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We have information in different languages about Asset types
Call our Multilingual Phone Service to speak with us in your language about your Centrelink payments and services.
We look at the type and value of any assets you or your partner 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 you owe that your asset is security for, from its market value. If you got an unsecured loan specifically to buy the asset, we may also deduct this loan from the value of the asset.
When you claim a payment, we’ll ask about the assets you have and their value. We may also ask you to give updated information about your assets to ensure you’re getting the correct payment rate.
Assets include any:
- financial investments
- home contents, personal effects and vehicles
- real estate, annuities, income streams and superannuation pensions
- sole traders, partnerships, private trusts and private companies.
Tell us about any financial investments you and your partner own, or partially own, in and outside Australia. Financial investments include any of these:
- bank, building society and credit union accounts
- cash on hand
- deeming accounts
- term deposit accounts
- uncleared cheques
- managed investments, including margin loans
- shares and securities.
It also includes any of these:
- superannuation investments if you are over age pension age
- annuities and income streams
- money loaned
- money held in solicitor trust accounts
- bonds and debentures
- gold, silver or platinum bullion
Read more about financial investments and what’s included in the test.
Home contents, personal effects, vehicles and other personal assets
Personal assets include any:
- home contents such as furniture and appliances
- personal effects such as jewellery and laptops
- motor vehicles
- boats and caravans
- licences such as commercial fishing and taxi
- surrender value of life insurance policies
- collections for trading, investment or hobby purposes
- non business livestock.
Managed investments and superannuation
We assess any:
- managed investments
- investment and unit trusts
- life insurance and friendly society bonds
- property development funds
- self-managed super funds
- funeral bonds
- superannuation if you’re over Age Pension age or you receive payment from it.
Read more about investments.
We include most real estate assets you own in your assets test. This generally doesn’t include your principal home and up to the first 2 hectares of land it’s on.
We include any real estate you:
- rent out
- leave vacant for any amount of time, such as a holiday home
- let someone else live in for free.
If you own and live on a farm, we assess your home differently. Read more about how we assess rural customers and primary producers.
We may also assess your principal home as a granny flat interest. We'll do this if you transfer assets or money to live in a property that someone else owns.
If you live in a retirement village, we’ll need to know how much you paid as your entry contribution. We use this amount to work out both:
- whether we class you as a homeowner
- if we'll include it in your assets test.
If you temporarily leave your principal home, it can be exempt from the assets test for up to 12 months. In some circumstances, you may be eligible for an additional 12 month exemption, up to 24 months total.
Read more about exempting the principal home - temporary vacation of property on the Department of Social Security website.
Annuities, income streams and superannuation pensions
An income stream is a regular series of payments either:
- made straight from accumulated super contributions
- purchased using superannuation or other money.
There are 2 main types of income streams:
- annuities, these are bought from life companies
- superannuation pensions, these are paid or bought from a super fund.
We include shares you own in Australian and overseas in any:
- public listed and unlisted companies
- private companies.
Read about deeming rules for shares and other financial investments that may affect your payment.
You or your partner can give away money, assets or income at any time. But, depending on the amount, gifting of income or assets can affect your payment.
Sole trader, partnerships, private trusts and private companies
If you're involved in a business structure as a partner or sole trader, some assets will count as yours. We'll work out what income and assets are yours.
If you're a controller of a private trust or private company, some assets and income will count as yours. We base this 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 will count.
Special Disability Trusts
If you're a beneficiary or have donated to a Special Disability Trust, we need to know to apply any concessions.
A deceased estate is the assets that belonged to the person who died. You must tell us within 14 days of getting any assets or income from a deceased estate.
We understand it can take some time to finalise an estate. Generally, we won’t assess any assets you’re entitled to until either:
- you get them
- you’re able to get them
- you benefit from them.
If you own assets jointly with a deceased partner, these will legally transfer to you. When this happens, you must tell us within 14 days. Any assets owned outright by your deceased partner are part of their estate. We won’t assess these until you get them or are able to get them.
You can update your income and assets through you Centrelink online account at any time.
Giving away an asset you own jointly with the deceased or get from their estate, is gifting. This can affect your payment. Before doing this, talk to our Financial Information Service officers. It’s a free service to inform and educate you about financial matters.
You can read more about what to do when someone dies.
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.
The value of your financial investments counts in the assets test and income test for payments from us.
These are regular payments made from your superannuation fund, or purchased using either superannuation money or savings.
Private trusts and companies
If you’re part of a private trust or company, we need to know your share of the income and assets.
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.
If you give away your income or assets, they may still count towards your income and assets tests. This also applies if you sell them for less than they’re worth.
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.