If you are a senior who is approaching the minimum age for receiving your age pension benefits, you will need to decide if you want to continue working or not. There are several benefits that you can receive by continuing to work past the minimum pension age.
If you are a senior who is approaching the minimum age for receiving your age pension benefits, you will need to decide if you want to continue working or not. There are several benefits that you can receive by continuing to work past the minimum pension age. First of all, you annual salary is likely to be more than what you will receive from your pension benefits.
Furthermore, if you have saved through the years, your superannuation may provide additional funds. There are, however, some additional governmental benefits you may be eligible for if you decide to keep working.
How Does Age Pension Work
The current age for pension eligibility is 65-years old, but this minimum age is set to increase over the next 10 years. By 2017, the minimum age for receiving pension payments will be 65½-years old, and this age level will increase by six months every two years until the year 2023 when it will top out at 67-years old. The current payments for Age Pension are $751.70 for an individual and $1,133.20 for a couple per fortnight. This amount is likely to increase slightly each year to reflect that costs of living.
Partial Age Pension
If you continue to work past the pension age, you may be eligible for partial Age Pension payments. Whether you are eligible for partial age pension benefits will depend on your specific set of circumstances, how many hours you work per week, and how much income you bring in on a weekly basis. You must first apply for Age Pension benefits and a caseworker evaluate your situation and determine if you are eligible for partial payments or not. There will be a limit on the number of hours you can work each week, and the amount of income you can earn to still receive partial payments.
Work Bonus benefits are offered to seniors as an encouragement to continue working past the minimum pension age. This benefit allows seniors to work for shorter time frames without jeopardizing their regular pension benefits. In essence, it allows seniors to work on a limited basis while still collecting their Age Pension benefit. Your income is calculated on a regular basis to determine what your specific work bonus benefit will be each fortnight.
Pension Bonus Scheme
If you reached pension age prior to 20 September 2009, yet continued to work, you may be eligible for a lump-sum payment through the Pension Bonus Scheme. This payment is only for those who have not received any Age Pension payments or other income support payments from Centrelink, other than carer payments. You must have worked at least 960 hours during the year and been a resident of Australia to qualify. The exact amount of the lump-sum payment is dependent on numerous factors. If you qualify for this additional benefit, you must apply before 1 March 2014. The government will no longer be accepting application after this date.
Determining when you should stop working is a very personal decision that will be based upon numerous factors, such as your ability to continue working, your desire to work, and your financial status. You may want to seek advice from a financial counsellor before making this final decision, or meet with a Centrelink social worker, who can explain your options and help you make the right decision for you and your family.
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