Work Bonus and part-time work

David has been fortunate enough to be offered a part-time role teaching and would like to know how the Work Bonus applies to any payment he receives.

Q. David

I am 70 and retired from my high school teaching career at the end on 2014.  Since then I have done the occasional day’s casual teaching, and with the Work Bonus, this has not affected my part pension. 

Now I have been offered a more permanent part-time job back at my school, which will most likely be paid at the rate of $160 gross per day, and it looks like it will be for approximately two days a week – or 80 days per year. Is there an easy way of estimating how my pension might be affected? 

My wife is not yet receiving an Age Pension and we understand that when this happens, things will change again, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

A. The Work Bonus allows for the first $250 per fortnight or $6500 of annual income to be excluded from the Age Pension income test. As you are a member of a couple, you and your wife can have a combined income of $288 per fortnight before your Age Pension is affected. When you add the $250 from the Work Bonus, this means you can have a combined income of $538 per fortnight and you will still receive a full Age Pension.

For every dollar of income – and remember that income includes money earned from investments – you earn over this threshold, your Age Pension payment will reduce by 50 cents. For example:

Four days per fortnight @ $160 per day = $640

Minus Work Bonus allowance of $250 = $390

Amount over the income threshold = $102

Age Pension payment reduced by = $51

This is of course assuming you have no other income from superannuation, investments etc., and depending on your tax liability, the actual net income you actually earn may be less than that quoted above.

Also, your Age Pension payment is assessed under the income and the asset tests, and you are paid the lesser amount that results from both being applied.

This information is only general in nature and you should consult with a Centrelink financial services officer to confirm how your Age Pension will be affected.

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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