Married Aussies.

A couple of years ago I asked Centrelink what would happen to my aged pension should I marry, and they told me that if I have a live in partner of any description my Australian pension would drop $100 plus ( not sure if that was per month or per fortnight ) even if I was supporting them 100% it would make no difference, so I asked them if they would email me what they told me so as I had it in writing, and a month or so later much to my surprise I received an email, and sure enough what the person whom I spoke to at Centrelink was correct.

I have had a lady friend for the past three years who wants to get married, but I have been putting it off because if my pension dropped I may have a tiny struggle with my budget now that the dollar has dropped so much, even though I dont waste money.

Anyway I am starting to weaken because over the years she has never given me any reason to doubt her, and I have grown very fond of her ( at my age my love feelings have gone ) and I figure that fond has taken the place of love, so I have decided to marry her if I can get away with it and not telling Centrelink, but if I have to tell them then we cant be married, so what are the chances of Centrelink finding out if I dont notify them?

Whilst living in and working in Australia for over sixty years I paid a lot of tax and I dont think it is fair that because I may have a live in partner I should have a drop in pension, so I am asking this question to Australians whom have married a Filipino whether or not if they told  Centrelink or just got married and said nothing?

I really hope that somebody will be able to answer this for me so as I will know which road to take.

Will be thankful for any help or advice that any body can offer.

Thank you.

I omitted to say that my lady friend does not live with me as she comes from the old school, cant live together until she is married, but visits every weekend, which is actually a good way to go. lol.
I am self reliable, can do my own cleaning, have a washing machine, love cooking, so maybe would be best to stay this way. haha.
But when I am with her on the week ends it is a nice feeling.

I haven't asked Centrelink what happens to my pension if I have a wife or partner and perhaps I won't ask!

I do have a partner here in the Philippines and never even thought about how it could affect my pension. It does seem crazy that if you are supporting someone 100% and the person has no income that your pension would be affected. Like you, $100 per month would make a difference. Already living outside of Australia we pensioners lose the supplements for electricity and telephone, etc. and can't claim rental assistance, so to lose another $100 would be an insult! We are already saving the Australian Government money because they don't pay us the additional benefits.

You are so right OzFreddie but it is a fact 100% your pension drops down over a $100 a fortnight if you have a partner, even if you are not married, and even if she is not working, so if that happened and the dollar keeps on dropping the way it is what hope will we have of still living here? 

It is like that BIG BROTHER is always watching you ,and every move you make, so you have to always have your wits about you and play it straight down the line.

I think that Australia is the only country that has this rule and why I dont know as it costs us more if we support somebody, and it is not coming out of Centrelinks pocket anyway, but who are we to reason?

Play it cool Freddie.

That's $100 per fortnight? Not per month? WOW! I could barely exist even in Phils if that happened! Imagine trying to support a partner with no income if you were in Australia and relying just on the single pension!

I can't find any relevant information about this and always understood that as long as combined assets and income of a couple don't exceed the limit then the full pension will be paid to either both, if both are of pension age or to one if there is only one partner of pension age.

Did Centrelink refer you to a relevant clause?

This is an interesting thread. Although I am from the UK, I thought I would join-in for clarification on the Australian rules (as much of the system is very similar to the UK - obviously!)

In the UK a 'spouse's pension' is a lot less than yours - but only after you die (think - inherited state pension). Some get confused that their pension will drop when they marry/cohabit, which is not the case - but the continuing benefits to your spouse (widow's pension) are lower.

Sure, Australian rules can be entirely different of course - but it seems rather unfair, draconian and 'anti marriage' to lower your state pension in such a manner?

I can understand it for Private Pensions - which is essentially a lump of money you then 'do a deal' with an annuity provider to give you a regular income. That deal will be less if you add-in your spouse, because obviously she will likely live longer than you - requiring the annuity provider to payout for longer (hence single life annuities provide a higher income than joint life annuities).

But for State Pension to be reduced whilst you are alive? That's downright insulting!

Sorry mates but the fact is that if you have partner living with you married or single, your pension drops up  to $200 per month.
I know from experience as it happened to me in Australia (I dont want to go into too much detail) a number of years ago, and no matter what argument I put up my pension stayed down, and as I mentioned in a previous post Centrelink  sent me the ruling by mail, and nothing has changed since my experience.
Dont take my word for it, email Centrelink yourselves for the ruling  of what happens with your pension should you take in a partner.

That is really draconian!

It's like the Australian government is actively discouraging marriage AND discriminating against it.

How on earth did they get that law through parliament without a revolt?

And there was me [as a Brit/Pom] thinking the UK was the worst....

I am very surprised. You must have some really p*ssed off pensioners/expats!!

I can see now why this is so.  In Australia there is a higher payment for a single pensioner. The rate for a couple is less than twice the rate for a single pensioner. Where one partner only is elegible for the pension the other partner can be working or receiving unemployment benefits while looking for work. That is fine if both partners are in Australia and are Australian citizens. However, when in Philippines, if the non-pensioner partner is not working there is no income  from that partner because there is no such thing as unemployment benefit here.

Additionally, my Filipino partner upon reaching Australian pension age would obviously not receive any Australian pension.

I don't know if Centrelink would look at ths on a case by case basis. I couldn't afford to take a drop in pension of $400 per month!


In Australia things are slightly different and each individual is treated separately. A person's pension ceases on death and is not inherited by the spouse/partner, who receives her/his own benefits, either a spouse/partner pension or a single person pension on the death of the spouse.

The single person pension is considerably higher than the combined pensions of each person in a marriage/partnership.


Irrespective of which country you are researching; by the time you've figured out pension legislation - it will change (expert one minute - novice the next!)  :o

I was to receive my State Pension at 65. Now it's 68.5. At this rate I'll never live to reach retirement age anyway....

Big balcony - long drop! :joking:

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