The gravy train and your pension

Remaining in or re-entering the job scene after you qualify for the Age Pension has its perks.

You won’t be penalised if you keep your income below the cap and it could help you save faster for that thing your heart desires.

The Work Bonus allows pensioners to earn $250 a fortnight tax-free – that is, the first $250 will not count under the income test for the Age Pension.

On top of this, senior singles can earn a further $164 a fortnight and continue to receive the full Age Pension. And a combined income of $292 a fortnight – in addition to the Work Bonus figure – will not affect a couple’s government payment.

The Federal Government offers financial incentives to encourage employers to keep retirement-age workers on the payroll. For more information about potential openings, call the Department of Employment’s Job Seeker Hotline on 13 62 68.

Many part-time and casual jobs that suit older workers, such as telesales and typing services, can be performed in your own home if you have a phone and a computer.

If you enjoy getting out of the home and have energy to spare, employers are always looking for school crossing supervisors, mature nannies and experienced gardeners or lawn mowers.

Then there are the opportunities opening up with the advent of services that bypass traditional ways of doing business.

These include drivers for ride-sharing companies Uber and SheBah, delivery of take-away food and other products for platforms such as Deliveroo, Menulog and GoFetch.

Want to stay put but enjoy meeting holidaying strangers? Then a room-letting service, such as Stayz and Airbnb, will help you find someone willing to pay you for allowing them to spend a night or 10 in your home.

If retail therapy or having your say are more your style, there are ways to do both and get paid for it.

Many large retailers have mystery shopping schemes that hire people to ‘road test’ the experience of spending in their outlets. A current one is being run by grocer Aldi, in which ‘shoppers’ are given a voucher for $200 and asked to spend it on whatever they like. Afterwards, they just have to tell the grocer what they thought of the shopping trip and they also get to keep what they bought.

Another fast and easy way to earn a quid is to complete surveys. Make sure the company conducting the survey is legitimate before you commit to it and be careful not to part with money or confidential personal details before enlisting.

In fact, the same goes for any casual job you apply to do. Beware you are not selling your soul for a bit of spare change and do your due diligence into the reputation of the employer.

And finally, if you want to keep all your Age Pension entitlements, ensure your new earnings are not above the caps set by the Department of Human Services.

Written by Olga Galacho

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