When it comes to applying for the Age Pension many of our members have asked us questions like: “Do I apply as a single or as a couple?”, “What if my partner is younger than me, do I have to wait?”, “Why does Centrelink ask such personal questions about my relationship?”
We thought we’d share the answers to Centrelink’s rules about relationships so that you can understand how all of it all works.
- Firstly, you could be eligible for the Age Pension when you are 66 ½ years. It is always better to apply for the Age Pension as soon as you are eligible because the sooner you apply, the sooner you get you entitlements (including the valuable Pensioners Concession Card). You can apply 13 weeks before you turn 66 ½ years old.
- If you are single (and not in a domestic relationship with another adult), the application process is a little easier. You are assessed as a single person and only your assets and income information will be taken into account.
- If you are a couple, you should apply for the Age Pension as soon as you are eligible regardless of the age of your partner. Even if only one of you is applying, Centrelink will still assess you as a couple or ‘household’. Both your assets and income will be taken into account and the couple payment thresholds will apply. Centrelink defines a ‘couple living together’ as two adults who share domestic arrangements and present socially as a ‘couple’. This is the reason you’ll need to answer questions about your relationship when making an application.
- Younger spouse? There are considerations if one member of the couple is not yet of age pension age as the younger spouse’s super which won’t be included in the assets test if they haven’t yet started an income stream. Some people are able to take advantage of this and transfer money into a younger spouse’s super account to improve their pension eligibility. Our recent article discusses this further and you can also book a consultation with one of our advisers if you need any help with this.
We understand how complicated this can all be which is why, when you apply with Retirement Essentials, you are only asked questions that are relevant to your situation. This means that you avoid answering unnecessary questions or making mistakes that could affect your entitlements.
Our Age Pension Service is a licenced, professional and confidential. If you need help with your application you can always book a consultation with a member of our customer team.
You can also check your eligibility for the age pension and how much you might be entitled to receive by clicking below.