JobSeeker Payment transition: changes to Wife Pension

On 20 March 2020 the new JobSeeker Payment will be introduced. When this happens, Wife Pension will stop.

Most Wife Pensioners will automatically transfer to either Age Pension, Carer Payment, or the new JobSeeker Payment.

We sent letters out to all Wife Pensioners in September and October last year explaining how their payment will change.

Since those initial letters went out the department has received several questions about the changes. We’ve tried to address the common ones here:

Payment Rate

As long as your circumstances don’t change, if you transfer to another payment you will still get the same amount.

This includes people who transfer from Wife Pension to JobSeeker Payment. Their current rate will be preserved.

Concession Cards

Concession card entitlements will not be impacted by these changes.

Wife Pensioners who transfer to JobSeeker Payment will maintain eligibility for their concession card, unless there is a change in their circumstances.

Mutual Obligation Requirements

Only people who are transferring to JobSeeker Payment will have mutual obligation requirements. This means there are things you may have to do to keep getting a payment.

We know this will be a big change for some. We’ll be working hard to ensure everyone feels supported during the transition.

We’ll send everyone moving from Wife Pension to JobSeeker Payment another letter in January. This letter will include information about a telephone appointment you’ll have with us between April and June 2020.

At this appointment we’ll let you know what you’ll need to do to keep getting your payment. You won’t be expected to meet any new requirements before this appointment.

This change doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to start looking for work. There may be several ways you can meet the requirements of your new payment, such as volunteering. It will depend on your circumstances, and you may already be doing these things.

We’ll discuss the most suitable approach for your circumstances at that appointment.

Wife Pensioners living overseas

Wife Pensioners living overseas aged 66 or older will transfer to Age Pension on 20 March 2020.

Changes to legislation mean Wife Pensioners who are under Age Pension age and living overseas may no longer be eligible for an Australian social security payment from 20 March 2020.

People in this position may be able to claim a different payment if they live in a country that has an International Social Security Agreement with Australia. There is more information about these Agreements here:

What else do I need to know?

People transferring to JobSeeker Payment may want to check if they’re eligible for a different payment. For example, if you provide care for someone, you may be eligible for Carer Payment.

Our Payment Finder tool can help you work out what support you may be eligible for:

You can also find more information about these changes by visiting:

Wife Pension is ending on 20 March 2020