11th Sep 2010
Assets and Centrelink

Q. Heather
Recently I was speaking to Centrelink (telephone discussion) to update some personal details. I was advised that the value of contents is added to any investments, e.g. bank account interest, to work out if there has been an income from these “investments”. Could you please advise if this is correct as I have always understood that Contents was a depreciating asset & fail to see how to reconcile this with bank interest.

A. Provided by Hank Jongen, General Manager, Centrelink
Thanks for your enquiry. It's important to highlight that pensions are subject to two means tests, called the income and assets tests. Centrelink works out the pension rates under the income test and the assets test and pays whichever is the lower of the two rates.

Under the income test, financial investments are subject to deeming. This relates to the full range of financial assets, including cash management accounts and term deposits. Deeming assumes your financial investments are earning a certain rate of income, no matter what income they are actually earning.

Home contents are not subject to deeming or any other type of income test. The current market value of your assets is treated separately under the assets test.

If you are unsure about how this affects your individual circumstances, talk to Centrelink by telephoning 13 2300 or visit your local Centrelink Customer Service Centre.


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    david and jackie
    11th Mar 2012
    My Wife and I are both on the Seniors Pension 73 & 68 years old. I see that a couple can earn up to $264 per fortnight, without affecting the current pension amount. Question: What is the maximum amount per year you can earn that does not affect your full pension? Say you only worked once a month or now and then would the amount be 26 x$264 = $2864 pa,12 x $572. Would we have to file a tax form? Could we claim mileage for our car for deliveries ?
    david and jackie
    11th Mar 2012
    Regarding working on the pension. A few years ago We set up an ABN Number for a business, with the ATO. At this point it has not been activated as we have not been working, however would it be better for us regarding allowable claims ie:- (Phone,Petrol and car running costs etc) to activate?
    Debbie McTaggart
    13th Mar 2012
    Good afternoon David and Jackie,
    Centrelink assess income purely on a fortnightly basis, it cannot be annualised. For more information, visit http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/payments/chartc.htm
    However, you can also claim the Work Bonus, which can be annualised and may make it possible for you still to be able to claim a full Age Pension. For more information on the Work Bonus, visit http://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/news/will-i-be-eligible-for-the-work-bonus
    With regards to your tax position, you will need to speak with a tax accountant. We are not licensed to give such financial advice.

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