Devalued assets and the pension

Geoff had his pension cut in 2017, but wonders if the falling property market makes him eligible again.

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Q. Geoff
I am one of those unlucky people whose small part pension was cut off on 1/1/2017 under the new asset test. My assets include two investment properties that have risen in value over the years. You would be aware that over the past two to three years property prices have dropped dramatically. I believe that my total assets now are below the $853,000 limit, but how does Centrelink assess the value of each property!

A. Centrelink uses current market value when it assesses the value of your real-estate assets. This is different from how state and local government value properties.

Centrelink will then index the value of residential properties yearly to keep them up to date.

If Centrelink is unable to index a property’s value for some reason, it will arrange a valuation when needed.

If you believe that the market value of your two properties will bring you below the asset test limit for the pension, you will need to reapply for the Age Pension as it will not be automatically reinstated.

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Disclaimer: All content on 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 in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Written by Ben

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