Working after pension age 

The Australian Government is assisting older Australians to work, if they are able and wish to do so.

Seniors may have substantial income from work and still receive an Age Pension. Age Pension rules provide incentives for work, including part-time or casual work through the combined application of the pension income test and the Work Bonus.

Work Bonus

The Work Bonus provides an incentive for pensioners over Age Pension age to work, should they choose to do so, by allowing them to keep more of their pension when they have income from working.  Under the Work Bonus, the first $300 of fortnightly income from work is not assessed as income under the pension income test.  Any unused amount of the fortnightly $300 Work Bonus will accumulate in a Work Bonus income bank, up to a maximum amount of $7,800.

The amount accumulated in the income bank can be used to offset future income from work 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.

Note: Prior to 1 July 2019, the Work Bonus was $250 a fortnight and the maximum amount that could be accumulated in the Work Bonus income bank was $6,500.

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 2020, is $178 for single-rate pensioners and $316 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 Services Australia.

More information for seniors in the workforce

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