Centrelink subject you to an asset and income test when determining your rate of pension. Rather than requesting the precise interest rate on every account held, Centrelink use their own assumed rate of interest, known as deeming rates.
Deeming Rate Single Pensioner Pensioner Couple
2.00% Under $46,600 Under $77,400
3.50% $46,600+ $77,400+
A single pensioner can have financial investments (e.g. bank account, shares) of $135,857 and still receive a full pension. This assumes the only source of income is from financial investments and that the total assets (eg. cars, personal belongings) are below the relevant threshold under the assets test ($196,750 for a homeowner).
How was this calculated?
$135,857 in financial investments:
$ 46,600 x 2.0% = $932
$ 89,257 x 3.5% = $3,124
Deemed income = $4,056
A pensioner couple can have financial investments of $238,200 and receive a full pension. Again, assuming the only source of income is from financial investments and total assets were below the maximum allowed under the assets test for a full pension ($279,000 for a homeowner).
As mentioned, the above figures assume your only source of income is from financial investments. If you have other sources of income, such as overseas pensions; these don’t fall under the deeming rules. This extra income will reduce the amount that you can have in the bank before it starts to affect your pension.
For more information on the age pension assets test, please see my related post on how much can a pensioner have in assets before affecting their payment?
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