house we jointly own.

We are both full single pensioners at this time and understand that we will be transferred to the couple rate once we begin to live together. After settlement, our combined savings will amount to about $170,000. Will this mean a reduction in our pensions?

A. Centrelink assesses your eligibility for the Age Pension by applying the rules of the income and assets tests, and then paying the lower resulting amount of the two calculations.

When you advise Centrelink that you are living as a couple, you will be assessed as such. The maximum base rate per fortnight for a single age pensioner is $814 and for each member of a couple $613.60.

For a homeowner couple to receive full Age Pensions, they must have no more than a maximum of $380,500 in assets combined and no more than $837,000 to receive part-Age Pensions. Your Age Pension is reduced by $3 for every $1000 you exceed the asset limit.

You and your partner should make an appointment to see a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer to discuss your situation.

If you have a Centrelink question, please send it to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

Written by Janelle Ward

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