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Leon
Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 42645
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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I am 67 and getting married to a younger a partner from China. She

Customer Question

I am 67 and getting married to a younger a partner from China.
She will be ineligible to receive any benefits or to apply for any benefits from Centrelink for a two year period.
My question is.
Will my single pension be reduced because I have married to half the combined pension ?
eric
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good Evening, My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.Your pension will only be reduced if she has an income or assets that exceed the limits. If she does not then you will continue to get a full pension. If she works then your pension will be reduced. I hope this makes sense and is of assistance. if there is nothing further thank you for using my services. If I have missed anything, or you have any further questions please let me know If there is anything else in the future please do not hesitate to ask. Please do not forget to leave positive feedback. RegardsLeon
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
just to clarlify that means I will still be on a single pension and not a partner pension which is less?
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good Evening, You will be treated as a married person. But I am not 100% certain if they will give you the partner pension or the single pension Using the following link you can work it out by inputting the information of your position. http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/age-pension-and-planning-your-retirementScroll down and start the online estimator. Only compare Centelink rates and proceed. Click on your current situation as no partner and proposed with a partner and complete the information and it will tell you what you will get.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been through that process the online estimator does not take into account immigrants forbidden to work or claim benefits prevented so by the Australian Government and department of immigration.That is the clarification I need but am unable to obtain.Its a coradiction in policy and I am looking for a resolution
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
I have to do some research and get back to you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thanks I will wait till you researcheric
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good Morning,I have made the investigation and you will receive the pension as a couple so it will be reduced even though she does not work. They look at the marital status not the migration status and conditions on the visaYour pension will also be adjusted when she starts workingHere is an illustration followed by the linkIllustration of the Age Pension for only one partner in a coupleJoe had retired at age 64 years when his employment contract finished. Joe is applying for an Age Pension as he reaches age 65 years. But Mary his partner would only be 63 years when Joe attains his Age Pension Age.Mary continues in her part time teaching job as she enjoys her work. Mary earns $26,000 per annum as a permanent part time teacher.Joe has $200,000 in his superannuation fund account. Mary’s superannuation account is not counted here because she has not attained her Age Pension Age.Joe and Mary have other financial assets of $40,000 in bank accounts. They own their home. Joe and Mary have two cars plus a caravan and trailer. The ‘garage sale’ value of their personal stuff, household contents, vehicles and recreational things amounts to $50,000. Joe and Mary have no outstanding debts and their tax affairs are up to date.Thus Joe and Mary are a homeowner couple at Centrelink. Once Joe turns 65, their ‘financial assets’ will be $240,000and their other assets are valued at $50,000.For the Age Pension means test, Joe and Mary are homeowners with assessable assets of $290,000.Their annual assessable income consists of Mary’s salary of $26,000 and $9,666 of deemed financial income (January 2013 rates).The Income Test reduction is $275.90 each per fortnight. The Asset Test reduction is only $12.75 each per fortnight. Therefore, the Income Test reduction will apply.The couple rate of Age Pension is $582.40 each per fortnight including the Pension Supplement. Thus Joe could receive an Age Pension of $306.50 per fortnight in January 2013.Mary is not eligible for any Age Pension because she has not attained her Age Pension Age. But Mary must tell Centrelink about her earnings for Joe to continue receiving his Age Pension.http://www.financialcareservices.com.au/christine-hopper-insights/age-pension-for-only-one-partner-in-a-couple/Sorry I could not give you better news
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
hmmm..very strange......reduced pension for two years and I have to support both of us on a reduced pension for one...........sorry I just don't understand it as the example given is for an Australian working encompassing other benefits etc. Normally she would be put on Newstart as an Australian and then both would have an income.In this case it still does not make sense.....as she is not a citizen nor can apply for any benefits .......anyway, thankyoueric
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
When I called them they told me that they would treat it as a couple and you would be paid that way.The best way to sort this out is to attend and see them and explain the situation. I was very limited on what i could tell them and they just provided me general information. I explained the scenario and that is what I was told. My understanding as a partner she is entitled to et some benefits.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The department would disagree...she is eligible for Newstart in 104 weeks.That is why I am puzzled as to why I would be put at a disadvantage because the Department of Immigration will not allow her to receive any benefits for 104 weeks.I am required to show I can support her and myself for that period so it just does not make any sense to me as to why I would lose $100.00 a week during that period.Not sure how to handle this when I submit my application for my pension to recommence as losing $100.00 a week seems like a harsh penalty for marrying when the partner is unable to claim any benefits.I find at times that even Centrelink are quite vague about individual assessments as I found out when I had to submit a valuation on my share in a business which is now sold.Centrelink could not get an answer from the two controlling directors of the company and I could not get any positive information even after I employed the services of solicitor to request the information I needed to lodge my original application last year.The two directors in question just chose to ignore all requests so I am not sure what Centrelink did as the directors fobbed them off.
Here I am in a similar situation but that is another story I will have to deal with in the next few months.
I may just have to plead ignorance.
eric
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good Evening, You should make an appointment with Centrelink and speak to them. They will give you an answer and that will be binding on them. I agree with you it is unfair and harsh but that is what they told me on the phone.