When does a partner’s super balance count as an asset?

Chris’s wife is leaving the workforce shortly. Will her super be counted as an asset?

Chris’s wife is leaving the workforce shortly but has not yet reached pension age. Will her super be counted as an asset?


Q. Chris
My 59-year-old wife is working part time. We both receive a part age pension due to the fact that I have a Veterans Affairs gold TPI card. She is considering leaving the workforce shortly. I understand that she does not have to include her super balance in the asset test until she reaches the pension age, which I assume is 67.

Does this rule still apply even though she is receiving a part pension?

A. If your wife is under the Age Pension age and is not receiving an income from her superannuation, then generally it shouldn’t be assessed as an asset. 

According to the Centrelink website: “If you are under age pension age, your superannuation investments are usually disregarded for income and assets test purposes. When you or your partner reach age pension age, whether you receive Age Pension or another payment, superannuation investments are:

  • included as assets under the assets test, and
  • regarded as financial investments. They are added to the value of other financial investments and all financial investments are deemed to calculate income.

If you have a Centrelink question, please send it to newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

Are you eligible for an Age Pension? Do you know your rights? The PensionChecker™ tool has all the information you need.


    Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    15th Feb 2019
    This is an odd ruling. A younger wife or husband can have millions in accumulation while the couple get a pension and concessions for years.

    Deeming needs sorting out.
    15th Feb 2019
    Yep unless you are income streaming from your super, it is not an assest until you reach aged pension age. I think the government is hoping you then will retire on what you have in your super, and not need the OAP.
    Old Geezer
    15th Feb 2019
    Yes ditch your old wife and get a 20 year old and put all your money in her super and you both get the OAP plus benefits.
    16th Feb 2019
    Haha. Dangerous idea OG. My dad got taken by a young second wife and I ended up keeping him for 20 years after she took everything.

    It's a bit of a lurk though just the same. I have friends doing it now. Drew down just enough extra from a salary sacrifice account to see them out while holding off using the super while they can. Took financial advice about doing so.

    The government hoping something happens far too often. So does making things up to suit themselves such as deeming. They need to get some qualified, experienced advisors back in the Public Service and stop making stupid mistakes in my opinion.

    At the moment they aren't worth the money we are paying them.
    16th Feb 2019
    Hear, hear Rae, but then too many folk expect the best of everything on offer and woe betide anyone, particularly pubic savants that beg to differ...the degree of the claimants lament commensurate with the imposition against their (perceived) expectations/entitlements.

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles