Can I claim Newstart and super?

Iris hasn’t reached retirement age but is ready to stop working. So what are her options?

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Q. Iris
I am 61 years of age and still working full time. Because I was born in 1957, I know that I am not entitled to a full pension until I’m 67 years of age. My question is: if I retired at 63 years of age, could I get Newstart, which I believe is around $15,000 per year and use $15,000 of my super to give me approximately $30,000 per year to live on? Would I be able to do this for four years until I am of full pension age?

A. You may be entitled to the Newstart Allowance, although this is usually only granted to those actively looking for employment. 

In September 2018, the Government strengthened participation requirements for some people receiving an unemployment payment, including mature age Australians. These changes to participation requirements recognise that many older Australians are working longer. The changes are aimed at encouraging more mature age people to actively undertake activities to improve their chances of getting into paid employment and off welfare, particularly in their first 12 months on payment when they are more likely to have recent workforce experience. Annual activity requirements of 10 hours per fortnight have been introduced for those aged between 60 and the Age Pension age.

As you are over 60, you will also be able to draw down on some of your super, but you should book an appointment to visit a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer to find out exactly how this and your other income and assets will affect any Newstart payment. You can book an appointment by calling 13 2300.

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 Ben

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