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Check the Centrelink rules before gifting

'Gifting assets' before applying for a pension often will not increase the amount of age pension received. The gifting and deprivation rules prevent you from giving away assets or income over a certain level in order to increase age pension and allowance entitlements. For Centrelink and Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) purposes, gifts made in excess of certain amounts are treated as an asset and subject to the deeming provisions for a period of five years from disposal.

What is considered a gift for Centrelink purposes?

For deprivation provisions to apply, a person disposes of an asset or income when they engage in a course of conduct that destroys, disposes of or diminishes the value of their assets or income, without receiving adequate financial consideration in exchange for the asset or income.

Adequate financial consideration can be accepted when the amount received reasonably equates to the market value of the asset. It may be necessary to obtain an independent market valuation to support your estimated value or transferred value or Centrelink may use their own resources to do so.

Deprivation also applies where the asset gifted does not actually count under the assets test. For example, unless the ‘granny flat’ provisions apply, deprivation is assessed if a person does not receive adequate financial consideration when they:

  • Transfer the legal title of their principal home to another person, or
  • Buy a new principal home in another person’s name.

What are the gifting limits?

The gifting rules do not prevent a person from making a gift to another person, but cap the amount by which a gift will reduce a person’s assessable income and assets, thereby increasing social security entitlements.

There are two gifting limits as follows:

  • A person or a couple can dispose of assets of up to $10,000 each financial year. This $10,000 limit applies to a single person or to the combined amounts gifted by a couple, and
  • An additional disposal limit of $30,000 over a five-financial-years rolling period.

The $10,000 and $30,000 limits apply together, meaning that assets can be gifted up to $10,000 per financial year without penalty, but without exceeding the gifting free limit of $30,000 in a rolling five-year period.

What happens if the gifting limits are exceeded?

If the gifting limits are breached, the amount in excess of the gifting limit is considered to be a deprived asset of the person and/or their spouse. The gift is assessable as an asset for five anniversary years from the date of gifting, and subjected to deeming under the income test. After the expiration of the five-year period, the deprived amount is neither considered to be a person’s asset nor deemed.

Example 1: Single pensioner – gifts not impacted by deprivation rules

Sally, a single pensioner, has financial assets valued at $275,000. She has decided to gift some money to her son to improve his financial situation. Her plan for gifting is as follows:

With this gifting plan, Sally is not affected by either gifting rule. This is because she has kept under the $10,000 in a single year rule and also within the $30,000 per rolling five-year period.

Example 2: Single pension – gifts impacted by one gifting rule

Peter is eligible for the age pension. He has given away the following amounts:

In this case, $23,000 of the $33,000 given away in 2017/18 exceeds the gifting limit (the first limit of $10,000) for that financial year, so it will continue to be treated as an asset and subject to deeming for five years. In 2018/19, while gifts totalling $35,000 have been made, no deprived asset is assessed under the five-year rule after taking into account the deprived assets already assessed, i.e. $33,000 + $2,000 – $23,000 = $12,000, which is less than the relevant limit of $30,000.

Example 3: Couple impacted by both gifting rules

Ted and Alice are eligible for the age pension. They give away the following amounts:

(Note, the bottom line in the table above should say: "Any gifts in 2021/2022 will be assessed as deprived assets under the five-year rule." Note that the dates will change as this article ages).

In this case, $3,000 of the $13,000 given away in 2018/19 exceeds the gifting limit for that year, so it will continue to be treated as an asset and subject to deeming for five years. The $10,000 given away in 2020/21 exceeds the $30,000 limit for the five-year period commencing on 1 July 2017, so it will also continue to be treated as an asset and subject to deeming for five years.

Are some gifts exempt from the rules?

Certain gifts can be made without triggering the gifting provisions. Broadly speaking, these include:

  • Assets transferred between the members of a couple, such as where a person who has reached age pension age withdraws money from their superannuation and contributes it to a superannuation account in the name of the spouse who has not yet reached age pension age.
  • Certain gifts made by a family member or a certain close relative to a Special Disability Trust.
  • Assets given or construction costs paid for a ‘granny flat’ interest.

Trying to be too smart by gifting prior to claim

Any amounts gifted in the five years prior to accessing the age pension or other allowance are also subject to the gifting rules.

