14th Jul 2017

My husband works. Should I apply for an Age Pension?

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My husband works. Should I apply for an Age Pension?
Debbie McTaggart

Francine and her husband are both 71-years-old. Her husband is still working, but Francine wants to know if it’s worth her applying for an Age Pension or seniors card.

Q. Francine
My husband and I are both 71 with my husband still working and earning $75,000 per year. We are just under the assets threshold and would like to know if I can have a seniors health card or Age Pension.

A. As you may know, your Age Pension eligibility is calculated by applying both the income and assets tests, with the resulting lower payment determining under which rules you are paid. If, under either of the calculations the resulting payment is $0, then you will not receive an Age Pension.

Currently, the income threshold for a couples Age Pension is $77, 438, however, this includes income from investments. Your assessable income can be reduced by $6500 under the Work Bonus. Therefore, if you have little or no income over and above what your husband earns, it would seem that it may be worthwhile making a claim for the Age Pension.



If you are not eligible for the Age Pension, then you may receive a Commonwealth Seniors Heath Card instead. This card is only subject to an income test and the current threshold for couples is currently $84,472.

This information is of course general in nature and you should make an appointment to speak with a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer to discuss your circumstances and options further. You can do this by calling 13 23 00.

Related articles:
Are you banking on an Age Pension?
Are you old enough for a pension?
Age Pension and your super





COMMENTS

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GrandmaKathleen22
17th Jul 2017
12:43pm
I did work part time when my husband became eligible for the pension at age 65. He applied and we reported my income religiously each fortnight. As I was a teacher doing emergency teaching only I was not paid for the holidays.
We found it a good idea because we were able to get help with bills like car registration and utilities. I never had anything like $75,000 though!
fairplay
17th Jul 2017
3:24pm
wow , seems the income test is fairly generous, given that 2 people on the full age pension are only eligible for around 34k. Presume then you could be an ex Govt worker who already receives a Govt pension of less than $77438 and still get a part age pension .. if so it seems a double dip.I know you could argue that the chap in question still pays his taxes and does not draw from the Govt coffers, but still seems to be a bit generous when comparing to the full age pension or those that have been cut off from any pension and relying on say less than 3% of their pot of around say $816k. Argument seems to be it is up to each to chose investment options and when their pot whittles down they can revisit centrelink. System seems to be a little skew whiff and mostly on the nose
Old Man
17th Jul 2017
3:35pm
Apply, Francine, and let the public servants make the decision as to your suitability. The age pension criteria are quite clear and if you are entitled, you should take up your entitlement. I have found Centrelink to be very helpful and if you are not eligible they will carefully explain the reasons why.
Colours
17th Jul 2017
4:18pm
Don't hold your breath though. I applied in April, sent the final answers to their questions on 4th June, and am still waiting for a reply.
Old Man
17th Jul 2017
5:09pm
That's the bad news Colours, the good news is that your claim, if approved, will be backdated to the date it was lodged.
johnp
24th Jul 2017
2:36pm
thats impressive, being able to report your income religiously each fortnight. my experience with centrelink is being on hold for hours !!


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