Centrelink Q&A: Is Tina being short-changed?

Font Size:

Tina has listed her assets and wants to know why she is not receiving a full Age Pension.


Q. Tina
I am almost 66 and receive an Age Pension. I have been advised by Centrelink that I will be paid an Age Pension of $797.86 per fortnight, topped up by the Energy Supplement of $14.10 and a Pension Supplement $67.48, bringing the total to $885.04. Since 24 May 2018, I have received $874.05. A YourLifeChoices article says that the Age Pension increased to $916.30 from 20 September; an extra $8.70.

I have queried my pension amount with Centrelink as it seems I am being short-changed by $31.26. I have $205,000 in superannuation, $12,000 in the bank and own my house. The new asset test limit for a single full Age Pension is $258,500. So why am I not receiving a full Age Pension?

A. Without knowing your full circumstances, the assets test is not the only measure used to judge the rate of payment for the Age Pension. Centrelink uses deeming rates to assess the return on investments, which are assessed under the income test. You are paid the lowest resulting rate on your investments and this appears be the reason you are not receiving the full Age Pension rate.

Based on your financial assets as an example:

  • Total financial assets: $217,000

  • First $50,200 deemed at 1.75 per cent: $878.50

  • Remainder ($166,800) deemed at 3.25 per cent: $5421

  • Total annual deemed income: $6277.50 = $242.28 per fortnight

Under the income test, you can receive $172 per fortnight before your Age Pension is affected. This income includes money from investments. If you exceed this amount, your pension is reduced by 50 cents for every $1 over the $172. As you appear to exceed this amount by $70, then your Age Pension is reduced by $35 per fortnight.

Please note these calculations are indicative only.

You should check your personal circumstances with a Centrelink Financial Services officer by calling 13 2300.

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

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.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


Here are the factors that block your path to retirement

Aussies are working more years before retirement. Here's why.

Reapplying for the Age Pension

Ready to reapply for the Age Pension after losing your entitlements? Here's how.

Age Pension update: increases and changes from 20 September 2018

Changes to the Age Pension that will come into effect on 20 September 2018.

Written by Janelle Ward


Total Comments: 13
  1. 0

    It seems it would be worthwhile to have those investments as it increases the overall income for Tina if that is the reality. If that does not happen after the year then that should be reported to Centrelink. Even a modest top up like that for someone would make a huge difference. A person getting only the full pension is not as well off. Single pensioners would be very glad of an extra $120 per week.

    • 0

      A loss of $35 a fortnight from pension is outweighed by the gain of $242. Correction to above then which would be an extra $100 per week more than the pension. Good to have this explained for those of us who are not involved in this process.

    • 0

      My better half just commented that Tina’s investment could yield more if the deemed amount is less than the actual amount. She would recoup more income as Centrelink don’t change the deducted amount from her pension. If it is the opposite then she should rethink the investments. Definitely worthwhile to have even $200,000 on retirement.

    • 0

      But what if she gets less then the deemed rate – she’s not likely to be getting 3.25% in a term deposit at a bank if that’s what she has.

  2. 0

    Comrade Tina has only told us the bank & super amounts. Under the assets test you need to declare to centrelink ALL assets not just monies. So unless Comrade Tina has no car, furniture etc, and is walking around naked (centrelink list ALL your clothes as an asset, or as they say, the value of your wardrobe & it’s contents) then she can’t be assessed correctly. She hasn’t told the full story & needs to go to her centrelink office for a please explain first then post on this forum her experience & result, that would be far more informative

    • 0

      Centrelink only want to know the value of selling an item so your whole wardrobe is not worth much at a yard sale. Our car is worth a lot to us but only $7,000 if sold. Most people don’t have valuable items like paintings or jewellery just modest ones.

    • 0

      I am aware the $ value is a garage sale value of that but centrelink want to know everything you own as a $ value including your underwear if you have any. The article only divulged assets of super & bank account & nothing else. I found the article a bit pointless for this forum as any questions like this need to be addressed to centrelink.

    • 0

      Are these recent procedures where they want everything valued right down to people’s underwear? Seems a bit extreme! It used to be as I described.

  3. 0

    No she’s not
    Thems the rules

  4. 0

    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

    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.

    • 0

      Totally agree comrade, I am yet to speak to any other nationality that has asset or deeming testing once you reach pension age & I have spoken to quite a few.
      The Australian government is mean & nasty, they want to scrap the pension entirely & force those not self funded back into the workforce or newstart which pays far less. This government & the current alternative are evil & only interested in themselves & rich mates.

  5. 0

    I think the wife and I should get divorced if that’s how much you can get on the single pension, we would get an increase of approx $700 a fortnight.



continue reading


Enthralling, dystopian, sublime: NGV Triennial has a huge 'wow' factor

Refik Anadol: Quantum memories 2020 (render) custom software, quantum computing, generative algorithm with artificial intelligence (AI), real time digital animation...


Where to eat, drink and play on Kangaroo Island

Australia's third largest island is an oasis of pristine wilderness, premium produce and hidden secrets ripe for discovery. Easily accessible...


Will you need a vaccination to visit Australian venues?

State premiers have suggested that once vaccinations begin in Australia, those without vaccinations may be banned from visiting some venues...


Enjoy these islands while you can

Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Greg Brave/Shutterstock Freya Higgins-Desbiolles, University of South Australia I fell for Kangaroo Island from...

New South Wales

Four fabulous events announced for Mardi Gras 2021

Mardi Gras is famous for its world-class comedy, performances, vibrant colours and characters. And this year will be no exception....


Why the royal family retreats to Scotland every year

"To aim for the highest point is not the only way to climb a mountain," wrote Nan Shepherd in her...


The five stages of losing your Airbnb virginity

Airbnb was set up more than a decade ago - first called Air Bed & Breakfast - and now boasts...


Overseas travel remains unlikely this year

As the vaccine rollout in Australia gets closer, many thoughts may be turning to exactly how long we have to...