Deprivation provisions do not apply when a person has disposed of an asset within the five years prior to accessing the age pension or other allowance but could not reasonably have expected to become qualified for payment. For example, a person qualifies for a social security entitlement after unexpected death of a partner or job loss.

 

Liam Shorte is a specialist SMSF advisor and Director of Verante Financial Planning. This article contains general information only and does not address the circumstances of any individual. You should seek professional personal financial advice before acting.

 

82 Comments
Mai Knight
May 02, 2022

Hi . My mum wants to pay the deposit on a house for me but is worried she'll lose her pension . Is there a way to do this ?

Lyn
April 27, 2022

Can the husband gift 10,000 and the wife gift 10,000 to each child each year or can they only gift to one

Lisa Hill
March 17, 2022

I am sorting out my elderly friends pension etc as he has gone into aged care unexpected at age 67 due to multiple strokes. While trying to apply for his pension i have found out that although he has been separated for 13 years he was never divorced and they never did property settlement. He is wanting to sign house over to ex partner. She will just have to pay stamp duty. I am concerned that it will be still be seen as an asset and they will take his super as lease on room. His savings have all gone to paying his daily room charge. Solicitor has said he can sign it over but i do not think she is taking Centrelink rules gifting etc into account/ All very stressing,

Jules
March 10, 2022

My father wants to GIFT my husband and I $10000 to help our Financial situation. I am the one on the Disability Pension. Would him gifting ME the money, affect MY payments

Alan
February 18, 2022

A person gifts $10,000 in consecutive years bringing the total to $ 30,000. Is it necessary to report these gifts to Centrelink at the time of gifting?

Liam Shorte
February 18, 2022

Your should always advise Centrelink of significant movements of assets and the general guide seems to be if it is more than $1,000 to $2000. More importantly if you are asset tested it will boost your fortnight pension by up to $30 for every $10,000 change.

Alan
February 18, 2022

Hi Liam,
Thank you for your reply. I understand that significant movements of assets including bank account balances need to be reported to Centrelink.
Is it necessary to inform Centrelink how assets are disposed of within the limit of $ 30,000? That goes back to my original post. From my understanding a person can gift up to $ 30,000 over a 5 year period without it affecting the pension payment. These changes would reflect in the account balance reported to Centrelink. Being within the limit is it necessary to notify Centrelink of the gifts or just the account balance.

Liam Shorte
February 18, 2022

Alan I only go in to exact detail with Centrelink if a client exceeds the $10,000 in one year or exceeds the $30,000 during a rolling 5 year period. Otherwise we just report balances. They will often reach out and ask where funds went if they feel you are gifting more than the limits but not very often.

Alan
February 19, 2022

Thank you Liam. That is my understanding also, but I wasn't quite sure.

Alan
February 20, 2022

Hi Liam, How is notification made to Centrelink, if it is necessary to do so? I can't find any form on their website for this purpose.

Alan
February 17, 2022

I receive a part pension. Are small cash gifts by bank transfer to my son ( who receives a DSP) considered to be gifting according to the Centrelink rules? The amounts would be nominal around $ 600 dollars , 3 times a year being presents for his birthday, for Easter and Christmas. Do I need to report such payments to Centrelink?

Liam
February 18, 2022

Hi Alan, you would not need to advise Centrelink of these amounts each time but I would suggest once it gets cumulatively over $2,000 in any year that you do inform them.
Centrelink’ own system advises:
“ it is optional to notify us of a small change to your:
* car, boat, real-estate or personal effects of $1,,000 or less
* shares, investments, bank balances or loans of $2,000 or less”

Alan
February 18, 2022

Hi Liam,

Thanks for your reply.
Even pensioners have to put some money by for future bills, including presents for family members. it is feasible that an account balance increases by more than $2,000 for these contingencies, which will be used at a later date. From your comment it seems that a pensioner must give details of how their money is spent!

Heather
February 16, 2022

My parents, already on aged pension, need to sell their house (as entering care home) and will have less than 400,000 after paying the nursing home Accomodation Bond. They have no other savings. They want to gift most of the balance from the sale to their daughter to purchase a unit to live in. Does that affect their pension as they are below the asset test limit already?

