How will year-long trip hit pension?

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

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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 [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

Written by Ben

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