The Meeting Place

Selling my large workshop contents How will this affrect my pension?

As a retired grad engineer At 78 I am being forced to sell off my mechanical , woodworking and electronic workshop equipment from the rental property I am in

 I have collected  these over many years and have paid taxes on them at the time .  I need to do this to finance an increase in rent expected soon which will diminish my affordability  to operate and of my now  inability to shift to a cheaper area as I need a property with a large workshop in good condition to continue what is a hobby to me and which keeps my mind healthy and active

I estimate the equipment to be worth, at the xpected heavily discounted sell rate , to be around $35k TO $40k (lathes, milling machines and top end electronic test instruments which are still desirable items to the engineering community)

eBay sale would likely return the most money, but I am concerned that this may impact severely on my pension and would value informed comment on the matter.

One purpose of the sale MAY be to leave Australia and take up residence overseas as an "economic refugee" where the sale money may allow the necessary deposit in a foreign bank as is required before a residential visa is given and which requires a minimum pension income of which the current levek just squeezes in as acceptable and if reduced means I would not qualify

Thanks in advance for your comments




I would guess that depends on how much you sell them for and whats on any receipts that Centrelink sees.

Like divesting yourself of any asset, the proceeds will affect your pension. You must have delared your ownership at the time of making your pension application. You will also need to delare the monetary value you get for the tools once you sell. You will be hard pressed to 'hide' $35-40k given Centrelink has access to your data!

If your total assessable assets are below the amounts below, you should still qualify for the full pension according to what I've read.

Centrelink table – Pension Reductions

See full details at:

BUT ... if it were me I would phone Centrelink and ask.

Age Pension         132 300           Mon–Fri. 8am–5 pm


You just update Centrelink with changes, your assets will be less, but your account bank balance/s more. Your assets declared value need to be realistically low, not what insured or to replace BUT if you had a garage sale how much would you receive. Income is deemed received from Bank accounts so important to update substantial variations. 

Thanks Jo and all the others who replied, youre feedback was much appreciated.  I would be making no attempt to hide it from Centrelink of course, as indeed Centrelink no doubt scans these very pages on this site themselves and may already be aware of my post.  At times I have read  conflicting views in this area so I think the best advice, as some stated, is to ask a Centrelink staff member whom I must say have been most polite and helpful to me in the few times I have had to visit there.

Thank you all again for your  advice and time


If you're a Single Pensioner you can have app $161k in Finacial Assets before the Pension will be redcued etc. So inform them but don't worry.

Yes don’t worry and the assets have gone up quite a bit. See table above posted by RnR. 

I'd be surprised if you realise anything near what you expect. For your sake I hope I am wrong, but don't be disappointed.

Please let us know the result of the sale as others may have similar interests as you and are wondering how to proceed.

A friend had large machine shop which no one wanted to buy and even had trouble giving away his lathes, mills and other machinery to a mens' shed.

If the equipment has been declared as assets up to now then you will just be exchanging the equipment for cash, so no overall change. If you make a loss, unfortunately too bad!

Thank you RnR for your most useful post and McDaddy for your comforting response.

Greenie: I am afraid you are most likely correct in your assumptions. My larger modern lathe is less than 2years old and hardly used, yet on eBay or other sites  I see evidence of almost no one buying such equipment.  Here in WA many engineering  places have closed their doors since the mining boom collapsed yet pricing of housing and commodites still remain high although much of such had been selfishly  based on an the  average  of high incomes earned by the relative few employed during  the mining boom, artificially inflating the cost of living to  the rest.

Its not pleasant to reflect that not just engineering expertise but also many other professional occupations have been shredded by successive governments who have subscribed to 'globalisation'.   Any nation which destroys its own ability to be economically self regenerative by subscribing to such insanity should be held accountable to its peoples.  The yellow jackets in France, the Brexit saga in the UK and the populism in the US is but the tip of the iceberg of what is very likely to come here in the near future. Indeed its probably started with the almost universal disgust at the antics of our bought poilticians and the probable outcome in the coming election.

A healthy nation should be self sustainable, manufacturing our own products  without having to import anything except those essentials  which it naturally lacks or is in momentary short supply.    Almost full employment over a broad spectrum of applications is the natural result as is the training of youth in colleges and universities to succeed the resulting expansion of industry and replace those retiring . Teaching institutions then  naturally also  expand in advanced abilities  to accomodate the constant flow of students who are then have  a better guarantee of employment in their chosen professions. 

Exports should be encouraged, but some targetted quantity limits placed so that shortages of essentials do not occur as a result and thus price inflations of such essentials  kept in check. (Gas exports are but a recent example)

The so called "trickle down economics" concentrating wealth to a few large corporations, most if not all owned by outsiders, is a massive con job which does not benefit the Australian people.     As those large corprate businesses prosper , mainly through reduced or no taxation and monopoly, they use their increasesd profits to REDUCE employment, not increase it. They do this by introducing new machinery to reduce the number of employees and thus their long term costs, as is evidenced by the increase in automatic tellers in banks, self driving trucks in mines, some robotics applications in manufacture  and many other examples readers of this missive may be  well aware of.

In contrast virtually all my professional friends , which include analytical chemists, mechanical  and RF communications and electronics  eng graduates have had to leave Australia to continue working in their respective  fields. There are not enough jobs to go round any more.

The  property manager for my rental home, a young man, is a fully graduated electrical engineer who has to take on this downsized  position as there are no available jobs for him.

The only 'professions' which are expanding here are schools of business administration which have survived in eductional institutions where engineering and science departments have been severely downsized or closed altogether, but an example  of our present malaise.

The natural reult is "too many chiefs and not enough indians"

Well, it was not my intention to expound in such a manner, these statements a mere microcosm of what is needed for our once proud nation to survive in this world, but anger will out and this "rattle of a simple man" may still noisily resonate with the few of us still able to think for ourselves.

Relieved to get some of it out




Beautifully stated, John.

Best wishes.


Agree Greenie. Sad state of affairs John ... all the best with your endeavours ... hope you manage to continue your interests ... whereever that may be.