Liam
February 18, 2022

Hi Heather this is a complex one and I would urge you to see a Centrelink Financial Information officer. While the Refundable Accommodation Deposit is exempt for the Age Pension, it is not exempt for calculating the Aged Care Means Tested Fee so your parents would have the value of the RAD plus the $400,000 counted towards that test and any gifting above the limits of $10,000 discussed in this article would most likely be deemed as a depravation of assets by Centrelink in doing the means tested fee calculation.

Also remember that the RAD covers the entry and 80% of the Age Pension covers the Daily Care fee but many facilities have both “extra services fees” for additional facilities or services provides and “programme or treatment fees” for items like outings or physio or pedi are etc. so ongoing costs can be much more than expected. None of these fees cover items like Dental care and I have noticed many clients have very large dental bills after being in aged care for a few years as often they are not eating properly or it is not healthy food. So your parents should really understand their own financial needs before gifting any funds to anyone else.

The treatment of any gifted a mount under the means tested fee assessment is the one you need to get a professional advice on from an aged care adviser of the local Centrelink FIS service officer.

Richard
January 14, 2022

I am retired and have recently sold an investment property.
After the sale of the investment property, the balance of the INVESTMENT LOAN will be paid out in full.
Question 1. Would the balance of the sale be deemed as assessable income under Centrelink’s income test?
Question 2. I intend holding back $17 000 in our joint savings account to pay for capital gains tax later– my wife is retired but not pensionable age yet.
Is it regarded as assessable income though the intention is to pay the CGT at the end of the financial year when I submit may tax assessment? Will it impact my age pension entitlement?
Question 3. I have to repay personal loans ($18 000) to my daughter who lent us the funds for home improvement (investment property)to help with the sale of the investment property.
Would repaying the DEBT be regarded as GIFTING?
Question 4. Can I leave $10000 in my savings account for travel after the pandemic travel restrictions are lifted without incurring a penalty on my age-pension?

Liam Shorte
February 18, 2022

Hi Richard

1. The balance of the sale proceeds left after payout of the loan is treated as an asset by Centrelink not assessable income. The income on that asset will be deemed by Centrelink for the income test so a maximum 2.25% currently would be assessed under the income test.
2. Again the $17,000 is an asset not assessable income. So the max 2.25% of $17,000 is assessed under the income test.you may also be able to have it excluded if your accountant does a cgt calculation and you show it to Centrelink as a “liability” to be paid in the future.
3. If you or your daughter can show a trail of funds proving a loan was in place then you should be able to treat this as a liability and the repayment will not be treated as gifting. I suggest a simple Stat Dec supported by a bank statement(s) or invoices paid by your daughter would be enough proof of debt.

4. The $10,000 is an asset and therefore will be asset tested for that amount and income tested (at a maximum 2.25%) until you spend it. You could contribute it to Super in your wife’s name ad it would be excluded until she reaches Age Pension age, or seek a discount for booking and paying for your holidays in advance (checking refund rules). Otherwise it is your asset and it will be counted until spent.

If in doubt or to get specific advice on your particular circumstances I always recommend speaking on the phone or in person with a Centrelink Financial Information Service officer who guides you through the rules and I have found them to be excellent in the way they help people.

Stephanie
January 04, 2022

Hi, my father currently receives an age pension. He has 30000 in a savings account and wants to loan it to me to buy a caravan as I’m about to become homeless very soon. I would be paying him back in regular small amounts till complete. If he loans me the 30000, will his current pension amount be reduced? I don’t want his pension to be affected for him trying to help me have a roof over my head. He is not wanting to have his pension increased but doesn’t want it decreased.

Dudley
January 06, 2022

You might not need it for long - a tent or a cheap DIY renovatable caravan might do. Cost << $5,000.

$10,000 total would also provide funds to rent parking site if required. No effect on Age Pension amount : https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/how-much-you-can-gift?context=22526

Problem with caravan is quick disposal when no longer required.

Liam Shorte
February 18, 2022

Hi Stephanie, it depends on his current asset and income circumstances but even if treated as a gift it does only means he is replacing $30,000 at the bank with an Assessable gift of $20,000 so his pension may actually change in his favour if at all. Have him call Centrelink and ask them if it will affect his pension before doing anything.

