A pension bonus for those who choose to work longer and more… 17



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Joe Hockey has signalled in his firmest way yet that the coming budget is going to provide greater support for people over 50 who want to work longer, potentially looking for ways to incentivise them to stay in the workforce and reward employers for their support of older workers in a more effective way than the current program allows.

In this weekend’s Weekend Australian, he has acknowledged that an overhaul of the Restart Program is likely to be on offer along with the possible implementation of a lump sum reward program if they stayed in work and deferred the age pension.  It is a clearly going to be a budget that makes a serious an attempt to give workers an incentive to put off retirement and say thankyou to those who appreciate older workers in their companies.  The current Restart program proves difficult for many employers to access viably, with them eligible for $3000 of funding six months after they employ an older worker, and $7000 in stages for the remainder of a two year period of employment.  There is talk these payments may change in shape and that access may be more upfront.  And to qualify for these incentives, an employee has to have been on income support or the pension for over 6 months prior.

There is hope that greater flexibility can be seen in this program making it more accessible for the employment of anyone over 50, not just the longer term unemployed.

The Government released a report last week that showed workplace discrimination was rife across Australia with more than 25% of Australians over 50 feeling like they had been discriminated against for their age.

In news reports, there is apparent consideration for the revival or metamorphosis of the old Pension Bonus Scheme which was abolished for new entrants in 2009, but offered a lump sum of up to $49,000 to those who delayed their retirement after 65 and therefore were not imposing themselves on the public funding model until later in life.  Something that rewards continued workplace involvement would certainly make it more appealing for those who have to work, and those who want to work, to do so longer in their retirement years.

Tell us today, are you happy to see this pledge of support for older workers? 


Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I am just coming up to 72 and only recently retired.
    The article on keeping older Aussies working is interesting, I was one on the lucky ones that received the full Pension Bonus before it was abolished.

    1 REPLY
    • Same here, Donald. Got my last job at 60, joined the Pension Bonus Scheme, retired at 68 with a nice payout. It would be great if it’s reintroduced.

  2. I hope he helps older people who can not work as well.

  3. Yes, but there is also a need for funding for older Australians who are left to care for grandchildren etc. permanently and are unable to work because of the drug epidemic.

  4. this is a interesting vote grabbing lie my husband worked ten years over he was 75 he was in the bonus scheme .it was somthing like 35 000 but what did my husband get 19 000 and we cant get a full pension we are not rich by any means we dont own a home .all i say is read the fine print .iwent 3 yrs and recieved nil

  5. Rebecca Wilson have you found that NOBODY in the Starts at Sixty Community likes Joe Hockey’s pension bonus scheme?

  6. Good on you if you are able to work my body is letting me down and unable to continue working

  7. Yes I would love to be in the workforce – but there are no employers out there to take on the OVER 65’s. This ‘ageism’ must be overcome by the Govt itself – perhaps they should set up a special scheme and lead by example.

  8. For God’s sake read the article. Nobody is forcing you into it.And if you don’t agree with Joe Hockeys ideas, got a better one ?

  9. and where are these jobs to come from?

  10. Sorry but I just do not believe anything that this man says.
    He and Abbott have done so many Backflips.
    Just where the truth is no one knows.
    They say one thing and then it goes out the door, How many more times will they try to fool the public.
    No one believes any thing they say.
    Not enough money to run welfare and now this?
    Sounds like another thought bubble to me.

  11. This scheme has been around for a while. At the moment it is $1000 incentive, but the employers don’t like it because it costs them more than that to process all the paperwork involved. Even If they lift it to $3000 it may just cover the paperwork so where is the incentive?

  12. Sorry to be so cynical but Tony and Joe would be respected more if they made the ex politicians work until 70 before they got a pension. Mind you, the ones that get jobs paying big bucks still get their taxpayer funded pensions on top. Perhaps Joe could do the same for bona fide age pensioners.

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