The Centrelink Assets Test for superannuation savings is determined by your age and the value of your super accumulation and pension assets.

Centrelink applies both an Assets Test and an Income Test.

The test that results in you receiving the lower social security support is the test that is applied to your situation.

In some cases, superannuation assets will be exempt from the Centrelink Assets Test.

For Centrelink Assets Test purposes, superannuation assets include accumulation accounts, account based pensions, transition to retirement pensions, annuity income streams, term allocated pensions, etc.

The Centrelink Assets Test assessment of superannuation is based on the value of the account on any given day, or a reducing value, as is the case with annuity income streams.
 

Centrelink Superannuation Assets Test

 
Is superannuation is counted as an asset for social security purposes?

The first step to understanding whether superannuation is included in the Centrelink Assets Test is to know if you have reached Age Pension age.

Your Age Pension age is based on when you were born, as follows:

Birthdate Age Pension Age
Before 1 July 1952 65 years
1 July 1952 – 31 December 1953 65 years and 6 months
1 January 1954 – 30 June 1955 66 years
1 July 1955 – 31 December 1956 66 years and 6 months
After 1 January 1957 67 years

 

Centrelink Super Assets Test: Under Age Pension Age

 
If you are under Age Pension Age, all savings that you hold within a superannuation accumulation account will be exempt from Centrelink assessment.

The amount within a superannuation accumulation account will not need to be disclosed.

What if you are under Age Pension age and have a superannuation income stream in place?

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Despite being under Age Pension age, a superannuation income stream will be fully assessable for the Centrelink Assets Test.

A superannuation income stream includes account based pensions, transition to retirement income streams, annuities, term allocated pensions and any other income streams that were purchased with superannuation savings.

These superannuation income stream assets are assessable because you have decided to access them.

While under Age Pension age, it may be possible and worthwhile to roll back an income stream to super accumulation phase so that it is no longer assessed under the Centrelink Assets Super.
 

Centrelink Super Assets Test: Over Age Pension Age

 
If you are over Age Pension age, all superannuation assets are assessed for Centrelink Assets Test purposes.

All accumulation savings, plus any type of superannuation income stream, will be counted as an asset for social security purposes.

They are all Centrelink assessable assets under the Centrelink Assets Test.
 

Types of Centrelink Payments Affected

 
A range of Centrelink payments are affected where the Centrelink Assets Test is applied.

This includes, but is not limited to, the Centrelink Age Pension and Centrelink Disability Pension.

Equivalent means tested social security payments and pensions from the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA), such as the Service Pension, are also affected by superannuation.

Only being under Age Pension age will allow your superannuation accumulation accounts to be exempt from assessment.
 

How Is Super Assessed by Centrelink?

 
A superannuation accumulation account balance is assessed, when relevant, based on it’s current value under the Assets Test.

A superannuation income stream, such as an account based pension or transition to retirement pension is also assessed on its current value.

An annuity income stream value often has a reducing capital amount for Centrelink Assets Test assessment purposes.

For all income streams, including annuities, a Centrelink Schedule should be able to be obtained from your superannuation provider and given to Centrelink.

Here is an example of the information included within a Centrelink Schedule.
 

Age Pension Assets Test

 
What is included in the Age Pension Assets Test?

The types of assets assessed when calculating Age Pension entitlements include:

  • Real estate
  • Financial Investments
  • Superannuation Accumulation Accounts
  • Retirement Income Streams
  • Business Assets
  • Some Funeral Investments
  • Amounts Gifted Above the Allowable Limits
  • Market Value of Personal Use Assets Such As Cars, Boats, Home Contents, etc.

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Centrelink Assets Test Calculator

 
Using a Centrelink Assets Test Calculator can help you calculate your potential entitlements in the Centrelink Assets Test.

However, it is important to remember that the Centrelink Assets Test alone will not determine your entitlements to any benefits, payments or pensions.

A Centrelink Assets Test calculation will need to be used in conjunction with a Centrelink Income Test calculation.

Here is an Age Pension calculator that can be used as a guide to calculate your potential Age Pension payments.

Ultimately, Centrelink will determine your Age Pension eligibility. Calculators such as this should be used as a guide only.

Chris Strano

Chris Strano created SuperGuy to help the average punter navigate through the complex and ever-changing super rules. It has since become one of Australia's leading digital super resources. Subscribe to SuperGuy's YouTube channel for the latest strategies to boost your super savings. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs1ARI2y18hrjNYVqjtJ-pQ

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