Compare Pensioner Deeming Accounts

Information verified correct on December 5th, 2016

Compare deeming accounts and invest to earn more money in retirement

Financial investments for retirees such as a savings accounts or term deposits are subject to the federal government's deeming rules. Deeming is a key part of the pension system. Learn about deeming, the different types of deemed financial investments and compare deeming accounts on this page.

Rates last updated December 5th, 2016
$
$
months
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
Customs Bank Online Supersaver
Ongoing, variable 1.75% p.a.. Available on balance $5,001 or more.
1.75% 1.75% 0.00% $0 $5,001 / $0 More
BankVic Superfuture RSA
A Retirement Savings Account designed to provide income in retirement.
2.00% 2.00% 0.00% $0 $0 / $50,000 More
BCU Retirement Savings Account
Ongoing, variable 2.11% p.a.. Available on balance $100,000 plus.
2.11% 2.11% 0.00% $0 $0 / $0 More
Rates last updated December 5th, 2016
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
Bank of Melbourne Retirement Access Plus
Sort out your everyday banking when you retire.
Visa $0.50 $0 Free everyday banking using Internet and Phone Banking with BoM - BoM can even show you how to do it. More
Westpac Choice - Concession Holders 55+
Designed for retirees aged 55 or over and those with concession cards receiving an Australian pension.
Mastercard $0 $0 No monthly fee with up to 8 free monthly withdrawal allowances.

What is a deeming account?

Deeming accounts are bank accounts for over 55s and pensioners. A deeming account can return interest in line with the government's deeming rate. Bank accounts and savings accounts are among some of the most popular deeming accounts. Retiree share trading, cash management and term deposits accounts are also deeming accounts. The government assumes these accounts give a return equal to the deeming rate, the rate used to calculate pension payments.

What is the deeming rate?

The deeming rate is the expected rate of return from different financial investments based on the amount invested. The Department of Social Services uses the deeming rate to calculate pension payments. If the financial investment pays more than the deeming rate, the extra income is not assessed by the government and pension payments stay the same. Deeming rules are in place to give retirees an incentive to invest savings to generate more retirement income.

Superannuation pension

An income stream from a superannuation fund in the pension phase.

Government pension

A payment from the Department of Social Services, for example the aged pension.
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What are the types of deeming accounts?

Transaction accountsTerm depositsSavings accounts
Get full access to your money and benefit from a number of free transactions every month.Lock in your money for a fixed return. Compare term deposits by SMSF and retirement friendly features.Pensioner savings accounts are fee free, open to people 55 and over or receiving a government pension.

Information you might find helpful

Main deeming accounts

There are a wide number of financial investments that are assessed under the deeming rules. The main types include:

Other deemed investments

Other financial investments assessed under deeming rules:

  • Debentures
  • Bonds
  • Overseas managed investments
  • Interest rate products

How to compare deeming accounts

Key to features to compare:

Pensioner and retiree savings accounts

  • Monthly fees. Deeming bank accounts are made for retirees. They’re mostly fee free. Some accounts give a number of free transactions such as ATM withdrawals every month. Other accounts waive transaction fees altogether. Fees may apply for telephone banking transactions, transactions at a branch and overseas transactions.
  • Interest rate. These accounts can have a tiered interest rate loosely linked to the government deeming rate.
  • Account access. Funds are available at call. You can withdraw money from this account in person or electronically whenever you wish.

Term deposits

  • The interest rate. What is the return on your cash investment? Investing for a longer time can get you a return above the deeming rate.
  • Investment length. What are the minimum and maximum investment terms. Longer terms give greater returns.
  • Maturity options. For example, do you get a special bonus if you reinvest your funds when your term deposit matures.

Share trading accounts

  • Commissions or fees. Compare the commission and fee structures of different trading platforms. Some brokers can charge a little extra for specific trades.
  • Trading options. What options are on offer for different types of trade, for example placing and timeframe rules.
  • Tools and support. Educational resources and 24 hour customer service are key features.

What fees do I have to pay when I open a deeming account?

Account fees vary according to the account type. Pensioner savings accounts and term deposits are generally fee free whereas share trading accounts can attract a commission.

What interest rate will I earn?

This depends on the financial investment. You can expect savings accounts and term deposits to return around the lower deeming threshold. Term deposits for retirees can return an above deeming rate for some investment terms. Share trading can return well above the upper deeming threshold.

