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Social security

What counts towards the income test?

Section: 9.10

The following chart provides a guide to what counts towards the Centrelink income test for the age pension.

  Financial investments   Assets with special rules   Other assets   Other income
Deemed income taken into account for income test purposes (see
deeming rules)
Generally taken into account for income test purposes Generally disregarded for the income test unless actual income is derived
Taken into account for income test purposes
  • Short-term asset tested income streams (eg five years or less).
  • Other income streams commenced after 31 December 2014 (eg account based pensions).
  • Cash.
  • Bank, building society and credit union accounts.
  • Cheque accounts.
  • Term deposits.
  • Loans and debentures
  • Government bonds.
  • Friendly society bonds.
  • Listed shares and unlisted shares in public companies.
  • Insurance bonds.
  • Managed investments.
  • Assets in super and rollover funds held by anyone of pension age.
  • Gold, silver and platinum bullion.
  • Deprived assets (gifting rules).
  • Income streams other than short- term asset tested income streams, commenced on or before 31 December 2014 by those persons in receipt of a Centrelink age pension or allowance as at that date.
  • Income from rental properties.
  • Income from farms.
  • Income from private companies and trusts.
  • Income from businesses and partnerships.
  • Plus items listed in column four.
  • Principal home.
  • Home contents.
  • Holiday home.
  • Cars.
  • Boats.
  • Caravans.
  • Antiques.
  • Stamp collections.
  • Assets in super and rollover funds held by anyone under pension age.
  • Standard life insurance (ie whole of life and endowment policies).
  • Gifts (limited).
  • Funeral bonds (up to $12,750 for a single bond as at 1 July 2017).
  • Jewellery.
  • Accommodation bond paid to an aged care facility.
  • FHSAs
  • Gifts within allowable limits
  • Any money, profits or valuable consideration earned, derived or received.
  • Salary, wages, allowances.
  • Fees, royalties.
  • Periodic compensation payments.
  • Foreign pensions.
  • Salary sacrifice super contributions.
  • Employment termination payments assessed under income maintenance rules for DSP.
  • Leave payments.

Last modified: Friday, January 12, 2018