Age Pension rule change means less pension

A recent Age Pension rule change has seen Bill’s payment drop and he wants to know why.

Transitional Age Pension shock

Bill has been paid under the transitional Age Pension rules since 2009, but a recent change has seen his payment drop and he wants to know why.

Q. Bill

I am on a transitional pension; this started with the Age Pension changes in September 2009.

Recently, Centrelink started to include an amount for funds in a rolled over pension, that is, they appear to have deemed the total value of the amounts held. This only seems to have started in the current year.

As a transitional pension-holder, I was under the impression that the pension qualifications were frozen at 2009 requirements. Is that correct or have I misunderstood?

A: A spokesperson for the Department of Human Services says the transitional safety net rules protect pensioners who would have had an immediate reduction in pension due to the changes to the income test that started on 20 September 2009.

The transitional safety net rules do not mean that Age Pension qualifications were ‘frozen’ at 20 September 2009 requirements, the spokesperson said.

Pensioners continue to be paid under the transitional rules if this results in a higher rate of payment.

Once a pensioner commences to be paid under new rules, he or she no longer has access to the transitional safety net rules.

The rule change by which your funds in a rollover pension are now assessed has resulted in a change to your eligibility to be paid under the transitional rules. You can view details of the 2015 deeming rule changes here.

If you have a Centrelink question, send it to and we’ll do our best to answer it, or find someone who can.

Related articles:
What are transitional Age Pensions?
Retirement income concerns rise
Could deeming rates eat away at your pension?

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    9th Jul 2018
    Well I'm on a part pension and mine just went down this week from $87.00 a fortnight to $85.00 per fortnight, now what that saves is about $52 dollars a year for the government, so I wonder to myself just how much over dose of miniscule mathematics these bean counters work on and work out to take a $1.75 in actual fact away from me and probably many others, whether this has anything to do with the over all worry about pensions going down I don't know, but I [paid taxes for 50 years, and I guess I believe I am owed some of that, even then only a tiny amount, so I wonder what it means to people who are not able to completely own their own home and live just on an OAP, then lose money when some switch by god knows who changes the pension.
    Now even if it is a timy amount its an amount, and if it takes ten bucks off someones household in that situation , that can feel like a 100 dollars.
    We have stupid over killed systems and too many bleeding foreigners screwing up welfare for Australians. Also you politicians you had better have a think about that, because I am and I know many other Australians getting tired of feeding their own dog, and the bloody neighbours dog too!!
    You know what I mean.
    9th Jul 2018
    Alternatively john you could get rid of both your own and the neighbour's dogs and in so doing probably save yourself a minimum of $20/week. $2 is hardly worth getting yourself worked up into a lather.
    9th Jul 2018
    As I've pointed out many times here, when politicians give themselves a pay rise it comes out of Age Pensioners money. Always.
    9th Jul 2018
    Since you are on a part pension John it would be very easy to just spend a bit more dough and reduce your cash assets and you will get more in your pension payout. I lived for a number of years with no income at all, used my own money and now I am on a good part pension. Never wanted to be self funded or just scraping in to get a pension card - but we all do it differently.
    9th Jul 2018
    I would just like to thank Debbie McTaggart, for her excellent explanations of Centrelink rules. The question at hand was well answered. For others, I think if your payment dropped and you are on a part pension, then in the whole scheme of things you are doing rather nicely compared to many others. I do not think foreigners are part of the problem.
    The "stupid over killed systems" are implemented by the Federal Government. The problem here would appear to be the Federal Government, and not too far away, we will all get the chance to change that at the polls!
    Again I would just like to thank YourLifeChoices for these great articles.
    Magic Touch
    9th Jul 2018
    COWBOY JIM you are right this it,s how you play this game, if you don,t know learn how to play this game from cowboy jim.
    9th Jul 2018
    Not democracy not Senate Not Human Rights Not any Rights The Governments & the family life on Blood Australian pensioners the is not any human life in the system not in any others system is more abuse pensioners as is in Australia
    10th Jul 2018
    Did anyone get the one-off energy supplement promised for the end of JUne?
    I did get a letter but not the supplement - because the letter have been backdated to 2017. Is this a new trick? It's supposed to be happening in 2018!
    10th Jul 2018
    2017/2018 financial year. Paid in July LAST year by Centrelink Lil for pensioners. We got ours. This year, some state governments are giving discounts on the bills from the electricity provider
    15th Jul 2018
    NSW Govt gives us $70 rebate for 90 days' billing (78c per day)
    10th Jul 2018
    It is time for all of us (that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    A pension is not welfare.

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules.

    Hiring more Centrelink staff will only increase taxpayer’s costs for processing the creeping insane red tape monster system politicians and well paid bureaucrats have created.

    Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly.

    Why worry that few million$ earners get it too. That is peanuts to them, not enough for a good vintage champagne.

    Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    Some opposition and independent MPs stand to lose their chance at being part of the needed government changes

    We all need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.

    Also contact opposition and independent MPs who can help us to get a fair deal on pensions

    15th Jul 2018
    Sorry to disagree, Grey Computing, but the aged pension is welfare, however you look at it. Some people are never satisfied, whinge, whinge, whinge, $2 less a fortnight. I get a part pension, and this is welfare. I am working towards increasing my investments, etc, so that I do not qualify for any pension at all.

    Why can't you all look on the bright side of life, instead of just living to complain?
    Magic Touch
    15th Jul 2018
    Suzley it,s not people not satisfied and whinge, is because people are paying all the bills plus high council rate and bank loan it,s already up to the edge with the income they get from the rents plus the part pension also the land tax so to sell of the property, it will lost all the money to the lawyer, agent and government stamp duty plus the bank loan so nothing left at all after all the years hard work. And they already retired so how to leave on? Can you tell me how are they going to look on the bright side.

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