Asset types

Assets are property or items you or your partner own in full or part, or have an interest in. They can affect your payment.

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.

Financial investments

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
  • gifting.

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.

Real estate

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.

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.

Shares

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.

Gifting

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.

Deceased estate

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.

Page last updated: 2 September 2021