Income and asset tests

Income limits

You can still receive a certain amount of income and receive an Age Pension. This income can be derived from investments, property rental or as a salary from employment, as well as several other means.

Exceeding the fortnightly income limit will see your pension reduced by 50 cents for every $1 over the limit, until you reach the disqualification limit for a part Age Pension, at which point your Age Pension payment will cease.

For those who have reached the Age Pension age but continue to work, the Work Bonus may mean that you still qualify for a part, or even full Age Pension depending on your income. Under the Work Bonus, the first $250 of fortnightly income derived from employment is excluded under the income test. Should your work be seasonal or sporadic, you can ‘bank’ any unused amount up to $6500, which can then be used to reduce your income as and when required.

Limits for the full Age Pension are indexed on 1 July each year and the limits for part Age Pensions are indexed in March, July and September of each year. Details of the current income limits can be found in the table below.

Centrelink income test limits for pensions from 1 July 2016

Situation

For full pension/allowance (per fortnight)

For part pension(pf) From 20 Sept 2016

Single

up to $164

less than $1918.20

Couple (combined)

up to $292

less than $2936.80

Illness separated (couple combined)

up to $288

less than $3800.40

For more information on what constitutes income, visit HumanServices.gov.au.

Asset limits

Asset test limits are used to determine whether you qualify for an Age Pension and if so, at which rate it will be paid. Your fortnightly Age Pension payment is reduced by $3 for every $1000 you exceed the asset limit. Once you exceed the limits for a part Age Pension, your Age Pension payment will cease.

Your assets, whether held within or outside of Australia will normally be assessed at their market value. Any debt owed against the asset will normally be deducted from the calculation.

There are certain assets which are exempt from assessment, such as your main residence if you’re a homeowner, certain pre-paid funeral products and accommodation bonds paid when entering an aged care facility.

You can view what is regarded as an asset by Centrelink, as well as an explanation of what is included in each asset class, and which assets are exempt, at HumanServices.gov.au.

You also need to be wary of reducing your assets in order to qualify for an Age Pension, as Centrelink considers this a deprived asset under gifting rules, and will assess it as such. The limits for gifting are $10,000 in any financial year, but limited to $30,000 over five years.

Asset limits for full Age Pensions are indexed each year on 1 July and the limits for part Age Pensions are indexed in March, July and September of each year. The current asset test limits are listed below.

Centrelink asset test limits for Allowances and full Age Pensions from 1 January 2017

Situation

Homeowners

Non-homeowners

Single

$250,000

$450,000

Couple (combined)

$375,000

$575,000

Illness separated (couple combined)

$375,000

$575,000

One partner eligible (combined assets)

$375,000

$575,000


Centrelink asset test limits for part Age Pensions - effective from 1 January 2017

Situation

Homeowners

Non-homeowners

Single

$542,500

$742,500

Couple (combined)

$816,000

$1,016,000

Illness separated (couple combined)

$960,000

$1,160,000

One partner eligible (combined assets)

$816,000

$1,016,000


You can find out more about the income and asset tests by viewing our articles below. 

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