The Pension Bonus Scheme (PBS) will be closed to new entrants from 20 September 2009.
To register for the PBS you must first qualify for the Age Pension before 20 September 2009. Therefore, only men over the age of 65 and women over 63.5 years are eligible to register.
Note that you do not need to be eligible for the Age Pension at the time of registration. The pension bonus is calculated based on your Age Pension entitlement when you apply to receive the Age Pension for the first time.
What is the Pension Bonus Scheme
The Pension Bonus is a lump-sum, non taxable payment.
To meet the work requirements for the PBS, you need to complete at least 960 hours of paid work each year. You must meet the work requirements for at least one year to be eligible for the pension bonus.
Why is the Pension Bonus Scheme closing
The Government argued that the PBS was not well understood and failed to act as an incentive for mature age Australians to remain in the workforce. They believe that the vast majority of participants would have continued in the workforce in the absence of the scheme.
As announced in the May Budget, the PBS will be replaced with a new Work Bonus scheme whereby 50 per cent of the first $500 per fortnight of employment income will not count for income test purposes for people over Age Pension age.
To Register or Not
People who are still working and who turn Age Pension age between now and 20 September and those who are already over Age Pension age but have failed to register should seriously consider registering for the scheme in the next three weeks.
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