This boost, announced in October’s Federal Budget, will see the income cap lifted from $7,800 to $11,800 for eligible pensioners before their pension is reduced.

The Work Bonus currently entitles those working yet receiving the full pension to earn an extra $300 per fortnight without impacting pension entitlements. 

The changes that come into effect from Thursday will see pensioners automatically receive an additional $4,000 as a one-off payment to Work Bonus income bank balances. 

The $4,000 boost will be available until 31 December 2023, after initially being flagged to remain in place only until the end of this current financial year. 

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said this will give older Australians the ability to work more without losing any of their income support payments. 

“Around 51,000 pensioners already participating in Australia’s workforce will benefit from this increase immediately, with the hope that other pensioners will soon take up this opportunity,” Minister Rushworth said. 

National Seniors Australia Chief Advocate Ian Henschke noted this move means people reaching pension age in the next year have a good reason to stay in the workforce. 

“The change to the Work Bonus limit means a single pensioner with no savings could earn up to $17,000 without impacting their pension and a couple as much as $32,000 - if both work part-time up to the limit,” Mr Henschke said. 

Under current measures, pension payments are cut off after 12 weeks of exceeding the income limit. 

With the new legislation in play, pensioners will not have to reapply for payments for up to two years if employment income exceeds the income limit. 

Am I eligible?

Importantly, eligible pensioners do not need to do anything to receive the increase, with the one-off $4,000 payment credited to their income bank from 1 December. 

The measure will affect people over age pension age receiving the following payments:

  • Age Pension.
  • Disability Support Pension.
  • Carer Payment.
  • Veterans Entitlement Act Pension and Income Support Supplement.

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