The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.A.306 Asset-test exempt income stream


This definition applies to all payments.


An ATE income stream:

  • is payable for

    • the income support recipient's lifetime for lifetime products, OR
    • a term based on the income support recipient's life expectancy, or their reversionary partner's life expectancy (if relevant), AND
  • has
    • a fixed annual payment (1.1.A.155), OR
    • may be indexed at no greater than 5% or CPI + 1%, (but indexation CANNOT be a negative value for lifetime or life expectancy products), OR
    • has a payment determined at the start of each financial year based on set payment factors for market-linked products, AND
  • commences on the day it is purchased or acquired, AND
  • converts the purchase price wholly into income, AND
  • has nil RCV, AND
  • is non-commutable except in limited circumstances, AND
  • has limited reversionary benefits, AND
  • cannot be used as security for borrowing, AND
  • for lifetime and life expectancy products provided by a class of providers (SMSFs or SAFs), a current actuarial certificate is in force (


  • For ATE income streams purchased or acquired before 20 September 2004, refer to
  • For ATE income streams purchased or acquired on or after 20 September 2004, and before 20 September 2007, refer to

Act reference: SSAct section 9(1)-'life expectancy', section 9(1)-'purchase price', section 9(1)-'residual capital value', section 9A Meaning of asset-test exempt income stream-lifetime income streams, section 9B Meaning of asset-test exempt income stream-life expectancy income streams

Policy reference: SS Guide Characteristics of pre-20/09/2004 asset-test exempt income streams, Characteristics of Asset-Test Exempt Income Streams Purchased from 20/09/2004 & before 20/09/2007, Actuarial valuation certificate for lifetime or life expectancy ATE income streams paid from SMSFs or SAFs

Last reviewed: