Will my wife get an Age Pension?

When claiming an Age Pension, what is your spouse entitled to?

Will my wife get an Age Pension?

Barry is contemplating claiming an Age Pension and would like to know if his wife will also be eligible, or will she have to make do with Newstart Allowance.

Q. Barry
Although I would qualify for a full Age Pension I have decided to continue to work. My wife has yet to reach Age Pension age and she has not entered the work force in over 40 years. We will qualify for full benefits as our material and fiscal position is not great. We are concerned when we do decide to retire, how we are going to manage if there is nothing for her. Is there some benefit that we are unaware of for which we can apply? Or will she have to go on Newstart until she qualifies for an Age Pension?

A. Based on the information you have given, the only payment to which your wife may be entitled is Newstart Allowance. However, as your wife does not work, she may be eligible for a Seniors Card, which would entitle her to concessions on rates, utilities and other household costs. Seniors Cards are issued by state governments and you can find out more by visiting YOURLifeChoices Seniors Card page.

Also, as you have continued to work without claiming an Age Pension, you may wish to register for the Pension Bonus Scheme, if you turned 65 before 20 September 2009. If you are eligible, you can continue to work and when you do decide to claim an Age Pension, you will be paid a bonus. In the interim, you may also be able to claim a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, which will entitle you to cheaper health care, prescription costs and household concessions offered by your state or territory government.

If you are not eligible to register for the Pension Bonus Scheme, then you may wish to consider claiming the Age Pension and utilising the Work Bonus to enable you to earn more. Under the Work Bonus, the first $250 you earn each fortnight is not assessed, meaning you may be entitled to some Age Pension and a Pensioner Concession Card, as well as still being able to work.

It would be worthwhile making an appointment to see a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer who can give you a more detailed response based on your individual financial circumstances. You can do this at any time, whether or not you are currently receiving payments. Simply call 13 2300 to make an appointment.


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    5th Aug 2013
    I am not yet of pension age but my partner is on a full age pension. The house is in my name and I have a Seniors Card yet I do not get a discount on the rates. Can you confirm your statement that rates and utilities are discounted for Seniors Card-holders?
    5th Aug 2013
    Your article is so correct. My wife is too young and has to go on New Start. However, we have a house overseas and rent here. Now comes the crux: you cannot live in the bog cities and pay rent on the single full age pension. Rents for a decent place are in the. $400 per week bracket. Pension is is about $363 per week. This means your savings or super will disappear quickly. Or you have to move to a boarding house. Great outlook for the remaining years.I tried to find work again, but no one wants old people.
    I phrase a Bruce Springsteen song : "Darkness on the edge of town" or your life for that matter. It all means, save like mad all life, do not live, at least you have money in the end.

    Facing reality

    5th Aug 2013
    I forgot to mention, when we move into our house overseas, the ex pat pension will go down to the basic $276 per week. At least, we do not pay rent. So we can survive with more respect.


    5th Aug 2013
    Like Jen, I question your assertion that holders of state government issued Seniors Cards are eligible for discounted rates and utilities. I have a NSW Seniors card and this is news to me. Can you please comment.
    5th Aug 2013
    I wasn't aware a Seniors Card was enough to secure discounts on rates or utilities, not in New South Wales anyway. I was of the believe a Pensioner Concession Card was needed to obtain these discounts.
    7th Aug 2013
    I have a Victorian seniors card and have never been advised of any of the concessions mentioned.As they say in the movie castle "tell em there dreamin"
    28th May 2014
    I got a part concession on my council rates but nothing else in SA.

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