Deeming rules and your super

Deeming rules applied by Centrelink differ depending on the date you opened a retirement income account and started receiving certain Centrelink payments.

On 1 January 2015, Centrelink’s deeming rules changed to include all new retirement income accounts. Under the new rules, account based income streams are now included in the combined value of a person’s financial assets and assessed using the deeming rules.

What is deeming?

Deeming is the system used by the government to assess income you receive from your financial investments. These assets include term deposits, shares and managed funds, loans to family members, and superannuation funds (if you are old enough to qualify for the age pension).

The deeming rate is calculated by adding up all of the applicable investments and applying a rate to the total amount. For a single pensioner, the deeming rate is set at 1.75% for the first $49,200 and 3.25% for anything over and above that amount, while for pensioner couples, it is set at 1.75% for the first $81,600 and 3.25% for any income above that threshold.

What are the deeming rules?

The deeming rules are part of Centrelink’s income test. They are used to assess your financial assets to determine your eligibility for Centrelink support such as the Government Age Pension.

Deeming rules assume any financial assets you own earn a certain amount of income regardless of the income they actually earn. This deemed income is used to determine your eligibility, not the actual income.

What does this mean for me?

If you opened a retirement income account on or after 1 January 2015, or started to receive the Government Age Pension after this date, the new deeming rules will apply.

The new deeming rules will not apply if you:

  • were receiving Centrelink payments (including the Government Age Pension payments) on 31 December 2014 and
  • had an existing retirement income account on 31 December 2014

If you choose to change retirement income products, open a new account or recommence Centrelink payments (after not receiving them for a period of time) on or after 1 January 2015 the new rules will apply.

How is my income assessed?

Deeming rates at 1 July 2015
Marital status  Invested amount  Deeming rate 



Up to $48,600

$48,600 +



Couple – one or both receiving income support from Centrelink 

PeopleTwo  Plus

Up to $80,600

$80,600 +



How do I calculate my deemed income?

John is a single retiree with $200,000 in an income account. He has no other assets.

The first $48,600 of John’s income would be deemed at 1.75%

Deemed income = $48,600 x 1.75% = $850.50

The remaining $151,400 is above the lower threshold and is deemed at 3.25%

Deemed income = $151,400 x 3.25% = $4,920.50

John’s total annual deemed income would be

$850.50 + $4920.50 = $5771

Got questions? We’re here to help.

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For full details about the deeming rule changes, go to or call Centrelink on 13 23 00.

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