DID YOU KNOW: 75% of Older Australians surveyed by YourLifeChoices in 2018 say the rules and regulations of retirement income are too complicated.
“They are not sure about Age Pension entitlements and could potentially be missing out on income that could help them live a better retirement,” the report says.
And with 33 million Centrelink calls went unanswered in 2017, it is not surprising seniors find it hard to get questions answered.
For example, many age pensioners are not aware that if one spouse does not qualify, it’s still possible that the other spouse may be eligible.
In our interview with Tim Bridge (64-year-old retiree from Glendale NSW) he shared his experience of nearly missing out his entitlements because he was unaware of his eligibility for the pension with his wife Bronwyn.
“We actually thought we are not eligible or couldn’t be considered then we never really thought of the concept of a ‘split pension’ or the process where one of us would be eligible and the other one wasn’t,” says Tim. “We’re also very tunnel-visioned in the age process you know I’m not at pension age but my wife is well and truly there.”
So if you are in the process of applying for your Age Pension entitlements, remember that your relationship status can affect your payment rate.
In your application, you need to declare if you’re a single or in a relationship as this information can affect if you are really eligible for a pension, the type of payment you are entitled, and the amount you will receive.
In some instances, a pension is approved by Centrelink if one spouse is not yet eligible to receive the pension, and the other spouse already meets the criteria. In these cases, the eligible spouse will not receive the full age pension, but half the couple Age Pension amount.
It is crucial to check with an Age Pension Specialist to evaluate your situation, so you will not miss on your entitlements.
To learn more or if you have other Age Pension questions, you can call us on 1300 527 727 during office hours.