What you are describing is a loan not gifting and if you intend to pay him back then that is how it should be treated and he would record an asset of a loan to daughter of $30,000 instead of cash at bank so no change to his pension. If there is no real likelihood of you being able to pay him back then bite the bullet and have him treat it as a gift. I suspect as mentioned above that if his total assets don’t change or he is under the full pension threshold that it won’t make a difference but he needs to check. https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/assets-test-for-allowances?context=22196

Marli
December 17, 2021

My mum and dad have joint title on their house they want to take mums name of the title so that the house can be sold when my dad passes away. Would mum taking her name off the house be classed as gifting?

Liam Shorte
February 18, 2022

Sorry but there is not really enough information to help. If it seems like a scheme then it usually is. Yes generally if you dispose of an asset or an entitlement for less than market value then yes it would be classed as gifting or technically “deprivation of an asset”. Your parents could speak to a lawyer about changing or ensuring the title is as Tenants in Common not Joint Tenants but the ability to do this can depend on each states law. Then you gather in his will could leave his share to someone other than his wife. Then your mother is only dealing with gifting on her 50%.

Lisa
November 08, 2021

Hi There, my parents have had an asset and income test and been given a part pension. They would like to loan me $300k (home loan) that will be drawn up as a contract through our solicitor. The terms of the loan will be 15 years, with me paying them back over that time at a cash interest rate. From the research I have done, it seems that this loan would be assessed under the assets test as a financial investment, so it is deemed on the outstanding balance under their income test. The outstanding balance of a loan is assessed as an asset and subject to deeming until it is repaid. The problem is they have been to Centrelink and spoken to "someone" there who told them it is considered as a gift and that they may have their pension taken away from them if they give me the loan. Can you please tell me how we can progress with this Centrelink to prove the correct intent of the loan, and that they are not trying to reduce their assets to try to claim more pension....

Leisa Bell
November 08, 2021

Hi Lisa, this article by Noel Whittaker might shed further light: https://www.smh.com.au/money/super-and-retirement/gift-or-loan-best-options-when-you-are-on-an-age-pension-20210802-p58f4w.html. You could also try speaking with a different person at Centrelink perhaps, as the original message seems to be off.

Dudley
November 08, 2021

Allow government to pay for your home. Parents invest all but $405,000 in home improvements then claim Full Age Pension $37,000 / y. That is a government guaranteed return on that investment of 8% / y, tax free for life. Plus $8,320 / y tax free income. Plus ~6% / y tax free capital gains on home improvement. You share parent's home rent and tax free and inherit it tax free. You invest $27,500 / y in super taxed 15% and tax free when you retire. Government is most generous and gracious to those who correctly arrange their finances.

Julia
September 22, 2021

Hi,
So if my parents were to transfer the ownership of their house to me and wait for over 5 years time to apply for pension, would this still be eligible?

Robyn Kathner
September 20, 2021

If a pensioner has gifted the maximum amount in a five year period can he do it again in the next 5 year period or are they never allowed to gift again? Another words is the $30000 a lifetime limit or just a limit each 5 years?

Tracey
September 05, 2021

When my dad died, my mum had over $750k 3 years ago in the bank.
She spent some money on us kids, scammers and internet scam romances.
She was getting half pension. Spent another $250k and Centrelink just keep giving her more pension.
Mum has transferred her house into my siblings name. Mum still gets full pension.
Sibling is on benefits as she doesn’t want to work and also carers pension in a rental in up market area so rent relief as well.
Work that out!

Eddie Monro
July 07, 2021

I am applying for a part aged pension now --- July 2021. I gifted 10,000 in June 2021 and will gift another$10,000 now. My question is will that $20,000 be eligible for a reduction in my assets test now.

Liam
August 21, 2021

Hi Eddie, yes that $20,000 will no longer be counted as part of your assets. Bear in mind you can only gift $10,000 more in the next 3 years (2023-2025) that will not be counted. You can still give money to family but anything more over the next $10k will be treated as your asset until 5 years from the payment.

EJ
December 04, 2021

The first $10,000 is okay, but the second lot exceeds the yearly limit if before June 2022. So you will still be deemed on the second lot if before that date.

