What assets will rule out qualifying for the Age Pension?

Q. Joseph.

Is it worth applying for an Age Pension for me and my wife? We are both 69 years old, we retired last month and we own our house and an investment property. We have already paid $500,000 off the investment property mortgage and I am receiving $1200 monthly in income from the property. We have a combined $500,000 in our super.

A. Centrelink will take more than just your investment property and super into account when determining if you qualify for the Age Pension.

It will apply asset and income tests. The asset test will include items such as cars, boats, furniture, collectables including jewellery, any financial products including shares and investments but not your home. The income test will include all your income, including interest on bank accounts and rents.

Centrelink will take all these figures and calculate if you are eligible for the Age Pension. You may not be eligible for the full Age Pension but may qualify for a part pension or other benefits such as the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, which entitles you to healthcare discounts plus reductions on state and local government services.

So even on the first calculation, if you think you don’t qualify for the Age Pension it’s worth valuing all your assets and income and contacting a Centrelink financial information services officer, who will check if you are eligible for either the full pension, a part pension or any other services.

Also note that the qualification thresholds on the income and assets tests change on 1 July so you should recheck after that point.

Contact Services Australia for more information, including how to apply.

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