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Age Pension and a de facto partner

Tom would like to know how his de facto relationship and part-time work may affect his claim for the Age Pension.

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Q. Tom

I live in Sydney with my de facto partner and we are both widowed. I work part time on a self-employed basis. She is a self-funded retiree with an investment income of around $50,000 gross pa, and has a unit as a home and part interest in an investment unit in Sydney. I have cash assets of $200,000 but no property.

I have three questions:

1. As I wish to now apply for the Age Pension, will my ability to receive a full Age Pension be affected by the de facto relationship?

2. If I continue to work part time, do I need to make an application for the Work Bonus scheme and thereby advise Centrelink of that activity?

3. Can my partner, who is 75, apply for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)? She has never applied for the Age Pension.

A. In response to your questions:

1. Yes, your Age Pension entitlement will take into consideration your de facto relationship and as such, you will be subject to the income and asset thresholds and payments relating to a couple. Here are the current income and asset thresholds.

2. You have to advise Centrelink of any income you earn and it will apply the Work Bonus scheme exempt amount to your Age Pension calculation. Lucky for you, that has increased by $4000 this year. Find out more about how the Work Bonus scheme operates here.

3. Yes, your partner can apply for a CSHC, but as with the Age Pension, she will be assessed as a couple and, as such, the couple’s income threshold will apply. Find out more about the thresholds for the CSHC card here.

All information we provide is general, as we are not fully aware of your full financial circumstances. You will have to contact Centrelink to confirm your actual eligibility, which you can do by calling 132 300. You can also ask to talk to a financial information services officer about savings and investments using the same number.

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