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Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Pension Bonus Scheme – a bonus for working longer

Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony has urged older Australians intending to stay in the workforce to register for the Pensioner Bonus Scheme, which could net a retiring couple up to $41,000, or up to $24,562 for a single person.

Mr Anthony said the bonus is paid as a tax-free lump sum to older workers if they defer receiving the aged pension for five years.

The Pensioner Bonus Scheme is different to the aged persons savings bonuses offered as part of the GST compensation. Under the scheme, people who continue to work for at least 12 months instead of taking the pension receive a bonus payment. People need to register for the Scheme as soon as they reach age pension age, not wait until they actually claim the pension.

Mr Anthony said less than 3,000 people have been paid a bonus so far since the scheme was introduced in 1998.

“I am keen to see more people take advantage of this very generous offer from the Federal Government,” said Mr Anthony.

“This scheme gives people a financial choice of whether to retire or not. They earn extra superannuation, they get a wage that is often better than the pension and a they get a bonus with the pension when they finally do retire.”

“Continuing to remain active members of the community is also beneficial for the health, welfare and long term financial independence of retirees and adds considerable, much-needed experience in the workplace.”

Mr Anthony urged interested people to register. Even if they think it’s too late, they should call 13 23 00 and ask to register – Centrelink may be able to backdate the registration.

Maximum bonuses payable from 20/3/2001
Bonus years Single Partnered (each)
1 $982 $819
2 $3,929 $3,279
3 $8,842 $7,379
4 $15,719 $13,119
5 $24,562 $20,499