Work bonus change for retirees

Last week’s Jobs and Skills Summit produced 36 concrete actions to reduce Australian workforce and skill shortages. The one of most interest to older Australians is the change in the rules on income and the Age Pension. The new measure means Age Pensioners can now earn an extra $4000 per annum before their pension entitlement is affected.

The current work bonus is $7800 (or $300 per fortnight). This will move to $11,800 during this financial year. This change will cost the Federal Government approximately $55 million.

In announcing the new bonus the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese noted that older Australians could now make a ‘greater contribution’.

With fewer than 10% of current Age Pensioners working, there is obviously scope for many to work a few more hours or to retrain. Many lobby groups including National Seniors Australia have been working hard for this increase. The previous limit of $7800 really only allowed Age Pensioners to earn a token amount, which was hardly ever likely to foster meaningful engagement in the workplace.

And then there is the argument that when there were very few jobs there was no need to encourage Age Pensioners to work more, so pension payments were penalised. But now that there is a critical skills shortage, older Australians should head straight back out of retirement to suit the needs of the nation.

It’s a lively discussion and we are interested in your views.

How will this affect your household?

Is it a welcome initiative?

Or are you a little cynical that your skills are suddenly in hot demand?

The full details on the timing and application of this new work bonus are yet to be revealed. Keep an eye on your inbox as we will update you as soon as any clarification on this ‘time-limited’ change emerge.

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