Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sale of a Home and the Assets Test

Another big week for a client. The client had advised Centrelink of changes to his assets – as he is required to do, and he 'lost' the pension.

He provided new bank balances which included proceeds from the sale of his home - $500,000. Unfortunately he did not advise Centrelink that it was his home that was sold, and the new asset levels placed him over the threshold for the pension!

We corrected the Centrelink records which resulted in him being provided with 12 months exemption from the assets test for the proceeds if the house sale; and we were also able to get him rent assistance for the period.

He was not on the same full pension as previously, as he was benefiting from the proceeds being invested in a term deposit. In simple terms he had invested the $500,000 in a term deposit of 6%; therefore receiving approximately $30,000 per annum in interest. Therefore Centrelink reduced his pension by 50cents in the dollar for this interest - $15,000 pa.

Instead on the original full pension of $716pf, he now receives less than $140pf from Centrelink. But he also receives the equivalent of more than $1150pf in interest. His new new total income level is more than $1300pf, much more than he was previously receiving, and better that the original Centrelink outcome of no pension at all! Plus he is getting rent assistance.

A word of warning though, his ‘cash flow’ is severally impaired as he was not going to get his interest payment until the end of the term – yet his pension was immediately affected. He is now altering his term deposit to enable a better cash flow.

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