Allowing pensioners to work and keep more of their money

Age and Veterans Pensioners will be supported to work and keep more of their government payments for a full year, after amendments moved in the House of Representatives today.

Following consultation with the community – and importantly seniors – the Albanese Labor Government has listened and will now seek to extend the $4000 income bank boost through to December 31, 2023.

This will, following passage of the legislation, give an additional six months for all Australians over Age Pension age and Veterans Pensioners to take up the income bank boost and allow for a thorough assessment to determine if it is working to help older Australians who want to work more to do so.

Following the successful Jobs and Skills Summit in Canberra earlier this year, the Albanese Labor Government introduced legislation to credit an immediate $4000 to the income banks of Age Pensioners from December 1 this year.

The temporary income bank top up will increase the amount pensioners can earn from $7800 to $11,800, before their pension is reduced.

The measure is designed to enable pensioners who want to work to immediately to help boost the supply of labour to help meet shortages.

Pensioners will be able to do so without losing their pension, either in short stints or over the course of a year.

The bill delivers one of the Government’s commitments to address Australia’s labour market challenges through practical and targeted solutions.

The measure was due to be in place until July 2023 but following consultation the Government has listened to the concerns of key community stakeholders, and our parliamentary colleagues that seven months was not enough time to assess the effectiveness of this policy change.

The indicative cost of the extension is estimated to be around $2.5 million.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said it was important that pensioners had the choice to work, should they wish to do so.

“We’ve listened and we’re now seeking to extend the measure for twelve-months to ensure people have time to use it,” Minister Rishworth said.

“Our measure provides certainty – pensioners know exactly what they are getting up front and how much they can earn.

“The Albanese Labor Government is committed to improving the lives of all Australians – including older Australians – and importantly providing choice.”