Age Pension: can I offset losses against other income?

Font Size:

Walter is reviewing his assets prior to the threshold changes and would like to know more about how his investment property will be assessed, and whether or not he can offset losses.

Q. Walter
Can you clarify how assets affect Age Pension payments? To be specific, in relation to property that carries a mortgage – is the value considered on the basis of the value of the property, less the outstanding mortgage? Does this apply to both the family home in the same way as a rental property? 

A. In respect of rental returns, is the value of rent monies received as income offset by all costs for the property (i.e. both interest and other costs) in the same way as applies for taxation purposes? And, if this amount is in the negative, is an offset against other income (e.g. part-time work) applied?

The full value of your principal residence is excluded from the asset test, regardless of whether you have a mortgage on it or not. In regards to an investment property, Centrelink will make an allowance for any loan against the property and also take into consideration the actual percentage of the property you own.

In regards to rental properties, Centrelink does not allow the same deductions as the ATO. Your assessed rental income will be the gross income received, minus maintenance costs, interest payments and rates. If you are in the negative once these deductions are made, you will be considered to receive no income from this property. Centrelink does not allow you to offset any losses against other income.

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


Retirement income: will property give a good return?

Considering buying an investment property? Is this still the best way to make money?

How will I be assessed?

Richard is seeking clarification on how his assets and income will be assessed.

Written by Debbie McTaggart


Total Comments: 4
  1. 0

    Looks certainly like a disincentive to own investment property in retirement.

    • 0

      That depends on how much you own Franky.

      I prepared a spreadsheet once that showed the average public servant forced into a defined benefit pension fund could have bought either 6 houses or 8 units with the same amount of money from 1975 to 2015.
      That is taking into account prices, rents, taxes etc.

      It sort of makes the supposedly wonderful pensions in a scheme that allows no concession cards, no tax concessions etc look like propaganda.

      That would equate to a lump sum final payout around 2.5 million and a very large fortnightly rental return now.

  2. 0

    Can anyone advise the way centre link value a rental property , do they use council rates or real estate value because there can be a big difference in the valuations Cheers

  3. 0

    If you have an investment property with a mortgage and also cover it with a mortgage against your home you will not be able to use the property in any way as an asset and could lose your right to a pension because of this, the statement published by Centrelink referring to property assessments is not correct to how it is applied



continue reading


Private health rebate levels are dropping, what does that mean?

We are all used to private health insurance rebates on 1 April every year, but this year the rebates will...

Health news

Doctors call for convicted child killer Kathleen Folbigg's release

A group of 90 expert scientists and doctors is calling for convicted child killer Kathleen Folbigg to be pardoned in...


Adorable celebrity pets

Just like the rest of us, Hollywood's A-listers are pretty obsessed with their pets, especially when it comes to sharing...

Health news

Who needs a colonoscopy most? Ensuring those at risk head the queue

Professor Jon Emery Mary was 55 when she started having on and off tummy pains, and noticed she needed to...

Health & Ageing

What stress does to your skin, hair and nails

Stress can be an all-consuming beast. Not only does it overwhelm your brain, but it can have a physical impact,...


Multi-generational family living grows, forcing design changes

The trend towards multi-generational living, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, is producing fresh approaches to Australian housing. Urban designer Craig...

Seniors Finance

Your retirement 'pay cheque'

Nothing beats the reassurance of knowing there's money coming in each month. Then retirement happens and, suddenly, it's up to...

Health news

Scientists closer to developing a vaccine for urinary tract infections

Anyone who has ever developed a urinary tract infection (UTI) knows that it can be painful, pesky and persistent, but...