Q. My husband and I are starting the process of applying for the Age Pension. What assets should we take into account to see if we qualify?
A. Good for you on starting the application as soon as possible, you might need that time because the list of items classed as assets by Centrelink is long.
First up, you will need to disclose your financial assets including the obvious ones such as bank accounts, cash, term deposits, shares, superannuation but also managed investments, deeming accounts, bonds, gifts, money loaned and money held in a solicitor trust fund.
Next is your personal effects including furniture, jewellery, vehicles including boats and caravans, non-business livestock, licences such as a commercial fishing licence and any collections for trading or investment (i.e., a stamp collection).
Of course, real estate is on the list. You will need to notify Centrelink of any real estate you own, excluding your primary place of residence, such as an investment property, holiday home or any property you let someone live in for free and if you live in a retirement facility, how much you paid.
Whew … still with me? Also on the list are any sole trader, partnerships, private trusts or private companies, as all agreements will need to be listed.
And lastly, if you receive any assets from a deceased estate you will need to report them to Centrelink within 14 days of receiving them or being able to receive them or benefit from them.
As you can see, listing your assets is quite a job and the above items are in no way the complete catalogue. You are doing the right thing by starting early. For a complete list, visit servicesaustralia.gov.au
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