Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation

Media release: Work Bonus puts more money in pensioner pockets

12 March 2019

The Hon Michael Keenan MP

Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation

More and more older Australians are taking advantage of the Pension Work Bonus scheme to top up their retirement incomes through paid employment.

The scheme allows Age Pension recipients to earn an average of up to $250 a fortnight ($6,500pa), without it affecting their pension entitlements. That threshold will increase on July 1 to $300 a fortnight, or a maximum of $7,800pa, thanks to a recent decision by the Coalition Government.

Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation Michael Keenan said about 150,000 pensioners had used the scheme in the past 12 months, representing about 6 per cent of all Age Pension recipients.

“The scheme gives older Australians who want to continue working a chance to earn a bit of extra spending money whenever it suits them, without having to worry about their pension entitlements being affected,” Minister Keenan said.

“It also enables them to continue to make a valuable contribution to their community by taking on vitally important casual jobs such as school crossing guards, exam markers or even vote counters at election time.

“Given the seasonal nature of many of those jobs, the scheme allows pensioners to earn more in some weeks and less in others, as long as they do not exceed the annual cap.”

As of July 1, pensioners will also be able to register for the scheme as being ‘self-employed’, giving them even more opportunities to use the skills they have gained over a lifetime of work to supplement their retirement incomes.

Age Pension recipients do not need to apply for Work Bonus, but simply need tell the Department of Human Services when they start working so the Work Bonus can automatically apply to their income test.

Read more about Work Bonus.

Page last updated: 26 March 2019