Travelling around Australia and keeping your pension

Marilyn is planning on travelling around Australia for 12 months but has serious concerns.

Marilyn is planning on travelling around Australia for 12 months but is worried about her pension.

•••

Q. Marilyn
My husband and I are thinking of renting out our home so we can travel in our caravan for 12 months. Both of us are on the Age Pension. We think we could earn $450 a week in rental income. How would this affect us? We have no investments and only a very small amount of superannuation left.

A. If you are temporarily absent from your principal home, it can still be considered an exempt asset for up to 12 months. Any longer than that, then you will have to have your home included in the assets test.

If you decide to rent out your home while you're travelling, you need to let Centrelink know straightaway as the rental income will be assessed under the income test. As long as your combined income remains below $3066.80 per fortnight, you will still be eligible for a part pension, but the amount of your pension payment will most likely be reduced somewhat, once you add in your additional income.

If you have a Centrelink question, please send it to newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

Are you eligible for an Age Pension? Do you know your rights? The PensionChecker™ tool has all the information you need.

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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.





    COMMENTS

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    thommo
    11th Feb 2019
    10:29am
    These downright unfair pension rules must be gotten rid of...If you get the pension you can do what you like with it, and rent your house out for as long as you like.....
    I hate this government.....
    Old Geezer
    11th Feb 2019
    1:40pm
    If you can afford to travel then you don't need the pension.
    SFR
    11th Feb 2019
    2:59pm
    Garbage OG, obviously you're just jealous of those that have a life & are happy
    inextratime
    11th Feb 2019
    5:34pm
    Correct 1984 ! Lets look at the logic. So you receive a pension and that means you sit in your rocking chair until judgement day. So you decide to travel. You have to eat, buy petrol, pay camping fees etc. So according to OG you should sit indoors and contemplate your navel. Ah well, very sad old man.
    inextratime
    11th Feb 2019
    5:34pm
    Correct 1984 ! Lets look at the logic. So you receive a pension and that means you sit in your rocking chair until judgement day. So you decide to travel. You have to eat, buy petrol, pay camping fees etc. So according to OG you should sit indoors and contemplate your navel. Ah well, very sad old man.
    Triss
    11th Feb 2019
    5:56pm
    They can afford to travel because they are renting out their house. Keep up OG. The folk who don’t need a pension are the ex pollies with their multiple houses and highly paid grace and favour, taxpayer funded cushy non-jobs. Have a go at them.
    SFR
    11th Feb 2019
    9:27pm
    And Triss don't forget most politicians benefit from negative gearing & FC, so let's get rid that little perk as well
    Triss
    11th Feb 2019
    10:26pm
    Yes, I'd forgotten that one, 1984, we'll definitely get rid of that as well.
    The Care Bear.
    12th Feb 2019
    5:34pm
    The relevant point is that the Rent received, minus expenses (rates, insurance, repairs etc)
    will be counted as income and pensions adjusted accordingly.
    No-one is saying don't travel, just play to the rules like everyone else.
    I don't need a Pension Triss, I'm Self Funded and don't have multiple houses and highly paid grace and favour, taxpayer funded cushy non-jobs.
    Just worked hard, saved well and don't put my hand out for anything.
    thommo
    11th Feb 2019
    10:29am
    These downright unfair pension rules must be gotten rid of...If you get the pension you can do what you like with it, and rent your house out for as long as you like.....
    I hate this government.....
    thommo
    11th Feb 2019
    10:29am
    These downright unfair pension rules must be gotten rid of...If you get the pension you can do what you like with it, and rent your house out for as long as you like.....
    I hate this government.....
    thommo
    11th Feb 2019
    10:29am
    These downright unfair pension rules must be gotten rid of...If you get the pension you can do what you like with it, and rent your house out for as long as you like.....
    I hate this government.....
    thommo
    11th Feb 2019
    10:29am
    These downright unfair pension rules must be gotten rid of...If you get the pension you can do what you like with it, and rent your house out for as long as you like.....
    I hate this government.....
    thommo
    11th Feb 2019
    10:29am
    These downright unfair pension rules must be gotten rid of...If you get the pension you can do what you like with it, and rent your house out for as long as you like.....
    I hate this government.....
    thommo
    11th Feb 2019
    10:29am
    These downright unfair pension rules must be gotten rid of...If you get the pension you can do what you like with it, and rent your house out for as long as you like.....
    I hate this government.....
    The Care Bear.
    12th Feb 2019
    5:36pm
    After you press Post, press the F5 function key, this will refresh your screen and stop your multiple posts.
    GrayComputing
    11th Feb 2019
    10:56am
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Now is the season for discontent, so do something about it!
    It is time to kill off this insane hugely expensive pensioner whacking bureaucracy.

    It is time for all of us (yes that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    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?

