Pensioner Deeming Accounts

Deeming accounts allow you to invest your money for a fixed return when you're retired.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

What is a deeming account?

Deeming is a key part of the pension system. Deeming accounts are bank accounts for over 55s and pensioners. A deeming account can return interest in line with the government's set 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.

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 is a superannuation pension?

An income stream from a superannuation fund in the pension phase. You can apply for an income stream after you've retired, to access your super money.

What's a government pension?

A payment from the Department of Social Services, for example the aged pension. This is not the same as your superannuation pension, which is your own money.

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

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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 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.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

8 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    ThereFebruary 8, 2018

    Can I open a deeming account as I don’t receive a pension but have a concession card

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayMarch 1, 2018Staff


      Thanks for your inquiry.

      The deeming account is only available to people who are over 55 and are claiming a government pension. I’m afraid that having a concession card will not qualify you to open such an account. Nevertheless, you may consider seeing other bank accounts to compare your options. On the page, is a comparison table you can use to see which account suits you. When you are ready, you may then click on the “Go to Site” button to be redirected to the bank’s website where you can proceed with your application or get in touch with their representatives for further assistance.

      Hope this helps.


    Default Gravatar
    LYNNNovember 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.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeNovember 7, 2016Staff

      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.


    Default Gravatar
    WendyJuly 1, 2016

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

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ClarizzaJuly 4, 2016Staff

      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.


    Default Gravatar
    kenJune 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

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyJune 6, 2016Staff

      Hi Ken,

      Thanks for your question.

      You are required to report to Centrelink if you receive income from those shares. This could include dividends.

      You may refer to Services Australia’s employment income reporting for information on how and when to report your income. I’d recommend that you contact Centrelink directly to confirm if you need to report dividends.


Go to site