The upside of casual or parttime work SECONDARY

The upside of casual or part time work

Some pensioners think working part-time will reduce their Age Pension entitlements. Within limits, it won’t.
The Government’s Work Bonus allows age pensioners to keep more of their Age Pension when they have income from working.

  • An eligible age pensioner can earn $300 per fortnight of employment or self-employment income without it counting towards the income test.
  • Even better, if an age pensioner doesn’t use the full $300 per fortnight available, it banks into a ‘Work Bonus balance’ up to $7,800. Keep in mind the income bank amount is not time limited and is carried forward. However, is great for those with inconsistent incomes, like the self-employed, consultants, seasonal Santas, electoral officers and so on.
  • In addition to the Work Bonus, the pension income test free area is $178 a fortnight for single age pensioners and $316 a fortnight for couples combined. 
  • For example, this means a single age pensioner over Age Pension age with no other private income could earn up to $478 a fortnight from work and still receive the maximum rate of pension under the income test.

Case study: Experience pays

Gillian has worked on and off as a receptionist, office manager and executive assistant over the years. At 69 she’s happy to be retired but misses the office banter with friends and colleagues. She is also keen to supplement her retirement income with some part-time work but is worried it will affect her Age Pension.

By making the most of the Work Bonus and Age Pension income test free area, Gillian could earn up to just over $12,000 per year without impacting the income test (any deemed income from financial investments will reduce this amount).

Gillian is looking forward to working at her daughter’s local chiropractic clinic as a receptionist two short days a week. She looks after the grandkids another two days… but doesn’t charge her daughter for that!

A single pensioner could earn just over $12,000 a year without affecting their Age Pension
Case study for illustrative purposes only. Age Pension entitlement increases are based on Social Security rates and thresholds effective 1 January 2021.