Super is generally ‘sheltered’ from Centrelink assessment during the accumulation phase until your client hits Age Pension age. This may let a couple take advantage of the younger spouse’s ‘sheltered’ status if they haven’t yet hit Age Pension age.
Using the ‘bring forward provisions’ could help your clients move up to $300,000 into their younger spouse’s super account. Putting $300,000 from the assessable environment into a younger spouse’s exempt super account could increase the older spouse’s Age Pension by up to $11,700 per year under the assets test until the younger spouse reaches Age Pension age.
Case study: The advantage of a younger partner
Jason is five years younger than his wife Vanessa - although many of his friends still think he’s older. The age difference has never bothered them - with Vanessa secretly believing he keeps her young.
When Vanessa reached Age Pension age and realised she had too much super to qualify for the Age Pension, having a younger partner suddenly took on a new meaning.
Putting $300,000 into Jason’s super account moved it from the assessable environment into her younger spouse’s exempt super account. This enabled her to receive a part Age Pension plus the Pensioner Concession Card which entitles her to cheaper health care, medicine and other discounts. That’s a win for both of them!