Changes to the asset test thresholds and associated taper rate took effect on 1 January 2017. All Australians who receive an Age Pension and whose payment will change as a result have been notified by Centrelink of their new payment rate.
If you receive a payment, now might be a good time to check what Centrelink has your Assets and Income recorded as. If you haven’t updated Centrelink of your financial situation in some time, the amounts recorded may not be an up to date picture of your affairs.
Keeping Centrelink up to date is important, now more than ever, as accurate records can make a big difference to your payment.
For every $1,000 your Assets are above the lower thresholds (shown in the table below) your payment reduces by $3 per fortnight. This means, that decreasing your asset values by $10,000 can improve your rate of payment by $30 per fortnight.
John and Betty have $15,000 listed for their Household Contents and $25,000 for Betty’s 2009 Toyota Corolla which are not reflective of current market values. By updating their Contents value to $5,000 and the Car value to only $15,000 John and Betty can pick up an extra $60 per fortnight.
That’s an additional $1,560 over the next 12 months.
How do Centrelink determine the value of my Lifestyle assets?
Centrelink allow you to use the current market value for your Contents and Cars. The same rule applies to Boats and Caravans. The current market value reflects what you would get if you sold it today. It is not the replacement or insured value, nor is it what you paid for it.
Whose responsibility is it to update Centrelink?
It is your responsibility to inform Centrelink when your Assets and Income change.
How do I update Centrelink?
Updates can be completed over the phone, via the myGov website or by attending your local Centrelink office.
What do I need to update Centrelink about?
Updates required by Centrelink may include, but are not limited to, changes in:
|· Bank account balances||· Employment income|
|· Motor vehicles, Boats and Caravans||· Gifts|
|· Direct share and investment portfolios||· Superannuation|
|· Trusts or Companies||· Property|
How often should I update Centrelink?
We recommend you advise Centrelink within 14 days of changes to your situation.
How can Muirfield assist me with Centrelink matters?
If you have questions about your current or future Centrelink benefit, we can help answer your queries or assess what you may be entitled to.
If it is appropriate, you can authorise Muirfield to receive copies of correspondence Centrelink send to you. We can then assist you with queries relating to correspondence you may receive.
This authority also allows us to view what Income and Asset information Centrelink has recorded for you. We are able to assist you in identifying what areas are inaccurate and the documentation required to update them of your situation.