Age Pensioner Work Bonus in Centrelink Income Test

Age Pensioner Work Bonus in Centrelink Income Test

by Christine Hopper

The Age Pensioner Work Bonus in the Centrelink Income Test is to encourage Age Pensioners to continue their links to the paid workforce.

The advantage of the Age Pensioner Work Bonus is that the first $250 per fortnight of income from employment is not counted by Centrelink for the Age Pension Income Test.  Any Age Pensioner Work Bonus that is not used this fortnight can be saved up for use later in the year.

Examples of Age Pensioner Work Bonus

Mary is entitled to an Age Pension.  Mary works every Friday in a hair dressing salon earning $125 per week.  The $250 per fortnight Mary earns from employment is offset by the Age Pensioner Work Bonus.  Mary still reports her employment earnings to Centrelink but these earnings are not counted for the Income Test for Mary’s Age Pension.

Joe also recieves an Age Pension.  Joe prefers to work full time at a caravan park during peak school holiday periods.  Joe earns $800 per week as a casual employee.  Joe reports his earnings to Centrelink and his Age Pension Work Bonus is taken into accountfor the Income Test.  Joe usually has enough Age Pensioner Work Bonus entitlement to offset his earnings so that his Age Pension is not impacted by his employment earnings.

If Joe has used all of his Age Pensioner Work Bonus when he worked for four weeks in January then his Age Pension could be reduced.  But Joe would accrue more Age Pensioner Work Bonus before the Easter school holiday period.  Joe takes his own holiday during the winter and does not work during the July school holiday period.  Over a full year Joe works for eight weeks and earns about $6,400. Over a full year Joe has enough Age Pensioner Work Bonus for his earnings from work to not reduce his Age Pension.

Income for Age Pensioner Work Bonus in the Centrelink Income Test

The Age Pensioner Work Bonus applies to income from employment.  Thus, you must be working for someone else not in your own business.

Age Pensioner Work Bonus applies to income from employment including
–  Wages paid in Australia or outside of Australia
–  Payments in respect of leave being utilised by an ongoing employee, such as, annual  leave for an employee taking a holiday; and
–  Directors’ fees.

Age Pensioner Work Bonus is not applied to income from
–  Payments for unused leave when you terminate employment
–  Earnings from self employment
–  Payments/drawings by sole traders and partnerships where you are a principal in the business
–  Investments; or
–  Superannuation.

Your partner and the Age Pensioner Work Bonus in the Centrelink Income Test

Each Age Pensioner is eligible for the Age Pensioner Work Bonus in respect of their income from employment.  If both members of an Age Pensioner couple are in paid employment then each one has the Age Pensioner Work Bonus applied to their earnings from work.

If only one member of an Age Pensioner couple is eligible for the Age Pensioner Work Bonus, both partners would benefit because the employment part of their combined income at Centrelink would be reduced by the Age Pensioner Work Bonus.

If you think that you, or your partner, satisfy the Age Pensioner Work Bonus work conditions then you could arrange a short consultation with Financial Care Services to discuss your potential Age Pensioner Work Bonus.

Short consultations with Christine at Financial Care Services cost $99 for 45 minutes.

Short consultations can be by telephone and /or email, or meeting at our Camberwell office.

Call Financial Care Services on (03) 9808 0338 to arrange a short consultation.

If you would like further confidential, independent and professional advice about Centrelink, lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper (03) 9808 0338.

Financial Care Services – call (03) 9808 0338
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is of a general nature only and does not constitute “financial advice”. You should obtain your own personal financial advice before investing any money or moving in to any retirement village, lifestyle community or aged care facility. Financial Care Services is licensed to provide financial advice to individual clients based on their personal situations. © 2013 Financial Care Services Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
To make an appointment for professional advice, call Financial Care Services
(03) 9808 0338