Sunday Territorian

Ways to help maximise your age pension

- Brenton Miegel

Q: I’ll be 66 this year, am not working and have $310,000 in an allocated pension drawing $2600 a month. My partner is 60 and has $140,000 in super. She has a small casual job and we have $200,000 in a term deposit and $50,000 in a smaller investment, which is accessible any time. We own our home and anticipate receiving approximat­ely $150,000 from an inheritanc­e in the next few years. How will this affect my pension? Will I be eligible? My other concern is that my income stream seems to be going backwards and, on top of that, I’m drawing on it. It’s not earning enough to cover what I draw?

A: To be eligible for the Age Pension you will need to attain age 67. At that time your Allocated Pension, term deposit and smaller investment would be assessed for asset test purposes, together with the fire sale value of your contents, motor vehicle(s) and money in the bank. Your partner’s superannua­tion would not be assessed until she is Age Pension age. Based on the figures you have provided, you would be entitled to some Age Pension income support.

When the inheritanc­e is received, your assessable assets would increase, thereby decreasing your Age Pension income support. Given the age difference between you and your partner, there are strategies available to help maximise your Age Pension income support. I would recommend you meet with a profession­al financial adviser.

Q: I recently sold my home. I have no monetary interest in my accommodat­ion as I am sharing. I have been to Centrelink previously as I was not certain I was dealing with a “Financial Officer” although that was who I had the appointmen­t with. You mentioned in the newspaper a few weeks ago to liaise with a “Financial Informatio­n Services Officer” How can I be certain I am dealing with such person and not just “Centrelink”?

A: Appointmen­ts with Financial Informatio­n Services Officers need to be booked (by phoning and making the appointmen­t as a rule). They should be clearly identified when you meet with them and, if in doubt, ask. That being said, depending on the query you have, a Customer Service person at Services Australia (Centrelink) is often able to sort out any issues that you have. In assuming you were updating your informatio­n following the sale of your home, I would have thought that a Customer Service officer would have been able to assist. Finally, if you do not have the Centrelink portal on your MyGov site, I would recommend that you arrange this – it is one of the quickest and easiest ways to update your informatio­n.


Brenton is a director and an authorised representa­tive of Goldsborou­gh Financial Services Limited. His advice should be considered as an opinion. Readers should consider engaging their own personal financial adviser. Questions and answers may have been edited for length.

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