    We all (that means you) need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
    GrayComputing
    11th Feb 2019
    10:58am
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Now is the season for discontent, so do something about it!
    It is time to kill off this insane hugely expensive pensioner whacking bureaucracy.

    It is time for all of us (yes that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    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?

    We all (that means you) need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
    SFR
    11th Feb 2019
    11:05am
    A universal pension is the only fair system to implement. Australia is one of the nasties countries when it comes to our pensions, bloody nasty & mean
    How simple & uncomplicated is the Kiwi universal pension. Australia would save 100s of millions of dollars just in administration by abolishing the current system & possibly generate further income by taxing all earning from work, assets etc. Shame the LNP & ALP are so entrenched in keeping it complicated or their own gain. And no Robo Debt on pensions ever again.
    New Zealand's public pension system, the New Zealand Superannuation (NZS), differs from those in many other countries. Its primary goal is to provide social protection rather than to replace earnings.
    The non-contributory flat-rate pension is paid to all residents fulfilling the residence requirements at the age of 65. The beneficiary must have lived in New Zealand for at least 10 years since turning 20 with at least five years spent in the country after the age of 50. The pension is financed from general tax revenues. *The residency requirements are set for discussion 2017/18.

    All benefits received under NZS are subject to income tax. The pension is paid regardless of whether the person is still employed or not. It is neither work nor income-tested. New Zealand has not legislated for a compulsory retirement age and employers are not allowed to specify a mandatory retirement age in employment contracts.
    musicveg
    11th Feb 2019
    9:28pm
    Makes me think of moving to NZ.......probably not possible though.
    GeorgeM
    12th Feb 2019
    8:48pm
    Absolutely correct, 1984. We have this great example just next doors in NZ, yet I can't believe no party is pushing for it.

