Income test for pensions

Your income can affect the amount of payment you receive from us.

How the income test works

Financial assets are deemed to earn income, while there are different assessment rules for other types of income.

Most pensions, allowances and concession cards have income and asset limits, or both. These limits determine if your income or assets affect the amount of pension you receive.

This income test, effective from 1 July 2015, applies to the following payments and family situations:

You are exempt from this income test if you are permanently blind and you get Age Pension or Disability Support Pension and you do not receive Rent Assistance.

Single, couple combined, illness separated (couple combined) pensioners

Single

Fortnightly incomeup to $162over $162
Reduction in paymentnone – full payment50 cents for each dollar over $162

Couple combined, couple separated due to ill health

Fortnightly incomeup to $288over $288
Reduction in paymentnone – full payment50 cents for each dollar over $288(combined)

Transitional rate pensioners

The income test for transitional rate pensioners is effective from 19 September 2009.

Single

Fortnightly incomeup to $162over $162
Reduction in paymentnone – full payment40 cents for each dollar over $162

Couple combined, couple separated due to ill health

Fortnightly incomeup to $288over $288
Reduction in paymentnone – full payment40 cents for each dollar over $288

Allowable income is increased by up to $24.60 per fortnight for each dependent child

Disability Support Pension

Single

  • Under 21 years old, no children, 16–17 years old, at home
  • Under 21 years old, no children, 18–20 years old, at home
  • Under 21 years old, no children, 16–20 years old, independent
Fortnightly incomeup to $162over $162
Reduction in paymentnone – full payment50 cents for each dollar over $162

Couple combined

  • Under 21 years old, member of a couple, no children, younger than 18 years old
  • Under 21 years old, member of a couple, no children, 18–20 years old
Fortnightly incomeup to $288over $288
Reduction in paymentnone – full payment50 cents for each dollar over $288

Single, saved status

  • Under 21 years old, no children, 16–17 years old, at home
  • Under 21 years old, no children, 18–20 years old, at home
  • Under 21 years old, no children, 16–20 years old, independent
Fortnightly incomeup to $162over $162
Reduction in paymentnone – full payment40 cents for each dollar over $162

Couple combined, saved status

Fortnightly incomeup to $288over $288
Reduction in paymentnone – full payment40 cents for each dollar over $288

The income test for saved status is effective from 19 September 2009.

Employment income is subject to a Work Bonus for eligible pensioners over age pension age.

Cut off points

If you earn enough income your payment reduces to $0. This is called the cut-off point. The table below provides details of the cut-off point for each family situation.

The amount of fortnightly income you can earn before your payment reduces to $0 may be higher if you are eligible for Rent Assistance.

Disability Support Pension

If you arepayment reduces to $0 once your fortnightly income reaches this amount
Single$1,882.40
Couple combined$2,881.60
Couple separated due to ill health$3,728.80
Under 21, single, no children, 16-17 years, at home$896.80
Under 21, single, no children, 18-20 years, at home$993.00
Under 21, single, no children, 16-20 years, independent$1,289.60
Under 21, member of a couple, no children, under 18 years$2,530.80
Under 21, member of a couple, no children, 18-20 years$2,530.80
Under 21, single, no children, saved status, 16-17 years, at home$1,054.75
Under 21, single, no children, saved status, 18-20 years, at home$1,171.50
Under 21, single, no children, saved status, 16-20 years, independent$1,531.75
Couple combined, saved status$3,012.00

Other pensions

  • Age Pension
  • Wife Pension
  • Widow B Pension
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Carer Payment if caring for a person 16 years or over
  • Carer Payment if caring for a child younger than 16 years old
If you arepayment reduces to $0 once your fortnightly income reaches this amount
Single$1,882.40
Couple combined$2,881.60
Couple separated due to ill health$3,728.80
Transitional rate pensioners – Single$1,976.50
Transitional rate pensioners – Couple combined$3,215.00
Transitional rate pensioners – Couple separated due to ill health$3,917.00

The single, couple combined and couple separated due to ill health rates may be lower if you are a non-resident of Australia.

This information was printed from humanservices.gov.au It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.