Centrelink Q&A: Should we put our land on one title?

A YourLifeChoices reader wants to know if combining two blocks will change her eligibility for the Age Pension under the assets test.

Q. Marianne

We are thinking of buying a property that has a house on one block of 2800 square metres and attached is another block on a separate title of 2900sqm. We want to change things so that we have one big block, that is, add the second block of land onto the title that the house is on. Will this come under the assets test?

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A. The Centrelink rules for owning land are very strict, but Marianne will probably pass the assets test for this amount of land.

Your eligibility for the Age Pension is based on two tests, the income test and the assets test. As far as Centrelink is concerned, the assets test encompasses things such as financial assets, home contents, vehicles, real estate and superannuation pensions. But the item we are most interested in for this question is the real estate.

Under Centrelink rules, only two hectares of land on the same title of your home are exempt from the assets test.

Given the size of the blocks quoted above, they would easily come under that limit.

However,  Marianne must combine the two blocks on one title before she applies for the pension, otherwise the block without the house will be considered an asset.

For more information on the assets test, read here.

There are exceptions to this two-hectare rule for rural customers of Centrelink. Read about them here.

Have you had your land evaluated for Centrelink purposes? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Also read: Centrelink Q&A: Can you claim the Age Pension and the Carer Allowance?

Written by Jan Fisher

Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.

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