Work Bonus: can you get it if self employed?

If you’re self employed, will the Work Bonus be applied to your Age Pension?

centrelink money woman who works from home

Rita is self employed and was hoping that the Work Bonus would make it worthwhile to continue working past Age Pension age, but it appears she’s not eligible.

Q. Rita

On the Human Services website, under Work Bonus eligibility, it states that the Work Bonus is not applied to self-employed income. I understand this to mean that if you are self employed, you are not eligible to receive the work bonus. Is this correct?

A. This is indeed the case. Income earned from self employment is exempt from the Work Bonus, as well as:

  • leave payments if you have terminated your employment
  • payments to you as a principal from sole traders or partnerships
  • investments
  • superannuation income.

The reason for this is that you are able to make deductions from your self-employed income via your income tax.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    2nd May 2016
    Am so glad and grateful for this option instead of volunteering for no pay yet get paid to exercise and mix with society.
    Also helps to keep younger longer as well as maintain my sense of self worth and self confidence instead of ending up old and grumpy as well as cynical like many commenters sitting in big old empty nests feeling sorry for themselves.

    2nd May 2016
    ''The reason for this is that you are able to make deductions from your self-employed income via your income tax.''

    Please explain? This statement makes no sense to me in the context of the work-bonus for pensioners. Most people earning so little as to qualify for a pension are unlikely to be even liable for income tax, let alone making deductions!
    2nd May 2016
    Good point. I currently work but pay no tax come July. Little bonus. It does seem this is weighted unfairly against those who perhaps may wish to continue, say, a legal job or similar.
    2nd May 2016
    Rainey for the the second time, you are not making sense.
    I never said that I was self employed and if anyone was, they would not qualify for optional Work Bonus.
    Best to confer with their financial advisors even though they are not accountants.
    Debbie McTaggart
    13th May 2016
    The context of the article addresses a situation where someone is self-employed and therefore will be submitting a tax return. Being self-employed, there are deductions you can make through this tax return, therefore you are not eligible for the Work Bonus.

    2nd May 2016
    67 in June and 'retiring' from a casual job.. and straight into two more jobs..... plus a few projects. Fortunately not self-employed after reading that, though this was one option.
    2nd May 2016
    I recently looked into obtaining an ABN and sub contracting to one employer. Centrelink consider in this circumstance that I am an employee and therefore the work bonus does apply.
    7th Jun 2016
    It is clear that "self employed" people do not receive the Work Bonus. However what is the situation you are self employed through a Company - or Trust for that matter - where you are the sole shareholder and director of that company or trust. As I read it, there is an entitlement to Work Bonus where you are an employee of a company that you fully control. IS this in fact a correct interpretation?