I have a partnership with my wife but will be eligible for the age pension in 12 mths. If we close the partnership and she continues as a sole trader can I still get the pension
If you were ineligible with a partnership then you arent likely to fare any better with your name off the business. You are assessed on your Joint Income, so it wont make any difference if the income is shared between you and your wife or all in her name, the test will come up with the same result.
Best thing you can do right now is talk to someone about what options you might have. Get your ducks in a row before you become eligible, because Centrelink doesn't believe in back-pay when it comes to pension payments, and they love dragging the chain on processing applications. In my experience, you wont be allowed to commence an application before your birthday, so you need to ensure you have every box ticked on the paperwork so you can submit the application as early as possible in the hope of getting fast approval and payment.
Just to add on from Joels comment:
pensioners who own a company get introduced to a whole new level of paperwork, starting with a little gem called a Mod C form.......where you get to put in ALLLLLLLLLL the details of your company, and then wait for Centrelink to blow holes in your pension entitlements, and/or drag out processing time for months whilst someone who doesnt know one end of a balance sheet from another reviews the details and makes ridiculous assumptions about what the company might be worth, and how much income it generates.
and a company brings with it a raft of additional reporting and compliance issues and also COSTS heaps more to run.
In short: if it wasnt worth your while to run your business via a company PRIOR to retirement, there is not a snowflakes hope in hell its gonna be worth your while after your birthday.
Sorry to sound all doom and gloom here, I have seen too many people try every conveivable method to maximise their pension whilst still running a business, and they never win. I dont agree with the outcome in many cases, but I really doubt the benefits of going down this road.