Income Stream Reviews

Each financial year we review certain types of income streams. We do this to ensure we assess your payments and concession cards correctly.

How it works

An income stream is a series of regular payments from accumulated superannuation contributions. They can also be purchased using superannuation or other funds.

From 1 January 2019, all income stream product providers must use our electronic data transfer process. This applies to income streams that aren’t paid from either a:

  • Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF)
  • Small Australian Prudential Regular Authority (APRA) Superannuation Fund (SAF).

It’s a more efficient and accurate way for providers to give us the details we need for income stream reviews. If the provider doesn’t give us the information, we’ll send you an Income Stream Review letter. The letter will ask you for the details we need. In most cases, we won’t ask you to give us income stream details.

Read the Automation of Income Stream Reviews Privacy Notice to find out how we handle your personal information.

What we review

We review the following types of income streams:

  • account-based pensions, or allocated pensions
  • account-based annuities, or allocated annuities
  • market-linked pensions, or term-allocated pensions
  • asset test exempt lifetime or life expectancy income streams from a SMSF or SAF.

We review income streams held by you or your partner. We do this if either or both of you get an income support payment from us. We also do this if either or both of you:

  • have a Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card
  • have a Low Income Card.

When we review

In August each year we review:

  • account-based and market-linked income streams
  • asset test exempt lifetime or life expectancy income streams from a SMSF or SAF.

In February each year we review account-based and market-linked income streams that are not from a SMSF or SAF.

We may be able to get your details straight from the income stream provider. In this case you won’t get a review letter.

You must always tell us within 14 days of any changes to your income stream. This includes if you take a lump sum other than your normal payment.

What you need to provide

We'll send you a review letter if we need information from you. If we do, we’ll write to you in early October or early April. The letter may ask you to give us the income stream review information online.

If you get letters from us online, we’ll let you know the letter is in your online account. To do this, we’ll send you an SMS or email.

The letter will list your and your partner’s income streams. You need to give us details for each of these.

Details we need

Account-based or market-linked income streams

For account-based income streams not subject to deeming that started before 1 January 2015, and market-linked income streams, tell us:

  • what the account balance was on the most recent 1 July
  • the new annual income amount for this financial year
  • any lump sums you took out in the last financial year, other than your normal payments.

You just need to tell us the most recent account balance on 1 July or later if either:

  • your account-based income stream started before 1 January 2015 but is subject to deeming
  • your account-based income stream started on or after 1 January 2015.

You don’t have to provide us with a new income stream schedule.

Asset test exempt lifetime or life expectancy income streams

For these income streams you need to provide an actuarial certificate. This must have both of the following details:

  • a statement that your fund can keep paying the income stream
  • a date on it showing it is current - between 1 July and 31 December of the current year.

You need to give us this document by 31 December of the current financial year. If you don’t your income stream may stop being exempt from the assets test.

You can submit documents online.

What are the due dates

The due dates depend on what kind of super fund the income stream is paid from. The dates are the deadline for getting all your review details to us.

If you don’t finish your review on time, we may stop your payment.

Income streams from SMSFs or SAFs self-managed or small APRA funds

You must give us your review details by 31 December of the current year.

Income streams from other super funds

You must give us your review details within 21 days from the date on the letter.

How to provide your review details

Your income stream review letter will tell you how to give us the details. For account-based and market-linked income stream reviews, the easiest way is online.

Online through myGov

Follow these steps to provide your details online through myGov.

  1. Sign in to myGov.
  2. Choose Centrelink.
  3. Check the Reminders section.
  4. Choose the Income Stream Review reminder.
  5. Follow the prompts and answer the questions.

You can also submit documents online if we ask for them.

Online with a One Time Access Code

We’ll send you a One Time Access Code (OTAC) in the review letter. This is a secure way to provide your details online.

You can do this yourself or get someone you trust to do it for you. You’ll need to tell them the following details:

  • the OTAC
  • your Customer Reference Number (CRN).

Don’t ask someone to do your Income Stream Review for you if you’re concerned about telling them your CRN. If you give someone your OTAC, they can only complete your Income Stream Review. They won’t be able to view or change any other details.

To do your review using your OTAC follow these steps.

  1. Go to One Time Access Code Log In.
  2. Enter your CRNand your OTACand select Log In.
  3. Follow the prompts and answer the questions.

You can also submit documents online if we ask for them.

Once you’ve finished, you’ll see a receipt page with an ID number for your records.

By phone

If you can’t do the review online, we can help you do it over the phone.

Before you call, please make sure you have all the details the review letter asks for.

When you have all the details ready, you or your nominee can call the Older Australians line. There may be call charges.

What help is available to manage your income

You can get help from the Financial Information Service to make informed decisions about your money.

Call the Older Australians line and ask to speak to a Financial Information Service officer.

Page last updated: 10 February 2020