Elias
July 01, 2021

Hi there, currently my wife and I do not qualify for Centrelink because our assets value is just over the limit. What if I sell a portion of my investment property to my children at market value and use some of the money to pay off the my residence home loan ? That will put me under the asset limit. And also what if I gift the rest of the property to them at the same time of the sale?

Liam
August 21, 2021

Hi Elias yes that is a valid asset test strategy but you should always run these past a Centrelink FINANCIAL Information Service officer to look at your full circumstances. It may also result in assessable income in the tax year you sell the part of the property so you may have issues with the income test! Always consider both tests. Your children will also need to pay stamp duty and legal costs. Finally it can be fraught to enter investments with different generations as their objectives and circumstances are different to yours. Many a family relationship has been destroyed by a joint investment going wrong.

Robert
June 26, 2021

People, please stop saying; "You are only allowed to gift $10,000 per year up to $30,000 in any rolling 5 year period". This is of course sheer nonsense - it's your own hard-earned money and you can give away every cent of your money if you want to, anytime you want to, to whoever you want to!!!

Susan Hines
June 27, 2021

My husband believes this and I can't convince him otherwise.
We have sold one of our investment properties and would like to give each of our 3 children some towards paying off their house loans.
We are both 70 and will never be able to receive any kind of pension.
Cheers
Susan

Graham Hand
June 28, 2021

Hi Susan, repeating my reply to Robert, this article only applies to gifting for people who are receiving a social security pension. It does not apply when a non-pensioner simply want to give money to their children. It says: "The gifting rules do not prevent a person from making a gift to another person, but cap the amount by which a gift will reduce a person’s assessable income and assets, thereby increasing social security entitlements." That is, any person who is NOT receiving a pension such as age or disability can do what they like with their money. BUT, if on a pension, then the gifting rules apply.

Graham Hand
June 28, 2021

Hi Robert, you are right but I think the article is clear that these rules apply for social security purposes. It says: "The gifting rules do not prevent a person from making a gift to another person, but cap the amount by which a gift will reduce a person’s assessable income and assets, thereby increasing social security entitlements." That is, any person who is NOT receiving a pension such as age or disability can do what they like with their money. BUT, if on a pension, then the gifting rules apply.

Robert
June 29, 2021

"That is, any person who is NOT receiving a pension such as age or disability can do what they like with their money. BUT, if on a pension, then the gifting rules apply.".
No.
Again your statement is totally misleading. Some people may even believe it.
The truth is that any person can do whatever they like with their money; PERIOD - end of the story!
Whether one is on on a pension or not is irrelevant.
All the so-called 'gifting rules' do is stop your pension from increasing when it shouldn't - in other words they basically do nothing and can be totally ignored.

Robert
September 01, 2021

My name is also Robert- But what Robert 1 says is correct. Any person of any age can give away whatever he wants- there are no rules about giving assets way. There are only rules about claiming Centrelink benefits. So if a person gets a part pension because of his asset level- and he gives all those assets away- he will still get the same part pension.- because he got it when he owned the assets- he will get it after he gives them away. Howcver in 5 years time- he will get full pension- because he no longer has the assets
Robert 2

Mat W
April 07, 2021

My parents are looking at the possibility of Gifting their house to me and are both on the aged pension. How will their pensions be affected please?
cheers

Liam
August 21, 2021

Matt, for such a big decision please have your parents talk to a Centrelink Financial Information Service officer and then a Financial Planner to consider options like a Granny Flat Arrangement. You need to consider that they may need to fund entry to Aged Care in the future and how to fund that or leave them with no choice of facility.

Steve watts
September 20, 2020

I thought the hardest part of managing finances in life was while Working but it seems Retiring is much more complex and difficult.

Matt W
September 18, 2020

I've have been looking for information on receiving a gift.
My parents are 70 and both on full pension and health cards. They have $300k between them in an investment fund. They are renting and there have no other assets or principle place of residence. Can I buy them a house and register it in their name without impacting their pension ?

Graham
September 19, 2020

Hi Matt, we are not licensed to give personal financial advice so this is a general comment. If an asset is registered in someone's name, they are recognised as the owner, and it will be included in their assets for any social security entitlement. But see a financial adviser for a big decision like this.

Maggie G
October 02, 2021

I was under the impression that as long as you live in the home you own, it is not counted as an asset for the means test. Therefore, if Matt W buys a house in his parents' names, they should be no worse off than they are now, except they won't have to pay rent.

Dal McMullen
May 13, 2020

I have recently sold the family home- it was in my name only. I placed most of the funds into loan accounts in joint names (my ex partner and myself) for a property we own jointly. He contributed to the purchase of the family home whilst we were together. The remaining funds ($53,000) have been placed in a joint account for future maintenance on the jointly owned property.

My question is - will the funds in the joint cheque account be deemed as a gift to my ex partner?

Julia Fort
June 30, 2020

I own a house oversea . It has a value of about $180000 . My son and daughter in law live there and maintain it and pay all outgoings. I receive no income from it whatsoever and my son has spent thousands of dollars on upkeep. It is just I liability to me and my son is reluctant to spend more money on something that is not his. If I transferred it to them how would it effect my seniors penssion.

Jules Jansons
October 21, 2019

Scenario: My partner passed away a few months ago. His will left shares of our home to children of a previous marriage. As a tenant in common I wish to buy out their shares so the property is wholly in my name on the deed. At present I get the part pension. Does my pension increase due to my decreased investments or is it treated as a gift?

Carol wade
August 08, 2019

My father in law recently passed away. We now find that my mother in law 90 has more than the 265000 allowed. How do we deal with this?

Julie
July 04, 2019

Can the notification of the gifting of cash to family be back dated? I notified Centrelink that I gifted in excess of $30000 in June. The actual gifts were made in May. The Centrelink form I completed using the June date I notified Centrelink of the gift, not the actual May dates of the gifts. Would my pension increase be backdated if I returned to Centrelink with evidence of the correct dates?

Robert Jones
July 03, 2019

Do I have to notify Centrelink every time I give my grandchildren $10 or $20 dollars for good deeds or good exam results?
If my annual gifting total is well below the Centrelink limits do I still have to tell Centrelink?

Robert Jones
July 03, 2019

Found this info re the $2000 notification requirements on a departmental search. Australian Government | Department of Human Services
Australian Pension News Issue 36
What you must tell us
Our lives are always changing and some of these changes affect how much money we give you. It’s important you tell us within 28 days of changes to your personal circumstances.
These changes may be to your or your partner’s:
• income or assets where the change is more than $2000
• financial investments and bank accounts
• personal circumstances, including changes to your address, marital status or your school age dependants
• international travel plans, and
• compensation claims.
Actual document:
https://www.humanservices.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/int001-1510en.docx

It seems to me that I only have to notify Centrelink if I exceed their $10,000 and $30,000 rules or if one individual gift exceeds $2,000

barry
May 03, 2019

if you are on a pension/part pension taking your family on a holiday is that deemed as gifting for centerlink purposes

Mary
March 26, 2019

We’re self funded retirees, is there a limit on how much we can gift our children?

Graham Hand
March 26, 2019

Hi Mary, the gifting rules are designed to stop people giving away their assets to create eligibility for a welfare payment. As general advice, if someone has no intention of claiming a pension and they are self funding, then they can gift as much as they like. Any amounts gifted in the five years prior to accessing the age pension or other allowance are also subject to the gifting rules.

steven katanica
February 08, 2019

Sorry, Steven, there's too much personal information in this question for us to post on a public website.

Glenden
February 06, 2019

Hi Glenden, Editor here. This question has too many person details to publish it, but if you are receiving a Centrelink payment, you will not be able to gift away the large amount you indicated. Please contact a financial adviser.

mick
January 25, 2019

I cannot find any information about the 5 year rule other than its current use.
When was the 5 year rule brought in and are gifts prior to this grandfathered?
I would think this was pretty important but I cannot find any mention of it.
Thanks

Harry
December 04, 2018

I understand this correctly, let say my parents gave me $2M 7 years ago in one go and they are applying for age pension this year and that $2M isnt taken into account?

Jo
August 24, 2018

Centrelink has FIS, Financial Information Service, Officers. You can make a telephone appointment or @ face to face appointment at a Centrelink office. You should access this free unbiased information before making any major financial decision. You do not have to be receiving a Centrelink payment to access FIS, many make appointment pre pension claim.

