Federal Budget 2018: Pension Work Bonus limit rises $50 per fortnight

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From July 2019, an increase to the Pension Work Bonus will allow age pensioners to earn up to an extra $50 per fortnight – or an additional $1300 per annum – without reducing their existing Age Pension entitlement.

Currently, the work bonus means a pensioner can earn up to $250 per fortnight, but this will increase to $300 per fortnight. In effect, the first $300 of income earned each fortnight from work will not count towards the pension income test.

This is in addition to the income-free area (currently $168 a fortnight for singles and $300 combined for couples). Effectively, a single person with no other income will now be able to earn up to $468 a fortnight from work and still receive the maximum Age Pension.

A ‘personal exertion’ test will be applied to ensure the earnings are from work, and not from financial or real estate investments.

This increased bonus also applies to older Australians who are self-employed. They, too, will be able to earn up to $300 per fortnight, or $7800 a year, without a reduction in their pension entitlements.

The Government projects that 88,000 pensioners will benefit from this change at a cost of $227 million to the Budget over the forward estimates (ie: the next four years).

Will the change entice you back into work? Or into extra work?

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Written by Kaye Fallick


Total Comments: 12
  1. 0

    Dose this mean Your Total Income, for singles/couples even without working that is investing and the earnings off these investments increase to these new levels.
    If so than the SF Retiree may catch up to OAP amount.
    As mine is well below.

    • 0

      Chris BT – unfortunately no – the Work Bonus is only if you WORK – not investment income or self-employed income. There is a difference between WORK bonus, and investment income.

  2. 0

    Pity the same rule doesn’t apply to ex politicians on pensions.

    • 0

      Triss what part of the phrase ‘if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys’ don’t you understand? Yes, pollies are remunerated well, but look at the job security and time away from family – there has to be something there to make it worthwhile. I would like to see the best and brightest minds in the nation actually making decisions on behalf of us all. What about you?

    • 0

      I’m old enough to remember when pollies were paid Peanuts and haven’t noticed any improvement in their quality. In fact, I’m sure the standard has decreased. They are just overpaid monkeys now. Maybe if they were paid bugger all they might go into Parliament for the right reasons – to serve the nation and its people.

  3. 0

    Now we know why they have taken on extra Centrelink staff. More complicated changes means the phones are gonna start ringing their heads off.

  4. 0

    Why do we have to wait until July 2019 to be able to earn the extra amount per year? This extra money should kick in July 1st 2018 while I am still young enough to do the extra work.

  5. 0

    This part of the article in speech marks below! says earn from work? if I receive $450 dollars (approx dependant on exchange rate) from my UK pension is that classed as income?

    “This is in addition to the income-free area (currently $168 a fortnight for singles and $300 combined for couples). Effectively, a single person with no other income will now be able to earn up to $468 a fortnight from work and still receive the maximum Age Pension”

  6. 0

    Are pensioners who get a pension from another country beside the one from Australia will be entitled for the $50.00 per fortnight increase?

  7. 0

    It is my understanding that the work bonus finished some time ago. Does this mean it will start again?

    • 0

      The work bonus of $250 was brought in by Wayne Swan some years ago (at least since I went on the pension 4 years ago) and has applied continuously since then. I know because I,ve been receiving it. Your understanding is incorrect.

  8. 0

    We are wearing the burden of costs of long term insane government policies (of al sides)


    It is time for all of us to rant at our PMs to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    A pension is not welfare.

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules
    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly,

    Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    Some opposition and independent MPs stand to lose their chance at being part of the needed government changes

    We all need to tell our MP that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.



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