Can I work part-time in retirement?

Planning and advice | | 2 min read

Part time work in retirement

Whether you miss the social aspect, want to earn some additional income, or are just a little bored at home, more and more retirees are returning to the workforce in a part-time capacity.

This is supported by the Federal Government’s Work Bonus Scheme, which allows you to supplement your superannuation and Age Pension earnings. But there are eligibility requirements you’ll need to be aware of. 

An Equip Super financial planner can help you optimise your retirement income, and find the most effective way to combine your super, the Age Pension and part time work.  Let’s take a closer look. 

Jobs for seniors 

Retirement is changing. People are living longer, they’re remaining active, and they’re looking at ways to maintain their lifestyle. Increasingly, that means taking up some part-time work. 

But when it comes to retirement and continued employment, there are things to think about. These relate to the number of hours you can work, your earnings, and any Age Pension benefits you may receive. Understanding these regulations can help you ensure your earnings stay in your pocket. 

If you’re receiving the Age Pension, any employment income may reduce your benefits. Your eligibility for a Pensioner Concession Card or the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card may also be affected. 

The good news is the system has been overhauled in recent years, and the Work Bonus Scheme allows for increased income in retirement before your Age Pension is impacted.  

The Age Pension and part time work 

Changes to the Work Bonus Scheme mean retirees can earn more income from part-time work before it starts to impact their Age Pension entitlements. In short, the first $300 in fortnightly income is not assessed and is not counted under the pension income test. 

If you don’t earn the full $300 per fortnight you can accumulate and carry over the unused amounts (up to $11,800 from 1 January 2024) for future income.

For example, if you haven’t worked for a year, you may be able to earn up to $11,800 under the Work Bonus Scheme. In other words, if you earn $4,000 for contract work over a six-week period, this won’t impact your Centrelink payments (and could leave you with another $7,800 in income for the year before your payments are impacted), e.g. $11,800 - $4,000 = $7,800.  

Just remember to keep Centrelink notified and review all the eligibility requirements.

Extra money in retirement

Aside from the social and active benefits of returning to work, it can also help your long-term finances. Supplementing your super with a part-time income means you’re drawing down less money, which means your savings can last longer and can continue to be reinvested. You may even be able to add to your super. 

At the end of the day everyone approaches retirement differently. The important thing is finding a lifestyle that works for you.  

A financial planner can help you understand the impact of part-time work on your Age Pension payments and broader financial situation. In the process they can help you find a happy medium that optimises your retirement income.

An initial appointment with an Equip Super financial planner is available obligation free, and at no charge to members. 

Issued by Togethr Trustees Pty Ltd ABN 64 006 964 049, AFSL 246383 ("Togethr"), the trustee of the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund ABN 33 813 823 017 ("the Fund"). The information contained herein is general information only and does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your personal circumstances before acting on it and, if necessary, you should also seek professional financial advice tailored to your personal circumstances. Where tax information is included, you should consider obtaining personal taxation advice. Before making a decision to invest in the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund, you should read the appropriate Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination for the product which are available at  Financial advice services may be provided to members by the trustee’s related entity Togethr Financial Planning Pty Ltd (ABN 84 124 491 078; AFSL 455010). *Past performance is not an indication of future performance.