Firstly you must be of pension age to get the age pension.
|Date of birth||Qualification age|
|1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953||65 ½ years|
|1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955||66 years|
|1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956||446|
|Public sector||66 ½ years|
|1 January 1957 and later||67 years|
Under age pension age
If you are under age pension age and not drawing on your super then your super assets are not assessed by Centrelink.
If you are under age pension age and receiving payments from your super fund then your super assets are assessed by Centrelink. The super assets are taken into account for the assets test and may be also deemed to earn an assessable income for the income test.
New deeming rules came into effect on the 1 January 2015 that apply to all new pensions commenced after this date. The result is your super will be tested twice before you get the age pension. Firstly your super balance is assessed under the asset test and secondly income will be “deemed” to have been earned on the super balance and assessed under the income test. Retirees who do not draw down any income will be deemed to have done so.
The current deeming rates are 1.75% on financial assets (which could include your super balance) up to $50,200 for singles and $83,400 for couples and then 3.25% on the balance. For example, a super balance of $300,000 will be deemed to earn (1.75% * 50,200) + (3.25% * 249,800) = $8,997 pa (for a single person). This would reduce the annual pension by around $2,000.
All pensions held before 1 January 2015 will be assessed under the old rules until they choose to change the product and so any changes should be made with caution and appropriate advice.
Under the old rules there is no deeming on a super balance although it is assessed under the assets test. The pension will be assessable under the income test (less a deductable amount representing a return of capital). This deduction prevents the super from being assessed twice which the new rules introduce.
If the pensioner withdraws a lump sum and spends it immediately on food or the mortgage then it is not assessable. If the lump sum is deposited into a bank account then it becomes a financial asset and assessable.