The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Accruing membership of PBS


A registered member of the scheme is an accruing member (1.1.A.20) unless they are in a defined non-accruing period (1.1.N.90) or preclusion period. Only periods of accruing membership contribute to bonus years, and are used to calculate the bonus payable.

Bonus periods cannot accrue during any membership period that the member is subject to a:

  • disposal preclusion period (1.1.D.230)
  • compensation preclusion period (1.1.C.260)
  • carer preclusion period (1.1.C.50), or
  • period of non-accruing membership.

Accruing members MUST meet the work test.

Bonus periods CANNOT be accrued once the member has turned 75 years of age.

The assessment of which periods are accruing and non-accruing during deferment, occurs when a member seeks an evidentiary certificate (1.1.E.135) or lodges a claim for the bonus.

If a member is not accruing because they are not meeting the work test, in a defined non-accruing period or preclusion period, then they must claim Age and the pension bonus within 13 weeks of ending the final defined non-accruing period.

Act reference: SSAct section 93U Disposal preclusion period—disposals before 1 July 2002, section 93UA Disposal preclusion period—disposals on or after 1 July 2002, section 93V Compensation preclusion period, section 93W Carer preclusion period

Policy reference: SS Guide Non-accruing membership of PBS, PBS work test

Changes in membership status

There will be cases in which a member's membership status changes during the deferment period.

Example: This example has been presented in years and weeks to reduce the complexity, however an actual calculation would be worked out in years and days. A member could theoretically go through the following changes in their membership:

  • initially start as an accruing member for 30 weeks
  • receive CP for 28 weeks
  • resume accruing for 50 weeks
  • be sent to gaol for 26 weeks
  • resume accruing for 40 weeks
  • take sick leave for 18 weeks, and
  • resume accruing for 62 weeks before claiming the bonus.

In this example, the member has deferred claiming Age for 254 weeks (4 years and 46 weeks). However, only accruing periods are used to calculate the bonus payable - that is, the total bonus period is 182 weeks (3 years and 26 weeks). Non-accruing periods are disregarded.

Work test requirements

The work test requirements for the scheme must be met for each whole year of accrual, not each whole year of deferment. This leads to situations where a full year bonus period can be greater than a 12-month period.

Example: A person is a member for a period of 43 weeks, before she or he has to take 5 weeks sick leave, which is a non-accruing period. The total period covered by the bonus year is therefore 57 weeks. During the 5-week period of sick leave the member does not have to pass the work test. That period is completely ignored for calculating bonus period and effectively increases the actual period covered by that bonus year by 5 weeks.

Non-accruing members (1.1.N.90) of the scheme do not have to meet the work test requirements.

Act reference: SSAct section 92Q Non-accruing membership—Secretary's discretion

Policy reference: SS Guide PBS work test

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