Senior Australians are being encouraged to stay in the workforce without affecting their Age Pension with the Work Bonus incentive program.

The Work Bonus applies to anyone who is receiving the Age Pension and works for an employer on a part time, casual or seasonal basis. The good news is that you don’t have to apply for the Work Bonus, it is automatically applied when you tell Centrelink that you are receiving an income.

Here’s how the Work Bonus works:

  • You can earn up to $250 per fortnight without affecting your Pension by using your Work Bonus to offset the income used in your pension income test
  • If you earn less than $250 per fortnight, the left-over Work Bonus balance adds up and can be used to offset higher earnings at a later time
  • If you earn more than $250 per fortnight all of your fortnightly Work Bonus (and any Work Bonus balance you may have accrued) will be used to reduce your employment income for the pension income test
  • When you aren’t working, Centrelink will add $250 to your Work Bonus balance each fortnight, until your balance reaches $6,500.

Work Bonus has been implemented to reward hard-working older Australians who want to stay in the workforce for longer, but also need to receive the Age Pension to help with living expenses and increasing medical bills.

There are a number of changes to Work Bonus which come into effect from 1 July 2019, these changes include:

  • An increase to the fortnightly Bonus amount from $250 to $300
  • An increase to the maximum accrual amount from $6,500 to $7,800
  • For the first time the Government will extend eligibility for the Work Bonus to earnings from self-employment where they are able to prove they were involved in gainful employment.

Find out if your current income entitles you to an Age Pension. Retirement Essentials’ Age Pension calculator is quick and easy to use and automatically applies the Work Bonus to your income.