Will an inheritance affect Linda’s pension?

Linda receives an Age Pension but is about to inherit a sum of money and wants to know how that will be assessed by Centrelink. 

Q. Linda

I am single, live in my own unit and am a full age pensioner. I have $140,000 in the bank. My boyfriend died in May and left me $400,000 in his will. Can you please tell me what will now happen to my pension? 

A. You will need to advise Centrelink of your inheritance and you should do so within 14 days of its receipt. Some lump sums are excluded from the income test, such as one-off payments that are unlikely to be repeated. Exempt items include:

  • A one-time gift
  • An inheritance
  • An irregular superannuation amount, such as commutation of a superannuation pension
  • Compensation and insurance payouts
  • The value of emergency relief
  • Certain redress payments – for example, historical negligence
  • A prize, reward or lottery win
  • Single or occasional gambling wins
  • A compensation payment you receive from an Australian trust. 

All content on the YourLifeChoices’ website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care, but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness with regard to your circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances. Financial comments provided by readers cannot be relied on as professional advice, but as general comments only.

If you have a Centrelink question, please send it to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

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Written by Janelle Ward


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