Income Stream Reviews

Each financial year we review certain types of income streams. We do this in August and February.

How it works

An income stream is a series of regular payments:

  • from accumulated superannuation contributions, or
  • purchased using superannuation or other funds

To get the information we need for the review we either:

  • get the details directly from some income stream providers, or
  • send you an Income Stream Review letter asking you for these details

The easiest way to provide what we ask for in the review letter is online, using either:

What we review

We review the following types of income streams:

  • account-based pensions, or allocated pensions
  • account-based annuities, or allocated annuities
  • market-linked pensions, or term-allocated pensions
  • lifetime or life expectancy income streams that are:
    • from a self-managed super fund or small Australian Prudential Regular Authority (APRA) fund
    • fully or partially exempt from the assets test

We also review account balances and commutations.

When we review

We review all income support payment recipients with these income streams in August. We may also review you again in February each financial year.

You still need to tell us about changes as they happen

You must always tell us within 14 days of any changes to your income stream. This includes if you take a lump sum other than your normal payment.

Who we review in August

We review your income stream in August if you get an income support payment from us.

We only do this if you or your partner have:

  • an account based or market linked income stream
  • an asset test exempt lifetime or life expectancy income stream from a self-managed super fund or small APRA fund

We may be able to get your details straight from the income stream provider. In this case you won’t get a review letter.

We don’t do a review if you only:

Who we review in February

We review your income stream in February if you get:

We only do this if you or your partner:

  • have an account based or market linked income stream that is not from a self-managed super fund or small APRA fund; and
  • are paid your pension:
    • under the assets test, or
    • under the income test and is within $10,000 of the crossover point from being income tested to asset tested

We may be able to get your details straight from the income stream provider. In this case you won’t get a review letter.

What you need to provide

If we need information from you, we’ll send you a review letter.

Review letter

We’ll write to you in early August or early February asking you to complete the income stream review.

If you get letters from us online, we’ll send you an SMS or email to say the review letter is in your online account.

The letter lists your and your partner’s income streams. You need to give us details for each of these.

Details we need

Account based or market linked income streams

For account-based income streams that started before 1 January 2015 and assessed under the old rules and for market-linked income streams, you need to tell us:

  • what the account balance was on the most recent 1 July
  • the new annual income amount for this financial year
  • any lump sums you took out in the last financial year, other than your normal payments

For account-based income streams that started before 1 January 2015 and assessed under the new rules or for those started on or after 1 January 2015 you just need to tell us the most recent 1 July or later account balance.

You do not have to provide us with a new income stream schedule.

Asset test exempt lifetime or life expectancy income streams

For these income streams you need to provide an actuarial certificate. This must:

  • state that your fund can keep paying the income stream
  • have a date on it showing it is current - between 1 July and 31 December of the current year

If you don’t give us this document by 31 December of the current financial year, your income stream may stop being exempt from the assets test.

You can submit documents online.

Due dates

The deadline for getting all your review details to us depends on what kind of super fund the income stream is paid from.

If you don’t finish your review on time, we may stop your payment.

Income streams from self-managed or small APRA funds

You must give us your review details by 31 December of the current year.

Income streams from other super funds

You must give us your review details within 21 days from the date on the letter.

How to provide your review details

Online through myGov

  1. Sign in to myGov.
  2. Choose Centrelink.
  3. Check the Reminders section.
  4. Choose the Income Stream Review reminder.
  5. Follow the steps it tells you.

Use the online guide or video tutorial if you need help to do this.

You can also submit documents online if we ask for them.

Online with a one time access code

We’ll send you an One Time Access Code (OTAC) in the review letter. This is a secure way to provide your details online.

You can do this yourself or get someone you trust to do it for you. You’ll need to tell them:

  • the OTAC
  • your customer reference number (CRN)

Don’t ask someone to do your income stream review for you if you have any worries about telling them your CRN. If you provide third parties your OTAC, this only allows them to complete your Income Stream Review online. They will not be able to view or change any other details.

  1. Go to Income Stream Reviews.
  2. Click on unique One Time Access Code.
  3. Enter your CRN and your OTAC and click Log In.
  4. Follow the steps it tells you.

Use the online guide or video tutorial if you need help to do this.

You can also submit documents online if we ask for them.

Once you’ve finished, you’ll see a receipt page with an ID number for your records.

By phone

If you can’t do the review online, we can help you do it over the phone.

Before you call, please make sure you have all the details the review letter asks for.

When you have all these details ready, you or your nominee can call the older Australians line. There may be call charges.

Help to manage your income

You can get help from the Financial Information Service to make informed decisions about your money.

Call the older Australians line and ask to speak to a Financial Information Service officer.

Page last updated: 27 August 2017