Bonus payment woes

When is a bonus payment not a bonus? When it affects your Age Pension payment as YOURLifeChoices subscriber Trev, has found out.

Q. Trev

I am on an aged pension and my wife is still working . My wife will soon receive a performance bonus of $500.00 gross, which comes down to approx $380.00 net after tax, from her employer. Centrelink advise that due to this bonus, my pension will reduce by roughly $19.00 a fortnight.

If we divide the net amount of $380.00 by 26 it works out to $14.60 a fortnight in our hand, however the $19.00 a fortnight means we are worse off by $4.40 a fortnight.

This all comes about because Centrelink works on gross amounts and the ATO takes its share. Should we advise my wife’s employer that we don’t want to get the bonuses or wage increases as it results in an overall loss to us? What is it best for us to do?


This certainly seems unfair but it is a result of the way in which Centrelink assesses income on a fortnightly basis. To help you make the most of the income you have and any future bonuses, it would be worthwhile discussing your circumstances with an independent financial advisor.

It may also be worthwhile checking with Centrelink that the details they have on file for you are still current. A simple error could have an adverse affect on your payments. You can contact a Centrelink Financial Services officer on 13 2300.

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