More and more older Australians in the New England are taking advantage of the Pension Work Bonus scheme to top up their Age Pension through paid employment.
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the scheme allows pensioners to earn an average of up to $250 a fortnight ($6,500pa) without it reducing their pension entitlements.
Thanks to the Coalition Government, the threshold will increase on July 1 to $300 a fortnight or a maximum of $7,800pa.
“Older Australians have contributed all their working lives to this nation’s economy and the Australian Government will continue to support them in their retirement and old age,” Mr Joyce said.
In NSW, 45,876 pensioners have used the scheme in the past 12 months.
Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation, Michael Keenan, said the scheme gives older Australians a chance to earn a bit of extra spending money each week, without having to worry about it affecting their pension.
“It also enables them to continue to make a valuable contribution to their community by taking on vitally important casual jobs such as school crossing guards, exam markers or even vote counters at election time,” Minister Keenan said.
Given the seasonal nature of many of those jobs, the scheme allows pensioners to earn more in some weeks and less in others, as long as they do not exceed the annual cap.
Age Pension recipients do not need to apply for the Work Bonus, but simply need to tell the Department of Human Services when they start working so it can automatically apply to their income test.
For more information about Work Bonus, visit humanservices.gov.au/workbonus