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. Assessing Shares in Public Companies


This topic explains how to assess public company (1.1.C.220):

  • shares,
  • company issued options, and
  • exchange traded options.


Shares are valued at market value (1.1.M.40), NOT face value.

To determine the asset (1.1.A.290) value for shares, the last selling price for shares on the ASX is used. Updated prices are applied to assessments:

  • at automatic bulk updates (see explanation 1), AND
  • when an income support recipient asks for a re-assessment (see explanation 2).

Explanation 1: These occur in March and September each year at the same time as pension indexation increases are paid. They involve applying the latest prices to the assessments of all income support recipients holding listed shares.

Explanation 2: Whenever a re-assessment is done, all of the person's listed shares and market linked managed investments are automatically updated using the latest market values.

Company issued options

The assessable value of company issued options is the sale price at the time of assessment. This price is listed in the Financial Review or the stock exchange journal.

Exchange traded options

The assessable value of exchange traded options is obtained from the income support recipient. Market values for options are also available from market reports in the 'Australian Financial Review' and other newspapers.

Act reference: SSAct section 1064-G1 Effect of assets on maximum payment rate, section 1084A Valuation and revaluation of certain financial investments, section 1118 Certain assets to be disregarded in calculating the value of a person's assets

Policy reference: SS Guide General provisions for exempt assets

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