Understanding the July 1 Changes: Centrelink Thresholds and Reverse Mortgage Options

By Darren Moffatt

June 24, 2024


Starting July 1, Centrelink will adjust the eligibility thresholds for the Age Pension to help seniors financially. 

These changes are designed to reflect Australia’s high inflation rates, aiming to provide increased financial support for seniors. 

The new thresholds will allow more seniors to qualify for the Age Pension and may result in higher payments for those already receiving benefits. 

However, despite these adjustments, the rising cost of living continues to pose significant challenges for many older Australians.

[ RELATED POST: Breaking Point: Cost of Living Hits Australia’s Seniors ]

Below is the summary of the changes: 

Income Test Adjustments

  • Singles: Can earn up to $212 per fortnight without affecting their full pension of $1116.30 per fortnight.
  • Couples: Combined income-free area increases to $372 per fortnight. Full pension stops when combined income exceeds $3737.60.
  • Working Pensioners: Can earn an extra $300 per fortnight before the pension starts to reduce​. 

Asset Test Adjustments

  • Single Homeowners: Can have assets up to $314,000 before their full pension starts to decrease, stopping completely at $686,250.
  • Couples: Lower limit is $470,000, and the upper cut-off is $1,031,000.
  • Non-Homeowners: Can have an additional $252,000 in assets before the asset test affects their pension​. 

The Impact of Rising Living Costs

While the increases in income and asset thresholds are beneficial, they may not fully counteract the rising cost of living. 

Housing prices, healthcare costs, and everyday expenses continue to climb, making it difficult for many seniors to maintain their standard of living. 

This is a significant concern, especially for those on fixed incomes who find it challenging to absorb these rising costs.

How Reverse Mortgages Can Help

A Reverse Mortgage allows Australian seniors to convert part of the equity in their home into cash without having to sell the property. This can be a lifeline for those who need additional funds to cover expenses. 

The funds from a Reverse Mortgage can be used for various purposes, including paying off debts, covering medical expenses, or simply enhancing the quality of life during retirement. 

By providing access to additional resources, Reverse Mortgages can help seniors manage the financial pressures of rising living costs more effectively​. 

[ RELATED POST: Reverse Mortgage Trends: Aussie Seniors Tap Home Equity Amid Rising Living Costs ]

Consider a part-pensioner who, due to the new asset test thresholds, might see an increase in their pension by approximately $36.75 per fortnight, or $2223 annually. 

While this increase is helpful, it might not be enough to cover all the additional costs associated with living expenses. 

A Reverse Mortgage could provide the extra financial support needed to bridge this gap, ensuring a more comfortable and secure retirement​ 

In summary, while the updated Centrelink thresholds offer some relief, exploring additional financial solutions such as Reverse Mortgages can further alleviate financial stress and enhance the quality of life for seniors.

Want to learn more about Reverse Mortgage? Find out more about how to use a Reverse Mortgage for debt consolidation or download your FREE REVERSE MORTGAGE GUIDE

Ready to Apply? You can now check your eligibility online or call Seniors First on 1300 745 745. 

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Please consult a licensed financial advisor before you make any decision.


  • I believe that when you pass retirement age you should get some tax concession from the ATO on earnings. I am nearly 76 years old and still in full time work. That’s 10 years now that I have worked and paid taxes, personal tax, company tax, tax on our super and not to mention GST which my efforts generate for the ATO. I believe that tax should be reduced. Looking at savings to the Government of around $150-$200,000-00 since passing retirement age, not to mention my wife who is also past retirement age. Food for thought. I wonder how many would agree with me

  • We are in our 70s and both receive age pension
    My husband does not work but I work casual 8.5 hrs per week. I report fortnightly. My wage last week was $329.00
    Last fortnight $571.00 plus part pension $773.35 each.
    Eligibility or is it worthwhile working at all.

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