‘I moved from disability to the Age Pension and my payments dropped! What happened?’

Jun 21, 2019
Working out how your income and assets impact your Age Pension can be confusing. Source: Shutterstock.

Q. How does Centrelink work out the income test? I have been on Disability Support Pension since 2007 and now have just reached Age Pension age. I gave them all my superannuation and bank details, and Centrelink have come up with income of $7,859.59 a year. My super balance was $268,000 and bank balance around $5,000. It’s a waste of time trying to get any information out of them. So my pension has dropped from $916 to $861 per fortnight. I’m confused. I’m single and a home owner, with assets of $3,500.

A. If you are not earning any income, Centrelink will simply apply the deeming test to your financial assets which you say are $273,000. If you go to the deeming calculator on my website you will find this sum gives you a deemed income of $312 a fortnight. If you then put this number in the ‘income per fortnight’ column on my Age Pension calculator you will see that your pension should be $875.70 a fortnight. These figures include supplements, so the numbers appear close to what you are getting.

If you have a question for Starts at 60’s money experts, email it to [email protected].

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services advice.

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