‘Deeming’ refers to the method by which Centrelink assume all financial assets earn a set income, regardless of what they actually earn. The concept avoids the need to update Centrelink when you receive income like a dividend or bank interest.
With interest rates being cut to all-time lows, Centrelink have reduced their ‘deeming’ rates to better reflect what benefit recipients are receiving.
From 1 May 2020, the new deeming rates have been automatically applied to your financial assessment. You do not need to act on these changes.
The deeming rates are tiered and have reduced as follows:
- 1.00% pa to 0.25% pa, for;
- the first $51,800 of financial assets for a single, or
- the first $86,200 of financial assets for a couple.
- 3.00% pa to 2.25% pa, on the remaining financial assets above the lower tier threshold.
The reduction to deeming rates have resulted in an increase in Age Pension payments for many of our clients who continue to be limited by the Income Test. When coupled with recent share market volatility, it may explain why you may have seen a small increase in your entitlement.
For clients who may have previously been ineligible to receive the Low-Income Health Care Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card due to a high income assessment, it may now be worth contacting your adviser for a review of your circumstances.