Changes to the Work Bonus


It’s another big win for National Seniors. Aged pensioners can now earn more from working and still keep their pension benefits. Here’s how.

Increasing what you can earn on the pension is something we have been campaigning on to help pensioners meet the rising cost of living.

In our 2018 Budget submission we asked for an increase in the Work Bonus limit. We were pleased the government agreed and included this in the 2018 Budget.

From 1 July, the Work Bonus increases from $250 to $300 per fortnight.

Now you can earn up to $7,800 a year, up from $6,500.

This means you will be able to earn more from work before your pension reduces.

Also, the Work Bonus will now be applied to income from some types of self-employment that involves active participation.

Active participation means you’re doing work that involves effort. This is the opposite of income from passive involvement.

Examples of work involving active participation include:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Lawn mowing
  • Plumbing

How to get it


You don’t need to apply for the Work Bonus if you receive any work-related income. However, you will need to tell the department if there are any changes to your income.

If you are self-employed, you can do that through your Centrelink online account through the myGov website.

Just select Work Bonus update – self-employment income from the Tasks section. Make sure you do this as soon as possible so the Work Bonus can be applied as soon as possible.

Again, it is important that you tell the department if there are any changes to your income.

Increasing the Work Bonus is a good first step to improving the lot of age pensioners and reducing widespread pension poverty, which sits at around 30 per cent.

It provides a way for pensioners to supplement the pension and help make ends meet. 

Read more about the Work Bonus here.

Join our campaign to fix pension poverty


If you are interested in pension issues, then check out our Fix Pension Poverty campaign.

Read more

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