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$4,000 Centrelink boost for these Aussies

The Age Pension changes would come into effect on January 1, 2024.

Millions of Aussies could soon be able to permanently work more without having their Centrelink payments reduced.

The government will today introduce a new bill to permanently enable pensioners and veterans to earn an extra $4,000 before their payments are impacted.

If passed, the maximum Work Bonus income bank will increase from $7,800 to $11,800 from January 1.

Composite image of Centrelink sign and Australian money. Centrelink payments concept.
Age Pension recipients could soon earn thousands more without their Centrelink payments being reduced. (Source: Getty)

The government has already applied a one-off, temporary credit of $4,000 this year, however, this is due to end on December 31. The new bill would make the change permanent.

“Many older Australians are choosing to supplement their Age Pension with paid work, and good on them,” Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said.

“We need to make sure the system is incentivising older Australians to work if they want to. No one should be financially disadvantaged by staying in the workforce longer, or returning to the workforce after some time away.”

Under the change, all new Age Pension recipients would be credited with $4,000 in their Work Bonus income balance. Existing recipients would retain the current increased limit of $11,800.

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What is the Work Bonus?

The Work Bonus currently enables pensioners to earn $300 a fortnight from work without their pension payments being impacted.

Any unused part of the $300 fortnightly Work Bonus concession amount is kept in a Work Bonus income bank.

The income bank amount offsets future income from work that would otherwise be assessable under the pension income test. Under the changes, the maximum amount that can be accrued would be $11,800.

The income bank amount is not time limited. If it isn’t used, it carries forward, even across years.

Who will the changes apply to?

All pensioners over the Age Pension age are eligible for the Work Bonus.

This include those receiving the:

  • Age Pension

  • Carer Payment

  • Disability Support Pension

  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Service Pensioners and Income Support Supplement

It follows increases to the Age Pension last month. As part of the government’s regular indexation, Aussie singles receiving the Age Pension received a $32.70-a-fortnight boost, taking payments to $1,096.70 a fortnight.

Couples saw an increase of $49.40 per fortnight, bringing the new rate to $1,653.40.

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