Income test for pensions

Your income can reduce your pension.

What an income test is

We assess your and your partner’s income from all sources. This includes financial assets such as superannuation. To work out how much income your financial assets produce, we use deeming.

Pensions have income and asset limits. If you’re over these limits, you get a lower pension.

Who income tests are for

The pension income test is for people who get any of the following:

Unless you get Rent Assistance we don’t use the income test if you’re permanently blind and get either:

What the standard rules are

These are the income rules for most pensioners.

Single person

Income per fortnight Amount your pension will reduce by
Up to $178 $0
Over $178 50 cents for each dollar over $178

Couple living together or apart due to ill health

Combined income per fortnight Amount your combined pension will reduce by
Up to $316 $0
Over $316 50 cents for each dollar over $316

What the transitional rules are

These are the income rules for transitional rate pensioners and Disability Support Pension customers who meet the following:

  • are younger than 21 years
  • have no dependent children that had affecting income as at 19 September 2009.

Single person

Income per fortnight is Amount your pension will reduce by
Up to $178 $0
Over $178 40 cents for each dollar over $178

Couple living together or apart due to ill health

Combined income per fortnight Amount your combined pension will reduce by
Up to $316 $0
Over $316 40 cents for each dollar over $316

Transitional rate with dependent children

You can earn up to an extra $24.60 per fortnight for each dependent child without reducing your pension. Couples living together and both getting a pension can each earn an extra $12.30 per fortnight for each dependent child.

What the cut off points are

If your income in a fortnight goes over the cut off point, we’ll pay you $0 for that fortnight.

Your cut off point may be higher if you get Rent Assistance.

Your cut off point may be lower if you don’t live in Australia.

Disability Support Pension cut off points per fortnight

Your situation Income cut off point
21 or older, single $2,066.60
21 or older, couple living together $3,163.20 combined
21 or older, couple living apart due to ill health $4,093.20 combined
18 to 20, single, no children, at home $1076.60
16 to 17, single, no children, at home $972.40
16 to 20, single, no children, independent $1,397.40
18 to 20, couple, no children $2,742.40 combined
Younger than 18, couple, no children $2,742.40 combined

Other pension cut off points per fortnight

These cut off points are for:

Your Age Pension cut off point will be higher if you get the Work Bonus.

Your situation Income cut off point
Single $2,066 .60
A couple living together $3,163.20 combined
A couple living apart due to ill health $4,093.20 combined
A transitional rate pensioner - single $2,151.25
Transitional rate pensioners - couple living together $3,500.00 combined
Transitional rate pensioners - couple living apart due to ill health $4,262.50 combined

Page last updated: 14 September 2020