The Australian Government is assisting older Australians to work, if they are able and wish to do so.
Seniors may have substantial income from employment and still receive an Age Pension. Age Pension rules provide incentives for employment, including part-time or casual employment through the combined application of the pension income test and the Work Bonus.
The Work Bonus provides an incentive for pensioners over Age Pension age to participate in the workforce, should they choose to do so, by allowing them to keep more of their pension when they have earnings from working. Under the Work Bonus, the first $250 of fortnightly employment income is not assessed as income under the pension income test. Any unused amount of the fortnightly $250 Work Bonus will accumulate in a Work Bonus income bank, up to a maximum amount of $6,500.
The amount accumulated in the income bank can be used to offset future employment income that would otherwise be assessable under the pension income test. The income bank amount is not time limited; if unused it carries forward, even across years.
For more information go to the Work Bonus factsheet.
Pension Income Test
The pension income test is designed to encourage pensioners to supplement their pension with additional private income. A pensioner can receive an amount of private income before their pension rate starts to reduce. This is the income test free area which, at 1 July 2013, is $156 for single-rate pensioners and $276 for couples (combined). For each dollar of income above the income test free area, the single pension is reduced by 50 cents.
For further information about the income test free area and the amount of private income a pensioner may receive before their pension rate reduces to zero, please refer to the Department of Human Services.
More information for seniors in the workforce
- Department of Employment - Experience+ - information for mature age workers.
- Australian Taxation Office - information for seniors and retirees on tax concessions.
- Treasury – Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians
- Australian Human Rights Commission – information about age discrimination