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.D.200 Discretionary trust


This definition applies to all payments.


A discretionary trust is a private trust set up by an individual or individuals (often a family) either to:

  • hold property or investments, or
  • run a business.

In virtually all cases the trust deed gives absolute discretion to the trustee to distribute both income and capital among the beneficiaries as he or she sees fit.

Act reference: SSAct section 1207P Designated private trusts

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.N.100 Non-discretionary trust, 1.1.T.180 Trust

Last reviewed: