From Thursday, December 1, those on the Age Pension can enjoy an early Christmas gift by being able to earn more income from working without reducing their pension payments.
Currently, pensioners are only able to earn $7800 a year before their pension payments are impacted.
Under the new changes, age pensioners will now be able to earn an additional $4000 during this financial year without losing any of their pension.
Originally the measures would have only been available to pensioners until June 30, 2023, however, following a period of consultation the Government has extended the $4000 bonus through to December 31, 2023.
The move will allow older Australians to remain in the workforce if they so desire to without losing access to their pension and benefits.
Eligible pensioners do not need to do anything to receive the money as the increase will be automatically credited into their account.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the changes will would provide more flexibility in regard to work arrangements for those who wished to return to work.
“We know pensioners do want some flexibility. A lot of pensioners don’t want to work all year or they don’t want to work at all, but for some that do want to work they want to do so in seasonal jobs,” Rishworth said.
“Employers are calling out for experienced workers, particularly in the health and childcare sectors, so it makes sense to offer incentives to older Australians to encourage them back to the workforce and share their skills.
“Importantly, this immediate income bank credit offers flexibility to work for short periods and there will be plenty of short-term seasonal jobs coming up over the Christmas and summer period.”
From today pensioners over the Age Pension age will receive a $4,000 increase to their Work Bonus income bank from $7,800 to $11,800 until 31st December 2023
This provides an immediate benefit to any pensioner over Age Pension age who works and will help address labour shortages pic.twitter.com/hSLWJ2RzZK
— Amanda Rishworth MP (@AmandaRishworth) November 30, 2022
Pensioners aren’t the only ones set to benefit from the move, with the changes also supporting veterans after their service.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh said “the ability to undertake meaningful work has been shown to benefit veterans’ mental health and wellbeing following their military service.”
“Veterans bring to the civilian workplace so many great skills gained in the ADF, this will ensure our community continues to benefit from those,” Keogh said.
The work bonus will surely come as welcome relief for many, after reports emerged that Australians should brace for an expensive Christmas this year given the rising cost of living.
Compare the Market’s General Manager of Media & Communications, Chris Ford said “it’s shaping up to be an expensive end to 2022 and with Christmas fast approaching, Australians will be looking for ways to reduce financial stress this festive season.”
“We’ve seen energy bills skyrocket, the price of groceries hit new highs, the halving of the fuel excise end and our insurance premiums increase – it’s hardly surprising that around half of Aussies will be spending less or looking for savings this Christmas,” Ford said.