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Part-time work and the Age Pension

Retirement  |  13/01/2021  |   5 min read

*Note that work test eligibility will be updated on 1 July 2022.

Retirement isn’t what is used to be. People are living longer, they’re remaining active, and they’re looking for more meaningful ways to spend their time. Which means more people are looking for part-time work to maintain their lifestyle and financial needs.

If that sounds like you, we’ve summarised the rules and regulations around working in retirement, and how this may impact your Age Pension.

Getting back into the workforce

Situations change, and more people are finding themselves returning to the workforce after they’ve retired. This became more common following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, which saw savings drop, and new retirees returning to the job market to make up for the shortfalls.

But the reality is people return to the workforce for various reasons. Some people appreciate the additional income. Others like the comradery, or simply being part of something.

Whatever the case, you’re perfectly within your rights to look for work once you’ve retired. Just be aware that the hours worked, and the income earned, can have an impact on your Age Pension, and associated benefits.

Understanding the Pension Work Bonus

If you receive the Age Pension or a Veterans Affairs Pension, the Work Bonus allows you to earn up to $300 a fortnight without impacting your Centrelink payment. This can be as high as $478 a fortnight per person when you factor in the income test threshold

This amount applies whether you are an employee or self-employed. And if you don’t earn the full $300 per fortnight you can accumulate and carry over the unused amounts (up to $7,800) for future income.

For instance, if you haven’t worked for a year, you accumulate $7,800 of unused work bonus. If you then earn $4,000 for contract work over a six-week period, this won’t impact your Centrelink payments (and will leave you with another $3,800 in income for the year before your payments are impacted).

If you are currently receiving the Age Pension you will need to report any changes to your working situation or income to Centrelink. Registering for their online service is the easiest way to manage this and report any changes in your situation.

The long-term financial benefits

Aside from the social 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, so your savings can last longer and continue to be reinvested. You may even be able to add to your super.

Ultimately, everyone approaches retirement differently. The important thing is finding a lifestyle that works for you. If part-time work allows you to top-up your income and be more active then most people would consider that a good thing.

Either way, speaking with an Equip financial planner can help you better understand your options. You can book an appointment online and the first meeting comes at no additional charge, which is a great way to start.


Learn more about our financial planning services. 


This information is provided for general information only. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and should therefore not be taken as personal advice. You should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it and, if necessary, you should seek professional financial advice. Togethr Trustees Pty Ltd ABN 64 006 964 049, AFSL 246383 ("Togethr") is the trustee of the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund ABN 33 813 823 017 ("Equip" or "The Fund"). Past performance is not an indication of future performance.

Togethr Financial Planning Pty Ltd (“TFP”) (ABN 84 124 491 078, AFSL 455010), trading as Equip Financial Planning, is licensed to provide financial planning services to retail and wholesale clients. TFP is owned by Togethr Holdings Pty Ltd (ABN 11 604 515 791). You can obtain the TFP Financial Services Guide and/or Privacy Statement by contacting our Helpline on 1800 682 626. This is general information only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and therefore should not be taken as personal advice.

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