"I will soon be eligible for a part age pension as I am under the threshold for assets and income test purposes. How will the income of my partner affect my pension payments? All assets are owned by myself. My partner is much younger and came into my life recently and only has earned income."
- Frank in Kuranda, North Queesland
Top answer provided by:
Unfortunately, Frank, assuming that your partner lives with you, your assessment that you will “soon be eligible for a part age pension” is quite possibly, incorrect.
Applicants for Centrelink benefits who are part of a couple are assessed based on the couples’ tests for income and assets.
This means the higher thresholds for both assets and income will apply, as follows (as of March 20, 2021):
- Full Pension Pension Cut-out
- Singles $268,000 $585,750
- Couples $401,500 $880,500
- Income Test
Full Pension Pension Cut-out
- Singles $4,628pa $54,168.40pa
- Couples $8,216pa $82,898.40pa
Based on the above, unless your partner earns less than $28,730pa, their income will make the difference between you receiving a part pension and not.
Of course, the above depends on your definition of “partner”.
For Centrelink, a “partnership” is where the couple are married, or in a registered, or de facto relationship.
For the purposes of determining entitlement, you are deemed to be in a “partnership” from the time you commence living together in any such relationship.
I’m sorry if this information undermines your retirement plans, Frank, however, there may be ways to modify your circumstances to receive a Centrelink benefit where you may, otherwise, have not.
For example, you have stated that your partner is much younger, which suggests they are below Age Pension age.
If this is the case, their superannuation would not count as an asset, nor would it be “deemed” to be generating income assessed under the income test.
There may be legitimate planning strategies you can consider that would enhance your Centrelink entitlement.
Therefore, before approaching Centrelink, or deciding that there is no point bothering, it would pay you to consult with a financial adviser with experience with Age Pension issues.
While the Adviser Ratings Website facilitates the question and answer functionality, all such communications are between users and authorised financial advisers, of which Adviser Ratings has no affiliation. Adviser Ratings is not the advice provider and does not provide financial product advice and only provides information that is general in nature.