As Australians continue to be hammered by the ongoing pressures associated with the rising cost of living, purchasing all those special gifts for the grandkids this Christmas may come under increased strain.
However, after the Federal Government successfully passed the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Workforce Incentive) Act 2022, pensioners can from December 1 work more hours without facing financial penalties to their age pension payments.
Currently, pensioners can only earn $7800 a year before their payments are impacted.
Under the new changes, age and veteran pensioners will now be able to earn an additional $4000 over this financial year without losing any of their pension.
Originally the measures would have only been available until June 30, 2023, however, following consultation the Government has extended the $4000 bonus through to December 31, 2023.
This 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.
Giving older Australians the choice to engage in the workforce will not only benefit them by ensuring they keep more of their pension, it is also an important step towards addressing Australia’s labour shortages #qt #auspol pic.twitter.com/9UQ5dOVOpR
— Amanda Rishworth MP (@AmandaRishworth) November 23, 2022
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the move would benefit approximately 51,000 pensioners who are “already participating in Australia’s workforce” while expressing her hope “that other pensioners will soon take up this opportunity, if they choose to”.
“Older workers are an untapped market, having years of knowledge and skills to offer employers,” Rishworth said.
“Giving older Australians the choice to engage in the workforce will not only benefit them by ensuring they keep more of their pension, it is also an important step towards addressing Australia’s labour shortages.”
The move will not only allow pensioners to keep a little extra cash in their pocket, but will also provide some much needed relief for those who those who were facing the prospect of a toned down Christmas celebration this year in order to save money.
Due to the rising cost of living 40.3 per cent of Australians expect to spend less this Christmas than they have in previous years, according to Compare the Market’s September Survey.
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.