Centrelink Q&A: Are you using the right assets test?

Brian is confused as to whether to apply the single or couple assets test in his situation.

Centrelink Q&A: Are you using the right assets test?

Brian is confused as to whether to apply the single or couple assets test in his situation.

•••

Q. Brian

I cannot seem to find information on my situation. I am on a pension as a couple but my wife is not on a pension or unemployment benefits, nor is she working. It seems I am forced to only get half of a couples pension. What I want to know is which assets test to apply?  The couples or the singles? It would be very unfair if it is based on the singles rate when I am paid at the couples rate. Can anyone help please?

A. You are entirely correct in your assessment. When you reach Age Pension age and your partner has not, you will still be assessed under the income and assets test as part of a couple, and will receive the couple's rate of Age Pension, one member eligible.

If your partner does not work and is not eligible for an Age Pension, they may be eligible for Newstart Allowance.

The assets test, like the income test, has two thresholds and is split into two categories. The full Age Pension is received when a lower assets test threshold is not exceeded. This threshold for non-homeowners couples is $594,500. For home-owning couples, the lower threshold is $387,500.

Centrelink asset test limits for Allowances and full Age Pensions from 1 Jan 2019

Situation

Homeowners

Non-homeowners

Single

$258,500

$465,500

Couple (combined)

$387,500

$594,500

Illness separated (couple combined)

$387,500

$594,500

One partner eligible (combined assets)

$387,500

$594,500

 

Once the lower thresholds are exceeded a person or couple's entitlement to the Age Pension is reduced by $3 a fortnight for every $1000 their assets exceed that threshold. No Age Pension is received once an upper threshold is exceeded. The upper threshold for non-homeowner couples is $1,027,000. For couple homeowners the upper threshold is $848,000.

Centrelink asset test limits for part Age Pensions – effective from 1 Jan 2019

Situation

Homeowners

Non-homeowners

Single

$564,000

$771,000

Couple (combined)

$848,000

$1,055,000

Illness separated (couple combined)

$998,500

$1,205,500

One partner eligible (combined assets)

$848,000

$1,055,000

 

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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    Rodent
    15th Jul 2019
    11:01am
    Ben

    This is INCORRECT and Misleading there was an Assets test Threshold Change on 1 July 2019

    For example the Min Threshold you quote of $387,500 is actually $394,500

    perhaps you should correct this
    maelcolium
    15th Jul 2019
    2:11pm
    Settle down mate. The story was written before the 1st July.
    johnp
    15th Jul 2019
    11:04am
    Basically it is just being given "peanuts or chicken feed" really. Shrugging off the average joe whilst all along the politicians suck the exorbitant, obscene perks, salaries, pensions, travel etc etc. Cos they can !!
    frizfamly
    15th Jul 2019
    11:06am
    Brian and his wife's situation is similar to ours. My husband retired in April and has been waiting for an assessment to be completed for over a month. I am not working but not yet reached pension age, which will be Feb 2020. As such I applied for Newstart and have been waiting for over a month for an assessment. Having said that, Centrelink only took one day after lodging my application to undertake a phone interview with me and send me to an employment agency signing me up to job search. Cart before the bull me thinks since I still don't know if I have been approved for Newstart and at 65+ years of age what is my chance of obtaining employment?
    frizfamly
    15th Jul 2019
    11:06am
    Brian and his wife's situation is similar to ours. My husband retired in April and has been waiting for an assessment to be completed for over a month. I am not working but not yet reached pension age, which will be Feb 2020. As such I applied for Newstart and have been waiting for over a month for an assessment. Having said that, Centrelink only took one day after lodging my application to undertake a phone interview with me and send me to an employment agency signing me up to job search. Cart before the bull me thinks since I still don't know if I have been approved for Newstart and at 65+ years of age what is my chance of obtaining employment?
    Farside
    15th Jul 2019
    12:01pm
    You don't need a job, though it would no doubt be appreciated. Job seekers aged 60 and over can satisfy their mutual obligation requirements if they undertake at least 30 hours per fortnight of approved voluntary work (or combo thereof with paid work).
    Chris B T
    15th Jul 2019
    11:28am
    It Really Has No Input From You other than providing the Required Information in Application Form.
    They will use There "Magical Rules And Assumptions" no explanation or break down how the Outcome Was Achieved.(When Robbo Cop Comes Sniffing you are left with nothing to Prove there Results)
    The Assets Test for Monetary and Physical are only there for confusion.
    The Least Information Given Back To You Less Likely Of CHALLENGERS.
    ;-(
    johnp
    15th Jul 2019
    11:34am
    Yep; its all very "Kafkaesque or Catch 22" situation !!
    Karl Marx
    15th Jul 2019
    12:05pm
    Again just another example of the complexity of a broken system.
    Sheilab
    15th Jul 2019
    12:43pm
    I haven't found an explanation for this question:

    Is money in the bank an asset? Coz for sure U cannot earn the deeming rate on bank savings.

    The savings that are in bank deposits are now used for keeping people alive - the more spent from your savings account the less income comes from the savings.

    On allocated pensions I have found they are earning nothing (less the company's charges), so there's a minus interest rate. The rate of money getting paid monthly is coming straight out of the total money paid in.

    Here is another - is deeming going to be put on the valuation of block of land?

    Seems they catch you every which way.
    johnp
    15th Jul 2019
    12:55pm
    Is that block of land a separate investment or your place of abode ?
    believe most of the industry super funds have been either double digit returns or very close to that. However the politicians are only interested in their own large extremely excessive largesse in form of perks, travel, pensions, salaries etc.
    frizfamly
    15th Jul 2019
    6:45pm
    Thanks Farside, but my point was that they sent me to an employment agency, 50 minutes drive away, and enrolled me in Job Search BEFORE I have been assessed for anything and still waiting, the agency will be calling me in a few days to find out how I am progressing with my job search. Yes I am away I can do volunteer work, but again I have not been assessed yet and this may be difficult in a rural area...
    frizfamly
    15th Jul 2019
    6:45pm
    Thanks Farside, but my point was that they sent me to an employment agency, 50 minutes drive away, and enrolled me in Job Search BEFORE I have been assessed for anything and still waiting, the agency will be calling me in a few days to find out how I am progressing with my job search. Yes I am away I can do volunteer work, but again I have not been assessed yet and this may be difficult in a rural area...


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