Does Centrelink know my assets?

Anna is unsure if she has to do anything to advise Centrelink of her assets prior to the new rules taking effect on 1 January 2017. We clarify what action, if any, she needs to take.

Q. Anna
In light of the assets changes taking place on 1 January 2017, will Centrelink independently verify every current pensioner’s financials (balance in bank accounts, value of share portfolios, etc.) on from source, and total up every individual current pensioner’s financial assets to work out their new Age Pension payment?  Or is the onus on every pensioner to go into a Centrelink office and advise his or her total financial asset value as at 1 January 2017?

A. In order to apply the new asset thresholds and taper rate, Centrelink will simply base its calculations on the information it currently holds. As the onus is on the customer to advise Centrelink of any changes to their asset threshold that may affect their benefits, it will work on the assumption that these details are up-to-date.

Centrelink has already written to everyone receving the Age Pension that it has identified as possibly being affected by the changes and it will confirm the actual change and new payment some time before Christmas.

If you are in doubt as to whether or not you will be affected, you can use the simple estimator on the Centrelink website.

Related articles:
Asset threshold changes explained
Centrelink’s pension Christmas present

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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Age Pension: what are the asset threshold changes?

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