What Is The Pension Bonus Scheme?

Canstar’s guide to the now-closed Pension Bonus Scheme, its eligibility requirements, how it worked, and who can still claim a bonus under the Scheme.

When it was open for registration, the Pension Bonus Scheme offered an incentive for retirement-aged Australians to stay in the workplace. While it’s no longer open to new registrations, those people who did register before 1 July 2014 may still eligible for the bonus offered by the scheme.

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How did the scheme work?

The scheme was introduced in 1998 and offered a financial incentive for Australians who’d reached Pension Age to stay in the workforce rather than retiring and claiming the Age Pension. If a person is eligible for the scheme, is already registered (before the July 2014 cut off) and meets the relevant criteria, when they eventually retire and claim the Age Pension, they will receive a tax-free lump sum along with their pension.

In order to receive the bonus, an individual must have:

  • registered for the scheme
  • worked at least 12 months from the date they registered
  • completed at least 960 hours of paid work in the time between registration and claiming the bonus

The bonus will be received when the Age Pension is first claimed and paid to the individual; but the claims for the Age Pension and Pension Bonus must have been lodged together.

Who was eligible for the scheme?

To be eligible for a Pension Bonus, you needed to be:

How much is the Pension Bonus?

Your maximum Pension Bonus will depend on the period of time for which you deferred claiming the Age Pension, along with whether you were single or coupled during this period.

If you’ve been in the scheme for The most you’ll get if you’re single is The most you’ll each get if you’re partnered is
1 year $2,076.40 $1,569.00
2 years $8,305.70 $6,276.20
3 years $18,687.80 $14,121.40
4 years $33,222.80 $25,104.80
5 years $51,910.60 $39,226.20

Source: Department of Human Services

As mentioned earlier, the Scheme is no longer taking new registrants; so if you weren’t registered as of 1 July 2014 you may need to put an increased focus on building your super in order to ensure a comfortable retirement. You can compare super funds and find the best-value fund for you with Canstar.

The following table contains details of the superannuation funds rated by Canstar based on someone aged 30-39. This table has been sorted by three-year performance (highest to lowest).

Please note that the performance information shown in the table is for the investment option used by Canstar in rating of the superannuation product.

To view the past performance of all super funds, rated by Canstar, use our comparison tool:

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