Maintaining your Age Pension

YOURLifeChoices member Madeline is due to come into an inheritance, but fears it will all but cancel out her Age Pension. She would like to know if she can minimise the effect.

Q. Madeline
I am due to come into an inheritance shortly and was hoping you could help me. I am 68 and on my own in rather poor health.  The money will probably just about cut out my Age Pension but I hope to keep my health care card.  

I would like to use the money wisely, but do not wish to invest in a super fund, etc, as I was stung before and lost all my retirement savings. I like term deposits or perhaps an account that would keep the principle safe, but pay good interest a few times a year.

I am not terribly good at understanding complicated money matters, but I am a good saver. I have two children with families of their own and I would like to gift some money to them – within Centrelink rules of course.

A. Any inheritance you receive will not in itself affect your Age Pension, but any income it generates may. We cannot give financial advice as we are not licensed to do so and would suggest that you make an appointment ton speak to a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer (FISO), who can give you information about how investments will affect your pension and how deeming on investments work. You can contact them on 13 2300

As a guideline, you can find out how much income you can have before your Age Pension is affected. Remember, even $1 of Age Pension will entitle you to retain your Pensioner Concession Card

I’m sure you’re aware of Centrelink’s gifting limits but just in case you need a reminder, you may wish to read YOURLifeChoices article Insurance payouts and gifting, which covers circumstances similar to your own.  

As well as making an appointment with a Centrelink FISO, you may also wish to contact National Information Centre for Retirement

Investments (NICRI) on 1800 020 110 for further information.

Written by Debbie McTaggart