Couple's Age Pension quandary

Jeff would like to know if he will receive a single or couples’ Age Pension when he reaches Age Pension age before his wife.

Q. Jeff

I will reach the Age Pension age in four years, but my wife will not be eligible for another eight years. I know it’s complicated, but if I was eligible for a full Age Pension, would I receive a single pension – $766 (wife not working and not eligible for pension), or $577.40 as half of a couples’ pension?

A. When you reach the Age Pension age and your wife has not, you will still be assessed under the income and assets test as part of a couple, and will receive the couple’s rate of Age Pension, one member eligible.

If your wife does not work and is not eligible for an Age Pension, she may be eligible for Newstart Allowance. You can find out more by visiting

Given that you have four years until you are able to claim an Age Pension, it would be timely to consult an independent financial advisor, who can provide strategies to maximise your superannuation income and retirement funding.

You may also find it useful to download a copy of YOURLifeChoicesYour retirement and the Age Pension.

Written by Debbie McTaggart