Let pensioners

Allowing pensioners to work will help them keep up with the cost of living and help with crippling labour force shortages – help us make it happen.

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The issue

The issue

The Age Pension income test punishes older Australians who need work.

What we are calling for

What we are calling for

We recommend employment income be exempt from the income test for pensioners with limited savings or assets.

The benefits

The benefits

Increases income and savings of pensioners, social and emotional benefits from workforce engagement and no regular reporting of employment income.

A single pensioner who earns $75,000 in addition to their $25,000 pension would have a taxable income of $100,000 and pay $25,000 in tax. They would have paid for their pension by working and would have $7,500 in additional superannuation to fund their retirement!

The benefits

Case study

Heather is 68. She works casually as a registered nurse with home care provider My Care Solution. She'd be happy to work additional hours. Her employer would welcome her increased availability. Heather wants to work more hours to boost her income. But she finds the 50c in the dollar punitive and the Centrelink reporting burdensome.

Heather would be willing to increase her availability if she knew she wasn't going to be penalised. This would also help her grow her relatively low superannuation balance.

For pensioners:

  • increases both income and savings of low-wealth pensioners, particularly women
  • provides social and emotional benefits from ongoing workforce engagement
  • removes any need for regular reporting of employment income via Centrelink.

For the economy:

  • by encouraging ongoing workforce participation this will addresses workforce shortages
  • additional worker availability will reduce inflationary pressures
  • pensioners earning additional income would pay additional income tax, offsetting additional pension costs. 

In New Zealand, pensioners are not penalised for earning additional income.

If Australia had a participation rate of over 65s similar to New Zealand’s 24.8%, it would result in an additional 450,000 available workers.



National Seniors is the leading not-for-profit organisation fighting for a fair go for older Australians.

We rely on people like you to donate so we can continue to tackle issues such as age discrimination, accessible housing, pension poverty, health costs, aged care, improve retirement income and provide more home care places so that older Australians can live safely and make ends meet.

Become a National Seniors Member

Join National Seniors Australia today and receive discounts on everyday essentials and more

Join National Seniors Australia today and receive discounts on everyday essentials and more

National Seniors Australia members have access to a range of benefits and services – including discounts on Travel, Health and Life Insurance.

As a member, save with discounts, expand your social circle through our branches, receive a yearly subscription to Our Generation digital magazine, and access our Financial Information Consultant by phone.

For only $49.50, anyone can become a member and it only takes minutes to join.

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