Options when you can’t keep working

Tina doesn’t think she will be able to keep working up until her pension age. What are her options?

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Q. Tina
I am 63 and work in a factory. I cannot see myself being able to work until 66.5 years of age, as is currently required to access the Age Pension. If I have to give up work, what kind of Centrelink benefit can I receive until retirement age? I have a small mortgage and $100,000 in my superannuation account. Do I have to use my super until I reach retirement age? Or can I leave it alone until I retire, so that it can top up my pension, pay off the mortgage, etc? I have been taking $10,000 out tax free each year for the past three years, so that I can make ends meet and have a bit of enjoyment, as my wages are low.

A. You may be entitled to the Newstart Allowance, although this is usually only granted to those actively looking for employment. 

In September 2018, the government strengthened participation requirements for some people receiving an unemployment payment, including mature age Australians.

These changes to participation requirements recognise that many older Australians are working longer.

The changes are aimed at encouraging more mature age people to actively undertake activities to improve their chances of getting into paid employment and off welfare, particularly in their first 12 months on payment when they are more likely to have recent workforce experience.

Annual activity requirements of 10 hours per fortnight have been introduced for those aged between 60 and the Age Pension age.

You should book an appointment to visit a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer to find out exactly how this and your other income and assets will affect any potential Newstart payment. You can book an appointment by calling 13 2300.

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Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Written by Ben

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