How to earn extra income without losing the age pension

How to earn extra income without losing the age pension

As asked to Noel Whittaker | Money | Ask an expert | theage.com.au | April 12 2017

We are 65 and 62. In a recent article it was claimed that at age 65 it is possible for a couple on the full age pension to receive $67,252 a year tax free. This sum was comprised of $34,252 a year pension plus $13,000 (combined) from part-time work and $20,000 drawn from their super. Is this possible? Isn't it true that the other income will cancel out the age pension?

The figures add up because the couple could each earn $125 a week from casual work, which is not assessed by Centrelink, and withdrawals from their superannuation are not taxable nor are they treated as income for Centrelink purposes. Therefore, their taxable income would be $23,626 each but no tax would be payable thanks to the Senior Australian and Pensioner Tax Offset. 

However, the figures are somewhat contrived.  Their total assets including superannuation, bank accounts, furniture motor vehicles etc could not exceed $375,000, and they would have to be in a position where both were willing and able to perform casual work. The $20,000 from their super is simply a draw down of their capital so any number you choose may be used. The example in the paper is really saying that a couple on the full pension could earn $125 a week each from casual work, and make withdrawals as they wish from their super.

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