Accruing and non-accruing membership under the Pension Bonus Scheme

Only accruing membership can be counted toward your Pension Bonus. Non-accruing membership may allow you to remain in the scheme even if you cannot work.

Accruing membership

As a member of the scheme, you can accrue bonus periods toward your lump sum bonus:

  • as long as you meet the work test
  • until you reach 75 years of age, and
  • if you are not in a period of non-accruing membership

Non-accruing membership

You may remain in the scheme while you are a non-accruing member; however, non-accruing membership cannot be counted toward your bonus. Your membership is classed as non-accruing if:

  • you receive periodic or lump sum compensation payments
  • you receive Carer Payment from us
  • you participate in a Community Development Employment Project
  • you are in prison or in psychiatric confinement because of an offence
  • you have a partner who is working but not yet a member of the scheme, for example, because they have not reached age pension age and you need to use your partner's work in order to pass the work test for periods before 20 September 2009 only, or
  • your partner, or both you and your partner, give away more than a total of:
    • $30,000 in any 5 year period from 5 years before you became a member of the scheme and throughout your membership - only gifts made after 30 June 2002 are subject to this rule
    • $10,000 in a single financial year in which you are a member of the scheme or in each or any of the 5 years before you became a member

Your membership in the scheme may also be non-accruing if you would otherwise fail the work test because you:

  • are on sick leave for a continuous period of 4 to 26 weeks prior to 1 January 2008
  • are on paid or unpaid leave from work, for up to a maximum of 26 weeks starting on or after 1 January 2008 - this can be any type of leave and any combination of leave types
  • have a partner who dies and you are unable to pass the work test for a period of up to 13 weeks
  • had a reduction in the amount of paid work on or after 1 March 2006 because of Cyclone Larry, for up to a maximum period of 13 weeks, or
  • have a reduction in the amount of paid work on or after 24 August 2006 because of a major disaster as defined in social security law, for up to a maximum period of 13 weeks

If you are relying on your partner’s work in order to meet the work test, their non-accruing periods may affect your bonus.

After reaching 75 years of age

If you decide to continue working after reaching 75 years of age, you can no longer accrue bonus periods. You can, however, remain a member of the scheme after reaching 75 years of age if you continue to meet the work test requirements.

If you are relying on your partner’s work in order to meet the work test, their non-accruing periods may affect your bonus.

Gifting exemption

Since 20 September 2006, parents and immediate family members have been able to place up to $500,000 in an approved Special Disability Trust for the future care and accommodation of a person with severe disability.

This money will not be affected by social security or Veterans’ Affairs means test and gifting rules if the contributor meets eligibility requirements. Amounts above this limit will be affected by these rules.

Change of circumstances while a member of the scheme

While you are a member of the Pension Bonus Scheme you do not have to keep us informed of changes to your circumstances.

However, we recommend that you advise us of any change of address and of any other event that might affect your future entitlement, such as a change in relationship status.

Page last updated: 29 July 2016

This information was printed Saturday 3 December 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/accruing-and-non-accruing-membership-under-pension-bonus-scheme It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.