A list of institutions offering pensioner savings accounts

APRA has published a list of Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions offering retirement savings accounts.

Current September 2015

How do I qualify for the aged pension?

The aged pension is means tested. The government looks at your income and your assets to determine if you qualify for the aged pension or not.

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Who is eligible for a deeming account?

You can apply for a deeming account if you're over 55 and you're claiming a government pension. These accounts are investment products, there is no credit check. As well as meet pension or age eligibility requirements, you’re also asked to provide identification such as your drivers licence and medicare card.

Our guide on eligibility requirements for the aged pension.

Before you apply: Eligibility checklist

Check the product's terms for a full list of application requirements before you open an account.

  • Be over the age of 55
  • Receive a government pension: age, disability, service or carers pension
  • Have an Australian residential address

What documentation or paperwork will I need before applying?

You can research, compare and apply for different deeming accounts online. As a new customer you can verify your identity online in most cases too. You may be asked to fax or email a copy of your ID and in some cases you may need to visit a branch to verify your identity with the account provider.

  • Current state or territory drivers licence or proof of age card
  • Medicare card
  • Tax file number
  • SMSF details if applicable

How to apply for a deeming account

Follow the links on this page to apply for one of the accounts in our comparison tables. You’ll be redirected to the account provider’s website where you’ll able to complete a secure online application in 10 minutes.

Once you’ve submitted your application for a deeming account, you’ll be contacted by the account provider on the email you provided about the next steps. You may need to provide further identification. Once your identity has been verified you’re free to make a deposit into the investment account.

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Questions to help you understand deeming

What is deeming?

Deeming is a key part of Australian pension system. Pension payments are means tested. Higher income earners have lower pension payments. When retirees invest their savings, the Department of Human Services (DHS) estimates financial investments will return an income of X% based on the size of the investment. This is known as the deeming rate. If the investment returns more than the deeming rate, the extra income doesn’t reduce pension benefits.


What is the point of deeming?

The point of deeming is to get Australia’s pensioners to grow their savings balance through investing in products which offer a return greater than the deeming rate.


What are the deeming rates?

There are two deeming rates.

For financial investments up to $48,600 in value (for singles) and up to $80,600 in value (for couples).1.75%
For financial investments above $48,600 in value (for singles) or above $80,600 in value (for couples).3.25%

What are deeming thresholds?

The lower deeming rate reflects the choice of a financial investments with high liquidity — most retirees want their savings on hand. Savings accounts and short term deposits return a little above the lower deeming rate. Less liquid investments can return more.


Why does the deeming rate change?

The government sets deeming rates. Deeming rates can change every couple of years. Deeming rates have moved down in recent history to reflect a record low cash rate. A lower deeming rate means more money for pensioners.


How did the deeming rules change in 2015?

At the start of 2015, the government made some key changes to the way it calculates social security benefits for retirees. Account based pensions were included in the pension income test. An account based pension is an income stream from an investment made with superannuation money or an account where super benefits are paid. The new rules have been introduced to make the system fairer. Take an example of a 70 year old man and woman who have $2,000,000 superannuation savings. They are paid 10% as a superannuation pension each year. This couple is also claiming dividends from other investments too. The changes made last year stop a person or people in this position claiming unnecessary benefits from Centrelink.

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6 Responses to Compare Pensioner Deeming Accounts

  1. Default Gravatar
    LYNN | November 7, 2016

    If i have a pensioner savings account does the ATO take a percentage of the interest that i earn yearly, if so why.

    • Staff
      Anndy | November 7, 2016

      Hi Lynn,

      Thanks for your question.

      When you file your income tax return at the end of each financial year, you need to declare all your sources of income including the interest earned on your savings account.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  2. Default Gravatar
    Wendy | July 1, 2016

    When will the deeming rates used by Centrelink for 2016 be reassessed?

    • Staff
      Clarizza | July 4, 2016

      Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for your question. The asset value thresholds which are used to determine deeming rates, are adjusted annually on the 1st of July. Note however that the actual deeming rate may change periodically.

      I hope this helps.

      Clarizza

  3. Default Gravatar
    ken | June 3, 2016

    I am on age pension.I do share trading with some gains and losses.
    1. am I required to report this to centrelink
    2. how is this to be reported and when

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