Financial investments

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

What they are

We consider account based investments, market linked investments, and some income streams to be financial investments.

Account based investments include:

  • bank, building society and credit union accounts
  • cash
  • term deposits
  • public and private loans.

Market linked investments include:

  • managed investments
  • shares and securities
  • bonds, notes and debentures
  • gold, silver or platinum bullion
  • superannuation if you’re over Age Pension age.

Income streams assessed as financial investments are both:

  • account based income streams purchased from 1 January 2015, and certain ones purchased before then
  • short term income streams.

We also consider advance payments of loans paid through the Home Equity Access Scheme to be financial investments, if the loan is secured against your principal home. The advance payment is exempt from the assets test for the first 90 days.

How we assess them

For the assets test

We assess income streams using their current account balance. We use the current balance for the account based investments. For the market linked investments we value their net market value, not their face value.

Net market value

This is the investment’s last trade or sale price that’s available to the Agency, minus any loan secured against it.

For the income test

When calculating the income from your investments we apply the deeming rules. The deeming rules use the gross value of your investments to calculate the amount of deemed income we’ll include in the income test.

Gross value

This is the market value of the investment, not counting the value of any loan secured against it.

How we revalue them

Market linked investment values change as markets go up and down.

We revalue your market linked investments, shares and securities on 20 March and 20 September each year. We either:

  • get the new values from the latest unit prices we have
  • ask you for the latest values.

You can also ask us to revalue your investments at any time. After we revalue, it may change your payment rate.

How we assess major losses

If your market linked investments fall sharply in value you can either:

  • ask your fund or financial advisor to explain why and advise you on next steps
  • ask us to revalue your investments.

If you ask us to revalue your investments you may be able to get either:

  • a payment you couldn’t get before
  • a higher payment rate.

We revalue all your investments at the same time. So even if one has lost a lot of value we may find that your total asset value has gone up.

How we assess frozen or failed assets

If your investment capital is frozen

We’ll still assess your income and asset values as usual.

If you need money urgently, talk to our Financial Information Service. If we reduce your payment under the assets test you may be able to get help through the asset hardship provisions.

If your investment fails

Usually a receiver or administrator is appointed, but not always.

If your investment isn’t operating in the way it was outlined in the investment contract, you should talk to our Financial Information Service. If you do you may benefit from 1 of the following:

  • get a payment you couldn’t get before
  • get a higher payment rate
  • request a deeming exemption on that investment.
Page last updated: 29 June 2023.
QC 27486