Sue
August 23, 2018

My father in law is now in dementia unit for aged care. Before he got dementia he gave his sons and family to pay off their debts $140,000.00. As this is gifting how long does this affect him

Leisa Bell
August 23, 2018

Hi Sue, The Dept of Human Services' website has the following information regarding gifting, but it would be worthwhile contacting them to make sure:

<em>You or your partner can choose to give away any amount of money, assets or income at any time. But before you do, make sure you know what effect it may have on your financial security.
We assess your gifts to see:
- how they reduce your assets
- if they go over the allowable amounts for gifting
Any gifts you made in the past 5 years may count in your assets and income tests.
Before you or your partner make a gift, contact us to check if it will change your payment.

We may not include a gift in your assets and income tests if you:
- are applying for a payment for the first time, and
- can show that when you made the gift you couldn’t have expected to be able to get a payment from us at the time of making that gift</em>

https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/gifting

Gail
August 06, 2018

Scenario. I am single 67 get nearly full aged pension. Father has passed away and selling his property for approx $1million dollars. If I (gift) pay out my kids homes 2 x $500k I know I loose my pension for 5 years. After 5 years are my assets reassessed to possibly get the pension or part thereof again. Is my thinking on track or way off track.

Troy
June 28, 2018

My father is looking to go into an age care facility In the next few months , as I understand it he is able to gift up to $10000 per financial year meaning that $10000 can be gifted until June 30 2018 and another $10000 can be gifted after July 1 2018 ? Is this correct ?

Regards
Troy

Nads
June 16, 2018

sorry im not sure of this is the right place to post, however my question is what happens if someone accepts a gift to help buy a property and they are already receiving help from centrelink in the form of family tax benefit for two young children.
? is there a penalty? does it depend on the amount?

Jill
April 05, 2018

Hi Leisa
Thank you for the information.
Disappointing as wanting to help folk has become harder...
but where there's a will there's a way I guess
Jill

Jill
March 29, 2018

I am wanting to make some donations to charity eg The Salvos etc from the inheritance I have just received.
Is this 'gifting' (it is not for family of friends) or are you able to donate separately?

Leisa Bell
March 29, 2018

Hi Jill, Donations are subject to the Centrelink gifting rules. For more info see: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/gifting or https://www.smh.com.au/money/what-happens-if-we-hit-the-gifting-ceiling-20151001-gjz2fn.html. Cheers, Leisa

Graham Hand
March 15, 2018

Hi Amy, we'll need to close off this inquiry (and many thanks to Liam) as Cuffelinks is not licensed to give personal financial advice (although Liam is for his clients). You should talk to a Centrelink officer. Cheers, Graham

amy
March 14, 2018

Hi, I just want to clarify - if my parents sell and gift me some money to buy a house, this will affect their pension? They are limited to $10,000 a year correct?
What if they sell the house for under market value does this change the situation? Also having a certain amount in the bank also affects their pension too, correct?

Liam Shorte
March 14, 2018

Amy, your parents can give you as much as they want but they are only allowed to gift $10,000 per year up to $30,000 in any rolling 5 year period. If they give your more than $10,000, then the rest is still considered as an asset of theirs for Centrelink purposes and affects their pension.

If your parents are selling to move in with you then you need to consider a Granny Flat Interest Agreement which would help preserve their Centrelink allowance and secure their tenancy. See here for detail https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/granny-flat-interest

If they sell for less than market value then again this may be treated as gifting or deprivation of assets and the difference between the sale value and true market value will be considered an asset. https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/gifting

If they sell their home and have the cash proceeds then the money in the bank from the sale may be ignored on the assets test for 12 months but will be deemed under the Income test. See here for detail http://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-security-law/6/1/2/40

I always suggest your parents see or speak to a Centrelink Financial Information Officer before undertaking any strategy affecting their pensions. They will help them understand the consequences and avoid a bad mistake. More detail and contact number here https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/financial-information-service

amy
March 14, 2018

Hi Liam,

If their assets are still lower or within the cap/ threshold will it still affect their pension? i.e./ the threshold is now $575,000 for non-homeowners isn't it?
Thank you for your help.

