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Perhaps the most frequent comment we receive concerns the different Age Pension entitlements received by singles and couples.  Opinions are strongly divided on this issue however one sentiment is shared – The system isn’t fair.  This week we have decided to outline some of the arguments on both sides of this debate. 

Firstly let’s look at what singles and couples can receive and then look at some of the comments received on both sides of the arguments

RatesMarch2020

 

The perspective of a single person

“I have to pay rates, or rent, electricity and gas and these are largely the same for a single as a couple. Why do I get so much less?”
“Running a home costs me as much as it does a couple. Why don’t I get the same as them?”

The perspective of a couple

“There are two of us – we have to pay for two lots of food, clothes and entertainment.  Why don’t we each get our full entitlements.” 
“We both worked and paid our taxes. Now we are getting punished for being in a relationship.”

Singles and couples also have different thresholds for income and assets before their pension starts getting affected. Again there are very different perspectives on whether these are fair. We have included the latest thresholds at the bottom of this post.  

So why has the Government set the levels the way they are?  Well it can come down to two key points

It makes sense that two people need more money to live on than one.  So many expenses aren’t shared.
It doesn’t however cost a couple twice as much to live e.g. it doesn’t cost double to heat or cool a house and rates or rent aren’t doubled.

The current system endeavours to cater for both these factors.

Many people on the Age Pension, singles and couples, struggle to make ends meet so it’s not surprising that there are strong views on this issue.  We see both sides of the argument and our focus is to help people get all their entitlements regardless of their circumstances.  Why not check your entitlements now

While we can’t change the rules we would love to hear your views.  Please tell us what you think. 

July 2020 income test

July 2020 Assets Test