Assets

Property or items that you or your partner own in full or part, or have an interest in, can affect your payment.

We look at the type and value of any assets in and outside Australia.

The value of your assets is what you’d get if you sold them at market value. We’ll deduct any debt secured against the asset from its market value.

Asset types

Real estate

We include the value of real estate that’s not your principal home.

Real estate assets can include property you own:

  • in full or jointly
  • privately or within a business structure

Read about real estate assets.

Granny flat rules

If you transfer assets or money to live in a property that someone else owns, we may assess you under the granny flat rules.

Read about granny flat rules.

Retirement village contributions

The amount of entry contribution you pay to live in a retirement village affects if:

  • we class you as a home owner, and
  • we'll include this in your assets test

Read about how retirement villages form part of your real estate assets.

Life interests

We may assess an asset if you:

  • have a life interest in the asset, or
  • get a lifetime income from the asset

Read about how life interests form part of your real estate assets.

Financial investments

We use the value of your financial investments to calculate your payment rate. We assess your financial investments under both the assets and income tests.

Read about financial investments.

Superannuation investments

If you’re under age pension age, we don’t count your superannuation investments for income and asset test purposes. The same applies to your partner’s superannuation investments if they are under age pension age. We count your superannuation investments once the investment owner reaches age pension age, whether you get Age Pension or another payment.

Read about superannuation investments.

Income streams

An income stream is a regular series of payments:

  • made directly from accumulated superannuation contributions, or
  • purchased using superannuation or other money

Read about income streams.

Business assets

If you’re involved in a business as a partner or sole trader, we'll work out what income and assets relate to you.

If we decide you’re a controller of a private trust or private company, we’ll assess its income and assets.

If you’re a controller, we don’t assess the capital injection made into a private trust or private company.

Read about business structures and private trusts and private companies.

Funeral investments

Some funeral investments may be either partially or fully exempt from the assets test.

Read about funeral bonds and prepaid funerals.

Assets given away

You or your partner can give away money, assets or income at any time. If it’s more than the allowable gifting amount, it'll affect your payment.

Read about gifting.

Other assets

We also assess the market value of:

  • motor vehicles
  • boats
  • caravans
  • licences, such as fishing or taxi
  • the surrender value of life insurance policies
  • trading, hobby or investment collections
  • cyber currency such as Bitcoins
  • household contents, and
  • personal items

Assets we don’t assess

There are some assets we don't assess.

Exempt assets

We don't assess:

  • your principal home and up to 2 hectares of used land on the same title
  • rural customers and primary producers with larger properties on the same title may be exempt in some cases
  • some income streams depending on when you purchased them
  • all Australian superannuation investments from which a pension is not being paid - this exemption is valid until you reach age pension age
  • any property or money left to you in an estate, which you can’t get for up to 12 months
  • a cemetery plot and a prepaid funeral, or up to 2 funeral bonds, that cost no more than the allowable limit
  • aids for people with disability
  • money from the National Disability Insurance Scheme for people with disability
  • principal home sale proceeds you’ll use to buy another home within 12 months - we deem the exempted amount and include it in the income test
  • accommodation bonds paid on entry to residential aged care
  • your former principal home if you entered aged care and you:
    • are paying or liable for an accommodation charge,
    • rent out your former home, and
    • entered aged care prior to 1 January 2017
  • any interest not created by you or your partner, including:
    • life interest
    • reversionary interest
    • remainder interest, or
    • contingent interest
  • a Special Disability Trust if it meets certain requirements
  • your principal home, if you vacate it for up to 12 months, and
  • granny flat rights where you pay more than the extra allowable amount

We may not assess rural customers and primary producers with larger properties on the same title. We also may not assess most compensation or insurance payments for loss or damage to buildings or personal items.

Assets test limits

Most pensions and allowances have asset limits. We’ll use these limits to work out if your assets will affect your payment rate.

We update assets test limits in January, March, July and September each year.

Payment allowances and Parenting Payment single

From 1 January 2017, your payments cancel if your assets are more than the amounts below.

If you're: Homeowners Non-homeowners
single $250,000 $450,000
in a couple, combined $375,000 $575,000
one partner eligible, combined $375,000 $575,000

Full pension

From 1 January 2017, pensions will reduce when your assets are more than the amounts below.

If you're: Homeowners Non-homeowners
single $250,000 $450,000
in a couple, combined $375,000 $575,000
illness separated couple, combined $375,000 $575,000
one partner eligible, combined $375,000 $575,000

Part pensions

From 20 March 2017, part pensions cancel when your assets are more than the amounts below.

If you're: Homeowners Non-homeowners
single $546,250 $746,250
in a couple, combined $821,500 $1,021,500
illness separated couple, combined $967,500 $1,167,500
one partner eligible, combined $821,500 $1,021,500

Transitional rate pensions

From 20 March 2017, transitional rate pensions will cancel when your assets are more than the amounts below.

if you're: Homeowners Non-homeowners
single $499,500 $699,500
in a couple, combined $777,500 $977,500
illness separated couple, combined $874,000 $1,074,000
one partner eligible, combined $777,500 $977,500

Disability Support Pension under 21 with no children

From 1 January 2017, Disability Support Pension will cancel when your assets are more than the amounts below.

If you're: Homeowners Non-homeowners
16 to 17 years, single dependent $375,500 $575,500
18 to 20 years, single dependent $392,000 $592,000
16 to 20 years, single independent $442,500 $642,500
16 to 20 years, couple combined $758,000 $958,000

We calculate the payment rate under both the income and assets tests. The test that results in the lowest rate, or nil rate, will apply.

Your limits are higher if you get Rent Assistance with your allowance or pension.

Other help

If you can't get a payment, or you get less because of the assets test, you may get other help:

Page last updated: 31 May 2017