OLDER Australians now have more choice and flexibility to participate in the workforce.
The passage of new legislation means as of December 1 until the end of next year pensioners and veterans over the Age Pension age will benefit from an immediate $4,000 increase in the maximum Work Bonus income bank balance – up from $7,800 to $11,800.
The original boost was due to be in place until July 2023, however following consultation with Parliamentarians and the community – importantly, seniors – the Government extended it for a further six months to December 31.
Federal Blair MP Shayne Neumann said this was a big win for seniors and it will give them the ability to work more without losing any of their income support payments, and work in a more flexible way.
“Around 51,000 pensioners already participating in Australia’s workforce will benefit from this increase immediately, with the hope that other pensioners will soon take up this opportunity, if they choose to,” he said.
“Mature age workers are a great untapped market, having years of knowledge and skills to offer employers.
“Giving older Australians, including veterans, 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.”
As part of the legislation, pensioners will also not have to reapply for payments for up to two years if their employment income exceeds the income limit. Currently their connection to social security is cancelled
after 12 weeks of exceeding the income limit.
As a result, pensioners will also retain access to their Pensioner Concession Card and associated benefits for two years.
This legislation delivers on the Government’s commitment coming out of the Jobs and Skills Summit.
Eligible pensioners do not need to do anything as the increase will be automatically credited into their income bank, so they will be able to earn an additional $4,000 from employment income.
This is an important measure to ensure older Australians have the option to remain in the workforce if they wish to without losing access to their pension and benefits.
It will mean if they wish to work for short periods of time they can also, broadening their choices.