Will my Age Pension be affected?

Gerry has the opportunity to earn some extra income but wonders how his Age Pension and his wife’s Newstart Allowance will be affected and whether or not it’s really worth it.

Q. Gerry
I am on the Age Pension and my wife, because she is not of pension age, receives Newstart Allowance. If I earn $550 per week, how will that affect:

  1. my Age Pension and
  2. my wife’s Newstart Allowance?

A. Firstly, if the $550 per week is earned through a salary, Centrelink will exclude $250 per fortnight under the Work Bonus. This means that of the $1100 you earn each fortnight, only $850 will be assessed as income. And as a member of a couple, this is in addition to the $292 per fortnight you can earn before your Age Pension is affected.

If you have not worked for a year previously, the Work Bonus will have accumulated to the maximum of $6500, so you can earn $6500 in salary before your Age Pension is affected. 

After the Work Bonus is applied, your Age Pension is reduced by 50 cents for every dollar you are over the income threshold of $292 (couple combined) per fortnight. Once you have a fortnightly income of $2970.40 (couple combined), you will no longer receive an Age Pension. This amount is inclusive of all assessable income.

In regards to your wife’s Newstart Allowance, as a member of a couple where one is receiving a pension payment, you can have a combined income of $1896.34. Again, this amount is inclusive of all assessable income.

This is general information and doesn’t take into consideration the income and assets you already have. You should confirm with Centrelink how your payment will be affected.

Related articles:
Deeming rates for Age Pension
Pension payment rates