The Age Pension is supposed to take care of some of your financial needs as you get older – but many recipients may want or need some extra money, or want to work as a way of keeping themselves occupied.

Income from work will affect the rate of your pension once you start bringing in enough money – as at 20 September 2022, once you start earning more than $190 per fortnight (for singles) or a combined $336 per fortnight (for couples), your pension will be reduced by 50 cents for every dollar above that amount.

However, there is some good news – to encourage pensioners to work if they choose to do so, the Government has a “Work Bonus” scheme for everyone old enough to receive the Age Pension. Under the Work Bonus, your first $300 per fortnight from work is not assessed under the income test – essentially, it “doesn’t count”.

What’s more, according to the Department of Social Services, if you don’t use the full Work Bonus, then the remainder is banked against future income to a maximum of $7,800.

“The amount accumulated in the income bank can be used to offset future income from work that would otherwise be assessable under the pension income test,” the Department says.

“The income bank amount is not time limited; if unused it carries forward, even across years.”

Essentially, until you start earning more than $490 per fortnight, you will still receive the maximum amount of the Age Pension – so if you’re thinking of picking up some part-time or casual work, you can rest easy knowing that the pension will still be there to support you.