Are you eligible for the Pension Bonus Scheme?

The Pension Bonus Scheme (PBS) provided a tax-free lump sum upon retirement to people who deferred claiming the age pension (for up to five years) and continue to work. They needed to register for the Bonus Scheme within 13 weeks of reaching age/service pension age and must apply for the bonus when they apply for the age pension.  However even though you may not have registered we suggest that you contact Centrelink to lodge your intent to register.

To be eligible you must have:

  • qualified for the Age Pension before 20 September 2009
  • men - been born before 20 September 1944
  • women - been born before 1 January 1946
  • NOT received an income support payment since qualifying for the Age Pension (excluding Carer Payments)

    Late registrations for the Pension Bonus Scheme will not be accepted after 1 July 2014.

    Income support payments include Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Special Benefit, Austudy, Bereavement Allowance, Widow Allowance, and Veterans' Affairs service pensions.

    Only one bonus is ever payable. You must claim your Pension Bonus at the same time you claim Age Pension. If you cannot get Age Pension, you cannot get a bonus.

    Work Test

    The work test for the scheme requires you to complete at least 960 hours of paid work each year-that is, an average of 20 hours per week for 48 weeks each year. At least 640 of these hours must be worked in Australia.

    You will need to keep a record of the:

    • type of work you are doing
    • dates on which you did the work
    • number of hours you worked
    • number of hours you worked outside Australia (if any), and
    • name(s) of your employer(s)

    You will need to show Centrelink your payment summaries and tax returns. In some cases, Centrelink may need to see a letter from your employer or accountant to help verify your work record. Other documents you may provide are your own statement, invoice book, computer printouts showing hours worked, contract of service, profit statements, etc.