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Warning Australian Pensioner Don’t Get Married!

Recently I inquired what would happen to my pension if I married. The answer surprised me. In a nut shell it’s this;

If in a defacto (common law) or legal marriage arrangement the pensioner will get a marriage pension which is substantially less than the single person pension. Why? It was explained to me that the new partner could easily work and earn money for the household, and this not withstanding the age of the spouse or even if the spouse is incapacitated. The officer also said that it’s not of any concern to Centrelink the condition of the partner or the nationality, i.e. Australian or otherwise.

The message here is if someone informs Centrelink they’re married or have a partner your single pension income will be changed to a marriage pension forthwith.

The annual pension for a Single Australian pensioner is $21,505
The annual (combined) married pension for eligible (aged)couples is $32,417.

Warning Australian Pensioner Don't Get Married

Presumably this means if you marry a lady who is not considered eligible by reasons of nationality or/and age the income to the pensioner drops by half of the married pension income to $16,208. ($21,505-$16,208=$5296.50 less. or $203.71 a fortnight.

I would have thought that the Single Aged pension would either be unaffected or increased. Sadly mistaken.


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About Chris

Chris founded Living Thai and author of the books Learn the The Thai Alphabet and How to make money in Thailand also the Blueprint for Living in Thailand. Chris started this blog with the aim of educating westerners on how to have the best time in Thailand, to make new friends and to vent his frustrations Chris is also fluent in both written and spoken Thai.

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2 Responses to Warning Australian Pensioner Don’t Get Married!

  1. screenwarmer February 11, 2014 at 7:59 am #

    Hi Chris. That sounds costly. Does it affect your decision? I suppose it’s an important factor to consider. You know getting married here doesn’t have to be legal. I’m sure you know it’s a string around the wrist gathering of family. I suppose if you want to take her home to Australia it gets complicated. Forgive me if I put in my 2 cents if you’re not asking but there is value in a relationship and kids which no price can be put on. You’re wife could actually help you to make more money. I know you’ve probably thought about all this. Good luck.

    Screenwarmer

    • Chris February 11, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

      Not at all, i’m not even eligble for the pension anyway i think i’ve paid 2 years of tax in Australia that’s it. Would be kinda scummy of me asking for a handout.

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