Social Security Assets Test – rebalance assets test thresholds and taper rate

From 1 January 2017 the assets test free area and the assets taper rate will increase.

This measure will start on 1 January 2017. Read more about changes to the pension assets test.

Description of the measure

The assets test free area is the amount of assets above which allowances are not paid and pensions are reduced.

The assets test free areas will increase to:

  • $250,000 for a single homeowner
  • $375,000 for a homeowner couple
  • $450,000 for a single non-homeowner
  • $575,000 for a non-homeowner couple

Pensioners will be subject to a new taper rate of $3 for every $1,000 above the new assets test free areas.

All income support recipients who lose their payment entitlement on 1 January 2017 as a result of the changes will automatically get a Health Care Card. Those over age pension age will also get a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. These cards will be exempt indefinitely from the usual income test requirements.

Questions and answers

Who does this measure affect

From 1 January 2017 the changes will affect all pensioners who are assets tested, or who are currently income tested but become asset tested.

Customers receiving or applying for an allowance will have a higher assets threshold.

This measure will also affect the means test assessment for aged care fee purposes.

Who is eligible for this measure

These changes will affect all pensioners who are, or who become, assets tested.

From 1 January 2017 customers receiving or applying for an allowance will have a higher assets threshold. This means more people will qualify for an allowance.

The date this measure will start and finish

This measure will start on 1 January 2017 and is ongoing.

Page last updated: 14 September 2016

This information was printed Monday 26 September 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/corporate/budget/budget-2015-16/budget-measures/disability-and-carers/social-security-assets-test-rebalance-assets-test-thresholds-and-taper-rate 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.