Pension changes for wives and widows

The Federal Government is changing pension rules for widows and some wives. You may have to transfer to other pension payments.

The government is writing to seniors receiving the Wife Pension and Widow B Pension, advising them that these pensions will stop on 20 March next year.

The letter will explain what the changes are and how pension recipients will be affected.

Widow B Pension

If you get the Widow B Pension, you will transfer to the Age Pension on 20 March 2020. The department says this won’t change the amount you get.

Wife Pension

Your age and where you live will determine your eligibility to transfer to a new payment or not.

If you are living overseas on 20 March 2020 and of Age Pension age, you’ll automatically transfer to the Age Pension. You won’t need to do anything and will get the same payment rate.

However, you may no longer get any Australian social security payment if:

  • you’re living overseas and are under Age Pension age (65 years)
  • you don’t qualify for another payment under an international social security agreement.

If your payment stops, you may be able to claim a different payment while you are living overseas.

The department recommends you read more about the international social security agreements that Australia has with other countries. You can also talk to the social security authority in the country you live in.

If you travel outside Australia temporarily, it may affect your eligibility for transferring to another income support payment.

If you’ll be outside Australia on 20 March 2020, you will need to contact the department.

If you live in Australia

If you get the Wife Pension and the Carer Allowance, you will transfer to the Carer Payment on 20 March 2020. Your Wife Pension will stop but you will get Carer Payment with your Carer Allowance.

If you only get the Wife Pension, the payment you transfer to depends on your age. If, on 20 March 2020:

  • you’re 66 or older, you’ll get the Age Pension
  • you’re 65 or younger, you’ll get JobSeeker Payment.

Your payment amount will stay the same after you transfer.

You can learn more by visiting the Department of Human Services website.

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