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 you own in and outside of 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.

Example

John has an investment property with a market value of $300,000 and a mortgage on it of $100,000. We would assess the value of John’s property as $200,000.

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

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

Read about granny flat rules.

Retirement village contributions

We need to know how much you pay as your entry contribution to live in a retirement village. We use this amount to work out:

  • whether we class you as a home owner, and
  • if we’ll include it 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
  • receive an income for the rest of your life from an asset you don’t legally own

Read about:

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, your superannuation investments don't count in the income and assets tests. This is the same for your partner if they're under Age Pension age. Once you reach Age Pension age your superannuation investments will count in the income and assets tests. This is whether you get Age Pension or another payment.

Read about superannuation investments.

Income streams

An income stream is a regular series of payments:

  • made straight 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, some assets will count as yours. We'll work out what income and assets relate to you.

If you’re a controller of a private trust or private company, some assets and income will count as yours. We base how much on your level of control. We'll assess the assets and income generated by the private trust or private company to work out how much.

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 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
  • licenses, such as fishing or taxi
  • the surrender value of life insurance policies
  • trading, hobby or investment collections
  • cryptocurrencies
  • household contents, and
  • personal items, such as computers and jewellery

Assets we don’t assess

There are some assets we don't assess. We call these exempt assets.

Exempt assets include:

  • your principal home and surrounding land up to 2 hectares on the same title
  • some properties larger than 2 hectares on the same title - read more about rural customers and primary producers
  • your principal home, if you vacate it for up to 12 months
  • granny flat rights where you pay more than the extra allowable amount
  • 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
  • any property or money left to you in an estate, which you can’t get for up to 12 months
  • accommodation bonds paid on entry to a residential aged care facility
  • some income streams depending on when you purchased them
  • Australian superannuation investments from which a pension is not being paid - this exemption is valid until you reach Age Pension age
  • 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
  • a Special Disability Trust, if it meets certain requirements

If you enter an aged care facility, we don't assess your former principal home if you're:

  • paying or are liable for an accommodation charge,
  • renting out your former home, and
  • entered an aged care facility before 1 January 2017

We will not assess any interest you have in the following items as long as you or your partner didn’t create them:

  • life interest
  • reversionary interest
  • remainder interest, or
  • contingent interest

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 use these limits to work out if your assets will affect your payment rate.

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 for pensions if you get Rent Assistance with your pension.

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

Payment allowances and Parenting Payment

From 1 July 2018, your payments cancel if your assets are more than the amounts below.

If you're Homeowner Non-homeowner

Single

$258,500

$465,500

A couple, combined

$387,500

$594,500

A couple, 1 partner eligible, combined

$387,500

$594,500

Full pension

From 1 July 2018, pensions reduce when your assets are more than the amounts below.

If you're Homeowner Non-homeowner

Single

$258,500

$465,500

A couple, combined

$387,500

$594,500

A couple, separated due to illness, combined

$387,500

$594,500

A couple, 1 partner eligible, combined

$387,500

$594,500

Part pensions

From 1 July 2018, part pensions cancel when your assets are more than the amounts below. Your limits are higher if you get Rent Assistance with your pension.

If you're Homeowner Non-homeowner

Single

$567,250

$774,250

A couple, combined

$853,000

$1,060,000

A couple, separated due to illness, combined

$1,005,000

$1,212,000

A couple, 1 partner eligible, combined

$853,000

$1,060,000

Transitional rate pensions

From 20 September 2018, transitional rate pensions cancel when your assets are more than the amounts below. Your limits are higher if you get Rent Assistance with your pension.

If you're Homeowner Non-homeowner

Single

$517,000

$724,000

A couple, combined

$805,000

$1,012,000

A couple, separated due to illness, combined

$904,500

$1,111,500

A couple, 1 partner eligible, combined

$805,000

$1,012,000

Disability Support Pension under 21 with no children

From 1 January 2019, Disability Support Pension cancels when your assets are more than the amounts below. Your limits are higher if you get Rent Assistance with your pension.

If you're Homeowner Non-homeowner

16 to 17 years, single dependent

$389,000

$596,000

18 to 20 years, single dependent

$406,000

$613,000

16 to 20 years, single independent

$458,750

$665,750

16 to 20 years, couple combined

$786,000

$993,000

Other help

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

In this section

Real estate assets

Information about how real estate assets affect your payment under the assets test.

Granny flat interest

A granny flat interest is an agreement for accommodation for life. It can affect your eligibility or rate of payment and we may include it in your assets test.

Financial investments

The value of your financial investments counts in the assets test and income test for payments from us.

Superannuation

Superannuation is a long term savings structure to help fund your retirement.

Income streams

These are regular payments made from your superannuation fund, or purchased using either superannuation or other money.

Private trusts and private companies

If you’re involved in a private trust or private company, we use your share of the income and assets to work out if you can get an income support payment from us and your payment rate.

Business structures

Your business structure may affect your and your partner’s payments from us.

Funeral bonds and prepaid funerals

Funeral costs you pay for in advance normally don’t count in your assets test for payments from us. There are some exceptions.

Gifting

The value of any assets you give away or sell for less than their value may still count towards your assets test and income test for payments from us.

Rural customers and primary producers

Most rural homes and farms have more land on 1 title than city homes. To be fair, the assets test rules are different for these properties.

Deeming

Deeming rules are used to work out income from your financial assets. We add this to your other income and apply the income test to work out your payment rate.

Asset Hardship provisions

You can apply if you're suffering severe financial hardship and your assets stop you from getting a payment, or your payment is reduced.
This information was printed Wednesday 22 May 2019 from https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/widow-allowance/who-can-get-it/assets It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/site-notices when using this material.

Page last updated: 1 April 2019