Work bonus - eligibility


This topic covers eligibility criteria for work bonus from 1 July 2019.

From 1 July 2019, the work bonus was expanded to include self-employment income from gainful work (1.1.G.25), as well as employment income. The work bonus amount was also increased from $250 to $300 for each 14 day instalment period and the maximum work bonus income concession bank balance was increased from $6,500 to $7,800.

The work bonus allows for a certain amount of income taken to have been paid from employment AND/OR income from self-employment from gainful work that is earned, derived or received in an instalment period to be disregarded for the purposes of the pension income test for pensioners of age pension age (except PPS).

It also allows for the building up of a work bonus income concession bank depending on the total amount of income from employment paid and from self-employment from gainful work earned by an eligible pensioner in relevant instalment periods.

Eligibility criteria

Work bonus applies to recipients who are:

  • age pension age
  • have their rate of payment of pension or benefit worked out with regard to the income test module of a rate calculator at SSAct section 1064, and
  • not receiving a transitional rate of pension.

Note: If a person is eligible for a transitional rate, a comparison is made between their transitional rate (which has no work bonus) to their new rate (which does include the work bonus).

Act reference: SSAct section 1073AA Work bonus, section 1073AB Unused concession balance, section 1064 Rate of age and disability support pensions and CP (people who are not blind), section 1072 General meaning of ordinary income, Schedule 1A clause 144 to clause 149 Saving and transitional provisions …

Policy reference: SS Guide Pension reform - transitional arrangements

Last reviewed: 7 December 2020