Do the Age Pension changes affect you?

The Government has changed the way your assets are tested to work out your Age Pension entitlements. This means that the amount you receive could change depending on how much your assets are worth.


How has the assets test changed?

There are two thresholds relevant to the assets test: the lower threshold (assets test free area) and the cut-off threshold (assets test limit). Centrelink has made two changes to these thresholds effective 1 January 2017:

1. The lower threshold has increased
2. The cut-off threshold has decreased

What are the changes?
2016
For every $1,000 over the lower threshold you receive $1.50 less in your fortnightly pension.
Now
For every $1,000 over the lower threshold you receive $3.00 less in your fortnightly pension.
Lower threshold
(Asset free area)
Cut off threshold
(Cut off limit)
2016
NOW
2016
NOW
Single
homeowner
$209,000
250,000
$793,750
$542,500
Single
non-homeowner
$360,500
$450,000
$945,250
$742,500
Couple
homeowner
$296,500
$375,000
$1,178,500
$816,000
Couple
non-homeowner
$448,000
$575,000
$1,333,000
$1,016,000

If you lose your Age Pension as a result of the changes to the assets test from 1 January 2017, you will get to keep your Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card and will receive a Low Income Health Care Card.

Will my payments change?

If you receive partial Age Pension payments, your payments may change in three ways. If the value of your assets is:

  1. Below the new lower threshold, you will now receive the full Age Pension.
  2. Above the new cut-off threshold, you will lose your Age Pension.
  3. Between the new lower threshold and the new cut-off threshold, you may receive a different Age Pension payment amount.

If you are a couple the Age Pension changes apply to both of you.

Will my payments change?

1. Update your assets
with Centrelink
The value of your assets is what you would get for them if you sold them today at market value, not what you think they are worth.
2. Think about
your home
Money you spend on your family home improvements and renovations are not assessed against your pension.
3. Take
a holiday
If it’s appropriate for your situation, it might be a good time to take the holiday you have been dreaming of.
4. Pre-pay your
funeral
Funeral bonds and pre-paid funerals up to $12,250 don’t count towards your asset test.

These are just a few ways you may be able to reduce your assessable assets. We can help you with more options based on your personal situation.

Want to find out more?

Contact us

Call us between 8am and 8pm AEST/AEDT Monday to Friday on 1300 655 002 or email info@csf.com.au.