Income test for pensions

Your income can reduce your pension.

How the income test works

We assess your income from all sources. This includes financial assets such as superannuation. To work out how much your financial assets are worth as income, we use deeming.

Pensions have income and asset limits. If you’re over these limits, you get a lower pension.

Who the income test is for

The pension income test is for people who get:

We don’t use the income test if you’re permanently blind and get Age Pension or Disability Support Pension unless you get Rent Assistance.

Standard pension income test

These are the income rules for most pensioners.

Single person

If your income per fortnight is your pension will reduce by
up to $164 $0
over $164 50 cents for each dollar over $164

Couple living together or apart due to ill health

If your combined income per fortnight is your combined pension will reduce by
up to $292 $0
over $292 50 cents for each dollar over $292

Transitional pension income test

These are the income rules for transitional rate pensioners and Disability Support Pension customers who are under 21 years, with no dependent children that had affecting income as at 19 September 2009.

Single person

If your income per fortnight is your pension will reduce by
up to $164 $0
over $164 40 cents for each dollar over $164

Couple living together or apart due to ill health

If your combined income per fortnight is your combined pension will reduce by
up to $292 $0
over $292 40 cents for each dollar over $292

With dependent children

You can earn up to an extra $24.60 per fortnight for each dependent child without reducing your pension. Couples living together and both receiving a pension can each earn an extra $12.30 per fortnight each for each dependent child.

Cut off points

If your income in a fortnight goes over the limit you reach the cut off point. This is the point when we pay you $0 for that fortnight.

Your cut off point may be higher if you get Rent Assistance.

All payments may be lower if you don’t live in Australia.

Disability Support Pension cut off points per fortnight

If you're we can’t pay you when your income reaches
21 or older, single $1,940.60
21 or older, couple living together $2,970.40 combined
21 or older, couple living apart due to ill health $3,845.20 combined
18–20, single, no children, at home $1,015.20
16-17, single, no children, at home $916.60
16-20, single, no children, independent $1,319.00
18-20, couple, no children $2,589.60 combined
under 18, couple, no children $2,589.60 combined

Other pension cut off points per fortnight

These cut off points are for:

  • Age Pension
  • Wife Pension
  • Widow B Pension
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Carer Payment

Your Age Pension cut off point will be higher if you get the Work Bonus.

If you're we can’t pay you when your income reaches
single $1,940.60
a couple living together $2,970.40
a couple living apart due to ill health $3,845.20
a transitional rate pensioner - single $2,034.00
transitional rate pensioners - couple living together $3,309.00 combined
transitional rate pensioners - couple living apart due to ill health $4,032.00 combined

Page last updated: 21 March 2017

This information was printed Thursday 25 May 2017 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/income-test-pensions 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.