Liam Shorte
March 15, 2018

Hi Amy

The Non-homeowners threshold for the full pension is now $583,500. This includes their assets and any assets they have gifted above the limits or deprived assets for 5 years.

You really need to consider personal advice before implementing any strategy like this and include the use of the Centrelink FIS officers.

Mikhail
January 24, 2018

Are gifting threshold applied on a financial year basis or a calendar year? Although the law says it is 10K per financial year and 30K rolling 5 financial year period, in the example with multiple gifts on DHS website calendar years are used.
E.g. how long a gift made on 1 Jan 2015 will be counted? According to 5 financial year period rule it should be considered until 2019/2020 financial year end, 30 June 2020. Is that correct? If not, why (any links to law)?

Liam Shorte
January 29, 2018

Hi Mikhail, it is on a rolling 5 year basis from the date of exceeding the gifting limit rather than calendar or financial year. So if you made a gift that took you over the $10,000 per year or in total more that $30,000 per 5 year period then it is exactly 5 years from the date the annual and/or 5 year limit was exceeded that the amount is consider as an asset. Each gift is tested against the annual limit and 5 year rolling limit.

Example: 4 separate amounts in a 5 year period

1 April 2015 gifted $10,000 = ok

1 June 2016 gifted $5,000 = ok and $15,000 in total accepted

1 April 2017 gifted $16,000 = $6,000 over $10,000 per year limit asset tested until 31 March 2022. So $10,000 allowed and total $25,000 of $30,000 limit used

1 April 2018 gifted $18,000 = $13,000 asset tested until 31 March 2023 (($18,000 -$10,000) + ($35,000 - $30,000)). So only $5,000 allowed as that takes it to the $30,000 limit for the 5 years.

$6,000 from the 2017 gift will be counted as an asset until 31st March 2022
$13,000 from the 2018 gift will be counted as an asset until 31st March 2023

Overall $49,000 gifted but only $30,000 allowed in the 5 year period.

It is hard to lay it out in a comments box but I hope this helps. a more clear tabled example may be viewed at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/gifting#a3

Trevor Wilton
November 19, 2017

My wife and I are age pensioners..We are shortly going on a weeks holiday.We intend to book and pay for a three bedroom unit so as to allow My son and His family to join us for the week. Would this be considered as gifting?

Neil
October 23, 2017

Thanks Liam,

By your reckoning, I believe my father has been incorrectly assessed with regards to gifting. I have queried this and been assured by a financial officer that no mistake has been made. Armed with your article I guess I can tackle them again!

For the record, two $15,000 gifts over separate years were counted as $10,000 deprived (correct), but a third gift two years later was counted in its entirety as exceeding the $30,000 limit.

Bob Goodwin
October 07, 2017

Good to see the clear explanation of gifting including the 5 year deeming assessment for gifts in excess of the "allowed" amounts of $10k &amp; 30K. I had to deal with my parents affairs some years back and it was patently clear that Centrelink staff didnt understand these rule themselves and were penalising pensioners including my parents due to their lack of knowledge. I had staff hang up on me because they simply did not understand the correct interpretation of the rules? Finally I saw a senior manager in person who conceded that ALL their front-line staff needed retraining on how to interpret gifting guidelines..My parents are long gone but I hope the staff have got it right these days. My financial training background helped me deal with it.

SMSFCoach
October 13, 2017

Yes, its a shame that often you cannot except the first or second answer you get from Centrelink staff and have to push for someone who can really understand the rules before you get fair treatment. As an aside I also always recommend that you take a copy of whatever documents you are providing them and have the copy stamped as proof that you have handed it too them as a lot of documentation seems to get lost in the "system"

Michael
October 07, 2017

Do the gifting rules affect the assessment of a persons assets if they move into an aged care facility?

SMSFCoach
October 07, 2017

Most personal assets are valued at firesale value for Centrelink purposes, so if moving to Aged Care could be discounted substantially as to not make a difference. That Queen Anne dresser your mum thinks is priceless because it came down through 3 generations is only worth $20 in a garage sale. So strictly speaking the answer is yes but in reality not a high monetary affect within the gifting rules as more a disposal than gift. Hard to fit a 3 bedroom home in to an Aged Care unit! Centrelink are realists when it comes to stuff like thus.

Michael
October 08, 2017

Thank you

 

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