    I think all Retirees must demand from their MPs to push for universal pension (now is the time with the election coming), otherwise we (all Retirees) should vote them out. 3 Million+ Retirees have a strong capability if only they will use it. They have mucked around with us too much and for too long, while feathering their own nests with different rules.
    Dave R
    11th Feb 2019
    11:26am
    $450 a week must surely be gross rent. After all the expenses of owning the house are deducted they would probably have about $200 a week as nett income to declare to Centrelink. Rates, Landlords Insurance, Repairs and Maintenance, Agents Fees etc can cost a lot.
    Mayesy
    11th Feb 2019
    1:31pm
    Dave, If it is counted as same as normal income Centrelink may work on the gross figure, they do not take into consideration any costs or deductions. I have a small income, not through the PAYE system and they do not even permit me to take off money put to one side for income tax, let alone any deductions
    Mayesy
    11th Feb 2019
    1:32pm
    Dave, If it is counted as same as normal income Centrelink may work on the gross figure, they do not take into consideration any costs or deductions. I have a small income, not through the PAYE system and they do not even permit me to take off money put to one side for income tax, let alone any deductions
    The Care Bear.
    12th Feb 2019
    5:41pm
    WRONG Mayesy, it is income after deducting expenses. The only proviso is that you cannot claim negative income, i.e. expenses greater than income as is the case if you negative gear an investment property.
    Dave R
    11th Feb 2019
    11:28am
    $450 a week must surely be gross rent. After all the expenses of owning the house are deducted they would probably have about $200 a week as nett income to declare to Centrelink. Rates, Landlords Insurance, Repairs and Maintenance, Agents Fees etc can cost a lot.
    Dave R
    11th Feb 2019
    11:28am
    $450 a week must surely be gross rent. After all the expenses of owning the house are deducted they would probably have about $200 a week as nett income to declare to Centrelink. Rates, Landlords Insurance, Repairs and Maintenance, Agents Fees etc can cost a lot.
    Dave R
    11th Feb 2019
    11:28am
    $450 a week must surely be gross rent. After all the expenses of owning the house are deducted they would probably have about $200 a week as nett income to declare to Centrelink. Rates, Landlords Insurance, Repairs and Maintenance, Agents Fees etc can cost a lot.
    The Care Bear.
    12th Feb 2019
    5:42pm
    Dave R, press F5 after you post to stop multiple posts.
    Nerk
    11th Feb 2019
    11:35am
    I saw a pensioner enjoying a cup of coffee, this pensioner had the hide to be also eating a donut, this outrageous behaviour has to stop and I am going to complain to centerlink to put a stop to this seeing that they pay these people and think they own them.
    shirboy
    11th Feb 2019
    11:37am
    How would Centrelink know without being informed if a person did go on a lengthy holiday in Australia ?
    The Care Bear.
    12th Feb 2019
    5:44pm
    It's called HONESTY, them's the rules, you are required to inform C/L of any changes to your financial situation.
    And there are enough people around that would be only too happy to dob you in.
    shirboy
    11th Feb 2019
    11:40am
    This site has a problem. Everyone's comments are being duplicated & more !
    sunnyOz
    11th Feb 2019
    1:33pm
    Agree!
    Nerk
    11th Feb 2019
    12:28pm
    I saw a pensioner enjoying a cup of coffee, this pensioner had the hide to be also eating a donut, this outrageous behaviour has to stop and I am going to complain to centerlink to put a stop to this seeing that they pay these people and think they own them.
    casey
    11th Feb 2019
    12:56pm
    Why is everybody repeating them selves?
    The Care Bear.
    12th Feb 2019
    5:47pm
    The site is not transmitting a screen refresh when you press POST.
    SOLUTION = Press Function Key F5, (top row of keys) to force a screen refresh.
    greygeek
    11th Feb 2019
    1:15pm
    I thought I had an hearing/eyesight problem looking at these posts! No!! It is a very Large Echo!!!! Visual Echo!!!! I have only posted once! If more than one appear it is a computer glitch!!
    greygeek
    11th Feb 2019
    1:15pm
    I thought I had an hearing/eyesight problem looking at these posts! No!! It is a very Large Echo!!!! Visual Echo!!!! I have only posted once! If more than one appear it is a computer glitch!!
    Old Geezer
    11th Feb 2019
    1:38pm
    Centrelink use your gross rent not your net rent too.
    leigh308
    11th Feb 2019
    3:02pm
    If a pension is welfare then a polliticians pension is outright theft. Can politicians on their pensions go overseas? Or round Australia? What do you think?
    Make sure your vote counts towards equity this year! Stand up and be counted and regardless of your ideology do not support the people who are committed to stealing your rightful retirement, whilst exponentially increasing their own. This government does not believe in socialism... except when it comes to your Superannuation, your hardearned house and your pension. Face it when you stopped being a taxpayer you automatically assumed all the value of a dry cow, a chook off the lay, you are a product past its use by date! What will their next idea be? The Manus and Nauru Retirement Complex?
    leigh308
    11th Feb 2019
    3:03pm
    If a pension is welfare then a polliticians pension is outright theft. Can politicians on their pensions go overseas? Or round Australia? What do you think?
    Make sure your vote counts towards equity this year! Stand up and be counted and regardless of your ideology do not support the people who are committed to stealing your rightful retirement, whilst exponentially increasing their own. This government does not believe in socialism... except when it comes to your Superannuation, your hardearned house and your pension. Face it when you stopped being a taxpayer you automatically assumed all the value of a dry cow, a chook off the lay, you are a product past its use by date! What will their next idea be? The Manus and Nauru Retirement Complex?
    Triss
    11th Feb 2019
    6:19pm
    Politicians' pensions are the height of corruption, leigh308. A knot of 'good 'ole boys' huddled together in a backroom and wrote out a blueprint for themselves. Lifetime, indexed pensions after working in parliament for 8 years, 10 business class holidays a year for themselves and their families, grace and favour jobs, magazines, newspapers, books, cars, chauffeurs and office staff...all paid for by the taxpayers who, when they became pensioners, were denied any kind of comfortable pension.
    52-KID
    11th Feb 2019
    7:05pm
    A slightly different comment. I'm pretty sure that you can claim rent assistance for your site fees while travelling, although not sure whether that would still apply if you own your home. Worth asking about.
    AND, I was that pensioner having a coffee and eating my 2 free donuts from Donut King. It's my occasional big treat.
    Bruce
    11th Feb 2019
    8:10pm
    If. You own a van or a boat and traveling in it. It's called your home. And you suddenly become a home owner and lose 50% or thereabouts.if your single. If your married. Your van becomes your home. Then you have two homes. Bye bye any pension payments from govts
    Bruce
    11th Feb 2019
    8:10pm
    If. You own a van or a boat and traveling in it. It's called your home. And you suddenly become a home owner and lose 50% or thereabouts.if your single. If your married. Your van becomes your home. Then you have two homes. Bye bye any pension payments from govts
    Charlie
    11th Feb 2019
    10:37pm
    This is how the name gray nomads came about, I think.

    On the previous disability pension, people who retired early because of illness and had over $70000 in the bank, were put on a lower level of payments, also the interest earned on the money in the bank was called income.

    This system has all changed now, but I recall the temptation to buy a motor home and take off as an option to renting. Instead I bought a new car and a boat which amounted to the same thing, getting around a system that penalized people for having some retirement money in the bank.
    Charlie
    11th Feb 2019
    10:39pm
    This system is getting stuck again. press post and nothing happens
    KayJay
    12th Feb 2019
    4:58pm
    When advising Centrelink about renting out your home you need to tell them your anticipated net income from the deal. You may need professional advice for this from an estate agent and accountant. The anticipated income is (rent paid by tenants) less your costs involved in gaining that income (insurance, advertising, home maintenance during the rental period, agent's fees etc). An accountant can advise on what is reasonable and allowable. Have a good trip - it is a wonderful experience.


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