An Overview of INCOME TEST (Age Pension)

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Do you know if you are eligible for the age pension? The income test is one of the determining qualifications for the age pension.

In this video and post, we will explain the income test, and by the end, you will realise how uncomplicated it really is.

We’ll go over what is considered income, some examples of excluded income, what the limits are, and how it affects your rate if you go over certain limits. Plus, we’ll let you in on some good news available from the 1st of July, 2019!

Video Guide

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What Is Considered Income?

Let’s go over what is considered income for the income test. Did you know that all of your income is assessed?

For example, this could be income from employment, income from businesses you hold, from trusts or private companies, real estate income, and income from financial assets such as superannuation.

There are several more categories, and if you would appreciate taking a closer look, we recommend seeing the full list on the Department of Human Services site.

To determine the income for your financial assets, “deeming” is used. Here are the current rules for this.

  Deeming rate
Single 1.75% on the first $51,800 3.25% on the rest
Couple 1.75% on the first $86,200 3.25% on the rest

If you apply this to the total amount of your financial assets, you get the deemed income, which will be considered in your income test. To this, you will have to add all other income that you get from other sources.

The good news is that most income you get from Centrelink is not considered in your income test as some other incomes, such as emergency relief, repayments for expenses, and payments through a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Income Test Cut Off Points For Age Pension

Now that you are able to determine your income, you need to know how this may affect your age pension rate.

First things first; these are the cut-off points. It may be higher if you get the work bonus and/or rent assistance.

If your income per fortnight is higher than those numbers, you will not receive any age pension. If it is lower, the following limits apply for a possible reduction of your rate:


Income per fortnight Pension reduced by
Up to $174 $0
Over $174 50 cents for each dollar over $174


Income per fortnight Pension reduced by
Up to $308 $0
Over $308 50 cents for each dollar over $308

Cut Off Points

  Cut-off point (income per fortnight)
Single $2,026.4
Couple living together $3,100.4
Couple living apart due to ill health $4,012.8

Now that you know if you are eligible and if your rate may be reduced, you probably would like to know how much you can get, right?

These are the rates you can get as of March 2019, including all supplements:

  Per fortnight
Singles $926.2
Couples combined $1,396.2

Good News – Extra Work Bonus

In the beginning, we promised you some good news, and here it is! From July 2019, the work bonus rules changed for the better.

You are now allowed to earn up to $250 per fortnight more before it affects your age pension rate; and even better, you may now also be eligible for work bonus if your income comes from self-employment. Though, be aware, there are several income sources that are excluded from this.

So, these are the most important points you need to know about the income test. If you would like to know more about the age pension in general, read

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