How will I be assessed?

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Richard will soon be returning from overseas but, as his wife isn’t yet of Age Pension age, he is seeking clarification on how his assets and income will be assessed.

Q. Richard

I am 64 and will remain overseas until next year. I have a few questions about claiming the Age Pension on my return.

1. To receive a part Age Pension, will my wife’s half of the value of our jointly owned investment home count also as my asset? We also own our own home in Australia.

2. If the after expenses/taxes rental income from the investment home in number one above is $15,000 per year, will 100 per cent of that income count or only half of it ($7,500), as my wife (42 years old) owns half of the investment home?

3. If I buy an annuity with $300,000, will the sum invested ($300,000) count as an asset or only the annual income itself received from the annuity?

4. Will the worth of home assets count 100 per cent as an asset for the purpose of Centrelink’s calculations, or as only half, given my wife owns the other half and she is more than 20 years away from being at pension age? 

A.

Richard, we can provide answers as guidance only. You should clarify your individual circumstances with Centrelink.

In answer to questions one, two and four, you will be assessed as part of a couple and therefore all income and assets earned and owned by you and your wife will be included. You will be subject to the limits defined for a couple. You can view the income and asset limits at:

Asset test tables

Income test limits

In answer to question three, how your annuity is assessed depends on whether it is a long-term income stream (greater than five years) or a short-term income stream (less than five years). Annuities are usually long-term, but you will need to take this into consideration when purchasing your annuity. You can find out more about how each is assessed and deemed by visiting Humanservices.gov.au.

Written by Debbie McTaggart



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