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Treatment of Non-Pensioner Partner's Superannuation Investments
Assessment of a non-pensioner partner's superannuation investments
Amounts in superannuation funds owned by a non-pensioner partner are exempt from assessment for the pensioner's income support pension until the non-pensioner partner reaches pension age, regardless of whether or not the non-pensioner partner claims pension. When the non-pensioner partner reaches pension age their superannuation affects the pensioner's entitlements as follows:
- superannuation investments in the accumulation phase are assessable as a financial investment More
- superannuation investments in the drawdown phase are assessable under the income stream rules. More ?
Assessment of withdrawals re-invested outside superannuation
If a non-pensioner partner invests any withdrawal amounts outside the superannuation environment, the investment is assessed under the usual income and assets test rules applying to that type of investment.More ?
Assessment of financial investments - deeming provisions
Assessment of investments - deeming provisions
A superannuation fund is defined in the VEA as being:
- a fund that is or has been a complying superannuation fund within the meaning of section 45 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 in relation to any tax year; or
- an Australian superannuation fund (within the meaning of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997) that is not a complying superannuation fund mentioned in paragraph (a) in relation to any tax year; or
- a scheme for the payment of benefits upon retirement or death that is constituted by or under a law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory; or
- an RSA within the meaning of the Retirement Savings Accounts Act 1997; or
- any of the following funds (unless the fund is a foreign superannuation fund):
- a fund to which paragraph 23(jaa), or section 23FC, 121CC or 121DAB, of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (as in force at any time before the commencement of section 1 of the Taxation Laws Amendment Act (No. 2) 1989) has applied in relation to any tax year;
- a fund to which paragraph 23(ja), or section 23F or 23FB, of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (as in force at any time before the commencement of paragraph (a) of the definition of superannuation fund in former subsection 27A(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936) has applied in relation to the tax year that started on 1 July 1985 or an earlier tax year;
- a fund to which section 79 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (as in force at any time before 25 June 1984) has applied in relation to the tax year that started on 1 July 1983 or an earlier tax year.
A person's 'partner' is someone who is a member of a couple with that person.
Income support pension is:
- a social security pension
- a service pension;
- an income support supplement.
Currently, the pension age for a veteran is 60 years of age (VEA 5QA).
The pension age for a non-veteran is determined by the table below:
Date of birth (both dates inclusive)
Age Pension age
1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953
65 years and 6 months
1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955
1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956
66 years and 6 months
On or after 1 January 1957
The accumulation phase is the period during a person's working life in which superannuation contributions are paid into a superannuation fund, with the aim of maximising the sum available for retirement through investment and tax concessions.
According to section 5J of the VEA, a financial investment means:
- available money,
- deposit money,
- a managed investment,
- a listed security,
- a loan that has not been repaid in full,
- an unlisted public security,
- gold, silver or platinum bullion,
- an asset tested income stream (short term) ; or
- an asset tested income stream (long term) that is an account‑based pension within the meaning of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994; or
- an asset‑tested income stream (long term) that is an annuity (within the meaning of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993) provided under a contract that meets the requirements determined in an instrument under subsection (1G);
but does not include an investment in an FHSA (within the meaning of the First Home Saver Accounts Act 2008) or a designated NDIS amount.
According to subsection 5J(1) of the VEA, an income stream includes:
- an income stream arising under arrangements that are regulated by the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993; or
- an income stream arising under a public sector scheme (within the meaning of that Act); or
- an income stream arising under a retirement savings account; or
- an income stream provided as life insurance business by a life company registered under section 21 of the Life Insurance Act 1995; or
- an income stream provided by a friendly society (within the meaning of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1996); or
- an income stream designated in writing by the Commission for the purposes of this definition, having regard to the guidelines determined under subsection 5J(1F) of the VEA;
but does not include any of the following:
- available money;
- deposit money;
- a managed investment;
- an investment in a public unit trust;
- an investment in an insurance bond;
- an investment with a friendly society;
- an investment in a superannuation fund;
- an investment in an approved deposit fund;
- an investment in an ATO small superannuation account;
- a listed security;
- a loan that has not been repaid in full;
- an unlisted public security;
- gold, silver or platinum bullion; or
- a payment of compensation in relation to a person's:
- inability to earn, derive or receive income from remunerative work; or
- total and permanent disability or incapacity.