If you are a Home-Owner pensioner couple you can have $401,500 in assessable assets (this means virtually everything apart from the value of your home) and receive the maximum pension of $1,297.40 per fortnight. For every $1000 you have in assessable assets above $401,500 your pension will decrease by $3 per fortnight or $78 per year. To look at it another way, if you do not qualify for a full pension (i.e you are a part-pensioner), your pension will increase by $78 per year for every $1,000 of assessable assets you reduce.
One way for pensioners to reduce assessable assets is to invest in a funeral bond, such as Sureplan Gold. This is because, providing you invest in no more than 2 funeral bond policies, with a total investment that does not exceed the threshold (currently $13,500), your funeral bond investment/s will be treated as an Exempt Asset. The reason for this is that after the first 30 day Cooling Off period, you cannot withdrawal funds from your funeral bond for any reason as it must be used to help meet the cost of your funeral.
As an example, a pensioner couple with $850,000 of assessable assets each invest $13,500 in Sureplan Gold effectively reducing their assets by $27,000. This will increase their pension by $2106 annually or $81 per fortnight and effectively represents a return of 7.8% on their investment of $27,000.